Featured Stories April 2021
Imagine Raymond James Stadium sold out. Then multiply that by two. That's how many registered for the "Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in the Workplace" certificate now being offered through the USF Muma College of Business. The free certificate, presented virtually, reveals reasons why workplace diversity is so elusive and ways to introduce it into a business culture. Read more.
The agency that provides accreditation for business colleges around the world recently recognized the USF Muma College of Business with an Innovations That Inspire award. The initiative recognizes institutions from around the globe serving as champions of change in business education. The award cited the "Post-Crisis Leadership" certificate program the college hosted in 2020. Read more.
Duke Energy of Florida CEO Melissa Seixas talked about leading in a traditionally male-dominated industry and how she rose from drawing schematics of power lines and utility poles to the top spot in the utility that provides power to nearly 2 million customers in Florida. With more than three decades with the company, she serves as an inspiration to all history majors. Read more.
There is a reason high school football Coach Kevin Kelley has won five of the last six Arkansas state championships. It’s analytics, stupid. Well, that’s what he said …Kelley was the honored guest of the sixth USF Sport & Entertainment Analytics Conference. He and key speakers discussed the importance of analytics in marketing and financial strategies. Read more.
Renowned experts of artificial intelligence and machine learning will speak at the Florida Business Analytics Forum, hosted by the USF Muma College of Business in May. Health care will be a big focus this year, with speakers addressing the future of AI in medicine and ways of identifying racial bias and issues related to dyslexia. Read more.
Student Spotlight: Kenu Louissaint takes on challenges that are well out of his comfort zone, like dancing at the halftime of Super Bowl LV in Tampa in February. He also has written books and is focused on managing his startup -- while majoring in management at the USF Muma College of Business. He's also minoring in psychology for that extra challenge. Read more.
Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance or sustainable investing/ socially responsible investing, has grown dramatically in recent years. Is this a trend? What impact will it have on the investing world? Professor Tina Yang and retired executive John Fodor discuss the issues involving ESG.
Emotional Intelligence has been identified as one of the most essential abilities for both personal and professional success. So, how can we develop these critical skills? Marketing Instructor Russell Clayton shares the research and data revealed when he started assigning works of fiction in class. Read more.
Alumnus Spotlight: Darin Ostrowski took part in the Applied Securities Analysis Program as a student and found the experience paid dividends. “The ASA course was by far the most applicable to real-world experience that you can get in any college setting,” he said. “The same research I do now in my job, we did in that class.” Read more.
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Sri Sundaram Takes Deanship Position at Cal State, Fullerton

Sri Sundaram, the Tiedemann-Cotton Dean of the USF Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance, has accepted a position as the dean of the College of Business and Economics at California State University Fullerton starting July 14, 2021. He was a positive force during his tenure here. Among many other significant accomplishments, he was a tremendous part of the reason the college was looked to as a model during consolidation and he helped assure a very smooth transition during and after consolidation.

"He offers creative solutions when the team is problem-solving," said Moez Limayem, Lynn Pippenger Dean of the Muma College of Business. "He offers positive affirmation when we are celebrating. He provides thoughtful counsel when we are brainstorming.

"Quite simply, he has been a very reliable, effective and trusted member of the Muma College of Business leadership team," Limayem said. "I am happy for Sri but he leaves big shoes to fill and I will personally miss his insight and his friendship."
Program Offers First Business of Esports Course; Students Stage Tourney, Job Fair

As esports makes its way into the mainstream, with gamers making millions and playing (before the pandemic) in front of packed arenas, there is the other side of the emerging culture away from the splashy graphics and lightning hand-eye coordination.

The business side. The front office side. The management side. They all are unique aspects of the growing industry that has captured the minds of talented young people focused on computer gaming as a way of life, a culture all their own.

Keeping ahead of the curve in this growing trend is the USF Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program, housed in the Muma College of Business. This spring, the program offered the first-ever class on the business of esports, with a focus on letting students in on the opportunities for marketing, accounting, finance and management of the industry. It is a groundbreaking moment for the graduate program that awards graduates a master’s degree in marketing and an MBA. Learn more.
Customer Experience Lab in St. Petersburg: Bridging Community with Academic Research

Professor Phil Trocchia took over as the director of the USF Customer Experience Lab - St. Petersburg (formerly the Consumer Insight and Sales Lab) in the fall of 2020. Prior to that, the primary function of the lab was to run focus groups. The lab is now conducting one-on-one, in-depth surveys in addition to the focus groups.

“The goal of the lab is to serve the community and bridge the gap between academic research and business research,” said Trocchia. “I’d also like to get students involved. Once we are able to hold focus groups in person again, they would get a chance to observe and provide feedback to our clients.

