New Leadership and Enhancements to Hallmark’s Unique Business Programs

Stephanie yumaDr. Stephanie Yuma, Dean for Hallmark School of Business
In early 2019, Dr. Stephanie Yuma was appointed Dean for the Hallmark School of Business. Dr. Yuma began with Hallmark as the Director of Arts and Sciences, bringing over 10 years of experience in higher education from her former roles at Texas A&M University Kingsville. Dr. Yuma will help develop unique business programs that provide students with real-world experience.

“We are making sure that we’re giving students hands-on experience, as well as the tools and resources needed for success within the business program,” said Dr. Stephanie Yuma. “But to prepare them for what they are going to encounter, we are taking a hard look at our classes.  We want to give our students real-world, industry-relevant knowledge and skills. We’re adding simulated experiences, collaborative exercises with classmates, and bringing industry experts into the classroom to help give students insight into what they will see in their careers.”

Dr. Yuma is also focused on refreshing the Hallmark Consulting Group, or HCG, a unique approach to scenario-based education that is exclusive to Hallmark University’s business programs. This mock organization “hires” students when they are accepted into the program. Throughout their educational journey, they will participate in case studies as HCG, work towards promotions, and eventually train the next incoming group of trainees.

To assist in the advancements of HCG, former IBM Executive Pamela McCray joined Hallmark University as the Program Chair of Business.

Pamela McCrayMrs. Pamela McCray, Program Chair of Business
In 2018, Mrs. Pamela McCray joined Hallmark University’s Development Board and more recently stepped into the role of Program Chair of Business, bringing expertise from her 23-year career as an IBM Executive to help propel Hallmark forward in academia. Mrs. McCray felt the calling to give back to the community after an extensive corporate career and wanted to use her business acumen to help Hallmark University change lives. She hopes to make her dream of cohesive engagement among students, instructors, and industry partners a reality.

“My vision is to take academia and business and bring these two circles together,” said Mrs. McCray. “Right now we still live in separate worlds apart, and we should be learning and researching with one another to help us solve problems. We need cohesion between the corporate world and academia so that our graduates can survive and thrive in the real world.”

Mrs. McCray is enhancing the course materials and building stronger relationships with industry partners in the community, with focused feedback from members of the Program Advisory Committee (PAC).  PAC is a curated collection of business leaders who provide insight on Hallmark’s curriculum and programs so that courses are consistently updated with the latest industry trends.

Overhauling Hallmark Consulting Group

Dr. Stephanie Yuma and Mrs. Pamela McCray are working together to overhaul the Hallmark Consulting Group.  They began by examining all programs within the School of Business to identify the most effective and efficient opportunities to integrate HCG.

“We’ve done a lot of research to give students new experiences, some of which we’ve already integrated into some of our courses,” said Dr. Yuma. ” We are keeping the hands-on, real-world simulated experiences, where students will roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. They will also hear from industry professionals throughout the program, so they will be prepared to get out there and start their careers.”

These enhancements are all part of the first phase of the HCG overhaul.  The addition of industry certifications and interactive classrooms are also underway to improve student collaboration.

“We are in phase one, and we’ve delivered two courses that we’re continuing to develop,” said Mrs. McCray. “Phase two is to provide students internship opportunities in capstone where students are working for our industry partners. The third phase is putting this all together, so we have our standalone consulting group where our students get paid as consultants for real companies. This money would go to provide scholarships for students, providing funding for twenty-five seats. It’s tuition-free by giving students these paid scholarships, and we know it’ll be competitive.”

The future of the Hallmark School of Business is bright, as it evolves under the guidance of Dr. Yuma and Mrs. McCray.  The updates to the program, integration of HCG, and continued partnership of the community all align to help provide students with the tools and skills to be successful in their professional careers.