Transforming Students into Global Citizens
It's a term loaded with heavy connotation, or controversy, depending on who you ask. Yet, it also describes a reality that Dr. John “Jack” Mogab understood was materializing decades ago while earning his doctorate in economics.
Affecting businesses, economics, people and politics alike, globalization has led to an integrated world in which culture and ideas cross borders as easily as goods and services.
Always an astute observer of international business, Mogab was keenly aware of the transformation that was occurring in the mid-1990s, a change made evident at the time with the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Fully cognizant of the valuable economic ties Texas had with Mexico, and aware that Texas State University, then known as Southwest Texas State University, did not have an international business program, Mogab, along with his colleagues at McCoy College, decided to do something about it.
They created the Latin America Business (LAB) certificate program in 1999.
An innovative undergraduate program, the LAB certificate was a hybrid curriculum that infused Latin American studies, international business and Spanish language acquisition. This initial venture into global studies would act as a catalyst for the creation of the college’s Center for Latin American Commerce (CLAC) in 2005. A much-needed link to the international business community, CLAC connected business students with experienced professionals who provided them with critical guidance and industry insights. The center also served as a tool to strengthen international partnerships in Latin America for not only the university but the city of San Marcos and local businesses.
“I recognized the value of international economics in terms of business, career opportunities and its importance in the global economy. Our students needed access to that knowledge and those tools in order to succeed,” says Mogab.
However, few things in modern society remain the same.
The early 2000s saw the unprecedented expansion of the internet and the further advancement of a robust high-tech sector in Central Texas, especially in Austin, which saw its local industry bloom like Hill Country bluebonnets. With its proximity to this tech juggernaut, Texas State was once again ripe for innovation.
As Texas’ economy continued to diversify, and regional economic relations evolved with Asia and Europe, it was Mogab’s belief that McCoy College needed to revamp its strategy to not only focus on Latin America but to also address the rise of globalization. His professional interests in international business were pivotal in the establishment of new international studies and business programs, as well as an interdisciplinary study abroad Spanish immersion program.
With a keen sense of the value of studying abroad, Mogab acted as a proponent for further developing the international business curricula.
“I believe that for students to be successful in today’s global economy, they need a firsthand experience of other cultures, languages and perspective … It’s important to get students abroad,” he says.
Valparaizo, Chile 2008
Popice, Czechia 2015
Honeywell visit, Czechia, 2015
Agricom visit, Chile 2013
McCoy College’s international programming has since expanded to include a growing number of courses focused on globalization and international economics, increased study abroad opportunities across Latin America and Europe, and a number of exchange programs in which students can attend foreign universities. Hundreds of students have benefited from these academic options, traveling across the globe, learning about emerging market economies, finance, marketing and management, while also gaining crucial real-world experiences directly tied to their career path.
One of the most intriguing features of the college’s study abroad programming is the master of business administration with an emphasis in international business. Unlike conventional MBA programs, this unique degree plan was shaped with the intention of providing nontraditional students with the opportunity to participate in study abroad. No longer strictly a scholastic endeavor for undergraduates, the McCoy MBA study abroad experience is one of great value that extends beyond the classroom.
This academic shift toward globalization was also a driving force toward modernizing the Center for Latin America Commerce into the Institute for Global Business (IGB). “We wanted to create opportunities for students, for faculty, and to ensure that the college was maintaining relevance in the 21st century,” Mogab explains.
Transitioning from director of the Center for Latin America Commerce, a position he held from 2005 to 2012, Mogab would again play a central role in the IGB. As a founding member of the institute, and director from 2012 to 2017, Mogab supported the initiatives of the organization including the mentoring of students, the coordination of international business-related seminars, and the sponsorship of projects such as the Export Fellows Certification Program. Made possible through the partnership of the IGB and Texas Camino Real Di strict Export Council, the program has provided innumerable students with hands-on training, exceptional networking events, and the opportunity to learn from successful international business professionals.
Acknowledging the joint efforts put forth by notable parties throughout the years, Mogab humbly declares that it was a collaborative effort that helped to drive the growth of McCoy College’s international business programs and resources. Without a lot of support from the faculty, dean and administration, it wouldn’t have gotten done … It wouldn’t have happened.
Now, after nearly four decades as an educator, scholar and community liaison in the McCoy College of Business, Mogab is set to retire. Since starting his career at the college in 1981 as an assistant professor, Mogab has witnessed many impressive and fundamental changes across Texas State University. Still, despite the seemingly perpetual growth of the university, the persistent construction on campus, and an ever-flowing stream of new students, one thing has remained constant; his passion for education.
“A former professor, who was my mentor, introduced me to the global community and gave me opportunities and guided me in my work. I wanted to create the same opportunities for students and pay it forward."