COBA Student Morgan Lineberry Signs with the Carolina Panthers

We have lots of opportunities to celebrate career accomplishments here in COBA, but rarely are these accomplishments in the field of athletics. Because of this rarity, the fact that COBA student and former ACU placekicker Morgan Lineberry just signed a three-year free agent contract with the Carolina Panthers is definite cause for celebration.

Morgan Lineberry

Morgan Lineberry

It can be incredibly challenging to be a student athlete, but Morgan says that his COBA professors have done nothing but support him in his goals to balance school and sports.

“The professors in COBA have been an absolute blessing,” he elaborates. “They have demonstrated tremendous understanding in scheduling dilemmas as well as going out of their way to make sure I understood any material I may have missed due to football. I can say with confidence that I respect them because they respect the rigors of every student-athlete.”

In addition to working with him on scheduling issues, Morgan’s professors have done a lot to help him grow as an individual, not just a student or athlete.

“My favorite times, just in general, have been the times I spent in the offices of my professors and the time I spent working on projects with my peers,” says Morgan. “Getting to see and work with people outside the realm of the classroom brings an entirely different life to the atmosphere of COBA.”

Dr. Andy Little, COBA’s business law professor, has enjoyed getting to know Morgan as a student and believes that he is an individual who will make COBA proud.

“Morgan is an outstanding kicker and an even better human being,” Dr. Little explains. “It’s been my privilege to work with him in two classes and a guided study project, and I’ve probably learned more from him than he learned from me.  He is a quick, analytical thinker who expresses himself well.  He’s the kind of person who makes me almost want to switch my football loyalties and become a raving Carolina Panthers fan.  Almost, but not quite.  But I will at least be following his career closely, and I wish him the best.”

Congratulations, Morgan!




COBA Honors New Members of Beta Gamma Sigma

On April 23rd, fourteen COBA students were honored at a luncheon celebrating their induction into Beta Gamma Sigma, a business honors society. Dr. Monty Lynn, acting dean of COBA, described this honor, saying, “Given that the top 20% of the junior and senior class and the top 10% of graduate students in COBA may be considered for membership, induction into BGS recognizes exceptional academic accomplishments.”

Ashley Crisp receives her certificate of membership

Ashley Crisp receives her certificate of membership

BGS is a significant honor because it takes into account the merit of both the students and the college of business.

“Only AACSB accredited schools of business are allowed to have a BGS chapter,” elaborates Dr. Lynn. “Internationally, BGS is recognized as the best academic performance in the best business schools. We’re glad that the diligence and talents of our students can be recognized by an international standard.”

Allie Rostron, one of the students who received this honor, was thankful for COBA’s acknowledgement.

“It was a great honor and I was very appreciative. It was nice to see my hard work pay off.”

    Dr. Don Pope cannot contain his excitement regarding the new BSG inductees

Dr. Don Pope could not contain his excitement as he presented Allie Rostron with her certificate of membership

Courtney Richardson, another award recipient, said that she feels her BGS membership is just one more example of the wide array of opportunities that COBA provides to its students.

 “I was honored to hear that I had been selected for Beta Gamma Sigma,” Courtney said. “COBA has been a special place for me already in my time at ACU, and the ability to join this prestigious honor society only added to the numerous opportunities COBA has presented to me.”

This year’s inductees come from a variety of majors and include the following students:

Ashton Bailey

Jonathan Bryant

Lauren Carr

Corbin Cross

Michael Davis

Jenny Dudensing

Olga Ivasina

Keegan Kinder

Emily Kruse

David Legler

Amy Morris

Courtney Richardson

Allie Rostron

Paul Valamides

You can learn more about Beta Gamma Sigma on their website: We’re incredibly proud of these students’ academic accomplishments and the incredible way that they represent COBA!


