2023 Lam-Larsen Distinguished Teaching Professorship Awards

Three Lam Family College of Business faculty members are recognized for their long and distinguished record of outstanding and high-impact teaching and mentoring with our bi-annual Lam-Larsen Distinguished Teaching Professorship Awards – Associate Professor Robert Bonner, Assistant Professor Stewart Liu, and Associate Professor Smita Trivedi!

Funded by the Lam-Larsen Global Innovation Fund, the Distinguished Teaching Professorship Awards recognize faculty not only for excellent teaching but also for innovative instruction and significant contributions to improving the curriculum in our college. Each awardee receives a $10,000 annual stipend for two years and mentors another faculty member each award year.

Join us in congratulating these three award recipients for 2023-2025!

Robert Bonner, Ph.D.

Robert Bonner, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Management

Professor Bonner is a truly unique professor. He uses a backward design process where he starts with the desired outcomes and then provides flexibility to make sure he is assessing students’ ability to meet those outcomes. He focuses on developing low stakes alternatives, but authentic assessments, to identify areas of improvement prior to students completing high stakes summative assessments which greatly supports diverse learners’ unique needs.

Professor Bonner has taken his fascination with pedagogy to many areas of his career: He is deputy chair for the Junior Faculty and Doctoral Student Consortium for the Management Education and Development (MED) Division at the Academy of Management.

In addition to presenting several teaching innovations at a variety of conferences, Professor Bonner has also been the track chair for management education and innovative teaching at three conferences.

If you have a question about a course, Professor Bonner is a great resource as he is known as having taught pretty much everything. While he may have only taught four different classes at SF State, he also taught six different classes as a doctoral student.

While Professor Bonner will be leaving the classroom after spring 2023 semester to assume his upcoming role as Chair of the Management Department, we are confident he will use his new perch to inspire and mentor faculty, junior and senior alike, to always seek excellence in the classroom.

Stewart Liu

Stewart Liu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Decision Sciences

Assistant Professor Stewart Liu works in the Department of Decision Sciences.  His outstanding teaching evaluations are the result of his innovation and passion, both inside the classroom and beyond.

Inside the classroom, Professor Liu was one of the first faculty members to digitize his courses. This process required the learning of tools such as sequential animation, in order to communicate complex mathematical formulas, charts and problem solving. Having completed the digitization process, to accommodate students with limited Internet access, Professor Liu recreated his course content in the form of narrated PowerPoint slides, which are 95% smaller than comparable video files.

In response to feedback regarding a lack of computer software exposure, Professor Liu redesigned his DS-601 course to include optimization software, at no additional cost to students. Furthermore, he helped create an Optimization Lab Workshop, which gave graduate students enrolled in our Master of Science in Business Analytics program the opportunity to work with cutting-edge software as well. The response to this workshop was so positive, it has led to the approval of a new course, the second new course in which Professor Liu was instrumental.

Outside the classroom, Professor Liu is responsible for the connection of our students with students at San Jose State University, University of California-Berkeley and Stanford University, championing their entry in the SF Bay Area Decision Sciences Summit (BADSS) competition for the first time since 2019. And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Professor Liu's distinguished achievements in teaching.

Smita Trivedi

Smita Trivedi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Management

Smita Trivedi

Let us remember that education is not just about transferring information, but about empowering students to become active, engaged citizens who can navigate an ever-changing world with confidence and integrity. Professor Smita Trivedi embodies this noble vision, and her efforts remind us that teaching is a profound act of service and a beacon of hope.

It is inspiring to find a professor that is teaching-first, as Professor Trivedi is always thinking about what would be best for our students. This likely was inspired by her former life when she was a high school teacher and received a Master’s in Education from Harvard University years before getting her Ph.D. in Business. Professor Trivedi has executed her passion in pedagogy in multiple forms, including sitting on the university CEETL Board and Director search committee, on the college’s “Student Obsession” Task Force, and now as co-director for the Lam-Larsen Student Engagement Initiative.

Professor Trivedi believes in the pedagogy of discomfort where instructors should not be neutral, objective outsiders in the classroom. Rather, they should share experiences with their students and learn together as a group.

She’s also famous in the Management Department for taking students on the coolest field trips - Lyft, Tesla, LinkedIn, Google, Palantir, Facebook, Youtube, Open AI, and Twitter. What better way to show students the benefits of innovation than to let them see it firsthand. Organizing field trips takes getting through so much red tape but with Professor Trivedi's laser-focus on the student experience, she’s just doing her job - one outstanding job.


Past Award Recipients