Jean Walker, instructor of finance and Miller Professor of Entrepreneurship, has announced her plans to retire at the end of the 2014 calendar year. Ms. Walker earned an undergraduate degree and M.B.A. at West Texas A&M University before joining the faculty at West Texas A&M University in 1980. She is most identified on campus for over twenty years of service as the Sam Walton Fellow for the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE)/Enactus team at West Texas A&M University. SIFE/Enactus has won a regional championship every year of existence on the WTAMU campus and has placed as high as top 12 on the national level. Beyond competition success, Ms. Walker has used SIFE/Enacuts as a vehicle to positively affect the community and help her students mature into young professionals and responsible leaders. The presence and success of SIFE/Enacuts on the WTAMU campus is a direct result of the efforts put forth by Ms. Walker. In 1993, John Marmaduke of Hastings suggested to Dean Jerry Miller that the College of Business at West Texas A&M establish a team. The task fell on the shoulders of Jean Walker. In 1994, she led a small group of eight students to regional competition for a surprising victory. Several members from the initial SIFE team now our successful business leaders in our community that still maintain a strong affinity with SIFE/Enactus. Today, the WTAMU SIFE/Enactus team is a regional powerhouse and one of the highest profile student organizations on the West Texas A&M University campus. Ms. Walker has been able to successfully serve as team leader, academic parent, and lifelong friend to over 600 students that have been members of the WTAMU SIFE/Enactus team over the years. Before SIFE/Enactus, many of these students never participated in a team activity. The SIFE/Enactus experience introduced these students to external travel, group dynamics, networking, applied business skills, community service, ethical leadership, professional business appearance, and how to interview with Fortune 500 companies. SIFE/Enactus has received the Presidential Order of the Silver Buffalo Award at West Texas A&M University, the highest recognition a student organization can receive at the University. Ms. Walker received the Jack Kahl Entrepreneurial Leadership Award for the Sam M. Walton Free Enterprise Fellow of the Year in 2012. Other awards for Ms. Walker include the West Texas A&M University College of Business Service Excellence Award in 2007, appointment as the Miller Professor of Entrepreneurship in 2011, and Career & Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Amarillo Women’s Network in 2012.
“We have business faculty members with impressive doctorate degrees from top institutions and distinguished research records. That being said, one of the hardest people we will ever have to replace is Jean Walker when she retires,” Dr. Neil Terry, Dean of the College of Business, said. ” You simply cannot replace what she has built and given to our students as our Sam Walton Fellow.”
Walker’s primarily teaching areas are corporate finance and financial planning. She has also served as Director for the West Texas Center for Economic Education since 1997, which has resulted in training and continuing education seminars for hundreds business educators throughout the region.
Her recent research and publications include:
- Financing a Remodel: The Case of a McDonald’s Franchisee. Journal of Case Research in Business and Economics, 5 (1), 1-12, 2012.
- Financial Performance of Computer Network and Information Technology Services Companies in Bull and Bear Markets. Academy of Accounting and Financial Studies Journal, 15 (4), 83-97, 2011.
- The Determinants of Student Performance on the Business Major Field ETS Exam: Do Community College Transfer Students Make the Grade? Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning, 6 (1), 1-8, 2010.