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Dr. Mark Simon is awarded the 2014 Distinguished Professor of the Year Award

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Dr. Mark Simon is awarded the 2014 Distinguished Professor of the Year Award


In selecting him for the award, the Presidents Council recognized Dr. Simon for his "thoughtful course designs, which he monitors closely to gauge student learning and success," as well as for "fostering undergraduate research and scholarship, experiential learning, social responsibility, and entrepreneurship on local, national, and international levels."
By Eric Reikowski, Public Information Specialist

Oakland University’s Mark Simon, Ph.D., of Clarkston, is among three educators being honored with the 2014 Distinguished Professor of the Year Award from the Presidents Council of the State Universities of Michigan. The award is sponsored by the chief academic officers at Michigan’s 15 public universities and recognizes outstanding faculty contributions to undergraduate instruction. Winners are selected for commitment to interaction and engagement with undergraduate students, experiential learning, academic advising, undergraduate research opportunities, and scholarship on teaching and learning.

A professor of management, Dr. Simon has championed several collaborative projects aimed at giving students a 21st century global business experience.  He brought students from Oakland University and India together for a project that won a $30,000 state grant and also paired Oakland students with corporate partners to study retail strategies.

Additionally, Dr. Simon serves as faculty advisor to OU’s Global Business Brigades chapter and Café de Kuna, a student-led initiative launched through Oakland’s Ideas 2 Business Lab. Café de Kuna was established to help the Wacuco Kuna community in rural Panama create a sustainable coffee business and is in the midst of a 30-day crowdfunding campaign. Team members say the project has benefited from Dr. Simon’s mentorship.

“Working with Dr. Simon and the Café de Kuna team has been the single most rewarding experience of my academic career,” said Catherine Pesta, OU senior and founder of Café de Kuna “Dr. Simon has spent countless hours guiding the team and teaching us core business principles that we will carry into our professional careers.”

However, Dr. Simon is quick the praise the students.

“It’s the students that invest thousands of hours on all aspects of the business plan and have applied their classroom education to a real world project,” he said.

In selecting him for the award, the Presidents Council recognized Dr. Simon for his "thoughtful course designs, which he monitors closely to gauge student learning and success," as well as for "fostering undergraduate research and scholarship, experiential learning, social responsibility, and entrepreneurship on local, national, and international levels." 

Since joining OU in 1996, Dr. Simon has also received the OU Faculty Advisor of the Year Award and the School of Business Administration Distinguished Service Award. He has published 26 peer-reviewed articles in leading academic journals and guided various student research projects. To date, 10 of his students have presented conference papers and five have published articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Simon will be recognized at an awards luncheon on Friday, April 11 in Lansing. Along with the other winners, he will receive a commemorative plaque and a $3,000 monetary award.

To learn more about the Presidents Council of the State Universities of Michigan, visit pcsum.org.