Spears Business alumnus Lance Robertson
appointed to U.S. administration post

Ariel West
  (August 3, 2017 at 4:34 pm)

Lance Robertson graduated from the Spears School of Business with a bachelor’s in general business in 1993.

Former Oklahoma State University business major Lance Robertson has been appointed as the U.S. Assistant Secretary on Aging and Administrator of the Administration for Community Living as nominated by President Donald J. Trump earlier this year.

After serving in the U.S. Army, Robertson graduated from OSU in 1993 with a bachelor’s in general business from the Spears School of Business and obtained a master’s in public administration with honors from the University of Central Oklahoma. He graduated from the 2010 Governor’s Executive Development Program for State Officials and the first class of the Oklahoma Aging Advocacy Leadership Academy in 1997. He was named an honorary alumnus by the OSU College of Human Sciences in 2013 to honor his partnership with its gerontology program.

Previously, Robertson served as Oklahoma’s Director of Aging Services for the past decade and oversaw a range of programs that included the Older Americans Act and a large 1915c Medicaid waiver. He was an administrator at OSU for twelve years, where he co-founded the Gerontology Institute and directed a regional professional association, PartnerShips for Aging. He is a past president of the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) and has served on numerous boards and commissions.

Robertson continues to partner on several initiatives within the OSU College of Human Sciences.

OSU finance alumna selected to attend prestigious AICPA 2017 Leadership Academy

Ariel West
  (July 12, 2017 at 1:35 pm)

Wendy Thompson graduated from OSU in 2008.

Oklahoma State University finance alunma Wendy Thompson was selected as one of only 38 CPAs in the nation to attend the American Institute of CPAs’ (AICPA) Leadership Academy program October 1-5 in Durham, North Carolina.

Thompson grew up in Tulsa and knew she wanted to attend OSU. She graduated from OSU with a bachelor’s in finance with a minor in accounting in 2008 and was also a member of the equestrian team during that time. She works for Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores as the manager of transportation accounting for Love’s trucking business, Gemini Motor Transport. She also serves as the treasurer of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Oklahoma’s Board of Directors and the treasurer for the Thoroughbred Athletes Inc. Board of Directors.

Thompson has a history of success, being selected as one of the Oklahoma Society of CPAs as a 2016 Trailblazer and recently graduated from Leadership OKC’s LOYAL XII Program. She hopes to bring innovative ideas back to her organization and community and continue to improve her leadership skills.

“The selection process was very rigorous, requiring us to submit multiple essays, reference letters, lists of our accomplishments and our résumé,” Thompson said. “I feel very honored to be one of the 38 selected for the program. From a young age, I had always had a passion to learn and to better myself. Earning my CPA designation is one of my proudest accomplishments, and I want to continue to challenge myself as a young CPA and improve as a leader. Continue Reading

Alumni Q&A with Kari Easson

Dollie Elliott
  (June 27, 2017 at 12:05 pm)

Spears School of Business alumna Kari Easson was recently named a 40 Under 40 by Oklahoma Magazine. She is the Controller/Accounting Director at Stillwater Medical Center.

Originally from Maryland, Easson first moved to Stillwater 12 years ago when her husband was a student at OSU. She received a master’s degree in accounting in 2008 and a master’s in health care administration in 2015 from Oklahoma State University.

Today, Easson manages a staff of six and is in charge of the day-to-day financial operations of Stillwater Medical Center (SMC) and all of their clinics and reports to the CFO. She prepares monthly financial statements and monthly financial/statistical reports, oversees the audit process and Medicare cost report preparations by SMC auditors, and coordinates their yearly budgeting process. She also manages the same accounting functions of Blackwell Regional Hospital. Continue Reading

OSU alum Yves Mafolo travels the
world to make his dreams a reality

Ariel West
  (June 2, 2017 at 10:38 am)

Yves Mafolo came to OSU through the African Leadership Bridge program.

He may get to travel all over the globe, but Yves Mafolo put in the hard work to get to where he is today.

Oklahoma State University finance graduate Yves Mafolo is an Angolan national that grew up and lived across the African continent. He attended the African Leadership Academy where he launched both a community-based organization in the outskirts of Johannesburg and a business on-campus, having big dreams to travel the world and open a Pan-African investment firm. He accepted the African Leadership Bridge scholarship and began attending OSU in June 2011, where he began honing his passion of changing Africa.

