Heshan Sun’s expertise in information systems hardly qualifies him as an architect or builder, but there are some in Clemson University’s MBA program who consider him just that.

Heshan Sun

Heshan Sun

Sun, an associate professor in management information systems, and an accomplished information systems researcher, has been named the MBA Professor of the Year for his roles in building the business analytics program and his students’ futures.

“Heshan is building careers through his teaching practices and engagement with students and he’s been the key architect of our graduate program in business analytics,” said Jane Layton, the MBA director of academic programs. “He goes above and beyond in helping improve the program and as important as anything, he’s having a tremendous impact on building careers.”

Sun said he was thrilled to receive the award and flattered that his work was acknowledged by leadership and students.

“I am glad I have developed very positive relationships with the program’s leadership and with our first group of students in business analytics,” he said. “This was a very energetic group that was eager to learn. Most all of them have full-time jobs and these classes were very demanding of their time. The students were very devoted.”

The MBA in business analytics was launched in fall of 2016 and program leaders tapped Sun’s expertise in building the program.

“Heshan played an integral role in developing the curriculum pattern, how to best teach the course, determining faculty capabilities, software needs, and the difficulty level of the courses,” Layton said.

Ultimately, though, it was Sun’s impact in the classroom that made him the people’s choice to receive the award.

“Not only is he a tremendous supporter of the program, I’ve had so many students compliment his abilities as an instructor. He spends a significant amount of one-on-one time with students on curriculum topics and career issues,” Layton said. “He has an innate way of connecting course content to industry in a way that working professional students can understand and apply within their careers immediately.”

One of those working professionals is Laura Wexler, an H.R. business analyst at Milliken, who is enrolled in the part-time business analytics program.

“Dr. Sun has a passion and commitment for data analytics that comes through in his ability to teach concepts that those of us in the business world can apply in our everyday work,” Wexler said. “He is inspiring and very worthy of receiving this award.”

More than 500 students are enrolled in Clemson’s full-time and part-time MBA programs that include about 35 professors. There are three MBA concentrations, MBA Corporate, MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation and MBA Business Analytics.

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