The Michigan Tech College of Business (COB) Teacher of the Year award is selected each spring based on a vote by the COB student body. Because it represents the views of students, it is a genuine distinction to be selected. Awardees are honored with their name on a plaque, located inside the Academic Office Building.
Michigan Tech College of Business students have voted Ulrich (Ulli) Schmelzle, assistant
professor of supply chain and operations management, as the 2022-23 COB Teacher of
Schmelzle leads classes in operations and supply chain management. He also developed and implemented the study abroad experience in Germany, which launched in 2022.
“Ulli brings a formula that perfectly complements teaching in a technologically embedded business college: He has a STEM education, industry experience in a pioneering aerospace firm, and a passion for people. Anyone who has met Dr. Schmelzle has witnessed his infectious smile; our students are fortunate to learn from him,” says Dean Johnson, dean, Michigan Tech College of Business.
During his first year as assistant professor of finance in the College of Business (COB) at Michigan Technological University, Xin Li has
been named by students as the 2021-22 COB Teacher of the Year. Li came to Michigan
Tech in 2021 after earning his Ph.D. in finance from the University of Cincinnati
and an M.S. in Economics from Texas A&M University.
Approaching his second year at Tech, Li is already supporting students as advisor to the Finance Club, in addition to instructing Principles of Finance; Advanced Financial Management; and Risk Management and FinTech.
Li has earned previous recognition for his teaching ability. He was the sole winner for the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award of the College of Business at University of Cincinnati. He also won the Finance Department Teaching Award and was named to the Dean’s List of Teaching Excellence.
Enthusiastic, inspirational, and adaptable are how William Breffle’s students describe the economics professor and are attributes they felt worthy of the 2020-21 Michigan Technological University College of Business Teacher of the Year honor.
William “Bill” Breffle is an applied microeconomist specializing in environmental economics. Prior to joining Michigan Tech in 2007, he conducted economics research for Natural Resource Damage Assessments at Superfund sites.
Breffle has published more than 25 research papers and 20 technical reports. Two of his journal articles have been selected for the International Library of Environmental Economics and Policy book volumes as “important and influential essays.” Another publication co-authored by Breffle is listed among the top 200 “most influential” research papers in the discipline of environmental and ecological economics.
This is not the first time Breffle has been lauded for his teaching. In 2014, he was selected as the first-ever Props for Profs recipient. In 2015, Breffle was selected as a finalist for the campus-wide Distinguished Teaching Award—the University’s highest teaching honor—and he was inducted into the Michigan Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence. In 2018, Breffle was inducted by the College of Business into the business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma.
The 2019-2020 College of Business teacher of the year is Sheila Milligan, senior lecturer in accounting. Students recognized Milligan for her enthusiasm, interactive teaching style, and dedication. One student remarked, “I was ready to change my major until I had a class with Sheila. She makes accounting easy to understand and enjoyable to do.” Another statement of support said, “Sheila makes an effort to connect with each student and ensures they reach their goals and fullest potential.”
Milligan said receiving the award helps keep her motivated. She also acknowledged longtime College of Business champions Joyce and Richard Ten Haken for supporting her as the Richard and Joyce Ten Haken Faculty Fellow in Accounting/Finance. “Their support of the College of Business and the accounting department is tremendously impactful and helps me do my job to support students,” she said.
Min is recognized for his dedication, passion, and for going the extra mile to support students. One nominator wrote: “Jun Min genuinely cares about his students and their success. He goes out of his way to hold meetings after class, just to get to know his students and their goals.” He gives his time and resources, developing connections for students that lead to paid internships, co-ops, and full-time employment.
Min also serves as the advisor to the Michigan Tech student branch of the American Marketing Association (AMA). Congrats, Jun, and thank you, students!
The College of Business 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year has been awarded to Senior Lecturer, Roger Woods! He is a third-time winner of this award, he was also selected as the 2013-2014 and 2016-2017 recipient!
Every spring fourth-year students from the College of Business nominate the top three faculty members they believe are deserving of this award. The results from that survey are tallied, and the faculty members with the most nominations move on to the second round. The second survey goes out to the entire COB student body. This time students are asked to select one faculty member they feel should be recognized as Teacher of the Year and also have the opportunity to share comments on why that individual is deserving.
It is with great pleasure to announce the College of Business 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year has been awarded to Senior Lecturer, Roger Woods! He is a second-time winner of this award, he was also selected as the 2013-2014 recipient!
Every spring fourth-year students from the College of Business nominate three faculty members they believe are deserving of this award. The results from that survey are tallied, and the faculty members with the most nominations move on to the second round. The second survey goes out to the entire COB student body. This time students are asked to select one faculty member they feel should be recognized as Teacher of the Year and also have the opportunity to share comments on why that individual is deserving.
Our students had wonderful things to say about Roger, it is clear he is making a difference inside and outside his classroom. Congratulations to Roger!
Jeffrey Wall joined MTU in 2015. Prior to joining MTU he taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he also received his PhD in Information Systems. Before earning his PhD, Jeffrey worked for several small businesses including some that he started. Small business and entrepreneurship are two of his passions. Jeffrey has been involved in the design and development of several proprietary ecommerce systems and an ERP system.
Mari Buche has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the coveted award. When asked what this award means, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems said, “I am deeply humbled by this award. It is terrific to know that the students appreciate my dedication and commitment to teaching and learning. This recognition is validation that the time I invest in my courses is well spent!”
During her time at Michigan Tech, Buche has proven to be a great asset to the College of Business. This is the third teaching award that she has received since joining the faculty at Michigan Tech in Fall 2003. “It never gets old” Buche said playfully before adding “each award is sincerely appreciated.” It is obvious that Buche enjoys sharing her passion for continuous learning, especially in the areas of technology and innovation.
Spearheaded by Buche, the Management Information Systems faculty have purposefully integrated experiential learning projects into the curriculum to ensure that graduates have a taste of the entire “soup to nuts” process of IT project development. Recruiters are routinely impressed by graduates of Michigan Tech, citing their ability to add value to projects from Day One! It’s all about the skills and talent our students bring to the workplace from their time working on real world systems projects as undergraduates.
The College of Business continues to innovate- through our curriculum and industry partnerships, we align our degree programs with the ever-changing business environment. “In particular, I try to be a role model for women considering STEM fields. MIS combines the fascination of computing and information systems with business acumen and interpersonal communication,” Buche said. The powerful combination of technical and soft skills cannot be overstated.
Roger Woods has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the coveted award. When asked what this award means, the Lecturer in Operations Management said, “I am honored to be selected given the great faculty that we have in the College of Business It has helped that I have had some great mentors and support of other faculty to improve my teaching.”
During his time at Michigan Tech, Woods has proven to be a great asset to the College of Business. He first won the Teacher of the Year Award in 2011 and that same year was inducted into the Academy of Teaching Excellence as a finalist for the campus-wide teaching award. He was nominated again the following year, was selected as a finalist, and became the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.
Roger Woods has been instrumental in the execution of the Business Development Experience over the past 3 years. His duties included: developing the program structure, finding team projects, and teaching the second semester of the senior capstone experience. Woods notes that “it has been rewarding to see how the students have matured and are able to apply the various College of Business classes to their projects.”