Archive for February, 2016

Spotlight on Ryan Jessup

by   |  02.25.16  |  Uncategorized

What is your educational background?

1997 ACU: BBA in Marketing, Minor in Bible

2003 ACU: MS in Psychology

2008 Indiana University: Joint PhD in Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Science

 

Dr. Ryan Jessup

Dr. Ryan Jessup

 

What is your work background?

After finishing my undergraduate degree I designed websites for several companies while also serving as a salesman in training for LL Sams, Inc., in Cameron, Texas, a church furniture manufacturer.   I later became their regional sales manager in Atlanta, Georgia. My dad called me a “pew peddler.” After finishing my PhD, I became a research scientist at Trinity College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland, followed by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California. In both locations I used functional neuroimaging (fMRI) and mathematical modeling to understand human neural activity as it engaged in decision making and learning.

 

What do you teach at ACU?

I teach Marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, and Data Mining, as well as occasional courses, including a graduate course on analytics and honors courses on topics such as cognitive science or Christian apologetics.

 

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

I serve on the faculty senate, the COBA AACSB continuing improvement working group, the undergraduate research council, the undergraduate research festival planning committee, and as the chair of the COBA research team and the faculty representative on the ACIMCO board.

 

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

Undergraduates are special. They are bursting with potential, sort of like those little toy cars that you pull back to wind up – when you let go you never know where they’ll end up. Just like those toy cars, undergrads need to be carefully “aimed” so that they fulfill their potential while still maintaining integrity. It is our job to help aim the students, a responsibility I do not take lightly. It can be challenging and humbling because I make my share of mistakes, often causing me to ask “who am I to ‘aim’ these students when I am so filled with error?”

 

Outside of teaching, what passions and hobbies do you have?
I very much love my family and getting to spend time with them. It has been a tiring joy to build a family with my beloved wife and watch our kids grow.

 

Also, I enjoy playing soccer. I have been blessed to play it everywhere I’ve lived. Since returning to ACU, I joined with a few other faculty to start a faculty/staff and grad student intramural soccer team named “Sunflowers of Death.” For a bunch of old dudes we have been surprisingly competitive, finishing second in four out of our last six seasons.

 

Our faculty/staff/grad student fleet of teams: Sunflowers of Death and Ten Plagues

Our faculty/staff/grad student fleet of teams: Sunflowers of Death and Ten Plagues

 

I also love gardening and have peach trees, blackberry vines, and a blueberry shrub, along with a variety of flowering shrubs. And, I also enjoy a wide variety of music, from Sinatra to Sibelius and from Miles Davis to Willie and Merle.

 

Peaches from the Jessup Peach Orchard

Peaches from the Jessup Peach Orchard

 

What is a good, early story about your teaching?

The first semester I taught Data Mining I introduced “cheese day” – a day on which I bring fancy cheeses (brie, smoked applewood Cheddar, Wensleydale with raspberries, etc.), crackers, and sparkling grape juice to class. It was a rainy day and not long after class began the fire alarm went off. So, we decided that we would bring all of our fancy cheeses and grape juice outside with us. It was quite memorable to look at all the students in other classes standing out in the drizzle while we sat under a covered area, enjoying our fancy snacks. Because we had a French student, Chloe Susset, with us, I also brought in some American Flavored Cheez Whiz. With sufficient coaxing she reluctantly gave it a taste. She wasn’t converted to Cheez Whiz, but I think many of the other students were converted to the wonders of fancy cheese.

 

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

When I was a grad student at Indiana I had a paper published in the journal Psychological Science. Even though I have had articles accepted in higher impact journals, to this day it is still my favorite article I’ve ever written.

 

Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

I coach kids’ soccer, serve on the missions committee at church, and am a member of Hillcrest Singers.

 

Who is your role model, and why?

