The Daniels College of Business recently established the Faculty Fellowship Program to recognize and support young faculty and their research. The first four fellows named to the program are Melissa Archpru Akaka, Aimee Hamilton, Tricia Olsen and JP Tremblay.
“One of the hallmarks of a great university is the extent to which it can support, enable and fund the research and creative endeavors of its most critical resource, its faculty,” said Paul Olk, senior associate dean for faculty and professor of management. “Moreover, these awards are designed to facilitate a unique and potentially enduring relationship between the Faculty Fellow and his or her donor as a result of this process.”
Hamilton, assistant professor of management, is using her fellowship to support one or two student fellows. “The Destiny Capital Faculty Fellowship provides crucial support for my research,” she said. “My plan is to give these students a taste of academic research. My hope is that forming these deep mentoring relationships will simultaneously further my research and benefit these students regardless of the career path they ultimately choose.”
Steve (MSB 2006) and Elaine Musick, founders of Destiny Capital, mentor DU students and subscribe to a philosophy of compound giving, where the gift includes ”time, talent and then treasure, in that order,” according to the couple.
“Meeting and working with Aimee Hamilton certainly amplified our gift. We’ve built a relationship with her,” Steve Musick said. “Investing in academic leadership accelerates the development of the student community. We are honored to contribute to our university home roots.”
JP Tremblay, teaching associate professor of finance, is using his fellowship to pursue research interests that will benefit and enhance his teaching.
“This is allowing me to expand my activities to include research, which I’m hoping to leverage in the classroom,” Tremblay said. “For example, we are looking into the materiality of environmental, social and governance criteria (ESG), and sustainability issues in portfolio management. We plan to use this research to formally integrate ESG assessment into the portfolio management process used in our investment management classes. An area on which our students place an ever increasing emphasis.”
Christopher Blake (BSBA 1994) and his wife, Heather (BSBA 1995), consider Tremblay a new breed of professor who understands the financial world.
“He’s a breath of fresh air,” Christopher Blake said. “We heard from the students how different he is. The students are enthusiastic about him, so that made our decision easy.”
Tricia Olsen is the Marcus Faculty Fellow, an award selected by the Daniels Dean. Olsen, associate professor of business ethics and legal studies, has conducted research and fieldwork on corporate-community relations in Chile and Peru within the mining industry.
“With this funding, I will be able to hire graduate students to work with me on the Corporations and Human Rights Database, the first-ever database of corporate human rights abuse allegations, in which we systematically code allegations of abuse, companies’ responses and efforts toward remedy,” she said. “The Marcus Faculty Fellowship has incredible reach—it is a catalyst for my research, student mentorship and teaching.”
Assistant Professor of Marketing Melissa Archpru Akaka received a fellowship from Elizabeth (MS 1998, MS 2016) and Ali Machado (MBA 1998). Despite living in their native country of Venezuela after receiving their initial degrees from Daniels, the couple remained engaged with the College.
“We usually came back every other year for a skiing trip with the kids and to reconnect with our friends at school,” said Elizabeth Machado. “When I was given the opportunity to return to Daniels for my second MS degree in 2014, we knew right away that we wanted to give more back to the school.”
Machado had the chance to take a customer experience course from Akaka and was impressed with the professor’s research in the field. When the Machados were approached about the Faculty Fellowship fund, they knew it was their chance to contribute in a meaningful way.
“We agreed immediately that we wanted to create the Machado Family Faculty Fellowship Fund for Dr. Akaka to help her continue with her research in customer experience and work at the newly created Consumer Insights and Business Innovation Center, which she co-founded,” Elizabeth Machado said. “We feel honored to have the opportunity to contribute back to the school and its amazing faculty, especially Dr. Akaka. We are sure that this type of effort will benefit future generations of students, including our own daughter, who will be a freshman at DU this fall and hopefully will remain part of this wonderful community for the rest of her life. ”
“The fellowship supports my research regarding value co-creation and innovation,” Akaka said. “Increasingly dynamic and interconnected markets underscore the need to understand joint efforts and outcomes of value creation. This funding highlights the importance of developing new knowledge in this area, and enables me to share emerging ideas and frameworks in the classroom and with the community.”
Each Daniels Faculty Fellowship totals $50,000 over three years, providing the recipient—who will provide an annual report to his or her donor—with a research stipend. These awards will assist the University of Denver in recruiting exceptional young faculty, thereby assuring the long-term academic vitality of both DU and the Daniels College of Business.
Increasing the number of fellowships, professorships and endowed chairs remains a critical priority for Daniels. To learn more about the Faculty Fellowship Program, contact Matt Fuller or Mona Spitz, Daniels’ directors of development.