February 27, 2019


Jessica Perius, Brenda Dockery, and Anna Talafuse, Ph.D.

Jessica Perius, Brenda Dockery, and Anna Talafuse, Ph.D.


MSUB selects three faculty as 2019 Pippenger Award honorees

Faculty recognized at Faculty Excellence Awards on Feb. 21



University Communications and Marketing, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS— Three MSUB faculty members were recently honored as recipients of the 2019 Walter and Charlotte Pippenger Excellence in Innovation Award at the annual Faculty Excellence celebration on Feb. 21. Those honored for the award included: Jessica Perius and Brenda Dockery, adjunct instructors of marketing; and Anna Talafuse, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor of marketing.


The Walter and Charlotte Pippenger Excellence in Innovation Award recognizes and commends faculty that have shown developments in several areas such as: curricular revisions, retention efforts, diversity education, student recruitment efforts, community-based learning, civic engagement, cooperative education, outcomes-based assessment, internships, and more.


The award was established in 2005 at Montana State University Billings by Richard and Cheri Cox, their sons Shaun and Scott Cox, and members of the Cox Family, in honor of Mrs. Cox’s parents. The award offers a $5,000 stipend to an individual or group whose efforts, projects, or programs clearly and objectively demonstrate improvement in the undergraduate teaching and learning experience.


This year’s recipients have demonstrated exceptional support through an initiative titled “Sales Call Anxiety Research,” a project aimed at student learning, community engagement, and university scholarship.


Through the student learning portion of the project, students enrolled in the College of Business class, Sales and Sales Management, were asked to participate in making cold calls to MSUB alumni and community members for the purpose of raising scholarship money for MSUB’s students, projects, and programs.


This collaborative effort allows students to experience real business scenarios while raising nearly $50,000 towards academic scholarships. The awardees have also developed this initiative into a research project aimed at reducing sales call anxiety over time.

“This kind of collaborative project, combining excellence in teaching, service to the university and community and scholarly development, represents the best efforts of MSUB faculty,” said one nominator, “and I cannot imagine a more deserving group of recipients for this prestigious award.


Jessica Perius is an adjunct instructor of marketing at MSUB for the College of Business, a post she has held since 2017. As an MSUB alumna, Perius has a passion for MSUB students and exerts it in her classroom. She is known for her interactive and engaging teaching style, and uses these methods to deepen her students’ passion for learning.


Brenda Dockery works as an adjunct marketing instructor as well as an online/internship advisor at MSUB. Her roots with MSUB run deep as she was a graduate from the College of Business and was recognized as an “Outstanding Senior in Marketing.” Acting as a mentor for both students and colleagues, Dockery is devoted to serving others, both inside and outside of the classroom.


Serving as an adjunct assistant professor of marketing at MSUB, Anna Talafuse, Ph.D. is dedicated to helping students grow and learn in the classroom. Teaching courses at the COB since 2010, Talafuse uses her business background to apply real-world experiences and scenarios to her courses. She has worked to incorporate new technological methods into her teaching and demonstrates her true passion for student success in all that she does.


The 2018 group of recipients have each played major roles in the “true team effort” of improving the education of students at MSUB. They are committed to preparing students for careers in the business world, as well as sustaining alumni and community engagement through scholarship.