Marketing & Management Opportunities

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UCA College of Business Announces Outstanding Students of 2023-2024 Academic Year

At its annual Outstanding Student Awards Banquet, the UCA College of Business recently announced and celebrated the Outstanding Students selected for the 2023-2024 academic year. The awards given celebrate students who stood out this year in our academic programs and registered student organizations. The following selected students were selected because they have optimized their education by combining exemplary academic performance with internships, volunteerism, professional development, experiential education, and participation in clubs and other important experiences.

Outstanding Students of the Year

ACADEMIC AWARDS

General Business
Miranda Ivy

“I feel like business fits me because I have lots of interest in many different areas that this major helps to fulfill. After graduation, I intend to explore options in the career field and gain experience for future endeavors.”

Miranda pictured with Dr. Watson who presented the award

Fully Online Undergraduate
Samantha Ashley

“As a non-traditional student, I have experience in a few different fields of business. At any given profession I have had, I always excelled in my computer skills. When I decided to go back to college to pursue my Bachelor’s degree, I chose a major in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Business Analysis to hone my existing skills and become an expert in a field that entails tasks that I enjoy. After graduation, I am hoping to be able to secure a remote position as a Data Analyst.”

Sam pictured with Dr. Casey who presented the award

Accounting
Carson Griffin

Carson chose to major in accounting with a minor in financial services. He says, “I chose accounting because of the career opportunities available and the flexibility that it provides. I love working with numbers and the world of business, so accounting is where I fit it. After graduation, I will pursuing a MAcc here at UCA. After that, I plan to work in public accounting at FORVIS.”

Carson pictured with Dr. Watson who presented the award

Computer Information Systems
Grant McKnight

“I have always loved working with computers, starting first with playing video games, then creating documents, and now writing codes in languages such as SQL. I chose to major in Computer Information Systems because of this interest, the opportunity to get a great job, and to have a career that I know I will enjoy. I am looking for an internship or full-time position in Arkansas.”

Grant pictured with Dr. Downey who presented the award

Computer Information Systems – Business Analysis
Aiden Mendolia

(not pictured)

Information Systems
Hayden Weaver

(not pictured)

Economics
Natalie Quisenberry

“I chose economics because of its omnipresence in the business world. I found myself applying economic principles in almost all of my lower division business core classes, which was very intriguing to me. This ultimately led to the changing of my major and I have enjoyed it ever since. After graduating, I hope to obtain a position in business strategy while simultaneously pursuing a masters degree. After some time in the corporate world, I would like to pursue my PhD and return to higher education as a professor.”

Natalie pictured with Dr. Hodges who presented the award

Finance
Linda Galeano Midence

Linda chose to major in finance and minor in data analytics. She says she chose it because there is more math involved in this subject. She also hopes to get a job in the United States after graduation, but if not, she envisions herself back in Honduras working at a bank.

Linda pictured with Dr. Snyder who presented the award

Insurance & Risk Management
Sophia Fulgham

“I am a third generation insurance agent so I’ve grown up around the industry. I feel like I’ve gotten a front row seat to seeing the good insurance can do. My dad always says with insurance you’re selling people a piece of paper and a promise that you’ll be there for them when they need you most. I feel really excited to go into an industry where I can help people in this way. After graduation, I have been accepted into the MBA program here at UCA and will start taking classes toward my MBA this summer as I study abroad in Amsterdam! I am open to pursuing any job within the industry after I graduate this May. I hope that I will eventually be able to come back and help my dad run his independent agency, Integrity Insurance.”

Sophia pictured with Dr. Yao who presented the award

Marketing
Abbie Flake

“I am very math-brained but also love to be creative. Marketing was the perfect choice where I could do both! I am fascinated by the world of business and can express my creativity while also being analytical as a marketing major. I hope to attend graduate school at the University of Arkansas in the full-time Walton MBA Program.”

Abbie pictured with Dr. Garner who presented the award

Management
Bresner Austin

“I run a small business on the side, and I’ve always had some interest in the way that these businesses run that I work for. It’s also a great backup plan for the firefighting career I’m going to pursue; especially because with that schedule I could continue to run my business among other things. Knowledge of the economy and how many things operate in a country like America is valuable to me. After graduation, I plan to enter the Little Rock Firefighting Rookie School program.”

