News Archive

2018: A Year in Review

By Keith Morelli

2018: Year in Review

TAMPA (December 21, 2018) -- Two-thousand-eighteen, or twenty-eighteen, or as most know it, 2018, has come and just about gone and the end of the last month is the right time to reflect on what we’ve achieved at the Muma College of Business over the past 12 months. Here’s a list of what made this year so special:


Raymond James' Donation Names the Personal Financial Planning Program's Directorship

The Muma College of Business announced it will use a contribution from Raymond James to support the college's new personal financial planning degree program, which began offering courses in the fall of 2017. The investment and wealth-management giant made a $200,000 donation to the program under the directorship of Laura Mattia. In recognition of the gift, the college named Mattia's position the "Raymond James Financial Director." To read more, click here.

Rob Hammond, Fresh Out of the DBA program, Appointed to Head Up the Newly Created Center for Marketing and Sales Innovation

Few disciplines in business are undergoing a foundational change like marketing and sales. Tried-and-true approaches that for decades, even centuries, have led to success are no longer effective. With new models emerging, driven by rapid advances in technology, practices that involve digital transformation and cloud services are changing the way marketing is practiced in the business world. The Muma College of Business saw this trend and made adjustments in its curriculum. The first step: establishing a new sales concentration and sales certificate for undergraduate students. To read more, click here.

ISDS Now Offers a Concentration on Human Resource Management

With human resource management becoming the focus of businesses intent on taking care of and keeping employees happy, the Muma College of Business is now offering an HR concentration through the college's Information Systems and Decision and Sciences Department, as part of the undergraduate management degree. The focus provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain entry-level positions within the field of human resource management.  More and more corporations are aligning corporate strategy – the business of making profits and holding down expenses – with people strategy, defined as the business of taking care of the people who devote their careers to making that corporate strategy successful. To read more, click here.


Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Steve Griggs Reveals Secrets of Success at Conversation with a CEO

Steve Griggs fell in love with hockey at age 3 when he first learned to ice skate. He started playing in organized leagues in preschool. By the time he was on the hockey team at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Griggs thought he could possibly play in the NHL. "I knew that dream of playing in the NHL was sort of flickering out," he said of the realization that he had to change his plans a bit. "I could have gone and played minor league hockey in places like Pensacola for the Ice Pilots, making $200 a week, getting our (butts) kicked." Griggs decided to put his NHL fantasy on hold to earn a master's degree in sports administration from Ohio University. At 22, Griggs told his wife, Janell, that he was one day going to be the CEO of a hockey team. His new dream came true in 2015. The CEO of the Tampa Bay Lightning detailed his career during a Muma College of Business Conversation with a CEO. To read more, click here.

The Woz Comes to USF, Chats with Thousands in the Inaugural Thought Leader Series

What came through loud and clear during Steve Wozniak's chat in front of 2,400 people in the Yuengling Center (then the USF Sun Dome) wasn't his expertise in engineering, his philanthropy, his entrepreneurship. But rather, it was his humanity. Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, talked about the triumph of humanity and how technology enhances the human experience. He refuted the assertion that technology is erasing humanity, that one day, computers will take over even the most complex functions typically reserved for the human intellect. That, he said, can never happen, simply because of the way humans are wired. Rather, he said, technology will help humankind flourish. To read more, click here.


Two Muma College of Business Professors Receive Fulbright Core Awards

Two Muma College of Business professors were awarded Fulbright Core Scholarships, bringing the number of USF business faculty recognized by the auspicious program over the past three years to, at the time, seven. USF is among the top producers of Fulbright U.S. scholars. And that was before Timothy Heath, professor in the Marketing Department, and Anol Bhattacherjee, professor in the Information Systems and Decision Sciences Department, were placed on that list. To read more, click here.

