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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Today we celebrated Bauer Pride Day — #Bauerpride14. Thanks go to all our staff, including Sarayu Sundar, Kathryn Wheatley, Jonathan Shirley, Amanda Sebesta, Nicki Evans, Caleb Theimer, Carolyn Shaffer, an amazing communications team led by Jessica Navarro and a really great group of volunteers, who made it happen.
Thanks also go to all the students and student organizations that participated. The day ended with a session where Prof. Richard Scamell, the college’s Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and I listened to students talk about why they are proud to be at Bauer.
Here is a summary of their comments in response to my question — Why Bauer?
Because at Bauer we get an education, but we really get work skills, and we get life skills.
Because at Bauer we are like the tortoise in the story that slowly but surely beats the hare.
Because at Bauer there’s a track for everyone.
Because, no matter what you want to do, Bauer has the answer for you — finance, energy, there’s someone from Bauer no matter where you go.
Because Houston is Bauer.
Because at Bauer we don’t copy others; we celebrate our uniqueness.
Because at Bauer we respect diversity.
Because at Bauer it’s not just about school – it’s about working on an internship as we take care of our families, and it’s about participating in student organizations and taking that midterm.
Because at Bauer, seeing what everyone else has done is motivation by itself.
Because at Bauer you realize how much you can do and how capable you are.
Because at Bauer you learn how to handle all of the challenges life will throw at you.
Because at Bauer, we don’t ever stop, and we want to keep getting better.
Because at Bauer, we value creativity, and we are not cookie-cutter business students.
Because at Bauer, we have a great support system.
Because at Bauer everything is a great major, and everyone is equal.
Because at Bauer we are blessed with great talent, but we are also blessed with the ability to cultivate talent and to keep learning, and learning continuously.
Because at Bauer, we have the BEST BAKE SALES!!
The day-long event also included an essay competition. Students were invited to write a 500-word essay on the topic, “Because Ted Bauer Gave, I ___.”
Congratulations Jennifer Wang for the award-winning essay, reproduced below.
Because Ted Bauer Gave, I discovered potential in myself.
Ted Bauer saw something special in all future generations of UH business students before the students themselves even recognized what it was, and his generous gift to the business college has been able to provide students the opportunity to discover their full potential in a premier learning environment.
As an entering freshman, I was what the Chinese would call “a frog at the bottom of a well” that did not know how big the sky was, or more realistically put: how to survive being the first in my family to attend an American college. Even though my parents encouraged me as I chose to go into accounting, they had no idea what I was getting into. For a period of time, I felt the fear and helplessness; saying that I was merely lost would be an understatement. I felt utterly alone.
Luckily, at a university with a 40,000+ student population, I became a part of the Bauer community and my grim perspective began to change; I found comrades, mentors, friends who cared about my wellbeing and supported me as I went along the path of self-discovery and self-improvement. Through the tight-knit Bauer community, I was introduced to resources, opportunities, and programs that slowly built my confidence and challenged me to become more of a useful individual to the community. Any Bauer student can probably relate to this stage of growth, which would not have been possible if our business college did not receive the funding from Ted Bauer to achieve its own excellence and then build excellence in its students.
As a current master’s student, I feel fortunate to have been a student leader in multiple business organizations, completed three internships at companies with very well-recognized brand names, and gained a valuable education and network that will continue to make me an asset to the community. Ted Bauer gave me a future to look forward to, and it was a future I never dared to envision before entering college.
My peers consider me to be a small success story and are inspired by what students like me who dug up from the bottom, but no one shall forget that Bauer made it all happen! The recently coined phrase “where awesome happens” used to describe Bauer, is very much justified and true.
During my years at this wonderful university, receiving my education from the Bauer College of Business, I was not only instilled a bottomless pride reserve for the university and the business college, but also a sense of accomplishment and pride for myself. In addition, I shared in the joy and accomplishments of my peers and professors. Because Ted Bauer gave, Bauer College of Business is not just an awesome environment to receive a Tier One education, it is also a great place students/faculty/staff alike feel comfortable calling their second home and can continue to thrive. Because of Ted Bauer, I am forever thankful. Because of Ted Bauer’s endowment (nerdy accounting reference), I am assured that Bauer College of Business will continue to expand and become recognized for its excellence, and more students, maybe even my posterity, will be able to enjoy the special Bauer community. #BauerPride14
Junior Megan Iselin receives a certificate of appreciation from Dean Latha Ramchand during an event that recognized students who have maintained a 4.0 grade point average.
The start of a new semester, and certainly a new academic year, is special.
As we welcome students, new and old, as we host orientations, as we assist those moving into dorms, we are reminded of our mission – to serve students, to make a difference, to change lives.
In the last three weeks I have enjoyed meeting groups of Bauer students in different venues and the message is always loud and clear – they are here because we care.
As Megan Iselin, a junior accounting student in the Bauer Business Honors Program, the Professional Program in Accountancy, and student organization Beta Alpha Psi, describes it:
“I knew that I had made the right choice in the Bauer College of Business. My professors care about my success and want to hear about my success outside of the classroom as well. My advisors urge me to graduate on time and be as resourceful as I can. My friends share their experiences with me and encourage me to rise to my full potential rather than cutting me down. My professional contacts leave the office after work and drive to campus to share their insight with the future leaders who will push our economy to new heights. I have everything I need and more here.”
Whether it is the “I am Bauer” theme that every student believes in, or the “Where Awesome Happens” description that they attribute to Bauer College, whether it is a conversation with a student outside the elevators or a session with the Dean’s List participants, I find that the best way to start or end my day is to interact with students.
There is a momentum in the college that inspires, and it starts with students.
Bauer students – thank you for your participation, and thank you for being here. And as you promised me, keep talking to classmates and colleagues about attending classes, about graduating in four years, and participating in surveys.
And remember our mantra: Talk Bauer, Hire Bauer, Give to Bauer.
I encourage you all: Go Make Awesome Happen.