By Taylor Deer, College of Business Public Relations Intern
No matter what time of the year it is, ice cream always makes a great treat for dessert, social occasions, study breaks, stress relievers, breakups and so much more. From young children to the elderly, ice cream gets everyone in a good mood.
Discovering Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
JMU CoB alumni Sandra Tran and Gilbert Welsford both share a love for ice cream. Gil and Sandra discovered liquid nitrogen ice cream after hearing about Gil’s friend who started a liquid nitrogen ice cream business. After actually trying liquid nitrogen ice cream for the first time in Chicago, Sandra was blown away by how delicious and creamy it was. As two people who love sweet and savory tastes as well as a deep seated passion in the life of entrepreneurship, Sandra and Gil decided to combine their passions to create a business using liquid nitrogen and local ingredients to make ice cream. Sandra and Gil set up their new business in Washington, D.C., and named it Nicecream Factory.
Gil, a Pennsylvania native, explains that Nicecream Factory’s base ingredient is a sweet cream from an animal-friendly local farm in Pennsylvania. The sweet cream is sent to them a day after the cow is milked to make their fresh treat. Once the cream is measured out and placed in a stand mixer, fresh ingredients from local farms are carefully added to the cream. Then their special ingredient is added and liquid nitrogen is poured in, freezing everything together. Since the liquid nitrogen is minus 321 degrees Fahrenheit when added, it begins evaporating with a cloud of vapor to make creamy and delicious ice cream. From liquid cream to wonderful dessert takes about 25-40 seconds. Tasting is one of Gil’s passions. “Sandra and I create unique flavors for our liquid nitrogen ice cream such as bacon-maple and strawberry cheesecake,” he describes.
The Creation of Pop-Up Shops
The three-month-old business has grown tremendously. Gil explains that Nicecream Factory started its own pop-up shops. Instead of people traveling to get Nicecream, Gil and Sandra load up all of their equipment into the back of a truck and travel to different communities in D.C. to serve fresh scoops of liquid nitrogen ice cream. The use of pop-up shops makes the business mobile and convenient for customers. A few places where Nicecream Factory regularly sets up its pop-up shops are at the Science Club, Georgetown Farmers Market, Glover Park Farmers Market, and the Palisades Farmers Market. Nicecream Factory also serves at parties, restaurants, fundraising events, weddings, and wherever else people would like to be served liquid nitrogen ice cream in D.C.
Expanding the Scoop
Gil explains that their goal is to capitalize the business. He and Sandra eventually want more pop-up shops while exploring the possibility of creating a retail shop. Since Nicecream is fairly new, the growth opportunities are endless. The pop-up shops are helping Nicecream Factory bolster awareness within the D.C. community while raising capital through Kickstarter and their shops. Both Gil and Sandra would like to continue the pop-up shops to establish more credibility. They also wish to turn the business into a franchise in three years. This will allow other entrepreneurs to bring innovative desserts to their communities. “Since liquid nitrogen ice cream is popular on the West Coast, it is our goal to make it popular on the East Coast,” says Gil.
Gil graduated JMU with a job lined up, but he realized that his interests lie within the entrepreneurial life. Gil and Sandra started Nicecream Factory about two months ago. Gil explains that Nicecream Factory continues to grow with an increase in pop-up shops. One thing Gil learned since he and Sandra started Nicecream Factory was that their Kickstarter campaign was a great way to build their business. The Kickstarter campaign helped Nicecream Factory raise almost $5,000 in four days.
Follow Your Dreams
Entrepreneurial advice that Gil shares with JMU students is that there is never going to be a right time to start a business. “You come from an excellent university, just go for it. If you fail it is not the end of the world. If anything, employers will be more impressed with you that you gave it a shot,” says Gil. He explains that since starting a business can be time consuming, it is easier to start a business while in college with so much free time and the support you are surrounded by. “It will be a lot harder to start a business when you have a family, car payments, and a mortgage,” explains Gil. It is imperative to make certain that a person is really committed if they are looking to start a business. “If you do have a cool concept that you are set on creating a business with, definitely check out Kickstarter,” explains Gil.
Gil says that with the help of the CoB as well as its professors, he and Sandra would not be where they are today. To receive more helpful advice on starting a business contact Gil at firstname.lastname@example.org. “I would love to help JMU students pursue their dreams,” says Gil. Visit http://nicecreamfactory.com/#1 to learn more.
Gil and Sandra were recently featured in an article in The Washington Post.
Dr. Susan Palocsay, Professor of Computer Information Systems and Business Analytics, loves teaching at JMU. She also loves working with and teaching her dogs new, challenging activities.
After her husband died six years ago, she was at loose ends. She decided to devote her free time to training her two dogs, male and female Vizslas. This breed originated in Hungary and is known for its bird hunting instinct, with a good nose and an above-average energy level. They are also known for being very affectionate, although they can get their feelings hurt easily. As a result, you can’t put too much pressure on them.
Rumli is her male, which is Hungarian for “ruckus”; the female is Sarika, which is Hungarian for “princess.” Dr. Palocsay says the names are misleading—Sarika is the smarter and more devious of the two. She wanted to give herself and the dogs some concrete goals to work towards, so she began to participate in various dog sports.
She started out with agility training, which is very challenging. Both Rumli and Sarika earned American Kennel Club (AKC) novice agility titles, and Sarika achieved several AKC advanced and excellent agility titles. But as the courses got harder, they became stressed in the ring and Dr. Palocsay decided to give them a break from agility.
She has also done some rally obedience with her dogs, which is more relaxed and fun than traditional obedience. This sport consists of a course with ~20 signs designating the sequence of obedience tasks. Unlike formal obedience, the handlers are encouraged to praise their dogs during the performance. In the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) venue, both dogs have finished Level 1 (RL1). Sarika has finished Level 2 (RL2) and is progressing towards a rally championship (ARCH), and she was ranked #10 in the RL2 category of the 2012 APDT Rally National Rankings.
K9 Nose Work
Dr. Palocsay is always looking for new challenges for her dogs. She discovered a new activity, K9 Nose Work, last year. Dogs initially train by using their noses to find a favorite toy or treat reward hidden in one of several boxes. Over time, the game expands to rooms, exterior areas, and vehicles. As the dog grows more confident with his sniffing, target odors are introduced and competition-level skills are taught.
Before entering a competition, the dogs must pass an ORT (odor recognition test) which requires them to identify a box with Q-tips that were soaked in birch among a set of 12 boxes. Both Sarika and Rumli passed the birch ORT in the past year, each finding it within 6 seconds. The sport also includes scents of anise and clove at upper levels. Trial competition requires searching of 4 elements: interior, exterior, vehicle, and container. Dr. Palocsay plans to enter Sarika in her first K9 Nose Work competition sometime in the near future.
Dr. Palocsay recently learned of a new dog sport called Treibball. In Treibball, dogs push big exercise balls across fields into soccer nets using only their noses (no paws allowed). It is a combination of agility, obedience, and ball driving/pushing/ skills. This low impact activity is fun yet challenging for the dogs. Treibball also builds confidence and focus in many dogs, and provides a safe way to keep dogs fit and healthy through both mental and physical exercise. She and the Vizslas will be taking a Triebball class this summer.
Working with her dogs has given Dr. Palocsay a new outlet for her teaching skills. She is intrigued by how dogs learn. She enjoys the training and loves watching her dogs participate in different activities. Dr. Palocsay says, “I like the challenge of teaching my dogs different skills. Ribbons are nice but ultimately are not as important as building a strong relationship with your dog. It is your job is to make sure your dog has a good time.”
With almost 10 acres of open land at her home near Singers Glen, Sarika and Rumli love the rural life, sniffing and roaming through the woods, and staying in top shape for their competitions.
A group of about 250 students in seven classes in 2005 were asked if Social Security would still be around for them to collect upon retirement, particularly if as many forecast, the system goes “bankrupt.” The resounding answer was “no,” or at least “not much.” JMU Economist Dr. Barkley Rosser disagrees with this assessment.
His “Rosser’s Equation,” first labeled by others in 2010, shows that people retiring at a time the system has been forecast to “go bankrupt” in a bit over 20 years if there are not changes to the system, will actually receive more in Social Security benefits after inflation than those retiring today.
Rosser’s Equation marks the first time in JMU history that an equation has been named for a faculty member.
In a 2005 letter to The Breeze, Dr. Rosser explains “Future benefits are to rise with the growth of real wages, reaching a level in 2042 a bit over 160% of what the current retirees receive. If the system then goes ‘bankrupt,’ those benefits would suddenly decline by about 28%, leaving the benefits paid to retirees at around 120% of the level current retirees receive.”
He arrived at this conclusion using data from the annual Social Security Trust Fund reports.
Dr. Rosser says the Social Security Administration ran surpluses from 1983 until very recently, lending that money to the rest of the federal government and accumulating a positive balance as a result of changes put in place by the bipartisan Greenspan Commission in that year with the goal of “paying for the retirement of the baby boomers.”
The Social Security Administration has begun to cash in the accumulated securities from that $2.72 trillion balance. When that balance is exhausted is when the system will be “bankrupt,” as many say, and will morph to being a “pay as you go” system relying strictly on taxes received in succeeding years, assuming there are no changes to the system before then.
However, Dr. Rosser’s calculations show that even after this event, future recipients will fare better with Social Security than do current recipients.
The Big Small Business Event of 2013: Professional Development for Business Owners
On Thursday, May 23, 2012 the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SV SBDC) will host its second annual BIG Small Business Event for established and prospective business owners and managers. The conference will be held in Blue Ridge Community College’s Plecker Center from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“This conference is a unique opportunity for our business owners and managers,” says Joyce Krech, SV SBDC Director. “Most of us who are employed have professional development classes to learn best practices and new strategies. The BIG Small Business Event offers those options for our entrepreneurs and business owners.”
Catesby Jones, founder of Virginia-based apparel company Peace Frogs, will be the featured speaker during lunch, and Kirk Bates, “hopelessly-passionate” entrepreneur and founder of Market 248, is the morning speaker. Attendees can select from 16 concurrent workshops on topics ranging from the Affordable Care Act, technology management, financial controls, human resource issues, marketing and sales strategies, social media, operational concerns, and more.
To view the full agenda or to register for the BIG Small Business Event, visit www.ValleySBDC.org or call 540-568-3227. Pre-registration is required; the fee is $49 and includes lunch, light breakfast, and breaks. The conference is hosted by the SV SBDC with sponsorship support from Clear Channel Radio, E-N Computers, and Union First Market Bank.
The Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center has been providing no-fee, confidential consultations; a wide variety of training options; and access to federal, state, and local resources to the Valley’s business community for nearly 25 years. It is a resource partner to the Small Business Administration and James Madison University.
Dr. Elias Semaan Receives Dr. Otto Brenner Award
Congratulations to Associate Professor of Finance Dr. Elias Semaan, who was recently named as the Dr. Otto G. Brenner Memorial Award recipient. The recipient is selected by students, and recognizes an outstanding teacher each year.
Congratulations on this well deserved honor!
CoB Hosts Beta Gamma Sigma Induction Ceremony
On Friday, May 3, the College of Business held its 45th Beta Gamma Sigma Induction Ceremony, recognizing graduating seniors and masters students. Click here for photos.
Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) is the international honor society that provides the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive in a baccalaureate or graduate program at a school accredited by AACSB International. BGS is celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2013. The JMU chapter received its charter on April 28, 1983.
Potential members are invited based on their high scholastic achievement in business subjects. To be eligible for membership in Beta Gamma Sigma, the academic ranking of those being considered must place them in the upper 10 percent of the junior or senior class and upper 20 percent of the graduating master’s class.
Congratulations to the 2013 BGS inductees:
Allison von Hausen, of Fairfax, Va., is graduating in May 2013 with a degree in Finance and Management.
Jamin Engel, of Harrisonburg, Va., is graduating in May 2013 with a master of business administration degree.
Michael Goertzen, of Harrisonburg, Va., is graduating in May 2013 with a master of business administration degree.
Dale Richards, of Broadway, Va., is graduating in May 2013 with a master of business administration degree.
Allison Rossi, of Charlottesville, Va., is graduating in May 2013 with a master of business administration degree.
Jeremy Vogan, of Staunton, Va., is graduating in May 2013 with a master of business administration degree.
Sean McCabe, of Richmond, Va., is graduating in May 2013 with a master of science in accounting degree.
Dan McCluskey, of Springfield, Va., is graduating in May 2013 with a master of science in accounting degree.
Congratulations to COB’s Outstanding Graduating Students
Click here for photos.
