School of Management

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Faculty Awards

School of Management Advisory Council Awards
for Outstanding Achievements

2019 Award Recipients:


Ran Lu-Andres HeadshotProfessor Ran Lu-Andrews is the 2019 recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for outstanding achievements in research and scholarship. Some of the past recipients have had the benefit of an already extended career in academia that has allowed them to produce a long list of publications. But this award not only recognizes the quantity of publications or conference presentations, but also their quality, their depth, and the level of impact, which they have had. This is where Ran has most impressed the selection committee. Her research interests focus on corporate finance and real estate, which resulted in publications in publications such as the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, the Eastern Economic Journal, the International Journal of Managerial Finance, and the Review of Accounting and Finance. The contributions that Ran’s research have made have earned her the highest possible recognition in her field – a ranking in the #34 spot – out of 889 authors globally – in the Real Estate Academic Leadership Ranking for the years 2013-2017. She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and has literally come a long way to where she is today – from one of the most prestigious universities in Beijing, China, via the University of Cincinnati, Ohio and the University of Connecticut, to Cal Lutheran. 

Judy Richards HeadshotProfessor Judith Richards
 is the 2019 recipient for the School of Management Advisory Council Award in the area of Teaching. Judy is not your typical professor. She started out in industry and can look back on a long and successful career that started out in sales and ended as a VP for Marketing in the insurance sector. She then joined the team at California Lutheran University’s School of Management as an adjunct instructor. Being one of the few during the early times of internationalization of the student body in the MBA program who was highly efficient in teaching in multi-cultural settings, Judy then expanded her role into one of the lead advisors for international students. It was then that she joined us on a full-time basis, and soon thereafter ventured into teaching undergraduate and Executive MBA courses – both domestically and in our program in Austria. This versatility is what impressed the awards selection committee the most – not many faculty members are capable of teaching students across so many different levels and also delivery formats. Her students always commend her for her ability to bring relevance to the classroom and for being able to seamlessly apply the knowledge and skills acquired in her classes in their work context.

Mike Panesis Headshot

Mike Panesis is the recipient of the 2019 School of Management Advisory Council Award for Service. He is definitely one of the most deserving faculty members. His profile, skillset, and position are very unique as he is not your typical career academic, and brings so much more to his role as a member of the faculty. While Mike is without doubt very effective in the classroom and often praised by students for his true interest in student learning, his main achievements are in a very different domain. Mike has used his network, his experience, his unique skillset, and countless hours of hard work to make the School of Management a focal point for the entrepreneurial eco-system in the Conejo Valley. Because of him, students have not only learned about entrepreneurship, but they have experienced what it is like to turn ideas into reality – as participants at start-up weekends, as doers at Hub101, as interns for early stage companies, and as employees of companies that have been started at (and which have since outgrown) Hub101. He is widely recognized in the startup community along the 101 corridor as a connector and someone who is always willing to help. He frequently publishes opinion pieces on entrepreneurship in the regional media, and he actively represents Cal Lutheran’s School of Management at conferences nationwide and globally. His always creative thinking and his extraordinarily high level of engagement recently was honored by his colleagues at the School of Management who voted him as one of their two representatives on the future faculty senate of California Lutheran University.

2018 Award Recipients:


Sabith Khan HeadshotProfessor Sabith Khan
 was the 2018 recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Excellence in Scholarship.

More about this recipient

Professor Sabith Khan was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship. The Advisory Council felt very strongly that this year’s award should not go to a faculty member with a long history of past performance, but instead to a younger colleague who has demonstrated early success that shows great promise for the future. The recipient primarily has his home in one of our graduate programs. In his short time at Cal Lutheran, he has not only published a co-authored monograph at the highly regarded publishing house Edward Elgar, but he also has secured a new publishing contract for his second book with the same publisher. In addition, he has published in peer-reviewed journals, authored book chapters, and a number of business case studies for the prestigious Sage Business Case collection. He regularly presents at domestic and international conferences, and he has a strong interest in research that is relevant, impactful, and innovative. His research at the intersections of non-profit organizations, faith communities, and governance brings exciting perspectives to the School of Management.


