From Entrepreneurship to Law and Theater History: Faculty Honored

Professor Matt Allen

Dean of Faculty Ken Matsuno turned the semester’s first faculty meeting into a celebration, announcing the Deans’ Awards for Excellence in Teaching and the Faculty Scholarship Awards.

“Recognizing our great faculty and their work is the best part of my job,” Matsuno said.

Deans’ Awards for Excellence in Teaching

The Deans of the Undergraduate, Graduate, and Executive Education programs, and the Dean of Faculty, choose five faculty members to receive awards for excellence in teaching. They consider student opinion surveys, innovative teaching methods, skill at teaching in integrated and cross-disciplinary settings, and engagement with course and curriculum design.

“We are fortunate to have a large field of potential recipients who have the attributes that make Babson a unique teaching environment,” said Matsuno.

Matt Allen, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Babson Executive Education and Babson Academy Teaching Award

As faculty director, Allen leads a number of important signature programs for the Babson Academy for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurial Learning and Babson Executive Education. He designed and delivered the wildly successful open enrollment program, “The Entrepreneurial Family,” and led the faculty team for a new program for the families of the Young Presidents Organization. Allen also is faculty advisor of the Institute for Family Entrepreneurship at Babson.

“I have been working to develop a new approach to preparing next-generation family members for success in their family and their business. The process requires the involvement of the family in the education process and is focused on creating intentional interactions between the students and their families in order to create a revolutionary kind of learning that I refer to as interaction-based learning,” said Allen.

Ruben Mancha, Assistant Professor of Information Systems, Graduate Teaching Award

Mancha demonstrates very high-teaching performances across all of his courses, while also creating highly innovative and relevant new courses concerning hands-on IT as well as thought leadership technology. “Ruben’s record of teaching and student feedback shows that he cares about his students, the enhancement of teaching in multiple ways, and about innovation in the classroom,” said Matsuno.

“I am grateful for the recognition and for being part of a learning community that encourages and rewards experimentation. Babson nurtures a problem-solving mentality, and I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to learn with and from our students as they take up difficult problems and resolve to have an outsized impact on the world,” said Mancha.

Wes Miller, Adjunct Lecturer, Adjunct Lecturer Teaching Award

A former lawyer and advertising copywriter turned fiction writer, Miller is broadly interdisciplinary, and he brings his vast range of experiences to whatever class he is teaching. “Wes takes on every teaching assignment with characteristic zeal, and his students recognize and appreciate his substantial talents as a teacher,” added Matsuno.

“When I think of the honor of this award, I immediately want to credit two groups. I think of my colleagues who continuously help me improve at my job with their willingness to listen, advise, and discuss. And, I think of my students who so often bring an energy to class that both inspires and energizes me,” said Miller.

Jerome Taillard, Associate Professor of Finance, College-wide Teaching Award

Taillard has demonstrated a remarkable ability to bring out the best in his students—in undergraduate, graduate, and Executive Education courses—challenging them to think and “demanding that they strive for more, all while being cool, relaxed, friendly, and engaging,” Matsuno said.

“I have loved being able to teach across different programs. The mix of students I see keeps me on my toes! It also allows me to learn from different groups and then bring back some of the practitioner’s perspective into the MBA or Undergrad classes with concrete, real-life examples of challenges that businesses face,” said Taillard.

Beth Wynstra, Assistant Professor of English, Undergraduate Teaching Award

“Beth has repeatedly proven herself to be an innovative and inspiring professor as well as a genuine utility player who can teach a wide array of courses to varied populations in the undergraduate and graduate programs,” said Matsuno. “She regularly reinvents her courses and experiments with her pedagogy, and utilizes a strategic mix of close textual analysis, experiential learning, student-driven exercises, new technologies, field trips, theater performances, and public presentations.”

