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Taking Flight – November 2019

Message from the Dean

I talk a lot about competition, about the competitiveness of the business school market, about the need to compete effectively for good students, good faculty members and good corporate support. Because I talk about it so much, I am sometimes criticized for confusing the business world with the world of higher education. We’re not making sales or profits, at least not in the traditional sense, and we certainly don’t think about success in the usual terms of market share, operating margins or earnings per share. So, maybe the idea of competition is out of context for a college such as ours.

In response, I suppose I would say that we are competing, but we are competing mostly with ourselves. We are trying every day to be a little bit better. Through our research, we are trying to gain a little more insight and a little more understanding. In our customer service, we want to give fast and careful attention to our corporate partners and to those who hire our graduates and engage our students as interns. In our teaching, we want to be innovators in the classroom, so as to deliver the most relevant information through the most accessible platforms and to the most motivated students. And, we want to use all the machinery of the University and its campuses to attract the best students, to deliver them a great experience, and to instill in them a sense of aspiration and confidence, while also providing them with the tools they need to succeed.

At one of our recent Parker Talks events, Andrew (Andy) Prozes, former CEO of LexisNexis and board member of Reed Elsevier and The Parker Companies, made the point that success in the future will come to those who can best create fast, frictionless and convenient transactions. It seems to me that the relentless pursuit of speed, reliability and excellence is the true essence of competition. Do that, and do it well, and all the rest will take care of itself. So, naturally I’m concerned about the competition, about alternatives in the marketplace, and about the ever-evolving nature of education, technology and the products that we produce. More than all of that, though, I am concerned about culture and about a relentless desire to improve. Each and every day, we must compete against the comfort of the status quo and against that sense of complacency that keeps us from taking risks. Every day, we have to ask ourselves, where is the path to greatness, and what steps can we take today to move us forward along it? Each and every day, we have to challenge ourselves to create a fast, frictionless and convenient environment for our constituents, alumni, students, colleagues and partners.


Alumni Spotlight–Meghan Campbell Murray

Currently, Meghan Campbell Murray (IS, 2008) is a business analyst in Accuity’s Financial Crime Screening Division. Her main focus is getting control of the implementation processes for a suite of products. With the increase in new sanctions and financial regulations from governments throughout the world, she functions as an intermediary to handle interactions between the sales team as well as project management functionality and JIRA restructuring. Over the past ten years, Meghan’s career has been one of constant learning and growth as the technology landscape has transformed. From computers to networks to smart devices to software and to the cloud, she has had the opportunity to provide end-user support, customer training, sales support, quality assurance, product management and project management.

The Parker College of Business was an ideal preparation for her career. Meghan says her time at Georgia Southern was challenging, encouraging, frustrating and rewarding; frequently all at the same time. She was able to explore subjects that, at the time, seemed to have little relevance, but, in the end, helped her to expand her skills to become a more well-rounded and self-motivated person. Meghan believes that she will never again experience life at the same speed as she experienced while at Georgia Southern. The many growth opportunities and activities that had to be simultaneously juggled forged relationships that will last a lifetime. In fact, Meghan began dating her husband during her senior year. She has many fond memories of her time in the Parker College of Business, but one that stands out is her very first business law class. In the middle of discussing the semester and the course objectives, LeVon Wilson, JD and former professor of legal studies, suddenly threw his hands up in the air and passionately screamed at the top of his voice, “I LOVE THE LAW!!!”

In the IT industry, company buyouts are a constant occurrence and provide both challenges and opportunities. Meghan says these opportunities have made her career. She also highly recommends finding a mentor or an individual to serve as a role model and sounding board because simply explaining a situation to someone on the outside can provide clarity. Meghan’s parents have often filled this role for her. In the future, she hopes to do the same for her son both personally and professionally.

Interacting with and helping others is Meghan’s favorite part of her job. She believes people make companies, and they make or break the job because it is easier to be successful if co-workers enjoy working together. Meghan’s vision of success is that work is more than accomplishing her own goals; it is helping others accomplish their goals and tasks. Her own proudest accomplishment is creating a balanced lifestyle. Meghan and her husband have a three-year-old son, and she has frequently experienced the many pressures faced by all working mothers. Meghan considers herself to be fortunate to have worked with companies that allow her to live one of her favorite work mottos: “Work hard, play hard.”

