1000 x 90

ASU Business Faculty Honored with Sywassink Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Service

Jim Westerman, left, Karen Epermanis, Tom Will and Mike Dotson are the 2012 recipients of the Sywassink Faculty Awards for Excellence, awarded by the Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University. (Photo by Marie Freeman)

June 21, 2012. Four Appalachian State University faculty members in the Walker College of Business have received the college’s 2012 Sywassink Award for Excellence. 

Dr. Jim Westerman received the award for teaching. Dr. Mike Dotson was honored for his research contributions. The award for excellence in service was presented to Dr. Karen Epermanis. Dr. Tom Will was honored as the outstanding non-tenure track faculty member.

The awards are presented annually during the Sywassink Day of Excellence. Winners receive a monetary prize and a bronze medallion of the university seal. The awards are made possible by a contribution from G.A. Sywassink, CEO of Standard Holding Company.

Jim Westerman is a professor in the Department of Management, where he teaches courses in organizational behavior, human resource management, business ethics, leadership and motivation, compensation and strategic management. 

Westerman received a UNC Board of Governors award for teaching from Appalachian for 2011-2012. He also was honored with the Walker College’s Excellence in Research Award in 2009 and has held the Duane D. Daggett Professorship of Management in the Walker College since 2008.

Westerman earned a Bachelor of Science and a master’s in business administration from Florida State University and received his Ph.D. in management from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Westerman joined the faculty at Appalachian in 2005 after teaching at the University of Nevada, Reno for two years and Western State College of Colorado for six. 

Research award recipient Mike Dotson is a professor in the Department of Marketing.

Dotson’s research interests include marketing analysis, retail, advertising, consumer preference, the hospitality industry and the nursing sector. He has published more than 40 journal articles and regularly presents at regional and national conferences.

Dotson serves as a member of the editorial review board for the International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing and as committee chair for the Atlantic Marketing Association. 

Dotson joined the faculty at Appalachian in 1983. Before coming to Appalachian, Dotson taught at Mississippi State University and worked in sales management for Philip Morris Furniture Company.

He earned his BSBA and MBA degrees from Nicholls State University and his doctor of business administration degree from Mississippi State University.

Karen Epermanis, an associate professor in the Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance, was recognized for her service.

Epermanis joined the Walker College of Business faculty in 2006. Prior to teaching at Appalachian, Epermanis was an assistant professor at the University of Mississippi and the University of Hartford and previously worked in the risk management field as a director and manager for large corporate entities.

Epermanis served as president of both the Southern Risk and Insurance Association and the Risk Management Research Council, and currently serves as vice president for the Western Risk and Insurance Association. She serves as a faculty supervisor for honors thesis students and leads or participates in various college-level committees. Epermanis is involved with the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center in the Walker College and also serves as the faculty advisor for the Risk Management and Insurance Society at Appalachian.

Epermanis earned a bachelor’s degree in risk management and insurance from the University of Georgia, a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Tulsa and a Ph.D. in finance from the University of South Carolina. 

The recipient of the non-tenure track faculty award, Tom Will, is a lecturer in the Department of Management and serves as the entrepreneur in residence for the Walker College of Business.

Will was CEO of InterCom Corp. from 1987 to 2008 and of Latcom Inc. from 1979 to 2005.

Among other public service, Will serves as a member of the Board of Advisors for the U.S. District Export Council, through which he works to assist North Carolina companies in creating jobs and expanding to international exports.

Will has previously served the local community as a program organizer for Watauga County Economic Development and as a member of a task force for Economic Development in Boone, enhancing employment opportunities to the High Country.

Will received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.