Bresner pictured with Dr. Chen who presented the award

Human Resource Management
Abby McMillin

(not pictured)

Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Connor Tuttle

“I believed this major would give me the best overall learning experience for what it takes to run a business. I saw that it included courses from all departments in the College of Business and that is what stood out most. I wanted to leave college feeling as though I had experience in multiple different areas of business. In addition, I felt as though this major would encourage me to take a leap of faith and start my own venture. After I graduate, I intend to pursue a full-time job at my current workplace, The Studio Downtown. I also am looking at other employment options within the marketing department of companies like Howler Brothers, Turtlebox Audio, Yeti, or other outdoor lifestyle brands.”

Connor pictured with Dr. Suter who presented the award

Logistics & Supply Chain Management
Elizabeth “Liz” Ennis

“Inventory analysis is something that just makes sense to me. I worked at a local grocery store in high school and the idea of supply and demand at a larger scale piqued my interest. After studying abroad in Austria this past summer, my drive for international inventory and shipping has only been solidified. After I graduate, I plan to work on my Master’s in Supply Chain Management while working in a company within my degree path.”

Liz pictured with Dr. Voss who presented the award

Master of Accountancy
Jacqueline Berntsen

“I knew I wanted to be a business major because many of my family members had their own businesses. When I took principles of accounting, I really liked the class. I interviewed a family member that was a CPA at about the same time and found the interview really interesting. So I picked it and stuck with it. After graduation, I intend to start working at HCJ CPA’s & Advisors and start studying for the CPA exam.”

Jacqueline pictured with Dr. Oxner who presented the award

Master of Science in Applied Data Analytics
Julian Haessner

Julian says he chose applied data analytics because of research opportunities, to develop of analytical skills, and to prepare for doctoral studies.

Julian pictured with Dr. Ellis who presented the award

Master of Business Administration
Joao Rodrigues

“I pursued a major in Applied Data Analytics because it complements my MBA, equipping me with advanced analytical skills to leverage data in strategic decision-making and enhance my expertise in the business field. After I graduate, I will be working as a Financial Analyst in a commercial real estate firm in Central Arkansas.”

Joao pictured with Dr. McMurtrey who presented the award

College of Business Overall Outstanding Student
Carson Griffin

Carson pictured with Dean Hargis who presented the award

SERVICE AWARDS

Biz@Bear
Mahayla Edwards

Mahayla says, “I would love to own my own business and run it from the ground up! I may move to NWA open a store front for my boutique then move to Dallas a few years later and open another store and a coffee shop!”

Mahayla pictured with Dr. Moseley who presented the award

Accounting Club
Izzy Saettele

Izzy is very active at UCA and was convinced to choose her major in accounting because her supplemental instructor inspired her to choose it. She says after graduation, “I plan to stay at UCA for my MAcc and sit for the CPA exam. I want to go into public accounting, specifically in tax and stay somewhere in the central Arkansas area.”

Izzy pictured with Dr. Phillips who presented the award

Beta Alpha Psi
Carson Griffin

Carson pictured with Dr. Phillips who presented the award

Bears for Advancing Supply Chain & Operations Management (BASCOM)
Claire Coon

“My initial attraction to the business world was and still is the direct, real world applications of the field. From my first two classes in business, microeconomics and the global environment of business, I was able to take things out of class and straight away use them to better understand everyday events in my life. Starting in January 2024 after my graduation in December, I began working full time as a real estate agent for Homeward Realty here in Conway. This new year I look forward to serving Conway and the greater Central Arkansas region as a real estate agent by applying skills and knowledge I’ve acquired during my time at the UCA College of Business (COB).”

Claire pictured with Dr. Voss who presented the award

Gamma Iota Sigma
Cole Vangsnes

Cole says he chose Insurance and Risk Management because it is a “very interesting career field with people that make it ten times better.”

Cole pictured with Prof. Hudson who presented the award

Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Collegiate
Kaddie Bailey & Malie Phimmachack

Malie: “I choose this major because I wanted to be able to help people. My interest in business-related activities began in High School, so I wanted to be able to pursue it in the future. Additionally, I enjoyed being able to assist others when they needed it, so I decided to major in management so that I could learn all the ins and outs of a business. After graduation I intend to go for my masters and start working.”

