COBA is Saying Goodbye to Three Legends in the Classroom

by   |  06.05.19  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Human Resource Management, Internships, School of Information Technology and Computing, Uncategorized

The end of the academic year brings about the season of awards, recognition, and change whether it occurs in elementary school, high school, or college. While we celebrate our graduates and the next chapter of their lives, the College of Business Administration is not immune to transition, either. We are  saying farewell to three inspirational professors: Dr. Rob Byrd (Associate Professor of IT and Computing), Dr. Malcolm Coco (Professor of Human Resource Management), and Dr. Terry Pope (Professor of Finance) as they retire. Students, colleagues, friends and family joined to honor them at receptions on May 6th where tributes and well wishes were shared with each of the retiring professors.

Rob Byrd with SITC students Paula Berggren and Lauren Walker

Rob Byrd came to ACU in 2009 and was known for not only helping students dive deep into the world of Information Technology and Security, but also helping them develop a deeper faith and spiritual walk. Recent SITC graduate, Lauren Walker (’19) described Byrd as a passionate teacher who wanted to maximize students’ learning and push them to be their best selves. She said, “He never missed an opportunity to show us how the knowledge and skills we were gaining can transcend all areas of life. He never settled on just letting us ‘get by’ with our education. He constantly challenged us and pushed for excellence and innovation. As a mentor, he was a person who saw the best in his students. He wasn’t afraid to say the hard things, and encouraged us to go after the things in life we never thought we could achieve. ” Dr. Byrd baptized Lauren last October and she recounted that Byrd was “just simply himself”, never afraid to be transparent, witty, cynical, and show a genuine interest in his students. She said, “If anyone of us needed help with something school related, or even personal, it wasn’t a doubt that he was just one phone call or text away.”

Dr. Byrd

While some students might have been intimidated by a professor like Byrd, Walker said, “The last thing I guess I want to say is that like all of the SITC professors, Dr. Byrd is so special. Dr. Byrd is such a softy, but of course he would never say it. He has such a servant heart, and has touched so many students’ lives over the years, and of course I just happen to be one of them. He’s one of those professors I will end up telling my children stories about!”

Byrd is transitioning into a new career as Staff Technical Project Engineer with Collins Aerospace at their headquarters location in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He said, “This position will be a challenging adventure for me-just what I was hoping for. Working at this level will allow me to be involved and responsible for both the design/development and the budgetary/systems aspects of the assigned projects and programs. The nature of the work will be classified, but will be in support of national defense and will draw from my education, experience and certifications. I thank my colleagues for their support.”

Coco with students Grace Smith and Dayle Hayes

Malcolm Coco arrived at ACU in 1989. Coco was well known for helping students find jobs through his internship class, mentoring students through Human Resource classes and the Student Chapter of the Human Resource Management organization, his love for the outdoors, and playing the Beach Boys loudly during office hours.

Coco said that when he came to ACU, he only intended to teach for 2 or 3 years and then planned to pursue a career as a pilot for an airlines. Thirty years later, he says, “I’m still teaching and enjoying every minute. Associating with great Christian faculty and staff and having the opportunity to shape young lives has been a blessing to me. I’m wondering where the 30 years went to!”

Dr. Coco with his family

When asked what the best advice he would offer to students would be, he encouraged students to be the best you that you can be. Always strive to be your bosses “go to” person, meaning when there is an important project with a short turn around and it needs to be done correctly, you want your boss to always think of  you as the person he or she trusts to get the job done. He said, “Winners make it happen and losers let it happen.”

To his colleagues, Coco said, “It has been a blessing to me to have the fortune of knowing so many God fearing, Christian faculty. Your example and support for me and my family for these past 30 years has been tremendous. Thanks for the memories.”

Retirement for Coco will be a mixed bag. He will continue to teach as an adjunct faculty member and will continue to manage the COBA internship program. Coco has no plans to slow down. He said, “My children and grandchildren all live in Abilene, so I’m planning for some serious grandchild time. Hobbies of hunting and fishing will continue. I have already joined several civic organizations and intend to do volunteer work for several non-profits.”

Pope with daughter Abby Pimentel and wife Gayla

When he wasn’t teaching a finance class like STAR (Student Trading and Research), you could find Terry Pope on the golf course, working on his new baseball podcast with Tim Johnston, or in his shop working on his next furniture project.

