Known for inspiring students inside and outside the classroom, Alan Grant was awarded Baker University’s prestigious Jennie Howell Kopke and Verda R. Kopke Award for Distinguished Teaching on Sunday, May 17, during commencement ceremonies at the Collins Center.
The award annually recognizes a Baker faculty member who has a record of excellence in teaching and in transforming students into scholars, who brings honor to the university, and who exhibits good moral character. Grant, a member of Baker’s faculty the past nine years, also received a $5,000 case award.
“It’s such an honor to be included in such a distinguished group of incredible teachers,” said Grant, professor of business and economics. “And it’s humbling, too, because I know how often I fall short of my own expectations in the classroom. I’m going to have to work hard in the future to feel deserving.”
Like all Baker faculty, Grant enjoys building relationships with the students.
“It’s such a fun and rewarding thing to watch students grow during their time at Baker, and then to stay connected and watch them build lives and families afterward,” he said. “I never expected that level of connection when I moved here, and it’s turned out to be the best thing about teaching at Baker.”
During the 2014-2015 academic year, Grant taught the following courses: Economic Analysis of Social Issues, Intermediate Macroeconomics, QS311: An Economist and a Sociologist Explain the World, Principles of Microeconomics, Applied Game Theory Managerial Economics and Applied Econometrics.
Grant has been known to put the fun in economics. He had his book “Economic Analysis of Social Issues” published earlier this year. He helped create the website “The Economics of Seinfeld” to make economic concepts come alive in the classroom and is partnering with another author to create a book chronicling the same topics found in the classic comedy.
“I do try to pepper in video and movie clips that illustrate economic concepts, and we play lots of games designed to show how economics works in the real world,” Grant said. “I think that kind of active learning is useful, and it’s fun for both the students and for me.”
The Kopke award was established in 1998 by Charles Kopke, a longtime supporter of Baker. It is named in honor of his late mother, Jennie Howell Kopke, a 1921 Baker graduate, and his late wife, Verda.
Previous winners of the award are Karen Exon (1998), Anthony Brown (1999), Lee Green (2000), Rand Ziegler (2001), Inge Balch (2002), Darcy Russell (2003), Tracy Floreani (2004), John Richards (2005), Ryan Beasley (2006), J.D. Parr (2007), Cynthia Appl (2008), Cal Cink (2009), Jacob Bucher (2010), Martha Harris (2011), Susan Emel (2012) and Sara Crump (2013) and Joe Watson (2014).