Kaddie chose to focus on Accounting and Religious Studies. She says, “I chose both of them because I love helping people. Accounting can be used in so many ways for the betterment of others like being a Volunteer Income Tax Assistant to helping corporations run their everyday operations. I get to work with those around me for the betterment of others. Religious studies helps me get to know the world more and allows me to help others across the street, across the states, and across the world. I get to be a light in communities full of darkness. After graduation, I intend to do a two year Journeymen program through the North American Missions Board and possibly short-term missionary work before coming back to earn my Master’s Degree in Accounting and possibly sit for the CPA exam. Life is an open book so I may end up doing something completely different, but this is what I think I am going to do.”

Kaddie and Malie pictured with Dr. Suter who presented the award

COB Student Ambassador
Abbie Flake

Abbie pictured with Dean Hargis who presented the award

UCA Marketing Professor Publishes Business Research & Releases Nature Conservation Documentary

Dr. Benjamin Garner, Associate Professor in the UCA Department of Marketing & Management, has been busy this year as a professor, researcher, and a feature filmmaker. Find out more about his advice for students, his research published last fall, and his nature conservation documentary to be released in April 2024.


Why did you choose the subject you teach?
I enjoy marketing and sharing my passion for this area with students. I love doing research and film projects that allow me to meet people in the community and help solve real-world challenges.

What tips or advice would you give to new, current, or prospective business students?
One of the best pieces of advice I can give students is to be curious and learn as much as possible about different career fields to find the best fit for you. This includes job shadowing, interviewing potential employers, and doing internships.

Share about your research.
Recently I published a paper in the Journal of Business Research with Dr. Candice Hollenbeck at UGA on how the concepts of authenticity and scarcity work at a local farmers’ market. Our goal was to develop a theoretical understanding of how factors like natural scarcity influences consumers’ behavioral shopping patterns and attitudes. I have done research on farmers’ markets and consumer behavior for many years, and I also find the concept of authenticity very interesting.

What have you learned from doing this research?
We found that when people go shopping in a place like a farmers’ market, consumers tend to trust vendors when they talk about products being scarce. This is because fruits, vegetables, and agricultural products are influenced by the weather and growing conditions. In other words, the products may be limited that year because of a drought. This is different from, say, Gucci handbags or limited edition Pokemon cards that are artificially limited because the company wants to increase the value of each product.

What do you hope others will learn or gain from your research?
We hope through this project, businesses can understand the relationship between authenticity and scarcity, and then amplify scarcity messages that are true and trustworthy.


Related Article: Garner Leads Marketing Students to Learn & Serve Community During Project for Arkansas PBS

Last fall, Dr. Garner’s class got some hands-on experience with sales cold-calling, a project that also served the community. This spring, Dr. Garner is teaching two web classes on Principles of Marketing and an in-person class on Content Marketing. During the summer he will teach Basic Marketing online and Content Marketing in person. Next fall, he will teach two in-person Principles of Marketing courses and an in-person Advanced Selling course.

In his personal life, Dr. Garner also recently released his documentary “Arkansas Wild: The Story of Trout Tourism on the Little Red,” which will air on Arkansas PBS on April 11. Based on his childhood experiences and using his professional skills, he created a piece that he hopes will inspire others to conserve natural resources like the Little Red River.

Business Students & Alumni Share Why Day of Giving Matters

Current business students and alumni share how UCA’s Day of Giving contributes to scholarships and experiences that help them achieve goals.


Amaya Whitmore

Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting in 2023, current Master of Accountancy student
“Scholarships are so important and can play a huge role in helping someone reach their educational goals. I was blessed to receive scholarships that allowed me to worry less about the financial burden of college and focus more on my studies.”

 

Emma Daughtrey

Insurance Risk Management major, class of 2025
“Growing up, I witnessed the devastating impact of risk firsthand. Now, thanks to scholarships, I can turn my passion for risk mitigation into a career dedicated to protecting others. Each scholarship signifies a strong belief in my abilities and potential. I’m determined to make them proud by becoming a future leader in the insurance and risk management industry.”

When you give, we grow.

Giving to funds like the CISA fund means that students will get to experience more:

  • visit more businesses to see technology in action;

  • network with more professionals in their classes and in student organizations;

  • practice with the most up-to-date technology at their fingertips.

Takari Glover

BBA in Marketing in 2023
“Scholarships played a huge role in my undergraduate college career. I was given more flexibility to study, continue to serve on campus and volunteer in the community. I didn’t have to stress or worry about how I was going to pay for tuition or books, and that was the most rewarding and satisfying part about college – being able to enjoy every moment stress free.”

