COB Students Awarded Scholarships from Participation in ACRE Reading Groups

Just before Thanksgiving, around 20 College of Business students were awarded scholarships from the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics for their weekly participation this semester in two reading group programs.

In “The Role of Government in a Free Society” group led by UCA Economics Professor, Dr. Collin Hodges, and Department Chair, Dr. Tom Snyder, ten participants read and discussed works by scholars such as Adam Smith, J.S. Mill, John Locke, and Karl Marx, as well as more contemporary works by Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Robert Nozick, and John Rawls to examine what a variety of economists, political philosophers, and public policy experts have contributed to this topic. The group also traveled to Dallas in September to participate in a group summit with other universities that completed the same readings. Students were awarded $500 on November 14 for their participation this semester.

A second reading group also met this semester and awarded $500 scholarships to students who participated in the philosophy and law reading group called “Landmark Supreme Court Cases” led by Business Law Professor Dr. Anthony McMullen and Philosophy Professor Dr. Jacob Held. Over the course of ten weeks, students in this reading group studied major Supreme Court opinions covering topics such as economic freedom, federalism, equal protection, privacy, and intellectual property rights. Working through these decisions helped students understand the rule of law, Constitutionalism, and the role the judicial branch plays in our government.

All students were required to gain acceptance into the program and actively participate in the program throughout the semester.

For questions about reading groups and the application process continuing reading, or contact Suzanne Massey at smassey@uca.edu.

COB Accounting’s Annual Fear the Strike Event Raises $1K for Ronald McDonald House

On Monday, November 7, UCA Accounting held its annual networking and fundraiser event attended by 18 UCA accounting students, 4 faculty/staff, and 16 professionals.

Teams included firm representatives and students competed in a bowling tournament, and the highest average score won a donation to the charity of their choice. The Landmark team won, so the Ronald McDonald House will receive a check for $1,000.

Other great teams of the evening included Centennial Bank, Ernst & Young, Forvis, Frost, Garland & Greenwood, HCJ, and Hogan Taylor.

The annual event is a way for accounting students to engage with professionals of the industry in a fun and relaxed setting.

All Students Welcome to Compete in COB Homecoming Innovation Challenge

Imagine Lab Innovation Challenge 4: The Homecoming Challenge

Entries due October 29, 2022

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COB launched this challenge series to help students develop and exhibit their talents in innovation. For this fourth and final open-call opportunity this semester, think about current UCAers and alumni. Think Homecoming 2022 – the pageantry, the festivities, the memories. Current and former students can find something meaningful during Homecoming.

WHO: Any UCA student is welcome to enter this challenge whether you attend UCA online or in person.
WHAT: Imagine Lab Innovation Challenge 4: The Homecoming Challenge
WHEN: 
Video submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 29, 2022.
WHY: (1) Prizes. (2) Entry into Tournament of Champions. (3) Bragging rights on your resume.

For Homecoming this week, students are invited to participate in an either/or challenge. Either
(a) design an “official” sticker to be placed on water bottles, personal tech devices, car windows, etc. or
(b) make a music video using the UCA Fight Song as the music and lyrics.

Students from any major or college at any level — both face-to-face and online — can participate in the Innovation Challenge Series.  The deadline is Saturday, October 29, 2022, at midnight to exercise their opportunity-seeking and problem-solving skills.

Using tools found in the Imagine Lab (3rd Floor of UCA’s College of Business), make Homecoming memorable in this core challenge. Then, make a video of yourself highlighting the features of your approach. Upload that video to YouTube and share a link via this form. Please know that the video can be as long as you want, but only the first two (2) minutes will be viewed for prize consideration. Prizes are gift cards valued at $100 for the best approach, $50 for second, and $25 for third. Email for questions or details.

Also, many thanks to Stoby’s for contributing to the first place winner prize!

Be sure to request access to the Imagine Lab via the Department of Marketing & Management: mktgmgmt@uca.edu.

Senior CIS Major Earns Full-time Job After Internship

Senior Computer Information Systems major Aubrie Sinclair is set to earn her BBA in December, but even with all her hard work, she did not expect to secure a full-time job months before graduation.

