On a first encounter, [he] strikes one as a somewhat eccentric, quirky person. He wears a polka-dot bow tie and suspenders to class, rides a bicycle to campus, and makes really bizarre jokes," wrote a student in nominating Connel R. Fullenkamp, a visiting associate professor of economics, for the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. "Beneath this peculiar, humorous faÁade is a man who is passionate about inspiring students to think more critically about economic issues and how they relate to our lives."
Fullenkamp, who has been nominated for the past four years, was selected by a student committee from a field of thirty-two nominations, representing twenty-five different faculty members. "His classes are unbelievably popular, despite being difficult and requiring a lot of work," wrote another student. His lectures were described as "clear, crisp, and entertaining." Adjectives included "brilliant," "accessible," "selfless," and "dedicated"--to his teaching and to his students.
One wrote of his assistance in her job search. "He helped me prepare for my interviews, tutored me when I had to miss class, and did so much personally and academically to improve my overall confidence in my job search and in my abilities."
The consensus: "Here is a professor who is genuinely interested in getting you to learn and teaching you to think."
Fullenkamp has been a visiting associate professor in the economics department since 1999, and associate director of undergraduate studies since 2004. He has been a consultant at the Duke Center for International Development since 2003. In his department, he developed "Basic Corporate Finance and Investments," a one-semester introduction for undergraduates to the essentials of finance. He has taught international executives in intensive, one-week courses in corporate finance.
He earned a bachelor's degree in 1987 at Michigan State University, a master's in 1989, and a Ph.D. in 1992 at Harvard University. He taught in the finance and business economics department at the University of Notre Dame, where he received the College of Business' Outstanding Teacher Award in 1998. He has been a visiting scholar and consultant at the International Monetary Fund's IMF Institute in Washington since 1999.
The Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award, sponsored by the Duke Alumni Association, will be presented during Founders' Day ceremonies on September 29. It includes a $5,000 stipend and $1,000 for a Duke library to purchase material recommended by the recipient.