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Insights at UBC Sauder

UBC Sauder announces winners of Research and Teaching Awards for 2020/2021

UBC Sauder
Posted 2021-04-27
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The UBC Sauder School of Business has recognized five faculty members for their outstanding achievements and efforts in teaching and research for the 2020/2021 academic year.

“Please join me in congratulating these outstanding faculty members,” said John Ries, Senior Associate Dean, Faculty at UBC Sauder. “I also want to thank those who took the time to prepare all the nominations submitted—it is important that we take the time to honour our colleagues’ accomplishments, and nominators are sometimes the unsung heroes in this process.”

Chunhua Wu

The Killam Teaching Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching

The Killam Teaching Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching has been awarded to Associate Professor Chunhua Wu, who is being recognized for excellence in teaching his courses on Data Analytics, Market Research, and Data Visualization. He helps students set personal goals with concrete analytical examples to show what every student can attain with their efforts. Instead of the “dummy data” approach typically adopted in most textbooks, most of the assignments in his class are based on real data that he has personally collected. For example, in his Market Research course, he provides students with diamond pricing and sales data from his research and guides them to discover the underlying secret pricing formula through regression analysis. In his Data Visualization course, he works with students to visualize a day in the life of taxi drivers and how recently-introduced mobile hailing apps change drivers' behaviours. He makes class engagement a top priority, designing student activities in topics ranging from case discussions to coding competitions in a way that helps students participate and learn in a collaborative way. He believes that course content is the fundamental source of student interest, with relevance being the key to drive engagement. He offers his students world-class undergraduate education unique to UBC Sauder.

Wayne Rawcliffe

The CPA Teaching Award for excellence in graduate teaching

The CPA Teaching Award for excellence in graduate teaching has been awarded to Full-time Lecturer Wayne Rawcliffe. In re-designing his courses for virtual delivery, he went above and beyond the call of duty. He developed entirely new case analyses and debrief materials and simulation activities. Leveraging media, he designed reflection quizzes, discussion boards, and produced 24 hours of asynchronous video content in the Sauder Studios. He consistently receives very high teaching evaluations across all the graduate programs in which he teaches (MM, PMBA, IMBA, and MBA) and his qualitative student feedback is exceptionally positive. Beyond the classroom, he makes significant contributions through his involvement in UBC Sauder activities. For example, he attends all student graduation and other social events and he has been invited to speak at the MM graduation. Students keep in touch with him long after their graduation, updating him of their career progression. He enthusiastically accepts formal service requests to the benefit of his colleagues and students. For example, he led a Teaching Online Series session entitled “Tips and Strategies for Effective Student Teams.” He regularly volunteers as a faculty advisor to student groups (UBC HRM Club, Enactus UBC) and presents talks to student groups (UBC Seed). Last year, he led UBC Sauder’s HR case competition team to a first-place prize at HRC West. He has served on the Loran Scholarship Foundation committee and for the past five years has been involved with the Jump Start program.

Jan Bena

The Alumni Talking Stick Award

The Alumni Talking Stick Award has been awarded to Associate Professor Jan Bena for his outstanding pedagogical innovation in several finance courses including COMM374: Applied Financial Markets, COMM387: Entrepreneurial Finance, BAFI520: Empirical Finance, and COMM695: Advanced Topics in Empirical Corporate Finance. Two of those courses, COMM374 and BAFI520, were new courses he developed himself, and significantly redesigned COMM387 along with Justin Bull. All of the courses he taught have greatly contributed to our BCOM/MBA/Ph.D. students’ experiential learning. The common theme underlying the pedagogical innovation is that these new and/or re-designed courses are grounded in finance and economic theory and enriched with current-date capital market information and real-world applications, resulting in rigorous curriculum and engaging learning opportunities for our students. All three BCOM/MBA courses have helped our students master (a) fundamental knowledge—understanding the roles of the investing public, corporate sector, and financial intermediation sector in national economy and how they interact in the capital markets; (b) practical knowledge—an ability to make sound financial decisions in both personal and job-related applications; and (c) reflective knowledge— an ability to adapt and adjust to fast evolving environments through self-reflection while still drawing on finance and economic theory.

Yann Cornil

The Research Excellence Award, Junior Category

The Research Excellence Award, Junior Category (for candidates at most 10 years post-PhD) has been awarded to Assistant Professor Yann Cornil. His research on eating behaviour and food marketing has made important contributions to theory and practice. For example, he has conducted programmatic research on the relationship between pleasure and portion size preference, finding that the pleasure of eating can be an ally (rather than a foe) of healthy eating. He identified a mindfulness-based intervention called “multisensory imagery”, leading people to choose smaller food portion sizes while expecting greater pleasure. He then corroborated these findings by developing personality scales and demonstrating that consumers who particularly value the sensory and aesthetic experience of eating (the “Epicurean eaters”) tend to prefer smaller portion sizes, and also tend to have a healthier relationship to food. His research has led to understanding of food satiation (i.e., how enjoyment declines over the course of a meal). His research also contributes to effectively labelling produce with cosmetic defects, and in doing so encourage purchase and waste reduction, and his research has profound theoretical implications for the understanding of the relationship between food marketing and obesity. Additionally, he studies heuristics in financial diversification, finding that investors with low financial literacy tend to erroneously perceive correlated investment assets as less risky than uncorrelated assets, and he presents several interventions to correct for this bias and improve financial decision making among lay investors

Kai Li

The Research Excellence Award, Senior Category

The Research Excellence Award, Senior Category (for candidates more than 10 years post-PhD) has been awarded to Professor Kai Li. Professor Li is a world thought leader on the economic consequences of corporate governance mechanisms, with a recent focus on cultural influences on corporate governance and innovation policy. She has an outstanding record of research and has made extensive contributions to the finance profession. She is a very highly cited scholar, with most papers appearing in the top journals in her field. Her prolific research output has garnered national and international awards, visiting professorships at universities around the world, with invitations for research seminars, public lectures, and conference presentations. She is a highly-regarded and sought-after panelist with nearly 40 invitations at research camps and mentorship/networking events organized by international professional organizations. Her research has been featured in more than 200 national and international media/TV/radio interviews, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, Time Magazine, Reuters, CNBC, Bloomberg, Dow Jones Newswire, New Yorker, BBC, BNN, CBC National, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, U.S. News & World Report, Harvard Business Review, and Yahoo! Finance. Kai has served on 10 editorial boards spanning the most selective journals in finance, international business, and management. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of International Business Studies, and Journal of Financial Stability. She has also worked tirelessly in mentoring junior scholars around the world, with more than 60 collaborators from 17 different countries and regions, including doctoral students in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America. At UBC Sauder, she has served as supervisor, co-supervisor, or member of the supervisory committee for 22 doctoral students and as mentor for five Commerce Scholars.