UCA College of Business Names 2020-2021 Outstanding Students

On April 8, 2021, the UCA College of Business held its annual Student Honors Banquet to celebrate the academic achievements of the College’s students and recognize the outstanding students for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Outstanding students are those who take advantage of educational opportunities and show exemplary academic performance through internships, professional development and experiential education, volunteerism, and participation in clubs and activities.

The following students were awarded an outstanding status, chosen from over 1600 undergraduate and graduate students:



OUTSTANDING STUDENT FOR THE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS: ELSA MATTSON

Elsa Mattson was named the overall Outstanding Student for the College of Business because of her many academic achievements.

A triple major with a 3.95 GPA, Elsa earned a BBA in Economics with International Trade Concentration, a BBA in Management Information Systems with a Business Analysis Concentration, and a BA in Chinese. Elsa also earned a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM).

As a Research Fellow for the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics (ACRE) for two years, she published a refereed journal article about occupational licensing requirements and its effect on workers during the Great Recession; published an Op-ed about Pennsylvania’s licensing requirements, which was noticed by their Governor’s office; and presented her studies at the International Academy of Business Disciplines conference. She also earned a Mainframe Apprenticeship at Ensono in summer 2020.

She served as President of Team Global at UCA and was selected to represent the College at recruiting and accreditation events during her senior year.

Elsa will begin a Master of Science in Business Analytics at William & Mary on a merit-based scholarship starting in the fall.


ACCOUNTING
OUTSTANDING MASTER OF ACCOUNTANCY STUDENT: DEVIN GILBERT

Devin Gilbert completed his BBA in Accounting at UCA and did two internships. He is currently a Graduate Assistant and tutors students in our “Principles of Accounting” and “Intermediate Accounting” courses. Devin has proven to be cool under pressure.

After graduation with his Master of Accountancy (MAcc), Devin is going to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers, the largest accounting firm in the world.

OUTSTANDING ACCOUNTING STUDENT: CLAIRE DeBUSK

Claire DeBusk just completed her BBA and is starting the UCA Master of Accountancy program this summer. While she was an undergraduate, she did five internships, served as an officer of Beta Alpha Psi, placed second with her team for Best Practices in Investing in Yourself, and was involved in service opportunities in Conway and overseas.


ECONOMICS, FINANCE, AND INSURANCE & RISK MANAGEMENT
OUTSTANDING ECONOMICS STUDENT: ELSA MATTSON

A triple major with a 3.95 GPA, Elsa Mattson earned a BBA in Economics with International Trade Concentration, a BBA in Management Information Systems with a Business Analysis Concentration, and a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese. Elsa also earned a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). She served as President of Team Global at UCA and a Research Fellow for ACRE, earned a Mainframe Apprenticeship at Ensono in summer 2020, and was selected to represent the College at recruiting and accreditation events during her senior year. Elsa will begin a Master of Science in Business Analytics at William & Mary on a merit-based scholarship starting in the fall.

OUTSTANDING FINANCE STUDENT: DARYL ADOPO

Daryl achieved a 4.0 GPA, majoring in Finance with a minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. While at UCA, he co-authored a paper with Dr. Chen and presented it at the 2021 International Academy of Business Disciplines conference; worked as a Life Peer Coach for Housing and Residence Life; and volunteered for several organizations and events, including the Big Event, Team Global and others. Daryl would like to pursue an MBA in Finance and earn a Data Analytics Graduate Certificate or a Masters of Science in Business Analytics, after which he may then work toward a Doctorate.  He wants to eventually work as a financial analyst at the African Bank of Development.

OUTSTANDING INSURANCE & RISK MANAGEMENT STUDENT: BETHANY ARNOLD

Bethany is a first-generation student completing a BBA in Insurance and Risk Management with expected graduation in December 2021. She is the Vice President of Gamma Iota Sigma and currently an intern at State Farm while maintaining a 3.82 GPA. She plans to begin her career in the insurance industry after graduation.


MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS
OUTSTANDING GENERAL BUSINESS STUDENT: ASHLEY PHIPPS

Ashley Phipps is a non-traditional student who completed her BBA in General Business completely online while raising two boys under the age of five. She graduated in May 2021 with a 3.36 GPA. She plans to begin a career in banking.