Although her husband, son, and two pets keep her busy, in her spare time, Meghan enjoys reading, doing yoga, hosting people and coming up with creative excuses to not go running. She is a huge fan of the Georgia Southern Eagles, Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers.


Former CEO of LexisNexis Presents Parker Talks

On Tues., Nov. 5, the Parker College of Business hosted its Parker Talks series in Savannah at the Charles H. Morris Center at Trustees’ Garden, welcoming the former CEO of LexisNexis, Andrew Prozes.

During his presentation on “Identity in the Fintech World,” Prozes discussed the importance of identity in today’s society where consumers want instant identity and instant gratification. He outlined the history of identity, starting prior to the 1100s, when humans only had first names, to contemporary advancements in the use of social security numbers, user names, passwords and IP addresses. Instant identity, he stated, is “convenience with no friction,” meaning consumers can purchase any item they want and be identified readily and accurately to complete transactions quickly. Currently, the use of facial recognition and device I.D. are more commonly used forms of identification; however, in the future, we could see bone density and muscular characteristics from thumb prints emerging as ways to confirm identity. These rapid advancements are creating new challenges for data protection and career opportunities in the Fintech sector. It is an exciting and emerging professional field that evolves daily, in which good people are trying to find the best means for protecting identity information.

Prozes was born in Germany to Estonian parents who were fleeing the Russian occupation. He grew up in the Niagara peninsula in Canada and graduated in the first Canadian computer science program with a Bachelor of Mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo, and subsequently received an MBA from York University. A resident of both Greenwich, Connecticut, and Florida, Prozes has two sons, Kevin and Darin, and holds Canadian, U.S. and EU (Estonian) citizenship.


Mackenzie Miller

Parker Business Scholar Looks to Give Back to Those with Disabilities

Mackenzie Miller, a double major in management and fashion merchandising and a Parker Business Scholar, aspires to own a business in fashion. Fashion Schools recently ranked Georgia Southern’s Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design (FMAD) program as 8th in the South.  As a complement to her BBA degree, Mackenzie has gained additional collaborative work experience with her peers and faculty through the FMAD program.

“My experience in the program has been really good so far,” Mackenzie said. “My favorite thing is the personal level in which students get to know professors. They are willing to help you learn more and help bring your projects to the next level.”

Mackenzie has represented the Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design program by working with the Gender Minority Closet on campus, GreenFest and the Averitt Center for the Arts in Statesboro. She said she wants to put both programs to use and continue to help those less fortunate after graduation.

“[After graduation], I plan to go to graduate school and develop more knowledge on my interest in adaptive fashion and universal design, which helps design clothes for people with disabilities,” Mackenzie said. “After that, I plan to work in the industry and then eventually own my own business.”

As a Parker Business Scholar, Mackenzie is part of an elite group of students chosen to participate in the personalized leadership development program, where the Scholars enhance their leadership and career potential through innovative coursework, experiential learning opportunities and a service project.


(l-r): David Vaughn, Ava Dove and Santiago Suarez

Winning Team of GS-IANA Logistics Applied Research Challenge Announced

The Department of Logistics & Supply Chain Management in Georgia Southern University’s Parker College of Business partnered with the Georgia Ports Authority and TCW, Inc. to host the first-ever GS-IANA Logistics Applied Research Challenge. The competition was made possible through support and funding from the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA).

Facilitating a focus on client-related supply chain-wide issues, the applied research challenge, a problem developed by industry experts along with Logistics & Supply Chain Management faculty members, demanded that students take time to understand the intermodal supply chain dynamics across ocean, rail and trucking modes, between shippers, ports and logistics service providers, as well as the logistics implications associated with product variation.

During a Friday, Nov. 8 lunch presentation at the Georgia Ports Authority, to Georgia Ports and TCW, Inc. executives and government officials, the top three teams from the Oct. 30 semi-final competed for the top prize, a $750 IANA scholarship for each student on the winning team. The winning team, consisting of Ava Dove, Santiago Suarez and David Vaughn, presented a solution that focused on the emergence of megaships disrupting the logistics industry at the ports, 3PLs, and in manufacturing. Combining the use of intermodal operations, warehousing, transloading and blockchain, the team was able to maintain a just-in-time inventory, thereby reducing transportation costs by 51 percent. Members of the other two teams each received scholarships of $500 and $250, respectively.

