2018-19 Annual Report


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.



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.”


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

2018, 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 2019.

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.

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