Coles Annual Report 2019-2020

Annual Report

2019-2020 COLES

Michael J. Coles College of Business

Message from the Dean Academuic Year 2020 at the Michael J. Coles College of Business was defined by two key developments: 1) a rigorous reaccreditation process with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and 2) the COVID-19 pandemic. Both created challenges while also reinforcing the College’s commitment to its students, its educators and support staff, and its ability to innovate. In the fall, the College underwent an accreditation review conducted by leaders at peer institutions within the AACSB. This review happens every five years and requires countless faculty and staff hours to complete. Earning AACSB reaccreditation sends a clear message that Coles College graduates receive an exceptional education led by faculty who are experts in their fields. Just two months after earning reaccreditation, the College faced a new challenge in the COVID-19 pandemic. Kennesaw State University quickly implemented remote learning in March. While the entire university – if not the world – was caught off guard, the Coles College faculty and staff worked diligently to set up online classes, create virtual engagement activities, and even rethink education abroad experiences to accommodate travelers being unable to leave home. Although reaccreditation and the pandemic disrupted routines, they did not stop the Coles College from continuing to distinguish itself as a world class business school. Among the College’s accomplishments this year was the Board of Regents approving a new bachelor’s degree in hospitality management and master’s degree in cybersecurity, the College placing first in several high profile student competitions, and the award-winning Student Managed Investment Fund celebrating 10 years of active trading, just to name a few. Also, this year I had the honor of being officially selected as the Coles College’s new dean. The year threw some obstacles at me for sure, but I was impressed daily by the endurance of our team and the eagerness of our students to engage with their educations. Thanks to their efforts, AY 2020 was nothing short of an outstanding success for the Michael J. Coles College of Business. I am confident that, as you read through this annual report, you will come to the same conclusion.

1 Message from the Dean

Table of Contents

2 Coles College by the Numbers

5 How Does Coles College Measure Up?

6 Pandemic Disrupts Routine, But Not Spirit

8 AACSB Accreditation

10 Student Managed Investment Fund Turns 10

12 Celebrating Student Achievements

Our Mission The mission of the Coles College of Business is to be the highest-value provider of business programs and talent in our markets. Coles College is highly respected in the academic and business communities for achieving national prominence in selected areas and for benefiting business practice. The Coles College of Business achieves this mission by continuing its responsive offerings of affordable, quality business degrees and customized executive education. Effective, committed teaching and integrated career preparation result in outstanding graduates and graduation rates, supporting sustained regional economic growth. Coles College reinforces these efforts with entrepreneurial business engagement and with quality research focusing on relevant business issues and communicating findings in ways that impact management practice.

14 Students Shine in Competitions

16 Producing Exceptional Graduates

18 Alumni Build Their Futures

20 Conducting Critical Research

24 New Paths for Student Success

26 Faculty Leadership On and Off Campus

28 Michael J. Coles Hall of Fame

30 Engaging with Industry Professionals

32 Coles College of Business Advisory Board

Robin Cheramie, Ph.D. Interim Dean, Coles College of Business

Experiential Learning Internships and cooperatives provide students with real-world experience they cannot get in the classroom. More Coles College students participated in these activities in AY 2020 than from any other College. The following comes from the Department of Career Planning and Development’s 2019-2020 survey data. Students in Internships or Co-Ops: 448

Coles College by the Numbers

Enrollment in the Michael J. Coles College of Business as of Fall 2019 exceeded 7,000 students, representing an 8 percent increase from the previous year. Fueling this growth is a full array of relevant academic programs as well as experiential learning opportunities designed to ensure success after graduation.

272 paid opportunities Average salary of $15.36 Top Organizations Hosting Coles Interns: Kennesaw State University: 8 Recruitment Events Organized by DCPD: 9 Employers Attending Career Fairs: 684 Carr, Riggs, & Ingram LLC: 7

These figures provided by the Office of Institutional Research.

