Editor’s note: This video profile is part of a series about UGA faculty who were named Josiah Meigs Teaching Professors in 2017.
The term finance does not adequately cover what Annette Poulsen, the Sterne Professor of Banking and Finance, teaches to her students every day. Far beyond textbook problems, Poulsen is a dedicated instructor whose lessons delve into critical thinking and distill complex issues down to their core.
“Dr. Poulsen’s impact on me was not confined to the four walls of Brooks Hall or the syllabus. She had an exceptional way of relating to and inspiring her students,” wrote former student Morgan McCorkle Redd. “Not only did I begin to keep up with financial news, gain an interest in case studies around my degree and get honest advice about my career — I also ran my first marathon, in part because of professor Poulsen.”
Poulsen’s supportive demeanor, good advice and availability outside the classroom made the deepest impression on students — from First-Year Odyssey freshmen to doctoral candidates.
Her capacity to inspire students and her confidence in their abilities are a constant refrain in her teaching evaluations, as is her hallmark of drawing examples from current events that relate to the course material.
Poulsen’s commitment to student learning runs deep. Since she began overseeing the $1.4 million Student Managed Investment Fund, the program utterly transformed from a professor-led exercise to a groundbreaking experiment in business pedagogy.
“Instead of lecturing and controlling the course, she innovatively passed the baton to student leadership, empowering them to lead, organize and conduct the normal course of business. That led to an amazing breakthrough in the learning experience that will forever set this program apart from others in the country and, more importantly, impact every student who has the opportunity to experience SMIF,” said former student Mitch Reiner.
Poulsen has developed new and interesting courses to serve students across a variety of platforms. She created a new course for Terry students studying abroad in China that focused on cultural understanding and China’s nontraditional market economy. For the Terry@Oxford program, she incorporated extensive writing work into her class to reflect the kind of coursework done with Oxford tutors.
She also was instrumental in developing the college’s first hybrid MBA program, taught some of its first Executive MBA students and was a leader in designing the first Online MBA program at Terry and has helped develop courses for the Online BBA program as well.