OUTSTANDING MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS STUDENT: KAYLA DEAN

In May 2021, Kayla Dean completed her BBA in Management Information Systems with a Programmer/Analyst Concentration. She finished with a 3.94 GPA and earned a Mainframe internship at Ensono in summer 2020. Kayla also was active in volunteer work serving in the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Program from fall 2018 to spring 2019, as a UCA Peer Coach from fall 2018 until graduation, and as an AmeriCorps BearsServe Member at the UCA Food pantry from fall 2020 to spring 2021.

OUTSTANDING INFORMATION SYSTEMS STUDENT: ROHAN SAXENA

Rohan Saxena graduated with a 3.49 GPA in May 2021, earning a BS in Information Systems with a Computer Science minor. He stayed busy during his UCA undergraduate career by studying abroad at The Hague University, earning an internship at Granules Pharmaceuticals, serving as Housing & Food Services Committee Chairman for the UCA Student Government Association, and working at UCA International Engagement and the Department of Biology. Rohan has accepted a job as Tableau Administrator at Lucid Motors, a Silicon Valley luxury electric car company.


MARKETING & MANAGEMENT
OUTSTANDING INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP STUDENT: LOGAN TRIBBLE

Logan Tribble is working toward his BBA in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. He is not only a great student in the classroom but also an active participant in the activities of our partner, The Conductor, and the activities of the “Central Arkansas Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.”

OUTSTANDING LOGISTICS & SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT STUDENT: JACK BORNHOFT

Jack Bornhoft, the Outstanding Logistics & Supply Chain Management student, has a 3.83 GPA, is the student representative on the board of the Arkansas Trucking Association, and completed an internship with Insight Logistics Management.

OUTSTANDING MANAGEMENT STUDENT: LUCAS SOUTHARD

Lucas Southard has 3.84 GPA as he works toward a BBA in Management with a concentration in Human Resources Management.

OUTSTANDING MARKETING STUDENT: LAURA LANE & EMMA McKNIGHT

This year we have two winners for the BBA in Marketing. Both Laura Lane and Emma McKnight are outstanding students in the classroom earning GPAs of better than 3.8, and both have demonstrated tremendous potential to achieve success in their chosen field of marketing.


OUTSTANDING MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION STUDENT: BRANDON SCOTT PHIPPS

Brandon Scott Phipps is the Outstanding Student of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. Phipps received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from UCA and has excelled in the MBA program. In addition to being a veteran, Brandon is launching a new Homewell Health Services franchise in Conway with the help of College of Business Professor Dr. Jeff Standridge.  Phipps was also recently named a member of the new class for the Conway Area Leadership Institute.



ABOUT THE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS

The UCA College of Business includes:

The goal of the UCA College of Business is to provide a hands-on, experience driven, education that prepares graduates to take on global issues. Through our diverse programs of study and distinguished faculty and staff, we take creative, engaged students and give them the tools to succeed when they earn their degrees. Our students travel the world, start their own innovative businesses, and join established businesses across the country.  Whatever their next step, our students are ready to make a positive impact.

Learn more about our programs of study and distinguished faculty and staff.

Student Profile: Madison Bryant

Marketing major Maddie Bryant welcomes incoming freshmen to campus as a member of the Student Orientation Staff (SOS).

Madison Bryant  |  Marketing major  |  Class of 2025

What drew you to business?

I took a marketing class my senior year of high school. I did really well in there and enjoyed it. After I started college, I realized I didn’t want to be a doctor, and I decided marketing was the right path for me.

What has been useful to you in the College of Business and why?

– the faculty, curriculum, and supportive learning environment
– the events and guest speakers
– the facilities and technology
– an internships
– networking opportunities with prospective employers and industry experts

All of those are helpful because they help you gain connections and ultimately get a job after graduation. Gaining connections is so important because you never know who you will meet and how they will impact you.

My advisor Emma Allen has been wonderful! She wants me to succeed and is always there to even just listen if I have a problem. She gives great advice on classes I need to take and the route I should take. She remembers who I am when I see her around and she is overall just a wonderful person to be around.

What experience has been meaningful for you?

The experience in my Intro to Business class has been the most meaningful to me so far. Throughout the semester each week, we would learn about a different major within the COB. It really helped to shine light on areas I didn’t know existed. It showed me careers I would have never even thought about. This class was very helpful and an experience I feel you don’t get in other colleges. It can be hard to know what you want to do without having knowledge of all your options, so this helped me clarify what I wanted to do.

What tips or advice would you give to new, current, or prospective business students?

