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G. Brint Ryan College of Business.

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Leiza Dolghih ('02)

D Magazine has recognized Leiza Dolghih, 2002 graduate of UNT’s Organizational Behavior and Resource Management program, as one of the best lawyers in Dallas under 40, for the third consecutive year.

Nominations are based on votes received by lawyers with a valid Texas Bar number. These lawyers are asked to nominate two other lawyers outside of their firm and one within their firm--once all votes all tallied, a panel meets to evaluate and finalize the list. The award serves to recognize Dallas’ up-and-coming attorneys who have made significant professional contributions.

Dolghih is a co-chair of Lewis Brisbois’ Trade Secrets & Non-Compete Disputes Practice and focuses her practice on prosecuting and defending misappropriation of trade secrets and breaches of non-compete and non-solicitation agreements.

Dolghih and all other winners were featured in D Magazine’s January 2020 issue.




Omeed Shams ('11)

When Omeed Shams first started at UNT, he admits that while he was focused on his academics, he wasn't a big proponent of institutional education.

"I didn't love school very much," he says.

He grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, the oldest son in "a southeast Asian family."

"I was more or less groomed to take over the family business," he says. "At that point in my life, that's what I thought I was going to do."

Getting a degree was a task he needed to complete in order to move closer to one day taking over the family business, a company that specializes in providing health software for medical facilities.

"I was going to class and then going to work. I was working full-time," Shams says. "When I started my undergraduate degree, I was interested, but I wasn't passionate about entrepreneurship. I think UNT was where I started cultivating passion."

That passion manifested in many ways. As he was finding a growing affinity for entrepreneurship, he also was finding his place in the family business, gravitating toward new product development.

"Getting a business degree at UNT helped light that initial fire. While I was at UNT, I actually started and was running my own business," he says.



Jerome "Bruzzy" Westheimer

G. Brint Ryan College of Business students at the University of North Texas are invited to put their entrepreneurial creativity to the test, thanks to the generosity of Oklahoma business leader and UNT alum, Jerome “Bruzzy” Westheimer. 

This is the third year that the college will host the Westheimer New Venture Competition--giving students the unique opportunity to pitch their original business ideas to a panel of established venture capitalists, consultants, entrepreneurs and executives. First-, second- and third-place winning teams will receive $10,000, $5,000 and $1,000, respectively. Remaining finalists will take home $100 per individual. 
Westheimer earned his bachelor’s degree in administrative management in 1965 and went on to have a lucrative career. He is currently president of Valbel West, an oil and gas producer and geology business in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and president and CEO of the Jerome Westheimer Family Foundation. For his professional prominence, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the university, and he was inducted into the North Texas Athletics Hall of Fame as a Fred McCain Honoree, both in 2016. In 2019, he received the university's highest honor, the Wings of Eagles Presidential Award.

Westheimer is also a life member of the UNT Alumni Association, a lifetime member of the UNT Kuehne Speaker Series and a member of the university’s President’s Leadership Board. 


College sees record numbers in graduate program enrollment

This spring, the graduate programs office at the Ryan College of Business has experienced its highest enrollment numbers on record. For Spring 2020, graduate enrollment sits at 765 students, a 23% increase over last spring, and approximately 15% increase from fall to spring.

“At the close of summer 2020 we anticipate being above our historic academic year enrollment, the sum of students in fall, spring and summer semesters, which was 1,708 in year 2010–2011,” explained Ben Dearman, assistant dean of master's programs for the Ryan College of Business.

The college will need just 276 students to enroll this summer in order to surpass its record year--and given last summer’s enrollment of 501 students, this seems like a safe mark to hit.

“In general we are seeing growth in all our programs. The Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences (ITDS), in particular, has seen immense growth,” said Dearman.

ITDS programs, such as business analytics, have played a large role in these new numbers. In spring 2018, 59 master’s students joined the program, while in spring 2020, that number more than doubled to 130.

Newly designated STEM degrees have been a driving force in this recruitment. ITDS changed its Master’s Degree in Business Analytics to a STEM discipline and recently created a STEM-based MBA. The Master’s Degree in Finance has also reported modest growth since its STEM designation announcement last year.

Another factor for this upwards trend in enrollment can be attributed to the full-time cohort MBA that is not only enabling students to finish their degree in less time, but is consistently bringing corporate visibility to the college.

“Of course, these increases in enrollment have indisputably been a college-wide effort and could not have happened without the support of the college’s faculty, chairs and staff,” said Dearman.

Assistant Professor Ling Ge awarded research grant

Information Technology and Decision Sciences Assistant Professor Ling Ge has been awarded UNT’s Jr. Faculty Summer Research Grant. The $5,000 grant will assist Ge’s research in studying crowdfunding and microfinance.

“My new project intends to understand the financial decisions made by small business owners and their welfare changes after they receive funds from crowdfunding platforms,” said Ge.

