Two recognized for teaching prowess

Oct 17, 2002, vol. 25, no. 4
By Diane Luckow

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SFU business professor Daniel Shapiro and accounting instructor Anne Macdonald (left) are this year's winner of the Canada Trust excellence in teaching award worth $2,000 each.

Passion, knowledge and the ability to share both with his students is why Shapiro was recognized for the award.

“Danny stands out as one of the best teachers in the EMBA program because he clearly loves his subject and teaching,” said one student nominator. Others spoke of his humour, insight and ability to apply theoretical principles to the real world of business.

For Shapiro, who has taught in the faculty for the past 11 years, the award validates the effort he has put into learning how to teach well. “I've learned how to teach from my executive MBA students,” he says. “They've taught me to be organized so as not to waste their time - that every lecture should have a beginning, middle and end. They taught me to think carefully about what concepts are important to managerial decision makers and to make the relevant theory as transparent as possible. ”
Students in Macdonald's undergraduate accounting classes applaud her ability to make accounting seem interesting and relevant. It's one of the reasons that the accounting instructor has also received an excellence in teaching award.

Macdonald's students are usually surprised to learn that accounting is not what they thought. “Students coming out of high school have the preconceived notion that accountants are bookkeepers,” says Macdonald, an accounting instructor in the faculty of business administration. “I always tell students that they're becoming business professionals with an expertise in accounting. That they're like editors - they have to sift through information, extract what's important and determine how to make decisions with that information.”

Students who nominated Macdonald commented on her patience, flexibility, clarity and friendliness. “I'm very flattered,” she says. “Particularly since I'm an SFU alumna myself.”

Macdonald has taught in the faculty since 1998.

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