Archive for ‘COBA Alumni’

Tolleson Scholars Awarded

by   |  03.07.17  |  Academics, Accounting, COBA Alumni, COBA Events, College Decisions, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Uncategorized

In 2015, Tolleson Wealth Management, Inc. created the Tolleson Scholars COBA Endowment Fund to give scholarship awards in the amount of $5,000 each year to two deserving COBA students. To be considered, students must have completed 75 credit hours toward their degree, but also have at least 30 credit hours remaining to complete their degree. The award also is meant to be awarded to students recognized as top academic performers as well as excellent role models in terms of their Christian commitment and moral behavior. To be considered for the award, students submitted an essay reflecting on a time when they were a role model and exhibited commitment to their Christian faith. The recipients of this year’s awards are Brandon Gonzales, senior accounting major from Rowlett, TX and Megan Young, senior accounting major from Burleson, TX.

Brandon wrote about his experience volunteering with Operation Blessing, an international relief and development non-profit, after tornadoes destroyed much of the Rockwall, Rowlett, and Garland areas on December 26th of 2015. Brandon and his friends went door to door with the relief operation, asking residents what help they needed as well as consoling and praying with them. He said that, “It was eye opening to see everyone come together to help people they had never met and would likely never see again when they could have been spending their holiday break with family. I was only with my group for a couple of days and although we may not have been able to fix all the problems we came across, I learned how powerful even the smallest actions can be”. When asked about receiving the Tolleson Scholar Award, Brandon said, “Winning this scholarship was truly an unexpected blessing for my family and I. Being the first in my family to attend a university and with my graduation date on the horizon, this award is another reminder that I couldn’t have gotten this far without the help of the ACU community and the friends that I have made along the way.”

Brandon with team members from Operation Blessing

Megan wrote about serving with her church on an unexpected mission trip to Rio Bravo, Mexico during the spring break of her senior year. She told of how her church had been raising money for a kidney and liver transplant for the Rio Bravo congregation’s church liaison to the Burleson church, Jorge. Jorge and his family moved to Burleson temporarily while he received medical care. Megan said that they became “mi familia” as they grew very close to one another. During this time, the church raised half of the money needed but Jorge died two days after Christmas while waiting for a transplant. Megan said that the trip to Rio Bravo was the first time she would see Jorge’s family since his death and she was uncertain about the meeting. However, she and the Burleson mission team were greeted warmly by the family and the church and much healing happened as they worked side by side building an addition to the church building that Jorge once led. She said, “At the end of the week, the church threw a big party for our mission team. The church members and Jorge’s family were so grateful for all we had done. That’s when I realized the full scope of what God had planned for me that week. I wasn’t there just to do hard work; I was there to be part of the healing process. I was there to help this small church move forward after the death of Jorge. I was there to let his family know that we were still “familia”. Most of all, I was there to show God’s love and grace to our dear friends across the border”. When asked what receiving the Tolleson Award meant to her, Megan said, “I am so honored to be receiving the Tolleson Scholarship. This award will assist me in completing my BBA in accounting and start on my goal of attaining my Masters of Accountancy. Thank you to the donors for their generosity and support!”

Megan with the Rio Bravo Mission Team

Megan and Brandon represent well the student body that makes up the College of Business Administration (COBA). Our students serve in various volunteer capacities throughout the year, using the skills and lessons they’ve learned in the classroom to help organizations like non-profits and churches. Using business to do good – it’s a value COBA strives to integrate in and out of the classroom. Generous donors make college tuition scholarships and experiences like Leadership Summit or service trips to destinations like Mission Lazarus possible.  COBA has approximately 50 scholarship and endowment funds that, this year alone, provided financial help to over 120 COBA students. We are so thankful for the generosity of our friends and donors who help us continue our mission of educating business and technology professionals for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. If you would like to learn more about giving to COBA scholarship funds, please email coba@acu.edu.

