Learning Comes Full-Circle
Baylor’s emphasis on experiential learning laid a foundation of success for Dallas businessman Christopher Brown. In a full-circle moment, Brown has returned to Hankamer to launch an experiential learning project of his own.
by Ashley Rabinovitch
Christopher S. Brown built a business based on keeping people out. Located in the Dallas area, Security Brands Inc. creates and manufactures innovative cloud-based perimeter access control systems and security products. Customers as diverse as ranch owners, universities and hotels rely on these products to remain secure.
Christopher S. Brown, BBA ’94
President, Chief Executive Officer; Security Brands Inc
Now, Brown is inviting people in. This fall, he will partner with Shaun Eide and Johnny Bhojwani, both clinical assistant professors of Information Systems and Business Analytics at Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, to let students analyze his company’s business data as part of a data analytic research project. These projects fall under the Undergraduate Research Assistantship (UGRA) program, which launched in 2022.
Nothing like UGRA existed when Brown was a student, but he remembers the skillful ways his professors bridged theory and practice in the classroom.
“My most effective professors were constantly bringing their consulting knowledge and real-world experience into the conversation,” he said. “Learning for the sake of learning is great, but if you don’t know how to apply it, you’re lost.”
After graduating from Hankamer with a degree in Accounting and Information Systems, Brown discovered countless opportunities to apply what he had learned in his courses while working for his father’s company, which distributed fencing products. An entrepreneur at heart, Brown played an active role in expanding the business to access control products.
Many years later, Brown returned to Baylor and became more active within the alumni network when his two sons enrolled in the Business School.
“It has been amazing to witness how invested the faculty and staff are in their success,” Brown said. “My wife and I have been so grateful for all that Baylor has given them that we have searched for ways to give back.”
After a successful project with Baylor engineering students, who worked on some of Security Brands’ access control products, Brown connected with his sons’ data analytics professor, Professor Eide. Together, Brown and Eide conceived of a project that would invite students to analyze the company’s data to better understand its target market.
“We’re excited to clarify how we identify and target potential customers,” Brown said. “If we can tap into Baylor’s vast knowledge base while helping students understand the importance of building their network and learning experientially, it will hopefully be a successful endeavor for everyone involved.”
While Brown has supported Hankamer in several ways, including the creation of an endowed scholarship, nothing brings him greater joy than the opportunity to regularly interact with students.
“The student teams I have worked with have been fantastic,” he said. “They already have the skills they need to solve relevant problems in industry. I’m looking forward to seeing where this next project leads.”
Baylor Business Review, Spring 2023