James Allen Graduates with Honors in MIS

James Allen MIS Honors Graduate

James Allen graduated with Honors in Management Information Systems in the Fall 2017 UCA graduation ceremony. Graduating with Honors in MIS requires a faculty invitation, a cumulative GPA of 3.25, and completion of a significant project or research endeavor. James was a key member of two significant software development projects, both under the guidance of Dr. Jeff Hill. The first was the Arkansas Model UN project that automated all processes related to this UCA History Department endeavor, which was completed in Spring 2017. For this project, James was the primary Java developer, integrating an extensive database with quality forms and reports. The second project, completed in Fall 2017, was the design and development of Report Engagement and Participation (REAP), a web-based, interactive system which tracks and stores student extra-curricular work in their field, such as internships, volunteer hours, meetings, etc. This system allows students, faculty, and administration to gather useful and critical information regarding student successes. James performed two key roles in this project: he was the leader of the project management team, which oversaw the entire project, from requirements gathering to implementation. For this, he assimilated the work of the web design and development teams. In addition, he was one of two developers (coders) in the project (using PHP), which integrated the entire system.

James graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in December 2017. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems, with a minor in Computer Science, with a GPA of 3.88. He arrived in Arkansas a high school dropout with only a brown paper bag containing all of his belongings. His hard work and determination allowed him to graduate from Vilonia High School in 2002 with a 3.95 GPA. He met his future wife, Laura, in 2003 and was married the following year while on leave from deployment during Operation Iraqi Freedom II campaign. James served 13 years in the US Army before attending UCA. James was recognized as the Outstanding Information Systems graduate in the College of Business for 2017. Previously he was placed on the UCA Presidential Scholar list four times and Dean’s List once. He enjoys spending time with family, reading various technical documents of interest, and considers himself a continuous learner.

Jessica Slay Graduates with Honors in MIS

Jessica Slay MIS Honors Graduate

Jessica Slay graduated with Honors in Management Information Systems in the Fall 2017 UCA graduation ceremony. Graduating with Honors in MIS requires faculty invitation, a cumulative GPA of 3.25, and completion of a significant project or research endeavor. Jessica completed her research project in November 2017, under the supervision of Dr. Mike Ellis and with another student, Geet Tanna. With Dr. Ellis, they team-authored a study on the design and implementation of data analytics programs in post-secondary settings, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. The study is entitled “Business Analytics Program Requirements: Analyses and Recommendations”; it will be submitted to both a conference this spring and to a peer-reviewed journal. Their work is already reaping benefits to the MIS Department, as it is using the findings to implement two new data analytics programs, one at the undergraduate level and one a graduate certificate. This work will be impactful for years to come.

Jessica Slay is from Harrison, Arkansas, and is a 2017 graduate from the University of Central Arkansas. She earned two degrees (double major) in Management Information Systems (Business Analysis Concentration) and in Management, with an emphasis in Supply Chain. She graduated with Honors in MIS (3.64 cumulative GPA). She held a summer internship in the Transportation department of the country’s number one LTL trucking company, FedEx Freight. In addition, she served as President for the business student organization, Phi Beta Lambda. Going forward she plans to utilize these accomplishments to pursue a career in data analytics.

MIS Students Create REAP Application

REAP Team Members (left to right): Jason Hensel (web team), James Allen (Proj. Mgmt-PM and scripting teams), Vivian Guo (web team), Nathan Stobaugh (PM and web teams), Sotoku Tomotsugu (PM team) and Brian Wan (PM and scripting teams)

In Fall 2017, MIS students designed and implemented a real-time tracking application for student extra-curricular activities.  Named Report Engagement and Participation (REAP), the system provides a simple means for students and faculty to enter real-time activities and participation, storing the information for retrieval by faculty and students.  The primary purpose of the system is to track events demonstrating student success.

The system was designed with a front-end webpage, which allows both students and faculty to log in securely.  Once logged in, students can easily enter information about internships, externships, volunteer hours, meetings and other engagement activities.  Students can enter information by phone, tablet, or any other device that connects online.  QR codes for meetings and other formal proceedings make it easy for students to register their participation in multi-student events.  The information can then be retrieved by faculty for class/grading purposes (as needed) and by others as indicators of success by students.  This system will aid the College of Business in telling the story of student achievements and allow students to track their own activities.

The design for REAP included the creation of an extensive database to store the information, a webpage as the entry point to the system, and a server that binds them together.  There were three teams of students who participated in this project; each team participated as part of a semester-long class.  The project management team, headed by James Allen, also included Brian Wan, Nathan Stobaugh, and Sotoku Tomotsugu.  This team, under the direction of Dr. Kaye McKinzie in MIS 4355 Project Management, designed the system and monitored progress through to its completion.  Another team developed the front-end webpage, guided by Carla Barber in her MIS 4366 Advanced Web design course; this team included Nathan Stobaugh, Jason Hensel, and Vivian Guo.  The server-side scripting, using PHP, was completed by Brian Wan and James Allen.  Brian and James also designed and implemented the database used in the project.  This team was directed by Dr. Jeff Hill (in MIS 4370), who was also the overall leader of the entire project.  Dr. Stephanie Watson served as project champion, meeting with teams to provide key system requirements.  Three of the students were members of two of the three teams, contributing a significant amount of time and effort into the success of the project, including Brian Wan, James Allen, and Nathan Stobaugh.

