University of South Florida

Muma College of Business

Tampa | St. Petersburg | Sarasota-Manatee


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Top Muma College of Business stories of 2022


Kerkering Barberio Fellows

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The Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy named three accounting faculty members as Kerkering Barberio Fellows, a prestigious honor that recognizes continued excellence in undergraduate teaching.

The school began the fellows program in 2022 thanks to a five-year gift from Tampa Bay accounting firm Kerkering, Barberio & Co. The gift encompassed multiple components in the school, including scholarships to students and the naming of a Kerkering Barberio Fellow on each of the three campuses. The 2022 Kerkering Barberio Fellows are Patricia Gaukel, from the St. Petersburg campus; Luke Richardson, from the Tampa campus; and Ildiko Toth, from the Sarasota-Manatee campus.

Fintech center director

The University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business appointed Michael D. Wiemer as the inaugural director of The Fintech Center at the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance.

The new center will be a hub of engagement and activity where academic research, world-class teaching, business engagement, and innovations surrounding the expanding financial technology sector, or fintech, will be under one roof. It will specialize in the rapidly evolving financial technology industry — one that will serve as a “hub of excellence” for all things fintech-related.


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The third annual USF Esports Summit was held at the Marshall Student Center. The one-day esports summit concluded with a live Rocket League esports tournament where teams from the University of South Florida, Florida State University, the University of Florida, and the University of Central Florida played for the championship.

The summit attracted about 100 participants who gathered to learn about the business side of the $1 billion competitive video gaming industry. The summit was hosted by the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management program at the USF Muma College of Business.


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Thought leader series

Adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted spoke to nearly 450 people in the Marshall Student Center’s Oval Theater as part of the University of South Florida Muma College of Business Thought Leader Series. During a wide-ranging informal discussion before a sold-out crowd, the head of one of the world’s most iconic brands spoke about having a mindset of innovation, being committed to sustainability, and leading a company where people always come first.

“Innovation is what our company is about. We want the best athletes in the world wearing our products, and if they’re not wearing them, we’re building our products wrong,” he said.

Bellini Center for Talent Development

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The USF Muma College of Business celebrated the grand opening of the Bellini Center for Talent Development, an innovative career-development program housed in a state-of-the-art “business hub” adjacent to WUSF public media.

The center was made possible by a $10.6 million gift from philanthropists Arnold F. “Arnie” and Lauren Bellini, both USF alumni. It will bring together Tampa Bay-area business leaders and students for a three-year-plus credentialing program that creates a “talent pipeline” for employers and increases job placement for students.


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State of the Region

Researchers from the USF Muma College of Business and Tampa Bay Partnership unveiled findings from two data-driven reports examining how the eight-county region stacks up against its demographic peers at the annual State of the Region event. Organizers held the event on USF's St. Petersburg campus.

The results showed a mixed bag of takeaways. On the positive side, the region has largely recovered economically from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some not-so-rosy indicators show there is a lot of work ahead if the area wants to stay competitive in innovation and entrepreneurship, health care, and education.

Fintech education gift

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Philanthropists Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton, long-time supporters of the University of South Florida’s programs on its St. Petersburg campus, made gifts totaling $14 million to support efforts to make the USF Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance a “hub of excellence” in fintech education.

The gifts were formally announced and celebrated at a ceremony held at the school, which is part of the USF Muma College of Business. About 100 supporters, business leaders, and university leaders attended the event. The gift, made through the USF Foundation, supports a four-pillar vision for fintech.


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Aramark and Mainsail partnership

The USF Muma College of Business teamed up with Aramark, the on-campus food service and catering stalwart, and Mainsail Lodging and Development, a specialist in the tourism lodging sector, to provide student fellowships to give up to 130 USF hospitality students valuable paid on-the-job professional experience. The agreements were signed at an event announcing the partnerships. 

The eight-year agreement with Aramark provides paid fellowships for graduate students in the USF hospitality program. The five-year agreement with Mainsail Lodging and Development provides 10 student fellowships each year. The total value of the partnerships with Aramark and Mainsail is $3.6 million.


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Interim dean appointment

The University of South Florida appointed GJ de Vreede to serve as interim dean for the Muma College of Business starting Aug. 1. The appointment is the result of Lynn Pippenger Dean Moez Limayem being named president-elect of the University of North Florida, who is set to depart USF after a decade at the helm at the business college.

As USF embarked on a national search to name a permanent dean, university leaders announced some important and strategic appointments to ensure the college’s continued upward trajectory.

Jacqueline Reck stepped down from her role as associate dean for financial management and academic affairs. She will remain a faculty member and serve on the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. Jennifer Cainas was promoted to associate dean for financial management and undergraduate programs. Jean Kabongo will serve as associate dean for academic affairs and accreditation and as chief diversity officer. Joni Jones will serve as the campus dean for the Muma College of Business in Sarasota-Manatee. Cihan Cobanoglu will serve as dean of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. On the St. Petersburg campus, Gary Patterson became campus dean and will serve as dean of the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance. 

Moez Limayem send-off reception

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The USF Muma College of Business held a send-off celebration to congratulate and wish Moez Limayem well as he takes on the president role at the University of North Florida. The two-hour event featured heart-felt speeches as photos from his decade at the helm of the business school flashed on the wall screen.

"I am just truly humbled. USF will always be in my heart. From the bottom of my heart, thank you everyone. With all your help, we affected, we improved, we changed thousands of lives here and that is the thing I'm most proud of," he said.

