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Taking Flight – October 2014 Edition

amasoncMessage from the Dean

I recorded a video recently; it was a light-hearted interview with Savannah CEO. In it, I talked about playing in a band. I am a drummer and have played drums for nearly 40 years. In fact, as a student at Georgia Southern, I was in the music program. I played with the jazz ensemble and pep band; I even played in the drum line the year the marching band was formed.

While I don’t get to play as often as I’d like, I think quite a bit about my days behind the drum kit. And it occurred to me that playing drums is an effective metaphor for the College of Business. Let me give you some examples of what I mean. First, both have a lot of moving parts. In a drum kit and a College of Business, those various and different parts do a variety of different things; yet they all contribute value to the whole. Next, how you do a thing depends upon the thing you are doing. Whether it’s rock-n-roll, jazz, or classical, how you play is a function of what you are playing. By the same token, whether we are doing research, graduate or undergraduate teaching, executive education, or professional service, we have to adapt our practices and delivery to the job at hand. Finally, the real value of what we do is in its contribution to the ensemble.  As a College, we are just one part of the Georgia Southern brand, and the education we provide is just one part of the overall development of our students. So, for this old drummer at least, this metaphor serves as an important reminder of the art and the science that are practiced each day in our College of Business.


Welcome, BBA Students Lunch

On Wednesday, September 24, the College of Business held the first ever Welcome, BBA Students Luncheon, celebrating those students who have transitioned from pre-business status to BBA status. The lunch began at 11 am on the COBA lawn, where tents were set up serving Domino’s, Moe’s, and Subway. Also during the lunch, students were given College of Business Administration One More Time t-shirts; shirts made from recycled plastic bottles. The College of Business served lunch to about 800 people. To order One More Time apparel, go to or on campus at the University Store.

Appalachian State Tailgate and Game

The College of Business kicked off Family Weekend by hosting a tailgate on Thursday, September 25, 2014, from 5 – 7:30 pm. Faculty, staff, students, friends, and family gathered to show their True Blue spirit before the game. The Georgia Southern Eagles defeated Appalachian State University, 34-14. This was the first Sun Belt Conference game of the season, was televised on ESPNU, and was the 2nd largest crowd at Paulson Stadium with 24,535. This week’s game against Troy will also be televised on ESPNU.

Homecoming 2014

Georgia Southern University celebrated Homecoming Week October 4 – 11 with red carpet fun, following this year’s theme of Welcome to Hollywood: Southern Walk of Fame. Festivities kicked off at 11 am on Monday, October 4 at the Russell Union Rotunda with food and fun. The Homecoming parade took place on October 10 at 4 pm, followed by the Hollywood Celebration announcement of the 2014 Homecoming Court at 5 pm, and an outdoor showing of the movie, “Lucy,” at 8 pm on Sweetheart Circle. The College of Business hosted a tailgate from 4- 6 pm just before the game on Saturday. Homecoming Week wrapped up on October 11 with a 47 – 24 win over the University of Idaho Vandals. The Georgia Southern Eagles football team is 5-0 in the Sun Belt Conference. Pack Paulson Stadium this Thursday against Troy University at 7:30 pm.

Eagle Executive Magazine Fall 2014

The Fall 2014 issue of the Eagle Executive magazine was mailed in September. If you did not receive one and would like to receive the Spring 2015 issue, please update your contact information in Eagle Connect, the alumni online community, at

MBAA Participates in Girls on the Run Shoe Drive & GreenFest 2014

During the month of September, the MBA Association (MBAA) participated in the Girls on the Run Shoe Drive by cleaning out closets. The MBAA collected 53 pairs of shoes that were donated to Girls on the Run of Coastal Georgia in Savannah. The Girls on the Run Shoe Drive collected gently-worn shoes of all styles (tennis shoes, cleats, dress shoes, etc.) to be repurposed to help people in developing countries. For every pound of shoes collected, Girls on the Run earned money. The drive raised funds for an after-school program for girls in grades 3-8. Once collected, the shoes are redistributed to micro-enterprise partners and used in developing nations for underprivileged people to start, maintain, and grow a unique business opportunity to feed, clothe, and house their families.

On October 4, the MBAA participated in GreenFest 2014, which was held on the Bulloch County Courthouse lawn in downtown Statesboro. The MBAA had a table at which our MBA students educated the local community on “One More Time,” the Georgia Southern brand of licensed apparel made from recycled water bottles. GreenFest was held in conjunction with the Downtown Statesboro Farmers Market and gave 33 vendors/exhibitors the opportunity to connect the community with sustainable solutions for every day needs. To purchase One More Time merchandise, go to the University Store on campus.

