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The annual Daniels Awards for Excellence celebrate the phenomenal faculty and staff who go above and beyond to exemplify leadership and service to the Daniels College of Business. Meet this year’s winners:

Daniels Awards for Excellence

The Daniels Awards for Excellence are presented to an undergraduate student, graduate student, staff member and faculty member whoin the opinion of faculty and staffhave made an outstanding contribution to the Daniels College of Business and demonstrate the Daniels values of leadership, ethical behavior, appreciation of diversity and service to the community.

Doug Allen, Associate Professor, Department of Management

Doug has been a fierce advocate for experiential learning—whether it was as a faculty member of the international MBA or teaching globalization to Daniels and Korbel students. His impact of learning by doing and interacting with integrity is on display during each student’s international trip. Doug leverages diversity and inclusion in each of his classes while stressing the importance of what it means to be a global citizen. 

Joy Melgarejo, Assistant Director, Graduate Student Services

Joy showcases exceptional leadership, dedication and commitment to fostering an environment of innovation, inclusivity and integritywhich makes her a truly deserving candidate. She values her relationships with students and their peers, going above and beyond to make them feel appreciated and heard. Her ability to connect and maintain relationships is a gift. Joy is committed to understanding and embracing perspectives different from her own. She recently participated in the 4D Innovations Cohort focusing on the graduate student experience. Recognizing the unique needs and challenges, she chose to work with the international students to augment their experience. She extends this work to the Staff of Color Association, with the goal of elevating the DU experience of international students of color. Combining her experiences with Daniels undergrad and grad students allows Joy to provide more holistic support and build a stronger student community.

Rising Star Award

This award is presented to a staff member who has been at Daniels for more than six months, but less than two years, who exemplifies unity and positive morale, consistently assists colleagues, is supportive and dedicated to the team concept, and goes above and beyond expectations by using creative problem solving to enhance the internal and/or external customer service experience. They go above and beyond the call of duty by enhancing and promoting quality and exhibiting an exceptional spirit of collaboration with others.

William Albach, Digital Marketing Manager

Will is a problem-solver, eager to help, proactively find solutions and bring creative new ideas to the College. He is a selfstarter and skilled executor who is the definition of a team player: kind, flexible and accommodating in every interaction. Will is generous with their time, going beyond his job description to raise the College’s visibility and promote its many wonderful people and programs. The Daniels community knows they can count on Will to do high-quality work with a smile. 

Staff Leadership Award

This award is presented to a staff leader who enhances the work culture of Daniels by making a significant difference in work life for colleagues, demonstrates leadership and provides guidance in interacting with the staff, faculty and students. Further, this award winner made progress in the development, implementation and fostering improvements in departmental operations, services, and/or successful programs. Finally, the Staff Leadership honoree engages in collaboration through partnerships within Daniels and the University to promote success and excellence.

Randi Eskanos, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

Randi is detailed-oriented, driven toward success and ready to execute big ideas. Whether the task is large or small, she sets the bar on how to approach a problem or a project—and follow through for outstanding results. Randi also balances decisiveness and high standards with kindness, caring and loyalty—always willing to carry a larger load or elevate those she works with. Daniels is a better place because of her leadership.

Faculty Service Excellence Award

This award is presented to an appointed Daniels faculty member for significant contribution to service during the 2023-24 academic year. As expressed in the Daniels Philosophical Statement of Scholarship, service contributions can be made by collaborating with internal and external stakeholders in a variety of ways within the university environment, within the academic discipline, and/or within the business/professional community.

Daniel Trujillo, Assistant Professor of the Practice, Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management

Daniel is a strong supporter of Daniels students—always connecting them with industry contacts and coaching them through regional and international case competitions. He is always going out of his way to further his research, publishing and teaching in a wide variety of subjects in real estate, construction and property development. Daniel also serves on the board of CoreNet’s Colorado chapter and is on the American Arbitration Association Construction Panel of Neutrals. 

Excellence in Teaching Award

This award is presented to an appointed Daniels faculty member with outstanding performance in teaching, based on work from 2022-present.

