Striving for Excellence

Published on May 8, 2015

Two Bauer Doctoral Candidates Recognized for Instructional Achievement

Two doctoral candidates at the C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston — Ksenia Krylova and Yashar Atefi —  have been honored by the Office of the Provost with the 2015 Teaching Excellence Award for their achievements in the classroom.

“One of the key goals of the Bauer doctoral program is to develop top-notch scholars who are poised to excel in research, teaching and service,” Bauer Doctoral Programs Director Vanessa Patrick said. “Teaching is a fundamental component of what we do as academics, and so Ksenia and Yashar’s success in the classroom is our success as a doctoral program.”

Ksenia Krylova

Ksenia Krylova

Ksenia Krylova

Ksenia Krylova hails from Mari El, Russia, where she studied law. At the end of her academic career at Mari State University, Krylova confronted an innate yearning to learn more and share her knowledge with others. She applied for the Fulbright Scholarship, which allows students one year of graduate school.

She earned a Master of International Law degree from the University of Houston Law Center. After returning to Russia, she realized that she wanted to become a professor to create a global awareness of business science.

“My whole purpose is to become an academic professor so that I can bring change in the world,” Krylova said. “So, I lean toward teaching right now more than research because I’ve felt like this since I was 10 years old. I just like to teach people and share whatever I was getting from the world in terms of the knowledge and information.”

After graduating this semester, she plans to gradually steer her career back toward Russia, stopping along the way in Paris, where she has accepted a job offer at the new NEOMA Business School. Her academic advisor, Bauer Department of Management Chair James Phillips, foresees grand opportunity for her in teaching.

“Ksenia has shown a remarkable commitment to student success during her relatively new teaching career,” Phillips said. “Her ability to draw upon diverse cultural experiences and perspectives keeps class discussions lively, yet on track.”

Yashar Atefi

Yashar Atefi

Yashar Atefi

With a background in engineering, Yashar Atefi questioned whether he should pursue a career in the field or apply his knowledge of the industry to business.

“Engineers have two options — either continue being engineers, or try to apply their knowledge of engineering into the field of business and become more macro-thinkers,” Atefi said.

Atefi placed his faith in the latter and pursued an MBA in Marketing from the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, before coming to the United States for his doctoral program. The fourth-year Ph.D. candidate was thrilled to receive recognition for his hard work through this award.

“Obviously, I was very happy to get this award,” Atefi said. “I take a lot of my time to improve my teaching, and to see that I’ve won a teaching award means that all the effort that (I’ve) put there has materialized.”

In the future, Atefi, who has focused his Ph.D. research on sales data, hopes to become a full-time faculty member of an academic institution. He greatly enjoys Houston, but is keeping his options open.

Department of Marketing & Entrepreneurship Chair Ed Blair, one of Atefi’s advisors, believes that this award recognizes Atefi’s valuable passion for students.

“Yashar cares about his students. He wants to make the class interesting and useful for them, and he works hard to deliver that result,” Blair said. “We are very proud of him.”

By Trey Strange