Taking Flight – July 2017
Message From the Dean
I hope you enjoy these newsletters. They’re a great way for us to stay in touch and keep you informed about the College of Business. Speaking of which, I want to give you some statistics. Last month’s “Taking Flight” newsletter went to about 11,400 unique email addresses. Almost 99 percent of those were usable and good. We know this because only about 150 of the mailings “bounced” or came back as undeliverable. Of those received, roughly 1,800 of the newsletters were opened. That means 1,800 of our friends and alumni received and read the newsletter. That’s great news! Unfortunately, it also means that more than 9,000 were not opened and read. They were delivered, but they were not opened. They may have been filtered out and sent to junk mail, or they may have gone to addresses that, while active, are no longer used. Where they go is not particularly important. What is important is that we have thousands of friends and alumni who are not hearing about the good work that is happening here in the College.
What sort of work? Well, just look below and see. You’ll note an announcement about our mobile app. The app is a neat tool that will enable students to schedule advising appointments and access professional development services. It will also be a place to get ongoing news and to see a schedule of upcoming events. Look through the newsletter, and you’ll see stories about our new associate dean, Rand Ressler, and our new interim department chair in Finance & Economics, Joe Ruhland. Both Rand and Joe are excellent teachers and renowned scholars and are assuming important leadership roles. You’ll read about Jason Moran in the Alumni Spotlight. Jason has had a stellar career at the FDIC and Department of the Interior, and he now serves on the Forensic Accounting and Dean’s Advisory Boards. You’ll see that one of our own students, Connor Simmons, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves, another one of our students, Myles Campbell has been nominated for one of the most prestigious service awards in college football, and you’ll also see that a group of our Logistics and Supply Chain Management students made a trip to New York, where they visited one of the busiest ports in the world. You’ll read about our BIG Café program, at which entrepreneurs and small business owners gather to share best practices, and you’ll read about our plans for football season and our College of Business tailgates.
That’s a lot of good information that a lot of people will miss if they don’t see the email or open the newsletter. And, so, I am going to ask you for a favor. Would each of you reading this, please, reach out to two other alumni or friends and make sure that they have received it as well? If 1,800 people each reach out to just two more, we’ll reach all 11,000 of our recipients in just a few, short iterations. Once we’ve done that, we’ll focus on reaching all 23,000 of our alumni, a group that grows every year and with every graduating class. It’s critical that we build our network of alumni, and it’s essential that we connect our alumni to the things that are happening here in the College of Business. So, please enjoy this letter and please do me this favor.
Alumni Spotlight – James T. Moran
Jason T. Moran (FINC, 1991) is the special agent in charge (SAC) for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Office of Inspector General (OIG), Investigations, Southeast Region, based in Atlanta. He has worked in the OIG community for more than 26 years. Before transitioning to his current position, Jason served as an auditor in Washington, D.C., where he enjoyed assisting special agents. Early in his career, Jason became a certified defensive tactics instructor and a physical fitness coordinator for his agency. He really enjoyed teaching tactics, excelling with firearms and helping the other agents maintain their fitness levels. Currently, he leads and advises agents and the U.S. Attorney’s Office on multi-million dollar bank fraud and money laundering cases. Jason specializes in major bank fraud cases and has traced illicit funds and criminals throughout the U.S. and abroad including the Virgin Islands, Belize, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico. During his career, Jason has made multiple arrests, led search warrants, conducted surveillance, seized assets and testified in courts and grand jury proceedings. He has also investigated a multitude of bank failures in the Southeastern U.S. caused by bank fraud.
Jason believes that the safety and soundness of our financial systems must be upheld and that those who criminally undermine the financial system for personal gain must be held accountable. The most rewarding part of his job is knowing that he is part of maintaining the integrity of our nation’s financial systems. Jason says his proudest professional accomplishment is leading his office through the financial crisis, which, in the Southeast, was especially difficult. During that time, his office was responsible for more than 259 convictions, greater than $4 billion in restitution orders, and hundreds of years of incarcerations ordered. The huge uptick in sentencing for multi-million dollar fraudsters at this time provides a deterrent for future white-collar criminals.
The biggest challenge of Jason’s career was maintaining a family and work-life balance. In fact, he has turned down multiple opportunities so that he could remain in the Atlanta-area to be close to his family. Jason is fortunate to have worked for agencies that placed a priority on maintaining a work-life balance. In addition, he credits his wife’s career and family orientation with his business successes and their church, Andrews Chapel United Methodist, which has provided an excellent support system over the years.
