What is your educational background?
I graduated from ACU with a BA in Political Science in 1997, then received a JD from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2000. I also earned an MA in History from West Texas A&M in 2014.
What is your work background?
I practiced law from 2000 to 2010, primarily at a regional law firm in Amarillo. My legal practice encompassed employment law and business litigation.
What do you teach at ACU?
I teach the business law classes, and occasionally teach a class related to ethics and corporate social responsibility. I also teach Honors College colloquia from time to time.
What committees/other duties do you have at ACU aside from teaching?
In addition to teaching, I also serve as Associate Dean of the College of Business Administration.
What drew you to teaching? Why did you want to work with students?
I grew up the son of an ACU professor, and I had a wonderful experience at ACU as an undergrad, so I think I always knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to be back in the university setting at some point.
What’s the best part of working with students?
Students have a spirited vitality and sense of hope within them that keeps me young. I really enjoy walking alongside them at this transitional phase of their lives. In my better moments, perhaps there is an opportunity for me to share my faith journey with them, and for us to learn from one another.
Have you ever given up any big opportunities to keep working with students?
This is a hard question to answer. At a very superficial level, yes, I gave up considerable income and positional power as a partner at a regional law firm to work here at ACU. But during the time period in which I made the transition to teaching (around 2010), I was in the process of discovering that money and power weren’t my priorities anyway, so I’m not sure I was giving up something I really wanted in the first place. I guess I would say I gave up something I thought I wanted.
Outside of teaching, what passions and hobbies do you have?
I like the wilderness—hiking, backpacking, skiing, camping with family and friends, etc. I like music. I read a lot of books about history and religion. I try to be involved with my church family.
What is a good, early story about your teaching?
I had a student named Brody Smith who insisted that we listen to part of the Top Gun soundtrack one morning in BLAW 461. I liked Brody. And I liked Top Gun. So I accommodated his request. It was a great class period. I’m sure everyone learned a lot that day.
Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
I was honored to be ACU’s Teacher of the Year in 2012.
Do you do any charity or non-profit work?
I’ve been on the boards of directors for several non-profits over the last 15 years, most recently the Christian Village of Abilene.
Who is your role model, and why?
He will likely be embarrassed by this mention, but I’ve tried to watch Monty Lynn closely to see how I can better emulate him as he emulates Christ.
Who was your most inspirational professor and why?
Mel Hailey in the Political Science Department consistently made me think deeper than any other professor. In a series of three courses dealing with political theory, he led us through an extended collection of readings that addressed the central question, “What is justice?,” which has animated much of my professional and intellectual career ever since.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
Who’s to say I don’t already have superpowers?
What is something that students might be surprised to find out about you?
I’m a big fan of the punk band Social Distortion.
What would you really want students and alums to know about you?
As before, this is a hard question to answer. The easy, church-y way to answer it would be to say, “I want others to know Jesus when they know me.” And this would be a true statement, so far as it goes. But I’m also realistic enough to know that I am not Jesus, and that the Jesus people get to know when they know me probably looks and feels different than the Jesus they might get to know if they know someone else.
It’s also a hard question to answer because I’m a private person, and I’m not comfortable being known through social media at all. This is not a space in which I want to live, so I choose not to disclose much in these kinds of formats. I prefer unmediated relationships in which to know others and be known by them.