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 November 2020
With the presidential election all over but the counting, the nation may be wondering what all this means for investments, 401(k)s and Wall Street in general. Finance professors and investors with Cumberland Advisors in Sarasota will hold a virtual event to discuss where the market is and where it is going. For more info, click here. To register, click here.
Rogan Donelly, 35 and president of Tervis, among the leaders in plastic and stainless steel drinkware, talked about his life, career and what it's like to be the head of a family business. The USF Executive MBA alumnus talked about his rise to the top at a virtual Conversation with a CEO event. To read more, click here. To watch a video of the event, click here.
The annual State of the Region comprehensive Regional Competitiveness 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 collection. For details, click here. To register, click here.
Students from across the campus took part in the fall 2020 version of Selling with the Bulls last month, putting on display their abilities to sell themselves to potential employers, products in video formats and on the telephone. Rob Hammond, Director of the Center for Marketing and Sales Innovation, coordinated the event. Learn more.
This spring, Muma College of Business student Zachary Weber will take what will be the biggest step in his life. He begins an internship with Microsoft and he is ready to head out west to Redmond, Washington, to learn about the iconic company. His hopes for the future? To become a permanent part of the Microsoft family. Learn more.
Several clients of the Florida Small Business Development Center at USF were winners at the SBDC's Virtual Awards Celebration last month: The Outstanding Resource Partner Award, city of Lake Wales; Student Project of the Year award, Frostbite Ice Cream/Warner Southern University; and the award for Performance Excellence, Brad Owens.
Balaji Padmanabhan, professor in the School of Information Systems and Management, waxed philosophic on the pros and cons of social media. he gives tips on how to navigate the tricky world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, The piece is titled "The Dilemma About 'The Social Dilemma.'"
Phil Trocchia, professor in the School of Marketing and Innovation, contributed to a Tampa Bay Times article on a new interior design business opening in the International Plaza in the midst of a global pandemic. People, he said, are stuck in their homes and they want their interiors to represent themselves in a better light. Read more
Mike Mondello, a professor in the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program, talks about the premium prices recently paid for a pair of professional sports teams. The prices are in spite of a pandemic that has emptied stadium seats and left many teams with a fraction of their anticipated income. Read more
Associate Dean Jackie Reck Recognized for Lifetime Achievement by the American Accounting Association

Jackie Reck, a tireless accounting professor and dean's office administrator in the USF Muma College of Business, was honored last month for the work she has done throughout her career. The American Accounting Association Government and Nonprofit Section selected Reck for its 2020 Enduring Lifetime Contribution Award.

"Jackie has contributed so much in the government and nonprofit arena," said Mark Taylor, director of the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy. "We are thrilled that her colleagues have seen fit to honor her many contributions over a distinguished career. Congratulations Jackie! We are so glad to be your colleagues and that you are part of the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy."
Cynthia Johnson named a Game Changer for 2019

Cynthia Johnson and her team at Pinellas County Economic Development won the Florida Small Business Development Center's Network Game Changer of the Year award at the Florida SBDC Network’s Virtual Awards Celebration, held last month. The accolade is a reflection of the success of its Pinellas County Small Business Enterprise Program.

Under Johnson’s leadership, Pinellas County made improvements to and expanded the Pinellas County Small Business Enterprise Program in 2019. Using her strategic approach, she made sure that the Florida SBDC at Pinellas County Economic Development would play a key role in the county’s efforts to expand access to opportunities for Pinellas County’s small business community. Congratulations.
Inaugural Business Ethics Essay Contest Draws Considerable Interest, Winners Named This Month

Greg Smersh, who teaches finance and real estate in the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance, put together an essay contest for undergraduate business students focusing on business ethics. Nearly 70 students signed up to pen their thoughts and philosophies on ethics within the world of business.

The first-place winner of a $1,000 scholarship is Denzel Tracey, a junior majoring in supply chain management on the Tampa campus. Second-place of a $750 scholarship went to Taryn Sczyrba, also a junior, and majoring in general business on the Sarasota-Manatee campus. Third place was a tie between Katya Viegas and Luis Blanco, who each will receive a $500 scholarship. Viegas is a senior, pursuing concurrent degrees in biomedical sciences and business analytics and information systems on the Tampa campus. Blanco is a sophomore in accounting on the Tampa campus.

Smersh said he hopes to make the contest an annual event.
Muma College of Business students volunteer, work full time at Feeding Tampa Bay

“My time working here so far has been beyond incredible,” said Sonia Duraimurugan, who works with Feeding Tampa Bay as a community engagement associate. She is an MBA student who interned with the nonprofit as an undergraduate. “I love being able to have part of so many moving pieces within the organization. I've enjoyed becoming part of the FTB family and being able to watch it grow."

“With COVID-19, many days I work from home but despite that, the staff here radiates energy making even zoom meetings feel like we are in person,” said the former 25 Under 25 honoree with the college. “Working here, I learned a lot about how it’s okay to not know something and its okay to need help. They create an open environment that allows me to be human.” Read more.
Nandini Agarwal Gets Top Undergrad Award

Nandini Agarwal, no stranger to awards and recognition for excellence throughout her college career, added one more accolade to the trophy case: Outstanding Undergraduate for the fall 2020 semester.

Set to graduate in December, Agarwal, who studies accounting and finance with a concentration in asset management, has taken every moment as a USF Bull to triumph over any – and all – expectations.

