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Rice University Professor Wins National Teaching Award

HOUSTON — Feb. 8, 2008 — Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management Professor H. Albert Napier was recently honored as a recipient of the Acton Foundation’s national award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education.
 
Napier was one of 27 professors from across the country to win this year’s Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Awards.  All winners were initially nominated by students and then judged by a panel of master entrepreneurship faculty at Acton.  Winners were invited to attend a two-day seminar on entrepreneurship teaching, and receive a $1,000 award and trophy on Feb. 1-2, 3008 in Austin.
 
“I really appreciate receiving the teaching award from Acton and want to thank the students at the Jones School who nominated me for the award,” Napier said. “It is wonderful that the Acton Foundation is providing these awards to entrepreneurship professors across the nation.”
 
“For me personally, it is an honor to have the opportunity to teach entrepreneurship classes to the capable and energetic Jones School students,” he added.
 
In addition, winners were invited to bring one of their top entrepreneurship students to the event. Claudia Hertzog, a 2010 Rice MBA candidate from Chicago, joined Napier in Austin. Students each received $1,000 toward their education costs and participated in case discussions lead by Master Teachers from the Acton School of Business that put them in the shoes of a real entrepreneur.
 
The Jones Graduate School of Management is well known for its strengths in Entrepreneurship.In a 2007 survey released by Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review, the Jones School was ranked 22nd among the top graduate entrepreneurship programs in the U.S. The fifth annual ranking surveyed more than 900 schools, revealing the nation’s top 25 undergraduate and top 25 graduate programs for entrepreneurship.
 
The Jones School houses the award-winning Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, the University’s flagship entrepreneurship initiative that provides entrepreneurs with a collaborative network and forum for support, education, and exchange of ideas to support the creation of technology-based companies and the commercialization of new technologies. It is a strategic alliance among three schools at Rice University: the Jones School, the Brown School of Engineering, and the Wiess School of Natural Sciences.
 
The school also offers a concentration in Entrepreneurship in its Full-Time MBA program to better serve the growing demands of an entrepreneurial focus in business education.
 
“Great teachers change lives by inspiring students to recognize their gifts and to learn how to use them to pursue a worthy dream.  Al Napier is one such great teacher,” said Rick O’Donnell, president of the Acton Foundation.
 
“We want to recognize outstanding teachers who inspire students to become principled entrepreneurs,” O’Donnell said.  “Principled entrepreneurs are the ones who build great and lasting companies and non-profits that create jobs, increase wealth and improve our society.”
 
Other awards will also be bestowed during the event, including three Master Teacher Awards (a $5,000 prize each) and Entrepreneurship Teacher of the Year (a $10,000 prize).
 
The Acton Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence is a nonprofit organization established in 1997 to serve both teachers and aspiring entrepreneurs.  The Foundation trains and inspires master teachers, equipping them with the courses and learning tools they need to help aspiring entrepreneurs. To learn more, visit www.actonfoundation.org.