Awards and Honors

Little wonder that a world-renowned faculty should bring home so many honors — from around the country and the world, and also from the University of Illinois itself. Through research, service, publications, and teaching, the distinguished academics who comprise the CBA faculty continue to build respect and renown for our college. What follows is a listing of their major achievements over the past year.

Commerce and Business Administration is also proud to honor its own through two major events held each spring. The Commerce Alumni Association Annual Spring Luncheon, which takes place every April in Chicago, allows alumni and friends of CBA to gather to recognize excellence in teaching, as well as outstanding achievements by our alumni. And on the campus, the Commerce Awards Banquet showcases more than 200 student scholarships and fellowships, as well as numerous teaching and service awards.

Teaching and Service Awards


The Commerce Alumni Association sponsors four Excellence-in-Teaching Awards. Each year the recipients are recognized at the Spring Luncheon in Chicago and at the Commerce Awards Banquet on campus. A generous cash bonus, funded by the Commerce Alumni Association, accompanies these awards. Winners of the college's most prestigious awards are selected by the college Educational Policy Committee after careful review of nominations.
In 1997 the following faculty were recognized.

Jim Gentry accepts the 1997
Graduate Teaching Award.
James A. Gentry, IBE Distinguished Professor of Finance, received the Excellence-in-Teaching Award for Graduate Teaching from the Commerce Alumni Association in May 1997. Gentry also received the award in 1988. An internationally respected authority on finance, Gentry teaches case courses in corporate finance and executive development programs in general management, credit analysis, and bond analysis.
David Ziebart, accountancy professor, received the Commerce Alumni Association's 1997 Excellence-in-Teaching Award for Undergraduate Teaching. A member of the CBA faculty since 1985, Ziebart teaches courses in financial accounting and financial statement analysis. His research focuses on the application
of financial economics methods to investigate financial accounting and reporting issues. He received the Commerce MBA Teaching Award in 1992.

Colleen Houilihan (left)
and Wendy Cunningham
Wendy Cunningham, a fifth-year doctoral student in economics, has been recognized for her outstanding undergraduate teaching with three separate awards. Most prestigious is the Harriet and Charles Luckman Undergraduate Distinguished Teaching Award, a campus-wide honor which carries an award of $3,500, as well as a $1,000 raise and $2,000 for purchase of materials and equipment. Cunningham also captured the CBA Excellence-in-Undergraduate-Teaching Award and the econ department's Robert E. Demarest Award. Cunningham earned a B.A. in government economics from Notre Dame and has also studied at the Universidadiberoamericana in Mexico City.

Colleen Houlihan, a fourth-year doctoral student in economics, also won both the Excellence-in-Undergraduate-Teaching Award and the Robert E. Demarest Award for 1997. She entered the graduate program in 1993, after earning a B.A. in economics at U of I.

EACH YEAR CBA ALSO RECOGNIZES EXTRAORDINARY SERVICE TO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS with the Emerson Cammack Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Students Award. The 1997 winner was Jane Nathan, who directs the CBA Study Abroad Program. This college-wide award was named in honor of the CBA dean who "wrote the book" on service to students.

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Award

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has made an award of $130,000 to Joseph F. Porac, associate professor of business administration, for the study of entrepreneurship. Third in a series, the six-month grant allows Porac to continue work on building a data base of small, high-profile entrepreneurial companies. Porac explains that the promotion of entrepreneurship is one of the key missions of the Kauffman Foundation, which has established the National Center for Entrepreneurship Research and, with Ernst & Young, co-sponsors the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Application materials, received from around 1,000 companies vying for the award, are used in building the data base. Porac says this information is, in turn, "made available to academics who might want to do research on high-growth firms." Ultimately, "results are fed back through educational programs to practicing entrepreneurs. The findings are transformed into practical suggestions and reports on the best practices of entrepreneurs." As to the companies in the data base, "some are household names. And some you've never heard of."




