Archive for ‘College Decisions’

Alumni Spotlight on Phil Garcia

by   |  05.29.18  |  Academics, Alumni Spotlight, College Decisions, Faith Infusion

Phil Garcia graduated from ACU in 1999 with a degree in marketing. We asked Phil to reflect on his time in the College of Business and asked how that shaped his life post-graduation. Phil said, “The most fundamental thing I took away from ACU is my Christian faith.  I did not arrive at ACU with a relationship with Jesus Christ, but I was very quickly influenced by the Christian friends and professors who took time to get to know me.  Being a Christ follower is core to everything that I do. My faith has allowed me the success I have because I am genuine and ethical with all of my business practices. Both clients and co-workers know that I am real and I care about them outside of our work relationship.  I believe many of my professors showed me what humility and authenticity look like by the way they worked with me and lived their lives both on and off campus.”

Phil Garcia

In his work as a Senior Vice President in investments, he provides professional asset management and consulting for client’s investment portfolios.  His clients are business owners, corporate executives, foundations/endowments and retirees and Phil finds great joy in helping clients reach their goals and funding a lifestyle that they’ve grown accustomed to. Phil believes that being a Christian creates positive occasions for him to live out his faith with his work.  He says, “It encourages me to be humble, allows me to give grace and mercy to those around me, and creates authentic relationships. Being real and vulnerable with people has opened many doors and created great business opportunities. My authentic relationships have created clients and friendships that have become like family, and much of my business growth can be attributed to referrals from these clients.”  

 

Phil says that students need to know that business is about relationships. “Students should make all the friends and connections they can. Meet board members, trustees, guest speakers on campus, etc. I made the mistake of limiting my interactions with my social club for most of my time at ACU, and that kept me from making many connections that could have helped me in my career.  People whom you have a relationship with are more likely to make introductions for you in the business world, and this is what leads to success.”

 

When reflecting on his favorite memories while at ACU, Phil said that Welcome Week was an incredibly positive experience for him as he was the first in his family to attend college and had some trepidation after moving 8 hours away from home. He said, “I met people that became lifelong friends and eventually led me to finding the Lord my junior year. Pledging Knights introduced me to a great group of men, and some fun experiences like Sing Song and intramurals.  We still meet once a year for an annual fishing trip and they provide me with a solid foundation for moral support. They are the true meaning of ‘iron sharpening iron’.”

 

Phil also says that one of the most significant memories he has was having a private Bible study with Dr. Rick Lytle.  He goes on to explain, “His simple invite and desire to take an interest in me has impacted my life forever.  We still have an ongoing relationship, and he still plays a significant role in my life. I attribute a large part of my success to that faithful servant of God.”

 

Phil says that the absolute BEST memory he has from his time at ACU is meeting his wife, Brittney Binder (’00).  He says, “She is the backbone of our family, and without her I wouldn’t be who I am today. She wanted to travel the world with her International Business degree, but selflessly gave that up to raise our family, encourage me daily and be there for others.”

 

Phil advises incoming freshmen to “Make friends with everyone!  Do all the activities that you can possibly do….even if they might not sound cool.  Be authentic, volunteer, tryout, put your phones down and do life!”

 

Phil says he didn’t plan on attending ACU. He explains, “ I just want to share about my beginnings…I did not come from a privileged home. No one in my family  had ever gone to college, and I had no help or expectations on what I should do. By the grace of God (and some great family friends) I landed at ACU. I had never heard of ACU until the summer after my senior year.  On a whim, I applied and was accepted and a month later, I was dropped off at my dorm. I was scared and felt alone. I had no way to pay for school, and I ended up taking out loans for all the years I was there. I feel that in order to understand my success, others need to know my background.  Looking back I can see God’s hand in all of this, and I know He had a plan for my life. I am forever grateful for my time at ACU and the path it paved for my life!”

