Professor Rene Mueller, Director of the International Business Program in the School of Business, is the recipient of the 2015 Howard F. Rudd Jr. Distinguished Faculty Award for Service Leadership.
The award was established in 2013 to recognize outstanding, high-performing business professors who lead by example and advance the mission and global vision of the School of Business.
The award is named for Rudd, dean emeritus of the business school, who taught at the College for nearly 30 years. It is the most prestigious faculty award given in the School of Business and the only one of its kind at the College of Charleston.
The selection criteria – measured over a three-year period – includes service leadership, teaching, research and business community engagement.
The honor comes with a $10,000 award, of which up to $5,000 may be taken as a personal stipend and the remainder used during the year that follows to support the recipient’s community engagement, professional development, research and other service initiatives.
“Rene has a long (18 year) history of outstanding, high professional performance at the College of Charleston. In addition to her accomplished record of teaching, research and service, she has been an exemplary leader in promoting a global vision, and she has been exceptionally active in the national, state, and local international business community,” Carrie Blair Messal, associate professor of management and marketing, wrote in a letter nominating Mueller for the award.
Mueller said the award is especially meaningful because Rudd was the dean of the business school when she was hired. “He set an excellent example for all faculty members. He was extremely engaged in the community and encouraged faculty to work with those in the local business community. While teaching has always been emphasized, over the years, service has become a lot less important than academic research. I was fortunate enough to have been hired when it was expected that faculty members actively engage with those outside of academia,” she said. “Service work, in particular, has an excellent return on investment. New skills are developed through work with the community and these are directly transferable to classroom lectures. Likewise, relationships built though service enable our students to get real-world work experience, internships, and jobs.”
In just the past year alone, Mueller has overseen International Service Learning projects in Honduras and Ghana, organized and administered the Global Scholars program, served as an outside member on the search committee for the Dean of the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs and served as a member of the Center for International Education (CIE) Scholarship Committee.
“I have been fortunate enough to have secured grant funding which has enabled me to extend my service, teaching, and research overseas,” Mueller said. “These same grants have enabled many faculty and students to internationalize their own studies. More recently, I have been working on micro-finance projects in Honduras and Ghana. These opportunities have enabled me (and my students) the opportunity to understand the lives and conditions of those living in extreme poverty. We have been able to use our business skills to help others start their own businesses.”