Campus & Community

School of Business Dean Honored with Inaugural Leading by Example Award

Gregory Prastacos recognized for his exemplary contributions, dedication and commitment to the Stevens School of Business and university community.

Gregory exemplifies the qualities of the ‘Leading by Example' award—integrity, collegiality, an unparalleled work ethic and an unrelenting pursuit of excellence. The example he has set with his leadership will continue to inspire colleagues and students in the School of Business and throughout the university for years to come.
Nariman FarvardinPresident, Stevens Institute of Technology

As Dean of the Stevens School of Business, Gregory Prastacos is usually the one handing out the awards, but at the university’s recent annual Employee Recognition Awards ceremony it was his turn to receive a well-deserved honor.

Prastacos was awarded the first "Leading by Example" award, which recognizes a campus leader “who inspires and motivates others through their actions and behaviors in alignment with Stevens’ core values.” Nominees were evaluated based on their inspirational actions, demonstrated excellence, innovative thinking, empowerment of others, contributions to a positive workplace culture and continuous improvement of their leadership and impact through feedback.

Gregory Prastacos stand between Jianmin Qu and his wife, Olympia. “I have always strived to set a good example, both professionally and personally, so I am honored and humbled to receive this award." Prastacos said. “I'm indebted to my colleagues here at Stevens and at the School of Business. Their pursuit of excellence and their sense of empathy, honesty, transparency and fairness are examples to me. I'm thankful to the leadership of this amazing university through all the years I have been here who have guided us through a period of amazing progress and developed a unique culture of collaboration and support. They have been extremely supportive of our initiatives and helped the School of Business become a dynamic leader in business education. I'm grateful to my family, who have inspired me and always brought out the best in me."

Prastacos began his tenure at Stevens in 2012. In his 12 years as Dean, he has guided the school through monumental growth. What was the Howe School of Technology Management when he started, is now an AACSB-accredited business school and ranked No. 53 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.


“Gregory exemplifies the qualities of the ‘Leading by Example award—integrity, collegiality, an unparalleled work ethic and an unrelenting pursuit of excellence. The example he has set with his leadership will continue to inspire colleagues and students in the School of Business and throughout the university for years to come.” — Stevens’ President Nariman Farvardin

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honor. Under Gregory’s exceptional stewardship, the Business School has evolved from a narrowly focused school of technology management to one of the top accredited business schools in the country. His innovative and inspirational leadership has made a major impact on Stevens, contributing greatly to the success of our students, our faculty and the university as a whole.” — Jianmin Qu, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

“Gregory has done amazing things. He understands what benefits the long-term goals of the school rather than just satisfying the short-term needs, and that's why in 12 years we have made such amazing strides. He makes everyone who talks to him feel that they are the most important person in that moment, and he's a feel-good person. He not only focuses on the positive, but he shuts down any focus on the negative quite effectively.” Suman Banerjee, Associate Professor of Finance & Director of Ph.D. Program

“Gregory has a dedication, passion and commitment that are evident in his behavior. I think that is what leadership means. That there is someone that you can look up to and say, ‘I just have to follow that example.’ He has always tried to be as collaborative as possible, even though everybody knew that in many instances, he was the last word on many decisions. He holds everybody's opinions in great respect, and he has always been very attentive to what other people thought about any aspect that they were involved in.” Stefano Bonini, Associate Professor of Finance

“Gregory is receptive to initiatives and ideas. He has a really helpful business background so he has a nice sense of customers and markets and products and the things that are part of your success in the business world. When someone comes to him with a good idea, he supports it and promotes it, and you don’t always find that everywhere in academia.” George Calhoun, Professor, Director of the Quantitative Finance Program, and Director of the Hanlon Financial Systems Center

“He’s tenacious. He’s driven. He has a vision, and he has a way of talking about that vision to get people on board with it. He’s very much a teacher. He will sit down with you and show you what that goal is, what it looks like, and how to get there. Gregory leads in a way that makes you feel that you are contributing to this great vision as much as he is.” — Michelle Crilly, Stevens School of Business Assistant Dean of Student Success

Gregory Prastacos shakes hands with President Farvardin on stage.“I joined Stevens in 2019, and from the beginning, it was always clear that Gregory would be available to meet with me and assist with any problems within his control. As an example, I was tasked with developing our financial technology programs. Gregory scheduled regular meetings to share his vision for fintech at Stevens. No detail was ever too small for discussion. Because of his hands-on leadership and support, Stevens is at the forefront of fintech education with a solid foundation to build for the future.” — Zachary Feinstein, Assistant Professor and Director of the Fintech Certificate Program

“Gregory works hard. He pursues the university’s mission. Most admirably, he goes about his daily work with consistent kindness, cheerfulness and professionalism.” — Elaine Henry, Professor & Finance, Economics, Financial Engineering and Accounting Area Coordinator

“Gregory is transparent and fair. He has principles and makes decisions not only based on those principles but also in a logical way. I believe being transparent is one of the essential parts of being a leader so that people perceive that they are working under a fair policy. It's all shared upfront, and it's the result of a discussion by not just a few people but a council. He shares a lot of important decisions and tries to make them group decisions.” Chihoon Lee, Stevens School of Business Associate Dean of Graduate Studies

“There are a lot of things that come to mind when I think of Gregory as a leader. Gregory has a really good sense of decency and compassion. There's a passion when he communicates with people, he has the ability to listen, and he's always patient enough to hear your point of view. Gregory makes decisions, and he takes action. Nobody works harder than Gregory, and there is a sense of dedication and energy. He always has a really good perspective. He doesn't let things get overwhelming, he stays cool, and he augments that with a really good sense of humor. He has integrity, he has a plan, and he sticks with that plan, but he also has the uncanny ability to ask the right people the right questions to make sure he has all the knowledge to make the most informed decision.” Don Lombardi, Teaching Professor

“What we have accomplished in terms of how fast we have moved up in the U.S News & World Report rankings is unheard of. Our programs have grown, we have launched new programs, and our placement numbers have increased. I think it's a testament to how involved Gregory is. Everyone working on a project knows that it’s important to him, so you go the extra mile.” Nicole Malantchouk, Director for Corporate Outreach and Professional Advancement

“One of the things that I admire about Gregory is I think he may work harder than all of us. He's just always at it. I think he's very strategic, I think he's transparent, but he's also a really hard worker. He’s not up in the ivory tower. He’s always striving for more, and he believes in continuous improvement. He is always looking for where we can go next and what we can do that can move the needle. It's amazing to look at how we've grown in so many ways. It's been a dramatic transformation.” Ann Murphy, Associate Professor

“Gregory is a very charismatic leader. He has a way of motivating people to get them excited to continue to move the Stevens School of Business in an upward trajectory.He's a very good communicator, and he has a way of making the staff want to work harder. Gregory has a unique way of bringing the best out in everyone.” Brian Rothschild, Stevens School of Business Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies & Director of Graduate Management Programs

“Gregory has had a significant and lasting impact on the School of Business. Gregory, to me, is the consummate leader who makes difficult decisions after he gets all the information and the data, even if that decision is unpopular. He works very hard, and he demands the same from the people who work with him.” — Kevin Ryan, Teaching Professor

“He expects a high level, and as long as you show that you're dedicated and committed, he appreciates you. At the end of the day, there's a very clear vision. Everybody knows what he wants and where we are going to go. We're all on the same ship and I think that works very well.” — Joelle Saad-Lessler, Stevens School of Business Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies

“Gregory is great at leading by example because of how much he participates. It helps to see a leader who is not just sitting in the corner office and delegating things. He's right there standing with you in line. He shows how much he cares, so you want to care equally.” — Gaurav Sabnis, Associate Professor

From the very first day when Gregory arrived at the School of Business, he has led us to achieve his vision of turning a local school narrowly focused on the discipline of technology management into a globally ranked business school. Gregory not only drove this transformative vision, but his dedication to the school inspired all of us to do a little better.” — Ted Stohr, Professor

“He's shown good concern about his faculty. He makes his expectations clear. He cares about their quality of life, and part of that is how much teaching as opposed to research as opposed to service are you going to do going forward? He has a very transparent process for that so there's not much of a surprise in terms of what you can expect. I was privileged to see this up close as an associate dean for seven years.” Michael zur Muehlen, Associate Professor