Spotlight on Malcolm Coco

Dr. Malcolm Coco

Dr. Malcolm Coco


What is your educational background?

Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Southwestern La.

Personnel Management and Supervision, Central Michigan University

Doctorate of Public Administration, Nova Southeastern University


What is your work background?

I was a United States Air Force Pilot for 22 years.


What do you teach at ACU?

I teach Human Resource Management courses and am the Director of Internships for COBA.


What committees/other duties do you have at ACU aside from teaching?

Too many to list.  I was Associate Dean from 1993-1997.


What drew you to teaching? Why did you want to work with students?

When stationed at Dyess AFB in the 70s, I met a number of ACU faculty/staff/and grads.  I determined then based on those relationships that ACU was special and that after my Air Force career I would like to work for ACU.

What’s the best part of working with students?

Working with young people with fresh ideas, passion, and engagement.


Have you ever given up any big opportunities to keep working with students?

The offer to be the Director of Human Resources at ACU and several other HR director jobs.


Outside of teaching, what passions and hobbies do you have?

Anything outdoors: bow hunting, fly fishing, and duck hunting especially.



Enjoying the great outdoors.


What is a good, early story about your teaching?

I’ve always enjoyed inviting local, national and international HR professionals to speak in my class.


Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

Being the Deputy Director of U.S. air force pilots world wide assignments for 40,000 air force pilots as well as being the Associate Dean during some of the most challenging times for the College of Business.


Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

I volunteer with Rotary International, Big Country Society for Human Resource Management, Military Officers Association, and Herald of Truth.


Who is your role model, and why?

Anyone of a few faculty who can fully engage students.


Dr. Coco on a field trip with students.

Dr. Coco on a field trip with students.


Who was your most inspirational professor and why?

Former Department Chair, Lamar Riench.


If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

To have a better ability to connect people with Jesus.


What is something that students might be surprised to find out about you?

That I was a State Champion pole vaulter and sprinter.


What would you really want students and alums to know about you?

To know how much I really care about our students  and how much I appreciate our student’s parents giving us their children for an education.




College Field Trips; AKA Networking Opportunities!

Field trips aren’t just for elementary school students. Many professors find taking students on field trips gives them insight on careers and industries they may have never known about, as well as building networking opportunities for students and employers at the sites that they visit. On Wednesday, March 30th, Dr. Malcolm Coco took 7 of COBA’s Human Resources track students on a field trip to the TSTC campus in Sweetwater, Texas. Their guide for the day was Hannah Love, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources. Ms. Love has responsibility for the HR function for eleven of the TSTC campuses located across Texas. She presented to the students on the functions of HR and the challenges faced by having so many different campuses located in eleven different geographic locations. She also discussed the challenges TSTC faces in providing training programs for businesses across the state of Texas tailored for their individual company needs.  The group enjoyed a tour of TSTC’s wind turbine and electromagnetic systems technology training facility.

Following the presentation and tour, Dr. Coco and the students were treated to lunch with the TSTC staff.  Dr. Coco said, “This was a very informative trip and the interaction with the students was outstanding. Too many times, students are unable to connect textbook learning with a real world application.  Having the students personally hear from professionals in their field really adds a new and current perspective to the subjects we are studying. I have found that HR professionals are more than willing to share their time and expertise with students and that is greatly appreciated.  TSTC is no exception.  The other added bonus is that field trips help to establish networks that foster job and internship opportunities.”

Judith Morales, senior management major from Fort Worth, Texas, said, “We spoke with the HR manager and she talked to us about the experiences she has had and how they benefited her in her career. One of my favorite parts of the trip was socializing with the other students in my major and getting to know them, as well as getting to know Dr. Coco, a little better.”

We’re grateful to TSTC for their hospitality and to Dr. Coco for getting the students out of the classroom and into the working world. Opportunities like this enable our students to grow and develop as well as connect with potential employers as they pursue their career goals.



Dr. Coco with students: Judith Morales, Abbie Hamilton, Sarah Stone, Allison Barton, and Kee Ana Ward

Dining With Dr. Coco: Also Known As “Mind Your Manners”

Every year, Dr. Malcolm Coco holds a business and dining etiquette dinner for students in his MGMT 373: Employee Planning, Recruitment & Selection class. This year, he held the dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 17th.

