Meet the New #BaylorENT Prof | Dr. Justin Yan


 

“It’s so exciting to be in a new place, to work with new colleagues and to meet new people.

-Dr. Justin Yan


Who is the new #BaylorENT prof?
I grew up in Inner Mongolia, a northern province of China. For my undergraduate work, I studied at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing. I came to the U.S. about eight years ago and received my MBA in Finance from Seton Hall University. After my MBA, I worked in the financial service industry and as a financial analyst for Bloomberg LP and I co-founded FISH institute, an online education service firm that provides assistance to foreign students in the U.S. I recently wrapped up my Phd. in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. I like to travel and hike. Fun fact — I’ve been to more than 38 states and 50 national parks and historical sites so far.

Why teach?
For me, teaching is a combination of an intense, intellectual challenge that comes with research and a thrilling, interactive experience that comes with teaching and mentoring students.

Why Baylor?
The University’s Christian guided mission was a major factor when deciding on Baylor. But Baylor also has one of the best entrepreneurship programs in the nation and a top-ranked entrepreneurship research group. 

Thoughts on Waco?
I wasn’t expecting the great cultural and racial diversity of the local population. Another surprise was the weather…

#BaylorENT in three words or less…go.
Collegial, Diverse, Prestige

  
For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

 

A Tour of the Waco Entrepreneurial Ecosystem with Baylor Entrepreneurship

 

Steve Jobs once said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” A dream, a passion and a deep rooted why are certainly necessary to start a successful business, but how in the world does a Baylor student with dreams of entrepreneurship continue to persevere and get back on the proverbial horse time and time again?

That’s where the Baylor Entrepreneurship department, cloaked in a green and gold cape, swoops in to save the day. The Baylor Entrepreneurship department is dedicated to the study, teaching and practice of new venture creation. The faculty and staff are devoted to encourage, support and help those student business owners who dare to take risks. Who dare to persevere. Who dare to be entrepreneurs. Even if it means stepping outside of the classroom.

Join Baylor Entrepreneurship on a virtual Tour of the Waco Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and explore the outside-of-the-classroom, entrepreneurial resources that are available to Baylor students.

Melissa Pardun of Maker’s Edge Makerspace
Maker’s Edge is a collaborative workspace established with a goal to combine thinking and doing around the idea of offering space, tools, mentors, training and STEM outreach. Maker’s Edge is about getting people to explore things they really wouldn’t be willing to explore on their own. The whole point of coming to a place like Maker’s Edge is that you feel free to fail so you feel free to try again. A partnership with Baylor University allows students to be part of Marker’s Edge for free. 

John Passavant of Startup Waco
Startup Waco exists to serve entrepreneurs. The simple act of walking into Startup Waco expands business owners’ networks. Often when starting a business it’s not what you are doing but who you know can help you get from one step to the next step.

Gib Reynolds of Baylor University 1846 Business Incubator
The 1846 Business Incubator was established with the sole purpose of facilitating student startups. We take Baylor students with raw ideas and give them resources to launch companies before they graduate. Call to Action: if you have an idea, you’re curious about pursuing entrepreneurship, you previously started a company or you’re actively trying to start a company now send an email to Gib_Reynolds@baylor.edu.

Andrew Telep of Baylor University Experiential Libraries Commons (ELC)
Located in the garden level of Moody Library on Baylor Campus, ELC has digital fabrication tools and laser cutters available for use free of charge.

Q&A Session

Q:  John, what is the most exciting thing available for up-and-coming entrepreneurs in Waco?
A:  There’s a lot of opportunity. Waco has unbelievable resources available and provides a great environment to test ideas.

Q:  Melissa, do you have suggestions for introductory projects, things students can try?
A:  When most people come into the space they come in for one thing, usually a class requirement or something like that. They don’t actually have the mindset of “making.” We encourage students to come in and take as many classes as possible. There isn’t a tool available that doesn’t have a training class.

Q:  Gib, what type of businesses have you seen students start?
A:  Baylor students are creative. We’ve had a wide spectrum of ideas. It’s not just one kind of business that works here. Just start something. If there’s something that you are passionate about or interested in, learn by doing. Just do.

Q:  Melissa, how do you balance ambition and school work?
A:  It doesn’t take a lot of time to have a great idea. It takes time to bring the idea to market. Baylor has so many resources, the opportunities will naturally fall into place. Connect with the right people and you can make it happen.

Q:  John, how do you balance ambition and school work?
A:  Allow yourself to be pulled into something rather than being forced into something. The journey starts by taking that one step.

The Baylor Entrepreneurship department is helping to shape the future one dream, one passion and one why at a time.

Visit the Tour of the Waco Entrepreneurial Ecosystems video link at https://bit.ly/32GAeIz.

