Faculty Profile: Dr. Winston Tellis

Submitted by Web Communications on August 25, 2006

After a few days amidst tremendous poverty, [my students] start to feel discomfort, either from the deprivation they see or the deprivation they feel. I tell them, repeating softly: “It’s not about you.”

Dr. Winston Tellis

Program: Information Systems

Title: Camille and Stephen Schramm Professor of Information Systems and Operations Management

biggest success story

Our business school helped found a number of microfinance organizations – locally run outfits that loan money to people who don’t have collateral – in Haiti, Nicaragua, and South Africa. The organization in Haiti used to have one branch; now it has 31. It used to have 600 customers; now it has 30,000.

Why It’s Not Just About The Business School

Our role is to serve these organizations – not to impose on them. That’s my mantra when I take students on trips to these countries. After a few days amidst tremendous poverty, they start to feel discomfort, either from the deprivation they see or the deprivation they feel. I tell them, repeating softly: “It’s not about you.”

What It’s All About

The work our students do is really about fundamental questions: Who am I? How am I connected to the world? The baker in Haiti, the farmer in Nicaragua, the bead-maker in South Africa – our decisions, our lifestyle affects them. We all have something to learn from each other.

How To Walk The Walk

This is a Jesuit institution. We claim to prepare our students not just to be specialists in their field, but to share their knowledge with those who are less fortunate. I can’t say one thing in class and live a different way. We talk about it and we live it, every single day.

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