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Taking Flight – June 2014 Edition

amasoncMessage from the Dean

I graduated from Georgia Southern in 1984.  In those days, college was a seasonal business.  Everyone worked hard from September through May but June, July, and August were downtime and a break from the routine.  Students went home to work in the summer, faculty members were often away on vacation, and the staff enjoyed the quiet of having the campus to themselves.  Many of us who shared similar experiences look back fondly on those lazy days of summer.

Those days are long gone though, and college is now a year round business.  Across the campus, more than 9,500 students are enrolled in summer school.  Here in the College of Business, we have more than 1,600 students taking summer classes, and nearly 70 percent of the faculty members are teaching.  When they are not teaching, the faculty are busy with scholarship and outreach; they are traveling to conferences, working on research projects, or consulting with a variety of different organizations.  The staff are also busy, preparing for the fall semester, closing our books on the fiscal year, supervising the delivery of new furniture, and overseeing the installation of new equipment.  So, while the pace of summer may be different, the work of the College goes on.

Alumni Spotlight: Stephen Bruce

Stephen Bruce (Finance, 2006) has worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for nine years as a real property exchange manager in the Savannah district. His mission is to gain new training facilities for the Army Reserve soldiers. Currently, he is handling twelve projects along the East Coast, valued at more than $50 million.

While at Georgia Southern, Stephen was not sure if real estate was right for him. A visit to the on-campus Office of Career Services led him to a co-op with the Army Corps. He has remained there ever since. Stephen recommends all students gain valuable experience in an internship or co-op in their majors to determine if those are the right paths for them and to get their first taste of the workplace. His favorite part of his job is no two days are ever the same. Stephen thrives on the responsibility of being a one-man team and producing results.

Stephen remembers one particularly daunting class, markets and investments. The professor, Dr. John Hatem, challenged him to work to earn his grade. This class inspired Stephen to work as hard as he could. He continues to live each day with this strong work ethic.

Currently, Stephen’s family resides in Savannah. Stephen and his wife, an elementary school teacher and fellow Georgia Southern alumna, have two sons aged 6 months and 3 years old, respectively.

Business After Hours @ Georgia Southern University City Campus

The annual Business After Hours hosted at the Georgia Southern University City Campus was Thursday, June 19. This event was jointly sponsored by the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority and the College of Business.

Marking the 3rd anniversary of the City Campus, big announcements were made and previews of what’s next for downtown Statesboro were showcased. Three incubator clients, including Go Local, the Savannah Fast Pitch winners, pitched their businesses to highlight local innovation, while Maven Makers from Savannah gave attendees a small-scale preview of the FabLab.

“We [we]re excited to have our entrepreneurs give a pitch and have our dean drum up support for our activities at City Campus,” said Dominique Halaby, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Learning and Leadership.

Allen Muldrew, director of the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority stated, “This event highlight[ed] the successful partnership between the City of Statesboro and Georgia Southern University. This Business After Hours [was] both entertaining and informative.”

The City of Hinesville Partners with BBRED

The Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development (BBRED) partnered with the City of Hinesville to help prepare for the development and future success of a new family entertainment center. Before pursuing this project, the City of Hinesville wanted to ensure that demand for this development could be sufficient and sustainable. BBRED found the project could be a success in this area, and it is now the top priority of the new Hinesville Development Authority.

BBRED conducted research by performing a multipart analysis comparing the city of Hinesville to eleven similar communities. Comparing each community, BBRED determined the success factors that may lead communities to have market potential for family entertainment centers. These success factors included median household income, child population, poverty rate, and sport and recreation spending. Households with children are found to be the most frequent visitors to any family entertainment center; thus, BBRED segmented each family household into four groups based upon earnings. In addition to comparing success factors and segmenting family households, BBRED also ranked Hinesville in comparison to similar communities.