Well, this requires a multi-dimensional response. My dad, Wade Jessup, has been an excellent role model for me. He modeled how to be a hard worker in your job, how to raise a family, and be a faithful Christian servant. Since coming to ACU, I have tried to mimic and learn from Don Pope. His incredible humility and willingness to do what no one else seems to do is so foreign to me. I hope when I get as old as him to be half as far as him in my ability to “in humility, consider others better than myself.” Good thing I still have a lot more years before I get to that stage (also, Don is pretty good at taking a joke).
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

Is synesthesia a superpower? I’ve often wanted to experience it.

 

 

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

I was kicked off my hall (Mabee 3rd West) as a freshman. The reasons are a bit hazy, but it may have had something to do with the fact that we enjoyed watching sunsets out an open window at the end of the hall… or that we threw water balloons out of it at unsuspecting joggers… or perhaps because we glued the window open after the dorm director (Sherwin Abraham) had it glued shut.

Spotlight on Jenni Williams

by   |  02.24.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Staff, Careers In..., College Decisions, Current Students, MBA, School of Information Technology and Computing, Uncategorized

What is your educational background?

I received my bachelors in Public Relations and Advertising from Hardin-Simmons University and I will complete my masters in Higher Education from ACU in 2016.

 

Jenni Williams

Jenni Williams

What is your work background?
My first job was in PR for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This was an amazing opportunity and had a great impact on my life. I learned so much from the wish kids and will always be grateful for that opportunity.

Following that role, I began working in Higher Education in 2004. I have worked in several areas of Higher Ed at two universities, including campus visits, financial aid, admissions, student life, retention, recruiting, event coordination, and student services.

 

What do you do at ACU?
I manage the recruiting process for SITC and assist in bringing new students to ACU. Additionally, I manage marketing communication to current and prospective students. I also play a role in other areas in SITC, including coordination of special events, SITC news, and staff contact for Women in Tech.

 

What’s the best part of working with students? 
I love working with students! It is so amazing to watch students transition from their first visit to campus through to their graduation. I play a small role in their ACU experience and I love being able to share in this transformational process. I enjoy being able to encourage and cheer on students as they take on new challenges, navigate their demanding schedules, and ultimately, interview for jobs. We are able to witness the process of development from the front row. While it is sometimes painful, there is nothing quite like sharing in the moments when they realize that they are capable of more than they imagined.

 

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

No. I’m right where I want to be.

 

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

So many things. First and foremost, I have an amazing husband and two precious daughters that I love very much. Our girls keep us extremely busy and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I also love baking and have a sugar cookie business. This hobby-turned-business started out by making cookies for my daughters’ class parties. I really love the creative and artistic outlet!

 

IMG_6470

The Williams Family having fun

 

Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
At this juncture, completing my masters will be a huge accomplishment. I have enjoyed the entire process and love how it has cultivated a passion for learning.

 

Do you do any charity or non-profit work? 
I am on the parent council at Alliance for Women and Children.

 

Who is your role model, and why?
I have a strong network of men and women in my life, who have taught me a great deal about living life. They have served as spiritual, professional, and personal mentors. They have guided me in times of uncertainty and doubt, as well as times of joy and success. I have learned what it means to love others, how to be a better parent, how to walk through challenges and failures, and how to live a life worthy of the calling placed on my life.

 

Who was your most inspirational professor and why?
Several professors come to mind, but one of the most inspirational was Dr. Susan Piggott. She was one of my Bible profs and I had her for Theological Research and Writing (I was a Bible major at one point).  That course was easily one of the most challenging courses I had in undergrad. Dr. Piggott had a reputation of being a pretty tough teacher. When it came time for me to take her course, I experienced this first hand. However, I learned so much from her about questioning preconceived ideas and learning to think on my own. Some of her ideas conflicted with mine, allowing me to examine why I believed what I believed. This experience strengthened my faith and propelled my spiritual development.

