Department of Management News - Winter 2022/23

We were thrilled to celebrate more than 800 undergraduate and 400 graduate students who received a diploma from the G. Brint Ryan College of Business in December of 2022. Despite the hardships brought on by COVID-19 in 2020, these individuals persevered and succeeded in meeting their academic goal of graduation. 

While many colleges and universities across the country are facing challenges with enrollment, the Department of Management is defying the odds as enrollment in Spring 2023 increased 11.81% from Spring 2022. 
In the past year, our faculty received international recognition for scholarship (see Dr. Walker article), our students have gone on to win prestigious case study competitions (see HR Case Study Competition article), and our students and alumni are making significant investments in women empowerment initiatives and dozens of local nonprofits (see Greensgiving and Theresa Neil articles).

Go Mean Green!

Table of Contents

Student Recognized at HR Case Study Competition
Alumni Spotlight - Theresa Neil
The People Center
Dr. Matthew Walker Honored as Top Scholar

Student Recognized at HR Case Study Competition

The Department of Management hosts UNT's Society for Human Resource Management Student (SHRM) chapter. This past November, a team of five students from SHRM attended the Purdue University HR Case Study Competition. This was the first time UNT students attended this prestigious competition. Not to be forgotten, Ezra Poch, President of UNT SHRM, won Best Question & Answer Responder for the undergraduate division. 

Ezra Poch



In Fall 2022, the Department of Management's own Dr. Jeremy Short, G. Brint Ryan Chair in Entrepreneurship, challenged his class to raise a collective $10,000 by the end of the semester through crowdfunding campaigns that support local nonprofits in Denton. Through the challenge, students were able to learn about social entrepreneurship, while also seeing the first-hand impacts of their efforts.

In November, Short's class organized and hosted the first-ever "Greensgiving," a kick-off event for the campaign. The event featured a live DJ, snacks, cash bar and silent auction in support of local animal shelters, school teacher initiatives, the Children's Cancer Fund, and other worthy causes. More than 100 people attended the kick off, helping the class to exceed their goal and ultimately raise approximately $15,000 for Denton nonprofits. The event even caught the attention of the Denton Record Chronicle

Dr. Jeremy Short (second from left) with students during Greensgiving

Alumni Spotlight: Theresa Neil
After years in corporate and agency environments, Theresa Neil ('05 M.B.A.) started Guidea, a user interface design company, in Austin.

"I wanted the independence to work with my clients in a way that I thought would best serve them and that was different from the traditional agency model," says Neil, who now lives in Santa Cruz, California.

Her motto was "Hire an Expert, Not an Agency," because she served the clients' needs by delivering bespoke solutions instead of following a format from agencies that follows profitability and outcomes. She was attracted to user design thanks to her job at Sabre. At the time, many companies were investing in the engineering aspects of technology, while she was interested in designing websites to make the user experience easier.

A few years after Guidea's launch, her big break came in 2008 when one of her previous managers asked her to spearhead PayPal's iPhone experience -- which she designed and developed in 30 days. That brought in dozens of referrals, including 20 Fortune100 companies.

Neil has launched a new program, Femovate, aimed at startups who are focusing on female-centric health issues. Her company is investing over $500,000 in business mentoring and UX services across 30 Femtech companies around the globe to improve women's health.

Neil also believes in making an impact on her staff's lives. And her inspiration for that came from an encounter during one of her classes at UNT, which she took while managing a new job and raising a newborn baby.
Theresa Neil

She couldn't help but notice that the classmate in front of her had amazing hair. When she mentioned that to him, he said he and his wife owned a local salon. As they got to talking, he mentioned that he often invested in his stylists by training them about the business. She thought that was unusual -- and she incorporates his advice today by intentionally training her team on the business aspects of running a consultancy.

"That was my classmate's biggest gift to me," she says. "The idea that empowering his employees to be successful businesswomen benefited everyone."

The People Center

In 2015, Drs. Danielle Cooper and Julie Hancock began work on an HR initiative, in collaboration with donors, John and Jennifer Kelly. Over the past seven years, and with the help of more than $300k in generous financial support from the Kellys, these efforts have continued to grow and develop into The People Center (TPC). 

TPC had quite the busy year in 2022. As recently as October, it held its HR Collaborative Lunch featuring Catrina Gilbert (VP of Risk Management, DFW Airport) at the DFW Airport Headquarters. Gilbert spoke on workplace safety and preparation, as well as challenges that businesses are facing today in regards to workplace safety and dealing with potential threats.  

Additionally, TPC hosted its annual HR Alumni Dinner on October 28, for the first time since 2019. TPC had a great turnout and was delighted to have alums Mirsela Kolenovic (’16), Associate Talent Management Partner for Southwest Airlines, and Ernest Martinez (’11), Senior HR Consultant for HR Consulting 2Day, as its keynote speakers.
In addition to offering collaborative engagements that bring students together with industry professionals, TPC provides research funding for UNT faculty and students to secure grant funding for more long-term, labor intensive scholarships. This past summer, TPC awarded five $5,000 research fellowships to OBHR researchers Artemis Boulamatsi, Danielle Cooper, Samantha Jordan, Ginny Kidwell, and Hoda Vaziri to seek out grant opportunities.  

In Fall 2021, TPC awarded three doctoral dissertation grants to Victor Chen, Jamila Maxie, and Johnson Varghese for a total of $4,500. Each student used their funding to aid in data collection for their dissertations, all of which were successfully defended in Spring 2022.

TPC plans to offer an additional $30,000 in research fellowships in Summer 2023.

Erin Welch with UNT Alumni  



Dr. Matthew Walker Honored as Top Scholar

Dr. Matthew Walker (pictured second from left), was designated a Sport Marketing Association (SMA) Research Fellow of 2022.

Walker earned this non-voting, merit-based distinction in recognition for his high standards and contributions of scholarly research. To be eligible for nomination, SMA requires a minimum of seven publications in the SMA-owned journal, Sport Marketing Quarterly, and at least ten presentations at the annual SMA conference.

Publishing eight articles in the Sport Marketing Quarterly and contributing twenty-two research presentations to the conference (with topics ranging from social sponsorships and social networking, to charitable and philanthropic-based analyses), Walker exceeded all prerequisites and deservingly earned his spot as a top scholar in the industry.
“To be recognized as one of the top-twenty scholars in the field is amazing, but it is also a testament to my co-author relationships and connections,” said Walker.

Established in 2013, SMA has honored only twenty-one research fellows in the sports industry, with UNT holding two of those spots. In 2018, Bob Heere, director of Sport Entertainment Management for the college, also earned the SMA Research Fellow distinction.


If you are interested in sharing your story, volunteering for an event, donating to a scholarship, or establishing a business partnership with the Department of Management, visit our volunteer page. Be sure to mention the Department of Management newsletter!
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