Terry Pope answered the call by Jack Griggs to come and teach at ACU in 1992. Pope said that teaching at ACU has been a great experience, “When I came to Abilene, having already worked for twenty-three years in industry and academics, I was thinking that I would teach for about fifteen years. However, teaching at ACU was so rewarding that I just kept showing up, year after year. ACU is a special place to our family, since Gayla and I, all three of our children, and three of our grandchildren have attended.  Our other six grandchildren will likely follow in these steps.” Pope went on to say that it’s been great to be a part of the ACU community.  He said, “I felt that everyone on campus strove for excellence in what they did and sought to be pleasing to God.  Being a part of that environment made me a better person.”

Terry, Gayla, Beth, and Don Pope

When asked if there was anything he’d like students to know, he said, without question that the favorite part of teaching at ACU was getting to know so many students.  Pope estimates that he has taught about four thousand students and tried to get to know each one of them saying, “I have many great friendships today with former students.  Every student was different – different backgrounds, different interests, and different personalities.  That diversity made our community better. I hope that I communicated to my students that being a Jesus follower comes before all else.  While I taught Finance, I said ‘the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing’.  Brilliance in Finance is not the main thing, but only a compliment to following Jesus.”

Pope said that his colleagues at ACU were great and continue to be his close friends.  He recounted, “I remember telling someone early in my career at ACU that I had underestimated the joy of being able to work daily in a Christian environment.  I felt a closeness and shared purpose with colleagues all over campus, even though we might not have been well acquainted. To all of these colleagues, I say ‘keep it going’.  Investment managers must communicate to their clients that ‘Past performance is no guarantee of future results.’  Every day is a new day that requires our best efforts and a continuing renewal of our minds.”

Pope plans on staying in Abilene and continuing to be closely connected to ACU while spending time playing more golf and tennis, doing more woodworking, taking piano, traveling, studying, and volunteering. “There are many more things that I will want to do that time will allow.”

Combined, the three educators have almost 75 years of experience teaching ACU students. Their dedication to students and peers as well as their example of excellence in the classroom and in their faith walks will truly be missed. The words “thank you” seem inadequate for what they have meant to the lives of thousands of students.

Click on the highlighted links below to view pictures and video messages in tribute to each of the retiring professors.

Pics from the retirement reception

Rob Byrd video

Malcolm Coco video

Terry Pope video

Au Revoir to the Class of 2019

by   |  05.28.19  |  Academics, Alumni Spotlight, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, COBA Staff, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Uncategorized

The end of the school year brings about the season of awards, recognition and many changes, whether it occurs in elementary school, high school, or college. We’d love to share a recap of our celebrations over the last month as we honored our graduates and their transition into the next chapter of their lives.

MAcc Class of 2019

The Master of Accountancy program holds an annual luncheon honoring their graduates and recognizing an outstanding student. This year’s luncheon, sponsored by Ernst & Young, featured an inspiring speech from 2008 MAcc alum, Dustin Marshall who works as a Senior Assurance Manager with EY in Fort Worth, Texas. He encouraged the graduates not to make working their sole priority but to get involved with a church and develop a support system there, noting that the support of your spiritual family is invaluable in helping you navigate the difficulties that life will inevitably bring to each of us. Lexi Koon, from Arvada, CO, received the Outstanding MAcc Graduate Award for 2019 for her excellent grades, character, and integrity. Of her time at ACU, Lexi said, “The professors, the faculty, and the students have shown me what it is to look at those who are different from me and want to learn from them, to learn how to love them, and to be surrounded by a circle of people who have your back 100%. As I leave ACU, I feel completely supported and surrounded by an extraordinary amount of love and I am thankful.”

You can view and download or order pics of the MAcc luncheon by clicking here.

Business Graduates from the Class of 2019

The COBA Senior Dinner was held on May 10th, giving faculty, staff, grads and their families time to reflect on their years in the College of Business and to recognize outstanding faculty and staff. It’s COBA tradition to have students speak on behalf of their class and to have a parent speak on behalf of the families of the graduates. This year’s speakers expressed their gratitude for their experience in COBA and challenged their peers to integrate their faith into their vocation and personal life.

Dr. Kathy Crockett

Parent speaker, Dr. Kathy Crockett, mom to Calley (’19) an accounting major and Maddy, a sophomore marketing major, said she was, “Grateful for faculty and staff who strive for excellence and also love the Lord. That my daughter is taught by excellent professors living out their faith is incredibly important to us. My husband, Steve, and I are so confident in the curriculum of what Calley learned. She did well in her internship and was offered a full time position, which is another marker of the excellence of the program. We are grateful for the ways the faculty and staff also served Calley. They knew her name, said hello even off campus, assisted with resume and career advice, and also life advice at times when things may have been hard. We hope the faculty and staff will always remember the good you do – in and out of the classroom. We certainly will.”

