“If students know this is a space where they are free to be who they are, they will be empowered to question everything, harness the power of innovation, and know they have our support to propel them to their true potential,” said Boyd, the new Dean of VCU Business School.
The four-story, 145,000 square foot building, which opened in 2008, is an incredible space capable of educating the next generation of innovative business leaders, Boyd said. “I love our building and want to incorporate learning labs for industry-led projects, internships with enterprise plug-ins that will allow students to work where they learn and immediately apply knowledge they acquire in their courses.
“It is not only our job to impart knowledge to our students, but to prepare them to meet the many challenges imposed by a technologically changing global business market. We can meet them where they are, offer them opportunities to make them the next world leaders, capable of changing our world. It’s really our mission to get them out of Snead Hall and into the industry without missing out. To truly prepare them for what is to come, we must embed conscious leadership into our mission and program, and truly create a culture of care. We need to create a program that allows our students to live the life they want to live.
“These are my people”
Boyd herself felt right at home when she first visited the university.
She wasn’t looking for a change. In fact, she loved her work as Associate Dean for Innovation, Outreach, and Engagement at West Virginia University, and as Chair, Professor, and Fred T. Tattersall Chair of Department Finance. of Finance from John Chambers College of Business and Economics.
But the strengths – from headhunters to her husband – prompted her to check out VCU.
When Boyd came here, she realized “these are my people”.
“I immediately saw all of these incredible opportunities to really make an impact and influence,” she said. “And that’s really why I came to VCU. The possibility of working on an R1 urban campus [R1 denotes a doctoral university with very high research activity] which has an incredible reputation, grounded in medicine and the arts, in the heart of Virginia’s capital, surrounded by industry, made me feel like the opportunities here are endless.
“Our student body is so rich and diverse and if we leverage that, we have something really special. At VCU, we really organically have what organizations are looking for in terms of a diverse mindset that can lead social responsibility business, sustainability and innovation.
Boyd officially started on July 1, but has met with leaders from across campus, community and school since VCU hired her eight months ago. Where traditional business schools can be very rigid, Boyd said, VCU has the opportunity to change that model. “If we embrace our culture, our people, and our potential, there really is no end to where we will go as a school and VCU as an institution. The new university brand says exactly that: “We are different and that is why we are here.”
Small leap from dance to finance
Boyd grew up in Dallas where she attended a performing arts high school primarily for music. Eventually, her passion for dancing took over. She spent her high school years deeply rooted in the Dallas arts community at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
Boyd sympathizes with first-generation college students because she was the first in her immediate family to attend college as a traditional student. It was his first foray into dorm life, student loans, and trying to figure out how to pay tuition.
“I ended up going to the University of Texas [at Austin] because I was very pragmatic,” she said. “It was the cheapest option in the state, so financially it was doable.”
Boyd received a BFA in dance from UT Austin, while also training at Dallas Black, Ballet Dallas, and eventually Ballet Austin. When life took her young family to Lubbock, Texas, she decided to hang up the pointe shoes and go to business school, like her father had. The early retirement was mainly prompted by a back injury, a common injury among dancers and gymnasts. She found new ways to be creative as she used her analytical skills to pursue an MBA in finance from Texas Tech University and eventually a Ph.D. in finance from George Washington University.
When people wonder how she made the leap from dancing to finance, Boyd is unfazed.
“Why wouldn’t I? ” she asked. “From an intellectual perspective, being a dance major, I wrote critical analyzes of different pieces of dance, art and theater almost daily, thus entering a discipline that is so analytically driven , researching market trends and shifts… building this narrative came naturally in many ways.
After spending eight years in the Office of Chief Economist of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Boyd became involved in the work of understanding the innovations that were happening in trading and capital markets. Her research focuses on investments and market microstructure, and she strongly believes that her commission work at a time of such incredible changes in financial markets has helped her see how technology is shifting the entire field of business. to new unexplored areas.
“Coming to VCU, which is home to a graduate school for the arts, to run a business school is like coming full circle for me,” Boyd said. “I’m really excited to have the opportunity to integrate business into the strong and rich cultural aspects of the university. It’s a place where great things can really happen. It’s a place where we don’t just talk about innovation, but we create that innovation and bring it to the industry.
“My primary focus is disruption,” Boyd said. “My responsibility to our faculty, staff and students is to question everything: disrupt the way you work, learn and teach to ensure we are not locked into the way we have always done things. Questioning leads to innovation. And innovation allows us to emerge as leaders.
Boyd said she fully believes in VCU’s mission to provide access to high quality education for the Commonwealth. To do this in a meaningful way, she hopes to develop industry-informed curricula, harness the power of school diversity, and harness the strength of a renowned R1 institution to break down silos and create interdisciplinary degrees.
And, most importantly, she said, to help the school’s faculty, staff and students change the world around them in impactful ways.
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