Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings: Week Beginning Nov. 28, 2016

by   |  11.28.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, COBA Staff, Current Students, Research, Uncategorized

by guest blogger, Dr. Don Pope

Well, sports fans, it was another exciting weekend of college football.  Several traditional big rivalry match-ups were played, the most notable being Michigan versus “The Ohio State University”.  The two schools up in Okie-land delayed their annual “Bedlam” rivalry game until this coming weekend so they could focus on the turkey and dressing last week.

The first of the following figures shows our adjusted rankings after week 13.

 

week of nov. 28 graph

 

Note that, as before, Alabama stands out way above the rest, followed by Ohio State and Michigan after their close game, then another Big 10 team, Wisconsin, and the remainder of the top 50 teams.

 

week of nov. 28 graph 2

 

The second of the figures is a network representation of college football this season, with the dots representing the teams in the various conferences, or independents.  The lines represent games played, both within conference and between conferences.  The size of the dots reflects their rankings in our system.  The large red dot in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) is Alabama, and 3 the large red dots in the Big 10 are Ohio State, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

The sad tale of these figures is the demise of the Big 12.   They seem to have forgotten that, after your team scores, you are supposed to put 11 other guys out on the field whose objective is to stop the other team from scoring.  Our rankings place many schools from many conferences above any school in the Big 12.  Thus, we do not predict the Big 12 teams this year to perform very well in bowl games, assuming that they get invited to any bowl game more significant than the Captain Crunch Breakfast Cereal Bowl.

Stay tuned for next week!

Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings: Week Beginning Nov. 21, 2016

by   |  11.22.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Research

by guest blogger, Noah Bastable

The most notable game this week happened on Thursday when the Houston Cougars beat Louisville in a tumbling loss for the Cardinals as they fell down from #5 to #14, even though both teams have a 9-2 record. This is, in part, how the Jessup-Pope College Football Rankings (much like life) works. If you notice the bottom 6 teams on the chart, their PageRank scores do not differ as much as the top 4 teams. Even the difference between Alabama and Ohio State is huge. This just goes to show it’s easy to get to the top, but it is hard to stay on top (even though Alabama may say otherwise).

 

jp rankings 11.22.16

 

The University of Houston Cougars were previously ranked #46 and are now ranked #17 on the Jessup Pope College Football Ranking system.

We hope that everybody has a great week off of school and work and enjoys their Thanksgiving meals, perhaps while watching the 9-1 Cowboys face the Redskins on Thanksgiving day.

COBA Meet the Dean Tour stops in Texas and Silicon Valley

by   |  11.18.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Events, COBA Faculty, COBA Staff, College Decisions, Current Students, Distinguished Speakers Series, Entrepreneurship, Faith Infusion, Griggs Center, Internships, MAcc, MBA, School of Information Technology and Computing, Uncategorized

Dr. Brad Crisp officially began his tenure as the Dean of the College of Business Administration in June and has been building an agenda since for his new role. One of the items on that agenda has been to reach out to and connect with alumni from the College of Business and the School of Information Technology and Computing, giving alumni and friends an opportunity to meet or reacquaint themselves with Dr. Crisp as well as learning more about the state of our college and what our plans are for the future. Thus, the idea for the “Meet the Dean Tour” was born and implemented in partnership with the Alumni Relations Office.

Dr. Brad Crisp, Dean of the College of Business Administration

Dr. Brad Crisp, Dean of the College of Business Administration

The tour began in Abilene with 56 alumni and friends and at each stop, Dr. Crisp illustrated ACU’s long standing success in business education and our recent path of progress with our School of IT and Computing.  Along with our first event in Abilene, alumni and friends gathered in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and Silicon Valley at networking breakfasts and lunches. Alumni who graduated within the past 10 years were invited to join Dr. Crisp for a “Beat the Dean” event at Top Golf in several of these cities, as they attempted to best the new Dean. It was a fun time of networking and Dr. Crisp was able to withstand the challenge brought by our young alums.

Young Alums in Dallas

Young Alums in Dallas

Dr. Crisp aims to win

Dr. Crisp aims to win

COBA Beat the Dean at Top Golf in Dallas

COBA Beat the Dean at Top Golf in Dallas

Not only were we able to reconnect with alumni, but we also met with parents of current students as well as prospective students and their families as they sought to learn more about the College and our programs and opportunities. Recent graduates were hard at work at these events, helping us connect students to internships and job opportunities in their organization. Alumni who have risen to leadership roles in their companies expressed their desire to create and sustain pipelines of ACU talent to their organizations. Many of our alums shared stories of the encouragement and strengthening they received both professionally and personally while attending ACU. They were encouraged by Dr. Crisp’s consistent reference to our heritage of business excellence, rooted in our personal commitment to living out the mission of Christ and bringing this mission to the workplace.

