Raman Kumar, the R.V. and A.F. Oliver Professor of Investment Management in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, received the university's 2015 William E. Wine Award.
The William E. Wine Achievement Award was established in 1957 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association in memory of William E. Wine, Class of 1904, who was a former rector of the Board of Visitors and alumni association president, to recognize teaching excellence. Following a college-level selection process of candidates nominated by students, faculty, and alumni, each college may put forth one nominee. Three faculty members are selected annually to receive this award by a committee representing all eight colleges at the university. Each Wine Award winner receives $2,000 and automatic induction into the Academy of Teaching Excellence.
Kumar teaches courses in investments, derivative securities, managerial economics, research methods, and international finance in the undergraduate, M.B.A., and Ph.D. programs.
“Raman joined our faculty in 1985 and has consistently provided stellar teaching performance at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as evidenced by numerous department and college teaching awards,” Vijay Singal, the J. Gray Ferguson Professor of Finance and head of the Department of Finance, wrote in his nomination letter. “The consistently impressive evaluations and enthusiastic complimentary student comments demonstrate that he has been and continues to be an exceptional teacher, an outstanding mentor, and a leader in making curricular contributions to our teaching mission.”
A group of Kumar’s M.B.A. students agreed to extend every session of their evening finance class late into the night, one student wrote, “just so we could learn more during the semester. There are not many professors who can keep students on the edge of their seats and excited."
Another student wrote: “I enrolled in this course with the expectation to learn something out of my field. Little did I know that I would be deciding on a career in finance after attending your lectures. Thank you for being a good teacher.”
Kumar is often sought out by doctoral students to serve on their dissertation committees because he contributes to the quality of their dissertations, noted Singal. Kumar, who has directed the finance Ph.D. program, has served on more than 40 dissertation committees and has chaired about a dozen of them.
Kumar also has contributed immensely to the development and mentoring of Ph.D. students in other disciplines and departments, including accounting, management, marketing, hospitality and tourism management, economics, and civil engineering, added Singal. He has shown "unparalleled dedication to Ph.D. students, providing them with limitless guidance and counseling."
Kumar designed and taught the Business Research Methods course for Pamplin doctoral students in 2011-12. He served on the committee that overhauled the finance Ph.D. and undergraduate curriculums in 2004-05 and the finance M.B.A. curriculum in 2005-06.
From 2007 to 2009, Kumar was the faculty advisor to the BASIS student group (Bonds and Securities Investing by Students) and helped students manage about $5 million of the Virginia Tech Foundation’s funds in a fixed-income securities portfolio with weekly investment meetings, investment analysis, job placements, training activities, and approvals of sales and purchases of securities.
Kumar has received several teaching awards, including the Virginia Tech Teaching Excellence Award, M.B.A. Outstanding Faculty Award, and the Warren Lloyd Holtzman Outstanding Educator of the Year Award.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Banaras Hindu University, a master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.