“The African Leadership Bridge is an organization that helps prepare leaders who will help develop Africa and has a partnership with both the University of Texas at Austin and Oklahoma State University,” Mafolo said. “I’m extremely passionate about contributing to Africa’s development and making it a better place for all of its citizens, and being able to attend a university in the United States has exposed me to a different view of the world that I’m sure will help me achieve my aspirations for the African continent.” Continue Reading

Spears School Alumni Q&A with Tim Woods

Dollie Elliott
  (April 25, 2017 at 12:11 pm)

Timias “Tim” Woods, originally from Tulsa, Okla., received a bachelor’s degree in both business administration and economics from Oklahoma State University in 2008. He recently visited the Stillwater campus to speak to Nancy Titus-Piersma’s Real Estate Finance class to share his experiences in the real estate industry.

Woods is the National Director of Asset Services for Matthews Real Estate Investment Services in Dallas. Currently, he is focused on growing a new division at the firm and tapping into new sources of revenue.

Why did you choose to major in business?

I think I originally wanted to go into banking when I first started as a freshman. I chose economics as a major after finishing Econ 101. Something about the graphs and adjusting demand/supply curves based on the scenario provided intrigued me. Continue Reading

Oil and gas finance experts visit OSU to give
students a glimpse of working in the industry

Dollie Elliott
  (April 6, 2017 at 10:05 am)

Betty Simkins (second from right), interim head of the Department of Finance, hosts oil and gas experts as they visit her energy finance class to share the various career opportunities in oil and gas finance. Guest speakers (from left) Curt Jennings, senior marketing representative, Rose Rock Midstream; Ashley Tucker, Business Development – Project Origination, Blueknight Energy Partners, Clint Duty, vice president, engineering and operations, Targa Resources, and Jeff Oliver, president of Firefly Energy Services.

Four oil and gas finance experts recently visited Oklahoma State University to share their experiences with students to assist them in preparing for careers in the industry.

“We strive to bridge the ‘theory/practice’ gap. It is crucial for students to interact with industry professionals to overcome this gap,” said Betty Simkins, professor and interim head of the Department of Finance in the OSU Spears School Business.

The group shared that Oklahoma is one of the country’s prime locations for oil and gas production not only because of the extensive infrastructure but it is home to numerous service providers, making oil and gas production three times more affordable than most other states in the United States. Continue Reading

Spears School Alumni Q&A with Harlan Beverly

Dollie Elliott
  (March 28, 2017 at 2:07 pm)

Harlan Beverly at the Navigating Entrepreneurship in Austin event and Texas Venture Lab at McCombs School of Business. Photo by Lauren Gerson.

Harlan Beverly, a graduate of the Oklahoma State Ph.D. in Business for Executives Program – Cohort II, was recently named best entrepreneurship professor at the University of Texas at Austin during Entrepreneurship Week by Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency. Harlan teaches Lean Startup Essentials at UT and is Assistant Director of the Texas Venture Labs at UT. He shares how OSU helped him pursue his passions for his higher education, entrepreneurship and helping students achieve their goals. 

Why did you choose to participate in OSU’s Ph.D. In Business for Executives program? 

The OSU Ph.D. in Business for Executives program offered me a chance to continue my goals of lifelong learning and personal achievement. As a lover of video games, I am always looking for ways to push myself and level up. The OSU executive Ph.D. program was the best choice for me because it offered a real Ph.D. experience, including research requirements and a full dissertation while allowing me to continue to run my own business.

What specific OSU experiences or memories do you value most from your time at OSU? 

I fondly remember sitting in the big auditorium inside Boone Pickens Stadium and looking up at my family sitting up in the stands as I waited to be hooded for my Ph.D. That proud moment, sitting next to my Ph.D. dissertation chairman Dr. Tom Brown, is sealed in my memory forever.

Harlan Beverly (left) at the University of Texas at Austin during Entrepreneurship Week hosted by the Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency.

How has your OSU degree helped you get where you are today?

My Ph.D. from OSU has allowed me to give back to the entrepreneurship community of Austin, Texas in a way that was bigger than I ever expected. Now, I get to teach full-time at UT Austin, where I get to teach and nurture more than 200 young student entrepreneurs each semester.

You just published your first book, “Lean Startings.” How was that experience and what is it about?

One of the best things about being a professor at a university is having summers off. I wrote the book last summer because I always wanted to write a book, and because I felt I had an important story to tell. The book is a fiction business novel, written in a style similar to E. Goldratt’s famous book, “The Goal.” My book “Lean Startings” is the story of a young man and a young woman, both of whom have a startup idea, but no clue as to where to begin. They both end up succeeding in their own way, and while learning entrepreneurship together, also fall in love.

You were just named best entrepreneurship professor at the University of Texas. Can you tell us about that honor and your role in Entrepreneurship Week at UT?

