Professors Kasznik, Peterson, and Skrzypacz, Honored by Students

Students honored professors Andrzej Skrzypacz and Ron Kasznik, and lecturer Joel Peterson with three outstanding faculty awards.

May 01, 2005

Students have honored three faculty members for outstanding ability as teachers in the annual round of distinguished teaching awards presented at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Lecturer Joel Peterson was cited for his high commitment to personal values as he received the 2005 MBA Distinguished Teaching Award. Associate Professor of Economics Andrzej (Andy) Skrzypacz received the PhD student Excellence in Service award, and students in the Sloan Program presented Associate Professor of Accounting Ron Kasznik with their Teaching Excellence award for the third time.

Students nominated Peterson in enthusiastic and often lengthy detail cited his ability to engender respect through his work ethic and his commitment to his class, as well as his kindness and compassion. Second-year MBA student Beth Berselli, who introduced the award winner at a noontime ceremony on May 23, said one nominator wrote: “I’ve never seen classmates as well prepared as they were in [his] class, a testament to the respect he commands as well as the quality of the class. “¦ I once scheduled 30 minutes with [him] just to get to know him outside of class and bounce a business idea off of him. He ended up chatting with me for over two hours as if I were the only person on his calendar.”

Another student wrote that Peterson: “is an inspiration, plain and simple. He brings an uncommon sense of purpose, clarity, accessibility, and presence to the classroom that motivates students unlike any other professor I’ve been in class with here.”¦ I honestly believe I learned more from Joel Peterson about how to be a truly effective leader than in any other class at the GSB.”

Upon accepting the award, Peterson, who teaches an elective course to second-year MBA students, said he was honored and surprised.

Among those Peterson thanked was the Class of ‘05, whom he credited with initiating the development of a new organizational behavior course, Leadership Perspectives, offered in the fall of 2004 that he co-taught with faculty colleague Charles O’Reilly. Prior to this new course, Peterson co-taught the elective course Principles of Real Estate Investing with faculty member Steven Grenadier.

Peterson is founder and chairman of Peterson Partners, a private equity firm with interests nationwide. He joined the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1992 after two decades of real estate investment experience as CFO and managing partner of Trammell Crow Co.

The Distinguished Teaching Award has been presented annually since 1982 by the MBA student Academic Committee. This year the committee received 300 nominations citing outstanding teaching by 65 different faculty members.

During the May 31 lunch hour ceremony organized by doctoral students, Business School Dean Robert L. Joss said: “The PhD award is really special because in many respects [doctoral students] are expressing themselves in selecting someone you would like to be like”¦as a role model”.

In naming Skrzypacz, nominators cited his excellent service in the areas of research, advising, teaching, and community. Students and alums who have benefited from Andy’s role as advisor “are having a hard time, and it is Andy’s fault” said William Fuchs, a member of the award review committee, “He has set such a high standard of dedication to his students that it is really hard for us to match.”

Skrzypacz joined the Stanford Business School faculty in 2000, fresh from the doctoral program at University of Rochester. In accepting the honor, he credited his own advisors, while an undergraduate at Warsaw School of Economics as well as at University of Rochester, for shaping his approach to the role.

Students in the one-year Sloan Masters’ Program praised Kasznik, their accounting teacher, who previously had been honored by the Sloan classes of 2001 and 2003.

“While it cannot be said that what you taught was everyone’s favorite subject, it was your passion for the art of teaching and the enthusiasm you brought to the classroom that made you our favorite professor,” said Sloan student Ron Ih in his introductory remarks.

Kasznik joined the Stanford Business School faculty in 1995. He earned his graduate and doctoral degrees at the University of California, Berkeley.

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