Archive for ‘Human Resource Management’

COBA Students Attend HRSouthwest Conference

by   |  10.23.17  |  Academics, Current Students, Human Resource Management, Uncategorized

Last week, eleven COBA students attended the HRSouthwest Conference (HRSWC) in Fort Worth, TX. The HRSWC is the largest regional educational and networking event for human resource professionals. HRSWC is organized by DallasHR, the Dallas-based SHRM Affiliate Chapter. More than 2,500 HR professionals attended the conference and had the opportunity to hear from keynote speakers Laura Bush and John O’Leary, attend educational sessions, and connect with other professionals as well as experience new ideas and technology in the HRSWC Marketplace.

Dr. Malcom Coco, Dr. Phil Vardiman, and students at the HRSWC.

Society of Human Resource Management Sponsor Dr. Malcom Coco said the conference “was an awesome opportunity for the eleven attending students to meet and network with the conference attendees”. This conference provided an opportunity for the students to learn more about their discipline. It also helped them to determine if they wanted to go into the HR field, what part of the field interested them, and gave them an opportunity to meet hundreds of HR professionals to expand their individual network for possible future jobs.
Tom Harris, a senior management major and full-time manager at The Men’s Wearhouse, was encouraged by Dr. Phil Vardiman to attend the conference so that he could connect with HR professionals. Harris said that his conversation with Linda Swindling was the standout of his conference experience. Swindling is a Certified Speaking Professional, “Recovering Attorney,” the past-president of the National Speaker Association, the current President of Journey On!, her own speaking and consulting company, and the author of more than 20 books. Harris talked with her at length before Swindling’s presentation about her history and experiences and was even called on stage during her presentation to share a few words. Harris said that the most helpful thing he learned at the conference was the importance of being intentional. Their full schedules during the conference required some creativity on his part so that he could connect with people. “If someone I wanted to talk to was in a hurry to get to a speaking session, I would try my best to be in a hurry with them,” he said. “Have your main course at one table, meet everyone that is sitting near you, shake their hands, and go get your dessert and do the same thing at a different table.” Harris believes that it is important to take advantage of every possible networking opportunity and felt that the HRSWC allowed him to do this and to practice his networking skills.

Dr. Phil Vardiman Named Director of COBA’s Online Graduate Business Programs

by   |  08.01.17  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Human Resource Management, MBA, Uncategorized

Dr. Brad Crisp announced last week that Dr. Phil Vardiman, Professor of Management, will begin serving as director of COBA’s online graduate business programs beginning August 1, 2017. Dr. Vardiman will have responsibility for the MBA and MS in Management (MSM) programs offered in collaboration with ACU-Dallas and will interface with other ACU-Dallas programs through their academic and leadership councils.

 Dr. Phil Vardiman

Vardiman earned a Bachelor of Science from ACU in 1976, earned his MBA from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in 1992, and holds a Doctor of Philosophy from Texas A&M. Phil has a long history both in education and industry, having served as the Regional Human Resources Director for Cardinal Health from 1997-2000, Human Resources Manager for Avery Dennison Corporation from 1986-1997, and Production Supervisor/Quality Analyst for General Tire & Rubber Company from 1977-1986. He has been heavily involved with human resources and entrepreneurship organizations in both educational and industry settings and has published numerous articles in academic journals as well as presenting papers at 16 academic conferences. Dr. Vardiman also actively consults for businesses, working with them in the areas of human resources, training, quality, safety, and leadership development. Vardiman has taught at ACU since 2002, with special teaching interests in Human Resource Management, Entrepreneurship, Management & Organizational Behavior, Leadership Development, Safety & Health, and Organizational Development. In addition to these teaching interests, he has been active in leading students on COBA Study Abroad trips, traveling to Australia, China, Honduras, and Oxford as well as working with numerous university service activities, advising and club sponsored activities. Known to his students for his “Conceptual Truths” and enthusiasm, to say that Phil Vardiman has a passion for helping others grow and succeed would be an understatement.

