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Western Illinois University Finance Professor Receives Distinguished Teaching Award

May 19, 2016

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MACOMB, IL - - Peppi Kenny, Western Illinois University finance professor, recently received the Academy of Finance Distinguished Teaching Award.

The award, which was announced at the Academy of Finance annual meeting held in April in Chicago, is presented to someone who goes above and beyond in his or her teaching methods. Participants at the annual meeting are invited to submit their teaching portfolio with a teaching philosophy to the Distinguished Teaching Award committee. Those selected as finalists give a presentation during the teaching session of the meeting.

In Kenny's presentation, she provided examples of material she created for her classes, including audio and video presentations for student outlines, how to do calculations and demonstrating the use of Excel for use in financial calculations.

Kenny themed her presentation on the one word she would use to describe her teaching style: understanding.

"I explained that I was understanding of my students' needs to practice, that all students learn in different ways, that I can be an influencer, that my students need more than just financial education and understand that sometimes a student is not a bad student, but just having a rough time," Kenny said. "In explaining these, I offered that finance students need to practice what they are learning so I provide ample opportunity for them to practice calculations and analyses in class, where I can answer questions. As an influencer, I hope that by dressing in a professional business manner and conducting myself professionally with them, I am influencing my students to dress appropriately and act professionally when they start their careers. By showing understanding, I hope I'm influencing them to do the same in their careers."

Kenny said that she tries to provide more than just the textbook finance education. She tries to talk to her students about how the lessons they are learning are applicable to life after college.

"In class, we talk about interviewing, saving money as soon as they graduate, creating good resumes, dressing for success—in general, I try to encourage them to do well," Kenny added.

"I closed my presentation the same way I often close my lectures for the week—with a motivational quote from Mike Gafka: The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary," she said.

"This is external verification of what this college and University have already acknowledged with her previous teaching awards. Dr. Kenny is an exceptional educator," said Gregg Woodruff, chair of the WIU Accounting and Finance Department.

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