Graduating Seniors Give Advice to the Incoming Freshmen Class of 2018

by   |  05.10.18  |  Academics, COBA Events, COBA Faculty, COBA Staff, College Decisions, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Griggs Center, Leadership Summit, Lytle Center, Outcomes, Social Entrepreneurship, Study Abroad, Uncategorized

Graduation is only a few days away and it’s the time of year we sadly say goodbye to our graduating seniors. We are proud of our students and we’d like to introduce you to a few of them on this blog, letting you know how their time at ACU has molded them, where they are headed after graduation, and what advice they have for the new freshmen class coming in the fall.

Allie Cawyer, Marketing major from Plano, Texas

After graduation, I will be moving back to Dallas and hoping to work in the corporate event industry.

For the last year, I have been working with University Events here at ACU and it has only made me more excited to pursue events full time. So, getting to actually do events all the time and working in that position is making me excited for graduation. Plus, no event is the same so I will not have to worry about doing the same thing every day. 

Allie Cawyer

 
My favorite ACU memory was probably when I studied abroad two summers ago. The experience was unlike any other and I not only learned about all of the other cultures but also about myself.
 
My favorite class was Leadership Summit because I got credit for taking a class in the mountains of Colorado, but the takeaway was much more than just the credit hours. So many people poured into us during that week with life lessons, truth and God’s word that nothing can compare to it.
 
My advice would be to be as involved as you can within your department, no matter what it may be. Get to know not only your classmates but also your professors because they truly care about you and your life. Start it early on, so that you get the full experience all four years. 
Steven Yang, English major and COBA Student Worker from Chiang Rai, Thailand 

After graduation, I am going to Regent University of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I am excited to be done with my undergrad and be able to travel home and see my family in Thailand.

Steven (tan jacket in the middle) and friends hiking over Spring Break.

My favorite memory at ACU is climbing different buildings, having game nights, and biking around Abilene.

My favorite class was Literature for Young Adults because reading stories from this class connects me to my past and helps me find my identity. 

I would tell incoming freshmen  to work hard

but never lose the ability to see the silver-lining in life. Life is too short and too hard to not be happy. 

Katie Isham, Accounting major from Decatur, Texas

After graduation, I plan to work at PwC in Dallas as an Audit Associate. I’m most excited to go out and use the skills and knowledge I’ve learned throughout college to bless others. I’m not sure what that will look like, but I know that God has big plans- I’m just glad to be a part of them! 

Katie Isham

My favorite ACU memory…. hmmm. There’s not a certain memory that sticks out to me, rather my favorite thing about ACU is the people. Finding and creating friendships with diverse people who have the same aim, to love the Lord by loving others, has been instrumental in making me who I am. 
 
My advice to incoming freshmen is don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. You’ll regret the opportunities you didn’t take and the friends you didn’t make. Keep your relationship with the Lord your main priority and join a church and Bible study right away! Regardless of what happens in your next four years, know that God so loved you that he sent his son to die for you as an atonement for your sins, so that through GRACE you are saved, not by your own works. Give all the glory to God! 

Jack Oduro, Accounting major from Garland, Texas

After graduation, I am going to take a missional focused trip to Ghana for

Jack Oduro

the summer. Then, I begin getting ready for my full time job with Weaver & Tidwell LLP in Dallas. I am excited about graduation and grateful that all of my family is in one place for the first time in two years

 
My favorite ACU memory is…truly, any time I got to spend time with the people at this school was inspiring. Some of my best moments may include late night strolls around campus and potential trespassing with life-long friends, friendships which began here. 
 
My favorite classes were Social Entrepreneurship with Laura Philips and Leadership Summit with the Lytle Center for Faith and Leadership. They are both up there in the extraordinary classes category. They both live up to ACU’s commitment of creating leaders for Christian service around the world. 
 
My advice for the fishy is to seek to genuinely serve others because big changes start with the little acts of service.
 
Congratulations to the class of 2018! As Minor Meyers said, “Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.”
 

