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Dr. John Baen

For more than three decades, Dr. John Baen has poured his passion for real estate into UNT.

I wake up excited about what I’m going to do all day. I have a “to do” list and there’s no way I can ever get it all done by the end of the day, so I’m never bored,” he explains. “I’m never in a rut. I’ll teach two or three days a week, then I’m out looking for jobs for my students.”

Once they’re out of his classroom, that doesn’t mean the connection is over. Baen says he has a “great deal of passion” for watching his students succeed. “I come with a lifetime warranty, so they can call me up any time after they graduate and ask me any question on any topic,” he says. “I love doing business with my former students."

Baen’s years of experience have taught him the value of hard work and determination, which he is now channeling into efforts to raise money for an endowment for a commercial real estate professor.

UNT wants to sweeten the pot to bring to North Texas someone who has practical experience in commercial real estate.

“The endowment will help us supplement the state paid salary,” he explains. “If we raise $2 million, that will add about $80,000 a year. That will help us entice the best candidate we can afford, someone who has passion, who really cares about the industry, cares about cutting edge, and cares about students being successful."




Ryan Blasavage ('20)

Junior Ryan Blasavage was one of seven students in the nation to receive this year’s Westfield Insurance and Westfield Agents Association (WAA) Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded annually on behalf of The Griffith Insurance Education Foundation and includes $6,000 for students to attribute toward their tuition.
Blasavage, a nontraditional student studying risk management and insurance, is grateful for the award and for UNT’s help in getting him to where he is today.
“I have had to finance my education by myself. This scholarship will allow me to graduate on time in May of 2020 and will give me more time and resources to make connections and secure a job when I graduate,” said Blasavage.
“Dr. Ma really had an impact on me when I took Risk Management and Insurance 2500. I initially took the class as an elective, but as I got to learn more about the insurance industry and all of the opportunities that exist within it, I was hooked and declared Risk Management and Insurance as my major this past spring,” he added.
Westfield and the WAA have been providing scholarships to students since 2014. Their generosity hopes to empower and encourage students to pursue the insurance industry as a career.
Blasavage is currently exploring career options in insurance underwriting and brokering, with hopes to land a full-time position before graduating in 2020.


Matt Davis

As a high school student, Matt Davis mowed lawns to earn money. He called his business College Fund Lawn Mowing -- and the moniker was no exaggeration.

"It was literally my college fund," he says.

Davis transferred to UNT from Collin County Community College, scheduling his classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays so he could work the rest of the week. After graduating cum laude with a degree in business administration with a specialty in entrepreneurship, he focused on expanding his business.

Twenty years later, Davis still operates the business, now called College Fund Landscaping, which in turn supports UNT College of Business students with The College Landscaping Fund Scholarship, requiring recipients to have a part-time job. It now has 19 employees who work with 2,000 clients on services that range from mowing to landscape design.

"I know how difficult it can be for students to pay for tuition," Davis says, remembering having to charge his tuition on his credit card and then pay it off every summer. "We simply want to help ease this burden with the scholarship."



Heere named recipient of 2018 Sport Marketing Association Research Fellow Award

In front of 300 guests at the Star at Frisco, Dr. Bob Heere was designated the Sport Marketing Association (SMA) Research Fellow of 2018. Heere, the director of Sport Management for the College of Business, earned the award in recognition for his high standards and contributions of scholarly research.

“It is always an honor to be recognized by your peers," said Heere. "What made it particularly special was that it was in Frisco, and that the award was handed to me by Chad Estis, the executive vice president of the Dallas Cowboys. I think this helped in building our relationship with the Cowboys, as they witnessed first hand that a faculty member from UNT was recognized by their peers.”

To qualify 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 conference. Heere has exceeded those requirements with eight published articles in Sport Marketing Quarterly, two case studies and more than a dozen presentations at SMA conferences.

Established approximately five years ago, SMA has had only fifteen people qualify for their research fellow distinction, with Heere being the only recipient of 2018.

Classroom collaboration is helping to relaunch children's sandwich tool

Innovation and classroom collaboration is giving individuals with dexterity issues more independence. Dr. Brian Sauser has tasked his Marketing and Logistics capstone course to revamp a children’s sandwich tool with the help of other programs at UNT, including students from the College of Health and Public Service. In doing so, his class is working on making the case for a product relaunch by appealing to a broader consumer.

