Prof. Sharon Oster Recognized with 2008 SOMAA Award for Teaching Excellence
Sharon Oster, the Frederic D. Wolfe Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship and the director of the Program on Social Enterprise, has been chosen to receive the Yale SOM Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Teaching. The honor is given to one professor each year, based on a vote by the second-year MBA class. Last yearís recipient was Fiona Scott Morton, senior associate dean for faculty development and professor of economics.
Marcy Engler '01, the associate director for major gifts in the Yale development office, made the announcement on behalf of the SOMAA, and presented the award to Oster on April 28, at the final Town Hall meeting of the year. The students in attendance at the Town Hall meeting (first- and second-years alike) cheered loudly when Osterís name was announced. Engler outlined some of Osterís many accomplishments: sheís an expert in competitive strategy, industrial organization, microeconomic theory, and nonprofit strategy; her book, Modern Competitive Analysis, is widely used at business schools; and she leads the Program on Social Enterprise, which supports students, scholars, and alumni interested in the connections between society and business. Most importantly, Engler noted, "She has served as a role model, mentor, and friend to countless students and alumni over the years."
Dean Joel Podolny commended the students present for their selection. "You all chose right," he said. He praised Oster for her work in helping to shape the redesign of the SOM curriculum. In addition to her normal elective course workload, she has taught sessions in multiple core classes, while acting as the major force behind the Integrated Leadership Perspective, which is the final course in the first year of the curriculum. "Itís amazing what Sharon has done in implementing the curriculum both in the classroom and behind the scenes," Podolny said.
Oster said she felt honored by the award in brief remarks made before rushing off to teach a class. She joked that the recognition comes not from teaching one thing well, but because she teaches so many different things. ďItís been a pleasure teaching at SOM,Ē she said. "Thereís something very special about the student body. Itís the reason why those of us who love teaching do it."