Published on April 24, 2020 by Morgan Black  
Faculty Awards Spring 2020
Pictured L to R: Assoc. Professor of Finance Rusty Yerkes, Assoc. Professor of Accounting Bill Belski, Senior Assist. Dean Barbara Cartledge, Interim Dean Chad Carson. Not pictured: Assist. Professor of Finance Anna-Leigh Hankins Stone

Samford University’s Brock School of Business announced its 2020 student scholarships and awards and Outstanding Faculty Awards April 20.  

Annual and endowed scholarships established to assist with tuition are funded by individuals to honor family members, by companies, and in honor of former members of the faculty and administration. Scholarships are awarded to current students based on financial need, academic merit, and Christian character and commitment. Some scholarships are large enough for more than one student to receive and some students received more than one scholarship. In total, 83 scholarships were awarded equaling $171,485 which will be effective for the 2020-21 academic year. 

“We are most appreciative of the funds we receive through endowments and annual corporate and individual donations. It is through this support that we are able to provide these scholarships to our deserving students,” said interim dean Chad Carson.

Lauren Wyatt, a marketing major from Thorsby, Alabama received recognition as the junior with highest grade point average in the business school.

In addition to the student scholarships and awards, Brock School of Business faculty were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the school in the areas of teaching, research, scholarship and service. These awardees were nominated and chosen by their faculty peers.

Carson stated, “The best measure of any great business school is the quality of the faculty, and we are blessed to have faculty members who possess the highest academic standards paired with an unwavering passion for the mission of our business school and university.”

Photo of Cartledge

This year’s recipient of the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award is Barbara Cartledge.

In addition to her role as senior assistant dean of academic programs, Cartledge serves faithfully as an assistant professor in the Department of Entrepreneurship, Management and Marketing. Throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, she taught numerous undergraduate classes, including one course that she developed and taught during the summer in London, England. This course, Strategic Decision-Making in U.K. Organizations, was highlighted in Samford’s fall 2019 issue of Seasons magazine.

Cartledge’s curriculum contributions this year have included service on the Undergraduate and Graduate Education Policy Committees (UEPC and GEPC), recommendation to integrate the Personal Finance course into the core business curriculum, her support of improvements to the M.B.A. and M.Acc. programming, and her innovation was emphasized by implementing a redesign of the online summer World of Business class.

“It is a blessing to teach and serve our Brock School of Business students,” Cartledge said. “Each student brings a unique set of gifts and abilities that contribute to their learning and their peers in the classroom. It is a privilege to steward that learning towards their professional goals and aspirations. I am humbled to receive this recognition from our esteemed faculty.”

Photo of Belski

Bill Belski, associate professor of accounting, was selected to receive the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award.

During the academic year, Belski revamped the Accounting for Decision Making course by introducing TED Talks as opportunities to reflect on changes in the world of business. Additionally, he implemented three intense Harvard Business Cases providing the students the opportunity to truly master the material at hand before completing the course.

Students regard him as “effective in the classroom” and a “proven motivator.” They also said that Belski “constantly pushes them to excel and to achieve beyond what they themselves thought possible.”

Photo of Stone

Anna-Leigh Stone, assistant professor of finance, was honored with the Outstanding Scholarship Award.

During the year, she published five peer-reviewed publications, one non-peer reviewed publication, and currently has another article under review. She also was part of multiple national and regional conference presentations, and her work was covered in several external media outlets such as Bloomberg, Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times and the Birmingham Business Journal.

Photo of Stone

Finally, Rusty Yerkes, associate professor of finance, received the Outstanding Service Award.

At the university level, Yerkes serves as the faculty representative for the Retirement Committee and Loss Prevention and Control Committee for which he was appointed by the provost. He also serves on the Business Affairs and Faculty Welfare Committee.

In Brock School of Business, he has assisted with securing more than $500,000 for Cooney Hall room sponsorships. He has also served on the GEPC since 2013 and has been the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) university affiliation program principal liaison since 2014. He has worked diligently to implement new risk management and insurance programming including recruiting 22 advisory board members, raising more than $100,000 for the program, and implementing a Samford chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma international fraternity.

Additionally, he remains a dedicated board member of the Financial Management Association (FMA) International for which he is currently serving a three-year term. He is also a member and former director of the CFA Society of Alabama and a member of the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) of Alabama, the Financial Planning Association (FPA) of North Alabama, the Eastern Finance Association (EFA), Southern Finance Association (SFA), and the National Association of Forensic Economics (NAFE).

Through his commitments, contributions and service, Yerkes helps provide numerous opportunities for our students to have superb experiences outside of the classroom.

Carson concluded, “We are grateful for our faculty members’ dedicated service to provide quality business education and support for the Christian mission of Samford University." 

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.