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Anna McKee  

Anna McKee was the first woman to win IBM’s collegiate coding contest, Master the Mainframe, last year – and now, she’s done it again.

The win by senior Anna McKee marks the third consecutive time a UNT student has won the competition. Anna is one of two winners and the only woman to win this year for the North American region. Her performance also resulted in McKee being ranked in the top three competitors globally—the only woman in the winning group. 

 “When I competed in Master the Mainframe in September 2017, I thought that the whole competition was judged on how long it took to complete,” said McKee. “I worked like crazy to work through all three parts and finished in just two weeks. What I didn’t realize was that only the first two parts of the contest are based on time and that I actually had until the end of December to complete the third and hardest challenge. I was shocked when I found out that I’d won.”

Master the Mainframe is a hands-on virtual competition that gathers students from six regions of the world and challenges them to master the skills that experienced mainframe systems programmers use to do their jobs. Competitors like McKee, a student in the Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences, faced off against other students in North America to come up with the most creative solutions to real-life computing problems and coding errors.

More than 18,000 high school and university students, a record number, participated in the three-part competition. Part One is for beginners (no previous mainframe experience necessary.) Contestants learn the basics of mainframe programming with step-by-step instructions to complete challenges. Part Two is a mainframe skills journey where students complete challenges that help them use computer languages to navigate the mainframe environment. Part Three, the most difficult challenge, is the “Real World Challenge” where competitors use real-life scenarios encountered by experienced systems programmers to develop unique, creative solutions with limited guidance. Only a select number of students choose to go on to Part Three, and an even smaller number are able to complete that portion.

As part of her award, McKee received a $1,000 prize pack, and a $2,750 travel stipend to attend IBM’s largest conference of the year: THINK 2019. At the San Francisco event, McKee was recognized on stage in front of thousands of conference attendees. McKee will graduate from UNT this spring with a Bachelor of Science in information systems and a Bachelor of Business Administration in decision sciences.




Natalie Boyd

MBA candidate Natalie Boyd took home first place for the college, and a $1,000 scholarship, in the 2019 Nicholas and Anna Ricco Ethics Scholarship Competition.

The annual competition charges students with devising an essay that answers to the ethics of a chosen case study. This year’s case study focused on the ethical nature of Facebook mining its users’ posts for signals that they might break up with their significant other, and then allowing businesses to target ads based on this information.

“My final thoughts were that Facebook was acting within its legal bounds, because they do in fact detail everything they plan to do to users in their privacy policy. However, there have been numerous studies that prove that the majority of people in the world (over 91%) do not even read these privacy policies,” said Boyd. “My suggested solution was to provide greater transparency to consumers.”

Boyd conducted extensive research and gathered insights from professors in a variety of fields to help formulate the opinions in her winning essay. Dr. Penney (administrative strategy), Dr. Paswan (Innovation) and Dr. Torres (data mining) all provided varied perspectives that played a role in Boyd’s conclusions.

When asked what business ethics ultimately means to Boyd, she recalled the Golden Rule that her parents instilled in her from a young age. “A person truly has the opportunity to make a meaningful impact not only on their business environment and company, but also to their surrounding communities. They can lift up their employees, coworkers, and even try to organize charity organizations or partner with nonprofits to try and not only make a profit, but also do good in the process.”

Boyd was also the first place winner of the 2017 Westheimer New Venture Competition, hosted by the G. Brint Ryan College of Business, where she took home $10,000 for her innovative business pitch.
"I'm excited and hopeful for the future and am eternally grateful to UNT and the Ryan College of Business for the friends I've made that are now like family, the amazing professors I've had that have taught me more than I could ever dream of and the continual opportunities for growth I've been given." 


The LaMothe Family

Logistics entrepreneur and longtime UNT logistics supporter William "Bill" LaMothe, chairman of the board for Perimeter Global Logistics (PGL), and son Beau LaMothe, chief sales and marketing officer for PGL, assisted UNT in hosting another successful fundraising event for the UNT Logistics and Supply Chain Management program.

The LaMothe Classic, which took place on March 26 at the Maridoe Golf Club, gave attendees the chance to participate in a golf scramble event, while also supporting the college’s logistics program with the purpose of improving student's skills, knowledge and critical thinking.

The LaMothes’ advocacy and generosity of the program has solicited additional support from the DFW community toward the future of logistics education, ultimately aiding in the delivery of work-ready students to industry—benefiting both UNT and the logistics field.


MBA students win $20k in UNT’s first Ed Tech Ascend pitch competition

An app aimed at connecting aspiring artists with renowned, experienced musicians who can provide valuable performance critiques via written, audio or video upload was the presentation that won the top $20,000 prize in UNT’s first Ed Tech Ascend pitch competition.

Inspired by the hit show Shark Tank®, the pitch competition – Ed Tech Ascend – offered $25,000 in prizes, including the top prize of $20,000 and a second-place prize of $5,000.

UNT MBA students Michelle Schodowski and Charles Laws put forward the winning pitch.

“This competition was an amazing opportunity for us,” said Laws, who earned his bachelor’s degree in Spanish from UNT in 2018. “This will help us get off to a great start.”

Their budding company, Denton-based Radda, is an online service that facilitates the seeking and giving of musical advice while fostering valuable connections among artists across the globe.

