It has been five years since the Briner was born. Technically, it’s still a baby. After six months of life, this article was published on the GU website to inform people about what was happening concerning the Briner. Today’s focus is what’s happening after five years! Jane Bell is a Greenville University legend. Most students on campus at least know who she is and love her spirit. Especially in the business school at GU, she is a highly respected professor. For an inside perspective on what’s new with the Briner after five years, Prof Bell will be brought to the stand.
Bell started out as a professor for Kaskaskia College and became an adjunct professor at GU in 2008. After meeting President Filby, who was the head of the business department at the time, she became full time in 2014 when Suzanne Davis became the Chief Legal Officer. Today, Bell teaches two foundational business classes, business 101 and marketing 201, as well as sales and advertising and sports management. She is also the marketing program director. In all her time at GU, she has taught nearly 85 classes. Wow, now that’s an experienced Briner prof! Her favorite part is getting to know the students and helping them discover their gifts and abilities and how they can use those in the business world to help others and take their Christian faith (for those that aren't Christian- take integrity) into the business space.
The changes in the last five years have been significant. The Briner has revamped majors, made it easier for people to double major within or outside of business, and swapped the dean position several times. The current dean is Mark Jenner. Another addition to the school is the Experience First program. It started as just a business student opportunity, but now it is open to every student on campus.“ In Briner, we are not afraid of change. We love it, and we adapt. There are challenges, but they are all for good,” states Bell. Higher education is not known for fast changes, but they do it.
In the five loaves and two fish article, Suzanne Davis talks about how resources, more specifically money, is scarce in the business school at GU. Professor Bell is not a financial expert, but what she did say is, “There’s never enough money to do everything we want to do.” While this could be looked at as a negative, I think it’s awesome! They have so many ideas for expansion in the works, and they use their resources in big ways. Philippians 4:19 reads, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” The Lord has provided the Briner with so much, and although it could always use more, gratitude is the state of mind they choose.
Aside from current changes, there are also some future changes in the works. This includes the development of the master’s program and fine-tuning the online business degree. The current master’s program has been an excellent tool for many students. Not many schools offer a one year MBA program, but GU does! The online program started as just online completion but has now evolved into a face-to-face degree as well.
Why should prospective students come to GU and major in business? If you ask Jane Bell, she believes the experiential learning that takes place is more in-depth than other schools. “You actually get to do things,” she says. Experience first is just one of the many experiential learning opportunities that take place. The Briner also offers entrepreneurial classes. Other selling points that make the Briner school of business stand out is the students’ ability to double major or major/minor with their other interest and the Christian aspect. She says, “We love people here.” Christian or not, all business owners are faced with moral and ethical decisions. How to navigate those choices is a major focus in GU’s business classes. With that being said, faith is a huge part of not only GU but Bell’s teaching. 2 Samuel 5:12 reads, “Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.” Bell explains this verse, “God put you places for the good of others. It’s not for ourselves. It’s not what we can do for God, it’s what God can do through us. Why are you getting this education? It’s for the sake of others, not just for money or position or self-actualization.” This faith piece added to the applicable nature of a business degree is a combination that makes Briner an outstanding choice of school. Click here to apply.
Because Bell is such a respected professor on campus, I asked her to share some advice for students currently grinding out the spring semester. She said that her son’s biggest regret in college was not talking to professors about life, a.k.a things happen outside of class. She goes on to say, “Make those connections. You can come to class and just sit there or you can be engaged. Be engaged to get the most out of things truly. Realize that your college schedule is pretty great. You have freedom and control now more than ever. Use your freedom wisely. When you miss class, it’s like burning a $100.” Take this advice from Bell and run with it!