Faculty & Research

Faculty & Research

The Susan E. Heckler Research Excellence Award

Dr. Susan E. Heckler

The Opus College of Business is proud to present the annual Susan E. Heckler Research Excellence Award to recognize and honor an outstanding Opus College of Business researcher. The award is in honor of Susan E. Heckler, Ph.d., an accomplished researcher and mentor of researchers at the Opus College of Business who also maintained personal, caring relationships with students and was very generous with her time in service roles at all levels. Dr. Heckler died after a brief illness in January 2011.

Dr. Heckler first joined the University of St. Thomas in 1984 as assistant professor of marketing.  She went on to serve as visiting assistant professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Michigan, professor of marketing and psychology at the University of Arizona in Tucson and visiting professor of marketing at Georgetown University. She rejoined St. Thomas in 2003 as Opus Distinguished Endowed Chair in Marketing at the Opus College of Business.

A gifted scholar, Heckler used her considerable analytical skills in her research. Her findings were published in top peer-reviewed journals throughout her career, including the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Research and Psychology and Marketing. Her work had a significant impact in the field of marketing and  has been cited over 1,300 times by her peers. She served on the editorial board of the Journal of Marketing for 10 years. 

It is her contribution as a researcher and as a mentor of young researchers that inspired the creation of Susan E. Heckler Research Excellence Award.

“I was just a freshly minted Ph.D. when I arrived at UST in 2005,” says Avinash Malshe of the college’s marketing department, the winner of the 2012 Heckler Award. “Susan was already an accomplished scholar and a renowned teacher in her own right at that time. But a genuine human being she was; she literally took me under her wings ... guided me, counseled me, and allowed me to find my own rhythm.” 

Dr. Cristel Russell of American University noted that Dr. Heckler’s “skills were priceless for researchers in training. Her papers, and her advice in person, were always ‘crisp’ and easy to follow. As a doctoral student under her guidance at Arizona, I greatly benefited from having Susan as a research mentor.”

Dr. Joan Lindsey-Mullikin, Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo, remembers “Susan was a great mentor and friend to her students…. She generously passed on these skills to her students…. She was giving without looking for anything in exchange.  She will be missed.  The students that had Susan as an advisor and committee member were very fortunate indeed.”  

It is Dr. Heckler’s life as a scholar, mentor and colleague that we seek to honor with this award. We hope this award will inspire the faculty at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business to develop the passion for their field, their research and their students that Dr. Heckler embodied.

Read more from her colleagues.

View the nomination process for the award.

2014 Award Winner

The 2014 Susan E. Heckler Research Award Winner is Debasish Mallick, Ph.D.


Learn more »


About the Award

Award winners will be announced in May each year.  Recipients will

  • Receive a $1,000 stipend, a $4,000 research grant and a a plaque, which will be presented at the Opus College of Business Spring Graduate Commencement
  • Participate in the Opus College of Business Spring Graduate Commencement
  • Be a member of the selection committee for the next year's award