Exceptional teaching is the foundation of the student experience at Stanford Graduate School of Business; the impact of great teaching extends past graduation and continues throughout students' careers. To show their appreciation, students from the MBA, PhD, and MSx programs chose to recognize one professor from each program for their extraordinary teaching and service.
Amit Seru: MBA Distinguished Teaching Award
Seru’s investment in both the finance curriculum and in students’ lives are two qualities, among many others, that students praised in their nominations of Seru.
Jack Marzulli, MBA ’18, a student member of the selection committee, noted that Seru made a point to have coffee with each student in his class, which could have upwards of 50 students.
“Each student I talked to said [Seru] was genuinely interested to get to know them better, with the hopes of better catering [his] teaching to them. ... To know we had an ‘ally’ who also happened to be an expert in the subject matter was a remarkable experience,” said Marzulli, reading a citation from a fellow classmate.
One student member of the selection committee and current student in Seru’s class, Owen Wurzbacher, MBA ’19, expressed his enthusiasm for the honoree and shared his personal experience.
“This professor cares deeply about improving the course and has actively solicited feedback from students by individual meetings and small group lunches,” Wurzbacher said. “He is willing to acknowledge what isn’t working and make improvements.”
In accepting the award, Seru shared some thoughts about his experience at Stanford GSB and the role innovation plays in teaching. Seru also encouraged students to continue challenging themselves and regularly redefine success, and as they do that, he hopes when students leave they will “come back to GSB and give [their] inputs that keep challenging us.”
Seru's research interests focus on corporate finance and issues related to financial intermediation and regulation, interaction of internal organization of firms with financing and investment, and incentive provision in firms.
Other student members of the Selection Committee included Adam Rosenthal, MBA ’18, Meredith Hazy, MBA ’19, and Ellen Vanneste, MBA ’19. Also noted were three honorable mentions:
- Allison O’Hair, lecturer in management
- Rebecca Lester, assistant professor of accounting
- Timothy McQuade, assistant professor of finance
Peter Reiss: PhD Faculty Distinguished Service Award
PhD students honored Peter Reiss, MBA Class of 1963 Professor of Economics, with the 2018 Faculty Distinguished Service Award that recognizes a Stanford GSB faculty member for his or her positive impact on the PhD Program and its students.
Anjali Bhatt, a third-year PhD student in organizational behavior, in a May 14, 2018 ceremony, shared how fellow classmates described Reiss in their nominations.
“Peter is passionate; he is precise; he teaches with exceptional clarity; his teaching is thought provoking; and he goes way beyond obligation,” said Bhatt, reading classmates’ citations.
Bhatt related her own experience with Reiss’ commitment to going above and beyond when he hosted a summer workshop on econometrics after being approached by students who wanted continued mentorship on the subject.
Charles McClure, a fourth-year PhD student in accounting, added that Reiss, who was on his dissertation committee and helped add structure to his research process, was a mentor to him “not just with research, but as an academic as a whole.”
When McClure entered the job market and began thinking about which job he should take, Reiss gave him some advice, which was to “choose the job that when you close your office door, you’re going to be most productive,” McClure said.
Reiss began teaching at Stanford GSB 36 years ago when no econometrics PhD classes were offered. He set out to change that, and within three years he was teaching the subject. As Reiss reflected on his time at GSB, he said one great thing about having a long career trajectory is that he gets to watch former students, and that he “look[s] forward to watching [them] go off and influence the world.”
A microeconomist who specializes in industrial organization economics, Reiss investigates econometrics as well as how firms’ competitive positions are impacted by technology, consumer tastes, and industry structure.
Anne Beyer: MSx Teaching Excellence Award
Anne Beyer, associate professor of accounting, was recognized with the MSx Teaching Excellence Award at an evening ceremony on May 22, 2018.
Beyer teaches the introductory class in financial accounting, and her research involves financial accounting with a focus on corporate disclosure, capital market prices, and corporate governance. Beyer also received the MBA Distinguished Teaching Award in 2013.
Jonathan Levin, Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean, spoke about the influence teaching can have on Stanford GSB students.
"Excellence in scholarship and teaching are at the center of our mission at the GSB," Dean Levin said. "When professors engage students, challenge them, and invest in their development it creates a learning experience that will last a lifetime. That is one of the most important ways that we prepare students to go out and make a difference in the world."
In talking about Beyer’s teaching and the experience she provided, Anna Neverova, 2018 Sloan Fellow and spring quarter class president, shared that Beyer’s review sessions were “worthy of Netflix” and that she always answered every question students asked.
The praise even came from outside the circle of students.
“I regularly get overwhelmingly positive feedback about the class that Beyer teaches, and it's really wonderful to hear about the impact her teaching has on students," said Mike Hochleutner, director of the Stanford MSx Program.
Upon receiving the award, Beyer shared, “Over the years I've learned that teaching can be incredibly rewarding and often fun. This is the one thing I’m most grateful for: that teaching, which is such an immense aspect of my professional life — unexpectedly — turned out to be something that I truly enjoy."