Best Instructor Selection Process

A total of 199 instructors and co-instructors teaching at 171 universities in 53 countries whose students took part in the 2022-1 round of the X-Culture competition were considered for the Best Instructor Award.

About 130 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 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, the 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 was 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 130 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 32 professors who ranked the highest overall is provided below in alphabetical order.

We deliberately do not rank them from 1 to 32. 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.


Cliff Wymbs, Baruch College, United States.
Srdan Zdravkovic, Bryant University, United States.
Elena Cedrola, Catholic University of the Sacred Hearth Milan, Italy.
Naila Aaijaz, Conestoga College ITAL, Canada.
Nataliya Acc-Nikmehr, CSU, Long Beach, United States.
Nora Al-Jindi, Dar Al-Hekma University , Saudi Arabia.
Muhammad Ayaz, Institute of Business Administration Karachi, Pakistan.
Yingying Zhang Zhang, International University of Japan, Japan.
Jozsef Poor, J.Selye University, Slovakia.
Chris Speicher, Marywood University, United States.
Ana Colovic, NEOMA Business School, France.
Kim Pigeon, NWTC, United States.
William H.A. Johnson, Penn State Behrend, United States.
Andrea Rohrer, School of Management Fribourg part of University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, Switzerland.
Robert Stephens, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, United States.
Reccia Charles, St. George’s University, Grenada.
Daria Panina, Texas A&M University, United States.
Diana P Gomez, The University of Alabama, United States.
Andy Yu, U. of Wisconsin-Whitewater, United States.
Zandra Balbinot, Universite du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM), Canada.
Joe Carella Francis, University of Arizona, United States.
Philip Davidson, University of Calgary, Canada.
Esha Mendiratta, University of Groningen, Netherlands.
Michelle Reina, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, United States.
Joseph Rottman, University of Missouri – St. Louis, United States.
Eileen Daspro, University of San Diego, United States.
Ke Gong, University of Southern Mississippi, United States.
David S. Shaw, University of Washington Bothell, United States.
Longzhu Dong, University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire, United States.
Loretta Battaglia, Universita  Cattolica del S. Cuore, Italy.
Jennifer Pacheco, Vincennes University, United States.
Omer F. Genc, Youngstown State University, United States.

Rebecca Jestice, Earlham College, United States.
Donata Vianelli, Universita  di Trieste, Italy.
Stefano Elia, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.
Raghu Kurthakoti, Arcadia University, United States.
Lydia Karnadi, Universitas Ciputra, Indonesia.
Ernesto Tavoletti, Universita  di Macerata (Universita  degli Studi di Macerata), Italy.
Randika Eramudugoda, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, United States.
Tito Francisco Solano Roa, Universidad EAN, Colombia.