When talking about his new appointment, Dr. Vardiman says that he is excited about serving on the COBA and ACU-Dallas Leadership Teams and for the opportunity to understand ACU-Dallas better. While serving as ACU Faculty Senate Chair, one goal of his had been to help ACU faculty become more familiar with ACU-Dallas and to build relationships between the ACU on-campus faculty and the ACU online faculty. When asked what his priorities will be while serving as the Director of the COBA online graduate programs, Vardiman said that he will look at faculty, possible changes or additions to course curriculum, and increasing student enrollment. He anticipates looking at the MBA concentrations to affirm what is working and what can be developed to increase offerings to online graduate students, stating that at this time, there is no intention to add concentrations but there may be additions in the future.

Dr. Vardiman said that he is most excited about the learning opportunity that this new position will require. His desire is to have a rigorous and solid MBA that is well respected and he is excited to play a part in making that happen. Should current undergraduate students fear they won’t have the opportunity to have him as a professor, don’t worry – he will still be teaching his favorite class MGMT 330 in the fall along with International Business while in the spring he will teach his Safety, Health and Security class. Vardiman said that he was adamant that if he accepted this new positon, that he be allowed to continue to keep teaching undergraduates, stating, “If I lost that, it wouldn’t be worth it.” Teaching is his passion and helping ACU grow into the future is the catalyst for deciding to enter into this administrative role.

Dr. Brad Crisp stated his support by saying, “Phil is an excellent teacher and mentor, and he recently completed a term in leadership of ACU’s Faculty Senate. Joey Cope, Stephen Johnson, and I are all excited about what Phil will bring to this role to support the growth and quality of our MBA and MSM program.” Congratulations to Dr. Phil Vardiman on his appointment as Director of COBA’s Online Graduate Business Programs.



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.



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.




College Field Trips; AKA Networking Opportunities!

by   |  04.21.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Careers In..., Current Students, Human Resource Management, Uncategorized

Field trips aren’t just for elementary school students. Many professors find taking students on field trips gives them insight on careers and industries they may have never known about, as well as building networking opportunities for students and employers at the sites that they visit. On Wednesday, March 30th, Dr. Malcolm Coco took 7 of COBA’s Human Resources track students on a field trip to the TSTC campus in Sweetwater, Texas. Their guide for the day was Hannah Love, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources. Ms. Love has responsibility for the HR function for eleven of the TSTC campuses located across Texas. She presented to the students on the functions of HR and the challenges faced by having so many different campuses located in eleven different geographic locations. She also discussed the challenges TSTC faces in providing training programs for businesses across the state of Texas tailored for their individual company needs.  The group enjoyed a tour of TSTC’s wind turbine and electromagnetic systems technology training facility.

Following the presentation and tour, Dr. Coco and the students were treated to lunch with the TSTC staff.  Dr. Coco said, “This was a very informative trip and the interaction with the students was outstanding. Too many times, students are unable to connect textbook learning with a real world application.  Having the students personally hear from professionals in their field really adds a new and current perspective to the subjects we are studying. I have found that HR professionals are more than willing to share their time and expertise with students and that is greatly appreciated.  TSTC is no exception.  The other added bonus is that field trips help to establish networks that foster job and internship opportunities.”

Judith Morales, senior management major from Fort Worth, Texas, said, “We spoke with the HR manager and she talked to us about the experiences she has had and how they benefited her in her career. One of my favorite parts of the trip was socializing with the other students in my major and getting to know them, as well as getting to know Dr. Coco, a little better.”

We’re grateful to TSTC for their hospitality and to Dr. Coco for getting the students out of the classroom and into the working world. Opportunities like this enable our students to grow and develop as well as connect with potential employers as they pursue their career goals.



Dr. Coco with students: Judith Morales, Abbie Hamilton, Sarah Stone, Allison Barton, and Kee Ana Ward

Dining With Dr. Coco: Also Known As “Mind Your Manners”

by   |  11.23.15  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Careers In..., Current Students, Human Resource Management, Uncategorized

Every year, Dr. Malcolm Coco holds a business and dining etiquette dinner for students in his MGMT 373: Employee Planning, Recruitment & Selection class. This year, he held the dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 17th.

Throughout the course, students are taught the importance during the recruitment, interviewing, and selection process for filling jobs, and that personal appearance, non-verbal communication, and dining and business etiquette are very important to employers. Any one of these can disqualify you as a job candidate or make you a winner. After class instruction on all of these subjects along with a research assignment, the students have the opportunity to actually practice what they have learned with their classmates during a formal dinner and simulated meeting environment.

