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Taking Flight – May 2016 Edition

amasoncMessage from the Dean

As I write this, I am in New York City with a group of our students. They are here as part of our Eagles on Wall Street program, and they will be visiting a number of leading firms in finance, banking and insurance, as well as the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Federal Reserve. While they can learn about these things in class, nothing can substitute for actually visiting and seeing them in action, first hand.

Interestingly, we also have a group of students in Spain this week. They’ll spend time in Barcelona and Madrid, and they’ll visit a variety of firms and organizations, including a large automotive OEM, an investment services firm, a global food processor and the public diplomacy council of Catalonia. Just like the students on Wall Street, this group will experience, first hand, the reality of the international business world. They’ll also gain a level of comfort with international travel and cultures that is increasingly expected by employers and important for graduates.

At the root of both initiatives is our desire to combine quality educational content with quality educational experiences. Experiential learning, as it has come to be called, includes these travel courses, as well as internships, practicums and service projects. We want to be on the cutting edge of this emerging trend; we want to find ways to offer all of our students a wide range of educational experiences that will complement their coursework and reinforce the material they have been learning. In so doing, we also want to help them develop that extra edge, in confidence and sophistication, that will differentiate them in the marketplace. And so, my hat is off to the faculty who have planned and led these initiatives, to the students who have signed up for and taken advantage of them, to the alumni whose contributions have helped to make the initiatives possible, and to everyone who has contributed to our experiential learning initiatives. You are laying a strong foundation from which our students will leap into the future and on which we are building our competitive advantage.


Thank You Scholarship Video

Our College of Business scholarship recipients are very grateful for our donors. Click here to view their video.

3rd Annual Business at the Ballpark

The 3rd Annual Business at the Ballpark was held on Saturday, April 23, 2016, at J.I. Clements Stadium, where the Georgia Southern Eagles hosted the Trojans of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Dean Allen Amason hosted donors and supporters of the college, along with senior faculty, in the VIP suite. The group led the stadium in singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch.

Finance Association Welcomes Jack Green, Jr., to Campus

On Wednesday, April 20, 2016, the Finance Association welcomed Mr. Jack Green, Jr., financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual – Savannah, as part of the Georgia Southern University Finance Association Guest Speaker Series. A 2006 Georgia Southern University College of Business finance alumnus, Jack has more than 12 years of experience as a financial advisor and is a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).

Jack talked about several interesting topics including why he chose to become a financial planner, his typical business day, the benefits and disadvantages of being a business owner, and how he grew his business as well as the basics of the financial planning process. He emphasized the importance of getting to know each client well, personally as well as financially, and how financial advisors differ, to a degree, in their approaches. He explained that financial advisors help their clients connect from successfully building wealth to then managing it through retirement. He also commented on the role education plays in making sure his clients understand the cyclicality of markets, which helps them weather times of market volatility together.

Additionally, Jack noted the characteristics of this type of career that drew him to become a financial advisor, namely the entrepreneurial aspect, to be his own boss, that affords a certain amount of flexibility and to not be limited on earning potential. Finally, he shared some memories with the Finance Association about his time as a student at Georgia Southern. Several students chatted informally with Jack at the conclusion of his presentation.

Northwestern Mutual is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, based firm in operation for more than 160 years. With more than 330 offices nationwide, the company provides life insurance products, as well as financial planning and wealth management services, for clients throughout the U.S. For more information and internship/employment opportunities, visit the firm’s website:

NABA Hosts Member of FED Board of Governors

On April 25, 2016, the College of Business chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) hosted Illenin Kondo, Ph.D., as a guest speaker. Kondo, a native of Togo, Africa, and a senior economist on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, works in the trade and financial studies section of the Division of International Finance. Having received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota, Kondo’s specialty is in the international arena, and he often provides input to decisions on policy at short notice. He recalled the recent decline in the stock market in January and unexpectedly having to provide insight on the causes late on a Friday evening when he thought his work was done.

