What’s Your More? It takes a dream and a furtherMORE blog to answer this question!
I read Mark Twain’s classic novels of Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn when I was a teenager in Iran. Ever since, I held the images of life on Mississippi, its community goodness, and its exciting adventures, as depicted in the novels, as an integral part of my lifelong dreaming. Little could I foresee that my dreaming would someday become a reality as, three years ago in April 2014, I assumed the Deanship of Winona State University’s College of Business in Winona, situated between the overlooking lush bluffs and Mississippi River in the southeast corner of the great state of Minnesota.
During the past three years, I have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with our students, faculty, alumni, business partners and community members in Winona, Rochester and beyond for taking the educational experience of our graduates to a more distinct level of excellence. Together, with the faculty, students and staff, we, at the WSU College of Business, have come to agreement that “innovative engaged teaching and learning” in partnership with businesses and communities in Winona, Minnesota and beyond will create a more enriched brand of educational experience for our business graduates.
Thus, for a year now we have adopted the tagline of Create Your More, which captures the strong commitment of our faculty and students to go beyond the ordinary by engaging in relevant, meaningful, and ongoing experiential interaction with our business partners. Since then, What’s Your More?, has become my favorite question to ask. Students have answered it through increasing club membership, greater participation in events, and initiating professional development programs and academies, such as Business Week, Beta Gamma Sigma, and the John Latsch Leadership Academy. Faculty have answered it by co-teaching class sessions and organizing expansive company days in close collaboration with our business partners. Alumni have answered it by stating a higher satisfaction with their engaged experience and by reporting a larger number of job offers from employers both locally and nationally. Business partners have answered it by becoming our sponsors and by generously giving of their time, talents, and resources to engage with our students and faculty.
That’s why I’m very excited about the launching of our furtherMORE Blog. It gives us a regular platform for answers to my favorite question as we begin to share our Create Your More experiences, one story at a time, with the world. So, let’s start our blog stories by asking, What’s Your More?
Hamid Akbari, PhD Dean and Professor of Management College of Business HAkbari@winona.edu