 

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
Power over time, hands down. Primarily to slow down time. Obviously, this would be helpful for accomplishing a lot. However, I think it would be more useful for the ability to slow down and cherish the priceless moments that are over too quickly.

 

The Williams Family

The Williams Family

 

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

I love Christmas and have a sizable collection of Christmas paraphernalia, which nearly fills up our entire storage shed, seven Christmas trees, and over 700 Christmas songs in my iTunes library. It’s absolutely my favorite time of the year.

 

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

I have spent 11 years in higher education working with students in some facet. In this time, I have learned that there is so much more to college than awarding degrees. I view this as a calling. I have the opportunity to impact students in a measurable way, by simply being here. I am committed to the holistic development of students as they explore their identity in relation to others and to God. I will not have all the answers, but I am always available to listen, encourage, and pray for students.

 

Spotlight on Mark Phillips

by   |  02.16.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Uncategorized

What is your educational background?

BS Psychology ACU

MSIA Purdue

PhD Oklahoma State

Dr. Mark Phillips

Dr. Mark Phillips

 

What is your work background?

2 years industry (quality engineer), 10 years full-time ministry
 

What do you teach at ACU?

Management, General Business, Marketing
 

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

Department Chair of Management Sciences, Sponsor of American Marketing Association

 

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

As long as I can remember I have loved learning…and sharing what I learn with others. In my previous jobs I did lots of things but I always kept coming back to the parts that related to teaching others, which I enjoyed the most.

 

What’s the best part of working with students?

Just being around them. This is one of the most awesome phases of life and I love getting to experience it with them.
 

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

Several years ago I had to choose between becoming a fashion model, an NBA Center, and a professor. Professor was my second choice, so I went with that.

 

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

My wife Laura and I love to ride our bikes, which we do regularly when the temperature is above 60 and the wind is below 10. I’m also in the middle of remodeling a house.

Mark and Laura repping the purple and white

Mark and Laura repping the purple and white

 

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

Several years ago President Schubert asked me to lead a year-long task-force to assess the education landscape and figure out where ACU fits. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but also one of the most rewarding.

 

Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

Most of my outside time is invested at church, where I frequently teach classes and occasionally preach.

 

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

To have the powerful hair of Sampson.

 

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

For my 50th birthday I got a tattoo. I’m still deciding what to do for my 60th.


mark laura and allison

 

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

That beyond the stuff we do in class, which I really enjoy and try to make good, I genuinely care about them, their futures, and their lives. I think our classes are important, but there are many, many things that have longer-lasting impact and I hope they find those while at ACU.

 

 

Spotlight on Tim Johnston

by   |  02.09.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Staff, Careers In..., Current Students, Internships, Uncategorized

What is your educational background?

B.B.A. in Marketing from ACU.

M.B.A. in Management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. The company I worked for was based in the Bay Area. When I moved from the field office in Denver to the corporate headquarters, the company paid for me to get my M.B.A. This was very convenient. Golden Gate University is located in downtown San Francisco, but their East Bay campus was located where the company I worked for, Triad’s Systems Corporation, was based in Livermore, CA. Triad paid for all my tuition and books. I went to courses at night, while working full-time.

 

Tim Johnston

Tim Johnston

 

What is your work background?

Originally I worked for Triad Systems Corporation in customer service, then sales, and later became a Regional Manager for our Education Services. I had a team of 12 people, working in 10 cities. This team took care of the system configuration and training for all of our customers.

Eventually we moved to the headquarters in California. I held several positions over the years, including Marketing Analyst (putting together our service offerings), Sales Trainer, and Sales Development Manager (responsible for training our training team for industry training, system training, sales training, and supporting regional manager hiring and coaching programs).

At ACU, I worked as the Chief Enrollment Officer for 11 years and then moved to the Career Center. I have worked in COBA for the last 6 years as the Assistant Dean.

 

What do you do at ACU/COBA?

First of all, I work with the Connections team to ensure we have a good advising process and career development program to come along side the academic coursework required for each major.

