Department of Management News - Spring 2021

Over a year has passed since the initial COVID-19 lock-down. Since then, the University of North Texas has had to re-invent itself through digital technology and innovative teaching methods to continue offering superior instruction to all of our students. Despite these challenges, enrollment at the G. Brint Ryan College of Business is up 16% from last with near 7,000 students enrolled of whom nearly 22% are graduate students. The Department of Management currently oversees 370+ MBA students enrolled in Strategic Management, Organizational Behavior and Human Resources, or Health Services Management. After having successfully continued in their studies and career obligation during an epidemic, we are excited to see what great things of our students and graduates will do in the coming years. After all, we are Mean Green!

Table of Contents

New Faculty
Alumni Spotlight with Virginia Garza
Visiting Speaker - Megan Reilly
Faculty Awarded by SMA
Entrepreneurship Gone Social
Featured Donor
Stay Connected with the Department of Management

Department Hires New Faculty

The department of management is happy to welcome Drs. Rhonda Reger, Jeremy Short, and Dennis Nasco as new faculty hires this past academic year. Dr. Rhonda Reger

Dr. Rhonda Reger moved from the Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri to join our department in the fall of 2020. Dr. Reger's research is focused in two unique areas: entrepreneurship and social influence. Concerning entrepreneurship, Dr. Reger is interested in factors that influence individuals to pursue entrepreneurial enterprises and continue working on a particular venture rather than letting it fail and moving on to another. She is also interested in how Twitter trends effect managers to support causes like Black Lives Matter and environmental issues.  

Dr. Reger teaches Foundations of Entrepreneurship at UNT in which students are equipped with entrepreneurial skills and behavioral practice that will make them competitive across a variety of career paths.  

Dr. Jeremy ShortAn alumnus from UNT’s MBA program, Dr. Jeremy Short returns as the G. Brint Ryan Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship in Entrepreneurship and teaches a social entrepreneurship class to undergraduates. Dr. Short’s research focuses largely on crowdfunding and social entrepreneurship. Specifically, Dr. Short is interested in how crowdfunding can enable entrepreneurs from around the world to receive access to capital to start their ventures. Learn more about Dr. Short and his research in this podcast interview 

Dr. Nasco joined our team of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource lecturersDr. Dennis Nasco in August 2020. Previously a professor at Southern Illinois University, Dr. Nasco offers a variety of “real-world” experience with over 20 years of combined experience in HR and higher education. As a business owner, Dr. D (as he is known by his students) focuses on teaching practical business topics that affect a professional’s economic potential.

Alumni Spotlight - Virginia Garza

Virginia Garza

We spoke with recent graduate Virginia Garza (2020) about her experience working as an intern during the early stages of the COVID pandemic to working full time with Fidelity.  

Why did you decide to study Organizational  Behavior and Human Resources? There were a couple of factors that helped me decide I wanted to do HR. After some introductory courses at UNT, I wasn’t particularly interested in finance, accounting or marketing. On the contrary, everyone I knew considered me a “go-to” person when it came to drafting resumes, collaborating schedules, and preparing for networking opportunities. I knew I wanted to be a leader, and it seemed HR would pave the way to achieving my career goals 

What did you expect you would do with this degree? How would you describe your career since graduating from UNT? I loved attending human resource courses and learning about the seemingly limitless opportunities in the field. My career post-graduation has been great. I’ve learned a lot about HR, and diversity and inclusion, but also about how to be a support system for associates. 

Describe your work at Fidelity. What was it like interning there during COVID? What is your role now? How has COVID affected your work situation?  I first interned pre-COVID during the Summer of 2019. Since then, I was offered the role of HR Associate in our Rotational Program. Like many of us, I’ve had to learn how to navigate the workforce differently as it is completely virtual. The most challenging (and most rewarding) thing has been learning how to best showcase my work and skills to my teammates. 

How did the G. Brynt Ryan College of Business prepare you for your current role? What were some unique experiences at UNT that contributed to your success? The Career Center was uniquely helpful in teaching me practical job application skills and providing me with amazing opportunities for networking. The HR professors at UNT were really supportive of me in both my coursework and during my job search. Being a part of Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) taught me how to make a positive impression with HR professionals as well as improve networking skills that I still use to this day. 

What has been your greatest accomplishment since graduating from UNT? It is crazy to think that now I am interviewing potential interns as well as recruiting and on-boarding full-time associates for a new Fidelity Program. I am very proud of where I have come since last May, especially in light of having to adapt to the current work environment.