Student speakers Hanna Roberts (’19), management/marketing major from Corpus Christi, Texas, and Kevin Pantoja (’19), finance/management/accounting major from Roscoe, Texas spoke on behalf of graduating COBA students. Hanna said, “We are grateful for the leadership and examples of character that have been set for us by professors and faculty who became mentors and friends. Most of all, we are grateful for the presence of Christ on this campus and in the Mabee Business Building that fills those within it. We are forever changed for the faith and life that has been poured into us during our time here.”

Kevin added, “It’s important to be thinking of the path you are currently on and asking yourself if it will truly make you happy.  In other words, asking, ‘Am I happy with where I am right now?’ and understanding that you can always keep learning and keep pushing yourself to higher standards even after college. I am so thankful to everyone at COBA for helping me to believe in myself and helping me find new opportunities that I would enjoy after graduation. COBA is definitely blessed to have some of the best professors in the business and their compassion has reached every student in more than one way.”

At the end of the academic year, students have the opportunity to show their appreciation for their professors by voting for the COBA Teacher of the Year for Management Sciences and for Accounting and Finance. This year’s winners were Dr. Dennis Marquardt (Assistant Professor of Management) and Dr. Jonathan Stewart (Professor of Finance). Dr. Marquardt said, “Every graduation is special and this one was especially so since several of this year’s graduates started at ACU the same time I did in August 2015. Many students at the senior dinner were in my Introduction to Business courses that very first semester and it has been such a unique privilege to walk alongside them each year until now. These graduates not only worked hard learning skills and abilities worthy of a resume, but it was inspiring to also see them grow in virtues worthy of eternity. Thank you for your hard work and for the ways you challenged and inspired me. As you go from here may you seek God and His ways with all of your being, you will not regret it!”

Tim Johnston, Outstanding COBA Staff Person of the Year

Dean Brad Crisp gave the Staff Person of the Year Award for COBA to Assistant Dean, Tim Johnston. Dr. Crisp said, “Tim offers great mentorship to our students, both professionally and personally. His fingerprints can also be seen in our efforts at professional development and external connections.” Johnston added that, “Each year it is a privilege to meet and thank the parents of our graduating seniors.”

Dr. Katie Wick

The Weathers Fellowship for Outstanding Junior Faculty recognizes an untenured faculty member who shows outstanding potential for the classroom and for research. This year’s recipient was Dr. Katie Wick, who Crisp said, “Has in a very short period of time, re-established a strong stream of research and become a valued colleague.”

Dr. Monty Lynn

The Dean’s Award for Research was awarded to Dr. Monty Lynn, who has recent publications in outlets as diverse as the Journal of Business Education, Journal of Biblical Integration in Business, and Journal of Development Studies in his distinguished research career.

Dr. Andy Little

The Dean’s Award for Service and Leadership was given to Dr. Andy Little for leading the charge of COBA’s accreditation efforts as we successfully navigated another re-accreditation process with AACSB International.

Dr. Terry Pope gave a blessing to the students through scripture, encouraging them to stay close to the Lord and lean on Him as they go through life. Dr. Crisp concluded the evening saying, “Students, as you prepare for graduation, know that your relationship with ACU and COBA does not end. We want to continue to be a part of your life, and we want you to be a part of ours. We want to hear from you about your experiences, to encourage you in exploring additional learning opportunities, to provide opportunities for you to financially invest in COBA, to invite you to mentor current students, and most importantly, we want to support you as you discover the places where your faith and business converge.”

Congratulations to the Class of 2019. Go change the world, Wildcats!

Click here to view pics from the dinner.

 

COBA Receives AACSB Accreditation Extension

by   |  04.12.19  |  Uncategorized

We’re excited to announce that we received official confirmation from AACSB International that the accreditation of our business programs has been extended for five years. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools and the largest business education network. The accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools and only nine other private schools in Texas have received this honor.

aacsb-logo

 

“This accreditation extension affirms ACU’s long-standing commitment to quality residential business education and for the first time endorses the quality of our recently launched online business programs. We have once again shown that ACU belongs among the best business schools in the world,” said Dr. Brad Crisp, dean of the College of Business Administration at ACU. “While this recognition is gratifying, the most important comment we heard from our peer review team is how clearly they could see our commitment to the university’s Christian mission in all that we do.” Our mission is to glorify God by creating a distinctively Christian environment in which excellent teaching, combined with scholarship, promotes the intellectual, personal and spiritual growth of business students, and educates them for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. Our commitment to faith is what drives our desire to curate excellent programs that inspire and grow our students.

