The 2018-19 Annual Report, published by the College of Business and Economic Development at The University of Southern Mississippi, tells stories of outstanding achievements made by our faculty, students, staff, donors, and alumni over the course of the academic year.
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING SPORT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM COLLABORATING WITH SOUTHERN MISS ATHLETICS Dr. Chris Croft led efforts to connect his undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in sports marketing courses with Southern Miss Athletics. His students worked with Southern Miss basketball, baseball, volleyball and the Southern Miss Athletics Marketing team. Collaborating closely with Murray Littlepage, director of marketing for Southern Miss Athletics, Dr. Croft’s students assisted with marketing and promotional ideas for a variety of sports and went on facility tours of the Reed Green Coliseum and the Payne Center. DURING DR. BRANDON ALLEN’S SPORT SALES METHODS AND TECHNIQUES COURSE, STUDENTS PRACTICED THEIR SKILLS BY ASSISTING THE SOUTHERN MISS ATHLETICS TICKET OFFICE IN CONTACTING OVER 3,700 CUSTOMERS ABOUT BASEBALL AND FOOTBALL SEASON TICKETS. THE STUDENTS LOGGED OVER 400 HOURS OF PHONE CALLS, SELLING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS’ WORTH OF TICKETS. Other clients that the school’s faculty and students have partnered with this year include the following: Randy Price and Company The DREAM of Hattiesburg K Pavoloni and Company Courtyard by Marriott Hattiesburg Clinic Reach Unlimited Dance 4 Life Academy Trupanion Pet Insurance Eagle Maker Hub Max Draughn, president of Heartwood Capital Inc., presented to Dr. Kelli King's Healthcare Marketing class about keys to success in the pharmaceutical industry. We are very grateful for Mr. Draughn and his wife, Susan, for their endowment that supports our Healthcare Marketing program. 26 | C O L L E G E O F B U S I N E S S A N D E C O N O M I C D E V E L O P M E N T
ANALYTICS INITIATIVE GAZELLE/MSED The University of Southern Mississippi became the first institution of higher education to deploy the advanced AIenabled economic data analytics platform, Gazelle.ai, within its curriculum in the College of Business and Economic Development. Both graduate and undergraduate students have access to the platform that mines and curates data collected from millions of business establishments and uses trained algorithms to forecast growth. “The ability to harness and interpret the ever-increasing amount of data available to decision-makers has become an increasingly important differentiator in the business world,” said Steven Jast, president of Gazelle.ai. “We’re thrilled that The University of Southern Mississippi will be using our tool to help equip students and prepare them for a rapidly evolving business environment.” ANALYTICS IN THE MPA PROGRAM Master of Professional Accountancy courses such as Advanced Auditing, Audit Analytics & IT Auditing and Advanced Cost/Managerial Accounting have integrated analytics tools, such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, Sage 50 <strong>2018</strong>, General Ledger Software, CaseWare IDEA Data Analysis Software, and Tableau Data Analytics and Visualization Software into the curriculum. 100% of MPA students achieved both Specialist and Expert Certification in Microsoft Excel during spring 20<strong>19</strong>. Named for “gazelles,” a term used to denote rapidly growing companies, the platform was created for economic development professionals whose role is to identify and attract growing companies that bring jobs and investment to communities. Gazelle.ai are being integrated into courses focusing on economic development, entrepreneurship, marketing, marketing research and management. Dr. Chad Miller, professor of economic development, added, “In keeping with our mandate to innovate and encourage fresh thinking, we are looking forward to becoming the first college to use Gazelle.ai. I’m very confident that our students and faculty will come to find the platform to be an indispensable resource.” Mr. Mike Skinner, with Horne Cyber in Memphis, spoke to MPA students during the spring semester about data analytics, cybersecurity, big data, artificial intelligence and automation, and other technological initiatives impacting the future of the accounting profession. Mike was joined by Blake Pittman, a cyber risk analyst with Horne Cyber and a 2015 graduate of the MPA program at Southern Miss. Other guest speakers include Kyle Stoner with PWC New Orleans and Mario Perez with Audimation Services. A N N U A L R E P O R T 2 0 1 8 - 1 9 | 27