COBA Students Study Alternative Lighting Options

We are so proud of Dr. Monty Lynn’s International Poverty and Development class for the work they recently did researching alternative lighting sources. The project looked at alternative sources of lighting that could be used in the place of kerosene, which is a health hazard. The Optimist did a great write up on this project, which you can read here:

Business class addresses lighting problems abroad

We are incredibly thankful for the way our COBA students demonstrate what it looks like to apply the principles of business to something bigger than themselves!

The Class in Front of their Project

The project is on display in COBA this week

COBA Students Speak at National Conference

On April 3, four ACU students, accompanied by Dr. Vic McCracken, traveled to Washington D.C. in order to attend the IJM Student Conference and Global Prayer Gathering. These students made the trip as part of their involvement in ACU’s chapter of International Justice Mission, or IJM. IJM is committed to raising awareness and stopping trafficking around the world, whether that be sex trafficking, child soldiers, or forced labor.

Kayla, Carlee, and Sarah in D.C.

Kayla, Carlee, and Sarah in D.C.

The Global Prayer Gathering, an event at which students gather to pray and hear the stories of former trafficking victims and caseworkers from the field, was very meaningful to Carlee Finkelstein, a junior marketing major from Plano.

“For me it was really amazing to pray with people all across the world for IJM and their mission,” she explained. “As a college student I know that I can’t just write a huge check to IJM to help with their work, but I can pray and that is what God has called us to do.”

Kayla Lawrence, senior accounting major from Cross Plains, felt that the student conference provided a lot of insights on running an event like Justice Week, ACU’s annual event focusing on social justice.

“I learned the most at the student conference by hearing ideas from other schools on how we can improve our Justice Week even more,” she elaborated. “It was very interesting to talk with students from across the states and hear what events and strategies have worked on their campus to spread awareness and what earned the most success. I thought it was very helpful and we plan to incorporate some of those cool ideas into ACU Justice Week 2014!”

In addition to learning, a couple of ACU students were asked to speak at the Student Conference about Justice Week and the way their social justice organizations are run here on campus.

Sarah Ratliff, a senior marketing major from Lake Kiowa, who was asked to speak at the Student Conference, said she really enjoyed getting to talk about what IJM is doing here at ACU.

“Getting to go is so exciting,” she said, “but being asked to speak and display our leadership is another thing. I hope that we can continue to have great leaders that can continue to set a great example on campus and off so we can make more trips like this.”

There’s a lot of opportunity for COBA students to make a difference in the world, so be sure to check out opportunities like IJM!


The IJM Group in Washington D.C.

The IJM Group in Washington D.C.

STAR Travels to Ohio for RISE Conference

Members of STAR at the RISE Conference

Members of STAR at the RISE Conference

You may have heard about Student Trading and Research, one of COBA’s student organizations. In fact, you may even have heard about the fact that they manage half a million dollars of ACU’s endowment.

However, you probably haven’t heard about the recent opportunity STAR portfolio managers had to attend the Redefining Investment Strategy Education (RISE) Conference at the University of Dayton.

Dr. Terry Pope, who led this trip, explained that,

“Day one comprises panel discussions with recognized experts regarding the economy and financial markets.  Day two comprises break-out sessions led by practitioners covering a host of topics of interest to the investment community.”

Whitney Stevens, a junior accounting and finance major who participated in the trip, said she was incredibly impressed with this year’s list of speakers, which included the following:

CHARLES L. EVANS, PH.D., President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

DENNIS P. LOCKHART, President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta


ROBERT S. KAPITO, President & Director, BlackRock

STEPHANIE LINK, CIO & Co-Portfolio Manager, TheStreet, Inc.

LIZ ANN SONDERS, Senior Vice President & Chief Investment Strategist, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

FRED TOMCZYK, President & CEO, TD Ameritrade

Participating in this experience had a big impact on Whitney.

“This experience allowed me to correlate what I have learned in the classroom with its practical application in the finance industry,” she explained. “The advice given by the accomplished professionals alerted me to some key areas on which to focus.  As my graduation date approaches it is exciting to know that my hard work in college is preparing me to be successful in my career.”