For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

Meet the New #BaylorENT Prof | Dr. Jim Kee

 

I’m most looking forward to seeing first-hand
the success of my students.”

-Dr. Jim Kee


Who is the new #BaylorENT prof?
I’ve lived all over. I was born in Los Angeles, lived in Tulsa for ten years and graduated high school in Houston. Interesting James Kee trivia, I was a Radioman with the US Coast Guard and was one of the last to learn Morse code. My wife Lea and I have been married for 28 years. Our son Robbie just graduated from Notre Dame and our daughter Kellie is a sophomore at Oklahoma University. Before moving to Waco I was the President of South Texas Money Management, a $4 billion investment advisory firm which was sold last year. 

Why teach?
As a professor, I have the opportunity to share my life experiences with students with hopes of helping them achieve success in their careers. 

Why Baylor?
Without a doubt, Baylor’s Christian mission was a deciding factor to move to Waco. The world needs institutions like Baylor, and Baylor students can and do influence the world. 

Thoughts on Waco?
Cameron Park is this beautifully hidden little gem tucked within Waco. 

#BaylorENT in three words or less…go.
Dedicated

  
For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

 

Meet the New #BaylorENT Prof | Dr. Lee Grumbles

 

My hope is that students with non-entrepreneurial backgrounds
will take one of my courses and be motivated to start a business.”

-Dr. Lee Grumbles


Who is the new  #BaylorENT prof?
I grew up in Houston, Texas. My wife Lauren and I are the proud parents of twelve-year-old Ethan and nine-year-old Avery. I completed my undergraduate work at Texas A&M. After that, I spent almost twenty years working in the commercial banking and finance industry where I helped new and mature ventures grow by providing them with external capital. During this time, I also earned my MBA from Sam Houston State University as well as a PhD in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University.

Why teach?
The opportunity to mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs is an experience that can’t be beat.

Why Baylor?
Lauren is a Baylor grad, so I have an affinity to Baylor albeit by proxy. The deciding factor to yes, we’re moving to Waco really comes down to Baylor’s mission to integrate academic excellence and Christian commitment. To work for an employer that openly supports my faith is an unbelievable opportunity.

Thoughts on Waco?
Construction! I suppose that’s the positive side of growth. Seriously though, who knew Waco was surrounded by so many charming communities?  

#BaylorENT in three words or less…go.
Discovering tomorrow, together.

  
For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

 

ENT Buzz | Roxie Collier


Roxie Collier, Administrative Associate Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise

 

WHO IS ROXIE COLLIER?

My husband, Tim and I recently celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. We have three children and one fur baby, Athena Marie.


WHAT DO YOU DO AT BAYLOR?

This year marks ten years at Baylor. Initially I was hired part-time, but later accepted a full-time position. As an Administrative Associate in the Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise, I assist both the director and the associate director of the Baugh Center. I also work with students with the internship and scholarship programs.


WHAT’S SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT WORKING IN THE ENT DEPARTMENT?

There is always something going on in the Entrepreneurship department! You learn to expect the unexpected, like an impromptu cartwheel contest in the hallway of the Baugh Center.  


WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BAYLOR TRADITION?

I love singing That Good Old Baylor Line. I remember singing it as a little girl at football games with my daddy and uncle. Then to come full circle and sing it at our daughter’s Baylor graduation, that’s something special.


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW ENT MAJOR?

Listen to your professors and absorb all you can. But make sure to have a good time and make a ton of good memories while you’re here too.


For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

 

ENT Buzz | David Scheaf


David Scheaf, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship

 

WHO IS DAVID SCHEAF?

I called Columbus, Ohio home until I left for North Carolina to attend college at Queens University of Charlotte. I met my wife, Courtney, at Queens University of Charlotte and we dated for 6 years before getting married during my final year of graduate school. I attended UNC Charlotte for graduate school where I received my M.A. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Ph.D. in Organizational Science with an emphasis on Entrepreneurship. After I received my Ph.D., Courtney and I moved to Waco where I started my first Assistant Professorship at Baylor University. Courtney and I recently welcomed our son—James—to our family. Our little family couldn’t be happier living in Waco and being part of the Baylor community.


WHAT DO YOU DO AT BAYLOR?

I just wrapped up my second year as an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship. I actually wear two hats as an Assistant Professor — researcher and teacher. To be completely honest, I love both! Being in the classroom was my primary motivation for choosing a career in academia. I am passionate about challenging students to think critically and I love watching them get to those personal ah-ha moments.


WHAT’S SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT WORKING IN THE ENT DEPARTMENT?

The Entrepreneurship Department has so many hands-on opportunities for students, opportunities to gain real-world experience outside of the classroom. The 1846 Student Incubator, for example, gives students extraordinary support for their entrepreneurial endeavors. Baylor Angel Network is also a great opportunity for students as they evaluate start-up companies, which can ultimately help them get jobs in Banking and Finance.  


WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BAYLOR TRADITION?

Is it even possible to pick just one favorite Baylor tradition? There are so many. I can’t pick just one, but my top three traditions would be Christmas on 5th, the Baylor Homecoming parade and Pigskin Revue.


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW ENT MAJOR?

New Entrepreneurship majors should be ready to learn how to think rather than what to think. This will make their experiences in the classroom even more worthwhile.


For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

 

Robert Torres, 2020 Drayton McLane Jr. Hankamer School of Business Scholarship Recipient

 

We need to welcome failure as a chance to improve in the future!

-Robert Torres


Like a lot of Baylor students, Robert Torres chose Baylor as his university of choice because he felt a connection to Baylor. There was just something about the people and the faith-based mission that drew Robert to the University. He says, “Baylor just felt like home to me.”

Robert is from Grand Prairie, just about 100 miles north of Waco. So, he had a familiarity with Waco and Baylor. He grew up in a multicultural American and Mexican home, and regularly attended what he refers to as a “charismatic church,” which he credits as an instrumental part of  his childhood.

Robert’s first brush with owning a business came with  a snow cone stand he ran out of his parents’  house. It was a great way to be the boss and earn a little extra cash at the same time. But Robert soon found out that there’s so much more to entrepreneurship than being a boss and making money. By middle school, Robert felt that God was calling him to open his own business with a company that would “transform the community.”

In order to be best prepared to operate a business, Robert chose to study Entrepreneurship at Baylor. He feels the practical application of the in-class, book knowledge is crucial to an understanding of entrepreneurship. He explains that it’s so easy to get bogged down with the potential of failure, but he stresses, “We need to welcome failure as a chance to improve in the future!”

Robert’s determination and tenacity hasn’t gone unnoticed. He was the recipient of the 2020 Drayton McLane Jr. Hankamer School of Business Scholarship, awarded to undergraduate Entrepreneurship majors based on need and merit.

While Robert hasn’t decided on his exact entrepreneurial path just yet, he is looking at his time at Baylor as a way to prepare for his future. For right now, his post-Baylor plans include gaining industry experience in finance and to later build on those practical, hands-on skills to one day owning a business that will make a positive impact on the world.

Keep up the good work, Robert. Leave your mark on the world and make it a better place in green and gold style. Sic ‘em!


For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

 

ENT Buzz | Linda Ramirez


Linda Ramirez, Program Coordinator Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise

 

WHO IS LINDA RAMIREZ?

I grew up in Waco, but I’ve lived all over Texas in Dallas, San Antonio and Abilene. I ultimately returned to Waco to raise my children. I am a mother to three wonderful daughters and grandmother to three boys and one girl. Along the way, I graduated from Baylor with a BBA in management. Early in my career I founded a multi-management business. After I eventually sold the business, I continued to work with entrepreneurs through the Small Business Development Center Programs at McLennan Community College and the University of Texas at San Antonio. I soon realized that I loved working with business owners and students as much as I loved owning my own business.


WHAT DO YOU DO AT BAYLOR?

I’ve been at Baylor since 2013. As a Program Coordinator in the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise, I am primarily responsible for the Texas Family Business of the Year Awards Program. I also assist with Oso Launch, a program that works with Baylor freshmen who are interested in starting their own business. I love working with student entrepreneurs!


WHAT’S SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT WORKING IN THE ENT DEPARTMENT?

Interesting nugget some may not be aware of is that the reach of the Entrepreneurship department extends far beyond campus. We also work very closely with the Waco small-business community. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Start-up Waco, Hustle Co-Working space and quite a few local entrepreneurs. It’s something special to watch the Entrepreneurship faculty, staff and students work together with the community.


WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BAYLOR TRADITION?

I love Baylor Homecoming! By the time Homecoming hits the calendar, the mornings can be chilly and it’s absolutely perfect to grab a coffee or hot chocolate and watch the Baylor Homecoming Parade. The floats, the bands and the bears all bring back such good memories. 


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW ENT MAJOR?

Dig in! There are so many ways to get involved — Oso Launch, the New Venture Competition, McLane Scholars Reading Program and the Confessions of an Entrepreneur speaker series — each with an opportunity to connect with alumni, community entrepreneurs, student entrepreneurs as well as the Entrepreneurship department faculty and staff.


For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

 

Baylor Entrepreneurship Walks Side By Side with Local, Small Businesses

 

At the stroke of midnight, the ball dropped and 2020 was ushered in with promises of a fresh start and a new beginning. After all, 2020 is a once-a-century year when the first two digits of the year match the second two digits. This is something folks will only see once in a lifetime. That alone makes 2020 a year to remember.

