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Bentley Announces Winners of Innovation in Teaching Award 2012


Bentley Announces Winners of Innovation in Teaching Award 2012

Bentley University announced four faculty members and a doctoral candidate as recipients of the Innovation in Teaching Award 2012: (From left to right) Denise Hanes (PhD candidate), Mystica Alexander; Jay Thibodeau, George Fishman, and Mark Frydenberg.

Following is an overview of winners and their learning initiatives:             



Mystica Alexander, Assistant Professor, Law, Taxation, and Financial Planning

Mystica Alexander created a comprehensive learning environment to teach students about environmental law, and emphasize their increasing role in the legal landscape. Her pedagogy is incorporated into the Legal and Ethical Environment of Business course, which challenges students to individually explore an area of environmental law that was most interesting to them and then share that knowledge with their classmates. The course incorporates a variety of elements, including: an instructor voice-over PowerPoint, a written assignment, a collaborative class PowerPoint, and a presentation. Students view the process as highly effective and conducive to learning. The unique multifaceted approach allows them to consider the subject from many different angles, and proved effective for various learning styles.

George Fishman, Senior Lecturer, Natural and Applied Sciences and Senior Lecturer, Astronomy

George Fishman developed the course U.S Space Program: Going Beyond, which has emerged as the premier undergraduate course in the country about the breadth of space-related activities. Themes cover exploration, science, spinoff technologies, the privatized space sector, space tourism, commerce, and national space policy. Through individual research, instructor- and student-led presentations, and careful examination of NASA-linked resources, students readily make connections to the scientific, technological, educational, societal, political, international, economic, and commercial outreach of space program endeavors. This innovative pedagogical approach to space education reflects the university’s mission to integrate a business curriculum with the arts and sciences.

Mark Frydenberg, Senior Lecturer, Computer Information Systems

Mark Frydenberg transformed Bentley’s CIS Lab – mainly used as a tutoring space for students -- into the CIS Sandbox – a 21st-century computer lab and hotbed for learning. Renovations went beyond a fresh coat of paint and new furniture, as Frydenberg helped shape the perceptions of what happens inside. The new facility relies on student-managed social media to create a virtual presence, encouraging student learning in-person and online. In addition, the CIS Sandbox joined with the university’s Office of Undergraduate Career Services to hold career information events; and with Microsoft and other companies to host events on current IT topics. The result: students are presented with learning opportunities that go beyond the classroom. 

Jay Thibodeau, Professor, Accountancy; and Denise Hanes, PhD Candidate

Jay Thibodeau and Denise Hanes developed an extensive case study for integration into the auditing curriculum. The case focused on the use of electronic confirmations by auditors, based on recent developments in industry standards. Following Bank of America’s notification to accounting firms in 2008 that it would accept and respond only to electronic confirmation requests for domestic depository accounts, the importance to educate future auditors regarding the process became imperative. Additionally, many accounting firms frequently use electronic audit confirmations when testing the cash balance. The enhanced curriculum at Bentley helps better prepare students for the auditing workforce. Student evaluations are overwhelmingly positive, and use of the case resulted in a significant increase in student learning. 


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