While at Georgia Southern, Jason filled his days with classes, visits to the gym, hanging out at Landrum and The Deck Shoppe, and living the fraternity life as part of Kappa Alpha Psi. His favorite classes were Corporate Finance I and II. These classes gave him dreams of excelling in multiple fields. Learning about opportunity costs and best, worst, and most likely case scenarios exhilarated him. He has fond memories of discussing break-even points and how to become wealthy with his roommates Machon Sims (FINC, 1990), Tim Wilkerson (MGNT, 1991) and Reginald Terrell (FINC, 1991). Jason vividly recalls the day when Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor spoke at Sweetheart Circle as Georgia Southern was becoming a university. Jason also remembers Bill Whitaker, Ph.D., and professor emeritus of finance, teaching him about dollar cost averaging as an investment tool, which changed the way Jason looked at money, and Carl Gooding, Ph.D., professor and dean emeritus, College of Business, commending Jason’s work for UPS and Domino’s Pizza.
Jason credits time at Georgia Southern and his classes for preparing him for his career through teaching him new concepts and forward-thinking principles. At a time when technology usage was limited, Jason learned how technology could save time and effort while increasing reliability of data analysis. John Hatem, Ph.D., and professor of finance, used spreadsheets to teach differences in currency. In his first assignment in his career, Jason was sent to the Virgin Islands where auditors were painstakingly writing out every monetary input on a long green sheet of paper and summing the totals. Jason simply showed them a basic Lotus spreadsheet that saved months of audit time. Georgia Southern also taught Jason the importance of networking, building relationships and teamwork. Those lessons, along with his background in finance and auditing, have been an integral part of his success as a special agent.
In his spare time, Jason has served as a coach for multiple sports. Currently, he coaches a travel basketball team. He also enjoys travelling abroad with his family, fishing and spending time with his family. In the future, Jason looks forward to retiring in two years, continuing his activities on the Dean’s and Forensic Accounting advisory boards, and having opportunities to speak with and engage Georgia Southern University students.
College of Business Student Athlete Selected in the MLB Draft
Connor Simmons, a junior management major, along with two other Eagles baseball players, had his name called as the Eagles recorded a draft class larger than most. In 1996, five Georgia Southern Eagles earned selections in the Major League Baseball draft, making it the largest draft class in Eagles history.
Simmons, a native of Baxley, Georgia, was the first Eagle to be drafted on day two when the Atlanta Braves selected him the 380th overall pick in the 13th round. As a southpaw, Simmons owns a 3.52 ERA in 76 career appearances over 145.2 innings of work. He went 4-1 in 2017 with a 2.39 ERA.
Georgia Southern’s Myles Campbell Named a Nominee for 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) announced 146 nominees for the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, one of the most prestigious off-the-field honors in college football. Georgia Southern senior slot receiver Myles Campbell is one of those up for the award based on his efforts at giving back.
Campbell, from Duluth, Georgia, is active in the Statesboro community, participating in several reading events at local schools. He went to Nicaragua this past spring break as part of Athletes in Action’s clean water initiative project. You can watch a video on that trip here. He has been named to the Sun Belt Conference’s All-Academic Team every year and graduated in May with a degree in finance. He enters his final year with 514 career receiving yards and four touchdowns and expected to be the team’s starting slot receiver, as well as return specialist on punt and kickoff returns.
Since 1992, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team has brought together a select group of college football players from across the country to honor their dedication to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others. While players are often recognized for their accomplishments and achievements on game day, these student-athletes have made significant contributions to the greater good of society, inspiring future generations of young athletes and the larger college football community.
New Associate Dean Appointed Followed by Naming of New Interim Department Chair
After a week of forum interviews were held within the College of Business, Dean Amason appointed a new associate dean. Rand Ressler, Ph.D., previously the Finance and Economics Department chair, was named associate dean for faculty and curriculum. Ressler received his Ph.D. in economics from Auburn University in 1993 and began his academic career at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he taught for twenty years. He has authored and coauthored more than thirty peer-reviewed publications in academic journals such as Economic Inquiry, Southern Economic Journal, The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Review of Industrial Organization, and Public Choice, among others.
