Santa Monica College (SMC) business professor Joy Tucker has been named the recipient of the newly created Carol and Bill Ouchi Chair of Excellence in Business at the college.

In addition, two other SMC professors have been awarded previously established Chairs of Excellence, in earth science and nursing.

Tucker said she plans to use the funds that come with the award to conduct research, develop teaching tools, bring in speakers and involve students in a practice called “micro-lending,” which was developed in 1983 in Bangladesh to help people out of poverty through small loans.

“Micro-lending extends the boundaries of business and not-for-profits alike while capitalizing on the best of both to achieve the goal of reducing poverty,” Tucker said. “I believe that when poverty is reduced, peace increases. And from a platform of peace, individuals can focus on reaching their full potential and building up their communities.”

Tucker, a Los Angeles resident, will receive $5,000 a year for each of the next three years to be used for her project.

The Carol and Bill Ouchi Chair of Excellence in Business is the ninth chair established at SMC. Bill Ouchi is a professor at The Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA and is a researcher and author who has served on corporate, editorial, nonprofit and other boards and organizations.

His most recent book is Making Schools Work. He and his wife Carol, who serves on the SMC Foundation Board, are also philanthropists who have supported a number of causes.

Tucker, who has taught business at SMC since 2003, served previously as the director of the school’s Office of Workforce and Economic Development. In that role, she was responsible for securing economic development contracts and grants, and managing related workforce training projects with companies such as American Airlines and Ritz-Carlton.

Tucker came to SMC with 15 years of experience in marketing and management for the financial services, banking and film industries. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA and her Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California, where she was a Dean’s List Scholar and recipient of the Consortium Fellowship for Graduate Study in Management.

SMC astronomy professor Gary Fouts earned the John Drescher Chair of Excellence in Earth Science. This is the second time Fouts has received this award, and he says he plans to use the funds to continue his research — conducted with students — on ozone and other atmospheric “constituents.”

The St. John’s Center Chair of Excellence in Nursing was awarded to nursing professor Holly Thiercof. The second recipient of this award, Thiercof said she intends to implement a teaching method called “High Fidelity Simulation.” Closely resembling a clinical setting, simulation allows students to make mistakes while developing essential skills without the fear of embarrassment or threat to patient safety, she said.

Aside from earth science and nursing, the other Chairs of Excellence are in life science, physical science, music, performing arts and visual art. Such awards, considered unique for a community college, are administered by the SMC Foundation and are named for their primary benefactors.

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