CHICAGO - Hamid Akbari, professor and chair, management, at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), has been named the winner of the 2009 Audrey Reynolds Distinguished Teaching Award at Northeastern Illinois University. A celebration in his honor and a presentation about teaching by Akbari will be held on Wednesday, April 14 at 7 p.m. in the NEIU Recital Hall.
The Audrey Reynolds Distinguished Teaching Award is given annually to a tenured member of the NEIU faculty who best demonstrates distinguished teaching. The award is intended to recognize outstanding teaching by faculty members who have a record of success and also to inspire faculty, especially young and new faculty members, to strive for excellence in teaching.
Akbari, who has been teaching at Northeastern Illinois University for 23 years, will discuss his teaching philosophy in a public lecture titled "Teaching as Dream Weaving." Akbari's teaching philosophy envisions teaching as both a science and an art. He believes that teaching should be methodical, covering both the fundamentals and contemporary developments. In addition, he utilizes Parker Palmer's principle of having the will to teach from one's heart and inspires his students to challenge their own views, beliefs and assumptions.
Lawrence Frank, provost and vice president for academic affairs, Northeastern Illinois University, said of Akbari, "Basing his teaching philosophy in the classical definition of the university as 'a community of teachers and student/scholars,' Dr. Akbari's greatest contribution to the University may be his consistent success in turning that idea into action. A primary example of this success is his initiation of the College of Business and Management's Reading Society, where faculty and students meet weekly outside the classroom to exchange ideas and applied knowledge in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment. This involves students across the College as well as both part-time and full-time faculty in informed and often passionate dialogues."
At Northeastern, Akbari teaches courses in strategic management, organizational behavior and theory, and management of change. His research mainly focuses on teaching pedagogy and leadership. He has co-authored one book and co-edited two books. He has presented at numerous national and international conferences and published his articles and book reviews in journals and other publications.
He is recipient of several excellence awards in teaching and service from Northeastern Illinois University. In addition to his teaching and administrative responsibilities at the University, Akbari has served as chair of the Faculty Senate and on organizing committees for several international conferences. He is also the director of the Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh Leadership Fund at NEIU.
A native of Iran, Akbari is active in the causes of freedom and democracy in Iran, Burma and other countries of the world. He and his wife founded "About Iran," a human rights and democracy action bulletin. From 2005 to 2007, he was the executive director of the International Society for Iranian Studies, the first and largest academic society for Iranian studies. He received his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in management and his M.B.A. and M.A. in political science from the University of Toledo.
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