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Taking Flight – October 2021

Message from the Dean

I’ve been thinking about our current “supply chain crisis,” its origins, solutions, and the lessons we can learn from it. Everyone gets that it’s a complicated issue. Manufacturing, assembly, distribution, and customers are often located at different points around the globe. Then are the multiple stages of aggregation, shipping, disaggregation, and delivery. And all of these steps and stages involve a variety of customs, platforms, currencies, languages, and laws. When you think about it, it’s really amazing how well it all works, the current backup aside.

Nevertheless, the system is certainly backed up, and that’s a real problem for many of us. Higher prices, delayed shipments, empty shelves—it’s not what we’re accustomed to, but it’s going to be our reality for a while. What caused it? Well, it’s a confluence of things. Soaring demand, online commerce, a stubborn labor shortage, regulatory red tape, and out-of-date work rules and practices. All these factors, and many more, are parts of the larger whole. But no one of them alone is sufficient to cause the mess we’re seeing now. Rather, it’s what a statistician might call a polynomial interaction, or what Churchman (1967) famously labeled a “wicked problem.” Moreover, and beyond the current supply chain issues, is the likelihood that there will be more such wicked problems in the future. Today, it is a supply chain crisis; tomorrow it might be a financial one, an energy or technology breakdown, or even a problem of socio-political stability. We can’t predict what issues will arise. But we can predict that wicked and complex problems will require complex and innovative solutions. And it’s here where my mind shifts toward the future and toward what we can learn from the current dilemma.

Two things spring to mind. First, we must develop and inculcate a culture of flexibility in ourselves and our organizations. A long series of “new normals” means that less and less will ever seem truly “normal,” and we must be prepared to function in that dynamic reality. Second, we must develop deep and sophisticated understandings about cause and effect. Now, that’s easier said than done because functional material is taught in isolation but applied in combination amidst a competitive and demanding world. Nevertheless, we must unlock and nurture a depth of thinking and understanding that will enable our students and graduates to diagnose, unravel, and resolve these complex problems. Thankfully, these two things are discussed often by the faculty and staff at the Parker College. Challenges are opportunities, and we see these sorts of opportunities as fundamental to our mission and value proposition. So, even as wicked problems increase, so does our commitment to producing graduates who are up to the challenge and ready to lead in solving them.

Alumni Spotlight: Trent Doty

Trent Doty (LOGT, 2013) began his professional life in the logistics industry before transitioning into finance. Currently, he serves as a financial advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors in the Statesboro and Savannah areas. With a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ certifications, Trent works with individuals and businesses to create investment plans to help guide financial decisions and goals. He also specializes in assisting divorcing couples with asset division options and the impacts of those decisions. Trent considers himself fortunate to have a position in which he can help people reach their goals because the best part of his job is getting to know people and forming long-lasting relationships. Throughout his career, Trent has made countless connections with fellow Georgia Southern alumni. Their shared link to Georgia Southern always helps relationships grow. Trent finds helping his clients achieve their objectives to be one of the most fulfilling aspects of his job.

At the start of his career, Trent was tasked with finding his own clients. In his client search, Trent walked door-to-door in Atlanta. He knocked on more than 3,000 doors in hope of adding new clients. Trent discovered that the more practice he had seeking out clients, the more effective he became at doing so. Eventually, he realized that the secret to overcoming this challenge was to keep going. It was his determination to persevere that led Trent to his proudest accomplishment—becoming a financial advisor. Although it was time consuming and difficult to change careers and to find a company willing to take a chance on someone with no financial background, Trent is forever grateful that he has succeeded. He is very proud of what he has accomplished up to this point in his career and is excited about what possibilities the future will bring. In order to realize his future goal of continuing to help people as a financial advisor, Trent realizes he must continue to care for his clients to the best of his ability and to treat them as family.

