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Taking Flight – September 2017

deanphotonewsletter2016Message From the Dean

This year is my 29th as an academic. Starting as a Ph.D. student, then a professor, and now as a dean, this has been my full time job since 1989. In some ways, that may seem a long time. But for me, it’s gone by quickly because I love what I do. The challenge of solving problems, the excitement of helping others learn, the enjoyment of seeing my work make a difference and seeing the growth and development that results has been a real blessing for me to do work that I love for so long. And I look forward to many more years to come.

Of course, I can’t reflect like this and not think about how things have changed over the years. In the late’80s and early ’90s, we didn’t have email; e-commerce didn’t exist, and all of our journals and textbooks came in hardcopy. I remember having a bookshelf full of various texts, journals, and supplemental materials. It was almost a badge of honor, to have several bookshelves in your office, filled with your books and materials. The irony is that today, many faculty have removed the bookshelves from their offices; they simply don’t need them anymore. I remember doing research and analyzing data on a mainframe. You would submit your job, wait for several minutes or hours, and then go to a distant computer center to collect the printed output. If you made any mistakes in coding, the job wouldn’t run properly and your printed output would be full of error messages. And so, you would start all over. Today, our faculty members have far more computing power in their individual offices than we had in our large computer center. I remember taking transparencies to class. I’d use them much like PowerPoint is used today, to display prepared material in class. Of course, today, even PowerPoint seems dated to audiences that are used to multiple and fast moving media. It’s just a different world than it was 29 years ago—and I suppose that is a good thing. As someone once said, if you don’t like change, then you’ll like irrelevance even less.

But not everything has changed. In fact, amidst all of our new technologies and practices, the basics of what we do hasn’t changed at all. We still want to ask important questions and develop the sorts of answers that will make a real difference. We still want to create a stimulating learning environment that will challenge and push students and faculty members to their fullest potential. We still want to be accessible and relevant to the people of our state and to the business community at large. To sum it up this way, we still want to change the world, and for the better, because of the work we do. That’s the potential and the promise that has excited me for all these years. And that is the work that we are doing here in the College of Business at Georgia Southern.

Alumni Spotlight – Michael Andrew (Andy) Johnson

Since graduation, Andy Johnson’s (MGNT, 2004) career has revolved almost completely around the banking industry. Currently, he is market president of Colony Bank in Ashburn, Georgia. Eleven years ago, Andy began with Colony as a loan review specialist and has worked his way up from there with experience in areas of banking from the corporate side to the front line. In fact, his proudest career accomplishment is that, through his hard work and dedication, Andy has made his way up from the ground floor to where he is today. On that path, Andy has been involved in commercial, agricultural, SBA, USDA and FSA lending and worked in Fitzgerald, Ocilla, and Eastman, Georgia.

The most difficult part of his career has been facing the many challenges of the banking industry in the past ten years. The downturn in the economy led to rising foreclosure rates and many bank closings, which, in turn, have led to increased regulation in the industry. Andy credits the strategic classes at Georgia Southern for teaching him the fundamentals that prepared him for the pressures he faced at this difficult time. In class discussions, Andy especially enjoyed the use of current events and practical applications. He feels these types of “real world” applications of business prepared him for the workforce far more than any lecture-style course ever could have.

One of Andy’s favorite memories at Georgia Southern is having Jill Lockwood, professor emerita of accounting, as his advisor. The, then, interim director of the School of Accountancy was a tremendous asset in scheduling and never let Andy slide with an easy elective. It was the more challenging electives Lockwood recommended that provided the extra elements Andy needed to further his career.

In the future, Andy hopes to make “his” banks more profitable. Eventually, he would like to expand Colony into new markets. On the personal side, Andy would like to help his children, Kelsey and Drew, work on their talents and to spend more time with his wife, Mandy, whom he met while at Georgia Southern.

In his spare time, Andy enjoys outdoor activities. He and his friends play golf, and he enjoys hunting and fishing. Every fall, Andy and his family travel to Statesboro to cheer on the Eagles. They have had season tickets for several years and meet up with a large group of friends both at home and away games. Andy enjoys reconnecting with the friends he made while a student at Georgia Southern, especially those from his Delta Chi days. In fact, Andy is still involved in the chapter.