Moore Colson:

6 6



Southern Company:

Total Student Population (includes graduate, undergraduate, and certificate students)


Employers Attending Virtual Interview Days: 172 Job Postings Searching for Coles Students: 15,411 Coles Students Attending Career Fairs: 1,809

Degrees Conferred: 1,508

Undergraduate Students: 6,586 Admitted: 37% Aspiring: 63%

Graduate Students: 660

20% of all degrees awarded by Kennesaw State are through Coles College

Success After Graduation The DCPD also tracks students’ activities after graduating, including whether they joined the workforce or continued their education. This academic year, Coles College students were 12 percent more likely than the overall campus population to be working after graduation. of Coles College Students are Working at Time of Graduation (More than 10% above the Kennesaw State University Average)

Graduate Students by Program

Undergraduate Students by Major Accounting: 1,027 Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality: 100* Economics: 122 Entrepreneurship: 299 Finance: 983 Information Security & Assurance: 213

69% 4.8% Top Organizations Hiring Coles College Grads

Program totals exceed actual student population because students enrolled in dual degree programs are counted more than once. Master of Accounting: 42 Master of Business Administration: 465 WebMBA: ?? Evening: ?? Executive MBA: 70 Master of Science in Healthcare Management and Informatics: 76 Master of Science in Information Systems: 42 Ph.D. in Business Administration: 24

of Coles College Graduates Immediately Continue their Educations

Information Systems: 334 International Business: 278 Management: 1,507 Marketing: 1,422 Professional Sales: 156 Undeclared: 45 Average GPA of Admitted Undergraduate Students: 2.99 Students in Certificate Programs: 5

Average First Salary of Coles College Grads

Kennesaw State University: 14 The Home Depot: 14 NCR Corporation: 13 Bennett Thrasher: 12 United Parcel Service: 11

Undergraduate: $49,075 Master’s : $65,874 Ph.D.: $74,879

*Following the Closure of University College, Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality Students transitioned into the Coles College



How Does Coles College Measure Up?

Education Abroad While many education abroad experiences were cut short or cancelled this year due to the pandemic, Coles College students still represented nearly one-fifth of all students participating – including those whose trips did not happen. In addition, Coles College faculty organized seven education abroad experiences to six countries. 141 Coles College Students Studying Abroad Actually Traveled: 45 Trips Cancelled: 96

Coles College Rankings: 2018-2019

The Executive MBA Program ranked 1st in Georgia and 3rd in the nation by CEO Magazine, and was recognized as a Global Tier One EMBA program for the sixth year in a row ranked KSU 1st in online cybersecurity degrees, citing the BBA in Information Security and Assurance and the eDegree in Cybersecurity

Brigham Young University ranked KSU 2nd in Georgia for producing accounting research published in 12 top accounting journals since 2013

Percent of All Education Abroad Participants that are Coles College Students: 19% 3 of the top 10 Majors for Education Abroad Participation are from Coles College 6 1) MBA: 56 students 2) International Business: 3) Marketing Countries Visited by Coles College Faculty-Led Programs: 6 Colombia Germany (Cancelled)

MBA Central ranked the Coles College WebMBA as the 3rd best Online MBA in Georgia based on affordability, support services, and quality of classes

For the third year in a row, Billboard Magazine named the Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business a Top Music Business School

The BBA in Marketing was ranked 6th in OnlineU’s 2020 Listing of the Most Affordable Online Marketing Bachelor’s Degrees

Dominican Republic (Cancelled)


United Kingdom (Cancelled)

Kennesaw State University was ranked 14th in the U.S. in’s 2020 ist of the Best Online Cybersecurity Degrees

KSU Students (Including Non-Coles College Majors) Participating in Coles College Faculty-Led Programs: 13 Coles College Students Earning Global Engagement Certification: 1

The Coles College Executive MBA Program was ranked 21st the Southeast in Ivy Exec’s 2020 Best Executive MBA Programs

