“Students often start my class thinking that business is dry, it’s only about profit, it’s opportunistic, it’s alienating,” said Lorenzo Bizzi, associate professor of management. “My goal is for students to understand that business is about making people’s lives better, making an impact, creating energy and enthusiasm, creating purpose, and following a mission.”
To achieve this goal, Bizzi develops his own teaching materials to better engage students and involve them in real-life projects using his personal connections with industry leaders.
His commitment to student engagement, equity and inclusion earned him Cal State Fullerton’s 2023 Carol Barnes Excellence in Teaching Award.
This is not the first time Bizzi has been honored for his teaching. He received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the College of Business and Economics in 2018 and holds a record, four consecutive years of being All-Time Best Professor in the Business Honors Program. Bizzi has been director of the program for the past five years, recruiting some of the best students in the college and helping them gain the knowledge and experience they need. Most students graduating from the honors program find top jobs in such organizations as Disney, Goldman Sachs, Paramount Pictures, Boeing, the Big Four accounting firms and many more.
In his role as director, Bizzi has revitalized and grown the honors program. He teaches two courses in the program and serves as a mentor to students during their time in the program. He has led the recruitment of a strong incoming student applicant group with an average GPA over 4.25 and a rigorous selection process (only 10% of applicants are admitted to the program).
In addition, Bizzi has had a strong impact on the business community. Besides publishing in premier academic journals, his work has been featured in the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Inc. Magazine, Smart Company, Yahoo Finance and CEO Magazine.
Bizzi has been considered an excellent teacher for years — by his colleagues and students in the College of Business and Economics. In fact, his classes generally fill up within two minutes of being posted. He also has consistently obtained among the highest teaching evaluations.
Recognizing that the best way to fight prejudice, discrimination and inequity is to help students understand the beauty of differences in the world and different cultures, he created a college capstone course in Asia for CSUF students and has led seven study-abroad programs.
“Dr. Bizzi’s teaching philosophy focuses on having a transformational impact on his students. He develops his own classroom materials that focus on student engagement in the classroom and brings in real-life practicum projects to provide students with context to the subject matter being taught,” said Sridhar Sundaram, dean of the College of Business and Economics. “Student comments from his teaching evaluations are reflective of the impact such practices have on student learning in the classroom. Dr. Bizzi’s student evaluations have always been above 3.9 (out of 4) while keeping the rigor in his classes.”
“Dr. Bizzi also teaches the MBA capstone class, which is a client-consulting project associated with the Center for Entrepreneurship,” said Jennifer Chandler, chair and associate professor of management. “It’s a class that requires an instructor to really dig in and work closely with graduate students and industry executives. Because Lorenzo is always positive and light-hearted in his approach to this class, one would never know how demanding it is for him.”
Students comments include: “Taking this class has changed my life.” “I was very anxious of the world after college but going through this experience, I’m excited and I can’t wait for what the future has in store for me.” “I would give my first child for another class with him.” “Attending his class is like eating Starburst and Skittles at the same time.” “I actually want to fail this class so that I can take him again.”