Taking Flight May 2022
From Dean Amason
For quite some time now, we’ve been hearing a lot about sustainability. In fact, we’ve heard the word used so often that I fear we’re becoming desensitized to the issue itself and to the principles underlying it. So, I decided to start at the beginning and with the basic definition. According to Merriam-Webster, sustainability is defined as “relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged.” That seems so simple and straight-forward that it is almost commonsensical.
As we know, though, nothing is ever quite as simple as it seems. For example, suppose the resource in question is of unknown quantity. If we don’t know how much of the resource exists, we can’t very well know how quickly we are depleting it. Or, suppose overuse of the resource is a necessity. No one thinks about conserving water when fighting a fire in their own house or of conserving gasoline when driving a loved one to the emergency room. So, sometimes urgency trumps sustainability. Yet, against these sorts of harsh realities is an equally harsh truth about resources: virtually all are finite and limited, especially in the short term. The California gold rush, which began in 1848, was largely ended by 1859 because most of the gold had been harvested. Similarly, from 1800 to around 1880, the population of American bison on the Great Plains went from roughly 30 million to barely more than 300, dangerously near extinction, because of over-hunting. These are old examples, I’ll grant and so they may be hard to relate to modern day. Think about the principle, however. Once resources are gone, they are gone for a long time, perhaps forever. And just as that is true of things like gold or bison, it is also true of intangible resources, like a trustworthy brand, a good credit rating, or a reputation for reliability. These resources are also finite, difficult to quantify, and easily subordinated when confronting urgent need. And, just as we value clear air and clean water, we also need a foundation of trust, reliability, and familiarity on which to transact business and build an economy. Once those things are gone, they, too, could be gone for a long time.
At the Parker College, then, we strive to promote thinking that is truly sustainable. Of course instances of exigency, when urgent need trumps all else will occur. Of course, debate around supply, alternatives, and the pace and timing of use will be ongoing. That is all the more reason for thinking about and planning for such uncertainties in advance. We must understand that every resource is finite and so guard against the temptation to simply take the money and run. How do we do business in a way that renews our key resources? How do we renew ourselves through innovation, so as to adapt to inevitable change? And how do we do all of this while building trust and reliability with our customers and suppliers, as well as within our organizations and communities? These are big questions with no simple answers. But these are the questions that the faculty and staff of the Parker College embrace and that we believe are key to the future of business education. Get this right, teach the right materials, instill the right principles, and reinforce the right messages with the power of our example, and we will graduate generations of leaders who will change the world!
In-Person Accounting Day Resumes
by Dwight Sneathen
The School of Accountancy hosted its 32nd Annual Accounting Day on Wednesday, April 27 in person for the first time since 2019. Accounting Day is always a special event in which we get to gather our students, recruiters, and faculty to celebrate our outstanding students. The event began with a career fair attended by 28 recruiting firms and corporations. This is the largest group of recruiters to attend our Accounting Day career fair and included several first-time attendees like Norfolk Southern, Graphic Packaging, and Johnson & Lambert. Students were able to network with professionals and discuss opportunities for summer leadership programs, Internships, and full-time positions.
After the career fair, we moved into the Performing Arts Center Ballroom for our Scholarship and Awards Banquet. Students, faculty, and recruiters enjoyed a great meal prior to our awards ceremony. During the ceremony, more than 50 juniors, seniors, and graduate students were recognized for scholarship awards totaling more than $100,000. This is the largest scholarship total that we have ever recognized at Accounting Day, and we still have students who are being considered for additional scholarships.
The School of Accountancy appreciates the recruiting firms that support our students and our programs. The new firms are joining others that have recruited Georgia Southern students for decades, and we hope to continue those relationships. Special thanks to members of the Office of Career and Professional Development who helped to put on the career fair and organize the event through Handshake. Finally, Dining Services did an outstanding job with the banquet. It was a wonderful event, and we look forward to “Meet the Firms” on August 31.
Parker College Marketing Students Give Back to the Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County
by Travis Brickey
A collection of the best and brightest students from the Georgia Southern University Parker College of Business Department of Marketing volunteered their time to help raise awareness and support for the Haunted Forest, an annual fundraiser benefitting the Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County. The marketing and sales management majors, many of whom are members of the national co-ed fraternity Pi Sigma Epsilon, were tasked to develop a strategic marketing plan that would make the Haunted Forest more appealing to the Generation Z demographic. The Haunted Forest annual fundraiser is one of the most significant philanthropic fundraising events held by the local Boys & Girls Club each year.
