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.


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.




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 2018.


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.

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