“Working on this case. . . gave us tons of exposure to real-world problems that are currently affecting the industry as well as networking opportunities to meet with the people in the industry who are dealing with these problems first hand,” stated David Vaughn, senior logistics and information systems student and Parker Business Scholar. “I think this form of experiential learning creates a much more indelible experience for students and helps develop skills that will last [us] the rest of [our] careers such as problem-solving, data analysis, teamwork and public speaking. I think events [like] this are what help[s] differentiate Parker College of Business students from the rest of the pack.”

“The industry judges and event attendees were very impressed with the functional knowledge as well as the creativity exhibited by the student teams in crafting solutions,” noted Marc Scott, Ph.D., assistant professor of logistics and supply chain management and director of the Southern Center for Logistics and Intermodal Transportation. He continued, “The benefits of this challenge, and those to come, are numerous for all stakeholders. Primarily, for our students, it facilitates training and development in the intermodal supply chain space that parlays into job preparedness and opportunities. For IANA, the event’s sponsor, the challenge supports and contributes to its agenda of facilitating exposure to intermodal supply chains to talented students. For our industry partners, first, just the opportunity to give and share of their respective expertise was a significant attraction to each partner and a highly commendable one. The time spent by each industry panelist or judge on the challenge was both exemplary and highly encouraging. Additionally, industry participants and attendees spoke to increased knowledge and access to supply chain talent for local, regional and national intermodal supply chain career opportunities. Importantly, the challenge speaks to the Logistics and Supply Chain Management Department’s and the Parker College of Business’s commitment to educating and preparing students through experiential learning opportunities; for opportunities in fields that are critically important to organizations, regionally, nationally and internationally.”

Through this research competition, students gained valuable exposure to highly relevant, important and complex business challenges faced in intermodal supply chains. The GS-IANA Logistics Applied Research Challenge allowed logistics students to gain professional development experience and a deeper understanding of the intermodal freight transportation industry. 


Parker Business Scholars Get Inside Look at The Parker Companies

On Fri., Nov. 8, the Parker Business Scholars visited The Parker Companies headquarters in downtown Savannah. During their visit, the Parker Scholars toured the three-story mansion on Chippewa Square, meeting key members of the Parker team from marketing to accounting to inventory loss prevention.

Following the tour, Brian Prevatt (ACCT, ’07; MAcc, ’09), CFO,  Eric Jones, CIO, and Blake Greco, general counsel, spoke to the Scholars and answered their questions about various aspects of business and the industry. Greg Parker wrapped up the day, giving the students a 30,000 foot view of Parker’s and where the company is headed into the future. The Parker Business Scholars came away from this corporate visit with a new perspective on the convenience store industry and have a better understanding of business in practice.


Sales team members keeping their cool during the competition in Orlando, FL.

Students Compete at The Collegiate World Cup of Sales in Orlando

From Nov. 6 – 9, 14 sales students travelled to Orlando for the ICSC 2019–The Collegiate World Cup of Sales. During the four-day event, competing universities earned points in various events to include a role-play event, a sales management simulation event, an on-site sales management case, warm calling and speed selling. The sales competition, hosted by Florida State University, gives students experience in strategic decision making, confidence and resilience, relationship development skills, sales management problem solving skills, presentation and speech skills and an opportunity to give back by participating in the Community Involvement event.

This year, two Parker College of Business students advanced to the role-play quarter finals, the highest position the team has ever achieved. In the end, three of our sales students were offered jobs at the competition, while the rest of the students in attendance were interviewed for sales careers and are currently pursuing offers from the companies interviewing them.

“[Competing] in the speed selling section of the ICSC Sales Competition made me step out of my comfort zone, but I enjoyed it because it’s not everyday you get to sell yourself to four Fortune 500 companies,” commented Claire Durden, senior marketing student with sales/sales management emphasis. “I feel very prepared for interviews to come after speaking with the successful companies that participated in this competition.”