I would advise students to go to tutoring for classes where that’s available. The tutors in the COB [College of Business] are wonderful. I always feel more confident and ready for my test after I visit them.

I would definitely recommend the COB to students because there are so many different paths you can take here. There are lots of majors to pick from in the COB and even certifications you can get. The faculty is very helpful here and is happy to answer any questions you may have. The COB shares internship opportunities and has a few RSOs [student organizations] you can join.

COB Alum Ebony Mitchell Crowned Miss Arkansas 2022

Ebony Mitchell, who earned a BBA in Marketing from UCA in 2019, has been crowned Miss Arkansas 2022. Winning this competition against 44 other Arkansans tops her previous titles of Miss UCA and Miss Dogwood.

Credit: Miss Arkansas Pageant

“So many of these professors who have prestigious backgrounds in whatever field they work in are willing to work with you and help you become the best version of yourself,” Mitchell said of her student experience in a 2019 interview.

With this win, Mitchell reportedly won a $30,000 scholarship and over $75,000 in other awards and gifts. Her social impact is “A Responsible Digital You,” a platform which she will promote as she travels the state supporting the Miss Arkansas and Miss America organizations.

Mitchell currently works as a marketing specialist for Conway Regional Health Systems and will represent the state of Arkansas at the Miss America event in Connecticut.

UCA’s Beta Alpha Psi Chapter Achieves Superior Status for 2021-2022

Congratulations to our Beta Alpha Psi students and to Connie McKnight and Ashley Phillips, our tireless faculty advisors, for another year of superior status!

To be a superior chapter, the registered student organization met the following requirements:

  • Average member completed at least 32 hours of service and professional development (at least 12 each)
    >265 hours of professional development
    >555 hours of service
  • Chapter completed at least 8 reaching-out activities including attending conferences; competing in best practices and project run-with-it; alumni activities’ multi-chapter events; and promoting careers in accounting, finance, information systems, and/or data analytics.

In addition, the chapter accomplished:

  • 1st place at Regionals for Best Practices in The Art of Engagement (Escape Room)
  • 2nd place at Regionals for Best Practices in The Art of Change (changing meeting formats)
  • $2375 donated to various charities (cash and items)

Beta Alpha Psi is an honor organization founded in 1919 for financial information students and professionals. There are over 300 AACSB- and/or EQUIS-accredited chapters on university campuses with over 300,000 members. Beta Alpha Psi recognizes scholastic excellence, offers professional development, and encourages ethical, social, and public responsibility.

The BAP Theta Lambda chapter of University of Central Arkansas focuses on honoring scholarship, professional development, and service to the community. Members have the opportunity to meet and get to know professionals from all areas of accounting, and they learn skills needed to be successful in careers in accounting, finance, information systems, and analytics.

The Best of College of Business: 2021-2022

The UCA College of Business delivers experiences that prepare and inspire students to be ethical, innovative and engaged business leaders who positively impact their communities. We are committed to a culture of excellence across all programs, activities, and events, with a focus on action-based learning and student success and retention.

Despite disruptions due to COVID during our last academic year, our students and alumni have overcome obstacles and risen as leaders. Several COB alumni were honored for their efforts in their communities and workplaces while our students volunteered at food pantries, prepared free tax returns for low-income Arkansans, and earned awards.

This annual review gives a brief look at this year’s student, alumni, and faculty success as well as evidence of our commitment to engaged learning.

If you have a story of success or accomplishment from 2021-2022 to add to this list, or anytime in the future, please send it to US.

Sincerely,
Michael Hargis
Dean, UCA College of Business



NEW & NOTEWORTHY

To address the changing business environment, COB expanded to add three new Applied Data Analytics programs:
– a Bachelor of Science
– a Master of Science
– and a technical certificate.

COB welcomed new Marketing & Management Department Chair, Dr. Tracy A. Suter, who began his role at the start of the spring semester.

Dr. Suter has taught and led at 5 institutions over the past 25 years; has authored many academic articles and textbooks and served in other administrative capacities; most extensive experience was as a 15-year faculty member at Oklahoma State University.

Learn more about his credentials, career, and interests.

COB Student Ambassadors engage, connect, and serve as representatives for our college. Twenty-one students took on the task of serving as COB’s first ever group of ambassadors.

They have talked with incoming students, received swag and headshots, and experienced unique development opportunities available only to ambassadors.


AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Economics student Caleb Vines won the Student Research Award at the 2022 Society of Business, Industry, and Economics (SOBIE) conference.

