A. Gary Anderson
Graduate School of Management

‘Dr. Ingram is doing what he is meant to do’

Students honor teaching excellence with the Merino Award presented to Assistant Professor Kyle Ingram
By Laurie McLaughlin |

Challenging the traditional notion of “right answers” and cultivating an appreciation for the complexity of social and psychological phenomena is central to the instructional philosophy of Kyle Ingram, assistant professor of teaching in management.

“I believe that while we may not have all the answers, there are certain things we do know, and it is important to develop sensitivity to different levels of certainty,” he says. “I aim to engage students in critical thinking and encourage them to question assumptions by presenting them with contradictory research findings and theories.”

Ingram’s philosophy works for students, and they honored him with the student-voted 2022-2023 James Merino Innovation Award, which recognizes a faculty member for innovative ways of teaching or utilizing innovative tools and technologies in the classroom.

“Dr. Ingram is an incredible professor and is, thankfully, doing what he is meant to do,” wrote one of the students nominating Ingram. “He makes an indelible mark on all his students, and I am thankful I was able to learn from such an incredible person.”

Professor Kyle Ingram with undergraduate business students in the UCR Student Success Center


Ingram aims “to keep the classroom fresh and engaging by integrating a variety of teaching methods and tools,” he says. “For instance, in my Designing and Leading Teams course, I employ a method known as concurrent design, where students learn about team-related theories as they work on solving real problems faced by organizations.

“This approach allows students to gain hands-on experience and apply theoretical concepts in a practical context. I also collaborate with external partners, such the School of Medicine’s Healthy Campus Initiative and the Department of Music, to provide students with opportunities for real-world consultation and project-based learning.”

Ingram also incorporates case discussion, research-driven lectures, and in-class exercises to engage students and foster their love for the subject matter, he says. “In my Organizational Behavior course, students participate in a case competition, where teams of student consultants compete to provide the best solution to a given business challenge.”

The contest culminates in a grand finale with a panels of judges, including professors, former students, and administrators. He also incorporates similar interactive experiences in his

Leadership Development course, where students engage in a leadership consulting exercise interacting directly with organizations based in Riverside.

“Professor Ingram shows great care for his students and has always made himself available for any questions,” wrote another nominating student. “He was the first professor to encourage me to step out of my comfort zone, and I’m glad he did so.”

Among the challenges professors face is ensuring everyone grasps difficult subjects. “This requires adaptability, creativity, and perseverance. It is important to continuously assess and adjust my teaching strategies based on student feedback and learning outcomes,” says Ingram. “Establishing a supportive and inclusive learning environment is essential when teaching subjects that might be challenging or, perhaps, revealing. It is essential to encourage open dialogue, questions, and discussion.”

Supporting this notion, one of his students wrote: “Dr. Ingram does a great job creating a space where interaction is encouraged and makes class extremely interesting and engaging. I think that he does a great job of utilizing the classroom space and innovating in his classes.”

Another student’s input included, “… Professor Ingram incorporates new and exciting ways to teach us and really helps us understand the meaning of his lessons. He prepares us very well for real-life business situations, and I appreciate his connection with his students.”

“This recognition as a recipient of the James Merino Innovation Award motivates me to continue pushing the boundaries of traditional teaching methods and finding new ways to inspire our remarkable students,” says Ingram, who last year received the 2022 Innovative Teaching Award from UC Riverside and the 2022 Shulman Endowed Excellence in Teaching Award from the UCR School of Business.

“Every student can be successful in my courses—it just takes the right attitude and motivation.”