COBA Meet the Dean Tour stops in Texas and Silicon Valley

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

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

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

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

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

Young Alums in Dallas

Young Alums in Dallas

Dr. Crisp aims to win

Dr. Crisp aims to win

COBA Beat the Dean at Top Golf in Dallas

COBA Beat the Dean at Top Golf in Dallas

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

Meet the Dean lunch stop in Austin

Meet the Dean lunch stop in Austin

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

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Young alums at Beat the Dean in San Antonio

Young alums at Beat the Dean in San Antonio

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

students with Brett Biggs

Mr. Biggs meeting with COBA students

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

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

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

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Mr. Biggs meeting with COBA Faculty

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

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

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

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

by guest blogger and marketing major from Japan, Noah Bastable

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spotlight on Malcolm Coco

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

Dr. Malcolm Coco

Dr. Malcolm Coco

 

What is your educational background?

Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Southwestern La.

Personnel Management and Supervision, Central Michigan University

Doctorate of Public Administration, Nova Southeastern University

 

What is your work background?

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

 

What do you teach at ACU?

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

 

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

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

 

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

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


What’s the best part of working with students?

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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Enjoying the great outdoors.

 

What is a good, early story about your teaching?

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

 

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

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

 

Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

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

 

Who is your role model, and why?

Anyone of a few faculty who can fully engage students.

 

Dr. Coco on a field trip with students.

Dr. Coco on a field trip with students.

 

Who was your most inspirational professor and why?

Former Department Chair, Lamar Riench.

 

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

To have a better ability to connect people with Jesus.

 

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

That I was a State Champion pole vaulter and sprinter.

 

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

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

 

 

 

Meet the Dean Tour Launched

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Meeting with COBA alumni in Austin

Meeting with COBA alumni in Austin.

 

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

 

COBA Alum at the Beat the Dean San Antonio event

COBA Alum at the Beat the Dean San Antonio event

 

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

 

Abilene: David Swearingen and Johnson & Johnson

Austin: Bill & Jan McClellan and Gary Skidmore

Dallas: Heritage Christian College and Partner Source

 

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

Spotlight on Amanda Pittman

by   |  10.05.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Staff, Careers In..., Griggs Center, Uncategorized

What is your educational background?

I graduated from ACU in 2001 with a degree in advertising and public relations with a marketing minor.

 

Amanda Pittman and the Pittman Family

Amanda Pittman and the Pittman Family

 

 

What is your work background?

I’m starting my eleventh year here at ACU. I’ve had the privilege to work in Student Life, University Marketing and here in the College of Business. I’ve loved my time in each spot and have loved learning more about ACU from different perspectives.

 

What do you do at ACU/COBA?

I’ve recently joined the Griggs Center team to launch and manage our mentor programs for the student leaders who are interested in entrepreneurship. So far, we’ve matched 20 students with successful entrepreneurs. I’m looking forward to hearing how the conversations are going!

 

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

I love the energy on campus – I think students keep you young and keep the desire burning to always learn, grow and change. My grandparents both taught here and I remember them saying the same thing! After working in industries outside of the university, I came to really love and appreciate the rhythm of the school year, as well.

 

What’s the best part of working with students?

Hands down, the best part to me is the opportunity to form relationships with students. My family has been blessed by countless students that have loved on our kiddos, interned for us, introduced us to their families when they came to campus, invited us to their weddings and on and on. I’m thankful for social media and the chance I have to follow their adventures once they leave this place!

 

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

We are pretty involved with our church family at Highland and our small group. My husband, David, and I enjoy every chance we get to hang out with these sweet families. Our three kiddos, Easton who is 8, Gentry who is 5 and Findley who is 4, keep us very busy between soccer, dance classes and school activities. We love living in Abilene and we love the sense of community and family we feel here.

 

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The Pittman Family

 

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

When I was doing my first internship in Los Angeles at a film studio, it really did matter if you could get the coffee order right. I was sent on many a trip to Starbucks and I definitely earned more opportunities in the office because I always got their coffee order correct and got it back to them quickly. While that might sound lame and cliche, it proved early on that I could take and follow directions and complete a task quickly and efficiently. When you take care of the little things (and don’t complain about them or while you are doing them!), they begin to trust you with a little bit bigger things. Eventually, I landed a job at the film studio!

 

Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

I have the privilege of serving as chair for the Board at Rainbow Bible School.

 

Who is your role model and why?

My role models are all the women in our small group. They are each accomplished and intelligent women who are doing beautiful jobs managing their families, careers, friendships and interests/passions. It’s never an easy journey, but I am blessed tremendously by their examples, support, friendship and encouragement as we figure out how to do life! As you begin your career, whether you are married or not, it’s vital to find a community or group that challenges you and supports you.