Ali Akbari HeadshotProfessor Ali Akbari
 was the 2018 recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Excellence in Teaching.

More about this recipient

Professor Ali Akbari was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has been teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in a subject area that many students usually struggle with and try to avoid as much as they can, which makes the fact that he is highly regarded among his students and alumni even more impressive. In his courses, he always balances rigor with relevance, and he truly cares for his students’ progress in the classroom and beyond. In his early days at Cal Lutheran, he has created an approach to teaching that combines theoretical foundations in statistics and economics with the practice of problem-solving in business and economics. He was one of the early adopters of project-based group learning approaches and to this day, he continues to improve his courses. As an area coordinator for quantitative methods, he has also helped with the onboarding of newer and younger colleagues, always ready to share his expertise and his insights from decades of honing his didactic skills. Many students have honored his dedication with the highest praise in their course evaluations, and many alumni have reserved a special place in their memories of their time at Cal Lutheran’s School of Management.


Loredana Carson HeadshotProfessor Loredana Carson
 was the 2018 recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Excellence in Service.

More about this recipient

Professor Loredana Carson was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Excellence in Service. From her early days at the School of Management on, she has always been ready to serve when asked and, even more importantly, she has identified opportunities pro-actively and implemented them successfully. She has been outstanding in her contributions to create both an academic and administrative support network that helps international graduate students to succeed, and many an international alumnus will think of her first, when they remember Cal Lutheran. She has been an outstanding supporter of the School’s initiative to align with PRIME, short for Principles of Responsible Management Education, an organization that is aligned with the UN global compact. She has made instrumental contributions to a PRIME task force that has created a competition which will inspire and enable our students to present their own scholarly and creative work in support of PRIME’s goals. In addition to her many other activities in teaching and scholarship, she has created an ongoing continuing education program for supervisors in government agencies and public sector employees, and most recently she also been instrumental in starting both an undergraduate and a graduate student chapter of PIHRA, the California arm of the Society of Human Resource Management Professionals. Over just a few years at Cal Lutheran, she has built many strong and lasting relationships with organizations in the government and non-profit community around Cal Lutheran.


2017 Award Recipients:


Chuck MaxeyProfessor Chuck Maxey was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Lifetime Achievement Award. 

More about this recipient

This award is given for outstanding contributions over an extended period of time. Professor Maxey was the founding dean of the School of Management. Under his leadership, new programs were started or adopted, international enrollments grew at an unparalleled pace, first courses and then whole programs were moved into the novel delivery format of online teaching. He brought a team of researchers from UC Santa Barbara to Cal Lutheran to form the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, which, to this day, continues to have a huge impact on the regional community; he started the Center for Economics of Social Issues; he hired new, high-achieving faculty members (and fired a few others). He not only tolerated the pioneers, but he instilled a sense of entrepreneurship and innovation in those around him. He spotted good people, and he helped them grow and succeed. And when he felt that he had done everything that he had set out to do as an administrator, he returned to the classroom – where he, again, excelled propelled by a true interest in student learning and a confident lack of fear despite other faculty members’ tall tales of spoiled millennials and cheeky international students. Thousands of students and community members can’t be wrong. They hold our award recipient in high esteem and still have a hard time imagining the School of Management without him.


Image Professor Matthew Fienup
 was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Excellence in Scholarship.

