2023 Innovator Award Announcement

Graduate Business Curriculum Roundtable Announces its
2023 Innovator Award Winners

The Graduate Business Curriculum (GBC) Roundtable is pleased to announce the winners for the 2023 Innovator Award.  Sponsored by BusinessCAS, the 2023 Innovator Award was highly competitive this year and the judges have chosen two winners in the Early Stage Innovation Category along with our inaugural Leadership in Graduate Business Education Curriculum Innovation Award, which were announced at the GBC Roundtable’s 2023 Curricular Innovation Symposium on Friday, October 13, 2023.  The winners and finalists were as follows:

2023 GBC Roundtable Innovator Award Winners:

Early Stage Innovation - Penn State Smeal College of Business - Transforming the MBA with an Integrated Specialized Master's Portfolio

Early Stage Innovation - University of Virginia Darden School of Business - Student Participation Analytics

Leadership in Graduate Business Education Curriculum Innovation – Valerie Suslow, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

The GBC Roundtable Innovator Award was created in 2011 to promote educational initiatives that advance innovation in graduate management education and acknowledge the institutions that drive change in the field.  The Innovator Award raises awareness of ongoing continuous curricular and co-curricular improvements and educates employers, business school leaders, and faculty about innovative practices of best-in-class MBA and Specialized Masters programs.  In 2019, the Innovator Award was split into two categories, allowing the GBC Roundtable to honor established innovations as well as new, early stage innovations.  In 2021, the GBC Roundtable introduced the Fast Track Curriculum Innovation Award which was created in response to the recent pandemic, where many graduate business programs have put together creative solutions to delivering their programs and curriculum. 

The 2023 Innovator Award Winners were evaluated on the following criteria: Concept/Initiative, Execution, Outcomes and Presentation.  First round judges put forth six finalists for the final round of judging and interviews. 

The 2023 Innovator Award Finalists were as follows:
2023 Innovator Award Finalists:
Suffolk University - Integrating Learning
University of Iowa – Ready, Set, Lead, How the Iowa MBA prepares students to be Executive Ready
University of North Georgia - An Innovative Response to the Shortage of Compliance & Ethics Professionals
Woxen University - Financial Literacy Project

About:  Leadership in Graduate Business Education Curriculum Innovation – Valerie Suslow, Johns Hopkins University
The GBC Roundtable is proud to announce a new award this year for Leadership in Graduate Business Education Curriculum Innovation.  The award has been created to recognize an individual or team for their sustained commitment and success in leading curricular innovations in business schools.  This year’s inaugural award winner is Valerie Suslow of Johns Hopkins University.   Valerie was honored for her tremendous contributions through her work at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan, as well as her work with the broader graduate business community through such initiatives as the Case for Women Case Writing Competition.

Valerie Suslow is a professor of economics at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.  Previously, Suslow was vice dean for Faculty & Research at Carey Business School from 2015 to 2022 and senior advisor to the dean from 2022 to 2023. Prior to joining Carey, she was at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, where she served as senior associate dean for MBA Programs, was a professor of business economics and public policy, and held the named professorship as the Louis and Myrtle Moskowitz Research Professor of Business and Law.

Her research area is in the field of industrial organization, with a focus on the economics of explicit price fixing and cartel operations. In particular, she examines the determinants of cartel stability, international cartel operations, and antitrust policy responses. Her most recent work analyzes the extent to which vertical restraints can support anticompetitive behavior, especially horizontal collusion.

Suslow has authored numerous articles and book chapters and her research has been published in journals including the Journal of Law and Economics, Antitrust Law Journal, International Journal of Industrial Organization, and Journal of Economic Literature. Suslow is a senior editor of the Antitrust Law Journal.  Suslow earned her PhD in economics from Stanford University and her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Her awards include the Victor L. Bernard Faculty Award for Leadership in Teaching and the Andy Andrews Distinguished Service Award from the University of Michigan, and the John M. Olin National Fellowship from the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

“As Johns Hopkins Carey Business School’s vice dean for seven years, Valerie played an instrumental role in transforming our young business school into one of the world’s leading business schools. Valerie has always demonstrated a relentless commitment towards excellence, whether attracting preeminent faculty, designing innovative programs, or advancing a world-class teaching and learning team. I am deeply proud to be her colleague, and very pleased she is receiving this highly deserved honor from the GBC Roundtable.”  Alex Triantis, Dean

