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Taking Flight – February 2022

Message from the Dean

A recent study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that, at 30% of colleges around the country, 10 years after graduating, half of the graduates earn less than the average high school graduate. That’s a stunning number and suggests that far too few college graduates are realizing the sort of benefit from their education that they had hoped or expected. Of course, a lot of detail is obscured by such general and broad statistics. For example, we know some programs and majors lead to higher paying jobs than others. We also know that some careers take longer to build and so take longer to produce the type of earnings the graduates anticipated. Nevertheless, I suspect that the vast majority of people believe and expect that investing in a college degree will lead to better careers, more professional options, and, ultimately, higher earnings. So, data showing that is not always the case is sobering.

But it’s also challenging and underscores for us, here in the Parker College at least, the point of doing what we do. We want to produce the sorts of degrees and the sorts of graduates who will gain immediate traction in the marketplace and will then build upon their earlier experiences, using the skills they learned while here to advance into greater responsibility and grow into leadership positions in whatever firm, industry, or endeavor best suits their talents and interests. Ultimately, we want an alumni base comprised of tens of thousands of success stories, personal accomplishments, and professional achievements. We want to build a conveyor belt of talent, from student to graduate, from associate to manager, from startup to market leader, and from team member to CEO. That trajectory should be the hallmark of the Parker College experience. We meet you where you are and work to help elevate your abilities, aspirations, and success. Put differently, the return on investment that our graduates receive is a principal measure of our own success. We do well when our graduates do well, and, when our graduates do well, the value of the Parker College degree appreciates.

So, how to we leverage that approach and actually make our degrees more valuable? Well, through the combination of a great many different things. We identify, hire, support and retain the right faculty, true experts on the cutting edge of their disciplines but with a desire to teach and to engage the business community. We build curricula that are challenging but also relevant to the world in which our graduates will work. We enrich that basic coursework with practical exposure and experiential opportunities that will bring the material to life and allow students to understand it in terms of the working world and their own styles and abilities. We create an environment that is challenging and stimulating but that also looks and functions like the world they will enter upon graduation. And, in addition to all that, we model the very behaviors that will enable success. We must be willing to show up early and to stay late, to work harder than the person next us, and do everything we do in the right way, not because we’re required to but because it’s the right thing to do. Do all of that, along with a great many other little things, all in the proper way and in the proper sequence, and we’ll never worry about the return on investment our graduates receive. Rather, the Parker College will become a beacon of success, drawing students with a passion for learning, for good work, and for success, and then empowering them with the things they need to reach their goals, realize their aspirations, and produce a positive return on their investment.

 Put simply, we want to do research that matters. We want to hire the brightest faculty, to encourage them to apply the best science, in the interests of producing answers that can improve the way business is done, thereby changing the world for the better. We’re not interested in dumbing down our research nor are we interested in topics of no applicability or relevance. We want to focus the considerable talent of our faculty, together with the resources of our institution, on the issues that will best prepare our students and best engage the business leaders of our community, state, and region. Some say it’s naïve to think that good science can be practical and relevant and that profitable businesses will invest the time and interest to support and nurture good science. My recent experience at lunch proves otherwise, while also demonstrating yet again, that Lewin was right.  

Alumni Spotlight: Jerome McKinnon

Jerome McKinnon (MKTG, 2011) is an intelligence analyst for the USAF. He works in the foreign military sales (FMS) area providing mission data for U.S. foreign military partners. Before assuming this role, Jerome served in the Air Force from 2013–2019. He asserts that choosing to “take off the uniform” was a major challenge. Although some people in his life disagreed with his decision to transition to a civilian role, Jerome felt it was a process he had to see through in order to live a more balanced life. It has worked well for him, and, now, he helps others to make that same transition.

Each day as an intelligence analyst is different. Some days, Jerome faces non-stop challenges; other days are boring; while still others are frustrating. No two days in a row are ever the same, which is the best part of his job. Jerome credits his time at Georgia Southern and as part of Parker College with honing his adaptability and allowing him to come into a situation and excel no matter what the challenges or circumstances may be. Though his favorite classes were buyer behavior and applied small business management, Jerome really enjoyed working in the School of Economic Development, now, Department of Economics. He loved getting to interact with the professors on personal and professional levels. Jerome says that having those daily one on one conversations about life and current events were the best part of his time at Georgia Southern.

