The Muma College of Business newsletter brings you news and information from the consolidated USF business colleges (and its six schools) in Sarasota-Manatee, St. Petersburg and Tampa.
Featured Stories December 2020
Happy Holidays from the Muma College of Business. From our faculty, staff and students, we wish you a safe and healthy holiday season with this very special video. Please celebrate the holidays by being safe. Remember to wear masks and socially distance from others. To view the video, click here.
Working professionals in South Asia now have a new opportunity to earn a University of South Florida degree in business analytics and information systems in one year and without leaving their jobs or the region. To read more about this groundbreaking initiative, click here.
Tony Kong, faculty director of the Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership on the St. Petersburg campus, was recently named a Sam and Bonnie Rechter Fellow by the University of Louisville, an inaugural award given to five fellows to promote ethical leadership. To read more, click here.
Founded in 2006, the Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership has focused on providing impactful instruction for students and external business leaders. With USF consolidation, that focus is energized to bring its commitment to excellence to a wider swath of those within academia and those without. To read more, click here.
A special group of USF business alumni are important players in the corporate landscape of Jamaica. They came to USF in the 1980s and have relied on each other to achieve success in their island nation. They also have become close friends. After three decades, each still is involved with USF. To read more, click here.
Student Spotlight: Timothy Henning. After four internships and two body-checking years of playing amateur hockey, Timothy Henning has found his groove in the world of finance. Although he remains passionate about hockey, he now focuses on securing a full-time job post-graduation. To read more, click here.
Before July 1, business students on USF’s Sarasota-Manatee campus drove to Tampa to take a course in entrepreneurship. And students in Tampa rode to Sarasota-Manatee to study risk management and insurance. Business students in St. Petersburg drove to Tampa to take classes in accounting or to Sarasota-Manatee to study hospitality management. All that has changed. To find out how, click here.
Frank G. Daveler, a Southwest Florida entrepreneur and philanthropist whose generosity touched many USF students on their paths to entrepreneurial careers, died last month in Naples. He was 102. His gift of nearly $3 million established an important program to help USF students prepare to run successful startups and business ventures through the USF Center for Entrepreneurship. To find out more, click here.
The Online MBA Program at USF’s Muma College of Business continues to draw recognition from across the nation with its recent placement in two separate rankings, both of which named the program on a list of their top 25. The Princeton Review ranked the program at No. 21 among the top 50 programs in the United States and Poets & Quants listed the USF Online MBA Program at No. 25. To read more, click here.
State of the Region Utilizes Cutting-Edge Research to Compare the Tampa Bay Region with Other Metro Areas

How has the 2020 local economy fared? Find out this January. The State of the Region Regional Competitiveness Report and the 2021 E-Insights report will be delivered in January and again utilizes the expertise of the Muma College of Business' School of Information Systems and Management. The report compares the Tampa Bay region with others of similar size using real time data.

To register, click here.
Balaji Padmanabhan Publishes Paper on 'Unlabeling' Data to Reveal Political Preferences

What if you had a lot of data about people, but didn't know the most important thing you wanted to know (some action of theirs, such as whom they will vote for, or whether they will buy your product)? These are usually cast as "unsupervised learning" problems in machine learning.
But what if you did have some information at the aggregate level? Maybe what percentage of users voted for which party.

This type of problem actually shows up in many scenarios. Customers are sent coupons, some of them are redeemed and marketers can see the aggregate percentage of coupons redeemed, but don't know exactly who used which coupon.
Padmanabhan and co-author Arash Barfar have "unlabeled" data about the shows people watch on TV, and which state/county they live in, but don't know which party affiliation they might be interested in. Can their television habits reveal their party affiliation?

The paper was published in the November issue of Expert Systems With Applications. To read more, click here.
Four Muma College of Business Faculty Named in the Top 2 Percent of Researchers Worldwide for their Impact

A study by Stanford University identified the top 2 percent of researchers worldwide across all fields of study, based on their career-long citation impact up until the end of 2019.

The Muma College of Business is represented by four faculty on the list of 100,000 researchers: Faizan Ali, Thomas Becker, Alan Hevner and G.J. de Vreede.

Ali ranked in the top 31 percent of researchers in the field of "Sport, Leisure and Tourism," Becker ranked No. 710 in the field of business and management, out of a total of 36,319 published researchers; Hevner and de Vreede ranked No. 172 and No. 303 respectively in the field of information systems, out of a total of 16,581 published researchers. Paul Spector, a professor emeritus with the USF Department of Psychology, ranked No. 8 in the study. Spector works closely with business researchers on topics of workplace issues, including employee behavior and wellbeing. 
Want to Find Out About a Revolutionary Classroom?

Muma College of Business marketing Professor Donna Davis teaches global sourcing in a new active-learning classroom that features special software at each breakout pod. The classroom allows in-person students to connect to online students as well as students in similar classrooms on the St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee campuses.

