Professors Gary Ballinger and Jingjing Li Named to P&Q’s 50 Best Professors in Undergrad Business Education

In the sixth iteration of the almost yearly compilation, Ballinger and Li emerged prominently from over 650 nominations; McIntire stood out as one of 12 schools with the distinction of having two professors included in the list.

Gary Ballinger and Jingjing Li

Gary Ballinger and Jingjing Li

McIntire now has yet another point of pride to add to its many accolades: Faculty members Gary Ballinger and Jingjing Li were recently included in business website Poets&Quants for Undergrads list of the 50 best professors in undergrad business education.

In the sixth edition of the nearly annual list, Ballinger and Li rose to prominence from 650-plus nominations collected from students, alumni, colleagues, and deans representing more than 50 high-ranking undergraduate business programs in the U.S. and around the world. McIntire was one of 12 schools to boast two professors making the list.

Ballinger and Li were selected by the editorial team on the strength of their nominations, after being assigned a score based on their teaching accolades (70%) and research (30%). Impact on the school and department as well as teaching awards formed the foundation for the first component; the second considered Google Scholar citation volume, media attention, as well as research and writing awards.

“I’m incredibly honored that my students thought of me and nominated me for this. I can’t thank them enough,” says Ballinger, who has been at the Commerce School since 2005. “Teaching such a thoughtful and professional group of students has been a joy ever since I started. It’s made easier by McIntire’s culture of promoting an ‘active’ classroom, where teachers across all disciplines use experiential learning to ensure that students can engage and learn how to apply and integrate concepts in all the business disciplines through activities and cases that we collaboratively develop and refine.”

Li, who has been at McIntire since 2014, says that the Poets&Quants recognition is more than a personal accomplishment: “It’s a reflection of the nurturing and transformative culture at the McIntire School. Knowing my students, understanding their aspirations, and contributing to their growth, both inside and outside the classroom, have been deeply rewarding. These interactions have transformed me from a nervous rookie into a professor who fully embraces every moment of teaching. I am also immensely grateful to my colleagues, mentors, and co-authors who have supported me; those who provide mentorship; those who are there for me during challenges; and those who inspire me with their professional excellence and integrity. These experiences continue to inspire me, fueling my passion to be the best educator I can be every day.”

Ballinger, who serves as the Area Coordinator for McIntire’s Management Area, teaches the Organizational Behavior course at the Commerce School. His previous awards include an All-University Teaching Award from the University in 2013 and Student Council Teaching Awards in 2020 and 2022. His research focuses on the operation of memory, emotions, trust, and social exchange relationships in professional contexts. Ballinger is an associate editor for Academy of Management Annals.

Li currently teaches undergrad courses in Business Analytics with Low-Code Technologies or Python, Big Data, Database and Business Intelligence; she also serves as the Associate Director for the Center for Business Analytics. Li received a teaching award for her Business Intelligence course at Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder. A former Scientist at Microsoft, where she was behind large-scale machine learning solutions for the company’s products, Li’s research in AI and big data analytics applies to applications in search engine, healthcare, marketing, platform, and public policy context. Her work won the INFORMS Design Science Award, INFORMS CIST Best Paper Award, INFORMS Data Science Workshop Best Paper Award, WITS Best Paper Award, and WITS Best Prototype Award. Her research is also nominated as the finalist for the Shelby D. Hunt/Harold H. Maynard Award.

In the Q&As, Poets&Quants asked the McIntire faculty members about how they became business professors, their teaching style, aspects of business school students, life outside the classroom, their thoughts on business school education, and more.

This latest honor reflects just how inspirational and impactful the two professors have been to the countless students they have taught and engaged with at the Commerce School.

Read the full Poets&Quants interviews with Gary Ballinger and Jingjing Li.

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