UCA Insurance Program Awarded Grant from Spencer Educational Foundation

The University of Central Arkansas Insurance and Risk Management program has been awarded a grant from the Spencer Educational Foundation, supporting a key Experiential Learning opportunity for students.

The funds were given to support the 2024 Risk Manager on Campus. For this event, a Risk Management and Insurance Professional is brought to the UCA College of Business for class visits, campus-wide lectures, panel discussions, meetings with student organizations such as Gamma Iota Sigma, and meals with faculty and other IRM community professionals. This is a valuable opportunity to allow students to network and learn from the visiting Risk Manager.

For 24 years, Spencer’s Risk Manager on Campus (RMOC) Program has offered this rewarding educational experience for students and a chance to give back to the profession. Spencer’s Risk Manager on Campus program offers grants to universities and colleges in the United States and Canada to host a practicing Risk Manager on its campus for a 1–3-day residency.

The Spencer Foundation has supported the Risk Manager on Campus program for years, most recently bringing Bailey Pipkin in 2023 and Mr. Lance Ewing in 2022.

Marketing Students Learn & Serve Community During Project for Arkansas PBS

Marketing Professor Dr. Benjamin Garner‘s Advanced Selling class recently participated in a service-learning project that required students to practice their cold-calling skills for Arkansas PBS.

Students called PBS donors and asked them to participate in a phone survey to help PBS improve their programming. Students input survey responses into an Excel file and worked through a list of names, similar to what one might do in a sales development role.

“Some students find it challenging at first, but with more practice they gain confidence and improve their skills,” said Dr. Garner.

Academic service-learning integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Students who take service-learning courses gain real world experience while also helping their community.

Service-learning gives UCA students an opportunity to jump start their path to life-long community engagement, while learning directly from experienced people. This opportunity would not exist without the help, support, and cooperation of our community partner, Arkansas PBS. Learn how to become a UCA Service-Learning Partner.

COB Students Earn Awards at Arkansas Student Congress

On November 12-14, three COB students participated at Arkansas Student Congress, sponsored by the Arkansas Communication and Theater Arts Association. Because this is an activity that involves policymaking, Dr. Anthony McMullen, Associate Professor of Business Law and sponsor of the debate team, encourages business students to participate.

Dr. Anthony McMullen in shown is the photo along with the participating students:

Karlie Holland (front left): Received an award for excellent in caucus and was recognized as the best delegate for UCA. In addition, her bill, short titled: “A bill recommending to the Arkansas General Assembly to require sex education be required in secondary education systems,” received an award for best bill in the Senate. It passed the Senate, but unfortunately did not pass in the House.

Michael Isaac (back center): Received an award for excellent in caucus and excellent in committee.

Rebecca Pool (front right): Her bill, short titled: “A bill recommending to the U.S. Congress that protects consumers in all states from purchasing previously totaled vehicles from flooding with washed titles,” received an award for third best bill in the Senate. In addition, it passed both houses, making it a Law of Congress. In addition, it has received attention from the Arkansas Times.



Economics Professor Kalulu Impacts Through Teaching & Research

Dr. Mavuto Kalulu, Assistant Professor of Economics in the UCA EFIRM Department, shares why he chose to study economics, why he chooses to teach, and details about his research in Sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest region in the world. Dr. Kalulu is also a Scholar affiliated with the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics (ACRE).

Why did you choose economics?
A teacher in high school explained to me that studying economics would equip me with skills to be able to understand the complex world. Life is full of choices because we have scarce resources. Economics provides the principles and tools to be able to understand why individuals, governments and businesses make the choices they make.

Teaching economics affords me the opportunity to contribute to other peoples lives by instilling in them some real-life skills that they need in their day-to-day lives.

What about your job brings you the most joy?
The joy comes from seeing my students perform to the best of their ability. It takes discipline to be successful in class. Discipline to show up in class and engage. Discipline to do all the homework on time and discipline to study for the exams. I am happy when my students realize that sooner than later.

With regards to research, I enjoy being able to work with other faculty from various disciplines. For the research I am presenting on the 27th, I am working in collaboration with Dr. Rania Al-Bawwab from the EFIRM Department and Dr. Yeil Know from the department of Mathematics.

What tips or advice would you give to new, current, or prospective business students?
My advice to all students includes:
1. Engage your professors more in class as well as during office hours. Ask questions when you don’t understand. It shouldn’t take extra points for you to schedule a meeting for office hours.
2. Engage your fellow students more. There are students from different backgrounds and cultures and engaging them will enrich your experience of different cultures. I deliberately assign group activities to facilitate peer to peer engagement. You can also form study groups to discuss the materials.
3. It is important not to procrastinate on your homework and assignments. I try to make the homework and assignments due the same day and time all throughout the semester to make it easier to remember the deadlines.

Your research: Describe what you studied or what problem you wanted to solve.
Sub-Saharan Africa remains the poorest region in the world. Despite being rich in natural resources including mineral reserves, the exploitation of the resources has not resulted in improved living standards in the region. Research shows that weak economic, political and legal institutions are a major contributor to why Sub Saharan Africa remains poor. Weak institutions encourage corruption and vice versa. When democracy swept through Africa in the early 1990s, people were hopeful that democracy would foster stronger institutions which would in turn encourage economic growth in the region. Three decades later, Sub Saharan Africa remains poor and is the most corrupt region in the word according to the 2022 Transparency International Report. Did democracy help or it did not?

Why did you choose this research topic?
In my conversations with some of my friends from other African countries, it is apparent that there is a perception that democracy has not yet yielded the economic benefits people were expecting. One of the possible reasons is that public corruption persists, in some cases worse than it was under autocratic rule. To my knowledge, no one has formally investigated whether the problem stems from the type of transition from autocratic regimes to democratic regimes can explain the difference in the corruption experiences in the different Sub-Saharan African countries after the switch to democratic regimes. Answering the question will help inform on how to improve governance in sub-Saharan Africa and hence improve the well-being of the people living in the area. In addition, some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have experienced military coups. This research can also inform on the process of returning to democracy.

What have you learned from doing this research?
Our initial analysis revealed no significant pattern on the experience of Sub-Saharan African countries with regards to corruption before and after transitioning from autocracy to democracy. Further analysis that considers that there are many other factors that can influence the level of corruption reveals that democracy and institutions matter. Improving the institutions, especially the economic institutions can help Sub-Saharan African countries curb corruption and hence improve the livelihood of the residents in this region. Our next step in the process is to select some of the countries and investigate further to establish causation rather than just an association.

What do you hope others will learn or gain from your research?
The hope is that through this research others will gain a better understanding of the experience of Sub-Saharan African countries before and after transitioning from autocratic rule to democratic rule. We hope that others will get a deeper insight into the level of corruption in Sub-Saharan African countries and hopefully interest them into wanting to contribute to research on ways to reduce the level of corruption in the region to better the livelihood of the residents in the region.

Dr. Kalulu is presenting his research on October 27 at 12:30pm in COB Room 206 for any who want to see him speak about his research in person. He can also be found in the classroom this fall teaching Global Environment of Business and Intermediate Macroeconomics. Students can register for his as the professor teaching those same classes in spring 2024, and in summer 2024, he is set to teach Modern Political Economy and Global Environment of Business.

Dr. Kalulu has been researching this topic for years. See Dr. Kalulu speak about “Economic Freedom of the World” to a group of Arkansas educators at a Teaching Free Enterprise in Arkansas workshop in fall 2018.

CISA Lecturer Susan Shaw Offers Data Project Course in Spring 2024, Plans to Take Students to Competition Again

Award-winning CISA Lecturer Susan Shaw has led the annual IT Careers Camp for years, but last spring, she began a new course that brought students to the Business Analytics Competition at Manhattan College in New York City. Known for her excellence in teaching and service, Shaw shares here why she chose to teach and her tips for new, current, or prospective business students.

NOTE: If you’re interested in joining the project mentioned below in spring 2024, ask your advisor about the CISA 4V71 Project Course. You can also talk with Lecturer Shaw. Registration for spring 2024 begins at the end of October.

Why did you choose to teach Computer Information Systems & Analytics?
CISA was just the perfect fit for me! Looking back over my years of experience in the industry and academia, I realized that every aspect of my professional career had been centered around computers and data. When I began teaching in the CISA department, I felt like I was able to blend the two in order to give students first-hand experience that they can relate to in the classroom.

What about your job brings you the most joy?
I absolutely love working with students! I made the transition into teaching because I loved teaching others. My hope is that in some small way, I can motivate students and help them determine what career path they were meant to be on!

What tips or advice would you give to new, current, or prospective business students?
My advice to students is to choose a major and focus on the area best suited to their interests. By choosing a major, you increase your employer hireability and your income potential!

Tell us about the Business Analytics Competition at Manhattan College.
In the spring semester of 2023, seven students participated in a project course to prepare for the Business Analytics Competition at Manhattan College, May 22-24, 2023. This was the first year that UCA attended the competition. The students signed up for the project course and competition, not knowing exactly what would be involved. They were divided into two teams to complete the projects; within the teams, they selected their roles (Project Manager, Research Manager(s), and Data Visualization Manager). Students received the competition dataset on February 1.

For Phase I of the competition, students were asked to complete a series of tasks: they identified the problem, collected and prepped data, developed a model, and answered research questions related to their data and models. They then created a poster that presented their team’s ideas, methodology, and conclusions based on the data analysis. The poster was submitted on May 1.

The students traveled to Manhattan College, where they presented their posters to industry professionals and professors from 23 schools. During Phase II of the competition, the students were given a new dataset and asked to find a similarity to the first dataset and create a presentation within a matter of hours. While we did not receive any awards, the students did an outstanding job on their projects and represented UCA and the College of Business extremely well! This was a great experiential learning opportunity for the students!

CISA Lecturer I Susan Shaw has earned awards in excellence in service (2022) and excellence in teaching (2023). If you want to catch her in the classroom, plan to take one of her courses next spring: Business Computing, Advanced Spreadsheet Applications, or the CISA 4V71 Project Course that will take students to a case competition.

You may also catch her at the annual IT Careers Camp next summer held for high school students to get hands-on experience with life on campus, activities in the MakerSpace and with making robots, as well as mentorship from IT professors and professionals.

Jane Grigsby Arthurs Accounting Lab Established in University of Central Arkansas College of Business

pictured above: UCA Accounting Department Chair, Dr. Stephanie Watson (left), UCA College of Business Dean, Dr. Michael Hargis, Jane’s husband Mr. Bill Athurs, and UCA President, Dr. Houston Davis, celebrate the newly dedicated Jane Grigsby Arthurs Accounting Lab

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) College of Business has dedicated its Accounting Lab in memory of Jane Grigsby Arthurs, a devoted educator and alumni of UCA. Arthurs gave 35 years of her life to teaching Business Education.

The Accounting Lab helps engage and equip UCA students who are taking accounting classes with hands-on accounting activities and through tutoring both in-person and online. The lab is dedicated to the memory of Jane Grigsby Arthurs (Feb. 12, 1942 to June 25, 2023) who earned her BSE in Business Education at Arkansas State Teachers College, now known as UCA.

“Jane Arthurs was my high school accounting teacher, and she set me on the path to my career. I learned a lot from her, not just about the field I would eventually go into, but about what it meant to be a teacher,” said Dr. Stephanie Watson, UCA Accounting Department Chair and Professor of Accounting.

“I will never be able to thank Jane enough for what she did for me, and I am honored that Jane will continue to make a difference here in UCA Accounting in the years to come,” added Watson.

A “Dedicated Bear” at UCA, Jane became a lifetime member of the Alumni Association and both the Doyne and President’s Society. She and her husband Bill previously established the “William H. and Jane Grigsby Arthurs Scholarship” for a deserving business education student.

“As educators, we look for pathways to help our students identify their goals and pursue their dreams. It is clear that Jane was incredibly effective in doing that. We thank Jane Arthurs and her husband Bill for this wonderful gift and for investing in our students in a way that will affect every student in this College,” said Dr. Michael Hargis, Dean of the UCA College of Business and Professor of Management.

When he spoke at the dedication, her husband Bill said, “Jane was a special person. She was a great educator. She loved teaching, loved her students, and loved ASTC [now known as UCA].”

The plaque (pictured at right) with Arthurs’ photo is posted in the UCA Accounting lab and reads, “Arthurs’ legacy of teaching and service continues to impact business leaders near and far, but her support is especially known at her beloved Little Rock Hall High School and her alma mater, the Arkansas State Teachers College, now known as the University of Central Arkansas.”

Established in 1969, the UCA College of Business offers 21 undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates to equip current and future business professionals to meet the changing business environment. The AACSB-accredited program offers a thorough business education as well as opportunities for hands-on experience and industry networking.

Jane’s husband Bill along with family friends

Senior Finance Major RandeeK McPherson Shares How She Secured a Full-Time Job Months Before Graduation

Senior finance major RandeeK (pronounced Randee-Kay) McPherson recently spoke to Professor Ivan Hudson’s Insurance 3324 class about her lessons learned and how she secured a full-time job months before she is set to graduate in May 2024. McPherson credited her time spent at events like UCA Career Fairs, which helped her make the right connections to find internships.

Why did you choose this field of study?

I loved numbers and planning for the future. I didn’t know what job that would be or how that would look. I just knew it was the most enjoyable to me.

Tell us about your internship experience.

I knew I needed a potential job opportunity after graduation, and choosing an internship the summer after my junior year answered so many questions about what I would be doing.

