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New Faculty Member Ester Gonzalez

Assistant Professor Delves Into Business Applications for Social Media

Sept. 30, 2013

Dark-haired woman in navy business suit standing before a wall of glass.

Ester Gonzalez

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Not many assistant professors of business can claim the practical experience that Ester Gonzalez can. She has taught courses at the university and college level and served as the principal of a charter school, where her daily responsibilities ranged from overseeing staff and budgets, to monitoring curriculum and writing grant proposals.

Born at a "very small, rural southwest Texas town," Gonzalez found computers intriguing but little understood. "They were always evolving and always posting a challenge," the assistant professor of information systems and decision sciences explains. "I always enjoyed a challenge and was good in math, science and logic."

She earned associate degrees in liberal arts and applied science at Southwest Texas Junior College, and her bachelor of business administration – electronic commerce at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. From there she served for two years as principal of Gabriel Tafolla Charter School before becoming an administrative information technology instructor at Southwest Texas Junior College.

"I loved and enjoyed teaching vocational classes but at the time I only had my bachelor's degree and I realized that I was limiting myself without an advanced degree, so I entered Baylor University in Waco."

While completing her master of science in information systems, Baylor received permission to offer a doctorate in business. Gonzalez was one of two in the university's first graduating doctoral class. Her dissertation was on the use of internal social media and its impact on organizational socialization and commitment.

"Social media technologies present an opportunity for organizations to create value by acclimating new employees, creating networks and increasing employee engagement," Gonzalez explains. "My study investigated the use of social media as part of a new hire program to socialize new hires and as a means of increasing employee commitment."

In addition to her research studies into social media technologies and knowledge management systems, Gonzalez also is interested in organizational culture and crisis management. She has had two articles published, two articles forthcoming and a fifth has been accepted at a conference in December.

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