Meet the Dean lunch stop in Austin

Meet the Dean lunch stop in Austin

Today, Dr. Crisp leads a College offering 5 business degrees and 4 technology degrees at our Abilene campus, the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy which is leading the nation in student engagement for entrepreneurship programs, and the new Lytle Center for Leadership and Faith Development which is continuing our Distinguished Speaker Series and Leadership Summit course.  The reach of ACU’s mission to educate Christian servants and leaders has expanded with the on-line MBA program, offered through the ACU Dallas campus in addition to our residential Master of Accountancy program and additional on-line graduate programs are in the discussion phase. The College of Business enjoyed an enrollment of exactly 1,000 total students this fall and is positioned for additional growth.  Our Master of Accountancy and Computer Science programs supply a steady stream of employers coming to campus to interview for talent as the changing landscape of business is driven by technology and entrepreneurship, demanding ethical leaders in this rapidly transforming environment.

alums top golf

Young alums at Beat the Dean in San Antonio

Young alums at Beat the Dean in San Antonio

The opportunity to begin Dr. Crisp’s tenure by connecting with alumni was emphasized by an intentional effort to listen to and involve alumni and friends in our efforts to develop the next generation of business and technology servant leaders. All in attendance were encouraged to give us feedback via an on-line survey. If you were unable to attend one of the stops but would like to give feedback as we continue to shape the direction and future of ACU’s College of Business and School of Information Technology and Computing, please fill out the survey by clicking on this link.

Your support of our work to educate business and technology professionals for Christian service and leadership throughout the world is a great encouragement to us and we cannot achieve our goals without support from alumni and friends. Thank you!

 

 

The Lytle Center hosts Brett Biggs at COBA’s annual Distinguished Speaker Series Luncheon

by   |  11.17.16  |  Academics, Accounting, COBA Alumni, COBA Events, COBA Faculty, COBA Staff, Careers In..., College Decisions, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Special Speakers, Uncategorized

The Lytle Center for Faith and Leadership Development hosted Brett Biggs, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on October 25th, as the speaker at COBA’s annual Distinguished Speaker Series luncheon.

brett-biggs (2)

Brett Biggs, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Biggs is responsible for accounting and control, corporate strategy and development, business planning and analysis, internal auditing, treasury, tax, global shared services and several other key areas of the company. Before being appointed to his current role, Biggs was executive vice president and chief financial officer for Walmart International, where he was responsible for all global finance activities, including accounting and controls, business planning and analysis, financial services, and support for real estate, M&A and Strategy. Prior to that, Brett served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Walmart U.S., where he was responsible for U.S. finance functions including strategy, merchandising, logistics, financial services, real estate, operations, and financial planning and analysis.

Biggs began his visit to ACU with a Q&A meeting with approximately 30 COBA students. The students had unfettered access to ask Biggs questions about his career path, how Walmart works and his best advice on how to jump start their own careers. After the private gathering with students, he then addressed the luncheon crowd of about 200 guests, talking to them about Walmart’s corporate philosophy as well as his own beliefs on what it means to be a Christian leader in the workplace.

students with Brett Biggs

Mr. Biggs meeting with COBA students

Biggs stated that the “Joy of working at Walmart is that it is a company that stands for things: take care of your people, do your best, and take care of the people that come through your door.” Biggs also said that he believes, “The world needs places that stand for something. I love ACU’s mission. If you can combine your passion and your vocation with your mission, that’s where it’s at. Sometimes being a person of faith is tough. You have to stand your ground when others around you aren’t. Rosa Parks said it well when she said, ‘Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.’ Matt 5:14 says, ‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.’ I know that’s what this university is about and I appreciate that.”

COBADistSpkBiggs-036

Biggs also gave a personal anecdote when he told a story about meeting Sam Walton, who he described as a once in a lifetime kind of man and the greatest entrepreneur of all time. Biggs said that he met Walton on a field trip in college. Biggs happened to be carrying around a very big notebook while studying for the CPA exam. Sam Walton asked what the book was for and Biggs explained to him that he was intensely studying for the exam. Walton then told him that, “If you study hard and work hard you never know what you’ll be able to achieve.” Biggs said that today, his office is next door to Sam Walton’s former office. 