Dr. Pope understands the impact the RISE Conference can have, which is why he enjoys sponsoring the trip.

“I like taking the students to this conference because it presents the best collection of expertise of any conference available to our students,” he elaborated. “It also provides a great opportunity for our students to visit with peers from universities all over the world.”

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out STAR and the great things they’re doing here on campus!

Scott Orr Shares His Experiences in the Corporate and Nonprofit Worlds

Wondering whether to pursue a career in the corporate world or in the world of nonprofits? Scott Orr has done both, a story he shared with a packed room at last Thursday’s luncheon.

Scott Orr in classroom

Orr, who is the Vice President of Public Affairs at Fidelity, has had a fascinating career path since his graduation from ACU in 1984. Starting out at Price Waterhouse, Orr really enjoyed his job as an accountant. However, as he spent a Sunday afternoon in a meeting after having worked twenty-four days in row without a single day off, he decided it might be time to consider grad school.

Orr was accepted to Harvard, so he and his family left their Dallas home and headed north. Through the next couple of years, Orr found himself immersed in case studies, as he learned what it took to be successful in the world of business. Following his time at Harvard, Orr planned to head back to Dallas, get into commercial real estate, and make $1 million dollars.

Scott Orr

However, God had other plans.

Once the housing market plummeted, Orr realized he needed to enter into a different field, prompting him to take an internship with Fidelity that turned into an analyst job where he worked with government and municipal funds. For the next nine years, Orr worked at Fidelity and loved the work he did; however, he and his wife began to grow concerned that they weren’t involved with a healthy church where their children could grow up. Additionally, Orr was beginning to wonder whether or not his career was making a difference in the lives of others.

“I just thought, ‘I’m not doing much for the world,’” explained Orr.

In light of these concerns, Orr quit his job in 2000 and moved back to Texas with his family. In the metroplex, Orr enjoyed a couple months of retirement, during which time he began volunteering at the local food pantry. Through this process, Orr ended up on the food pantry’s board.

From there, he was asked to join an organization that worked with adoption agencies and provided ministry to mothers who had given their children up for adoption. He remained with that nonprofit until he felt that he had helped grow the organization as far as he was able to under the direction of his board at that time.

Once Orr resigned, God once again intervened, this time providing him with a job offer to be the president of Christian Community Action.

Because CCA was significantly larger than the nonprofit at which he had previously worked, Orr’s role was completely different. At his first job, Orr had done everything. At CCA, Orr had a staff, which he was able to use very effectively due to his new-found understanding of the non-profit world as a whole. Orr eventually left CCA and was delighted to return to Fidelity, where he was hired to be the Vice President of Public Affairs.

In this role, Orr has been able to find the best of both worlds. He is still able to effect change, but he doesn’t have to do the draining work of eliciting funds. In addition, he gets to spend a great deal of time working with the government to change legislation, as well as being responsible for motivating employees to volunteer in the community.

Orr would never have imagined that he would be back at Fidelity, but he is incredibly thankful for where he is now, as well as the journey that led him there.

“God really put these things in my path and put each step in my way,” said Orr. “Throughout this whole process God has given me the skills I need.”

Are you looking for God to guide your path?

Wildcat Ventures Provides Students With Small Business Experience

COBA does a lot of things well, but one of the things we do best is providing students with hands on, real world experience. A great example of this can be seen in one of our student organizations, Wildcat Ventures. Created in July of 2012, Wildcat Ventures is a series of “on-campus, student-run enterprises,” as described by President Hannah Ostertag.


Hannah Ostertag

Because Wildcat Ventures is a relatively new organization, Hannah has been involved in its development as well as its day-to-day operations. As a result, she believes deeply in the organization’s purpose and vision.

“The vision for this program is to create a series of businesses that are student-run and operated, providing an experiential learning environment for students to apply concepts learned throughout their coursework,” explains Hannah. “Students in this program gain practical leadership development and business acumen through the planning, implementation, and development of student businesses on campus.”

