M.J. Alhabeeb
Consumer Economics and Finance
210 Stockbridge Hall
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003

Awards

The 2004 Outstanding Teaching Award for Innovative and Creative Teaching:  A national award given by The Academy of Educational Leadership, Allied Academies.

The 2000 Outstanding Research Award: A national award given by the American Council on Consumer Interests - The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP), (Shared with three other professors from Purdue, University of Rhode Island, and Montana University).

The 2000 Outstanding Research Award: An international award given by the Academy of Marketing Studies, Allied Academies.

The 1999 Distinguished Paper Award: a national award given by the Allied Academies at the 1999 conference.

Teaching Philosophy

My first full responsibility to teach a college course was assumed when I was a second year graduate student in 1978. I started this task being guided by my natural and simple instinct, which was: working hard to serve my students’ educational needs, being truthful and sincere, extending respect to their differences, encouraging them to face the challenges, and be available for their help and support. I was enthusiastically received by all, but especially by those students who had passion for learning, where the oldest of whom was only two years younger than me. I quickly became the young teacher whom they believed in, respected, and trusted. As a result, they appreciated and loved the material they have been taught, not only for the purpose of doing well in class, but also to see beyond that immediate appeal. I was happy to see that even the marginal student started to perform better and began to plan for the future. That remarkable experience was to set the tone for my relationship with students and to establish my philosophy of teaching for the next three decades!

I have always looked at teaching as a learning process whose objective is not only learning for students but also learning for the teacher; and whose domain is not only the subject matter but also life experience. I have often felt that the ultimate purpose of education should not be a mere accumulation of knowledge. Rather, knowledge has to be applied in problem solving to reap the fruits of education. Such a long term and high commitment process requires hard work and persistence, search and discovery, patience and resilience, and trial and error. One of my favorite pedagogical approaches is problem solving, which is not typically a list of solutions to selected and generic problems. In contrast, it is a methodology to create specific and genuine solutions to any problem, and to learn how to devise ways and draw strategies to make efficient choices. Therefore, as a teacher, I see my job as to teach students how to think instead of what to think, how to process and digest as opposed to memorize, store, and display information, to learn how to instantly search for and find information on any specific subject and for any purpose and time, as opposed to utilizing a stocked inventory of instructions. Moreover, I believe college education should offer students an opportunity to acquire additional and external values to enhance their productive contributions to society, as well as offering an opportunity to grow and mature in an atmosphere that would broaden their mind and heighten their sensibilities. Higher education, I believe, is an investment in the most precious elements of society’s stock of productive assets. It has been well said that although education is expensive for a society, it would be much less costly than ignorance. Educators, therefore, have the privilege of designing and guiding that investment for its highest possible rate of return.

In relation to my training, my major academic goal in teaching has been to help students understand the economic theory and financial analysis and their applications in the behavior of consumers, families, and small business. Other goals include preparing students to be ready, well rounded, and successful professionals who not only can form their own philosophies on the world around them but also work, create, invent, and lead. To this end, I see myself as a conscientious and dedicated teacher who, without a compromise, puts his students’ success and their moral goodness at the forefront. I believe that a teacher is not merely a pedagogical source. He/she should inherently be a mentor for students, one, whom they can relate to and look up to, and for that, I take a lot of pride in the high scores given to me by students as evidenced by their formal and informal evaluations over time. Throughout the years and in all courses taught, my students have appreciated my enthusiasm, class preparation, and fairness but my highest scores have consistently been in the section, “Instructor welcomes participation, available for students and worth associating with”.

Experimenting with several teaching strategies, I discovered that the most effective means of achieving my teaching objectives is to promote skill development through active learning as opposed to passive transformation of information. With the relative dryness of my subject matter, I consistently tried to boost students’ motivation and sustain their involvement as a crucial vehicle to achieve active learning. The most intriguing adjustment I made has been the high emphasis on higher order thinking and problem solving which worked well with my subject matter. To facilitate my plans and achieve my goals in effective teaching, I have been persistent in obtaining multiple teaching grants to fund some of my educational projects and activities. I also attended several local and national conferences and workshops on teaching, which, without a doubt, helped me, revamp my methods and revise my curriculum contents. To promote professionalism and leadership, and to introduce students to the labor market, I sought and won the Sam M. Walton Free Enterprise fellowship. As a result, I formed and advised one of the first SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) teams in the Northeast. It was a great chance for the best and brightest students to work on projects, compete in national contests, and interact with prospective employers.