Biggs encouraged students to find a company that fits your values, to be intentional about your faith and to stay grounded and focused on your faith. He also exhorted the audience to know who you are before you are faced with big decisions. He stated, “You have to know what you would do and make a choice ahead of time. You have to really know who you are. Students, take advantage of your time here and form that person now. Take advantage of all the spiritual opportunities you have here.”

faculty visit (1 of 1)

Mr. Biggs meeting with COBA Faculty

Biggs wrapped his trip to ACU up with a private meeting with some of COBA’s faculty, where they discussed current markets and opportunities for students. COBA would like to thank Brett Biggs for so graciously giving of his time and energy to our students, faculty, staff and community.

For pictures from the event, please click on this link for COBA’s FaceBook page.

Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings: Week Beginning Nov. 14, 2016

by   |  11.15.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Research, Uncategorized

by guest blogger, Dr. Don Pope

Well sports fans, it was one of those weeks.  3 of the top 4 CFP ranked teams went down in flames to defeat, as well as my dear old Texas Aggies. Since the top 4 CFP ranked teams end up in the most significant bowl games and play each other for the unofficial (not recognized by the NCAA) national championship, then we are going to see a scramble for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ranked teams at the end of the regular season.  That assumes, of course, that Alabama remains in their overwhelming number 1 ranked position, which is surely to occur unless their team bus blows an engine and they fail to show at their remaining games.  Our rankings did not change a great deal from the previous week (week 10) to week 11 (shown below).

JP_top50_rankings_2016_wk11_phat136 (2)

This is due to several factors:  first, our algorithm is not bothered by a “defeat” as much as other rankings, as in the case of Michigan only losing by 1 point on the road against Iowa.  Secondly, our rankings were never as excited about Clemson and Washington as other rankings had been.  Our rankings, after the 800 pound monster Alabama, are very impressed with the body of work of several Big 10 conference teams.  Among these is Northwestern, which is still flying below the radar on many rankings, but our rankings feel that they are a strong contender.

Stay tuned for this coming weekend’s games.  The only certainty is more surprises.

 

Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings: Week Beginning November 7, 2016

by   |  11.08.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Research

by guest blogger and marketing major from Japan, Noah Bastable

Hello wildcats and welcome back to our weekly blog post on the Jessup Pope College Football Rankings!

This week is the tenth week of college football and we’d like to talk you through some noticeable changes since last week.

JP_top50_rankings_2016_wk10_phat136

Our top four teams – Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, and Wisconsin – remain the same but their order has switched.

LSU lost to Alabama but they went up in the rankings from 16th to 11th. The score was close until Alabama broke the scoreless game in the last quarter by scoring 10 points.

Ole Miss shot up through the rankings from 28th to 17th after a 37-27 win against the Georgia Southern Eagles.

Nebraska went down from 12th to 20th after their staggering 62-3 loss to Ohio State.

The most interesting turnout, however, was one between two of our home state teams, Baylor and TCU.  TCU “clobbered”, as Ryan Jessup put it, the Bears 62-22 defeating them so badly that their running back was sidelined for attitude issues. Perhaps there is a silver lining in the Bears-Frogs game, the lesson learned that no matter how rough a game may get, one must always maintain a right attitude.

That is it for this week. Come back and check us out again next week for more of the new and improved Jessup Pope College Football rankings! Go Wildcats!!

Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings: Week Beginning 30 October 2016

by   |  11.01.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Research, Uncategorized

by guest blogger, Dr. Ryan Jessup

I present to you the first edition of the second season of the new and improved Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings in which we rank all 128 college football teams in the bowl subdivision based on their performances through the first 9 weeks of the current season.

A very brief history

Last season, Don Pope and I introduced our ranking system which uses a modified version of the Google PageRank algorithm – the algorithm that jump-started the search engine giant and still underlies their current approach today – to allow it to rank teams instead of webpages.  We also enabled it to account for home field advantage and temporal decay of performances (this is where games early in the season weigh less in the rankings than more recent games), among other things.

New and improved

You might recall that last season we ended with the same final 4 as the college football playoff (CFP) rankings and predicted that Alabama would defeat Clemson in the Championship by 5.7 points, a game Alabama won by 5 points.  Our model (a) beat Las Vegas and (b) correctly predicted the winner of the bowl games 51.2% of the time.  For us, that is not good enough.  So, in the offseason we grabbed more seasons of college football data to help our system better learn and made a few additional modifications to supercharge the system.  When we finally got around to running our new version on last season’s data, we found that it beat Vegas 61% of the time and correctly predicted the bowl game winner 56% of the time.

