Professor Nora Madjar, a 20-year faculty member who has won multiple teaching awards and is a leader in curriculum development and review, has been appointed Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs at the School of Business.
“I’ve inherited an excellent program,” she said. “I’m excited about the future, and the ways that we can grow. I’m committed to working with students and, together with our faculty and staff, mentoring them for academic, professional and personal success.”
In her new position, Madjar will oversee the education of more than 3,000 students across five campuses. She said that today’s business undergraduate students are more focused than their peers were two decades ago.
“They want everything they do to add value to their careers. They are trying to engage in experiential learning opportunities that are beyond the textbook,” she said. “They are looking for the knowledge, experience, and confidence that will help them stand out during interviews and when starting their permanent jobs.”
“My responsibility is to think about all our students, welcoming those from underrepresented communities, finding new ways to introduce women to traditionally male-dominated business majors, welcoming our international students and engaging honors students who thrive on challenges,” she said. She also hopes to form new business relationships to expand recruitment for internships and jobs.
Dean John A. Elliott said Madjar is a wonderful addition to the leadership team both because of her research expertise and her passion for helping others.
“Nora has done extensive research in creativity in the workplace and teaches negotiations to all level students. She has been deeply involved in developing our undergraduate programs at UConn,” he said. “Her engagement with young people goes back to two years training Peace Corp volunteers in Bulgaria in the late 1990s. I can think of no one better qualified to support our undergraduate students.”
Madjar replaces Professor Bob Day, who completed his term as associate dean. She joins two other peers, David Souder, senior associate dean for faculty and research, and Jose Cruz, associate dean for graduate programs.
As an associate professor in the Management Department, Madjar has conducted extensive research on creativity in the workplace. She plans to leverage her knowledge to shape the curriculum and transformative learning experiences. The University has introduced creativity as one of the topics of inquiry for the core curriculum.
“Developing students’ creativity enhances their thinking and makes them adaptive and agile, ready to tackle complex problems and prepared to face new challenges in their careers,” she said.
Madjar has also chaired the business curriculum committee for the last eight years and said the experience has given her broad exposure to all of the School’s programs. She is well known as the co-creator and organizer of a negotiation competition between UConn MBA and UConn Law students that frequently saw the teams advance to international competitions.
Madjar has been recognized as a Teacher of the Year in the management department multiple times. As the mother of a UConn sophomore, she said she benefits from the perspective of both an educator and a parent.
Madjar earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Sofia University in Bulgaria and her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She was also a Fulbright Scholar in Bulgaria in 2011.