Making a Difference, Changing Lives

December 15, 2014
Bauer MBA Candidates Lara Machemehl and Raiya Al Salmi organized a faculty vs. students kickball game to raise money for Teague Cox, center, who suffers from brain cancer. The money raised at Bauer College will allow Teague to go deep sea fishing with his family during a Make-A-Wish Foundation event.

Bauer MBA Candidates Lara Machemehl and Raiya Al Salmi organized a faculty vs. students kickball game to raise money for Teague Cox, center, who suffers from brain cancer. The money raised at Bauer College will allow Teague to go deep sea fishing with his family during a Make-A-Wish Foundation event. See more photos at whereawesomehappens.com.

Last week was a week to cherish. On Friday morning I received an email sent to our suggestions@bauer.uh.edu mailbox, and I smiled.  I know you will too when you read this.

Lara Machemehl is a full-time student in our MBA program.  On December 6, Lara and her colleague and friend Raiya (who is also in the full-time MBA program and is part of the Cougar Investment Fund student team) organized an MBA Faculty vs. Students kickball game.  The goal was to raise money to make a difference for children who make a wish, children who make a wish and hope that someone, somewhere, can help turn the wish into a reality.  In this case, Lara and Raiya wanted to help a child named Teague.  Teague is a 9-year-old boy who has brain cancer.  Teague wishes and hopes to go deep sea fishing with his family.  Lara and Raiya wanted to make it possible for Teague to go fishing with his family.  And they did. Raise money they did, and in Lara’s words:

“It was a big success, and Teague and his family came to the event and played as well! Professors Partha Krishnamurthy, Chet Miller, Steve Werner, Dusya Vera, Jeanna Abbott and Leiser Silva volunteered to play.”

Lara and Raiya were part of Chet Miller and Dusya Vera’s classes on leadership. Lara goes on to say that she and Raiya were inspired to do this in a final project that was part of Chet Miller’s Leadership Development class. She describes our faculty thus:

“They are truly an amazing group of professors!! … This was truly an incredible way to end my MBA experience at Bauer.”

She also notes that Jim Phillips kicked off the giving efforts, and through all their fundraising, both at the kickball game with our faculty and other students, and thanks to support from family and friends, this team has raised more than $7,300, so Teague’s wish is now more than just a wish!

Not only is it appropriate that David Williams (Bauer alum and CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation) will kick off our speaker series this coming year (January 22, 2015), it is clear that thanks to the culture that our faculty create both in the classroom and outside, our students are inspired to make a difference, change lives and make awesome happen.

Thank you, Chet and Dusya, for inspiring Lara and Reiya.  And, thank you, Partha, Leiser, Steve, Jeanna and of course Jim (am curious to know if he participated in the game!).

And of course the big question in my mind – who won the game?

On Saturday, Associate Dean for Student Affairs Richard Scamell and I had the opportunity to have dinner in Cincinnati with an alum, Alan Davis, and his wife Jennifer Allen.  Alan graduated from Bauer College with an MS in Accountancy in 1976.  He served as CFO at Adena Health Systems and is now retired, living in Chillicothe with his wife, Jennifer, a retired pediatrician.  Together they now devote their time and energy to their kids and grandchildren (of course) and to building the HOPE Clinic.  The mission of the HOPE Clinic is to provide sound, quality medical care at no cost to those who need but cannot afford, those who have no health insurance in a climate that is accepting and caring.

Alan attributes his service, his career, his success to the lessons he learnt at Bauer, and needless to say, a big part of the credit goes to Jennifer! Meeting people like Lara and Raiya, like Alan and Jennifer, talking with them, talking about them, listening to them, being inspired by them — this will always be the best part of my role as Dean.