Students Present 2020 Teaching Awards to Honor Outstanding Impact in and out of the Classroom

MBA, MSx, and PhD students honored Glenn Kramon, Saumitra Jha, and Arvind Krishnamurthy for their impact in teaching and service.

July 24, 2020

Saumitra Jha teaching in a classroom. Credit: Elena Zhukova

Professor Saumitra Jha received the 2020 MSx Teaching Excellence Award. | Elena Zhukova

World-class teaching is central to the student experience at Stanford Graduate School of Business. This extraordinary instruction radiates throughout students’ careers as they change lives and transform the world. To show their appreciation, students from the MBA, MSx, and PhD programs this year recognized two faculty members and one lecturer for their remarkable teaching and service.

“The interaction between instructors and students, both in and out of the classroom, is central to GSB education,” said Jonathan Levin, the Philip H. Knight Professor and dean of Stanford GSB. “Our extraordinary faculty and lecturers consistently go above and beyond, but the recipients of these teaching awards are distinguished for their clarity, passion, and dedication.”

Glenn Kramon: MBA Distinguished Teaching Award


Lecturer Glenn Kramon was presented with the MBA Distinguished Teaching Award. | Nancy Rothstein

MBA students presented Glenn Kramon, lecturer in management, with the MBA Distinguished Teaching Award in a celebratory Zoom meeting.

Allegra Tepper, MBA ’20, said that Kramon is “genuinely concerned with the success of students in and outside of his class.” He exudes a “signature optimism and boundless energy.”

Tylon Garrett, MBA ’20, said that Kramon has been an “ally to the Black community,” mentioning that Kramon secured Dean Baquet as a speaker for the Black Business Student Association and supported Garrett in sharing his thoughts on the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. “Glenn has always advised me to be my authentic, quirky self,” he added, “I’m grateful to him for helping me find my voice.”

Aurora Griffin, MBA ’20, said she was privileged to have Kramon as a mentor, friend, and role model. As a teacher, his style and engagement inspires her in instructing her own students.

Kramon, who has been an editor with the New York Times for more than 30 years, expressed gratitude for this honor, saying it means more to him than any Pulitzer Prize ever could. Through the COVID-19 crisis, he said, his “students saved me with all of the things they’ve done,” characterizing them as those who will accomplish things meaningful for society. He noted his students have produced three dozen op-eds in publications like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, among others.

“The pandemic can take you out of the GSB, but it can’t take the GSB out of you,” Kramon said.

This year, there were 323 nominations for 66 professors, and the selection committee noted six finalists:

  • Amit Seru, the Steven and Roberta Denning Professor of Finance
  • Keith Hennessey, Lecturer in Economics
  • Lisa De Simone, Associate Professor of Accounting
  • Rebecca Lester, Associate Professor of Accounting
  • Robert E. Siegel, Lecturer in Management
  • Dr. Roderick M. Kramer, the William R. Kimball Professor of Organizational Behavior

The student members of the Selection Committee included Charlie Spokes, MBA ’20, Isaac Hales, MBA ’20, Shaan Chugh, MBA ’20, Brendan Hanrahan, MBA ’21, Kanishka Narayan, MBA ’21, and Shilpa Kannan, MBA ’21.

Saumitra Jha: MSx Teaching Excellence Award

Saumitra Jha, associate professor of political economy, was honored as the MSx Teaching Excellence Award recipient. Students in the MSx program presented him the award during a Zoom ceremony.

Our extraordinary faculty and lecturers consistently go above and beyond, but the recipients of these teaching awards are distinguished for their clarity, passion, and dedication.
Jonathan Levin

Erick Araujo, MS ’20, noted how Jha studies the relevance of business as an agent of transformation, even promoting peace in conflict regions, and described him as one of the brightest minds on campus. He encouraged penetrating discussions about the importance of “business beyond profits,” Araujo said. While in other classes students learn how to change organizations, in Jha’s class “we learned how to change the world,” he added.

Kingsley Afemikhe, MS ’20, said that Jha spoke intelligently and in-depth about complex topics, always pushing students to examine the underlying nature of issues. Students were routinely “blown away by what they learned,” he said.

Upon accepting the honor, Jha told his MSx students that he was “thrilled to receive this award,” adding that teachers share a “profound duty to give you our best whenever we’re in the classroom.” For Jha, teaching is an opportunity to cultivate the “willingness of students to engage in very controversial topics.”

Arvind Krishnamurthy: PhD Faculty Distinguished Service Award


Professor Arvind Krishnamurthy was awarded the PhD Faculty Distinguished Service Award. | Nancy Rothstein

PhD students awarded Arvind Krishnamurthy, the John S. Osterweis Professor of Finance, the PhD Faculty Distinguished Service Award during a virtual ceremony.

Doctoral student Amy Huber said that Krishnamurthy impressed her because he will say “I don’t know” when appropriate, and that this humility shows his competence and integrity. Huber said that what Krishnamurthy really means is “I don’t know yet, but here’s how we could think about it.” As such, he “acknowledges the limit of our knowledge,” and, more importantly, “uses his economic reasoning to help students discover how the world really works.”

Lulu Wang, PhD ’23 and vice president of the PhD student association, described Krishnamurthy as a “compassionate advisor and an engaged speaker” who contributed to his students’ experiences and shared meaningful stories with them. And Jonathan Wallen, PhD ’20, said his professor was an “extraordinary talent and extraordinary for students to learn from.”

Krishnamurthy, in acknowledging the honor from his students, said he was “really touched, very thankful and honored to receive this award.” He said that one of the key reasons he came to Stanford GSB from Northwestern in 2014 was the quality of the Stanford GSB PhD students. It has been an exceptionally rewarding experience to teach them and guide them along their paths as they become full-fledged scholars, he added.

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