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Apr 10, 2020 2020-04 Accountancy Alumni Business Administration Faculty Finance

Three faculty receive GBAA teaching awards

CHAMPAIGN, IL – Three faculty members at Gies College of Business have been announced as recipients of the Gies Business Alumni Association’s 2019-2020 awards for teaching excellence.

Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
Rachel Schwartz, Senior Lecturer of Accountancy

Excellence in Graduate Teaching
Michael Bednar, Associate Professor of Business Administration

Excellence in Teaching Assistance
Sulaiman AlBader, PhD student in Finance

Rachel Schwartz (Square)As an educator since 1982 and a Gies faculty member since 2003, Rachel Schwartz (right) has had a lifelong commitment to students’ learning and personal growth. In addition to teaching, for which she has consistently been named to the “List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students,” she has been the academic director of the MSA program since 2012. Her commitment to the College earned her one of the first Dean’s Impact Awards in 2017. Schwartz says there is nothing more satisfying than “seeing students light up as we work together through complex subjects, building their knowledge, skills, competence, and the confidence that comes with a full understanding of what previously appeared to be incomprehensible.”

Michael Bednar (Square)Michael Bednar (left) joined the Gies faculty in 2008, since then, he has been recognized for his service to students and the Gies community, earning the Dean’s Impact Award in 2018 for his “tireless work in developing and piloting Business 301,” the College’s undergraduate action learning course. In addition to his teaching and research interests, Bednar is the College’s academic director of experiential learning. “There is something magical when students are able to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to their own lives. That’s one thing that’s so gratifying about working with graduate students who are often able to immediately see the applicability of the things we discuss in class.”

Sulaiman Al-Bader (Square)Sulaiman AlBader came to Gies as a PhD student in the Department of Finance in 2016 after earning an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley. As an instructor for Finance 221: Corporate Finance, he brings his philosophy of delivering engaging, real-life content to the classroom and shares with students his experience as a manager of investment and corporate finance. In 2019, he received the Paul Van Arsdell Award in Finance. Sulaiman will join the faculty at Kuwait University’s College of Business Administration as an assistant professor in the fall.

These awards are sponsored jointly by Gies College of Business and the Gies Business Alumni Association, an organization that has made faculty and teaching excellence a priority in their fund- and friend-raising activities for many decades.