About our rankings

Before we get into the rankings here are a few quick reminders:

  • We do not care about predicting the CFP rankings. We care about good predictions of game outcomes and correctly predicting the CFP rankings may lead us in the wrong direction.
  • Our model does not care about win-loss records. A team with a losing record who lost multiple away games against tough teams by narrow margins will likely end up higher in our rankings than an undefeated team that has played a creampuff schedule.
  • Our model is not biased by name recognition, what conference a team plays in, or start of the season rankings – three potential weaknesses of human ranking systems.
  • Our model is forward-looking so as to predict future outcomes whereas traditional polls and ranking systems are backwards-looking and hence merely describe prior performance.

The rankings

As with last season, we are presenting the rankings using a dotplot which preserves the relative difference in JP values.  For example, this image demonstrates that the difference in quality between teams 1 and 2 is larger than the difference between teams 15 and 50!

 

JP Football rankings week 9

 

No one should be surprised that Alabama and Michigan are ranked at the top.  Our high ranking of Wisconsin is consistent with their strong performances against quality teams, despite their two losses, both against teams that we rank higher (Michigan followed by Ohio State at #3).

My guess is that undefeated Clemson and Washington will round out the CFP’s top 4 in the first ranking of the season which will be released on Tuesday; though, our model suggests that they are currently on the outside looking in.  Baylor and West Virginia’s losses this past weekend simplified the problem that would have otherwise arisen – people wondering why those two undefeated teams were ranked so low.

Spotlight on Malcolm Coco

by   |  10.19.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, Careers In..., College Decisions, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Human Resource Management, Uncategorized

Dr. Malcolm Coco

Dr. Malcolm Coco

 

What is your educational background?

Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Southwestern La.

Personnel Management and Supervision, Central Michigan University

Doctorate of Public Administration, Nova Southeastern University

 

What is your work background?

I was a United States Air Force Pilot for 22 years.

 

What do you teach at ACU?

I teach Human Resource Management courses and am the Director of Internships for COBA.

 

What committees/other duties do you have at ACU aside from teaching?

Too many to list.  I was Associate Dean from 1993-1997.

 

What drew you to teaching? Why did you want to work with students?

When stationed at Dyess AFB in the 70s, I met a number of ACU faculty/staff/and grads.  I determined then based on those relationships that ACU was special and that after my Air Force career I would like to work for ACU.


What’s the best part of working with students?

Working with young people with fresh ideas, passion, and engagement.

 

Have you ever given up any big opportunities to keep working with students?

The offer to be the Director of Human Resources at ACU and several other HR director jobs.

 

Outside of teaching, what passions and hobbies do you have?

Anything outdoors: bow hunting, fly fishing, and duck hunting especially.

 

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Enjoying the great outdoors.

 

What is a good, early story about your teaching?

I’ve always enjoyed inviting local, national and international HR professionals to speak in my class.

 

Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

Being the Deputy Director of U.S. air force pilots world wide assignments for 40,000 air force pilots as well as being the Associate Dean during some of the most challenging times for the College of Business.

 

Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

I volunteer with Rotary International, Big Country Society for Human Resource Management, Military Officers Association, and Herald of Truth.

 

Who is your role model, and why?

Anyone of a few faculty who can fully engage students.

 

Dr. Coco on a field trip with students.

Dr. Coco on a field trip with students.

 

Who was your most inspirational professor and why?

Former Department Chair, Lamar Riench.

 

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

To have a better ability to connect people with Jesus.

 

What is something that students might be surprised to find out about you?

That I was a State Champion pole vaulter and sprinter.

 

What would you really want students and alums to know about you?

To know how much I really care about our students  and how much I appreciate our student’s parents giving us their children for an education.

 

 

 

Meet the Dean Tour Launched

by   |  10.17.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Events, COBA Faculty, Dean Chronicles, School of Information Technology and Computing, Uncategorized

Dr. Brad Crisp officially began his tenure as Dean of the College of Business Administration in May and has been building an agenda since then for his new role. One of the items on that agenda has been to reach out to and connect with alumni from COBA. Thus, the idea for the “Meet the Dean Tour” was born and is now in full swing.

