Riding the train from Oxford to London
Last Friday, COBA in Oxford hopped aboard our very first train to London. Excitedly, we stepped onto the platform of Paddington station. As we separated into groups, we were given our itinerary and left to explore the city until mid-afternoon. Most of us decided to take the tube (the subway) to the British Museum. We stood in the bustling station, confusedly trying to decipher the different lines and stops necessary to get there, as well as trying to avoid all the people who actually knew where they were going. Amidst the confusion, two of us were separated from the rest of the group. I happened to be in the minority.
Do not be concerned. My fellow derelict, Leigh Foith, and I did arrive safely at the British Museum, only to find our classmates visiting the ancient Egyptian pharaohs! This was a pleasant surprise, considering the magnitude of the museum itself, not to mention the traffic of visitors wandering its varied exhibits. After taking our individual allotments of history, different groups of us left to find some lunch. We then met, professors and all, at Trafalgar square to begin our tour of the Palace of Westminster, otherwise known as the Houses of Parliament.
Waiting in the rain for the Parliament tour
Dr. Pope and Dr. Phillips
We went through security and emerged into a huge stone building, with high wooden ceilings and steps leading up to Parliament itself. Our tour guide explained the history of the palace, and how it has affected England’s political system throughout hundreds of years. That huge stone building we first came into had been standing for almost 1000 years. It was so interesting to hear the history of England while we stood on the spot of its occurrence. And the art! The Palace of Westminister was extravagantly built by Queen Victoria; the richness and details of murals, carpeting, sculptures and the throne itself were astounding.
Our tour over, most of us took the train back to Oxford, and several left for Edinburgh, Scotland. The next day, a group of us girls went back to London for some shopping and the Queen’s royal birthday parade. We found the royal family, Portabello road market, and the lovely Hyde Park. A perfect combination! It was a busy, but unforgettable weekend.
Mrs. Pope at the Portabello Road Market
Dr. Ian Shepherd, associate professor in our Management Sciences department taught an Economics class this past semester where students used ipads as part of a pilot program on campus. He says in the CNBC article:
“It allows me to focus on coming up with a new application that perhaps is more relevant to a student,” he says. “It has reinvigorated my love for teaching.”
Click here to read the full story.
Checking in with our group of business students and faculty who arrived in Oxford this week…
Global Apprentice: Oxford
Junior Marketing major from Amarillo, Carey Cox, shares a little bit about the group’s first week across the pond:
We, as COBA in Oxford Summer 2011, began our journey together around 2:30 on Monday afternoon. Successfully passing through security, we bade goodbye to familiarity, and gathered to wait for our boarding call. Upon getting settled in our seats on the plane, we were notified of a minor delay. We left the ground an hour later.
Unfortunately, sleep was elusive to most of us, and when our group arrived, the majority claimed the sum total of a 20 minute nap over the 9 hour flight. I was a lucky one, having taken dramamine, and enjoyed about 4 full hours. But our delightful professors scheduled a full day of activities to help us get on the local schedule. Our charter bus driver was funny and cheerful, and goodnatured even though the rest of us were significantly less than responsive. He gave us some info on Oxford, and England in general, as we made the last leg of our journey through the beautiful English countryside. Once we arrived at our darling, 1870’s home and freshened up a bit, we ate yummy sandwiches from a little shop down the street, then headed out into the town.
Oxford is probably the coolest place I’ve ever been in my life. I LOVE it. Love. I can’t wait to go back and look at all the places we passed, museums and shops and pubs and bakeries and schools and churches and parks…and it’s gorgeous. Roses and moss and trees everywhere.
There are three classes offered for this session: International Business, Intro to Management, and Operations Management. Each student here takes International and one of the other two. After morning class, we went to the Oxford Market, which is an open-air, half grocery/half flea market open on Wednesday mornings. It was exactly like I pictured it would be, except maybe more disorganized. Men and women worked busily, hawking their wares and produce in wonderful British accents. We didn’t really know how it worked at first, so we wandered around the booths and watched other people buy things. After a while we figured out which stands were connected, and that you could get a basket and fill it, then go to a main booth and buy it. There was fresh bread, all kinds of fruits and vegetables, fish and other seafood, beef, chicken, dried goods, and candy. There were also booths covered with jewelry, dvd’s, crafts, and huge stands of clothes and accessories.
One of the wonderful things about Oxford is that you get to absorb all the breathtaking scenery while you walk around town. The downside is carrying your groceries back to the house. This is also a breathtaking activity.
Our whole class is headed to London this weekend to watch Parliament at work, then I am sure we will all storm off to various exciting activities!
