Faculty & Research
Past Award Winners
Professor James Shovein
"Professor Shovein is among the most talented professors at the University of St. Thomas," wrote one nominating student. "He has a knack for bringing core concepts and real world experience together. His classes are not only enjoyable to attend but also make learning seem natural and easy while continually challenging and expecting the most out of students."
James Shovein earned a B.S in accounting from the University of Northern Iowa, an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota and is a CPA. He was a senior accountant for KPMG from 1982 until 1986. At that point, he moved to Pillsbury and was made the director of finance from 1987 until 1993. After a distinguished career at Pillsbury, he was hired by Ecolab to serve as their vice president for the next six years.
Shovein came to St. Thomas as a visiting instructor in 2000, and after a renewal as a limited term faculty he stayed until 2004, during which time he achieved accolades from fellow faculty and from students as an outstanding teacher.
According to one student, "His class was one of the best classes I have ever taken at any academic level. The class was a great deal of work, but I looked forward to every class. He demanded a great deal from his students because he knew their potential. I think that his greatest gift is tapping into the unknown potential of his students. Honestly, his class isn't just a capstone, it is a life-changer."
After a stint as the vice president of finance for Best Buy, Shovein returned to St. Thomas in 2006. He was granted the rank of Distinguished Service Faculty. In recognition of the valuable contributions he has made to the St. Thomas community, the university named him the Department of Finance’s first and only clinical faculty member.
Dr. Mary Schmid Daugherty
A nominating letter written by a former student explains that Schmid Daugherty “goes above and beyond what is normally expected of any teacher both inside and outside the classroom.” As the letter explains, Schmid Daugherty is committed to students and holds a strong passion for teaching. This is illustrated through using real world problems in classes, challenging students to critically think beyond textbook formulas. Outside of the classroom, she is eager to help students and alumni in their job search through mentoring and by using her countless contacts.
Beyond her teaching and research duties, Schmid Daugherty advises the Aristotle Fund as managing professor. This student-run investment fund is a unique opportunity for Full-time and Evening UST MBA students, as they carefully manage $2 million of the university’s endowment. It is her instruction, guidance and support that make this endeavor possible.
The nominator noted that Schmid Daugherty “is able to take the academic aspects of school and merge them with the professional development of her students. By incorporating the professional development of her students in her teaching, she sets herself apart from the typical professor at any university.” Thus, she is an invaluable asset to the Opus College of Business.
Dr. Schmid Daugherty received her B.A. in marketing from the University of St. Thomas and earned M.B.A and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota. She acts as the vice chair of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Investment Advisory Council and advises many private organizations. Schmid Daugherty’s research focuses on family business, equity valuation and student-managed investment funds.
Dr. Jay Ebben
In a letter nominating Dr. Ebben, a former student wrote, “Both in and out of the classroom, there is a genuine ‘student first’ mentality with Jay that fosters academic and professional growth to the highest degree.” The letter cited Dr. Ebben’s ability to make complex material understandable to students in the classroom as well as his willingness to work many hours outside of class to help students develop their own entrepreneurial ideas and further their entrepreneurial plans.
In addition to time spent mentoring individual students, Dr. Ebben is the founder of a group called Practicing Entrepreneurs that meets weekly and provides a forum for UST entrepreneurs to flesh out their ideas and brainstorm solutions to current business problems. The nominator wrote, “Jay challenges students at Practicing Entrepreneurs to stretch their thinking and apply principles learned in the classroom. Everyone in the group has some sort of different knowledge specialty and Jay does a fantastic job encouraging each person’s viewpoint in order to contribute positively towards a creative thought process.”
It is Dr. Ebben’s “ability to effectively engage students, challenge thought processes and blend classroom concepts with professional application” that contributed richly to the student’s learning at St. Thomas.
Dr. Ebben received his M.B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on new venture strategy and finance and has been published in premier academic journals including the Journal of Business Venturing and Strategic Management Journal.
About the Award
Award winners will be announced in May each year. Recipients will
- Receive a $1,000 award and 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 invited to participate in a panel in the annual Opus College of Business teaching workshop in the year following their award
- Be a member of the selection committee for two years to elect future winners of the award.