Archive for October, 2015

Spotlight on Phil Vardiman

by   |  10.20.15  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, Careers In..., College Decisions, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Uncategorized

What is your educational background?

I received my:

  • Bachelor’s degree from ACU in 1976 (first graduating class of ACU, formerly ACC).
  • MBA from Mary-Hardin Baylor in 1992
  • Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2001

 

Phil Vardiman

Dr. Phil Vardiman

What is your work background?

My work background includes Management and Leadership experiences in “Manufacturing Operations” and “Human Resources”. Companies I worked for include; General Tire & Rubber Co., Avery Dennison, and Cardinal Health. I taught one year in Lubbock ISD – way back in the 70’s. Prior to coming to ACU, I also taught at Texas State University in their graduate HR program.

What do you teach at ACU?

I teach management class (primarily MGMT 330) and I also teach HR classes (MGMT 447 & MGMT 337). Occasionally I teach in the graduate OD program.

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

This year I am the Faculty Senate Chair which means I get the opportunity to participate on many committees.   Some of these include; the Provost’s Cabinet, Faculty Senate, Benefits Committee, Pricing Team, and Debt Reduction Team.

Being the Faculty Senate Chair is a great opportunity to provide service for the university and also work closely with many people across campus.

phil and crew

Phil with colleagues Orneita Burton and Ian Shepherd

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

I was blessed to have excellent teachers in my past that inspired me to love learning and helping others succeed. I have always wanted to teach and being in the business field provided me an excellent opportunity to expand my learning and also the foundation for advancing my education to reach my goal of teaching.

What’s the best part of working with students?

My biggest enjoyment in my job is mentoring and getting to know my students. I love to see them succeed and do great things. I strongly believe that every student can (and should) succeed. I’m amazed at the many things our students accomplish.

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

I did change careers and with that there was a financial impact, but I believe that the most important part of a person’s career is not how much money they make – it is much more about the positive difference they can make in the relationships and lives of those around them. I also feel that I have gained much more as a college professor than I ever gave up.

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

I have been blessed to experience the “Grandparenting” stage of life and it is wonderful. I have 5 grandchildren and they are so much fun.

Phil with two of his five grandchildren

Phil with two of his five grandchildren

I also have to mention Golf – I do enjoy the outdoors and a good round of golf. I also started taking piano lessons at the good age of 55. It has been fun and very challenging. (Playing the Piano: http://www.reporternews.com/news/abilene-music-teachers-hold-recital)

What is a good, early story about your teaching?

Besides the many moments when your students encourage and touch your life in a significant way I would say there have been several funny/interesting moments.

One that I remember well was the time I gave a test and offered the students the opportunity to take the exam in a very different way. I told them they had the option to take the exam and purposefully try and miss every answer and I would give them a “100” on the exam – of course they had to miss every answer – if they even got one right – then they would only get the score of those they got right. You must know there were several True/False and Multiple Choice questions on the exam. There was also some short answer. The outcome of this crazy moment turned out to be a funny memory (at least now it is funny). I was also able to get two published articles from this event.

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

It has to be my Ph.D. later in life and the challenge of completing this goal while still working and raising a family. My wife deserves most of the credit!

Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

In 2014 I became an Elder at the Hillcrest church of Christ. I have learned the importance of “service” and “encouragement” at a whole different level. I also currently serve on the Big Country Society for Human Resources executive board (BCSHRM).

Who is your role model, and why?

This is a difficult question and there are several who come to mind.

    • Billie Gill (a Christian lady who encouraged me to stay true to the Word of God and be a strong family man – in many ways she was a mother to me)
    • Claude Burns (an Elder and Christian man who gave me such good advice and the opportunity to grow as a young family man)
    • Bill O’banion (my father-in-law, who gave me a very positive and strong Christian example. Bill is also a father example to me in so many ways)
    • Jerry Drennan (a college professor who inspired me to teach by his example)
    • And the most important role model is my wife, Jackie. She is such a good Christian example in so many ways and it has been wonderful to see her influence in our children and the encouragement she continually gives me.
Phil and Jackie Vardiman

Phil and Jackie Vardiman

Who was your most inspirational professor and why?

