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HRSM Announces 2015-16 Faculty and Student Awards

The University of South Carolina’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management (HRSM) is proud to announce its 2015-2016 faculty, staff and student award recipients from our March 24 ceremony.

Faculty Awards


Patricia G. Moody 2016 Researcher of the Year

Bob Heere, Sport and Entertainment Management 

The Patricia G. Moody Researcher of the Year was established through funds from the Dean’s Professorship Endowment and the Patricia G. Moody Endowment under former Dean Emeritus Patricia G. Moody in order to establish a Researcher of the Year Fund. The purpose of the fund is to provide support for HRSM faculty to conduct research and to award faculty for outstanding research efforts.

Dr. David Cardenas, director of research for HRSM, introduced Dr. Heere by saying:

"[Bob] has established an impeccable record of research and scholarly activity during his time at USC. Just last year, he was published or accepted in over a dozen articles, many of which are in our department’s premier journals. More importantly, he has helped me develop my own research and has been a great mentor in having my own work published in these same journals. He is one of the youngest scholars in our field to become a Research Fellow at our premier association, and he has already won several awards with his doctoral students at many conferences.”

Kevin So, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, was also a finalist for the award.

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

Matt Bernthal, 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.

Dr. Kevin Ayres, chair for the Teacher of the Year Committee, introduced Dr. Bernthal by saying, "This year’s winner was nominated by more than a dozen students whose comments clearly showed the students felt their unwavering dedication to their education. Among the many positive comments, was this:

'This faculty member brings an immense amount of personal and professional knowledge and passes that knowledge along to their students in a way that is incredibly engaging and applicable. Their passion for the subject matter has helped push me in a new direction for my career.' "

Three other finalists were selected for the award — Sallie Boggs, Retailing, Shawna Moffitt, iIT, and Sandy Strick, HRTM. 

Brian J. and Linda L. Mihalik Global Scholar Award

Karen Lear Edwards, Retailing

Designed to encourage HRSM faculty to lead study abroad classes and engage in the international expansion of HRSM’s programs and educational opportunities via teaching and research, this award furthers the strategic mission and goals of HRSM by providing annual awards to the faculty members who best demonstrate a commitment to and advancement of the globalization of the College’s students and faculty, its curricula, research capabilities and image. 

Dr. Ercan Turk, associate dean for the College of HRSM, introduced this year's recipient, Karen Lear Edwards, Retailing, by saying:

"Together with Dr. Sandy Strick, [Ms. Edwards] has created and run RETL/HRTM592 'Fashion and Food of…London... or Italy... or Paris.' The course was initially created in 2012 and has remained popular for many years. The course broadens the horizon of students and enhances their learning opportunities. Through this course students are immersed in some of the world’s oldest and most respected fashion and culinary marketplaces. The program is well organized and well received by the students and parents. I believe that the course has truly brought study abroad to a new level. Over the course of 5 years, nearly 100 students have participated and benefited from the course."


Other HRSM Awards Presented


HRSM Research Symposium Poster Competition Winners

First Place 
Pei Zhang for "Unobserved heterogeneity in tourism impulsive shopping: A finite mixture segmentation approach."

Second Place
Susana Jara de Pazimo for "Recruitment  Strategies and International Student-Athletes in U.S. College Sports. A Qualitative Inquiry."

Third Place
Yongjin Hwang for “The Effectiveness of In-game Billboards in a Sport Video Game.”

Student Awards for Academic Excellence

  • Briana Philisa Matthews, Tourism Management
  • Excellence Mikael Carlos, Hospitality Management
  • Joseph Roy Beasley, Integrated Information Technology
  • Jessica Lynnette Amick, Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Justin Main Peterson, Retailing
  • Ashlie Rose DeCarlo, Sport and Entertainment Management

Dean’s Outstanding Leadership Award

Caroline Olivia Riffel, Retailing

Patricia G. Moody International Scholarship Awards

  • Lindsay Nicole Bishop, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management
  • Mary Spencer Blanton, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management
  • Jessica Leigh Hagy, Retailing

Fashion Board Scholarships

  • Morgan Ashley Williams
  • Morgan Christine Holton
  • Brittany Anne Frederick
  • Rilinda Lynelle Harris
  • Katlin Elizabeth Dunn
  • Anna Christine Sasseville
  • Emma Victoria Jardine

Alumni Society Fund Scholarships

  • Megan Victoria Hawley, Sport and Entertainment Management
  • Chuhan Wang, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management

USC Service Awards

10-year Service Awards

  • Catherine S. Luthren, College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
  • Erica J. Elbery, Retailing
  • Matthew T. Brown, Sport and Entertainment Management
  • Richard H. Harrill, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management
  • John H. Gerdes, Integrated Information Technology

20-year Service Award

  • Scott G. Kaplan, College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

30-year Service Award

  • Susan M. Reeves, Retailing