Personal Finance Has Never Made More Sense

by   |  05.02.18  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, College Decisions, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Uncategorized

Personal Financial Planning (FIN 416) is an introduction to the methodology and discipline of personal financial planning. The class focuses on the comprehensive and ongoing planning process that seeks to quantify personal financial objectives. Dr. Kyle Tippens has taught Personal Financial Planning for several years. Tippens was personally motivated to teach this class because it covers a topic that he has always been interested in and researched. He had spent a lot of time talking with his colleagues about real-world financial matters that affected them and is always trying to figure out how to save for the future in the best way possible.

Dr. Kyle Tippens, Professor

In Personal Financial Planning, Tippens begins with what the Bible has to say about money. “We talk a lot about stewardship, giving, and what those mean for those who live a life called to Christ and practical ways to put those in practice,” said Tippens. Students learn how to plan for themselves and about all of the seemingly-daunting financial decisions they will soon start to make. They learn about savings and checking accounts, budgeting, what insurance to buy or not buy, how to save for retirement, estate planning, and much more. Tippens wants students to understand that finances do not have to be overwhelming. Breaking it down into pieces helps to demystify finances and students often realize that it is not as complicated as people make it seem. “Students often describe this class as the learning-how-to-be-an-adult class,” said Tippens. “At the bottom line, it is about how to be out in the real world and not be overwhelmed by all of the choices that will be available to you.”

Many students who have taken Personal Financial Planning have contacted Tippens after graduation and tell him how they have used materials from the class just weeks after graduating and feel more ready and prepared than most of their peers. Aric Wilson, a sophomore management major from The Woodlands, is currently taking Personal Financial Planning. “I was amazed by how many everyday things that I will definitely need to know after graduation that I had no clue about,” noted Wilson. “This class is about life and how to succeed in the future and I feel much more prepared for taking it.” Wilson also appreciated how Tippens teaches the class using personal examples from his life and believes that the reason he gets so much out of the class is the way Tippens works hard to teach it in relatable ways. Even though there are so many practical topics that are thoroughly covered and explained in Personal Financial Planning, Tippens hopes that a student’s biggest takeaway from the class is the importance of generosity, saving, and living beneath their means.

Another unique aspect of Personal Financial Planning that it has no prerequisites, which is very unusual for a 400-level finance class. “Regardless of your major,” explained Tippens. “If you focus on the class you will do well. There are no incredible math skills necessary.” For this reason, Personal Financial Planning is a popular elective all around campus. Students of all majors have registered for the class to learn more about preparing for their future. Olivia Dahl, a senior biology major from Round Rock, took Personal Financial Planning because she wanted to be prepared to succeed financially, especially as she enters medical school soon. Dahl believes that this class is the most practical one she has taken during her time at ACU and would encourage others to take this class because it is an easy way to be exposed to important information. “Dr. Tippens made it easy and painless to learn,” Dahl said. “It was obvious that he wanted to give us this information so that we could be prepared for the future. I would tell every student that has room in their degree plan to take this course.”

Personal Financial Planning is offered in both the fall and the spring. There are no class prerequisites but, to enroll, a student must have already completed 72 earned hours. The practical nature of the class and the dedicated, Christ-centered instruction from Dr. Tippens make Personal Financial Planning an invaluable class to students from every major at ACU.

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.

alums top golf

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.

brett-biggs (2)

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.”

COBADistSpkBiggs-036

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.”

faculty visit (1 of 1)

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.

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.

 

 

 

Spotlight on Katie Wick

by   |  10.12.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, College Decisions, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Research, Uncategorized

Dr. Katie Wick

Dr. Katie Wick

What is your educational background?

I was drawn to the University of Virginia for my undergraduate education.  The campus is a magical place steeped in history and tradition.  When I came to UVA, I was convinced I was going to be a doctor, and as I was taking my first course in chemistry I realized that I was going to have to slog and push myself through my prerequisites for medical school.  Simultaneously, I happened to enroll in principles of microeconomics with 550 other undergraduates and the class made my heart sing! I decided I need to dive into economics further.

My game theory and experimental economics classes convinced me to make the study of economics my future. Strategy, games, choices, and decisions came alive in the economics laboratory, and I simply had to find a way to get to graduate school to study further.  With the guidance of my advisor, I applied to experimental graduate programs and received an amazing offer from the University of Pittsburgh where the real work in economics began.