Before committing to USF, she made sure to weigh the pros and cons of each university she considered, knowing this decision would have an enormous impact her future. Ultimately, acceptance in the USF’s Honors Program and the weight of the title pushed her to commit to USF.

She took a 24-hour plane ride to Tampa to further her education at USF. Initially, her placement in a residence hall worried her. She was so much younger than all the other students. Since those nervous first days, she has thrived in every endeavor.

Donna Davis Tackles Active Learning in a New Classroom Designed by Innnovative Education

Muma College of Business marketing Professor Donna Davis has undertaken teaching global sourcing in a new active-learning classroom designed by Innovative Education, USF Facilities and IT. The classroom features special software at each breakout pod that allows in-person students to connect to online students, as well as students in similar classrooms on the St. Petersburg and Sarasota-managee campuses.

In the classroom, called the “Tec Flex 2 – Technology Enhanced Flexible Classroom,” students are active participants learning by doing (not by passively observing) and engaged at the highest levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. Technology and furniture design allow for digital collaboration and project-based learning. Face-to-face, virtual and remote students are able to participate in the class, with each other and the instructor in real time using Microsoft Teams. The Global Sourcing course is a requirement for undergraduate students in supply chain management major.

Davis has long embraced experiential learning and has used collaborative technology to connect students no matter their location. She often brings in industry leaders and executive liaisons as guests to participate in the class sessions virtually.
Student Spotlight: Luiza Marques Commutes to Virtual Class Each Day, from South of the Equator

Luiza Marques is a finance major and Muma College of Business 25 under 25 honoree from Brazil. So, when USF turned to remote learning in March she headed home to continue her studies. She is a bit of an extrovert, so being so far from campus has been hard for her. She misses her friends, professors and her campus routines.

But she is undaunted and has seen some positives in her situation. She uses the flexibility to her advantage and now is taking five classes, working for AB inBev in Sao Paulo.

She also serves as a peer leader and tutors business calculus. To read more, click here.
Faculty Spotlights
Alumni Careers
Sri Sundaram, dean of the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance, was recently quoted by Forbes in a story titled "Post Pandemic: How Must Colleges and Universities Reinvent Themselves." To read the story, click here.
Greg Smersh, who teaches finance and real estate, recently published a paper titled "Pricing Moral Hazard in Residential Properties: The Impact of Sinkhole Claims on House Prices" in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics

Eddie Sanchez, instructor, and Leo Chen, director of the USF Student Managed Investment Fund, will take part in a webinar discussing the future of the financial markets in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic. To find out more, click here.

Stephen Diasio, professor of entrepreneurship and innovation, teaches a course in creativity and innovation, which was recently awarded a Quality Matters certification. 
Samantha A. Parker Hopkins, (‘93, Accounting, Finance) was named to the Working Mother/SHOOK Research’s list of Top Wealth Advisers in Greater Florida. Parker Hopkins is a financial adviser with UBS Wealth Management USA and serves as senior retirement plan consultant, portfolio manager and institutional consultant. She joined UBS Wealth Management in 2008.
Garrett Shinn (‘08, Accounting) is the new partner-in-charge of Carr, Riggs & Ingram’s Bradenton and Sarasota locations. Shinn specializes in strategic tax planning, estate and gift planning, and retirement planning for industries like agribusiness, health care, and multi-generational businesses.

Jonathan Ebberhart ('20, Finance) began his job at JPMorgan Private Wealth.

Dylan MacFarquhar ('20, Finance) is now working for Goldman Sachs Wealth Management.
In Other News ...
Pinshau Wang, assistant professor in the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance, has done extensive research into the topic of student debt and how it hinders young entrepreneurs. Her work has been published in an academic journal and last month was quoted in the Boston Globe. To read the story, click here.
2020 Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance Dean's Advisory Board Leadership Award winner Mona Duffus was recently named CEO of Dawning Family Services. "It really excites me to continue my passion for impacting communities." Read more
The Tampa Bay Business Journal recently released its 40 under 40 list and two alumni represented the Muma College of Business, including finance alumnus John McRae, who graduated in 2003. See the full list
Sarah Combs, a Doctor of Business Administration student recently was named a winner of the prestigious BIMTECH-Dr. G.D. Sardana Young Scholar Award. She joins fellow DBA student Shirley Morejon, wo also was recognized by the International Conference on Management Cases as an exceptional young scholar. Congratulations to both high achieving students and professionals.

Will Cohen, a 2006 business graduate who is the founder and CEO of the marketing firm Top Corp., has partnered with USF Esports to market the USF Esports Fall Invitational. Read more.
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 virtual events scheduled in the near future:

  • Nov. 17, noon until 1:30 p.m., a Post-Election Financial Markets webinar will take place, hosted by the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus featuring finance faculty members from the Muma College of Business and financial advisers from Cumberland Advisors. Read more. To register, click here.

  • Nov. 19, 6 p.m., the USF Alumni Association recognizes the 2020 USF Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipients. The awards event with Live Q&A is available at and will remain available on the USF Alumni Association’s YouTube channel, and Facebook page.

  • Dec. 12, 9 a.m. USF commencement ceremony. The event will be a virtual affair. For more information, 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. For more info about the program, click here. To register for the event, click here.