Dr. Zek Eser – Faculty Profile
Dr. Zek Eser loves to teach. He became a teacher when he was 8 years old. "While I am teaching, I am learning," he said. Dr. Eser realized at an early age that by teaching his friends the concepts he was also trying to learn, he could greatly improve his comprehension.
"When my students are learning new material, I tell them it is as if they walk with me into a dark room. A good teacher knows where the walls are and can tell a student where to look.," said Eser.
Dr. Eser particularly enjoys working with students who want to learn, but need help. His goal is to take the problem at hand and reduce it to something they already know.
"Highly capable students sometimes need a wake-up call, and in some cases, literally. I had one student who was very smart but was staying up all night day-trading. I brought the student into my office and told him that I knew he was very talented but he was throwing away his learning opportunities. It was rewarding to see the student took the advice and made a complete turnaround," said Eser.
Dr. Eser uses all kinds of innovative methods to engage and challenge students. He created a Jeopardy game. In it, students choose their categories and compete as contestants.
When he asks a student to solve a problem. The student must show the steps he used to arrive at a solution. Here’s the twist: the student must also declare his confidence level. Confident and wrong can get you into negative score territory pretty quickly.
The ingenious games and quirky assignments have another purpose. On the backside, Dr. Eser uses the quantitative data gleaned from the activities to measure how effectively he taught the material. He makes adjustments in his lectures and assignments based on the data.
Finance requires a mathematical mind, and Dr. Eser arranges assignments to maximize mathematical thinking. His students must use Excel programming to calculate solutions.
Dr. Eser said, "I want my students to have a realistic view of what will be expected of them when they enter the workforce." Eser continued saying, "Companies used to have big training budgets and were able to send employees to expensive conferences. Since the downturn in 2008, that is no longer the case. Employers want college graduates to come into the workforce ready to analyze complex problems with little or no additional training."
Paraphrasing Albert Einstein, Eser remarked, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
Dr. Eser is an Associate Professor of Finance in the Accounting, Finance, and Information Systems Department. He was born in Turkey and earned his BBA in Economics at the prestigious Bosphorus University, Istanbul.
He earned his Master’s in Economics at Boston College. His mentor at Boston College, internationally known economist Joe Peek, persuaded Eser to join him at the University of Kentucky and to accept a position as his Graduate Assistant. Dr. Eser earned his PhD in Finance at the University of Kentucky.