And then there was COVID-19…

COVID-19 came in like a wrecking ball. Schools, businesses and churches all felt the sucker punch. Baylor University was no exception. Classes went online, dorms emptied, events were cancelled and engagement programs were put on an indefinite pause. 

The Community Entrepreneurship Program (CEP), managed by the Baylor Entrepreneurship department, is one such program that felt the impact of COVID-19. CEP is a faith-based community entrepreneurship training program developed by Baylor University, hosted by local churches and facilitated by successful executives and entrepreneurs.

Participants in CEP are local, small business owners who simply want to grow their business. The program provides peer-to-peer networking and valuable mentorship, along with training and coaching. CEP utilizes Baylor Entrepreneurship faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors in delivering this best-in-class Baylor content in a non-threatening, caring environment that welcomes small business owners from all backgrounds. 

Denitia Blount of locally owned and operated Oh My Juice is both a Baylor grad and a small-business owner who volunteers as a facilitator for the program. Blount spoke at a Confessions of an Entrepreneur event on campus in 2019 and she explained, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” 

CEP helps small-business owners recognize what they don’t know in bi-weekly meetings, by providing support and one-on-one counseling in areas of accounting, finance and strategy. In March 2020 as COVID-19 hit, CEP was halfway through its Spring 2020 session (with record attendance and a diverse group of small businesses represented). The program was forced to go on an indefinite hiatus with respect to the regular meeting schedule. 

Dr. Peter Klein, Entrepreneurship Department Chair, co wrote a recent article for the LSU Business Review with the sentiment that uncertain circumstances can give businesses an opportunity to improve. The article states that in the end it’s businesses, and not policymakers, that should decide how to best weather COVID-19. 

The Entrepreneurship department, recognizing a strong need to pivot CEP to meet the needs of the small businesses facing life or death business scenarios, reconfigured the program to deliver real time, relevant strategy and information that played a major role in being able to keep a majority of these businesses in operation even through a shutdown. 

Michael Wyatt of Wyatt Brothers Moving was a participant in the spring CEP class. He explained that while the goals for the business didn’t change with COVID-19, they were definitely adjusted. The company has implemented a more go with the flow outlook and adjusted goal timelines to account for some of the unforeseen circumstances.

Shaun Limbers, Associate Director for the Baugh Center, oversees CEP and personally feels it’s a privilege to serve the local, small businesses especially during this very difficult time. He says, “We truly believe Entrepreneurship can be transformative with an ability to positively impact our community both locally and worldwide.”  He continues, “CEP is uniquely positioned to execute that vision on a local level.” 

In the coming weeks, the Baylor Entrepreneurship department will wrap up the spring CEP class. CEP may look a little different going forward, but one thing that is for certain is Baylor Entrepreneurship will continue to walk side by side with local, small businesses.


For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.

ENT Buzz | Les Palich


Les Palich, Professor of Entrepreneurship

 

WHO IS LES PALICH?

I didn’t grow up in Texas or go to Baylor, but I got here as fast as I could. My wife, Dianna, and I both grew up in the Phoenix area, and I completed my undergraduate studies at a small Christian college in Manhattan, Kansas. A few years later I went back to school to earn an MBA and eventually a PhD at Arizona State University. My next stop was Baylor. We felt a strong sense of calling in coming to Baylor and Waco. This is definitely where we belong.


WHAT DO YOU DO AT BAYLOR?

I taught my first class at Baylor in the summer of 1991. It’s one of the courses I still teach today: Strategic Management, the capstone course for all business majors. Since then I have gone on to develop and/or teach other courses for both MBA and undergraduate students, most with an international business focus. Some of my most memorable experiences have come from leading study abroad trips for Baylor students. I’ve led more than 30 groups to Europe and Latin America, and the experience of introducing our students to the places we visit is indescribable!


WHAT’S SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT WORKING IN THE ENT DEPARTMENT?

My colleagues at Baylor are among my closest friends. You would be hard pressed to find a group of faculty and staff who function as well together as we do. In the Entrepreneurship Department we tend to lean toward entrepreneurial thinking, innovative thinking. It’s important that we model creative opportunity development for our Entrepreneurship students, and I really think we hit that mark. Perhaps that explains, in part, why our program is so highly ranked. 


WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BAYLOR TRADITION?

My favorite tradition at Baylor is Diadeloso, and not because we all get the day off! Central Texas weather in April is fantastic. Combine that with the casualness of the interactions between faculty and students and you have the makings for a wonderful and unique experience. All of the fun activities of the day are icing on the cake.


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW ENT MAJOR?

Keep an open mind about where you see yourself going. Don’t let uncertainty keep you from giving it your all and just going for it. The skills and insights you take away from the experiences are key to your success whether you continue with an entrepreneurial path or not.


For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.