Section Menu

Julie Hays Teaching Award

Each year, the college awards the Julie Hays Teaching Award in honor of Dr. Julie Hays. Dr. Hays was a member of St. Thomas’ Decision Sciences Department (now Operations and Supply Chain Management) and was vice chair of the Opus College of Business faculty. She died suddenly on November 11, 2007.

A native of St. Paul, Hays earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota, an M.B.A. from St. Thomas in 1982 and a Ph.D. in operations and management science from the University of Minnesota. She taught courses in operations management and statistics at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Her research focused on service quality and service operations management, including research on service guarantees that was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Hays also was involved in research related to pedagogy, teaching and learning, and published articles in academic and practitioner journals. She received the 1998 Juran Fellowship award from the Juran Center for Leadership in Quality at the University of Minnesota. Along with Dan McLaughlin, director of the Center for Health & Medical Affairs at UST, she published Healthcare Operations Management (Health Administration Press, 2008).

The Julie Hays Teaching Award was proposed by the Opus College of Business teaching committee as a means of honoring Dr. Hays by recognizing faculty members who exemplify her commitment to teaching and learning.

“UST is a teaching university where faculty research is also valued.  Julie Hays exemplified the values we share as scholar-teachers,” says Dean Christopher Puto. “This award is designed to recognize the high caliber of teaching embodied in our commitment to students.”

Reflections from Her Colleagues

What I miss most about Julie is her infectious laugh, her wonderful sense of humor and her ability to be all things to all people.

Professionally, she was well respected. She was a workaholic, loved being a professor, and she was a gifted scholar. As a colleague, her friendship made our workplace seem like "home" - like a family. She was always cracking jokes; she loved to see people smile. I laugh whenever I think about the day I told her about the Web site. She thought it was a riot and conspired to anonymously "rate" both of us with hot chili peppers.

In any event, I was privileged to hear about her "real" family on a regular basis. She was incredibly proud of her children. In particular, I remember she spent an entire weekend sewing Jessie's bridesmaid dresses, just to make them right. It didn't matter how long it took, the love she poured into each and every task for her family was readily apparent.

She was sweet, funny, sensitive, and caring. I think that as a professor, our "real" families do not realize how much time we spend with our colleagues and how much their friendships are valued. Julie was a wonderful friend. She could light up a room with that smile. We miss her.

--Dawn Swink, Associate Professor, Ethics & Business Law Department

Julie and I both taught core courses in the full-time UST MBA program when it was getting started. We attended many of the same meetings. I think of Julie as a great teacher. She was unabashedly enthusiastic about her students. She wanted her students to learn and succeed, and would try interesting classroom techniques to make learning fun.

Julie was also creative with the English language. She could make up funny words that were perfect for the conversation taking place. At one meeting, we were discussing our concerns that students might access unauthorized sources of information if exams were given on the computer. Julie summarized our worries by declaring that we needed "uncheatuponable" exams. And that, indeed, was the point of the discussion.

Julie was a wonderful friend and colleague. I am happy to have known her.

--Diane Matson, Associate Professor, Accounting Department

As you may know Julie and I worked for two year on a textbook [published in May 2008].

My remembrance of this work was that of a wonderful, collaborative and creative working relationship. At one point the acquisitions editor at the publisher said she only wanted to publish textbooks by ops faculty as we were so organized, met deadlines and did quality work.

 I have one specific memory of how tenacious Julie was. When we completed the first draft of the book it was sent out for review. Some of the reviews were critical and suggested the book was not well organized. So Julie showed up one day in my office with her arms laden with about a dozen operations management textbooks. We laid them all out on the floor and looked at each book's table of contents, “Aha!”  Julie said, “What we need are ‘sections’ that organize the chapters.” So that is what we added, made a few other changes and additions and sent it back out for reviews. These next reviews were very strong… Hopefully, the book will be a tribute to Julie for many years to come.

I will forever miss Julie's smile, enthusiasm, and sense of humor.

--Dan McLaughlin, Director, Center for Health & Medical Affairs

"Batter Up." When I think of Julie, that phrase instantly comes to my mind. Why? No matter what the issue, Julie was always ready to "step up to the plate.” As a department chair, Julie was a God-send. When she was in my department, Julie never hesitated when asked to serve on a committee. In fact, if I said "Can anyone…" Julie would often say "sure" before I could finish the sentence.  She was always upbeat and positive in her attitude, which helped to get me through those down days. If you were to define a great colleague, Julie fit the description – perfectly.

