G’day from Australia: Days 2 and 3

Sydney Day 2 by Ian Shepherd

Rain, rain go away…..! Well, day 2 (Tuesday) was set aside for our first and only tour in Sydney. The day started at 6:30 am with early wake ups, showering and preparations for our 8 am start to the mountains. We met our tour guide Laurie and our driver Gary and set off for Featherdale farm in Blacktown. Strange as it sounds, this wildlife farm is right smack in the middle of the town where I grew up. It is by far the most hands on of all the wildlife farms in Sydney. On entry our students set off on their amazing journey down the marsupial road. It is amazing to see grown adults turn to mush when they get to pet a kangaroo or koala. The pictures will tell it all. I took both video and still shots to show the extent of our one on one interaction with the local fauna.

After Featherdale we set off for the Blue Mountains and Katoomba. The weather turned cold and foggy so our sightseeing was somewhat limited of the valley but we did get to ride the incline railway (52 degrees down slope) and then walk the board walk along the side of the mountain showing the coal mines and fauna in the area. At the end of that walk we got to ride the gondola overhead car back up to the top of the mountain.

After our ride to the top we ate at the revolving restaurant and enjoyed a taste test of both Vegemite and Pavlova. Pavlova was a winner….vegemite got the thumbs down from all except one! While eating Jack Rich’s brother Alan and his family from ACU walk up to greet us. We ran into them in Dallas while waiting to fly to LA. Then in LA we ran into them again. Then in Sydney airport we bumped into them again….and then….up at the restaurant who should walk up….but the Alan Rich family! The world is a small place. What a blessing that these kinds of things happen.

As we made our way back to Sydney Ethan, Leah and I hopped off the bus halfway down the freeway and were picked up by Susan (my sister) for a visit with mum (Grandma Audrey). So I got to spend a couple of hours sitting next to my mum relaxing and catching up. I am 55 years old and still love to see my mum. What a great day.

Thanks to Sue who drove us back into the city tonight and helped us with groceries and a projector for our classes tomorrow. She is a gem!

Tomorrow, just classes and preparations for two days of company visits. Keep the prayers coming….!

Sydney – Day 3 by Ian Shepherd

Rain, rain, not again! Today was a class day with Dr. J meeting with his class at a library near the hotel and my class going out and working on any of the special company projects required to complete the course. There is an increased frustration with internet access. To get access each room needs $125 for 7 days coverage and then only two devices can attach. After meeting with one student today I contacted University of Sydney (near our hotel) and they have offered a classroom for two days (morning and afternoon) that comes with full internet access.

Tonight we watched the State of Origin Rugby match between New South Wales
(N.S.W) and Queensland (Qld). One of the most brutal games of rugby I have ever seen. I can report happily that N.S.W. won….so GO BLUES!

Tomorrow we have an early start at 6:50 am to go to Johnson and Johnson for a full day of interaction with their executive team. I do hope that our students are prepared and well read. When I called to tell each room about our schedule there were no students to be found. They are all out enjoying the night life of Sydney.

Keep your prayers coming! We love and miss all our families in the U.S.A.

Congratulations to our own Dr. Andy Little, ACU’s 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Dr. Andy Little, Assistant Professor in the Management Sciences Department of the College of Business, who was named ACU’s 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year.  Dr. Little joined the College of Business in 2010 and teaches business law.

ACU’s Teacher of the Year is nominated by the student body. One student commented,  “Dr. Little has been an incredible mentor, friend and teacher to me. His classes are engaging, but more importantly, he has offered support beyond the classroom. He has been a life plan adviser – academically, personally and spiritually.  He is a great asset to the business department, and I have no doubt he will continue to positively impact lives of students for years to come.”

You can read more about Dr. Little and his award by clicking on this link: http://www.acu.edu/news/2012/120614-andy-little-teacher-of-the-year.html.

G’day from Down Under, ACU!

It’s summer and that means that we have student groups from COBA studying abroad. We have one group in Australia and one group in China as I type. We thought you might like to share in their adventure so just for the summer, we’ll be posting daily blogs/diaries of their trips abroad. We hope you’ll find their stories interesting, intriguing, and that it inspires you to head out into the world for your own adventure.

Sydney Day 1 – by Dr. Ian Shepherd

Most of us slept until about 8 am today. Classes began at 9:00 am for Dr. Jinkerson’s class and my operations class had a delayed start until 11:00 am due to internet connectivity problems. We are lucky to be located in a downtown hotel that allowed Dr. J to hold his class in a conference facility room downstairs. My operations class didn’t require direct access to the web today so we started off in my room and after instructions on the next few days activities, dispersed to begin the practical applications of our course readings. The students have completed the readings from 18 chapters of our texts, have taken quizzes and exams and are now applying their readings to many businesses across Sydney that give them an insight into the Australian culture as well as how businesses operate here. Last night we distributed 4 flip cameras to students for additional video recording of interviews and activities throughout the week.

With their iPads in hand, my class set out across town to work on several of the required business assignments. Students had the option to do whichever topic they wanted to first.

We had lunch with my brother Steve Shepherd and Debbie Roper. Good to catch up with family.

The weather has been the coldest and wettest days in June in over 5 years. So, most of the students spent the day running around Sydney finding wet weather gear and enjoying their first day of shopping in Sydney. At one point today I was greeted at the door by four drenched students with huge smiles on their faces….all were excited about the incredible shopping mall that they had found. It’s the little things…..!

Another fun experience for me was just having some of the guys drop by, sit down on the couch and watch some rugby with me. Relationships that we build on this trip will last a lifetime. Tomorrow we are off on a day tour to the mountains. Pray that the weather improves for us.

We do have one other visit to Johnson and Johnson scheduled that will take all day Thursday.


COBA prepares to send students abroad

The College of Business is preparing to send students and professors across the globe this summer. In June, Dr. Darryl Jinkerson and Dr. Ian Shepherd are leading a trip to Australia while Dr. Brent Reeves and Dr. Phil Vardiman are leading a trip to China. In July, Dr. Andy Little and Dr. Jim Litton are leading a trip to Honduras where they will partner with Mission Lazarus and focus on social entrepreneurship.

Students have an opportunity to enhance their directed course work with “active learning” experiences through our study abroad programs, which combine business fundamentals with international and inter-cultural perspectives. COBA seeks to develop globally competent students living out their lives from a Christian worldview, working together in global community. Check back with us throughout the summer for blog updates from each of these trips.