Alumni Spotlight

Paul Newman (MKTG, 2005) began his career while still in school, leasing apartments for Campus Club. While working on his MBA at Georgia Southern, Paul began his full-time real estate career with Coldwell Banker Tanner Realty in Statesboro. In 2006, he was part of the #1 Office in the U.S. with 11 to 20 agents in the Coldwell Banker Corporation. The next year, Coldwell Banker was named Small Business of the Year by the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce. In 2009, Paul was named “Sales Associate of the Year” by the Statesboro Board of Realtors.

Also, in 2009, Paul became a co-owner of PMG rentals, a full-scale property management company offering student and professional rentals. In the past five years, PMG has grown tremendously. The company now manages more than 500 properties and has seven employees, three of whom are fellow Georgia Southern alumni and three who are currently enrolled students. Paul has been part of the Top 5 in Real Estate Sales over the past five years in Bulloch County.

Paul’s wife, Lori, is a Georgia Southern alumna. The couple has two children, Stella (2 ½) and Grant (6 weeks). A past member of Rotary Club of Downtown Statesboro, Paul says he loves Statesboro and plans to live there forever.

Evisor Mentor Program

The College of Business at Georgia Southern is offering the opportunity for alumni to get involved and offer their time and talents to help students reach their career goals. It’s an easy way to give back whenever and how often the alum chooses. In order to register, alumni must create a professional bio and indicate their availability and areas of expertise. From there, students can search for mentors/advisors, and alumni will have the ability to connect with students by phone or in writing. Students may choose what type of career help they would like: career conversations, résumé critiques, or mock interviews. By connecting alumni and students through a mentorship program, the College of Business will better help its students with internships and ultimately reaching their dream jobs. To register to be a mentor/advisor, please visit our website at; or for additional information, please contact Gordon Hunter at

College of Business Hosts Members of Ghana Parliament’s Finance Committee

On September 19, five members of the Ghana Parliament’s Finance Committee, representing the two major political parties (the ruling National Democratic Congress and New Patriotic Party), a clerk of the Committee, and Parliamentary Liaison to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning visited Georgia Southern University as part of their experiential tour of the State of Georgia. The tour was arranged under the leadership of Dr. William Amponsah, assistant professor of economics in the College of Business Administration and a committee made up of Dr. Jacek Lubecki (director of the Center for International Studies), Dr. Saba Jallow (director of the Center for Africana Studies), and Dr. Marian Tabi (School of Nursing). The committee collaborated with staff of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at The University of Georgia. The delegation from Ghana included Honorable James Klutse Avedzi (Committee Chair), Honorable Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei (ranking member and former Minister of Finance), Honorable E.T. Mensah (member), Honorable Alhaji A. B. Sogrogho (member), Honorable Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah (member), Ms. Rosemary Arthur Sarkodie (Clerk to the Committee) and Mr. Emmanuel Fordjour (Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning).

The tour of Georgia was aimed at engaging the delegation in strategic discussions with principals in federal and state institutions that provide support services in the areas of compliance and oversight on public finance and management. The Finance Committee is charged under Order 169 of the Constitution of Ghana to examine all bills, enquiries, and other matters relating to public finance and the economy. It examines annual estimates of revenue, expenditures, and supplementary estimates and authorizes withdrawal from the Government’s Contingency Fund. The Finance Committee also examines all loans assumed by the Government of Ghana and monitors the foreign exchange. The Finance Committee is mandated to examine all tax proposals presented to the Parliament by the Executive Branch.

The delegation also participated in an International Public Policy Forum with the theme, “Ghana as an Emerging Economy: A Thriving African Democracy in Action.” In his introductory remarks, Honorable Avedzi (representing the national Democratic Congress) indicated that Ghana is currently one of the fastest growing and most politically stable economies in Africa. In the past decade, the country has emerged as one of the most exciting global economic stories, ranking 14th among the top 20 fastest emerging economies of the world. The recent growth spurt has been aided by Ghana’s recent discovery of offshore oil. Honorable Dr. Osei (representing the New Patriotic Party) provided an overview of the recent democratic renaissance in Ghana and focused discussions on the thriving business climate in Ghana that is fueling interest by foreign investors in diverse agribusiness processing, manufacturing, and high-tech industries. He also stated that Ghana is part of the recent African economic surge that global news reports, such as the Economist, have touted as “fueling optimism about the continent’s prospects in presenting significant opportunity for investors and businesses.” Both leaders agreed that Ghana also faces major challenges such as the risk of the recent global economic slowdown, global commodity demand, depreciation of the Ghana currency (Cedi), and high inflation. Ghana has also embarked on improving governance, in providing greater transparency, accountability, and oversight through the institutions of government, and to strengthen macroeconomic policies so as to accelerate economic development. The Forum was held in the College of Business, and it afforded opportunity for Georgia Southern University students to ask the visitors various questions relevant to the people, history, political, and economic situation in Ghana.