The Sandwiches n’ More Toddler Utensil, developed by Tot Tools, was designed to promote toddler development, but Sauser and his classroom are looking at things from a different lens.

In discovering that the tool also promotes empowerment among those with dexterity issues and the elderly, Sauser is using his connections with the tool’s inventor, the user community and UNT students to expand its market. The project is part of a semester-long workshop in which students listen to feedback from users and caregivers to develop a new marketing strategy for the tool.

This collaboration is just one way in which UNT students are solving real-world business problems in the classroom.

Dr. Victor Prybutok honored with inaugural Decision Sciences Institute Educator Award

Dr. Victor Prybutok, vice provost of the Toulouse Graduate School and regents professor of Decision Sciences in the Information Technology and Decision Sciences Department, was named the inaugural recipient of the 2018 Decision Sciences Institute (DSI) Lifetime Distinguished Educator Award.
This highly competitive honor serves to recognize those who have made exceptional contributions to teaching and learning in the disciplines of decision sciences over the course of their career. Only two recipients in the nation were honored with the distinction.

Contributions, as defined by the DSI, include: innovations in teaching; contributions that improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning of decision sciences disciplines; sustained, high levels of teaching effectiveness; supporting and mentoring students for academic and/or professional growth; and sustained personal professional development.


ITDS Chair Leon Kappelman weighs in on 2018 Society for Information Management IT Trends Study

The 2018 Society for Information Management IT Trends Study found that organizations are only "moderately ready" to handle cybersecurity-related threats and issues.

This was the first year that the survey, which has been conducted since 1980, asked respondents to evaluate their overall cybersecurity readiness. The average score was slightly above neutral -- signaling abundant room for improvement in organizational cybersecurity practices. Cybersecurity readiness was found to be slightly higher at organizations with a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) than in those without, however only 45.5% of organizations reported having a CISO in 2018.

For IT leadership within organizations, the survey found that CIO tenure continues to lengthen and time spent interacting with C-suite executives continues to rise.

“The job of a CIO is arguably the most challenging of all,” said Dr. Leon Kappelman, primary investigator of the study and chair of the Information Technology and Decision Sciences Department the UNT College of Business. “Being a CIO requires operational, organizational, and strategic management capabilities in order to fulfill the promise of digital transformation, deliver business analytics and innovation, mitigate cybersecurity threats, and cope with skill shortfalls, new regulations, and cost-cutting pressures.”


UNT achieves record-setting fundraising totals for second year in a row

The generosity of the University of North Texas family reached an all-time high this year with more than $36.6 million raised to benefit students, research and programming. This is the second consecutive year UNT has achieved record-setting fundraising results, attesting to the value and confidence supporters have in the university.

“I’m so proud and grateful for the support from our UNT family who continue to impact the lives of our students every year and leave an enduring legacy that spans our entire university,” said David Wolf, vice president for Advancement.

Overall commitments grew to more than $36.6 million, with cash contributions increasing 48 percent to more than $29 million and new gifts to endowments rising 181 percent to $15.8 million.

Every dollar invested in the university supports our deserving students and builds value in the UNT name and degree.




Investing in an endowed professorship in real estate for the College of Business will elevate our student experiences and opportunities by hiring a well-revered professor to enhance the program. The real estate program at UNT is currently made up of four full-time faculty that all hold doctoral degrees from nationally-recognized universities. With your help in adding a professorship to roster, UNT's real estate program will undoubtedly soar to new heights.


The generosity of John and Helen Green enabled the College of Business to establish a scholarship in their honor. As an endowed fund, this scholarship will distribute every year, in perpetuity. Contributing to the John and Helen Green scholarship will amplify its impact and give students the ability to pursue their academic dreams with less financial debt.


Hosting networking and etiquette dinners for all College of Business students will serve as a way to teach professional skills that may not otherwise be learned in the classroom. The importance of a knowing how to present yourself at the dinner table plays a significant role in the perception that clients, co-workers and potential employers may have on a student. Enhancing these skills helps to develop our students into the best version of themselves as they set out to become the business leaders of tomorrow. Your gift of $1,000 will provide approximately ten students with this invaluable opportunity.

Click here or the "Make a Gift" link below to learn more
and solidify your support.


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College of Business

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