May 18, 1999
Volume 51, No. 31
Good teaching honored with awards at Commencement
While most of the focus of the Commencement season falls on graduating students, outstanding faculty members get their share of the limelight, mostly at individual school ceremonies. With Emory's emphasis on rewarding and recognizing good teaching, Emory Report tracked down those awards and the accompanying accolades, where possible.
Goizueta Business School
Marc F. Adler Prize for Excellence in Teaching: Shehzad Mian, associate professor of finance. Mian was nominated by current students and selected by an alumni committee composed of members of Beta Gamma Sigma, the business school honor society. The committee felt Mian best met the criteria for this new award, which carries a $10,000 prize-teaching quality, course innovation and course relevance to real-world problem solving. The students who nominated Mian said he has an unusual talent for simplifying complex financial concepts and presenting them in practical situations or through examples easy for students to understand.
MBA Distinguished Educator Award: Jan Barton, assistant professor of accounting, and Robert Kazanjian, associate professor of organization and management. Barton was selected by the MBA students as the 'new, less than three years at GBS" winner. A nominator wrote, "I believe Jan is one of the best professors at GBS. He combines the qualities of an intelligent mind and a heartfelt interest in the students. He represents the spirit of the Goizueta Business School that reflects ethics, excellence and a well-rounded approach to management decisions."
Kazanjian was elected as the "classic" educator. "Professor Kazanjian uses a combination of academic theory and real-world situations in order to teach concepts of strategy. He encourages students to share their thoughts and experiences so that they learn from one another, and he challenges them to expand their knowledge through research and thoughtful contemplation," said his nominator.
Executive MBA Distinguished Educator Award: Rick Gilkey, associate professor of organization and management. The executive MBA students who elected Gilkey said his course not only gave them skills in managing people but life skills, such as balancing work and personal lives.
Evening MBA Distinguished Educator Award: Earl Hill, senior lecturer of organization and management; elected by evening MBA students. Hill teaches "Negotiations," one of the most popular GBS classes. Always oversubscribed, it's frequently described by students as one of the most valuable classes.
BBA Distinguished Educator Award: Steve Walton, assistant professor of decision information analysis; elected by BBA students. A nominator wrote, "Professor Walton succeeded in an aspect of teaching where professors often fail; he facilitated participation by all without favoring the exceptional students and ignoring the below-average ones."
Keough Award for Excellence, faculty recipient: Patrick Noonan, associate professor of decision information analysis and director of the MBA program. "Patrick consistently and genuinely bridges the gaps between the faculty, staff and students. He carries out his responsibilities with intense passion and a warm and caring demeanor. He is motivated by a comprehensive vision of what he believes Goizueta Business School can accomplish now and in the future. Putting his thoughts into action, Patrick leads by example. He embodies the community spirit we tout so often," one nominator wrote.
Keough Award for Excellence, staff recipient: Samantha Renfro, director of career management center. "Samantha has been responsible for many innovations in the CMC that have been a true boost to the Business School and its students," said her nominator. "Her focus and dedication are oftentimes overshadowed by their terrific outcomes-students with fabulous offers, an increased level of high profile recruitment opportunities and a new level of involvement for our international student base."
Student Bar Association's Most Distinguished Professor: John Witte, Robitscher professor of law and ethics, elected by the students.
Eugene Papageorge Award: Joel Felner, associate dean for clinical education and professor of medicine. This monetary award was established by the medical alumni in honor of Evangeline Papageorge, former dean of students, to recognize the importance of excellence in teaching to medical education. A nominator wrote, "There will never be a more captivating lecturer than Joel Felnerthe exposure to a man who has so mastered his field is an inspiration to us all. His rigorous curriculum is widely regarded as a sign of respect toward us, a reflection of his belief that we have the capacity and motivation to perform at maximum levels." Felner also was elected an honorary member of the class of '99.
The Biennial Fleming Award for Excellence in Teaching: Ina Jane Wundram, associate professor of sociology. "As a member of a small department, [Wundram] has enriched the curriculum through courses including diverse directed readings, special courses in response to student demand, interim courses at exotic-and not so exotic-patches of earth, and even directed research," said past recipient and biology professor Eloise Carter. "An active participant in interdisciplinary seminars for both students and faculty, [she] demonstrates the revered qualities of a scholar and teacher."
Rollins School of Public Health
Professor of the Year Award: William Dudley, assistant professor of behavioral science and health education, and William McClellan, professor of epidemiology; selected by the RSPH student body. Both professors were selected by a panel of students representing all departments within the school. The award recognizes professors who best exemplify the elements of outstanding classroom instruction. They are evaluated by the committee based on course evaluations from throughout the previous year as well as the feedback generated from student conversations about high-quality courses and instructors.
Thomas F. Sellers Jr. Award for a faculty member who exemplifies the ideals of Public Health: Claire Sterk, associate professor of behavioral science and health education. Sterk was selected by a committee of Rollins faculty members. This award is presented annually to the faculty member who exemplifies the ideals of public health and serves as a role model and mentor. The award is given to an individual who, like the man for whom it is named, represents the best qualities of collegiality.
Special Recognition Award for outstanding teaching and service: Eugene Gangarosa, professor emeritus of international health. Gangarosa was selected by a committee of students in the Rollins School of Public Health for his outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the classroom, the school and the field of public health. This award of special recognition is not awarded on an annual basis.
Woodruff School of Nursing
Teaching Scholar Award: Darla Ura, associate professor, adult and elder health, and Patricia Clark, assistant professor of nursing. A nominator said Ura "works to design environments that promote creativity and skills in critical thinking. On more than one occasion she has taken a graduate student with her to her clinical practice site at AID Atlanta to help improve the student's critical thinking ability." Clark, said another, "strives to teach excellence and strives to have her students reach a higher intellectual level-either in front of a class, one-on-one in her office, over the telephone late at night or in her home."
--Compiled by Jan Gleason