After her summer Database Tester internship at Acxiom was extended into fall, Aubrie was surprised in mid-September with a full-time offer to join the company. She has accepted a position to be a Delivery Support Analyst after graduation.

Learn more about Aubrie’s success in her path to career development from her own words:

Why did you choose to major in business?

I chose to major in business on a whim, but I think what’s more important is why I stayed. I stayed majoring in business because of the amazing individuals I met when I changed my major; I stayed because my advisor in the COB encourages me and pushes me to be my very best, and right alongside him, my professors do the same. Majoring in business can be tough, but I wouldn’t want to struggle and succeed in any other major. The College of Business has given me endless opportunities to learn and grow in an environment that allows me to be surrounded by fellow peers and professors who have the same drive and passion as I have. Being a business major has made my time at UCA worthwhile.

Why did you choose this internship?

I chose this internship as a Database Tester at Acxiom because I saw it as an opportunity for growth with a company that I could see myself working for one day. The internship aligned with skills I had prior knowledge of, but it also grabbed my attention because it required me to expand my knowledge and pick up new skills along the way.

What did you learn at this internship?

At this internship, I learned a variety of skills. I learned very quickly that problem-solving and communication were going to be key in this career. Being a Database Tester required me to think outside of the box daily and pushed me to practice concise communication with both my co-workers and the client. I worked with SQL Database every day, and I enjoyed that I was exposed to hands-on experience with software that I have been taught at UCA.

How do you think this internship will be beneficial in your career?

Internships can be beneficial to students’ careers in many ways. It can show you what you do or don’t want out of a future job and help you grow in your skills. This internship allowed me to exercise the skills I already have and obtain new ones, and it allowed me to network with people who have experience in my future career field. I know this internship helped me me to grow as a student and a future businesswoman in technology. Ultimately, it helped me earn a full-time position with the company.

How do you plan to use your degree?

I have always planned to use my degree in Computer Information Systems and Analytics to work for a technology company that is focused on innovation and creativity. My eventual goal is to go into Business/Data Analytics, and I plan to pursue my master’s degree in Applied Data Analytics.

What advice do you have for students who may (or may not) be considering an internship?

My advice for anyone who is considering applying for or accepting an internship is – just go for it! I never thought I would land such an amazing internship, but I applied anyway and got an interview. The worst-case scenario might be that you get real-life experience filling out applications and interviewing for a company. Don’t let big companies and competitive interviews scare you off; believe in yourself, what you are capable of, and bring that to your interview because that’s what companies want to see.

Innovation Challenge 2: Due October 2, 2022

Feedback from all types of industries continues to speak to the desire for more creative, innovative, and problem-solving talent. COB has launched this challenge series to help students develop and exhibit their talents in innovation. Get ready to compete!

WHO: Any UCA student is welcome to enter this challenge whether you attend UCA online or in person.
WHAT: Imagine Lab Innovation Challenge 2: The Celebration Challenge
WHEN: 
Video submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 2, 2022.
WHY: (1) Prizes. (2) Entry into Tournament of Champions. (3) Bragging rights on your resume.


For challenge 2, select a day in September and tell us how to celebrate it in a big way. Is it a gift-giving occasion? Are specific foods available? At a minimum, bring people together for a celebratory event with this challenge.

One option is to select an existing September day that you believe deserves more festivities (see NationalToday.com listings). Labor Day is one such day that is perhaps not celebrated to the magnitude of October’s Halloween. Another option is to create your own “day.” Either way, make it as grand as your favorite holiday. 

Using tools found in the Imagine Lab (3rd Floor of UCA’s College of Business), design a big-time celebration that brings people together. Then, make a video of yourself highlighting all the specifics. Upload that video to YouTube and share a link via this form. Please know that the video can be as long as you want, but only the first two (2) minutes will be viewed for prize consideration.

Prizes are gift cards valued at $100 for the best big day, $50 for second, and $25 for third. First prize gains entry into the Tournament of Champions set for November 16.

For on-campus students, the Imagine Lab has simple innovation tools available for use.  If students need Imagine Lab access or access to COB over the weekend, they can email mktgmgmt@uca.edu for more information.  For online students, accessing the Imagine Lab is not a requirement to participate.