Kondo spoke about the board’s internship and research assistantships, strongly recommending these opportunities to the students. He mentioned that hundreds of economists with different specialties work at the board. They are supported by a team of interns and research assistants. In addition to the technical requirements needed on the job, Kondo stressed the importance of soft skills and the need to learn, adapt and be flexible on the job before fielding questions from the students and interacting with them. He concluded that, overall, working at the board has been an excellent opportunity with prospects for individual growth.

Dean’s Advisory Board Meets in Jacksonville

The Dean’s Advisory Board met with the dean and other College of Business representatives in Jacksonville, Florida, April 28–29, 2016. The meeting was well attended and included many topics such as planning activities and reports from the three operating committees (Networking, Development and Programs), an update on the Young Alumni Board strategies and a detailed presentation and planning session with Dean Allen Amason regarding the College of Business Building A Legacy initiative designed to accelerate the start of this important project for the college. We are also pleased to announce that Cedric Henry will be the next chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board.

Congratulations, Cedric! We look forward to your leadership over the next two years.

Accounting Day 2016

On Wednesday, April 27, the School of Accountancy hosted the 26th Annual Accounting Day. The event started with awarding certificates to students for their outstanding performance in Accounting Principles. Alumna Tammie Williams (ACCT, ’98; IS, ’98; MAcc, ’15), controller for Turner Broadcasting, spoke about her career path and encouraged the students to follow their own paths. “Public accounting, corporate accounting and governmental accounting are all great opportunities,” said Williams, “but there is no one path, but you will find where you belong.”

Afterward, Tammie represented Turner Broadcasting at the Spring Career Fair. This event occurs each year in late April to avoid some of the many conflicts, such as audits, annual report filings and tax season, that impact practicing accountants. The Career Fair began at 5 p.m. Seventeen employers met with more than 80 students to network and discuss internship and employment opportunities.

After the career fair, 220 students, accountants and faculty and staff members attended the annual banquet. The 25 presenters awarded just under $38,000 in scholarship awards to more than 45 students.

The School of Accountancy and the College of Business are very grateful to the recruiters who came to Accounting Day to hire our best and brightest. We wish to thank the donors who provided financial support to our accounting students and programs to make this annual event possible. Accounting Day is a fantastic way to end the school year, and we are looking forward to next year’s event.

Logistics Students Travel to IANA

A team of four Georgia Southern Logistics and Intermodal Transportation students recently traveled to the University of North Florida, April 8–10, to participate in a case competition sponsored by the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).

The Georgia Southern team, comprised of David Dekoski, Austin Campagnolo, Jason Kolasinski and Trisha Schepers, traveled to Jacksonville to join teams from Auburn University, University of Arkansas, University of Maryland, University of North Florida, University of North Texas and the University of Tennessee to participate in the 8th Annual IANA Logistics & Supply Chain Management Case Competition.

Each of the participating teams was tasked with analyzing an intermodal transportation-focused case created by IANA specifically for the competition. The teams were then able to present their analyses and recommendations to a panel of business professionals from the logistics and intermodal transportation industry.

Before returning to Statesboro, the students joined other event participants for a behind-the-scenes tour of Everbank Field, home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. The tour was hosted by Hamzah Ahmad, director of logistics and facilities for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who provided a rare glimpse into the many unique logistical challenges associated with supporting a major professional sports franchise.

The trip was a huge success. The team represented themselves and Georgia Southern extremely well, and the students embraced the opportunity to network with their peers, learn about the academic programs at other universities, hone their analysis and presentation skills and enjoy the sunshine and night life in Jacksonville Beach.

Senior Management Student Receives FYE Peer Leader of the Year Award 2016

Brandon Lee, a senior management major, was nominated and selected as the recipient of the First Year Experience (FYE) Peer Leader of the Year. The FYE Peer Leader of the Year award recognizes a peer leader who works with his or her FYE 1220 or FYE 1410 faculty member to provide quality classroom experience while engaging students in the overall university community and serving as a positive role model.

