“COBA has played a major rule in my teaching development. With their supportive environment, I am incredibly grateful to be surrounded by such amazing students and colleagues.”
COBA congratulates Dr. Mark Phillips on his promotion from Associate Professor to full Professor. In the tenure process, teachers apply for promotion to obtain a new title representing a different rank of academic hierarchy. Faculty must meet specific criteria that the university and their department sets forth in order to receive a promotion. Because of his fit to the university and teaching excellence, ACU recognizes him as a senior faculty member.
After graduating from ACU, Dr. Phillips went on to gain his masters from Purdue University, worked for two years in industry, worked in full time church ministry for 10 years, and then spent three years earning his PhD from Oklahoma State University before returning to work for ACU’s College of Business. Phillips has been a COBA faculty member for 11 years.
Dr Phillips has been a key part of COBA’s academic success and progression, positively impacting the lives of students through his teaching, mentoring, and preaching over the last decade. Dr. Phillips was appointed as the new Department Chair of Management Sciences at the beginning of June, 2014. Phillips has done an excellent job managing this position while continuing to pursue his own teaching and research agenda. Dr. Lytle praises Dr. Phillips, saying that “his wit, his keen analytical ability, and his steadfast work ethic has accomplished much towards the mission of COBA”. Congratulations Dr. Phillips on your well-deserved promotion! COBA is blessed to have such a strong role model, professor, and mentor in our department.
Sixteen ACU students had the opportunity to study Social Entrepreneurship at City Square in Dallas during a January short course. The class was taught by COBA professor, Dr. Laura Phillips. In the short one-week time period, the class covered a wide range of topics related to starting and running a social enterprise (nonprofit or for-profit that has a social mission at its core). Speakers who currently run these types of enterprises, as well as those who consult and advise these organizations, came to share with the class about their own unique experiences. In addition, the class included student presentations on various topics and case study discussions. Students were also taken on a tour of City Square, hearing about how the business operates and ways they are trying to expand.
Many of the speakers were ACU alums, including Robyn Wise, Scott Orr, and Don Crisp. Scott Orr, an ACU and COBA grad, has served in many roles for nonprofit organizations as well as for-profit companies. He is currently the Vice President of Public Affairs for Fidelity Investments.
Scott’s Mantra: Using strengths to accomplish greatness.
Jerita’s Mantra: Bloom where you are planted.
Jerita Howard, an Abilene resident, also came to speak to the class. Jerita is the owner of One Smart Cookie, an online gourmet cookie and brownie gift package company. Like Scott, Jerita has also served in various roles throughout her professional career. Both of these entrepreneurs provided valuable insights on business operations and social enterprises.
Dr. Laura Phillips loved the broad mix of majors that were represented in the class this year. She says, “The class succeeds because of the knowledge, experience, and honesty of the 14 guest speakers. While not all of the students who took the class plan to start a social enterprise, I think all of the students benefited from the class.” After taking the class, she hopes students feel equipped to work with social ventures in the way that fits their life and career goals.
Emily Adkins, a sophomore Pre-Physical Therapy major from Irving, TX, enjoyed taking the class at City Square. She feels like she has learned the basics of social enterprises and that she could comfortably work in this type of environment now. “This class really pushed me outside of my comfort zone in a good way! I love social enterprises and I can see myself working for one some day. Listening to these speakers opened my eyes to how these organizations help people in an effective way.”