2020-1 Best Instructors

Best Instructor Selection Process

A total of 171 instructors and co-instructors teaching at 132 universities in 102 countries whose students took part in the 2020-1 round of the X-Culture competition were considered for the Best Instructor Award.

About 140 of those instructors did an absolutely outstanding job: their students came in well prepared; they provided excellent support to their students throughout the project; they managed all the paperwork diligently and effectively, and they completed all their duties – from report evaluations to serving on various committees – very diligently.

They all deserve a BIG THANK YOU! Their universities can be proud of such having such professors.

However, some groups of students did better than others and some instructors went the extra mile to help their students and make X-Culture a success. Those few deserve special recognition.

Each instructor was rated and ranked along 124 performance variables.

The most important factor was the class-average performance. Ultimately, it is all about student performance. Student ratings in terms of effort, intellectual contribution, collegiality, as well as the personal share of the work completed by the students in the total work completed by their teams all were taken into account. Thus, to a large degree, this Award goes to the best class/university, rather than an individual instructor.

However, a number of additional instructor-specific factors were also considered:

Class-average student diligence as measured by students’ ability to meet deadlines and submit weekly progress reports were given substantial weight.

Class-average report quality and plagiarism statistics were also taken into account, but weighted less because the quality of the team report and originality of the report (absence of plagiarism) was affected not only by the students of the instructor in question, but 4-7 students from other universities.

A number of indicators of the instructors’ personal performance were also considered and given a substantial weight: from the quality of preparation of the pre-project materials (e.g., student rosters, accuracy of the names and email addresses, etc.), to the quality of the report evaluations submitted by the instructors at the end of the project (reliability of the ratings, depth, and quality of the feedback). Additional help provided by the instructor, such as help with webinars, symposia, and training material development were also taken into account.

The class size and the level of study were also considered to acknowledge the fact that ensuring a high level of performance in large undergraduate courses may be more challenging than in small graduate courses.

After all 171  instructors were ranked on each of the 124 variables, it was impossible to select one best instructor. However, a small group emerged who ranked almost perfectly on the vast majority of the dimensions.

The list of 40 professors who ranked the highest overall is provided below in alphabetical order.

We deliberately do not rank them from 1 to 40. First, they all did an outstanding job as instructors. Second, such rankings could change substantially depending on which particular variables are given more weight.

It is important to note that there was no clear gap between the “best” and the “rest” groups. At least 50 other instructors received excellent evaluations along all dimensions, including very positive student performance reviews and exceptional diligence and helpfulness throughout the semester. But the line had to be drawn somewhere and if we had to select a smaller group of instructors whose performance was even better than that of the rest, these 40 are our Best Instructor Award recipients this semester.


Alejandra Pulido, Colombia, Universidad del Rosario

Amanda Bullough, USA, University of Delaware

Ana Maria Soares, Portugal, University of Minho

Anne Marie Zwerg, Colombia, Universidad de La Sabana

Anshu Arora, United States,University of the District of Columbia

Carri Tolmie,USA Elon University

Charles Wankel, USA,St. John’s University, New York

Christoher Speicher Master, USA, Marywood University

Daniel Gomez, Colombia,Universidad EAFIT

Daniela Acosta, Colombia,Universidad EAFIT

David Baker, USA, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Diana P Gomez, USA, The University of Alabama

Erik Lankut, Norway,University of Agder

Ernesto Tavoletti, Italy, Universita  di Macerata (Universita  degli Studi di Macerata)

Gordon Perchthold, Singapore, Singapore Management University

Gregory Kivenzor, USA, University of Connecticut

John Lax, USA, Saint Leo University

Karen Lynden, USA, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Leighton Wilks, Canada, University of Clagary

Longzhu Dong, USA, University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire

Loretta Battaglia, Italy, Universita  Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Lynn Leng Khim Lim, Switzerland, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland

Magali Da Silva Cabrera, Uruguay, Universidad ORT Uruguay

Mamoun Benmamoun, USA, Saint Louis University

Marne Arthaud-Day, USA, Kansas State University

Maurits Cosijn BLA, Netherlands, Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen HAN

Nataliya Acc-Nikmehr, USA, CSU, Long Beach

Olga Zvereva, Latvia, HOTEL SCHOOL Hotel Management College

Omer F. Genc, USA, Youngstown State University

Perroud Stephanie, Switzerland, HEG-FR – School of Management Fribourg

Peter Magnusson, USA, University of Alabama

Raghu Kurthakoti, USA, Arcadia University

Rob Warmenhoven, Netherlands, HAN Food&Business

Sara Poggesi, Italy, Tor Vergata University

Stefano Elia, Italy, Politecnico di Milano

Su Jin Yeon, Mexico, Tecnologico de Monterrey

Sumati Varma, India, University of Delhi

Tim Muth, USA, Florida Institute of Technology

Viktorija Knapic, Croatia, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Economics and Business

William H.A. Johnson, USA, Penn State U- Erie, The Behrend College