STAR Award Winners


Muku Santhanakrishnan, Clinical Professor of Finance, and Associate Director of the MSF Program at Cox
Muku engaged with the Business Library principally through the MSF program. He was instrumental in advocating for students to utilize library resources even before they begin their classes via workshops designed specifically for the Master of Finance program. This year, Muku recognized the need to pivot from the Bloomberg Basics workshops to one designed for FactSet. Since a standalone workshop had not existed for this resource, Muku worked with Business Librarians to identify the elements that were important in addressing students’ needs with respect to proficiency on this business resource. The result was a Business Library FactSet Fundamentals workshop that was successfully delivered to the incoming MSF students and will be a staple of workshop offerings in the Business Library during the regular semester.


Hilary McIlvain, Adjunct Professor, Edwin L. Cox BBA Business Leadership Institute

Hilary has been instrumental in advocating for students to utilize library resources to develop next level research and career management skills through engaging with the Business Library through the BLI class series. She has embraced Business Library and career management workshop sessions as a way for students to learn how to employ the Library’s company, industry, and market resources to boost their skills beyond the classroom. Hilary’s engagement has been critical in displaying this important career information to students at the beginning of their Cox experience and encouraging them to think holistically about their career path.


David Jacobson, Executive Director Online Education and Professor of Practice

David engaged with the Business Library the moment he came to the Cox School of Business. He was instrumental in embedding Business Library tutorials into Canvas for the OMBA program. Since that time he has sought out opportunities to include a library research component in his graduate courses. In Spring 2021, he and Sandy Miller were awarded an SMU Libraries Information Literacy Stipend to develop a three-pronged research plan for the Complex Problem Solving course. While the initial focus for the research plan is the OMBA course in Fall 2021, this material can be utilized by all Cox graduate students and others as well.


Greg Sommers, Professor of Practice and Director, Master of Science in Accounting Program

Greg has collaborated with the Business Library on both the graduate and undergraduate levels to engage students with library resources and research skills. As Director of the Master of Science in Accounting Program (MSA), Greg has always been supportive of the contributions made by the Business Library to help students succeed in the accounting curriculum. He strongly encourages the MSA students to contact us for assistance during every orientation. Undergraduate students complete the BBA Library Research Program which is designed to have a connected course and assignment for each major. In 2019, Greg volunteered to create an appropriate assignment for accounting majors, and integrate it into the ACCT II course. This was needed to replace the previous assignment in the Audit course due to changes in the curriculum. The ACCT II course is required for both Accounting and Finance students, resulting in an even larger reach with this valuable learning experience than previously achieved.


James Linck, Professor and Distinguished Chair in Finance

Since Executive MBAs meet in the Collins Center on Fridays and Saturdays and are rarely on campus outside of class time, they often don’t experience all the resources available through the Business Library. When Jim began teaching the EMBA course, BA 6323 Business Finance, in Spring 2016, he wanted to give his students the opportunity to use the Bloomberg terminals. He worked with the Business Library and Don Shelly to arrange optional sessions fairly late in the semester. Many of his students attended these workshops. His response to this training was, “I got great feedback in afternoon from morning class. I think I will want to implement it as a required activity next year, run them all through.”

Each year since then, a required 90 minute class session early in the semester is spent learning Bloomberg Basics with a business librarian and then applying Bloomberg functions to a case with Don Shelly. These students are grateful for the chance to use the Bloomberg terminals and some go on to complete the Bloomberg Market Concepts certification program. Knowledge of what Bloomberg offers allows the students to utilize this information in later classes such as Mergers and Acquisitions.


Marci Armstrong, Brierley Endowed Professor of Marketing

Even when Marci was an administrator who only taught one class at a time, she ensured that her graduate students used library resources when researching their company and industry by requesting a curated list of databases for their assignment. When she added MKTG 3342 to her schedule this year, she immediately contacted the business librarians to work with her on developing the class project. This ensured that the students received the information needed for doing market research in general as well as for the specific course project. She actively participated during the library presentation for the class, demonstrating the importance of these resources and doing quality research.


Neil Bhattacharya, Associate Professor of Accounting

Neil has been a frequent collaborator with the Business Library. In years past, the MBA ACCT 6210 class received joint instruction by Neil and a business librarian on applying the WRDS database to their studies. Most recently, while teaching BBA ACCT 5317, Neil saw the quality of assignments being turned in was lacking. He reached out to the Business Library to conduct a research presentation and saw marked improvement the following term.


Julian Kolev, Assistant Professor of Strategy
Teaches capstone Strategy classes in which students, in his words, “undertake a research project covering an industry (as a group) and a publicly-traded company (as individuals), focusing on using the tools of strategy to analyze the competitive setting and make specific recommendations to improve performance. To do so, students will need to be able to access a wide range of Business Library data sources, using them to support their arguments while including proper citations in their papers and presentations.” This statement captures the three main information literacy objectives: access/use; analyze to support arguments; cite properly.


Don Shelly, Lecturer, Department of Finance
Teaches Portfolio Theory classes for BBA and Cox Graduate students, which require effective use of databases such as Bloomberg in order to select holdings for the Ann Rife Cox and Nancy Chambers Underwood Endowment Funds. Don consults the librarians regularly concerning optimal use of the financial databases.

Simon Mak, Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship
Teaches Entrepreneurship classes in which students learn to use a variety of sources to assess ideas and create viable business plans. Simon assists in the format and upkeep of the Entrepreneurship Research Guide to ensure it is relevant for student learning.