Archive for ‘Poverty and Development’

Student Spotlight: Casey McMullin

by   |  09.18.17  |  Academics, COBA Events, Internships, Poverty and Development, Social Entrepreneurship, Student Spotlights, Study Abroad, Uncategorized

Casey McMullin is a senior financial management major from Colorado Springs, Colorado. This summer, Casey traveled around the world interning and studying abroad. He visited countries in Africa and Asia. Casey returned to Abilene with a changed perspective, new skills, and many stories.

Q: Where did you go and what did you do in Africa?

A: I went to Arusha, Tanzania. It was two hours from Mt. Kilimanjaro, which was amazing to see every morning when we woke up. We were based at Neema Village, where they house 40 babies and at-risk or abandoned children. I helped start a microfinance program so that local mothers can start businesses for additional income.

Q: Did working with microfinance in Tanzania change your perspective on business?

A: I think that the most challenging part was the difference between Tanzanian and American business and legal environments. When we were building the microfinance program, we had to do everything in accordance with American not-for-profit laws and Tanzanian laws so that they could get loans. A better understanding of business law would have helped.

The nature of business was very different in Tanzania. It was very simple. I had to go back to the foundations and teach the locals so that they could understand what we were doing. At the same time, I had to maintain the financial complexities I had learned so as to ensure that the program would function properly and long past our departure.

Q: What was the most impactful interaction you had with a local?

A: I think that the coolest thing that happened to me happened at the very end of our time in Africa. We only did one test run of a business since it took a long time to set up. We were working with a woman who started a chicken business. We helped her get funding for a bigger coop, food, and medicine for the chickens. On our last day, we were saying goodbye and hugging her. She gave us eggs and then ran to chop down her whole sugar cane. We told her not to, but she cut it down regardless and gave it to us as a thank you.

Q: Where did you go and what did you do in China?

A: We were based in Shanghai and also traveled to Beijing and Hong Kong on the weekends. I took a crash course in basic principles of entrepreneurship and Chinese principles of entrepreneurship. We examined

Casey sitting on the Great Wall of China.

the different opportunities to and ways of starting a company in China, visited start-ups, and talked with a number of entrepreneurs, both natives, and expatriates.

Q: What was different about studying business in another country?

A: One thing that struck me was the sheer size of China. The massive populations changed the way they did business in ways I didn’t think about. It was also interesting to see similar priorities between us as well as what each country values more. For example, the Chinese emphasize education starting at a young age and it was interesting to see how that affected business and the way people were.

Q: Did you have a big culture shock moment?

A: Oh yeah. After spending 8 weeks in Africa where there are no Chinese people, we were shocked as soon as we stepped off the plane. There were so many people walking around and they all seemed so busy. There was a class of 30 kids running around and yelling at each other in Chinese and the only thing we could think was “we are in China.”

Nicholas Weirzbach, Steven Yang, Dr. Andrew Little, Casey, and Jack Oduro smile in front of the Forbidden City.

Q: Compared to interning, how was study abroad different when it came to cultural immersion?

A: In Africa, I felt like I needed to immerse myself a lot more. I think that this was because I was there to help other people rather than studying for my own benefit. Being there for others drove me to learn the language and immerse myself more since I was not there for myself.

Q: Overall, what was your biggest takeaway from this summer?

A: Take any risk. This summer, I saw just how much people live with nothing. I think that the fear of losing something can hold people back, but that is a mindset that you just can’t live with. You should be doing what you love. Look for an outcome rather than a consequence.

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

 

 

Spotlight on Monty Lynn

by   |  01.21.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Poverty and Development, Research, Uncategorized

What is your educational background?

I studied social work, psychology, business, environmental design, and poverty reduction at Harding, Cornell, Brigham Young, and London.

 

Dr. Monty Lynn

Dr. Monty Lynn

 

What is your work background?

I’ve enjoyed teaching at ACU for more than three decades! Once in a while, I get the chance to delve into a business environment for a few weeks, most recently last summer with World Vision’s food security team in Washington, DC.

