Eccles School faculty and staff embody #WeGiveWednesday

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  • Meet a few Eccles faculty and staff members that exemplify unending support and commitment to the Eccles School community and overall experience.

Eccles School faculty and staff embody #WeGiveWednesday

Do you recognize any of these faces? Bet you do!  Many of you may have seen these individuals passionately lecturing in front of your class, leading your Zoom discussion, or even walking past you in the hallway. The generous donors highlighted today represent a small portion of the countless other Eccles faculty and staff members who give back to the students they educate. For our second #WeGiveWednesday, we would like to introduce you to a few Eccles faculty and staff members that exemplify unending support and commitment to the Eccles School community and overall experience.

Dr. Don G. Wardell is Francis A. Madsen Scholar and Professor of Operations and Information Systems (OIS) at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business. He is also currently serving as the chair of the OIS Department. Dr. Wardell has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including teaching classes in Spanish at INCAE in Costa Rica. He has been honored with the University of Utah’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the Eccles School’s Masters Teaching Excellence Award, the Brady Superior Teaching Award, and the Marvin J. Ashton Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

What is your favorite memory of the University of Utah/David Eccles School of Business?

Most of my favorite memories are related to time in class with students. I have enjoyed discussing material and learning from the students and their experiences. I also have enjoyed laughing with them as we have joked, either with pre-planned jokes or just spontaneous moments. Thanks to all of the students for making my job as a professor meaningful, challenging, rewarding and fun!

What has compelled you to be such a loyal donor and Eccles community participant?

I think that education empowers and I want as many people as possible to have the opportunities that have come to me. I am a first-generation college student and I was the recipient of more than one scholarship as an undergraduate. Without the support of generous donors, I would not be where I am today. I want to provide the same opportunities for other to the extent possible. In addition, one of my neighbors, best friends and even student (in the EMBA program), Steve Brewster, passed away a few years ago and my wife and I really wanted to honor him for the great man that he was. He did so much good and inspired me to try to follow his example.

What has been the most rewarding part of giving back?

It has been fun and meaningful to attend the scholarship banquet and meet the recipients of the scholarship Megan and I have established. It is rewarding to learn of their backgrounds and of ways that the scholarship is allowing them to complete their education. At the same event it has been so heartwarming to see so many other donors and the students who have benefited from their generosity. Thank you to all of you!

Elizabeth Tashjian is a Professor of Finance and Director of the Advanced Financial Analysis Program at the University of Utah. She is Director of the Garn Institute of Finance and Garn Faculty Fellow. She has won numerous teaching awards and is the faculty advisor for the University of Utah Student Investment Fund, which hit the $1 million mark on Aug. 5, 2020.

What is your favorite memory of the University of Utah/David Eccles School of Business?

My favorite memories of the Eccles School are the conversations I have with students and watching as they find their passions. I have enjoyed traveling with students to New York, Japan, and to CFA Americas competitions. I am touched by how many of our alumni reach back to mentor our current students.

What has compelled you to be such a loyal donor and Eccles community participant?

Everyone deserves an opportunity to learn, to explore, and to find a fulfilling career. The Eccles School creates those opportunities for students.

What has been the most rewarding part of giving back?

Sometimes just one conversation or one scholarship makes a difference between a student completing or abandoning a degree. I am honored to be able to make a difference in people’s lives.

Robert D. Allen is a Professor and David Eccles Faculty Scholar at the University of Utah. Bob’s interest in auditing research began during his professional experience with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells in Los Angeles. He is the recipient of multiple teaching awards including the University of Utah Distinguished Teaching Award, the University of Utah Student’s Choice Award for Teaching, and the Brady Superior Teaching Award.

What is your favorite memory of the University of Utah/David Eccles School of Business?

It’s difficult to name a single experience, but I really enjoy learning about the successes of our outstanding alumni. It’s enjoyable to have the opportunity to help students along the path as they work to achieve great things.

What has compelled you to be such a loyal donor and Eccles community participant?

I believe that education is very important and am happy to support student scholarships, particularly those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the University of Utah.

What has been the most rewarding part of giving back?

Seeing students succeed and learning if the obstacles they have overcome in the process. Our students are inspiring!

Alayna Williamson graduated with an MS Finance and MBA from the University of Utah. She spent many years in corporate finance, running a consulting business and focusing on entrepreneurial endeavors. She now teaches Finance courses as well as directs Business Scholars — a program designed specifically for incoming honors-level freshman and transfer business students who are prepared for a comprehensive immersion into the theory and practice of the full spectrum of business disciplines.

What is your favorite memory of the University of Utah/David Eccles School of Business?

That is a hard question! I have so many! As a student: The connections I made and of course, graduation! As an employee: I’ve been lucky to travel all over the world and visit numerous companies with students. It is always amazing to see them introduced to different cultures (both corporate and life) and I always love that moment when I see the light bulb lit within a student, when they find their major, their career, their passion.

What has compelled you to be such a loyal donor and Eccles community participant?

I could not have gotten through school without scholarships. I vowed that when I was in a position to, I would pay it forward! 

What has been the most rewarding part of giving back?

Seeing students who have received scholarship funds graduate!

Adam Meirowitz is the Director of the Marriner S. Eccles Institute for Economics and Quantitative Analysis as well as the Kem C Gardner Chair. Meirowitz’s research interests include the use of game theoretic and quantitative methods to study collective decision-making and political institutions.

What is your favorite memory of the University of Utah/David Eccles School of Business?

The day a freshman anticipated about 2 weeks’ worth of teaching material with one question.

What has compelled you to be such a loyal donor and Eccles community participant?

I see pockets of greatness! There are students that have so much potential and groups of faculty doing incredible research.

What has been the most rewarding part of giving back?

The letters that my wife and I have received from scholarship recipients and seeing the individual impact our support has for each student.

To all Eccles staff and faculty donors: Your actions are immensely appreciated and we would like to extend a big #ThankU to the amazing people that are making this uncertain academic year such a success. We would not be where we are today without YOU!

2020-09-22T16:15:01-06:00September 22nd, 2020|

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