Earlier this fall, associate professor and coordinator of B&E’s Management Ph.D. Program, received the Southern Management Association’s Hunt Sustained Outstanding Service Award. The SMA is an affiliate of the Academy of Management, whose membership consists of roughly 1,000 professors, doctoral students and executives representing more than 200 institutions in 43 states and several countries.
The Hunt Award is presented to an individual who has consistently helped SMA reach
its mission of creating value to its members, organizations and society through
professional development, high-impact scholarship and teaching, engaging programs
and deliberate and socially responsible acts. The recipient also must have made
important and sustained contributions to the organization through extraordinary
in both elected and voluntary positions.
Gavin certainly fits the bill.
His affiliation with the SMA began during his Ph.D. training roughly 20 years ago.
“Many organizations are very large and overwhelming at first. But this one is easier to navigate, making it especially inviting,” Gavin said. It was a comfortable environment when he first attended, so he’s gone back every year since.
As Gavin networked and built relationships in the SMA, he was asked to serve the organization in various elected and volunteer positions, and began serving in positions of leadership in 2003 when he was elected to the organization’s board of governors.
He served as president of the organization from 2010-2011. In that capacity, Gavin continued the trend of organizing a successful annual conference that is very focused on young scholar and student development. He has played an influential role in expanding the program offerings for Ph.D. students. This includes conference sessions and events designed specifically for Ph.D. students, as well as increasing financial support for them to be able to participate in the conference, an endeavor he was particularly happy about.
Recently, Gavin was elected Dean of the SMA Fellows, a group of recognized senior scholars who have contributed significantly to the scholarship of the organization.
“We’re working to find ways to further take the knowledge base, the experience (of top scholars) and help the organization grow, thrive and bring in new people,” Gavin said.
Although Gavin’s accomplishments are vast, both in the SMA and beyond, he is remarkably humble. He was simply elated to find out that he had been selected, but he said he was somewhat surprised.
“Some of the folks who have won it in the years before me are people who I just respect incredibly and look up to. Some of them are mentors to me. It’s very strange for me to put myself in that same circle. There’s no other way to put it besides gratifying and humbling,” he said.
But Gavin certainly deserved it. He’s put incredible amounts of time, effort and dedication into the SMA over the past 20 years. But it has been anything but a chore.
“The SMA is an organization I care about. It became one of my homes that I identify strongly with, so you don’t think anything of giving your time and talent.”