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College of Mount Saint Vincent Instructor Receives WalMart Teaching Excellence Award for Commitment to Business Education


Dr. Natalia Smirnova Honored at Annual Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs Conference

Riverdale, NY – Natalia Smirnova, an Assistant Professor of Business and Economics at the College has been named a recipient of the prestigious Wal-Mart Teaching Excellence Award presented by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Smirnova was selected in a competition with other schools in the geographic region that are members of ACBSP.  She was honored at the 2007 ACBSP annual conference in Orlando this past summer. ACBSP is responsible for accrediting business programs at associate degree and baccalaureate/graduate degree colleges and universities with a focus on teaching and learning in the classroom. The College of Mount Saint Vincent is accredited by ACBSP.

“The regional recipient is selected for outstanding leadership and service in business education,” explains Mr. Douglas Viehland, Executive Director of ACBSP. “We are proud to honor Natalia Smirnova for the commitment to teaching excellence”.

The Wal-Mart Teaching Excellence Award Committee looked at five criteria in evaluating professors for the award, including quality of classroom teaching and learning; institutional versatility; curriculum development; professional development and community commitment. As the regional award winner, Smirnova will compete with winners from other regions and be eligible for receipt of the international award.

A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Smirnova joined the Mount Saint Vincent faculty in the fall of 2005.  She teaches courses in finance, economics, and money and banking.  She previously worked as an economic analyst and forecaster for the City of New York.

“As a corporation, we are proud to recognize teachers who encourage students to excel in business education,” said Steve Hunter, Vice President Retirement & Savings for Wal-Mart.

The award, which is funded through the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club Foundation, supports teaching excellence. Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club have an ongoing commitment to education.  Last year, Wal-Mart donated more than $57 million to support educational initiatives, including local schools and universities, student scholarships, educational organizations and the company’s annual Teacher of the Year program.

The Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) recognize the significance of the classroom teacher to the mission of business degree granting institutions. Based on this, the Associate Degree Commission and the Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Commission have established the Teaching Excellence Award to recognize individuals who exemplify excellence in teaching.

About ACBSP: The Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs is the leading specialized accreditation association for business education supporting, celebrating, and rewarding teaching excellence.  ACBSP membership includes 542 member institutions and over 5,400 individuals at these institutions located in 17 countries.  The number of accredited schools and programs is 392.  ACBSP is located in Overland Park, Kansas which is in the Greater Kansas City area.  For more information, go to

Founded in 1847 the College of Mount Saint Vincent is a co-educational, independent institution rooted in the spirit and mission of the Sisters of Charity and committed to the liberal arts. The College’s undergraduate and master’s level degree programs prepare its uncommonly diverse students for lives of professional achievement and service.