Lance Young wins 2011 PACCAR Award for Excellence in Teaching

June 14, 2011

Lance Young, an assistant professor of finance at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, has received the 2011 PACCAR Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest teaching honor at the Foster School. The award is selected annually by a panel of MBA students.

Young joined the Foster School faculty in 2003, after earning a PhD in finance and an MS in applied statistics at the University of Rochester, an MBA at the UW Foster School of Business, and a BA in business administration from Washington State University, where he graduated summa cum laude.

A Dempsey Faculty Fellow, Young’s research in empirical asset pricing, behavioral finance and capital market anomalies has earned him numerous awards, including the 2009 Fama-DFA Prize.

At the Foster School he’s best known as an electrifying presence in the classroom. Young has won professor-of-the-year distinction in the school’s Undergraduate, Full-time MBA and Evening MBA Programs.

He currently teaches the popular MBA elective in entrepreneurial finance. Highly technical and extremely demanding, Young’s course nevertheless turns students into fans. Credit his variation on the Socratic Method, using finance case studies. Rather than hand-hold his students to the solution, he demands they come prepared to participate and “nudges” the discussion along until everyone understands. In doing so, hour by hour, he empowers students to apply the principles of finance to the very real—and often ambiguous—world of entrepreneurs and investors.

“It’s certainly not an efficient way of running a class,” Young says, “but it’s incredibly effective. Everybody comes in with a different valuable piece of the case. And it gets exciting when everyone is contributing, the pieces come together, and you see the light bulbs go on around the classroom.”

The feeling goes both ways.

“The intensity level that Lance brings to the classroom is extremely motivating,” wrote one student in nominating Young for the teaching award. “It is classes such as his that help make the Foster MBA experience life-changing.”

Another student raves, “Lance consistently challenges and engages students in class with his no-nonsense style of teaching. He wants every student to have a good grasp of his material, and will not give up until everyone understands.”

For his part, Young credits his success in the classroom to his mentors and inspirations, many of whom are previous winners of this prestigious MBA teaching award.

“When I was an MBA at Foster, I took courses from Rocky Higgins, Karma Hadjimichalakis, Ali Tarhouni, Steve Sefcik. Their courses changed the way I thought and got me very excited about finance and economics, and had a tremendous impact on my life,” he says.

“It’s been an honor just to serve on the same faculty with them. But to be recognized among this elite group, and alongside all the other outstanding recipients, is humbling, gratifying and exhilarating. Winning the PACCAR Award is a great honor, and it makes me want to do better.”

The MBA teaching award was established in 1998 by PACCAR Inc, a Fortune 200 global technology company based in Bellevue, Washington.

PACCAR and its founding Pigott family are longtime supporters of the Foster School. In addition to the PACCAR Award and the Pigott Family Professorship of Business Administration, currently held by Mark Forehand, support from the Pigott family and company was instrumental in building PACCAR Hall, the Foster School’s new 135,000-square-foot classroom facility.

The Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington was founded in 1917 and is the second oldest business school on the West Coast. The school has approximately 2,500 students in undergraduate and graduate programs and its Full-time MBA Program was ranked 12 among public institutions in BusinessWeek’s 2010 “The Best B-Schools.” BusinessWeek’s specialty rankings placed Foster at number 2 in marketing and number 5 in accounting among all US business schools.

Previous Teaching Award Winners

Karma Hadjimichalakis (1998)
Stephan Sefcik (1999)
Elizabeth Stearns (2000)
Jennifer Koski (2001)
Ali Tarhouni (2002)
Robert Higgins (2003)
Jane Kennedy (2004)
Daniel Turner (2005)
Mark Forehand (2006)
Mark Hillier (2007)
Jennifer Koski (2008)
Shailendra Jain (2009)
Thomas Gilbert (2010)