“It would be great, especially for marketing students to have these experiences for their résumés and job interviews.” Learn more.
Finance Professor Featured in Recent Florida Trend

Dejun "Tony" Kong, faculty director of the Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership, was featured recently in Florida Trend, talking about his teaching philosophy and how he effectively passes financial knowledge on to students.

Kong joined the faculty of USF’s Muma College of Business after four years teaching at the University of Houston and three years at the University of Richmond before that. He is a big proponent of making the classroom experience fun.

“I believe that when students laugh and have positive emotions, they actually remember things more easily and are more engaged,” he said. “I know the power of positive emotions, so I try to utilize that in my classroom.” Learn more.
Interdisciplinary Effort Examines Consumers' Response to Ads

Fears surrounding COVID-19 have led to homebound lifestyles across the globe, but a team of USF researchers is studying the way people are responding to advertisements that encourage them to seek in-person health care without any fear. The team, consisting of three professors from the Muma College of Business, the College of Public Health and the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications, received a $25,000 grant as a part of the third round of the COVID-19 Rapid Research Response Program. The money will go to evaluate how medical patients from BayCare Health System respond to advertisements related to resuming appointments and seeking emergency health care services during the pandemic. Learn more.
Working Women of Tampa Bay – Lisa Yacso

The Working Women of Tampa Bay on a recent Facebook live event interviewed Lisa Yacso, online MBA program administrator and Women and Leadership Mentorship Program director. Yacso talked about the three components of the Women and Leadership Initiative including the recent thought leadership speaker series that recently finished, LEADForward Roundtables, a yearlong executive training program, and the Leadership Mentorship Program. Yacso also discussed the importance of being able to network and talk confidently about your own strengths. To view the interview, click here.
Faculty Spotlights
Alumni Careers
Dipayan Biswas, a professor in the School of Marketing and Innovation, was a co-author of a paper recently published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. The work finds that the order in which your senses interact with food has an impact on how much you like it. Read more.
Murad Antia, an instructor with the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance, wrote a column titled "Who Should Pay the True Cost of Guns" for the Tampa Bay Times. Read more.

Dan Bradley, a professor in the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance, was quoted in a Money story about the level of expertise of traders involved in short-term stock moves. The findings, he said, surprised him. To read the story, click here.

Carol Osborne, an instructor in the School of Marketing and Innovation, was quoted in a news story outlining how social media influencers were paid with taxpayer money to promote "virtual vacations." To read the story go to 10tampabay.com
Calvin R. Hagins (’86, Finance) received the Leadership Excellence Director’s Mission Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed by the federal Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Hagins is the deputy assistant director for originations at the bureau in Washington, D.C.
Carson Ragsdale (’20, Marketing) was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. A relief pitcher and first baseman, he previously participated in the 2020 Florida Instructional League.

Michael Zaccari (’19, Hospitality Administration/Management) received JMX Brand’s first Category Manager of the Year Award for increasing office furniture sales revenue by 77 percent in 2020. Zaccari has been with the online retailer since 2020.

Jenny Verna (’15, Management) was named Holland America’s business development manager for South Florida. She previously worked at Unique Vacations.
In Other News ...
The WALI Speaker Series, hosted by the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance, was featured in Catalyst this month. The story focused on the WALI speaker series. Click here to read it.
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The 2021 Fast 56 awards event presented by the USF Alumni Association has been rescheduled for Sept. 10, which allows for more time to nominate a Bull-led business and to complete the application form. Click here to view eligibility criteria. Nominations close on May 28. Click here to nominate a Bull business. Applications are due June 1.
Carla Dorsey, CFO of The Dorsey Group and a 2019 graduate of the DBA program, recently released a patent-pending cloud-based software program that sprang from research she did for her doctoral dissertation in the DBA program. Over the next two months, she and her team will conduct workshops at two conferences to share the research findings and the program. "The DBA program was definitely a win for me," she said
Dates to Remember
Most In-person events have been canceled or postponed because of the threat of spreading COVID-19. Here are some virtual events scheduled in the near future:

  • April 22, 6 p.m., the 2021 Outstanding Young Alumni Awards ceremony will be held. This hybrid event features pre-recorded special guests and speakers along with a live question-and-answer session with the 2021 award recipients. To register, click here.

  • May 21-22, the Accounting Circle CPE Conference will take place in a virtual format. For more information or to register, click here.

  • June 3, noon, Conversation with a CEO featuring Richard Kopelman, CEO and managing partner of Aprio, a nationally recognized CPA-led business advisory firm. The virtual event is free, but registration is required. To register, click here.

  • Sept. 9, noon, Conversation with a CEO, featuring Mike Sutton, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco counties. The event is free, but registration is required. To register, click here.