 

Dr. Lynn on a trip to Ethiopia with VisionFund

Dr. Lynn on a trip to Ethiopia with VisionFund

 

What do you teach at ACU?

Management is my primary field. For the past several years I’ve taught the Introduction to Business course and an upper-level course called, “International Poverty and Development.”

 

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

I’ve served in a variety of administrative roles, and loved each one. At present I’m teaching full-time.

 

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

We have 14 teachers in my family, nine of whom are university professors, so I guess you could say it’s in my blood. When my wife Libby and I first visited ACU, we immediately fell in love with the opportunity to contribute to a Christian business school. It’s been an amazing ride.

 

Monty and Libby Lynn

Monty and Libby Lynn

 

What’s the best part of working with students?

Although I enjoy teaching class, it’s the one-to-one encounters with students that create relationships and memories which remain for years.

 

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

I can’t imagine not working with students. Working in a university has been a lifelong blessing.

 

Dr. Lynn working with students on creating lighting for underdeveloped areas

Dr. Lynn working with students on creating lighting for underdeveloped areas

 

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

Several years ago I started keeping bees. It’s a modest hobby but it has some interesting bits—a little science, problem solving, the unbelievable wonder of nature, plus, the bees are always trying to kill you. Somehow it’s all quite relaxing.

 

Monty Lynn, AKA "Buzzy" the beekeeper

Monty Lynn, aka “Buzzy” the beekeeper

 

What is a good, early story about your teaching?

I overslept the first final exam I gave at ACU. I arrived ten minutes late with hair dried through the open window of my car as I drove to campus. Somehow the students knew.

 

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

It’s not career, the deep love we feel for our two children, their spouses, and seven grandchildren, and for students we’ve come to know—it’s hard to think of an accomplishment that approaches these in meaningfulness.

 

Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

Currently, I serve in a local church (Highland) and on a board in Peru—both of which deal with missions and humanitarian development. I enjoy delivering Meals on Wheels on Thursdays too, and often go with students.

 

Who is your role model, and why?

My parents and in-laws have been exemplars—they’ve lived creative and faithful lives, loving and serving, in pioneering and sacrificial ways. Friends at St. Benedict’s Farm in Waelder, Texas inspire me with their quiet and steady walk with God.

 

Who was your most inspirational professor and why?

So many professors have shaped me, including professor-colleagues. In terms of inspiration: Keith Warner, a sociologist at BYU, inspired me to think deeply; Warner Woodworth, a BYU business professor, inspired me to act justly; and David Moberg, a research colleague in sociology at Marquette, did both. Duane McCampbell and Dwight Ireland, professors at Harding University, forever changed me with literature and learning.

 

Dr. Lynn with students in Oxford

Dr. Lynn with students in Oxford

 

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

I have enough trouble living with normal powers, but to see one’s desire for God, written on the heart, and to expand human flourishing for all—how wonderful.

 

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

It’s a real stretch to locate a claim to fame, but my wife’s uncle sang backup for Elvis. Also, I was shot once (everyone survived), was lost in the Canadian Rockies, and I thought very seriously about taking a small airplane for a spin (literally, likely) after finding its key on an airport sidewalk. Oh, and I survived the ACU rodeo (barely) as a member of the COBA faculty steer riding team.

 

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

That God’s love, often expressed through others, sustains me; and that he loves us all.

The COBA Distinguished Speaker Series welcomes Lisa Rose on October 29th

by   |  09.24.15  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Events, Careers In..., College Decisions, Current Students, Distinguished Speakers Series, Faith Infusion, Poverty and Development, Social Entrepreneurship, Special Speakers, Uncategorized

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COBA seeks to provide opportunities for the students and community to hear from Christian leaders in the business world through our COBA Distinguished Speaker Series. In the past few years, we’ve featured Bob McDonald, Mike Duke, and Matt Rose. This October, we’re excited to host Lisa Rose, founder and president of the 501(c)(3) projectHandUp, as COBA’s fall 2015 Distinguished Speaker.