Federation of Schools of Accountancy Achievement Award – Amanda Hoffman
Outstanding Graduate in Accounting – Taylor Selby
Outstanding MSA Student – Amanda Hoffman, Sean McCabe
Computer Information Systems & Business Analytics
Computer Information Systems Outstanding Senior Award – Eric Pasztor
Computer Information Systems Consulting Award – Sam Utz, Michael Fakhari, Eric Trinh
Outstanding Senior in Economics – Matthew Crusco
Faculty Award for Academic Excellence in Economics – Blake Bowman
Finance & Quantitative Finance
Outstanding Senior in Finance – Luke T. Mitchell
Outstanding Senior in Quantitative Finance – Alexis Grace Read
Outstanding Senior in Hospitality Management - Michelle Moulden
Outstanding Student in International Business – Christina Lynn Capaldo
Outstanding Student in Management – Peter Jones
Certified Manager Certificate Award – Kyle Barker, Peter Jones, Rachel Griffin, LeeNora Linkous
Management Faculty Award for Excellence – Michael Surowiec, Giao von Hausen
Zane Showker Award – Matthew McKeon
Outstanding Student in Marketing – Heather Terk
JC Penny Spirit Award – Ranna Mohajer
Marketing Faculty Award for Excellence – Matthew Weltz
College of Business
Alpha Kappa Psi Award – James Paschal
Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key – Luke T. Mitchell
Master of Business Administration
Outstanding MBA Student – Jamin Engel
COB Honors Thesis Recognition
School of Accounting – Taylor Selby
Economics Department – Laura Stanley
Finance & Business Law – Katie Duquette
eNVied Apparel Takes Top Honors in Spring 2013 Venture Creation Business Plan Competition
John Rothenberger, founder and CEO of SE Solutions, and Carol Hamilton, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at JMU, kicked off the 12th Venture Creation Business Plan Competition on Monday, April 29.
Congratulations to the team of Daniel Dziuba (Management), Ashely Petrullo (IBUS) and Zach Katcher (Management) of team eNVied Apparel, who won first place and $800.
Coming in second for a cash prize of $400 was the Iris Marketing team, Ben Stout (Economics and Political Science) and Greg Snow (Sports Management).
Third place and $200 went to both team Flower Fox, Julie Himmel (SMAD), Andrew Tzikas (Management), and Trinity Edralin, (Communications), and to team Vermicompost, Steven Tomey (Management), Daniel Warren (ISAT), Stefan Peierls (Marketing) and Alex Ko.
Stefan Pierels of team Vermicompost was named MVP and received $250.
Other venture teams that presented included:
Culturally Anchored Games with team members Gabe Fuentes (Management), Dan Oravetz (Management), Laura Lorenz (Biotechnology), and Ian Greene (Music Industry).
Go Green Cleaning Professionals with team members Jay Green (Management), Zain Khawaja (Management), Katherine Stanwood (Management and CIS) and Hayden Baronian (Management).
Premier Shine Auto Detailing with team members Dan Kastner (Health Svcs Admin), Allison Gorga (Communications), Anthony Trasatti (Management) and Nash Cook (Management).
Cake Candi Creations with team members Jenna Myers (Management), Meagan Whitfield (Management) and Lauren Trentham (Management).
Sun-Tracker LLC with team members Quan Hoang (Quantitative Finance), Eric White (Management), Brent Kiomall (ISAT) and Kyle Barker (Management).
Advntrs with team members Michael Surowiec (Management), Ethan Dorton (Management) and Austin Dixon (English).
What is Venture Creation?
The Venture Creation class, created by CFE Director Carol Hamilton and Serial Entrepreneur John Rothenberger, provides a unique experience for JMU undergraduates of all majors who have an entrepreneurial interest. Students learn how to transform a market opportunity into a viable business from launch to harvest.
The class is divided into 2-4 member venture teams and anchored by a seasoned entrepreneur. Student teams spend the semester proving the market and developing a viable business plan to present to potential investors. The class closes with a competition and networking event.
Business Plan Competition
Mary Ann Alger and Jeff Pompeo were judges for the event. The judges asked insightful questions and provided valuable feedback to the students for future development of their business proposals.
Many thanks to Neal Beggan (Cherry, Bekaert & Holland), Juan Bialet (TSC Management), John Bomberger (Choice Books), Jon Craver (Accenture), Andy Jacobs (Cudas), David Kay (Capital Automotive), Mark Langer (Equity One), Michael Rebibo (First Portfolio), Jeff Tornell (Source Selection Consulting), Kevin Tucker (Solitude Lake Management) and John Rothenberger who were entrepreneurs and mentors for the students.
The Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business at JMU fosters a growing network of entrepreneurs through teaching, research and community engagement to provide excellence in undergraduate entrepreneurship education. Stay connected on LinkedIn and Facebook (James Madison University Entrepreneurship Network).
CoB Faculty Members Honored
J. Barkley Rosser has been named the Kirby L. Cramer, Jr., Chair of Business Administration. He has held this honor since 1996. The purpose of the chair is to promote high standards of scholarship and academic leadership among College of Business faculty by recognizing outstanding individuals who have brought distinction to the college through their own professional achievements in scholarship and academic leadership.
Daphyne Thomas has been selected as the Adolph Coors Foundation Business Professorship. The purpose of this professorship is to attract and/or retain outstanding College of Business faculty with the Coors professor having the expressed expectation of engaging with and supporting students and faculty from under represented populations. The selected individual will chair the College of Business Diversity Council, serve as the primary liaison with the office of the Special Assistant to the President and work with the Dean to provide leadership for diversity initiatives.
Michael O’Fallon has been selected for the J.W. and Alice S. Marriott Professorship in Hospitality Management. The purpose is to recognize faculty members in the Hospitality Management Program for distinguished professional contributions, and to contribute to the continuing improvement of the Hospitality Management Program in the School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management.
Bob Richardson has been named the Mengebier Professor for a two-year period beginning July 1 of this year. This professorship rotates among the University’s colleges and is awarded to the University’s outstanding teachers. This is a recognition of Bob’s record of excellence in teaching and the profound impact he has had on students. Bob has been recognized three times by the students as the Otto Brenner Outstanding Teacher and by the College faculty as the COB Distinguished Teacher. Now he is being recognized among the outstanding teachers at the University.
Lou Betancourt has been selected as an Academic Accounting Fellow in the Office of the Chief Accountant of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. This is a one year position in which the Academic Accounting Fellow works as an integral member of the SEC staff. Only two academic fellows are selected each year. Academic Fellows are assigned to projects in the Chief Accountant’s office, including serving as a liaison with the professional standards-setting bodies and consulting with public companies on accounting and reporting matters. Lou’s selection is a tribute to his accomplishments and recognition as one of the leading scholars in the area of financial accounting and reporting.
Fernando Pargas Explains that Being a Male Does Not Always Mean Better Leadership
For centuries, men have assumed leadership roles and have convinced themselves that it’s well deserved, since men are “natural” leaders. To this day, many individuals still believe this to be true. Fernando Pargas, management professor in JMU’s COB, discusses in his most recent book “Ending the Male Leadership Myth: How Women Can Save Us from Destroying Ourselves” that not only is leadership not a given for males, but that women have more qualities to make them better leaders.
Emergence of a Feminine Society
When Pargas brings up to his management students the topic of studies that show women outpacing men in those qualities that make for better leadership, he finds that most students think that men are made for better leadership since there are currently more male CEOs. When he explains the skills needed for leadership where women do better, such as listening skills, motivating others and fostering communication, the men in the class recoil, while the women show an “I knew it all along” smile. Pargas explains that we are moving from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age. The Piscean Age was a time of focusing on survival; where women stayed home to bear children while men would work to support the family. During the Aquarian Age, more women will continue to take on leadership roles and men will become more accepting of femininity. As the United States is moving farther into the Aquarian Age, most individuals will begin to notice female leadership.
In Pargas’ book, he reveals through various research studies that women are often indeed better leaders and managers than their male counterparts. Recent examples of why women might be better leaders in society are woman presidents like Dilma Vana Rousseff, from Brazil, and Park Geun-hye, from South Korea, a great contrast to Kim Jong-un, the irrational and belligerent leader of North Korea, who concentrate more on the good of the people, versus picking fights with other nations. Almost all wars have been started by male leaders.
The Myth that Men are Better Leaders
It is a myth that men are better leaders. Men often act irrational and most of the time they make themselves out to be overqualified in order to bolster their ego, describes Pargas. Unlike men, most females in similar situations tend to cognitively think they are “not good enough.” In his book, Pargas begins with talking about tribalism and how men will cause mayhem for the purpose of “the tribe.” In the other chapters, Pargas explains male obsession with sports; leadership and domination; scarcity of common sense; obsession with sex and warmongering. Along with that, Pargas cautions in his book that women are not as sweet and innocent as what they are thought to be by men. Most women tend to speak up for themselves when they feel that they are being mistreated. Lastly, he explains the benefits of the Aquarian Age and how femininity can help save us from destroying ourselves.
Pargas explains that he wrote this book because of what he has observed in his career working around the world, and what he has learned from his students. Pargas has also looked at countries like Norway, where women make up 40% of board members in corporations as a result of a quota mandated by the government. Americans are not comfortable with that. He believes that if men and women were to partner together as leaders it would make a better society.
Different Perspectives of Leadership
Pargas does not know whether or not his book will lead to any significant changes in leadership in the future but if it helps some of his students gain a different perspective of leadership and femininity then he considers it a success. “It is important to encourage young women at JMU that they have the right tools to make great leaders and for men to recognize that gender has nothing to do with leadership. Being a male does not always mean better leadership and it is important for males to learn feminine traits, such as listening, to make for a better society. It is also imperative for women to understand that they should not act masculine in order to move up the ladder,” explains Pargas. For himself, writing the book was very educational and he learned many important aspects that he did not know of. “The time spent writing the book was worthwhile,” describes Pargas.
Overall, Pargas is very hopeful for students and society in the future. Once all individuals in society can refer to leadership as both a male and female role and take the time to learn what leadership actually is, there will be a better establishment of ethical types of government and social structures in today’s world. Pargas believes that the Aquarian Age will emphasize less on material possession and more on what really matters.
Other key publications that Pargas has worked on include: “Stopping Big Business from Bleeding America: An Agenda for the New Generation” and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, “The End of the Ugly American Business Person.”
Paul E. Bierly III Faculty Fellowship in Management Established
Management Professor and Madison Scholar Dr. Paul Bierly was recently honored at a retirement reception, held April 5 in the Leeolou Center. At the reception, Paul's colleagues and friends in the College of Business announced the formation of a faculty fellowship in his honor, called the Paul E. Bierly III Faculty Fellowship in Management.
Several faculty members, friends, and family members have made contributions to kick off the creation of the award. Instead of gifts at his retirement reception, Paul has asked for donations to be made to this fellowship.
At Paul’s request, the purpose of this faculty fellowship is to honor a highly qualified JMU management faculty member who excels in research. Once enough funds are available, the honoree will receive a $5,000 stipend each year to supplement his/her salary. In order to create a permanent faculty fellowship, $125,000 must be raised.
We are asking for your help to meet this goal. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Paul E. Bierly III Faculty Fellowship Fund (#16412) in honor of Paul.
Your gift can be made online, by mail, or by phone (855-568-4483).
Paul held the Zane D. Showker Professorship in Entrepreneurship. He received his B.S. degree from the Wharton School and B.A.S. degree from the Engineering School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1983. He received his M.B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Rutgers University, both in organizational management.
From 1983-1988, he was in the U.S. Navy's Nuclear Power Program and served as an Officer on a fast-attack nuclear submarine. From 1988-1990, he worked in manufacturing for Johnson and Johnson, Inc.
His research has been recently published in Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management, Academy of Management Executive, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, R&D Management, Scandinavian Journal of Management and several other management journals. He has presented more than 25 papers at major academic conferences. He is a member of the Academy of Management and the Strategic Management Society.
Venture Creation Class to Send Team to Governor’s Business Plan Challenge
In recognition of Virginia’s strong entrepreneurial environment, Governor Bob McDonnell is hosting a statewide competition for the best business plans crafted by undergraduate students this year. Public and private colleges and universities are sending their top presenters for the Governor’s Business Plan Challenge hosted by Work It, Richmond on May 2.
Through Carol Hamilton’s MGT 472 Venture Creation class, Zachary Katcher and Daniel Dziuba launched eNVied Apparel, LLC. The pair wanted to fill a gap in the activewear market and within the James Madison University community.
“eNVied Apparel, LLC is an activewear apparel company that has revolutionized yoga pants and other garments specifically designed to contour to one’s individual shape and body by introducing the patent pending ‘SmartFit’ pocket,” Dziuba said.
According Dziuba, they “strive to make the best women’s apparel in the world, and has spent these past months developing, innovating and perfecting their pants through comprehensive research and continual customer discovery.”
Through seven iterations, Katcher and Dziuba’s product offers the comfort, fit and style of yoga pants with the convenience of a dual exterior pocket (formfitting to smartphones), all while sustaining the pant’s original structure.
Katcher and Dziuba, both senior management majors, will be representing JMU in the Governor’s Business Plan Challenge for the state of Virginia. The winning team will take home $10,000 in cash and prizes.
The pair has seen a high demand for yoga pants with pockets through JMU’s Greek Life, and have sold their product at the JMU Bookstore and University Outpost, where they have generated more than $5,700 in sales in the past eight weeks. Katcher and Dziuba have also filed a provisional patent application and seeking trademarks to gain intellectual property protection on their yoga pants pocket design.
Good Wealth Management Hosts Investment Challenge Awards Ceremony
Congratulations to Teams 2 and 6, winners of the Good Wealth Management Investment Challenge. They were honored at an awards ceremony on April 23 at Bravos Restaurant.
