King-Lowe, Barrientos receive Texas Business Hall of Fame Ben J. Rogers Scholarship

Two Lamar University students have been identified and recognized among “best of the best” early-stage entrepreneurs from across the state of Texas. Juan Barrientos, a Master of Business Administration student with a financial management concentration, and Sherika King-Lowe, who is in the process of completing her Master of Business Administration with a concentration in human resources management, were awarded with a Future Texas Business Legend Scholarship, funded by Regina Rogers in honor of her late father, Ben J. Rogers, founder of Texas State Optical and 1991 Hall of Fame inductee. King-Lowe and Barrientos also will be inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame and will receive a $15,000 cash prize.

King-Lowe said she first heard the news of the honor during a Zoom meeting. 
Sherika King-Lowe
Sherika King-Lowe

“Randomly one day, we were instructed to log into a Zoom call at 4 p.m. on May 31, which is when the announcement would be made on the students who were chosen to represent the 23 colleges throughout the state of Texas,” she said. “I was extremely anxious because I knew that this could change things for me if I were chosen. When they announced my name and I saw my picture, I was literally speechless! Thankfully, we were on mute, so they were unable to hear me screaming! I honestly cried because we work so hard in college all to graduate and become professionals and succeed in life. I knew in that moment that this was one of those moments that would assist in molding a successful future for me.”

Barrientos said that after he was nominated by Dr. Gevorg Sargysan, the feeling was unforgettable and kept him going through his difficult decision to focus solely on school.

“Having shifted my efforts, I was obtaining a lot of recognition in college since I started to allocate all of my focus to classes. After having quit my main job, which was a scary thing to do, I was running on momentum because a lot of good things were happening in my life. Once I learned that I was nominated, my momentum kept running and it was just a higher level of validation, by simply being nominated. As time passed, my momentum kept growing I learned I was a finalist, and I created an internal chip that pushed me to continue the work for my company. As I'm completing my MBA studies at LU, I learned that the decision is going to be made soon on who will obtain this year's scholarship award,” Barrientos said. “It got to the point that so many good things are and have been happening in my life that the award stopped being a monetary push for my company, but instead an honorable achievement to close the cycle or better stated to make the transition from being a student to becoming an entrepreneur as I complete my MBA studies.”

Being inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame comes with a great deal of benefits. Not only are the awardees blessed with the $15,000 scholarship award, but this induction incorporates them into the Texas Business Hall of Fame community as an alumni, where there are countless business leaders and founders among the more than 800 alumni members. Hall of Fame members include Kendra Scott of Kendra Scott jewelry and Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and other entrepreneurial ventures, and Gerald Smith, CEO of Smith, Graham & Company, to name a few. 

Both master’s students said they were incredibly grateful for the award, specifically to Rogers for her support. Lamar University’s participation in the Texas Business Hall of Fame Scholars and Veterans awards program is made possible through the Ben J. Rogers Scholarship, endowed by Regina Rogers, daughter of Ben J. Rogers. Through the years, Regina has been a strong supporter of Lamar University and the College of Business, where she endowed the Ben J. Rogers Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies within the College of Business and Ben J. Rogers Outstanding Business Student Award, presented annually at the College of Business Spring Honors Awards Convocation. Additionally, she supports LU through the Julie and Ben Rogers Community Service Award.

“This honor forces me to acknowledge that everything I have manifested and worked so hard for is now within my grasp,” King-Lowe said. “So often we go through life checking tasks off of our to do list without realizing that it is actually one step closer to a positive future. This induction means that I not only have access to brilliant leaders and innovators, but also an endless appreciation for Regina Rogers for making this wonderful opportunity come to fruition in my life in honor of her late father Ben J. Rogers.”

Juan Barrientos
Juan Barrientos
Barrientos added, “The honor to be awarded the ‘Future Texas Business Legend’ can't be explained or put into words — it's just a feeling. As mentioned to me, this award means the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one in the best way possible. Over the last year, my efforts have been driven by momentum and as I'm ending my college journey, this award towards the end of it means the highest level of validation because it gives purpose or completes the cycle of my college journey and opens the door into my entrepreneurial endeavors.”

Both look forward to their bright futures as they are named among 40 scholars in honor of the Texas Business Hall of Fame’s 40th anniversary.

“Now that I am in my last semester of completing my Master of Business Administration degree, the funding from this scholarship allows me to begin a new phase in my life with many more options than what was available before,” King-Lowe said. “I also believe that being an active part of this professional network of business leaders, and taking advantage of the knowledge they can provide, will catapult all my ideas and plans for my future.”

“The benefits that this award will yield in my future can only be demonstrated with actions,” Barrientos noted. “As I told Ms. Rogers, I can’t wait to give her continuous updates down the road of how much this award has helped me and how it will change my life. Not only from the monetary perspective but the chip on my shoulder created by the meaning of such an honorable award ‘Future Texas Business Legend.’ The award has created an immense amount of drive to ensure I accomplish my objectives and achieve my goals.”

To see all Texas Business Hall of Fame award recipients, visit