The City of Hinesville ranks the highest for sports and recreation spending, median household income, and mainstream and accumulated wealth families. With all collected research, BBRED found the family entertainment center to be a viable economic development project worth pursuing and congratulates the City of Hinesville on its latest endeavor. BBRED has the role of providing economic research and policy analyses for more than three decades. The goal is to provide intense and customized understandings of local communities and beyond. BBRED prides itself on useful and timely research and is always ready to serve any government agency or private sector business.

LaunchSAVANNAH Celebration

The Georgia Southern University College of Business sponsored the one year anniversary of LaunchSAVANNAH, the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce’s council for emerging professionals 22-40 years old. On Tuesday, June 17, the celebration took place at the Charles H. Morris Center in downtown Savannah from 5:30 – 7:30 PM.

LaunchSAVANNAH was established in June 2013 and has hosted educational, networking, and philanthropic events throughout the Savannah area on a monthly basis. For the second year in a row, the Georgia Southern College of Business sponsored this event. LaunchSAVANNAH monthly events average hundreds of young professionals. “We are excited to continue to be a part of an organization that allows young professionals to develop and grow into community leaders,” said Allen Amason, dean of the College of Business. “This collaboration reflects our commitment to Savannah through partnerships with businesses and the community.”

Savannah Chamber Small Business Council SMART Luncheon

On Tuesday, June 3, Allen Amason, dean of the College of Business, spoke to the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council SMART Luncheon. Below is the article posted on

Click Here to Go to SavannahNow’s Article

Renew Merchandise, Georgia Southern University Partner to Create Cutting Edge Apparel From Recycled Bottles

One of the leaders in creating material from recycled products to help the school reduce its carbon footprint and generate revenue with new clothing line

Georgia Southern University and its College of Business are partnering with Renew Merchandise, one of the world’s leaders in turning recyclables into clothes, to begin offering Georgia Southern licensed apparel made from recycled plastic bottles.

“We are very excited that Georgia Southern, my alma mater, has decided to join our fast-growing list of partners,” said J.T. Marburger , Renew president. “We want students involved in the project to gain real world experience while being eco-minded, and this is a great way to do both.”

“Who would deliberately throw money into the trash can? A new partnership with Renew Merchandise will help the Georgia Southern community realize that this is exactly what we are doing when we trash plastic bottles and other recyclables,” said Lissa Leege, PhD, director for the Center for Sustainability. “ A clear example of the economic value of ‘trash,’ this program will help to educate and inspire our campus community to recycle so we can close the loop to transform our ‘waste’ into t-shirts, hats, and fleece to outfit the Eagle Nation.”

Renew Merchandise takes recyclable plastic bottles and turns them into various products, including t-shirts, polos, uniforms, and other consumer goods. Renew builds sustainability programs for universities, professional sports teams, and the Olympic Games. The company uses a five-step solution beginning with collecting and sorting post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and later turns the PET bottles into yarn to be used to produce merchandise. According to Renew Merchandise officials, “Companies around the world are rapidly turning to recycled PET (RPET) products to provide customers with eco-friendly material while maintaining top quality and comfort.” Several companies already using RPET products are Ford, McDonald’s, and the USTA, along with various MLB teams including the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, and Cincinnati Reds.

Beginning this summer, College of Business classes will start the branding phase of the project. The branding phase will continue into the fall and will culminate into a marketing plan developed by the MBA strategic marketing management class. Once the marketing plan is finalized, a retail point of sale will be determined and merchandise will be sold.

With the help of on-campus student organizations, student ambassadors will spread the word on campus about the new sustainability program, getting their classmates and peers excited about the endless possibilities that our campus recycling program will offer. The Georgia Southern Center for Sustainability (CfS) will be a key component to this project. Funded by a student-proposed sustainability fee since 2013, the Georgia Southern CfS provides sustainability education and outreach for the campus community with a speaker series, an academic concentration in sustainability, and campus sustainability initiatives such as No Impact Week. Named one of the top green universities in the country by The Princeton Review for the past four years, Georgia Southern will deepen its commitment to sustainability even further through this partnership with Renew Merchandise.

