Bauer Faculty Recognized with Teaching Awards

Published on March 24, 2017

Three Faculty & Two Doctoral Students Earn University Awards for Teaching

This spring, the University of Houston recognized faculty from the C. T. Bauer College of Business for excellence in teaching during the 2016-2017 academic year.

The University of Houston Teaching Excellence Awards recognize excellence in teaching for outstanding faculty, and include cash prizes of $8,000 for faculty and $3,500 for teaching assistants.

“It is no surprise to see Bauer faculty recognized each year for the impact they make inside and outside the classroom,” Bauer College Dean Latha Ramchand said. “We often say that we are in the business of transforming lives, and our faculty take that role very seriously. On behalf of our Bauer family, congratulations to Saleha, John, Dusya, Phil and Ashley on their recognition.”


Teaching Excellence Community Engagement Award
Saleha Khumawala
Robert Grinaker Professor of Accounting: Founding Director, SURE™ Program, Accountancy & Taxation

Saleha Khumawala is the 2017 recipient of the University of Houston Community Engagement Teaching Excellence Award, given to one person annually with a record of superlative teaching and a strong commitment to engaging students in meaningful learning that improves the well-being of the Houston community.

Khumawala teaches accounting and is the director of the college’s Stimulating Urban Renewal Through Entrepreneurship (SURE™) program. The program empowers local business owners from underserved communities through financial and entrepreneurship education and encourages financial independence.

Khumawala earned her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1978 and has become a thought leader in government, nonprofit accounting and microfinance. Her research has widely published in prestigious journals such as the Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, Accounting Horizons, Advances in International Accounting, Journal of Public Budgeting Accountability, Financial Management, and others. She has made numerous presentations at national and international conferences and led the India Study Abroad Program since 2002, allowing dozens of UH students, faculty and administrators to learn firsthand about global business in Asia.

She is an active member of the American Accounting Association and is currently the president of the Government and Nonprofit Section. Khumawala is also an advisor to several nonprofit organizations in Houston and serves on the board of directors for Pennies for Education and Health.

“The Teaching Excellence Award is a testimony to the dedication of the Bauer students, who through experiential learning and involvement in the SURE™ Program, have had a measurable impact on the community,” Khumawala said.


Teaching Excellence Award (Non-Tenure Track Faculty)
John Lopez
Clinical Assistant Professor, Finance

As an undergraduate student in what was then known as the UH College of Business Administration (now Bauer College), John C. Lopez, CFP®, had an interest in personal finance savings, money management, investing, and making smart decisions when it came to money.

After completing his BBA, Lopez went on to earn an MBA in Finance before working for several major international firms. Later in life, Lopez continued his education in personal finance by attending Rice University’s Certified Financial Planner Program and then successfully completing the CFP Certification Exam.

After early retirement and a two-year sabbatical to travel and explore, he began teaching Financial Planning at Bauer College. He is passionate about teaching students the fundamentals needed to become financially secure and ultimately financially independent. His classes are a real world application of financial planning, covering topics such as managing cash flow, managing credit, purchasing decisions (home, automobiles, insurance, etc.), taxation as it relates to personal finance, investments (investing in mutual funds, stocks, exchange traded funds, etc.) and retirement planning (401k, IRA’s, Roth IRA’s, pensions).

Lopez created and manages the college’s Personal Financial Planning Track, a CFP® Board Registered Education Program that allows students to sit for the CFP® Exam upon completion.

“I am humbled and honored to have been selected to receive this prestigious award,” Lopez said. “I want to recognize the great group of people at Bauer who make such wonderful contributions to the success of our faculty and our students, particularly the tireless work of Vanessa Fellers, Academic Advisor for Specialty Tracks. I’d also like to thank Dean Latha Ramchand, Department of Finance Chair and Professor Praveen Kumar and Associate Dean Frank Kelly, for their continuing support and guidance.”


Distinguished Leadership in Teaching Excellence Award
Dusya Vera
Associate Professor, Management

Associate Professor Dusya Vera is the 2017 Recipient of the University of Houston Distinguished Leadership in Teaching Excellence Award, given to one person annually with a record of superlative teaching and a strong commitment to impacting student learning, ultimately fostering the academic success of students.

“In winning this teaching award, I look back at my teaching career at Bauer College and UH, and I feel great gratitude,” Vera said. “I am grateful to all my Bauer and UH colleagues, and our professional staff, who are always very generous in sharing their wisdom with me and from whom I continuously learn.”

Read the full story here.


Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Award
Phil Jolly
Ph.D. Candidate, Management

Phillip Jolly is a fifth-year doctoral candidate studying human resource management and organizational behavior at Bauer College. His research interests fall in two broad streams — social cognition in the workplace, and diversity and inclusion. He is the recipient of multiple awards for his research and teaching, including Best Doctoral Student Paper at the 2015 Southern Management Association Meeting and Best Paper in the MSR Division at the 2016 Academy of Management Conference.

Prior to returning to school, Jolly held positions in manufacturing, accounting and HR, and spent several years as a professional bluegrass musician.

“We’ve had a lot of management faculty and students win teaching awards in the recent past, and I’ve learned, and borrowed, a lot from all of them,” Jolly said. “I take the responsibility to set my students up for success seriously, and sometimes wonder if I’m doing everything I can or should. This award is a bit of affirmation that maybe I’m at least doing something right.”


Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Award
Ashley Salaiz
Ph.D. Candidate, Management

Originally from Omaha, Ashley Salaiz earned her BA from Southern Methodist University and her MBA from Schiller International University. She has previously worked as an internal auditor for KPMG and General Electric. Her research interests focus specifically on corporate social responsibility and irresponsibility and their impacts on organizational outcomes.

“It is such an honor to have been nominated for this award and even more humbling to be selected as a winner,” Salaiz said. “Winning this award is a reminder that being an educator is a privilege and inspires me to recognize the impact I can have on students.”

By Amanda Sebesta and Jessica Navarro