Category Archives: Faculty Spotlight

Distinguished Teaching Award Finalists Announced

The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning seeks input for its annual Distinguished Teaching Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions to the instructional mission of the University.
Based on more than 50,000 student rating of instruction responses, 12 finalists have been identified for the 2018 awards. The selection committee is soliciting comments from students, staff, faculty and alumni to aid in its deliberation process.
This year’s finalists are:
Assistant Professor / Lecturer / Professor of Practice Category
  • Andrew Barnard (MEEM), Assistant Professor
  • Lisa Johnson de Gordillo (VPA), Assistant Professor
  • Heather Knewtson (SBE), Assistant Professor
  • Brigitte Morin (Bio Sci), Senior Lecturer
  • Stephen Techtmann (Bio Sci), Assistant Professor
  • Ebenezer Tumban (Bio Sci), Assistant Professor
  • Jeffrey Wall (SBE), Assistant Professor
Associate Professor / Professor Category
  • Andrew Burton (SFRES), Professor
  • Ann Maclean (SFRES), Professor
  • Amy Marcarelli (Bio Sci), Associate Professor
  • Christopher Webster (SFRES), Professor
  • Richelle Winkler (Soc Sci), Associate Professor

Comments on the nominees are due by Monday, March 26, and can be completed online. The process for determining the Distinguished Teaching Award recipients from this list of finalists also involves the additional surveying of their spring classes.

The selection committee makes the final determination of the award recipients. The 2018 DistinguishedTeaching Awards will be formally announced in May.
For more information, email Nancy Seely or call 7-1896.
– William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning, Tech Today – January 30, 2018

Dean’s Teaching Showcase: Jeff Wall

Our third Deans’ Teaching Showcase member for spring 2018 comes from Dean Johnson in the School of Business and Economics (SBE). Johnson has selected Jeff Wall, assistant professor. During his brief time at Tech, Wall has already been recognized as the SBE Teacher of the Year Award and with membership in the Academy of Teaching Excellence. Johnson credits Wall’s teaching success to his “humble, demure and genuine passion for students combined with a deep knowledge of his field.”

In his nomination, Johnson also emphasized Wall’s flexibility: “From the freshman intro course to the advanced graduate MBA and Master of Data Science course, Jeff has the ability to effectively teach a wide range of topics and class levels. Jeff consistently receives high teaching evaluations and positive comments from students across this spectrum. I believe this is due to Jeff’s ability to make each student an active valuable member of the class.”

When asked how he helps students feel included, Wall emphasizes using projects and a need for a “safe” environment to enable learning. He elaborates, “In the classroom, I seek to foster an environment of mutual respect and to create an environment where it is okay to experiment and make mistakes. During experiential learning sessions, student teams are asked to present their work to the class for critique. Students see that all of the teams make mistakes. These sessions help to reinforce the idea that making mistakes is an important part of the learning process. From these sessions, students see what common mistakes may occur in practice and how to avoid or remedy them in the future.”

Wall will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with 11 other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.


-by Michael Meyer, Director, William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning


Lecture by Dr. Paul Nelson


Dr. Paul Nelson gave a lecture on Thursday, November 16 entitled “The Current State of Competition in the United States” organized by the Economics Club with the support of the SBE. More than 100 people were in attendance including students, faculty, and members of the local community.  Dr. Nelson’s lecture described the rise of oligopolies over the last few decades and how innovation is pretty much the main hope to disrupt them.

For more information, visit the Daily Mining Gazette.


New Supply Chain and Operations Management Professor

Join us in welcoming our newest faculty member to the School of Business and Economics, Dr. Ulrich Schmelzle. Shmelzle earned his Ph.D. in Business Administration with a concentration in Supply Chain Management from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He also holds an MBA from Arizona State University and a bachelor degree (equiv.) in Industrial Engineering and Management from the University of Hamburg, Germany.

Prior to returning to academia, he held different managerial positions in supply management, manufacturing, and logistics planning. With more than 18 years of industry experience, he has worked as a consultant, entrepreneur, and senior manager primarily in the semiconductor and aerospace industries. Schmelzle’s research focuses on managerial decision-making promoting efficiency and innovativeness. He is particularly interested in how operations and supply chain management can enhance the innovation performance of the organization.

Ulrich regularly presents new research at national conferences from organizations such as the Decision Sciences Institute (DSI) or the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and has published in peer-reviewed academic journals and conference proceedings.


Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics Faculty and Alums Receive the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce Spark Plug Award

Each year the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce presents awards in the following categories:

  • Community development,
  • Growth,
  • Customer Service/Quality/Teamwork,
  • Transformation/Innovation
  • Young Professional of the Year, and
  • Person/Project of the Year

The 2016 SparkPlug Award for Project of the Year was awarded to Leadership Keweenaw, with a mission to challenges participants to develop their leadership skills through networking, education, exciting and fun activities and community involvement. The vision: Leadership improves the quality of life for Keweenaw residents and guests via its graduates’ active, consistent practice of inclusive leadership.  To build our leadership talent to positively impact our economy, environment, and society.

This award is provided to a high impact project that is notable within the community and will provide lasting benefits to businesses and community member.  Leadership Keweenaw was one of eight nominations for the Project of the Year category.

Dana M. Johnson, Ph.D., SBE faculty and alum and chair of the steering committee for Leadership Keweenaw, along with Marilyn Clark, MTEC SmartZone CEO and SBE alum, were two of the nine team members to receive this award for their work in the design, development, and presentation of the leadership program.  The team has been working on the project since summer 2015, with the first class beginning in August 2016 with a planned graduation of 2017.

Dana Johnson 20170228002