Photo of 2022 Faculty Awards ceremoney attendees
Bryant University recognized faculty accomplishments during its Annual Faculty Awards ceremony.
Annual Awards recognize faculty accomplishments in teaching, research and service
Jun 17, 2022, by Denise Kelley
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During its annual Faculty Awards ceremony, Bryant University recognized this year's faculty award winners for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The honorees were presented with a personalized plaque and monetary award, with a reception following the ceremony.

“Our faculty are energized to contribute to Bryant’s mission to educate and inspire students to discover their passion and become innovative leaders with character around the world,” says Provost and Chief Academic Officer Rupendra Paliwal, Ph.D. “We’re proud to highlight and award their exemplary accomplishments.”

“This year’s winners are a testament to the passion for teaching, scholarship and service across our faculty,” says Associate Provost Wendy Samter, Ph.D. “Their accomplishments are a reminder of the excellence of our faculty and our great community of teachers and scholars.”

Here’s the list of honorees and why their nominators say the awards were richly deserved, as described in this selection of comments from the ceremony proceedings:

College of Arts and Sciences

Ryan Marnane, Ph.D., Lecturer of English and Cultural Studies – Excellence in Teaching

As a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Teaching Excellence, Marnane is committed to sharing best practices and learning and growing in the profession alongside his colleagues. With a teaching style that can best be described as creative, experimental, inclusive and supportive, he is committed to keeping his teaching fresh and tuned to students’ learning needs. In the words of his nominators, Marnane “demonstrates excellence in the classroom and a deep commitment to helping colleagues develop their pedagogical practices.” 

Xiaofei Pan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economics – Research and Publication

Pan’s work has been cited over 200 times, which her nominators say is a testament to the quality of research that she has conducted. The journals in which she has published are highly competitive and rank among the top-tiered journals in her field. She has published 6 articles in reputable journals since 2020, with several more in the pipeline. As a behavioral economist, her work provides insights into gender inequality in finance, marketing and sales management. This year, she received the NCSM Best Paper Award for her interdisciplinary work on feedback design, where she used behavioral economics theory to test feedback design in sales management.  

Kirsten Hokeness, Ph.D., Professor of Science and Technology – Outstanding Service

Tenacious, devoted and entrepreneurial are words that describe the recipient of this year's service award, say her nominators. In addition to her many years of service as a department chair, she has gone above and beyond the call of duty by participating in several university initiatives intended to expand the footprint of the Health Sciences at Bryant, and she will be taking these talents to do even more great work in the newly expanded School of Health and Behavioral Sciences.  

College of Business

Jennifer Mier, M PAcc, Lecturer of Accounting – Excellence in Teaching

Mier’s nominators and students alike offer praise for Meir’s teaching. Mier “brings a new style of teaching that is extremely effective, and students love her,” say her colleagues. Student testimonials feature positives and praise. “[She is] enthusiastic and provides a current point of view on the industry. It's more than just teaching a class to her but about coaching and preparing us for the future industry,” says one student; “I feel like she's teaching because she genuinely enjoys it,” says another. Mier joined Bryant in January of 2019 and teaches Principles of Financial Accounting and Cost Management.

Michael Gravier, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing – Research and Publication

Gravier, whose area of expertise is in Global Supply Chain Management, has produced an impressive roster of reviewed articles as well as practitioner and professional publications, with recent articles in the Journal of Business Logistics and the Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing. An article on the Bryant University GSCM Program was a 2021 Best Research Paper Award Finalist from the Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education. An article on warehouse drone technology is the most downloaded paper in Journal of Transportation Management (with undergraduate student Edward Companik as lead author). He garners attention from media and has many followers on social networking sites who value his expertise and analysis on global supply chain issues. He serves on the Editorial advisory board for several important journals in the field and is currently Track Chair for the Public Policy Decision Making track for the 2022 Decision Sciences Institute annual conference. 

R. Isil Yavuz, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Management – Outstanding Service

After winning Best Dissertation Award from the Kauffman Foundation and earning her Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship from the University of Minnesota, Yavuz came to Bryant in 2019 with a passion for entrepreneurship education. Even as a new tenure-track faculty with research expectations, Yavuz created a new degree in Entrepreneurship, working tirelessly over 2 years to develop the curriculum while working with faculty, chairs, the curriculum committee, and advising and preparing for its approval and launch. The brand-new Entrepreneurship degree will launch at Bryant this Fall and is filled with experiential learning, analytical skills and a focus on creating an entrepreneurial mindset.

2022 International Business Research Award

Andres Ramirez, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Finance; Hakan Saraoglu, Ph.D., Professor of Finance; A. Can Inci, Ph.D., Professor of Finance

Winning this year’s IB research award is a paper that investigates intraday volatility characteristics of the Santiago Stock Exchange. Titled “Anatomy of intraday volatility at the Chilean stock exchange,” the paper shows that intraday volatility declines during the day with an accentuation at the end of trading for the stocks, with implications both for highlighting benefits of proactive implementation of a closing call auction system and providing suggestions as to when different types of traders should participate during the trading session. Published online in 2021 and in paper during 2022 at the Journal of Economics and Finance, this paper was the best-in-track “Global Finance” at the Academy of Finance conference in March 2020.

Mentor of the Year Award

Crystal Jiang, Ph.D., Professor of Management

Jiang is an outstanding colleague, a top researcher and an excellent teacher, say her nominators. She balances rigor with compassion and care, and she is outstanding in her service. To top it all, she goes out of her way to mentor junior faculty in teaching and research, all in a thoughtful and collegial manner that elevates everyone in the process. She is a warm and caring professor who is spoken highly of by all, and especially by students. 

Faculty Federation Distinguished Faculty Award

Janet Dean, Ph.D., Department Chair and Professor of English and Cultural Studies (ECS)

Over the past 25 years at Bryant, Dean has made numerous contributions with her teaching, scholarship and service. She has taught courses in American and Native American literature, the literature of social and political protest and introductory literature courses, as well as important topics that impact multiple ECS programs. Dean has written an exceptional scholarly body of work on issues related to literature and Native American studies, including her 2016 book, "Unconventional Politics: Nineteenth-Century Women Writers and U.S. Indian Policy," and a recent essay in Studies in American Indian Literature, “Getting on with Things: Ojibwe Ontology and Relationality in Louise Erdrich’s The Painted Drum” (2020). Serving as Chair of the ECS Department twice in the past eight years, she oversaw the expansion of the department as well as a period of transition. Her leadership, commitment and dedication have been demonstrated on a daily basis, including as a colleague and mentor. “While she holds us all together collectively, she also manages to individually lift each of us up,” agree her nominators.


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