Kira Schabram wins UW Distinguished Teaching Award

Students describe her as “caring,” “inspirational,” “transformational.” Colleagues call her “energizing,” “committed to inclusion,” and a “superstar instructor.”

Now Kira Schabram, an assistant professor of management at the Foster School, has received the 2019 UW Distinguished Teaching Award.

Schabram joined Foster’s Department of Management & Organization in 2016, after completing her PhD at the University of British Columbia. And she made an immediate impression in the classroom.

She earns rave reviews teaching Leadership and Organizational Behavior to Foster undergraduate students (she’ll add MBAs next year as well).

In addition to her UW Distinguished Teaching award, Schabram has won the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (in 2018) and has twice received the Undergraduate Business Council’s Management & Entrepreneurship Faculty of the Year Award.

It might be because she views teaching as more than just the transfer of knowledge. “My philosophy is informed by my research on positive organizational scholarship, which is about human potential, virtue and thriving,” she says.

So coursework is geared toward individual discovery, of uncovering powerful career matches. She focuses content on how it can be applied—in work and in life. And she makes a lecture course feel intimate, through mentorship and advocacy. She exposes students to different forms of work that might suit them, prepares them to critically analyze their career plans, and offers personal and customized insights and skills.

The added value does not go unnoticed. “Kira is the definition of what a transformational leader is and should be,” wrote Kyle Philley (BA 2019) and Madison Oraivei (BA 2019), seniors studying marketing and accounting, respectively. “And her positive influence is one that we hope we can live up to one day when we are in our own professions.”

Schabram is the 13th Foster faculty member to receive the UW’s highest teaching honor.

UW Distinguished Teaching Award
Foster School of Business Recipients

1971 – Robert Higgins, Professor of Finance
1974 – David Hart, Professor in Business Administration
1976 – Alan Hess, Professor of Finance and Business Economics
1983 – Gerhard Mueller, Professor of Accounting
1984 – Sharon Gailbraith, Professor of Marketing & International Business
1986 – Nicholas Binedell, Lecturer in Business Administration
1998 – Frank Rothaermel, Lecturer in Business Administration
1999 – June Morita, Senior Lecturer in Management Science
2006 – William Wells, Senior Lecturer in Accounting
2011 – Christina Ting Fong, Assistant Professor of Management
2015 – Emily Cox Pahnke, Assistant Professor of Management
2015 – Leta Beard, Lecturer in Marketing and International Business
2019 – Kira Schabram, Assistant Professor of Management