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.
NEW COURSES AND CERTIFICATES CURRENT ISSUES IN PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANCY (ACC 690) The Current Issues in Professional Accountancy graduate course has formally gained approval from the Graduate Council and is officially being taught in summer 20<strong>19</strong>. The School of Accountancy has been pilot-testing the course with great success, as many MPA students have successfully completed parts or all of the CPA exam during the MPA program. The course was developed to support the process of students beginning their CPA exam while still in the master’s program. During the course, students review issues related to professional accountancy, including financial accounting and reporting, regulation, auditing and attestation, and business environment and concepts. PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS FOR ACCOUNTING (BA 211) The Professional Business Standards of Accounting course, taught by Ms. Amber Hatten and Ms. Valerie Simmons, was pilot-tested during the spring 20<strong>19</strong> semester with great results. The course focuses on preparing accounting students for entering the accounting profession, with topics including interviews, recruiting for internships and full-time positions, graduate school, the CPA exam, etc. A variety of guest speakers and members from the accounting profession joined class each week to discuss topics, such as appropriate professional dress, résumés, and the importance of academic and professional organization involvement. EVAN PEELER, DECEMBER <strong>2018</strong> MPA GRADUATE, SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED ALL FOUR PARTS OF THE CPA EXAM DURING HIS YEAR IN THE MPA PROGRAM, PASSING EACH SECTION ON HIS FIRST ATTEMPT. UPON GRADUATION, HE BEGAN HIS PROFESSIONAL CAREER WITH KPMG LLP IN JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA. GUEST SPEAKERS Karen Moody and Lydia Windam from the Mississippi Society of CPAs Amber Hatten invited Dr. Holly Syrdal and her Social Media Marketing and Merchandising students to lead a workshop focused on teaching the Professional Business Standards for Accounting students how to optimize their LinkedIn profiles for personal branding. Dr. Syrdal's students have been working on a semester-long task to optimize their own personal LinkedIn profiles and provided many expert tips on how to network effectively through the social media platform. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING AND MERCHANDISING (MKT 478) Dr. Holly Syrdal taught a new course titled Social Media Marketing and Merchandising during spring 20<strong>19</strong>. The course takes a practical approach by gaining hands-on experiences using social media strategically when developing a social media plan. One of the group projects allowed students to assist an assigned non-profit community partner by creating social media marketing plans and presenting their successful execution results. Students also earned a social media certification, providing tangible evidence of the digital skills acquired during the course. UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS ESSENTIALS CERTIFICATE A new undergraduate Certificate in Business Essentials will launch fall 20<strong>19</strong>. The 12- hour program was created specifically for non-business students, allowing those pursuing their dreams in other fields of study the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of business skills valued in every industry. 40 | 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
CHICK-FIL-A Two of our accounting students, Rachel Green and Tyler Pittman, received the opportunity to attend a three-day event held by Chick-fil-A Corporate in Atlanta, Ga. Fifty-eight students from all over the country were selected to attend the leadership program, designed for those pursuing careers in accounting and IT. TRAVELING TO SUCCESS AICPA Dr. Megan Leach is a graduate of our MPA program and recently became a visiting assistant faculty member in the School of Accountancy in Hattiesburg. While earning her Master of Professional Accountancy degree, Dr. Leach was selected to attend the AICPA Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop, a prestigious and competitive program for minority accounting students pursuing the CPA designation. The event, hosted in Atlanta, helps to strengthen students’ professional skills and provide guidance for understanding the possibilities and benefits of earning the CPA credential. Speakers, panel discussions and interactive programs provide participants an opportunity to gain confidence, improve leadership skills, develop tools to pass the CPA exam, and enhance understanding of a career path within the accounting profession. While working on completing her MPA degree, Dr. Leach also completed the University of Florida's Post-Doctoral Bridge to Business Program (PDBP). The PDBP is an AACSB-endorsed program aimed at bridging the gap of doctoral faculty shortages faced by many business schools. The program provides a bridge for non-business disciplines to teach in areas of business, including accounting and finance. By completing the PDBP, Dr. Leach was able to successfully make the transition from student to faculty member and join our team in the School of Accountancy in fall <strong>2018</strong>. NATIONAL COLLEGIATE SALES COMPETITION Gabriela Alongia and Trey Pittman, students from Professor Chris Balaski’s professional sales course, represented our college at the National Collegiate Sales Competition in Kennesaw, Georgia. Over 140 students participated in the undergraduate competition. Each team had 20 minutes to close a sale for Gartner with a fictitious CIO from a university. Each role play was judged by both academics and corporate sponsors. Mr. Balaski served as a judge and coach for the competition. “The NCSC Sales Competition was an amazing experience that I am honored I was able to participate in! At first, I was very nervous to do this competition, by then I thought to myself, ‘Nothing good will ever happen if I don’t take a chance.’ Now I can say that I am glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and took that chance. The competition was beneficial because we used our ‘SPIN’ selling skills that we learned in MKT 400 to handle each role play we participated in,” said Pittman, who is currently working toward a professional selling certificate. A N N U A L R E P O R T 2 0 1 8 - 1 9 | 41