Several other COB faculty and students across all disciplines also presented papers at the SOBIE and International Academy of Business Disciplines (IABD) conferences this spring.  MORE

COB named its Outstanding Students who were chosen because they combined exemplary academic performance with internships, volunteerism, professional development, experiential education, and participation in clubs and other important experiences.

Daisy Martinez Carranza took home the top honor of COB’s 2022 Outstanding Student. READ MORE

UCA’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program was named to the Princeton Review’s 2022 Best Online MBA Programs and University HQ’s Best Arkansas MBA Programs list.

Associate Professor of economics and ACRE Scholar Jeremy Horpedahl received the Public Choice’s Duncan Black Prize for the best article contributed by a senior scholar.

Karen Shaw, a member of the COB Board of Advisors, was named 2021 CFO of the Year by Arkansas Business.

Shaw was a leader even during her UCA days, as a charter member of Beta Alpha Psi, but her leadership development didn’t stop there. Learn more about Karen’s leadership as a business and community leader.

Several COB alumni, including Joyti Lal (pictured), Ericka Gutierrez, and Scott Dews were named as rising business and community leaders by Arkansas Business.


Three teams representing UCA’s MBA program placed among the top 100 performers in a worldwide business simulation competition called GLO-BUS. Nearly 2,000 teams from 99 colleges and universities competed.


Congratulations to COB’s Theta Lambda Chapter who earned first place at the 2022 Beta Alpha Psi regional conference competitions in the category of Best Practices in the Art of Engagement and will compete at the conference in Orlando this summer. The chapter also earned a second-place win for Best Practices. MORE

In addition, UCA’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi achieved superior status for 2021-2022 from the national chapter. To be a superior chapter, the registered student organization met the following requirements:

  • Average member completed at least 32 hours of service and professional development (at least 12 each)
    >265 hours of professional development
    >555 hours of service
  • Chapter completed at least 8 reaching-out activities including attending conferences; competing in best practices and project run-with-it; alumni activities’ multi-chapter events; and promoting careers in accounting, finance, information systems, and/or data analytics.

Congratulations to our Beta Alpha Psi students and to Connie McKnight and Ashley Phillips, our tireless faculty advisors, for another year of superior status!


CAREER DEVELOPMENT & SERVICE LEARNING

More than 65 volunteers and students from UCA’s Biz@Bear Residential College collected over $1650 worth of personal care donations for children in Arkansas foster care.

This event ended an academic year with more than 1800 student engagement hours led by Academic Director, Dr. Louisa Moseley; over 200 of those were service hours. MORE

Accounting Professor Ashley Phillips was awarded the Peter J. Mehl Service-Learning Faculty of the Year Award for her work with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Under her leadership, students volunteered approximately 420 hours to return more than $324,000 of taxpayer money to the community through the preparation of over 250 tax returns for low-income taxpayers in the region.

Sixteen business professionals connected with COB students at the annual Women in Business Sixteen business professionals connected with COB students at the annual Women in Business luncheon for which a panel and table leaders shared the “Top 5 Things Women in Business Need to Know.”

 Beta Alpha Psi hosted a COB Escape Room of intricate puzzles for students to solve. To “escape,” participants applied tips for create an effective resume. READ MORE

In ’21 & ’22, COB and Acxiom partnered to provide a four-day Information Technology (IT) Careers Camp for high school students.

During the camp, students stayed on UCA’s campus, were mentored by industry experts, and participated in exercises in programming, cybersecurity, robotics, 3D modeling, and 3D laser printing.

Congratulations to all of our graduates in 2021-2022!



If you have a story of success or accomplishment from 2021-2022 to add to this list, please send it to the UCA College of Business.

For year-round news and updates from the UCA College of Business, make sure to visit uca.edu/business/news.

Alumni Profile: Elian Mackey (’22)

Elian Mackey
Graduated in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems
Recently honored as 2022’s Outstanding Information Systems Student

What drew you to business? When and how did you know that an education in business is the right fit for you?

I wanted to combine technical skills with business skills. I had a variety of extracurriculars that allowed me to grow as a person while helping me meet new people and build strong connections. That was when I knew this is what I wanted to do.

What have you found useful in the College of Business and why?

  • In my time attending the Business and Information Technology (BIT) Club meetings, I was able to stay updated with the skills different companies are looking for in hiring. I value that time. With the curriculum, classes in the CISA department and in the Math and Computer Science department have given me a wide skill set with experience in Java, SQL, Python, C++ and HTML. I will forever be grateful for my time here.