Trent was raised as a Georgia Southern fan/supporter. He grew up sliding down the hills of Paulson Stadium on pizza boxes while Adrian Peterson dominated Georgia Southern football, and, so, it was no surprise that he chose to attend Georgia Southern. Trent says the classes he took at Georgia Southern put him in real-world situations that forced him to adapt and adjust just as he does in his career. Courses that challenged Trent to think outside of the box and come up with creative solutions and the relationships he built while in the Parker College have provided opportunities and connections he would not otherwise have had. Trent is extremely grateful for the lessons he learned in the classroom, especially from his favorite professor, Karl Manrodt, Ph.D., former professor of logistics and transportation, and for the experiences around campus that have impacted his career successes. A member of the men’s soccer team and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Trent’s favorite memories of his time at Georgia Southern are of spending time with friends and teammates at campus functions and sporting events. He fondly recalls seeing comedians, going to concerts, and watching football games at Paulson Stadium. But, his most memorable times come from normal days walking to and from classes, seeing someone he knew, and meeting a new person who just happened to be going in the same direction.

Currently, in his spare time, Trent enjoys attending sporting events, playing golf and pickleball, spending time on the water, traveling, and woodworking. In addition, “It has been amazing to watch the growth of Georgia Southern on the academic and athletic levels,” he concluded.

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2021 VITA Class

Parker College of Business’s VITA Program Saves Bulloch County Residents $33K in Tax Prep Fees in 2021

from the University Newsroom

Bulloch County residents who participated in the 2021 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program through the Parker College of Business at Georgia Southern University saved an estimated $33,000 in tax preparation fees and received a total of $128,679 in refunds. 

Additionally, the IRS estimated Georgia Southern’s VITA services contributed to an economic impact of more than $225,000. 

“Qualifying taxpayers in our community are able to receive free tax preparation and e-file services,” said Gloria Stuart, senior lecturer in the School of Accountancy and advisor for the VITA program. “Our program helps taxpayers comply with the tax law while ensuring they claim the proper tax credits and possible tax refunds. Taxpayers are able to save money on tax preparation fees. The cost savings plus the financial impact of the credits and refunds help boost the local economy.”

Local taxpayers aren’t the only ones who benefit from the VITA program. Undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Accountancy work one-on-one with community members who use the service to gain experience for their accounting careers. 

Alumna Katie Mancil (ACCT, 2020; MAcc, 2021) volunteered with the VITA program as an undergraduate and graduate student. Not only did it provide her with real-world experience when a tax preparation internship didn’t fit with her schedule, but the program also helped her land a full-time job with a CPA firm, which she began in August.

“The VITA program taught me how to be professional and helped me retain the variety of tax rules and issues,” she said. “It also helped me realize the importance of working well with your coworkers and being very comfortable with constructive criticism.” 

The mentorship Mancil received from Georgia Southern faculty also made an impact in her career. 

“The professors who helped with the VITA program also helped prepare me for my career,” she said. “They gave me advice, pushed me to be better and even provided a reference to me while I was applying for jobs. I had two great job offers from different accounting firms because of two of the professors that worked with the program.” 

The VITA program at Georgia Southern began in 2020 but was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the 2021 tax season began, the VITA program volunteers were prepared and increased their tax returns by more than 100 percent.

“We were only able to complete 62 tax returns our first year because we had to stop in mid-March,” Stuart said. “For the 2021 filing season, we addressed the COVID-19 environment by utilizing drop-off sites and virtual services. We completed 132 tax returns during the 2021 filing season.”

Easing an overwhelming situation for members of the community is another reason Mancil enjoyed participating in the VITA program. 

“Taxes can be very intimidating to people, although it’s really not that bad,” said Mancil. “But it is nice to be able to take that weight and time off of someone. We are able to give clients peace of mind that they will be taken care of.” 

“The VITA program exemplifies Georgia Southern University’s commitment to community engagement,” Stuart added.

“The Georgia Southern VITA program is an excellent example of our partnership with the local community,” Stuart said. “Our students enjoy meeting and helping people in our community while enhancing their educational experience. Taxpayers in our community receive a valuable, free service while helping our students become career-ready.”

Knowing she made an impact in the community was the ultimate reward for Mancil. 

“As a college student, it is hard to be able to give money to people in need,” she said. “The VITA tax program gives us an avenue to be able to help people save money and live more comfortably. This made me feel like I was able to make a small difference in the community. I felt accomplished that I was able to help at least one person not have to worry about something that can be so tedious. It also left me feeling encouraged to continue to help serve others in the community in different capacities.”

Jin-Woo Kim Named Finalist for Sun Belt Faculty of the Year Award

from the University Newsroom

Jin-Woo Kim, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing in the Parker College of Business, was named a finalist for the 2021 Sun Belt Faculty of the Year award. Kim was one of 12 finalists named for the annual award. 

