2021 Best Undergraduate Professors: Andrea J. Heuson, Herbert Business School, University of Miami

Andrea J. Heuson

Herbert Business School, University of Miami

“Her courses are challenging, but you know that she is committed to developing your soft and technical skills to help you become the best version of yourself from the moment you walk into her first lecture of the semester. You quickly understand that it’s imperative to take the initiative to succeed in Professor Heuson’s class. … She has inspired me to reach my full potential by instilling confidence and empowering me to think creatively and critically.” – Brendan Schwartz, student and a sector manager in the Student Managed Investment Fund

Andrea J. Heuson, 66, is Professor of Finance and Academic Director of Real Estate Programs at University of Miami Herbert Business School. She has been with the school since 1982.

She has a PhD in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, an MBA from Tulane University, and a BA from Newcomb College. She currently teaches Real Estate Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Business and Security Valuation.

“Dr. Andrea Heuson is a rock star at the Miami Herbert Business School. Although Dr. Heuson has been a highly regarded member of the faculty for over 30 years, it is her work as a champion and supporter of undergraduate experiential learning that has produced the most impact,” writes Hari Natarajan, professor and Vice Dean at Miami Herbert in his nomination.

Dr. Heuson has earned numerous teaching awards and consistently earns top level teaching evaluations. She is the co-creator of the Bermont Carlin Scholars program which has trained more than 200 students in finance concepts and networking skills over the last decade. She is also the co-creator and co-director of Herbert’s Student Managed Investment Fund which started with $100,000 in 2012, and has grown to in excess of $1.2 million. 

She was instrumental in launching a pipeline program that provides economically challenged but high achieving high school students access to an immersive two-week summer program at the Coral Gables campus where they learn about careers and pursue hands-on learning experiences in commercial real estate in the South Florida region, Natarajan writes. 

In industry, she is the treasurer of the Financial Management Association and secretary of AREUEA–the leading academic and practitioner organization for real estate finance and economics. Her research has been published widely by signature academic journals as well as in practitioner oriented publications.


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… My father was a professor of Finance, in the same University. I saw how fulfilled he was by his “job” year after year and how many of his former students kept in touch and were so happy to see him. I actually have his office now, and a big picture of him in the corner. People still reach out because they are grateful for the impact he had on their lives. I hope to do the same.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I wish I had more time to do research than  I do. I think the most significant finding that has come up lately is that positive risk-adjusted performance seems to persist for hedge fund managers. Although that business has not done well overall lately some folks seem to have a real talent for managing the risk/reward structure of the hedge fund industry. 

If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be… I can’t even come up with an answer. Probably a bridge teacher and bridge game director.

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? I try very hard to get close to the students that want that sort of a relationship so I can help them in their career path. I care, I am not an easy professor but I try to be direct in imparting what I think they need to know.

One word that describes my first time teaching: Scared to death-I was an accounting teaching assistant at Tulane and accounting is not my strong point. 

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: That the administrative structure would not always put the academic mission first.

Professor I most admire and why: Professor Linda Neider: great professor who teaches by the case method, (I can’t do that) while being department chair and chair of the UM Faculty Senate. I don’ t know how she does it all and she does it so well. I am not organized, she is, and still manages to be passionate about her students. 


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? Most are very eager to learn what they need to be successful. Finance career paths are predictable when you first get out of school. Good students want to know how to get on that path and how to excel once they get there. 

What is most challenging? Students who are not necessarily interested in the subject matter of the class they are in. 

In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Eager

In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Entitled

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… very strict


What are your hobbies? Playing duplicate bridge, jogging, UM sports, especially football

How will you spend your summer? Working on a diversity-based educational program in commercial real estate and traveling

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Europe and Sanibel Island

Favorite book(s): Bubble in the Sun, the Swamp and the Gulf, (all about the history of Florida, environmental causes and real estate down here).

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? Yellowstone, the plot is very driven.. always something going on

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? A capella singing, any style, the voices sound so nice together


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… Integrated applications of technology and educational concepts.

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… communicating the things the corporate culture values and the skills needed for success during the interview process.

I’m grateful for… my family and my colleagues, especially the one(s) who nominated me for this amazing award, I’m honored.


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