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Meet the Award Recipients

Award winners are 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.


Christopher Michaelson is David A. and Barbara Koch (pronounced "coach") Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics and Social Responsibility at the University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business. As a scholar and business advisor, he explores how meaning and purpose in life and at work can improve our own and others' lives. Throughout his career, Christopher has built bridges between scholarship and practice. After earning his Ph.D. in philosophical ethics and aesthetics from the University of Minnesota in 1997, he helped launch a business ethics advisory practice, which became part of a global risk consulting network, in the New York office of a Big Four firm. He served on the editorial boards of ten CEO surveys and as the firm's Strategy Officer to the World Economic Forum on projects examining the role of business in society. A few years into his consulting career, Christopher took a full-time lectureship at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania while keeping a foot in practice. In 2005, he joined the Business and Society faculty of the New York University Stern School of Business, on which he has remained since moving home to Minneapolis in 2006. He came to St. Thomas in 2008 and is also an affiliate faculty member of the University of Minnesota's Center for Bioethics. He is the Humanities and Business Ethics Section Editor of the Journal of Business Ethics, on the editorial board of the Academy of Management Learning & Education, and on the Executive Committee of the International Society of Business, Economics, and Ethics.


The 2017 Julie Hays Teaching Award recipient, Prof. Stephanie Grimm, joined the University of St. Thomas faculty in 2009. Prof. Grimm teaches core and elective accounting courses to undergraduate and graduate audiences. Her teaching utilizes active learning with applied assignments to develop critical thinking. Her courses incorporate innovative and creative learning activities such as learning logs to develop writing competencies, a course project requiring students to consider the common good of sustainability in the context of managerial accounting, and case studies to illustrate how accounting influences company and investor behavior. Her passion for teaching and accounting, are appreciated by her students as evidenced by the following nominating statement:

  Professor Grimm created a classroom atmosphere that promoted unparalleled enthusiasm. She even accomplished this while teaching what many students describe as a dry topic; accounting. She instilled a unique team-learning atmosphere, moved around frequently throughout the room, and actively engaged with individual students throughout each and every classroom session. Professor Grimm was always open to class input on how to tailor her lessons to best reach us as an audience. Lastly, she was extremely flexible and open to meeting outside classroom hours for additional help or to discuss interests any time.  Professor Grimm embodies passion for both the topic of her expertise (accounting) and the student body itself.

Similar sentiments are echoed by additional nominators and throughout her course evaluations. It is clear that she has had a very positive impact on many students.

Prof. Grimm’s has shared her teaching innovations through her research in accounting education. She has published papers in Issues in Accounting Education, The Journal of Accounting Education, and Advances in Accounting Education. Her 2015 paper, Learning Logs: Incorporating Writing to Learn Assignments into Accounting Course earned the Teaching and Learning Curriculum Section’s Best Educational Paper Award at the 2014 American Accounting Association Midwest Region Meeting. She has also published papers on accounting quality and internal audit issues. Prof. Grimm is actively engaged in teaching and curriculum development as she serves on the Educating for the Future Strategic Planning Taskforce, the Opus College of Business Teaching Committee, and has worked closely with colleagues to propose and implement new managerial accounting electives for the MBA programs.

Prof. Grimm earned her PhD in Accounting and her Master’s in Accountancy from the University of Minnesota. She earned a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Boston University. Prior to pursuing her academic career, she worked as a Senior Analyst for the Michel-Shaked Group in Boston. She also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. 

2016 Recipient: Alec Johnson

Alec Johnson has published in entrepreneurship and strategy journals. His work focuses on entrepreneurial strategy and finance. He is active in developing case studies focused on opportunity identification, business models, entrepreneurial management and entrepreneurial finance.

In Jan. 2013, Johnson (along with his colleague James Ebben, Ph.D.) developed the innovative Lemonade Stand Class, which earned the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship(r) 2013 award for Special Recognition in Entrepreneurship Education Innovation. He is also a regular contributor to the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Saint Paul Pioneer Press. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

2015 Recipient: Phil Anderson

Phil Anderson has been teaching management at St. Thomas for more than 30 years. The excellence of his teaching reported by current students is echoed by former students as well. He is one of the 10 university faculty most frequently identified in alumni surveys as “one person at St. Thomas who had an impact on their student experience.”

“Phil Anderson really pushed us. He didn’t give us the answers, but guided us to find them,” one appreciative student said of the professor who taught his management and organization behavior course. Others described him as “awesome,” “excellent” and “my favorite teacher.” He is also described as approachable, understanding, encouraging and even “hilarious.” Anderson has a knack for connecting class content with real organizations – with how managers think – his students say. This, more than anything else, seems to define the memorable contributions that he has made to his students’ education.

