Featured Stories September 2021
Mike Sutton, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties, took time out last week to chat with Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem in the latest Conversation with a CEO event. The nonprofit leader talked about how, over an eight-year span, the Habitat affiliate became one of the most successful and recognized in the nation. Read more.
The Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program is among the top three on the planet. Rankings by SportBusiness this month placed the highly regarded program No. 3 in the world, No. 3 in the United States and No. 1 in Florida. Among the criteria taken into consideration: Nearly 100 percent of the program's grads land a position in the industry within three months of graduation. Learn more.
Looking for new ways to invest in the stock market? Consider presidential power and political geography. A new study co-authored by Jung Chul Park, who is part of the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance, has concluded that the positive market effect diminishes in a “weak presidency" period.
“Presidential Power and Stock Returns” was recently published in Financial Management. Read more here.
Finally, students were able to return to class in August after a year-and-a-half of learning from home on virtual formats. The first day of in-person USF classes came with a strong recommendation to wear masks when on campus to protect everyone from contracting COVID-19 as well as stemming the spead of the pandemic to faculty, staff and fellow classmates. To view a first-day slideshow, click here.
Pat Nickinson, the sworn enemy of the dangling participle and split infinitive, has retired. For many Muma College of Business faculty, staff and students who have written important reports, impactful research papers or even thank-you letters, a visit to Nickinson's office was mandatory. There, they could catch that comma where there should be a semicolon, a misplacced modifier or an improper tense. Read more.
Adelee Le Grand, newly appointed CEO of HART, is set to be the next guest at the Conversation with a CEO, scheduled for Sept. 29. She will chat with Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem about her visions for the often-criticized public transportation system in Hillsborough County. The event is free, but registration is required. To read more, click here. To register for the event, click here.
The fall 2021 semester launched the inaugural cohort of Business Honors Program students on the St. Petersburg campus. The program has thrived on the Tampa campus for many years, but under OneUSF, the program is now available for St. Petersburg students. “We are excited to have expanded the Business Honors Program ... ” said April Bailey, director of the prestigious program. Learn more.
Students from all three campuses were treated to the Muma College of Business Week of Welcome a couple weeks ago. Everyone chomped down on hot dogs provided by Little Greek and the college handed out hundreds of limited-edition T-shirts to business majors. To view a slideshow of the day's photographs from the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee campuses, click here.
Gary Patterson was recently appointed interim dean of the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance and St. Petersburg interim campus dean. He came to USF 21 years ago and currently holds the Tiedemann-Cotton Professorship of Finance. He takes over the position left vacant by Sri Sundaram, who is now the dean of the College of Business and Economics at Cal State, Fullerton.
Marketing Class Picked to Create a Shark Awareness Public Service Campaign for the FWC

Ever since “Jaws” splashed across the big screen in 1975, sharks in general have gotten some pretty bad press. Beachgoers stopped wading in surf that came up past their knees and many just plain stopped going into the water at all.

What sharks need is an image makeover, something that highlights their redeeming qualities over gnashing teeth, the benefits of their place in the ecosystem over soulless black eyes approaching in murky water.

Enter a Muma College of Business undergraduate marketing class, which recently got the go-ahead from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to research and develop a state marketing communications campaign for the native Florida shark species that inhabit the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The state agency approved the pitch this month and met (virtually) with the class to answer questions about what the expectations are. Read more.
Center for Marketing and Sales Innovation Lab's Analysis of Online Menus May Lead to Redesigns

With the aid of emotional AI tools, researchers with the USF Center for Marking and Sales Innovation have taken a hard look at online menus’ composition to determine what is appealing to customers and what remains hidden in plain sight.

The study represented the most recent partnership between the private sector and the university and has resulted in impactful research that can inform the hospitality industry as it ushers in a new era of online menus for in-house eating, take out and delivered meals.

Rob Hammond, the study’s primary investigator and director of the center, said the center’s research lab has a growing list of private partners who make use of the unique and relevant data generation techniques that can help boost bottom lines. The added benefit is that current and past students play a big part in creating research with impact.

“Students are learning state-of-the-art skills and participating in research that will make them more employable at graduation," Hammond said. The lab, he said, is part of what makes USF a leading research institution. Other studies conducted at the lab have included examining the effectiveness of tobacco cessation public service announcements, salesperson effectiveness and COVID-19 messaging. Read more.
Some 3,000 USF Students Graduated in August, Including "Outstanding Graduate" Jessica Senatus

Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in Naples, Florida, Jessica Senatus attributes her drive and success to the sacrifices her parents made bringing their family to America when she was just a child. It’s the motivation that has helped push her to new heights and make a lasting impact on campus.

While at USF, Senatus was active both inside and outside the classroom. She served as a Student Government senator and Tampa financial officer and became involved in the Bulls Business Community and Business Honors Program.

A student in the Muma College of Business, Senatus took advantage of numerous academic and professional development opportunities and completed an internship with Cyber Florida.

Throughout her three years in college, she consistently worked two part-time jobs as well. But whether she was juggling her responsibilities on- and off-campus or supporting her family after they all became ill with COVID-19, Senatus persevered and has been able to thrive.

She graduated summa cum laude as a King O’Neal Scholar and this semester’s “Outstanding Graduate.” She will soon be headed to the Greater D.C. area to begin her career in cybersecurity. Read more.
School of Risk Management and Insurance Lands a $30,000 Endowment

The Florida Surplus Lines Association (FSLA) has established an endowment of $30,000 for the Muma College of Business's School of Risk Management and Insurance, supporting a $1,000 annual scholarship. It is the first endowed scholarship dedicated to students in the risk management and insurance program. FSLA board members announced the commitment during a recent presentation with Steven Miller, director of the School of Risk Management and Insurance. 
“We are honored to be the first solely endowed scholarship donor for the USF School of Risk Management and Insurance,” said incoming FSLA president, Kathy Colangelo. “We look forward to working closely with USF administrators and students in the risk management and insurance programs to introduce them to great opportunities for learning and growth in the insurance industry.”

The donation will fund a merit- and financial-need based scholarship for full- and
part-time students in the risk management and insurance program, helping support their education while leaving a legacy. Additionally, a member of FSLA will serve as a member of the USF School of Risk Management and Insurance Advisory Board, which is a student-focused organization designed to assist with mentoring and internship opportunities within the industry.

“Working with FSLA is a great opportunity to bring surplus lines into the conversation for our risk management and insurance program,'' said Miller. “We are grateful for their generous donation and proud to have their voices as a part of the board guiding the curriculum for the school as well.”
Faculty Spotlights
Alumni Careers
Lei Wedge, an associate professor of finance, was quoted in a WFLA story this month about the skyrocketing rental prices in the region. To read and/or view the story, click here.

Rob Hooker, associate professor of marketing, was interviewed by NerdWallet about seasonal retail cycles. He talked about when to get the best prices for certain items in the run-up to the holidays. To read the story, click here.
Dezhi Yin, information systems assistant professor, recently published a research paper in MIS Quartely, a top-rated journal. The paper is titled "Anger in Consumer Reviews: Unhelpful but Persuasive?" Read more.

Sunil Mithas, World Class Scholar and professor of information systems and management, was one of 22 USF professors recognized recently with Outstanding Research Achievement Awards. Read more.

Cihan Cobanoglu, chair of the M3 Center, co-edited the second volume of Global Advances in Services and Retail Management, an open access book. Read more.

Michelle Harrolle, director of the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program, was recently quoted in StreetInsider.com about research that found game-based learning is more effective than traditional video-based learning. Learn more.

Seckin Ozkul, director of the USF Supply Chain Innovation Lab, was quoted in a recent story on BayNews9 about an anticipated spike in fuel prices in the wake of Hurricane Ida. To view the video and read the story, click here.

Richard Borghesi, finance professor, was recently interviewed by The Guardian about compensation for college athletes. To read the article, click here.

Steven Miller, director of the School of Risk Management and Insurance, was recently interviewed by AdvisorSmith, discussing the effects of the commercial insurance market on small businesses. Read more.

Melony Herron, building manager with the Muma College of Business, was quoted in a story in the Oracle about her role as a mediator, trained to resolve disputes over masks in the business college. Read more.
Dwayne Isaacs (’05, Management) received the 2021 Legacy Leader Award from the Association of College Unions International for his work promoting student activities on the USF campus. He helped open the Marshall Student Center on the Tampa campus and the University Student Center on the St. Petersburg campus, where he is director of Student Life & Engagement.
Anthony “Tony” Morrison (‘[14, General Business Administration) has been awarded the GLAAD Media Award for outstanding representation of the LGBTQ+ community. He is the senior social media producer for Good Morning America and ABC News.

June Denton (’88, Accounting) has joined Seaside Bank and Trust in Sarasota as senior vice president and regional treasury solutions officer. She previously served as senior vice president for cash management at ServisFirst Bank in Sarasota.

Brooke Simpson (’04, Accounting) has joined BKD CPAs & Advisors as an international tax partner in the firm’s Nashville, Tennessee, office. She previously worked as an accountant for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Chris Conn (’20, MBA) was appointed chief financial officer of Memorial Hospital of Tampa, an HCA West Florida facility. He previously worked in that role at Poinciana Medical Center in Kissimmee, Florida.
USF Alumni Association Seeking Outstanding Young Alumni Nominations

The Outstanding Young Alumni Award was established in 2004 to recognize alumni age 35 and younger for their professional accomplishments and engagement with the university.

Selections are based on success in chosen careers and/or a demonstrated commitment to USF.

To nominate a candidate for the award, click here.

Nominations close Oct. 8. The awards will be presented in April 2022.
In Other News ...
Bill Sutton, the founding director of the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management program, was one of seven Oklahoma State University alumni honored recently with a Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes members of the "Cowboy Family" who have distinguished themselves through their field or profession and the betterment of their community.

Sutton is Director Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Marketing at the Vinik Sport and Entertainment Management Program.
He founded the internationally recognized program -- recently ranked No. 3 in the world, No. 3 in the nation and No. 1 in Florida, nearly a decade ago.

Prior to his retirement, he taught courses in sport marketing, sales and promotional management in sport, and he served as the placement coordinator for the program.

Dates to Remember
Here are some upcoming events planned over the coming months. Some may be virtual, some in person:

  • Sept 15, 6 p.m., the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management's Taste of the Past, is a fundraising event that benefits the school. It takes place at the Powell Crosley Estate.
  • Sept. 21, 10-11:30 a.m., Inclusive Collaborations and Classrooms, an interactive workshop organized by Tony Kong with the USF Bishop Center, takes place virtually. To register, click here.
  • Sept. 29, 8-9 a.m., Conversation with a CEO featuring HART CEO Adelee Le Grand tentatively set for CAMLS in downtown Tampa. To register for this free event, click here.
  • Oct. 26, noon to 1:30 p.m., the Monica Wooden Center for Supply Chain Management and Sustainability open house will be in the Muma College of Business atrium.
  • Nov. 5, 5-8 p.m., the Muma College of Business hosts a Homecoming Watch Party.