Michael Isaac

Accounting major who hopes to someday earn a law degree, class of 2025
“I love accounting, and thanks to the relentless generosity and support of our donors, I get to do what I love!”


By giving to the UCA College of Business, you can help students reach their educational goals and impact their lives for the better. uca.edu/go/DOGCOB

AR Blue Cross Blue Shield Partners with UCA College of Business for Take Over Day

On Monday, March 4, 2024, business experts from Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield visited the College of Business for a “Take Over” Day! They spoke to students in every area of business to share their expertise and career opportunities available to students. In fact, Arkansas BCBS was recently named for the third consecutive year by Forbes magazine among America’s Best Employers for mid-sized organizations, which makes COB eve more thrilled to welcome this company to “Take Over” our college.

Several BCBS experts shared with our students about a wide range of business fields including accounting, marketing, human resources, finance, information systems, and more.

  • Mr. David Martin, VP of Infrastructure & Operations, spoke to Introduction to a Computer Architecture and Programming class.
  • Ms. Emily Shadell, Staff Accountant, spoke to three classes: Accounting Information Systems, Cost Accounting, and Auditing.
  • Mr. Jason Carter, Manager of Talent Acquisition, spoke to Strategic Human Resource Management and to a large class of freshmen in “Introduction to Business.”
  • Talent Acquisition Partner Ms. Maria Silva brought donuts and cookies to engage students passing through the COB Lobby and tell them about BCBS careers.
  • Teaming up to speak to an Advertising class: Mr. Trey Hankins, Director Customer & Digital Experience & Design, and Mr. Ben McVay, Manager Group Marketing/Member Engagement & Digital Strategy.
  • Mr. Henry (Buddy) Vogler, Director Treasury and Financial Operations, shared his experience with two Personal Finance classes.
  • Social Media Strategist Colton Faull joined behind the scenes and shared his experience with students.

At our drop-in lunch from 11am-1pm, students engaged with COB faculty and BCBS professionals, while some faculty spoke with fellow specialists about current events in their fields of expertise.

Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield partners with our college year-round by sponsoring our Imagine Lab. This is a special room designed for classes and collaboration. The room has tools to help students innovate and think creatively.

Thank you, Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield! We want to thank the BCBS team who took time from their offices to spend a day with us here in the College of Business. They shared valuable experience that gave our students the opportunity to build networking and leadership skills as well as practical experience. Thank you for partnering with us for BCBS “Take Over” Day.

Emily Shadell, Jason Carter, David Martin, Trey Hankins, Ben McVay, Maria Silva, Colton Faull; not pictured: Henry (Buddy) Vogler

December ’23 Grad Claire Coon Reflects on Time at UCA, Looks Forward to Launching Full-Time Career in 2024

Claire Gunter Coon

Major: Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Minor: Economics
Graduated December 2023

Activities:
• COB Student Ambassador, 2 years
• President of BASCOM – Bears Advancing Supply Chain & Operations Management
• Peer Notetaker with the Disability Resource Center
• Rising Star Faculty-Student Mentor Program
• ACRE reading group for 2 semesters
• ACRE Undergraduate Research Fellow 2023
• 8 month operations internship

Why did you choose your major?
My initial attraction to the business world was and still is the direct, real world applications of the field. From my first two classes in business, microeconomics and the global environment of business, I was able to take things out of class and straight away use them to better understand everyday events in my life.

After doing some research, I decided that within business, logistics and supply chain management sounded like a good fit for me as I’ve always been a person concerned with the execution and rationale behind operations, large or small. After taking my two core economics classes, I decided economics was something I couldn’t leave behind, so I added it as a minor. I believe it is a great pairing for my major and regardless, it is a beneficial subject for any person to have a working knowledge of in order to be a better citizen.

What are you doing in 2024 after your graduation from UCA?
Starting in January I will be working full time as a real estate agent for Homeward Realty here in Conway. This new year I look forward to serving Conway and the greater Central Arkansas region as a real estate agent by applying skills and knowledge I’ve acquired during my time at the UCA College of Business (COB).

What are some things you will remember most about your time at UCA?
The UCA COB, its faculty, and supporters have done so much for me, and I know the impact they have had on me will not soon be forgotten after I graduate. They have supported me while I found a field that genuinely piqued my interest, helped me learn about and get started in that field, and I trust they will always be there for me even as I represent them as a UCA COB alumna. I strongly desire for other students, no matter their background, to receive the support I feel. This kind of support is empowering, and when someone is empowered by such a positive force, good is created not only in their life, but also in the communities around them.