“I am so happy with and proud of being a finalist in the Sun Belt Faculty of the Year Award,” Kim said. “Even though I am a teacher, I learn many good things from my students like a positive attitude, well-mannered behavior, integrity, respect and cooperation. I love developing long-term relationships with the students rather than being a one-time teacher.”

The annual award recognizes a faculty member from each Sun Belt institution who has a passion for teaching, engaging and inspiring students, while also regularly supporting and displaying enthusiasm for the athletics department.

To learn more about the award, click here.

Parker Students Earn Truist Emerging Leaders Certification

During the evenings of October 11 and 12, 2021, 20 Parker College students participated in live, two-way audio-video sessions in order to earn Truist Emerging Leaders Certification. This six-hour professional development seminar, presented in two three-hour sessions, is based on the model that beliefs drive behaviors, which, in turn, produce results. In the two evenings of sessions, Parker students learned about the beliefs that drive their leadership behaviors, both positively and negatively. The program, designed by The Truist Leadership Institute, expands the learning experiences of the next generation of leaders by supporting and creating awareness of leadership concepts. Based on leadership theory, the interactive sessions allowed our students to better understand themselves while teaching them to lead more effectively by acquiring practical tools and strategies that they can use to overcome any leadership blinds spots they identified during these sessions. 

According to Don Cox, Ph.D., DFP, Truist Professor of Banking & Finance, who also attended portions of each evening’s sessions, the Truist Leadership Institute’s facilitator was very impressed with the students who participated and completed each session. “This is the fifth consecutive year Parker students have completed this program, and we are pleased to be able to offer our students this experience,” stated Cox. Associate Dean Rand Ressler added, “These types of programs provide important opportunities for our students to increase their value to employers.” To learn more about earning the Truist Emerging Leaders Certification, go to

MBA Students Take Steps to Become “Perfectly Polished”

by Benjamin Tankersley

The two MBA cohorts continued their Parker Professional Enrichment Plan—or Parker PEP—programs this month with an individual workshop with Perfectly Polished, Inc. to learn more about social intelligence in a networking setting.

Perfectly Polished uses a two-part workshop, with the first part taking place in the first semester of the program and the second part taking place in the fourth semester. The first workshop is used to teach the seven concepts of social intelligence, and the second is used to put those into practice by networking in a social hour and dining setting.

The first workshop had Debra Lassiter and April McLean, the two people behind Perfectly Polished, teaching the seven concepts of social intelligence: engaged listening, eye contact, confident leadership voice, body language, hand shaking, introductions, and taking initiative. Using props and hands-on instruction, Lassiter and McLean make sure to keep everyone involved.

“What we found is with the pandemic, the mask gave people a reason to not engage,” Lassiter said. “We now need to help them engage and get back out there.”

As hands-on as the first workshop was, the second took it to the next level by allowing the cohort participants to practice their social intelligence skills on business leaders. The night began with a social hour during which students got to practice their networking skills while balancing a drink and plate of hors d’oeuvres. The workshop continued with a full dining etiquette demonstration.

“I have a buddy that’s doing an MBA at Clayton State. From what I’m hearing, he’s not having the type of experience we have here,” Holmes Merrit (MBA, 2022) said. “So in general, you have your MBA, you have your core competencies—accounting, finance, all the courses we take. I will say, the PEP program has really differentiated our experience.”

Perfectly Polished got connected to the MBA program early in the development of the Parker PEP program. Lowell Mooney, MBA director and Lassiter’s cousin, saw what Perfectly Polished had to offer when the firm offered classes as part of a high school residency program for the Georgia Society of CPAs of which Mooney is also a part.

As a company, Perfectly Polished got its start 37 years ago when Lassiter sought to meet a need in Athens. “I had a babysitting service, and I had college girls go into people’s homes,” she said. “And they came back and said, Debra, have you eaten dinner with some of them? Their table manners are just terrible, and they don’t look at you when they talk to you. And I thought, well, okay, I can complain, or I can do something.” After being trained and certified by the Protocol School of Washington, Lassiter and McLean bought the children’s division of the school, which has seen Perfectly Polished grow exponentially.

