University Announcements

Two School of Business Professors Honored During Annual Faculty Awards Ceremony

Balbinder Singh Gill and Peter Koen recognized for mentorship and teaching.

The Stevens School of Business was well represented at the 2024 Faculty Awards Ceremony. Peter Koen was awarded the Alexander Crombie Humphreys Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor Award, while Balbinder Singh Gill earned the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising.

The Alexander Crombie Humphreys Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor Award is one of three yearly honors awarded to individuals with “exceptional teaching ability who have demonstrated great influence on students in and/or outside the classroom.”

Peter Koen and Gregory Prastacos stand on the stage holding the award certificate. For three consecutive academic years, Dr. Koen achieved the highest faculty evaluation scores in the School of Business. During that time, his average instructor evaluation was 4.9 or higher, while his average course evaluation was 5.0 each year.

“Peter Koen is an extraordinary educator with an unparalleled ability to connect and motivate his students,” said Gregory Prastacos, Dean of the Stevens School of Business. “His enthusiasm for the subject matter in the classroom is contagious, and his passion for student success creates amazing results. His students love his teaching style and the practical aspects of what they have learned in the course.”

Dr. Koen was instrumental in designing and developing the course “Introduction to Entrepreneurial Thinking,” which is now taught to all students enrolled in the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science. The course teaches students creative problem-solving, discovering the fit between a real-world problem and a new solution. Students are taught team and leadership skills, obtaining information through customer discovery, enhancing presentation skills, and techniques for assessing a new idea.

“I'm deeply grateful for this honor, considering all the great faculty who teach at the university, and of course, I'm honored by the students who nominated me,” Koen said. “I’m truly honored to be part of that group, though I don't think that I deserve this award on my own. There is one person who I believe should be part of the honor, and that's my wife, Sheila.”

“I believe that teaching is a very honorable profession that I'm glad to be part of,” he continued. “Each year, I have found several students come to me and tell me that I’ve changed their lives and that they believe in themselves to an extent that didn't exist before. Many people measure their life by the number of papers published, by the number of grants they obtain, and the salaries they make. I believe these metrics are important, but other metrics are even more important. Those metrics are the individuals you can help, one by one, to make that person a better person, and I'm grateful for Stevens for allowing me to have that opportunity to really change people's lives.”

The Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising honors a member of the Stevens faculty “who has guided students in their academic and career paths; fostered students' long-term personal development; challenged students to reflect, explore and grow as individuals; and supported and/or facilitated the students' goals and life choices.”

Dr. Singh Gill joined the Stevens faculty in 2021. He is a member of the Center for Research toward Advancing Financial Technologies (CRAFT) and teaches international business and sustainable finance at Stevens. He is also active in the American Economic Association, European Finance Association, American Finance Association and Financial Management Association.

Balbinder Singh-Gill and Gregory Prastacos stand on stage holding the award certificate.“Balbinder has been an excellent teacher. He receives stellar teaching evaluations every year and is an excellent advisor to the students.” Prastcos said. “Perhaps the best way to describe his mentorship is through one of his students, ‘Professor Gill is very gracious with his time and advice. He wants his students to succeed at, and after leaving Stevens, which is why he brings up potential interview questions during class and encourages students to discuss any career concerns with him during office hours.”

It is the third consecutive year that a member of the SSB faculty has received the undergraduate advising honor.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” Singh Gill said. “I would like to thank the students who nominated me because, in my opinion, the greatest honor we can get as teachers is to be recognized by students. We are teaching to make our students’ lives better. I dedicate this to my parents, who taught me that helping other people realize their dream is the biggest achievement in life. I also extend my gratitude to my colleagues at the business school for their encouragement and support.”