June 10, 2004
Vol. 23 No. 18

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    Haresh Sapra, Assistant Professor of Accounting in the GSB

    By Jessamine Chan
    Graduate School of Business


    For the second year in a row, Haresh Sapra, Assistant Professor of Accounting in the Graduate School of Business, is the recipient of the 2004 Emory Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching.

    “Receiving the award again is a pleasant surprise, especially considering the high caliber of the GSB faculty,” said Sapra. “It is rewarding and humbling to know that the students appreciate my teaching efforts.”

    Clarity of presentation is one of Sapra’s guiding principles for teaching his highly technical accounting and financial analysis courses.

    His courses address such questions as whether a company should purchase another company, and if so, at what acquisition price, and the implications of this acquisition on the acquiring company’s financial statements. Using accounting and tax rules as building blocks, students work to create a comprehensive financial model that enables them to evaluate the feasibility of proposed real-world acquisitions.

    This type of assignment gives Sapra’s students a competitive advantage, because they can hit the ground running when they begin internships and jobs.

    Sapra develops his own material in order to relate coursework to real-world applications, such as announced or recently completed acquisitions. In doing so, he is able to strike a balance between theoretical and practical issues.

    “GSB students are very motivated and driven,” said Sapra. He admits that each time he teaches a course, he increases the level of difficulty, and that the students seem to thrive under the challenge.

    “It is important that my students become independent, critical thinkers and not mere consumers of accounting information,” he said.

    The Emory Williams Award is given annually to a junior faculty member at the GSB in recognition of communication, accessibility, enthusiasm and innovation in teaching. Nominations for this award were submitted by students from the school’s full-time and part-time MBA programs.

    Former chairman and chief executive officer of the Sears Bank & Trust Company and the Chicago Milwaukee Corp., and a long-time supporter of the GSB, Emory Williams established the award in 1984.

    Sapra earned a B.B.A. in accounting from the University of Houston in 1991, an M.S. in accounting from the University of Houston in 1995 and a Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Minnesota in 2000. He also is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Illinois.