Message From The Dean – Fall 2023

It is my distinct pleasure to welcome each of you to this season’s newsletter. This edition symbolizes the transition of seasons and our evolving journey toward academic and professional excellence.

As the fall semester commenced, the Engler College of Business faculty and staff enthusiastically welcomed the incoming freshman class through the exuberant “Buff Branding” event hosted under the Hayward Spirit Clock Tower. This lively event sparked a surge of excitement, setting an upbeat and celebratory atmosphere for the upcoming academic year. Building on this energy, the College organized a special family picnic for its faculty, staff, and their loved ones. The event, featuring a delightful selection of food trucks, spirited lawn games, and a thrilling waterslide, ensured an unforgettable day for everyone in attendance.

Despite our unique challenges this year, our resilience and determination have been unparalleled. This edition showcases numerous accomplishments and heartwarming success stories that exemplify our commitment to innovation, collaboration, and continuous learning.

The Engler College of Business proudly continues to be the largest college at WT, with our dedication to fostering student learning and development at the core of all our endeavors. We believe in equipping our students with academic knowledge and real-world skills that prepare them for future success. Through innovative programs, hands-on experiences, and a dedicated faculty, we ensure that our students receive a holistic education that goes beyond the classroom, making their personal and professional growth our utmost priority.

The generous Engler naming gift serves as a cornerstone for the College’s achievements, and empowers the Engler College to embark on new initiatives and programs. Recognizing changes in the landscape of student demographics and employer expectations is ongoing. Both students and employers now prioritize specialized, intense, and in-depth skills. We introduced the Engler Edge initiative this fall in light of these shifts. Engler Edge seamlessly blends curricular and co-curricular experiences, catering to students’ professional and personal growth throughout their academic journey. The program is anchored in three core competencies: refined business acumen, bold leadership, and digital readiness. The Engler Edge meticulously molds these competencies, equipping students with the skills and insights they need to thrive in the world of business leadership.

The Engler Societal Impact Research Grant Program promotes region-centric business research that aligns research with local economic interests. This is consistent and aligned with strategic priorities to our commitment to the Texas Panhandle communities and to promote business research that is focused on the economic needs of the Texas Panhandle region. The Engler Societal Impact Grant was established to promote business research that is focused on the economic needs of the Texas Panhandle region. Grants will be awarded to faculty in the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business to encourage collaboration with local businesses, business leaders, and organizations whose purpose and mission is to bolster economic activity in the region.

We are preparing to launch three new academic degrees in our relentless pursuit to offer transformative education that aligns with market demands and needs. First, our undergraduate Digital Business and Innovation program, primed for the digital era, equips students with a future-focused skill set covering online marketing, AI, and augmented/virtual reality. This program ensures graduates can navigate and lead in the ever-evolving digital world.

Taking advantage of our prime location, the Hospitality and Tourism Management program dives deep into the travel and hospitality sectors. The Panhandle, with the bustling I-40, offers a rich context, making it an invaluable training ground for students eager to immerse themselves in this vibrant industry.

Lastly, our master’s in Strategic Human Resource Management is set to redefine HR education. This program, distinct in its strategic approach, prepares future HR leaders for holistic organizational impact. Our review of similar programs, like the one at Saint Joseph’s University, showed a gap in strategic HR focus. We aim to bridge this gap by offering a curriculum that seamlessly blends strategy with hands-on HR practice.

Our forward-thinking 2023-2028 strategic plan was initiated this summer. As we transitioned into September, we further catalyzed our efforts with a comprehensive retreat, gathering our faculty and staff. Within this collaborative space, we explored our strategic objectives, celebrating the immense opportunities ahead while thoughtfully considering potential challenges. Our college community’s unity and drive have been heartening and inspiring. Their collective passion and vision are forging a promising path, setting the stage for a transformative and impactful five-year trajectory. It is a significant step in shaping our next strategic plan for the AACSB cycle. Our facilitator skillfully guided us through crucial discussions and topics, underscoring the pivotal role of this retreat in our college’s growth.

Our College was honored with the 2022-2023 Student Chapter Merit Award by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). This accolade reflects the college’s dedication to offering students exceptional growth opportunities beyond traditional academic boundaries. Engler College’s commitment to molding future leaders and its emphasis on holistic development positions its students to excel in the dynamic world of human resources. Special recognition goes to SHRM faculty co-advisors Rahul Chauhan and Jillian Yarbrough for their pivotal contributions. The recognition by SHRM reinforces the belief that with passion, commitment, and innovation, the Engler College of Business is setting new benchmarks in student empowerment and professional growth.

I am delighted to unveil this newsletter’s ultimate compilation of stories, which spotlight our college’s exceptional accomplishments, innovative initiatives, and substantial strides.

One featured story is about Dr. Dave Howe, who shares his journey from working in a corporate setting to becoming a teacher at WT. He discovered his passion for teaching and is now excelling in his role.

Our college is the home of over 50 full-time, research-active faculty members, including six new additions with diverse backgrounds and innovative teaching approaches. Each brings vast expertise and innovative pedagogical approaches. Their diverse backgrounds and specializations contribute significantly to the growth and success of our college.

In this issue, you will also read about the inspiring journey of Erika Cedillos, an MBA candidate from Hawaii and a single mother supporting her three children through college. Erika, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, had to put her education on hold years ago but decided to resume her studies after being laid off from her previous job. We take immense pride in supporting Erika with a $3,600 scholarship, enabling her to pursue her educational aspirations while setting a powerful example for her children.

We also celebrate the achievements of Quade Hiatt, a Marketing major and a 2023 graduate, who won the Men’s All-Around Champ title at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming. He recently turned pro, but Quade remained dedicated to completing his education first, a value instilled by his mother.

Our Study Abroad program continues to provide invaluable experiences for our students. In an interview with Dr. Robert King, we delve into this year’s Study Abroad trip, highlighting its key moments and emphasizing the profound impact of such programs on our students’ academic and personal development.

These stories and updates reflect the vibrancy and dedication within our College of Business community. We remain unwaveringly committed to fostering excellence in education and providing opportunities for our students, staff, and faculty to flourish.