UPF Barcelona School of Management rewards its best teachers and recognises Jaume Puig-Junoy as Faculty of the Year

Premiados de la primera edición del Faculty Acknowledgment Day
Premiados de la primera edición del 'Faculty Acknowledgment Day', acompañados del Rector Oriol Amat; del Director General, José M. Martínez-Sierra, y del Ex Director General, Pau Verrié

The UPF Barcelona School of Management has celebrated the first edition of the Faculty Acknowledgement Day, a day to reward the commitment and effort of the faculty of the school, which has recognised Jaume Puig-Junoy, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Health Economics and Medicine programmes at UPF-BSM, as Faculty of the Year. 

"I started teaching without having the faintest idea", explained Puig-Junoy, who nevertheless assured: "I have enjoyed this work and I hope to continue doing it for a long time. I have been lucky enough to do a job that has been fun for me". In this sense, the award winner extended his distinction to the entire group of people that has made possible the Master in Health Economics and Pharmacoeconomics, "the first of the UPF group to offer its online version and which has seen more than two thousand students".

"We have the best faculty in Spain, as they belong to the UPF. This excellence is what has led us to accreditations such as EQUIS, obtained recently"

During a moving speech preceded by a surprise video with the participation of many of the people who have accompanied him during his thirty years in the profession, Puig-Junoy highlighted the work of professors and management staff, as well as various collaborators, among whom he emphasised the name of Carlos Campillo, who passed away suddenly a few months ago. "He as the co-director of the programme for the last four years and an outstanding researcher who helped us a lot. I will end my speech as he used to end all his conversations: Carpe diem!"

The event was attended by the Rector of the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), Oriol Amat, and the Director General of the UPF-BSM, José M. Martinez-Sierra. "My congratulations to the award winners. This school is full of people deserving of these awards and I am sure we will see more of them in the coming year", said the Rector, who also expressed his gratitude to the "excellent human team that makes up the management staff". For his part, Martinez-Sierra stressed that "we have the best faculty in Spain, because they belong to the UPF. This excellence is what has led to accreditations such as EQUIS, recently obtained". 

Recognition of applied research

Thus, of the seven categories that have been evaluated, two have been awarded to Professor Puig-Junoy. In addition to the distinction as professor of the year, the Director of the UPF-BSM Health Economics and Pharmaeconomics programmes also received the Impact Publication Award, thanks to the study "¿Free prescriptions for low-income pensioners? The cost of returning to free-of-charge drugs in the Spanish National Health Service", jointly prepared with Jaime Pinilla, Professor at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

As expressed by the hosts of the gala, Deputy Director General Natàlia Pascual and Associate Dean Josep M. Altarriba, the winning paper in the impact research category was selected "on the basis of its quality -the number of stars of the journal in which it was published according to the ABS index- and its impact among the research community -measured by the number of citations". 

The awards have honoured research in mental health, public health and projects transferring learning tools to students

Still in the field of research, the Social Impact Award went to "Characterization of Anorexia Nervosa on Social Media: Textual, Visual, Relational, Behavioral, and Demographical Analysis", a study by Ana Freire, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Academic Department of Operations, Technology and Science. "For me it is an honour to receive this recognition for two reasons: firstly, because seeing a business school reward applied research confirms once again that my commitment to UPF-BSM has been the right one. Secondly, because research in mental health is becoming more visible and this is a great step forward", said the winner, the driving force behind the STOP Project, which aims to prevent suicide on social networks through artificial intelligence and data analysis. 

Mohammad Ghaderi, Professor of the Master of Science at UPF-BSM and Tenure Track at UPF, has received the Knowledge Transfer Award for his project "Portfolio of tools used in Marketing Analytics course to transfer methodological knowledge and practical skills". In his acceptance speech, Ghaderi said that "there are two main goals I want to achieve this year: on the one hand, to show students that if something comes from fancy algorithms and big data, it doesn't bring any legitimacy on its own. They have to ask questions, hard questions. And if possible, too many questions. That's what differentiates machines from people". "On the other hand", he went, "I want them to have fun during the process". 

Guanyadors recerca
Jaume Puig-Junoy, Ana Freire and Mohammad Ghaderi, winners of the research and transfer knowledge awards

The voice of the students

One of the most eagerly awaited awards was the Teaching Excellence Award, through which the students nominated the two best lecturers in the field of teaching. Thus, in the eyes of the students, the Vice-Dean for Research and Associate Professor of the Academic Department of Finance, Accounting and Control, Jordi Perramon, was the best lecturer in the face-to-face and blended mode. "We have a Core Faculty full of excellent teachers. The fact that this award is for me is a surprise and an honour", said Perramon, who also admitted that "it is special" that this distinction comes from the students. "It is a privilege to be able to accompany them during such an important stage in their lives", he added. 

Jordi Perramon and Oscar Elvira were the most highly rated lecturers by students in the face-to-face and blended, and online modalities, respectively

The online programme lecturer with the best student evaluations was Oscar Elvira, Senior Lecturer in the Academic Department of Finance, Accounting and Control. "The fact that recognition is also given to the online modality says a lot about the process we have gone through in the school", said Elvira, referring to the clear commitment of the UPF-BSM to remote teaching. "At this moment I can't help but remember Oriol Amat and Pau Verrié, who were the people who encouraged me to enter this world", he admitted.

The third category linked to teaching, the Teaching Innovation Award, which aims to recognise innovative educational projects that contribute to improving the quality of teaching, was not awarded on this occasion. However, the leadership of the School has "encouraged lecturers to continue working" along these lines.

Teaching Excellence Award
Jordi Perramon and Oscar Elvira, 'Teaching Excellence Award' in the face-to-face and blended, and online modalities, respectively

Outstanding career paths

The ceremony also paid tribute to the careers of three outstanding professors through the Faculty Path Award. This is the case of Professor Emeritus of the UPF and Academic Advisor of the UPF-BSM, Carles Murillo, who has promoted flagship programmes such as the Master in International Business -accredited by AQU- or the Master in Sports Management. "I am very excited", acknowledged Murillo who justified that "a distinction like this is not only for me, but for all the teamwork shared with great professionals over the years". To conclude, the Academic Advisor of the School recalled that "I decided to work in something where I could have a good time. I can say that at no time have I stopped doing what has filled me with satisfaction".

For his part, Tomàs Rubió, PhD in Economics from the University of Barcelona and Director of emblematic programmes at the UPF-BSM such as the Master in Human Resources Management and the Postgraduate in People Management and Labour Relations, among others, explained that in his professional career he has pursued three main axes: "To feel loved; to be compassionate with those who suffer; and to learn". "This need to learn is what has brought me here today", he celebrated, and concluded: "for me it is a satisfaction, as it proves that all of this has served a purpose". 

The Faculty Path Award closed with thanks to Joaquín Tena, who excused his presence, and who has been linked to the UPF-BSM since 1993, where he has directed the Postgraduate in Business Management and the Executive MBA.

Carles Murillo y Tomàs Rubió, Faculty Path Award
Carles Murillo and Tomàs Rubió, Faculty Path Award