Beta Alpha Psi Award

For academic year 2018–2019, the Zeta Delta Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi at the Georgia Southern University Parker College of Business received international recognition as a Superior Chapter and an award of $500 from KPMG and the KPMG Foundation. Faculty Advisors Chuck Harter, Ph.D., professor of accounting, and Stephanie Hairston, Ph.D., assistant professor of accounting, oversee the School of Accountancy’s honors student organization. During the year, the Zeta Delta Chapter excelled in the areas of academics, professionalism and leadership.

“We are very proud of our students’ accomplishment this year, [as] they worked extremely hard to achieve this designation for our Beta Alpha Psi Chapter,” said Hairston. “In order to achieve Superior status, the students had to perform a significant amount of community service and attend several professional activities. This achievement was a group effort, and we look forward to the continued success of our Chapter.”

The School of Accountancy would like to thank all of the firms, listed below, who have contributed to the Leaders of Tomorrow program for helping make Beta Alpha Psi a success at Georgia Southern.

Congratulations to our Beta Alpha Psi Zeta Delta Chapter!

Thanks to our School of Accountancy supporters:
Porter Keadle Moore
Smith & Howard
Nichols Cauley
Dabbs, Hickman, Hill & Cannon
Warren Averett
Webster Rogers
Aprio
HLB Gross Collins
Mauldin & Jenkins
Moore, Stephens, Tiller
Draffin and Tucker
Rodl 

Standing (l-r): Elizabeth Smith (Treasurer, EES),  Jim Campbell (Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor), Ansley Thompson (Registered Client Associate), Anthony Yamasta (Vice President, EES), Robert Buczkowski (Vice President, FA), Max Manack (Senior Vice President and Associate Resident Director); Kneeling (l-r): Ashley Anderson (Treasurer, FA), Miguel Moreno (Secretary, FA and Recruiter, EES), Wesley Martin (President, FA)

Finance and Economics Student Orgs Team Up to Host Merrill Lynch

by Allissa Lee, Ph.D., associate professor of finance, and Axel Grossmann, Ph.D., professor of finance

On Wed., Nov. 13, the Eagles Economics Society (EES) and the Finance Association (FA) jointly hosted representatives of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. It was a packed house for the groups’ final guest speaker event of the semester, with approximately 80 students in attendance. 

We welcomed Max Manack (senior vice president and associate resident director), Jim Campbell (vice president and senior financial advisor) and Ansley Thompson (registered client associate) of the Merrill Lynch team based in Statesboro. Manack and Campbell are both alumni of Georgia Southern University, while Thompson is a graduate of The University of Georgia. Manack and Campbell both hold the CRPC® (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) designation. Campbell is also an active CPA and holds the CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) designation as well. Thompson is currently preparing to sit for the CFP exam in the spring.

Manack, Campbell and Thompson began by discussing their individual backgrounds and careers. Manack is a near 35-year veteran with Merrill Lynch, and Campbell joined the team about eight years ago after having been a client of Manack’s for some time. Thompson is a more recent addition to the team but has been with the company about three years. The conversation was then driven by student questions, which were very thought provoking. The questions revolved around topics such as advice on how to become a financial advisor, the day-to-day life of a financial advisor, the hardest decisions they had to make in their careers, and advice they would give their younger-selves. Finally, the guest speakers answered questions with respect to the current bull market, the yield curve and the potential of a recession.

Manack is a valued supporter of the Departments of Finance and Economics as well as the Parker College of Business. His kind gift ensures that faculty and students have access to Barron’s, a top financial news and markets magazine and news outlet. Through this relationship, students participating in the Eagles on Wall Street program have the opportunity to visit the Barron’s/Wall Street Journal offices during their time in New York.

The New York City-based Merrill Lynch, founded in 1914, is a long-standing member of the U.S. financial advisory services and wealth management industry. Merrill Lynch became a part of Bank of America in 2009.  Currently, Merrill Lynch has more than 14,000 financial advisors and in excess of $2.3 trillion in client balances. For more information about Merrill Lynch, visit www.ml.com or visit the careers page for current job opportunities within the firm.