More about this recipient

Professor Fienup is not an academic researcher in the traditional sense. He certainly doesn’t lack the deep and fundamental knowledge that is required to engage in such traditional research, he simply seems to be more interested in engaging in research that has utility, that informs policy and induces real change. Both an avid outdoorsman and a skilled economist, he focuses his research on how economics, economic research, and forecasting can be applied to problems such as the shortages or inefficient use of natural resources and public goods that concern us all – private citizens, communities, civil servants, politicians, and others. His focus on solutions has led to unique projects such as a pilot to establish California’s first formal, centralized market for individual landowners to buy and sell groundwater on the Oxnard Plain as a way to address California’s water shortage – a project that has gotten nationwide attention and is now about to be expanded with a $2 million USDA grant that the Nature Conservancy has received. The fact that he is most interested in research that is applied and has an impact is also reflected in his unique approach to the topics he works on. While always taking a position that is based purely on data and evidence, he is still an extraordinary listener (especially for an economist…), and someone who is interested in real dialogue with stakeholders. He also tirelessly works at communicating the results of his research to audiences that range from individuals in University Village to lecture halls and conference centers. He hasn’t been with us that long and yet, in his short tenure as a faculty member in the School of Management, our award recipient has made a significant impact in the community through his research and leadership efforts. He provides a wonderful example for how academic institutions can be relevant by helping to transform communities.


Richard McAndrew Professor Richard McAndrew
 was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Excellence in Teaching.

More about this recipient

Prior to joining academia, Mr. McAndrew worked in industry for more than 20 years. He was a vice president and regional manager for an enterprise software company where he was responsible for hi-tech sales and services to Fortune 100 enterprises. Later, he held other key leadership positions including CEO of a small software development company and general manager/director for other leading technology companies. Then, our award recipient started teaching college-level courses as an adjunct in management, and developed a strong passion for teaching and guiding students in their business education journey across the globe: while he started in the U.S., he now regularly also teaches in Europe and in Asia. The Advisory Council’s selection committee’s decision to present this teaching award to our recipient is the result of his engaging teaching style, his profound and always current knowledge in the subjects he teaches, how he shares his personal experience, and his true and genuine interest in student learning. Being positive, never tired of explaining difficult material until everybody ‘gets it’, ready to answer any questions, our award recipient mastered creating an open-minded environment and a highly productive atmosphere in both face-to-face instruction and in online environments. For years, he has been getting the highest student evaluations and alumni of many generations remember his classes and are grateful for his guidance and support.


Image Professor Veronica Guerrero
 was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Excellence in Service.

More about this recipient

Dr. Guerrero began her career with a life outside of academia before joining Cal Lutheran. She had a good decade of progressive experience with companies of different sizes, mostly in the tech industry. Once in academia, she not only excelled in the classroom, but she is truly someone of whom people say that she goes above and beyond. She has taken on numerous committee assignments in faculty and university committees, both on the undergraduate and the graduate programs areas. In addition to her duties as a faculty member, she has managed the flagship graduate program at the School of Management for several years. She has been serving as the Department Chair for the Department of Management and Marketing at the School of Management, a role in which she has participated in countless search committees, has mentored junior faculty members so that they can build successful academic careers, and always been willing to take on additional duties. And additional duties she does take on!  For example, our award recipient also serves on the Board of Women’s Economic Ventures, an organization that helps female entrepreneurs along the Central Coast. She has worked with the Community Leaders Association, and has been an active volunteer at Ascension Lutheran School for many years. During summers, she is one of the key faculty members in the Executive Skills for Pastors program. Currently, she also serves as the Chair of the Faculty Executive Committee, short FEC, a task so massive that it should deserve an award in itself.


2016 Award Recipients:


ImageProfessorSarah Fischbach was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Excellence in Research

 More about this recipient

Professor Sarah Fischbach was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Research. Our award winner in the category “Research” is an excellent academic scholar with an impressive emerging track record and great promise. The winner has not only published in a number of academic journals and presented at a variety of conferences in recent years, but also has multiple projects in the pipeline for future publication, and is a disciplined writer. The award recipient is also an outstanding colleague and research collaborator. Together with other colleagues at the School of Management, our winner in this category has submitted proposals to the Institutional Review Board, collected data and jointly submitted to multiple conferences and journals. As I will now read a selection of the journals our award recipient has published in, it may become clearer as to who this individual is: the Journal of Business Ethics, the Journal of Business & Entrepreneurship, the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Advancement of Marketing Education, to name but a few. 