With Ressler’s appointment to the associate dean position, the Finance and Economics department chair position was vacant and needed to be filled. Joseph Ruhland, Ph.D., associate professor of finance, accepted the position of interim chair for the Department of Finance and Economics. Ruhland has been on faculty at Georgia Southern since 2006. He received his BBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Ph.D. in risk management and insurance from The University of Georgia. His research interests include asymmetric information, political risk, corporate governance and financial planning. Ruhland’s research has been published in the Journal of Risk and Insurance, Journal of Insurance Issues and Journal of Insurance Regulation, among others.
We congratulate and welcome both Ressler and Ruhland to their new positions within the Georgia Southern College of Business.
Logistics Students Visit Out-of-State Port
As part of the Intermodal Association of North America’s (IANA) continuing support of programs in the Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, students majoring in logistics and intermodal transportation and enrolled in the capstone course for the major traveled to New York and New Jersey to tour Port Newark and Port Elizabeth June 11–12. On June 11, students did some sightseeing in New York City. The main event was June 12 when Prescott Miller, port operations supervisor, provided an energetic and informative overview lesson and tour of operations of the port including discussion of modifications to the Bayonne Bridge to accommodate larger vessels into Newark Bay. Students participating in the tour were Austin Conine, Baba Gana, James Mosely, Brittan Nocera, Sean O’Brien, Hunter Rasbury, Jake Shepherd, Michael Tanner, Emily Walker and Lyall Williamson. Brett Hockman, doctoral student, and Jerry Burke, Ph.D. and department chair, traveled with the students and organized the trip. Special thanks to Joni Casey, CEO of IANA, and Port of New York and New Jersey’s Bethann Rooney and Geralyn Lewis for assistance with organizing this experiential learning opportunity for Georgia Southern University students.
College of Business Programs Prepare Students for Fraud Examination and Forensic Accounting Careers
from the University Newsroom
Students interested in pursuing careers in fraud examination or forensic accounting have the opportunity to hone their skills and be competitive in the workforce thanks to specialty tracks offered through the School of Accountancy in Georgia Southern University’s College of Business.
The four-course Forensic Accounting Certificate and Fraud Examination Certificate programs are available to students pursuing master’s degrees. These certificate programs provide specific training in high-demand areas of accounting and investigation.
“The employment possibilities are endless with this knowledge,” said Don Berecz, senior lecturer in the School of Accountancy and retired FBI agent. “This training prepares students with skills for any kind of employment. Fraud permeates all aspects of society. The [Association of Certified Fraud Examiners] estimates that all organizations lose 5–6 percent of their gross earnings to fraudulent activity due to fraud by employees, managers and executives.”
The Forensic Accounting Certificate program includes courses expert witnessing, cyber forensics, fraudulent financial reporting and forensic accounting capstone. The Fraud Examination Certificate program includes the courses fraud schemes, fraud examination, white collar crime, and forensic interviews and interrogation. Georgia Southern’s program was designed to prepare forensic accounting masters students for careers in public accounting firms and law firms.
Berecz added that students do not necessarily have to go into public accounting or forensic accounting careers to be able to use the Fraud Examination certificate in their areas of study.
“Based on the fraud detection and investigative skills learned in this program, students should be able to spot small frauds in their employment positions before they become larger frauds. When these frauds become large frauds, they involve cash or stolen assets that usually cannot be recovered,” he said. “Students of any major will find employment opportunities in law enforcement, retail management, loss prevention, information security, corporate security, human resources, and hospitality and restaurant management.”
Since the inception of these tracks in 2007, Berecz said 111 students have successfully completed the Forensic Accounting program, with an average of a dozen Master of Accounting students enrolled each year. Some of the program’s alumni have gone on to work for companies like KPMG, SunTrust Bank, Dycom Industries Inc., as well as government agencies such as the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and police departments, among others.
“Graduates of either certificate program will set themselves apart from other employment candidates,” Berecz said. “Our graduates attain specialized knowledge that makes them appealing to employers because of their ability to identify fraud and/or investigate it.”
The programs at Georgia Southern are also supported by the School of Accountancy’s Forensic Accounting Advisory Board, which is made up of professionals from diverse employment backgrounds who provide guidance of programs, make speaker presentations and offer assistance with internships for students and/or employment opportunities for graduates.
Recently, the School of Accountancy was featured on ForensicsColleges.com for its growing opportunities in its forensic accounting program. Georgia Southern was identified as one of the top programs in the country to prepare students for a career in forensic accounting by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.
