School of Business Newsletter December 2022 Visit
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Welcome from the Dean

Season’s Greetings from the School of Business at Emporia State! The Fall semester has been filled with a lot of events and accomplishments which we share with you in this newsletter. Our biggest announcement this semester has been our $1.5 million federal grant which will be used to create a Cybersecurity Center on the fifth floor of Cremer Hall. Reinvestments in the Computer Science program will prepare students for the fastest-growing career fields in the nation and answer student and employer needs. Other big news is that our MBA program is the largest in Kansas, a donor-funded internship initiative will keep students local, our students are national champions with FBLA Collegiate, and once again, our Beta Gamma Sigma honor society comes away with Highest Honors.

We are so proud of the work our Hornets do both inside and outside of Cremer Hall. I hope you read this newsletter and feel the same pride I do for our fantastic school. Thanks for keeping us updated on your professional achievements. We are impressed with your accomplishments.

Go Hornets!

Ed Bashaw, Ph.D., Dean and Jones Distinguished Professor


Cybersecurity Center Coming Soon to ESU

The School of Business is excited to announce plans to open a state-of-the-art Cybersecurity Center! We have received a grant for $1.5 million from the FY 2022 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill; these funds will be used to create a Cybersecurity Center, with plans to open Fall 2023. The center’s hardware and software will be housed on the Emporia State University campus within the School of Business with an adjacent classroom. On July 6, Senator Jerry  Moran visited campus to celebrate the announcement with us.

The work of the center will occur both on campus and off. Classes leading to degrees in Computer Science, Information Systems and Business Data Analytics are currently being taught, but will be expanded with additional opportunities for students to earn industry-recognized concentrations, certifications, and credentials. The Cybersecurity Center will also be used to raise awareness of the importance of cybersecurity, host seminars and camps, and encourage research. Some of these activities will include cybersecurity competitions for high school and university students, high-impact partnerships with businesses concerned about cybersecurity, relevant training and certifications for faculty and staff, and partnerships between faculty and students for joint research.

Jerry Moran Announces Federal Grant

Reinvesting in Computer Science

Investments in the Computer Science program will prepare students for the fastest-growing career fields in the nation and answer student and employer needs.

Our reinvestments include:

  • Computer Science, Ph.D. — Tenure Track Faculty
  • Cybersecurity Center Director, Full-time Staff

The addition of a faculty member with a Ph.D. in computer science allows the program to seek accreditation from ABET, the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. ABET accreditation is the premier quality assurance marker that informs students, employers, and society that students from a program meet high standards of knowledge and are prepared to enter a global workforce.

The School of Business’ Computer Science program will now offer three concentrations: Cybersecurity, Data Science, and Application Development. Students seeking a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science will select at least one concentration.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, “Overall employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 15 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.”

Cybersecurity will also see growth. According to U.S. Department of Labor, the projected growth rate of cybersecurity jobs in Kansas is 38.7% from 2020 to 2030.

Additional Resources

Nick & Jan Laurent Focus on Philanthropy & Community Building

Nick and Jan Laurent recently contributed to Emporia State University’s Together, Forward campaign. Their gift will support the Emporia community and ESU School of Business students working to achieve their education goals. They hope that by supporting real-world learning opportunities, through local internships, students will uncover ways to build their careers in Emporia after graduation.

Part of their gift is creating the Nick Laurent Emporia Internship Fund. This fund includes a partnership with Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce to place students in internships with local businesses whose needs align with the students’ skills and education track. Each student will also have an ESU faculty member as an advisor, and the internship will appear on their transcript. The School of Business is grateful for the recent gift from Nick & Jan Laurent of Emporia. With their support, 14 students will experience a high-impact internship right here in Emporia.


Summer Institute Program Partners with School of Business

Through a partnership with ESU and the Sakae Institute in Japan, the campus was home to 30 Japanese college students last summer. The School of Business participated in the program this year. Beth Ginter (MBA ’98) taught Business Communication to a group of 15 students July 5-August 5. Beth enjoyed her class, saying “They taught me so much! As they continue their educational journey, I wish them good luck. I know they will all do great things.” The School of Business also held two, three-week programs for the Summer Institute: “Essential Skills for the Future Manager” and “Programming in Python.”

