The Sy Syms School of Business Establishes Two New Faculty Awards

Research and teaching are the core functions of every university’s faculty. Therefore, universities understand the importance of recognizing those who excel at those activities. This is the impulse behind the establishment of two new awards at the Sy Syms School of Business, the Pava-Ravid Research Prize and the Dean’s Award for Teaching Innovation and Excellence.


Pava-Ravid Research Prize

Dr. Henry Huang
Dr. Henry Huang

The Pava-Ravid Research Prize was established this year following an initiative by Dr. Noam Wasserman, dean of Sy Syms, to offer teaching and research awards to faculty members who excel in teaching and in research. For the first year of the award, Dr. Moses Pava, dean emeritus of Sy Syms, and Dr. S. Abraham Ravid, chair of the finance department, donated money toward the award.

This year the prize was awarded to Dr. Henry Huang of the Sy Syms Accounting Department, who joined Sy Syms in 2013 and recently assumed directorship of the Master of Science in Accounting program.

Dr. Huang published three papers in top journals in the 2018-2020 period, in three different areas, exemplifying his multidisciplinary approach to studying real-world problems.

  • “Do banks price firms’ data breaches?” is pending publication in Accounting Review
  • “Do banks price independent directors’ attention?” in Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis (2018)
  • With Dr. Joseph Kerstein (also of Sy Syms): “The impact of climate risk on firm performance and financing choices: An international comparison” in Journal of International Business Studies (2018)

“We hope that this prize will further encourage scholars to embark on the path to high-impact published research that shapes our knowledge of the world and that our faculty experts can bring into the classroom as they teach our students,” said Dr. Wasserman.


Dean’s Award for Teaching Innovation and Excellence

Dr. Jannine Lasaleta

The Dean’s Award for Teaching Innovation and Excellence was established through the generosity of Avram Blumental, Sy Syms chairman of the Board of Overseers, and his wife, Sharon. It is awarded to the person(s) who developed and implemented the best innovation in pedagogy in a course at Sy Syms during 2020.

This year’s Dean’s Award for Teaching Innovation was awarded to Dr. Jannine Lasaleta of the Sy Syms Marketing department. Dr. Lasaleta teaches Principles of Marketing, Science of Influence in Marketing, and Buyer Behavior.  Her prolific research focuses on how nostalgia affects consumer attitudes, behaviors, and choices across social, political and cultural contexts. She also examines the motivation for money, product choice, and hedonic consumption.

Dr. Lasaleta’s teaching innovation was a research-grounded method she called Identification, Explanation, and Insight. The method uses a combination of podcasts and other class materials to get students to identify marketing concepts, explain their function and relate their insights to their prior learning. Using the innovation, students have been able to apply the concepts they are learning in class to the audio case studies selected by Dr. Lasaleta. Her goal was to “create an evolving, engaging, and free teaching tool for traditional and online classes using a medium congenial to our students.”

Honorable Mention

Honorable mention was awarded to Moshe Bellows and Bruce Taragin, adjunct professors of venture capital (VC) and entrepreneurship.  Profs. Bellows and Taragin are co-general partners of Maccabee Ventures, an early-stage VC fund separate from but affiliated with YU. In the fund, YU students perform due diligence, strategic research, competitive analysis, financial modeling, and founder and investor relations. The Teaching Innovation Committee singled out one part of the course for honorable mention: When the students prepared and presented the annual limited-partners meeting for the fund, a perfect capstone to the unique and very practical experience of being VCs who invest actual dollars in real companies.