Thomas Gilbert’s second PACCAR Award caps a year of accolades

Thomas Gilbert, an assistant professor of finance at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, has won the 2017 PACCAR Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The school’s highest teaching honor was established in 1998 by PACCAR Inc, the Fortune 200 global technology company based in Bellevue, Washington. The award’s annual recipient is selected by a panel of Foster MBA students.

“Thomas has an incredible way of conveying complex information in a very straightforward and easy-to-understand manner—he’ll even make a few jokes along the way to put you at ease,” said Joshua Rodriguez (MBA 2017), an associate at Goldman Sachs who notes that Gilbert’s class inspired a previously unconsidered career path. “His energy and passion for the subject matter is infectious and I came to love finance because of it.”

Fast start

Gilbert joined the Foster School in 2008 after earning his PhD from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. There, he applied his early study of physics toward the understanding of financial markets as a complex systems where investors take the place of electrons.

Personal economics dictated that he also teach early on, and Gilbert earned the outstanding graduate student instructor award three years in a row at Haas.

He has continued this classroom excellence at Foster, where he won the 2010 PACCAR Award in his first year teaching the MBA core finance course.

Big year

In addition to his follow-up PACCAR honor, Gilbert also received the school’s Charles E. Summer Memorial Teaching Award and the Dan Siegel Award for Service in 2017. And he earned a place among the year’s “Favorite MBA Professors,” compiled by the essential MBA news site Poets & Quants.

“Thomas elicits in his students a true passion for the subject of finance,” wrote one student nominator. “His energy is contagious, which is made obvious by the level of intellectual curiosity present in his classroom. He is one of those professors who students remember long after they’ve left Foster—not just for his humor and wit, but for the love of learning he imparts and the high standards he demands.”

Another distilled her admiration of Gilbert into a single word: “Legend.”

Previous PACCAR Award Winners

Karma Hadjimichalakis (1998)
Stephan Sefcik (1999)
Elizabeth Stearns (2000)
Jennifer Koski (2001)
Ali Tarhouni (2002)
Robert Higgins (2003)
Jane Kennedy (2004)
Daniel Turner (2005)
Mark Forehand (2006)
Mark Hillier (2007)
Jennifer Koski (2008)
Shailendra Jain (2009)
Thomas Gilbert (2010)
Lance Young (2011)
Erich Studer-Ellis (2012)
Mark Hillier (2013)
Frank Hodge (2014)
Jennifer Koski (2015)
Kathy Dewenter (2016)