Kerry Mitchell, Teaching Assistant Professor, Department of Management

Kerry’s classes are engaging and always relevant—updated frequently to help students succeed in the business world. Her classes provide plenty of opportunities to focus on building skills that will directly impact each student’s ability to find and succeed in business careers. Outside of the classroom, she advises multiple clubs. Kerry helps students plan events, offers her expertise, creates networking opportunities and—most importantly—shows up. Her presence and support means the world to their students. 

C. Thomas Howard Innovative Teacher Award

This is an annual award to recognize an appointed Daniels faculty member who exemplifies the idea of teaching innovation and business relevance. The individual must have been a long-time contributor to innovations in learning and teaching and evidence of using learning and teaching technology in an innovative way. 

Paul Harrison, Teaching Assistant Professor, Reiman School of Finance

Paul’s work to elevate experiential learning has been recognized as an embodiment of the DU 4D Experience. He has revised capstone courses to bring peer-to-peer financial mentoring into the curriculum. Plus, he has developed cases from scratch to bridge an academic curriculum and a professional standard. He has led the Reiman School of Finance’s efforts to obtain both undergraduate and graduate wealth management program certification by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, which allows students who complete the required coursework to sit for the exam. During the process, he developed a new course to address gaps in curriculum coverage. 

Industry Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award

The award is presented to an adjunct faculty member for the most outstanding performance in teaching in the 2023-24 academic year.

Daniel Zuch

Dan Zuch, Executive in Residence, Department of Marketing

Dan has consistently demonstrated exceptional expertise and passion in his role, as well as a clear dedication to Daniels students. He is dynamic and engaging in the classroom. He fosters a collaborative learning environment and incorporates innovative teaching methods that leverage real-world examples and encourage friendly competition. Beyond the classroom, Dan provides valuable mentorship to students through an open-door policy. He is dedicated to student success, ethical decision-making and leadership skills. 

Emerging Scholar Award

An annual award to recognize an untenured Daniels faculty member who has made significant intellectual contributions in the last two years. Nominations should include specifics about the quality, quantity and impact of their research.

Benjamin Williams, Assistant Professor, Department of Business Information and Analytics

Benjamin is passionate about integrating research into the classroom and collaborating with faculty from different fields to explore and impact societal issues. He excels at leveraging large, publicly available data to identify patterns and improve business efficiencies. Since 2021, he has published seven articles in a variety of high-quality journals, including a Financial Times top-50.

Distinguished Scholar Award

This is an annual award to recognize a tenured faculty member whose intellectual contributions have made a significant impact in an area of scholarship and gained international recognition over the past three years. 

Don Bergh, Louis D. Beaumont Chair of Business Administration, Department of Management

Don has made continuing contributions to internationally recognized journals while increasing his impact on his field. He has had six publications in FT-50 journals over the last three years. Additionally, he has taken internationally recognized leadership roles on task forces and review boards, including several inaugural positions that have redesigned journal peer review processes and delivered webinars to faculty from around the world.

Hidden Hero Award

The Daniels Hidden Hero Award is in recognition of a behind-the-scenes staff member whose work is not often in the limelight, but without whom Daniels could not excel. This person consistently goes the extra mile and always chooses excellence as their standard.

Meredith Dart, Program Manager, Executive Education

Meredith is committed to her program’s success and the success of all who participate in it. Her attention to detail, thoughtfulness and experience have allowed faculty and students alike to thrive. That includes work to develop inclusive practices to help her unit understand and better accommodate their students’ needs. Meredith has also implemented a new project management system and documented curriculum. Her department is more efficient, accountable and sustainable because of her work.

Alexander J. Lindsay Award

This is an annual award to recognize a Daniels staff member who has provided outstanding service to the College’s various constituents (e.g., faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and business leaders). The winner of this award has a reputation throughout the College for their “spirit of service” and for going above and beyond the call of the role in support of their customers.

Ron Sidwell, Associate Director, Undergraduate Programs

Ron excels as an advocate for students, their families, and DEI initiatives—all in a humble, modest manner. He is a terrific, active listener who provides thoughtful solutions—regardless of who approaches him. Ron’s work allows his entire team to work in a highly efficient and meaningful way. Plus, he has organized and chaperoned students at multiple events, offering mentorship and support that paves the way for success.