The Parker College students who volunteered their time and expertise in the development and presentation of the marketing plan included Nathan Albrecht, Ansley Atkinson, Michael Bland, Alex Cimmerer, Brennan Craig, Kurt Devine, Anna Gilbert, Kelly Mueller, Brandon Onuschak, Courtney Simon, Tyrone Singletary, Eric Tweet, Lisandra Velez Vidal, and Hank Weldon.
The primary goal of this student-led initiative was to raise awareness and increase attendance of the upcoming 2022 Haunted Forest fundraiser among the Bulloch County Generation Z population. The plan included a comprehensive SWOT analysis, primary data collection via a market research survey, a three-part strategic plan with target objectives, and a detailed action plan outlining recommendations for paid, earned, owned, and social media platforms. On April 27, 2022, the students presented the proposed plan to the board of directors and chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County. Also in attendance were representatives from Willingway, the longtime presenting sponsor of the Haunted Forest, and administrators from the Parker College of Business.
“I was truly impressed with the students’ approach in reaching the target audience, knowledge in addressing the identified challenges, and their well-executed plan for obtaining data to support their recommendations,” said Mike Jones, chief executive officer, Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County. “Most impressive of all, I appreciate their willingness to volunteer their time when I know they have many competing obligations at the end of the semester. I sincerely appreciate their involvement and intentions!”
Georgia Southern hosted the Haunted Forest, first started by “Mouse” Blankenbaker as a class project in 1980; however, when Professor Blankenbaker retired in 2003, the tradition ceased operations until community volunteers brought the fundraiser back to life in 2009. Despite serving as a longstanding Halloween tradition to generations of Georgia Southern alumni, once the Haunted Forest returned and relocated off-campus, support from the University’s student body began to wane. A general lack of awareness and the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be obstacles that kept students away from the turnstiles.
“When I first attended the Haunted Forest in 2021, the crowds were great, but I was surprised to see how few college and high school-aged individuals were in attendance, despite being held only a few minutes from the …[Georgia Southern] campus,” explained Travis Brickey, lecturer of marketing, Parker College of Business. “When I got back to campus the next day, I polled nearly 200 of my students in class, and the vast majority had no awareness [of the event], despite many being interested. What better way to raise awareness and market to a Gen Z audience than to recruit a group of Gen Z students who best understand the generation’s media habits and appeals, making the Haunted Forest a go-to Halloween event in October.”
Part two of the service project will be to tactically execute the plan and put into motion some of the recommendations presented to the organization’s leadership. Some of these recommendations included the development of a dedicated Haunted Forest website, increased social media presence, use of influencer marketing, and re-establishing an affiliation with Georgia Southern with Pi Sigma Epsilon becoming a formal partner.
“Being a part of Pi Sigma Epsilon, it is important that we live by our motto, ‘people helping people succeed.’ We found an opportunity to do so by helping the Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County with their Haunted Forest marketing plan,” explained Courtney Simon, a senior marketing & sales management major. “Working on this extracurricular activity was not only a terrific learning experience, but it felt great knowing we were putting our knowledge to work and helping raise awareness and money for such an important organization in our community.”Support from the Haunted Forest helps the local club provide the youth of Bulloch County with a safe, constructive, supportive environment where all children have a place to go after school or during the summer months. In 2021, the Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County had a total of 21,786 visits and served 26,655 meals to area youth. The club would not be able to do this without the community’s generosity. To learn more about the Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County and how to support its efforts, visit BGCbulloch.org.
Beta Alpha Psi Holds Induction Ceremony
by Paula Mooney
On Monday, April 25, 2022, the Zeta Delta chapter of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) held its spring initiation dinner ceremony in the “alley” on the downtown city campus. Twelve students were initiated into the international honor organization for financial information students and professionals. Becoming a member of BAP is not an easy feat and these students were required to have near-perfect attendance for the semester’s meetings in addition to service requirements and other obligations. Becoming lifetime members of this distinguished organization not only recognizes their academic excellence, it also provides opportunities for self-development and encourages a sense of ethical, social and public responsibilities.
This year BAP hosted 22 professional meetings presented by our Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) sponsors who represent accounting firms and companies. BAP also provides community service and this year’s activities included donating school supplies to Langston Chapel Elementary, donating over 150 pairs of socks to a local homeless shelter, and working over 550 hours with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to prepare about 200 tax returns for the community.