Lisa Rose

Lisa Rose

Lisa’s mission is to provide venues where people can find their purpose and learn to fulfill it. After growing up in Ft. Worth, Texas, and receiving a degree in Marketing from Texas Tech University, her time in corporate life was in fast-food marketing. She has spent the last 20 years in church women’s ministry leading and equipping women through classes, studies and events. She has served on GRACE’s Advisory Council and at the Dallas County Jail. Lisa currently serves as board member for the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, Performing Arts Fort Worth, United Way Homelessness Allocations Committee and was the 2015 Golden Deeds Outstanding Citizen of the Year. She founded First Friday, an event for women, in 2008, and is now committed to the lifelong project of establishing The Gatehouse as a community where women and children in crisis participate in a place and program for permanent change.

Ribbon cutting ceremony for The Gatehouse

Ribbon cutting ceremony for The Gatehouse

Lisa Rose is also the founder and Board President of The Gatehouse at Grapevine. The Gatehouse is a $28 million, 61-acre supportive living community designed for women in crisis and their children. The Gatehouse website explains that the community will house up to 96 families and includes a community/conference center, in-neighborhood counseling centers, Keeps Boutique, Hope Chapel, general store, walking trails and commercial space.

Keeps Boutique

Keeps Boutique

 

This community, which allows members to stay up to 2½ years depending on their individually tailored program, provides safe refuge and creates the environment for women and children in crisis to walk the path toward permanent change.

The Gatehouse community

The Gatehouse community

The idea for The Gatehouse sprung up in part from the First Friday initiative which began in 2008, when Lisa and a group of women began a free, once-a-month experience to give women a practical hand up for life’s challenges. The First Friday experience transformed into the nonprofit projectHandUp, through which the founding leaders could create a way to offer women a hand up that would lead to permanent, positive change: a place where women could be healed and restored as they end needless cycles of poverty, abuse and repetitive prison terms.

General Store

General Store

At that same time, Deborah Lyons, Executive Director at The Gatehouse in Grapevine, had envisioned a fully integrated, non-government funded supportive community for women in crisis. God brought the two women together, and Deborah joined the journey with projectHandUp. Deborah also is the author of the faith-based Independent Life Program used at The Gatehouse.

Community Center

Community Center

In August 2012, projectHandUp purchased 61 acres outside DFW Airport with unanimous Grapevine City Council approval, and the stepping stones were laid for The Gatehouse, a supportive living community where women and their children in crisis can discover a new path for permanent change. The Gatehouse opened in March of 2015.

Join us on October 29th for the Distinguished Speaker Series luncheon beginning at 11:45 am in the Hunter Welcome Center. COBA is providing the opportunity for 100 ACU students to attend the event for free by registering here. General Admission tickets are $20 and may be purchased at this link. If you have questions about the event, please email M.C. Jennings at marycolleen.jennings@acu.edu.

Read more about The Gatehouse at this link from the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

View the grand opening of The Gatehouse by clicking here.

*Information about The Gatehouse provided in this blog comes directly from The Gatehouse website. Visit their website by clicking this link.

Purchase tickets to the event by clicking on this link.

Dr. Lynn Goes To Washington

by   |  08.03.15  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Poverty and Development, Research, Uncategorized

During the month of May, Dr. Monty Lynn worked as a visiting researcher at World Vision in Washington, DC.  World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

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Dr. Monty Lynn, Professor of Management

Working with Dan Norell, a Senior Technical Advisor in Economic Development, and with a team of international professionals from World Vision, CARE, and Save the Children, Dr. Lynn participated in a research project using market-based approaches to enhance food security in developing countries.

world vision logo

While in Washington, Dr. Lynn met with representatives from several organizations including Bread for the World, ACDI/VOCA, USAID, and others. “Working with World Vision opened my eyes to the complexities of development programming.  From securing funding to partnering with regional field offices to designing and coordinating sustainable food programs and measuring their impact—this is challenging work.”  Dr. Lynn said that “Meeting with dedicated professionals in Washington and in early-morning teleconferences with professionals from Australia to Zimbabwe, I was impressed with the knowledge, passion, and skill of the World Vision staff.  It was a blessing to be with them, even for a short period of time.”

World Vision in DC

The Washington, DC offices of World Vision.