CBA and KPMG — together again

An important new link has been forged in the ongoing partnership between CBA and KPMG-Peat Marwick. The KPMG/University of Illinois Business Measurement Case Development and Research Program has been established, to promote business research that combines strategy with accounting and auditing techniques — with the aim of developing leading-edge classroom materials and delivering them to educators at no cost.

KPMG is providing $300,000 in funding for the first year of the program, which advances the conceptual framework presented in the monograph "Auditing Organizations Through a Strategic-Systems Lens." Co-authored by Dean Howard Thomas, Professor Ira Solomon, and KPMG executives Timothy Bell and Frank Marrs, the 86-page monograph offers updated perspectives on auditing, and includes chapters dealing with risk, modeling, knowledge acquisition, and the global business environment.

"Two of the strengths of this college are auditing and strategic management —and this is really a blending of the two."

- Ira Solomon

An invitation to submit proposals for collaborative case development projects focusing on the areas of strategic analysis, business process analysis, business risk assessment, and business measurement was sent out. Awards, up to $40,000 for case development projects and as much as $50,000 for follow-on research projects, were announced in mid-April.

"One of the definitions of leadership is the ability to marshal resources and focus attention on what needs to be done," according to Solomon, director of the program for UIUC. This initiative "offers the academic community a chance to leverage research efforts by providing funding and critical access to data."

Alumni Awards and Honors


Alumnus William G. Karnes was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the spring 1997 UIUC graduation ceremonies. Karnes, the retired president and CEO of Beatrice Foods, shared kudos — not to mention the platform — with TV news-woman Diane Sawyer, who was tapped for the commencement address.
A member of the CBA class of 1933, Karnes graduated with honors. After going on to earn a law degree from Northwestern, he joined Beatrice Foods in 1936 and, sixteen years later, became president and CEO of the company. He is famed for his inspired and stupendously successful transformation of Beatrice from a small dairy company into a large international corporation — a transformation accomplished in no small part by expansion through astute and friendly company takeovers. In 1985, the company honored its CEO by endowing Commerce with the William G. Karnes Professorship in Mergers and Acquisitions — a position occupied by Josef Lakonishok, professor of finance.

Karnes has served on the boards of several organizations, as well as the board of governors for the Midwest Stock Exchange. An active member of the UI Foundation, he was the first chairman of the CBA Business Advisory Council and has received numerous awards, including the Horatio Alger Award, the University of Illinois Alumni Achievement Award, CBA's Distinguished Commerce Alumnus Award, and the NCCJ Food Industry Award.

EACH YEAR THE OUTSTANDING CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS OF AN ALUMNA/ALUMNUS and one friend of the college, who may or may not be an alum, who has given outstanding service to the alumni association and the college, are recognized by the Commerce Alumni Association at
the Spring Luncheon in Chicago.

The Distinguished Commerce Alumnus Award for 1997 went to John Brogan (A.B. 1936) in recognition of his full and distinguished career in insurance. Brogan retired as chairman of the Ryan Insurance Group in 1985. He has been long and widely esteemed for his ethics, his ability to work with others, and his expertise in specialized areas of insurance, particularly aviation insurance.
A loyal alumnus with close ties to the college, Brogan has participated in the Emerson Cammack Lecture Series — giving, in 1991, an unforgettable talk on the bankruptcy problems faced by Lloyd's of London. A member of the UI Foundation Board and the Presidents Council, he has, with his wife Eleanor, established a remainder trust to fund an endowed chair in insurance in the Department of Finance. The couple will also make annual gifts to begin funding the chair during their lifetime.
Wilma Smelcer, MBA 1973, a senior executive with The Private Bank and Bank of America Illinois, received the Commerce Appreciation Award for 1997, for her deep commitment and loyal service to the college. A distinguished advocate of CBA to members of the business community, she belongs to the Commerce Alumni Board, serving as its president from 1979-80. Smelcer joined the CBA Business Advisory Council in 1990 and chaired this group for the 1996-97 year.
She also serves as chair of The Chicago Network (a group of women leaders in that city). She is on the board of the Lincoln Park Zoological Society, and helped found Friends of the Red Cross. She joined Continental Bank in 1973, rising rapidly, even as the institution merged with Bank of America. Today, she manages the personal trust and private banking departments.


