Published on April 30, 2018 by Morgan Black  

Samford University’s Brock School of Business presented student scholarships and awards and announced the 2018 Outstanding Faculty Awards at its 54th Annual Scholarships and Awards ceremony on April 27. 

At the event, endowed and annual scholarships established to assist students with tuition were awarded to current students. Endowed scholarships are major gifts to the university usually honoring a loved one of the donor or the donor himself. These scholarships are preserved so that the gift will last indefinitely. Annual scholarships reflect a donor’s commitment to support a scholarship for a specific number of years and choose the criteria in which recipients are chosen. Brock School of Business scholarships are given by individuals to honor family members, by companies, and in honor of former members of the faculty and administration. Scholarships are given 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, 74 scholarships were awarded equaling $140,000 which will be effective for the 2018-2019 academic year.

“We are most appreciative of the endowed scholarship funds as well as the outstanding corporate and individual donations we receive annually. It is through this support that we are able to award scholarships to these deserving students,” said Dean Howard Finch.

Rhys Miller, an accounting and finance major from Chattanooga, Tennessee, received an award for the highest grade point average in the junior class. On May 1, additional scholarships will also be awarded to accounting students during the Beta Alpha Psi banquet. 

In addition to the student scholarships and awards, Brock School Business faculty were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the school. These awardees were nominated and chosen by their faculty peers. 

Jeremy Thornton, professor of economics and Dwight Moody Beeson Chair of Business, received the award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching. The award recognizes a full-time business school faculty member for outstanding achievements, innovation and performance in teaching at the undergraduate level. Thornton coordinates the social entrepreneurship program and teaches micro-economic theory, development economics, social enterprise and international economics. “Working with bright students is the central delight of this profession,” professor Thornton said. “At Samford, our faculty are particularly blessed with fine young men and women, year after year. They tend to bring out the best in us, so we can give them our best.”

Lowell Broom, professor of accounting, received the award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching. The award recognizes a full-time business school faculty member for outstanding achievements, innovation and performance in teaching at the graduate level. Professor Broom said, “I am very honored to receive this award because nothing I do as a professor is anywhere near as important to me as the interaction between me and my students during class. To me, teaching is the most important thing I do professionally.” Professor Broom currently teaches government and not-for-profit accounting and the second level auditing course in the Master of Accountancy (M.Acc.) graduate curriculum.

Rusty Yerkes, assistant professor of finance, received the award for Outstanding Scholarship. The award recognizes a full-time business school faculty member for outstanding achievements in research and scholarship. Yerkes said, “Scholarship is behind the scenes to most students but, these long-term projects require a tremendous amount of focus and persistence, data analysis, and more. It’ important for our jobs because it keeps us active in our discipline and engaged with the greater academic community outside of Samford. Students can take comfort in knowing that their faculty members are actively engaged in their discipline.” Recent examples of Professor Yerkes’ work include research in the areas of municipal bond markets, student managed investment portfolios, venture capital and financial literacy.

Darin White, chair of the Entrepreneurship, Management and Marketing department and executive director of the Center for Sports Analytics, received the award for Outstanding Faculty Service. The award recognizes a full-time faculty business member for outstanding service rendered to the school, the university, the academic community and the public. Professor White, founding member of Brock School of Business’ sports marketing concentration, is involved with several statewide and national leadership boards for organizations such as the Alabama Sports Foundation, Daniel Summit, Youth Sports of the Americas and more. White said, “Working at Samford University is so much more than job. It is an affair of the heart and a tremendous blessing to serve our students at this place.”

Dean Finch concluded, “Our faculty members are dedicated teachers and scholars who make important contributions to our community, university and economy. We are grateful for their dedicated service to provide quality business education and support for the Christian mission of Samford University." 

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