Dr. Brad Crisp, Dean of the College of Business Administration

Dr. Brad Crisp, Dean of the College of Business Administration

 

Starting in Abilene with 56 alumni and friends, Dr. Crisp described ACU’s long standing success in business education and our recent path of progress with our School of Information Technology and Computing, Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy, Lytle Center for Faith and Leadership, and a new online MBA program.

 

Meeting with COBA alumni in Austin

Meeting with COBA alumni in Austin.

 

Along with our first event in Abilene, alumni and friends gathered in Austin and San Antonio October 11-12th for a Meet the Dean lunch in each city.  The opportunity to network with business and technology professionals and learn about the growing opportunities with our academic programs was enjoyed by 28 attendees at each event.  Alumni who graduated within the past 10 years joined Dr. Crisp for a “Beat the Dean” event at Top Golf in San Antonio as they attempted to best the new Dean. It was a fun time of networking with about 20 alums, and Dr. Crisp was able to withstand the challenge.

 

COBA Alum at the Beat the Dean San Antonio event

COBA Alum at the Beat the Dean San Antonio event

 

The next stops for the tour are Dallas on October 27 and Fort Worth on October 28, followed by a tour stop in the Silicon Valley on November 2.  The tour will finish on November 7 and 8 in Houston.  We want to give a big thank you to our tour sponsor, Steve Green and Anvil II Management. We are also very grateful for sponsorship of the following city stops:

 

Abilene: David Swearingen and Johnson & Johnson

Austin: Bill & Jan McClellan and Gary Skidmore

Dallas: Heritage Christian College and Partner Source

 

To our alumni and friends, your support of our work to educate business and technology professionals for Christian service and leadership throughout the world is a great encouragement to us.  We hope that you’ll register to attend one of the remaining dates on the Meet the Dean tour.  For information on the dates and to register, please click this link.

Spotlight on Katie Wick

by   |  10.12.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, College Decisions, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Research, Uncategorized

Dr. Katie Wick

Dr. Katie Wick

What is your educational background?

I was drawn to the University of Virginia for my undergraduate education.  The campus is a magical place steeped in history and tradition.  When I came to UVA, I was convinced I was going to be a doctor, and as I was taking my first course in chemistry I realized that I was going to have to slog and push myself through my prerequisites for medical school.  Simultaneously, I happened to enroll in principles of microeconomics with 550 other undergraduates and the class made my heart sing! I decided I need to dive into economics further.

My game theory and experimental economics classes convinced me to make the study of economics my future. Strategy, games, choices, and decisions came alive in the economics laboratory, and I simply had to find a way to get to graduate school to study further.  With the guidance of my advisor, I applied to experimental graduate programs and received an amazing offer from the University of Pittsburgh where the real work in economics began.

Playing economics games with handheld devices out on the famous UVA lawn with my experimental economics class (that's me on the very far right in the red and my advisor/professor right next to me). This was a big deal since it was WAY before iPads!

Playing economics games with handheld devices out on the famous UVA lawn with my experimental economics class (that’s me on the very far right in the red and my advisor/professor right next to me). This was a big deal since it was WAY before iPads!

After two to three years of the basic course work (basic is a misnomer since it was scary hard), I started my research in experiments.  My dissertation was based around two experiments I designed to test efficiency in public good giving.  It was such a thrill to conduct every aspect of the experiment and see it take shape from just an idea to the design then the programming, the recruiting of subjects, the running of the experiment in the laboratory, and the analysis afterward.  The day I defended my dissertation was almost as exciting as the days I welcomed my children into the world!

 

What is your work background?

You’ll notice the narrative of my work history exactly coincides with the development of my family.  My first professor job was at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA where I was blessed with amazing students who loved economics as well as game theory and experiments.  At the end of my very first week of work, our first foster child came to live with us, a little boy named Braden who we had the privilege of later adopting. Concurrently, my husband was in his family medicine residency, and when he graduated, he would begin active duty with the Air Force due to the terms of his medical school scholarship.  After two years of working at Allegheny, my husband was given orders to Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, TX, which we had to look up on a map! God went before us to provide a community of support including an amazing church and friends.

Dr. Matthew Wick, then a captain in the USAF on his first day of active duty service at Dyess with our 2-year-old son Braden

Dr. Matthew Wick, then a captain in the USAF on his first day of active duty service at Dyess with our 2-year-old son Braden.

