Growing up in China, the importance of education was impressed upon Jing Wang at a very young age. So it’s no surprise that Wang, now associate professor of decision sciences at UNH’s Paul College, eventually followed a career path in education.
“Education was the only way to change your life if you wanted a good job,” Wang said.
Although she started out her career in industry and returned to it after getting her MBA, Wang quickly realized that she missed the learning environment of a university campus, where continuous learning was the norm. After receiving her doctoral degree from Kent State University, Wang came to UNH in 2007 to teach and conduct research as an assistant professor of decision sciences.
Wang was selected as this year’s Paul College Excellence in Teaching Award winner in the tenure-track faculty category. She was nominated by decision sciences department chair, Roger Grinde, who cited Wang’s exemplary teaching, research, and service to the college as well as her consistent high student ratings in his nomination.
“She always holds students to high academic standards with integrity, makes courses relevant and engaging, and is very helpful and available to students needing extra assistance,” said Grinde.
“She is one of the very best professors I have had during my time at UNH,” said former student Angela Tidd ’18. “I do not say this because her class is a breeze, or she lets students off the hook. I say this because she pushes students to learn outside of class, think past the school environment, and cares deeply for her students on a personal and professional level.”
Wang has taught all levels of information systems and business analytics courses for the department, including first-year management information systems for all Business Administration majors; systems analysis and database management, which is often the first course students take if they are interested in the Information Systems and Business Analytics option; and decision sciences courses at the MBA level. Grinde credits Wang as a major driver of the Information Systems and Business Analytics option’s growth from 15-20 students when she began teaching at UNH to now over 85 students currently in the option.
Former student Gabrielle Kelly ’12 can attest to this.
“I started in the business school as an incoming freshman knowing already that I would concentrate in accounting,” she said. “What I didn’t know, and what Professor Wang helped me find, was my passion for data sciences.”
According to Wang’s colleague in the decision sciences department, Tevfik Aktekin, the proof of Wang’s teaching excellence lies in the success of her students.
“She arms students with skills that they can use in the workplace even after graduation,” said Aktekin, also an associate professor of decision sciences. “At alumni events, several of her former students pointed out to me that they still use the summary sheet of MySQL code Dr. Wang makes every student put together as part of her database course. Several others indicated that the reason they got their internships or job offers are because of the tangible skills they acquired in Dr. Wang’s database management and information systems courses.”
“It’s a noble goal to make a difference in a person’s life,” said Wang. “That is why I focus on trying to teach my students something relevant.”