Students who participated include Billy Cikos, Taylor Tracey, Alex Killimik, Derek Chipman, Tyler Trombetta, Blayne Adams, Sergio Pandiz and Alex Frazier.
This is the second year for the investment challenge, which helps to introduce students to the principles of client-centered financial advice. Six teams competed. Their goal was to design, implement, and monitor an investment strategy for a fictitious client.
The students appreciated the opportunity to put their classroom knowledge to work in the real world. Some of their comments included:
The CoB appreciates the opportunity that Good Wealth Management has provided for students. This investment challenge experience will help them immensely in their future career endeavors.
Harrisonburg Startup Weekend Successful
Local entrepreneurs gathered last weekend during Harrisonburg Startup Weekend, a three-day event sponsored in part by JMU College of Business’ Center for Entrepreneurship.
During Startup Weekend, teams had 54 hours to develop a concept, create marketing strategies and present their idea to a panel of judges. The event helped entrepreneurs network, develop new skills and use new tools.
At least three of the four pitches resulted in actual startups following the weekend, which showed real results in business formation. It also proved that the process was the biggest benefit to the attendees.
During the competition, Tim Peters and his team developed an application called Easybid, which allows people to bid on live auctions without having to go to them.
Peters, who owns Cottonwood Auctions, came up with the idea, although he said he couldn’t have developed the app without his team.
"It's been a weekend of getting a good team together and just spending a lot of time working with each other and actually developing a product that we think we can use," said Peters.
Peters said the Easybid app could benefit many people.
"It helps the seller, it helps the auction company because when the seller makes more money, the auction company makes more money and it helps bidders because they want to be at auctions but the can't be everywhere," said Peters.
Another local entrepreneur, Andrew Evans, came up with an idea to reuse tin cans from soup kitchens to make candles. For each candle sold, Evans would donate a meal to a soup kitchen.
During the final round of judging on Sunday night, Peters and his Easybid team won the event.
This is the first year Startup weekend has taken place in Harrisonburg. To learn more, visithttp://startupweekend.org/.
Meet iMBA Student Jeremy Vogan
Jeremy Vogan dreams of running his own company one day. His dream began as a young man growing up on a farm in Augusta County. Although he enjoyed farming, he knew he wanted to do something else with his life.
Jeremy also knew he loved to learn. He was homeschooled through grade 12, then continued to Blue Ridge Community College to study engineering; he went on to earn a B.S. from Old Dominion University in mechanical engineering.
After ODU, Jeremy’s career took him in several directions. He worked for Hopeman Brothers in shipbuilding, helped start up a successful manufacturing plant in Fishersville, then went on to work for Shickel Corporation as a project engineer in commercial construction.
About a year ago, Jeremy changed careers, joining Countryside Real Estate as a developer and project manager. He says, “Everything I learned at JMU helped put me in a position to do exactly what I wanted. I’m where I wanted to be two years from where I started.”
He says, “When I first came to work in shipbuilding, I watched how the CEO ran the business. I decided then that I wanted to run a business someday, and started working toward that goal. I really enjoyed all the various aspects of business. My undergraduate degree in engineering taught me how to solve problems in business, but I wanted exposure to broader skills.”
After deciding to go to graduate school to pursue his studies in business, Jeremy did in-depth analysis of most of the business schools on the East Coast and even talked to Darden. But he concludes, “I love living in the Valley; I know a lot of people from JMU. I liked the JMU model and it is a great value for the investment.”
He adds, “I can’t think of any school I could have chosen that would have fit my career goals better than JMU; it’s the only one I applied to; for me, it’s the best there is.”
The iMBA program includes a mentorship program, a hybrid online/onsite attendance structure, and an international trip at the end. As a professional with many family, work and community commitments, Jeremy appreciated the flexibility of classes meeting two weeks online, and one week face-to-face.
Jeremy’s mentor was Shickel Sales Manager Don Crawford. Jeremy recalls, “He helped me think through stuff, and he challenged my assumptions. He always cautioned me to have a plan before forging ahead.”
He adds, “This program also includes producing a leadership portfolio, which chronicles everything you learn and experience during your two-year journey at JMU. I wrote about speaker and seminars, how the experiences impacted me, and how I changed during that time.”
Jeremy has high praise for the iMBA professors, “Dr. Boyd taught me to really question why people buy things, and put together a solid marketing strategy. That class stretched me, really pushed me to the limit. It was one of my most challenging classes.”
He goes on to say, “The project management class that Harry Reif teaches is one of the coolest. I love the real world stories and real world experience. The class was integrated into Dr. Marshall’s class in finance. We presented projects to bankers, and received real feedback from them.”
Jeremy also enjoyed Dr. Semaan’s class. “He taught finance from a philosophical perspective. I will come back to JMU to take his class, which was fun and amazing.”
He says, “I have probably recommended the iMBA program to at least a dozen people. It is the best one for the value out there. This program pushes you beyond what you believe you can do.
“The program changed the way I thought about things. I learned how to give a company a competitive edge and how to create positions of strength from which to operate. It opened me up to a whole new world and a lot of new ideas.”
Jeremy had the added benefit of a “dream team” he put together early on, that has stayed together throughout the two-year program. He and the four other students on the team worked together closely from the first week of class until graduation. His team is currently considering possible business ideas.
Jeremy’s future indeed looks bright. With his boundless energy, he will enjoy greater successes, both in his professional life and in his personal family life.
President Alger Visits Business Law Class
President Jonathan Alger took time from his busy schedule recently to visit a business law class, which included students from Daphyne Thomas’s class and David Parker’s class.
President Alger’s theme was diversity. He emphasized how important diversity is, and how it works hand in hand with excellence. He noted that diversity in higher education is beneficial to all students.
Civil Rights in the U.S.
President Alger shared a brief history of civil rights in the U.S.
Recent Court Cases
Twenty-five years later three new cases have surfaced: Grutter v. Bollinger, Gratz v. Bollinger, and Fisher v. University of Texas.
President Alger coordinated legal efforts for the University of Michigan’s two landmark United States Supreme Court affirmative action lawsuits, Grutter and Gratz.
In Grutter, the court upheld the affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Michigan Law School, in which the Supreme Court ruled that race could play a limited role in the admissions policies of public universities. The justices felt the University of Michigan Law School had a compelling interest in promoting class diversity; everyone has something to learn and share.
In the Gratz case, the Supreme Court ruled that the point system used by the University of Michigan for undergraduate admissions was unconstitutional. The University of Michigan used a 150-point scale to rank applicants, with 100 points needed to guarantee admission. The University gave underrepresented ethnic groups, including African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans an automatic 20-point bonus on this scale.
Fisher v. University of Texas is a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Texas. The case, brought by undergraduate Abigail Fisher in 2008, asks that the Court either declare the admissions policy of the University inconsistent with, or entirely overrule Grutter v. Bollinger. An overruling of Grutter could end affirmative action policies in admissions at U.S. public universities. The case is expected to be heard this summer.
President Alger emphasized to the class the importance of embracing diversity in all facets of life, including higher education. Businesses and organizations want employees who are comfortable in a global, diverse environment. Diversity of thought, opinion, and background provide a rich tapestry for growth and enrichment for everyone.
CIS Alum John Hinshaw Returns to Campus
John Hinshaw, a 1992 CIS grad, visited campus on April 19. He took time out of his busy schedule to meet with Tom Dillon’s Enterprise Architecture class.
John is executive vice president of Technology & Operations at Hewlett Packard. He oversees company operations including global information technology, global sales operations, global procurement, global business shared services, global real estate, and global security.
In preparation for John’s visit, Wednesday, April 3, was declared “John Hinshaw” Day in Tom Dillon’s class. The students researched John’s background, and watched a video interview with Salesforce.com,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imw206CeHRU.
John says, “What I learned at JMU is the foundation of what I do everyday. Everything I needed I got out of undergraduate school.” He recalls that he was the first student ever to bring a notebook computer into the classroom.
John learned that 80% of CIS grads go into consulting; he feels this is a great opportunity to get a well-rounded background.
He says, “It’s great to be back on campus after 21 years.” When asked why he decided to come back and share his time with students, he says, “President Alger visited me in California and invited me back to campus.”
He shared many of his work experiences with the students. Soon after arriving at HP, he learned the corporate culture was one of cubes – no one had an individual office. He says this system helps the executive team to make faster decisions; they are in close proximity and can easily communicate with each other.
He was recruited to HP by CEO Meg Whitman. She wanted the “right person for the right job with the right attitude” to help streamline systems to make HP more efficient and faster.
He worked for Boeing and Verizon prior to joining HP. He recalls his biggest challenge as working on the Boeing Dreamliner project. The Dreamliner was manufactured from a composite material, with a lighter weight, which uses 20% less fuel. The Dreamliner parts were manufactured in different facilities all over the world. They were brought into two plants in the U.S., and initially the parts didn’t fit together because there were no common standards. John’s challenge was to create a system that worked for all organizations involved with the project.
Tips for Future Success
John says some of the areas of focus for the future include:
He talked about Moonshoot, which is the first major change in computer architecture in 24 years. From the HP website:
The HP Moonshot System is like nothing else that exists today. It’s a huge leap forward in infrastructure design that addresses the speed, scale, and specialization needed for a "New Style of IT."
HP Moonshot web servers are designed and tailored for specific workloads to deliver optimum performance. These low power servers share management, power, cooling, networking, and storage. This architecture is key to achieving 8x efficiency at scale*, and enabling 3x faster innovation cycle.
The College of Business, and especially Dr. Tom Dillon and his students appreciate John’s visit to campus. With his heavy workload, family responsibilities raising three children, and constant traveling, it is remarkable that John made time to visit JMU and share experiences from his distinguished career. Thank you for your commitment!
Don Rainey Named Commencement Speaker for CoB Graduation
Former CoB Executive Advisory Council Member Don Rainey will be the commencement speaker for the May 4 College of Business graduation ceremony.
Don is a general partner with Grotech Ventures, which helps entrepreneurs build technology companies that last. In addition to his work with LivingSocial, he also currently serves on the boards of Grotech portfolio companies Clarabridge, GramercyOne, HelloWallet, Personal, SnappCloud, and Zenoss.
Don has worked closely with the College of Business business plan competition since its inception eleven years ago. His strong support helped to ensure the continued success of the competition.
Currently, Don is a member of the JMU Board of Visitors. He is also an emerging technology consultant to the Chief Information Officer of the US Department of Defense through the DeVenCi Program. In 2011, Don was appointed to the JMU Board of Visitors and also He also serves on the Board of Directors of James Madison Innovations, Inc. He earned a B.B.A. from JMU and an M.S. in Bioscience from George Mason University.
AITP Student Chapter Receives Outstanding Recognition
The JMU Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) Student Chapter was recently recognized as “The Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year” at the National Collegiate Conference in St. Louis, Mo. This award is given each year to the student chapter that excels the most in the areas of leadership, education, membership, public relations, and participation.
AITP Co-Advisor Dr. Susan Kruck was recognized as the “AITP Student Chapter Faculty Advisor of the Year.”
According to Co-Advisor Dr. Tom Dillon, “Our AITP success the last four years would not have happened if not for the dedication of our supportive faculty. Co-Advisors Laura Atkins and Jim Jewett share their time and energy regularly with the AITP Student Chapter members. Those who volunteer their talents as event competition coaches and provide encouragement are also a supportive key to our success.”
According to Dr. Dillon, “the AITP Student Chapter successes are an accomplishment of our team, students and faculty, working together.”
“Recognition as the Outstanding AITP Student Chapter is well deserved and can be attributed to consistent faculty leadership from the AITP Chapter Advisors, comprehensive faculty engagement, superb student leadership, support and engagement from CIS & BSAN industry partners, and more than anything else, teamwork,” says Dr. Rick Mathieu, Interim Associate Dean in the COB.
Congratulations to the AITP on this outstanding achievement.
Madison Investment Fund Receives Recognition as a Top Student-Managed Fund at National and International Investment Competitions
James Madison University's Madison Investment Fund (MIF), a student-led investment fund that serves as a money manager to the JMU Foundation placed second in the Value-style investment category at the RISE XIV Forum in Dayton, Ohio and placed as a finalist in the top four at the Georgetown Stock Pitch Conference (GSPC) sponsored by Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
At the RISE conference, MIF had another stellar year, placing second in the value-styled investments category. This year represents the third year in a row that the MIF has placed in the two positions and the fifth year in a row that the MIF has placed in the top five.
The MIF’s faculty advisor, Associate Professor of Finance Elias Semaan, remarked “We are absolutely thrilled that for the third year in a row, MIF has managed to capture one of the top 2 spots at this prestigious conference that hosts 400 universities from across the globe. In the world of investments, having a top performance for a single year can easily be attributed to luck, but maintaining a consistent top performance is the true testimony to the investment philosophy of the fund and the discipline of its members.”
Three MIF portfolio managers, JP Kril, Karl Grabbi, and Christine Webb, presented the MIF’s investment philosophy, fund structure, and 2012 performance to a panel of investment professionals at RISE.