QS World University Rankings listed Kennesaw State’s WebMBA 37th in its 2020 listing of the Top Online MBA Programs

Master Degree Guide ranked the Coles College Master of Science in Information Systems 13th in its Best Online MIS Degrees feature



“While we are navigating uncharted waters, I have nothing but confidence in our faculty and staff’s ability to guarantee that the Coles College of Business’s students and other stakeholders will continue to receive the excellent level of service they have come to expect.”- Dean Robin Cheramie

Pandemic Disrupts Routine, But Not Spirit In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic meant that Kennesaw State University – like other schools around the world – became a 100 percent virtual institution overnight. In-person classes went online, on-campus events pivoted to virtual or were canceled, education abroad experiences were put on hold, and students, faculty, and staff grappled with the uncertainty of what their roles would be going forward.

Coles Students Aid Small Businesses Hit by Pandemic Birton Cowden’s undergraduate entrepreneurship and MBA students put their classroom knowledge to work to help businesses struggling to survive through the Covid-19 pandemic. “I put a challenge out to all of my current and past students to take action to help their local small businesses,” said Cowden, assistant professor of management and research director at the Robin and Doug Shore Entrepreneurship Center. “I told them I would give them a large sum of extra credit to come up with alternative business models or even new ones for local businesses to give value to their customers.” The ideas included helping local yarn stores and manufacturers attract more customers through social media outreach, assisting a printing business with enabling its employees to work remotely, and an alumni even worked with shopkeepers in Nairobi to enhance their online presences. “For the business owners, there will be a longer timeframe to understand the potential changes to their business plan and how it may help them during these difficult times,” Cowden said. “For the student, beyond the academics of the exercise, it provides them with a way to actually help people.” Real World Student Competitions Take to the Virtual Stage The National Collegiate Sales Competition and the Southeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition invite hundreds of students to campus each year to showcase their talents and network with peers and corporate recruiters. During the pandemic, organizers took both events online while maintaining the quality that students and sponsors expect.

“For our young people, it’s important to see that when these challenges come up, there are leaders who’re going to move forward through the challenge,” said Terry Loe, co-director of the Center for Professional Selling and co-founder of the NCSC. The NCSC is the world’s oldest and largest collegiate sales competition. This year’s event featured 140 competitors from 70 universities competing in virtual sales roleplays thanks to 18 WebEx meeting rooms provided by sponsor Gartner. For the team-based SECCDC, organizers partnered with Moraine Valley Community College to use their Netlab+ remote access solution to allow the eight participating teams to remotely defend servers from cyberattacks. BSides Atlanta Goes Virtual, Attracts Global Audience BSides Atlanta features panel discussions with information securoty industry experts, training opportunities, networking, and information security competitions, and is sponsored each year by the Coles College. Organizers had less than two weeks to turn the conference into a virtual summit. While the process involved overcoming several challenges, they encountered one issue they did not predict – skyrocketing attendance numbers. BSides Atlanta typically attracts between 300-400 information security students and professionals each year. Taking the event online and opening registrations up to international residents led to an audience of more than 1,100 people from 16 countries.

Faculty Brings Taste of Italy to Her Students

However, creative thinking helped Sinha preserve some of the original program’s cultural enrichment opportunities when the class went virtual. A highlight was having Atlanta restaurant Bellina Alimentari host a fully interactive virtual cooking class. The restaurant sent each student the ingredients to make authentic fresh Italian pasta and pizza. Tal Baum, the restaurant’s owner, then led a four-hour live demonstration via D2L Collaborate Ultra. “It was obviously no substitution for a trip to Italy, but it was close,” said MBA student Adriana Quinones. Cultural activities like this – as well as presentations from experts in Italian architecture and the country’s winery business – complemented the rigorous MBA coursework, and allowed Sinha to recreate a small amount of the experience the class missed out by not traveling to Italy. “Situations change, but when you know what your teaching objectives are, you have to find a different way to achieve them,” Sinha said.

