Assistant Professor of Teaching in Information Systems Rich Yueh is “literally the GOAT,” said one of his students referring to the popular acronym for “greatest of all time.” This compliment is representative of the many enthusiastic reviews of Yueh’s teaching style, and students recently voted to acknowledge him with the UCR School of Business’s 2021-2022 James Merino Innovation Award.
The award was created by James Merino, an expert in the field of data science, and annually recognizes a professor who inspires innovation and brings new ideas into the classroom, in addition to integrating teaching practices and strategies that improve students’ learning online, face-to-face, or a blend of the two.
“His methodology truly embodies the fundamental goal of education: to teach students so that they learn, understand, and remember,” wrote another student
reviewing Yueh, who teaches undergraduate core course BUS 101 Information Technology Management and MBA core course MGT 205 Information Systems. “He was readily available to help with our coding, and his results-based curriculum resulted in work that I can point to and say, ‘Look, I built this.’”
Staying current, says Yueh, is paramount as a professor: “Technology is becoming a bigger part of our lives, and I update my courses every quarter to include trending technologies, mainstream concepts, and modern tools,” he says.
Yueh also looks to his own life experience to tailor his teaching. “I’m an immigrant, and my parents came to America for a better life,” he adds. “For many UCR students, this education is a chance to bring their families a higher quality of life.
“I know my course is just a small step along that path. Every student has a story to tell, and I’m invested in my students’ success because I want them to create and share their stories.”
Having previously worked at Yahoo! in the Bay Area (which, coincidentally, is also where James Merino worked at one time), students seek Yueh’s advice for landing internships and jobs. “I also use my Silicon Valley tech industry experience to help students navigate their career searches or understand how they can apply their strengths to the field,” he says.
Another student in one of Yueh’s courses said, “I have no previous experience with information systems, and he explained it in different ways for those students who are more visual than analytical.”
There’s no shortage of fresh ideas in the ever-evolving technology industry, according to Yueh, and he applies the same inventive attitude to his instructional style: “To better teach my students, I study communication and pedagogical techniques from areas and disciplines outside of academia, including Formula One teams and improvisational comedy.”
Last year, Yueh also received the School of Business’s student-voted 2020-2021 Golden Apple Award in the categories of preparation for business administration major and upper division major requirements. In 2019-2020, the students selected him for the same award in the category of graduate elective courses, and he was presented with the Outstanding Disability Ally award by the UCR Student Disability Resource Center.
Yueh is especially interested in making sure his students succeed after graduation and serves as a mentor providing guidance and tools. “My vote goes to Professor Yueh because I am using 75% of what he taught us in my current internship,” wrote another student. “That knowledge has helped me stand above the other interns.”
View photos of the 2022 Faculty Awards at the UCR Business AGSM Spring Banquet: