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Students Pay Tribute to Teachers, Mentors

August, 2002

SINCE HE HAS SPENT much of his academic career studying how managers can get the most from human resources, it perhaps is no surprise that Charle O'Reilly III was chosen by MBA students to receive the distinguished teaching award for the year. Clearly, the professor of organizational behavior knows how to get effort out of students too. He received the most nominations by far÷33 percent more than the next closest candidate.

Students in the Sloan Program chose Professor John Roberts to receive their 2002 Teaching Excellence Award, and doctoral students honored Larissa Tiedens, assistant professor of organizational behavior, for her exceptional teaching and advising efforts.

Professor Charles O'Reilly III | Photo by Saul Bromberger/Sandra Hoover
Professor Charles O'Reilly III
Photo by Saul Bromberger/Sandra Hoover

Nearly one-third of first- and second-year MBA students made the effort to nominate about 60 professors and lecturers for this year's award, a strong showing of support for the School's tradition of honoring the best teaching each year. Many of the Sloan and doctoral students also took the time to identify qualities that were the hallmarks of their favorite teachers.

Second-year Roan Kang, who chaired the MBA student committee responsible for the final selection, said that students praised O'Reilly for his enthusiasm, skill in guiding classroom discussions, thorough preparation, ability to integrate current research into discussions, and his availability to help students outside of class.

Doctoral students who nominated Tiedens pointed to her mentoring abilities and her willingness to collaborate, not just advise, on research projects.

The mid-career executives en-rolled in the Sloan Program said they thoroughly enjoyed learning strategy from Roberts, the John H. and Irene S. Scully Professor of Economics, Strategic Management, and International Business. In presenting the award, Stan Kanarowski, one of the Sloan student academic co-chairs, said Roberts brought "the best out of the class by tapping into the rich knowledge base and experience among us."

Robert Wilson Honored

FORMER STUDENTS AND FRIENDS of Business School Professor Robert Wilson descended on Stanford from all corners of the globe May 18 to honor the well-respected game theorist on his 65th birthday with an academic conference and banquet.

The daylong conference titled "Market Design in the Tradition of Bob Wilson," which took a year to plan, included a group of scholars who critiqued the design of energy and telecom markets. Wilson, the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management, has been involved in designing the rules for energy markets used by countries and states as they deregulate. Along with several of his former students, Wilson also has worked on public auctions of airwaves spectrum used for cell phones and other services.

During the banquet, Wilson's daughter Jennifer Wakefield told what it was like to live with a dad who was a theorist. After each of his contributions was recognized in some way, she said, he would announce at the dinner table: "That's it. It's all downhill from here."

"She doesn't realize all theorists are that way," says PaulMilgrom, PhD '79.

While theorists may be pessimists about their own future, Wilson was certainly an optimist about his students, according to their recollections. Chris Avery, now a professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, earned his doctorate under Wilson's guidance in 1993. Discouraged at one point and considering dropping out, Avery went to Wilson to tell him he had reached the conclusion that he had no interest in 98 percent of economic theory, and the other 2 percent was too hard for him to do. According to Avery, Wilson appeared delighted. "Good for you!" he cheered. "You're really catching on!"

Barth Named Associate Dean

MARY BARTH, the Atholl McBean Professor of Accounting, joined the Dean's Office July 1 as senior associate dean. A highly respected researcher of how accounting standards work to aid or hinder markets, Barth was the only American academic named in 2001 to the then-new International Accounting Standards Board. She still is a member of the board, which has the responsibility of working toward a single set of high-quality global accounting standards.

Barth also is respected by students for her teaching skill and was named the School's 1996 Teacher of the Year.

Barth will have oversight responsibility for the accounting, finance, marketing, and political economy areas. She also will oversee the PhD Program, the Center for Electronic Business and Commerce, and the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. She succeeds Joel Podolny, who has taken a faculty position at Harvard.

 

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Endowed Chairs for Whang, Lee

HARKING BACK to a tradition begun at Oxford in 1502, endowed chairs have been the highest accolade a university can bestow upon a faculty member. In honor of the School's 75th anniversary and in response to the need to provide more support for a growing faculty, Business School alumni have established two new endowed chairs that only recently have been filled.

Seungjin Whang has become the first Jagdeep and Roshni Singh Professor of Operations, Information, and Technology, and Hau Lee has been named the first Thoma Professor of Operations, Information, and Technology. Two other professors have been named to existing chairs÷Stefan Reichelstein is the William R. Timken Professor of Accounting, andJames Lattin is the Robert A. Magowan Professor of Marketing.

Jagdeep Singh holds a master's degree in computer science from Stanford and participated in the Business School's Sloan Program in 2000. A hardware inventor and networking entrepreneur, he previously was a venture partner at InterWest Partners, specializing in the communications and tele-communications sectors. He has since co- founded several companies including On-Fiber Communications and, most recently, Infinera Corp., where he is president and CEO. Infinera has created the first integrated photonic circuit. Roshni Singh is a practicing internist.

The Thoma Professorship was endowed by a couple particularly interested in the enormous impact new technologies have had on business practices such as management, marketing, accounting, and finance as well as on the creation and growth of new business. Marilynn J. Thoma, MBA '74, runs Van Duzer Vineyards, the family's winery in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Carl D. Thoma, MBA '73, is managing partner of Thoma Cressey Equity Partners, a private equity investment firm that has been helping executives build companies since the 1970s.

Marketing Scholars Honor Simonson

THE AMERICAN MARKETING ASSOCIATION has bestowed its award for best article in the area of services marketing on consumer research coauthored by marketing professor Itamar Simonson and Chezy Ofir of the Hebrew University School of Business Administration.

The research, which examines the limitations and biases a survey itself can introduce, found that when people are told in advance that they will be asked later to evaluate any service or product, they provide more negative evaluations and are less satisfied with that service. The research by Ofir and Simonson, the Sebastian S. Kresge Professor of Marketing, was featured in the Journal of Marketing Research (May 2001).

Honorary Doctorate for Beaver

WILLIAM BEAVER, the Joan E. Horngren Professor of Accounting, was awarded an honorary doctorate from Athens University of Economics and Business at a May 14 ceremony in Athens, Greece. And Glenn Carroll, the Laurence W. Lane Professor of Organizations, was awarded an honorary doctorate in applied economic sciences from the University of Antwerp at a May 17 ceremony in Antwerp, Belgium.

 

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