USF's Part-Time MBA Program Ranked Among the Top 60 Public School Programs in the Nation

Rankings for the full-time and part-time MBA programs at the Muma College of Business were announced in the Best Graduate Schools issue of the U.S. News and World Report. Among public schools, USF's part-time MBA program ranked No. 58, jumping 10 points from the previous year. The program competed against 206 eligible public and private school programs. To read more, click here.


Students, Visiting Faculty and Marketing Professionals Examine Cutting Trends in the Sport and Entertainment Industry

The opening message at the fourth annual USF Sport & Entertainment Analytics Conference was foreboding: Interest in professional athletics is waning and it's been on the decline for years. The upbeat thought: It will fall to sport and entertainment program graduates to turn the trend around. But the new blood in the sports marketing industry must break free from the conventional approach to marketing and come up with innovative ways to bring fans back to the stadiums, arenas, courts and courses, said Rich Luker, the first speaker at the conference. He paused after asking how many in the room were graduating in this year. "Welcome," he told the students with their hands raised, "to chaos." To read more, click here.

Dean Moez Limayem Awarded Administrative Fulbright Scholarship

Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship that, later in the year, sent him to Japan. Limayem joined seven Muma College of Business professors who have been recognized by the Fulbright program since 2015. He has been dean of the business college since 2012 and has implemented changes that not only emphasize analytics and creativity in business education, but also teach students about a sense of a global business village in which commerce is not restricted by borders. To read more, click here.

The Lasher Center for Financial Markets Dedicated

Accounting and finance students now have a state-of-the-art space to navigate the complicated world of stocks, bonds and investments. A crowd of more than 50 squeezed onto a landing outside BSN 2100 to help dedicate the classroom into the Lasher Center for Financial Markets, a 1,100-square-foot space equipped with a Bloomberg terminal, a stock ticker, white boards and other upgrades to help today's students turn into tomorrow's investors. The two men behind this generous gift that paid for much of the renovations are Stuart Lasher and his son, Tyler. Stuart Lasher is the founder, chief executive officer, and chairman of Quantum Capital Partners, where Tyler, a Muma College of Business alumnus, serves as director. To read more, click here.

Muma College of Business, Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy Achieve Five-Year AACSB Accreditation

The Muma College of Business received its five-year accreditation renewal from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The renewal includes a separate accreditation of the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy, making the college one of 186 around the world certified in both overall business and accounting programs. A peer-review team visited the college earlier in the year, looking at accomplishments over the past half-decade since the last visit, rating faculty and curricula and making sure all programs in the college meet quality standards relating to strategic management of resources, interactions between faculty and students and student success in terms of learning goals achievements. To read more, click here.

Sajeev Varki Is the Latest Muma College of Business Professor to Land a Fulbright Core Scholarship

Sajeev Varki, an associate marketing professor in the Muma College of Business, became the third faculty member of the college to receive a Fulbright Core scholarship in less than three months. He joins seven other current professors who have won the prestigious honor since 2015. Varki teaches marketing strategy, marketing research and global marketing at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. His research has been published in the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Retailing, the Journal of Advertising and Marketing Letters. To read more, click here.


Hundreds Hear About Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Data on the Cloud at the Florida Business Analytics Forum

From disturbing biases of machine learning and artificial intelligence to the wonders of blockchain technology, about 365 business executives and information systems professionals were schooled on the latest trends at the Florida Business Analytics Forum. Most were there to see how all these emerging developments in technology can be utilized within their corporations and better serve their customers and clients. The forum – sponsored by the Muma College of Business Center for Analytics and Creativity – was moved from the college’s atrium to the larger ballroom of the Marshall Student Center to accommodate this year’s growing crowd. To read more, click here.

USF Football Coach Charlie Strong Addresses Accountants and Auditors at Annual Accounting Circle CPE Conference

Amid the presentations on Securities and Exchange Commission rules, federal tax reforms and cryptocurrencies, Charlie Strong stepped up to the podium and talked to a room full of accountants and auditors about team building and the importance of character and leadership. The USF head football coach, entering his second year, spoke candidly about team success at the annual Accounting Circle's CPE Conference, attended by more than 500 accountants, auditors and managers in the Marshall Student Center's Oval Theater. He drew on his own experiences coaching Division I football at three universities, often making points by sharing personal stories about the young men he mentored along the way. To read more, click here.


Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program Ranked Fourth Best in the World

The Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program jumped 15 spots in a ranking by SportBusiness International and was named in the most recent issue as the fourth best program in the world and the top program in Florida. SportBusiness International is an online publication that helps sports and entertainment industry leaders stay abreast of market trends through intelligence, data and analytics. Last year, the USF program ranked No. 19 in the world and No. 13 in the United States. To read more, click here.

Alumna Spotlight: Maithilee Pagay Accepted into the London School of Economics and Political Science

Maithilee Pagay has a passion for business and is eager to get into the investment banking business. But the finance major who graduated in May will put that off for a while after her acceptance into the graduate program at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science. There, she plans to study for a master's degree in finance and accounting. Pagay is a native of India who graduated high school in Singapore through an all-expense-paid educational scholarship provided by Singapore's Ministry of Education. Traveling for her education is nothing new and she thrives on the experiences. "I have always wanted to travel the world," she said. To read more, click here.


Faculty Spotlight: Alan Hevner, USF Distinguished Professor, Honored at Purdue University

No stranger to awards and accolades for his life's work, Muma College of Business Information Systems and Decision Sciences Professor Alan Hevner traveled to West Lafayette, Indiana, to what may be the most poignant recognition he has received over his long, research-rich career. He attended a ceremony at his alma mater, Purdue University, where he was honored as a Distinguished Science Alumni and recognized for his accomplishments and the prestige he has brought both to himself and the university. He is a pioneer whose development of conceptual and methodological innovations have earned him recognition as a leader in the field of design-science research with more than 18,000 citations to his more than 200 research papers. To read more, click here.

Kicking Off an Innovative Admissions Program, the First Bulls to Business Students Arrive

Dancing, party tunes, snacks and balloons. The sounds of squeaky moving cart wheels, dinging elevators and new students timidly introducing themselves one-by-one echoed in the halls, as proud parents blamed teary goodbyes on some sweat in their eyes. After all, they said, they had just carried bulky luggage through the stifling heat of July. The 31 new residents of the exclusive Bulls to Business Program moved into University of South Florida's Poplar Hall earlier this month, getting a jump on the majority of incoming freshmen by starting college four weeks before the fall semester begins. The program is part of a push to get incoming freshmen into classes and accustomed to college life before the fall rush of students swamps the university. To read more, click here.


Breaking New Ground: Joint Special Operations University Taps Muma College of Business Educators in First-of-a-Kind Workshop

Over the course of human history, situations that have arisen around the world that called for military intervention always were handled, more or less, in one simple way: Identify the adversary and eliminate the adversary. But now, forward-thinking minds are forging a path toward a new way of doing things that may reshape our habits of physically attacking disagreeable neighbors. Those winds of change picked up some momentum this week at a seminar about design science – the processes by which problems of all kinds are examined and solved. The workshop took place in the Muma College of Business and was co-sponsored by the Joint Special Operations University at MacDill Air Force Base. Discussed were far-reaching changes that could shift global confrontations from armed responses to peaceful negotiations. And now, many are thinking there is a better way to examine problems and solutions, a way that has the potential to one day put an end to sending soldiers, particularly U.S. soldiers, in harm's way. To read more, click here.

2018 Scholarship Luncheon: A Mix of Donors and Recipients, Joy and Tears

At the annual Muma College of Business Scholarship Luncheon, at which $600,000 was awarded to 300 deserving, high-achieving students, the keynote speaker – a student herself – is both a recipient and a donor of scholarship money. Sarah Gimbel's moving story about the strong bonds with her father, a Tampa Police officer who was killed in a motorcycle wreck two years ago and the establishment of the Howard Gimbel Foundation to help others find ways to pay for college, left much of the room in or near tears. "While I could certainly use the money to go to college myself," she said, "It makes my heart smile each time we have presented a small check that will, hopefully, allow someone else the chance to go to school.” The luncheon is one of the Muma College of Business's signature events, marking the college's commitment to student success. To read more, click here.