"I work alongside Valerie at Emerald on The Case For Women competition. It is a pleasure to do so. She is passionate about continuous improvement in business school’s curriculum. Her work assisting to drive gender balanced and female lead case papers is inspirational. At her core Valerie understands how business schools’ curricula should be presented."  Lesley Symons, Founder, The Case for Women

About: Penn State Smeal College of Business - Transforming the MBA with an Integrated Specialized Master's Portfolio
The two-year residential MBA market has been in decline for many years with scholarships increasing to attract qualified students for rankings purposes, causing many two-year MBA programs to run at a significant loss. In response to the ongoing transformation of business education and changing consumer preferences, the Penn State Smeal College of Business transformed its two-year residential MBA to a one-year, earlier career, MBA with a STEM designation. This strategy leverages the strength of the Smeal integrated professional graduate portfolio and enables students in the new one-year MBA to "stack" a second master's degree and earn two or three online graduate certificates with the courses that count in common between the two master's degrees. The results from our first one-year MBA class have greatly exceeded our expectations – we filled the program with 120 students and had a waiting list of prospective students.  This class consists of our highest percentage of women (about 50 percent) and is about half fifth-year students directly out of their undergraduate degree programs and about half with one to five years of work experience.  The class is approximately 50% international representing 15 countries and 16 states.  The average undergraduate GPA in the class is 3.5 with a wide variety of backgrounds, though many are from STEM and business-related fields.  About one-third of the first class of the one-year MBA plans to “stack” a second master’s degree, and we expect degree stacking with the one-year MBA to grow in the coming years. This class is our largest intake of MBA students in well over 20 years and is the first financially viable MBA class in at least 20 years.   For additional information please see:   https://www.aacsb.edu/insights/articles/2023/09/transitioning-our-mba-one-year-later

"It is an honor to receive this recognition from our peers.   While we have much work ahead of us, we are very pleased with the results of this transition to date.  We are also very encouraged by the amount of interest and positive support that we've received from peers at a variety of universities regarding this unique transition and transformation of our MBA program, as evidenced by this award. " Brian H. Cameron, PhD, Associate Dean for Professional Graduate Programs and Executive Education, The Smeal College of Business, The Pennsylvania State University
About:  University of Virginia Darden School of Business - Student Participation Analytics
At Darden, we are committed to embracing Digital Transformation and leveraging technology to enhance the student experience and to inform teaching practices. Darden’s pedagogy emphasizes student engagement and a student-centered approach to learning in the classroom. Darden’s signature version of the case method encourages dialogue and student participation. To support faculty orchestration of the learning, we have developed an innovative Student Participation Analytics Solution that integrates class participation data, student information and student photos. Through an intuitive seating chart visualization within a dynamic dashboard, faculty gain immediate insights into student engagement patterns, enabling them to optimize their calling strategies and provide timely feedback to students. This solution is aligned with the evolving expectations of students who value active participation and personalized learning experiences. By fostering transparency, student engagement and personalized support, it addresses critical needs within the education sector.

“Darden has always prided itself on being at the forefront of student-centered learning and creating the best MBA education experience in the world. Part of how we do that is by continuously innovating and integrating new technologies that enable our faculty to create Darden’s dynamic learning environment in the classroom every day. This new tool created by our digital technology leaders and dedicated staff at Darden is a great example of marrying our passion as educators for creating the best student experience with new ways to use technology to draw actionable data and insights.” Interim Dean/ Professor Jeanne Liedtka, United Technologies Corporation Professor of Business Administration.

The Graduate Business Curriculum Roundtable and BusinessCAS congratulate all the winners and finalists and look forward to hosting webinars in early 2024 featuring their curricular innovations. 

About BusinessCAS
The first and only Centralized Application Service (CAS™) for graduate management education (GME) programs, BusinessCAS™ brings graduate management admissions offices an improved way to recruit, enroll and admit best-fit students while saving money and better allocating staff resources each admissions cycle. Liaison offers the global platform for driving applicant volume while providing an optimized applicant experience at no cost to participating programs, allowing you to focus on building better business classes. Learn more at businesscas.org.

About the Graduate Business Curriculum Roundtable:
The GBC Roundtable is a collaborative, nonprofit organization that facilitates the exchange of information and resources on graduate management education curricular innovation. More than 130 business schools from across the world are members of the GBC Roundtable, which was founded in 1995.  For more information, visit www.gbcroundtable.org.

Visit https://www.gbcroundtable.org/innovatoraward for more information on the Innovator Awards, its history and winners.
Contact: Jeff Bieganek, Executive Director – jeff@gbcroundtable.org/844-784-6227 ext. 3