Attila Yaprak wins Inspirational Teacher of the Year Award for 2017

The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business has announced the 2017 recipient of its Inspirational Teacher of the Year Award. Attila Yaprak, professor of marketing and international business, will be honored at the school’s 37th Annual Recognition and Awards Program on Thursday, Aug. 24, at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.

A member of the Mike Ilitch School of Business faculty for nearly four decades, Professor Attila Yaprak is also a Board of Visitors Faculty Fellow and director of the Ilitch School’s Ph.D. programs. He is an expert in U.S. trade and investment flows among the developed and the developing world, as well as global strategy, especially in multinational marketing. He is extensively published in the literature in international business and marketing and has taught in and/or had research fellowships at universities in Austria, China, Finland, France, Germany, Nepal, the Philippines, Spain, Thailand and his native Turkey.

He has consulted extensively with international firms and government institutions, including the International Trade Center of the World Trade Organization at the United Nations. A winner of the Outstanding Marketing Professor Award of the Academy of Marketing Science (2007), the Wayne State University President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (1982) and several Ilitch School teaching awards (1994, 1998 and 2000), he has served on the editorial review boards of many premier scholarly journals, including the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of International Marketing, the Journal of Business Research, International Business Review and International Marketing Review, and has served on dissertation committees of more than 40 doctoral students in both the United States and abroad (Austria, Canada, Germany, Israel and Turkey).   

It is Yaprak’s investment in his students, however, that has earned him the 2017 Ilitch Business School Inspirational Teacher Award. For example, Marilyn Slominski, M.B.A. ’79, said in her nomination, “Of all my teachers, he is the one who inspired me the most. He encouraged me to go into international business back when it was still a male-dominated field. I ended up with a wonderful career in international television and traveled all over the world.”

Similarly, Elizabeth Voigt, B.A. ’82, M.B.A. ’84, wrote, “Professor Yaprak was somebody I could relate to on many levels. First, he was an immigrant, as I am, and he was my professor. This was a positive factor that encouraged me to continue to persevere. Second, he was always lively and inspired enthusiasm, and he was demanding but fair and compassionate. Third, some years after graduation I was seeking career advice, and he made himself available to discuss my options and provided much-needed clarity at that time.”

Yaprak is widely published on the topic of international marketing and is a member of the Academy of International Business, American Marketing Association, and Academy of Marketing Science and the European Marketing Academy. He earned his bachelor’s and M.B.A. degrees at Indiana University (1971 and 1973), and his Ph.D. at Georgia State University (1978).

For the second year in a row, the Annual Recognition and Awards Program will be emceed by Fox 2 Detroit anchor and reporter Roop Raj. In addition to Yaprak, the event will also honor student scholarship recipients, Executive of the Year Award winner La June Montgomery TabronDistinguished Alumni Award winner David Leone, and Emerging Leader Award winner Fares Ksebati.

Sponsorship opportunities for this event are available. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Steve Townsend at or 313-577-0202. 

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