For more information about the Fraud Examination and Forensic Accounting certificate programs, visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu/soa/fraud-forensic-accounting.
This month’s BIG Café was held on July 12 at City Campus in downtown Statesboro. Local entrepreneurs listened to two of their peers present their business and problems they are currently encountering. As the “localpreneurs” presented, attendees enjoyed complimentary coffee provided by Cool Beanz and doughnuts provided by the DSDA while giving invaluable feedback to the two presenters.
The first presenter for July’s BIG Café was Elaine Minick Stone, an Emmy award-winning chef, who has partnered with Cake Bakery in downtown Statesboro to start a catering company, Serendipity. The catering company specializes in providing local, seasonal, prepared meals for the community. The meals typically feed 4–5 people that can be picked up weekly at Cake. The company’s target audience is busy families who do not have time to cook every night but still want to enjoy healthy, nutritious meals. Serendipity’s biggest challenge is trying to decide how to market this business to the Statesboro community.
As of right now, the business is solely on Facebook. Shawn Jackson, laboratory coordinator for the FabLab, suggested Stone create a website in addition to the Facebook page. Not only would this website act as a central hub for customers to place meal orders, but it would also provide the added stability that comes with having a static website. Michael Kol, MBA student and intern for the Business Innovation Group (BIG), suggested Serendipity try partnering with local fitness centers such as Ladies of America.
Jackie Hane is the owner of The Flowergirl, a floral design shop that specializes in weddings and events. Contrary to most traditional flower shops, Jackie’s storefront acts more as a studio, where she creates custom floral designs using the freshest and most unique flowers available, instead of a drop-in flower shop, where customers can have a bouquet made in minutes. Jackie is the sole employee of The Flowergirl and creates floral arrangements for 2–3 events per week on average.
Jackie’s main forms of advertisement are Facebook and word-of-mouth. While she has tried websites and other advertising in the past, she feels as if Facebook is the most effective for her business. Word-of-mouth is also a big part of Jackie’s business because, when making arrangements for a wedding, she is often introduced to several bridesmaids who are planning weddings of their own. When asked what her biggest challenge was as a new startup, Jackie explained that she struggled with establishing a solid customer base. She grew her clientele by going above and beyond for her bridal clients.
To watch the presentations, visit facebook.com/GeorgiaSouthernCi
BIG Café was a huge success. Special thanks go to Elaine from Serendipity and Jackie from The Flowergirl for presenting and to our sponsors, David Hoyle of Cool Beanz, and Elena McLendon, DSDA. If you would like to present your business obstacle(s) at BIG Café, please contact Andi Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-478-0872. Attend the next BIG Café at City Campus on Wednesday, August 9, if you would like to come together to network, drink coffee and help one another thrive. Also, attend five times and you receive a free BIG Café coffee mug.
Georgia Southern Named One of Safest Colleges in America by National Council for Home Safety and Security
from the University Newsroom
Georgia Southern has been ranked in the top 100, coming in at number 82, in the National Council for Home Safety and Security’s Safest Colleges in America 2017 report.
More than 2,000 four-year institutions were considered in this report. Data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting and the National Center for Education Statistics were surveyed to determine the rankings. According to the National Council for Home Safety and Security, “top-ranked colleges boast low overall crime rates (off campus) and maintain safe campuses with little or no crime.”
“The safety of our students is of paramount importance at Georgia Southern,” said Laura McCullough, chief of the University’s police department. “Our students, faculty and staff, together with our highly trained officers, work together each day to continue a culture of safety on our campus and in our community.”
The National Council for Home Safety and Security is a national trade association comprised of licensed alarm installers, contractors and other relevant trade groups across the United States. Its goal is to further industry education and public knowledge about home safety and security.
For the full listing of the Safest Colleges in America 2017, visit alarms.org/safest-colleges-2017/.
David Jiang received the Family Firm Institute’s 2017 Best Dissertation Award. Congrats, David!
Steve Charlier was quoted by the Iowa City Press-Citizen in “Has Good Typing Become an Essential Leadership Skill?” For his dissertation, Charlier conducted research looking at the correlation between typing skills and the perception of strong leadership. To read the article in its entirety, visit press-citizen.com/story/news/2017/07/01/good-typing-essential-leadership-skill/444365001.
Jackie Eastman has been invited and accepted to join the editorial review board of Psychology & Marketing. Congratulations, Jackie!
Last updated: 1/27/2023