My advisor has been such an immense help for as long as I can remember. He has always been so supportive, and if I felt like I needed help with my schedule or DegreeWorks, I would never be afraid to contact him.

I recommend the UCA College of Business as there are so many opportunities you can pursue, and the professors are all willing to help get your name out there. A big part of this that I have seen is at the annual STEM career fair.

What tips or advice would you give to new, current, or prospective business students?

Something that I wish I knew during my first year was to start working on my online portfolio early. If you have projects, list them. Join LinkedIn and start making those connections. Go to career fairs and hand out those resumes even if you are not planning on applying for a job. It is important for success in your future college career and your future profession.

Planning for Fall: 2 Important Events for Accounting Students

If you plan to attend either of these events, please let us know at https://forms.gle/ZYwrhNenRXKAiJYJ6 

[Read more…]

UCA Business Students Collect Donations for Arkansas Foster Children

More than 65 volunteers and students from the University of Central Arkansas’ (UCA) Biz@Bear Residential College collected over 500 products for children in Arkansas foster care. 

Biz@Bear students presented approximately $1650 worth of donations to the Children’s Advocacy Alliance in a ceremony on the stripes at UCA’s Estes Stadium on April 28.

Jasmin Joseph, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Supervisor at Children’s Advocacy Alliance, was on hand to receive the donations at the ceremony.  

“When children are taken into foster care, they don’t have time to grab these items. These donations – things that many of us take for granted – make a huge difference for these kids,” said Joseph.

Students collected toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, body wash, and other personal hygiene items for children in Arkansas foster care age zero to 17. Josef told students that these items are constantly needed for children and youth in foster care. [Read more…]

Accounting Professor Ashley Phillips Awarded the Peter J. Mehl Service-Learning Faculty of the Year Award for VITA Program

Professor Ashley Phillips of the Accounting Department has been awarded the Peter J. Mehl Service-Learning Faculty of the Year Award for 2021-2022. She partners with the United Way of Central Arkansas to offer the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program to low income taxpayers in our region. Ashley offers a service-learning course for UCA students, who earn the necessary IRS certification, and prepare the tax returns.

UCA accounting students did an amazing job this tax season as part of the VITA program at United Way of Central Arkansas (UWCA). Five UCA accounting majors took the VITA course for credit, and of the five taking it for credit, four volunteered over 80 hours (Macy Dillard, Joseph Howe, Jonathan Humphrey, and Jakob Ligon). There were an additional six UCA accounting majors who volunteered. These students volunteered approximately 420 hours.

UWCA filed 255 federal tax returns as part of the VITA program. UCA accounting students prepared 253 of the 255 returns. These returns brought back over $324,000 to the local community.

Congratulations Ashley!

And way to go VITA student volunteers.

COB Beta Alpha Psi Chapter Places First and Second at Regional Conference Competitions

UCA’s Theta Lambda Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi earned a first place win at the 2022 regional conference in the category of Best Practices in the Art of Engagement. Several members worked to create an escape room with a resume theme and offered the escape to teams of students. Harris Felton and Tristen Porter presented the project for the virtual competition. Because of the first place regional win, the Theta Lambda Chapter will compete against the other regional winners in Orlando this summer.

UCA students also earned a 2nd Place regional win for Best Practices in the Art of Change. Chapter members Claire DeBusk, Yulia Lyubchenko, and Kaidan Zheng shared how the Theta Lambda Chapter changed in the face of covid and the increased demands of members.  [Read more…]

COB Faculty & Students Present Papers at International Academy of Business Disciplines Conference

Several UCA business faculty and students presented papers at the International Academy of Business Disciplines (IABD) 2022 Virtual Conference on April 7-8.

The following UCA faculty served as Track/Session Chairs:

On Thursday, April 7, the following faculty and students presented papers:

On Friday, April 8, the following faculty and students presented their papers:

  • “Covid-19, Vaccine and Brazilian E-Payment Adoption Behavior” – Dr. Alexander Chen, Dr. David McCalman (Associate Professor of Management), Matheus Tupinambe August de Brito (COB undergraduate student)
  • “Covid-19, Vaccine and Mexican E-Payment Adoption Behavior” – Dr. Alexander Chen, Adrian Juarez Castellanos (undergrad student), Tracy Suter (Chair of Marketing and Management, Associate Professor of Marketing)