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Dr. Mark Lee wins Axcess-Capon Distinguished Teaching Award

November 13, 2019
Mark Lee

Dr. Mark Lee has won the 2019 Axcess-Capon Distinguished Teaching Award by the Society of Marketing Advances (SMA), becoming only the second Canadian to achieve this honour.

The SMA was founded to foster service, research and education in all phases of marketing and to encourage the exchange of ideas among members. The Axcess-Capon Distinguished Teaching Competition, run annually since 1998, takes place at the SMA Annual Conference where finalists selected for the award are invited to present their work.

Dr. Lee, Director of Retail Management and Associate Professor at TRSM, made his presentation in front of a panel of judges at this year’s conference in New Orleans on November 7, 2019, and was thrilled to be chosen as the winner of this prestigious award.

“What I am excited about this award is how it showcases the strength of TRSM and Ryerson,” says Dr. Lee. “Without TRSM students, I would not have the bright, talented students working on my innovative teaching ideas.  And without their support, encouragement and dedication to classwork, I would not have had the opportunity to showcase my work.”

Dr. Lee strives for excellence in the classroom and prides himself on being an effective instructor. “Much of my success stems from catering to students’ needs and constantly challenging them to understand core retailing concepts, while strengthening these connections to the business world,” he explains.   

A major component of Dr. Lee’s teaching style involves active learning projects, adhering to a 50/50 rule: 50% lecture and 50% non-lecture activities. He also uses diverse testing methods, such as closed-book and open-book components, to allow students to flourish in different ways. “It encourages students to leverage their strengths and work on their weaknesses to maximize their success in class,” he points out.

This is not the first time Dr. Lee has received accolades for teaching.  He was previously awarded the university-wide Excellence in Teaching Award at Western University in 2011 and received the university-wide Best Teacher Award at Colorado State University in 2013.

“While many view teaching in a one-to-many context, I espouse a view of developing many one-to-one relationships. These relationships can go a long way in making a deeper impact on a student’s development,” says Dr. Lee.  “I also look to find ways to bring real-life moments and relevant societal issues to maintain currency in our broader curriculum.”

Dr. Lee believes that while a good teacher hones their craft to become an eloquent presenter and create the most engaging exercises, a great teacher dedicates time away from the classroom to create opportunities that influence broader learning.  To achieve this, he shares his best practice ideas with the wider academic community in marketing education journals.

His primary research interests are in the consumer behaviour, specifically focusing on the structural dynamics of social networks and its impact on retail consumers, and he also contributes to the topic of branding, marketing education and sensory marketing.  He has been published in top tier journals which include Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Business Ethics and Journal of Business Research.

“Winning the Axcess-Capon Distinguished Teaching Award signifies my growth in maturity as an academic,” Dr. Lee explains. “I used to hold a narrow view that teaching was limited to the activities in a lecture hall, but as my career progressed, I realized that it involved more than that.”

“It is not just about meeting the needs of the students, it also involves meeting the needs of the academic community (via sharing my teaching innovations/knowledge) and the external community (via partnerships),” he says.

Dr. Lee says he has benefited from the TRSM connections with external partners which has allowed him to enhance his academic portfolio beyond the lecture hall.  “I hope that this will give me a further opportunity to share my knowledge and success with the broader Ryerson community.”