--Phil Anderson, Professor and Chair, Management Department

Julie started teaching at St. Thomas the year after me. Her office was right next door, even after we both got to move to window offices. We have shared so much. We taught in the UST MBA core at the same time, we co-authored an article together and we laughed together.

I miss her laugh the most. It was wonderful to hear and I heard it often. She also made me laugh so many times - especially when we wrote a skit for the MBA follies. We shamelessly plagiarized Jeopardy with "MBAs in Jeopardy." Julie played contestant Miss Ima Ditz, former prom queen and top female student at Podunk High School. When asked how she ended up in the UST MBA, she giggled "I don't know, my mom signed me up." She came up with most of the questions and answers, drawing on her knowledge of the students and events during their time at St. Thomas. Her costume was patterned after Mimi on the Drew Carey Show. When she walked on stage, in heels, with fishnet stockings, tons of makeup and loads of beads, one of the students yelled out "Dr. Hays, you're HOT!"

Julie also had a serious side. Her organization was a major reason why our paper with Kathy Combs, John Wendt and Sharon Gibson was published. She took on the lead role and kept pushing us to rewrite and resubmit. She also managed to find the journal that finally accepted the paper.

She was very caring and thoughtful about students. I often sought her advice to discuss issues involving students and how to best resolve them. I also used some of her games for my own classes. And we did a joint case when we were teaching in the MBA core together.

I also miss our lunches and talks. She would bring me up to date on the latest about Jessie, Jake or Abby and I would share stories about my own children who are so close in age. Or we would just chat and, of course, laugh. There was always something to laugh about.

--Jane Saly, Associate Professor and Chair, Accounting Department

Aside from the seemingly never ending supply of Legos and M & M's in her office, this is one of the things we used to do sharing offices next door to each other with paper thin walls, where the knocks really are on the wall!

Dawn: Knock, knock
Julie: Who's there?
Dawn: Daoin (Dawn with a New York Accent)
Julie: Daoin who?
Dawn: Daoin you know I can hear you?

I miss her sense of humor and grace. And I miss not hearing her through this wall. She was a wonderful friend and colleague and I think of her often.

--Dawn Elm, Professor, Ethics & Business Law Department

One can't say enough about Julie Hays. Her bright smile, her great personality, her wonderful humor. When she would come into the office she was always in a good mood, and it seemed she always had a funny story to tell about someone, or something. She was the professor who had all the toys from Legos to Tinker Toys & M&M's that she would haul off to class with her and we as the office support staff would ask her, "What do you do with all of that stuff"? We just couldn't imagine what she would use that kid stuff for teaching college students, but then again, you had to understand operations management.

The last great image I have of Julie is one day she came into the office to show Megan and me the helicopters she was working on for some kind of game for class. She stood on the chair in the office and proceeded to try and get the helicopters to work by holding them up high in the air and letting them go to see if they would twirl around properly to the ground. The third one was a charm! She was so excited to have one that finally worked. The only thing I could think of at the time was it must be really fun to be in her class and have all that interactivity.

That's a great way to learn!

I, as everyone else, will truly, truly miss her a lot!

--Maureen Murphy, Faculty Support

I have many fond memories of time spent with Julie. She was a wonderful colleague and friend. I remember how important her work as a teacher was to her. She brought a unique combination of knowledge, practical experience, enthusiasm, humility, and laughter to her students. She also was an impressive scholar, who contributed important work to her field.

Her work was important; yet family was everything to Julie. Every conversation I had with Julie confirmed how much she knew her priorities. I remember talking with her about my confusion over helping my son choose the best college for him. She offered sage advice and shared her adventures with her own three children - it will work out for the best, she said. And she was right.

I miss her humor the most. A fond memory is a simple one. Julie and I met in the hallway, both of us rushing to some next task. We stopped briefly to chat and ended up laughing over our mutual frustration with a particular classroom set-up.

I remember her great laugh and her way of putting things into perspective. She gave me the gift of a valuable lesson on how to live a great life.

--Pat Hedberg, Professor, Management Department

Julie was one of those professors who were always a pleasure to support. I learned so much from her. Many times she would sit at my desk to explain a project. It didn't matter what it was, it was just SO MUCH FUN sitting with her. I remember one time she could not come up with the name "scroll bar" as she was trying to show me something:  “You know the thingy on the side, where did it go?” So she said "Okay, we'll do it like this, go this way, go that way, just a little bit more," using her finger to point in the direction. It sounds like a small thing; she was an absolute delight and so much fun. I always enjoyed supporting Julie. I admired and appreciated her. I miss her.

