A Word from the Knick Family Faculty Fellow

Professor and inaugural Knick Family Faculty Fellow Suzanne Tilleman speaks with President Bodnar in the Gallagher Business BuildingIn the spring of 2017, College of Business associate professor and department chair Suzanne Tilleman was awarded the inaugural Knick Family Faculty Fellowship. The fellowship was funded by UM Foundation trustee and UM alum Bill Knick and his wife Cherrie. Professor Tilleman explains what receiving a privately funded fellowship means to her.

Receiving the fellowship was incredibly exciting. The dean made the fellowships a competitive process to recognize those who were recently the most active in research. It’s a silent part of our job. We contribute to the body of knowledge, and we bring some of it into our classrooms, but even my own family rarely asks me about my research. It’s a lot of Saturday mornings and Thursday nights. It really is amazing to think that someone would support research. I actually jumped up and down when my name was announced.

I research firm performance and environmental sustainability issues – how firms repurpose waste streams. The research I’ve done is based in the United Kingdom, because it’s an island nation with limited landfills. We’ve learned a lot about how we can make these processes better and how firms can save money or increase sales. The Knick Family Faculty Fellowship has allowed me to collect more data, to meet with co-authors and present my papers to gain feedback on my research.

I’m really proud that I get to say Knick Family Fellow on my signature. It’s a signal to other researchers that my work is thought highly of at my institution.