As Cohort 2 students were practicing their previous-acquired skills, members of Cohort 1, the MBA Class of 2022, continued their emotional intelligence training with a workshop focused on emotionally intelligent leadership in the workplace. For more information on Parker College’s MBA program, go to To learn more about Perfectly Polished, Inc., visit

O’Rielly Kicks off FA’s Fall 2021 Guest Speaker Series

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

The Finance Association kicked off its Fall 2021 Guest Speaker Series with an in-person speaker! On September 15, Nathan O’Rielly (FIN, 2015) visited campus for our first in-person speaker in more than 18 months. Nathan is vice president of sales for Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty (YHSGR). During his tenure at Georgia Southern University, Nathan was active in campus activities serving as treasurer of the Finance Association and as a member of the Southern Investment Association (SIA).

Nathan began his presentation by describing his career since graduating in 2015. He started out at Deutsche Bank in Jacksonville, FL,  then transitioned to Unified Examiners in Atlanta before joining YHSGR, a start-up company, in 2018. Although a risky choice at the time, Nathan stated that “it’s worked out well,” as, with his help, YHSGR has become one of the fastest growing real estate companies nationwide. Though he started out in bookkeeping, budgeting, and forecasting, Nathan now focuses mainly on firm growth through recruiting license holders and agents for YHSGR. He also discussed his involvement in the day-to-day operations and growth strategy of the company. Nathan stressed the importance of a unique selling proposition and making sure your company shows up at the top of Google searches to increase website traffic and name/brand recognition. He also discussed his personal investment in rental properties in the Atlanta area. Further, Nathan mentioned several books that he has found informative over the years. Finally, he noted that he subscribes to the idea that “you become who you spend time with.” So, it is important to spend time with people who model the behaviors, attitudes, and characteristics consistent with the behaviors, attitudes, and characteristics you want to have. To round out the evening’s event, Nathan answered various questions from students in attendance about real estate investment, home purchasing, and the economy as well as a few questions with a focus on careers and jobs for those starting out. 

Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty, a young brokerage firm based in the Atlanta metro area, is one of the nation’s fastest-growing real estate companies, operating in more than 19 different states. The company supports some of the top real estate agents in the country and reports gross revenues of more than $10 million. For more information on YHSGR, visit

Careers in Analytics: From Moneyball to Wall Street

by Janet Moss, Ph.D., principal lecturer of enterprise systems and analytics

Recently, the Parker College of Business Student Informs Chapter held its inaugural event. With support from the Enterprise Systems and Analytics Department, the Informs student chapter hosted guest speaker Jeffrey Camm, Sr., Ph.D., associate dean of business analytics at Wake Forest University. Camm is well respected in the business analytics field and was a 1996 Edelman Award Finalist. He has served as a consultant for numerous corporations including Procter & Gamble, Owens Corning, GE, Duke Energy, Tyco, Ace Hardware, Starbucks, Road Runner Sports, Brooks Running Shoes, and Kroger. Camm’s presentation focused on what business analytics is, what makes business analytics unique, trends and developments in the field, the job market, and potential career paths for students. The presentation was followed by a Q&A session in which Camm interacted with students.

More than 300 Parker College students attended the presentation titled, “Careers in Analytics: From Moneyball to Wall Street.” Dean Amason; Yoris Au, chair, Department of Enterprise Systems and Analytics; Janet Moss, Informs chapter faculty advisor; and many other Enterprise Systems and Analytics faculty members were present to support the Informs chapter and to answer questions about degrees and careers in business analytics and enterprise systems. After the presentation, students commented that they were amazed to see how analytics is used in many aspects of an organization. 

“It makes a tremendous impression on students when they see how what they are studying is being applied in companies. We are very grateful to … Camm for showing students the impact analytics has had on many of the organizations he worked with and how the analytics career field continues to expand rapidly even during the pandemic. The attendance and interest shown by so many students exceeded our expectations,” noted Janet Moss.

The Informs student chapter has more than doubled in membership since this event. In the future, the chapter plans to sponsor additional guest speaker events, hold technology workshops, and participate in student competitions. For more information about the Parker College Student Informs Chapter, contact Janet Moss at

Parker College’s Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary with a Superior Status Award

Due to the outstanding efforts of Stephanie Hairston, Ph.D., associate professor of accounting and coordinator for graduate accounting programs, Paula Mooney, MAcc, lecturer of accounting, and the Zeta Delta chapter (Parker College School of Accountancy) of Beta Alpha Psi during 2020–2021, the board of directors of Beta Alpha Psi recently announced that the chapter has received international recognition as a Superior Chapter and received $500. The financial support for this award is sponsored by KPMG and the KPMG Foundation. 