Georgia Southern University College of Business Hosted 21st Annual Golf Tournament

On Friday, May 23, the Georgia Southern College of Business hosted its 21st Annual College of Business Golf Tournament at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, GA. The morning round of play began at 8:00 am and the afternoon round started at 1 pm, both with a shotgun start.

This year’s tournament hosted 37 foursomes, coming from Sylvania, Savannah, Vidalia, Pooler, Eastman, Swainsboro, Clyo, Augusta, and Statesboro. Other players travelled from Florida, Kentucky, and North Carolina. Winning teams included Andy Parrish, Ethan McMillan, John Lee, and Ben Lee; Jeff Deal, Glenn Cardell, Joey Pittman, and Robert Pence; Terry Griffin, Charles Stuckey, Andy Stuckey, and Lance Stuckey; and Carter Collins, Bill Whitaker, Eddie Mills, and Rob Whitaker.

Thanks to our sponsors for helping make this our largest tournament yet. The main tournament sponsor was Wal-Mart Store/Wal-Mart Logistics. Other sponsors included CH Robinson, Brodie International, Subway, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Intertechnologies, and Mal-Ad, to name a few.  Various prizes  and goodie bag items were provided by 58 businesses which included Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A, The Clubhouse of Statesboro, Desoto Hilton Savannah, and Braswell’s, among others. Allen C. Amason, dean of the College of Business, said, “Now in its 21st year, the College of Business Golf Tournament owes its success to the generosity of our alums, the Statesboro community, and area businesses.”

We also want to thank all of the College of Business staff who supported this tournament and volunteered their time to help make this event a success.

Senior Accounting Student Earns Prestigious International Scholarship

Senior accounting student, Rebecca Henderson, has been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and will spend Fall Semester 2014 studying abroad in South Korea at Keimyung University in Daegu, Korea. Alyson Gilbert, a senior fashion merchandising and apparel design student, also received the award.

“I’m a strong believer that the transformative experience of studying abroad is unparalleled,” said Jeffrey Palis, associate director for the Center for International Studies, who helps to advise students interested in studying abroad. “We’ve seen an increase in students’ interest in studying abroad in Korea. The fact that two students got the award and are both going to Korea shows our mutually beneficial relationships with our Korean partners.”

Valued at $3,500 each, Gilman Scholarships are sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and foster mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries to promote friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations. The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. This scholarship provides awards for undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide. The two students were selected based upon essay applications, and their proposed follow-up projects promoting the Gilman Scholarship and the study abroad program at Georgia Southern University.

“Because of the emergence of Korea, I think studying abroad there is on our young students’ radar,” said Palis. “Years ago, we were sending one student a year to Korea, and now we’re sending several.”

Henderson, an accounting major with a minor in fraud examination, is from South Thomaston, ME. She says she was ecstatic to learn the news. “To be honest, I screamed and ran downstairs to tell my mother,” she said. “This award is going to help me greatly in the pursuit of my studies.” Henderson is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma.

“A big thanks to the Georgia Southern University Honors Program for [its] support and promotion of the Gilman Scholarship,” said Palis.

Continuing Education @ Georgia Southern

The Division of Continuing Education at Georgia Southern serves as the educational link between the University’s colleges and the citizens in the region, state, and world in delivering lifelong learning programs. Continuing Education offers a variety of programs designed to improve the skills of the workforce, to enhance societal and cultural understanding, to facilitate healthy lifestyles and the constructive use of leisure time, and to address personal development and enrichment needs.

Continuing Education offers the following professional development programs:

  • Certificate in Professional Human Resource Management;
  • From Hiring to Firing-Effective Employee Management;
  • LAW Seminars-Legal Awareness in the Workplace;
  • Microsoft Project Courses; and
  • Social Media Use-What Employers Should Know.

Last updated: 3/11/2022