The Jr. Faculty Summer Research Grant is a one-time award, given to associate or assistant professors in their first summer at the university. The expectation is for funds to be allocated toward advancing junior faculty members’ research efforts.

Ge began at the college in the fall of 2019 and currently teaches business statistics and introduction to data mining.

Founder and Former President of Chili's set to speak on February 24

Larry Lavine, owner at Turtle Creek Restaurant Group and founder and former president of Chili's, will be joining the Ryan College of Business as its spring distinguished speaker.

Lavine consults, conducts speaking engagements and has led and operated restaurants chains in the US and abroad. He has developed brands and has consulted with companies for more than 40 years. He has served on advisory boards and national organizations and brings knowledge and experience in brand development, team building, culture building programs, menu development, site evaluation and operating experience in expanding brands. Lavine founded and served as Chili’s (Brinker Int.) president and led it through the IPO. He purchased and expanded Tia’s TexMex throughout the Southwest and has developed and led the expansion of many private restaurant chains in the US. Lavine has worked with major restaurant chains in rebranding, concept refinement, as well as consulting in team building to achieving a motivated team, building a strong emphasis on a cultural development program and complete menu development. He has proven programs for building continual improvements in food quality and hospitality, along with review processes to keep brands fresh and competitive.  

The lecture, co-sponsored by the College of Hospitality, Merchandising and Tourism, will begin at 4:00 pm, Monday February 24 in the UNT Lyceum. Admission is free and open to the public. Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.




ITDS Chair Leon Kappelman weighs in on 2019 Society for Information Management IT Trends Study

Dr. Leon Kappelman, chair of the Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences, serves as the lead author on the Society for Information Management’s study on IT issues and trends.

The 2019 study, detailed by Information Week, analyzed responses from 1,033 IT executives, showing some common underlying concerns in the realm of information and data security. Kappelman, however, points out that many organizations indicated that they are not properly prepared to address significant data breach risks.

While the study shows that attention to cybersecurity has increased to roughly 36%, many billion dollar companies are still lacking a chief information security officer (CIO) to circumvent potential shortfalls. Kappelman pins this gap on organizations being more lethargic about their needs and how to address them. Another trend noted was that more CIOs are now coming from non-IT backgrounds—31.1% in 2019, compared to 8.4% in 2015.


Alan Stucky named Vice Chancellor & General Counsel for the University of North Texas System

University of North Texas System Chancellor Lesa Roe announced Alan Stucky as the system’s new Vice Chancellor & General Counsel. Stucky has served the UNT System as Interim Vice Chancellor & General Counsel since November, 2019, and has spent more than 15 years in the system’s Office of General Counsel.

“Through his many years of service to our system, Alan has demonstrated exceptional leadership and ability,” Roe said. “Alan’s rich experience, steady demeanor and selfless leadership will provide stability and strong direction for our Office of General Council. He is well-respected across our organization as a strategic partner for me, our Board of Regents and all of our institutions.”

The Office of General Counsel represents the UNT System, its Board of Regents and its universities in all legal matters. Stucky joined the UNT System in 2004 and previously served as Senior Associate General Counsel. In addition, he has served UNT as an adjunct professor since 2006, teaching several business law courses for the G. Brint Ryan College of Business.

Previously Stucky worked as in-house counsel and risk manager for Hillcrest Health System in Waco. He was also in private practice with Dunnam & Dunnam, LLP, in Waco, as well as with Brown & Fortunato, P.C., in Amarillo.  Stucky received his J.D. from Baylor University Law School and his B.S. from Bethel College.

Gartner’s 2020 Top 25 Supply Chain University Programs Industry Practitioner survey

One key input to Gartner’s semiannual rankings of supply chain university programs is an external industry survey where Gartner asks supply chain professionals to name, in their opinion, the top five supply chain programs, as well as the top programs they are recruiting out of (a two-question survey that should take approximately 5 minutes).

Please feel free to click the link below and share it with your supply chain contacts in the commercial, government, and non-profit sectors outside of academia (professors, students, and university personnel are ineligible to vote). The survey will remain open through Tuesday, February 11, 2020. All survey participants will receive PDF copies of the research when it publishes in May 2020.




Your gift toward the Ryan College of Business General Scholarship Fund gives all declared business majors an opportunity to reduce future debt and focus on their academic endeavors. All business students are eligible to apply for a Ryan College of Business general scholarship, which are competitively awarded on the basis of academic excellence and merit.


The Professional Leadership Program (PLP) vision is to continually be recognized in the education and business sectors as an exceptional servant leadership development and mentoring program, serving as a model for partnerships between the university, students, community, and businesses. Your gift to support the program (\celebrating more than 25 years of investing in the next generation of global leaders) will enable students to strengthen their leadership style, expand their professional networks, and grow in key marketable skill development.


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 facilitate these efforts to assist in the professional, educational and social development of college students interested in finance, banking and investments.


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