Finance professor receives AB teaching award

UMSL finance professor Giayan Zhang received the 2011 Anheuser-Busch Excellence in Teaching Award.

Great teachers are the ones who inspire their students to learn while striving to improve themselves, which is exactly what Giayan Zhang does, according to her students.

Zhang, associate professor of finance at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, received the 2011 Anheuser-Busch Excellence in Teaching Award during the 41st annual Honors Program presented Sept. 23 by UMSL’s College of Business Administration.

“I am honored to receive the Anheuser-Busch Excellence in Teaching Award,” said Zhang. “Having the opportunity to teach young students about the world of finance has always been my passion. I’m thankful for the opportunity provided to me by UMSL and the College of Business Administration.”

Zhang joined UMSL in 2005 and has demonstrated significant improvement and development in her teaching skills, said Hung-gay Fung, coordinator of the finance area and the Dr. Y. S. Tsiang Endowed Professor in Chinese Studies at UMSL.

“She continuously shows sincere care and concerns for her students,” Fung wrote in a nomination letter. “Zhang makes her teaching objective clear to the students in her finance courses. Given the complexity of learning and confounding events in the finance area, students often need to be aware of what is required and what is needed for success in the classroom. That is an important process to learn and be successful in the business career. Zhang is very focused in her teaching and has demonstrated measureable results. She teaches in a pragmatic way that adds tremendous value to our wide range of students with different abilities. Instead of talking just theoretical financial framework, she relates financial theories to practice and has used numerical examples, exercises and projects to facilitate easier learning.”

Zhang is an expert in credit risk, credit contagion, credit derivatives and fixed income securities, empirical corporate finance, international finance and emerging economies. She teaches undergraduate courses in international corporate finance and finance, as well as MBA courses in Financial Management.

“To me, learning is a result of interest, guidance and effort,” she said. “As a teacher, my goal is to assist students in accomplishing their learning goals by fostering their interest, providing them guidance, and motivating their efforts.”

She earned a doctoral degree in finance from the Merage School of Business at the University of California in Irvine, a master’s degree in finance from Fudan University in Shanghai, China and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Nankai University in Tianjin, China.

The Anheuser-Busch Excellence in Teaching Award was developed to recognize outstanding teaching in the College of Business Administration at UMSL.


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