Playing economics games with handheld devices out on the famous UVA lawn with my experimental economics class (that's me on the very far right in the red and my advisor/professor right next to me). This was a big deal since it was WAY before iPads!

Playing economics games with handheld devices out on the famous UVA lawn with my experimental economics class (that’s me on the very far right in the red and my advisor/professor right next to me). This was a big deal since it was WAY before iPads!

After two to three years of the basic course work (basic is a misnomer since it was scary hard), I started my research in experiments.  My dissertation was based around two experiments I designed to test efficiency in public good giving.  It was such a thrill to conduct every aspect of the experiment and see it take shape from just an idea to the design then the programming, the recruiting of subjects, the running of the experiment in the laboratory, and the analysis afterward.  The day I defended my dissertation was almost as exciting as the days I welcomed my children into the world!

 

What is your work background?

You’ll notice the narrative of my work history exactly coincides with the development of my family.  My first professor job was at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA where I was blessed with amazing students who loved economics as well as game theory and experiments.  At the end of my very first week of work, our first foster child came to live with us, a little boy named Braden who we had the privilege of later adopting. Concurrently, my husband was in his family medicine residency, and when he graduated, he would begin active duty with the Air Force due to the terms of his medical school scholarship.  After two years of working at Allegheny, my husband was given orders to Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, TX, which we had to look up on a map! God went before us to provide a community of support including an amazing church and friends.

Dr. Matthew Wick, then a captain in the USAF on his first day of active duty service at Dyess with our 2-year-old son Braden

Dr. Matthew Wick, then a captain in the USAF on his first day of active duty service at Dyess with our 2-year-old son Braden.

I was 30+ weeks with our second child when we moved to Abilene, and I took two years off from teaching to be with our small kids.  I missed being with students and teaching, and I reached out to the academic community in town.  I started teaching part-time at McMurry in the fall of 2012 when I was 36 weeks pregnant with our 3rd child! I had missed the excitement of the first day of school in those two years away.  That was a busy semester!

I taught part-time at McMurry for one year and full-time for three years. We loved living in Abilene.  After my husband’s active duty commitment was over, we decided to stay and put down permanent roots here, and we had one more kid too!

 

What do you teach at ACU?

My main teaching focus at ACU is the principles of economics courses (macro and micro) and equipping our COBA students for their upper level business classes.  This spring I will be teaching one of my favorite classes on game theory which studies choices in strategic settings.  We also play a good deal of games which makes it a very fun and memorable class.  I also hope to add other economics topics classes in the future.

 

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

The mentoring process is my favorite part of teaching.  I love getting to know about student’s uniqueness and helping them learn material in a way that makes sense to them.  I went to a large university where having a mentor relationship with your professor was very difficult if not close to impossible in some cases.  It became paramount that my students have a different experience than I did, one where they were known.  In addition, I LOVE school, have always loved school, so it’s exciting that I always get to be in school!

 

What’s the best part of working with students?

I love that I get to be a small part of this transformational time in their lives.  College is a shaping experience academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.  It is a great privilege to be able to encourage them on this journey.  In addition, students make me laugh, and they help to keep me relevant.

 

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

When I’m not teaching, I’m usually at home or out and about with my “tribe.” They are my biggest hobby and my greatest joy in life.  Currently, my kids are 2, 4, 6, and 8 years old so they are still at an age where they require attention which is both great and hard.

Other than my tribe, I love to spend time with my friends, exercise, read, and I am very involved in my church community.  I have a huge passion for the foster and adoptive community, and we hope to open our home again to children in the future.

What is a good, early story about your teaching?

While I was still a student in my doctoral program, I taught a section of Intermediate Microeconomics in the summer when I was 24 years old.  I remember walking into the classroom, very nervous, and one of the students asking me about the professor and if this was known to be a hard class.  I giggled on the inside.  I guess they thought that I was taking the class and not teaching it!