Not only does this distinction confirm the quality of our programs, but it also benefits our students when they are competing for jobs and internships. “The caliber of the education I have received has certainly made me competitive,” said Hanna Roberts, a senior management and marketing major from Corpus Christi, TX. After spending the summer interning in corporate citizenship at Texas Instruments, Hanna accepted a job as a marketing associate at Texas Instruments upon graduation. “I felt more than prepared in terms of hard skills when it came to contending with the other interns for a job. But beyond that, I felt that I had something more than just an education. The mentoring and close relationships I have developed within COBA have pushed me to become a better, more whole person who is defined by strong values and a focus on faith, which I believe speaks more to employers than textbook knowledge ever will.”

Students like Hanna are a testament to the fact that not only will students receive an excellent, high-quality education in the College of Business Administration but they will also be equipped to enter into their vocation inspired to be world changers who share their faith and feel connected to their alma mater. In the next five years, we look forward to inspiring the next generation of business leaders through the competitive academic programs and Christian mission that enabled us to receive this accreditation. We would like to thank all of the faculty, staff, and students that contributed in many different ways to our accreditation extension and for their commitment to developing our community.

 

 

Student Spotlight: Colton Powell

by   |  04.11.19  |  Uncategorized

Meet Colton Powell, a senior finance major from Nashville, TN. While at ACU, Colton has been a part of the Griggs Center, Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, the Fraternity of Galaxy, the Honors College, on the executive council for the American Enterprise Institute, and served as the Executive Treasurer of the Student Government Association. After graduation, Colton will be working for Enexor, a bioenergy startup in Nashville. Enexor is launching this summer after four years of research and development and has one of the first systems in the world that creates clean energy from waste. Colton will be working in business development for Enexor and finding clients who will benefit from their services, working closely with numbers to demonstrate how Enexor can save clients money, and expanding the business as a whole. Before moving to Nashville, Colton will spend the summer in Germany working with an investment company and staying in ACU’s villa in Leipzig. Colton will also use his time in Germany to begin working for Enexor and creating relationships with potential clients there.

Some of the most impactful moments during his time at ACU came from the experiences Colton took advantage of outside of the classroom and the faith-based relationships that are a cornerstone of the campus. “In terms of just education, ACU is obviously elite and I have learned a lot,” said Colton. “But I could have gotten a similar education at other places. ACU’s relational aspects have truly made the difference for me and transformed me into someone who holds my values high, prioritizes faith, and has learned how to bring that into life after graduation.” Two of his favorite experiential learning opportunities were Leadership Summit and studying abroad with COBA. Leadership Summit taught Colton about what it truly means to be successful in business and to work at having an impact that is greater than just a role in finance or a bottom line. The interactions he had with faculty, staff, and speakers gave Colton a perspective that connected faith with business in a way that impacts him today and will continue to influence him the rest of his life. Colton also studied abroad in Asia with COBA, where he was able to meet with different banks, businesses, and other companies. “Seeing everything that I had studied about business being applied in such a different cultural context definitely expanded my horizons,” he said. “It was incredible to see how similar many things were despite being in a culture so unlike my own.”

Colton will be graduating in May but wants to encourage underclassmen to take full advantage of what ACU has to offer. “You can have such a different experience from someone, even someone in your same major, by getting involved on campus beyond just going to class,” Colton shared. “What I have done outside of the classroom is what has shaped my four years the most. All of the different organizations I have been a part of, the mentoring I have received, and the programs I have participated in have prepared me for my future and I feel I have gotten the most out of ACU for having participated in them.”

Mackenzie Dalton, Fulbright Scholar

by   |  04.10.19  |  Uncategorized

Teaching English in Malaysia was never part of the plan until Mackenzie Dalton received word that she had received the Fulbright Scholar award. In January, Mackenzie, a senior pre-law accounting major from Little Rock, Arkansas, will be deferring law school and moving across the world to Malaysia where she will work as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in a local school. “I had always thought about maybe teaching English abroad,” said Mackenzie. “This seemed like a good opportunity but even though I have an English minor and am working to get my TESOL certification, I thought that I might not get the award since I am a business major and do not really have a teaching background.”

The Fulbright Award was started in 1946 after a bill introduced by Senator J. William Fulbright was passed to use surplus war property to began an international educational exchange program. It has grown to become one of the largest educational exchange programs for students and young professionals and awards 2,000 grants each year in over 140 countries. Mackenzie started the long and intensive application process in August. She began having conversations with her parents and Dr. Jason Morris, Dean of the Honors College and two-time Fulbright grantee in August. She spent hours deciding which country to apply to, writing personal statements, and perfecting her application before submitting it in October while also applying to law schools at the same time. “The waiting was the hardest,” she reflected. “And then I made it to the next round and still did not know what was going to happen.” She received the award for teaching in Malaysia, which she chose because of their reputation of valuing the Fulbright program and hosting their grantees well.