Two scholarships were created to honor Limayem - the Moez Limayem Emergency Relief Fund for Muma College of Business Students and the Dean Moez Limayem First-Generation Scholarship Fund.


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FinTech|X Accelerator

The inaugural FinTech|X Accelerator cohort concluded with a Pitch Night event where 16 fintech start-ups gave their presentations to a crowd of more than 150 people at the USF St. Petersburg campus. The Accelerator program showcased USF's strategic entry into fintech, which includes establishing a new FinTech Center on the St. Petersburg campus.

The FinTech|X Accelerator, a partnership between Tampa Bay Wave and the USF Muma College of Business, was designed to assist high-potential startups in the fintech industry through mentoring, pitch coaching and investor introductions. The overall goal of the three-month Accelerator was to transition startups into sustainable, scalable and profitable businesses.


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Scholarship luncheon

After a two-year, pandemic-induced hiatus, the annual USF Muma College of Business Scholarship Luncheon re-emerged with a fluttery, inspirational metamorphosis. 

The celebratory luncheon hosted a packed crowd of 400 people at the Marshall Student Center ballroom. The annual gathering was a chance for donors to meet the students who have benefitted from their generous awards. It was also an emotion-packed event where attendees heard the personal stories of struggles and triumphs from former and current scholarship recipients.

The college awarded nearly $1 million in scholarships to about 200 business students from all three campuses — a record for the business college. The event is one of the college’s signature events that shines the spotlight on its commitment to student success.

Baldwin Risk Partners gift

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USF's School of Risk Management and Insurance got a new name and is now known as the Baldwin Risk Partners School of Risk Management and Insurance.

Baldwin Risk Partners, a Tampa-based insurance distribution firm, announced a $5.26 million gift that is poised to propel the program into an academic powerhouse and fill the employee shortage within the state’s vital insurance industry that is hungry for talent. USF leaders held an announcement ceremony and explained that the donation is the largest gift received on USF’s Sarasota-Manatee campus.


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macc redesign

USF launched a new, revamped Master of Accountancy degree program starting in the fall semester.

The MAcc program in the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy in the USF Muma College of Business will equip students with the skills employers seek in today’s rapidly changing, technology-driven, financial-reporting workforce.

The program redesign, in the works for the past year, infuses the 30-credit-hour coursework with the skills accounting firms and businesses say they want to see in potential hires — that is, accountants who are savvy in using digital tools and technologies and adept in data mining and predictive data analysis of financial data.

Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management ranking

For the second year in a row, the 2022 SportBusiness Postgraduate Rankings placed USF's Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management program No. 1 in Florida, No. 3 in the U.S., and No. 3 in the world. The program ranked No. 1 globally  in the industry network category and No. 2 in the world in the extracurricular category.

The award-winning program is named after the Vinik family, owners of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and was launched via a partnership with the franchise. It hosted the annual USF Esports Summit in February and USF Sport and Entertainment Analytics Conference in March.

HUSTLE Competition

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Enterprising students interested in entrepreneurship have a unique opportunity to run their own kiosk food vendor business and earn the top $75,000 cash prize in a new pilot sales competition launched in September. The runner-up prize is $25,000.

The HUSTLE business competition is a joint initiative between the USF Center for Entrepreneurship and Chessler Holdings. Student teams will run a real-world start-up venture using autonomous and robotic food production kiosks.

The ultimate goal for each of the teams is to run the most profitable business. Chessler Holdings committed $600,000 for the initiative that is described as an "extreme form of experiential learning."


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Conversation with a CEO

Lauren Weiner, the chief growth officer and co-founder of WWC Global, was the featured guest at the Conversation with a CEO event held by the USF Muma College of Business. WWC Global is a tribally owned management consulting firm and is part of Command Holdings, a non-gaming investment arm of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

The event was led by Interim Dean GJ de Vreede, who asked Weiner about her background, lessons learned, and the tipping points to growing a multi-million-dollar company. Throughout the discussion, Weiner shared funny stories and lessons learned throughout her nearly two decades as an entrepreneur.

Cathi Wood fireside chat

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Powerhouse investor Cathie Wood, founder of ARK Invest, headlined a fireside chat on Oct. 5 at the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance. Allen Clary, an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at the Muma College of Business, moderated the panel discussion that also featured investor Tom Federick.

Much of the conversation centered on Wood’s unique insights, as Bloomberg named the CEO and Chief Investment Officer one of 50 people worldwide defining global business.


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Fortune MBA rankings

Two of USF’s MBA programs are ranked among the best in the nation, according to Fortune, one of the world’s leading business publications. USF's part-time MBA program came in at No. 34 — No. 21 among public universities and No. 2 in Florida — in Fortune’s ranking of the “Best Part-Time MBA Programs” in the U.S. for 2023.

The school took the No. 29 spot — No. 18 among public universities and No. 1 in Florida — in Fortune’s “Best Executive MBA Programs” list. This is the second year the publication has ranked executive MBA programs and the first year USF has made the list.


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Entrepreneurship rankings

The University of South Florida continued to be a top school for aspiring entrepreneurs. The Princeton Review released its Top Graduate Schools for Entrepreneurship Studies list for 2023 and placed USF’s Center for Entrepreneurship at No. 9 in the country and No. 5 among public universities.

The annual list, now in its 17th year, offers the best graduate programs for students pursuing entrepreneurship. The rankings were announced by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine on Nov. 15 and published in the December issue of Entrepreneur magazine.

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