 

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

Up to this point, I don’t think anything has topped the feeling of the accomplishment of my dissertation.  Conducting every aspect of those experiments and single authoring the papers created an incredible sense of triumph.

 

Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

Most Thursday mornings I work in my church’s food pantry where we provide groceries and household goods to approximately 25 families that day. These families and the others working the food pantry bless my life in tremendous ways.  I also lead a life group and counsel couples in the premarital journey with my husband.

 

Who is your role model, and why?

My parents! My father worked tirelessly to provide for us as well as let us know we were always loved.  He was also an incredibly successful surgeon bringing healing to thousands of patients and teaching hundreds of budding doctors.  My mom was the rock upon which our whole family stood, and she is our earthly guide in this life.  She also led each of her children to know and love the Lord.

 

Who was your most inspirational professor and why?

There are many, and I could pick inspirational teachers/professors for different phases of my life.

Childhood – my mom, Helen Johnson, who encouraged me to love learning and see it as a constant adventure at a young age.

Middle/High School – Dr. Tracy Inman who taught me an intensive three-week summer course in humanities studying different perspectives of the afterlife at my favorite summer camp (lovingly dubbed nerd camp by my friends and family). Her guidance helped challenge my critical thinking skills and nourish my individual ideas.

College – Dr. Charles Holt who opened my eyes to the world of game theory and experimental economics. At the time, I didn’t know he was such a leader in this field and that working in his laboratory would put me way ahead in skills for graduate school. I was so blessed by his leadership and guidance.

 

At UVA's Intermediate Honors (I'm on the far right) with Dr. Charles Holt in the center. We all call him Charlie.

At UVA’s Intermediate Honors (I’m on the far right) with Dr. Charles Holt in the center. We all call him Charlie.

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

Flying! Oh, how freeing it would be!  Plus, you could see the world from a different perspective and travel places quickly.

 

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

My husband and I were dating for less than 10 months when we got married!  We are coming up on our 11th anniversary this Christmas.

 

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

When I was in graduate school, I longed to teach at a university just like ACU. Working here is a blessing, and teaching, mentoring, and working with students is my professional dream-come-true. I am honored to share in the mission of ACU.

The Wick Family

The Wick Family

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.

The Ruth Allen Griggs Scholarship Donor Luncheon Honors Donors and Receipients

by   |  04.07.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Events, COBA Faculty, COBA Staff, College Decisions, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Uncategorized

On Tuesday, March 29th, generous donors and scholarship recipients enjoyed a luncheon in memory of Ruth Allen Griggs. Ruth’s children, Jack Griggs and Ann Griggs Berger, along with their respective spouses Ann Griggs and the late Bob Berger, established an endowment in 2015 to honor their mother and her spirit of generosity by having a yearly luncheon bringing together COBA donors and students. The goal for the endowment is to honor and thank donors for the scholarships given to the College of Business that allow so many students to attend ACU and to participate in many of the experiential learning opportunities that COBA offers.

 

Berger table

 

COBA students Bailey Thomas, senior marketing major from Lubbock, and Jack Oduro, junior accounting major from Garland, spoke to the audience about what receiving COBA scholarships has meant to them and the impact that it has had on their education and experiences at ACU. Jack said, “A relationship with a donor is usually one with some distance; however, it was humbling to be in deeper conversations with the men and women who have sacrificed time, money and energy in making my experience at COBA great. It (the luncheon) was one of the most effective avenues to allow donors to meet who their resources are developing and to give students the opportunity to express our profound appreciation. ”

 

Thomas and Oduro

 

Don Crisp, accounting alumnus (class of 1964) from Dallas, spoke about he and his wife, Carol’s experiences as young college students at then Abilene Christian College. Mr. Crisp encouraged donors to continue to pour into the lives of students at ACU and exhorted current students to give back to students in the future.

 

Cummins table

 

Dr. Brad Crisp, interim Dean for the College of Business, said “COBA’s donors make so many things possible. Their generosity eases the burden of tuition on our students and enables us to constantly innovate in our goal to consistently provide high quality educational experiences. We’re so thankful for their support and giving spirit.”