For more information on the Eagles Economics Society and the Finance Association, including their scheduled events, please visit the following websites: Eagles Economics Society and the Finance Association


(l-r): Wesley Martin (President), Erin Burnsed (Wells Fargo), Ashley Anderson (Treasurer), Natasha English (Wells Fargo), Robert Buczkowski (Vice President), Allissa Lee, Ph.D., Axel Grossmann, Ph.D.

Finance Association Welcomes Wells Fargo to Campus

by Allissa Lee, Ph.D., associate professor of finance, and Axel Grossmann, Ph.D., professor of finance

The Finance Association welcomed Erin Burnsed and Natasha English of Wells Fargo for the second installment of its Fall 2019 Guest Speaker Series. Burnsed currently serves as the Branch Manager for the Statesboro location. Originally from Charlotte, NC, her career in banking has spanned more than 20 years, in addition to working in retail management and owning several businesses over the years. Burnsed holds a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Wilmington and a Master’s of Organizational Communication from Queens University in Charlotte. English hails from Elizabeth, NJ, but was raised in Virginia and Florida. In 1999, English started her banking career as a part-time teller and, through numerous promotions, has achieved the Service Manager 2 role at the Statesboro Wells Fargo branch.  She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from DeVry.  English is a breast cancer survivor and serves as an advocate for breast cancer, suicide and mental health awareness.

To start things off, Burnsed and English briefly talked about their careers and backgrounds. Next, they discussed how to manage credit. Most importantly, they stressed that maintaining strong credit/credit scores impacts more than just the ability to obtain a loan. Credit scores affect insurance rates, interest rates on loans and even employability in some jobs. They encouraged the students to check their credit reports at least once per year to ensure they are accurate. Burnsed and English explained the difference between closed-ended and revolving (open-ended) credit as well. They also talked about alternatives to help repair damaged credit, like a secured credit card. Burnsed and English further emphasized the importance of budgeting and planning for upcoming large purchases, like a home or new vehicle. To wrap up the evening, they answered questions related to the differences between Wells Fargo branches versus Wells Fargo Investments and the relationship between the two divisions as well as the importance of networking, having a solid résumé and being involved in campus/community activities to improve employment outcomes.

Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational financial services company headquartered in San Francisco, CA, with offices and branches throughout the United States. Wells Fargo is ranked number 26 on the 2018 Fortune 500 rankings of the largest U.S. corporations by total revenue. With approximately $1.9 trillion in assets and providing a variety of services including banking, investment and mortgage products/services, and consumer/commercial finance, Wells Fargo has more than 7,000 locations with employees in excess of 260,000. Wells Fargo has offices in 32 countries and territories around the world. For more information about Wells Fargo, visit https://www.wellsfargo.com/ and for career opportunities, visit https://www.wellsfargo.com/about/careers/.


Faculty/Staff News

On Nov. 1, the College hosted a Parker Research Seminar featuring Brian Dowis, Ph.D., assistant professor of accounting, who presented “An Empirical Examination of Perceptions by Certified Public Accountants on Employee Versus Independent Contractor and the Effect of Gender, Political Affiliation, and Family Composition on Their Decision-Making,” followed by Constantin Ogloblin, Ph.D., professor of economics, who presented “Productivity and Efficiency of Commercial Banking in the United States: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis.”

Kathleen Gruben, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing, was featured on WalletHub about Capital One credit cards. To view, visit https://wallethub.com/credit-cards/capital-one/#expert=Kathleen_H._Gruben.

Jacqueline Eastman, Ph.D., professor of marketing, along with her co-authors, had their manuscript, “The Impact of Future Time Perspective and Personality on the Sustainable Behaviors of Seniors,” accepted for publication in the Journal of Consumer Policy. Congratulations, Jackie!

Curtis Sproul, Ph.D., assistant professor of management, was quoted in Entrepreneur magazine’s article, “How The Country’s Goofiest Baseball Team Made Millions,” on his research on the Savannah Bananas and how well the Savannah Bananas players perform during and after playing in Savannah with the Bananas. To view the article online, visit
https://www-entrepreneur-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.entrepreneur.com/amphtml/341830. Congrats, Curtis!


Last updated: 3/12/2022