Given the opportunities from his previous and current work experiences, Jerome anticipates being able to retire before age 50, which means he is able to grow his skill sets and side ventures into a stable income source, which will, in turn, increase his spare time and enable him to return to his passion of coaching basketball. In the meantime, Jerome spends his spare time working on his truck, working out, doing yard work, and “nerding out” on YouTube.

MBA Students Refine LinkedIn Profiles and Résumés

by Benjamin Tankersley

The Georgia Southern Parker College MBA program began its spring Parker PEP programs in February with two programs designed to help students update their résumés and LinkedIn profiles to help in the job search. The programs began on February 8, 2022, with Peter Nyamora, vice president of ancillary services at St. Joseph’s/Candler, who led the students with a program titled “Effectively Using LinkedIn to Land the Job of Your Dreams.”

During the program, Nyamora challenged students to take their LinkedIn profiles more seriously. Beyond just sharing how to set up a LinkedIn profile, Nyamora shared some of the insights he has learned to help students take these profiles to the next level. The students responded almost immediately. “I’ve already added everyone on LinkedIn,” Macie Joyner (MBA, 2023) said. “On my lunch break, I added as many people as [LinkedIn] would let me add. Because I am considering a career change, my résumé probably will not get me in the door, but who I know might,” she concluded.

The next night, Glenn Gibney, director of the Georgia Southern Office of Career and Professional Development, conducted a workshop on developing a résumé that focuses on specific accomplishments instead of tired job descriptions. Using different versions of his own résumé as examples, Gibney highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of each type of résumé. Throughout the remainder of the semester, MBA students will update their résumés and receive feedback from the Georgia Southern Office of Career and Professional Development.

The Parker College of Business Graduate Programs Office administers the Parker MBA Program. In addition to this program, we also offer a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) and a Master of Applied Economics (MSAE). For more information on Parker College’s graduate programs, please call the office at 912-478-5767.

INFORMS Chapter Holds Food Drive

Throughout the month of November, the Parker College of Business student chapter of INFORMS conducted a canned food drive to benefit the Statesboro Food Bank. Collection boxes were placed in each departmental office and in high traffic areas throughout the Parker College building.

On December 1, the chapter delivered 120 cans that will be distributed to local residents in need of emergency food assistance. According to Janet Moss, chapter advisor and principal lecturer of Enterprise Systems & Analytics, volunteers at the food bank were very grateful to receive the donation.

Sipe Speaks to INFORMS Chapter

In further INFORMS news, on January 26, Stephanie Sipe, JD, professor of legal studies, spoke to members of INFORMS about diversity, equity, and inclusion in business. According to Janet Moss, INFORMS faculty advisor and principal lecturer in the Department of Enterprise Systems & Analytics, it was a very informative and engaging presentation that was well-received by the students. INFORMS member Frank Velazquez-Garcia said, “Dr. Sipe’s presentation on DEI was insightful and impressive and demonstrates her deep passion for the subject matter.”

For more information on the Parker College student chapter of INFORMS, contact Janet Moss at

In Memoriam

Emily (Emi) Pearl Dixon (MKTG, 2021) was killed in a traffic accident prior to graduating. Her brother, Elias Dixon, accepted his sister’s diploma during the December commencement exercises.

Faculty/Staff News

Jason Beck, Ph.D., associate professor of economics, was interviewed about international travel and credit cards by WalletHub. To read the interview, go to

Amanda King, Ph.D., professor of economics, was interviewed by MoneyGeek about common mistakes related to transferring balances from one credit card to another and benefitting from 0% APR offers on balance transfers. To read the interviews, visit and

Cambridge University Press recently published How Novelty and Narratives Drive the Stock Market: Black Swans, Animal Spirits and Scapegoats by Nicholas Mangee, Ph.D., associate professor of finance. Congratulations, Nick!

Britton A. McKay, Ph.D., associate dean for students and external relations and professor of accounting, was interviewed about cash back, $0 annual fee credit cards by WalletHub. To read the interview, visit

Hyunju Shin, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing, has been named the Journal of Consumer Behaviour’s 2021 Reviewer of the Year. In addition to receiving a certificate of recognition, Hyunju’s name has been added to the journal’s awards page on its website ( Congratulations, Hyunju!

Les C. Smith and Jerry Burke’s logistics podcast How to School the Supply Chain was recently released. Go to to listen.

Last updated: 2/22/2022