Year in Review – The Best is Yet to Come

2015 has shaped up to be a stressful, yet fulfilling year. 2016 looks to be even more so. Sometimes it seems like life is standing still when viewed in the moment, but when taking time to reflect on an entire’s year worth of activities, growth, and accomplishments, we see just how much life has changed.

Year in Review

At home, the kids have been growing into amazing individuals, much thanks to Greenville Montessori School for helping them get there. Thomas earned his 2nd degree blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do at King Tiger TKD. Tara progressed to the next level in gymnastics. Benny just keeps being awesome.

In the classroom, we worked with 15 more businesses with improving their online presence. Both students and businesses loved the project. In the MBA course, the spring semester went well. But I was inspired to adjust the course for the fall such that I lectured the entire time and my co-instructors took on additional activities behind the scenes. So far, so good.

On the research side of things, I managed to get two articles accepted for publication, two conference proceedings accepted to an international conference (hosted in Puerto Rico), and started several new projects. Two manuscripts that were under review have progressed to a second round of revisions and another article was submitted for publication. Fortunately, I’ve had great co-authors to help me along. And I had help from ECU’s College of Business with a research grant over the summer.

I also managed to land a book contract – a textbook on e-commerce. Yes, that is probably my biggest accomplishment, though this is the first time I have publicly announced it. In my own mind, it’s not official until the book is actually published, which may not be until 2017. This past fall, I have raced against some self imposed deadlines attempting to finish the first seven chapters for my students. It led to many weekends of work, thoroughly wiping me out. This holiday break was spent recovering so that I can make my next big push this spring.

My wife also has some big plans developing. Since she has not gone public with her plans yet, I won’t spoil them here. I will give away this one tid-bit – she recently received a certificate as a sommelier from the US Sommelier Association. I’m so excited for her and hope to see her dreams come to fruition.

The Best is Yet to Come

Which brings me to 2016. Three nieces and nephews and one cousin have announced they are getting married. I’m not sure we can make all the weddings, but it should be exciting times for our family.

Brenda has her big plans, soon to be announced.

We’re also selling our house in Michigan, hopefully to re-invest in an income generating property nearby. Our luck selling that house back in 2011 failed because we attempted it at the bottom of the market. Fortunately, the last 4-5 years has seen a resurgence in the housing market in southeast Michigan so the house we couldn’t sell for $140k in 2011 can now sell for upwards of $190k. Not bad for waiting it out – almost $50k in capital growth.

Besides the normal professor stuff (teaching, research, service, etc.) which will continue on pace, I have to get ready for my tenure application due next fall. I really don’t have time to get nervous about it. I’ve done what I believe is good work as a professor. Either the faculty and administration agree with me and grant me tenure, or they don’t and deny it. If the latter, than ECU obviously isn’t the right place for me. However, I’ve spoken with a number of faculty and they all seem to indicate I have done well and deserve tenure.

As I indicated above, I have my book project to work on. While I like to think I can finish it this year, that may only be the rough draft. I’ll likely have several more drafts to complete before it’s all said and done.

2016 is shaping up to be a year full of excitement. I hope yours is good too.

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