Biz Researchers Paving the Way for Groundbreaking Video Engagement Corporation

Atlanta-based onQ is a company that knows how to engage. Its cutting-edge model of real-time video engagement is just getting started in the interactive video world. To understand more fully its market implications, onQ has embarked on an innovative partnership with a team of leading researchers in the Muma College of Business. The thrust of the research is engagement itself. What is it? How is it measured? What makes it a success and what makes it a failure? How can it be improved? "Engagement has emerged as an important psychological concept that impacts human behavior and choice across many domains including education, employment, leisure and marketing," says the introduction into research conducted by six USF researchers, five of whom are with the Muma College of Business. To read more, click here.

Graduates from the Muma College of Business All to be Citizen Data Scientists in Groundbreaking Program

With a stated emphasis on analytics and creativity in the world of commerce, the Muma College of Business has implemented a program that will bestow the certified title of Citizen Data Scientist on each and every undergraduate of the college. The program began this fall and includes a handful of classes that students in each major are required to take. The end result: a certificate that could ease the way into the job market delivered alongside a diploma at graduation. "Our students will be even more relevant for the workforce of the future," said Balaji Padmanabhan, a professor in the college's Information Systems and Decision Sciences Department and director of the Center for Analytics and Creativity, through which the courses are coordinated. "We want them all to start their careers being data-driven thinkers and doers and this program will play a key role in achieving that goal.  We want analytics to be very much a part of the DNA for all our students." To read more, click here.


USF/ReliaQuest Partnership Aims to Fill the Talent Gap in the Emerging Cybersecurity Field

Cybersecurity technology and services provider ReliaQuest is familiar with USF through involvement with student interns, faculty and researchers. And now the company has agreed to a $1 million commitment over five years to pay for a first-of-its kind, cybersecurity-certificated program to draw more students into the emerging field. Graduates with skills that can translate into immediate jobs with competitive salaries is part of the mission of the Muma College of Business, which is all the more reason for forming this partnership that will provide themuch-needed talent that bridges the widening cybersecurity gap for much needed talent. To read more, click here.

Muma College of Business Lands its First World Class Scholar: Sunil Mithas

The quiet dignity and grace that surrounds Sunil Mithas when he engages a room full of intellectuals is something to see. The academic/researcher/consultant/author speaks in hushed tones with humility and intensity. His presence in the halls of the Muma College of Business was greatly anticipated; he is the college's first World Class Scholar and that's a cause for celebration. He humbly accepts the honor. "From my perspective this designation puts a lot of burden on those who hold it and to live up to the expectations that it creates," he says. Mithas joined the faculty in the fall as a professor in the Information Systems and Decision Sciences Department. He ranks among the top three scholars in the world, based on his publications in premier information systems journals, such as MIS Quarterly and Information Systems Research over the past 10 years. He is one of 16 World Class Scholars in Florida. To read more, click here.

Sport & Entertainment Management Lecture Series Takes a Glimpse into the Future of Sports Marketing

The merging of sports and marketing has always been a marriage of necessity, of finding innovative ways to fill seats or to tune in on television. But with the digital revolution emerging at such a fast pace, the way sports is presented and how its appeal is molded is as important as ever. And how future fans’ perceptions of their favorite teams and players is shaped is really just starting to evolve. This comes from three front-office superstars who have managed the business of sports over their careers. They appeared on a panel at the annual Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program Lecture Series held in the Yuengling Center. They were Dan Reed, with Facebook, who connects, entertains and engages what may be the world's largest community of sports fans;  Rick Welts, president and COO of the NBA's Golden State Warriors; and Jay Parry, the former COO of the WNBA. Nearly 300 attended the event, sponsored by Fox Sports Florida and the Tampa Bay Lightning. To read more, click here.