Christy Curley, for whose class Brandon served as a peer leader, stated, “Brandon memorized each student’s name, major and the interesting fact shared on the first day of class—all within a week! He arrive[d] 5‐10 minutes early to greet the students, start[ed] the opening assignment and spen[t] some time chatting and checking in with them. When I arrive[d] to the classroom, students already appear[ed] both comfortable and engaged in what we [would] be doing that day. Brandon perfectly embrace[d] the balance of peer and instructor. His appropriate self‐disclosure and remembering personal facts about students allow[ed] him to come to their level and help students feel valued and comfortable around him. At the same time, he maintain[ed] professionalism by always dressing appropriately, arriving early, taking the lessons seriously, standing at the front of the room and interjecting into each assignment as appropriate.”

The FYE award recipients were selected by the FYE Advisory Council. The awards are funded by FYE and Phi Eta Sigma, the First-Year Honor Society.

NABA Scholarship Recipient

Michelle Gbadeobo-Great (ACCT, ’17) received the Turner Broadcasting Scholarship during the National Association of Black Accountants’ (NABA) 37th Annual Eddie Nesby Jr. Scholarship & Awards Celebration held in Atlanta on Friday, April 29, 2016. In order to be considered for the scholarship, Michelle had to complete the online scholarship application, write a short essay, be a member of NABA with a 3.5 grade point average or higher and send a copy of her résumé and official transcripts, in addition to a 15-minute interview with the president of NABA – Southern Region.

For Michelle, winning this scholarship means she will not have to take out extra loans for the completion of her degree, giving her a sense of freedom and relief.

“NABA has enhanced my growth professionally and socially,” stated Michelle. “I have been provided opportunities to meet and learn from professionals, which has helped me tremendously as I climb into the accounting world. I am really thankful to NABA and Turner Broadcasting.” Michelle will be the vice president of the NABA Georgia Southern Student Chapter in the fall.

Building A Legacy Champagne Kick-off

Our Building A Legacy initiative kicked-off with a champagne toast at the Capital City Country Club on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in Atlanta. Dean Allen Amason inspired the crowd with his exciting presentation on where the College of Business is now and how the much-needed renovations and expansions will prepare us to be more competitive and relevant in the future. The attending alumni ranged from the classes of the 1960s to as recent as 2015. Everyone embraced the need to give the building a facelift, as well as the plans to build the additions of a Financial Learning Lab and a Student Atrium. Opportunities for naming range from $250 up to $10M, meaning every alumnus can be involved and contribute. A special thank you goes to Gail Reed (ACCT, ’80) for hosting the event.

We would love to take this presentation to other cities. If you are interested in hosting, please contact Pam Stovall at (912) 656-4243.

Graduate Brunch and Commencement Ceremonies

On May 6, 2016, graduates, along with their families and friends, gathered as the College of Business celebrated its graduate students at the bi-annual Graduate Brunch prior to Graduate Commencement at 1 p.m. in Hanner Fieldhouse. Dean Amason congratulated the graduates and welcomed them into the Eagle Executive network.

Stephen Harmon, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Learning Technologies Division in the College of Education and Human Development at Georgia State University, spoke to the graduate students, exclaiming, “You need to become lifelong learners, adaptive experts and innovative problem solvers! You are at the finish of a long race and at the starting line of a new exciting race! You’re joining an elite group!”

The MBA program had three students graduate with two masters degrees during the 88th Annual Spring Commencement. Joseph Meador graduated with an MBA and an MS in electrical engineering; David Schott graduated with an MBA and a Ph.D. in public health leadership; and Karmen Williams graduated with an MBA and a Ph.D. in public health leadership.

The College of Business graduated 102 graduate students in the Master of Accounting program and the Master of Business Administration program. Undergraduate Commencement, held on Saturday, May 7, 2016, at Paulson Stadium, saw 469 bachelor degrees conferred upon business students. Carol H. Burrell, president and CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System, advised undergraduates to keep in mind that their degrees may not be their ultimate path. “Just as your degree does not entitle you nor does it limit you. The truth is there will be many opportunities for growth.” Burrell continued with, “Make your own definition of success. Don’t fall into the trap of defining your success by what others have accomplished. You can’t let others control your attitude. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is you.”

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Last updated: 8/3/2021