Mackenzie will not know exactly where she is placed until she arrives in January nor what age level she will be teaching. She will work 30 hours a week teaching English in a school at a secondary level or below and will also be encouraged to guide community engagement projects for the students. On her application, Mackenzie suggested starting a business club for the students but is also interested in other activities, like sports, and is excited for the opportunity to interact with the students outside of class. “I am the most excited to get to know the kids that I will be working with,” she said. “I am also looking forward to learning about the culture and having a different post-grad experience than many of my peers.”

Teaching English abroad may be new to her, but being abroad is not. While at ACU, Mackenzie studied abroad through COBA in Europe and has also traveled internationally on her own. “I do think that my study abroad experience will help with the immersion,” Mackenzie noted. “I will not know the language in Malaysia well at first, but I did not know the languages when I studied abroad. I learned how to travel and be okay in an unfamiliar culture.” Beyond study abroad, Mackenzie is certain that college and COBA have prepared her – and every other student – to be adaptable, hard-working, and critical thinkers, which will serve students well no matter their post-grad plans. We are extremely proud of Mackenzie and excited to see the good work that she will do in Malaysia.

Students Participate in Social Enterprise Consulting in Costa Rica

by   |  04.05.19  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, Study Abroad

Over spring break, a group of students led by Dr. Laura Phillips and Dr. Sarah Easter traveled to Costa Rica for the first ever Social Enterprise Consulting (MGMT 440) class. This project-based course is designed to give students hands-on experience dealing with a real and substantial issue faced by a socially-minded organization. Students spent six weeks prior to spring break learning about the basics of consulting and learning about the cultural context of the country and organizations they would visit. They were challenged to complete research on the industry and market and received training from the Rotary International campus in Denton, who were also training the entrepreneurs in Costa Rica. “We wanted the students to be prepared in diverse capacities,” said Dr. Easter “That way, when we traveled to Costa Rica, they were as effective as possible in the one-week in-country visit.”

In Costa Rica, the class worked with the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), which is a regional center in Costa Rica dedicated to research and graduate education in agriculture, and the management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. In collaboration with CATIE, Red de Emprendedoras del Turismo Sostenible de Turrialba (RETUS) is a network of female entrepreneurs focused on experiential rural tourism offerings as a means to help provide sustainable livelihoods to the three involved communities in Central Costa Rica – Santa Cruz, Guavabo and Mollejones. CATIE and RETUS are interested in better understanding the US market for sustainable rural tourism in Costa Rica as well as the development of a promotional marketing plan to successfully reach identified markets in order to grow and develop RETUS further. The class stayed in a small town called Turrialba on the CATIE campus. Over the course of three days, they visited the three communities and observed experiential tourism offerings in each location.

The consulting nature of the course was focused on students engaging with the women entrepreneurs in terms of ecotourism, which means that tourists engage in local culture when on vacation rather than staying within the confines of a resort or hotel for the duration of their stay. Students evaluated the offerings of each entrepreneur from a US – and specifically Texas – tourist perspective. They spent time in each community taking detailed field notes and giving preliminary recommendations and then spent a full day with the class debriefing and identifying weaknesses and opportunities of the offerings in consideration of US customers.

With the focus on ecotourism consulting, the students got to experience Costa Rica in special ways that emphasized interactions with the local culture. “The most eye-opening thing about this trip was the cultural immersion. To actively participate in activities with the locals gave me a unique perspective into who they are,” said Luke Stevens, a junior marketing major from Montgomery, TX. “Instead of feeling like an outsider looking in, I felt more like I was a part of them. Overall, I think I got more out of this trip because it had a focus and purpose as opposed to a regular spring break trip. I would rather have that type of experience than a relaxing week on the beach.”  Among other things, the class toured the remains of a Pre-Colombian ruin, visited a butterfly farm, and even learned how to salsa dance. On their final day, they got to go zip lining through the jungle and rappel down waterfalls. “Since I come from a Central American country, I was really impressed by the ‘Tico culture,’ which is what Costa Ricans often call themselves, and how important it is to them that they grow as a community instead of as individuals,” noted Mafer Hernandez, a junior finance major from Guatemala City, Guatemala. They were also really invested in reducing contamination, their roads were clean and they also had several recycle bins.”