While serving as a visiting researcher, Dr. Lynn was invited to give a staff development presentation for the Washington office of World Vision on workplace spirituality.  He hopes to visit at least one of the sites included in the research while on faculty renewal leave in fall 2015.  “I’m thankful to the ACU College of Business Administration and to World Vision, and especially to Dan Norell, for an opportunity to learn and work alongside some of the best in the business.”

Join us on this blog as we follow and share Dr. Lynn’s work this fall.

Next Stop: COBA Heads to Central America

by   |  09.23.14  |  Academics, Current Students, Entrepreneurship, Faith Infusion, Griggs Center, Poverty and Development, Social Entrepreneurship, Study Abroad

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Group at the Cerro Negro Volcano in Nicaragua.

At the end of the the summer, 18 students along with Dr. Andy Little and Dr. Jim Litton, traveled south to study abroad in Central America. Students had the opportunity to earn credit in Global Entrepreneurship as well as MGMT 440, including special topics: Business Practicum in Central America. COBA also co-taught an Honors College colloquium on social entrepreneurship in developing countries. The group spent the first two days in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, stayed at Mission Lazarus for nine days, and ended the trip in Leon, Nicaragua.

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The trip challenged the students to evaluate how they want to conduct business in the future. They were able to use their business skills in social entrepreneurship, learning how to apply these skills in a missional context. Because the group was surrounded by widespread poverty, this study abroad trip was unlike other COBA programs. Working in Central America gave students and professors a chance to see the complexity and difficulties of globalization and economic development in third world countries.

Throughout the trip, students were able to tour local businesses, go behind the scenes with ACU alum Jarrod Brown at Mission Lazarus, visit a local Honduran co-operative coffee company, and speak to several different business leaders in Honduras. Unlike the local co-op, Mission Lazarus had a much smaller profit margin; because of their commitment to operating the business in a godly manner, they strive to treat employees fairly and with dignity.

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Stephanie Day, a senior accounting major from Oklahoma City, was highly encouraged by the trip. She believes in the power of the business principles she learned this summer, even if in the future she does not work in social entrepreneurship. Stephanie encourages students to get plugged in and study abroad at some point in their college career. She says, “There are so many incredible things we can learn in a classroom setting, but there’s something about seeing those principles applied firsthand in other countries that makes the learning experience so much more valuable.”

The encounters students get to experience while studying abroad are truly one of a kind. In Central America, students were able to see firsthand how businesses function in developing countries. COBA is intentional with providing students unique opportunities to integrate learning key business principles with developing students to reach their potential and find their missional calling.

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“Because each culture is so different, God is able to manifest himself in different ways; studying abroad is so remarkable because not only does it expose you to a new way of learning, but it also gives students the opportunity to see God in an entirely new light,” says Stephanie Day, a senior accounting major.

COBA Students Participate in Spring Break Missions

by   |  04.14.14  |  Current Students, Faith Infusion, Poverty and Development

COBA’s culture is built upon the foundational principles of faith infusion and using students’ God-given gifts to impact others in the ACU community and throughout the world. This spring break, several of COBA’s students chose to spend the week serving others in the U.S. as well as abroad. Students put their faith in action by humbly submitting to the work God was calling them to do this spring break.

Six of COBA’s students, including Sarah Puckett, Alec Hartman, Eric Koster, Michael Holeman, Hannah Griffith, and Mandy Stratton, traveled to Honduras to work with Jarrod Brown and Mission Lazarus for the week. Mission Lazarus is a ministry that creates a sustainable lifestyle for local Hondurans. The organization includes a leather shop, a coffee plantation, a carpentry shop, several trade schools, a medical clinic, and an orphanage where children can learn the key skills they need to grow and be successful leaders in their society. Mission Lazarus provides work for the Honduran people, enabling them to create ways to provide for their families.

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“Missions are not about bringing God to a foreign country; God is already working there. Mission work is really joining with and helping our brothers and sisters in Christ in order to encourage them, sharing the common bond of love that we have for each other through God,” says Mandy Stratton, a sophomore finance major.

