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Management Teaching Excellence rewarded

Posted by Nicole Maunsell on March 22, 2019 in News

MTEA recipients Scott Comber, Oksana Shkurska and James Barker with donor Bill Black.

The 2018–2019 Management Teaching Excellence Awards (MTEAs) were presented in December to three professors in the Faculty of Management.

James Barker is known for being flexible and adaptive in the online classroom environment, where he teaches leadership courses for the Blended Online MBA programs. He had an integral role in developing the newest of these programs, the MBA Leadership. He is the Herbert S. Lamb Chair in Business Education, and brings his expertise in organizational complexity to his courses.

Dr. Barker’s award was presented by MBA Leadership student Sundari Pashupathi, who took his Leading in Complexity course. "Jim was very knowledgeable and approachable right from the beginning,” she says. “He made the online learning seamless and was always available to answer any question. He has an excellent understanding of his subject area, and a genuine interest in the needs of the students.”

Oksana Shkurska teaches first-year business communications classes, and is a faculty advisor for the Rowe Women in Business Association. She is the communication support specialist for international students in the Rowe School of Business, offering writing help and mentorship to students through the International Student Success Program (ISSP). Her research aims to address the issues of intercultural communication as well as to find more effective methods of communication in academia and business organizations.

Bachelor of Commerce student Julia Penney presented her award. “Not only is her classroom a place where students like me can work through concepts in a safe and engaging environment,” says Penney, “but also Dr. Shkurska brings a zeal for student success outside the classroom as well – whether that is through work with ISSP or when judging case competitions. She connects with students on a personal level and has genuine enthusiasm for their success in a sincere and meaningful way.”

Scott Comber teaches Management Skills Development, Personal and Professional Effectiveness, and is an instructor in the Management Without Borders class, which is taken by all graduate students in the Faculty of Management. He is known for integrating his professional experience as a consultant with academic research in management education to create a unique classroom environment, where he sets high standards for both himself and his students. He has been a case competition coach and the faculty advisor for Enactus Dalhousie.

Sagar Sahota, a Bachelor of Management student, presented the award. “Scott challenged my thinking, how I viewed the world, and how I viewed myself,” he says. “By taking his class, I gained a friend and a mentor, and became a better person.”

Given annually, the MTEAs celebrate teachers who, per the award’s guidelines, “display the qualities of superior teaching, excellent understanding of the subject area and interest in the needs of the students.” Student ratings are integral to the selection process, and the selection committee includes student members.

First awarded in 2010, the MTEAs are made possible by a donation from alumnus Bill Black. At the presentation, the Faculty of Management thanked Mr. Black for his renewed commitments to the award and presented him with a framed reproduction of a profile honouring him in Giving Power, Dalhousie’s print-only donor recognition publication, to honour his longstanding contribution to the Faculty.