Now that they have returned from Costa Rica, students are working on a full report and marketing assessment that gives promotional and placement considerations for the women entrepreneurs. The project-based experience has been invaluable for students as they have gotten a chance to apply what they have been learning in class to real life – and in a meaningful, purpose-driven way. Dr. Easter’s favorite part of the trip was twofold; “I loved watching how passionate the women entrepreneurs are about their businesses and communities and how driven they were in their desire to share that passion with outsiders,” she said. “I also enjoyed watching the students in that international setting. It was neat seeing them interact with people in the community and dive into the experience fully. Traveling with students and watching how much they learn and grow in a short time frame is always incredible”

A grant from Southwest Airlines for plane tickets and scholarships from COBA, as well as the partnerships with Rotary International, CATIE, and RETUS made this trip possible and effective for the students and faculty that attended. We are extremely proud of our students for choosing to spend their spring break applying their business skills to serve others in a global context. We look forward to watching how this class grows in the future and other opportunities our students will have to affect change.

 

Ruth Allen Griggs Honor Luncheon

by   |  03.29.19  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Events, Current Students, Leadership, Special Speakers

On Tuesday, March 26th, many gathered at the annual Ruth Allen Griggs Honor Luncheon, founded by Jack Griggs and Ann Griggs Berger in honor of their mother, Ruth Allen Griggs. They wanted a way to commemorate the spirit of generosity that Ruth Allen Griggs had in abundance and did so by creating an opportunity for student scholarship recipients and donors to interact. Around the room, stories about times at ACU were shared as well as stories about opportunities that demonstrate the importance and impact of giving back.

Two students were invited to speak about how the scholarships they received allowed them to experience a wide and unique variety of opportunities during their time at ACU. Kevin Pantoja, a senior finance and accounting major and first-generation college student from Roscoe, TX, spoke about the ways he has been able to live out Proverbs 27:17. “My time in the College of Business has allowed me the opportunity to grow not only as a man but as a man of God,” said Kevin. “Because of the interactions with my fellow students or with the amazing faculty and staff that we are blessed with, I can honestly say that I would not be standing here if it was not for the generosity of those in the room.” While at ACU, Kevin has studied abroad in Germany, attended Leadership Summit, been involved on campus, and most importantly has intentionally strived to build up the communities around him as others have built him up.

Elisabeth Danelski, a senior accounting major from Burleson, TX, also shared her story at the luncheon. Elisabeth spoke of goals and plans, but mostly the opportunities she has been able to have at ACU that were not in her plan. Studying abroad twice, serving on short term mission trips, attending conferences, and immersing herself in many other experiences unique to ACU was not in her plan but was made possible through Elisabeth’s hard work and the generosity of others. “In my time here, I have learned a lot of things,” Elisabeth explained. “I have broadened my horizons, I’ve cultivated a wider worldview, I’ve shared my story and had the pleasure of hearing so many others. But the one thing I will cherish the most is learning that the incredible experiences I had that weren’t in or didn’t go according to ‘my plan’ happened because it was never supposed to be my plan in the first place.” Elisabeth looks forward to making it a priority to pay the opportunities she has had forward once she graduates and urged her peers to do the same.

David Shewmaker (’92), a member of the Dean’s Council, also spoke at the luncheon. He reflected on times at ACU and shared his heart for the students and the community they experience here. All of the speakers were inspiring and reminded all attending of the value and importance of generosity. Dean Brad Crisp said “the Ruth Allen Griggs luncheon was once again a highlight of the year. Kevin and Elisabeth did an impressive job of sharing their stories as first-generation college students and expressing their gratitude to our donors. I am grateful we have the opportunity to bring our students and donors together for an event like this.” We were proud to be able to host this luncheon, honor Ruth Ann Griggs, and to once again see the effect that a spirit of generosity can have on generations.

 

Spotlight: Daniel Garcia

by   |  03.22.19  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Marketing

We are pleased to introduce you to Daniel Garcia (’04), who will be moving to a full-time faculty role within the College of Business Administration this fall. Garcia is from Cancún, Mexico and came to ACU as an international student. He graduated with majors in management and marketing, a certificate in missions, and a minor in global studies. Soon after graduation, Garcia began working in admissions as a multicultural marketing specialist to help recruit a more diverse student body across the U.S. and internationally. He has a masters degree in intercultural communication, a certificate in conflict resolution, and is finishing his M.B.A. through COBA’s new online program. He is currently the Director of Multicultural and International Enrollment and also teaches International Business (BUSA 419) and Principles of Marketing (MKTG 320). His wife, Yukari, is from Japan and they have two little girls and a one-month-old son. Garcia and his family attend the bilingual service at University Church of Christ.

 

Q: What drew you to teaching?