Distinguished Speaker - Megan Reilly

Each year the G. Brint Ryan College of Business hosts the Distinguished Speaker Series which provides students, faculty, and staff with an opportunity to hear from prominent leaders in the business community ideas for building a successful career. 

The Department of Management hosted Megan Reilly, co-owner and COO of Tippi Toes®️ Dance Company, during our annual Distinguished Speaker Series. Reilly first started Tippi Toes as a college freshman, and the company has since been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine's Top 500 franchise list several times. Reilly and her business partner appeared on Shark Tank in 2012 and has since created the podcast, Who Is Your Momma which features mothers of the most successful and influential CEOs, athletes, and entertainers.  

With 180 students “virtually” attending, Reilly shared lessons she learned from her experience on Shark Tank, three keys she has used to keep her business a success after 20+ years, and the importance of putting people above everything. Reilly offered practical tips to students on how to solve problems and motivate one's staff from her experience in starting and building over 30 companies.


Faculty Awarded by Sports Management Association

In 2020, UNT’s Director of Sport Management Bob Heere received the prestigious Stotlar Award from the Sport Management Association. Each year, the Association awards one academician based on specific criteria including mentoring graduate students, advocating for his/her institution at the national/international level, and developing professional development opportunities for those he/she advises. Heere, who was hired in by the department 2018, has spear-headed the online MBA in Sport Entertainment Management program which in February 2020 partnered with the Dallas Cowboys.  

Both Bob Heere and colleague Matt Walker reflect on the changes within the sport industry during the COVID-19 pandemic in a podcast hosted by the G. Brint Ryan College of Business.

Entrepreneurship Gone Social

Nineteen groups of entrepreneurial students developed innovative ways to give back during 2020-2021 winter holiday season. Dr. Jeremy Short has challenged his class with raising $10,000 for charities of their choice.  

“Class groups can select from either DonorsChoose (a crowdfunding platform that supports teachers) or GoFundMe (a platform supporting many causes ranging from animal welfare to veterans’ organizations to mental health, etc.). Students create and develop the idea, campaign, community partner, and all aspects associated with raising the funds,” explained Short. 

Coinciding with Giving Tuesday, a global philanthropic movement, each class campaign began December 1 to reach a goal of $500 before the end of the semester. Many teams had capitalized on the opportunity to give back by starting their projects early, and by December were either already fully funded or making significant headway in reaching their goal.  

Bradley Huffman, senior supply chain management major, teamed up to support Homeless Veterans Services of Dallas, with nearly $400 already in the virtual bank. Huffman and his classmates chose to fundraise for veterans because of their military ties and passion for giving back during this difficult year. 

“I have learned the importance of reaching out to people from all walks of life to help you fundraise and the power of internet fundraising, as it is very easy to share the word and donate,” said Huffman. “If we meet our goal, we will get full credit for our project, but we can also take pride in knowing we raised lots of money for great organizations.” 

Short, who joined the department this fall, brings with him a research background in crowd-funding, content analysis, family business and strategic management, and has appeared in outlets such as the  Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Journal of Business Venturing, Organization Science and Family Business Review.  

Translating his research into practice, Short’s students are seeing the true value, first-hand, in social entrepreneurship. To learn more about the class campaigns, visit the links provided below: 

Featured Donor

Bob Hampton, ’78 UNT MBA graduate, became the inaugural member of the newly formed Dean’s Circle of Excellence with a 5-year commitment to the college.

Hampton’s support came after a recent visit, prompted by Director of Development Mike Farrell. “Even though I live in Fort Worth, it had been decades since I had been on the UNT campus. When Mike Farrell reached out to invite me to visit, I was blown away by the growth and quality of the physical plant, not to mention the diversity of the student body.” 
Hampton saw the growth of the college and the students that it impacted as an opportunity. 
“The fact that many of the students represent the first of their family to go to college was impactful. I feel like it is important to encourage this and to provide them with a top-flight education experience, which UNT provides.” 
As a member of the Dean’s Circle of Excellence, Hampton’s support assists the Dean’s top priorities to ensure institutional excellence at the G. Brint Ryan College of Business—supporting initiatives such as student scholarships, programming, data and software, and marketing and branding. To learn how you can join this circle of changemakers, visit: 


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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G. Brint Ryan College of Business
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