COB Professor Jeremy Horpedahl Featured in Minimum Wage Discussion

Jeremy Horpedahl, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UCA College of Business and ACRE scholar, has been featured multiple times recently to discuss the minimum wage ballot initiative on the ballot in today’s general election.

Horpedahl was a panelist Oct. 19 on AETN’s “Arkansas Week,” and was interviewed by THV11 on Oct. 30. Horpedahl’s commentary was also featured in the Chicago Tribune. He was also featured in a Nov. 4 article by Heather Long of The Washington Post.

Horpedahl received his Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University in 2009, concentrating in public choice, public finance, and economic history.

His research has been published in Econ Journal Watch, Constitutional Political Economy, the Atlantic Economic Journal, Public Choice and Public Finance and Management. Horpedahl has also published op-eds in a variety of regional and national publications. In addition to his academic publications, several of his policy briefs and papers on favoritism and state tax codes have been published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Dr. Ron McGaughey’s Lasting Legacy at UCA

It is with a great deal of sorrow that we report that Dr. Ron McGaughey, a professor in the MIS Department, has passed away. Ronnie retired from UCA in May 2018 and after a short illness, passed away on Friday, October 23, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Below is a link to his obituary:

A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, December 1 at 10:00 am at the First Baptist Church in Russellville AR, 200 South Denver Ave. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to create a scholarship fund for students to attend the UCA/Acxiom IT Careers Camp at UCA. Donations may be made in memory of Dr. Ron McGauhey online by visiting or by mailing a check to the UCA Foundation, located at 201 Donaghey Avenue, Conway, AR 72032 and denoting the UCA/Acxiom IT Careers Center Fund in the memo line.

Dr. McGaughey started the UCA/Acxiom IT Careers Camp in 2007 with Ms. Allison Nicholas of Acxiom Corporation. The camp is designed to promote interest and technical experience among high school students as they prepare to enter college. Dr. McGaughey personally managed the first three camps, and his legacy has continued. As of the last camp, July 2018, 332 high school students have participated in the multi-day experience and many have gone on to major in technology at UCA or other universities. A scholarship fund has been established at the UCA Foundation to offset student expenses at this continuing camp.

Study Abroad Trip Makes Lifetime Impact

Studying abroad always seemed like a pipedream to junior Lindsey Worthington.

She wished to travel the world, experience new cultures, see new places and meet new people, but for a full-time student on a budget, it always seemed just out of the picture.

When she heard about a scholarship opportunity in her Modern Political Economy class with Joe McGarrity, Ph.D., economics professor in the College of Business, she still didn’t believe it was possible.

“I was doing math homework while he talked about it,” said Worthington, a chemistry major. “I was in a class full of business majors and never thought I would win.”

The scholarship required students to have letters to the editor published in local outlets. Worthington’s letter, “Trump Trading,” was published May 11, 2017, by Arkansas Times.

Then, the letters were reviewed by a committee put together by McGarrity. The best letter netted the student with a scholarship for a study abroad trip to Italy.

Worthington never thought she could win, but she did.

Over three weeks in 2017, she visited Florence, Rome, Siena, Pisa, and Orvieto among a handful of other Italian cities.

“That trip taught me so many things,” said Worthington. “I saw how a different culture has its own values and perspective.”

One of her most treasured moments was the time she spent interacting with a local jeweler in her shop. They barely spoke the same language, but the two found a way to interact and learn about one another over the better part of an hour.

There was also the countless pieces of art and incredible buildings and architecture.

“You can look at all the passages you want, but there is only so much you can learn from reading about a topic in a book,” said Worthington. “Standing in front of it and experiencing it is completely different. You’re floored.”

McGarrity said many of his students, like Worthington, have similar experiences, coming back from the three-week journey transformed.

“It’s a life-changing experience,” he said. “It’s meant for them to confront their assumptions. What happens when you see people doing something a certain way and you’re doing it completely different? You reconsider the way you live your life. You would never have thought to  make these changes if you had not experienced the foreign culture.”

Since returning, Worthington looks at many things in a different light, whether it’s exercise after walking extensively in Italy or among the endless trees in Arkansas, a rare treat in the sprawling cities of Italy.

