Professor Spotlight: Dr. Hassan Ibrahim
Published: Monday, October 4, 2010
Updated: Monday, October 4, 2010 03:10
Dr. Hassan Ibrahim has made his share of trips, from studying electrical engineering in Saudi Arabia, to visiting family in Germany, to relaxing in Switzerland.
When he's in the U.S. though, he drives three hours roundtrip between his home in Chantilly, Va., and his day job at the Smith School of Business. While he's in College Park, the Egypt native tries his hardest to turn his students into success stories.
"You want them to feel that you are on their side – that you are like a coach," Ibrahim says. "You're challenging them to succeed, not to fail. Their success is part of your success, and if they fail, they are failing themselves and failing you as a friend."
"Sincerely, I want to see them succeed," Ibrahim adds. "Unless they choose otherwise, I will do every effort to make sure that they do. I care about my students. I want to see them happy."
Since 1998, Ibrahim has been specializing in information development and project management as a Tyser Teaching Fellow at the Business School.
Teaching for more than 25 years, Ibrahim explains that lending knowledge is a key variable in helping students to help themselves and others: "If you have the talent for it, and you appreciate doing it, it's all about really giving and sharing what you have with others."
"I like it and students tell me I'm good at it, so I keep doing it," Ibrahim says, laughing.
Ibrahim noted that his greatest accomplishment was earning a teaching award in excellence. In 2005, two Merrill Presidential Scholars from the Business School distinguished him as the mentor who had the most influence on their education. It was the first time that both students selected the same professor.
Ibrahim is also head of the Business Information Technology Society (BITS) and hopes to publish a book on managing information technology projects.
His passion for teaching stems from his master's professor at George Washington University who taught a course which was a "nightmare." But Ibrahim earned an A in it, and was asked to teach after the professor retired.
"I think I did well," Ibrahim says. "I discovered that I have the talent to deliver information that is complex in an easy-to-understand-and-to-learn mode."
According to junior business major Herman Kong, who took Ibrahim's BMGT340 class, the professor's teaching style is comfortable and interesting.
"His teaching style is unique because he makes you feel like you're part of the class," Kong says. "He keeps the attention of the class with intermittent jokes."
Junior business major Johnny Li, who took the same class says: "He is an amazing teacher. He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable on all the material. He lectures but makes it extremely interesting,"
Success does not come easy, so Ibrahim advises students to immerse themselves in their passions: "Work hard. It pays off soon or later. It pays off big. Pick something that you like and be the best at it. Don't try to be something that you're not."