MBA Program Ranked Highest in Kansas

The Wichita Business Journal has reported that Emporia State has the most students enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program than any other Kansas university, with 462 MBA students. The University of Kansas is second at 430. One year ago, ESU trailed the University of Kansas in second place.

The MBA is offered both on campus and online, with concentrations in accounting, marketing, and information systems offered in the online program. We also offer a Global MBA online in China.

The report also shows the cost of a master’s degree is much lower at ESU than other locations. The average cost is $11,979. Only Pittsburg State University is lower, at $11,250.

Business and Technology Career and Internship Fair

On October 5, we hosted our Business and Technology Career and Internship Day in Cremer Hall. This was the second fair we’ve held in Cremer Hall, and we continue to have increased employer and student participation. About 175 students (the most since COVID) visited the 28 businesses that participated. Both parties appreciated the fair, and afterward, students were hired for jobs or internships from the networking opportunities this provided. Contact us if you or your employer might be interested in attending our Spring Career and Internship Fair scheduled for Feb. 22, 2023.

High School Business Career Day

On October 12, we hosted our annual Business Career Day. 318 students from 25 high schools convened on campus to learn about business majors and student life at Emporia State University. Students chose to attend different breakout sessions with topics including accounting, entrepreneurship, technology, marketing & real estate, management, human resources, social media, business education, and finance.

Goodbye to Our Accounting Legends

John Rich, Larry Falcetto, and George Durler were honored for their years of service at the Accounting Alumni Dinner during Homecoming 2022. Memorial Union was filled with accounting alumni to help honor these three gentlemen.

Dr. Rich addressed the audience with these words: “The commitment to the individual student is what makes Emporia State, Emporia State. It has been my great honor to share the Emporia State experience with many, many truly wonderful students. Students finding their place in life and preparing to make their contributions to society. They have gained the confidence and knowledge to elevate their potential to heights they had never dreamed of. They've enriched, enriched my life immeasurably. My students have taught me to respect the value of each individual from the unique person they are and the potential they possess. These students who are mostly now alumni have given me great confidence in our future. It's hard to be around young people all the time and see the good things that they do…and not feel good about the future.”

Speaking about a letter he received after retiring, Dr. Rich continued, “And then he wrote some words about me and one of the things he said that really stuck out was get this, ‘You became one of us.’ I think what really happened is I needed a place to go. Emporia State University took me here, you took me here, sharing the Emporia State experience with, with you has given my life meaning and purpose and provided the fulfillment that I needed and did not get elsewhere.”

“For some reason, I have had a desire or need to be part of a team or being part of something bigger than I am. I found my place and it's been great for me and hopefully has served in Emporia State University and its students well.”

Homecoming Alumni Panel

The School of Business hosted a panel discussion and reception for three previously honored guests over Homecoming: Nancy Briefs, 2021 Distinguished Alumni, BS 1976 Psychology and BSB Business Administration; Ron Frierson, 2020 Distinguished Alumni, BS 1996 Social Sciences; and Alex McDaniel, 2021 Outstanding Recent Graduate, BSB 2007 Business Administration, MBA 2011.

Here’s how our Honored Alumni answered this question by a student during the panel discussion, “How did your time in Emporia State help you to have the current career that you have today?”

Nancy Briefs: “So similar to what you've heard, I think what I learned was a couple of things. One is critical thinking, which is really important in the business world. One of the underlying tenants of all seven companies that I've run has been you don't need to have the answer, but you've got to have the right question. If you have the right question, you can solve it with the smart team, solutions that will work, and that for me, I didn't get until I got to Emporia and that's made, I think, a really important difference. It also then rolls into communication, how you communicate with people. I grew up here in the Midwest, with the culture here of people just being nice to each other…. So I think critical thinking, good communication, and as you heard before, you’re really proud, I mean much like you heard, you know, my team are Harvard, Columbia, Yale, and they're all PhDs, and I'm the CEO and chairman and always remind them that I'm a kid from Kansas. You know so you can do whatever you want if you put your heart and soul into.”

