Jack Derby Receives the 2015 Henry and Madeline Fisher Award

Congratulations to Jack Derby, the winner of the 2015 Henry and Madeline Fisher Award. This award is given to the best engineering teacher of the year.  Derby is the first faculty member from the Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies Program (ELS) to be given this recognition. Derby was honored with the award this spring based on his excellence in teaching, ability to inspire and motivate students to achieve their greatest potential, and his ability to create a profound intellectual classroom experience.  

Here is Dean Linda Abriola D speech given in honor of Derby:

Jack Derby has been a lecturer in the Tufts Gordon Institute Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies program for the past seven years. Jack is the first part-time lecturer that we have put up for this award.  For a number of years, he has been regularly named by a significant number of graduating students on the Senior Survey as an “influential individual who contributed significantly to [their] intellectual/personal development and as an instructor of an exceptional college course.”   However, this past year, the number of students who cited him was extraordinary: 43 seniors!  

Jack is a graduate of Boston College, where he majored in English, with a minor in Biology. His passion for teaching was evident from a young age. Soon after graduation, he moved to Tanzania and spent two years teaching English with the Peace Corps. 

Since then Jack has become an expert in emerging and middle business markets. He is the president and founder of Derby Management, and brings a great deal of ‘real-world’ experience to his teaching here at Tufts, which students really appreciate. Jack’s previous roles in industry include serving as the CEO of Mayer Electronics Corporation, President of CB Sports, President of Litton Industries Medical Systems, CEO of Datamedix Corporation, and President of Becton Dickinson Medical Systems.  

Jack’s business expertise and connections have substantial benefits for his students. The world of marketing is changing at breakneck speed, and this is reflected in Jack’s fast-paced Entrepreneurial Marketing class, which is built on the latest marketing strategies and tactics and which engages students with projects in local companies. With such a firm base in industry, Jack is able to connect many of his students with internships, start-up funding, and jobs after graduation. Jack teaches his students the subject of marketing but also how to market themselves for success in the business world. 

Jack’s course evaluations reveal that students view his classes as highly worthwhile, and as one student put it, “Dynamic, realistic, practical, difficult, and taught by an expert.” Here are some other excerpts:

“No person at Tufts has contributed to my personal and professional development as much as Jack Derby has. His course, Entrepreneurial Marketing, is the reason why I decided to finish the ELS minor.” 

“Incredible professor with true interest in student success.”

“The course was professionally run and Professor Derby was excellent.”

“Best professor I have ever had.”

And my favorite:  “Jack happens to be the best, most wonderful and most generous professor in the world... and I don't say this lightly. Hold on to him as tightly as possible... he's an incredible asset to this university.”

Jack, we thank you for your dedication and many contributions to the education of our students; thank you for making such a positive impact on their experience at Tufts and beyond. Please come forward to accept this award with my congratulations.

Professor Derby’s success goes to show how special the Entrepreneurial Leadership Program has become, which is due to the success of our faculty and their contributions to the student body.  For all those interested in taking Derby’s Entrepreneurial Marketing class this fall, I am sorry to say that is has already filled up due to his incredible reputation. I am one of the lucky students in that class –an am excited more than words can say.  I wish you all luck in registering for the Spring semester class as it should be as popular as ever.  A round of applause for Jack Derby!

Written by Shannon McHenry A16