For the first time in its 10-year history, the Scovell Business Leadership Program (SBLP) will have a new director: Feruzan Irani Williams, professor of practice in the Area of Management at the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business.
Speaking about what drew her to the director position, Irani Williams said, “The field of leadership and working with students is very near and dear to my heart. It's what gives me the passion to come to work every day. Working with students has always been motivational to me.”
Irani Williams returned to Rawls College in June after a year and a half as the chair of the Department of Management at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Before her chair position, Irani Williams had been an associate professor of practice at Rawls College for six years.
“I'm very excited to be back,” said Irani Williams. “I knew I was excited when I accepted the offer and we were coming back, but I wasn't expecting the intense feeling of home that we felt driving around [Lubbock].”
Irani Williams takes over the role from the founding director, Mayukh Dass, senior associate dean and James L. Johnson Chair in Business Administration.
During her first stint at Rawls College, Irani Williams often served in mentor roles with SBLP. Now, as the director, she can build on the path that Dass helped establish.
“What [Dass] has done has been incredible over the last ten years,” said Irani Williams. “He has built this program from the ground up. The program has prestige and students are eager to join. Now, I think the program is at a point where we are ready to take the next step in its natural evolution and growth.”
A key strategy for Irani Williams in helping to grow SBLP will be even more student participation, a leadership-in-practice model.
“The next natural step is for students to take ownership of the program and actually practice being a leader,” she said. “I want them to take charge and be responsible for their own growth and to learn about themselves and who they want to be as a leader.”
Irani Williams sees a bright future for SBLP. She recently completed a leadership training course at the Center for Creative Leadership, a non-profit organization that specializes in leadership development. Irani Williams hopes to incorporate much of what she learned from that course into SBLP.
Perhaps most importantly, Irani Williams hopes SBLP students are ready to take an active role this semester.
“I don't want students to be passive recipients. I want them to take charge and be responsible. Come understand the leader you want to be and carve your leadership path.”
About Scovell Business Leadership Program
The Scovell Business Leadership Program (SBLP), originally established in the fall of 2013 as the Rawls Business Leadership Program, creates a dynamic learning experience designed to provide students with real-world knowledge and experiences to excel in leadership roles. Renamed in honor of the Scovell family's contributions to Rawls College in the fall of 2019, the program focuses on developing "complete students" who possess both a strong academic foundation and real-world experience necessary to be innovative and ethical leaders. Open to all business majors, SBLP students have the opportunity to lead service-learning projects, travel internationally and receive professional guidance from a personal mentor.