Student Profile: Madison Bryant

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

Madison Bryant  |  Marketing major  |  Class of 2025

What drew you to business?

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

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

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

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

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

What experience has been meaningful for you?

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

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

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

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

COB Alum Ebony Mitchell Crowned Miss Arkansas 2022

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

Credit: Miss Arkansas Pageant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In addition, the chapter accomplished:

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

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

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

The Best of College of Business: 2021-2022

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,
Michael Hargis
Dean, UCA College of Business



NEW & NOTEWORTHY

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

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

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

Learn more about his credentials, career, and interests.

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

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


AWARDS & RECOGNITION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


CAREER DEVELOPMENT & SERVICE LEARNING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations to all of our graduates in 2021-2022!



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

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

UCA Business Students Collect Donations for Arkansas Foster Children

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations Ashley!

And way to go VITA student volunteers.

COB Dean Hargis Receives 2022 Outstanding Dean Award From International Honor Organization

The Dean of the UCA College of Business, Dr. Michael Hargis, has been selected to receive the 2022 Outstanding Dean Award by Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), an international honor organization for financial information students and professionals.

Dr. Hargis was nominated by UCA’s Theta Lambda Chapter and will be presented with the award at the Annual Beta Alpha Psi meeting in Orlando in late July. In the nomination, UCA’s chapter called Dr. Hargis a “fierce advocate” for the College of Business and cited his “amazing impact” on the BAP Theta Lambda chapter. The nomination detailed his support of the chapter’s expansion as well as BAP members’ development and achievements.

In its letter notifying him of this award, the BAP National Office told Dr. Hargis, “while this year’s nominees were very competitive, you stood out based on your consistent and longstanding commitment to Beta Alpha Psi. Your selection was based on your hands-on engagement, and your significant financial and operational support to the chapter that positioned them to achieve their goals and objectives. Overall, the committee was quite impressed with your achievements considering the long history of outstanding performance of the Theta Lambda chapter.”

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

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

COB Professor Jeremy Horpedahl receives the Public Choice’s Duncan Black Prize

Congratulations to Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl, Associate Professor of economics at the University of Central Arkansas and ACRE Scholar, for receiving the Public Choice’s Duncan Black Prize for the best article contributed by a “senior” scholar or scholars. His award-winning article, “Bootleggers, Baptists and ballots: coalitions in Arkansas’ alcohol-legalization elections,” can be found in Public Choice 188 (1–2) (July 2021), 203–219.

Dr. Horpedahl’s article discusses what economics can teach us about political coalitions. A summary of the award-winning article can be found here.

COB Student Daisy Martinez Awarded UCA 2022 Intern of the Year

The UCA Internships and Cooperative Education department recently announced the 2021-2022 Intern of the Year, Daisy Martinez Carranza. Daisy is a senior Marketing major, minoring in Studio Art. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her four years at UCA and serves on many UCA student organizations.

In Summer 2021, Daisy completed an internship at Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield where she was charged with the task of creating and executing a marketing plan for a national health program with low enrollment in Arkansas. Daisy’s “Healthy Blue Summer” campaign was a huge success, resulting in over 3,600 registrations (an 8.85% increase in program participation). As a result of her hard work and collaboration on this project, Daisy was also awarded the 2021 Arkansas Blue Cross Academic Scholarship. Daisy will graduate from UCA in May 2022 and plans to pursue a master’s degree in Data Analytics in the near future.

Daisy has also been selected as the honorable mention for the National Intern of the Year distinction. She will receive a certificate and formal recognition on the CEIA website and in the program at the CEIA national conference in April 2022.

Daisy was nominated for UCA Intern of the Year by Management professor and Associate Dean of College of Business, Dr. Laci Lyons.

UCA Ranked #3 Best Online MBA in International Business Management

The University of Central Arkansas College of Business was recently ranked the #3 best online MBA in the nation for International Business Management. This online MBA allows students to earn the degree anywhere in the world even while working full-time. The program has also been ranked among the most affordable. Find out more about the UCA MBA program.

See the ranking from Best Value Schools  [Read more…]