As noted above, Jerry Drennan. He was always encouraging and also pushed me to do my best. I enjoyed his classes and teaching style. I remember wanting to teach just like he did.

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

This is always an interesting question and my first thought would be to “fly”. Hard to beat this one. If I had a second choice, it would be to speak and read every language (this would be amazing and provide an outstanding learning opportunity).

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

I found my twin sister when I was 50 years old.

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

I love what I do! It is such a wonderful career and the blessings never cease. My first career enjoyment is mentoring students and my second is teaching.

Phil with some of his students

Phil with some of his students

 

Spotlight on David Perkins

by   |  10.15.15  |  Academics, Accounting, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Uncategorized

What is your educational background?

PhD – Texas A&M; MBA – University of Memphis; BBA – Harding University

David Perkins

David Perkins

What is your work background?

While getting my MBA I had a chance to teach and loved it…I knew one day I wanted to make that my career. I worked in public accounting for three years with Arthur Young & Co. in Dallas, TX, and then returned to Harding to teach full time. One additional note: I sold books for five summers to pay my way through college.

What do you teach at ACU?

Undergraduate: Financial Accounting – the introductory accounting course for all business majors

Graduate: Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting; Financial Statement Analysis

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

I enjoy writing songs and playing the guitar. I also enjoy travel and hiking. When traveling, I love to drive with the windows down (but with the A/C cranked up!). My wife, Karla, is pretty cool about that…she enjoys it, too…like I said, she’s pretty cool!

David and Karla Perkins

David and Karla Perkins

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

I think the most significant thing I’ve done in my career is to have a part in preparing students to begin their own. My intent is for them to feel competent and confident, knowing that they have as much to offer as anyone else. I hope I’ve encouraged them to be persons of character and to lean on Christ as their hope and confidence.

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

Hmmm……

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

I love what I do. I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to teach.

COBA Announces the Establishment of the Brister and the Fowler Professorships

by   |  10.13.15  |  Academics, Accounting, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Uncategorized

At the annual COBA faculty/staff retreat, Dr. Rick Lytle announced the creation of two professorships established by Mark and April Anthony to honor two COBA faculty of significant influence, Jozell Brister and Bill Fowler. Dr. Lytle stated that, “Each of these professors have had a profound impact in the lives of students over the course of their distinguished careers at ACU. Bill and Jo are legends in COBA history and these named professorships will help establish their names in the minds of faculty and students for years to come. “

Bill Fowler and Jozell Brister

Bill Fowler and Jozell Brister

Jozell Brister was hired as a part-time instructor in the fall of 1979 and joined the business faculty full-time on January 15, 1980 having been a highly regarded business teacher at Abilene High School before that. She has served as the Assistant and Associate Dean for deans Petty and Lytle and is now an Associate Professor of Management Sciences. Of notable achievement, she worked with Dean Bill Petty, traveling from the west coast to the east coast researching business buildings and assisting in the university-wide effort to raise money for the Mabee Business Building and helped, as she puts it, “with odds and ends while the building was in the construction phase.” Jozell directed accreditation efforts for ACBSP and AACSB, was awarded the COBA Master Teacher award, and has a teaching enrichment fellowship established by Dr. Bill Petty in her name. In addition, she was the first director/advisor of COBA’s inaugural COBA Connections advising office.

Jozell Brister participates in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Mabee Business Building

Jozell Brister participates in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Mabee Business Building

When asking her about her advising role, she says that, “In the fall of 1980, I was assigned to be the academic advisor for all the business students and we had around 1,200 students.  At registration time I had to approve their schedules.  One semester I had a bad cold during the registration period.  I had such a long line of students waiting for me to approve their schedules, that I didn’t even have time to blow my nose between students.  Needless to say, I was not very good at that job.  I don’t remember how many semesters I served as academic advisor to the business students.  Dr. Faubus had been doing the advising in addition to teaching 4 or 5 classes each semester.  After maybe two or three semesters, Bill Petty re-assigned the advising, and I began serving in the Dean’s Suite.”

