Bauer Pride Day 2014

November 5, 2014
See more photos from Bauer Pride Day at

See more photos from Bauer Pride Day at

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

Bauer – Where Awesome Happens

September 15, 2014
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.

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.

Of Underdogs and Intellectual Humility

March 5, 2014

When a group of undergraduate students from the entrepreneurship program at the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the C. T. Bauer College of Business competed in a business plan competition this past weekend, they knew that the stakes were not even.  Bauer undergraduates were competing against graduate students, not to mention students from Harvard, Yale and MIT.

None of this mattered to our students who are ready to compete with anyone, anytime, anywhere.  And so they did.

Kudos to Bauer undergraduate students Cassandra Hoang, Bobby Jacobs, Casey McNeil, and Susan Tran, who won first place in the competition (MIT team placed second). They helped create a business plan for a technology developed by Prof. Allan Jacobson, Robert A. Welch Chair of Science and Director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at University of Houston.

The REEcycle plan, as it is known, is part of the program we adopted this year to have Bauer students put business plans around technologies provided by the University of Houston Division of Research. The REEcycle plan addresses rare earth elements (REE) used in computer memory, rechargeable batteries, cell phones, catalytic converters, fluorescent lighting and more. Demand for these elements is outstripping supply, which is especially problematic because China produces most of the world supply and is increasingly treating them as a strategic resource. It is believed that recycling could address about 20% of the demand for REEs and reduce our reliance on Chinese exports, but to date there has not been a commercially viable method for extracting REEs from electronic components. Prof. Jacobson has developed such a method, and the REEcycle team has put a well thought out business plan around it.

We met the day after they returned from the competition, and I asked Cassandra Hoang, Bobby Jacobs, Casey McNeil, and Susan Tran, what they learned from the experience.  The big takeaway for me was the power of humility in these participants.  Arguably they were the “underdogs.”  Yet, or rather because of this, they did everything they possibly could to more than compensate for whatever it is they were “perceived” to lack.  They rehearsed for weeks ahead of time. They rehearsed the day and night before the event. They sought out and took to heart the feedback they received from alumni, faculty and friends.  For sure, they received a ton of advice. No one could blame them for not trying.

And they won.  They won big.

Yes, Bauer students do not need to be compared to any other group, and they can more than stand on their own ground.  Yes, I don’t need to emphasize “Bauer #1, MIT #2.”  Yes, “Bauer #1” says it all.

For what Bauer students possess in ample measure is what Lazlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google, referred to as a skillset that Google looks for in its hires called “intellectual humility,” or the ability to continually learn and want to learn.  If being the underdog comes with a large dose of intellectual humility, then Bauer students will always want to be underdogs, and refreshingly so.