Ilitch School announces Amanuel Tekleab as 2022 Inspirational Teacher Award winner

The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business has announced Amanuel Tekleab, professor of management, as the 2022 recipient of its Inspirational Teacher Award.

Established in 2015, the Inspirational Teacher Award provides Ilitch School alumni with the opportunity to submit stories about professors who truly inspired them, encouraged them, broadened their horizons or made a lasting positive impact on their lives. Nominees must be living current or former members of the Ilitch School faculty (full- or part-time). A committee of Ilitch School Alumni Council members reviews the nominations and makes its recommendation to Dean Virginia Kleist, who then selects the winner.

Tekleab joined the Ilitch School faculty in 2006. Earlier this year, he was among 10 Wayne State faculty members to receive the university’s prestigious President’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Tekleab previously taught at Clarkson University, University of Maryland, and Addis Ababa University School of Commerce in Ethiopia. He teaches organizational behavior courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as a graduate-level negotiation course. Tekleab works closely with his doctoral students. He has served as the dissertation chair for four out of the seven management doctoral students at Wayne State. Tekleab also serves as dissertation chair for three doctoral students at the Business Leadership Program at Addis Ababa School of Commerce. He has taught masters and doctoral courses in both China and Ethiopia. Tekleab earned a B.S. in business education from Addis Ababa University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

“I can confidently say Dr. Tekleab has left a positive and lasting impact on my life and my trajectory,” said an Ilitch School graduate who nominated him. “I was lucky enough to have him as an undergraduate student in the School of Business. He shared personally and passionately from his own experience and research during class. After his class concluded for the semester, Dr. Tekleab was in my corner. He knew my intentions to apply to Ph.D. programs and the short amount of time I had to gather hands-on experience with research in order to be a qualified and well-rounded applicant. Dr. Tekleab started including me on little projects and invited me to join his small research team. I learned a great deal through observation and his purposeful inclusion. Lastly, he took the time to give his counsel and personal recommendation as I chose programs. I am where I am today because of the energy, intentionality and care Dr. Tekleab showed to an undergraduate student. In the fall, I will start at the University of South Carolina pursuing my Ph.D. in organizational behavior and human resource management.”

Tekleab will be honored at the Ilitch School’s 42nd annual Recognition and Awards Program on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Roostertail. The Recognition and Awards Program is also where the Ilitch School celebrates the recipients of its Michigan Executive of the Year, Outstanding Alumni, Inspirational Teacher and Outstanding Student awards.

For more information on this event or to view past winners, please visit

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