Sharp Named 2013 Penn State Teaching Fellow
Jeff Sharp, associate professor of business law in the Smeal College of Business, has received an Alumni/Student Award for Excellence in Teaching and has been named a 2013 Penn State Teaching Fellow.
The Penn State Alumni Association, in conjunction with undergraduate and graduate governing bodies, established the award in 1988. It honors distinguished teaching and provides encouragement and incentive for excellence in teaching. Recipients are expected to share their talents and expertise with others throughout the University system during the year following the award presentation.
Sharp joined the faculty in 1989 after serving as litigation counsel to national financial institutions and the FDIC during the banking crisis and recovery of the 1980s. In his business law classes, he said he strives to design and deliver the subject matter “in a context that brings personal meaning to a student either through reference to an experience or through a believable projection of one’s life into such an experience.” A nominator said that he is “legendary amongst his colleagues” for obtaining almost perfect student ratings, even in classes of 350 students.
One student wrote, “The passion shown by Jeff Sharp is unmatched and fosters an environment that encourages students like me to learn and put forth the effort to do more than simply get by.” According to another student, “The spot-on, and sometimes sarcastically comedic, examples of law in real life that he uses in class help this course to remain memorable and fresh a full two years later.”
He has been honored three times (1992, 2000, and 2006) with the Smeal College of Business Fred Brand Jr. Teaching Award, and he also has received Penn State’s Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching. In 2003, he won the Academy of Legal Studies in Business Master Teacher Symposium for his presentation “A Beatle, Some Rappers, an Uncertain Thereafter: Employing the Music Industry as a Vehicle for Teaching Copyright Law."