In his letter of congratulations, Scott McQuillan, Beta Apha Psi president, wrote, “Under the leadership of both Professors Hairston and Mooney, the Zeta Delta Chapter has far exceeded the baseline requirements of Beta Alpha Psi and has excelled in the areas of academics, professionalism, and leadership.” He went on to say that Hairston and Mooney have provided invaluable service to our institution and that he especially wished to congratulate our chapter on achieving Superior status during such a particularly challenging year.

In its 40 years in existence, our chapter has achieved Superior status 22 times and Distinguished status four times. For more information about the Parker College School of Accountancy’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, contact Stephanie Hairston at or Paula Mooney at Congratulations to the members and advisors of the Zeta Delta chapter for their accomplishment!

Finance Association Welcomes Greenfield as Second Fall 2021 Guest Speaker

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

The Finance Association hosted Scott Greenfield, president and CEO of Capstone Financial, for the second installment of the Fall 2021 Guest Speaker Series. Greenfield is a native New Yorker but currently resides in Atlanta. His career spans more than 25 years in the financial services industry with many years spent on Wall Street.  He launched his career with Prudential Securities in the early 1990s and worked for Morgan Stanley as an associate vice president before moving on to MetLife as a sales manager. Prior to taking the helm at Capstone Financial, he worked for Lenox Advisors spearheading advisor recruitment and development. During his career Greenfield has received the Brian H. Early Frontline Excellence Award from GAMA, earned the CLF designation from the American College in 2016, and has been named Sales Manager of the Year three times.

Greenfield started his presentation with an overview of his life and career to this point. He grew up in Queens, rarely took school seriously, and opened a bar in Manhattan with friends when he left college. While the bar failed after a few years, the relationships he established during this time helped Greenfield later become a stockbroker at Prudential Securities. These experiences led to his first piece of advice: “You learn more from your failures than your successes.” Greenfield also stressed the importance of relationships.  He urged students in attendance to always be mindful of relationships made throughout life as well as reaching out to those around them to help create new relationships because opportunities may arise from them over the years. Greenfield’s second piece of advice: “Always answer the call.” Basically, he recommended that students always hear what someone has to offer regarding opportunities. You do not have to take the offer, Greenfield explained, but do not ignore or bypass a chance to learn about an opportunity. He also specifically told students to “talk, not text” since talking directly to people is different than sending written communications because words convey different meanings in written versus oral form. Next, Greenfield encouraged students to find a mentor. This mentor should be someone they can trust, learn from, talk with, and help guide them through their careers. Lastly, he urged students to work harder than the person sitting next to them, never stop learning, and always give back. In addition, Greenfield talked about a typical work-day when he first started out as a stockbroker as well as a typical work-day today in his role as president and CEO. 

Capstone Financial, founded in Atlanta in 1886, is a premier, single-source wealth management firm. Experiencing unprecedented growth, Capstone Financial now has offices in several locations including Atlanta, Albany, Valdosta, and Jacksonville.  For more information about Capstone Financial, visit   

Faculty/Staff News

Kevin Cruz, Ph.D., assistant professor of management, recently had his manuscript, “Who Matters to Shared Psychological Climate Perceptions? An Investigation of Social Network Tie Types and Attributes,” co-authored with T. J. Zagenczyk and R. L. Purvis, accepted for publication by the International Journal of Human Resource Management. Congratulations, Kevin!

David Harkins, ME, visiting instructor of management, recently published “The Boy Scouts of America: How Society’s Changing Attitudes Affect Nonprofit Culture” in Organization Development Journal. Good job, David!

Deepak Iyengar, Ph.D., associate professor of logistics and supply chain management, has received the 2020 Outstanding Reviewer Award from Journal of Business Logistics. Well done, Deepak!

Arda Yenipazarli, Ph.D., associate professor of operations management, recently earned the 2021 European Journal of Operational Research Editor’s Award for Excellence in Reviewing. Way to go, Arda!

Last updated: 11/19/2021