Business student fastest to complete UHV master's program

Stephen Thomas, center, celebrates his graduation from the University of Houston-Victoria with his business professors, John Kagochi, left, and David Summers. Thomas was the fastest student ever in the business school to complete the Master of Science in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship.

When Stephen Thomas graduated earlier this month with his master's degree, he unknowingly completed the program the quickest in the University of Houston-Victoria history.

The Waxahachie resident learned of his accomplishment while visiting with his business professors at graduation in Victoria.

Thomas began the UHV School of Business Administration program in January 2012 and earned his Master of Science in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship in 16 months.

In his time at UHV, he was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, a national honor society for academic excellence, and Beta Gamma Sigma, an international honor society for business students.

David Summers, an associate professor of entrepreneurship, and John Kagochi, an assistant professor and the Partnership Professor of Economic Development, taught most of the online business classes Thomas took.

"It was a cool experience to come to graduation and visit with the professors who helped me throughout my time at UHV," Thomas said. "The way they structured and paced their classes was very beneficial to the learning process. Everything related back to the degree. I appreciate their help and enjoyed getting to meet them for the first time at graduation."

Along with helpful financial aid scholarships, Thomas said he was motivated to finish quickly so he could teach at a community college as soon as possible. He plans to apply for fall teaching positions at community colleges.

Thomas already teaches Principles of Business Marketing and Finance to middle school students at W.E. Greiner Exploratory Arts Academy in Dallas. He said he's already used his UHV education in his job as a business teacher.

"This past semester, I was taking a business planning class, and my students also were learning how to write a business plan," Thomas said. "The class was relevant for me as I helped my students. One of my student's business plans made it to the top four in the Dallas region and is competing for a spot to attend a national competition in October. It's an exciting experience."