Want to know more about the first challenge? Check out the competition.

Email for questions or details. Department of Marketing & Management: mktgmgmt@uca.edu 


Photo by Kym MacKinnon on unsplash.com

Innovation Challenge Series at UCA: First Winners Announced!

See related post: Innovation Challenge Series Released at UCA

The first two winners of our new and exciting innovation challenge are Connor Tuttle and Savannah Conly! The competition launched in the COB Imagine Lab last week challenging students to design a suitcase that accommodates clean clothes at the beginning of a trip and dirty clothes during and at the end of a trip. Using tools found in the Imagine Lab (3rd Floor of UCA’s College of Business), the competition winners designed a suitcase that overcomes this core challenge.

Best-upgraded design – $100 value prize: Connor Tuttle

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

In his submission, Connor said:
“Imagine a for-the-most-part normal ole’ suitcase, with a golden twist addressing an issue that has been around for decades! The fundamental design premise behind this suitcase is that down the middle of the main compartment there is a stretchy nylon divider that allows for different proportions of clothes to be held on either side depending on how far along you are on your trip! The front-facing section of the suitcase has the typical small, medium, and large compartment. The back, however, is also accessible for dealing with dirty laundry. Taking up approximately half of the top portion of the back-facing side will be a zipper compartment housing all of the tools necessary to temporarily deal with dirty laundry while on the go. Within the flap in the back, there is a mesh-like pocket to slide dryer sheets that have been folded twice right into the space to serve as a form of temporary air freshening.”

Second Place Design – $50 value prize: Savannah Conly

Savannah branded her suitcase and described her design as, “a suitcase designed to help keep you organized, from the beginning to end of a trip. With the detachable laundry bag, clothes rack, and hard shell, it is easier than ever to Rome more organized than ever before. Not only does it offer a way to keep your clean and dirty clothes separate, it offers an at-home closet feel, and you lose no space to pack.

Stay tuned. The first challenge was for students, but we will be engaging other friends on and off campus this semester. Get ready to compete! Teams are welcome. Email for questions or details. And if you plan to compete in the next challenge, request access to the Imagine Lab now!

Department of Marketing & Management: mktgmgmt@uca.edu

Innovation Challenge Series at UCA: First Challenge Released!

A new and exciting innovation challenge series is launching in the COB Imagine Lab! The first challenge deadline is September 16, 2022: The Suitcase Challenge. Prizes will be awarded for the best ideas.

For this challenge design a suitcase that accommodates clean clothes at the beginning of a trip and dirty clothes during and at the end of a trip. Said differently, design a suitcase for a whole trip, not just the start of a trip. Suitcases are in need of an upgrade. Some of the features like wheels, handles, and expandability are great, but a core challenge remains: mixing clean and dirty clothes at the travel destination.

Using tools found in the Imagine Lab (3rd Floor of UCA’s College of Business) design a suitcase that overcomes this core challenge. Then, make a video of yourself highlighting the features of your upgraded design. Upload that video to YouTube and share a link via this form. Please know that the video can be as long as you want, but only the first two (2) minutes will be viewed for prize consideration. Prizes are $100 for the best-upgraded design, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place.

Stay tuned. The first challenge is for students, but we will be engaging other friends on and off campus this semester. Get ready to compete! Teams are welcome. Email for questions or details.

Department of Marketing & Management: mktgmgmt@uca.edu

2022 Faculty Excellence Award Winners: Professors Nelson, Horpedahl, Shaw, Burleson, Chen, & Schlachter

Each year the College of Business recognizes its outstanding faculty with awards. This year, four new awards were created to highlight the exceptional work of this faculty and to encourage continued excellence in the areas of societal impact, research, service, innovative teaching, engaged teaching, and an individual’s impact on the college itself.

(pictured from left to right, back: Schlachter, Chen, Nelson; front: Burleson, Horpedahl, Shaw)

COB Impact Award: Steve Nelson

This new award was created to recognize faculty or staff who have outsized impact on the success of the UCA College of Business. Professor Nelson’s work outside of the classroom is most often noticed by faculty. He has served as the Director of Assessment since 2016 and revamped data collection and improvement team communications. He is an outstanding communicator who helps all faculty understand what and when to assess, which contributes to continuous improvement of the college for our students.

