Profiles in Excellence
At the start of the 2021-22 academic year, Sawyer Business School Dean’s Awards were presented to five faculty members.
Dean’s Award for Excellence in Service: Ken Hung, posthumously
Professor Ken Hung served for many years as the ISOM Department Chair and as the founding MSBA program director. Both of these roles he fulfilled with great success. Under his leadership the department grew substantially in terms of faculty and students, and he was a mentor to so many of them. Professor Hung was a wonderful collaborator who constantly looked for opportunities to team up with others, whether in his department or at the Business School or across the university. His students-first approach as a chair and program director was exemplary. He truly built a legacy of service during his tenure at Suffolk and he will not be forgotten.
Dean’s Award for Excellence in Service: Chaim Letwin
A professor in the Management and Entrepreneurship program, Letwin is known for his fast pace, innovative ideas, and execution. Aptly, he is the newly named Carol Sawyer Parks Endowed Chair for Entrepreneurship and the Director of the Entrepreneurship Center.
As the Director of the Entrepreneurship program, Professor Letwin has focused significant time and attention to the quality of the program and the retention of students. And he has been instrumental in the rebuild of the Entrepreneurship team, leading the search for two new faculty members and cultivating an environment of collegiality and shared commitment to the program.
He has also built relationships with external speakers and hosted multiple events at Suffolk for Entrepreneurship students. And, he is embedding JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion) in these activities, a task that is aligned with the Suffolk 2025 strategy.
Professor Letwin is able to do all of this in a highly productive, professional, kind and personal way that is truly collaborative in spirit.
Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching: Pelin Bicen
Currently chair of the Marketing Department, Professor Bicen radiates enthusiasm, positivity, and cares deeply about our faculty, our students, and our profession. Her intellect, authenticity, passion, and creativity are just a few characteristics that make her such a wonderful colleague and educator. She is a master teacher who embraces the philosophy that learning is a partnership between student and educator.
Professor Bicen has taught some of the most challenging analytics courses in Marketing. She has also worked tirelessly to recruit top-notch clients for other courses. What is truly outstanding is that she brings her enthusiasm and love of education to all she does. She earns some of the highest teaching evaluations in the Business School, performs her chair duties at the highest level, has an outstanding research record, and is the first to accept invitations to do service — and does it all with a smile.
Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research: Kate Li
A member of the ISOM department, Professor Li 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. Professor Li’s research interests focus on three main areas: supply chain management, data analytics, and healthcare management. She has won research grants from Suffolk University three times, and awards from the Wharton Customer Analytics Institute and the Decision Sciences Institute, both of which are very prestigious.
Supply chain management has been Li’s main research area since her PhD studies, and she is particularly interested in sustainability. By 2020, her first journal paper “The potential for cannibalization of new products sales by remanufactured products,” which was published in Decision Science in 2010, has been cited over 420 times. This past year, she received the award for the “Top 20 Most Downloaded Paper of Decision Sciences” in the 50-year history of the journal, which is one of the premier publications in operations research, with an impact factor of 4.14.
This year, Dean Amy Zeng created the Dean’s Award for Exemplary Faculty, which recognizes one faculty member at the School who has demonstrated excellence in all three areas.
Dean’s Award for Exemplary Faculty: Mona Al-Amin
In her ten years at Suffolk, Professor Al-Amin has produced a steady output of healthcare management research publications and presentations. She currently has one publication in press; in 2020, she had three publications, including two in leading journals.
She quickly developed a reputation as a professor who combined rigor in the classroom with devotion to her students. Her quantitative teaching evaluation scores are very high and consistent.
Professor Al-Amin played major roles in both the initial CAHME accreditation of the MHA Program and its re-accreditation in 2019. She served on the Dean Search Committee in 2019-2020, represented SBS faculty on the university Faculty Senate, and served as Faculty Senate Chair 2020-2021. She also served on the university’s Faculty Handbook Committee 2017-2020.
Professor Al-Amin has remained actively involved in service to her profession as well. She has been an editorial board member, guest editor, and/or reviewer for healthcare management publications. She and colleague Peter Martelli organized the annual Organization Theory in Healthcare Conference hosted by Suffolk virtually in June 2021.