What do you do when a global pandemic prevents 25 students from traveling to Italy for a once-in-a-lifetime, hands-on study- abroad learning experience? For Mona Sinha, the answer is you bring Italy to the students. Sinha, a marketing professor, was originally scheduled to travel to Italy in May with students in the Master of Business Administration program. The comparative business systems course would have included four full-day classes in Atlanta and a seven-day visit to Rome, Florence, and Montepulciano.

Bella Alimentari owner Tal Baum leads cooking class with MBA students



AACSB Accreditation

Michael J. Coles College of Business Once Again Earns Prestigious AACSB Accreditation

In January 2020, the Michael J. Coles College of business was successfully reaccredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). The Coles College of Business has maintained AACSB accreditation for the past 25 years. AACSB accreditation is the most sought-after stamp of approval for business schools worldwide, one that less than 5 percent of schools achieve. “AACSB International provides the gold standard for business school accreditations,” said Robin Cheramie, dean of Coles College. “It means quality for our students, quality for our faculty, and a college-wide emphasis on continuous improvement. Earning this prestigious accreditation reaffirms our faculty and staff’s unwavering support for our students and programs.” To maintain AACSB accreditation, the Coles College of Business must undergo a rigorous review by academic leaders of peer business schools every five years. As part of the review, colleges must demonstrate their commitment to 21 standards relating to faculty qualification, strategic management of resources, interactions of faculty and students, commitment to continuous improvement and achievement of learning goals in degree programs. “AACSB congratulates Kennesaw State University and the Coles College of Business on extending its accreditation,” said Stephanie M. Bryant, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB International. “The intense peer-review process confirms a school’s continued focus on excellence in all areas, including teaching, research, curricula development, and student learning. Kennesaw State’s and the

Coles College’s dedication to delivering high quality business education will create the next generation of great leaders.” The Coles College maintains a separate AACSB accreditation for its accounting program, which was also renewed this year. Only 182 schools – or 2 percent of all AACSB-accredited business schools – are dual certified in business and accounting. “Earning AACSB accounting accreditation demonstrates that our school has met the highest standards for curriculum development in both undergraduate and graduate programs,” said Steve Smalt, director of the Coles College School of Accountancy. “We are proud of the exceptional impact our faculty and staff have exhibited in teaching, research and service over the past five years.” AACSB International, founded in 1916, is the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in business and accounting.



Student Managed Investment Fund Turns 10

Since its launch ten years ago, the members of Kennesaw State University’s Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) have nearly tripled the fund’s value, won numerous awards and leveraged their experiences to open doors to jobs at major businesses in the financial industry. The SMIF gives undergraduate students supervised control over a real six-figure investment portfolio. Students learn to conduct fundamental analysis on publicly traded equities and make investing decisions based on that research. Their conservative investing philosophy has seen the fund grow from $100,000 to $270,000. “The real crowning achievement of this organization isn’t the fund’s growth,” said Govind Hariharan, faculty advisor and

chairman of the board of directors. “It’s in the student job placements and the growth of their professional careers. Our students have gone on to do great things and continue to grow.” Alumni of the program can be found working for Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and UPS. The fund capped off a decade of active trading with an awards ceremony in early March 2020 for almost 100 students, alumni and industry partners at The Buckhead Club in Atlanta. Nicholas Busson, a finance major and the fund’s chief operations officer, said the fund has taught him as much about professionalism as it has finance.

