Erhan Erkut (1999)

erkutAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Alberta, Finance and Management Science.

Citation: Erhan Erkut’s performance as a lecturer is outstanding, but his contributions to students extend outside the classroom. Whether it is replying to an e-mail query at 3:00 a.m., or spending an hour helping students in the computer lab, Erhan is absolutely and intensely committed to his students. He is quick to respond to student comments and takes their feedback very seriously. “He loves to teach and the energy and enthusiasm that he exudes when he is in front of the classroom is unbelievable.”

Working as a team leader with other colleagues, Erhan revamped the Faculty of Business’ introductory operations management course, and transformed it into the “most challenging and most rewarding” of the introductory courses. It now features the extensive use of technology in the presentation of course material, and carefully-paced modules of material interspersed with music, video, simulations and skits. Despite being taught in a class of 350 students, this course has received the highest student ratings among the Faculty’s introductory classes. Erhan’s innovative and enthusiastic delivery of the material has made him the recipient of five teaching awards, one of which is the University of Alberta’s premier teaching award, The Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Erhan is not only interested in teaching students, but also in providing training opportunities for future colleagues. Recently, Erhan spearheaded the Faculty’s involvement in the University of Alberta’s University Teaching Program, which provides opportunities for Ph.D. students to develop an ethical, philosophical, and practical basis for careers in post-secondary teaching.

Erhan is well known across North America and is in constant demand to make presentations at conferences and workshops. He has been invited to a number of business schools to discuss his teaching strategies, and his use of technology in the classroom. During the last two years, he has served as the Education Committee Chair for both the Canadian Operational Research Society and The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. Recently, he was appointed Editor-in-Chief of INFORMS Transactions on Education, a new educational journal in his discipline.