The Center for Teaching Excellence


Since 2001, The Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Award annually recognizes four SMU faculty members for their notable commitment to and achievements in fostering student learning. These are teachers whose concerns for higher education go beyond classroom boundaries and often the boundaries of their own disciplines. In student mentoring, in discussions about teaching, and in continuous reflection about their own successes and ways to improve, they represent the highest achievement in reaching the goals of higher education.

Recipients receive a $10,000 award and membership in SMU's Academy of Distinguished Teachers. For two years following the award, they participate actively with other members of the Academy in providing campus-wide leadership in teaching and learning.

For nomination and selection guidelines, click here.

Altshuler recipients

Gregory Crespi is the Homer R. Mitchell Endowed Professor for Insurance and Commercial Law in the Dedman School of Law. He received an M.S. in Statistics from George Washington University, a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Iowa, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Prior to joining the faculty of SMU in 1990, Professor Crespi served in the White House as the senior counsel for the Council of Economic Advisors under the Reagan and Bush administrations. Professor Crespi’s research and teaching focus is on contract law, law and economics, jurisprudence, corporate finance and acquisitions, business enterprise, and legal education and finance.

Professor Crepsi is an accomplished and recognized teacher, and has won the law school’s Don M. Smart Award for Excellence in Teaching five times. Professor Crespi goes above and beyond to ensure student success. He is noted for his clarity in teaching and his efforts to ensure that all his students succeed. His nominator praised him for his commitment to students stating, “Every semester he engages in extensive review sessions with his students, and regularly provides formative feedback to aid their study.” Crespi’s commitment to students shines through in his student evaluations, with students citing how knowledgeable, concerned and passionate he is about teaching.

Alice Kendrick is the Marriott Endowed Professor in Advertising in the Meadows School of Arts. She received a B.A. and M.A. in Journalism and from Louisiana State University, an MS in Adult Education, and a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She joined SMU as an Assistant Professor of Advertising in 1985 and was promoted to Professor in 1997. Her research focuses on advertising account planning, advertising and public diplomacy, advertising content, and advertising education.

Professor Kendrick is an acclaimed educator and mentor, with a long history of pedagogical interest in her field of study. She has received research and teaching awards at the national, regional and university levels. As a professor in advertising, Professor Kendrick describes her philosophy of teaching and student learning with the following statement, “Understand your audience. Understand and appreciate others points of view.” Professor Kendrick has facilitated numerous community partnerships and works with industry professionals to create interactive, practical and challenging classes.

Peter Raad is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the Lyle School of Engineering. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Professor Raad joined the SMU community as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1986, and was promoted to Professor in 1998. Dr. Raad has been a consistent research contributor in two distinct disciplines: computational fluid dynamics and small-scale thermal dynamics. He is also the founder and previous Executive Director of SMU Guildhall and has helped to shepard and grow that program.

Professor Raad is a thoughtful and outstanding leader to the SMU community, and has won the Outstanding Graduate and/or Undergraduate Faculty Award six times. Dr. Raad has distinguished himself both as a teacher and mentor. He helps challenge and motivate students, while providing advice and mentorship to undergraduates, graduate students, and pre-tenure faculty members. In his teaching statement, Professor Raad illustrates his teaching vision and philosophy as a journey, explaining, “to teach another is to accompany this other in their individual journey from an inquiring novice to some stage along the path to becoming a learned expert.”

Jim Linck is a Professor and Chair of the Finance Department in the Cox School of Business. Professor Linck received his B.B.A. from Georgia State University, his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. in finance from Arizona State University. He joined the SMU community in 2012 as the Distinguished Chair in Finance. Professor Linck’s research focuses on corporate finance, corporate governance, organizations, and boards.

Professor Linck has received several teaching and innovation awards at SMU. Dr. Linck is an engaging and innovative educator, who is an early adopter of teaching technology. Utilizing technology in his classroom has helped him meet learning objectives and enhance student learning. Linck’s nominator praised him for his diverse teaching methods and strong evaluations. He teaches a wide variety of courses, from core finance to advanced case courses. Additionally, as the department chair, Professor Linck has been instrumental in shaping and transforming the Cox student experience through curriculum and course development, introducing data analytics, online education, and mentorship to pre-tenure faculty.