Written by special contributor Lance Fleming

Each day, students across the ACU campus display the university’s mission to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world through their actions and acts of service on the campus. Each year, students like those are nominated by their academic departments. From those nominations, 50 scholars are selected by the ACU Faculty Senate to receive the University Scholars Award for their graduating class. 

Among those 50 scholars who demonstrated outstanding scholarship by maintaining a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher, earning 90 hours towards their degree, and continuing the pursuit of knowledge in their research field, seven are students from the College of Business Administration. The COBA students who received this year’s University Scholars Award are Kathryn Crawford, Gracie Isham, Matthew Roberson, Will Harris, Diego Lozano Welsh, Ben Blackmon, and Garrett Powell. 

We will highlight each of the seven over the next month, including this profile of Kathryn Crawford. A native of Flower Mound, Texas, Kathryn carries a 4.0 GPA and is graduating with a BBA degree double majoring in Financial Management and Management with a concentration in Leadership. After graduation, she will travel this summer and serve as a Resident Advisor for the Leipzig Study Abroad program. 

Kathryn is a member of Sigma Theta Chi and participated in Sing Song with her club each of the last two years. As a freshman, she was in Sing Song and directed a Freshman Follies Hall act. She also volunteered at Palm House as a freshman and sophomore and worked in the Lytle Center for Faith and Learning. 

Kathryn recently answered a few questions about her time at ACU and in COBA, covering everything from her most influential class to the most unique thing she’s been a part of while at ACU: 


Q: What is the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself at ACU?

Crawford: “I grow the most when I am challenged. Even though it can be difficult, pushing myself out of my comfort zone has been pivotal to my development personally, academically, and spiritually.”


Q: What professor or class has impacted you most and why?

Crawford: “The class that impacted me most at ACU was International Business. I had the opportunity to take this course abroad during my junior year when I spent a semester in Leipzig, Germany. I not only learned how countries engage with one another, but I was also able to experience first-hand how businesses operate outside the United States. Touring companies such as BMW and Leipziger Messe allowed me to gain a new perspective on the possible operations and organizational structures of businesses in a way that would not have been possible in a traditional classroom setting. I came to appreciate cultural collaboration and international business through this course and plan to pursue this area more in my future career.”


Q: What has been your experience in COBA?

Crawford: “For someone who didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do entering college, I could not have ended up in a better place to explore my passions and cultivate my skills than COBA. Surrounded by encouraging faculty, I uncovered new areas of interest each year. The support I experienced from a few specific professors, such as Dr. Jody Jones, helped me find my affinity for research and ignited a desire to continue my education beyond a bachelor’s degree. With unique courses such as social enterprise consulting and S.T.A.R., I immersed myself in real-life situations that forced me to apply classroom concepts to actual projects. Most importantly, I will walk away most grateful for the integration of faith into every single aspect of my experience from my time at ACU. Between equipping courses like Leadership Summit and the consistent spiritual encouragement from my professors, particularly Dr. Marquardt, I was exposed to an incredibly unique experience. I leave ACU well-rounded and equipped to enter life as a young professional with confidence only possible from the strong foundation in knowledge, faith, and purpose that COBA cultivated.”


Q: Of all the things you’ve experienced at ACU, what do you believe will have the most impact on your life?

Crawford: “My semester abroad will have the most impact on my life. This experience gave me a new perspective on the world around me and my role in it. I came to appreciate living outside my normal, everyday comforts and continually found myself enamored by the cultural nuances surrounding me everywhere I traveled. It solidified my ability to love and appreciate my neighbors regardless of their customs, traditions, or beliefs. I hope that I never stop seeing the world with the awe and wonder I felt during this time, and I pray that God will use that for his glory wherever life leads me.”