Neely Borger, a senior marketing major, also went to Honduras over the break with a different team. This team consisted of eight members who worked with a dental clinic located in Choluteca. In addition to working with the dental clinic, the team also organized a VBS and a soccer camp for the kids at the local church. In the future, Neely plans on working with nutrition in various medical mission fields. She believes this week was a great opportunity to see and work in a different culture and expand her worldview.

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“I loved being the person that made the kids from the church smile. This experience was incredibly humbling, opening my eyes to see the world from God’s perspective and the need for love and affection in such broken homes.” says Neely Borger.

Landon Long, a senior management and political science major, spent the week in New York City working with Graffiti Ministries in Brooklyn as well as a kids’ after school program in Manhattan. Graffiti Ministries is a church that caters to indigent people in the Brooklyn community. Landon and his group aided the church in several ways, including cleaning and hanging dry wall. The group also ministered to kids by helping them with homework, playing games, and sharing a devotional each day. Landon will be attending law school this fall and plans on going into the oil and gas field. After working with Owen, the lawyer for Graffiti Ministries, Landon says he could see himself working for people who cannot afford good representation.

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“Working with Graffiti Missions in NYC showed me how I can use my degree in law to help serve the community, representing indigent people who are not able to afford good lawyers. I am excited to use my passion for law to serve others in need,” says Landon Long.

COBA’s mission is not only to equip students with the essential tools to be successful in the business field but also to use their unique skill sets to serve others in the world. COBA thrives on empowering students to find their callings in life, continually seeking God’s guidance and assurance for whichever path He leads them to.

Students Experience City Square

by   |  02.13.14  |  Academics, Current Students, Entrepreneurship, Griggs Center, Poverty and Development, Social Entrepreneurship

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During January, several COBA students as well as non-business majors took a January short course, Social Entrepreneurship, with Dr. Laura Phillips at City Square in Dallas. In the fall of 2012, ACU began to partner with City Square, combining curricular and co-curricular experiences for student leadership development. CitySquare is a faith-based, non-profit, human and community development corporation that promotes learning and formation through engagement, including projects, courses, internships, formative experiences, and degree programs. Courses at City Square offer opportunities for in-context learning, allowing students to be hands-on outside of the traditional classroom.

During the short course, 18 guests came to speak with students about social organizations and the different pieces that make up these organizations. The class offered a series of breakfast lectures where speakers discussed vital parts of nonprofit businesses that must be considered when working for or starting any nonprofit. Guests speakers, including Suzanne Smith, Founder and Managing Director of Social Impacts Architects and Co-Founder of Flywheel: Social Enterprise Hub, spoke about measuring success from a social perspective. Mark Jacobs, Senior Director of Operations for The Medicines Company, started His Chase Foundation in 2010 and is now focusing all efforts in Rwanda, providing 250+ students with educational opportunities. Mark gave students opportunities to engage and brainstorm ideas for his initiatives in Rwanda. Speakers also addressed questions concerning other aspects of a non-profit organization such as raising funds, the grant application process, how to start a board of members, social media, and the basic business principles included in a financial statement.

The majority of the class was comprised of business majors but all students found the information very useful even if they had no intention of starting an enterprise. Shanleigh Clinton, a nutrition major, says that she was worried the material would not be applicable to her. However, she says, “This class actually helped me understand how to balance mission and margin and how to have a greater impact in what I do.” Shanleigh plans on becoming a registered dietician, partnering with a feeding and nutrition education program and potentially working with a social enterprise.

Chase jon shan al pres 1   Fundraising breakfast 2

Al Shanleigh

 

COBA Students Study Alternative Lighting Options

by   |  05.03.13  |  Current Students, Poverty and Development, Research

We are so proud of Dr. Monty Lynn’s International Poverty and Development class for the work they recently did researching alternative lighting sources. The project looked at alternative sources of lighting that could be used in the place of kerosene, which is a health hazard. The Optimist did a great write up on this project, which you can read here:

Business class addresses lighting problems abroad

We are incredibly thankful for the way our COBA students demonstrate what it looks like to apply the principles of business to something bigger than themselves!

The Class in Front of their Project

The project is on display in COBA this week