Georgia Southern College of Business Launches Mobile App

Anyone can now have the latest information from the Georgia Southern College of Business by downloading the brand new mobile app, Georgia Southern (GS) Business.

The College has officially launched its GS Business application, which provides relevant, up-to-date information for prospective and current students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff.

The user-friendly application is geared toward enhancing the College of Business experience by providing members of the Georgia Southern community access to all things College of Business with just a few clicks on their mobile devices. The mobile application allows anyone interested in the College to explore the topics of social media, events, news, student organizations and much more.

Current and prospective College of Business students can use the app to schedule advisement appointments and learn about the multiple business student organizations offered on campus.

Caroline Nimnicht, a senior minoring in business, is excited for the app. She believes students will be more likely to engage in a mobile app than a website due to accessibility and convenience.

“I think the Georgia Southern College of Business is bringing 21st century innovations to its students. [The] GS Business [app] will definitely improve the lives of Georgia Southern business students. It’s already improved mine,” says Nimnicht.

GS Business is currently available for free in the iOS App Store and Android’s Google Play store. To download the app, search Georgia Southern Business, Georgia Southern College of Business or GS College of Business.

For more information on the College of Business and its programs, visit

Former Georgia Southern Kicker Blazes Path from South Korea to NFL

from Associated Press, Greg Beacham, Sep 6, 2017

Younghoe Koo (LIT, ’17) didn’t know much about football when he saw his new seventh-grade classmates in New Jersey playing two-hand touch during lunch recess.

Koo got invited to kick off, and the South Korean-born, soccer-loving middle-schooler booted the pigskin with authority. So he signed up for tackle football — and he discovered he really liked hitting people, too.

“I just fell in love with the whole thing,” Koo said.

Koo recounts the story in the Los Angeles Chargers’ locker room, where he has earned a seat. The undrafted rookie from Georgia Southern beat out veteran Josh Lambo to become the Chargers’ kicker, and he will make his debut Monday night in Denver.

“I knew I was going to have to earn everything, but mentally, I just (wanted to take) small steps to just prove I belong here and I can compete with these guys,” Koo said. “It was huge to find comfort inside to compete at a higher level.”

Koo is the fourth South Korean-born NFL player, joining Hines Ward, Kyle Love and former UCLA kicker John Lee. Although he only missed one field goal during his outstanding senior year at Georgia Southern, he was best known for the viral videos of his backflip trick kicks before getting his shot with the Chargers.

“I felt good because I thought I did everything I could out there during the preseason,” Koo said. “But at the same time, you don’t know what’s going to happen. They’re going to make the decision based on whatever they’re looking at.”

Whatever it was, Koo had it. After Lambo missed a handful of important kicks last season, the Chargers are entrusting the job to their third kicker in four years — a rookie with a burning desire to succeed in his adopted country’s favorite sport.

Koo loved youth football in Ridgewood, New Jersey, but he still pursued soccer until high school, when he had to choose one sport because their seasons were simultaneous. Koo credits his middle school football coach with persuading his father that kicking could lead to a college scholarship and more.

Koo played kicker and defensive back in high school before heading to Georgia Southern, where the 5-foot-9 ex-cornerback reluctantly gave up defense.

“Going into college, I kind of had to calm down,” Koo said. “I had to accept the fact that I was just kicking a football. I wanted to (keep playing defense), but they were kind of bigger in college.”

Koo’s father, Hyungseo Koo, is now a business professor at Induk University in Seoul. His mother, Seungmae Choi, is a nurse in Georgia. Neither can be in Denver to watch his debut next week, but Koo hopes to get them to a home game soon.

“Football isn’t really big back there, but now my dad is getting attention from his colleagues and he’s letting me know,” Koo said.

Koo realizes that if he is successful, he should attract enormous interest to the Chargers from the Los Angeles area’s estimated 200,000 Korean immigrants — the largest such community in the U.S.

Koo would welcome the chance to build his less-familiar pastime among the same sports fans who embrace Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu with fervor.

“It’s exciting for me,” Koo said. “Obviously there aren’t that many (Korean players in football). Hopefully it will start the trend a little bit, and have people out there playing and see if we can get that going. But I love to represent.”