 

Amanda and her small group

Amanda and her small group

 

Who was your most inspirational professor and why?

I really learned a lot from Dr. Jeff Warr and Dr. Charlie Marler in the JMC department. They are no longer teaching full time at ACU, but they were really amazing professors. They had high expectations and demanded our best. They each also had unique ways of making what they were teaching really fascinating and relevant.

 

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

Probably something like freezing, rewinding and/or fast-forwarding time. So like, altering time. Is that even a thing?

 

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

I’m older than my husband!! Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….

 

Spotlight on Aimee Agee

by   |  08.31.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Staff, Careers In..., College Decisions, Current Students, Internships, Outcomes, Uncategorized

Meet Aimee (pronounced I-may) Agee, COBA’s newest staff member. Aimee serves as COBA’s Student and Professional Development Manager, working with students to help them via class insertions, job and internship coaching sessions, resume help and much more. COBA students, we hope you’ll come in to the Dean’s Suite and meet Aimee!

 

Aimee Agee

Aimee Agee

 

What is your educational background?

I completed two A.A. degrees with the Community College of the Air Force, one in Aircraft Maintenance Systems and the other in Instructional Science. I completed my undergraduate degree in Adult and Career Education at Indiana State University. I am projected to graduate with my M.Ed from ACU in December.

 

What is your work background?

I spent 11 years in the Air Force, 7 years as an aircraft mechanic and 4 years as an instructor under the Community College of the Air Force. After separating from the Air Force I was an assistant campus director for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and then a community readiness specialist, specializing in employment.

 

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Aimee and her husband, First Lieutenant, Alfred B. Agee Jr.

 

What do you do at ACU/COBA?

At COBA I am the Professional and Student Development Manager. I focus on helping our students be prepared for the work force and find internship and employment opportunities.

 

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

What drew me to ACU was being able to combine my passion for higher education, students, and Christ.

 

What’s the best part of working with students?

The best part of working with students is knowing that you can help them through such an important transition period in life.

 

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

My passion is education. I love reading, taking classes, and learning new things. My two young girls take up a lot of time but I love being a mom and learning.

 

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Aimee and her daughters

 

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

Being petite in size made my first job very challenging! I quickly realized being an aircraft mechanic was not for me. I trusted God and He led me to my second job and my passion for higher education.

 

Who is your role model and why?

My role model is my mother-in-law. Her faith is her guide in life. When I need to speak to someone she always guides me back to the best resource available, the Bible.

 

Who was your most inspirational professor and why?

My most inspirational professor was Dr. Morris. He facilitated a few of my graduate courses and I was so impressed at his ability to be engaged and involved with students holistically in an online setting.

 

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The Agee Family

 

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

Time travel! I would love to go back in time and meet so many historical figures.

 

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

English is my second language. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico with Spanish as my first and primary language.

Spotlight on Sarah Easter

by   |  08.24.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Poverty and Development, Social Entrepreneurship, Uncategorized

We’re excited to welcome several new professors and staff members to COBA this fall and are continuing our COBA blog spotlight articles to introduce them to you. We’re glad they’re part of our team!

 

Dr. Sarah Easter

Dr. Sarah Easter

 

What is your educational background?

PhD in International Management and Organization (University of Victoria, 2016)

MBA, emphasis in International Business and Marketing (Rollins College, 2008)

BBA, Management and Marketing (ACU, 2006)

 

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Celebrating her PhD!

 

What is your work background?