“I’m a changed person because I went,” said Worthington. “What I believe, who I am, I feel like a more well-rounded person having had this experience.”

Her personal experience is why Worthington thinks scholarships like the one she received are so important to students like her who might not have had such an opportunity without it.

“It provides so much to a student’s experience and life. You’re not just pouring into a three-week trip,” said Worthington. “I’ll carry that trip with me forever. It’s something I’ll tell my children and grandchildren about. No one can ever take that experience from me.”

Centennial Bank First Bank to Establish Endowed Scholarship in College of Business with $30,000 Gift

Centennial Bank has become the first bank to establish an endowed scholarship in the UCA College of Business with a $30,000 gift to create the Centennial Bank Endowed Finance Scholarship Fund.

The scholarship will be awarded annually, beginning in 2019, to one student per year, known as a Centennial Bank Scholar. Recipients will be finance majors in the College of Business.

Centennial Bank Division President Greg Sanson said the bank is excited to provide assistance to students pursuing finance in the College of Business.

“UCA has played a major role in our success at Centennial Bank,” said Sanson. “We have several employees who have graduated from there and numerous current students who are working here part-time. Centennial Bank and UCA call Conway home and we feel it is very important to keep these students here.”

More than 40 UCA alumni and current students are employed by Centennial Bank, making it one of the university’s largest corporate partners.

Sanson said this decision by Centennial Bank is important to him on a personal level because of the connection he has to UCA.

“I’m a proud alumnus, and both my parents and son graduated from UCA as well,” he said. “The education I received there has definitely helped me succeed in business and in life.”

Centennial Bank is the wholly owned subsidiary of Home BancShares, co-founded by Johnny Allison and Robert H. “Bunny” Adcock, a University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees member. It has locations in Arkansas, Florida, Alabama and New York.

“Mr. Allison and Centennial Bank have been wonderful supporters of our college for many years,” said Michael Hargis, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business. “We are thrilled that support continues to grow with this scholarship to benefit our students.”

Centennial Bank is the first company to commit to piloting a large scale, multi-discipline internship program within the College of Business.

Additionally, the bank established the Johnny Allison Entrepreneurship Speaker Series in 2006, and has brought more than 20 speakers to the College of Business to talk with students, including Rush Harding, Rick Massey, Steve Strange, and former Govs. Mike Beebe and Mike Huckabee. Its most recent speaker was Marshall Stewart, president of Greenway Equipment and UCA College of Business alumnus.

Centennial Bank also has the John W. Allison Entrepreneur Endowed Professorship Fund, which supports faculty within the Innovation and Entrepreneurship program. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship program began in 2012 with a cohort of 40 students and has nearly doubled since.

Allison is the keynote speaker of this year’s Davis Family Lecture Series in the College of Business. The lecture is set for 1:40 p.m. Oct. 30 in the College of Business auditorium.

The UCA College of Business is the fastest-growing college at the University of Central Arkansas with more than 1,650 undergraduate students and 150 graduate students. It offers 13 baccalaureate degrees, two master’s and one graduate certificate across four academic departments and houses the state’s only insurance and risk management program. Visit for more.

Internship Leads to Award, Job Opportunity for COB Graduate

Sammy Jolly LeMarr wanted to understand the ins and outs of the industry, the things common observers do not notice or recognize.

For one reason, her coursework up to that point had provided her a solid foundation in logistics and supply chain management and this was the logical next step. For another, LeMarr wanted to attain a deep understanding and comprehension of her field prior to entering the workforce.

Working day in and day out in a professional setting would provide her what she wanted. That’s why she chose to do an internship.

“My internship provided me that operational experience I needed to better understand how it all works,” she said.

LeMarr came to UCA a biology major, hoping to turn her love for animals into a career as a veterinarian. However, a couple semesters in, it wasn’t panning out as she’d hoped. LeMarr turned to a family friend, Scott Nadler, Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Business’ Department of Marketing and Management, for advice.

He steered LeMarr to the department’s Logistics and Supply Chain Management program.

Navigating a major change that would take her across campus and from one side of the career spectrum to the other, must have been some predetermined aptitude test for her future. It is one she passed with flying colors.

LeMarr immediately took an interest in her courses and major.