ImageProfessorHarry Starn was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Excellence in Teaching

More about this recipient

Professor Harry Starn was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Teaching. Our next award recipient has been at the School of Management for around a decade. During this time, this individual has become a member of the faculty who is respected widely by his colleagues within and outside the School of Management. Looking at his impressive list of activities, our award winner would have earned this respect in many different categories and for a large number of reasons, but today we honor the nominee’s achievements in the area of teaching. The nominee has developed several curricula and a large number of courses, has brought didactic innovations to teaching at the School of Management, and never stops to seek improvements - always with one goal in mind: to improve the instructional experience and the educational outcome for his students. Moreover, however, our award recipient is also an outstanding colleague who has never failed to assist colleagues succeed in the classroom – always helpful with invaluable advice, sharing of best practices, and countless hours of hands-on support. In particular, this faculty member was the driving force between online instruction at the School of Management and, by doing that, has laid the foundation for distance learning at the entire university. Our colleague’s efforts and achievements also have earned accolades from bodies outside the university, including the United States Distance Learning Association and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. 




ImageProfessorMary Jo Shane was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Excellence in Service

More about this recipient

Professor Mary Jo Shane was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Service. More than a decade ago, one of the seeds of transformation at the School of Management was planted – the School started to recruit international students. From the early years where the School recruited only a handful of students, a whole team of helping hands – some more visible than others – ensures that today, about 150 international students start their graduate education at the School of Management annually. Some of these students would not graduate, and many of them would not graduate in the time they do if it weren’t for our award recipient. Over the last eight years, the recipient has worked tirelessly to support our international student population in the MBA Program.  Not only has this individual created and managed an effective advising program for international students, the award recipient has also led efforts to revise the orientation program to meet the specific needs of international students, has worked across the university and community to ensure resources take into account the needs of our international students (writing center, communication café, grad events, etc.).  This individual’s dedication to support their success and graduate education experience is unparalleled. This faculty member has not only contributed to the MBA program and the School of Management, but has also impacted the lives of hundreds of students worldwide. 


2015 Award Recipients:


Bill Gartner Image Professor Bill Gartnerwas the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Research

 More about this recipient

Professor Gartner is a seasoned professional with many years of experience as a revered and distinguished academic who enjoys nationwide recognition as a scholar in his field, a field of academic inquiry for which he is widely recognized as one of the founding fathers. Professor Gartner is a prolific writer who has designed and completed many studies, published numerous papers and articles in academic journals, presented at countless conferences and – which is not the norm for scholars of his caliber – is even sought after by practitioners. He is capable of dazzling the most probing reviewers with the most complex of thoughts and then, an instant later, reducing them to Haikus, probably the shortest form of literary expression, using his own brand of poetic “witticism”. And not only is he well published himself and a generator of unique ideas that have found a global audience, he is so accomplished that peers worldwide not only cite his work, but write about himself and his body of work. Both in quantitative and qualitative terms, the recipient of the Research Award has set a high standard for us at the School of Management and beyond.

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Ed Julius Image Professor Ed Julius was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Teaching

More about this recipient

Professor Julius is one of the longest serving faculty members at the School of Management. He has a remarkable record of diligence, didactic craftsmanship, and excellence in teaching. Over decades of teaching, he has trained and prepared thousands of graduates who are the source of pride of the School of Management in many leading firms and institutions in his industry. He brings excellence in teaching to his classrooms and deeply cares about how to prepare the future generation of professionals in his field not only for our region but nationwide. He is a good example for how impactful teaching can be, what dedication to the profession means. Professor Julius is a remarkable teacher, a highly respected colleague, and an outstanding ambassador for his profession, the School of Management and the entire university.

