Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA students bestowed the 2016 Distinguished Teaching Award on Elizabeth Blankespoor, an assistant professor of accounting and R. Michael & Mary Shanahan Faculty Scholar.
Blankespoor, who arrived at Stanford in 2012, was praised for “genuinely loving what she was doing,” and for being “adored by her students.” Another admitted, “It was by far the class I was the most worried about. … By the end of the quarter it was the class I most looked forward to attending.” And finally, she is the “best teacher I ever had at Stanford GSB … she gave me back hope.”
For Blankespoor, who teaches Global Financial Reporting, the award is a vindication. When she began teaching accounting, she discovered that hers was the subject — and she was the teacher — most dreaded by students. But as she grew in her job, she began to see it as a “dance — a give and take” between her and her class.
The star of her own video, “How Twitter Can Improve Your Market Liquidity,” Blankespoor told the noontime crowd gathered in Town Square, “I am deeply honored that you found value in my classes and your interactions with me.” She concluded with, “With great power comes great responsibility. Go forth and use your accounting skills wisely.”
Students recognized three other teachers with honorable mentions, and praised them as intriguing, genuinely dedicated, always available, most committed, kind, and a gem of a teacher. Those teachers are Rebecca Lester, assistant professor of accounting; and two management lecturers, David Dodson, ’83, MBA ’87; and Glenn Kramon, ’75.
2016 PhD Faculty Distinguished Service Award: Harikesh Nair
Marketing Professor Harikesh Nair is honored for keeping his door open and willingly lending an ear to students in need of guidance. A marketing analyst, he is applauded as a professor who has very high expectations for his students, but more importantly he invests his time to ensure that they succeed.
“The week before I gave an important conference presentation, Harikesh met with me every single day to help me prepare,” said one student. Another noted, “Even if I go into a meeting feeling stuck, I walk out feeling motivated, excited, and ready to work on new ideas.” Anna Tuchman, PhD ’16, cited Nair’s “sharp intellect, unwavering support, and constructive feedback” for making “an indelible impression” at Stanford GSB.
Nair, who arrived at Stanford in 2005 after earning his doctorate from the University of Chicago, teaches Monetization: Choosing a Business Model, The Travel and Airline Industry, and Empirical Analysis of Dynamic Decision Contexts.
Calling Stanford GSB “a unique place that fosters entrepreneurship, innovation, and risk-taking,” Nair praised doctoral students for embodying a distinct entrepreneurial spirit. “I consider it an honor to play a small role in the development of such high quality human capital,” he said.
2016 MSx Distinguished Teaching Award: Ed deHaan
Students in the Master of Science Program for Experienced Leaders (MSx) honored Ed deHaan, assistant professor of accounting. For the second time in the past three years he has received this award.
Students praised deHaan for his clarity of thought, domination of the subject, and ability to make accounting fun — even to non-accountants. “As a result, the amount learned is incredible,” they noted.
DeHaan said he was grateful for the honor, but said the award is as much about his students as it is about him.
“Teaching at Stanford GSB is a collaborative experience between students and the professor. My job is to excite students about digging into cases and challenging each other. The students’ job is to be open to new ideas, and trust that I will guide them somewhere interesting,” deHaan said.
“Excellent teaching can only be accomplished if both the professor and the students dedicate themselves to the class. This teaching award is as much or more deserved by the students as it is by me.”
DeHaan teaches MSx: Accounting, a course that explores the scope of accounting as well as its limitations. The professor earned his doctorate in accounting from the University of Washington in 2013 and joined Stanford GSB faculty in July of the same year.
— By Katherine Conrad