22 May 2024

Four Harvard Business School Faculty Members Receive Class of 2024 Faculty Teaching Award Honors


BOSTON—Students from the Harvard Business School (HBS) graduating class of 2024 honored four faculty members with Faculty Teaching Awards. Juan Alcacer, Ryan Buell, David Moss and Sophus Reinert were recognized for their excellence and dedication to teaching, and for the positive impact they had both in and out of the classroom.

Students were asked to identify professors who have enhanced their learning experience and to reflect on which professor best demonstrated the following six criteria in both their Required Curriculum (RC) first year and Elective Curriculum (EC) second year:

  1. Inspiration: transfers passion for the subject matter to students
  2. Knowledge Transfer: makes difficult course material accessible to all students through clear explanations and demonstrated relevance
  3. Accessibility: available to students outside the classroom on a personal and professional basis
  4. Career Guidance: helps to identify industry contacts and evaluate potential career options
  5. Quality of Life: helps to improve the quality of life on campus
  6. Feedback: provides feedback that contributes to professional and personal development

“When we look back on our time at Harvard Business School, we all will remember at least one faculty member who left an indelible mark on our lives,” said Matt Glynn, Katie Kondry, and Tricia Peralta, 2024 Class Day Committee co-chairs. “For some, this will be through a lens or a framework a professor had imparted that changed their world view. For others, it will be through the thoughtful advice and support that helped them find the courage to make difficult decisions. This year’s Faculty Teaching Award recipients are celebrated and recognized for their outsized impact in providing a truly special experience for the Class of 2024.”

Professor Juan Alcacer

Juan Alcacer (RC), a professor in the Strategy Unit, is being honored for the first time. Several students recognized his dedication to their professional and personal growth, with one noting, “Professor Alcacer’s commitment to not just our education, but to us as individuals, has left a profound impact. It is clear how much effort he puts into understanding and supporting us, not just academically but personally. His passion for teaching and genuine care for his students shines through in everything he does, and it's truly inspiring to witness.”

“Juan always goes above and beyond to teach and build community with the section,” another student said. “Not only did he teach us strategy, but always had an open door to his office, hosted reunions at his home, gave a professor’s version of a MyTake (usually a student-run personal storytelling event), and has always been available to students when they need it. He invested in our education and personal growth with so much energy and joy.”

Professor Sophus Reinert

Sophus Reinert (RC), a professor in the Business, Government, and International Economy (BGIE) Unit and a five-time honoree, was called out for the way he was able to elicit different perspectives in the classroom and bring a greater understanding of complex issues to all.

I looked forward to going to Sophus’s class every day. I think it was incredible how he created an environment where all viewpoints are equally and reasonably considered—a task that’s sometimes difficult,” one student commented. “Unlike almost every other teacher I’ve had, he’s open-minded and doesn’t let his own views bias his teaching.”

Another student expanded on that theme: Sophus is deeply committed to effective teaching, consistently striving to present complex concepts in creative and engaging ways. He maintains impeccable ethics while being warm and approachable, both in and out of the classroom.

Professor Ryan Buell
Ryan Buell (EC), a professor in the Technology and Operations Management Unit is also a first-time Faculty Teaching Award winner, with students appreciating the energy and preparation he puts into each class.

“Professor Buell puts an enormous amount of heart, preparation, and deep care into every class he teaches,” one student wrote. “The lessons he taught on building and sustaining culture will remain with me throughout my career.”

Another student commented: “Professor Buell is a superb professor and an even better human being. He was able to make a very technical subject lighter and fun to learn. He was always available for students inside and outside of the classroom, and he engaged with students to talk about life, personal projects, and course topics. He was very honest and transparent in class, and his own vulnerability inspired us to bring our true selves to the class and to the discussion.”

Professor David Moss

David Moss (EC), another professor in the BGIE Unit, is no stranger to the Faculty Teaching Awards, having been named now for the 12th time. Over the years, mastery of the case method has stood out to students, and it was the same this year, with one remarking, “Professor Moss is supremely skilled at the case method. He's an expert in his field but does not let his expertise dominate the classroom discussion; rather he uses it to ask probing questions that facilitate thoughtful debate. His mastery of teaching is rivaled only by his command of financial history, which comes through in the course and his famous case conclusions.”

Students also noted how his extensive experience enabled him to lead robust discussions on complicated business challenges.

“Professor Moss embodies the case method,” one student stated. “He is an expert at facilitating discussion and debating complex topics like the Great Depression. I would perhaps even call him the pinnacle of ‘liberal arts’ teaching at HBS since he draws from several different disciplines—finance, economics, history, and sociology—to push us to think beyond just our immediate circumstances and to start thinking about the broader context. He also really cares about each student and took the time to answer all my questions during office hours and after class.”

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.