Artemie Amari, a junior business student and tennis player, was one of five Eagles named an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar-Athlete over the summer. Other men’s tennis players recognized were seniors Chris Kerrigan and Dani Casablancas and freshmen Diego Finkelstein and Santiago Suarez.

The ITA All-Academic Team award is open to any ITA program that has a cumulative team grade point average (GPA) of 3.20 or higher. In order for an individual to earn the ITA Scholar-Athlete status, a player must be a varsity-letter winning athlete and achieve at least a 3.50 GPA for the current academic year.

The men’s tennis team achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.58, during the 2016–17 academic year. In Division I tennis, 302 teams achieved this mark, as well as 1,521 Scholar-Athletes. All members of the 2017 All-Academic Teams and ITA Scholar-Athletes received a certificate to recognize their achievements.

Fraud Examination Certificate Now Offered

After being carried as the Fraud Examination minor at Georgia Southern University for more than ten years, the Fraud Examination Certificate was approved by the Georgia Board of Regents starting in the 2016–17 school year.  After receiving approval, faculty developed the courses of Fraud Examination, Fraud Schemes, White Collar Crime, and Forensic Interviews and Interrogation for use as online courses.  Online enrollment exceeded expectations when they were offered for the first time in Summer 2017.

As part of the online development of these courses, Don Berecz paired up with the International Association of Interviewers (IAI) in an effort to integrate their professional resources and training programs into our curriculum and offer students a professional certificate.  The Certified Forensic Interviewer (CFI) is offered by the IAI for professionals who have accumulated at least two years of professional experience.

IAI agreed to create the Associate Certified Forensic Interviewer (ACFI) designation for individuals beginning their knowledge and skill development in investigations, interviewing, interpreting behavior and successful interrogations.  It is a five-year certification awarded to individuals who successfully complete a 15-module program and a certification exam.

This summer, a test group of students were used to evaluate the effectiveness of this certificate program for use in our program.  Pedro Acatitlan-Sanchez was part of that group and successfully completed the program.  He scored more than 90% on the certification exam, thereby becoming IAI’s very first recipient of the ACFI.  This training program has been adopted for use this fall in the classroom.

Georgia Southern SHRM Hosts Amazon Recruiter

On Thursday, August 24, 2017, the Georgia Southern Society of Human Resource Management Student Chapter hosted Chelsea Royal, a recruiter for Amazon, to speak at its first meeting of the new academic year. Chelsea’s return to campus spurred from her conducting mock interviews during the Spring 2017 semester and maintaining connections with a student she interviewed then. During her presentation, Chelsea gave advice to about 50 students pertaining to applying to a company like Amazon, including what and what not to include on a résumé and how to answer interview questions. She also gave insight to the students on what it is like to work at Amazon, stating the work environment is exceptional, and she is able to dress casually for work. To conclude her presentation, Chelsea answered questions from students and talked about open career positions at Amazon.

“It was exciting to meet someone who has been in our position as a college student and is now working for a huge company like Amazon,” stated Brandy Hurt, a senior HR Management student.

Georgia Southern BAP Chapter Receives Superior Status

The Georgia Southern University Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) chapter was awarded Superior status for the 2016–17 reporting year.

Later this year, BAP will receive a monetary reward of $500 sponsored by KPMG and the KPMG Foundation, along with a letter from Sandra Richtermeyer, the 2017-18 national president of BAP, recognizing the chapter and its students for this achievement. Students attending the BAP annual meeting in August will also have the honor of wearing a green Superior ribbon.

“Our chapter has achieved Superior status for 18 of the last 20 years, which is as far back as Beta Alpha Psi’s database goes,” said Eddie Metrejean, Ph.D., CPA, CFE, associate professor of accounting and advisor of the BAP student chapter.

“All the hard work is done by the students who have to meet certain requirements for us to be considered Superior,” said Metrejean.

The Georgia Southern University chapter of BAP completed a number of important activity requirements to be considered for Superior status. These activities included having a beginning-of-year, mid-year and end-of-year report meeting, an initiation meeting, at least eight outreach activities, at least six professional activities and at least one service activity throughout the 2016-2017 school year. Each member of the organization is also required to have a minimum of 32 hours of professional and service activities.

