2022 Faculty Excellence Award Winners: Professors Nelson, Horpedahl, Shaw, Burleson, Chen, & Schlachter

Each year the College of Business recognizes its outstanding faculty with awards. This year, four new awards were created to highlight the exceptional work of this faculty and to encourage continued excellence in the areas of societal impact, research, service, innovative teaching, engaged teaching, and an individual’s impact on the college itself.

(pictured from left to right, back: Schlachter, Chen, Nelson; front: Burleson, Horpedahl, Shaw)

COB Impact Award: Steve Nelson

This new award was created to recognize faculty or staff who have outsized impact on the success of the UCA College of Business. Professor Nelson’s work outside of the classroom is most often noticed by faculty. He has served as the Director of Assessment since 2016 and revamped data collection and improvement team communications. He is an outstanding communicator who helps all faculty understand what and when to assess, which contributes to continuous improvement of the college for our students.

Societal Impact Award: Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl

Dr. Horpedahl is the incoming Director of the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics (ACRE). Outside of the classroom, he is well known in the region for sharing his expert testimony with the Arkansas Legislature as well as with the general public in the newspaper and on television. On Twitter, he helps citizens understand how to tell fact from fiction and often dispels incorrect statistics and rumors. He is also a regular contributor to Economist writing every day. This new award was created to encourage societal impact such as Dr. Horpedahl’s impact on countless students and citizens.

Innovative Teaching Award: Steve Schlachter

Professor Schlachter was recognized because of his efforts to innovate in every one of the classes he teaches, whether face-to-face or online. His work sets an excellent example as the world of higher education attempts to find ways to engage students in- and outside of the classroom.

Engaged Teaching Award: Professor Cynthia Burleson

Professor Burleson is the Director of the Center for Insurance and Risk Management (IRM). She welcomes IRM professionals on a regular basis to help students gain experience and network within the industry. Burleson’s excellent work contributes to UCA’s IRM program, which remains the only IRM program in the region, and partnerships with employers are one reason why UCA has one of the most active internship programs in the state.

Excellence in Research Award: Dr. Alex Chen

Dr. Chen is known for his excellence in research. The quality and quantity of his published works are truly excellent, but he was recognized for this award because his focus is teaching others how to research well. Dr. Chen collaborates with other faculty and students in much of his work. In this past year, four of his articles that involved student collaborations underwent review, an achievement which helps his students stand out as they pursue employment and higher education opportunities.

Excellence in Service Award: Susan Shaw

Professor Shaw serves on committees doing work that is noticed by faculty, but her work coordinating the annual IT Careers Camp in partnership with Acxiom impacts high school students around Arkansas.  The event is a significant amount of work each year, and Susan does a fantastic job organizing the camp, which educates students about IT careers and encourages them to continue their education beyond high school.

E-Payment Use and Perceptions in Japan

Japan is one of the world’s most advanced and largest economies, yet lags behind in its use of e-payment and e-commerce.

In 2018, the Bank of Japan found only 18% of its citizens used e-payment systems. A recent study by three UCA College of Business professors and two students found that age and gender play a significant role in e-payment usage in Japan. The results, recently published in the Global Journal of Business Disciplines, showed males were more likely to use e-payment systems, as well as older residents.

Previous research has found several factors played a role in Japan’s slow adoption of e-payment, including the fact many local retailers and stores do not use or accept e-payment systems. Only 17% of Japan retail sales are made up by e-payment systems, compared to 85% in South Korea, 56% in Singapore and 35% in India.

The postponed 2020 Olympic Games, to be held in Tokyo, provide a new incentive for a faster adoption as millions will visit the country next summer and expect to be able to use e-payments to purchase goods and services. In 2017, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government estimated the games would create nearly $284 billion in economic benefits.

Three UCA College of Business professors — Alex Chen, Ph.D., professor of management; Steve Zeltmann, Ph.D., professor of management information systems; and Ken Griffin, Ph.D., former associate dean of the College of Business — and two students — Moe Ota and Risa Ozeki — examined perceptions of benefits, trust, security, ease of use, quality and competency and how they impact the use of e-payment systems in Japan.

When asked how frequently they use e-payment, 21.6% of respondents said they did not. Less than 15% used it more than 3 times a week and the average weekly use was 1.5. Incentives were shown to be most closely associated with increased e-payment use.

“One of our major findings is the relationship between gender and e-payment behavior,” Chen said. “Men were more likely to use e-payment systems than women in Japan.”

The study found older people were more likely to use e-payment than younger people.

“It is reasonable to assume older people in this group are more likely to have a full-time job and, perhaps, a higher income,” Chen said. “Since they probably spend more money and have more money to manage, e-payment is a good platform for them to use.”

Chen said the upcoming Olympics would serve as the most important marketing tool and expects to see Japanese consumers will use e-payment systems more often in its aftermath.

“People from all over the world are expected in Japan and those people will expect the availability of e-payment,” he said. “The Japanese government and banking system understand this, and e-payment systems will be promoted as necessary to attract this business to Japanese vendors.”