Mark T. Leung, associate dean for undergraduate studies and professor of management science and analytics in the Carlos Alvarez College of Business at UTSA, was named the recipient of the Richard S. Howe Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award during the University Excellence Awards event last month.
“It is an honor and a privilege to receive this recognition from UTSA,” said Leung. “I’ve made it my mission to work with undergraduate students in order to help provide them with a better education and a brighter future.”
This award recognizes faculty for developing signature learning experiences for undergraduates.
“I simply cannot think of a more deserving faculty member,” said Jonathon Halbesleben, dean of the Alvarez College of Business. “He has played a critically important role in our efforts to develop undergraduate research programs in the college through our Pre-Ph.D. pathway and Alvarez Fellows program. Mark’s work in developing meaningful experiential learning opportunities continues to transform the college.”
Joining UTSA in 1999, Leung teaches in the areas of production and service operations, supply chain management and applied business analytics. Recognized for teaching and research excellence, he has received numerous awards including the UT System’s most prominent teaching honor—the Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award.
Leung was recognized for his work in elevating undergraduate research within the Alvarez College of Business through the college’s Pre-Ph.D. pathway as well as for pioneering a new experiential learning program in the classroom in order to elevate the undergraduate learning experience.
“Today’s employers have different expectations,” said Leung. “They want students to have experiences that allow them to have not just a good academic foundation, but soft skills like communication, leadership and critical thinking. That requires faculty to go beyond the traditional classroom lectures.”
The college’s Pre-Ph.D. pathway provides students with the necessary experience in research to be competitive candidates for top-rated Ph.D. programs. Students take a series of three academic courses and are mentored by faculty members in order to learn how to develop transferrable research skills.
“I’ve developed a template that other academic programs and faculty can use to embrace active and experiential learning,” said Leung. “By incorporating elements of research such as immersive experiences, hands-on activities and guided discovery, I’ve been able to expose even more students to these experiences.”
Building on his work, the college plans to require all business students to complete a signature learning experience as part of the curriculum in the future.