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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

2017 HRSM faculty, staff and student awards

Posted on: May 19, 2017
By: Allen Wallace,, 803-777-5667

The University of South Carolina College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management (HRSM) is proud to recognize its 2016-2017 faculty, staff and student award recipients.


Patricia G. Moody Researcher of the Year 

Khalid Ballouli, Assistant Professor, Sport and Entertainment Management

The Patricia G. Moody Distinguished Researcher and Scholar of the Year is the most prestigious recognition of scholarly achievement given by the College. Any full-time faculty member of the College with evidence of quality research within the previous four years may be nominated by their peers. Nominations are evaluated by a committee of their peers across a number of criteria including the importance of the research and scholarship to the discipline, creativity of the scholarship, authorship, grant funding, and ranking/impact of the journal published among other criteria.

Ballouli joined the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management in 2011 after receiving his Ph.D. in sport management from Texas A&M University. During his time at USC, Ballouli has published 17 peer reviewed articles, 11 of which were first authorships, and 10 of which are listed as A or A+ in the Department journal listings. He has given 34 presentations at national and international academic conferences, and has received over $231,000 in grant funding across 11 projects, 5 of which he served as principal/sole investigator. He also has received multiple awards through The Magellan Scholar Grant program. 

John Grady and Kevin So were the other finalists for this year’s award.


Harry E. and Carmen S. Varney 2016 Distinguished Teacher of the Year 

Todd C. Koesters, Assistant Professor, Sport and Entertainment Management

The Harry and Carmen Varney Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award is named for former HRSM Dean Varney and his wife Carmen, who generously started the award to recognize and honor teaching excellence, a value that has long been associated with the College of HRSM.

Koesters joined USC from Churchill Downs Entertainment Group (CDE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Churchill Downs Inc., where he served as vice president of marketing and sales. At USC he teaches classes ranging from Contracts and Negotiations to Sales in Sport and Entertainment. In nominating him for the award, student Stephanie Weissenburger gathered the following testimony from her classmates: “He brings a wealth of knowledge to the course that very few professors can”; he is “undoubtedly the most enthusiastic professor I’ve had”; “the passion that he brings to the classroom is infectious”; “he showed legitimate interest in not just my grade in the class but my future after school”; “he brings real world insight and teaches us things that make his students great future employees.”


Brian J. and Linda L. Mihalik Global Scholar Award 

Armen Shaomian, Assistant Professor, Sport and Entertainment Management

This award encourages HRSM faculty to lead study abroad classes and engage in the international expansion of HRSM’s programs and educational opportunities via teaching and research. The award provides funding support to one HRSM faculty member each year who best demonstrates a commitment to and advancement of the globalization of the College’s students, faculty, curricula, research capabilities and image.

Shaomian is a native of Sweden and is an accomplished concert pianist and performing arts expert. His language skills include English, Swedish and Armenian, and he has been invited to both lecture and perform around the United States and the world, including the College Music Society’s International Conference in Stockholm and Helsinki. He is continuously infusing his global scholarship into his student’s education and also leading study abroad courses in Europe.


HRSM Staff Member of the Year

Vickie Smith, Administrative Coordinator for Associate Deans

Smith was nominated by several colleagues and described as “champion of the College of HRSM,” “someone who is always working diligently for the betterment of the students, faculty and college as a whole,” “someone upon whom faculty and graduate students rely,” “always ready, willing and able to help anyone that comes with a question or issue … even if it doesn’t pertain to her job,” and “as much as this person works with graduate students, she should also be considered an instructor—she teaches them about life and how to behave.”

Smith joined the University of South Carolina in January of 2000 and has been with the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management (HRSM) since May of 2008. She is the administrative coordinator for the two associate deans and the manager of the college’s 12 graduate programs. Smith will celebrate her retirement from USC and HRSM in June 2017, so this award was an especially timely recognition of her dedication to the college. 


USC Integrity Award

Karen Edwards, Senior Retailing Instructor, Associate Director for Distributed Learning, Center for Teaching Excellence

The USC Integrity Award is presented annually by the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity for proactively and effectively implementing a culture of academic integrity, showing care and concern both for students and their development, and promoting the Carolinian Creed.

Edwards is a senior instructor in HRSM’s Department of Retailing and also serves as the associate director for distributed learning at the University’s Center for Teaching Excellence. Recipient of the 2010-11 Harry E. Varney Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award, she teaches in the areas of business law and law-related issues affecting retailers, and has also developed and led numerous study abroad courses for retailing students. Prior to arriving at USC, Ms. Edwards practiced law with Duff, White and Turner, L.L.C., a firm that serves public school districts and colleges across South Carolina. She is a member of the South Carolina Bar Association's Law-Related Education Committee, and writes and speaks on issues relating to public education.


2017 University Awards Day Hosted by Student Life

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Leadership

  • Elan Jacob Stern

Academic Excellence Award

  • Kyle S. Atherton – hospitality management
  • Alison A. Lindsey – tourism management
  • Sara K. Butler – integrated information technology
  • Lanie Sturkie Reeves – interdisciplinary studies
  • Lindsay Nicole Riggins – retailing
  • Christopher Perez – sport and entertainment management


USC Service Awards

Congratulations and thank you to the following HRSM faculty and staff have served the college and university for 10 years.

  • Doug Cogdell, director of information technology services
  • Karen Edwards, senior instructor, retailing, associate director for distributed learning, Center for Teaching Excellence
  • Jung-Hwan Kim, associate professor, retailing
  • Jiyeon Kim, associate professor and director of graduate studies, retailing
  • Mark Nagel, professor, sport and entertainment
  • Ercan Turk, professor, hotel, restaurant and tourism, Sloan Research Professor of Tourism

Congratulations to all the award recipients and nominees! 

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