A: I never considered teaching as a career until fairly recently. Several years ago, I was in Hong Kong on a recruiting trip and met a COBA study abroad group lead by Dr. Phil Vardiman. I was flying to Shanghai to recruit students at a university and invited Dr. Vardiman to come along, as students like to hear from faculty during the recruiting process. After watching me give a presentation to the prospective students about ACU, Dr. Vardiman started a conversation with me about teaching. Many more conversations later, I started teaching part-time for COBA last semester and am excited to move to full-time in the fall.

Q: Why do you enjoy teaching and working with college students?

A: A large part of my job in admissions and recruiting was talking up ACU and describing why it is such a unique university. One of the biggest factors that set ACU apart from other universities is our faculty. They are remarkably caring, intentional, and truly make a difference in students’ lives. After talking with Dr. Vardiman, I realized that I did not just want to talk about that difference, I wanted to make that difference. I am excited to help students learn how to hold a more global worldview. The more we learn about other cultures, the more we learn about our own and discover peace as we begin to understand each other. I believe in not just teaching content, but presenting it in new and innovative ways that emphasize a continually expanding worldview.

Q: Outside of teaching, what passions/hobbies do you have?

A: I have traveled internationally for ten years for work. Traveling is one of those professions that when people hear what you do, they assume you are just on a glorified vacation. There are also different perceptions of some places over others and the idea of glamorous travel wears off very quickly. To continuously travel for work for so long, you have to have a passion for what you do and a passion for other cultures. I love learning how those different from myself think, why they do what they do, and watching people solve the universally same problems in different ways.

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

A: I play on the “Sunflowers of Death” soccer team with Dr. Jessup and have a superhero alter ego, Chido Man, who represents the idea that God has given us talents to make a difference in the world.

Garcia will continue to teach International Business and Principles of Marketing as he assumes his full-time position in the fall. We are excited to see what he does in this role and to welcome him further into the COBA family.

The COBA Sing Song Archives

by   |  02.10.19  |  COBA Faculty, COBA Staff, Current Students

This year, ACU Student Productions is premiering the ‘Sing Song Archives,’ a website that hosts video, audio, and pictures from the many years of Sing Song history and tradition. We decided to dig up some COBA Sing Song history. Read more to find out which of your faculty and staff were Sing Song legends as students!


Dr. Brad Crisp, Dean

First, our very own dean, Dr. Brad Crisp was involved in Sing Song all four years. He performed in six Sing Song acts, including directing the Fraternity of Galaxy in 1993 when they were hockey players.

Freshman Class – 1990: “Paving the Road to our Future”

Sophomores – 1991: “Happy Together”

Galaxy – 1991: “Galaxy’s Field of Dreams”

Galaxy – 1992:

Senior Class – 1993: “We’re Not Scared, We’re Just Chicken”

Galaxy – 1993: “On Frozen Pond”


M.C. Jennings

M.C. performed in Sing Song all four years as a student in both class and club acts and performed in two winning acts with Ko Jo Kai. Watch her performances here!

Freshman Class – 1988: “Sesame Street Live”

 Ko Jo Kai – 1989: “We’re All Keyed Up”

Ko Jo Kai – 1990: “It’s Nice to Have Friends in High Places”

Senior Class – 1991: “Coming to America: The ACU Pilgrimage OR Turkey Tetra-Senior”

Ko Jo Kai – 1991: “Schooldazed”


Dr. Ryan Jessup

Dr. Jessup was also heavily involved in Sing Song, participating in both club and class acts while at ACU as a student. He was a part of the Class of 1997’s clean sweep, meaning that their class acts won overall each year.

Freshman Class – 1995: “”We are Truckers; We Have Self-Esteem”

Sophomore Class – 1996: “Why Yodeling is No Longer an Art Form”

Junior Class – 1997: “When You’re an Eskimo, the Fun Never Ends”

Dr. Jessup also participated in the Gamma Sigma Phi acts “How the West Was Sung” and “We are in Sails – The Shipping is on Us,” which are featured a ‘little’ later in this blog.


Amanda Pittman

Amanda Pittman performed in three Sigma Theta Chi Sing Song acts and won with “Making Their Mark” and “Chili Today, Hot Tamale.” See if you can spot her below!

Sigma Theta Chi – 1998: “Making Their Mark”

Sigma Theta Chi – 1999: “From Rags to Riches”

Sigma Theta Chi – 2000: “Chili Today, Hot Tamale”


Dr. Andy Little

And last, but certainly not least, Dr. Andy Little. Dr. Little may have been the most involved person in Sing Song ever. Performing in a whopping seven acts during his time at ACU as a student, Dr. Little participated in class and club acts all four years and even directed three acts.