After completing my undergraduate degree at ACU, I went on to complete an MBA designed for students with limited work experiences in Orlando, FL (where I am from) at Rollins. While I was in the program I starting interning at Correct Craft (Anyone into wakeboarding or water skiing? They produce the Nautique brand of boats.) in the marketing department. That internship turned into a full time job upon graduation as a Marketing Specialist, in which case I handled branding and marketing communications for the Nautique brand. After working at Correct Craft for a few years, even though I enjoyed my job, I was itching to move abroad and also to apply my skill sets within a socially focused organization. So, I ended up moving to Vietnam in 2010 through Volunteer Services Overseas to work with a social enterprise as a Business Development and Marketing Advisor for a one-year assignment. While in that position I had the opportunity to teach a business course to the staff (And loved it!) and also started asking a lot of questions about how these types of organizations balance social and financial tensions, etc. Collectively, these experiences in Vietnam led me to consider returning to school to obtain my PhD. When I returned from Vietnam, while I was considering PhD programs, I returned to Correct Craft as a Senior Strategy Analyst working with the senior leadership team and then moved to Canada to pursue my PhD about a year and a half later. I am living proof that God’s plans are far greater than anything we can ask or imagine  – I would never have pictured myself coming back to ACU 10 years after I completed my undergraduate to work as a faculty member, but I am so glad that He has led me here!

 

at graduation brunch with my parents, sister and brother-in-law (2)

At graduation brunch with my parents, sister and brother-in-law.

 

What do you teach at ACU?

This semester I am teaching the strategy capstone course. I am excited about the opportunity to work with students as they develop and hone their strategic thinking skills for today’s increasingly complex, ambiguous and dynamic environment – regardless of whether they desire to work in a for-profit, nonprofit or public organization. And, to do so, in a very discussion oriented and applied manner.

 

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

I have always been a bit of a school nerd and really enjoy and appreciate continuous learning, so the idea of having the opportunity to shape future generations of students and have focused time to continually learn through research and interacting with students is very attractive. However, I never really saw myself in a teaching role. It wasn’t until I lived in Vietnam and had the opportunity to teach a business class to the employees at the social enterprise I worked with that I began to see that as more of a possibility. It was a very challenging experience trying to take business knowledge I had learned in the US environment and contextualize it for Vietnam while also making it relevant and enjoyable for them. Yet, I really enjoyed the experience and it was such a joy getting to see them embrace and understand the material (after a bit of resistance at the beginning).

 

What’s the best part of working with students?

College is such a formative (and hopefully transformational) experience in a young person’s life not only academically but socially and spiritually as well. It is also such an exciting yet scary time of exploring the large multitude of possibilities as to where God would lead each student both professionally and personally in the future. I love getting to play a small role in students’ development to that end and I am very excited to be at a university that values education as a holistic experience which encompasses academic, social and spiritual components.

 

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

When I decided to go back to school to pursue my PhD, I walked away from a lucrative career path. I moved to Western Canada (to a city that is the second most expensive city to live in across Canada) and received a stipend as opposed to the market salary I was used to – which was certainly an adjustment. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and while it was hard at times, I don’t regret it at all.

 

some of my dearest friends from ACU (2)

Some of my dearest friends from ACU.

 

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

In addition to teaching, I am very passionate about my research that focuses on how people work across cultural differences in support of addressing major societal challenges such as homelessness. Outside of my profession, I enjoy spending time with family and friends – and I am excited to be much closer, geographically speaking, to many of those I hold dear (in comparison to when I was living on an island in Western Canada). I also love to read, try new and different restaurants (I’m a bit of a foodie) and travel (I always have many different places on my list!). As well, I love to go on new ‘mini’ adventures and to try new things – next up on my list is learning to play a musical instrument. I am also contemplating purchasing a motor scooter at some point – I rode one the year I lived in Vietnam and loved it!

 

What is a good, early story about your teaching?

While I was working on my doctoral degree, I taught a few sections of Leading People and Organizations (also known as Organizational Behavior). Students at this particular institution tended to view this course as a “fluffy” one without a lot of practical value. It was really rewarding for me to see students in that course (even the more reluctant ones) embrace the material, reflect on how the concepts applied to their own situations and to actually have fun in the process of learning.

 

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

Since it is so recent and was such a significant and all-encompassing undertaking, I would have to say my dissertation. I conducted a 16-month ethnographic study of a coalition to end homelessness in Western Canada. I was really interested in how a diverse body of organizations and individuals from public, private and non profit sectors come together to address a significant societal issue over time, in this case homelessness. It was fascinating for me to hear all of the different perspectives and vantage points of the involved organizations and to develop a deep understanding as to how the coalition evolved over time in the presence of many and very different ways of working (e.g., different values, norms, goals).  It was also very rewarding to work closely with the coalition and to be able to provide feedback and recommendations to them based on the study. I love conducting research that also has strong practical implications and look forward to developing more similar partnerships in the future as I progress with my research.

