Best Teacher Award for Professor Henrik Leopold and Professor Christoph Ihl

Best teacher title photo

Who could judge the quality of KLU’s teaching better than our students? In keeping with tradition, this year, once again KLU students voted on the best internal and external teacher at KLU. Prof. Henrik Leopold (Associate Professor for Data Science and Business Intelligence) took home the award for best internal teacher, while Prof. Christoph Ihl (TUHH Institute of Entrepreneurship) was voted best external teacher. The two received their prizes at the graduation ceremony on September 14th.

After two hybrid graduation events, at this year’s graduation you as faculty members could finally once again take part live on stage. It’s also where you were informed that you’d won the best teacher award. What went through your mind when they called your name?

Henrik Leopold: I was honestly surprised and also quite moved, I must say. I’m very happy that the students as well as the faculty appreciate and value my efforts so much.

Christoph Ihl: It was a real surprise, and a very pleasant one! I feel very honored. It was the best motivation and came at the right time, so that I can tackle my winter courses at KLU with new energy.

What would you say is the recipe for your teaching success?

Henrik Leopold: I don’t think there is any classic recipe. I think what students appreciate about me are first, my passion for the subject. Second, my willingness to break down complex topics so that everyone can understand them, and last but not least, my flexibility when it comes to accommodating students’ needs and interests. Maybe a bit of humor helps, too.

Christoph Ihl: I think (and hope) that I don’t make a very “professorial” impression on students. I do my best to come across as genuine and understanding, and as someone interested in the students really learning something. I want to share my passion for theories and models by showing students how they can help us to answer real-world, relevant questions. In my view, that’s what good university education should always do. 

Who was your favorite teacher during your studies and why?

Henrik Leopold: I liked the professors who were passionate about their subjects and took time to explain the content clearly. So basically, nothing special, if you will. But it was exactly this passion that inspired me back when I was a student.

Christoph Ihl: One of my favorites was my macroeconomics prof at the TU Berlin. He managed to make fairly theoretical content very interesting and lively, even though macroeconomics wasn’t really our focus area.

My other favorite was my entrepreneurship prof at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Back then, there were no entrepreneurship courses at German universities. As such, I was all the more pleasantly surprised by the numerous guest talks, held by successful entrepreneurs.

Both profs taught me one thing for my own teaching: that theory truly can be fun – when it’s clearly linked to practice.


Prof. Leopold taught the Data Science and Business Analytics and Decision Support courses in 2021/22. Prof. Ihl taught Digital Economy.

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