Govind Hariharan with SMIF Students

“Out of all the career-readiness programs I’ve been in, I would say this one was absolutely the best experience for that,” Busson said. “During our meetings, we have industry advisors who sometimes fly in from out of state. Being able to talk to people who have been in the field for 20, 30 or 40 years and explain your thought processes is a significantly important learning experience.” When Hariharan and former Coles College Dean Tim Mescon initially approached Gene Henssler, president of Henssler Financial, in 2006 about supporting the fund with an initial $100,000 investment, he considered it “a no-brainer.” The group’s meeting space – complete with computer terminals loaded with financial analysis software – is named the Henssler Trading Room. The scope of the fund’s activities has grown since 2010, especially in providing students with opportunities to learn from working finance professionals. Representatives from

companies like Henssler Financial, WellStar Health System, Bloomberg, Home Depot, Voya Financial and others are on the fund’s advisory board, while senior executives from Truist, Blackrock, UPS and JPMorgan Chase have hosted career conversations with students. As the fund celebrates 10 years of promoting student success, Hariharan is setting new goals. Plans include establishing an alumni association and growing the fund to $500,000 within the next five years through strong investments and donor gifts, with the intention of creating additional student opportunities. “The performance of our graduates has already inspired companies to hire from us because they see our alumni doing well,” Hariharan said. “We anticipate exponential growth in the recognition of the quality of our graduates.

Student Managed Investment Fund Students in Henssler Trading Room



Celebrating Student Achievements Between launching innovative new businesses, traveling across the world to share research, or receiving an invitation to study at one of the most prestigious Ivy League schools, Coles College of Business students continue to shine as brightly outside the classroom as they do within. Entrepreneurship Thrives at the Coles College The Coles College is dedicated to teaching Kennesaw State University students – regardless of major – the skills successful entrepreneurs use to bring their ideas to fruition. An entrepreneurial spirit can help any student achieve their goals, whether they want to start their own business or thrive in an existing company. Entrepreneurs come in many forms, and the Coles College supports them all. STUDENT ENTREPRENEURS LAUNCH GIG ECONOMY PAYMENT APP

Participants in Kennesaw State OWL Venture Competition

Coles Scholar Participates in Harvard Business Leadership Program Bradley Heath, a student in the prestigious Coles Scholars program for top-performing business students, participated in a weeklong residential education program hosted by Harvard University. The Summer Venture in Management program gives participants a broader understanding of challenges business leaders face, the many dimensions of the business world, and the impact they can have on their community and the world. Heath, who moved to Atlanta from the United Kingdom while in high school, was proud to represent Kennesaw State next to students from institutions like Yale and Columbia. Student Leader Represents KSU at Forbes Under 30 Summit Ambrielle August spent a week in 2019 in Detroit at the Forbes Under 30 Summit as one of 1,000 Under 30 Scholars. In addition to free admission to the summit – which featured presenters like Jon Oringer, the founder of Shutterstock; Steve Case, co-founder of AOL; and championship tennis player Serena Williams – August also attended an evening event with major investors. An information systems and marketing student, August is the former senior vice president Delta Sigma Pi’s Nu Pi chapter, worked as a resident assistant at the Austin Residence Complex, and was part of the Odyssey Peer Mentoring program.

PH.D. Student Invited to Exclusive Doctoral Consortium in Munich Ph.D. student Jason Williams was one of 40 doctoral students from around the world selected to participate in the 2019 International Conference of Information Systems Doctoral Consortium in Munich, Germany. The consortium provides students the opportunity to present IS research to their peers and gain valuable feedback on their dissertations. Williams presented his work on helping employees better take advantage of technology in their workplaces

young people to pursue their dreams. He invited some of his most popular guests, such as Mike Russell, president of ETS Solutions, Mecca Day, owner of Dayfit Personal Fitness, and successful YouTube personality Kayla Price, to speak with students about leadership and entrepreneurship. STUDENT ENTREPRENEUR CREATES SAFE BINDING ALTERNATIVE FOR TRANS COMMUNITY Morgan Turner, a student in the entrepreneurship program, won the Kennesaw State Owl Venture competition in Spring 2020 with his business, Self-Made Prosthetics, which is a technology company that builds custom-made prostheses to non-surgically modify the bodies of transmasculine individuals assigned female at birth. The products allow customers experiencing chest dysphoria to align their body image with their gender identity. While the winner traditionally takes their pitch to the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Georgia InVenture Competition, the COVID-19 unfortunately canceled those plans. However, Morgan continued to develop his product.