--Britt Tany Wells, Faculty Support

When Julie first joined the faculty she seemed like a very nice but quiet addition - little did I realize how much she would add! I was looking for someone who could help me explore some labor statistics in the hopes that looking at things in a new way would provide us with something that would be publishable. Really, I was just fishing for some idea that might be publishable and thought that I would get to know Julie and maybe help her out towards tenure with a publication if it all worked out. Well, my article idea went nowhere but a wonderful friendship developed and I realized in that same time period that Julie would have no trouble getting tenure. She not only was a real contributor to the university and a good teacher, but she had a well developed research program and so she didn't need anyone's help to get tenure! She was a great addition, and she is a great loss as well.

--Sally Power, Professor, Management Department 

Thoughts about the wonderful Julie Hays.

I remember the first time I met Julie. She said, "Hi, I'm Julie. What do you do for fun around here?" I knew then and there, from that moment, it was going to be a fun ride!

We worked together on a number of projects, especially the student perception piece. Julie took the lead on it and Nancy Mulder called us the Big Four (Julie, Jane, Kathy and Sharon) and the Little One (me). I learned a lot on that project and she taught me a lot. I was supposed to write the conclusion. I did and gave it to her. Julie said, "Boy, you sure do write differently!" I didn't know if that was a compliment or not. She gave you good advice, but it was always constructive and with a good heart.

We talked a lot about sports and how proud she was of the kids and how frustrated she was with athletic and activities directors. "Don't they get it? Then why the heck are they in this game?"

She had such a great time teaching. After our paper was accepted Jane and George Saly kindly had us over to their house and Julie acted out the delights and challenges of working in the new classrooms. It was hilarious! She took her profession so seriously, but never took herself seriously. That's the mark of a great teacher!

I'm looking back and seeing that these thoughts have a lot of exclamation points. For me, that's perfect. All of Julie's life was an exclamation point….

--John Wendt, Associate Professor, Ethics & Business Law Department

Julie sat across the hall from me my first year at UST. We were both teaching in the Full-time UST MBA program and I went across the hall to ask advice many times.

Julie always had time for me and somehow managed to make me feel better about whatever problem I was talking to her about. I really missed her when she was on sabbatical and it was great to see her back in the hallway when she returned the next year. We both struggled to come up with something funny to do at the "follies" -- I remember sharing many laughs about that. I didn't get to work with Julie very long, but I'm grateful for the time we had.

--Mary Maloney, Assistant Professor, Management Department

I know Julie only through my interview process at UST, a few conference meetings prior to that, and my first few months at UST after I joined as a new faculty member last fall. But it is safe to claim that I have gotten to know Julie much better than I know some of my earlier colleagues for several years.

Julie had that uncanny ability to leave a lasting impression on anyone she met. Even though she was on sabbatical leave during my first few weeks at UST, she was always prompt in responding to my emails, and eager to chat on the phone, or come over to Food for Thought for lunch or coffee.

Julie was definitely a factor in my decision to join the faculty of UST, and I will forever wonder how much more productive I would have been if Julie were still amongst us.

--Sanjeev Bordoloi, Associate Professor, Operations and Supply Chain Management Department

I remember the full-of-life enthusiasm that Julie displayed in all of her professional responsibilities. And I particularly remember her sense of humor in the UST MBA follies! She will long be missed.

--Kenneth E. Goodpaster, Koch Endowed Chair in Business Ethics

During my time as a doctoral student in the OMS department at Carlson, I would hear stories about a previous student name Julie. A few years later, I had the pleasure of meeting Julie at a Decision Science Conference. I remember during our initial meeting how she openly discussed her doctoral student and faculty experiences with me and how she had me laughing throughout the entire conversation. When I entered the job market, Julie again made herself available (even though she was on sabbatical) to help me with any questions or concerns.

She is one of the reasons why I joined UST. I will never forget all the times she extended herself to mentor me during the beginning of my first semester at UST. Every time I prepare for my DSCI 301 course, I think of her, especially when I use the Legos! She is truly missed. In memory of her, I hope to one day extend myself to a junior faculty just as she did with me.

--Janine Sanders, Assistant Professor, Operations and Supply Chain Management Department

My favorite memories of Julie Hayes are the familiar ones. The sound of her laughter. Her direct, no nonsense way of making a point. That phrase she used unconsciously, "Well, yaaaa." ( ... especially the way she dragged out that yaaaa.)

She told delightful stories. She described her research as she approached it with enthusiasm and conviction that it mattered. I can still see her through the window of her office - there she is engaged in a serious conversation with a student, focused on that student and nothing else. Most of all, I remember how she talked about her life and how love of her family was at the center of all her important choices. I remember a beautiful woman, a bright and loving woman, a woman to admire. Julie Hayes. How could anyone forget her?

