Inspiring events

September 6, 2011

During the past three weeks I have been humbled to be part of several events that I will characterize as inspiring which I want to share with you. The Bauer College Alumni Association (BCAA) hosted their annual meeting at Cemo Hall on August 18, 2011. The 300+ participants honored Mike Cemo, whose generous contribution has made it possible for us to enjoy the facilities at Cemo Hall. We also heard from Erin Blatzer, who along with Lauren Davis, Carolina Thomas and Jeffrei Clifton formed the team that was recently named the #1 overall global champions of the 2011 Google Online Marketing Challenge. This team of all-women MBA students worked with Professor Steve Koch, and secured first place after competing against over 4,429 teams from over 68 countries, becoming the first-ever North American team (and the only all-female group) to take No. 1 in the competition’s history. Interestingly, the team’s choice of the type of firm they wanted to promote through their ad campaign was a non-profit and a local one, the Houston Symphony, and this to me makes this recognition truly inspiring. Read more at http://bauerticker.uh.edu/recognition/behind-the-global-win/.

On August 21, Abdul Kalam, who served as India’s president from 2002-2007 visited Houston. I had the opportunity to hear him speak at India House and at the luncheon hosted on August 22, by Chancellor Renu Khator at the University of Houston. What can I give? this captures the message of President Kalam as he spends his time and energy inspiring folks all over the world to connect to solve the problems of poverty and illiteracy. More information at www.abdulkalam.com.

On Thursday, September 1, I met Cathy Tran, who is a student at the Bauer College working on her undergraduate degree in accounting. Cathy will complete her degree in two years and then take one more year to work on her Master of Science in Accountancy at Bauer. While Cathy did come here as a transfer, she transferred only one of her courses, essentially having to start from scratch despite her ‘transfer’ status. She has one more year left within her two-year degree plan and despite an aggressive timeline, she currently has a  GPA of 4.0. Admirable as this record is, what was inspiring to me was Cathy’s goal of ultimately using her knowledge to help her father and sister and give back to charity. When Cathy left my office I smiled knowing that the solution to our problems lies in grooming and helping others like Cathy.

Associate Dean Frank Kelley and I took time last week to meet Cathy Tran, one of many Bauer students who truly inspire me.

On Sunday, September 4, watching Meet the Press on NBC, I was inspired by the story of Joseph Kearns Goodwin, a Harvard graduate, who, on September 12, 2001, gave up a lucrative job offer to enlist in the army. As he described,

Looking at my life, I realized that I had been afforded basically every advantage that a free and prosperous society such as ours can yield. It seemed only fair, right and just that I spend some time giving something back to the great country that had given me so much.

What inspires you?  Let me know.