2022 Best Undergraduate Professors: Beata M. Jones, Texas Christian University Neeley School of Business

Beata M. Jones
Texas Christian University Neeley School of Business

“Dr. Jones has been my favorite teacher thus far. She is extremely personable and has truly wished to get to know me as a person. She takes time in aiding me not only in my schoolwork, but my internships and my personal life. She has truly changed how I view my college experience and inspired me to pursue a degree in economics because of her wonderful teaching and guidance.” – Grace Hughes

Beata M. Jones, 61, is Professor of Business Information Systems Practice and an Honors Faculty Fellow at Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business.

She is the 2021 winner of the TCU Deans’ Teaching Award, the top TCU award for teaching, and has held the title of the Neeley Distinguished Teacher – one of only three ever awarded – since 2018.

She is a Fulbright Scholar to the Warsaw School of Economics, a board member at the National Collegiate Honors Council, an editorial board member at the Journal of the European Honors Council, and the founding director of the Neeley Fellows Program, the flagship business honors program at TCU. She is the recipient of 23 TCU Senior Class Legacy Awards from graduating seniors, and been named the Mortar Board Preferred Professor award four times.


At current institution since what year? 1995


  • Ph.D., Computer Science, City University of New York
  • M.S./B.B.A., Operations Research/Computer Information Systems, Baruch College

List of Undergraduate courses you teach:

  • Business Information Systems
  • Systems Planning and Process Analysis
  • Business Information Systems Development
  • Global Digital Innovation
  • Global Business with an Ethical Lens


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I taught my first class at Baruch College after graduating from the M.S./B.B.A. program the semester before. I was terrified before each class, in part, because I was not as fluent in English I as wanted to be. Polish is my first language. Regardless, I found the connection with the students and the opportunity to enhance understanding rather addicting.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I am currently researching business honors education and have discovered that this niche of business faculty working with talented students does not have a platform where they can congregate for professional development and networking opportunities. I plan to take steps to fill this void in the coming year(s), as I am active in several international organizations that can facilitate the development of a business honors community.

If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be… a party planner, florist, chef, social worker, creative writer, travel blogger, airport COO, kindergarten teacher or game inventor

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? I believe my stand-out traits are passion, curiosity, compassion, dedication to excellence, encouragement, confidence building, connecting, and innovation.

One word that describes my first-time teaching: Anxious

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: I didn’t realize just how much of an impact being a business school professor can have on the lives of so many.

Professor I most admire and why: Dr. Linda Friedman, my master’s and Ph.D. theses advisor was the first person who came to mind. She was a terrific role model, mentor, and cheerleader, who inspired me to follow in her footsteps. I admired her chutzpah, sense of humor, dedication, and most importantly, her trailblazing. What a life well-lived!


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? First and foremost, I enjoy sharing my passion for information technology in hopes of inspiring some students into a field that needs a lot of new talent to keep us competitive as a nation. Second, I appreciate the “aha” moments created in class and the overwhelming sense of pride when hosting former business students as guest speakers in my classes. Third, I am grateful for the life-long connections created with students.

What is most challenging? By far the most challenging aspect of teaching is providing qualitative feedback, as it is voluminous and monotonous, but so critical to business students’ learning.

In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Enthusiastic

In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Entitled

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Demanding but fair


What are your hobbies? Games, travel, reading, cooking, walking, gardening, TCU football, and adventures

How will you spend your summer? I will spend part of the upcoming summer in Europe teaching Global Business with an Ethical Lens in Sicily, traveling around Europe with my husband, and visiting several universities.

Favorite place(s) to vacation: A new place I have not been to, yet, either a city, or a beach, or a national park, preferably in a place that is foreign to me culturally, with lots of opportunities for adventures, e.g., New Zealand, Glacier National Park, Amalfi Coast.

Favorite book(s): I tend to read a lot of non-fiction with insights that can translate into how I teach. They might relate to the world today, the needed skills, high-impact practices, course design, pedagogy, the science of learning, or technology. Within this domain of my reading, I would say that Creating Innovators – The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World (2012) by Tony Wagner has been the most impactful read as it inspired me to try inquiry learning in the classroom with my honors students, creating unforgettable classroom experiences and outcomes. My favorite novel is The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It’s a memoir with the ultimate story of perseverance and non-conformance of the human spirit in face of adversity and poverty, highlighting the importance of education and how it can catapult individuals from hopelessness to thriving adulthood. Gut wrenching, but so inspiring!

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? Shrek and Ted Lasso. Both shows are nuanced, charming, and more than meets the eye. Shrek is an all-time favorite movie of mine, as it fuses so many fairytale characters into one story and incorporates humor between the lines that can only be found funny by adults. Shrek also defies all the prior fairy tale conceptions of what a protagonist should be and is so much more relatable than the prior Disney fairy tales. The character of Ted Lasso is my hero. I aspire to have Ted’s optimism in the face of crisis, his charm, selfless compassion, and wit. The show could be a great basis for a business school course on leadership and it is full of memorable one-liners that make you laugh out loud.

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? I listen to a wide range of music genres, though popular music is consistently played in my car. I admire John Legend not only for his music and achievements (e.g., Grammy, Oscar, Emmy, Tony) at such a young age, but for his social justice work. He uses his popularity to help address some of our pressing societal challenges. Kudos to him for being more than meets the eye and for having such a great impact!


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… required global immersive learning engagements, where students with diverse backgrounds work in transdisciplinary teams on real business problems with international peers and mentors, advancing the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There is no substitute for immersive learning. International, transdisciplinary teams working on real business problems simulate closely the current and future business environments, giving students the opportunity for deep, relevant learning for the business world that awaits them. Tying business problems to UNESCO SDGs only makes this world a better place for all of us and makes learning more impactful as well as motivating for the students.

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… tying social impact to the missions and visions of the companies to attract top talent. Employees today want to pour their passions into purpose-driven companies and smart companies who will embrace this trend will outperform those who simply focus on making a profit.

I’m grateful for … Having the opportunities and the tools in life to be able to live a meaningful and enjoyable life every day.  CUNY and TCU for continuing to shape me to be a better human. Family, friends, and colleagues who make the journey of life so much more rewarding and fulfilling. Still being alive. All the little things in life, like the smell of fresh coffee in the morning, new tech gadgets, music that speaks to your heart, hugs and kisses, Crème Brule, and a good adventure.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.