FALL 2008 VOL. 9 NO. 2

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Smith Alumni Remember Faculty Member Brian Shaffer

The late Dr. Brian Shaffer.The Smith School of Business community is mourning the loss of Dr. Brian Shaffer, Tyser Teaching Fellow in the logistics, business and public policy department. Shaffer was killed in an automobile accident in West Virginia on Saturday, April 5.   

Shaffer joined the Smith School in 1995 and taught MBA and undergraduate courses in managerial economics and public policy. He was well-loved by his students, which was reflected in his acknowledgment as a “Top 10 Percent” instructor. He led the College Park Scholars Business, Society and the Economy program at Smith from 2001-06.  

Betsy Miller Kettridge, MBA’05, director of outreach for the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor, says that Shaffer was one of her favorite professors at the University of Maryland. “His class was one of my first when I went back for my MBA in the weekend program in 2002,” remembers Kettridge. “After having been out of school for nearly 10 years, I felt welcomed back by Professor Shaffer, and was happy to find that his class was engaging and interactive, far beyond my undergraduate experience. As a non-traditional business school student with a background in politics and government, I loved his attention to government’s role in economics in his classes and felt that he welcomed my input into class discussions.” 

Braja Kishore Chattaraj, MBA ’05, now a software development manager with Affiliated Computer Services of India, recalls a field study trip taken with other part-time MBA students to the University of Tubingen, Germany. “I reached Tubingen a day early and was the first student to arrive. [Dr. Shaffer] took me around the sleepy university town and introduced me to Tubingen. In a few days our relationship was akin to that of friends rather than that of a teacher and a student. Our closeness was echoed each time we had beer or sat at the park discussing a variety of things. By all means he was a good person who extended his warmth to all,” says Chattaraj. 

Bob Cocchiaro, BS ’88, MBA ’04, now a CPA in Arlington, Va., remembers Shaffer’s teaching style fondly. “He had a unique ability to combine humor and economics in a way that made it more fun to learn,” says Cocchiaro. 

Martha Marmo-Fernandes, MBA’99, says of Shaffer, “He is the one professor I remember best. His genuineness showed through and he was a wonderful teacher. I will never forget him.”

  SMITH BUSINESS Magazine

Copyright 2008 Robert H. Smith School of Business