Freshman Class – 1994: “The Search for Intelligent Life on the Hill”

Sophomore Class – 1995: “A Bunch of Hot Dogs (and Vendors)!” (directed by Dr. Little)

Gamma Sigma Phi – 1995: “We’re Teed Off, Shank You Very Much”

Junior Class – 1996: “The Thrill of Victory; The Agony of Da-Feet!” (directed by Dr. Little)

Gamma Sigma Phi – 1996: “How the West Was Sung”

Senior Class – 1997:

Gamma Sigma Phi – 1997: “We are in Sails – The Shipping is on Us” (directed by Dr. Little)


You can find even more Sing Song history by going to www.acustupro.com/archives.

Be sure to come to Sing Song 2019 and watch all of our students who are involved as student directors, club and class act directors, leadership team managers and members, and act participants perform!

Back from the Mountaintop: Students Attend 21st Leadership Summit

by   |  02.01.19  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Events, COBA Faculty, COBA Staff, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Leadership, Leadership Summit, Lytle Center, Special Speakers

The 2019 Leadership Summit group.

In January, over seventy students traveled to the top of a mountain in Colorado and spent a week learning about leadership from thirteen speaker sessions and a team of faculty and staff from ACU. Through the dynamic speakers, practical application of what is taught, and spiritual insight, students are equipped for leadership in the family, in their community, in the church, and in the marketplace. This short course is one of the most transformational experiential learning opportunities COBA offers and is always a favorite for students that attend.

Wendy Davidson and Elise Mitchell speak to students.

A unique aspect of Leadership Summit is an opportunity for students to hear from CEO’s, inspiring speakers, and ACU faculty and staff and get to know these individuals on a personal level. “One of the speakers shared a really impactful story about facing significant troubles in the workplace as a direct result of sharing his faith,” said Lincoln Jones, a senior accounting and IS major. “His testimony encouraged me to not fear the backlash from bringing faith into the workplace.” Some of the speakers from this year include Brad Gautney, founder and president of Global Health Innovations, Rick Atchley, preaching minister at The Hills, Wendy Davidson, president of U.S. Specialty Channels Kellogg Company, Tim Goeglein, senior advisor to the president and vice president for External Relations at Focus on the Family and deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison from 2001-2008 for President George W. Bush, Carlos Sepulveda, chairman of Triumph Bancorp, Inc. and former president and CEO of Interstate Batteries, Mike Willoughby, CEO of PFSweb, Inc., Elise Mitchell, founder and chair of Mitchell Communications and CEO of Dentsu Aegis PR Network, and Pete and Austin Ochs, founder/chairman and CEO, respectively, of Capital III.

Students have the chance to ask speakers questions at the end of each session.

In addition to lecture sessions, students are able to spend time talking with speakers one-on-one and share meals with them. Some of the speakers serve as mentors for a ‘River Crossing’ project, a project that challenges students to make a plan to use their given leadership positions to make a difference in the world. Taylor Gould, a junior marketing major, said that her favorite part of the experience “was simply being in Colorado and feeling connected with my professors, classmates, and the speakers. It was amazing to be able to experience all of it with people who you would never meet otherwise and people you see every day. The lessons from the week were very applicable and made me feel so inspired.” A community connection is at the core of Leadership Summit and happens at many different levels between every person – speaker or student – in attendance.

Zach Smith, Hill Holloway, and Hayden Hood swing off the side of the mountain on ‘The Screamer.’

While the week offers many moments for educational, spiritual, and community-centric transformation, the location also allows students to have a lot of fun. The class is currently held at Frontier Ranch, a  YoungLife camp outside of Buena Vista, Colorado and YoungLife staff serve the Summit attendees throughout the week. Students can hike up to the crosses at the top of a mountain peak, swing off the side of a mountain on the Screamer, play archery tag, and spend time building community and fellowship in the game room. These experiences give students the chance to spend time with each other and grow in deeper connection (and also face their fears, especially if they have a fear of heights).

Students spend time in community with each other throughout the week.

Every year, students return to Abilene refreshed and challenged to make a difference in their communities and this year was no different. Mariel Delgado, a senior architecture and interior design major, shared that Summit “is not like any other business class you will ever take and the lessons you learn and friendships you make are unlike any other. Hearing everyone’s life stories from such a raw perspective but also just the fact that so many people took the time to come speak to us and pour into our lives for that week.” We look forward to watching how Mariel and all of the other students take what they have learned from the mountaintop and incorporate it into their lives to bring about change that lasts.

In the coming weeks, we will be sharing photos from the trip on our Facebook page as well as some of the speaker sessions for you to revisit and enjoy on our YouTube channel. Keep an eye out for these posts and future ones concerning the incredible and unique opportunity that is Leadership Summit.

Students hike up to the crosses at the edge of one of the ridges of Mt. Princeton.