Message from the Dean – Winter 2021

Dr. Amjad Abdullat, Dean of the Paul & Virginia Engler College of Business

This is a special time of the year for all of us. It is a time for celebration and a time for contemplation, gratitude, and reflection. While we are entering a second holiday period under unusual circumstances, what has not changed is our willingness to celebrate the accomplishments and progress of the past year.

As I reflect on a year like no other, I am especially appreciative of the support of our stakeholders. Their steadfast support of, and belief in, the fundamental mission of the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business is a continued source of strength. I am also grateful for, and proud of, the strident commitment of our faculty and staff to accommodate and support our students faithfully. While the campus has returned to normal operations in the Fall of 2021, all have done so in mutual care and support as we continue to emerge from past challenges.

As 2021 draws to a close, the Paul and Virginia College of Business has enjoyed successes and advances on a number of key dimensions that bode well for the college’s continued success. We have enjoyed record gifts from donors, earmarked and used primarily for student scholarships. We were able to award over 750 scholarships to College of Business students from over $1.75 million in available funds for students from across the university. The naming gift from the Engler Foundation continues to place the college in a position to attract and leverage donor support, which goes a long way to make educational dreams a reality for our students.

This Fall, we have added eight new faculty to our ranks, particularly in Accounting, to increase support for programs that lead to student success. In addition, we have enjoyed bolstered support for faculty research and teaching success in the use of Wharton Research Data Services and Compustat. Faculty have already begun to leverage these resources in the classroom and in their research. Finally, in October, the College and WTAMU’s Philanthropy and External Relations Unit presented the successful inaugural running of the Stan Sigman Leadership and Innovation Series, featuring Mr. Ralph De La Vega, former Vice Chairman of AT&T, Inc. These developments enrich our students, faculty, staff, and the broader community by maintaining the College’s positive contribution to the University.

Dr. Robert King, Bucky, and Dr. Amjad Abdullat at the Engler College of Business Tailgate in October

As we conclude the semester, our minds turn to graduation, which is a poignant and cherished occasion to acknowledge the successful conclusion of our students’ academic journeys. Graduation also marks promising and exciting beginnings as our graduates progress with the full benefit and enrichment of higher education. With tenacity, focus, and determination, these graduates have completed their academic journey while the facing trials and challenges of a pandemic; they have done so with resilience and grace.

In this issue, we share exciting news on several fronts. Our featured alumnus, J.L. Wiswell, has enjoyed success as proprietor of Toppled Turtle Brewery in Dumas, TX. We are always excited to share our students’ innovative and fascinating endeavors with their business degrees. Our faculty spotlight features Dr. Anne Macy, Edwards Professor of Finance, and recipient of the 2021 Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business Excellence in Professional Service Award. Dr. Macy shares how long-term professional service remains a key ingredient that maintains the health of the college. Our next feature is one of our newest student organizations, Women in Business, advised by Dr. Katelyn Sell, Assistant Professor of Management. Our student focus in this issue is Master of Business Administration student Natalie Saar, who has a compelling background as an author, including ghostwriting for Perez Hilton. Natalie shares how her experience as an author provides context and motivation for her business education. Finally, our legacy spotlight features WT College of Business alumnus Joe Austin. Joe leveraged his business and computing education to achieve career heights at IBM, Microsoft, and Juniper Networks. He continues to explore innovation in cloud computing with the S20 group.

Additional features in this issue include Dr. King’s articles on teaching students about philanthropy in partnership with the United Way and an upcoming Golf Tournament in the spring of 2022. Finally, we conclude by sharing some of the outcomes and goals for the college developed by the College’s Executive Advisory Board. The college is blessed with a broad range of board members who have significant experience to offer in advising and guiding the college.

I look forward, with anticipation, to both the challenges and opportunities of the upcoming year. I am confident that we will meet these challenges and capitalize on all the opportunities that these challenges may bring to continue on the path of success.

On behalf of the staff and the faculty, I send you all the best wishes for the Christmas and New Year’s Seasons, and I wish you a healthy and prosperous 2022.

If you have a story that you would like to be considered for future newsletters, contact Lynsee Bjork.