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Faculty of Business Administration awards first teaching fellowship

By Moira Finn

Signaling its commitment to quality and innovation in teaching, the Faculty of Business Administration has awarded Dr. Tom Cooper its first teaching fellowship.

An assistant professor of strategic management, Dr. Cooper receives $2,500 in funding which he will use to better understand how engagement with a broader spectrum of stakeholders can improve student development and the effectiveness of business schools in serving the community and various stakeholder groups.

"I'm interested in engaged scholarship – where the community is fully-engaged with academics and researchers to define scholarship – and I want to know how we teach and understand this for the benefit of students, of business schools and for all stakeholders," said Dr. Cooper.

"This fellowship will help me look at the trends and issues in the business community in this province as to what they think is important to teach students and to use that information to develop curriculum and other training materials to teach the framework for true community engaged scholarship."

Dr. Cooper credits a decade working in international business, principally in consulting, to enhancing his teaching. He says the experience has made him more aware of what businesses want and need from graduates. Recognizing that those requirements are dynamic, he says, reinforces the importance of continued engagement with a broad range of stakeholders and informs his teaching and research.

A faculty member since 2007, Dr. Cooper teaches graduate and undergraduate students strategic management and ethics, publishes research in management education, risk management and Aboriginal business and helps coach case competition teams.

His effectiveness in teaching has been previously acknowledged. He was awarded the 2010 Dean's Teaching Award, was a 2011 Academy of Finance Teaching Excellence finalist in Chicago, Ill., and was lauded Professor of the Year in his area group by the undergraduate graduating class for four years running.
Dr. Wilfred Zerbe, dean of the Faculty of Business Administration, was pleased to congratulate Dr. Cooper.

"Tom is committed to improving teaching practices in business and management and wants to keep improving his own teaching and we all – the university, the faculty, our students and the business community – are the beneficiaries of this commitment."

The teaching fellowships – up to five will be presented each year – are part of the business faculty's efforts to further develop teaching practices, support innovation in instructional design and delivery and to recognize and reward excellence.

A new teaching committee has also been formed to establish and implement policies and procedures to help develop teaching skills and foster innovation that will improve learning amongst students.