“I feel lucky every day to teach theater and literature at Babson. I see the classroom as a dynamic interdisciplinary space for both critical and creative thinking. I want students to leave my classes not only with a knowledge of dramatic theory, theater history, or the rhetorical devices necessary for effective argumentation and oratory but also with an understanding of how such disciplines can work as powerful, transformative agents for social change,” said Wynstra.

Faculty Scholarship Awards

Babson Faculty Research Fund members and the Dean of Faculty choose these awards to recognize important faculty scholarly work. Scholarship at Babson ranges from the building of theories and frameworks to critical literary analysis.

Lauren Beitelspacher, Associate Professor of Marketing, Multi-dimensional Scholar Award

Beitelspacher had an excellent publication year, which included several articles, including one in the Journal of Marketing as well as a special issue editorial. “Since she currently has several projects in various stages and a current submission with a major journal, I anticipate another great year with respect to Lauren’s intellectual vitality,” Matsuno said.

“Today’s educators, regardless of discipline, are challenged with training the next generation of leaders to adequately address the challenges (environmental, economic, and social), facing the world. This challenge is one that should be shared globally [and] my most recent research applies a scholarly, academic lens to the multidisciplinary teaching process to improve how faculty from differing disciplines can work together to deliver a more robust learning experience for students,” said Beitelspacher.

Andrew Corbett, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Senior Scholar Award

Corbett’s primary area of expertise is in basic research, where he is considered a leader in the field. “What makes Andrew an exemplary senior scholar is not just the impact of his own research but also his ability to develop others and impact the broader field,” added Matsuno.

“My scholarship includes the publication of five books in the last three years along with six scholarly articles. I am thrilled that this work that I do with others here at Babson and elsewhere has been cited over 3,000 times in the last five years. All of this contributed to me being named one of the Top 25 Entrepreneurship Researchers in the World by a global study of entrepreneurship research, something that is truly humbling,” said Corbett.

Kerry Gibson, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, Early-career Scholar Award

“Kerry had a fantastic year with two publications, both in top journals, and the accomplishment of a solo-authored Academy of Management Review article,” said Matsuno. “Her work on disclosure is important, timely, and has practical relevance.  Now that her work is in print, there’s a community that wants to engage around her areas of interest.”

“My research focuses broadly on work relationships, and more specifically, I study how relationships at work develop and change through events such as self-disclosure. I believe work relationships are key to an organization’s success and, as a result, am always studying how they evolve over time,” said Gibson.

Davit Khachatryan, Assistant Professor of Statistics, Interdisciplinary Scholar Award

“Davit’s research stream is diverse and impressive,” said Matsuno. His work in time series category led to a 2018 publication and his patent process studies resulted in a conference chair session and several publications. Khachatryan also is expanding into a new area of statistical support for biomedical applications.

“My research concerns the application of machine learning and statistical modeling techniques in the analysis of large datasets, as well as innovations in statistics pedagogy. It has appeared in journals such as IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management (joint work with Sebastian Fixson), Journal of Statistics Education (joint work with Nathan Karst), and Scientometrics (joint work with Brigitte Muehlmann),” said Khachatryan.

Jason Mohaghegh, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Conceptual Scholar Award

Mohaghegh completed two entire book manuscripts and published an essay in a volume on philosophies of travel and place. He also completed his work as a guest editor of a special issue of the Journal of Comparative and Continental Philosophy, said Matsuno.

“I was quite honored by the College’s recognition of my two latest books in world literature and philosophy: Omnicide: Mania, Fatality, and the Future-In-Delirium (MIT Press/Urbanomic, 2019); and Night: A Philosophy of the After-Dark (Zero Books, forthcoming 2019). While the first book explores new dimensions of madness through the prism of ecstasy, obsession, and annihilation, the second book looks to our ancient fixation with night and its relation to ideas of secrecy, darkness, and disappearance,” said Mohaghegh.

“The work of these award winners represents just a sample of the exciting scholarship and teaching that takes place on the Babson campus and the impact that travels beyond our campus,” said Matsuno.

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