Business School Recognizes Outstanding Faculty & Staff

SBS Community Celebrates 2019 Dean's Awards for Excellence

At the first Sawyer Business School Faculty meeting of the academic year, Senior Associate Dean Michael Behnam presented the 2019 Dean's Awards for Excellence to four members of the SBS community. Following are edited comments from the citations he presented at the meeting.

Tracey Riley

Accounting Professor Tracey Riley is the assistant dean of Online Graduate Programs, the program director of the Master of Science in Accounting, and, until recently, was the chair of the Accounting Department.

Professor Tracey Riley: Excellence in Service

"Tracey has a truly exemplary record of service accomplishments at all levels [read Dean Behnam]. She is the Assistant Dean of Online Graduate Programs, the Program Director of the Master of Science in Accounting and until about a month ago also the chair of the Accounting Department leading a Department with 17 full-time faculty, over 120 enrolled master’s students in the MSA and MST, and over 400 students in the Accounting undergraduate major. Oh, and of course she is also an associate professor of Accounting on top of that.

"As the Program Director for the MSA, Tracey has been instrumental in adding four new, relevant, and industry-aligned concentrations in Business Intelligence, Forensic Accounting, Corporate Accounting and Finance, and Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting to the MSA. She has also been at the forefront of initiating new enrollment initiatives to attract our own undergraduate students to our graduate programs.

"Let me read a couple of quotes from several different nominating colleagues:

"'Tracey is a very strong leader who is fostering an incredibly positive, supportive, and collegiate culture in accounting. She is never too busy to be professional, kind, and an active listener. She demonstrates all of the qualities of a good leader and serves as a wonderful role model for junior faculty members. I am grateful to have her as a friend and colleague.'

“'During my first year here at Suffolk Tracey was an inspiring role model and leader. No matter how busy she was, Tracey always made time to help guide me through whatever challenge I was facing. Her ability to lead a large group while also connecting with her team on a personal basis is a very rare talent.'"

Peter Martelli
Healthcare Professor Peter Martelli received 16 "Thank-a-Prof" letters in fall 2018 alone.

Professor Peter Martelli: Excellence in Teaching

"Obviously, when considering candidates for the teaching award, the student evaluations are an important data point. Let’s start with that evidence. Peter’s scores on Level of Learning and Instructor Overall are typically in the 4.8 to 5.0 range, so students evaluated Peter on his overall effectiveness as a professor at a level that is very impressive. Just over the last year and a half in teaching seven sections of three different courses, he received a perfect mark of 5 on ten occasions. What is so impressive about this is that he earned a perfect mark of 5 four different times for level of learning, so clearly the students not only appreciate Peter as an instructor (where he has earned the perfect 5 six times as an instructor) but really in terms of what they are getting out of his courses.

"Peter’s work with independent study students also provides strong evidence of his commitment to teaching and mentorship.  Far from being content with having them simply write a final paper, he pours his energy into ensuring that each project is meaningful to the student and impactful to their community. For example, in one project, he traveled with a student to West Africa for two weeks to collect primary data on cardiovascular disease management. In addition to dozens of meetings and interviews, he and the student hand-delivered thousands of dollars of medication and supplies directly to healthcare providers. 

"Let me read a couple of quotes from student comments on his teaching:

“'As an instructor, Prof. Martelli always demonstrated passion for the subjects he taught by empowering students to think critically instead of just producing material.'

“'It is impossible not to learn from Professor Martelli! He is a great professor.'”

Jane Zhu

The research of Marketing Professor Jane Zhu has been cited more than 700 times, with four of her publications receiving more than 100 citations.

Professor Jane Zhu: Excellence in Research

"Jane has a consistently strong performance in scholarship. Her steady record of publishing high-quality work on highly relevant topics in respected journals with rigorous standards are evidence of that. For example, just this year she had two articles published in top-tier outlets, the Journal of Services Research (with an impact factor of 2.4) and the Journal of Macromarketing (with an impact factor of 1.8). She also exhibits strong leadership by actively co-authoring with SBS faculty colleagues across departments and with other scholars in her professional network.

"Jane’s research record clearly shows an impressive multi-disciplinary approach. She has published numerous studies in 'A' quality journals that are considered leading journals in a variety of disciplines. For example, she has published in the Journal of Product and Innovation Management, which is a leading journal in both marketing, management, and innovation fields; in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science and also in the Journal of Retailing, both top journals in the marketing field, and in Decision Sciences, a leading journal in the MIS and marketing fields.

"Jane has been recognized for her research excellence by the Journal of Retailing, a leading scholarly publication in marketing (with an impact factor of 3.7); her 2013 article on service recovery was ranked in the top five most cited papers for the period 2014-2016 in the Journal of Retailing. Jane's 2016 article on customer orientation and business performance was ranked a top-25 cited paper over the past 10 years by the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, another top-tier journal in Marketing. Overall, Jane’s work has been cited more than 700 times, and four of her publications received more than 100 citations."

Jennifer Ricciardi
Assistant Vice President for Financial Aid Jennifer Ricciardi has worked at Suffolk for 26 years.

Jennifer Ricciardi: Excellence in Administrative Service

"Some of you professors and instructors might not know Jennifer that well because, as assistant vice president for Financial Aid, she does a lot of her work behind the scenes. But without the dedicated support that Jen and her department provides to prospective and current students, your classrooms would only be half full! And I know that those of you who have been working with Jennifer in your roles as department chairs or program directors or in other administrative roles have only praise for the extremely collaborative, thoughtful, detail-oriented approach that Jennifer takes to her work.

"Jennifer has been at Suffolk for 26 years now and has been a true partner in the enrollment and retention process that is so crucial to the success of our school. She understands the big picture and the role financial aid and merit awards plays in bringing qualified candidates to our school and programs.

"Jen approaches enrollment challenges with a thoughtful reflection, assesses the situation with a historical perspective, and applies her institutional knowledge while maintaining a sensitivity to the enrollment challenges we may face. Jen never approaches a challenge with 'that’s what we have always done,' but always works to be solution-oriented and taking all factors into consideration.

"Jennifer has truly become a trusted, respected and extremely reliable partner for many offices within the business school as well as across campus. She is truly passionate about her work and always has the best interests of the students at heart. And while she is principled and clear in her communication with them, she is also caring and compassionate."