One month into my second internship I realized I want to be a financial advisor, and because of that, I’m going into my senior year with a job already secured after graduation, and that makes all the difference when starting classes. During my internship, I noticed that I was ahead because I knew some of the things [my coworkers] were talking about just from my classes [at the College of Business].

If I hadn’t tried this internship, I wouldn’t have been offered a job after graduation! Knowledge-wise though, I learned that some things matter more than the dollar you’re making, if you’re helping others.

Any lessons learned you’d like to share?

I did two internships, and the first one was valuable because it helped me see that job path was NOT right for me. The time students take now to do internships will help so much more as you get closer to graduation. There are so many options, and you’ll never know which is right for you ’till you try!

I also realized that insurance knowledge is required in financial advising, which is why I am investing in those classes. This past summer I passed my Life and Health Insurance Exam and will be studying for the SIE [Securities Industry Essentials] this school year.

What advice do you have for your fellow students?

1. Do an internship.
2. Take any study group opportunities you can as well as bonus points!! They make it easier at the end when your final grade is due.

Dr. Joe Cangelosi Shares His 35+ Years of Experience Through Teaching & Research

 Dr. Joe Cangelosi, Professor of Marketing, shares about his research, advice for students, and what brings him the most enjoyment as a Professor.

Why did you choose marketing?
I am a market researcher by trade, being in the MR industry for 5 years before going back to get a doctorate in marketing, so I could be a university professor.

What have you studied in your research?
I have studied the Marketing & Distribution of Preventive Health Care (PHC) information. I have been publishing in the area for 20+ years, finding new niches to focus my efforts. I have learned the demographics, activities, behaviors, social media tendencies of PHC consumers, across generational cohorts. I’m always looking for another publication opportunity in a good health care marketing journal.

What tips or advice would you give to new, current, or prospective business students?
1. Work hard in school so you can determine what your special gifts are.
2. Don’t be overburdened with hours on a job while in school; work the hours necessary to survive; don’t be buying new cell phones or a new car or buying too much of anything; just get through school with some good grades so you have the skills and grades to be competitive in the job market once you graduate. Students should heed my advice based on my 35+ years of teaching, research and consulting; I have a good feel for what it takes for students to succeed.

What about your job brings you the most joy?
1. engaging students and seeing their success after graduation
2. getting manuscripts published in health care journals
3. teaching market research
4. the collegiality in the department of marketing and management; it is the best; good dept chair too!

This fall, Dr. Cangelosi is teaching Principles of Marketing and Marketing Research & Data Management. Students can plan to take these classes taught by Dr. Cangelosi in the spring. He also will be presenting an abstract at the 2023 Atlantic Marketing Association Conference in September 2023.

UCA’s Online CIS Business Analysis program Ranked #11 in Nation by AnalyticsDegrees.org

AnalyticsDegrees.org has ranked UCA’s Online BBA in Computer Information Systems: Business Analysis program #11 overall in a comprehensive assessment of all online bachelor’s degrees in business analytics in the country. This ranking recognizes the program’s unique educational value to business analytics students.

Computer Information Systems combines the business profession with modern computer technology. CIS graduates are prepared to work in many capacities, depending on desire and the courses chosen. Graduates work as developers (programmers), database or network administrators, analysts of all kinds, security experts, project managers, and other roles that combine business with technology. The Business Analysis Concentration focuses on data analytics or using data to help managers make wiser decisions. There are multiple courses and focus areas for students to choose from, including data visualization, data mining, predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics, and using Python for analytics.

AnalyticsDegrees.org, a business and data analytics education website, applies our thorough rankings methodology to all online business analytics programs in the country. Their analysis includes multiple factors, from program quality and price to reputation and student outcomes, accreditation status, academic focus, delivery format, and external awards. Next, they assess program costs to determine its accessibility. Finally, they consider the program’s history of successfully graduating business analytics students. Programs that perform well in all areas earn a placement in the rankings.

Student Spotlight: Kamryn Glover

NAME: Kamryn Glover

CLASS: Junior

MAJOR: Accounting
MINOR: Data Analytics

UCA Peer Coach
Accounting Tutor
COB Ambassador
Works part-time

What did you choose your major?
I chose it because I’m very interested in math and learning about how accounting is the “Language of Business.”

What do you want to do after graduation?
Receive my Masters in Accountancy and my CPA license

Why did you choose to be a COB Student Ambassador?
I applied to become an ambassador because I’m always looking for ways to give back to my support system that I’m fortunate to have at the College of Business. Many of my professors do everything they can to ensure my success, and I feel as if it’s my duty to give back to them as much as I can.