At the same time that a MIF team was presenting at RISE in Ohio, another MIF team was presenting at the Georgetown Stock Pitch Conference (GSPC) in Washington, D.C.
At the GSPC, MIF placed as a finalist in the top four, finishing right after University of California, Berkley and Georgetown University. The MIF team at the GSPC was comprised of portfolio managers Scott Salopek, Brendan English, and Josh Lancaster. The team pitched a long position in the technology company Qualcomm (QCOM). The investment thesis was based on fundamental and industry analysis, as well as a discounted cash flow model that incorporated probability distributions and Monte Carlo simulations.
Twelve business schools from across the country competed at this conference, including the University of Virginia – McDonough, the University of Pennsylvania- Wharton, New York University – Stern, the College of William and Mary –Mason, Rutgers University, and George Mason University.
MIF President-elect for the 2013-2014 school year, Scott Salopek was very proud of the MIF for its showing at the conferences, noting “this is the first year that we have attended and competed at the GSPC, and for us to place in the top four, while placing 2nd at RISE during the same weekend is a testament to the passion of our members. Many of the students from other funds we met at the conferences receive class credit for participating in their funds. In the MIF, all of our students join on a volunteer basis because they are passionate about investing and want to advance their education. I strongly believe our passion is what sets us apart.”
April 18, 2013
Dr. Nancy Nichols, Journal of Accounting Education Research Professor and MSA Program Director, has been awarded the 2013 College of Business Distinguished Teaching Award. This award goes each year to a College of Business faculty member who has an established record of exemplary teaching.
“Dr. Nichols combines an excellent command of subject matter with skillful excellent teaching skills and empathy for students to create a learning environment of great effectiveness,” says Dr. Brad Roof, Professor of Accounting and Wine Studies.
Dr. Raktim Pal, Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems and Business Analytics, has been selected as the 2013 College of Business Madison Scholar. The Madison Scholar designation is awarded each year to a faculty member who has demonstrated exemplary research throughout his or her academic career.
"Dr. Pal’s research has had a significant impact in the field of supply chain management and logistics, and his research on teaching operations in an integrated format has resulted in innovation and improvements in JMU’s COB 300 class," says Dr. Rick Mathieu, Interim Associate Dean in the College of Business.
Congratulations to Dr. Nichols and Dr. Pal for their outstanding achievements!
Econ Professor Dr. Bob Horn Featured in Flatworld Knowledge Contest
Congratulations to Dr. Bob Horn, who came in third in a recent contest sponsored by Flatworld Knowledge. Flat World Knowledge is a publisher of college-level open textbooks and educational supplements.
His entry, “I teach economics because I love to work with models,” came in third in the Facebook competition. The top ten winners each received a one-of-a-kind T-shirt personalized with their "Why I Teach" statement.
1. Mike Shaner – Saint Louis University
2. Melanie Kling – St. Petersburg College, Tarpon Springs, FL.
3. Bob Horn – James Madison University
4. Caleb Lack – University of Central Oklahoma
5. Rita Dorn – Florida International University
6. Mary Beth Booth – Austin Community College
7. Matt Clements – St. Edward's University
8. Lois Lemon – Western Michigan University
9. Lori Greene – University of Alabama
10. Rob Szarka – UConn
Click here for more information.
Team Kollarbor8 Takes Top Honors in COB 300 Business Plan Competition
Congratulations to Team Kollabor8, who took first place in the 2013 COB 300 Business Plan Competition held on Saturday, April 13. Team members included Allyson Alderfer, Nichole Barnes, Francis Gerow, Brandi Lash and Molly Wolford. Their business plan was to sell kinetic phone cases through lithium ion cells.
This competition marked the 11th year for the annual event. The five final teams were selected during two rounds of judging by panels consisting of College of Business alumni and business professionals who reviewed and rated the plans. Prizes and scholarships totaling $25,000 were awarded to the winning teams. The College of Business Executive Advisory Council and friends of the College of Business provide these funds.
Many thanks to the students who participated, the judges who volunteered their time, the parents and family members who attended, and the faculty and staff who supported the event.
First place: Kollabor8 (Best Idea)
Allyson Alderfer (MVP), Nichole Barnes (MVP), Francis Gerow, Brandi Lash and Molly Wolford (MVP)
Second place: BlitzMotors
Vanessa Escobar, Ben Ley, Bret Thompson, Robert Tilly and Daniel Zirkle
Third place: Extra Mile Mechanics (Best Team Award)
Catherine Adams, Alexis Johnson-Gresham, Meghan McNally, Molly Reilly and Gabriel Steelman
Fourth place: PowerPods
Caroline Burger, Miles Colmon, Toney Lorezni (MVP), Batzorig Misheel, Wayne Spindler, Foster Woodburn
Fifth place: BioShield
Kirsten Chaney (MVP), Brendan Shockley, Katie Szymanski, Karen Teos (MVP), Freddy Weber and Chris Wilhelm
Many thanks to the following volunteers who judged the competition:
The COB 300 Business Plan Competition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of these COB students. This showcase event gave students the opportunity to present their business cases to a distinguished panel of judges and provided them an excellent opportunity to experience presenting business proposals in a real-world setting.
Visit our Facebook to view photos from the event.
Luke Mitchell Named Valedictorian for the College of Business
Congratulations to Luke Mitchell, the valedictorian for the College of Business’s class of 2013. Luke, a finance major, will graduate with a 3.94 cumulative GPA and a 4.0 major GPA. He says the honor came as a surprise to him.
“I just really want to thank the faculty,” Luke says. “The big thing about the COB is that the professors really take time to work with students. I attest my success to them.”
Luke is active in Beta Gamma Signma, Campus Crusade, Student United Way and also participated in club cross country and track.
In September, Luke, who is from Philadelphia, Penn., will begin working for Deloitte in Rosslyn, Va.
Congratulations, Luke, for your hard work and dedication to the College of Business.
The College of Business Receives Recognition for Employee Giving
The JMU Employee Giving Campaign Division Award: Academic Colleges & Library Unit with Highest Participation Percentage was presented to the College of Business during an appreciation breakfast held in the Festival Conference & Student Center.
Alum Delivers Guest Lecture to COB Students
On Tuesday, April 9th, Patrick G. Miller, the E-Commerce Director at Compass Marketing, spoke to Dr. Theresa Clarke’s MKTG 470 Strategic Internet Marketing classes.
Patrick graduated from JMU in 2001 and was an English major. During his presentation, Patrick stressed that students should understand that they might not necessarily be subject-matter experts when they leave JMU. What’s important to remember, however, is that graduates will have the tools they need to solve many different kinds of problems.
“JMU classes helped teach me to think critically and delight in daily challenges,” Patrick says. “Much of my job today is helping large, established consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers understand the Web from an e-commerce perspective: the blurring of channels, and merging of sales, marketing, analytics, and supply chain management—all of which is driven by what we, American consumers, expect from the brands we choose to support.”
As part of his presentation, Patrick had students take a deeper look into Amazon as an e-retailer.
“Business decisions are typically based on data, which is a great place to start, however, data can only look backwards; so, to do our best and be predictive, we need to take the data and apply what we think is happening culturally,” Patrick says. “Beginning to understand culture was my greatest learning experience at JMU.”
Students were interested and actively participated in discussion with Patrick.
“We are very fortunate to have Patrick speak to JMU’s Internet Marketing students,” says Dr. Clarke. “As a strategic advisor to America’s top consumer product manufacturers, Patrick brings a wealth of experience and knowledge about e-commerce, marketing consulting, strategic channels, marketing creative services, and analytics. My students always seem to appreciate and embrace the guest speakers who are JMU alumni.”
Liberal Arts Students Share Their Experiences in the CIS Minor
By Taylor Deer, College of Business Public Relations Intern
As JMU gives students the opportunity to select a major from a variety of different options, people feel that they are limited to take courses that are only offered through their major. When it comes to choosing a double major or minor, many students tend to stay within their comfort zones and choose something that is similar to what they are studying in their original major.
Nowadays, there is a need for people with different skills in the job market. What many students do not realize, at the beginning of their college career, is that pursuing a major in one subject and a double major or minor in a totally opposite field can increase their chances of getting a job after they graduate. Two liberal arts seniors, Kristina Elliott and Mallory Knapp, are completing a minor in computer information systems and can prove that having a totally opposite major and minor is beneficial to their career.
SMAD and CIS Open Doors
Kristina is a media arts and design major with a concentration in converged media. Since Kristina knew from the start of her freshman year that she wanted to go into web development, she decided that CIS would be a great complement with converged media. Kristina got accepted into the CIS minor as a sophomore and started taking classes at the beginning of her junior year.
“Having the opportunity to take CIS classes has made me realize that is what I want to pursue,” explains Kristina. “The minor has opened many doors for me, especially with the business side of it.”
The CIS minor fit perfectly into Kristina’s schedule as a SMAD major. “The CIS minor was a little difficult at first because I had to get familiar with the business aspect of things and thinking like a business person. Since I am a SMAD major, I am used to utilizing my creative side.” describes Kristina.
Since Kristina specializes in web development, she was contacted by CIS instructor Dr. Jeffrey L. May about being a member of the Association for Information Technology Professionals’ web team. Kristina became an active member of AITP last semester and she recently went to St. Louis Mo. for the AITP National Collegiate Conference which took place on April 4-7.
Kristina wants to credit both SMAD and CIS for helping her earn an internship last summer. “Both SMAD and CIS have made me a marketable person. It is great because there are so many options for me out there, I am not limited to one thing,” explains Kristina. During her internship, Kristina did front-end web development for consulting firm, ICF Ironworks, a branch of ICF International located in Richmond, Va. Shortly after interning for ICF Ironworks, Kristina was offered a full-time position for after graduation.
Pursuing a minor in CIS has been one of the best decisions Kristina has ever made. She wishes to see the CIS department, as a whole, expand in the future. “I wish more people in my major would follow my track. It opens up opportunities and makes everyone more valuable,” explains Kristina.
The Benefits from Psychology and CIS
Along with Kristina, Mallory is a psychology major who is also pursuing a minor in CIS. From the beginning of her college career, Mallory always expressed an interest in technology. Since her mother originally wanted her to be a business major, Mallory decided that a minor in CIS would be a great way to combine her technology interest while also receiving an education in business.
As Mallory started taking classes in CIS, she realized that the curriculum is similar to psychology in which both programs do a lot of group projects. The only difference between the two curriculums is that psychology is more research-based and CIS is more application and lecture-based which makes both subjects more integrated with each other.
“Having a background in both psychology and CIS is beneficial to me because I am receiving people skills from my major while getting business and technical skills from my minor,” describes Mallory. Since technology is constantly enhancing, Mallory wants to go into information technology consulting so that she can help counsel people in businesses about new and current technology.
Mallory explains that completing a minor in CIS can be difficult because it is a small minor and that the people in her classes all know each other already because of other college of business courses. Since many students in her CIS classes are CIS majors, they have already completed courses that Mallory has yet to take. “It is hard because I have to sometimes look ahead and learn things that others have learned already,” explains Mallory.
Mallory is currently an active member of AITP and Women in Technology. Mallory explains that AITP offers professional workshops and brings in professional speakers, which have given her helpful tips in preparation for her future career in IT consulting. Along with AITP, WIT also has professional speakers who come in and give helpful advice on how to overcome challenges of being a female in a male-dominated industry. “The advice that I have received from AITP and WIT has prepared me for the real world,” explains Mallory.
The CIS minor is open to undergraduate students who express an interest in design and technology, science, art and business. In order to complete a minor in CIS, students must complete 21 credits of required prerequisite courses and 12 credits of required core courses. Students can view the required courses for the CIS minor on the JMU COB website under the CIS minor page.
iMBA Spring Workshop Successful
On Saturday, March 23, nearly 45 people attended the iMBA Spring Workshop, which focused on cultural and ethical diversity. Participants completed exercises in doing business with people from different cultures, and the panel discussion centered around taking time to embrace differences within groups.
Student Diversity Council Visits Walmart Distribution Center
On March 21st, for a second year in a row, the Student Diversity Council led a group of 25 students to the Walmart Distribution Center in Mt. Crawford, Va. for a rare opportunity to take a tour of the facility.
General Manager Gary Brasseur and his colleagues presented a history of Walmart before the tour and shared facts about the company with the group. He also explained Walmart’s corporate diversity initiatives, as the company seeks to hire and recruit diverse talents. The distribution center employs 540 staff and is always seeking new talent locally.
Jenae Moore, the logistics engineer, also shared some facts about the facility itself and gave a virtual tour before the actual tour started. The size of the distribution center is “24 football fields long with 15 miles of conveyor belts,” Jenae said.
After the presentation, the group was separated into smaller groups to tour the facility. Students walked through the facility, including the IT department (systems room), receiving, break packing, storage area, dot com department, and also walked to the second level where the 15 mile conveyor belts are located. Packages are merged on these fully automated bar code scanning belts, sorted into the correct store lanes, packed into trucks, and shipped out to the stores.
We thank Gary Brasseur and his team for providing this unique learning opportunity for JMU students. Gary suggested that the distribution center host this tour every semester and would like more students from different majors to have this unique experience of walking through a live, operating facility.