Ron Frierson: “I think that Emporia State prepared me in different ways. There were so many instances where I was the tallest youngest, darkest thing in the room for years. Okay, but you are who you are. Now when I came from Michigan and I came to Kansas, it was a complete culture shock. It was flipped from where I came from. It actually helped me to develop me because I started to be able to see people as individuals. Because of some people I loved to this day, I've met here in Emporia. At Amazon, we don't use PowerPoints. We have to write out everything, everything is writing. I don't think I could have gone through that gauntlet of an interview system if I had not been trained to write as well as I had. So those are the things that that I learned from my time in Emporia. It's the communication, the culture, the technical skills that you learn here. It's a mission. It's something that you have to do. You have to promote Emporia State wherever you go. I have been in press conferences or at city hall with the Emporia State t-shirt on and people are asking ‘Where's Emporia State?’ When I was at the [L.A.] mayor's office, [employees] went to Georgetown, Columbia, UCLA, etc. and Texas, you know where the boss was a guy from? A guy from Emporia State. That’s real stuff.”

Alex McDaniel: “For me it came in two different phases, there's an undergrad and a grad school, very different experiences. For me, given a break in there, but in undergrad, I had a mentor, Dr. Harry Stephens, who was at one point in time vice president of student affairs here. He was a longtime adviser of the fraternity; I was a part of it and heavily involved in the community. And he was with me right there every step of the way. I was surprised to find out his times dealing with Topeka, he actually knew my grandfather who was a State Senator for a bit. So, he was a guiding force for my undergrad, but once I came back it really shifted over to the professors in the school. They're no longer here, but they were both involved a lot in the I.T., and it's something I came back from an MBA with certain ideas in mind. Going into health care administration in a hospital setting, actually interned over there, but in dealing with them I was a graduate assistant helping their classes along learning about data, those solutions, and systems. That's what led me down the consulting route and really led me to where I am today."

ESU Students Place First at National FBLA Collegiate Competition

The Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) National competition (now called FBLA Collegiate) event was held in Chicago, IL, June 24–27, 2022.  A lot of exciting things happened during the trip to Nationals this year! Ten participants competed, and eight students took home fifteen, top 10 finishes in the National arena, including four first place finishes. Senior Business Administration student Abby Rowden was also awarded the national Who’s Who in PBL.

PBL advisor Leticia Rust stated, “This year was exciting for our students. With the events being held in person after the long hiatus due to Covid, the students used the excitement and drive for competition to fuel their success.  We were all excited to compete in person, travel, network, and highlight our amazing, talented students. I am so proud of this group of students; they have endured so much in the last few years. It just shows the adaptability and drive our students have to be their best.”

Our FBLA Collegiate students also attended the FBLA Career Connections conference in Omaha, NE, November 3-5. They toured Conagra Brands who owns many of the food brands you use every day. Three FBLA Collegiate members and their team placed in the case study competition at Career Connections Conference. Congratulations to Hailey Waltner for placing 2nd in Hospitality Management, Brice Helton for placing 2nd in Accounting, and Ashley Cookson for placing 1st in Accounting.

Beta Gamma Sigma Inductees

Students who are in the top 10% of their class (20% for graduate students) are invited to join Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) and are “tapped” by faculty dressed in commencement attire while in class. The element of surprise is fun, and the rest of the class learns about BGS and the benefits of being invited. This fall, 7 students were inducted: Manuel Armour, Courtney Brierly, Haylee Brown, Brice Helton, Kade Kline, Linnea Mowry, and Jaden Tredway. Congratulations to the new members of Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society—they join an elite group of business students and professionals from AACSB business schools. Congratulations to accounting professor Dr. Lei Wen for being our honorary Faculty Inductee.

Celebrating Our Students

Mini Majors Camp

Every Fall, prior to the start of classes, new students come to Mini Majors Camp and learn about our programs, meet some faculty, and tour our building. It’s always a great time to meet our new BizHornets and introduce ourselves and ask them “What’s Your Hustle?”

Ice Cream Social

Home Opener Football Game Cook Out


BizHornets and undecided students look forward to this event, held early in the Fall semester. It’s a fun event with yard games, good food, and student organizations tabling to visit with curious students interested in signing up.

