Just Dunn It!
There’s an old adage about academia: “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” MIS Data Communications professor, Sharon Dunn, is a notable exception. Sharon understands the three cornerstones of MIS education—people, technology and business process—and that understanding comes from having built a thriving and profitable business from scratch.
A longtime Longhorn, Sharon received her B.Ed. in physical education from UT in December 1979 and her MBA in Finance in 1982. In her second year in the MBA program, Sharon drafted a plan for an unusual business, the Money Box. The idea for this enterprise was an outgrowth of a very successful check-cashing business in a family-owned grocery store. Working closely with her father and her two brothers, she opened the first store in April of 1981. More than twenty years later, the business has 67 stores located throughout the state of Texas.
Sharon became fascinated with information systems when she saw how a low-tech business like the Money Box benefited from high-tech information sharing. Her interest in IT led her to PhD work in the IROM Information Systems Program. Sharon’s research extends beyond the impact of computers on the micro scale, looking at how computers have changed business interactions and consumer behavior.
Sharon brings her enthusiasm for this kind of research into the classroom, wanting students to be able to “…articulate the impact of information sharing across networks and the trade-offs, costs, and benefits of alternative technologies.”
With a successful business career under her belt and a strong teaching and research career underway, Sharon Dunn is an excellent role model for aspiring business students because she has in fact “Dunn it all.”
Addendum: After several years of teaching MIS 365, Data Communications and Networking, Professor Dunn made a move to MIS 301 (the new number for MIS 310). She redesigned the Introduction to MIS to introduce the strategic impacts of Information Technology (IT) in the current business landscape, rather than focus on computer tools. Now she teaches MIS 374, the project-intensive course that enables UT MIS grads to succeed in entry-level development positions with a range of business analysis and project management skills to complement the technology background, software design, and programming topics covered in MIS 304, 325, 333K, and 365.