“I loved it,” she said.

She began her internship with C.H. Robinson, a global logistics company with an office in Little Rock, in January 2017. It didn’t take long for her to find a lot of enjoyment there, either.

For her, it was the behind-the-scenes aspects of the industry that go unnoticed but are vital to its success that hooked her. It’s scheduling trucks to haul, building relationships with carriers and customers, and managing freight costs to impact a customer’s return.

“I didn’t know what went into moving a pallet from Point A to Point B – from raw material to an item for your consumption – whether that was food, clothing, car parts or something else,” she said. “It is crazy to think about all the little things that have to come together for something to finally make it to you.”

She initially began prospecting for the company, researching possible clients and presenting lead sheets to the sales team, but she quickly assumed operational responsibilities as well.

“Sammy is driven to the nth degree, losing is not in her vocabulary,” said Nadler.

Maybe it was her drive, her competitive nature or a budding interest in the industry — or a combination of the three — but whatever it was, LeMarr shined.

Before long, she was tracking and tracing loads, communicating with customers on pickups and deliveries, and, eventually, she was given the opportunity to research potential clients for her own book of business to manage.

LeMarr worked full-time in the summer growing her book and also filled in for two employees out on leave in the early part of the fall semester. She managed their books of business and cultivated new clients.

“She goes out and finds a business where no one else can, and she can close the deal,” said Nadler. “That’s the bottom line.”

It sounds cliche, but LeMarr was just determined to be the best intern she could.

“I told myself if I was going to have an internship, I wanted to be the best I could be and show that through my work ethic and the abilities I bring to the table,” she said. “And I wanted a job at C.H. Robinson more than anything.”

By the end of August, C.H. Robinson had offered LeMarr a full-time position as a sales executive that would be waiting on her in December after graduation. She was also named UCA’s Intern of the Year.

“I completely believe that hard work pays off and it did,” said LeMarr. “To be recognized for all I did, it really meant a lot to me.”

Ask LeMarr and she’ll say she accomplished this for a few reasons. It was the relationships she had with professors in the Logistics and Supply Chain Management program, including Nadler, Doug Voss, and Jim Dittrich.

“Every professor was incredibly helpful to me,” said LeMarr. “Having those relationships and being able to talk with them about my internship and have conversations where they understood where I was coming from, it was beneficial to me.”

UCA Career Services also played an important role, said LeMarr, since it was at one of its career fairs she met her general manager at C.H. Robinson.

But it was also the experience an internship provided her and the doors it opened in her career.

“It allowed me to gain a lot of experience and understanding before I left college,” said LeMarr. “The coursework and classes are important, but you don’t truly understand something until you get your hands in it and see how comes together.”

There are so many benefits an internship provides, LeMarr said she doesn’t see why anyone wouldn’t consider it.

“Why wouldn’t you do it?

COB Tops $90,000 in Scholarships for the Year

The UCA College of Business awarded $94,950 in scholarships for the 2018-2019 academic year, a new record total for the college.

The nearly $95,000 was awarded to 60 students across 30 scholarships, marking significant growth from 2015 when $34,000 was awarded.

“No matter the dollar amount, the significance of a scholarship is boundless for our students. For some, it alleviates the headache of books and supplies, and for others, it pays for an additional course,” said Michael Hargis, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business.

“It’s validation for a high-achieving student, relief for a student fighting to pay for college from semester to semester, and it’s a sense of pride for a first-generation college student on the way to a degree,” he said. “Because of our wonderful donors, more and more of our students are realizing this impact.”

To honor those donors and recognize the students their scholarships benefit, the College of Business hosted a scholarship reception Oct. 18. It allowed for donors and recipients to meet, share stories and get to know one another.

Speaking to the audience, Dean Hargis thanked everyone for their attendance and announced the college’s plans to reach $120,000 in scholarships by 2020.

“We want to continue to see tremendous growth in our scholarships,” he said. “This seems like a lofty goal, but we know it’s achievable because of the loyalty and commitment of our donors.”

For those interested in giving, contact J.D. Gray, senior director of development in the College of Business, at for more information.


