UVA Darden Professors Honored for Exemplary Contributions to University Community

12 April 2019

By Dave Hendrick

A trio of University of Virginia Darden School of Business professors — Elena Loutskina, Bob Bruner and Pedro Matos — have been honored with University-wide awards for excellence in instruction, impact at the School and service to society.

Loutskina received the Distinguished Professor Award from the UVA Alumni Association. The award, which includes a $10,000 prize and lifetime membership in the alumni association, is awarded annually to one professor who demonstrates outstanding teaching, a commitment to student success and has contributed significantly to life at the University.

Loutskina, who teaches in the Finance area at Darden, is consistently rated by students among the top Darden faculty members, particularly notable at a school regularly recognized as having the best MBA teaching faculty in the world. Students routinely laud Loutskina’s high standards and strong commitment to students’ development and success.

“Elena has the rare ability to create an environment that at once pushes your intellectual boundaries and makes you feel appreciated and cared for as a person,” wrote one recent student. “She holds each member of the class to the highest standard of performance but does it from a place of genuine love for her students. This makes the class want to rise to the occasion, preparing thoroughly for each class so that we can have a rich discussion worthy of the environment.”

At Darden, Loutskina teaches a variety of sought-after courses. In addition to the First Year core Finance course, recent electives have included “Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity,” “Impact Investing” and “Due Diligence in Seed Funds.”

Bruner and Matos were part of a group of faculty honored with the inaugural Collaborative Excellence in Public Service Award for their work with UVA’s Financial Crisis Team, delving into the causes and aftershocks related to the global financial crisis of 2008–09. The award, presented by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, recognizes faculty members who demonstrate the greatest collaborative impact on societal well-being in a particular place or community, and who have pursued that well-being together with students.

The project, which combined experts from Darden, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Frank Batten School of Public Policy and Leadership, the School of Law and the McIntire School of Commerce, considered the financial crisis from a variety of angles. Other UVA professors on the team included David Smith, David Leblang and Julia Mahoney.

The financial crisis and onset of the Great Recession was a unifying theme of the 2018 University of Virginia Investing Conference, sponsored by the Richard A. Mayo Center for Asset Management, where Matos serves as academic director.

The crisis was also the theme of a conference sponsored by the UVA Miller Center and the Brookings Institution in early 2019, where Bruner led a conversation with Lawrence Summers, former director of the National Economic Council.

Bruner, along with Smith and Leblang, also taught “The Financial Crisis Ten Years Later: Politics, Markets and Institutions” to students from across the University in the 2018–19 academic year.

“Congratulations to Elena, Pedro and Bob, who contribute meaningfully to the Darden and UVA community every day in countless ways,” said Darden Professor Sankaran “Venkat” Venkataraman, senior associate dean for faculty and research. “We are fortunate to have such generous and gifted faculty members, and they truly enrich us all.”

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Sophie Zunz
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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia