NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATES

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Acxiom & UCA Present IT Careers Camp for High School Students

(Conway, AR) – The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) College of Business and Acxiom partnered last week for a four-day Information Technology (IT) Careers Camp to introduce high school students from all over Arkansas to technology-related careers. Nearly 30 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.

“Students make connections with other students, instructors, and industry professionals that they can carry from high school to college and through to their professional careers,” said Susan Shaw, Camp Director and Lecturer for the UCA Department of Computer Information Systems and Analytics (CISA).

Shaw added that while on campus, the students experience campus life, learn about college programs that lead to careers in Information Technology, and complete hands-on activities.

Acxiom sponsored the UCA IT Careers Camp and offered mentorship opportunities throughout the camp to students. The Acxiom mentors helped students with activities and shared about how their education in business and technology led to the IT careers they have today.

“One of Acxiom’s core values is innovation,” said Jhade McConnell, Acxiom Solutions Architect and 2017 graduate from the UCA College of Business. “We come to this camp at UCA to show high school students the tools needed to navigate technology and pique their interest to be creative with these tools.” [Read more…]

Dr. Yao Featured in WalletHub “Ask the Expert” Series

Dr. Yao

Dr. Haibo (Stephen) Yao

Dr. Haibo (Stephen) Yao was recently featured as an expert contributor in articles by WalletHub. While the articles are geared toward college students, these are questions many people may have.

In his first article about the best credit cards for college students, he addresses what college students should look for when choosing a credit card, the biggest mistakes college students can make with credit cards, and best practices for students who use credit cards.

In this second article, he answers questions about zero percent (0%) credit cards, including why and how they are used.

Dr. Yao is an Assistant Professor of Insurance & Risk Management in the Department of Economics, Finance, Insurance & Risk Management for the UCA College of Business.

How Can You Stay Safe From a Ransomware Attack?

Ransomware has dominated the news recently. Headline after headline reads:

Many of us may scroll past these news stories because we think ransomware attacks only affect large corporations, but cyber-attackers count on catching you unprepared.

According to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), “ransomware is an ever-evolving form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable. Malicious actors then demand ransom in exchange for decryption.” 1

CISA continues to say that anyone with a computer or device connected to the internet or anyone with data stored on their computer, device, or network – including individuals, small businesses, large businesses, government agencies, and healthcare systems – all of these people or groups are at risk from a ransomware attack. 1

Since essentially everyone is at risk and very few of us have millions (or even hundreds) of dollars to pay to get ransomed information released, what can we do?

Dr. Geoffrey Hill, Department Chair of Computer Information Systems and Analytics in the UCA College of Business, has some simple advice: back up your data.

“There are many file synchronization services that are easily available to individuals or small businesses,” said Hill. The automatic synching feature makes it easy to use and guarantees that recent changes are automatically synched to the service’s cloud-based storage.” 2

Hill recognized that the synched files could include the ransomware’s encrypted files but also says that major services, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive, provide file recovery and roll-back features that help you to restore individual files or even your entire file library when necessary. He cautions users to be careful when choosing a service because some of them are free while others are only available through tiered levels of paid protection plans. 2

If you don’t have one of these services, make yourself a note to try one, and if you are ever a victim of a ransomware attack, U.S. CISA recommends, “victims of ransomware should report it immediately to CISA at www.us-cert.gov/report, a local FBI Field Office, or Secret Service Field Office.” 1

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a cybersecurity professional, check out UCA’s Bachelor of Science degree in Cybersecurity Management. With headlines like these, demand for individuals educated and trained in Computer Information Systems and Analytics will likely only increase.


Sources:

1 Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency. (2021, July 7). Ransomware Guidance and Resources. Retrieved from www.cisa.gov/ransomware.