College of Business Improves Excellent Businessweek Ranking
JMU’s College of Business has improved its standing among undergraduate business schools ranked annually byBloomberg Businessweek magazine. The College of Business ranked 11th among public institutions and 29th among all business schools, up from 12th and 32nd, respectively, in last year’s ranking. The COB remains in the top 5 percent of undergraduate business schools nationwide.
“The level of faculty/student engagement in the College of Business is unparalleled,” says Dr. Bud Clarke, interim dean of the College of Business. “Our faculty and staff should be commended for once again earning an ‘A+’ rating on teaching.”
(Click for JMU's Businessweek profile)
The COB has consistently ranked in the top 5 percent of business schools since the Businessweek survey started 8 years ago. The survey uses nine measures of student satisfaction, postgraduate outcomes and academic quality. The college earned an A+ for teaching quality and an A for job placement, based on responses from students and recruiters. Bloomberg Businessweek polled over 500 corporate recruiters for companies that hire thousands of business majors each year. The recruiters noted which programs turned out the best graduates and which schools have the most innovative curricula and most effective career services.
Rodney J. Fallon Scholarship, James Madison University Center for Entrepreneurship
Rod Fallon had a contagious excitement and passion for life. He always had a beautiful smile on his face, an infectious sense of humor and a positive outlook for the day.
"My dad was our best friend,” says his daughter Meredythe. “Our family is very close knit and we all love each other very much. Unfortunately, my father passed away September 11, 2011 after a long and courageous battle with cancer, and in order to honor him, we decided to make a scholarship to help a deserving JMU student in need."
Meredythe, whose family is from the Northern Virginia area, graduated with honors from JMU in May 2012 with a major in Management and a minor in Spanish and Sports and Recreation Management. Her brother Austin is a junior at JMU majoring in Management with a concentration in Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Their sister Abby is a freshman at JMU and is planning to follow in Austin and Meredythe’s footsteps.
The Rodney J. Fallon Scholarship at the James Madison University Center for Entrepreneurship will be awarded annually to the JMU student in good standing that submits the most creative, innovative, interesting, viable and exciting business plan in addition to being a man or woman of high morals, good character, and good academic standing. The recipient will be awarded with the scholarship at the JMU Society of Entrepreneurs “You Can Change the World” symposium on April 16th. According to Meredythe, the scholarship will reward, motivate and encourage a young, entrepreneurial thinker to follow his or her dreams.
Rod was exceptionally inspired by the College of Business at JMU because of its groundbreaking COB 300 course, where students learn how to create a business plan, and the intimate approach to teaching students the fundamentals for succeeding in the real world. Rod was very proud that Meredythe, his oldest daughter, was doing well in this program and we know that he is proud of his children, Austin and Abby, because they are on the same track.
"My Dad really loved JMU and he was so excited that all three of his children would have the chance to attend such an amazing school,” Meredythe says. “My dad used to always visit me at JMU and he loved walking the Quad, eating at Top Dog, walking through the Arboretum, checking out the bookstore, and exploring the JMU campus and surrounding Shenandoah Valley area."
Rod believed in good, old-fashioned hard work and had a passion for innovating and creating new and exciting business ideas. He enjoyed brainstorming and thinking of new inventions and business endeavors. He started an electronic tabletop gaming business in area restaurants that he owned and operated for several years then sold for a profit; as well as, a ‘mystery shopper’ business focusing on customer service and quality control in restaurants. In addition, he was a commercial real estate broker who demonstrated integrity, loyalty, creativity and enthusiasm in his work. For several years, he reached out to the Westfield High School Art Department and personally funded a logo design competition to promote early detection cancer awareness. Furthermore, Rod applied his entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm to raising his family and coaching the youth in the community.
Rod had the purpose of living every day to the fullest while reaching out to those in need. Rod loved the scripture from Matthew 25:40 in the Bible; “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” He honored this scripture by making others feel special and wanted, instinctively offering heartfelt and well-considered advice, and by taking an interest in those whom sought a friend or guidance. He liked to see a smile on others’ faces and purposefully strived to bring out the best in people, especially the less fortunate.
The Fallon family looks forward to rewarding, motivating and encouraging a deserving JMU student with an entrepreneurial spirit through the Rodney J. Fallon scholarship. The goal is to raise $10,000 for a $500 scholarship to be awarded every year for the next 20 years.
If you would like to apply or donate to the Rodney J. Fallon Scholarship at the James Madison University Center for Entrepreneurship, please visit http://www.jmu.edu/cob/cfe/Fallon_Scholarship.shtml. Please contact Carol Hamilton at email@example.com with any questions.
By Meredythe Fallon
Dr. Tim Louwers Shares Experiences as President of the Forensic and Investigative Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association
Dr. Tim Louwers is the president of the Forensic and Investigative Accounting section of the American Accounting Association. According to Dr. Louwers, forensic accountants look at companies that have gone under to see why they might have gone out of business.
“Forensic accounting a great field,” Dr. Louwers said. “It has been identified as one of the quickest expanding fields in accounting.
As president, Dr. Louwers is in charge of organizing the section’s annual conference and lining up speakers for the event, as well as putting together a boot camp for professors who have not taught forensic accounting before. According to Dr. Louwers, the organization is trying to begin an academic journal to share the best practices for teaching forensic accounting.
In addition, Dr. Louwers tries to incorporate forensic accounting practices in while teaching his Fraud Prevention and Detection class. In class, he has his students examine documents to see whether or not they look real, and they also cover interviewing, interrogation and fraud awareness, including employee fraud and fraudulent financial reporting.
“It’s really interesting,” Dr. Louwers said. “Forensic accounting combines accounting knowledge with being a detective.”
Dr. Louwers also has the chance to travel to various events in his role as president. He will be speaking at a national conference in Australia next year. He was also recently invited to China to speak.
Dr. Louwers is the second president of the Forensic and Investigative Accounting section, which has only existed for four years. The section has about 600 members.
February 26, 2013
CIS Collaboration Efforts Helps Benefit Techno-Savvy Students for their Future Careers
By Taylor Deer, College of Business Public Relations Intern
Collaboration on JMU’s campus has led to success. The computer information systems program in JMU’s College of Business enjoys working with various departments around campus to create a collaboration outreach effort to benefit others.
CIS collaborates with related programs to create an open house for undeclared freshmen, a cross-listed course for students to gain experience in other technological practices as well as a computer technology diversity program for high school students and teachers during the summer.
Every year, Dr. Michel Mitri, CIS/business analytics department head, gets together with the heads of the computer science, integrated science and technology and math departments to arrange an open house for undeclared freshmen who express an interest in technology and math. During the open house, each department head presents information about each major and the career possibilities along with it.
Dr. Thomas W. Dillon, a CIS professor, explains that Computing and Telecommunication Networks, CIS 320/CS 320, is a CIS and CS collaborative course that focuses on the principles of telecommunications and how it utilizes efficient and secure networks for providing voice, data and video services. This collaboratively taught course teaches students basic routing, switching and data aggregation. There is also an emphasis on information security strategies and how basic information systems applications utilize telecommunication services. Dillon explains that “ISAT students also have the opportunity to take CIS 320/CS 320 as an elective. After completing this course, CIS, CS and ISAT students can decide if they want to pursue a minor in Telecommunications Management.
“Since technology continues to evolve, it is important for CIS 320/CS 320 instructors to meet each year and discuss how the course can be changed based on current and future technology,” says Dillon.
Along with a collaborative course, Dillon describes that the COB sponsors a collaborative summer diversity program called CyberCity. This program is devoted to strengthening high school students and teachers’ knowledge about computer technology. Faculty from all different departments, on campus, come together to volunteer.
CyberCity, managed by COB and the College of Education, invites students and teachers from diverse high schools in Virginia to participate. “Since technology is constantly changing, the program educates the students and teachers of these changes,” explains Dillon. “This has been a successful program in the past and we wish to continue this success. Summer 2013 will be CyberCity’s sixth year,” says Mitri.
“What makes this program so successful is the amount of volunteers from other departments. There were a total of nine volunteers from other programs. We get faculty from COB, ISAT, CS, COE, writing rhetoric and technical communication and even the Madison Art Collection (MAC),” explains Dillon. Students enjoy all of the workshops they participate in. Dillon also explains that students appreciate learning about unique opportunities with technology. WRTC professor, Daisy Breneman’s workshop on creating digital stories helps students discover their creative side. He explains that Kate Stevens, from the MAC, conducts a workshop on how technology is used in museums and galleries, which the teachers greatly enjoy.
Collaborating with different programs on campus is what has made the CIS program successful. “When you put something out there to benefit others and people take your offer, that is what you call success,” explains Dillon.
The CIS program in the COB is devoted to preparing students for a career in information technology consulting. JMU’s CIS program was recently ranked ninth, nationally, among all information systems programs by Bloomberg Business Week.
Antwerp Study Abroad Program Celebrates Ten Years of Success
Imagine living and studying in Europe for several months, soaking up the ambience and culture of Belgium, Paris, and London. Hundreds of CoB students have been doing this for ten years now.
The Antwerp Study Abroad Program is celebrating its ten-year anniversary this year. The program started as a summer study abroad program and developed into a semester-long program.
The newspaper article (pictured at left) talks about the 10th anniversary, and the number of students who come and are taught business by Belgian professors. These students didn’t really know a lot about Belgium before they came. They notice differences, such as no big SUVs on the road, smaller shopping carts, two buttons on the toilet, and environmental protection. They talk about planned big trips, and smaller weekend excursions. When asked when they study, they responded, “During the week, although we also have to go to the pub then! We are still searching for the right balance.”
Program Director Dr. Mert Tokman says, "By studying abroad in Antwerp, students get the opportunity to take COB 300 abroad, they get the chance to obtain a concentration in European Business, and they have the ability to learn the business and social culture there." The students are able to stay on track and graduate on time.
He added that students take many different field trips to businesses; they have the chance to talk to executives at top firms where they can network and make international connections. Students also travel to other parts of Europe during their free weekends.
Anniversary celebrations were held on Jan. 24 and 25 at the University of Antwerp. During the celebrations, the students met Paul Thompson, a former president of the JMU Alumni Association who is now a top executive at McKinsey & Company Consulting, located in Brussels. University of Antwerp President Alain Cerschoren, welcomed the group with opening remarks.
Representing JMU at the celebration was Dr. Irvine Clarke, III, Interim Dean of the College of Business, and Dr. Lee Sternberger, the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Executive Director of the Office of International Programs (OIP), Felix Wang, the Director of Study Abroad programs at JMU, and Lauren Franson, the Assistant Director of Study Abroad programs at JMU.
Dr. Clarke says, “Students can participate in the Antwerp program and can stay right on track with graduation requirements, get credit for COB 300, explore Europe, and enjoy all the benefits of studying abroad.”
Dr. Sternberger says, "Semester in Antwerp takes the College of Business upper-level core component COB 300 courses and adds the richness of studying in a major European business center. With the inclusion of European Integration, Culture and History (COB 301), students return to the JMU campus with a European Business Concentration in addition to having completed those critical Integrated Functional Systems courses. Their exposure to faculty, businesses, and institutions in another culture is fundamental to their ability to succeed in the increasingly global workplace they will enter after graduation. In living and studying successfully in Antwerp, they are equipping themselves to be comfortable and confident in dealing with other traditions, whether social or professional. Semester in Antwerp broadens their horizons on so many levels.”
Former marketing professor Newell Wright started the program, which began as a summer-only experience. It eventually evolved into a semester program, offering COB 300 and COB 301, European business and culture. Although the COB 300 students don’t write a business plan, they visit international businesses based in Antwerp, and write live case studies based on these industries. They have studied the diamond industry and Fiat. The University of Antwerp faculty teach the program.
The university facilities are part of an old Jesuit housing project. The magnificent buildings are lovely on the outside, with updated technology on the inside. JMU rents a building near the university, which serves as a dorm for the students.
The University of Antwerp is AACSB accredited. Dr. Clarke says, “We have a good partnership with the University of Antwerp. It has continued for ten years. We owe that to the excellent working relationship we have with Antwerp, and the excellent faculty and staff at the university.
A number of faculty have served as Faculty Members in Residence (FMIR) for the program, including Bud Clarke, Joyce Guthrie, Matt Rutherford, and Molly Brown. Currently, Carey Cole is the FMIR in Antwerp. Dr. Clarke recalls, “The FMIR experience was incredible; to work with a group of students at a level you can’t do when you’re on campus here.”
Joyce Guthrie adds, “A big plus for me was getting to know the students on a more personal level. Also, to have the opportunity to live abroad, if only for too short a time, to sample the everyday life experiences of another culture. I wanted to stay for another semester.”
Students also loved their Antwerp experience:
“Antwerp was a revelatory experience for me. I wish I could be succinct in my expression of how the experience changed me, but it was too life-changing to be able to tangibly convey. By and large, the biggest takeaway from my experience abroad was the dawning realization of how little I knew of the world compared to my European friends I met abroad, and how I needed to combat this ignorance (if you will) by propelling myself to learn, learn, and learn.”
