A MAN OF THE PEOPLE
At New York University, Parbs Anant always looked forward to her Professional Responsibility and Leadership course – despite the course being held in the morning and requiring her to take stands on “controversial” issues. The reason? Her professor, Shelly London, fostered a comforting environment where students felt safe and supported in exploring and formulating their positions.
“I can only imagine how difficult it must be to teach a class on ethics and professional responsibility to a group of students who come from such a diverse set of backgrounds,” Anant writes, “but Professor London did it with passion. She encouraged us to leave our judgments and hesitations at the door, making space for every student to feel comfortable when voicing their opinions, even if they were not fully formed or if we struggled to find eloquent words to put them in. It is the first class I have been in where I didn’t feel like my peers were in direct competition with each other to say the “right thing” and where instead we left with a greater understanding of the world and ourselves.”
Some professors deem this understanding to be valuable, treating their students as adults who deserve a spot in the larger conversation. That was particularly true with the Wharton School’s Adam Grant, the archetypal “rock star” professor whose three New York Times bestsellers have been translated into 35 languages. Despite the accolades and a who’s who rolodex, Grant remains one of the most accessible faculty members on the Wharton campus. Even more, he has earned the highest marks from students for seven years running. Along with his classroom prowess, Grant remains deeply committed and connected to his students.
“Professor Grant goes out of his way to make time for his students and deliver ideas in a way where all people can learn and apply,” says Dipak Kumar, who served as a research assistant to Grant. “Despite his success, he is still always working on ideas, ideas that he lets students like myself take part in influencing.”
ICE CREAM SOCIALS AND BONFIRES
Carolina Zuluaga echoes Kumar’s sentiments. “Professor Grant was the first professor to really invest in getting to know each and every student. He knew all our names, was always available to chat and showed us he genuinely cared. He has been an incredible mentor and advocate.”
You could add role model to that list when it comes to Wendy Angst. The head of the Management and Organization department at Notre Dame, she follows the Adam Grant template for getting to know and support her students – and then some.
“She makes an effort to get close with students beyond the classroom – having all of us over for ice cream socials and bonfires at her home, inviting us to her office to talk about life and welcoming coffee chats to catch up and discuss future opportunities,” writes Emma Wernecke, now a business analyst at McKinsey & Company. “She intertwines life advice with classroom lessons. I truly admire her and look up to her as a successful female role model.”
And Wernecke has some personal words for Angst as well…
“Wendy, thank you for believing in me and for helping me to build confidence and grow!”
These aren’t the only faculty members who deserve mention. Here are some additional faculty members who were honored by this year’s Best & Brightest business majors.
“My favorite professor would have to be Professor Joanna Carey, who taught my Case Studies in Ecological Management course. This professor taught this subject, which as most environmental studies majors would know can be a relatively morbid topic, in such an incredible way; she constantly reminded us that while our earth is changing so drastically all around us. She taught with such passion and love for the environment and its well-being that it inspired me to want to create the change that I want to see in the world.”
Leslie Parra, Babson College
I really enjoyed the class Leading in the Complex World which was taught by my favorite professor, Dr. Mary Ulh-Bien. Dr. Uhl-Bien encourages students to adapt a learning-oriented mindset rather than focusing solely on grades. Due to this mindset, I had less restrictions, which enabled me to freely think outside of the box. Instead of striving for a letter grade, I was able to focus on recognizing and utilizing the strengths that I have, as well as exploring the areas in which I felt I needed the most improvement. Throughout the class, Dr. Uhl-Bien taught us to analyze the current business world on a macro level in order to discover the trends of future businesses. Her view of the complex world explained the importance of adaptability and resilience in future of business, which will certainly benefit me not only in the short-term but also a long way down the road.”
Taylor Huang, Texas Christian University (Neeley)
“It would be Colby Wright because he encourages the pursuit of intellectual curiosity, humility, and meaning in life more than any other professor I have had. There have been many occasions when I sat in his office and discussed topics of real consequence that have had a material impact on my perspective and outcomes thus far in my life.”
Nika Noun, Brigham Young University (Marriott)
“I have had the privilege of being instructed by Professor Michael Barry twice in my undergraduate career. Professor Barry inspired me to pursue finance as a course of study and profession, mentored me through the highs and lows of my college experience, and, perhaps most importantly, encouraged me to view success as something much larger than the sum of my academic and professional achievements.”
Julianna Marandola, Boston College (Carroll)
“Professor Stephani Robson is a senior lecturer at the Hotel School, and I have taken two classes with her in my time at Cornell. She is so incredibly knowledgeable and can name oven measurements or ADA laws off the top of her head. Her classes are engaging and relatable, and she is so supportive outside of the classroom. Along with a few students in the Hotel School, I started a club called The Grid, the first hospitality design club in our school. Professor Robson has been so supportive of our club, helping us find speakers and working with us to make our dream of a club a reality. I am so grateful for the knowledge she has shared with me.”
Marissa Block, Cornell University (School of Hotel Administration)