Retail Students Travel to Summit in Seattle

Dr. Kathleen Gruben and ten retail students, who received scholarship money from the National Retail Federation (NRF), attended the Summit in Seattle, WA, September 28-30. The retail students who participated in the Summit were Korin Carney, Kirsten Fisher, Coeli Janiak, Michael Kwarteng, Megan O’Shea, Mary Claire Patterson, Kristin Proche, Debrion Radford, Keeli Smith, and Rachel Sweet. The Summit was a 2 ½ day event geared to digital and multichannel retailers. The event allowed retailers to discover new ideas, build strong professional relationships, sample the latest technologies and solutions, and improve online efforts.

Our students participated in a one-day program that included sessions presented by executives from Nordstrom, Amazon, Lilly Pulitzer, and Starbucks to name a few. The students also had the opportunity to eat lunch with a mentor, the executives who presented earlier in the day. After lunch, the ten retail students participated in a student career fair. Some of the employers attending the career fair were Amazon, Belk, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Kohl’s, L.L. Bean, Macy’s Inc., Nordstrom, and REI.

“This [was] a once in a lifetime experience,” said Dr. Kathleen Gruben, associate professor of marketing, “that will help develop these students professionally and for their careers. Thanks to the National Retail Federation, [the trip was] an all-expense-paid opportunity.”

19th Annual Executive-in-Residence Lecture

On October 22, the School of Accountancy (SOA) held the 19th Annual Executive-in-Residence program at the Performing Arts Center on campus titled, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go—Or Stay!” The annual event welcomed Rodger E. Herndon, director at Deloitte & Touche, LLP, and Paula Y. Mooney, CFO at Bethany Home, Inc.

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go—Or Stay!” showed the different paths that two students who majored in accounting and started their professional careers together at the same CPA firm diverged. Rodger has more than 33 years of experience with Deloitte & Touche, one of the Big 4 CPA firms, providing audit, acquisition, and other specialized services to large, multi-location clients engaged in for-profit activities including manufacturing, distribution, retailing, and other activities. Paula, on the other hand, currently serves as CFO of Bethany Home, Inc., a not-for-profit organization located in Statesboro. After leaving Deloitte & Touche (formerly Touche Ross & Co.), Paula transitioned into accounting education as a professor at Georgia Southern, worked in governmental accounting with the Bulloch County Board of Education, and practiced as a sole proprietor providing forensic accounting, consulting, and software assistance to various clients. This year’s event set a record with more than 400 in attendance.

The primary purpose of the School of Accountancy’s annual Accounting Executive-in-Residence program is to bring high-profile, highly successful executives to campus to encourage and advise students on how they, too, can have meaningful and rewarding careers.

TAG Savannah Speaker Series On Campus

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the State’s leading technology association, and the TAG Savannah Chapter will host the TAG Savannah Speaker Series at 11:30 am Friday, October 31 at the Georgia Southern University Gene Bishop Field House (2100 Malecki Drive, Statesboro) at Paulson Stadium.

Shane Turner, principal engineer at Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, will speak on “Harnessing Big Data to Drive Operational Excellence and Continuous Improvement.” Parking will be available behind the Gene Bishop Field House in the stadium’s parking and tailgate area. Admission to the event is free. Prior to the speaker series, attendees will be able to tour the new Football Operations Center at Paulson Stadium beginning at 10:30 am.

TAG’s mission is to educate, unite, promote, influence, and unite Georgia’s Technology community to foster an innovative and connected marketplace that stimulates and enhances a tech-based economy. TAG memberships are available through the TAG website, with chapters in Athens, Columbus, Greater Augusta, Metro Atlanta, Middle Georgia, and Savannah.

Georgia Southern City Campus Plans BIG Maker Day

Georgia Southern’s Business Innovation Group (BIG) is planning a Maker Day event to showcase the work of area makers–those who are embracing the do-it-yourself spirit. The inaugural BIG Maker Day will be held on November 22, 2014, from 9 am–2 pm at City Campus in downtown Statesboro.

Maven Makers of Savannah will lead a workshop to help participants build a corn-hole catapult. Teams of 2–4 people can participate for $75/team. Maven Makers will supply all necessary materials and give instructions on how to build a small catapult capable of launching up to one pound. The workshop should take about four hours. Once the catapults are built, participants can compete in a corn-hole bag launching competition with prizes awarded for accuracy and distance of launch.

While teams are working on their catapults, other makers will be showcasing their latest creations for everyone in attendance. Technical Training Aids from Atlanta will highlight items produced on 3D Printers. Georgia Southern student and entrepreneur, Francis Okechukwu, will demonstrate his latest engineering educational game for kids. Lowe’s will also be hosting a Build and Grow workshop for kids.

If you are interested in participating in BIG Maker Day in any capacity, please call Suzanne Hallman at 912-478-5586.

Last updated: 3/11/2022