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August 24, 2010

Lester, Wells recognized at University Opening Meeting

Excellence Award WinnersTwo College of Business faculty and staff members were recognized for excellence during the university’s academic year opening meeting Aug. 24.

Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich presented 2010 Excellence awards to Dr. Scott Lester, professor of management, department of management and marketing and Theresa Wells, academic adviser and senior lecturer, department of management and marketing.

Scott Lester, who has taught at UW-Eau Claire for 13 years, received the Excellence in Scholarship Award. He is a prolific and influential scholar, having published 31 refereed journal articles, four refereed book chapters, and numerous conference proceedings and presentations. Widely regarded as an extremely collegial collaborator who "works hard to get the job done right," he has co-authored articles with 15 different faculty members in the College of Business. Lester's research has appeared in top-tier publications in the field of management, including the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, Academy of Management Learning and Education Journal and Journal of Management Education. Many of his projects involve student/faculty collaborative research and have resulted in peer-reviewed journal publications for his management students.

According to Dr. Robert Sutton, associate dean of the College of Business, more people in the college are doing research because of Lester's example and leadership, and students and faculty are drawn to UW-Eau Claire for the opportunity to work and study with Lester. Within his discipline Lester investigates issues related to human resource management and organizational behavior. Colleagues describe his work as conceptually innovative, methodologically rigorous, conscientious and outstanding. 

"His ability to bridge discipline-based research with learning and pedagogical issues, publishing contributions of both types in top-tier journals, speaks to his inquisitive nature and disciplined work ethic," said Dr. Timothy Vaughan, chair of the management and marketing department.

Lester also has been commended for his dedication to service-learning. He was recognized in 2006 for mentoring more than 60 service-learning students and conducting research on the effectiveness of the program.

Theresa Wells, who joined the College of Business in 1993, was honored with the Excellence in Advising Award. The award recognizes outstanding advising qualities and practices and is based on feedback from current students. The nominations described Wells as a teacher, mentor, motivator, friend and advocate and recognized her "tireless support and dedication to students."

Several students noted her passion for helping operations management students earn their CPIM — a professional level certification in production and inventory management. Wells offers an annual review course and established the UW-Eau Claire CPIM Enhancement Scholarship for those working to complete the final three CPIM exams. As a result of these efforts, many students have received a CPIM prior to graduation. Students commented that Wells listens to their concerns, questions and future goals, tailoring course selection and recommendations to their individual needs.

Wells is president of the Indianhead professional chapter of APICS — an international association for operations management — and has advised the UW-Eau Claire student chapter of APICS for 17 years. "Without her heavy involvement, APICS would not be the successful organization it has become," noted a student board member. "She attends every meeting, tour, or event the group has going on." Others appreciated the many networking opportunities she facilitates locally and statewide and commented that she has helped them develop leadership skills.

Wells is involved in freshman orientation advising and has mentored a remarkable number of student service-learning projects. She was recognized as a Beta Gamma Sigma Outstanding Professor in 2009 and was honored with the APICS National Student Mentor Award and the UW-Eau Claire Excellence in Advising Award in 2004.

Each honoree received a university medallion and a $1,500 check from the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. The Excellence in Teaching Award and the Excellence in Performance awards for classified and academic staff are funded by Markquart Motors and Markquart Toyota of Eau Claire.

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