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Cox and Hyatt Receive Teaching Awards

BOONE–Eva M. Hyatt, an associate professor in Appalachian State University’s Department of Marketing, and Don R. Cox, an associate professor in the Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance, are the university’s recipients of a UNC Board of Governors’ Award for Excellence.

Hyatt has received a $1,500 cash prize and Cox has received a $1,000 cash prize.

In May, Tom McGowan from the Department of English was honored as one of 16 professors receiving the board’s system wide Award for Excellence in Teaching. McGowan received a commemorative bronze medallion and a $7,500 cash prize.

The awards are part of a program established in 1994 by the UNC Board of Governors to recognize excellence in teaching at the undergraduate level.

Hyatt joined the Appalachian faculty in 1990. She encourages students to be creative and collaborate in the learning environment in order to have more personal investment in her courses.

“Dr. Hyatt has established herself as one of the best educators in the department,” wrote chairman Unal Boya. “Her dedication to student learning is admirable. The comments from her students make it very clear that they learn a lot in her classes. Nothing can be a better indicator of her teaching performance than the fact that students constantly seek her classes.”

Hyatt says, “I strive to create a comfortable learning environment by attempting to establish an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect between myself and the students.”

Students also praise Hyatt’s approach to teaching. “Dr. Hyatt is so interesting I believe I learned more in this class than I have in 12 years of schooling,” wrote one student. “This class allowed me to think for myself. It also encouraged me to offer my thoughts and opinions,” wrote another student in an end-of-course evaluation. “She is able to relate to students like I’ve never seen a professor do. She knows her stuff, but (presents it) on a student level so they will understand,” commented another.

Hyatt continues to develop her teaching skills through workshops and conferences that focus on teaching.

Hyatt earned a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, a MBA from Louisiana State University and Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina.

Her research interests include product symbolism, consumer stereotyping, public policy issues, children and consumer socialization and gender issues.

Her work has been published in the Journal of Food Products Marketing, The Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Journal of Marketing Communications, Journal of Business Research and the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing.

She also is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, including the Society for Marketing Advances Conference; the Gender, Marketing and Consumer Behavior Conference; Association for Consumer Research Conference; and the Southern Marketing Association.

Cox has been a member of Appalachian’s faculty since 1993.

He views teaching as an interactive process between teachers and students in which students develop the life-long learning skills needed to function in a dynamic world.

“While I seek to help students build specific knowledge about finance, it is even more important for me to help them develop critical thinking skills, to get them excited and motivated about learning, to improve their interpersonal and communication skills and to encourage them to develop other personal skills and competencies that can make them more successful in life,” Cox writes in his teaching philosophy. “To be a successful teacher, I too, must be an active learner.”

Students in Cox’s classes comment on his enthusiasm in the classroom, his knowledge of the material he presents and accessibility outside the classroom.

“Other professors should come to a few sessions of a class taught by Dr. Cox and take notes on how to be an effective professor,” wrote one student in a class evaluation.

“He made me think and taught me what I didn’t understand,” wrote another student.

“This is a real hard subject for me,” wrote one student. “Dr. Cox makes himself available other than class time to help you go over the material.”

Cox received the Walker College of Business Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2000 and was nominated for the Student Government Association’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 1997.

Cox earned his master’s in business administration from Georgia State University and a doctorate in finance from Florida State University.

His research has focused on financial market behavior, market efficiency, security valuation and corporate finance. He has taught in the areas of investments, corporate finance, international finance, financial services and markets.

His work has been published in the Journal of Economics and Finance, Journal of Financial Research, Quarterly Journal of Business and Economics, Journal of Financial Planning and Journal of Business and Economic Perspectives.

He also has presented papers at the Financial Management Association Annual Meeting and the Southern Finance Association Annual Meeting.