UCR Business School Lecturer John Acker encourages his students “to argue like grownups,” he says. “To see their classes as an opportunity to mature, not just as a place to learn.
“In the Business Writing course, my team and I focus on identifying, creating, and communicating professional value through writing, whether it’s a complex business proposal or a simple email to a colleague.”
Acker was recently recognized by students, who voted for him to receive the 2021-2022 Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence for business administration prerequisite and core courses. He was among five professors chosen for the award in varying categories, and he received a $2,500 prize.
“Professor Acker makes management writing, which is a very practical course, interesting and engaging,” wrote a voting student. “Rather than just a presentation, he built projects into the curriculum as a way to test our knowledge and apply it to the real world.”
Acker, who also runs a professional editing business, specializes in 19th-century American literature; his interests include religion and literature, academic editing, and business writing. He teaches within the University Writing Program.
Clearly, Acker’s approach has made an impression on students: “Professor Acker has taught me a lot of transferable skills,” wrote another student. “I was able to touch up my cover letter and résumé, and I received offers when I applied for jobs.”
Acker shares students’ enthusiasm for learning. “College students want to change the world, usually in five pages or less,” he says with a laugh. “I love tapping into that passion to help develop mature goal-driven professionals.”