“Studying abroad was a truly life-changing experience. By living in a foreign setting, you really learn more about yourself and are able to perceive the world differently. Communicating and integrating with foreign students was very fascinating and unforgettable as well. I learned so much about the European history and culture, and I really enjoyed traveling to multiple countries around the continent.”
“Studying abroad in Antwerp, Belgium was by far the best decision I made throughout my college career. Throughout my 90 days of studying abroad, I learned more about leadership, teamwork, and diversity among cultures than the 7,500 days I lived on this earth before my study abroad experience.”
"As parents, we want to commend JMU for the planning, supervision, and organization of this program. The semester in Antwerp was structured to provide not only a wonderful European experience but also a truly educational one. The students were well prepared for the semester abroad and supported and supervised while there. Our son is fortunate to have been part of the Antwerp program. It was an experience which will change his future."
—A parent of a former study abroad student
The Antwerp program has provided life-changing experiences for both students and faculty. The College of Business appreciates and values the excellent partnership we enjoy with the University of Antwerp.
Visit our Facebook to view photos from Antwerp.
CoB Faculty Members In Residence
Molly Brown: Accounting
Irvine Clarke: Marketing
Carey Cole: CIS and Management
Paula Daly: Management
Robert Eliaison: Management
David Fordham: Accounting
Reg Foucar-Szocki, Hospitality and Tourism Management
Joyce Guthrie: Marketing
Timothy Louwers: Accounting
Fernando Pargas: Management
Christina Roeder: Management
Bradley Roof: Accounting
Matt Rutherford: Management
Dr. Mike Mitri Presents at Shenandoah Valley Technology Council
Dr. Mike Mitri, JMU Professor of Computer Information Systems and Interim Department Head, CIS & BSAN, spoke regarding the need to understand SQL Injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and other web-originating information security vulnerabilities. These can have severe negative impacts, and minimizing these threats is an important consideration for application developers.
Dr. Mitri gave an overview of OWASP, and showed how to apply best programming practices for thwarting common web security threats.
Click here to view the slides from Dr. Mitri's SQL / OWASP Presentation (pdf)
February 25, 2013
Jia Kuang Sets Her Sights High
JMU student Jia Kuang is a master of time management. She has to be since she is a double major in computer information systems (CIS) and media arts and design (SMAD).
Jia knew that JMU had an excellent business school, so she wanted to enroll. She attended community college for two years before transferring into JMU. While in community college she took a film production class and really enjoyed it.
So, Jia faced a dilemma. She knew she wanted to major in business, specifically CIS, as she loves working with computers, and has since middle school. But she also loved the creative, inventive world of film and video production.
She was very methodical in facing this quandary, and making her dream a reality. She says, “Before I double majored, I researched the schedule and classes. I talked to advisors in both majors, got the classes I needed, and put everything on my calendar. I constantly checked it, and followed up when necessary.”
She admits the challenging course load is very time consuming. “Many of my SMAD classes require a huge time commitment, with filming, editing, and producing videos.” She adds, “Writing programs and creating data bases in CIS is also very time consuming.” Jia has noticed the differences between Showker Hall and Harrison Hall. She says, “It’s definitely more relaxed on the Quad side of campus. People dress more informally, and more colorfully. Business students tend to dress more conservatively.”
In addition to her heavy course load, Jia works 20 hours a week for JMU Campus Net, where she helps students with their laptop problems. Her job is very flexible, so she can work when it suits her schedule.
She does find time to relax, talk to her roommates, or just hang out with friends to help lessen stress.
Jia is also active in the Chinese Student Association, and will be busy preparing the April culture show. She is also interested in photography, and constantly strives to improve in that field. She also loves watching movies from a technical perspective.
Jia wants to eventually work in the entertainment industry, where she can combine her love of computers with her love of film. She has worked on several movies and television shows, helping with background production details, including the television movie, “A Christmas Kiss,” with Brendan Fehr (pictured).
She and her family moved to Richmond from China when she was 10. She is encouraging her little brother to follow in her footsteps and come to JMU to major in CIS. With Jia’s time management skills, attention to detail, and enthusiasm for learning, she’ll be ready to take on the world when she graduates in 2014.
Harrisonburg Offers Second Annual Tax Help Program
Harrisonburg, VA – To help City residents with tax preparations, the Office of the Commissioner of Revenue and volunteers from James Madison University (JMU) have collaborated to provide free tax help for those who need it through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA).
Three graduate students from JMU, who are studying accounting, went through training and received their certification through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They received assistance from their professor, Dr. Nancy Nichols, who is a professor in the College of Business and the MSA Program Director. These individuals are available and prepared to help with tax preparations for members of this community.
“Given the complexity of the tax law, many individuals are not comfortable preparing their own tax return and do not have the extra funds to pay someone to prepare their return,” Nichols said. “VITA offers free federal and state tax preparation services for low and middle-income individuals in our community. The volunteers are very knowledgeable and ask lots of questions to make sure they identify the tax deductions and credits the individual is entitled to take such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly. VITA is a great opportunity for our students to use their technical skills to help the local community.”
This is the second year Harrisonburg has participated in the VITA program that offers tax help to people making under $51,000 per year. VITA programs are coordinated throughout the country and established by the IRS.
This year, with the help from faculty and students at James Madison University, the program has increased the number of clients it can serve from last year, providing more of Harrisonburg with free tax services. So far this year, 16 individuals have taken advantage of this service.
“We set up the VITA program last year to help local residents prepare their taxes,” said Karen Rose, Chief Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue and VITA Program Coordinator. “Members of our staff and the volunteers are incredibly knowledgeable and work hard to make sure we help as many taxpayers as we can to prepare their returns accurately.”
Citizens must schedule an appointment by calling 540-432-7704. Remember to bring a photo ID and social security numbers to the appointment.
All taxes must be filed no later than April 15, 2013. Since Virginia is no longer offering paper checks for tax refunds, all residents should keep in mind refunds will be issued through direct deposit or a prepaid debit card (www.tax.virginia.gov/site.cfm?alias=refunddebitcards). To learn more about the VITA program and other services offered by the city visit: www.harrisonburgva.gov/taxes.
The 2013 Inaugural Ball Leaves a Cherished Memory for Alex and Joanne Gabbin
By Taylor Deer, College of Business Public Relations Intern
“Those who have raised me would have never believed how far this country has come.” – Alex Gabbin
The selection of President Barack Obama as a candidate for the 2008 presidential election was exciting for the Gabbin family. Dr. Alexander L. Gabbin, an accounting professor in the COB, and his wife Dr. Joanne Gabbin, Executive Director of the Furious Flower Poetry Conference, wanted to be a part of this historical event.
When Obama was elected president in 2008, Alex and Joanne were both at the Democratic Convention in Denver, Col. Alex described how happy he was to be in Denver at the time. He said it was nice to be able to celebrate with family and friends while honoring those who have passed. “When Obama got nominated I read off a list of names of loved ones who would have enjoyed seeing history made,” he explains.
This special event led Joanne to write an autobiographical narrative which was published in the book, “Go Tell Michelle,” in 2008. In the article, Joanne talked about the Democratic Convention and how she and Alex celebrated the exciting moment. The couple was even more excited when Obama got reelected for a second term.
One day, Joanne had been searching the Internet and stumbled upon a website that was seeking volunteers for the 2013 Inaugural Ball. “I thought about it and became interested in volunteering. From there, I decided to contact a former student who currently works for the president’s team,” explains Joanne. After the former student told Joanne that she should apply, it was not until a few days after filling out the paper-work that Joanne found out she had gotten it.
Not only did Joanne want to be a part of the Inauguration, but she also wanted to share this opportunity with Alex. After he filled out the paper work, they were both ready to start the three-day training process.
Both Alex and Joanne were happy to have received this valuable opportunity since it was a selective process. Around 60,000 people applied and only 15,000 were selected to volunteer. Alex and Joanne were chosen to be greeters, making sure people were getting into the ball properly and that they were enjoying their time. They were also in charge of directing people to the coat check and making sure there weren’t any issues.
There were two inaugural balls, a general ball, consisting of around 38,000 people and a commander-in-chief’s ball, consisting of around 2,000 service men and women. Alex and Joanne spent 22 hours setting up and greeting people for the general ball.
Alex and Joanne also had the opportunity to see parts of the parade and to watch the inauguration on a large television in the city. Joanne described that watching the inauguration in the location of where it was taking place was exciting. She was impressed by both Richard Blanco’s inaugural poem and Obama’s inaugural speech.
Along with that, Joanne shared the highlight of her experience at the ball. When she had taken a break from working, Joanne went down to the Washington Convention Center Ballroom in time to see President Obama and First Lady Michelle dance to Jennifer Hudson’s song, “Let’s Stay Together.” “I was very fortunate to come at the right time,” explained Joanne.
Since Obama made history by becoming the first African-American president, Alex and Joanne shared that the ball was meaningful to both of them. “Since I could not make the inauguration in 2009, I wanted to be there in 2013 to celebrate Americans wanting him back in office for a second term,” says Joanne. She explained how impressed she was to see how many committed people came from all over the nation to participate in this historical event.
“This experience was meaningful to me because the people who have raised me would have never believed how far this country has come. Back in the day, no one would have expected there to be an African-American president. It is truly amazing and I feel honored to have experienced such a wonderful opportunity” says Alex.
The inaugural ball took place at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
Bob Kolodinsky and Tim Louwers Present Madison Collaborative: Ethical Reasoning in Action
The CoB Leadership Council learned more about JMU’s current Quality Enhancement Project (QEP) during a regular council meeting today.
The Madison Collaborative: Ethical Reasoning in Action is the result of more than 30 dedicated JMU employees and students spending countless hours culling down some original proposals – 76 in all – to a workable, viable initiative to eventually teach ethical reasoning skills to all JMU students. Beginning this fall, incoming students will receive multiple and varied ‘doses’ – starting with Orientation, with a required 1-credit 8-month pedagogical online course, in Gen Ed courses, and other courses over a four-year period.
Both Tim and Bob taught ethics classes last semester incorporating the primary tenets found in the Madison Collaborative. They each shared anecdotes about students facing ethical decisions, and how the class helped them work through the decisions.
The initiative centers around 8 Key Questions based on core theoretical ethics foundations, and includes three instructional modules, a core module (for faculty, staff, and administrators) and then later a faculty module and a student affairs module.
By implementing this initiative, JMU hopes to incorporate ethical thinking into the culture of the entire university community.
JMU MBA Program Ranked in Top 50 for Online Graduate Business Programs
U.S. News recently released the list of top 150 online graduate business programs. JMU’s MBA program came in at 49.
Schools were ranked in the following areas:
The Information Security MBA program began admitting students in 1999, while the innovation MBA program began admitting students ten years later, in 2009.
The MBA programs continue to evolve and improve, and are continually adding new classes and experiences for the students.
February 18, 2013
CoB Information Security MBA Program Continues its Success
The MBA Information Security (infosec) program has been going strong for 14 years. It first admitted students in 1999. Dr. Kenneth Bahn, professor of marketing in the College of Business, was instrumental in developing the information security concentration. This was one of JMU’s first distance education programs and it is still in high demand today.
This program uses a "blended" format of instruction where the students meet with faculty face-to-face once every eight weeks in Reston, Va., on a Saturday at the beginning and end of every course. The rest of the course is completely web-delivered, using leading-edge synchronous and asynchronous teaching methods. The entire program lasts 27 months. The program is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
In addition to an MBA degree, all graduates receive the NSA-approved certificate: Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) Professionals (NSTISSI No. 4011).
Graduate Henry Bromley sings the praises of the MBA infosec program. He says, “I can’t say enough about the program. It’s been a real career booster for me. My professional responsibilities have increased, and my salary has doubled since I went through the program.”
Henry, a 2008 graduate of the InfoSec program, is currently working as an information systems security engineer for Novetta Solutions. He started with Novetta in early February 2013.
Prior to that, Henry worked for Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH), where he helped forge a partnership between BAH and the Infosec MBA program.
He attended Old Dominion University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in nuclear engineering. He recalls, “When I initially started looking at grad programs, I was planning to get an MS in systems engineering. I actually enrolled in the George Washington University MS program, but I was still doing research on master’s programs.”
That’s when fate stepped in and Henry had a conversation with Dr. Kenneth Bahn. After his discussion with Dr. Bahn, Henry’s focus shifted more toward the MBA program; the additional information security concentration was simply a bonus.
He says, “I wanted information technology management; I really didn’t have any inclination of following information security.” He adds, “As I progressed through the program, I developed an interest in information security. I got great feedback from my professors and the research was interesting.”
Many of Henry’s classmates were fellow BAH employees who had eventually recruited him from SAIC.
While in the program, he made a complete career change and left SAIC to join BAH as an information security engineer. He graduated from the program six months after he started with BAH.
He says, “There was relevancy to the Infosec piece. For example, once I graduated, I took the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam. It was relatively easy, as much of the content I had already seen.”
One of his highlights at BAH was producing the IT Sector Risk Assessment Report for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He says, “I received a certificate of appreciation from the DHS Assistant Secretary of Cybersecurity and Communications.”