Electrical engineering student Caleb Gilbert partnered with the Robin and Doug Entrepreneurship Center to launch his new business venture, a gig economy payment app called Esgro. Gilbert won the Igniting New Companies pitch competition in Spring 2019, and the EC spent the summer helping him refine the product, develop a business plan, build Esgro’s brand, and research the application’s viability in the marketplace. He also leveraged the EC’s support to secure meetings with additional investors. SUCCESSFUL LEADERS SHARE INSPIRATIONAL STORIES AT ENACTUS PANEL Entrepreneurship student Christian “CeeJ” Brown hosted the Your Visionary Leadership Panel in October 2019 as part of a fall summit organized by social entrepreneurship student organization Enactus. Brown is host of the Your Visionary Podcast, where he interviews local entrepreneurs to encourage

Bradley Health completed Harvard Summer Venture in Management



CeeJ Brown, host of Your Visionary Podcast

Students Shine in Competitions Academic competition asks students to think beyond the classroom to better understand the practical applications of what they learn. The Coles College provides opportunities for students to showcase their talents in areas ranging from social media marketing and investment management to entrepreneurship and professional sales. First Place Win at National Collegiate Sales Competition For the third time in the event’s 22-year history, Kennesaw State won the National Collegiate Sales Competition. And, for the first time ever, they did so without ever leaving their homes. The NCSC was held virtually, with corporate sponsor Gartner providing 18 WebEx conference rooms. Sales students Michael Smoak and Sam Kroll competed against teams from 69 other universities in a series of 20-minute sales roleplays, with Smoak also taking third in the individual category. Kennesaw State Wins Regional Cyber Defense Competition

Student Managed Investment Firm

SMIF Students Win Poster Session Competition Student Managed Investment Fund members Nicholas Busson, Solomon Dodson, Luis Ramirez and Thomas Young took first place in the Kaplan Poster Session Competition, which was part of the Student Managed Investment Fund Consortium Conference in Chicago. Twelve teams presented

posters outlining their funds, with KSU having the best returns related to risk. SMIF Takes 1st at CFA Southern Classic

The SMIF team also took the top spot in the CFA Institute Research Southern Classic in February 2020, hosted by Kennesaw State. After defeating teams from Auburn, Clemson, Alabama, and Mercer, the Kennesaw team advanced to the North American Championship, where they also finished in the top ten. The CFA Institute Research Challenge is a global competition where students prepare reports on publicly traded companies. This was the second time Kennesaw State has won the Southern Classic. Marketing Students Win Amazon Case Competition Three members of the Kennesaw Marketing Association – Laura Stallings, Lenny Jimenez Cazon, and Amber Griffin – won the Morehouse Marketing Conclave Amazon Case Study Competition in February, where teams developed marketing plans to enhance Amazon’s efforts to reach college students. Stallings and Jimenez Cazon won first place and the award for best strategy. Kennesaw State students Haley Ganues and Caysi Ingram took second and the awards for best presentation and best creative. MBA Students Win Global Supply Chain Competition For the fifth year in a row, students in the Master of Business Administration program placed first in the LINKS Global Supply Chain competition, which tasks students with making supply chain decisions for a fictional set-top box company. The competition is broken up into two divisions, called industries. While Kennesaw State teams have won at least one industry for the last five years, this was the first year they won both, beating teams from Georgia Tech, Lehigh University, Florida Atlantic University, and others.

