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Faculty Bragging Rights: Innovation Research Grants, Outstanding Teacher Awards, Hall of Fame Inductee, and More

As experts from numerous industries, McCombs School of Business professors are always on top of the latest business trends — if they're not outright creating one. 

In this edition of Bragging Rights, we highlight McCombs faculty members' most recent accomplishments, including grants for innovative research projects, outstanding teaching awards, a new inductee into the Sam Walton Hall of Fame, and award-winning research.

Innovation Research Grants

2017-2018 IC2 Grant Recipients

Research studies from seven McCombs faculty members were among the 11 projects across The University of Texas at Austin selected by the IC2 Institute to receive a $25,000 grant for the 2017-2018 academic year. McCombs faculty selected for grants include Management Professor John S. Butler, Management Associate Professor Melissa Graebner, Information, Risk and Operations Management Professor Sirkka Jarvenpaa, Business, Government and Society Professor Nathan Jensen, Psychology and Marketing Professor Art Markman, Department Chair and Management Professor Luis Martins, and Business, Government, and Society Assistant Professor Rachel Wellhausen

"Through these grants, IC2 is bringing together faculty from across the university who are interested in entrepreneurship and innovation, and it’s exciting to be part of that interdisciplinary community," says Graebner. In her project, "M&A as Entrepreneurial Exit: Motives, Decisions, and Outcomes," she used funds to send a Ph.D. student to a specialized training session on a new research methodology.

Other McCombs research projects include studying how educating people to be entrepreneurs changes their ability to solve problems, analyzing the effects of economic globalization on political risk, and the impact of economic development incentives on the Texas economy.  

Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards

Gretchen Charrier and Katie Gray

IROM Senior Lecturer Katie Gray and Accounting Senior Lecturer Gretchen Charrier were among seven professors to receive The University of Texas Board of Regents' 2017 Outstanding Teaching Award.

The teaching awards provide $25,000 to exemplary faculty members recognized for their high performance in the classroom, intellectual exploration and discovery, commitment to bringing out the best in their students, and demonstrated excellence in teaching.

"It's very humbling to be honored among this group of professors, some of whom were my actual teachers," says Gray. "This award is about teaching undergrads, which I don't think is always as recognized. It's great the regents are trying to award people who contribute to the undergrad experience."

2016 Paper of the Year

Sirkka Jarvenpaa

IROM Professor Sirkka Jarvenpaa and her co-author, Lisen Selander, an associate professor at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, received the MIS Quarterly Paper of the Year award for "Digital Action Repertoires and Transforming a Social Movement Organization."

Jarvenpaa was also runner-up in the 2016 Academy of Management Discovery Best Paper competition for "From Governance Void to Interactive Governing Behaviors in New Research Networks," which she co-authored with Liisa Valikangas, a professor at Aalto University in Finland.

Sam Walton Hall of Fame Inductee

Dennis Passovoy

Management Lecturer Dennis Passovoy has been inducted into the Sam Walton Hall of Fame for his work with Texas Enactus, an international entrepreneurial nonprofit organization for students and business leaders to work together on creating a more sustainable world. The university chapter started in 2011 at McCombs.

"When I was first asked to become the academic advisor in 2011, I knew nothing about the mission or accomplishments of Enactus and our team at UT Austin," says Passovoy. "But once I figured out what this organization does and experienced the energy, determination, and social-mindedness of our students here at UT, nothing could tear me away from it."

Under Passovoy's guidance as an advisor, the organization has founded five socially conscious and sustainable ventures providing economic support to communities in Austin and Kenya. The Texas Enactus team placed in the top 12 out of 200 competing teams at the 2016 national Enactus Exposition, came in No. 3 in the 2015 Enactus USA National Quarterfinals, and was named the 2013 Enactus USA Rookie of the Year.

"With more than 35 years of entrepreneurial experience and a commitment to empowering student entrepreneurs, Dennis Passovoy is a very worthy recipient of this honor," said Luis Martins, chair of the Management Department and director of the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship. "His dedication as a business strategy and entrepreneurship educator makes a positive impact on students at UT and beyond."

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