A. Gary Anderson
Graduate School of Management

UCR Business Professors Honored by Students

Recognizing excellence in the classroom, students celebrate their instructors and their impact
By Laurie McLaughlin |

On May 19, faculty were honored by students for their achievements inside the classroom. The evening was hosted by AGSM Student Association President Merve Sekercigellar ’23 PMBA, and awards were presented to faculty for teaching excellence.

“As you know, the faculty of the School of Business are world-renowned scholars, publishing in top academic journals. They are also outstanding teachers and mentors,” said Sekercigellar at the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management’s Student Association Banquet celebrating the end of the academic year. “Each year, the school provides students the opportunity to vote for the professors who have had the greatest impact on them during the academic year.”

There are three award categories: the Golden Apple recognizes teaching excellence in the core and prerequisite courses and elective courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels for a total of four awards; the James Merino Innovation Award; and the Schulman Endowed Excellence in Teaching Award.

In presenting a 2023 Golden Apple award, MBA student Kyla Sycip ’23 said: “The Golden Apple Award is for the professor who, in the estimation of students, has provided the best overall experience in terms of learning, engagement, teaching style, and innovative teaching methods.”

Associate Professor of Marketing Ashish Sood was recognized with two Golden Apple awards—for excellence in teaching in graduate core courses and for graduate elective courses. “[Sood is] described by his students as accessible, caring, passionate about teaching, and able to connect course theory to real world applications,” said Sycip.

The Golden Apple for excellence in teaching the undergraduate prerequisite and core courses was awarded to Professor of Practice Sean Jasso by Chief Undergraduate Student Ambassador Jaya Gazula ’24, who is earning bachelor’s degrees in both public policy and business administration with a concentration in management, and School of Business Leadership Council President John Healey ’23, who is earning a bachelor’s in business administration concentrating in accounting and auditing.

“[Professor Jasso] is engaging and passionate,” said the presenters. “His students say that while his classes can be difficult, they were the among the best learning experiences, and everything he teaches and stands for is built upon a foundation of strong ethics and morality.”

Gazula and Healey awarded the Golden Apple for teaching excellence in undergraduate elective courses to Assistant Professor of Teaching in Marketing Jonathan Lim.

“[Professor Lim] is amazing and enthusiastic and makes the course material easy to understand,” said the presenters. “He supports his students in an accessible and fun learning environment and creates a sense of community among classmates.”

Gazula and Sycip jointly presented two more awards, which were voted on by both undergraduate and graduate students.

Assistant Professor of Teaching in Management Kyle Ingram received the James Merino Innovation Award, which recognizes a faculty member for bringing innovative ways of teaching or utilizing innovative tools and technologies in the classroom.

Gazula and Sycip shared comments by students who voted for Ingram: “‘This professor is an incredible teacher and is thankfully doing what he is meant to do. He makes an indelible mark on all his students’; ‘In his class, I was able to truly experience teamwork in a way I had never experienced before. It was just such an amazing and fun experience’; and ‘Working continuously with one group allowed me to make some great connections and build relationships. The issues faced between members allowed me to implement the theories from class as we tried to solve issues that arose between one another.’”

Professor of Practice Raj Singh received the Shulman Endowed Excellence in Teaching award, which recognizes an outstanding faculty member who embodies the fulfillment of learning through their excellence in teaching.

Gazula and Sycip shared comments from student voters about Singh: “‘He is an outstanding professor who is dedicated to teaching his students about real world topics that will benefit us in the future;’ ‘His unique teaching technique engages students and creates an environment that allows them to look outside of the box and tie their experiences to the learning material;’ ‘He continuously makes sure the class is on track for understanding the material so we excel in the course;’ ‘He was able to increase my ability to participate in class by being empathetic.’”

Congratulations to each of these stellar professors as they bring their unique and effective teaching styles into the classroom.


View the 2023 winners:

Faculty Teaching & Innovation Awards


View more photos on Flickr:

Flickr Album