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June 6, 2002 Teaching excellence awards in business



MIS Professor Meral Büyükkurt recognized for teaching.

Photo by Andrew Dobrowolskyj

by Barbara Black

Congratulations to Professor Meral Büyükkurt and part-time instructor Mark Haber, who have been awarded this year’s teaching excellence awards by the John Molson School of Business. The awards will be presented at the School’s convocation ceremony June 11.

Associate Professor Büyükkurt teaches and does research in management information systems (MIS). She is the director of JMSB co-op programs and academic director of the co-op program in MIS, and she’s a strong supporter of this selective program of alternating work and study.

She says that for her first- and second-year courses, she sees her role as enabling the students to “make sense of the world from a business perspective.” In their final year, she guides them toward their selected careers. In the case of her graduate students, she said, “I see my role more as a mentor, aiming to expand their horizons.”

She wants to give all her students not only the skills and theories they need, but the appropriate attitudes for their working future. At all levels of her teaching, she added, she sees herself as a colleague of her students, learning along with them. She encourages participation, and in her high-level undergraduate courses, gives it a percentage of the grade.

As a teacher of professionals, she takes great pride in the success of graduates when they go out into the “real world.” “I consider myself lucky to be in a profession that provides me with the opportunity to witness the glimmer in the eye of the student who finally comprehends a difficult concept,” she said.

Mark Haber: marketing mentor

Mark Haber started teaching in the Department of Marketing in 1988. Last year, he was appointed director of the Undergraduate Competition Program, and under his direction, Concordia’s team came second in the first JMSB Undergraduate National Case Competition, after Queen’s and ahead of McGill.

Other competitions under Haber’s tutelage this year included the McGill International Management Competition, in which the JMSB team came first against competitors from Budapest, Copenhagen, São Paulo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Berkeley, among others. A team of four undergraduates were given only 24 hours to analyze a cross-functional case based on globalization and innovation.