To sum it all up, my general philosophy guides my major focus of teaching as to build a strong theoretical knowledge and enhance the students’ abilities to apply their theoretical skills in making the best-educated choices in their professional and personal lives, including the choices of a career or a graduate study. For each and every one of the many courses I taught, I tried to formulate unique contents in order to attract a new generation of students to the department. The major thrust of these contents has been the differentiation with other close disciplines in campus and elsewhere nearby. Emphasis has been given to the interaction between the quantitative and qualitative approaches toward maximizing the students’ cognitive and professional development. Computer literacy, professional writing, oral presentation skills, and constructive discussion seminars are standard requirements along with the indispensable quizzes, assignments, and exams.

Favorite Quotes on Education

Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained.
James Garfield (1831-1881)

Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent.
Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

If you consider what are called the virtues in mankind, you will find their growth is assisted by education and cultivation. 
Xenophon (434-355BC)

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
Aristotle (384-322 BC)

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man’s training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly.
Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)

Education is not to reform students, amuse them, or to make them expert technicians. It is to unsettle their mind, widen their horizons, and inflame their intellects.
Robert Hutchins (1899-1977)

Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.
B.F. Skinner (1904-1990)

Books

Photo of book covers

Photo of book covers

Publications

Alhabeeb, M.J. (2017). Dissecting the Cost of Capital. Journal of Business and Economic Policy, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 18 – 28.

Alhabeeb, M.J. (2016). Comparative Analysis of the Traditional Models of Capital Budgeting, International Journal of Marketing Studies, Vol.8, No.6. pp. 16-32.

Alhabeeb, M.J. (2015). Entrepreneurial Finance: Fundamentals of Financial Planning and Management for Small Business. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Alhabeeb, M.J. & L. Joe Moffitt (2013). Managerial Economics: A Mathematical Approach. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Alhabeeb, M.J. (2012). Economics of Fertility: A Simultaneous Model for the Interaction between Quantity and Quality of Children in the Household Production Function. Lambert Publications.

Alhabeeb, M.J. (2012). Mathematical Finance. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Alhabeeb, M. J. (2007). On Consumer Trust and Product Loyalty. The International Journal of Consumer Studies.(Forthcoming).

Alhabeeb, M. J. (2007). Consumer Knowledge and Consumption: A Human Capital Model. Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, Vol.11, No.1, 69-82.

Alhabeeb, M. J. (2006). Consumer Attitude and Attribution. Proceedings of the International Conference of the Allied Academies, Academy of Marketing Studies, pp. 31-42, Allied Academies, Inc.

Alhabeeb, M. J. (2005). What Determines Consumer Loyalty and Trust? Proceedings of the International Conference of the Allied Academies, Academy of Marketing Studies, pp. 112-121, Allied Academies, Inc.

Alhabeeb, M.J. (2004). A Conceptual Scheme for Consumer Perceptions of Product Quality, Value, and Price. Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, Vol.8, No1, 1-7.

Alhabeeb, M.J. (2003). On the Reciprocity between Consumer Personality and Consumption. Proceedings of the International Conference of the Allied Academies, Academy of Marketing Studies, Allied Academies, Inc.

Alhabeeb, M.J. (Ed) (2002). Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of Eastern Family Economics and Resource Management Association, Athens, GA: The University of Georgia.

Alhabeeb, M.J. (2002). Youth Employment in the United States: Trends and Implications, Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of Eastern Family Economics and Resource Management Association, February 21-23, Athens, GA.

Alhabeeb, M.J. (2002). Perceived Product Quality, Purchase Value, and Price. Proceedings of the International Conference of the Allied Academies, Academy of Marketing Studies, Nashville, TN: Allied Academies, Inc.

Alhabeeb, M.J. (2001). On the development and function of the consumer socialization of children, Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, Vol.5, No.1-2.

Xiao, J. J., Alhabeeb, M. J., Hong, G., & Haynes, G. W. (2001). Attitudes toward risk and risk-taking behavior of business-owning families. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 35, 307-325.

Alhabeeb, M.J. (2001). The family and the economic socialization of youth. In J. Carland (Ed.), Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Allied Academies.

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