A key tie-in with the Career Development work is our partnership with ACU’s University Relations Managers, who live in Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. These managers are critical to our efforts to help students connect to starting career opportunities.

ACU’s alumni provide us with scholarship dollars to help improve the affordability of the COBA experience. This is another area of work I help to coordinate.

As one of the co-founders of Leadership Summit, I serve as the leader of our management team to ensure our enrollment, satisfaction, budget and connection goals are achieved through this program.

 

Tim and crew at Leadership Summit 2015

Tim and crew at Leadership Summit 2015

 

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

Rick Lytle and I met in Denver.   After earning my master’s degree, he encouraged me to consider working for ACU. Rick’s statement of, “Not everyone goes to church but most everyone goes to work”, really resonates with me.   It’s challenging to be a Christian in the workplace. It’s difficult to be competitive and honorable. It’s important for our graduates to bring hope to their workplace. I wanted to help equip students for this challenge.

 

What’s the best part of working with students?

It’s great to see students understand how they can prepare to make a valuable contribution to an organization, both in terms of their business ability and their character. It’s exciting to see where they will have a place to live out the mission. A job search is difficult, it takes a lot of effort to put yourself out there in an effective manner. It can be hard on your psyche. This is where my coaching comes in. I like helping students face the challenge and win.

 

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

Mountains, mountains and more mountains. I like to snow ski and hike whenever I can. Plus the mountain biking at Buck Creek trails here in Abilene is a lot of fun.   A few years ago I bought a shotgun and joined the Sporting Clays Club here in Abilene. COBA students have tried to help me improve my shooting. It’s a work in progress. The students tend to shoot 70 – 80% out there, but I’m usually in the 40% range.

 

 

What is a good, early story about your first job or when you were in college?

I remember working for a client in Steamboat Springs, CO. After a few days it was time to return to Denver. I was on a “puddle jumper” – we called it Rocky Mountain Scareways. As I was sitting on the plane watching them plow the runway as the snow kept coming down and the plane received multiple de-icings, I really questioned my career choice.

 

Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

Currently I am commander of the armies of the north communion team at Highland CoC, (northside of the building) at second service. Over the years I have been very involved with our church Teaching class, or running the Habitat for Humanity Building project or Bus Ministry. Also, I am very passionate about supporting missions and really appreciate the work of World Vision and Compassion International.

 

Who is your role model and why?

At ACU I have had several including Jack Rich who was my boss for many years. He never got rattled and he always took the high road. And be careful if you are meeting with Jack and you criticize a team member. He will get them on the phone right away and ask them to address the complaint you just levied. That helps you learn quickly. Dr. Terry Pope is so wise and a man of integrity. If you haven’t heard Terry’s 10, you need to, it’s wisdom to guide your life. Rick Lytle is the most enthusiastic, hopeful Christian I have ever met. His positive energy constantly gives me a boost. My mom and dad were awesome.  My dad was an Electrical Engineer and Elder at our church. Together they raised 5 children, one of which had special needs. I don’t think he ever wasted any time. Mom was a great communicator who would pour good Biblical wisdom into me, whether I wanted it or not. I could go on and on …

 

The Johnston Family

The Johnston Family

 

Who was your most inspirational professor and why?

In graduate school, I had an economics professor who BELIEVED all problems are pricing problems. When the price goes high enough, people will solve the problem. I could tell his academic discipline was his belief. We disagreed, but he really made me think.

 

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

My initial thought was to say that I really wish I could fly. But this is a selfish desire. What I really think would be most useful would be to be able to listen to people like Jesus listened to the women at the well. I wish I could tune into someone’s spirit.

 

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

I wanted to be an artist. But being an art major (courses are double blocked) and being a baseball player did not coincide well. So I switched to accounting. I really swung the pendulum on that decision. Ultimately I landed on marketing. This helps me be patient with our students. It can take a while to find your sweet spot.