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A dedicated and gifted educator with international financial regulatory experience, Harbert College of Business Finance Professor of Practice Damion McIntosh has won the 2023 Auburn Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Excellence award. He will be honored with other campus faculty award recipients at an annual awards ceremony on Nov. 9.
“Dr. McIntosh has an unmatched passion for incorporating his professional experience into his classroom and connecting with students in an authentically personal way,” said Department of Finance Chair Keven Yost. “Beyond answering questions about course material, Damion responds to students’ questions about current events and the future challenges and changes in the finance field. He also provides career advice and mentoring for students and uses his personal network to generate employment opportunities for them.”
Since becoming a faculty member at Auburn in 2012, McIntosh has taught six undergraduate courses, as well as four MBA and two executive master’s degree courses. His ability to tie real-world events to illustrate concepts in class is perhaps most evident in the financial markets and institutions (FINC 4700) and Financial Sector Regulation and Supervision (FINC 4720) courses, where McIntosh draws on his experience as an International Monetary Fund consultant and his developmental work across the globe.
“These experiences demonstrate to students that what they are being taught is more than theoretical—it’s practical,” McIntosh said. “The knowledge is not ideologically ripped from a textbook, but instead reflects real-world occurrences.”
For example, when the Federal Open Market Committee raised interest rates 11 times during the past 18 months, McIntosh was able to illustrate to his students the impact those decisions had on stock and bond markets. Last spring, he tapped into his banking regulatory expertise and current headlines to show how weak bank risk management contributed to the bank failures of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and First Republic Bank.
McIntosh also created a new undergraduate course—financial regulation and supervision (FINC 4720)—which helps students who want a career in banking navigate the financial sector’s ever-changing regulatory landscape.
Harbert finance graduate Reagan Giles (finance ’23), who works as a corporate analyst with JP Morgan Chase, attests to McIntosh’s enthusiasm for tying current events into his instruction.
“He inspired all of us to read the news and stay informed,” said Giles, who recalled receiving compliments from senior work colleagues for her knowledge on international finance current events while doing an internship in the summer of 2022. “I learned from his classes that being a student doesn’t halt once you leave a classroom; it is a necessary lifelong skill.”
Alumna Maggie Elliott (finance ’19), who took two of McIntosh’s courses while at Auburn, recalls being inspired by his teaching and mentoring.
“I wanted to do well in his classes, and I was proud to be his student,” said Elliott, an investor relations analyst with Regions Bank. “He also inspired me to start my career in finance, particularly the banking sector by encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and taking [that step] to begin my career with Regions.”
According to McIntosh, his teaching philosophy has always encompassed preparing students not just for a passing grade in his courses, but for meaningful careers.
McIntosh’s dedication to educating students extends beyond the Harbert College of Business. He worked with School of Accountancy Professor Kerry Inger on helping student-athletes with financial literacy, particularly issues related to them profiting from their name, image and likeness (NIL).
He recorded a seminar series, which was incorporated into an app, that explained NIL topics and issues. He also presented the material at a series of athlete dinners, through the Deal or No Deal event for freshman athletes, and in the summer bridge program for incoming football players and women and men’s basketball players.
“Damion’s ability to engage and connect with student athletes in a way that supported their interests was impressive,” said Meagan Hooshyar, assistant athletic director of student athlete experience.
Contributing to the financial literacy instruction was an easy lift for McIntosh, as he is passionate about the topic for all individuals.
However financial literacy is particularly critical for those students who may earn NIL deals while in school or sign a professional sports contract that could be quite lucrative. McIntosh cites a survey by Sports Illustrated that found 78% of NFL players and 60% of NBA players file for bankruptcy within five years of retiring from professional competition.
“To have this opportunity to provide basic finance skills to student-athletes is extremely rewarding,” he said. “Financial literacy is equally critical to student athletes who may not [go pro] since these finance skills are critical to effective money and investment management, contract negotiations, and cash and debt management.”
Earlier in his career, McIntosh worked for the Bank of Jamaica, the country’s central bank, as an examiner, policy analyst and assistant director. He was also an executive with Sagicor Group Jamaica Ltd and JN Cayman. He has a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University, and he has earned certifications in several specializations, including public accountant (CPA), management accountant (CMA), finance manager (CFM) and anti-money laundering specialist (CAMS).
Prior to receiving the campus-level award, McIntosh received other accolades of note: the 2023 Harbert College Lowder Endowed Teaching award, 2021 Harbert College McCartney Endowed Teaching award, and National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) Center for the Public Interest Being a Difference award.
Nominations for the Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Awards are made by department heads, deans, alumni and students. A committee of retired faculty selects the recipients.
Learn more about Auburn Alumni Association faculty awards.
The Harbert College of Business which is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Raymond and Kathryn Harbert's transformational naming gift, is a nationally ranked hub of undergraduate, graduate and continuing business education that is inspiring the next generation of business leaders. Our world-class faculty deliver unparalleled academic rigor in the classroom, while our research-driven scholarship advances thought leadership and best practice across business disciplines. The largest college on Auburn's campus, Harbert enrolls more than 6,900 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.