“Music masterclasses, where you get to study for about 20 minutes with a master in the field, are very important to the profession,” said Schodowski, who earned her bachelor’s degree in piano performance from UNT in 2018. “We wanted to take that idea and put it online to create a service where people have a way to reach out to experts in their field to get feedback. Our idea is to start with music, but then expand it to academia, arts, science, literature – we want to eventually be able to do everything.”

The Ed Tech Ascend pitch contest was designed to encourage creative individuals and teams to “sell” their product vision to judges, companies and potential investors.


UNT team develops blueprint for first place at annual real estate competition

Seven students, over 30 hours of research and one innovative approach brought home first place for UNT at the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) Dallas College Case Competition on March 1.
“This is a tremendous win for both UNT and the real estate program,” said competition faculty advisor Dr. John Baen. “The students competed against major North Texas universities and delivered a comprehensive analysis that made me proud to be their advisor.”
The IREM competition serves to involve undergraduate students in practical real estate experiences to help them gain insight into the property management profession. This year, the teams were tasked with solving a real-world real estate challenge currently facing an affluent area of Dallas.
G. Brint Ryan College of Business real estate students Renee Looney, Nicholas Williams, Rene Robles, Logan Gregory, Quinton Pisciotta, Jason Hurd and Jasmine Sellers were among those on the winning team. Together, they were able to develop a way to generate value from an underutilized space with limited funding and problematic financing.

UNT takes one of top 3 spots in virtual business learning challenge 

InVEST and the Big “I” Diversity Council announced the University of North Texas as one of the three winning teams in the 2nd Annual College Agency Management Competition. Winners were chosen based on business results of owning and operating a virtual insurance agency. 
The competition, hosted by InVEST and the Big “I” Diversity Council, was designed to teach college students the basics of entrepreneurship, insurance agency management, business operations and teamwork through a virtual online competition developed by PriSim War Games. 

Deanna Spears (team lead), Ryan Blasavage, Michael Powell, Kidest Legesse and Martin Pham were the team members that took home the winning prize.

During the month-long competition, the students input their agency’s business decisions into PriSim’s agency management platform taking responsibility for strategy, carrier and customer management, source management, staffing, sales and financial statements. 
Professors, insurance agents, a corporate partner and a PriSim staff member mentored each team throughout the competition to help them understand real-world issues such as how to read a profit and loss statement, the impacts of staffing, market segmentation and more. 




Accomplished alumni set to be honored at 2019 G. Brint Ryan College of Business Gala

Three UNT G. Brint Ryan College of Business alumni will be honored this spring at the college’s annual gala. The gala, scheduled for April 26, will recognize both students and alumni for their outstanding achievements, innovation and leadership.

Mr. Samuel P. Golden and Mr. Jim McNatt will both be inducted into the college’s Hall of Fame, the most prestigious honor conferred by the college. Hall of Fame recipients are vetted and selected for their professional achievements that have merited the honor and praise of their peers and colleagues.

“We are delighted to honor Sam and Jim for their ongoing commitments and achievements to both the university and the community. We are proud to have such exemplary role models for our students and it is a privilege to celebrate them and the distinction they represent,” said Dean Marilyn Wiley.

I addition to Golden and McNatt, Mr. Brandt Self will also be honored with the college’s Rising Star award. The Rising Star award serves to recognize a recent alum that has shown exceptional growth in their profession, as well as a strong potential for future successes.
The annual gala will be hosted at the Monroe Pearson in Denton and is a private, invite-only event.


G. Brint Ryan College of Business MBA program ranked by U.S. News & World Report

Six University of North Texas graduate academic programs were ranked recently in the nation’s top 50 by U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 list of Best Graduate Schools, including the G. Brint Ryan College of Business.

The business administration graduate program (MBA program) ranked fourth in Texas, 64th among public universities and 99th overall in the nation, according to the rankings.

 “Our academic programs are some of the best in the country and it is wonderful to see the hard work of our faculty, staff and students recognized in national publications like U.S. News & World Report,” said UNT President Neal Smatresk. “UNT students and faculty make a tremendous impact on the world through innovative research, creative pursuits, and continuously win top honors and international competitions. Our students graduate prepared to enter the rapidly changing workforce and make meaningful contributions.”





A $10,000 gift sponsors a student worker for one full year, aiding staff efforts and giving students the added benefit of valuable real-life work experience to help them succeed in life after college.

We welcome and appreciate your gifts as we continue to offer our students the best quality education at an affordable rate.


Sponsoring two G. Brint Ryan College of Business students to compete in one regional competition will help properly award our talented students so that their hard work and critical thinking skills are recognized and on a larger scale by being afforded the opportunity to enhance their educational development and experiences. This funding will cover all student costs for the competition, including meals, registration, air and one night hotel stay.


The Financial Management Association (FMA) C. Steven Cole Chapter, UNT was started in honor of Dr. Steven Cole, former professor of finance. FMA offers student members the opportunity to network with industry professionals and become part of an exclusive network of finance professionals, practitioners and students around the world. Your support will help faciliate these efforts to assist in the professional, educational and social development of college students interested in finance, banking and investments.

Click here or the "Make a Gift" link below to learn more
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G. Brint Ryan College of Business

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