High-Impact Experiences

Four of our BizHornets spent the day in Topeka at the Financial Services Industry Preview sponsored by Security Benefit and Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka.

Graduation Reception

On December 16, we celebrated our graduates with a ceremonial graduate hooding and undergraduate reception. We enjoyed hooding our graduates and saying good luck to all who attended. Check out all the posted videos and photos on our Facebook page @ESU.Business.

Alumni Career Announcements & Retirements


Terry Crawford (BSB 1979-Business Administration) was the guest speaker of Homecoming’s Hayes Lecture Series. He talked about his leadership experiences and successes since graduating from ESU in 1979.
Congratulations to Craig Kuckelman (BSB 1991-Accounting), for being named to the 2022 Class of Ingram's 250! He is 1 of the 250 most influential and powerful business executives and leaders throughout the Greater Kansas City Region.

Career Announcements

Stephen R. Agudo (BSB 12-Management), Overland Park, has started a new position as senior accountant - capitalized software & asset manager at T-Mobile.

Abdulla J. Albaqshi (BSB 18-Business Administration), Alnuza, Alhassa, Saudi Arabia, has started a new position as a content operations agent at Sary.

Mohammed A. Albagshi (BSB 14-Business Administration), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has started a new position as senior relationship manager at Lendo.

Mukhtar Alhamoud (BSB 17-Business Administration), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has started a new position as a data analyst for Saudi Investment Recycling Company.

Brent C. Bradbury (BSB 08-Accounting, BSB 09-Management), Omaha, Neb., will serve as a tax manager for BerganKDV.

Robert D. Carr (BSB 08-Accounting; MBA 09-Accounting; MBA 09-Business Administration), Andover, has started a new position as tax manager at Market Tax Services.

Jeff M. Carter (BSB 97-Marketing), Lenexa, was promoted to vice president of customer solutions with Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling, LLC.

Dr. Teresa L. Clounch (BSB 89-Business Administration; MS 96-Counselor Education), Hays, has been named associate vice president of student life and dean of students at Washburn University.

Cory F. Falldine (BSB 06-Computer Information Systems; MBA 08-Business Administration), Emporia, has been promoted to vice president of infrastructure at Emporia State University.

Shane F. Garrison (BSB 17-Economics), Lawrence, has started a new position as senior accountant - financial services at T-Mobile.

Cortez Gray (BS 16-Computer Science), Manhattan, has started a new position as a full stack web developer at Purple Wave, Inc.

Kirk L. Holt (BSB 85-Business Administration), Dallas, Texas, joined Ernst & Young in August 2021 as a client serving contractor in Credit Risk, after a long career at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Alexis Humm (BSB 20-Management), Overland Park, has accepted a position as talent acquisition recruiter-nursing at OU Health.

Emmily Y. Infante (MBA 22-Business Administration), Emporia, has joined La Grande 1340 AM Spanish radio as a sports analyst.

Jeffry J. Larson (BSB 84-Business Administration), Emporia, was named chief judge of the 5th Judicial District.

R. Bruce Lounsbury (BSB 84-Data Processing Information Systems; MBA 97-Business Administration), Eudora, has started a new position as project manager - process analyst at T-Mobile.

Bert E. Luallen (BSB 80-Business Administration), Liberal, has taken a new position as the head girls golf coach at Liberal High School.

Kala K. Maxfield (BSB 14-Business Administration), Emporia, has started a new position as market development manager at Clearwave Fiber.

Payson L. Maydew (BSB 16-Accounting; MS 18-Business Administration), Emporia, has started a new position as assistant director of athletic development and assistant track and field coach at Emporia State University.

Kenneth L. Morgan (BSB 95-Finance), Kansas City, has started a new position as concrete supplies sales representative at KC Bobcat.

Gerald M. Mpofu (BSB 18-Information Systems), Nashville, Tenn., has started a new position as an automation and testing engineer at HCA Healthcare.

Natasha R. Oakes (BSB 04-Business Administration), Morgantown, W.Va., was named the senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator for West Virginia University.