Entrepreneurship week at UT is a celebration of the year’s many entrepreneurship activities, professors, and students. It is the culmination of the entire UT Austin’s entrepreneurship programs. To be named best entrepreneurship professor is actually a huge deal and honor, because it is the only such award given out all year, and is a result of my year-long entrepreneurship teaching efforts.

Tell us about some achievements you are most proud of since graduating from OSU.

I am most proud of my students’ achievements. One of my students, a sophomore at UT Austin, created a business selling survival backpacks in one semester as part of my class and generated over $3,000 during the semester. I have had dozens of students go on to create actual companies after graduating and that is what makes me most proud.

Want to add anything else?

As always, I want to encourage everyone to follow your dreams. Hard work, passion, and focus will yield results. The only way to fail is never to have tried.  The only way to lose is to give up.

Harlan Beverly’s book can be found at or

Spears School Alumni Q&A with Charlotte Du

Dollie Elliott
  (March 28, 2017 at 1:44 pm)

Charlotte Du

Xintong Charlotte Du, originally from Harbin, China, received a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management with a minor in finance from Oklahoma State University last spring. She recently accepted a full scholarship offer for the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s MBA program where she will concentrate on real estate. She shares her love of OSU and the impact the Spears School had on her undergraduate education.

Why did you choose to attend OSU?

I came to OSU for a dual-degree hospitality program between Sun Yat-Sen University Business School in China and OSU School of Hotel & Restaurant Administration. My passion is the hospitality industry and I knew that in order to go further in the industry, I needed a good understanding of its business side, especially on real estate. So I started a minor in finance at Spears School of Business in my junior year of college.

Charlotte Du at the Real Estate Center at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

How does it feel to have been accepted into the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s MBA program with a full scholarship?

I am excited and a little bit nervous. I am thrilled to continue my education in real estate at one of the top programs in the nation. I am grateful for this opportunity and the generous fellowship given by the school. At the same time, as one of the youngest MBA candidates in the program with less work experience compared to my future classmates, I know that I will need to work double and triple hard to do well in the program. Nevertheless, I will do the best that I can and carry on my orange spirit up North in Wisconsin.

You have said that Nancy Titus-Piersma, lecturer in the Spears School, was one of your favorite faculty members. Tell us about your relationship and her influence on you as a person and student.

Professor Titus has definitely made a great influence on my career development. I love her class, especially the Friday News Roundups and case studies on significant events like the Financial Crisis. It’s amazing how much she gets us connected to real-life events in her class and those knowledge has proved to be super helpful when I stepped into the real world. I also appreciate her helping me with my career – she even spent time after class showing me how to read and analyze financial statements of my current company so I could be better prepared for my onboarding!

On campus with Pistol Pete

What specific OSU experiences or memories have shaped you as a person?

The two years spent at OSU were definitely two of the best years in my life. Being a part of the Cowboy Cousins and organizing events with some outstanding students from the Spears School of Business, I became more familiar with American culture. By participating in all of the amazing events at the School of Hotel Restaurant and Administration, like Chef Events, OSU Wine Forums and Hospitality Days, I had definitely developed good communication and leadership skills. Since taking finance classes at the Spears School of Business, I have cultivated a good habit of reading and staying updated with business news.

A couple weeks ago I happened to find a list from three years ago about what I wish I would become after graduating from college. I was surprised to find out that I achieved more than half of the things on that list, including being a more confident and assertive person. I think my all of my OSU experiences have shaped me to be a better version of myself. Couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful college experience. I am proud to be a Poke!

Eight distinguished alumni to be honored
by Spears School of Business on Nov. 11

Ariel West
  (August 29, 2016 at 4:31 pm)

Spears School of Business Hall of Fame sealOklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business will recognize eight distinguished alumni at the 2016 Hall of Fame banquet at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 11 at Meditations Banquet Facility, 1205 N. Country Club.

The annual banquet recognizes OSU graduates with distinguished professional careers who have given back to their communities and displayed leadership skills. John Bale, Mike Hyatt and Pat O’Brien will be honored as inductees into the Spears Hall of Fame, the highest honor awarded by the Spears School.

Also, Matthew Daniel, Abbey Davis, Angie Johnson, Chelsea McCool, and Michael Westerman will be honored as Outstanding Young Alumni at the banquet.

“We have been honoring and recognizing some of our finest graduates since 1964 and these individuals are certainly deserving to be honored,” said Ken Eastman, dean of the Spears School. “John Bale, Mike Hyatt and Pat O’Brien inspire all of us at the Spears School through their professional and personal success, and are definitely worthy of joining this select group as inductees into the Hall of Fame. The five chosen for the Outstanding Young Alumni are also great examples to what can be accomplished through hard work and perseverance.”

Continue Reading