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Students congratulate Gad Allon, the 2009 L.G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year. More than 500 students nominated 86 different professors for the award, which honors teaching excellence.

Professor Gad Allon

Gad Allon named Professor of the Year

‘This day is primarily for you,’ said Allon, thanking students for the honor

By Rachel Farrell

6/8/2009 - Judging by the response from students at the June 5 announcement, Professor Gad Allon is well-deserving of the 2009 L.G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year Award.

The Class of 2009 erupted in applause after learning that Allon was the top vote-getter for the honor, chosen each year by graduating Part-Time and Full-Time Kellogg MBA students. Allon is an assistant professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences at the Kellogg School.

“[Professor Allon] is an extremely dedicated and committed professor,” Lauren Passero ’10, academic vice president for the Kellogg Student Association, said as she delivered the announcement. “He is available for his students inside the classroom, outside the classroom and over the summer during their internships. He brings energy and enthusiasm to the classroom to a subject that I think a lot of us approach with trepidation.”

More than 500 students nominated 86 different professors for the Professor of the Year Award. From that pool, five professors were selected as finalists. Along with Allon, the finalists were David Besanko, senior associate dean and the Alvin J. Huss Professor of Management & Strategy; Mohanbir Sawhney, the McCormick Tribune Professor of Technology; Derek Rucker, assistant professor of marketing; and Mitchell Petersen, the Glen Vasel Professor of Finance.

As he accepted his award, Allon expressed his gratitude to his peer faculty members and Kellogg students. “I’d like to thank [the other finalists] — they are an excellent group and I learned from each one of them,” he said. “Also, the deans created an environment for us to succeed in teaching and research. The entire operations group worked hard, and I just made a small push. And you [students], your level of commitment helped us step up to the plate. This day is primarily for you. What we try to do, in a small way, is generate some value for you.”

A faculty member at Kellogg since 2005, Allon teaches Operations Management, a course that aims to familiarize students with the problems and issues confronting operations managers. His research specializes in general operations management, service operations and operations strategy.

Founded in 1975, the L.G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year Award is named in honor of the late Professor Lawrence G. Lavengood, who retired from the Kellogg School in 1994 and died in 2006. A faculty member for more than 40 years, he is still recalled fondly for his legendary teaching skills.

As a gesture of thanks, finalists for this year’s award received a framed poster signed by graduating Kellogg students. “You give so much of your time and effort in and out of the classroom,” said Bryan Law ’10, incoming president of the KSA, who spoke briefly after the awards presentation. “You make such a difference in our career and professional life.”