By the Fall 2013 semester, Wildcat Ventures will have launched four different enterprises: Connections Café, a t-shirt business, a phone-electronics repair business, and a sales and distribution business.

As president, Hannah has learned more than she ever could have imagined, including the fact that surrounding yourself with talented individuals whose skills complement your own makes any task easier.

“Working at Wildcat Ventures really gave me a glimpse of what it takes to start a business,” she elaborates. “You will have to work hard, extremely hard. You will have to live and breathe your business at times because if you don’t, the tasks that need to get completed won’t get done. There will be days when the challenges and barriers to your business seem overwhelming. But when you are reminded of your vision for the project, solutions to those problems can be found and those barriers can be overcome with enough perseverance.”

Thanks to Dr. Litton, Hannah, and the rest of the leadership at Wildcat Ventures for providing this incredible opportunity.

Be sure to get involved with Wildcat Ventures and support their businesses here on campus!

Happy Interview Season!

It’s interview season here in the College of Business. COBA students are encouraged to participate in an internship while they’re studying here, so most juniors are on the hunt for that elusive perfect internship.

Kyndal Coleman, a junior accounting major from San Antonio, is right in the middle of this stressful process. However, she took a few minutes to give us the inside scoop on what it’s like in the world of accounting internship interviews.

Kyndal Coleman

Kyndal Coleman

1. Who have you interviewed with this semester?

“So far, I’ve interviewed with Whitley Penn, Weaver LLP, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. I’m also hoping for the chance to interview with Lane Gorman Trubitt, Hartman Leito & Bolt, Ernst & Young and KPMG as they come to campus in the next few weeks.”

2. How did you connect with the companies you interviewed with?

“Prior to the application process, firms host recruiting events and visit ACU’s campus to speak to organizations like the Student Accounting Organization. This is a great chance to see what each firm offers and where you might be interested in applying. All of the firms I am interviewing with utilize CareerLink for their recruiting process. They post internship availibilities online and allow you to apply via the CareerLink website. From there, you can further connect by attending the pre-interview dinners in the Spring. These events are a wonderful way to get to know the people working at the firm in a relaxed atmosphere before interviews actually begin.”

3. What were you most nervous about going into the interviews?

“The “unknown”: not knowing exactly who you’ll be interviewing with or exactly what questions they’ll ask is a scary thought. While I can’t predict exactly what will happen in each interview, proper preparation definitely helps build confidence and calm nerves.”

4. How did COBA prepare you for these interviews?

“My Career Center mock interview was a very informative way to learn about proper answering techniques, attire, body language, and other helpful tips that could only be learned through seasoned professionals who are willing to give constructive criticism.
Additionally, CareerLink has been an invaluable tool in applying for and scheduling my interviews. I know there is such hard work behind the scenes that goes into getting such a wide range of employers on our campus, and this website simplifies and streamlines the entire process beautifully for students.”

5. What advice would you give someone who’s going into an interview for the first time?

  • “Don’t be afraid to ask questions ahead of time and during the entire interview process!
  • Ahead of time: Seek out the relationships of upperclassmen and faculty in COBA who have “been there done that.” It’s great to get advice and insight from people who have successfully made it through the interview process themselves.
  • When you meet the employer: If you’re curious about an aspect of the job you’re applying for, don’t hesitate to ask about it during the interview. Questions show that you’re engaged in the process, and allow for you to better determine where you’ll best fit in.”

Good luck to all of our students who are currently in the interview process!

COBA Continues to Produce Exceptional Undergraduate Research

The College of Business at ACU is committed to involving students in undergraduate research, something that sets us apart from many of our larger competitors. While participating in undergraduate research gives students a hands-on opportunity to conduct research, it also provides students with the chance to be mentored by a memeber of our faculty and to learn from them in a one-on-one setting.

