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FLC announces Inaugural Katz School of Business Endowed Professorships

FLC announces Inaugural Katz School of Business Endowed Professorships

Ivan G. Guardiola, PhD, Liz Cartier, PhD, and Tomasz Miaskiewicz, PhD.Durango, Colo.— Fort Lewis College is awarding three professorships providing recipients with funding for high-impact, community-based projects.

Funded through a generous gift from the Katz family, the appointed faculty members will lead projects that benefit the larger Durango community. “These professors embody our institution's values of excellence, innovation, and leadership,” said Katz School of Business Dean Steven Elias. “As holders of the Katz Endowed Professorships, they will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of research and education at FLC. 

“Their work will also have a major, positive impact on our community. Having these endowed professorships reinforces the fact that Fort Lewis College has world-class faculty members deserving of such prestigious recognition. A huge thank you is extended to Marc and Jane Katz for making this possible.” 

The recipients are:

Liz Cartier, PhDLiz Cartier, PhD, is an associate professor of Management. She plans to research the business of water in Durango and the surrounding communities by focusing on our dependency on this valuable resource. She will explore water businesses from a critical constructivist viewpoint by identifying the changing nature of business related to more turbulent water fluctuations and developing ideas to strengthen the importance of water conservation and sustainability. Dr. Cartier will focus on three distinct groups of water-based businesses: recreation-based businesses (ski areas, rafting companies, fishing guides, etc.), agricultural businesses (farms, ranches, etc.), and development-based businesses (residential/commercial projects, building development, etc.).

“My goal with this endowment is to increase collaborations between the Katz School of Business and water professionals in this community. My hope is that these endeavors will contribute to the sustainability and success of local businesses,” Cartier said.

Tomasz Miaskiewicz, PhDTomasz Miaskiewicz, PhD, associate professor of Marketing, plans to focus on a series of artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives. He will conduct community workshops on a variety of generative AI topics at the Center for Innovation. He will also establish a program that offers on-demand assistance with AI-related projects. In addition, he will collaborate with students to establish a new AI and no-code development club at Fort Lewis College, as well as conduct a project centered on building AI assistants for classes to facilitate learning and student engagement.

“Through the professorship, my overarching goal is to provide engaging learning opportunities on AI to our students, staff/faculty, and the broader community. 
I firmly believe that expertise in AI platforms is cultivated best through direct, hands-on learning—whether it's addressing real-world problems in workshops, engaging in collaborative projects, or working on compelling use cases.” Miaskiewicz said.

Ivan G. Guardiola, PhDIvan G. Guardiola, PhD, chair and professor of Management, will develop a series of micro-credentials in Business Intelligence, which is a set of strategies and technologies used by enterprises for the analysis and management of information. The modern business world demands a variety of business computing skills. To validate that an individual can command such skills —and to increase their competitiveness in the modern job market— this Katz Endowed Professorship will allow Guardiola to develop a set of micro-credentials that will fully encompass the most prominent of this business intelligence computing skills, including Microsoft Excel, R, Python, and AI tools as applied to business.

“Basic technological literacy is necessary in the modern workplace. I hope that by generating a path via micro-credentials, students and community members will be able to build and directly demonstrate their technological literacy, which can better their work or their prospects as they begin or refine their careers.

Melissa Mount, vice president for Advancement and CEO of the Fort Lewis College Foundation, said the professorships will improve students’ academic experience at FLC.

“Our faculty are at the heart of our student’s learning experiences. Endowed faculty roles like these professorships represent honor and prestige, providing the appointed faculty members with flexible funding to help advance their scholarship, teaching, and community engagement, elevating the academic experience of FLC for our students,” she said.

“Top-notch faculty like these impact thousands of lives through the courses they teach, the students they mentor, and the research they pursue. Thanks to generous supporters like Marc and Jane, we now have four endowment professorships created within the FLC Foundation to support our outstanding faculty.”

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