Anderson’s teaching encompasses a wide variety of approaches, some of which are his own invention, others adopted, personalized and applied to meet his vision for a challenging classroom experience. His efforts include role play exercises, cases and video adaptations for the classroom. But he is also a developer and user of business simulations. In collaboration with several colleagues, Anderson has co-developed simulations used at St. Thomas and elsewhere. Simulations let students experience the dynamic nature of the marketplace by applying concepts, theories and multi-disciplinary strategies in the management of “actual” companies. The challenge is for company teams to make good decisions for their business, to outthink their competitors and finally to measure performance in the resulting gain or loss of market share and profits. One student sums up the value of the experience: “The simulation and team work enabled me to understand how all aspects of business work together and to better prepare me for the future.”

Perhaps the most substantive of Anderson’s accomplishments is his early role in the creation of study abroad experiences for business majors. His vision was key in the creation of the college’s popular and unfailingly successful London Business Semester experience, in which he is still active. For almost 20 years, students have vied for acceptance into the London Business Semester and many colleagues have also benefitted from teaching in the program. Students invariably praise his efforts when he leads the program for a semester. What he calls his “philosophy of concern for the whole student” is evident in the rich mix of experiences the program offers. Anderson continues to thrive on teaching in the London program because it allows (him) to spend extended time with students outside the classroom. “Much of my energy in these programs,” he says,” is focused on developing the students’ intercultural competence, personal self-confidence and sense of place in our global business world.”

2014 Recipient: Michael Naughton

In discussing Prof. Michael Naughton, a student writes that “this professor is a humble, dedicated teacher with a global reputation for excellence in teaching to both university students and to business leaders.  He stretches and challenges students in a Socratic way through difficult readings.”

The 2014 recipient of the Julie Hays Teaching Award, Prof. Michael Naughton, has taught in the UST Business Programs for 23 years.  He is the Director of the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought and the Alan W. Moss Endowed Chair in Catholic Social Thought.  He currently holds a joint appointment in the Business Law and Ethics department in the Opus College of Business and the Theology and Catholic Studies department in the College of Arts and Sciences.  

Prof. Naughton has taught a variety of courses including the “Great Books” course in the MBA program.  He developed a bridge course in the undergraduate program entitled the “Christian Faith and Management Professions” which integrates the humanities and business.  He says that students find the course interesting because of its explicit focus on integrating liberal and business learning, spirit and work, virtue and technique, faith and reason, etc.  In 2002, the course received the National Outstanding Course Award from the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. 

He has also organized two national seminars at University of Portland in 2012 and Ave Maria University in 2014 which generated curricular materials to help faculty provide for their students a deeper experience of integration within the classroom informed by the Catholic intellectual and social tradition, liberal education and ethical inquiry.  He also has published several articles in California Management Review, Journal of Catholic Higher Education, and Accounting Education in the Public Interest that are derived out of his passion for integrating theology and philosophy with business theory and practice. 

Because of his outstanding work, he has won several awards including being named the 2015 recipient of the Monika K. Hellwig Award for Outstanding Contributions to Catholic Intellection Life by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.

Prof. Naughton has been instrumental in the development, annual offering, and continuous improvement of courses at UST that deeply integrate elements of UST’s mission, UST’s liberal learning foundation, and disciplinary business knowledge.  He not only influences the students in these courses, but with team-teaching, mentoring, conference/seminar leadership, and curricular material development also impacts multiple students across other university programs and worldwide campuses with the blending of faith and work-life.

2013 Recipient: Heino Beckmann

The Opus College of Business is proud to announce Heino Beckmann, Ph.D., associate professor of finance, as the winner of the annual Julie Hays Teaching Award.

“As someone who views himself as a coach and mentor rather than a professor, Professor Beckmann pushes students intellectually, morally, and philosophically,” one student wrote.  One of the most interesting people I have ever met, he draws on his past experiences to not only teach us the subject, but to teach us how to become the best people we can be.”

Beckmann studied law at the University of Berlin in Germany, and won a Fulbright scholarship to study in the U.S., where he earned an M.A. in international relations and a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Pennsylvania. He returned to the Wharton School for post-doctoral studies in finance and then earned an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. He has been teaching in St Thomas’ Finance Department for 28 years. Prior to joining St. Thomas, he taught for 16 years in a variety of subject areas, including business law, constitutional law, comparative politics, international relations and economics at a number of institutions, including the College of St. Teresa in Winona, Minnesota, and Widener University in Pennsylvania. 

In a nominating letter one student describes Beckmann as a “person who truly believes in the art and discipline of education.”  Many others described him as tough and demanding, yet compassionate and nurturing.  His passion for teaching is “clear in every single class” a student noted. When describing a class, a nominator said “there are times in class when I feel more inspired than I have ever felt in my life."

Beckmann’s research interests are in international finance, in particular in the relationship between international politics and the management of multinational businesses. Most recently, he has focused on the European currency crisis. His work is mostly applied rather than academic.

Prof. Beckmann is the recipient of many awards and grants.  Furthermore, he continually receives comments noting him as one of the best professors in the Opus College of Business.  And as a testament to all that this teaching award embodies, he was one of the top 10 most mentioned professors in a recent alumni survey.

2012 Recipient: 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. 

2011 Recipient: 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.

2010 Recipient: 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.

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