While no surprise to any of his students, Jon Firooz, a lecturer in the College of Business Marketing Department, was recently recognized as one of CSU’s top teachers.
The University’s annual Best Teacher Awards highlights the work of educators like Firooz who are committed to the success of their students and go above and beyond in their pursuit of delivering an impactful educational experience.
Firooz came to the University after a career spanning engineering and management positions at HP and In-Situ, where he most recently served as both VP of Marketing and VP of Research and Development.
“Jon is one of the best professors I have had at CSU,” said Emma Milek, a senior College of Business student in one of Firooz’s capstone classes.
“I truly believe that he cares about teaching and improving his students,” she said.
From engaging lectures to connecting with students and tying their interests into course materials, Firooz has stood out to Emma as a teacher who works hard to prepare students for life after college.
Firooz hadn’t planned on becoming an educator. However, when the opportunity arose to return to his alma mater, he figured he’d give it a shot and promptly fell in love with teaching.
“I’ve always tried to choose jobs or careers that give me a sense of fulfillment and purpose—that I’m actually contributing to society in some way. That’s what I really felt when I started teaching,” Firooz said.
Firooz’s background holding diverse industry positions made him a natural fit for the first class he taught at CSU five years ago, BUS500, which is also the first class for many graduate students and provides “a little bit of everything that people need to know about business.”
“One of the things I realized I was able to do that students may not be able to find in all of their classes was provide that realism,” said Firooz.
“I’d ask a question and the students would give me a textbook response, and I’d tell them, ‘Sometimes life isn’t like a textbook. Here’s what actually happened,’ and they really like that.”
Firooz’s undergraduate and graduate classes cover topics spanning business strategy and processes, sales management and marketing, and he’s found joy in connecting his real world experiences to help his students understand the material.
The CSU Alumni Association is honoring the Best Teacher recipients at the annual awards ceremony on March 27. Nominators, family, guests and community members are encouraged to register and attend the celebrations.
Congratulations, Jon! Thanks for all that you do for our business students!