Published on April 19, 2023 by Morgan Black
On Friday, April 14, Samford University’s Brock School of Business announced its faculty award recipients during its 59th Annual Scholarship and Awards Ceremony. Each year, the school recognizes faculty members for excellence in the areas of teaching, research and scholarship, and service to the school. The awardees are selected by their faculty colleagues.
“The best measure of a great business school is the quality of the faculty, and we are blessed in Brock School of Business to have faculty members who possess the highest possible professional education together with a passion for the mission of Samford University,” said Dean Chad Carson.
Undergraduate teaching is at the heart of everything we do. Each year, the Brock School of Business faculty select one member they feel has excelled in providing an exceptional classroom experience for our undergraduate students. This year, the faculty chose to recognize Howard Finch, the Sara J. Krawczak chair in financial management and professor of finance, with this award.
In the last year, Finch has developed three different courses to build out the curriculum for a new real estate concentration for business majors. He regularly teaches FINC 424 (Investments) and BUSA 410 (Real Estate Principles), with extremely high student evaluations. Students often praise him as an outstanding and highly effective instructor through his Socratic teaching style: high class engagement, genuine care for students, loads of practical wisdom and good sense of humor.
The Robert W. (Bill) Service Graduate Teaching Award recognizes a Brock School of Business faculty member for excellence in teaching at the graduate level. This year, the faculty chose to recognize Steve Jones, chair of the Department of Economics, Finance and Quantitative Analysis and the John W. Gay professor of banking and finance.
Jones teaches FINC 521 (Managerial Finance) and co-teaches BUSA 505 (Managerial Communications). He ably adapts to different classroom contexts (i.e., in class, online) and successfully facilitates hybrid/synchronous courses. He consistently earns strong student evaluations, well above school-wide average, with regular feedback about his ability to increase student engagement and make finance courses understandable.
Assistant Professor of Quantitative Analysis and Economics Joy Buchanan was awarded the A. Gerow Hodges Research Award for her noteworthy scholarship.
Since 2020, she has had five works published in scholarly journals, all of which have a less than 15% acceptance rate. Those journals include the Journal of Behavioral Finance, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization and Labour Economics. Additionally, Buchanan has had one book chapter and numerous other online contributions published. She has made advances in the understanding of high-tech labor markets, charitable giving, and wage bargaining in a recession.
Service is an expectation of all fulltime faculty members, but some go beyond normal requirements to make a tremendous difference for the school. Each year, Brock School of Business faculty members recognize one of their colleagues whose service to the school, university and community, and their academic discipline, greatly exceeds expectations. The 2023 recipient of the Larron C. Harper Service Award was Matt Mazzei, Brock family chair in entrepreneurship and associate professor of strategic management.
Through his work with Samford’s Center for Sports Analytics, Mazzei has developed relationships and managed oversight of sports analytics engagement with 10 different NCAA athletic teams during the previous three years. Since fall 2021, Mazzei has overseen Samford Startup student incubator programming, including mentoring students that placed in top seven nationally for student pitch competitions in consecutive years (2022 and 2023).
His service has also included leading the redevelopment of the school’s entrepreneurship curriculum, moving to an innovative course sequence built around entrepreneurship at three levels of analysis. He has served on 10 different school and university standing and ad hoc committees over last several years, as well as participated in numerous professional service opportunities with academic organizations and scholarly journals.
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.