Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- May 30, 2000

Cal Poly Selects Three 1999-2000 Distinguished Teachers

Cal Poly has selected professors from the colleges of Agriculture, Business and Engineering -- all cited for their challenging classes -- to receive the university's highest teaching award.

J. Michael Geringer, a professor of global strategy and law since 1992, Brent G. Hallock, a member of the Soil Science Department since 1979, and Clinton A. Staley, computer science professor since 1988, were named 1999-2000 Distinguished Teachers. They will be recognized at Spring Commencement ceremonies June 10.

Geringer teaches courses in strategic management, international management, joint ventures and alliances, and mergers and acquisitions.

He has earned a number of awards, including the 1997-98 Professor of the Year Award from the Korean Executive MBA Program and the 1996 Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award from Cal Poly's College of Business.

"Professor Geringer has a very deep understanding of the subject matter and relates it to his students using real-world as well as theoretical examples that provide the deepest understanding," said a nominating student.

Other comments included:

  • "Mike Geringer is truly dynamic and a genuine human being who has been, and will continue to be, a positive factor in the lives of many people."

  • "When we come to class each day, Professor Geringer is always fired up and ready to go. He commands such respect in how he teaches that students strive to meet his challenges."

A prolific writer and active presenter at conferences around the world, Geringer has authored or co-authored more than 100 published papers, chapters and monographs.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington and a master's and a doctorate from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Washington in Seattle. Geringer lives in Cambria.

Hallock, who maintains an "open-door" policy with his students, believes "teaching is the science, art and philosophy of motivating students to learn." He teaches introductory soil science, soil and water conversation, fertilizers and plant nutrition, urban erosion control, and rangeland management.

Hallock developed Cal Poly's minor in soil science, presently under review for adoption. He has served as chapter advisor for the Golden Key National Honor Society since 1997, and in 1999 the chapter earned the Western's Division's "Most Improved Chapter" award. He was named the College of Agriculture's 1997 Dole Outstanding Teacher.

Students said:

  • "Professor Hallock is the most interactive teacher in my Cal Poly career. He adjusts his teaching plan to fit the personality of each class, as well as adjusts it to fit the learning style of the class."

  • "Professor Hallock's teaching plan is always meant to push the class to their fullest potential. He doesn't stress grades; he stresses knowledge."

  • "He really seems to know it all. He challenges us to get him off the subject, but he always -- without fail -- finds a way to relate it back to the original topic."

Hallock earned a bachelor's and a master's degree in range management and a doctorate in soils and plant nutrition, all from UC Davis. He lives in San Luis Obispo.

Staley, who was named Cal Poly Computer Science Teacher of the Year in 1993, 1998 and 1999, teaches computer programming, accelerated introduction to computer science, and object-oriented graphical user interface design.

He was also named Cal Poly Computer Engineering Teacher of the Year in 1999, and in 1989 received an Inspirational Award for classroom excellence and student rapport.

Student comments included:

  • "Professor Staley has lots of real-world experience. Up until now, he has been able to answer any question I have ever put to him. He is able to tie in real-world practice with class work. He is the best teacher I have ever had."

  • "There is a group of students on campus known as the 'Staley Support Group.' They work with Dr. Staley on real-world applications in a real working environment, preparing them for what they can expect in the real world."

  • "Every day his class is a challenge, but an enjoyable one. Projects push students to extend topics discussed in lecture, not just regurgitate them."

Staley earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics and English from Principia College in Illinois and a master's degree in computer science and a doctorate in computer engineering from UC Santa Barbara. He is a resident of Atascadero.

The distinguished teachers are nominated by students and alumni of the university. Cal Poly has named 114 distinguished professors since the awards program began in 1964.

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