What is your educational background?
I earned my undergraduate degree in business at Lubbock Christian University. Next I went to Texas Tech where I completed my M.B.A. in finance and then my Ph.D. in finance.
What is your work background?
I grew up working for my family’s business, Stewart Brothers Drilling Company. Most summers I worked in the shop or on the drilling rigs. Once I started studying business, I spent my summers doing accounting and running payroll for the company.
What do you teach at ACU?
I teach Financial Management, International Financial Markets, Entrepreneurial Finance, and Advanced Financial Management.
What committees/other duties do you have at ACU aside from teaching?
I am the director of COBA Global. Also, I serve on a University committee for the CCCU Best Semester program.
What drew you to teaching? Why did you want to work with students?
I really enjoy the energy and excitement that college students have. It energizes me. I also love the challenge of communicating complicated ideas in a way that helps make them fun and interesting. I have come to a point where I am willing to take risks if I believe it will enhance the learning environment. Sometimes, those risks pay off. Sometimes, I embarrass myself. Either way, it is exciting to help people learn and grow.
What’s the best part of working with students?
There are so many things. It is a blessing to work with talented and hard-working people who exceed your expectations. It is also a blessing to work with people who may not be motivated and are struggling to succeed. I enjoy the times when someone makes a breakthrough and achieves more than they believed that they could. I also enjoy building relationships and friendships with my students. I try to treat them as future colleagues. I take a lot of joy from watching my former students grow their families and careers.
Outside of teaching, what passions and hobbies do you have?
I’m very thankful for my family and I love to spend time with them. I enjoy reading and listening to podcasts. I love music. I play electric guitar in the praise band at the Highland Church of Christ. I try to go to the Rec Center almost every day. I enjoy snow skiing, wake boarding, and watching movies.
What is a good, early story about your teaching?
When I interviewed at ACU, Dr. Jack Griggs took me along to his 8:00 am Investments class. He introduced me to his students and started teaching them about financial ratios. He is writing some liquidity ratios on the overhead projector about 5 minutes into class and he looks over at me. He says “Jonathan! Do you want to do this!?” I was not expecting to teach the class, so I wasn’t really prepared. However, the thought crossed my mind was “he didn’t ask because he wanted you to say ‘No.’” So I said “Sure!” and stood up and taught an impromptu class on financial ratios. I knew my ratios and I think the students felt bad for me, so they were kind to answer my questions and respond to me during the class.
Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
That is a hard question for me to answer. I was honored to be named University Teacher of the Year once upon a time. I also enjoy recording my podcast, Stewllenium Radio, because it lets me do so many of my favorite things simultaneously.
Who was your most inspirational professor and why?
Dr. Scott E. Hein was one of my most inspirational professors because he really expected great work from his students. He has a unique ability to hold people to a very high standard while being very professional and kind. He is never arrogant. He’s never a bully. He just expects the best from people and he’s very gifted at helping people reach their highest potential.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
I think it would be nice to be impervious to committees. The Dean or the Provost would try to type my name as a member of a certain committee and their keyboard wouldn’t work. They would press J and nothing would happen.
What is something that students might be surprised to find out about you?
I used to be able to run really fast. I ran the anchor leg of the mile relay my senior year of high school. We won the race and our team won the Class AAA New Mexico State Championship.
What would you really want students and alums to know about you?
I’m always thankful when students meet my wife and children. Also, I’d like them to know that I’ve grilled more than 2,000 chicken and cheese quesadillas at Grilleniums and other events over the last 7 years.