Message From The Dean–Winter 2023

As we approach the end of another remarkable year, I am filled with a deep sense of pride and gratitude. Here, at the year’s end, we enter a festive season that offers us an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments and successes of this past year in the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business. This year’s journey is one of progress, innovation, and collective triumph; I am pleased to share these highlights with you in this Christmas newsletter.

Above all, the end of the year reminds me of the greatest contribution we make,and that is the transformation of lives through education. This December, we will joyously celebrate a significant milestone in the lives of our students, whereupon 144 graduate and 145 undergraduate students crossed the stage in the First United Bank Center to receive their well-deserved diplomas. This milestone in these students’ lives symbolizes the culmination of hard work and marks the start of promising new chapters in their lives. We are exceedingly proud of each graduate and look forward to their future contributions to society as WT and Engler College alumni.

As 2023 comes to a close, future opportunities are also on our minds. We in the Engler College are filled with anticipation and excitement as we near the completion of our 2023-2028 Strategic Plan. This initiative began after the successful reaffirmation of our AACSB accreditation in March. The Strategic Plan process represents a significant journey of collaboration incorporating diverse perspectives from across our college community. In the spirit of this collaboration, the valuable contributions from our faculty, students, alumni, advisory board, and partners have been pivotal in defining a new direction for the College. As such, we look forward to sharing the details of this transformative strategic plan – “Gateway to New Opportunities & New Horizon” – with all Engler College of Business stakeholders early in the new year. The 2023-2028 strategic plan will guide and shape significant strides towards the collective progress and success of the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business.

Overall, Engler College has witnessed a pivotal year where our core strengths continue to position us for success.  While it would be possible to utilize this entire issue to highlight these strengths and successes, I will share vignettes of these successes here. Research and intellectual contributions have always been a strong suit for the Engler College of Business, and this year has been no exception. The Engler College of Business faculty published over 20 articles in peer-reviewed journals in 2023. In the area of student support, we have awarded $1.45 million in scholarships to 734 deserving students. In the realm of student engagement and competitions, two of our student teams ranked in the top 25 of the 271 in this semester’s Digital Marketing Competition, which showcases the practical skills and creative thinking fostered within our College. Also, in 2023, we have added six new faculty members whose talents and dedication will further strengthen our educational prowess. Lastly, our academic programs continue to be highly ranked and recognized for excellence by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, and the TFE Times.

In this issue, I am happy to share various positive activities, outcomes, and developments throughout the College and within the lives of those who add to the greatness of our WT and Texas Panhandle community. We spotlight Dr. Carl Zhang of the Engler College of Business, a rising star in teaching business applications and data visualization. He is known for his engaging style and expertise in machine learning. We are also proud to share ABET’s reaccreditation of our Computer Information Systems programs, emphasizing our commitment to maintaining high educational standards. Additionally, we share the inspiring story of J. Pat Richmond, who returned to complete his education at WT, demonstrating the value of lifelong learning.

Regarding contributions to society, we are thrilled to announce the inaugural award of $5,000 from The Engler Societal Impact Research Grant Program to Drs. Salazar, Yarbrough, and Cantrell Robinson. The Engler Societal Impact Research Grant Program initiative is committed to encouraging business research that resonates with the economic interests of the Texas Panhandle. The awarded proposal, titled “HerBusiness Story: Narratives of Women Business Leaders of the Texan Panhandle,” exemplifies the grant’s purpose.

Further highlighting our College’s business and community orientation, we were pleased to host Jennifer Van Buskirk, EVP & GM of Mid-Markets at AT&T Business, as the keynote speaker for the fall 2023 Stan Sigman Leadership and Innovation Series in October. Community engagement is vital to our educational philosophy at the Engler College of Business. This commitment is exemplified by our active incorporation of guest speakers into our curriculum, which has significantly enriched the learning experience of our students with practical insights and diverse perspectives. Over forty industry professionals shared their insights with our students this fall semester, enriching their education with real-world experiences.

Overall, the stories featured in this edition of the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business newsletter highlight the dynamic spirit and unwavering dedication to students that is omnipresent within the Engler College of Business community. Our collective efforts remain centered on pursuing excellence and cultivating a welcoming environment that allows students, staff, and faculty to thrive and reach their full potential. I extend my heartfelt thanks to each Engler College of Business family member – our dedicated staff, inspiring faculty, enthusiastic students, and supportive alumni and friends. Your collective efforts and unwavering commitment are the pillars of our College’s strength and success. May this festive season bring you joy, peace, and rejuvenation. Here’s to a bright and promising Next Year!