Jennifer Papp was awarded the Paul M. Green Fellowship for 1997-98. Established in honor of Paul Green, former dean of Commerce, this scholarship is awarded to the incoming MBA student with the highest academic credentials.

Mark J. Killian of Beta Alpha Psi won the President's Award, which recognizes the outstanding leadership ability of a current or immediate past president of a student club.

Troy M. Cardinal of the Finance Club was presented the Student Leadership Award, given to a member of a student organization who has demonstrated outstanding leadership ability through service as an officer, committee chair, or other means.

Nicole L. Young was given the Weinstein Student Leadership in Commerce Award, presented to a student demonstrating outstanding service and leadership in the college and university.

Cathy Y. Chang was awarded the Commerce Alumni Association Scholarship, presented to an outstanding student based on academic merit, extracurricular activities, and community service.

Karie L. Anderson was presented the Alpha Kappa Psi Scholarship Key, given to the graduating CBA senior with the highest grade point average. Mark J. Killian was awarded the Phi Gamma Nu Scholarship Key, presented to the graduating CBA senior with the highest grade point average. Killian's academic achievements also garnered him the Phi Gamma Nu Scholastic Key.

Commerce Council chooses winners from senior applicants. Selection is based on academic achievement and service to the college and the university.
Karie L. Anderson
David I. Covas
Jessica L. DeBruin
Jacques Galante
Frannie Goldberg
Scott L. Hirsch
Nathan J. Kaufmann
Mark J. Killian
Gordon C. Liao
Daniel Radek

Senior 100 Honorary
The following CBA class of 1997 graduates were among those recognized by the Student Alumni Association for involvement, initiative, and leadership in campus and community activities while maintaining a good academic standing.
Julie D. Ahrling
Karie L. Anderson
Melissa B. Angio
David J. Arenberg
Jessica L. De Bruin
Karen M. Getz
Frannie Goldberg
Scott L. Hirsch
Nathan J. Kaufman
Patricia K. Kerrigan
Mark J. Killian
Gordon C. Liao
Jennifer C. Manalo
Russell C. Mann
Christine L. Mathieson
Colleen M. Metzger
Julie L. Meyer
Joanne L. Pearlman
John A. Perkins
Teresa A. Schuster
Michael W. Siska
Michelle Shanes
Jason D. Wyckoff
Daisie W. Yu
Laura J. Zerbe
David A. Zissman

Bronze Tablet 1997

These graduating seniors are in the top three percent of the college.

Karie L. Anderson
Samantha M. Cohen
Cora Marie Gallagher
Frannie E. Goldberg
Ross David Gordon
Andrew R. Grossmann
Melinda Ann Guerin
Nathan J. Kaufman
Mark Joseph Killian
Jessica Beth Klapper
Tatyana Kovalchuk
Eric Thomas Kulesza
Brian E. Pasdach
Andy Patrick Ramer
Teresa A. Schuster
Charles T. Tripp, Jr.

A team of Illinois MBA students took second place in the annual Big Ten Case Competition, sponsored by Andersen Consulting and held in mid-January at Ohio State. Pictured front, l-r: Manuel Otero, Jorge Bianchi, Lynnee Jiminez, Jim Gentry (faculty coach). Back, l-r: Joseph Alutto (business dean, OSU), J.C. Thatcher, Steven Louis (Andersen Consulting). Otero also captured the competition trophy for Best Q&A.
The CBA undergraduate team placed third in the 1997 Arthur Andersen Tax Challenge, bringing home a $5,000 purse from this national accountancy competition. Commerce has sent a winning team to the nationals every year of the competition. Pictured front, l-r: Andrya Meeker, Shannon Dudley, Amanda Skinner, Mary Janus. Back, l-r: Gene Willis and Jon Davis (faculty coaches). Team member Scott Catlett not pictured.