--Jeanne Buckeye, Associate Professor, Ethics & Business Law Department

Julie Hays was a great friend and a distinguished colleague. She had a very positive attitude towards life. Julie was very easy going and I can never forget her sense of humor. Julie was smart but truly down to earth. It was always refreshing to learn something new from her. I honestly believe our Department of Decision Sciences received a severe blow with her loss. She was indeed indispensable.

On many occasions, we used to talk about our teen-age (and beyond) lovely children. She typically would ask "How are the kitties?" meaning my daughters and son. Julie would go with many of us in the Department, to Annual Decision Science Institute conferences. We used to attend Minnesota dinner and indeed what a great fun we all used to have in such get-togethers. She was actively involved in recruiting our new faculty colleagues. Her wisdom, judgment and expertise in such matters were extremely valuable and appreciated by others in the Department and the College of Business. We all were looking forward to her becoming our new department chair in July 2008. It was so sad for all of us when it did not materialize. I can understand the pain and agony, Kevin, the beloved children, Julie's siblings, other relatives and many of her friends must be going through. Every day and each time I pass by her office, I think of a person who touched many of our lives through her humility, dedication, sincerity and enormous contribution to our University and Society. We will miss her and she will always be in our prayers. I am very grateful to almighty to be associated with such a distinguished colleague and a friend for five years, who was so kind, generous and caring.

--Sam Kumar, Professor and Qwest Endowed Chair in Global Communications and Technology Management, Operations and Supply Chain Management Department

I still can imagine Julie in our midst. I think she must be organizing things for us from heaven. Certainly she was the most efficient and hard working coauthor I have ever had, with a sense of humor to boot. Meetings with Julie were always fun because she seemed to get serious work done without taking any difficulties too seriously. I remember walking into her office on occasion to ask if she had a copy of this paper or that. She would always know right where it was, and in general was one step ahead of everyone else. How in the world did she do that? On top of that she was an incredibly nice colleague who created so much positive energy you just wanted to hang around her. I will fondly remember conversations with her about academics and life in general. I am so proud that I was on the search committee that recommended hiring Julie.

--Kathy Combs, Professor of Business Economics, Finance Department

Julie was energetic, funny and brilliant all at the same time. We both were on sabbatical last year. One of my fondest memories of Julie was how she succinctly and humorously described our similar feelings on being back on campus! She relished every minute of her sabbatical but the minute she stepped back into the classroom she embraced the excitement of the new academic year. I was always happy to see her and hear her funny anecdote of the day. I miss her happy disposition.

--Mary Daugherty, Associate Professor, Finance Department

Having started at St. Thomas at about the same time, Julie and I shared many experiences together. She was always someone that I could go to for advice and counsel - or just to share a laugh at the everyday craziness that goes on in the classroom or in day-to-day organizational life!

One of Julie's gifts was sharing who she was while, at the same time, valuing others. It was a joy (and always a lot of fun) to work with her. It was through her perseverance that a paper that she, Jane, John, Kathy, Bill, and I had worked on for years actually got published (after numerous rejections from various journals).

She shared her knowledge with incredible generosity of spirit. She impacted my life in countless ways - providing a great model of collaboration and care to which I aspire as a faculty member.

Julie and I even collaborated on purchasing our academic robe that faculty wear at commencement and other official occasions. We decided to "job-share" the robe, since normally Julie attended the undergraduate commencement, and I attended the graduate one. So, we agreed to purchase one for both of us, and whoever needed it would wear it. On the occasion where we both needed the robe on the same day, I looked forward to hooking up with Julie amidst the throng of graduation attendees to "swap" the robe. I am honored to be able to continue wearing the robe for both of us at future graduations. In that way, I can both remember and honor her for all of us at UST.

I most remember Julie for her unique ability to shed light on all of those around her. I recall with delight her smile, her sense of humor, her collegiality, her friendship, and her generosity of spirit. She was truly the best as a faculty member and as a human being.

--Sharon Gibson - School of Education faculty

Over the years I had the pleasure of working on developing course materials for the class called Decision Analysis. I think the two things that I will remember most about Julie are:

1. How extremely proud she was of her three children, and;
2. Her ability to always gracefully tell me “you’re wrong,” but then I would say, “No I'm right.” Then we had some great discussions, but I never felt that either of us ever went away thinking lesser of the other. We were truly fortunate to have someone like her in our lives.

--Tom Ressler, Associate Professor, Operations and Supply Chain Management Department

Section Menu