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2024 Wells Fargo Awards for Course Materials

- Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Darden Business Publishing is thrilled to share some exciting news! It is with great pleasure that we announce the faculty recipients of this year's prestigious Wells Fargo Award for Excellence in Course Material Development: Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Allison Elias, Robert F. Vandell Professor of Business Administration, Marc Lipson, and Ronald Trzcinski Professor of Business Administration, Rajkumar Venkatesan.

The Research and Course Development Committee at Darden had the challenging task of selecting the recipients, and after careful consideration, it recognized the outstanding contributions of Professors Elias, Lipson, and Venkatesan for their exceptional course materials.

Professor Elias's case set, "A Dolphin Bullied: Jonathan Martin’s NFL Experience in Miami (A & B)," was applauded for its ability to facilitate meaningful class discussions on mental health within the context of workplace wellness. Leveraging the NFL setting, the cases explore the complex intersection of race, class, and gender in a professional sports context, offering valuable insights and potential interventions to foster inclusivity and reduce turnover. Furthermore, committee members commended Professor Elias for the exemplary quality of her teaching note, which was described as one of the best they had ever encountered.

Two cases published in 2023 by Professor Lipson, “Apple Inc.: The Second Green Bond” and “Harley-Davidson, Inc.: The Reverse Yankee Bond Issue,” were recently taught in Darden’s core “Financial Management and Policies” and “International Corporate Finance” elective, respectively. The scenarios in both of these cases encourage class conversations that are far more expansive than the typical mundane pricing and yield returns decisions. Students develop an understanding of how these two iconic companies strategized to execute bond issuances to meet their financing needs while considering factors such as market conditions, investor preferences, and corporate sustainability goals.

The committee also praised Professor Venkatesan's simulation, "Media Attribution at ExerciseMinder," for its immersive learning experience in marketing analytics. The simulation, hosted on the Forio Simulate platform, challenges students to step into the shoes of a chief marketing officer tasked with optimizing investments across various media channels to drive customer acquisition and retention for an exercise fitness app. The committee recognized the simulation's effectiveness in helping students achieve the learning objectives of managing both acquisition and retention for a subscription-based business. Additionally, it underscored the importance of combining analytics with experimentation to devise effective resource allocation strategies.

Established in 1982 by Wachovia, now part of Wells Fargo, the Wells Fargo Award for Excellence in Course Materials underscores Darden's commitment to fostering the development of top-tier educational materials. This award alternates annually between recognizing outstanding course materials and honoring faculty for their research and publications. Please join us in congratulating professors Elias, Lipson, and Venkatesan for their exceptional contributions to the management curriculum.

We encourage you to reach out to your Darden Business Publishing representative at for a complimentary course consultation as you begin developing your fall courses.

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