USF Center for Supply Chain Management and Sustainability Poised to Take the Lead in Making Florida a Global Trade Hub

The Sunshine State typically has been a Mecca for tourists seeking warmth in the winter, theme parks for the kids, maybe a cruise to the Caribbean. Tourism, for decades, has been the one of the state’s main money-makers. But now, a new industry may be taking root: global commerce. Leaders in Florida’s public and private sectors are beginning to embrace a singular opportunity to transform Florida’s economy by developing the infrastructure to become a global hub for trade, logistics and export-oriented manufacturing. Indeed, global trade played a key role in leading Florida out of the recession, adding 32,000 jobs between 2010 and 2012 and boosting exports to a record $66 billion. Now, as the vision of Florida as a global trade hub comes more into focus, the Muma College of Business has created the Center for Supply Chain Management and Sustainability to work with industry leaders in meeting the challenges presented by this opportunity and to offer a global supply chain curriculum. To read more, click here.

Marc Randolph, Cofounder of Netflix, to be the Muma College of Business Thought Leader Series Speaker in February

Marc Randolph knows how to put ideas into plans that result in reality. The cofounder of Netflix, and numerous other entrepreneurial endeavors, gives this advice to people with bright ideas: Run with them. Don’t try to be perfect. Change things along the way. Randolph, a pop-culture game-changer, will take the stage at the Muma College of Business Thought Leader Series, scheduled for Feb. 21, at the Oval Theatre in USF's Marshall Student Center. The lecture series was established to draw nationally recognized speakers, innovators, idea generators, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, authors and "turn-around artists" in business and industry for informal talks that include questions from the audience. To read more, click here.

Bill Sutton Retires, Students and Grads of the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program Sound Off

Commonly known as “Doc” to the students enrolled in the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program, Bill Sutton is the only director the program has ever had. Beginning in 2012, through a partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the program has flourished under Sutton’s leadership. Though he announced his retirement from the program, Sutton will stay on until the end of August and spend the fall semester of 2019 in an externship with the Lightning. Along the way, he will ease the transition for his successor, Michelle Harrolle, who will take the reins of the program that boasts a 98 percent rate of employment for its students within three months of graduation. Upon hearing the news of Sutton’s retirement, many current and former students had things to say about “Doc.” To read more, click here.


Student Spotlight: Annika Abell, Marketing Doctoral Student, Heading to University of Tennessee to Teach, Conduct Research

With a career that included more than a decade as a graphic designer in Germany, Annika Abell left it all behind for academia and a new focus on sensory marketing, food consumption and digital marketing topics. And now, she is a doctoral student about to graduate from the Muma College of Business. Come next year, she will start a new career as educator and researcher as an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a PhD-granting, flagship university. It’s quite an accomplishment for the native of Frankfurt, Germany and for the Muma College of Business, which places a priority on placing doctoral graduates at PhD-granting institutions. To read more, click here.

Muma College of Business Profs, Grad Students Provide Research for the State of the Region

An exhaustive survey of local tweets over the past two months shows people just love downtown Tampa, but hate the traffic getting there. The findings also included raw data such as: Most of the people in the region work in Hillsborough County, but live elsewhere. Also, interest in USF spikes each fall. Why? Maybe it’s because of football or maybe because fall is the beginning of the academic year. The research was presented to about 400 community, business and government leaders and policy makers at the annual “State of the Region” event. The goal of the ambitious research project is to rank the Tampa Bay region in relation to 19 other metropolitan areas around the nation. It was conducted by researchers with the Muma College of Business’s Center for Analytics and Creativity and the Tampa Bay Partnership and sought to shed light on what’s good and what’s not so good about the region. To read more, click here.