Major Robert Hinshaw
Major Robert Hinshaw of the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office knows a lot about the law. It's hard-won knowledge developed over a 26-year career in criminal justice. Still, Hinshaw decided he could use help in approaching the legal issues he faces every day as he oversees the Sedgwick County Jail and its approximately 1,400 inmates.
So he decided to go back to college, earning a Master of Business Law degree from Friends University. In May 2005, he proudly became a member of the program's first graduating class.
"I decided to study law to challenge myself and to stimulate my brain – the same reasons I originally went into law enforcement," Hinshaw said.
The M.B.L. curriculum gave him a strong foundation in the areas of law that deal with his work.
"Knowing how a contract is put together allows me to know what should be in there and what questions to ask," Hinshaw said. "When looking at policies and procedures, I have a better understanding of what I need to be looking for in regards to risk assessment and liability."
The professors in the M.B.L. program are knowledgeable and approachable, Hinshaw said. That made understanding complex material easier.
"The fact that they are all practitioners as well as teachers gives them added insight, which is a tremendous help in both learning the material and applying it in my career," Hinshaw said.
Now, Hinshaw uses his legal education daily.
"What I have learned I have been able to apply to my career – in employment issues, contract formation, and researching new programs and policies," Hinshaw said. "It's given me a fresh approach to old challenges."
As human resources manager for Amkor Technology Inc., a Wichita company that tests integrated circuits, Denise Huebert knows that nearly every issue she touches has legal ramifications for her business. Complex issues such as employee relations, unemployment insurance, worker's compensation, short-term disability, safety, and ADA and OSHA requirements keep Huebert at the top of her game in order to protect her company and its employees.
So when she wanted to further develop her critical thinking skills, Huebert chose to earn a Master of Business Law degree from Friends University – the only such program offered in south-central Kansas. In fact, she was part of the first graduating class in May 2005.
"I love the study of law and the application of law and the analytical skills that are required when you learn to read and interpret and apply legal concepts to issues," Huebert said. "The education I've gained is of great benefit to my employer."
Huebert frequently uses her business law knowledge to help interpret legislation from the state of Kansas.
"Instead of having to do a lot of research, I can glance through bills and understand what's going on at a legislative level," Huebert said. "I'm able to proactively voice my company's concerns before the bills become law, versus waiting until they become law and then trying to do something about it."
Huebert said earning her degree gave her access to extraordinary professors, as well as some of the brightest businesspeople in Wichita who were also in the program.
"All these people are exceptional in many ways. They come from different backgrounds, but everyone is successful in their own right and field," Huebert said. "We had many very lively discussions in class."
Huebert said Friends’ Master of Business Law program fit her professional needs perfectly.
"The program's marriage of good business sense and good legal sense gave my career a boost,” she said.
Although he has spent years soaring the skies, one student of the business law program at Friends University said the course keeps him grounded in his work.
Oak Wagner is a professional pilot. He is also a manager and flight instructor in the Citation X and Citation Sovereign programs for FlightSafety International.
FlightSafety, a certificated flight training provider, is required to apply federal regulations and policy to its daily operations and client training programs.
"As a manager, I must research and understand complicated statutes that apply to my company's daily business," Wagner said. "Without the valuable education I received from Friends University, this would have been an insurmountable task."
Wagner said he was impressed by the quality of his teachers in the program.
"The professors are attorneys with a great deal of practical experience," Wagner said. "They possess an in-depth understanding of the subject matter and have an outstanding ability to communicate the subject material."
The knowledge he's gained from his classes is incorporated into his work daily.
"As I reflect on the program and my progress, it's clear to me that every minute has been worth the effort," Wagner said.
Dynamic. Challenging. Stimulating. All words Jean Turvey uses to describe Friends University's Master of Business Law program.
Every day she makes use of the knowledge gained from south-central Kansas' only business law degree program from which she graduated in May 2005. In her role as risk manager for one of the city's largest hospitals, Turvey wears lots of different hats.
She's responsible for the hospital's general liability and medical malpractice insurance. She handles risk identification and reduction. As quality manager, she oversees patient care and looks for ways to improve those services.
Earning a distinct degree in business law allows Turvey to be the best at what she does.
"It was very challenging, but I'm not exaggerating when I say it has helped in my job from the very first week," Turvey said. "It was a good experience that I would highly recommend to other business professionals."
As a nurse, Turvey was well-versed in the clinical side of patient care. Where she needed help was growing her understanding and interpretation of legalities on the administrative side.
"Through this program, I've learned more about the laws that pertain to different departments of the hospital," Turvey says. "It has certainly helped me assist different hospital departments in the legal aspects of what they do."
Now, Turvey works with attorneys with confidence and fields calls from her coworkers on issues affecting day-to-day legal issues.
Friends was accommodating to her needs, Turvey said. In fact, when she couldn't get away from the office one day to enroll in the master's program, Friends sent a staff member to handle Turvey's paperwork on-site.
"They were very helpful on the financial side, as well," Turvey said.