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Past Winners of the Teacher of the Week

Stephen Skripak

   

The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes Stephen Skripak, professor of practice of Management, for demonstrating an authentic sense of the decision-making process in business by utilizing his experiences to solidify their understanding of course concepts.

Stephen Skripak has taught a variety of courses at all levels; from Foundations of Business to the 5000-level Ethical Dimensions of Leadership. Having spent 25 years in the business world, Mr. Skripak looks for opportunities to create innovative activities and share current examples that go well beyond the textbook. He also spends considerable time collecting and incorporating student feedback; in addition to SPOT comments, he does a mid-semester evaluation in every course to make adjustments as needed even before the semester is over.

One of the most popular exercises Mr. Skripak has created for the first-year course is using analyzing an episode of the TV show Shark Tank when they cover entrepreneurship. After the entrepreneur’s “pitch”, he pauses the video and lets the students take the role of the “sharks”, listing what questions they would ask if they were potential investors in the company. They then resume the video and compare their questions to those of the sharks. The students do better than they expect, and in addition to learning to think like business people, it serves as a confidence booster. The students also do two live cases in the freshman class. They are fully current, and since they are video-based, they require very limited reading, which today’s students appreciate. Finally, Mr. Skripak incorporates articles from the Wall Street Journal into his weekly quizzes; all of the articles relate to the course topic that week, which helps demonstrate that theories the students are learning are relevant. Many people question him on whether freshmen are ready for cases and the like, but Mr. Skripak says “they do surprisingly well with all of these exercises.”

In addition to being the former Associate Dean for Graduate Programs (2006-2014), Mr. Skripak’s accomplishments include developing simultaneous degree offerings in cooperation with Civil Engineering, Industrial & Systems Engineering, the Myers-Lawson School of Building Construction, and the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He was also named Faculty of the Year by two business fraternities, Alpha Kappa Psi (2008-09) and Delta Sigma Pi (2007), and received college and university awards for teaching excellence (2007-08) and the Silver Distinguished Service Award from Alpha Kappa Psi (2009-10 and 2011-12).

Homepage: http://sskripak.weebly.com/





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