Applications open for McLane Scholars program

The McLane Teammates Scholars program is accepting applications for the 2017 fall semester. Photo credit: Jessica Hubble

The McLane Teammates Scholars program is accepting applications for the 2017 fall semester.

The program is a one-semester-long, non-credit reading group where students read texts pertaining to the theme of the semester and discuss ideas, according to its website. The theme for the 2017 fall semester is “Economics and Social Issues: Markets and the Marginalized.”

The program is meant to be a discussion among students that are diverse ideologically and within their majors, said Dr. Steve Bradley, associate professor in the department of entrepreneurship and faculty director of the Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise.

“We hope to really get students discussing at a deeper level some pretty rich and fairly difficult texts,” Bradley said.

The McLane Scholars program within the Baugh Center is funded by the McLane Company and has two complementary programs at Southern Methodist University and Texas Tech University, Bradley said. Faculty from the three universities decide on the topic for each semester and develop the reading plan, Bradley said.

The three universities also attend a weekend conference during the semester that gives participating students the opportunity to discuss the topic of the semester with students from other universities. Throughout the semester, participants of the programs at Baylor, SMU and Texas Tech also have discussions through Facebook, Bradley said.

Dr. Peter Klein, professor in the department of entrepreneurship and past director of the McLane Scholars program, said another aspect of the program is exposing students to ideas that they may not cover in their courses.

“This is a chance for you to discuss fun and interesting topics with smart people and … expand your horizons a little bit,” Klein said.

Klein also said that they are looking for students that are intellectually curious in order to enhance the discussion.

“We’re trying to get students that we think would benefit the program, who have ideas and are curious about things,” Klein said.

Rowlett senior Rebecca Voth said she participated in the program because she wanted to learn more about poverty from an economic perspective and would recommend it to other students.

“There were many diverse perspectives, and we had some excellent discussions. It was great to hear from students from diverse backgrounds and academic perspectives as well as to learn from a business focus about the interaction of markets and policy,” Voth wrote in an email to the Lariat.

The program is very selective, with as many as 40 or 50 students applying to fill the 12 available spots, Bradley said. The students have dinner together at each meeting, and the books for the program are provided, he said. Bradley also said students who complete the course are awarded $1000.

Bradley said the program requires a significant amount of reading, so an interest in the subject is necessary for the program to be successful.

“We want students to apply, and we think it’s a lot of fun and it’s the kind of thing that the college experience should include,” Klein said.

The deadline to apply for the fall 2017 semester is July 1, and the application is available at the McLane Scholars Program website at http://www.baylor.edu/business/freeenterprise/index.php?id=869670.