To view a video, click here.
Do You Feel Safe Flying These Days? Researcher Shares Insights About the Future of Travel and Tourism

Cihan Cobanoglu, the McKibbon Endowed Chair Professor and director of the M3 Center at USF's Sarasota-Manatee campus, recognizes that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on just about every industry out there is indisputable.

However, it goes beyond that. The crisis also has changed the behaviors of consumers and those behaviors may have a longer shelf life than the pandemic.

Cobanoglu penned an article for earlier this month outlining research that tracks the confidence levels of Americans for travel.

Murad Antia Writes About Why Auto Insurance Is Mandatory and Health Insurance Is Not

Why is automobile insurance required, but health insurance is not? Murad Antia, an instructor in the Muma College of Business KateTiedemann School of Business and Finance, delves into the reasons and rationales of this vexing issue in a thorough op-ed published recently in the Tampa Bay Times.

To read more, click here.
Internship Opportunities Now Available with Tech Data to Learn About Industry Trends

Ex Labs is a highly competitive accelerator lab that reveals to participants the latest trends and strategies used in the technology industry. Students from USF's St. Petersburg campus and all majors from the Muma College of Business will be able to engage with industry mentors from Tech Data and to develop valuable skills in problem-solving, leadership, diversity and inclusion, networking, data analytics and more.

Students will learn how to translate strengths from their particular majors into successful careers in the technology industry and be part of a team that will create a new IoT product, draw up a multi-faceted business plan and develop a strategy to take the product to market.  

To learn more, click here.
Dean Moez Limayem Recognized with AIS Technology VISION Award

Congratulations go out to Lynn Pippenger Dean Moez Limayem, who learned this month that he was the recipient of the AIS Technology VISION Award for 2020. This award recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the technology vision of the Association for Information Systems.

"Your efforts in leading the conversion of ECIS 2020 to an online conference and formation of the AIS Virtual Conference Series (VCS) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were remarkable," said an association announcement. Fellow award winners included Redouane El Amrani, a professor at Audencia Business School in France, and Frantz Rowe, an information systems professor at the Université de Nantes, also in France.

"These contributions not only benefited the ECIS 2020 authors," the letter said, but also "resulted in numerous advancements and contributions in the long-term technological vision of the association moving forward. On behalf of all members in the Association, we thank-you for your efforts and contributions."
Faculty Spotlights
Alumni Careers
Bob Tiller, the Raymond James Director of the Muma College of Business' Personal Financial Planning Program, gave some expert advice on the intricacies of buying and using auto insurance in a column published by To read the piece, click here.
Kelly Cowart, associate professor of marketing, was quoted in a segment aired by WFTS ABC Action News last month. To access the video and read the story titled "Yes, You Can Deliver That to my House": How the Pandemic is Giving Shoppers an Edge over Retailers," click here.

Martina Schmidt, finance instructor, and Nikki Stowell, business law instructor, presented their research at the 2020 Financial Education Association/Academy of Business Education's annual conference. The research was titled "Ten Best Practices for Online Business Courses."

James R. Stock, co-director of the Monica Wooden Center for Supply Chain Management and Sustainability, was featured on the Supply Chain is Boring podcast discussing supply chain as it relates to the global economy.
Joseph Rich (‘20, MS Finance) is now a research associate with StockSavvy, a Tampa-based startup that provides investors with an efficient app and website to assist in building portfolios.
Elizabeth Wilhelm (‘10, Marketing, Management) was named business development manager-e-commerce at Intertape and Polymer Group. She previously served as a demand manager.

John Biddle (’83, MBA) joined Holy Cross College at the University of Notre Dame as an assistant professor of physics. He previously was a post-doctoral researcher at Harvard University.

J. Michelle Childs (’88, Management) was named chair of the American Bar Association’s Judicial Division. She has been a federal judge for 10 years and works for the U.S. District Court in Columbia, South Carolina.

Nora Feely (’89, Marketing) was named vice president of marketing at Silverado Vineyards. Previously she was director of marketing and communications at the Napa Valley Winery in California.
In Other News ...
Dan and Tina Johnson, local philanthropists who have given generously to USF and the Muma College of Business, recently donated $3 million to name the directorship of the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy.
Jackie Skryd, chief of staff at St. Petersburg College and member of the 2022 DBA cohort, has won first prize in the Case Centre Best Cases competition. The case was submitted to the 10th International Conference on Management Cases 2020.
Vincent Jackson, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, now a Tampa Bay area entrepreneur and a 2016 Muma College of Business graduate, was named the 2021 Joyce Russell Kente Alumni Award recipient by the USF Foundation. He will receive the award in April.
Dates to Remember
Most In-person events planned for the near future have been canceled or postponed because of the threat of spreading COVID-19. Here are some events scheduled in the near future:

  • Dec. 24 through Jan. 1, USF is closed for winter break. Happy Holidays.

  • Jan. 10-18, Week of Welcome for all incoming students. This year, the celebration will be virtual. To find out more, click here.

  • Jan. 15, 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., State of the Region, sponsored by the Tampa Bay Partnership and the Muma College of Business. Watch for registration details. To register for the event, click here.