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Recognizing the Experience & Expertise of Our Faculty

The University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business prides itself on the quality of its faculty. To show appreciation for our accomplished faculty, we present three annual awards that recognize teaching, research and service.

Julie Hays Teaching Award

Each year, the college awards the Julie Hays Teaching Award in honor of Dr. Julie Hays. Dr. Hays was a member of St. Thomas’ Decision Sciences Department (now Operations and Supply Chain Management) and was vice chair of the Opus College of Business faculty. She died suddenly on November 11, 2007.

Awarded since 2010, the Julie Hays Teaching Award is given to an Opus College of Business faculty member for exemplary achievement in the classroom during the previous academic year.

Award winners are announced in May each year. Recipients:

  • Receive a $1,000 award and a plaque, which will be presented at the Opus College of Business Spring Graduate Commencement
  • Participate in the Opus College of Business Spring Graduate Commencement
  • Are invited to participate in a panel in the annual Opus College of Business teaching workshop in the year following their award
  • Become a member of the selection committee for two years to elect future winners of the award.

A native of St. Paul, Hays earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota, an M.B.A. from St. Thomas in 1982 and a Ph.D. in operations and management science from the University of Minnesota. She taught courses in operations management and statistics. Her research focused on service quality and service operations management. Dr. Hays was also involved in research related to pedagogy, teaching and learning. She received the 1998 Juran Fellowship award from the Juran Center for Leadership in Quality at the University of Minnesota. Along with Dan McLaughlin, director of the Center for Health & Medical Affairs at UST, she published Healthcare Operations Management (Health Administration Press, 2008).

Remembering Julie Hays

I think of Julie as a great teacher. She was unabashedly enthusiastic about her students. She wanted her students to learn and succeed and would try interesting classroom techniques to make learning fun.

- Diane Matson, Associate Professor, Accounting Department

As you may know Julie and I worked for two years on a textbook [published in May 2008]. My remembrance of this work was that of a wonderful, collaborative and creative working relationship. I will forever miss Julie's smile, enthusiasm, and sense of humor.

- Dan McLaughlin, Director, Center for Health & Medical Affairs

"Batter Up." When I think of Julie, that phrase instantly comes to my mind. Why? No matter what the issue, Julie was always ready to "step up to the plate.” She was always upbeat and positive in her attitude. If you were to define a great colleague, Julie fit the description – perfectly.

- Phil Anderson, Professor and Chair, Management Department

Susan E. Heckler Research Excellence Award

The Opus College of Business is proud to present the annual Susan E. Heckler Research Excellence Award to recognize an outstanding Opus College of Business researcher. The award is in honor of Susan E. Heckler, Ph.D., an accomplished researcher and mentor at the Opus College of Business. She maintained personal, caring relationships with students and was very generous with her time in service roles at all levels. Dr. Heckler died after a brief illness in January 2011.

Inspired by Dr. Heckler’s contribution as a researcher and as a mentor of young researchers, the Susan E. Heckler Research Excellence Award recognizes outstanding faculty achievement in research.

Award winners are announced in May each year. Recipients receive a $1,000 stipend and a $4,000 research grant funded by the endowed chairs and the Opus College of Business. The research grant can be used to fund the winner’s future research, such as travel for conferences or data gathering, purchase of databases or software, hiring a graduate assistant or funding a survey.


Dr. Heckler first joined the University of St. Thomas in 1984 as assistant professor of marketing. She went on to serve as visiting assistant professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Michigan, professor of marketing and psychology at the University of Arizona in Tucson and visiting professor of marketing at Georgetown University. She rejoined St. Thomas in 2003 as Opus Distinguished Endowed Chair in Marketing at the Opus College of Business.

A gifted scholar, Heckler used her considerable analytical skills in her research. Her findings were published in top peer-reviewed journals throughout her career, including the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Research and Psychology and Marketing. Her work had a significant impact in the field of marketing an has been cited over 1,300 times by her peers. She served on the editorial board of the Journal of Marketing for 10 years.


Remembering Susan E. Heckler

I was just a freshly minted Ph.D. when I arrived at UST in 2005. Susan was already an accomplished scholar and a renowned teacher in her own right at that time. But a genuine human being she was; she literally took me under her wings ... guided me, counseled me, and allowed me to find my own rhythm.

- Avinash Malshe, Marketing Professor, 2018 and 2012 Heckler Award Winner

Dr. Heckler’s skills were priceless for researchers in training. Her papers, and her advice in person, were always ‘crisp’ and easy to follow. As a doctoral student under her guidance at Arizona, I greatly benefited from having Susan as a research mentor.

- Dr. Cristel Russell, American University

Susan was a great mentor and friend. She generously passed on these skills to her students. She was giving without looking for anything in exchange. She will be missed. The students that had Susan as an advisor and committee member were very fortunate indeed.

- Dr. Joan Lindsey-Mullikin, Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo

Faculty Service Award

The Faculty Service Award is presented to a faculty member who has shown an exceptional record of service achievements and contributions to the Opus College of Business.

The purpose of the Opus College of Business Award for Outstanding Service is to annually recognize and honor a faculty person for their exceptional record of service achievements and contributions to the Opus College of Business, with due consideration to their status and stage of academic career. Service includes both service to the institution – department, college and university service – and external service to the profession and community.

In addition to recognition, the recipient receives a $1,000 award and a plaque.