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Cheng and Adner Receive 2019 Teaching Excellence Awards

Students praised the professors for their inspirational and transformative teaching.

The Class of 2019 has announced this year’s winners of the annual Teaching Excellence Awards.

In the Core curriculum, students selected associate professor Ing Haw Cheng for his Capital Markets course. In the elective category, students selected Ron Adner, the David T. McLaughlin D’54 T’55 Professor for his Entrepreneurship & Innovation Strategy (EIS) Course.

The Teaching Excellence Awards were set up by the Class of 2011 to “celebrate the learning environment at Tuck by honoring the faculty who, in the eyes of their students, have made an outstanding contribution to the quality of the educational experience.” Each year, an academic representative from the graduating class surveys his or her classmates about their favorite teachers and meets with a committee to examine the comments and data and select the winners.

Ing Haw Cheng has been teaching the Capital Markets course since he arrived at Tuck, four years ago. For many students, the course is their first introduction to finance, and Cheng relishes the opportunity to teach them a broad set of tools and principles that can be applied in many contexts, from valuing stocks and bonds to appraising a business or a piece of real estate.

While the format of the course is mostly lectures, Cheng works hard to make the material engaging and the classroom lively. “I try to make the course interactive as much as possible,” he says. “Part of what I try to do is to bring in real world examples—maybe something I saw in the news this week that relates to the material. I also try, during the course of the lecture, to get the students involved. I pause when working something out on the board, and give them a chance to find the answer.”

Cheng’s dynamism in class was palpable for students, one of whom noted, “Professor Cheng knows how to energize students despite the somewhat intimidating nature of finance. What an amazing and truly inspiring teacher!”

I learn something new every time I teach, and so savor the opportunity each time.

Adner, too, has been teaching the EIS course since his first days at Tuck, in 2008. “The course has been an avenue for my own exploration of innovation and strategy, and it has evolved along with my thinking,” he explains. “The content has changed quite dramatically over the years, but the format of active discussion, case exploration, and analytic frameworks has been a constant.  It is an enormous privilege to be able to share ideas with engaged students, and to benefit from the viewpoints, reactions, and questions that define their engagement. I learn something new every time I teach, and so savor the opportunity each time.”

Adner’s students savor their time with him as well. One described his teaching as “impressive and transformative” while another remarked that he “embodies wisdom and empathy and has changed the trajectory of everyone lucky enough to take his classes.” Indeed, this is Adner’s second time winning this award—he was also recognized in 2011, the first year the awards were given.

As has become the tradition, Cheng and Adner, as the recipients of the Teaching Excellence Awards, will deliver the “Last Lecture” on Friends and Family Day on Friday, June 7.