2015 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Burcu Keskin, Culverhouse College

Burcu Keskin

Associate Professor of Operations Management

University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration


Burcu Keskin1_University of Alabama

Thirty-five-year-old Burcu Keskin is described as beloved by her students, respected by her peers, and a role model for young women. Her impact on students include serving as the faculty advisor for the college’s Women MBA International, co-coordinator of UA’s Business Analytics Symposium drawing speakers and student and business attendees from across the country, co-advisor of the MBA program’s Supply Chain Operations Management concentration, and last year’s Chair of the Educational Programs Committee. She has conducted research in different areas of supply chain management and collaborated with colleagues and students to apply business analytics to real world business. Most notably, she worked with Alabama State Troopers to identify hotspots for speeding and accidents in order to cut down on violations and work to prevent accidents. She’s also widely recognized for a research paper on scheduling NCAA basketball tournament which was highlighted by ESPN and Fox News.

Age: 35

At current institution since: 2007

Education: PhD, Industrial Engineering; Texas A&M University, 2007. 

Courses currently teaching: Business Spreadsheet Analytics

 Professor you most admire: Too many to name all of them, but I admire all of my colleagues at Culverhouse College of Commerce at Alabama.

 “I knew I wanted to be a b-school professor when” I was interning with Proctor and Gamble as a junior undergraduate student.

“If I weren’t a b-school professor” I would be an entrepreneur: Open up a restaurant and convert it to a franchise! 

Most memorable moment in the classroom or as a professor: Watching my students present and seeing them grow into great professionals. 

What professional achievement are you most proud of? Graduating my first PhD student 

What do you enjoy most about teaching? Touching every one of my students’ lives and leaving my mark. 

What do you enjoy least? Rarely, I have to deal with academic dishonesty, plagiarism, or cheating. Not fun!

Fun fact about yourself: I am a fortuneteller: I can read Turkish coffee cups! 

Favorite book: Lord of the Rings by Tolkien; My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk; 100 Years of Solitude by Marquez.

Favorite movie: The Shawshank Redemption

Favorite type of music: Classic Rock

Favorite television show: The Good Wife and House of Cards

Favorite vacation spot: Mediterranean coast in Turkey 

What are your hobbies? Cooking, traveling, and do-it-yourself projects.

Twitter handle: @BBKeskin

“If I had my way, the business school of the future would have” More interactive, experiential learning opportunities, hands-on and practical experiences. 

Students say…

By far the best 1st year MBA prof–she genuinely seemed to care whether students were grasping the material and took time to explain if we weren’t.

– student survey

Dr. Keskin is one of my favorite professors. She loves her job and cares about the students. She enjoys answering our questions, unlike some professors who see them as an inconvenience. She makes the class fun and more interesting. I enjoyed having her this semester.

– student survey

“Dr. Keskin did a great job at helping me understand Operations Management in a way that wasn’t intimidating because I wasn’t a previous business student. While the workload was heavy, I was still able to grasp the concept of the course and perform well.”

– student survey

“Dr. Keskin is a wonderful teacher, especially for such a difficult subject to teach. Excel has never come easy for me, and I occasionally have a hard time keeping up with examples in class when Dr. Keskin moves quickly. But Dr. Keskin has always been patient and available for me outside of class if needed to help build up my confidence. The TA office hours also helped me understand certain topics if I needed the help. I think Dr. Keskin is one of the best professors I’ve had in school because she puts her students understanding the course and learning from mistakes first, rather than grading strictly off points earned. While my grade may not be as high as others in my class, my understanding of excel has taken a huge leap from what it once was in the beginning of the semester, and that’s something I can be proud of. I encourage all students to take a course from Dr. Keskin, she is a knowledgeable professor who genuinely cares about her students improving.”

– student survey

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