BIT Club Meeting 10/25/18 @ 1:40 pm in COB 107

The Business & Information Technology (BIT) Club is having its second meeting on Thursday, October 25th.  Beta Alpha Psi is co-hosting the event.  It will be held in the College of Business Auditorium (Rooms 107/208) during X-period (1:40 – 2:30 p.m.) and is open to all majors on campus.  Three recent UCA graduates (Randy Naylor, Meghan Antoine, and Kelton Shaw), all with Windstream, will be the featured speakers and we are delighted to welcome them back to campus.  Refreshments will be served and door prizes will be awarded.  All students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend.

Home BancShares Chairman Johnny Allison to Speak Oct. 30 at Davis Family Lecture Series

CONWAY — Home BancShares Chairman Johnny Allison is the keynote speaker for the Davis Family Lecture Series on Oct. 30 at the UCA College of Business.

His talk will begin at 1:40 p.m. in the College of Business Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Allison has more than three decades experience in the banking industry. He co-founded Home BancShares, Inc., the parent company of Centennial Bank, in 1998 with Robert H. “Bunny” Adcock Jr., vice chairman of Home BancShares and University of Central Arkansas trustee, and established First State Bank.

After a series of acquisitions in Arkansas and Florida, the bank charters were combined into one in 2009: Centennial Bank. Today, Centennial Bank has locations in Arkansas, Florida, Alabama and New York.

Home BancShares, which has nearly $15 billion in assets, was the top-ranked bank in Forbes’ 2018 Best Banks in America list. The banks are rated on 10 metrics related to growth, profitability, capital adequacy and asset quality.

Allison serves as chairman of the board of Home BancShares. Prior to Home BancShares, Allison was chairman of First National Bank of Conway from 1983 to 1998 and director of First Commercial Corporation from 1985 to 1998.

The Davis Family Lecture Series was established in 2010 through a gift from Granger and Jan Davis, and Milton and Claudia Davis. The series features prominent business leaders who have made a significant impact in an industry. Past speakers include John W. Bachmann, Steve Williams, Hank Henderson, Reynie Rutledge, Marcy Doderer and Millie Ward.

The UCA College of Business is the fastest-growing college at the University of Central Arkansas with more than 1,650 undergraduate students and 150 graduate students. It offers 13 baccalaureate degrees, two master’s and one graduate certificate across four academic departments and houses the state’s only insurance and risk management program. Visit for more.

Greg and Sherri Pillow Pledge $25,000 to Establish Pillow Family Finance Endowed Scholarship

 CONWAY — Greg and Sherri Pillow have pledged $25,000 to establish the Pillow Family Finance Endowed Scholarship in the UCA College of Business.

The scholarship will be awarded annually, beginning in 2023, to a finance major in the college.

“The University of Central Arkansas is an important institution in our family,” said Pillow. “My wife and I went to school here and met many lifelong friends here; we love UCA. We wanted to be an encouragement to future UCA students and support their education.”

Pillow is the owner of Conway Wealth Management, which offers assistance in investments, financial planning, and insurance.

Pillow said he hopes the scholarship will encourage more students to pursue financial advising. According to Cerulli Associates, the average financial advisor is more than 50 years old.

“This has been a great career for me and there is plenty of opportunity for the next generation,” said Pillow. “If there is not a generation of financial advisors behind this one, there will be a void.”

The scholarship will give special preference to fifth-year students.

“My wife and I were both fifth-year students and sometimes aid is not as readily available to those students,” said Pillow. “We wanted to be able to encourage them to finish what they started.”

Pillow graduated from UCA in 1996 and has been a financial advisor since 1999.

The UCA College of Business is the fastest-growing college at the University of Central Arkansas with more than 1,650 undergraduate students and 150 graduate students. It offers 13 baccalaureate degrees, two master’s and one graduate certificate across four academic departments, and houses the state’s only insurance and risk management program. Visit to learn more.

Johnny Allison Entrepreneurship Series Brings Marshall Stewart

Greenway Equipment president Marshall Stewart met with a Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship class Sept. 27 to share the story of his company and how its developed into a regional leader in agricultural equipment and services companies. Stewart, a College of Business alumnus, is the latest speaker in the Johnny Allison Entrepreneurship Speaker Series, which brings business leaders, executives and entrepreneurs to the College of Business to share with students.