While at BAH, Henry collaborated with MBA Director Dr. Mike Busing and the BAH Learning and Development staff to develop a business case to make BAH an official partner with the MBA program. With this partnership, BAH employees are offered a 15% discount to go through either the Infosec MBA or MS programs.
At BAH, Henry was a strong champion for the program. He saw that there was a huge need to get employees trained because the demand was so high, and there weren’t enough people to fill cyber security roles.
He was recently asked to teach an MBA class, which starts this summer, on managerial computer forensics. He says, “I’m very excited about teaching; I’m looking forward to it.”
Before his recent job change, Henry says, “I put my resume out there to see what would happen; I was pleasantly surprised by the response. I was able to field offers, and accept the best one for me, which was definitely a step up.”
He adds, “I plan to continue to champion the Infosec MBA program at my new position. Attending the program was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
JMU AITP Student Chapter Dedicated to Volunteering and Networking Opportunities
“Volunteering is an opportunity for anyone to better their community and help them grow,” said senior CIS major Mike Fakhari (pictured second from left), the president of Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP).
There are nearly 100 members of AITP, and members are often involved in various volunteer efforts, including the First Lego League. First Lego League involves thousands of students ages 9-14 in team-based competitions focused on robotics engineering and scientific research. It's a fun, educational, and challenging way for students to learn more about real-life technical challenges and to come up with their own creative solutions.
“We love volunteering at events like First Lego League and seeing how children build these machines and do different tasks,” said senior CIS major Chloe Lockard, who is the AITP fundraising chair.
Every year, members from AITP volunteer at the regional and state First Lego League competitions.
Another goal of AITP is to provide networking opportunities for students. The organization also seeks to provide education programs for advancing technology and business skills, leadership development opportunities, networking, and peer mentoring and knowledge sharing.
“There are so many networking opportunities available to students in AITP,” Mike said. “One of the big things we constantly do is have company presentations where they talk about how to prepare yourself for IT careers, how to present yourself, what kinds of things employers are looking for, or how to collaborate with others.”
Recently, AITP started a mentorship program where freshman and sophomores can seek advice about classes and what to look for in jobs. According to Chloe, a goal of the organization this year is to expand more and grow fundraising opportunities through holding events such as a 5K in the spring.
From April 4-7, AITP members will be attending the AITP National Collegiate Conference in St. Louis. JMU is one of the few public universities participating in the conference.
At the 2012 competition in San Antonio, Texas, the JMU AITP chapter was acknowledged as the largest student chapter in the U.S. and was recognized as a Runner Up in “Highest Level of Overall Conference Support.” Also, last summer JMU AITP received one of three national SCOPA awards. The Student Chapter Outstanding Performance Award is given each year to the AITP Student Chapter that excels in the following five chapter activity categories: Education, Membership, Public Relations, Meetings and Association Participation.
AITP is open to students of all majors. For more information, please visithttps://beinvolved.jmu.edu/organization/aitp.
Dr. Brad Roof Featured in Port & Main Magazine
Story and photo by Laura Weeks
See, stir, smell, sip, swish.
That’s how Bradley Roof, an accounting and wine studies professor, drinks his wine.
First, he holds the glass against white paper to observe the wine’s color. Next, gripping the glass by its stem, he stirs the liquid vigorously, activating its flavor and aroma. Then, inhaling deeply, he raises the glass to his nose until the bridge touches the rim of the glass. Last, he takes a sip, swishing it around like mouthwash.
In minutes, he can identify the type of wine, where its grapes were grown and whether it was aged in an oak barrel.
But don’t ask Roof what his favorite wine is. He has 29.
Roof, 62, is one of 300 certified wine professionals in the world (200 in the United States), a distinction awarded to those who pass the Culinary Institute of America’s rigorous two-and-a-half hour exam. In his 2008 graduating class of 30 students, he was one of four to succeed.
“I probably study wine many, many more times than I drink it,” says Roof, who’s collected more than 800 bottles of wine from around the world (what he calls a “little stash”) since graduating from the American Graduate School of International Management in 1973.
With a passion for wine as strong as a vintage cabernet sauvignon, Roof is constantly learning as much about it as he can.
“If you really want to be knowledgeable about wine, you can’t do it just by drinking,” says Roof, who recommends “The Wine Bible” by Karen MacNeil. “You have to read.”
Roof is also trained in wine-making, skilled in grafting (joining two vines together to get the best of each) and blending different types of wines.
To prepare for the wine certification exam, Roof created his own review program and studied 15 hours a week for about 11 months. He then traveled to California’s Napa Valley to take the test, which consisted of 120 multiple-choice questions and three essays based on blind tastings.
To add to the challenge of a timed blind tasting, Roof has a nasal deviated septum, a disorder that impairs the ability to taste.
“It was the part of my test I was most nervous about,” Roof says.
To overcome this, Roof tried to warm the glasses in his hands to stimulate the flavors of each wine.
During the written portion of the exam, wine was poured from carafes instead of bottles, which can sometimes indicate the type of wine inside. The first wine he knew just by looking at it: a chardonnay from Monterey County in California. While he incorrectly guessed the second wine — a soft cabernet sauvignon from California’s Alexander Valley — he nailed its geographic location within 10 miles. The third — a bold cabernet sauvignon from France’s Northern Rhône Valley — he recognized only from having read about it.
“As soon as I took one sip, I knew exactly what it was,” says Roof, who detected the wine’s roasted, meatlike aroma. “It was like an epiphany.”
Despite having wrongly identified the second wine, Roof left the exam feeling confident.
“The whole way driving down through Monterey and the Salinas Valley, there was a full moon right out the driver’s window that was coming up the horizon,” Roof says. “I looked at it and thought, ‘I bet I passed. This has got to be a sign.’ ”
His first experience with wine was equally serendipitous. After graduating from college, he traveled to Zermatt, Switzerland, a small town located at the foot of the country’s highest peaks.
While waiting for his train, he grabbed dinner — a selection of cheese fondue — and a bottle of Chasselas, a full, dry and fruity white wine. Roof was so impressed by the way the wine complemented the meal, he thought, “There must be more to this wine stuff than meets the eye.”
Soon, his collection was born, and he now stores hundreds of wine bottles in his basement. He recently opened one that was more than 30 years old.
“I call it ‘an entertainment cellar,’ because regardless of what we’re doing at home or what we’re eating, I have a wine down there to go with it,” Roof says.
Because of his certification, Roof was a natural choice for teaching the hospitality and tourism management program’s beverage management class, according to Michael O’Fallon, interim director of the School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management.
“Brad is always coming up with new ideas,” O’Fallon says. “He’s an ideal faculty member because not only are our students learning, but he’s willing to go find something new to learn himself.”
This is Roof’s second year instructing the class, which covers everything from growing grapes, surveying wines from around the world and learning how to properly pair and cook food with wine. Last year, Roof and his students tasted 50 different wines.
Keara Mahan, a senior hospitality and tourism management major, hopes the class will prepare her for a career in planning events at country clubs.
“Wherever I go in the hospitality and tourism industry, wine is going to pop up,” says Mahan, who’s looking forward to learning how to pair wines with food. “Hopefully, I’ll be planning events that deal with full menus and wine menus. Being able to give advice on which wines go with which food is going to help me.”
Knowing the ins and outs of wine is becoming increasingly important in the industry, according to O’Fallon.
“At the end of the semester, we’re seeing that our students have not only a better understanding of wines and the regions they come from, but how to pair them with the proper food to make the experience better for a guest,” O’Fallon says.
Roof has also led an independent study course to help students become certified wine specialists. Candidates for this test, which involves wine knowledge only (no tastings), typically have five-to-seven years of experience in the wine industry and are between 30 and 35 years old. These candidates have a pass rate of about 40 percent.
“I told my students, ‘About two weeks before the test, you’re going to hate wine. You’re going to wish you never heard of it. You’re going to hate me — and if you’re at that point, you’re getting there,” Roof says.
Roof’s students, freshly 21 years old and with little-to-no experience in the wine industry, had a 68 percent pass rate.
Besides teaching credibility, Roof’s certification also allows him some level of exclusive access to wineries and vineyards around the world. On a recent trip to Napa and Sonoma valleys, Roof only paid one tasting fee.
“They recognize that this is a real wine person,” says Roof, who has two business cards — one for his positions at JMU and one specifically for his wine accreditations. “A lot of places would go get their wine-maker or winery manager to have them conduct the tasting for [me].”
Though he’s traveled the world tasting wine, Roof also recognizes Virginia’s wine scene, stressing the importance of local vineyards like CrossKeys and Bluestone.
“Great wine is made in the vineyards,” Roof says. “The world’s greatest wine-maker can’t take bad grapes and make good wine."
Reprinted with permission.
Dr. Sahar Akhtar Presents Economics Seminar
Dr. Sahar Akhtar, University of Virginia, presented an economics seminar on “A Right to Migrate and Way of Life Freedom: on Feb. 8 in Showker 105.
She was quite pleased with the audience turnout. In fact, she said, “We never get this kind of turnout at UVa.”
Her presentation focused on the right to migrate, and the freedom to live a particular way of life. She says, “Having the freedom to move is valuable. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons to restrict movement, such as traffic lights.”
People move for a number of reasons, including the climate, way of life interests, and profession. She says individual rights to migrate don’t always trump, as in the case of the Amish and certain Native American tribes, who can restrict movement into their communities.
She provided more insight into her research during the question and answer session.
Inaugural Student Diversity Council Conference Successful
Almost 150 hardy souls braved the cold weather on Saturday, Feb. 9, to attend the inaugural SDC Diversity Conference. The day kicked off with a welcome message by Special Assistant to the President Art Dean.
The remainder of the morning included breakout sessions, covering the following areas:
President Jon Alger was the keynote speaker at the luncheon. He said, “I want you to remember this idea that diversity and excellence are not two competing concepts; the two go hand in hand, they fit together.”
He went on to say, “All of us have a lot to contribute, but we also have a lot to learn from each other. You’ll often be surprised when you interact with others, what they bring to the table.”
Click here to listen to his entire speech.
After the luncheon, participants had the chance to attend one final workshop.
Some takeaway messages from the conference include:
Co-chairs Tiffany Fung and Elaina Heslin would like to thank everyone who helped out, and especially the company representatives from Deloitte, IBM, Grant Thornton, and Good Wealth Management, as well as Stefan Peierls and the JMU Teach Diversity Class. They also thank Professor John Guo and Professor Fariss Mousa for serving on the panel discussion.
The conference was made possible through the generous support of eBay. Conference organizers and attendees appreciated the sponsorship. Click here to view more photos from the event.
CFE Hosts Friday Fusion
The Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) began hosting Friday Fusion in January. It will continue through February, March, and April. All are invited to join the Center for Entrepreneurship as it hosts Friday Fusion! Friday Fusion is a collaborative coffeehouse for aspiring entrepreneurs, innovators, inventors, creators, and technicians. Come out and explore, create, build, and redefine new or innovative products, processes, resources and markets. To view photos from the event, visit our Facebook page.
Fridays, 2-4 p.m., 242 Zane Showker Hall
February 8 & 22
March 8 & 22
April 12 & 26
Business Analytics Minor Prepares Students for Future Business Decision Making
By Taylor Deer, College of Business Public Relations Intern
As technologies to capture data continue to evolve, the increasing volume of available data provides new strategic opportunities for business organizations. As a result, there is increasing demand for analytical skills in the business environment today.
The new business analytics minor in JMU’s College of Business prepares students with advanced quantitative analysis skills for solving complex business decision problems using current software applications. Dr. Susan W. Palocsay, BSAN minor coordinator and professor within the COB (pictured at left), explains that “surging interest in business analytics is creating more demand for these skills in industry.”
The BSAN minor is open to any undergraduate who enjoys applying mathematics and problem solving. “Besides business majors, we are seeing interests from students in statistics, integrated science and technology, computer science and even international affairs programs,” observes Palocsay.
According to the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, analytics is defined as “the scientific process of transforming data into insight for making better decisions.” Some examples of business decisions that can be enhanced by using analytics are pricing decisions, decisions to target consumer segments, and merchandising and location decisions. There is a need for employees who can collect and organize data, comprehend analytical solutions and incorporate analytical results in various business domains such as marketing, finance and operations.
In order to graduate with a BSAN minor, students must complete 15 credit hours of required coursework as well as one three-credit business analytics elective. Students initially take two introductory courses, Business Statistics (COB 191) and Introduction to Management Science (COB 291), before they can take Quantitative Business Modeling (BSAN 391), Descriptive and Predictive Analytic Methods (BSAN 392) and Data Mining (BSAN 393). The elective can be selected from among related courses such as econometrics, financial risk and modeling analysis, business intelligence and applied linear regression.
Palocsay, as well as business analytics professors Dr. Scott P. Stevens and Dr. Ina S. Markham, talk about the upper-level courses, BSAN 391, 392 and 393, as well as the skill sets students acquire from these courses to implement in business decision making.
Stevens (pictured at left) describes the BSAN 391 course as “modeling and optimization. In it, real-life situations are described by mathematical models. Students then analyze these models to see what decisions will best achieve the company’s goals.” He explains that business analytics includes descriptive, predictive and prescriptive components. BSAN 391 focuses on the prescriptive element-- “what’s best?”
