Two men, Mario Gonzalez-Fuentes and Robert Scherer, stand next to a sign that says 2024 Innovations That Inspire
Innovations That Inspire
Celebrating storytelling in the Neidorff School of Business

Each year, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) recognizes institutions around the world that are innovating to create relevant, equitable, and impactful business education. This year, the Neidorff School of Business (NSB) proudly submitted its “Brand Storytelling and Identity” course for consideration, and it was one of 25 projects selected internationally for recognition in the esteemed category of "Innovations That Inspire." Robert Scherer, Ph.D., dean of the NSB, and Mario González-Fuentes, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing, accepted this honor on behalf of the NSB at the 2024 AACSB Deans Conference held in Spain. 

Stories seek to establish a connection—they are the core of human experience. A story has the power to inspire, teach, change minds, shift perspectives, and transform communities. Stories come in the form of myths, legends, and tales traveling from one generation to the next. Stories serve as a means through which we make sense of our own lives and learn from those of others. 

In higher education, storytelling is taught almost exclusively in the humanities but not at Trinity University. The “Brand Storytelling and Identity” course recognizes the intrinsic value of storytelling in fostering meaningful connections, empathy, and persuasion within the evolving landscape of business. This is liberal arts.

Since 2020, the NSB has offered the “Brand Storytelling and Identity” course during the spring semester. González-Fuentes, the visionary behind the curriculum, describes the course as a “forward-looking transformational learning experience.” It’s designed to meet learners at their current level of understanding and show them the power of storytelling to better communicate and engage audiences across business functions.

This course stands out for its innovative approach and interactive nature. Rooted on the premise that everyone possesses the capacity for storytelling, it provides a hands-on experience where participants craft digital narratives collaboratively, refining and amplifying their storytelling skills together. Embracing inductive reasoning (i.e., to do, you first need to see), the instructors pivot from traditional teaching roles to become facilitators, adapting content and delivery to meet the unique needs of each learner.

Storytelling has never been comprehensively incorporated into business curricula. Amid a technological transformation, where business functions increasingly rely on interpersonal and effective communication, the emergence of this course fills a significant gap in traditional business curricula that have largely overlooked the impact of storytelling. 

"For Trinity students, this recognition from the AACSB shows how our business programs are leading the way with innovative courses and initiatives that prepare them well to tackle the modern challenges of the business world and society,” says González-Fuentes. “Also, this recognition reflects Trinity's values by acknowledging that at the Neidorff School of Business, we are devising impactful, equitable, and relevant pedagogical opportunities for our students.”

Congratulations to the Neidorff School of Business for leading the way in storytelling!

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