2 Hill, G. (2021, July 6). University of Central Arkansas College of Business. [Personal Interview].

Three UCA College of Business Alumni Named to Arkansas Business “20 in Their 20s” List

Arkansas Business has announced its 2021 class of “20 In Their 20s”, including three alumni from UCA’s College of Business. Ericka Gutierrez, Grace Rains, and Joyti Lal were named as rising business and community leaders.  [Read more…]

Career Networking Opportunity for UCA’s Rising Juniors and Seniors: September 14 & 15

Rising Juniors & Seniors, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to be the first students to meet recruiters and form career connections. This is a speed interview opportunity, and you will interview with six different companies in one hour. These companies are ready to offer entry-level positions to begin after graduation.

Before the interview day, you’ll also get a review of your resume and training about how to dress appropriately and deliver an impactful interview.

Spaces are limited, so sign up as soon as possible. Download the details and contact UCA CAREER SERVICES at 501-450-3134 or careerservices@uca.edu. [Read more…]

COB Advisory Board Member Featured in AY Magazine, Gives Advice to Women in Business

Donna Townsell, award-winning businesswoman and member of the College of Business Advisory Board, was recently featured in AY Magazine. In the interview Townsell gave advice that no aspiring woman in business should miss.

“Sometimes I’m the only female in the room. My approach has always been to listen and learn as much as possible. When the time is right, speak with confidence and add your voice to the conversation,” said Townsell.

After 28 years in business, Townsell has used this philosophy to attain senior leadership positions and gain many accolades, including the Women in Business Diamond Achievement Award.

Read more of Townsell’s “Woman Wednesday” feature in AY Magazine.

UCA Economist, Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl, Receives Award for COVID-19 Work

(Conway, AR) – Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) College of Business, has been recognized for his work to provide accurate coronavirus information and dispel misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The award comes from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, which announced on Sunday its ten most recent winners across North America.

Dr. Horpedahl won the prize for his policy and data analysis on pandemic-related economic topics such as coronavirus precautions, tolls and trends, vaccination development and distribution, unemployment, as well as local, national, and worldwide financial impacts.

“Part of what motivated me was simply to understand the pandemic better myself, and I was glad to help others navigate the same questions that I had about the state of the world,” said Dr. Horpedahl.

Horpedahl was also a co-recipient of another award from the Mercatus Center for the blog EconomistWritingEveryDay.com, where he is a weekly contributor.

“Dr. Horpedahl’s efforts to communicate complex topics in a more approachable way has helped inform and educate others about economic policy. This is important work during an already confusing and stressful time, and we are proud of his effort and impact,” added Dr. Michael Hargis, Dean of the UCA College of Business. [Read more…]

ACRE Program Coordinator Aquia Joins Arkansas Social Studies Standards Revision Committee

Arkansas Center for Research in Economics (ACRE) Program Coordinator Terra Aquia recently joined the 2021 Arkansas Social Studies Standards Revision Committee, part of the Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education.

She will work with the committee of teachers, curriculum specialists, higher education representatives, and community partners to revise and update Arkansas’s current standards for K-12 students. The committee ensures that upon graduation, each student is prepared for college, career, and community engagement.

As an ACRE Program Coordinator, Aquia creates educational content, resources, and opportunities that teachers can use in their classrooms to improve the economic understanding of Arkansas students.

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: [Read more…]

Doug Voss: 2021 Trucking Outlook ‘Better’ Than 2020

Doug Voss, Ph.D., professor of logistics and supply chain management, said the outlook for the trucking industry is better for 2021 than last year.

“We’ve seen what I would characterize as a V-shaped recovery,” Voss told Talk Business & Politics. “Those that were down really didn’t stay down for long.”

While there hasn’t been a perfect year for trucking — with the good often offsetting the bad — he said carriers will have to increase driver pay and attract more good drivers. At the start of the pandemic, freight demand fell, especially for carriers serving the automotive industry. Demand, however, was strong for those hauling goods for retailers.

“We’ve seen what I would characterize as a V-shaped recovery,” Voss said. “Those that were down really didn’t stay down for long.”

Voss said the top challenge in the new year would be finding new drivers. Read more here.