Don B. Bradley III, professor of marketing and executive director, National Advancement Center, was the recipient of the Entrepreneurial Leader in Education Award presented by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Students Present Sustainable Solutions to Target Executives
Business students were given the opportunity to present ideas to the Target company to compete in this year’s Target Case Study Grant competition on March 29 in the College of Business. MBA students Zachary Neel and Sarah French were the winners of this year’s competition. The students were awarded $4,000.
This year, students were told to come up with a solution for sustainable or “green” gift cards for the company. Neel and French presented their idea of digital gift cards to Target because it would cut out the need for any additional material needed for a gift card.
“We are trying to convert customers into using a digital media instead of using a physical card,” Neel said.
French said digital was the group’s first choice in the project. The winning group’s focus for their case study was making the Target app more user and gift card friendly.
“After Zach investigated the app, and compared it to other industry apps, we really felt like that was a growth opportunity for Target,” French said.
Neel said this project gave him opportunities to work with a team and experience by talking in front of business executives. Learn more about Target Case Study. – Lisa Burnett
Business Team Finishes Among Top Six in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup
A UCA business team reached the finals in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup in April and finished among the top six schools. UCA was the only public institution that had a team among the six undergraduate finalists.
The team is made up of Freshman Luke Pittman, who is the CEO of the idea, Senior Nick Schroeder, CFO, graduate Anderson Wilkins, COO and Director of Operations and Lucas Riutzel, CIO and a web developer.
The team developed the concept Sparrows, a social gaming smart phone application. It is an advertising tool and marketing strategy that allows the user to compete in a scavenger hunt for prizes of substantial value given by local businesses. The user will take pictures or videos of themselves or anybody else performing the tasks on the list and will then submit their entry. Sparrows would make money by charging each team an entry fee for each game and by charging businesses for additional advertising. The team asked for a 10 percent stake in their company in exchange for $50,000. Pittman said the money would be used to market the team and to make Sparrows known.
Dr. Michael Rubach, business professor and advisor for the team, said that the team did a terrific job with such a short time frame.
“Considering the student team was not created until late in January after the spring semester started, the team did a tremendous job writing the business plan, preparing their presentation and the elevator pitch and making the finals,” he said.
Pittman said that the team was a semester behind all of the other teams and that if there was an”underdog award,” that Sparrows would definitely win.
Pittman and Schroeder held jobs while also going to school and working on this major project, said Rubach. Pittman works full-time as a boat mechanic at Master-Craft Boats of Arkansas and Schroeder is the principal accounting officer for a property management company.
Pittman said that the competition taught him some lifelong skills.
“It taught me major time management skills. I had to balance 15 hours of school, 30 plus hours for work and countless hours of working on the business plan,” he said. “Not to mention homework.”
Schroeder added, “At the end of the day, if you can’t prove your idea can and will make money, it’s not a business idea, it’s a charity.” - Spencer Griffin
Lindsey Cason Named Outstanding Insurance & Risk Management Major for 2012
Lindsey Cason of Bryant was named the University of Central Arkansas Outstanding Insurance & Risk Management Student at the 2012 College of Business Awards Ceremony.
Cason, who graduates cum laude on May 5, holds a 3.752 grade-point average. She is also pursuing a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies in UCA’s Honors College. The title of her thesis is: “The Real World: The Importance of Post-Graduate Financial Literacy.”
Dr. John Bratton, professor in the Department of Insurance & Risk Management, said Cason was worthy of the recognition due to her academic accomplishments and public service.
“She is the best all-around student I have taught during the 19 years of teaching,” Bratton said.
Cason has been recognized as a UCA Presidents Scholar, named to the College of Business Dean’s List, has been awarded academic scholarships from UCA’s Honors College, Arkansas Challenge, the Foundation for Agency Management Excellence; and was named to Who’s Who Among American Students for 2011-2012. She was recently conferred the University Associate Certified Insurance Counselor professional designation by the National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research.
In addition to her academic and professional pursuits, she has served as Vice-President of Public Relations & Recruitment for Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority; Orientation Leader of UCA’s Student Orientation Staff; and a member of the board of directors of Faulkner County Habitat for Humanity. She’s an avid sports fan and loves “do it yourself” projects.
Cason participated in a paid, for-credit, summer internship at Union Standard Insurance Group’s Little Rock office in 2011. She is one of 13 students selected by the National Association of Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO) to participate in a paid nine-week summer internship in Atlanta following graduation. She will spend five weeks with RSUI Group, Inc., a leading underwriter of wholesale specialty insurance products; and four weeks with AmWinS Group, Inc., an insurance brokerage firm.
She is the president of UCA’s Alpha Psi Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, the international insurance, risk management and actuarial science collegiate fraternal society, and recently received the chapter’s 2012 Gamma Iota Sigma Leadership Award. During her tenure, Cason represented UCA at the 2011 Risk & Insurance Management Society’s conference in Vancouver, BC and their 2012 conference in Philadelphia.
Cason also attended the Gamma Iota Sigma Presidents Conference in Hartford, Conn.; the Gamma Iota Sigma Management Conference in Columbus, Ohio; and Troy University’s Surplus Lines Symposium in Birmingham, Ala. She also attended the Independent Insurance Agents of Arkansas and Professional Insurance Agents of Arkansas state conventions and helped staff the UCA Insurance & Risk Management booth in their respective trade shows.
Cason is the daughter of Randy and Susan Cason of Pittsburg, KS.