Societal Impact Award: Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl

Dr. Horpedahl is the incoming Director of the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics (ACRE). Outside of the classroom, he is well known in the region for sharing his expert testimony with the Arkansas Legislature as well as with the general public in the newspaper and on television. On Twitter, he helps citizens understand how to tell fact from fiction and often dispels incorrect statistics and rumors. He is also a regular contributor to Economist writing every day. This new award was created to encourage societal impact such as Dr. Horpedahl’s impact on countless students and citizens.

Innovative Teaching Award: Steve Schlachter

Professor Schlachter was recognized because of his efforts to innovate in every one of the classes he teaches, whether face-to-face or online. His work sets an excellent example as the world of higher education attempts to find ways to engage students in- and outside of the classroom.

Engaged Teaching Award: Professor Cynthia Burleson

Professor Burleson is the Director of the Center for Insurance and Risk Management (IRM). She welcomes IRM professionals on a regular basis to help students gain experience and network within the industry. Burleson’s excellent work contributes to UCA’s IRM program, which remains the only IRM program in the region, and partnerships with employers are one reason why UCA has one of the most active internship programs in the state.

Excellence in Research Award: Dr. Alex Chen

Dr. Chen is known for his excellence in research. The quality and quantity of his published works are truly excellent, but he was recognized for this award because his focus is teaching others how to research well. Dr. Chen collaborates with other faculty and students in much of his work. In this past year, four of his articles that involved student collaborations underwent review, an achievement which helps his students stand out as they pursue employment and higher education opportunities.

Excellence in Service Award: Susan Shaw

Professor Shaw serves on committees doing work that is noticed by faculty, but her work coordinating the annual IT Careers Camp in partnership with Acxiom impacts high school students around Arkansas.  The event is a significant amount of work each year, and Susan does a fantastic job organizing the camp, which educates students about IT careers and encourages them to continue their education beyond high school.

Faculty Feature: Get to Know Dr. Joe Thomas

Dr. Joe Thomas, Assistant Professor of CISA in the UCA College of Business, gives us all the details – professional and personal – about what drew him to business, mentors who have influenced his life, and advice he has for students.

Degree(s), Certificates, or Licenses Earned

  • PhD, Management Science Information Systems, Oklahoma State University
  • MA, Information Systems Management, Webster University
  • BS, Computer Science (w/ Teacher Certification), Texas State University

How long have you taught at UCA in the College of Business? 5 years

What classes do you teach for the College of Business?

Currently teaching:
– CISA 4361, Cybersecurity Governance & Policy
– CISA 4375, Cybersecurity Management
– CISA 2330, Business Statistic
– CISA 4/5380, Business Intelligence & Data Visualization
– BUAD 1300, Introduction to Business
Previously taught:
– CISA 4328, Systems Analysis & Design
– CISA 3321, Managing Systems & Technology
– CISA 2343, Desktop Decision Support Technology

What student organizations do you participate in or sponsor? Business & Information Technology (BIT) Club

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

Well, I started out becoming a high school teacher in Computer Science and Mathematics. At the last minute I made an audible and joined the Air Force as a Communications Officer! During my 23-year military career I had many jobs, some extremely technical, some chock-full of leadership and management, and all had a taste of business. I never lost my love for teaching. So while in the Air Force, I earned my PhD, taught at the Air Force Academy, and was the Dean of a leadership school. To answer the question – I really didn’t choose the business industry, it kind of happened organically.

Explain how a mentor has influenced your life and career.

After God then my parents, the most influential person in my life is Roy Kurban. He was my Taekwondo instructor when I was a teenager. He gave me so many life lessons I couldn’t list them here, but a few of the big ones are self-discipline, empathy, and hard work. The one that led to my current career was a passion for teaching. I used to teach the little kids’ class—you know you got something if you can make push-ups the “reward,” and they ask for more. (Now…if I can only find a way to add push-ups to my statistics class 😉)

What do you do in your spare time?

I love cutting grass! Something about seeing your progress and the clean lines…and it’s me-time, no one bothers me, and it’s a great time to listen to an audiobook.