Kennesaw State University took first place in the Southeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition; the University’s first-ever victory in the 14-year-old event. Twelve Kennesaw state students competed against teams from six other regional universities to defend computer servers from simulated attacks. While the competition requires participants to put their technology skills to the test, the event also asks students to demonstrate their business acumen by completing other tasks assigned by management. Offsec Teams Places 3rd at PenTest Event The Offensive Security Research Club finished third in the Southeast Regional Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition in October held at Augusta University. Eleven universities from across the region participated in the event. The teams played the role of a bank’s in- house red team, which is a group of penetration testers whose job it is to identify network security issues and exploit them. As the third-place winner, Kennesaw State was the highest-ranking Georgia team.

Southeast Regional Collegiate Penetration Testing Cmpetition



Producing Exceptional Graduates A degree from the Michael J. Cole College of Business prepares students to excel. Whether the student is an undergraduate discovering her passion for professional sales or a seasoned professional gaining the skills to help lead one of the country’s largest cities, graduates of the Coles College of Business routinely make a difference within their organizations and beyond. Executive MBA Graduate Sharpens Impact as Civic Leader Earning her Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree from Kennesaw State University has Carmen Chubb believing in herself more than ever, especially considering the circumstances under which she completed it. Chubb, the chief of staff for Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, wrapped up a rigorous final semester at KSU in the spring that involved three complex team projects, including one assignment with counterparts from Romania to enhance global business skills. She did that while maintaining her regular job duties and helping navigate one of the nation’s largest cities through the coronavirus response. “My mantra for this semester was, if I can finish my MBA under these circumstances, I can do anything,” Chubb said. “The final semester is the most challenging and, at the same time, my work requires my full attention from sunup to sundown. Thankfully, I wake up before the sun comes up and could get my schoolwork done before the day starts or before the night ends.” Chubb was in her second semester of the Coles College of Business’ Executive MBA program when Bottoms appointed her as chief of staff in February 2019. Chubb serves as one of the highest-ranking advisors to the mayor, overseeing key city functions, top personnel, policy and legislative matters. Megan Colapinto ‘Raises the Bar’ for Sales Program Knowing that she wanted to pursue a business degree, Megan Colapinto dropped by the Burruss Building one day during her freshman year to learn more about the Coles College. That visit set the course for her college and professional careers. Colapinto picked up literature about the Coles College’s Center for Professional Selling, sparking an interest that developed into a passion for that field. She captained Kennesaw State’s sales team, won the KSU Sales Cup competition four consecutive times, participated in the prestigious Coles Scholars program, and in Summer 2020 earned her professional sales degree with a 4.0 grade point average. She began a 12-month training program with networking systems, software, and services firm Ciena, the previous semester. Colapinto then became a sales engineer, designing and creating networks to meet clients’ unique needs. “I love opportunities that challenge me and help me grow my skill set, capabilities and critical thinking,” Colapinto said. “I have learned that hard work is fun when you are passionate.”

Finance Graduates Hone Skills Through Student Investment Fund For thousands of Kennesaw State students each semester, graduation represents a defining moment. It is an opportunity to reflect on their entire educational journey – the mentors they found, the friendships they made and the opportunities they seized. Finance grads Vinny Rosamilia and Nicholas Busson spoke to Kennesaw State about how the Coles College Student Managed Investment Fund helped them find their wings.

Vinny Rosamilia

Being in SMIF made my classes easier because it blended the material and formulas learned in class with real-world applications. This allowed me to better understand the material covered because I was able to see how it was used in business.

Vinny Rosamilia

Nicholas Busson

The Student Managed Investment Fund helped me apply what I was learning in the classroom to real-world situations, and it helped me get an internship at SunTrust (now called Truist), and a full-time job offer at Wells Fargo.

Megan Colapinto

Nicholas Busson


Alumni Build Their Futures A college’s alumni are its unofficial ambassadors, as their success reflects the institution’s ability to provide graduates with the tools to succeed. During academic year 2020, Coles College graduates earned leadership positions at organizations like Amazon and the Georgia Department of Transportation, were recognized by their industries, and have even shared their stories of helping save lives during a natural disaster.