It was exciting to walk across the stage at graduation & super sweet to reflect back on all the memories made over the last three and a half years. I’m thankful for the support of my family, friends, & professors who helped me reach this point.


See some of Claire’s last work published in the Log Cabin Democrat, written in Dr. McGarrity’s Modern Political Economy class.

Student Spotlight: Matt Moix

Matt Moix, Junior
Major: Logistics & Supply Chain Management (LSCM)
Minor: Honors Interdisciplinary Studies

Involved on campus:
Student Orientation Staff (SOS)
Student Government Association – COB Rep.
COB Student Ambassador
UCA Relay for Life
Bears Advancing Supply Chain and Operations Management (BASCOM)

Why did you choose your major?
I chose LSCM because I love problem-solving and efficiency. These are both important in LSCM, and the supply chain as a whole is an exciting concept to me. I enjoy the process of moving goods in all phases, and I’d like to help manage a supply chain as a career.

What do you want to do after graduation?
I plan to use my degree to go on and become a supply chain manager, likely in the areas of demand planning or production planning. I am also interested in transportation logistics and transportation safety, so I could see myself fulfilling a role in one of those areas.

Have you done an internship?
Yes – I chose a supply chain internship at Tyson Foods because it aligned well with what I want to do in my career and it helped me learn which areas of supply chain I enjoy working in more than others. I learned about demand planning/forecasting, production planning, production scheduling, and product fulfillment for Tyson’s poultry business unit. I also learned many of the systems that they use, such as SAP, IBP, and Palantir.

How do you think it will be helpful to your career?
This internship taught me so much about the industry and real-world day-to-day supply chain operations. It also provided many new connections to professionals in the field and allowed me to grow in my own knowledge and add value in the work I was doing.

What would you say to other students considering an internship?
DO IT! Even if it results in a negative experience, you have learned what you don’t want to do in your career, which is still very valuable. There is a good chance that you could have the opportunity to use the connections you make to move to a different, more enjoyable role in the same company.

Has a volunteer position helped you to gain skills?
I’ve served in many volunteer positions on campus, and they have helped me build crucial skills that carry over into my coursework and professional life. I have become more confident in myself and while speaking in front of a group, I have improved my communication and teamwork skills, and I have developed better organization and time management skills, among many others.

What tips or advice would you give to new, current, or prospective business students?
The environment of the College of Business is unlike anything I have experienced. The professors see you are more than a name on a roster, and my relationships with my professors have opened opportunities for me going forward. Your experience in college is exactly what you make of it! Invest your time in your coursework as well as your relationships with friends, classmates, and professors. Branch out and join organizations that do great work on campus and meet new friends along the way. There is so much potential for personal growth that won’t be realized until you put yourself out there!

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.

Delwin Portillo Shares Recent Study Abroad Experience

Related: Education Abroad Opportunities – Upcoming Deadlines

My semester abroad visiting The Hague, Netherlands was easily the most enriching semester of my undergrad. I learned so much about being a leader, diversity, self confidence, personal growth, and of course I learned a lot about business and marketing!

I was able to take a Purposeful Marketing course which had many different components to it. There was a leadership component, in which I learned different leadership skills and how to flesh out and improve these skills. There was a Project Management component where I learned how to use SCRUM Methodology in order to complete a project. And then the Marketing Component in which I worked with a real life charity in brainstorming a new marketing strategy for their upcoming projects.

Over the course of the semester I was able to travel to multiple countries and experience a variety of cultures. I was able to meet many people that I am now able to call mentors and friends. It is an experience that I will never take for granted, and I feel has given me a renewed appreciation for education and traveling. Thank you UCA for this fantastic opportunity.

  • Delwin Portillo | Senior | marketing major

Drs. Voss & Cangelosi Release Survey Showing Hair Testing Is More Effective in Detecting Hard Drug Use by USDOT Truck Drivers

UCA Management Professor Dr. Doug Voss and Marketing Professor Dr. Joe Cangelosi recently released their findings from a new survey entitled, “Comparing Hair V. Urine Test Effectiveness: Trucking Alliance 2021 Pre-Employment Data,” which examines the differences between hair and urine drug test results, using a sample of 172,632 pre-employment hair and urine drug screens that were administered in 2021.

See the report |  Read the News Release

The results showed that hair testing is a more effective method to detect the regular use of hard drugs and drug users than the US Department of Transportation (DOT).