Dr. Monty Lynn stated that “Jozell has been a constant friend and capable economics teacher for thousands of students passing through ACU, shepherding students through what is a challenging subject for many. She often meets with students in her office as a guide and friend and would win the college’s ‘Best Organized’ award if we ever minted one. She served as an administrator during the college’s formative years and many of her accomplishments – including the advising center and coordinating accreditation efforts – continue as COBA distinctives today. Several years ago, economist Alan Blinder published a book title, Hard Heads, Soft Hearts. That title describes Jozell well as she can do econometric calculations and graphing with the best, and she has dep convictions about economic fairness and justice. While I was still in graduate school, Jozell agreed to join me on a research project on labor union recruiting. Since that publication, she has co-authored research with several COBA faculty members on downsizing, teaching and learning, lifetime giving, non-profit management, and other topics. Jozell is an exceptional colleague, loved teacher, frontier Texan, and occasional humorist – and she has blessed this college through a lifetime of leadership.”

Jozell visiting with incoming freshmen during Wildcat Week

Jozell Brister visiting with incoming freshmen during Wildcat Week

When asked what having a professorship named after her means, she said, “It means a great deal to me. I am deeply touched and honored to have this professorship named for me.” Brister said that, “I would like to be remembered as a teacher who loved her students and who also delighted in being on the faculty at ACU. I would also like to be remembered as someone who had a sense of humor and who loved to make people laugh.”

Bill Fowler came to ACU with an accomplished resume having been a Senior Accountant at Deloitte from 1975-1977 and then Vice President for Finance at Rochester College from 1978-1983. He began working at ACU in January, 1984 as the Assistant Vice President for Finance. In that job, he was responsible for University Financial Reporting, Budgeting, Administrative Computing, Campus Stores and Auxiliary Services, and Physical Plant. In the fall of 1984, he began teaching one section of Accounting Principles and in the fall of 1987, began teaching one section of Auditing. Fowler began his full-time role as a COBA faculty member in the fall of 1991 and was the chair of the Department of Accounting and Finance from 1992-2014.

Bill Fowler in the early days of his ACU career

Bill Fowler in the early days of his ACU career

In his previous administrative role with ACU, Bill was on the building project team for the Mabee Business Building and recounts the many great stories about the construction of the building and the people involved with that project. He stated, “During my tenure as department chair, we added the degree in Financial Management and created the Master of Accountancy degree. The number of students increased from about 135 in 1991 to approximately 250 today. I am proud to have led in the hiring process of 7 of our current Accounting and Finance faculty members. I am especially proud of the role I was able to play in enhancing our relationship with many accounting firms to increase employment and internship opportunities for our students. Since 1991, we have more than tripled the number of firms that come to campus to recruit our students.”

Fowler says that having a professorship named after him is, “Humbling and rewarding. We have so many great professors at ACU. I am honored to represent them and I am grateful for the generosity of the Anthony’s in making this gift.” When asked what he would like his legacy in COBA to be, Bill stated, “I am not sure I am comfortable with the idea of legacy, but I can tell you what is important to me as a professor.

  • I always try to be the best professor I can be. I stay current in my discipline, I connect with our profession, and I work on improving my teaching skills. I learned a long time ago that there was a difference in being a good teacher as compared to just being somebody who talked about what they knew.
  • I always expect the best from my students.
  • I enjoy being in the classroom and try to have some fun along the way.
  • The relationships I have made with students are the best part of my work. They have enriched my life.
  • It is important that we learn that no matter what we do, whether we are accountants or not, that our mission in life is to use our talents in ways that serve others and give glory to God.”
Bill and Carol Fowler

Bill and Carol Fowler

I think Dr. David Perkins summed up Bill Fowler well when he said, “Bill is the kind of leader who watches out for the best interest of those he represents, both students and faculty.”