The dinner is the culmination of Dr. Coco’s planning, recruitment, and selection class. Students receive formal invitations and must RSVP to attend the dinner.  Jennifer Ellison, ACU’s Director of University Events, partners with Dr. Coco in classroom instruction and constructive criticism during the event to give feedback and instruction to the students.  A very elegant, five course meal is served and the students practice their dining manners and protocol.  This has always been a highlight of the course.  Unfortunately, in society today, proper manners and dining etiquette has become a lost art, but not so with hiring managers.  Good manners and dining decorum can be the tie breaker during the interview process and cinch the job you really want.


COBA Student Hayley Griffin Receives HR Southwest Conference Scholarship

by   |  11.17.15  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, College Decisions, Current Students, Human Resource Management, Uncategorized

Senior management major, Hayley Griffin, was honored at the HR Southwest Conference (HRSWC) on October 26th, as she was one of four students who received The Excellence in Education Student Scholarship. Recipients of this scholarship are chosen based upon their academic standing, involvement in their community and campus, and by recommendations of their professors, advisors and/or employers.

Hayley Griffin

Hayley Griffin

Dr. Malcolm Coco, professor and SHRM Student Chapter Advisor, nominated Hayley for the scholarship. Dr. Coco said that Hayley has proven to be an outstanding employee, currently working in the ACU HR department and as a student assistant to the COBA marketing and recruiting manager. He touted Hayley’s intelligence, personable demeanor, abilities, accomplishments and work ethic. As the current president of the SHRM student chapter, he said that Hayley has shown initiative and leadership as she attends professional chapter meetings and has supported the chapter’s request for student chapter involvement in joint activities and research. Hayley is also treasurer of the women’s social club Sigma Theta Chi, a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and is on the Dean’s Honor Roll.

Dr. Coco went on to say that, “Whether she is performing volunteer work for Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity or volunteer tutoring for an elementary school, she is always totally engaged. The bottom line is that Hayley continues to excel in every aspect of her life and has demonstrated superb initiative and leadership. She is the epitome of an all-around outstanding person. Whether it is academics, service to the community, involvement in campus activities, she is always leading the way. She is a top drawer person.”

Hayley receiving The Excellence in Education Scholarship

Hayley receiving The Excellence in Education Scholarship

The HRSWC is a regional human resources conference held in Fort Worth every October. The conference is a 3 day event filled with educational sessions, keynote speakers, and networking opportunities. The educational sessions focus on 8 different areas in HR ranging from benefits to HR development to recruiting the best talent. This year the keynote speakers were David Pogue, the founder of Yahoo Tech, and Soledad O’Brien, the founder of Starfish Media Group.

As a student attending HRSWC, Hayley said, “There are so many outstanding networking opportunities to grow your professional network. There is a market place in the convention center that over 200 companies set up booths to tell people about their company and solutions, so it’s almost like networking heaven! There are some educational sessions geared towards students and how to go about the internship/job search, how to network, and how to get the most out of the conference. This year my favorite session was titled ‘Essential Global Recognition and Engagement Insights’. The speaker presented research that was conducted on different companies across the global market and the differences in how incentive pay and culture are linked. For example, in Brazil, employees expect to be recognized differently than here in the US, in India, or in the UK. It was interesting to hear about cultural differences like this and I am looking forward to being able to use what I learned not only from this session, but the entire conference, into my future career.”

The Society for Human Resource Management student chapter is sponsored by the local professional human resources chapter. There are 27 professional and student chapters in the state of Texas. The Big Country SHRM is ACU’s sponsoring chapter and provides all types of support for the student chapter. Student officers are part of the professional chapter’s executive committee and regularly attend monthly meetings. The student chapter members are also invited to attend each month’s chapter meeting to hear the presentation for that month. The Big Country SHRM also supports the students by offering scholarships for attending the state SHRM annual conference and the student leadership conference. The student chapter provides support for the professional chapter by conducting surveys to gather information from its members and provides support for professional chapter activities.

The student chapter is one of 27 in the state of Texas and over 400 nationally. Over 10,000 students belong to SHRM student chapters. Each student must be chartered and sponsored by a professional chapter. ACU’s chapter is sponsored by the Big Country SHRM professional chapter. The Society of Human Resource Management is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. The society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 225,000 members in over 125 countries, and more than 575 affiliated chapters. Visit