Stanford GSB students honor professors for extraordinary teaching skill

Three Stanford Graduate School of Business professors – one from Germany, one from Russia and one from Taiwan – were honored by students this week for extraordinary skill in the art of teaching.

Anne Beyer

ANNE BEYER, associate professor of accounting, was presented with the 2013 MBA Distinguished Teaching Award for leading the school’s introductory financial accounting class. A graduate of the University of Stuttgart and the Kellogg School of Management, she joined the Stanford faculty straight out of business school, in 2006, and immediately began teaching the intricacies of business transactions, accounting terminology, and rationales for various accounting methods.

In their nominations, MBA students praised Beyer for her “uncanny ability to answer questions and cover complex topics in simple terms the whole class could understand,” and for fostering a classroom atmosphere “where questions – or mere expressions of confusion – were welcomed.” As one put it, “She is not flashy and entertaining, rather she is earnest and direct. … I did not have the highest grade in her class, but I did have the highest level of learning.”

Ilya Strebulaev

ILYA STREBULAEV, associate professor of finance, was presented with the 2013 Sloan Teaching Excellence Award by graduates of the master’s program for mid-career managers and executives. A graduate of the New Economic School, Moscow, and the London Business School, Strebulaev came to Stanford in 2004. In his Sloan Program course, Finance 229, he covered the foundations of corporate finance – including the management of liquidity, capital structure, financial forecasting, dividend policy, financial distress, the cost of capital and capital budgeting – for students with a wide range of finance experience. As one of his student nominators wrote, “It’s amazing how Ilya was able to understand the diversity of the group. He was committed to making sure we learned about real-life issues.” Said another: “I fell in love with finance after taking this class.” Strebulaev also won the MBA Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009.

Charles Lee

CHARLES LEE, the Joseph McDonald Professor of Accounting, was awarded the 2013 PhD Distinguished Faculty Service Award for his work with doctoral students. Born in Taiwan and raised in Canada, Lee earned his PhD at Cornell and taught 14 years at Michigan and Cornell before serving as managing director at Barclays Global Investors (now Blackrock). Since joining the Stanford faculty in 2009, he has developed a strong interest in the investment environment in China and regulatory oversight of Chinese security markets.

In their nominations, students praised Lee for his tireless support and hospitality, even after office hours. “Charles is always excited to discuss research topics with students, and his enthusiasm is infectious,” wrote one. “Students leave his office energized and excited to pursue high quality research.” Another put it simply: “Charles has had a transformative influence – not only on my research, but also on my life.” This is the third year in a row that Lee has been honored for his teaching at Stanford GSB. In 2011 and 2012, he won the Sloan Teaching Excellence Award.

—THERESA JOHNSTON, for the Graduate School of Business