Powell Distinguished Senior Instructor of Marketing Doug Wilson was teaching his MBA marketing strategy course Wednesday, May 11, when it was interrupted by a surprise visitor, university President Michael Schill.
A few days later on Friday, May 13, assistant professor of finance Steve McKeon was watching students present when university Senior Vice President and Provost Scott Coltrane entered the room.
The interruptions were made to bestow Wilson and McKeon with UO's highest teaching awards. It was the first time UO business school faculty members earned both of the university's top teaching honors in a single year.
Schill presented Wilson the Herman Award for Specialized Pedagogy, an elite university-wide distinction that recognizes senior faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and expertise in a particular area of teaching. Coltrane presented McKeon with the Ersted Distinguished Teaching Award. Represented by a crystal apple, the Ersted Award honors faculty members who have demonstrated early career teaching excellence in short period of time.
Praise for Wilson
“Doug Wilson is diligent in pushing students to think creatively, to judiciously evaluate alternatives, and then to back up or buttress their reasoning," wrote senior instructor of management Beth Hjelm in her nomination. “He pushes students to be curious and inquisitive, to go beyond the textbook so that they understand both the theoretical underpinnings of an issue as well as the practical applications of concepts in today's real business environment."
Wilson serves as the course coordinator for BA 101: Introduction to Business, which includes working with three other instructors to teach more than 2,500 students throughout the academic year. He is also on several course committees, helping to ensure they meet Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and Lundquist College requirements.
Hjelm also noted Wilson is an outstanding colleague who is always available to discuss classroom dilemmas and issues, to offer ideas on a path forward, and to share best practices. He is also a steadfast supporter of students, even beyond graduation, helping to evaluate the viability of their business ideas or job prospects.
“His course evaluations consistently are very impressive, in spite of the challenging nature of the classes he teaches," wrote Department of Marketing head and Ehrman Giustina Professor Lynn Kahle in his statement of support. “With the heavy teaching load carried out so well, he is central to the educational mission of the Lundquist College of Business."
Additional recent teaching awards for Wilson include one from the Business Advisory Council for undergraduate teaching and one for most influential teacher. Wilson is also a recent recipient of the Oregon Executive MBA program’s faculty member of the year award for his work with the Portland program.
Accolades for McKeon
McKeon's family was on hand to help celebrate the Ersted Award announcement, which came during a meeting of the University of Oregon Investment Group (UOIG), the student group McKeon helped form back in the late 1990s when he was an undergraduate student.
UOIG is a group of elite undergraduate students seeking to supplement their coursework with career and leadership training, networking, and real-world finance experience. Students manage in excess of $1 million in funds in live money across several portfolios.
Finance department head and Gerry and Marilyn Cameron Professor of Finance Diane Del Guercio nominated McKeon, describing him as “one of the most effective and versatile instructors in the Lundquist College of Business, successfully teaching rigorous courses in all three programs: undergraduate, MBA, and doctoral."
“Over his entire teaching record at the University of Oregon, the average score on student evaluations on instructional quality is 4.62 [out of 5]," she added. “His teaching materials are rigorous and high quality, and clearly demonstrate the level of care he takes in conducting his courses. Student comments commonly attest to how engaging and motivating he is as an instructor."
Associate professor of finance Ro Gutierrez, who serves as co-advisor to the UOIG, said McKeon's work with the group is exemplary and personally inspiring.
“One aspect of his approach that I particularly admire, and which I have witnessed firsthand, is his desire to allow the students to arrive at the best decisions on their own, with his nudging, rather than to bluntly interject what he already knows to be the best solution," Gutierrez wrote in a supplement to the nomination. “Steve succeeds at teaching these students how to make decisions."
McKeon's teaching was previously recognized with James E. Reinmuth MBA Teaching Excellence awards in 2013 and 2014, which were awarded by MBA student vote. He earned the Business Advisory Council Undergraduate Teaching Award twice—in 2012 and 2016. That award is given to one Lundquist College faculty member per term and is based on student quantitative and written comments and an administrator's review of the faculty member's performance relative to peers.