 

Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

While I lived in Canada I was very involved in my church. I taught and mentored middle school girls for a number of years and my life group (also known as small group) volunteered regularly at a youth homeless drop in center. I am looking forward to getting involved in similar types of activities in Abilene as I get settled here.

 

on a bear tour on Vancouver Island with my parents and sister this summer (2)

On a bear tour on Vancouver Island with my parents and sister this summer.

 

Who is your role model, and why?

My parents – they are such amazing examples of living out the Christian faith in their lives. They invest in the people and spaces to which God has called them (which have varied greatly over the years) and truly try to fully grow and develop in each and every season. I have learned so much about hard work and perseverance as well as the importance of laughter and appreciating the journey from watching them over the years.

 

with my dissertation supervisor (2)

With my dissertation supervisor.

 

Who was your most inspirational professor and why?

It would be impossible for me to name the many, many individuals who have played an important role in my many, many years of higher education over the years. But, two, in particular, stand out as they both significantly influenced my development as a teacher and scholar:

  • My international marketing professor during my MBA program who helped to ignite my passion for using business for social good….which eventually resulted in my working with a social enterprise in Vietnam and then to my pursuing a PhD.
  • My dissertation supervisor for her patience and support throughout my PhD journey. She helped me to fully understand and embrace an interdisciplinary approach to capturing today’s complex organizational phenomenal.

 

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

I think it would be neat to teleport– that would make it much easier for me to travel different places quickly and on the cheap.

 

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

I used to play lacrosse in high school (although I haven’t played in years). I played defense and was actually pretty aggressive. I was named MVP of defense and played in an all-state game my senior year.

 

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

I believe very strongly in the mission and focus of ACU (it was such a formative part of my own development as an undergraduate) and I’m happy to be back as a professor

 

 

COBA Celebrates Graduates at May 2016 COBA Senior Dinner

by   |  05.17.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Events, COBA Faculty, COBA Staff, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Uncategorized

Every May, COBA holds a dinner to celebrate our graduating seniors as well as to honor outstanding students, faculty and staff. On Friday, May 6th, almost 300 people attended the event held at the Hunter Welcome Center. Dr. Andy Little welcomed the crowd and recognized students and their families for all of the hard work and sacrifice it took for them to reach the milestone of graduating from college.

 

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Families gathering to celebrate their May graduates.

 

Dr. Andy Little greets the May 2016 graduates and their families

Dr. Andy Little greets the May 2016 graduates and their families.

 

Each year we ask a student representative from each department to provide an Au Revoir to their classmates and faculty, reflecting on their experiences in COBA and at ACU. This year’s student speakers were Hayley Griffin, management major from Quanah, Texas and Austin Cotton, financial management major from Keller, Texas. Each reflected on their time in the College of Business and thanked faculty and their parents for making a difference in their lives.

 

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Hayley Griffin

 

COBA Graduates Hayley Griffin and Austin Cotton address the crowd

Austin Cotton

 

It is also a COBA tradition to ask a parent of one of our graduates to speak on behalf of all parents of the graduating class.  This year we were delighted to have Rick Lytle, former COBA Dean, current Director for the Lytle Center for Leadership and Faith Development, CEO and President of CEO Forum, and father of now three ACU alumni, as our parent speaker.  Rick is the father of Michelle Lytle, marketing major from Abilene, Texas.  Dr. Lytle encouraged the students to live lives both personally and professionally which make a difference for the kingdom of God in their workplace, community, and home. Dr. Lytle then had the pleasure of introducing the newly named Dean, Dr. Brad Crisp, as Dr. Crisp commended the students on the many activities and accomplishments they have achieved.

 

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Dr. Rick Lytle gives the parent address as the father of COBA graduate, Michelle Lytle.

 

Dr. Rick Lytle and Dr. Brad Crisp

New COBA Dean, Dr. Brad Crisp.

 

Dr. Crisp also recognized sixteen students who were chosen by the COBA faculty that symbolize three COBA values: Competence, Character, and Community.  The criteria for choosing students who fulfill those qualities are listed below as well as the names of the 2016 graduates who received the awards.

