Eight faculty members earned Maryland Smith teaching honors last week, as part of an annual tradition at the business school.
Tunay Tunca, chair of Maryland Smith's Teaching Excellence Committee, announced the faculty teaching awards during a virtual spring faculty and staff assembly. Tunca is the Dean's Professor of Management Science and Operations Management at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at University of Maryland.
Special Recognition: Tricia Homer
Tricia Homer was awarded special recognition for her efforts to improve communication and mutual understanding in the Maryland Smith community, in a particularly challenging year. "She not only transformed presentation skills in our students in multiple programs in her role as a communications instructor, but even beyond that also drew upon her expertise as a facilitator to create an environment in which her students could discuss and process the events of these difficult days," Tunca said. "Her efforts in helping the students to weather the challenges of this past academic year and bringing the Smith community together were invaluable."
The Legg Mason Teaching Innovation Award: Bennet Zelner
"In an environment where many top schools are struggling to conduct their global business courses, [Bennet Zelner] used creativity and innovative thinking to design a very effective global study course to be conducted virtually," Tunca said. "Without the possibility of travel, he not only managed to bring the experience of cross‐border learning to the students, but also engaged a local company on a micro‐consulting project allowing the students to apply their learning to this company's global expansion aspirations. His approach to teaching is also innovative in the way that he asks students to find solutions to the problem posed by a case, developing the lecture through their proposed solutions."
The Allen J. Krowe Award for Teaching Excellence: Trevor Foulk
Trevor Foulk incorporates cutting-edge research into his teaching as well as an evidence‐based approach to the material. "He creates a climate of confidence that encourages students to debate and exchange ideas and thoughts about the class materials and cases, without feeling pressured or questioned in their ability to demonstrate their knowledge about the class topics," Tunca said.
The Allen J. Krowe Award for Teaching Excellence: Mary Beth Furst
Mary Beth Furst is praised by her students and colleagues for having "a singular love for teaching both in the classroom and out, and making her classes engaging and fun," Tunca said. "She applies her understanding of business and learning pedagogy to create a stimulating and welcoming learning environment for her students. She encourages students to critically think about the subject matter, and interface with it on a personal level."
The Allen J. Krowe Award for Teaching Excellence: Leland Gardner
Leland Gardner presents new and relevant materials in his courses that steadfastly prepare students for the workforce. "He is highly appreciated by his students for being very committed to teaching in and out of the classroom and deeply engaged in course and community development," Tunca said.
The Allen J. Krowe Award for Teaching Excellence: Ashish Kabra
Ashish Kabra is "very diligent and provides material very thoroughly, explaining the material in multiple ways to ensure it was understood," Tunca said. "He is praised for being very easy to talk to, which encourages students to be more open and vulnerable to discussions. As a result, students feel that everyone learns in the class, and gains confidence in the material."
The Allen J. Krowe Award for Teaching Excellence: Kislaya Prasad
"Nominations for Kislaya Prasad state that he is always patient and unfailingly polite when there were questions during the class sessions, which makes the class and learning enjoyable for students," said Tunca. "His presentation of the material helps the students understand principles and how to implement them in current world situations."
The Allen J. Krowe Award for Teaching Excellence: Nick Seybert
Nick Seybert is always available for student questions, providing "very detailed responses and excellent critiques to approaches brought to him," Tunca said. "Students also appreciate that he managed to switch to an online environment while keeping the high quality of teaching, engaging the students and showing them the importance of knowledge in the material, as well as helping them with choosing a clearer career path."
Maryland Smith Dean Prabhudev Konana congratulated the faculty award winners, adding, "I am pleased to be a part of celebrating your success and recognizing the impact that you have on Smith students."
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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.