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Paul Witman Image Professor Paul Witman was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Service

More about this recipient

Professor Witman is a builder of bridges. Builders of bridges work hard, and so does he. And they connect what has been separated, and so does he. With his remarkable professionalism and his hard work, Professor Witman connects the undergraduate and the graduate sides, he connects the School of Management with the rest of the university, the closed community of the campus with the wider community around us. He not only believes in the vision and the mission of both the School of Management and the university, he executes them by serving selflessly in the interest of students, colleagues, and the organization, and by cooperating with others. He has started and directed programs on the graduate and the undergraduate side, he has chaired standing and ad hoc committees at the School and the university level and he has done it with both extraordinary ease and remarkable efficacy. Most importantly, we are certain that the recipient of this award doesn’t even see his contributions as the fulfillment of some mandated service requirement, he is engaged because he thinks it is the right thing to do.

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2014 Award Recipients:


2014 Faculty Award WinnersProfessor Vlad Vaimanwas the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Research (Right).

Professor Valeria Makarovawas the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Teaching (Middle).

Professor Harry Domicone was the recipient of the School of Management Advisory Council Award for Service (Left).



More About the Recipients:
Vlad Vaiman

Research Award – Vlad Vaiman: The recipient of our Research Award has been teaching courses in the MBA program as an adjunct/visiting scholar at the School of Management for a number of years before he joined full time in 2013. Vlad Vaiman is much more than an outstanding instructor in the classroom – he is an excellent administrator and one of the most prolific scholars not only at the School of Management, but in the fields of Human Resource Management and Talent Management. His global mindset, intellectual curiosity, dedication to his profession, and his hard work have resulted in a steady stream of publications in highly ranked scholarly journals including the International Journal of Human Resource Management, the Journal of Human Resource Management, Global Business Perspectives, the Journal of Business Ethics, Thunderbird International Business Review. In addition, Vlad has edited a number of books and contributed chapters to books that have placed him in the top tier of academics in global talent management. What impressed the School of Management Advisory Council most about Vlad's publications (beyond their sheer number year after year) is how he accomplishes building bridges between the areas of research and practice, and rigor and relevance.
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Valeria Makarova

Teaching Award – Valeria Makarova: With her doctoral degree in Biophysics, the recipient of the Teaching Award is an unlikely member of the faculty of a business school. She is an engaged and productive professor who brings dedication and innovation to her position. Teaching both in the MBA and the MBA in Financial Planning programs, Valeria Makarova has been an early adapter of online technology at the School of Management. She fosters intellectual achievement by promoting student participation and direct application. She has pioneered break-out moves in the online environment, and she always integrates applied projects in her classes that students often implement in their daily practices. Valeria has also always held CLU’s mission by focusing not only on student achievement, but also by focusing on the greater good. She has not only built a professional track in Sustainable Business for the MBA program, but she has also consulted with other instructors on the integration of sustainability concepts into their classes. In addition, she teaches courses on Sustainable Business in both the undergraduate and the MBA program, and she is an active participant in campus-wide sustainability initiatives.
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Harry Domicone

Service Award – Harry Domicone: The School of Management would not be the same without the recipient of our service award today. More than 15 years ago, he started to build partnerships with universities abroad so that our students could experience first-hand what CLU’s mission statement calls for – a global education for global leaders. Later on, these efforts were complemented by short-term study tours for undergraduate and graduate students that led them to various destinations in Europe and Asia. Many of the School of Management alumni owe not only a global outlook on the world, but a global career to him. Building on student exchanges, faculty exchanges were only the next step in the internationalization of the School of Management and so it came that both full-time and adjunct faculty members have had (and continue to have) opportunities to teach students in other parts of the world. In the same way, the School of Management has received a steady stream of short-term visiting scholars who have been teaching weekend compressed courses in the School of Management. Most importantly, however, almost 15 years ago, he built what is now one of the most effective and efficient international recruiting strategies in higher education. As he would probably like us to say – supported by a lot of helping hands on the faculty and in administration on the Thousand Oaks campus – he has explored foreign countries (where he has had to eat strange foods), built relationships with partners abroad (some of which have become deep friendships), and he has brought hundreds of international students to campus (and millions of dollars in revenue) to the university. Harry Domicone has had a tremendous impact on the development and expansion of CLU while touching and changing the lives of many people from China to Thailand, Russia to Greece, and Austria to the United States.
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