“I met Michael Jordan during the first week of my internship,” says Mark Lau ’06. “Right then I knew that Nike was the place I wanted to work. Eleven years later, I haven’t looked back.” Lau works at Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, as global director of the company’s EKIN Experience.
What’s the key to juggling the demands of graduate school and competitive rowing? “I started drinking a lot of coffee, especially with early morning practices,” says Gabrielle (Gabby) Petrucelli ’16 says. A four-year starter for the SMU women’s soccer team as an undergraduate, Petrucelli is working toward a master of science in accounting (MSA) at SMU’s Cox School of Business while testing the waters as a first-year member of the SMU rowing team.
Hal Brierley has come a long way from starting a database marketing firm in 1969 in the basement of Dillon Hall at Harvard Business School. Brierley became well known as the only external consultant involved in the launch of American Airlines AAdvantage, the nation’s first frequent traveler program. He grew his firm Epsilon into an industry leader, and then spent 30 years building Brierley + Partners into a global leader in the design and management of customer loyalty programs. A $10 million gift to SMU from Brierley and his wife, Diane, created the Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement in Cox, the nation’s first academic institute devoted to study of the field.
SMU’s Cox School of Business honored Distinguished Alumni Michael Merriman ’79, John Anthony Santa Maria Otazua ’79, ’81 and Billie Ida Williamson ’74 and Outstanding Young Alumni Bryan Sheffield ’01 and Jason Signor ’04 at its annual awards luncheon May 13.
Teaching children who were struggling to read launched Stephanie Al Otaiba on an investigation of early literacy intervention that continues almost two decades later as a professor in SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Delores Etter’s future path was not as clear. Etter, a professor in the Lyle School of Engineering, grappled with the relevance of her mathematical expertise outside the realm of higher education until she discovered the link through electrical engineering and digital signal processing research. Robert Lawson, a professor in the Cox School of Business, recognized the value of computer muscle as he sought to move to a different plane the debate about the merits of free-market versus interventionist economic systems. The data-driven evaluations of international economies that Lawson has been instrumental in developing are intended to remove conjecture and rewire the discussion along empirical bases. In contrast, subjective observations and human foibles lie at the heart of historian Sherry L. Smith’s inquiries. An early interest in Native American culture and treaty rights motivated Smith, a professor in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, to delve into the power of perception in shaping much of our nation’s history involving American Indians. While their explorations may not intersect, these faculty members share intellectual curiosity, the courage to test the status quo and a desire to teach and guide students. Following, they trace the roots of their interests and [...]
SMU alumnus Jonathan “Jonás” Lane ’09 calls his three years in the Peace Corps “an internship in life itself.” Jonathan Lane (left) with children showing off their artwork created in conjunction with a river clean-up project. Lane, who graduated from the Cox School of Business with a degree in finance, serves as a volunteer leader for community economic development in San José, Costa Rica. He says the Peace Corps may not be for everyone, but in his experience, it definitely lives up to its reputation as “the toughest job you’ll ever love.” “If you are prepared for a challenge that is as personal as it is professional, and as globally meaningful as it is personally enriching, then brace yourself,” he says. “This is as real as it gets, in the best possible way, and I am assuredly all the better for it.” His role in the Peace Corp’s central office in the capital city encompasses training, technical support, project strategy development and a multitude of other services for volunteers in the field. In the previous two years, while fulfilling his regular term of service, Lane put his business and finance background to work as an economic development facilitator in a community of 4,800 people located almost two hours south of San José. “I worked primarily on three tiers of economic development: first, preparing a qualified labor force and teaching skills to improve [...]
EXCERPT The following story about SMU alumna Amber Venz '08 and Baxter Box '11, who holds an M.B.A. from SMU's Cox School of Business, is from the September 2, 2013, edition of The Dallas Morning News. Dallas start-up puts together fashion bloggers, shoppers and retailers By Hanah Cho Personal stylist Amy Wells Havins dishes on her latest fashion picks and catalogs her outfits on her blog Dallas Wardrobe. With a few clicks, her readers can purchase those Gap shorts or that Marc Jacobs bag featured on the blog. With every online sale, Havins gets a commission. “Maybe someone doesn’t hire me to take them shopping. [But] they shop with me online,” said Havins, 27. Driving the sales engine behind thousands of fashion and lifestyle bloggers like Havins is Dallas-based rewardStyle. The 2-year-old start-up provides the back-end platform that not only helps bloggers make money from their content but also drives sales to retailers. ... RewardStyle expects to drive nearly $150 million in sales to its retail partners by the end of the year, said Amber Venz, co-founder and president. The projection is two to three times the revenue its style publishers generated for retailers a year ago, Venz said. “As the numbers show, these content creators are driving a lot of commerce,” said Venz, 26. “Retailers understand that. That’s why they’re willing to pay for it.” The startup has attracted 2,500 U.S. and international retailers. They [...]
"Universities do not grow old; but yearly they renew their strength and live from age to age in immortal youth." With that statement in 1913, SMU’s first president, Robert Stewart Hyer, made a commitment for SMU in his time, but affirmed that we would be a university for all time. Reflecting that vision, SMU has built upon its initial offerings in the liberal arts as the core of the University along with programs in theology and music. We have remained young and nimble in developing professional education to serve a changing region, nation and world, adding programs in the sciences, business, engineering, law, communications and other applied areas of learning. Today, part of SMU’s uniqueness comes from the fusion of our liberal arts core with pre-professional and professional programs through our seven schools. We celebrated this tradition of looking forward as we marked the 100th anniversary of SMU’s founding April 15. At a briefing that day, I shared a wealth of good news with our alumni and friends: Cox School of Business is one of the few in the nation to have three M.B.A. programs ranked in the top 15 by Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Dedman School of Law ranks among the nation’s top 50 law schools in U.S. News & World Report. In another ranking, our Ph.D. program in theology and religion, offered jointly by Perkins School of Theology and the Department of Religious Studies in Dedman College, is ranked [...]
A thread of entrepreneurship weaves through the history of SMU from the beginning. In asking “What is our duty to all the coming generations of Texans until the end of time? … ,” members of the Commission of Education, Methodist Episcopal Church, South of Texas demonstrated game-changing foresight in 1911. They spotted an opportunity in a growing city and joined forces with like-minded civic leaders to bring the University to life. Fast forward six decades: When the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship opened in August 1970, “we could identify only a handful of universities that even taught a course in entrepreneurship,” says Jerry White, director of the institute in the Cox School of Business. “Today, if you don’t have a substantial entrepreneurship education program, then you won’t have a business school.” The institute was established with the support of W.W. Caruth Jr., son of W.W. Caruth Sr., who donated land to SMU in 1911. “W.W. Caruth Jr. felt that universities were training students to be employees of large organizations, and that’s not what he chose to be,” White says. “He was ahead of the curve in recognizing that business schools needed to address entrepreneurship education.” While White says there’s no hard and fast definition of “entrepreneurship,” he boils it down to “building a business where none existed before and pursuing the opportunity without regard to resources you currently control.” “Innovation is not entrepreneurship,” [...]