Her students call her “Dr. J,” a term of respect and a nod to former NBA star Julius Irving, who solidified his Hall-of-Fame career with gravity-defying slam dunks and extraordinary athletic grace. It’s an appropriate moniker for a revered professor who teaches Sport Management.
Living up to her heady nickname, Dr. Julie Lanzillo has been selected to an all-star team of her own – for teaching. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs has named Dr. Lanzillo one of 20 regional recipients of the 2021 ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award in its 11 global regions.
According to her students and colleagues, Dr. Lanzillo’s talents are her classroom energy, her uncanny ability to find internships, and her commitment to challenge students to get out of their comfort zones in order to develop skills and confidence.
“Dr. Lanzillo has been a positive influence in my life since my first day at Neumann,” says Matt Dopp, a senior Sport Management major. “She inspired me and made me be the best person I could be professionally and personally. Without her, I would not have had the success I have known over my four years at Neumann, and I am grateful for her mentorship.”
The director of Neumann’s Sport Management and Sport Business programs, Dr. Lanzillo will be honored, along with other regional recipients, at the ACBSP Conference 2021, on June 25-28 in Miami, Florida. Two International Teaching Excellence Awards will be presented at the conference, and as a regional recipient, Dr. Lanzillo is now a candidate for the international award.
“Dr. Lanzillo provides an excellent classroom experience in which students are constantly engaged in the learning process. Her classroom energy is something to be witnessed firsthand. Students are excited about the world of sport to begin with, and she shares her passion and experience with them in a way that can electrify a room,” says Dr. Eric Wellington, dean of the School of Business.
According to Dean Wellington, Dr. Lanzillo reaches out personally to every university applicant who shows interest in the Sport Management major, and she acts as an advisor for every student in the program to make sure they are getting what they need at both the graduate and undergraduate level.
Reflecting her belief in blending theory and practice, Dr. Lanzillo’s Sport Management senior seminar class hosts an annual sports industry networking event for alumni, current students, and industry professionals in the Philadelphia region. Started in 2015, this class has grown each year in its scope and industry reach. In 2020, it moved to an international fully online virtual event, with under three weeks to prepare, hosting 50 guest speakers and 1,000 attendees. Each spring semester, the class is organized like a business, and students are assigned distinct organizational roles: CEO, CFO, COO, director of marketing, facilities and events director, industry and alumni relations director, social media director, fundraising director, and more.
The semester result is an April event that includes dozens of speakers who network with the students, as well as each other, and provide opportunities to build professional networks. The semester-long experience is designed to sharpen students’ creativity, professionalism, accountability, initiative, and communication in preparation for their careers.
The ACBSP has been recognizing excellence in teaching since 1995 to develop, promote and recognize best practices that contribute to the continuous improvement of business education. It is the only global body that accredits business, accounting, and business-related programs at all degree levels.