The REAP system has been migrated from the MIS Department servers (used for testing and on-campus design) to UCA’s IT Department, where it is now available for use.  Training will be held in January for faculty to learn how to enter new events and use the system to track student success activities.  Overall, the project included a significant MySQL database, a complex website, and over 12,000 lines of code to integrate it.

BIT Club Meeting 11/14/17

The Business & Information Technology (BIT) Club is having its last meeting of the fall semester on Tuesday, November 14th.  The event, which will be held in Room 214 at the College of Business during X-period (1:40 – 2:30 p.m.), is open to all majors on campus.  Dr. Joe Thomas, a new Assistant Professor in the MIS Department and a 23-year cyberspace veteran of the US Air Force, will be the featured speaker.  Dr. Thomas has held a wide variety of IT related positions from coding satellite software to Director of Operations for the world’s largest fully meshed VPN.  Prior to coming to UCA Dr. Thomas was an Assistant Professor at the US Air Force Academy and then the Dean of Squadron Officer School, the Air Force’s primary leadership school for young officers.  Refreshments will be served (PIZZA!) and door prizes will be awarded.  All students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend.

COB Economics professor shares on MARKETPLACE Radio (NPR)

Dr. Jeremy Horpedohl, Assistant Professor of Economics, shares insight on the GOP’s expected unveiling of its long-awaited tax plan on November 1, and then the real battle that will begin over how it will be paid for. And nearly every deduction is on the line. To listen, click the link below!

BIT Club Meeting – 10/12/17

The Business & Information Technology (BIT) Club is having its second meeting on Thursday, October 12th.  The event, which will be held in the College of Business Auditorium (Rooms 107/208) during X-period (1:40 – 2:30 p.m.), is open to all majors on campus.  Dr. Jeff Standridge will be the featured speaker.  Dr. Standridge helps organizations and their leaders generate sustained results in the areas of innovation, strategy, profit growth, organizational effectiveness, and leadership.  Formerly a Vice President for Acxiom Corporation, he has led established and startup business units in North & South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  Jeff serves as Chief Catalyst for the Conductor (, is Co-founder of Cadron Capital Partners, and teaches in the College of Business at UCA.  Refreshments will be served and door prizes will be awarded.  All students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend.

BIT Club Meeting – 9/21/17

The Business & Information Technology (BIT) Club is having its Fall Welcome Meeting and Kick-Off on Thursday, September 21st.  The event, which will be held in the College of Business Auditorium (Rooms 107/208) during X-period (1:40 – 2:30 p.m.), is open to all majors on campus.  Paul Bradley, a UCA alum who is the Conway Market Leader for Edafio Technology Partners, will be the featured speaker.  Paul is both an MIS and MBA graduate and we are delighted to welcome him back to campus.  Refreshments will be served and door prizes will be awarded.  All students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend.

UCA College of Business announces $60,000 challenge match gift for Insurance program

The University of Central Arkansas College of Business is excited to announce a challenge match gift to the Excellence in Insurance Fund for students in the Insurance & Risk Management program. For every $1 given, an anonymous donor will triple its value for a maximum donation of $60,000 from the donor.

We are encouraging all program alumni and friends of the program to consider making a gift to help us meet this goal and receive a possible total of $80,000 for the Excellence in Insurance Fund.

The College of Business educates students to make positive contributions to the business community and society by maintaining a relevant and innovative curriculum, enhancing the learning experience and promoting life-long learning, all of which are only possible with your support.

Donations can be made online or by calling the UCA Foundation at (501) 852-2743. Checks can be made payable to the UCA Foundation, Inc. and mailed to or dropped off at Buffalo Alumni Hall, UCA Box 4986, Conway, AR 72035.

We hope you will consider making a gift today.

Mr. Doug Isanhart was recently featured in 501 Life Magazine

Mr. Isanhart was recently featured in 501 Life Magazine for his involvement with Winrock International’s Farmer-to-Farmer program in efforts to help address training/education needs worldwide.  Mr. Isanhart is heading out on his 11th trip as part of this program this summer.

To read the article, click on this link: Life’s Purpose: UCA Instructor Provides Help Worldwide

Dr. Doug Voss featured in Arkansas Business & KTHV!

Dr. Doug Voss was recently featured in Arkansas Business. The article is entitled “Customer Demands Drives Final Mile Industry.” pg. 10 of the May 15th edition.

In addition, his contribution was also included in Lance Turner’s KTHV report. Follow this link to see the report: KTHV News Report.