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Professor spotlight: Leigh Anenson

By Nancy Pham
On November 8, 2010

Leigh Anenson has had many jobs throughout her life. She has cleaned boats, managed ports as an international business consultant and practiced law, but feels that teaching may be her last stop.

"I went into teaching full time because I knew I would like it," Anenson said. "I just really like to learn and when you teach, you always learn. I learn from my students, and hopefully, they learn from me. I always got bored at all my other jobs I've had…but I'm not bored, yet. I don't think I will ever be."

Anenson joined the Smith faculty in 2007, and when she is not busy doing legal research, she teaches Business Law I (BMGT380), a required course for all business majors. Her students experience mock trials, mock appeals and different jury activities. She also exposes students to the Socratic case method which is "one of the best ways to develop students' analytical skills," according to Anenson.

"My learning goals for the class are twofold: to learn the rules of law, and equal to, if not more important, to learn a problem-solving methodology that will serve the students in the business world and in their life," said Anenson.

While the 90-minute class teaches students myriad theories and philosophies, many end up liking the course.

"Professor Anenson was a great teacher," said sophomore business major Shirley Qin. "She really tried to get people in business law and tried her best to make the class interesting, like give examples from her personal experiences."

 "Professor Anenson's depth of knowledge within the legal field as well as her enthusiasm for the material can't help but inspire future young minds," said former University of Nevada, Las Vegas student Matthew Touton. "It is not easy to excite business majors when one is teaching legal theory and history, espousing the elements of Res Ipsa Loquitoror medical malpractice.  However, Professor Anenson successfully tackles this problem."

Anenson, who helped start the Business Law Society (BLS), a new Smith student organization, said the best part of being a professor is maintaining close relationships with former students from places like Ohio, Las Vegas, Taiwan and Slovakia. She even attended a former student's wedding.

"The worst part for me is you get to know [students] over a semester and then, they're gone," Anenson said. "It's really nice for me to have students that stay in touch that I've known for like eight or nine years now."

"Even though I have not been a student of Professor Anenson for some time, I continually seek out her advice and guidance on academic and professional endeavors," Touton said. "I value her opinion and consider her a close friend as well as a professional mentor."

Anenson earned her business administration degree at California State, Long Beach, her Master of Law at Georgetown University Law Center in D.C., and her Juris Doctor degree at the University of Akron School of Law in Ohio. She is expecting to earn her Doctor of Law in 2013 from Monash University in Australia.

Anenson also earned the Smith School Top 15 Percent Teaching Award from 2007 to 2009 and has more than 20 other honors and awards.

In her spare time, Anenson likes running, reading and writing poetry and belly dancing. But teaching and research are atop her agenda.

"It's not work to me to come to school to teach. It's not work to do research either. It's just not work…I love it," says Anenson. 

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