What is a favorite class or memory you have from your time as a COB faculty member?

When a student goes out of their way to tell me I’m a good teacher and they loved my class.

List creative ways you engage students in the classroom.

Well, it’s not very creative but it is effective—exhibit high energy and smile. Learning should be fun and so should teaching, so I let them see that I want to be there. Students tend to mirror the attitude the instructor brings into the classroom. Show empathy—students need to know we care about their success and empathize with their struggles. A student who knows I care is more inclined to come to class, on-time, ready to engage and learn. Be a good storyteller—I try to answer the “so what?” questions with as many real-world stories and examples as I can. And they don’t have to be my stories, professors can use real examples from other professors, professionals in your industry, or case studies. As long as it helps make the course content personal and meaningful, mission accomplished.

What research or publications are you working on now?

I’m working with Drs. Hill and Casey on a paper looking at the impact of COVID-19 on business classes, specifically business statistics. I’m also working with Dr. Chen and Dr. McMurtrey on two papers on the acceptance of e-payment systems in various cultures. I have a student-led research project looking at student success with regard to advanced placement and concurrent credit classes for incoming freshmen. Finally, my ongoing research is related to my dissertation topic on real-world high-stakes deception detection by looking at linguistic and paralinguistic cues.

Comment about a recent collaboration with a student.

This summer, I worked at the UCA/Acxiom IT Camp and got to work with a lot of great people. Two student volunteer mentors in particular stood out, Skyler Austen and Caylen Johnson. They were great – very hard workers, great ideas, and team players! Professors evaluate students as part of our job; they are our product, and the customers are the businesses that hire them. I would hire Skyler and Caylen every day of the week and twice on Sunday!

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

Read!!! Seriously, read every day. Read for fun, read the classics, and read to learn something new. Personally, I like listening to audiobooks as I drive to and from work (it’s amazing what you can accomplish in those tiny nibbles of time). Oh, and read the syllabus {facepalm}!

The other advice I would give to students is: try to develop a hunger for learning. Becoming a lifetime learner is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your family, and society. Learning is fun! Right now, I’m taking classes to get certifications in Tableau, and I’m loving it!

Your future employers (and the world) need people with self-discipline and grit. They also want lifetime learners who enjoy trying new things. Doing something you like to do is easy and fun, doing something you don’t is hard and painful. So jump in, do that class first, work really hard at it, and push yourself to do the best you can at something you don’t like–THAT is grit! Best case, you may learn you like it. Worst case, you learn why you don’t like it. Either way, you learn, and the mental pushups will make you stronger. But the best part is the pride you will feel after all the hard work and self-discipline it took to get to the finish line.

Finally – work hard, play hard, and be excellent to each other!

UCA’s Beta Alpha Psi Chapter Wins First Place in International Competition

Pictured (R to L): Kaidan Zheng, Tristen Porter, and Harris Felton

UCA students traveled to Orlando, Florida during the last week of July 2022 for the Beta Alpha Psi annual meeting of all chapters.

Before the meeting started, the students enjoyed an Arkansas BAP Connection breakfast sponsored by the Arkansas Society of CPAs. During the meeting, the students networked, provided community service, attended professional development meetings, and participated in multiple competitions.

After their regional win earlier this year, the Chapter qualified to compete at the conference and brought home the INTERNATIONAL FIRST PLACE award in Best Practices in the Art of Engagement for the Resume Escape Room they hosted for students last spring. This is UCA’s 3rd international first place in Beta Alpha Psi Best Practices. Congratulations to students Harris Felton, Tristen Porter, and Kaidan Zheng for their excellent work!

Additional UCA Recognition at the Annual Meeting:

  • Beta Alpha Psi recognized UCA as a superior chapter.
  • Daniel Wheeler competed in Project Run With It, a real-world consulting project.
  • Dean Michael Hargis received the Outstanding Dean Award.
  • Dr. Connie McKnight became a Chapter Advocate for the Southwest Region.

The students also took advantage of their time in Orlando to have some fun!

Beta Alpha Psi is an honor organization for financial information students and professionals with over 300 chapters internationally. The organization promotes academic excellence, professional development, and responsible practices.