The US Department of Transportation classifies truck driving as a safety-sensitive occupation. For this reason, federally regulated operators of commercial vehicles are required to pass a pre-employment drug test. Urine testing is the primary, federally accepted method. Trucking Alliance carriers supplement DOT urinalysis by requiring drivers to also pass a hair drug test. Hair testing is reliable and accurate due to its longer look-back period to identify regular drug use.

In 2021, 88,021 licensed truck drivers applied for jobs at seven Trucking Alliance member trucking companies. The USDOT required drivers to take both urinalysis and a hair drug test. Here were the results:

  • Four-thousand three-hundred sixty-two (4,362) applicants failed hair tests whereas four-hundred three (403) failed urine.
  • If participating carriers did not use hair testing, they likely would have hired three-thousand four-hundred four (3,959) drivers that failed hair tests. It is likely these individuals are now driving for another carrier, given hair testing results cannot be submitted to the drug and alcohol clearinghouse.
  • Hair testing delivered 11x (5.16%/0.46%) higher overall positivity rate, more frequently detected every drug class, and better detected hard drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines/methamphetamines, and opioids.

“Hair tests uncover 11 times more drug users than a urinalysis but the marked difference in positive cocaine, amphetamine/methamphetamine, and opioid tests is most troubling,” observes Dr. Doug Voss at the University of Central Arkansas, who conducted the survey. “These results underscore the inability of urinalysis alone to remove hard drug users from the truck driver population.”

Because USDOT’s Clearinghouse doesn’t accept hair test results, those four-thousand three-hundred sixty-two (4,362) drivers are likely still driving 80,000-pound tractor trailers for other companies, even though the Trucking Alliance companies disqualified them.

The news release announcing these results stated that “the Trucking Alliance has formally requested USDOT’s trucking agency – the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – to include positive hair tests on the agency’s list of ‘actual knowledge’ of a truck driver’s drug use. If granted, these positive hair test results will be submitted to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and the names of those drivers will be known by other employers.” Read more about the pros and cons of this application.

The data was independently provided by J.B. Hunt Transport, Knight-Swift Transportation, Schneider, Maverick USA, KLLM/FFE Transportation Services, US Xpress, and Cargo Transporters. All 50 states+DC are represented in the sample.

Innovation Challenge 2 Winners Announced

Congratulations to our Imagine Lab Innovation Challenge 2 winners: Savannah Conly, Grayson Pinson, and Veronica Bertolusso!

The competition launched early this fall, and this time students were challenged to select a day in September and tell us how to celebrate it in a big way. Using tools found in the Imagine Lab (3rd Floor of UCA’s College of Business), the competition winners designed a big-time celebration that, at the least, brings people together.

Many thanks to Stoby’s, a long-time Arkansas favorite, for contributing to our prizes for our first place winners!

See Related Article: Innovation Challenge Series at UCA: First Winners Announced!


First Place: Savannah Conly – ($100 value prize) + Stoby’s prize

Cinema day is a day all about relaxation, connecting with your friends and family, and having fun. By making this a National Holiday, it brings people together and allows them to enjoy something together. It caters to all ages, it brings people together, and creates a new market for a different spin on gift giving.


Second Place: Grayson Pinson ($50 value prize)

The Birth Day is a day where we recognize everyone’s birthday on one day. It doesn’t replace your actual birthday; instead, it is a day that we can all come together to commonly celebrate one day that we all love. It solves all gift-giving problems related to birthdays. We now have one centralized day that gifts can be expected rather than having to decide who you will gift a gift to on their actual birthday. It is a day I would personally also love to celebrate- it sounds very fun for everyone to have a birthday at the same time.


Third Place: Veronica Bertolusso ($25 value prize)

My proposed day of celebration is the International Student Day! It would be celebrated yearly on September 28. ISD will allow international students (and not!) to get together and appreciate all cultures from around the globe. During ISD international students will celebrated together throughout one big cookout where everyone will make their most loved Home meal and will later be followed by a karaoke night with song in each home language. ISD is celebrated during the first two weeks of Hispanic Heritage Month. However, many cultures not only aren’t celebrated well enough, but some of them are still unknown! ISD would help solve this issue and expand cultural knowledge to international students and not! And who doesn’t love a good cookout and karaoke night!


Congratulations to these winners. Stay tuned for the announcement of our next challenge on Monday, October 10!