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Collaboration Between Muma College of Business Students and ReliaQuest Wins Technology Partnership Award

By Keith Morelli

Matthew Mullarkey

TAMPA (October 27, 2017) -- A collaborative effort between Muma College of Business students in the Information Systems and Decision Sciences department and a local tech company has won an award from the region's top technology advocate.

The Tampa Bay Technology Forum's Industry/Academic Partnership of the Year technical award was awarded to the Muma College of Business Professor Matt Mullarkey and his students and ReliaQuest, a local high-tech security company, for a series of cases that graduate students built around tough cyber-security decisions ReliaQuest professionals must make. The cases then were taught in Mullarkey's capstone undergraduate and graduate courses with participation from executives with Reliaquest.

The award will be given at the 14th Annual Tampa Bay Technology Forum Awards ceremony on Nov. 10 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.

With a mission to make the Tampa Bay region the state's largest and fastest growing tech hub, the Tampa Bay Technology Forum focuses on the marketing the region, recruiting a tech workforce and serving the tech community.

"The Tampa Bay Technology Forum's commitment to building the tech workforce in the greater Tampa Bay continues to grow opportunities for our students' success," Mullarkey said. "Their recognition of the wonderful industry-academic partnership we've enjoyed and are expanding with ReliaQuest is just one more way the TBTF promotes technology in our community.

"We in the Muma College of Business are honored to receive the award and look forward to additional mutually beneficial ways to partner with businesses - all of whom are tech companies in one way or another!"

Mullarkey received notification of the award this month in a letter from forum Executive Director Daniel James Scott, a serial entrepreneur and former business professor at USF. He heads a group that has a goal of making the Tampa Bay region a tech hub that attracts companies with high-paying jobs for employees in a fast growing industry. The industry/academic partnership provides opportunities for USF students to learn about Tampa Bay tech companies, meet their executives and position themselves for tech jobs here in the Tampa Bay area.

Brian Murphy, CEO of ReliaQuest, said the decision to have Muma College of Business students build a case study was a huge success. Both sides benefit

Brian Murphy, CEO of ReliaQuest, said both sides benefited from the collaboration.

It's important, he said, for graduates and undergraduates, "to be able to apply what they've learned in real-world scenarios. Otherwise, they spend the first few years of their careers trying to connect the context of a textbook to what's happening at 500 miles an hour in a real-world environment.

"In this case-based methodology," he said, "students are allowed to really understand ... why we do some of the things we do because they've been in a simulated live-fire environment. I definitely think it's a win-win partnership ... a good collaboration."