Competence – Professional competence is a prerequisite for capable leadership.  These students have demonstrated that they understand how to create and deliver value in their work, think critically, communicate well, work in teams and understand the complexities of today’s global marketplace. COBA students to win this year’s award are: John Allen, Jaci Browning, Hayley Griffin, Evelyn Hernandez, Parker Mason, and Mandy Stratton.

 

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From L to R: Mandy Stratton, Evelyn Hernandez, Parker Mason, Jaci Browning and Hayley Griffin.

 

Character – The intent of COBA is to graduate students who seek to glorify God in their personal and professional lives.  These students stand out as examples for being able to discern right from wrong, articulate what they believe and why they believe it and behave consistently with those beliefs regardless of personal consequence. COBA students to win this year’s award are: Christy Duke, Callie Kerbo, Griffin Pedigo, Jason Proctor, and Connor Steinmetz.

 

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From L to R: Christy Duke, Connor Steinmetz and Jason Proctor.

 

Community – Successful business graduates give back by providing service and leadership in the workplace, their churches, homes and communities.  These students have demonstrated that they understand how to serve and lead in the ACU community. COBA students to win this year’s award are: Austin Cotton, Emily Dosa, Michelle Lytle, Alyssa Timmons, and Rebekah Wood.

 

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From L to R: Emily Dosa, Michelle Lytle, Rebekah Wood and Austin Cotton.

 

Each year, junior and senior students in the College of Business vote for their favorite teachers of the year. One professor is selected to receive the award in each academic department.

This year’s Teacher of the Year in Accounting and Finance is known for teaching his students the basics of accounting while doing so in a manner that is logical and interesting, for his love of coffee, and for playing his guitar for students. One student said, “He’s always very enthusiastic about the subject and he’s very good at relating to students as well as showing his interest in what the student is looking to do in the future.”  Another student commented said, “He has a gentle, kind spirit and was always there to help, whether it be regarding accounting or just what’s going on in our lives. He was one of the best professors I have had in COBA.” The class of 2016 named Dr. David Perkins as Teacher of the Year in Accounting and Finance.

 

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Dr. David Perkins, the 2015-16 Accounting and Finance Teacher of the Year.

 

This year’s recipient of the Management Sciences Teacher of the Year award went to a professor who is known as one of the most entertaining professors in COBA. One student commented, “I never expected to learn so much about how BLAW was related to Hot Pocket commercials! He was one of the most entertaining, fun teachers I have had in COBA. Never a dull moment!” Another student said, “When you come into college, you expect to be taught by professors but you don’t expect to have them engage with you and walk alongside of you in your learning. That is something he has done beyond what I could imagine. He’s become more than a professor. He’s become a friend.” The class of 2016 named Andy Little as Teacher of the Year in Management Sciences.

 

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Dr. Andy Little, 2015-16 Management Sciences Teacher of the Year.

 

The dean also honored two COBA staff members in recognition of their service to COBA and COBA students. The first 2016 Dean’s Award for Service went to Nuria Hall, academic advising specialist, who continuously goes above and beyond expectations.  Nearly always she is among the first to offer help, create better solutions, and offer her Christ-like wisdom to enhance the overall experience for our students.

 

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Dean’s Award for Service recipients, Nuria Hall and Karen Viertel.

 

The second Dean’s Service Award was awarded to Karen Viertel, manager of COBA student services and academic advising, for her many years of service to the students, faculty and staff of COBA. Karen is the definition of team player and is always one of the first to help in any situation, whether that’s advising a student in her office on or a co-worker in the college, always with a servant-leader heart.

The evening concluded with a blessing from Associate Professor, Jozell Brister. Following the blessing, Madison Haggerton, management major from Keller, Texas led the group in the long held tradition of singing “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.”

 

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Associate Professor, Jozell Brister, reads a blessing over the graduates.

 

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Madison Haggerton

 

Congratulations again, students! And to the students, their families and friends, we say thank you for allowing us to be walk alongsde with you over the last four years. May God bless each of you greatly as you enter into this new phase of your lives.

 

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The May 2016 COBA graduating class

 

You can find more pictures from the evening on our COBA Facebook page. We will be hosting a separate event to honor December graduates at the end of the fall 2016 semester. Stay tuned for more details!