Professor of Logistics and SCM Selected by International Society for Distinguished Service Award
from Sushil Gupta, Executive Director, College of Business Administration, Florida International University
Jerry Burke, professor, Department of Logistics & Supply Chain Management, is the unanimous choice of the selection committee for the 2022 Sushil K. Gupta Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his sustained and outstanding service to the Production Operations Management Society (POMS).
POMS is a premier, international professional organization representing the interests of more than 2,000 academic and practitioner members residing in more than 50 countries across world. Its namesake journal, Production Operations Management, is included in the BusinessWeek top 20 and Financial Times top 50 business journals.
Burke served the Production and Operations Society as vice president for Colleges (special interest groups) from 2015–2018, during which time he collaborated with leadership of POMS Colleges and the POMS board of directors to support and help execute dozens of activities including mini-conferences, paper competitions and site tours. Under his leadership, the number of POMS Colleges grew from seven to eight with the formation of the College of Operational Excellence in 2017. Most recently, Burke served as vice president of Meetings and served on the POMS executive board throughout the dynamic and challenging times from 2018–2021. During this time, his contributions to POMS members centered on activities connected to annual conferences in Houston, TX (2018), and Washington, D.C. (2019), as well as Minneapolis, MN (2020), until cancellation in April 2020 due to pandemic lockdowns. Through 2020–2021, Burke’s expertise contributed to contract renegotiations to move venue obligations for the POMS 2020, 2021 and 2022 annual conferences forward to subsequent years greatly benefitting POMS and its hospitality partners.
Parker MBA Program Holds Its Inaugural MBA Convocation Ceremony
by Benjamin Tankersley
Earlier this month, the Parker MBA program held its inaugural MBA Convocation Ceremony, recognizing the achievement of the 104 graduating MBA students in the in-person and online programs for spring and summer. The ceremony featured several MBA alumni, including Ava Edwards (MBA, 2019), Trey Scrudder (MBA, 2011), and Trip Addison (MBA, 2009), who gave the Convocation Address.
The idea of having a separate convocation ceremony for the MBA students came from another MBA alumna: Andi St. Pierre (MBA, 2020). She and her classmates wanted to have a more personal ceremony for their class that could be held at the Armstrong campus. “We had some students that were not familiar with the campus in Statesboro, so we wanted to do something smaller at the Savannah campus,” Andi stated. “Then, we heard that our graduation was going to be in the middle of the week, in the middle of the day, and so a lot of our family wouldn’t be able to attend. It was really important to us that most of our class and family members could get together and celebrate our achievement because of what a tight-knit group you become in the MBA program here at Georgia Southern.”
After this idea sparked, Andi took the initiative to see what needed to happen to put this kind of ceremony on. She polled her classmates and discovered that about half of them had not planned to attend the Commencement Ceremony in Statesboro. From there, she went to meet with the MBA Program Director Lowell Mooney, Ph.D.
“I remember I had run the idea by him [Mooney] to see if it was something the school would be interested in doing,” Andi said. “Upon hearing that, he said that he had already wanted to do some sort of convocation, but, after hearing the poll, he definitely wanted to make sure that our opinions and voices were heard.”
Unfortunately for Andi’s class, the Covid-19 pandemic prevented a formal convocation ceremony from being held. “We didn’t even think we were going to have graduation, but last minute, they were able to do it outside on the field, socially distanced” Andi commented. “That was a driving force as to why a lot of us—I think—went to graduation.”
Though Andi had graduated from the program, the idea for an MBA Convocation persisted. As the first cohort of the re-envisioned Parker MBA program approached graduation, Mooney reached out to Andi to create a task force to plan the event for the graduating class. The task force consisted of Andi, Mooney, Debbie Hilton, Parker College’s events coordinator, the Graduate Programs Office staff, and two members of the graduating class—MaLinda Williams (MBA, 2022) and Alexis Rooks (MBA, 2022).
In the year leading up to the Convocation, this task force convened several times, talking through the details, finding a speaker, and making sure the event became a special opportunity to recognize the graduates. “I really loved attending Georgia Southern, and I think that it’s important that the MBA program recognize the Savannah campus as being special and being a great addition,” Andi remarked. “The environment that it fosters is really close.”
This kind of environment is what Mooney strives for with the MBA program, and it is made evident to the students and graduates, like Arsh Kahlon (MBA, 2022). “Dr. Mooney was incredibly personal throughout the program,” Arsh said. “He would make sure he would try every kind of way to help you and just really take in what you were saying and really feel like he cared about your success and wellbeing. And, now, he told me to call him on a first name basis, so now Lowell and I are friends, and that was very personable.”