These funds will be used by the respective departments, in honor of Bill and Jozell, to reward, nourish, and enhance faculty excellence in COBA through salary stipends and faculty research and development dollars. The dean and a select group of faculty will establish objectives, processes, and timelines for the selection and awarding of these professorships in this academic year. Dr. Rick Lytle says, “We are delighted to have these professorships in our college. Indeed, it is a privilege to be able to use these dollars to reward notable faculty for their accomplishments among us and to enhance their teaching, scholarship, and learning into the future. Jozell Brister and Bill Fowler are the ACU difference! They are individuals who share a great passion for students and their intellectual and spiritual development. They both are great talents in the classroom – among the best in COBA. For decades they have been faithful keepers of the ACU mission in business and share a common faith in God which helps them clearly and logically define right from wrong. As I begin my 25th year in COBA, I thankfully reflect on the blessing they have both been to me in this place we call the College of Business Administration. It has been my privilege to serve alongside two awesome colleagues: Jozell Brister and Bill Fowler.”

Spotlight on Samantha Matta

by   |  10.09.15  |  COBA Alumni, COBA Events, COBA Staff, Careers In..., College Decisions, Current Students, Placement stories, Uncategorized

What is your educational background?

I attended Hardin Simmons University and majored in Mass Media and minored in Spanish. I am currently finishing my masters in higher education with a certification in Conflict Resolution & Mediation. I will graduate December 2015!

Samantha Matta

Samantha Matta

What is your work background?

I started my career with Hendrick Medical Center as their marketing coordinator. I worked for the physicians that were not employed with the hospital and were an independent branch of Hendrick called Hendrick Provider Network. My main role was to travel to the rural communities outside of Abilene and market our services of internal medicine, endocrinology, sleep therapy, and hand therapy/reconstruction to the physicians that were in our network. I worked with HMC marketing for several years and assisted with the development of the MedSpa at Hendrick where I served as the primary patient consultant as well as their marketing coordinator. I have worked in several departments at Hendrick Medical Center and I still teach classes at Hendrick Health Club that include Body Jam and Attack. Little known fact: I was also certified as a Stott Pilates instructor!

What do you do at COBA?

I currently serve as the Career Development Advisor for COBA and SITC.

What drew you to work at ACU? Why did you want to work with students?

Coming from the field of marketing with an emphasis in health care, I was ready to challenge myself with a change. Originally, I had no ties to ACU but once I went through the interview process I fell in love with the community. My gut told me I had made the right choice. I wanted to work with students because I love the atmosphere of learning and academics.

What’s the best part of working with students?

The best part about working with students is building relationships with them. Student development through a holistic approach is best described as social learning theory and the focus on how the individual acquires new ideas, behaviors, and new cognitive content. James Fowler’s first three stages of Faith Development: conventional stage, individual reflection, and faith developments can adhere to the experience and theory of students questioning their beliefs and values. These steps were integrated into theory to help illustrate the foundation of questioning a student’s transition into individual self-awareness. Working with students as they grow and develop is such a unique experience that I am so blessed to be a part of.

Samantha hosted COBA students at the Hispanic Unidos banquet held at ACU last month.

Samantha hosted COBA students at the Hispanic Unidos banquet held at ACU last month.

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

You can never have enough hobbies! I may not be a master at any of them but I will always try something new. Currently, I have taken up boxing lessons. I have a trainer and we work on sparring and kick boxing. I also enjoy painting when I have the time. I started playing the guitar two years ago….it has been a slow process. I love to cook but I am a healthy eater so Paleo is right up my alley. I love to run and I have completed two half-marathons. I love to be outside; camping, hiking, caving and rock climbing. An annual tradition I have is to attend ACL… here I come Billy Idol! I am passionate about living life with family and great friends; Carpe Diem!

Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

I am a member of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce Red Coats. I also am a member of the Young Professionals of Abilene through the Chamber of Commerce. I am an annual volunteer for Cancer Service’s Fashions for a Cure style show. I also volunteer at the Abilene Food Bank and Global Samaritan. I occasionally volunteer at the animal shelter.

students at hispanic heritage banquet

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

To know every language in the world; I want to be like Nicholas Cage in the City of Angels.

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

The smell of cucumbers and watermelon make me nauseated.