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Baylor ProSales Professor Jeff Tanner Wins Distinguished Teaching Award

Nov. 14, 2013

Dr. Jeff Tanner


Jeff Tanner, PhD, a marketing professor at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, won this year's Axcess Capon Distinguished Teaching Competition at the Society for Marketing Advances (SMA) annual conference in Hilton Head, SC.

The annual competition awards not only teaching excellence in the classroom, but it recognizes those who make a contribution to the teaching profession.

For Dr. Tanner, that means scholarship around teaching and work in development as a mentor and within SMA. For example, Dr. Tanner, along with Dr. Joel Whalen, introduced an event two years ago at the SMA conference called Teaching Moments, an event the SMA describes as a hit because it's an exciting way for teachers to share things they do in the classroom that work well. "It's teaching teachers in a high energy way where people can share and receive additional information to incorporate into their class," said Tanner.

This award has a special meaning for Dr. Tanner. "My original dissertation supervisor was Fred Reynolds, and Fred introduced me to SMA. I first attended SMA in 1985 as a brand new doctoral student. I was in awe of the opportunity to meet and interact with these scholars and rock stars in my profession, so I've had a soft spot for SMA ever since," said Tanner. "Winning this award had a real connection to my roots as a professor. When they called my name, it was a magical moment because SMA means so much to me and because my daughter (a doctoral student at Oklahoma State) was there to see it."

This award also represents the rewards Dr. Tanner receives from teaching. "Seeing the light bulb go on and seeing that a student gets it has everything to do with them realizing that this is about learning, not about the grade. That's when magic happens," said Tanner. "I feel like Vince Lombardi, who once said, 'My job is to make you do the things you don't want to do, so you can be the champion you want to be.' That's the way I teach. I make my students do some of the things they don't want to do, because I know they want to be good, and I want them to be champions."

The award comes with a $500 cash prize, which Dr. Tanner intends to deposit into the Jeff & Karen Tanner Endowed Scholarship Award. Describing this gift, Tanner said, Baylor offers students such a unique opportunity and we wanted to support them. Giving back this way makes the award go full circle."

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Dedicated to excellence in sales education and based in the university's Hankamer School of Business, the Center for Professional Selling is recognized as one of the premier global information resources for the sales profession. For more information on the Center for Professional Selling, visit

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