According to Metrejean, Superior status requires the members of the organization be involved in two main areas, professional meetings and service. Outreach activities are required, too.

“We typically meet 12 or 13 times per semester. For the professional meetings, we have representatives from accounting firms and other companies present different topics to our members. Topics are usually about résumé writing, interviewing skills, business etiquette, managing stress, etc.”

For the service activities, Metrejean states, “We are typically involved in five or six service activities per semester. Our biggest activity is tutoring for financial accounting (ACCT 2101) and managerial accounting (ACCT 2102). We probably spend 300+ hours tutoring. We also have been involved with School of Accountancy activities such as Meet the Firms and Accounting Day setup, Executive in Residence and Forensic Accounting Lecture events, among others, College of Business activities like Professional Development Day, student lunches, etc., activities with local elementary and middle schools, activities with Bulloch County Recreation, etc.”

Finally, the student organization is required to participate in eight Reach Out Activities (ROA), in which points are accrued for each activity. These ROAs range from attending and presenting at regional and national meetings, participating in Community Service Day at the national meeting, and certain service activities related to financial literacy, among other activities.

About Beta Apha Psi

Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) is an honorary organization for financial information students and professionals. The primary objective of BAP is to encourage and give recognition to scholastic and professional excellence in the business information field. This includes promoting the study and practice of accounting, finance and information systems; providing opportunities for self-development, service and association among members and practicing professionals, and encouraging a sense of ethical, social, and public responsibility. To be eligible for membership, you must have completed at least ACCT 3131 (Intermediate Accounting I), have at least a 3.0 GPA in all upper level accounting courses, and have at least a cumulative GPA of 3.0. Membership to Beta Alpha Psi is by invitation only.

GS Golf Business-Student Athletes Receive Honors

The Georgia Southern University Men’s Golf Team recently announced its success in defending the Men’s Academic Award title for the Athletic Department for academic year 2016-17. The team broke its previous record for the highest GPA in program history (3.51 GPA) and earned Golf Coaches Association of America’s (GCAA) All-Academic Team Award. In addition to the team awards, three business-student athletes were named to the SunBelt Conference Commissioner’s list: Luukas Alakulppi (Finance/ Valdosta, GA), Brett Barron (Finance/Suwanee, GA), and Jonas Vaisanen (Finance/Karrby, Finland); and another three business-student athletes were named to the SunBelt Conference Honor Roll: Alexander DeRosa (Finance/Atlanta, GA), Cody O’Toole (Finance/Oneonta, AL), and Archer Price (Management/Gastonia, NC).

Congrats to our Men’s Golf Team and our business-student athletes!

Student Ambassador Receives Scholarship from Honor Society

One of our College of Business Student Ambassadors, Sharmita Porshia, a junior information systems student, and vice president of the Georgia Southern Phi Eta Sigma chapter, received a $5,000 scholarship from Phi Eta Sigma for academic year 2017–18. Phi Eta Sigma is the oldest and largest honor society in the United States for first-year college and university students in all disciplines. Sharmita was one of two finalists to receive the $5,000 scholarship.

“This scholarship is my first scholarship after becoming a full-time Georgia Southern student. There are not a lot of scholarships available for international students like me,” said Porshia. “However, I [have] never stopped trying hard to enrich myself with new experiences. One of my most valuable achievements is being a student ambassador for the College of Business. The experience of working so closely with the dean, faculty, and the students of the College is helping me to go beyond my comfort zone. I am thankful to Dean Amason for recommending me for this national scholarship. I hope to encourage other students with my achievements.”

About Phi Eta Sigma

Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society at Georgia Southern University recognizes scholastic achievement of first-year students who have excelled in the classroom. As a student organization, Phi Eta Sigma fosters leadership development of its members through community service and promoting the success of first-year students through partnerships with the First-Year Experience program.