Wyatt T. Porter (BSB 18-Accounting), Howard, has started a new position as senior accountant at The Home Depot.

Marcos O. "Mark" Rodriguez (MACC 20-Accountancy), Dallas, Texas, recently started a position as shared services analyst at Omni Hotels & Resorts.

Emily L. Schlesener (BSB 21-Management), Wichita, has started a new position as doctor of fun at My Town Media.

Timothy R. Schraad (BSB 19-Business Administration), Olathe, has started a new position as foreman at Trinity Excavating and Construction.

Dilnoza Z. Sherbadalova (BSB 18-Accounting), San Francisco, Calif., has been promoted to audit & assurance senior associate at Deloitte.

Justin M. Villmer (BSB 14-Accounting, MACC 17-Accountancy), Glendive, Mont., has been hired as the new president at Dawson Community College.

Teri L. Whitson (BSB 14-Accounting; MBA 17-Business Administration), Kansas City, Mo., recently started a new position as senior accountant II at Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc.

Alumni Awards

James L. "Jim" Albertson, II (BSB 70-Business Administration), Bradenton, Fla., received the 2021 Dealmaker Award from the Business Brokers of Florida for being in the top 50 for sales volume in Florida.

Jim F. Dennis (BSB 71-Business Administration), Keokuk, Iowa, was recognized by  Southeastern Community College as this years Distinguished Alumnus for the Keokuk Campus.

Jane M. (Stinnett) Kelley (BSE 83-Business Education), Emporia, was named to an adviser "Wall of Fame" during the Future Business Leaders of America's National Leadership Conference.

Ashley E. Mahoney (BSE 08-Business Education), Leawood, has been named to the 2022 class of  Women Who Mean Business by the Kansas City Business Journal.

Mike (BSE 70-Business Education, MS 78-Business Education) and Carol (Reeves) Petitjean (BSE 85-Elementary Education), Emporia, were named 2022 recipients of the ESU Alumni Association's University Service Citation Award which recognizes alumni and friends of the University who have made unique and significant contributions to the University, its students and staff members.

David A. Sherrer (BSB 77-Business Administration), El Dorado, was elected to the Butler Community College Board of Trustees in November 2021 and started a four-year term in January 2022.

Barb (Schra) Weaver (BSB 88-Office Administration), Emporia, won gold, in the swimming event for her age group, in the 2022 Kansas Senior Olympics.

Timothy L. "Tim" Werth (BSB 92-Finance), Hays, was appointed by the Kansas Attorney General to the Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees.

To learn more about the Together, Forward campaign, click on the image above.

Faculty News

Click here for our School of Business Directory

We would like to congratulate Dr. Khalid Aram and Eli Johnson for being graduates of the 35th class of Leadership Emporia Academy! We are so proud of you and grateful for all you do for the School of Business!

Congratulations to Dr. Lei Wen for earning best paper at the Academy of Business Research (ABR) Fall Conference in Las Vegas, NV, titled “Does Industrial Diversity Really Matter to Regional Economic Growth? An Evidence From U.S. Counties.” Other contributing authors were Litao Zhong and Zhimin Wang.

Dr. Nabid Alam was a speaker at the University of North Texas Cybersecurity Symposium in October. He spoke about “Cyberattack Towards Urban and Rural Infrastructure” (government office, banks, hospitals, agricultural organizations, and supply chain), featuring four cases of cyberattacks and research-based attack mitigation strategies.

Dr. Nabid Alam’s research work was featured in the Wall Street Journal in September. His supervisor and professor Dr. Gurpreet Dhillon did the interview based on his dissertation titled "Three Essays on Socially Engineered Attacks: The Case of Online Romantic Scams."

Dr. Sajedur Rahman and authors had their article titled “Lung Lobectomy Surgical Approach and Resource Utilization Differ by Anatomic Lobe in a Statewide Discharge Registry” published in the August 2022 issue of Journal of Thoracic Disease.

Graduate student Mostofa Wahid Soykoth had his paper “Green Supply Chain and Customer Satisfaction in Modern Retailing: A Dual-Perception Analysis with SEM Approach” published with professors in Bangladesh in the International Journal of Integrated Supply Management.

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