Looking for some books to read this summer that are more meat than fluff? Need suggestions for books to add to your Kindle that you got dad for Father’s Day? Check out these three suggestions from Dr. Lytle’s summer reading list:
1. “Onward” by Howard Schultz – the story of Starbucks comeback.
From Amazon's Kindle store
2. “Four Seasons” – service quality book about the Four Seasons brand and how service established their success.
From Amazon's Kindle store
3. “Jesus Calling” – a daily devotional book that all the CEO’s at CEO Forum are using in their spiritual walk.
From Amazon's Kindle store
Let us know if you’ve read any of the above titles and what you thought!
Josh Stites has a passion for the city of Nashville. And he has a desire to serve the city by running for the Nashville Council. Stites graduated from ACU in 2003 with a degree in Management. While a student, Stites was involved in Students Association, Habitat for Humanity and Leadership Camps. He also said he was a student in the Bill Fowler School of Golf – where you learned secrets to networking while working on your short game.
Josh Stites - COBA Alum and Candidate for Nashville Council
Recently, we caught up with Stites to talk about his passion for civil service and how COBA helped prepare him for this path.
What office are you running for exactly?
I am running for the Nashville Council. It is the legislative body of the Metropolitan government of Nashville Davidson County.
And when is the election?
August 4, 2011 (Early Voting is July 15-30)
What issues are you passionate about that make you the best candidate for this position?
Nashville has great things going for it but its best days are still ahead. We are the healthcare capital of the country, an education mecca, and of course we also play a little music. But, like almost every government in the country, the current economic downturn has been hard on our city. The mayor’s budget for 2011-2012 avoids tax increases but dips significantly into the city’s reserves. It will require careful management by the Council to avoid a tax increase over the next four years. Maintaining fiscal discipline is a top priority. The business background that I received at ACU and later with an MBA from Baylor will be crucial to my ability to help lead our city through this crisis without any additional taxes.
Nashville is about to undertake an extensive conservation effort to provide miles and miles of trails for walking and biking. As an Eagle scout and someone who has always enjoyed being outdoors, this effort is near to my heart. This is a project that can change the face of Nashville forever, but it must be done responsibly and in a way that doesn’t over-burden the tax base. We must balance visionary conservation efforts with the development efforts of our city’s investors. Continued development/redevelopment is the only way a city can grow its tax base without raising taxes.
Finally, Nashville is struggling through some tough conversations right now about what as a society we will honor and protect. I am most excited about being a voice of reason and Truth during these discussions. Jenny and I believe that our country is hungry for men and women who will fearlessly and lovingly share Truth. If given the opportunity to serve, I look forward most of all to this aspect, having a larger podium from which to share the love of Christ. Without a doubt, my time at ACU has impacted my faith more than any other. I may not be the best candidate to accomplish this aspect of the responsibility, but I guarantee that no one wants it more.
How do you feel your experiences in COBA and at ACU have prepared you for this position?
Being in COBA for four years gave me the opportunity to sit at the feet of great men and women who share a passion for displaying excellence in their work. Because of their commitment to excellence in their profession they have credibility in what they say. My time at ACU taught me that if I want my words to be taken seriously, then my actions must lead the way. I must be an excellent Councilman in the way that I represent my city before anyone will hear the good news that I want to be able to share.
Also my time at ACU gave me confidence in what I stand for. I think I had a head-start because I come from what I consider a pretty awesome family, but the faculty and staff in COBA and throughout ACU really displayed what a Christ-like life looks like in the marketplace. This aspect of my ACU experience is priceless.
Finally, at Leadership Summit we read a book entitled Roaring Lambs. And although I don’t remember many details about the book, its core message was hammered home by Lytle and Winegeart, and that message was that we don’t need more Christian rock bands, Christian authors, or Christian ministry executives. What instead we needs are authors, writers, artists, accountants, IT professionals, teachers, and engineers who are Christian and who live out their faiths in the marketplace. This is what I am striving to do when running for the Council.
I want to be the best representative for my city, someone who is capable of solving complex problems, bringing people together, and building a healthy society for the next group that comes along. But, if I am able to do all these things but I do not share the love of Christ then it is all meaningless.
What advice do you have for current students that are interested in civil service?
The media always finds the bad examples of “public servants” but there are also a lot of great examples, our very own Bob Hunter and Ted Poe being two shining examples. Find the good ones and learn. Listen to people when they talk, always be honest; people can handle the truth, and never forget the greater purpose of your calling.
Josh and Jenny Stites