I was 30+ weeks with our second child when we moved to Abilene, and I took two years off from teaching to be with our small kids.  I missed being with students and teaching, and I reached out to the academic community in town.  I started teaching part-time at McMurry in the fall of 2012 when I was 36 weeks pregnant with our 3rd child! I had missed the excitement of the first day of school in those two years away.  That was a busy semester!

I taught part-time at McMurry for one year and full-time for three years. We loved living in Abilene.  After my husband’s active duty commitment was over, we decided to stay and put down permanent roots here, and we had one more kid too!

 

What do you teach at ACU?

My main teaching focus at ACU is the principles of economics courses (macro and micro) and equipping our COBA students for their upper level business classes.  This spring I will be teaching one of my favorite classes on game theory which studies choices in strategic settings.  We also play a good deal of games which makes it a very fun and memorable class.  I also hope to add other economics topics classes in the future.

 

What drew you to teaching? Why did you want to work with students?

The mentoring process is my favorite part of teaching.  I love getting to know about student’s uniqueness and helping them learn material in a way that makes sense to them.  I went to a large university where having a mentor relationship with your professor was very difficult if not close to impossible in some cases.  It became paramount that my students have a different experience than I did, one where they were known.  In addition, I LOVE school, have always loved school, so it’s exciting that I always get to be in school!

 

What’s the best part of working with students?

I love that I get to be a small part of this transformational time in their lives.  College is a shaping experience academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.  It is a great privilege to be able to encourage them on this journey.  In addition, students make me laugh, and they help to keep me relevant.

 

Outside of teaching, what passions and hobbies do you have?

When I’m not teaching, I’m usually at home or out and about with my “tribe.” They are my biggest hobby and my greatest joy in life.  Currently, my kids are 2, 4, 6, and 8 years old so they are still at an age where they require attention which is both great and hard.

Other than my tribe, I love to spend time with my friends, exercise, read, and I am very involved in my church community.  I have a huge passion for the foster and adoptive community, and we hope to open our home again to children in the future.

What is a good, early story about your teaching?

While I was still a student in my doctoral program, I taught a section of Intermediate Microeconomics in the summer when I was 24 years old.  I remember walking into the classroom, very nervous, and one of the students asking me about the professor and if this was known to be a hard class.  I giggled on the inside.  I guess they thought that I was taking the class and not teaching it!

 

Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

Up to this point, I don’t think anything has topped the feeling of the accomplishment of my dissertation.  Conducting every aspect of those experiments and single authoring the papers created an incredible sense of triumph.

 

Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

Most Thursday mornings I work in my church’s food pantry where we provide groceries and household goods to approximately 25 families that day. These families and the others working the food pantry bless my life in tremendous ways.  I also lead a life group and counsel couples in the premarital journey with my husband.

 

Who is your role model, and why?

My parents! My father worked tirelessly to provide for us as well as let us know we were always loved.  He was also an incredibly successful surgeon bringing healing to thousands of patients and teaching hundreds of budding doctors.  My mom was the rock upon which our whole family stood, and she is our earthly guide in this life.  She also led each of her children to know and love the Lord.

 

Who was your most inspirational professor and why?

There are many, and I could pick inspirational teachers/professors for different phases of my life.

Childhood – my mom, Helen Johnson, who encouraged me to love learning and see it as a constant adventure at a young age.

Middle/High School – Dr. Tracy Inman who taught me an intensive three-week summer course in humanities studying different perspectives of the afterlife at my favorite summer camp (lovingly dubbed nerd camp by my friends and family). Her guidance helped challenge my critical thinking skills and nourish my individual ideas.

College – Dr. Charles Holt who opened my eyes to the world of game theory and experimental economics. At the time, I didn’t know he was such a leader in this field and that working in his laboratory would put me way ahead in skills for graduate school. I was so blessed by his leadership and guidance.

 

At UVA's Intermediate Honors (I'm on the far right) with Dr. Charles Holt in the center. We all call him Charlie.

At UVA’s Intermediate Honors (I’m on the far right) with Dr. Charles Holt in the center. We all call him Charlie.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

Flying! Oh, how freeing it would be!  Plus, you could see the world from a different perspective and travel places quickly.

 

What is something that students might be surprised to find out about you?

My husband and I were dating for less than 10 months when we got married!  We are coming up on our 11th anniversary this Christmas.

 

What would you really want students and alums to know about you?

When I was in graduate school, I longed to teach at a university just like ACU. Working here is a blessing, and teaching, mentoring, and working with students is my professional dream-come-true. I am honored to share in the mission of ACU.

The Wick Family

The Wick Family