Arsh applied to the program at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and had to choose between Georgia Southern and a program offered at Georgia Tech that would have required him to have class in Atlanta one weekend a month. “None of it was on a weekly basis like we have at Georgia Southern, and the cost was five or six times what I would be paying,” Arsh noted. “That did not sound appealing to me because it seemed like, well, what am I paying for? Am I just paying for the name? So, my decision was to apply to the Parker College of Business.”
Now an alumnus, Arsh still carries his Georgia Southern pride daily in the form of a branded Parker MBA padfolio he was gifted at the ceremony. “[The padfolio] is sitting on my work desk,” Arsh stated proudly. “I have walked into work with it every day, and I walk into every meeting with it. I put it down and am reminded that this is what I went to school for.” Applications for fall admittance into the in-person and online MBA programs are being accepted through July 15. For more information about the program, please call the Graduate Programs Office at 912-478-5767 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entrepreneurship Students Donate Profits to Local Charities
by Steve Stewart
Fourteen teams of entrepreneurs in Steve Stewart’s, Ph.D., associate professor of management, intermediate entrepreneurship course this spring started and operated businesses that raised profits of more than $2,800, which were donated to two local Statesboro charities. Each team of students started with $50-investments and were challenged to start a business from scratch and run it through the semester. Every single one of the teams generated profits, ranging from a little more than $30 to more than $400. The return on investment ranged from 67% to greater than 700%.
The students were challenged at the beginning of the semester to use the course content from their fundamentals of entrepreneurship (introductory) course AND their current intermediate entrepreneurship courses to start businesses, create business models designed around selling a product or service, and then execute the models. Students also had to design brand logos with identity meanings and keep financial spreadsheets showing their progress along the way. Businesses ranged from custom designed tee shirts and clothing, pet services, paracord bracelets, delivery services, selling firewood, creating customized executable task calendars, and customized water bottles, among others.
The purpose of the exercise was to teach students how business models work while exposing them to the many different unpredictable forces that act upon a new business and the difficulties of starting and running a new venture intentionally and successfully. Students had to manage the administration of the business, like ordering and, sometimes, manufacturing, and record keeping and financial management. At the same time, they had to deal with the unforeseen and uncomfortable. Throughout the semester, students encountered challenges ranging from problems sourcing raw materials to working with partners who operated at different speeds than they did to dealing with seasonal forces like weather to learning that different customer segments find different values in the same product or service.
Baylor Bumford, a Georgia Southern volleyball player and management major with an entrepreneurship and innovation concentration, said of her experience, “this project for intermediate entrepreneurship gave great insight on all the truths behind starting a business. I think, as entrepreneurial students, we see … the running a business as our dream and get excited about all the opportunities that will give us to truly own something. This project is the first time that I truly got to see how many things have to … come together and work fluidly to achieve a successful business. I learned a lot of communication and time management through the project, and I feel like I have a better understanding and appreciation for local business owners now.”
The top three performing teams across the two sections of classes were Statesboro Custom Apparel, which produced and sold custom clothing; BoroBites, which sold dog treats; and ParaWare, which produced and sold custom paracord bracelets. Students agreed in the beginning of the semester that any profits would be distributed to local charities. At the end of the semester, students donated more than $2,800 in profits to the Humane Society of Statesboro & Bulloch County, and to Safe Haven.
For more information about the Parker College of Business’s entrepreneurship program, please contact the Department of Management at email@example.com. To learn more about the Humane Society of Statesboro & Bulloch County or Safe Haven, go to statesborohumane.org/ or safehavenstatesboro.org/, respectively.
The editorial team at the Journal of Applied Psychology (JAP) has partnered with IOatWork to begin a new program that identifies high profile articles with strong publicity potential as targets for “translational summaries,” along with a brief “teaser” to create interest in the article. Recently, Management Department Chair Steve Charlier, professor of management, along with co-authors Maria Kraimer, Margaret Shaffer, Mark Bolino, and Olivier Wurtz, were notified that a summary of their paper, “A Transactional Stress Theory of Global Work Demands: A Challenge, Hindrance, or Both?” has been posted on IOatWork’s website. It will also shortly appear on JAP’s “The Editor’s Corner” website on the “Science to Practice” page.
Last updated: 5/24/2022