Throughout the course, students are taught the importance during the recruitment, interviewing, and selection process for filling jobs, and that personal appearance, non-verbal communication, and dining and business etiquette are very important to employers. Any one of these can disqualify you as a job candidate or make you a winner. After class instruction on all of these subjects along with a research assignment, the students have the opportunity to actually practice what they have learned with their classmates during a formal dinner and simulated meeting environment.

The dinner is the culmination of Dr. Coco’s planning, recruitment, and selection class. Students receive formal invitations and must RSVP to attend the dinner.  Jennifer Ellison, ACU’s Director of University Events, partners with Dr. Coco in classroom instruction and constructive criticism during the event to give feedback and instruction to the students.  A very elegant, five course meal is served and the students practice their dining manners and protocol.  This has always been a highlight of the course.  Unfortunately, in society today, proper manners and dining etiquette has become a lost art, but not so with hiring managers.  Good manners and dining decorum can be the tie breaker during the interview process and cinch the job you really want.


COBA Student Hayley Griffin Receives HR Southwest Conference Scholarship

Senior management major, Hayley Griffin, was honored at the HR Southwest Conference (HRSWC) on October 26th, as she was one of four students who received The Excellence in Education Student Scholarship. Recipients of this scholarship are chosen based upon their academic standing, involvement in their community and campus, and by recommendations of their professors, advisors and/or employers.

Hayley Griffin

Hayley Griffin

Dr. Malcolm Coco, professor and SHRM Student Chapter Advisor, nominated Hayley for the scholarship. Dr. Coco said that Hayley has proven to be an outstanding employee, currently working in the ACU HR department and as a student assistant to the COBA marketing and recruiting manager. He touted Hayley’s intelligence, personable demeanor, abilities, accomplishments and work ethic. As the current president of the SHRM student chapter, he said that Hayley has shown initiative and leadership as she attends professional chapter meetings and has supported the chapter’s request for student chapter involvement in joint activities and research. Hayley is also treasurer of the women’s social club Sigma Theta Chi, a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and is on the Dean’s Honor Roll.

Dr. Coco went on to say that, “Whether she is performing volunteer work for Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity or volunteer tutoring for an elementary school, she is always totally engaged. The bottom line is that Hayley continues to excel in every aspect of her life and has demonstrated superb initiative and leadership. She is the epitome of an all-around outstanding person. Whether it is academics, service to the community, involvement in campus activities, she is always leading the way. She is a top drawer person.”

Hayley receiving The Excellence in Education Scholarship

Hayley receiving The Excellence in Education Scholarship

The HRSWC is a regional human resources conference held in Fort Worth every October. The conference is a 3 day event filled with educational sessions, keynote speakers, and networking opportunities. The educational sessions focus on 8 different areas in HR ranging from benefits to HR development to recruiting the best talent. This year the keynote speakers were David Pogue, the founder of Yahoo Tech, and Soledad O’Brien, the founder of Starfish Media Group.

As a student attending HRSWC, Hayley said, “There are so many outstanding networking opportunities to grow your professional network. There is a market place in the convention center that over 200 companies set up booths to tell people about their company and solutions, so it’s almost like networking heaven! There are some educational sessions geared towards students and how to go about the internship/job search, how to network, and how to get the most out of the conference. This year my favorite session was titled ‘Essential Global Recognition and Engagement Insights’. The speaker presented research that was conducted on different companies across the global market and the differences in how incentive pay and culture are linked. For example, in Brazil, employees expect to be recognized differently than here in the US, in India, or in the UK. It was interesting to hear about cultural differences like this and I am looking forward to being able to use what I learned not only from this session, but the entire conference, into my future career.”

The Society for Human Resource Management student chapter is sponsored by the local professional human resources chapter. There are 27 professional and student chapters in the state of Texas. The Big Country SHRM is ACU’s sponsoring chapter and provides all types of support for the student chapter. Student officers are part of the professional chapter’s executive committee and regularly attend monthly meetings. The student chapter members are also invited to attend each month’s chapter meeting to hear the presentation for that month. The Big Country SHRM also supports the students by offering scholarships for attending the state SHRM annual conference and the student leadership conference. The student chapter provides support for the professional chapter by conducting surveys to gather information from its members and provides support for professional chapter activities.

The student chapter is one of 27 in the state of Texas and over 400 nationally. Over 10,000 students belong to SHRM student chapters. Each student must be chartered and sponsored by a professional chapter. ACU’s chapter is sponsored by the Big Country SHRM professional chapter. The Society of Human Resource Management is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. The society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 225,000 members in over 125 countries, and more than 575 affiliated chapters. Visit