Ashley Truong, a junior marketing major, has had the opportunity to work with Dr. Malcolm Coco on research concerning internships. Ashley describes this project’s focus, saying,

“Our research paper, ‘Content Analysis of Student and Company Reactions to a University Internship Program,’ is about the purpose of internships, the advantages and disadvantages of internships, host companies, student likes and dislikes about internships, and suggestions for host companies and students.”

For the past several years, Dr. Coco has surveyed all COBA interns and their host companies at the conclusion of each internship. Through this survey, Dr. Coco has collected data on suggestions that host companies have for their interns and vice versa, as well as likes and dislikes that each party had about the internship. Because this study has spanned multiple years, Dr. Coco has been able to compile a list of recommendations for both interns and host companies that should help internships flow smoothly.

Dr. Malcolm Coco

“At the start of each internship program, I provide the students and host companies a master list of the data collected over the past 10 years,” Dr. Coco elaborated. “This information will hopefully tell the interns and host company representatives what will make their internship experience more meaningful.  In other words, to do the things that work and avoid the things that don’t.”

In addition to the external benefits of Dr. Coco’s research results, the actual research process has numerous benefits for students like Ashley, an aspect of the project that Dr. Coco believes is important.

“It is fun to do research with undergrads.  It hopefully encourages them to think about masters and maybe doctoral work and of course increases their knowledge about the subject being researched,” he said.

Ashley has enjoyed working on this project, although she has discovered that learning how to find research can be challenging. In spite of the challenges, she feels that the project has taught her a lot, in addition to being very rewarding.

“This has not only been a huge blessing, but it has also been a great learning experience,” she explained. “I have been able to work directly with Dr. Coco on this research project, and project has also allowed me to use what I have learned and apply it to my current classes, especially Marketing Research…I think everyone should find a mentor and friend during college and beyond.”

Congratulations to Ashley Truong and Dr. Malcolm Coco on their acceptance to the ACU Undergraduate Research Festival and to the International Academy of Business and Public Administration Disciplines Conference in Dallas!

Chad Hutchins Named as New Entrepreneur-in-Residence

COBA is full of students with fantastic entrepreneurial ideas. However, many of these students don’t know how to develop these innovative concepts. One great way for students to engage in entrepreneurial training is by working with our new Entrepreneur in Residence, Chad Hutchins.

Chad Hutchins, Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Chad, a 2008 graduate who studied computer science with a focus in business, has always had an affinity for entrepreneurship. Chad explains,

“Since grade school, there’s always been some project on the side I worked on that I considered my ‘business’ at the time, which varied from mowing yards to making websites. “

While here at ACU, Chad, along with three other students, created Sheepdog, a service that assisted companies in identifying the social networks that their customers were using. While Sheepdog wasn’t a big money maker, it provided Hutchins with valuable learning experience from the time he came up with the idea in 2008 until 2010 when he and his friends sold the intellectual property to another startup.

Since Sheepdog, Chad has been involved in two additional startups, the most recent of which is called SugarOutfitters.

“It’s an app store for SugarCRM, a popular CRM solution,” explains Chad. “We spent nine months building the company and website, which we launched in September. Since then, sales have been going up every month.”

After successfully starting three different companies, Chad has learned a few things, one of which is the importance of having a solid business plan.

“Building whatever it is you want to sell is the easy part,” he elaborates. “It’s the marketing and distribution that will make or break you. So having a laser-focused target market and a strong plan for reaching that market is extremely important.”

In his new role as Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Chad will be in his office in the eHub every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. During these times, he will be able to meet with students in order to help them achieve the same entrepreneurial success he has enjoyed.

Chad is excited about this opportunity, because he can easily identify with the students with whom he will be working.

“Having been in their exact shoes, the thing that excites me most is being able to help provide the things I wished were available to me as I tried to build my own businesses while at ACU,” says Chad. “The college experience is such a unique time in a person’s life, a time that you don’t get back. I believe trying to build a business during that time is the best time to do so.”

Be sure to check out Chad’s latest startup, SugarOutfitters, by clicking here, and don’t hesitate to email him at