Save the Date for the Tifton Tailgate

Georgia Southern University alumni and friends will host a football tailgate on Saturday, October 21, 2017, at 2 p.m. at the Elks Lodge (422 Victory Dr.) in Tifton, Georgia. The event will be held during the Georgia Southern vs. U Mass football game. The cost is $25 per person and includes food, two drink tickets, cash bar and giveaways. This is an adults-only event. RSVP by Thursday, October 5, 2017. Hotel accommodations are available at the Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express in Tifton.

BIG Launches Youth Entrepreneurship Program

from the University Newsroom, by Eminah Quintyne, Feature Writer

Georgia Southern University’s Business Innovation Group, in partnership with Work Source Coastal Georgia, launched a week-long summer camp called the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) to educate youth about self-employment as a career path.

Through a series of workshops and experiential learning models, participants learned how to develop their business ideas into successful products or services through application-based activities in which they learned by doing.

Real-world education and training are the bedrock of YEP, which seeks to engage students and teach them how to think and how to develop an entrepreneurial approach to business ideas, and then give them activities that allow them to use what they are learning. Participants in the program are students in need of educational support and skills-based growth.

“It’s important to support youth who experience barriers because some of the simple things that we as adults may not have experienced and think are unfathomable are a reality for these students,” said Marilyn Creech-Harris, career facilitator for WorkSource Coastal Youth. “Something as simple as being able to communicate with employers and speak and project one’s self; having informed conversations about the job market and what is acceptable and expected on a job; being consistent in your work performance and attendance. When you have youth who may have never been given chores, they lack insight on how important it is to do things with excellence and efficiency.”

Students attended a five-day workshop that guided them from their business ideas to customer discovery, pitching their business, product prototypes with AutoCAD software or 3D printers, advice on raising capital, business infrastructure and their final investor pitch.

Student Andre Grant-Battey, a new high school graduate, pitched a business idea called Termo-gnat. His product seeks to eliminate gnats and mosquitoes through dryer sheets and a face and body lotion—both of which have active ingredients that ward off pests from your skin and your clothes.

“The best part was living the college experience for a few days, and meeting new people, said Grant-Battey. “I have learned about what it takes to become a business entrepreneur.  I came for the experience and to gather more information about running a business.”

In addition to their training, each YEP participant received a Samsung Galaxy tablet, and meals and transportation were provided. The five-day camp gave students 42 hours of training and development they wouldn’t have received anywhere else.

“The final pitch ceremony was a great opportunity for students to show-case what they learned, for the others it was a seed that was planted for the future,” said Creech-Harris.

WorkSource Coastal Georgia of one of 19 local workforce development offices throughout the state, and encompasses ten counties in the region including Bulloch, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Screven. Their work is the result of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, signed by President Barack Obama in July 2014.

Faculty/Staff News

David Sikora’s paper, “Workforce Churning, Human Capital Disruption, and Organization Performance in Different Technological Contexts,” was accepted for publication in Human Resource Management Journal. Co-authors include Edoardo Della-Torre, Ph.D., and associate professor of human resource management and organization science at the University of Bergamo, Italy; Christopher Zatzick, Ph.D., and associate professor of management and organization studies at Simon Fraser University, Canada; and Luca Solari, Ph.D., and professor at the University of Milan, Italy. The paper is currently in press and should be published later this year or early 2018.

David Jiang received a 2017 Best Reviewer Award from the Academy of Management Entrepreneurship Division. Congrats, David!

Alan Mackelprang was recognized as an outstanding reviewer at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management. Congratulations, Alan!

Mackelprang is now an associate editor with Journal of Operations Management, an FT 50 journal and is also on the editorial board of Production Operations Management Journal.

In addition, Mackelprang and Jerry Burke recently had their paper published in Decision Sciences Journal, an journal. Congratulations, Alan and Jerry!

Arda Yenipazarli will be recognized this fall at the annual Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) conference as the 2017 recipient of the INFORMS subdivision on Energy, Natural Resources and the Environment (ENRE) Young Researcher Prize as author of the publication, “Managing New and Remanufactured Products to Mitigate Environmental Damage under Emissions Regulation.”

Scott Ellis recently had a paper accepted in Production Operations Management Journal, a BW Top 20 and FT 50 journal. Congrats, Scott!

Matt Jenkins had a paper accepted in Journal of Supply Chain Management, an journal. Congrats, Matt!

Last updated: 8/10/2021