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Jindal School Honors Exceptional Students, Staff, Faculty and Alumni

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The Naveen Jindal School of Management recognized 18 exceptional students, alumni, professors and staff members for their continued commitment to business education at the second annual OWLIE Awards ceremony on April 12.

Nearly 80 students, faculty and alumni were nominated for the 18 awards that were presented at the event, hosted by the Jindal School and its Dean’s Council in honor of Wise, a statue of an owl created by Dallas artist Brad Oldham. The mirrored stainless steel owl, just over three feet tall, was installed in JSOM’s courtyard in fall 2014.

OWLIE stands for Outstanding Worthy Leaders Involved Exceptionally.

“The OWLIE Awards acknowledge the accomplishments and achievements of individuals whose exemplary endeavors have enriched the Jindal School of Management. And this is exactly what we need to do to honor the best of JSOM,” said the school’s namesake alumnus Naveen Jindal (MBA ’92)in a videotaped message that kicked off the program.

“These awards are a great way to celebrate our students. The best thing about them is that they are managed by students and they recognize students and student leadership and faculty and staff members who go out of their way to help our students,” said Dr. Hasan Pirkul, Jindal School dean and Caruth Chair of Management.

A surprise award was given to Pirkul, who is celebrating his 20th year as dean of the school as the Jindal School celebrates its 40th anniversary. The Dean’s Council students created a video and an award that recognized Pirkul for his work in growing the school both in size and quality since beginning his tenure in 1996.

And the 2016 OWLIE Awards go to …

JSOM Faculty Idol

Shawn Alborz, Dean Pirkul and John Barden

Top honors — the JSOM Faculty Idol award — went to BS in Accounting Program Director John Barden for undergraduates and Associate Dean Dr. Shawn Alborz for graduate students.

This award honors faculty for excellence in teaching and advising and for efforts that have contributed to enhancing Jindal School students’ learning experience.

“I don’t need to tell the students who sit in this room the incredible contribution of all of our faculty idol finalists. They are here when the sun comes up and they are here when the sun goes down. Despite the fact that American Idol is over, the Jindal Idol will continue because of the example that these individuals have set,” said Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Programs Dr. Monica Powell, who along with Undergraduate Student Services Coordinator Nick Hinojosa, hosted the OWLIE Awards this year.

Another highly anticipated award was the:

JSOM Student Organization of the Year

Representatives from student organizations INFORMS (left) and IAS (right) accept their OWLIE awards.

INFORMS and the Intelligence and Analytics Society (IAS) student chapter were selected from seven organizations nominated for the JSOM Student Organization of the Year award.

This award recognizes the student organization that has made a significant contribution to the school and student body through service, programming and activities.

Jindal Master Mentor

Monica Brussolo

Dr. Monica Brussolo, senior lecturer in operations management won the Jindal Master Mentor award.

This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence in mentoring, supporting, encouraging and promoting the educational, professional and personal development of Jindal School students.




JSOM’s Amazing Alum

Nisha Dugar

Nisha Dugar (MS ’14), who majored in information technology and management, took the Jindal School’s Amazing Alum award.

The honor is presented to a Jindal School alum who has distinguished her or himself through excellence in supporting JSOM students and achievements.








JSOM’s PhD Student of the Year

Hoyoun Kyung

Hoyoun Kyung, a management science major with an accounting concentration, was chosen as the school’s PhD Student of the Year.

This award is presented to an outstanding Jindal School PhD student who has demonstrated excellence in all aspects of the PhD program.





JSOM Grad Face of the Year

Gaurav Shekhar

Gaurav Shekhar, an information technology and management major, was chosen as JSOM’s Grad Face of the Year.

This honor acknowledges a well-rounded JSOM student who has successfully balanced academic excellence with substantial accomplishments in extra-curricular activities.




JSOM Undergraduate Face of the Year

Alfredo De La Cruz

Alfredo De La Cruz, a business administration major, won the JSOM Undergraduate Face of the Year award.

The award acknowledges a well-rounded JSOM student who has successfully balanced academic excellence with substantial accomplishments in extra-curricular activities.




JSOM’s Student Worker or TA of the Year

Xiao Zhang

Xiao Zhang, a management science PhD candidate, won JSOM’s Student Worker or TA of the Year award.

This award honors a Jindal School student worker or teaching assistant who has displayed an exemplary level of commitment and dedication.








Jindal Brand Ambassador

Sara Valles (undergraduate)
Ramkumar Muthukumar
Saumya Sethi

Sara Valles, a business administration major, was named undergraduate Jindal School Brand Ambassador.

Ramkumar Muthukumar, a supply chain management major; and Saumya Sethi, a business analytics major, were named graduate Jindal School Brand Ambassadors.

This award recognizes individuals who boost the Jindal School brand outside the school by being a representative for the school in the community and corporate world.

JSOM Community Champion

Nishiganda Chaudhari

Nishiganda Chaudhari, an information technology and management major, was named JSOM’s Community Champion.

This award recognizes volunteer efforts and community impact of individuals from the Jindal School.





Jindal Future CEO

Artie Goldman

Artie Goldman, a senior business administration major concentrating in healthcare management and beginning master's coursework in business analytics, was named Jindal School Future CEO.

The award is given to an individual who demonstrates the capacity to lead others and has displayed commitment to individual growth and the growth of others.




JSOM Selfless Heart

Nina Rafiq

Nina Rafiq, a master’s of business administration major, was chosen as the Jindal School’s Selfless Heart.

This award recognizes an individual who has won hearts through their selfless acts of service.





Jindal Staff Award

Gaby Mokry

Gaby Mokry, social media specialist for the school, won the Jindal Staff Award.

The award honors a JSOM staff member who has displayed an exemplary level of commitment and dedication to supporting students, faculty members and the school.





JSOM Student Organization Leader

Jason Fry 
Lohit Singh

Jason Fry (left photo next to Dean Pirkul), an MS in healthcare management major; and Lohit Singh (right photo next to Dean Pirkul), an information technology and management graduate student, were named JSOM Student Organization Leaders.

This award recognizes a leader of a registered JSOM student organization who has demonstrated a high level of leadership ability through character, work ethic and involvement in the Jindal School.

Other special awards went to Powell, Dr. Marilyn Kaplan, associate dean of undergraduate programs; Lori Snitzer, administrative assistant; and Sarah Henry, undergraduate student services coordinator. 

Jill Glass

l Glass is a communications manager at the Naveen Jindal School of Management. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Southern Methodist University and is a former newspaper and TV reporter. She has two children: a junior at UT Austin and a fifth grader at Prairie Creek Elementary in Richard Read more articles

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