Markham (pictured below) explains that “in BSAN 392, students will use predictive and descriptive models to prepare and analyze data, find hidden relationships and predict future trends.” The course focuses on statistical modeling and analyses to determine what happened to a business in the past, why it happened and what could happen next if the trend continues. Being able to correctly understand and interpret the information contained in the data are critical skills to prepare the business for the future.
Palocsay adds that the data mining course, BSAN 393, “complements 391 and 392 with a focus on quantitative techniques that allow the extraction of useful information from large data sets for predictive purposes. The emphasis in 393 is on developing solutions for a wide range of classification, prediction and association problems.”
The minor is an excellent opportunity for students who enjoy and are good at solving problems. Students interested in the BSAN minor should contact Dr. Susan Palocsay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The business analytics minor is offered through the COB. Bloomberg Businessweek has ranked JMU’s COB in the top 5 percent of undergraduate business schools.
CoB Welcomes Featured Speaker Dr. Jason Brennan
The JMU CoB Gilliam Center for Free Enterprise and Ethical Leadership was pleased to welcome Jason Brennan, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, to campus on Feb. 6.
Brennan discussed what it takes to be a good citizen in today’s world. Voting and participating in public office are two ways to be engaged; however, there are many other ways people can be good citizens. People can be good employees, good mothers, or good scientists.
He says, “There are lots of ways to make a positive difference in the world. Just choose the one that’s right for you.”
To view Dr. Brennan’s complete presentation, click here.
The Center for Economic Education Helps Local Students Become Leading Entrepreneurs
By Taylor Deer, College of Business Public Relations Intern
Students today need to better understand economic skills in order to make good financial decisions. The Center for Economic Education exists to help meet this need.
It is important for the center to provide teacher outreach as well as research and publication in order to follow its mission of promoting economic literacy within the Shenandoah Valley. Dr. William C. Wood, an economics professor within JMU’s College of Business, explains that the reason for this is to keep up with economic standards in grades K-12, starting with the basic understanding of money in kindergarten and continuing an advanced understanding of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
According to Wood, “The Center was created in 1972 when local business leaders got together because they believed that students were not learning enough about the economy and how it works. The Harrisonburg Rotary and Chamber of Commerce got together with local school superintendents and Ronald Carrier, president of JMU at that time, to create a program to help enhance economic education in grade schools.” In 1989, Robert E. Holmes, dean of JMU’s COB, decided to set up a new structure to connect the Center to the COB.
Under that structure, an economics professor in the COB is assigned to help train local teachers to enhance early education in the field of economics. The center relies heavily on their main funder, Shenandoah Valley Economic Education Inc., a nonprofit organization that raises money to fund the Center’s outreach to teachers.
Every year the center hosts the nationally recognized Global Entrepreneurship Marketplace, also known as the GEM Fair, at the JMU Convocation Center during the university’s spring break. The GEM Fair is scheduled for March 6 this year.
Wood says that “Students and teachers love the GEM Fair.” He explains that each teacher sets up their own in-class economies. The GEM Fair brings together all economies into one big global marketplace. Although most of the students have a lot of fun at the GEM Fair, they also take it seriously since they bring their own products to sell. What makes the GEM Fair even more fun and interesting for students and teachers is the use of the Gem as currency. “Just like the United States has the dollar and Europe has the euro, the GEM Fair has the Gem,” explains Wood. When students first arrive at the GEM fair, they have converted their money into holdings of the Gem for the day’s trading.
Along with the annual GEM Fair, the center continues to offer workshops for teachers in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Training is also available on a space available basis for teachers outside of the local community. The Center has also trained teachers from the Roanoke, Winchester, and Orange areas.
Many teachers are now utilizing games where students can practice their economic skills. The new game, Gen i Revolution, coordinated by the Council for Economic Education, is designed for middle and high school students to practice personal finance skills by taking on the role of secret agents. Wood explains that students can easily access these games on smart phones. The council is working to make it available in social media.
“The Center for Economic Education is important because the program helps the community, research helps enhance the program, and teacher outreach helps both. This is a program that we are dedicated to and I expect it to continue to grow in the coming years,” describes Wood.
The Center for Economic Education, founded in 1972, is also an affiliate of the national organization, Council for Economic Education.
Spotlight on Senior International Business and Spanish Major Jack Murphy
Senior International Business and Spanish major Jack Murphy is the outgoing President of Pi Sigma Epsilon (PSE). Last semester, Jack flew down to Athens, Georgia to represent the PSE Delta Rho chapter at the PSE Southern Regional Conference at the University of Georgia. The conference was a two-day event and featured many networking, social, and competitive opportunities. Jack entered in a few of the competitions and ended up winning the TEK Systems Marketing Challenge.
After the keynote speaker on the second day, two TEK Systems professionals outlined the competition rules. The hundred-plus students there were separated into groups of five. Jack worked with students from LSU, Texas A&M, and more. They were then given the next four hours or so to prepare a comprehensive marketing strategy geared toward recruiting on college campuses for TEK Systems.
“My group worked well together and produced an immaculate presentation,” Jack said.
A few of his group members filmed a commercial to market TEK Systems on campus while Jack spent most of his time creating the marketing strategy and illustrating it in a PowerPoint presentation. He conceived the slogan "TEK Charge of your career!" (#TEKcharge) and outlined several campus-geared marketing opportunities centered on the slogan. Part of the strategy was listing the five reasons to work for TEK, the "5 Eyed Monster" (independence, industry, income, identity, and impact on society).
“I spoke to the TEK Systems professionals afterward and they said the slogan and overall strategy were excellent, and they would be passing them along to their marketing department,” Jack said. “I was ecstatic. By winning, I got a few prizes from TEK Systems and PSE. But more importantly, as the only JMU representative in attendance, I gained recognition for my chapter and my school. I definitely have to thank my fantastic professors in the College of Business for preparing me and PSE for the opportunity.”
On Sunday, Jan. 20, PSE participated in "PBFC night.” PBFC, which stands for Professional Business Fraternity Council, is comprised of members from each of the four business fraternities on campus. They work together to collaborate, help promote their respective agendas, and raise awareness of events throughout campus. Sunday night was a recruitment event in which all four business fraternities were represented and prospective members were given the chance to walk around and learn about each one.
PSE is the only national professional co-ed fraternity that focuses on programming and extra-curricular experiences in marketing, personal selling, and sales management. PSE is open to students of all majors and is currently in the middle of their spring recruitment.
Spotlight on Senior Accounting Major Taylor Selby
Ever wonder how terrorists generate their funds? For her honors thesis, senior Taylor Selby is working with Dr. Tim Louwers to write a three-part paper on the sources, movement, and uses of funds used by terrorists. Through her research, she is investigating how terrorist organizations use drugs, extortion, corruption, and other criminal activities to generate an estimated two thirds of their funds.
She is also researching how these funds are then moved throughout the Middle East and into America. These techniques include bulk currency smuggling, trade based money laundering, wire remittances, the use of traditional financial systems, fronts/shells, and drug trade. She is also researching what these funds are used for, such as bribes, operations, and organizational expenses. For each topic, she is investigating its unique characteristics, how it is detected and how it is or can be prevented.
Taylor has also completed internships indirectly related to her thesis. She worked with the Department of Defense one summer, and she also worked with SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation) last summer.
“Ultimately, I would love to have my research published,” Taylor said. “I hope to use this honors program requirement to contribute to the accounting and intelligence professions. I hope to provide those new to the field with a basic overview of the terms and methods used in Threat Financing. The faster experts get familiar with the issues, the faster they can begin to try to fix them using their own set of specialties.”
Taylor, an accounting major with a computer information systems minor, is also President of the Honor Council at JMU. She is starting to get involved with the Harrisonburg Rescue Squad doing administrative tasks. Her hometown is Ijamsville, Maryland.
Taylor plans to take the CPA exam this summer, and she has already accepted a position with Brown Edwards in downtown Harrisonburg. Since she will be living in Harrisonburg, she hopes to one day return to the CoB and earn her master’s degree.
Dr. David Fordham Exposes Fraud in Small Businesses
A few years ago, Dr. David Fordham received a grant from the Center for Entrepreneurship at JMU to visit randomly selected small businesses around the country and offer them a free review of their accounting controls.
Each of the businesses had to have a minimum of three non-family employees and a maximum of 35 employees, and Dr. Fordham granted each business confidentiality beforehand. The project took him three summers to complete.
“Through my previous research with small businesses, I noticed that far too many small business owners were hiring a full charge bookkeeper, then delegating all of their accounting processes and functions to this individual with no oversight or supervision,” Dr. Fordham said.
Dr. Fordham found fraud was occurring in 17 of the 56 small businesses he visited. He suspected fraud was occurring in five more businesses, but could not say for sure because the records were in such poor condition.
“The review provided me outstanding real-world examples from many different types of businesses to use in my accounting and information security classes,” Dr. Fordham said.
During his review, Dr. Fordham came across a $1 million fraud that had been occurring at one business. The bookkeeper had purchased an SUV, paid for his son’s tuition and built a dock at his lakefront home, as well as paid for other personal expenses all using the company checking account. Several people have been prosecuted as a result of Dr. Fordham’s findings. He even accompanied one small business owner to the district attorney’s office before the review was completed.
One accountant at a small business had set up a fake business on the side and was writing checks to himself at the fake business. Another accountant was purchasing diapers and children’s clothing while having her husband’s suits and her dresses dry-cleaned every week, and it was all charged to and paid for by her company. Several more accountants were skimming cash from their business’s daily receipts.
“This is what I think is happening,” Dr. Fordham said. “I think the business owner hires an honest accountant and gives him/her full charge of the finances with no oversight. After several years, the accountant realizes no one is watching the till. The accountant then begins making small, gray-area decisions, and their ethics degenerate as they realize they can use the boss’s money and no one seems to care.”
It is, however, important to note that the majority of accountants are honest individuals, even when no one is looking. Dr. Fordham found no improprieties at all in companies where the accountant had been employed five years or less. All of the thefts and frauds were committed by long-term employees working for many years with no supervision or oversight.
“Even with the companies that had no fraud occurring, I was still able to give the business owner helpful advice about the oversight of their finances,” Dr. Fordham said. “In many cases, even something as simple as knowing someone has documentation, such as asking for copies of the monthly bank statement or a daily cash report, will keep an honest accountant honest and help him/her resist temptation.”
None of the accountants engaging in fraud were Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).
“CPAs are required to subscribe themselves to a code of ethics and peer review,” said Dr. Fordham, who is also a CPA. “Knowing someone else will be checking your work helps keep you honest, which is why segregation of duties works so well in preventing fraud and theft.”
Dr. Fordham is currently working with Carol Hamilton, the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, to publish the findings of his research.
COB Ranked in Top 100 Most Social Media Friendly MBA Schools
JMU’s College of Business has been ranked in the top 100 most social media friendly MBA schools, according to Online MBA Page.com. With an overall score of 12.8, the College of Business came in 87th place in the rankings. The highest possible score was 100, with a maximum of 25 points for Facebook, 25 for Twitter, 25 for YouTube, 10 for LinkedIn, 5 for Google Plus, 5 for Pinterest, and 5 for Flickr.
According to the website, most prospective students are turning to social media to find more information about the colleges they are considering. Whether through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, students expect to be able to interact with schools online.
The staff at Online MBA Page.com compiled data from more than 400 business campus-based schools and ranked them based on social media presence and activity levels.
Stanford University Graduate School of Business was ranked No. 1 in the nation, while Harvard Business School and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania came in second and third respectively.
Visit the Online MBA Page.com website to read the article.
Angela Smith Delivers First Economics Seminar for Spring 2013
Assistant Professor of Economics Dr. Angela Smith (pictured at left with Dr. Barkley Rosser) recently studied elicitation of beliefs about the likelihood of a certain event happening.
This is important because it provides insight for understanding the difference between observed behavior and theoretical predictions.
Some real world examples include the probability of casting a deciding vote, or the probability of success in litigation.
She looked at three elicitation methods, BDM, QSR, and LC. She and her coauthor, Charles Holt of UVa, invented the LC – Lottery Choice – method. They wanted to see how well LC performs again the other two methods, which are the most established and widely used.
The research indicated that LC, which is a two-step process, does very well when compared to the other methods.
Madison Business Network Holds Kickoff Meeting Jan. 11
The Madison Business Network held a kickoff meeting on Jan. 11 in the Festival. The event was very well attended by both the JMU community and local community members. Spearheading the network are Mary Ann Alger, JMU First Lady and Business Coach; Mary Lou Bourne, Office of Technology Transfer; Carol Hamilton, Center for Entrepreneurship; and Joyce Krech, Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center.
The Madison Business Network is being created as the result of increasing interest in new company formation, innovation, and peer-to-peer connections throughout James Madison University and its alumni base.
The nationwide network is intended to connect individuals who have innovative ideas, technologies, and strategies with people who can be of assistance. The network targets JMU faculty, staff, alums, and professionals.
The goal of the network is to encourage and promote innovation, business development, job creation, entrepreneurship, and career mentoring.
Visit our Facebook to view more photos from the event.