Alejandro Cano at Bessemer , Ala. Amazon Facility

Executive MBA Alumna Receives Women in Biometrics Award May Executive MBA program graduate Lauren Reed was named a winner of the 2020 Women in Biometrics Award by the Security Industry Association (SIA), the world’s largest security trade group. She is one of five women selected that year for the award, which recognizes women leaders driving biometric identity and security industries. Reed’s 20-year career in biometrics and forensics includes being the first woman to serve as director of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory at the Defense Forensic Science Center as well as the first chief of the U.S. Army Biometrics Examination Services Branch. Nuclear Safey Expert Charles Casto Talks Leadership Charles Casto, an alumnus of the Coles College’s Doctor of Business Administration (now Ph.D.) program, spoke about leadership to Kennesaw State students in September 2019. Casto spent 11 months as the director of onsite operations after the March 11, 2011 magnitude 9.0 earthquake and 45-foot high tsunami slammed eastern Japan, causing three reactor cores to melt down at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. During his presentation, he advised students on how to be great leaders: promote a clear and compelling vision and strategy, cultivate and foster continuous improvement, and set a personal example.

Alejandro Cano Launches Amazon Facility Amid Pandemic When Amazon selected international business graduate Alejandro Cano to open a new fulfillment center in Bessemer, Ala, Cano knew it would test his leadership skills. However, he did not expect to do it during a global pandemic. Amazon opened the facility in March 2020 just as COVID-19 began spreading across America. As the area manager overseeing 50-100 people at a time, Cano had to adjust to an unexpected surge in demand alongside strict new health and safety guidelines. This was Cano’s first professional leadership role since graduating in 2018. He credits his success to his Coles College education. Ph.D. Alumni Recognized by Their Home Institutions Two alumni of the Coles College’s Ph.D. in Business Administration program – Luke Hopkins and Joie Hain – were recognized by their home institutions, with one being named to a prominent leadership position. Hopkins, who graduated from the program in 2013 with a concentration in marketing, has been named director of the James M. Seneff Honors Program at Florida State University’s College of Business, where he teaches marketing. Hain, also a marketing graduate, was named Business Professor of the Year at Clayton State University, where she teaches digital marketing and professional selling.

EMBA Alumni Named Small Business Rock Stars High Road Craft Ice Cream, a successful chef-focused ice cream business founded 10 years ago by two Executive MBA students Keith Schroeder and Hunter Thornton as a class project, was honored in June 2020 by the Georgia Economic Developers Association as one of its 2020 Small Business Rock Stars. Schroeder, a trained chef, and corporate sales professional Hunter Thornton met in Fall 2008 on the first day of their EMBA program. For their capstone project, they created an ice cream business that caters to high-end restaurants and today generates $21 million in revenue. Recent Alumni Achievements The following alumni have either started exciting new career opportunities or earned recognitions in their fields during the last year: ◆ Matt Morris, a graduate of the information systems program, became director of 1898 & Co.’s critical infrastructure cybersecurity practice. 1898 & Co. is a technology consulting firm launched in October 2019. ◆ MBA alumnus Sam Baker became the transportation planning director for the government of Henry County Georgia. Baker has previously worked for the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and for Missoula County Montana.

◆ Alex Kalish was named Chief Strategy and Solutions Officer for managed mobility services provider Stratix. Kalish is a graduate of the Coles College MBA program. ◆ Management alumnus Evelyn Kemp became Advanced Medical Pricing Solutions’ senior vice president of strategic accounts. ◆ The City of Canton, Ga. promoted accounting services manager Melissa Forrester, who holds an accounting degree from the Coles College, to the position of finance director.

Charles Casto



Conducting Critical Research Besides teaching students, research is the most direct way for educators to influence the conversation around how business is done. This year, Coles College faculty published papers with far-reaching impact, while undergraduate students embraced research, with the Coles College doubling its presence at Kennesaw State’s annual undergraduate research symposium.

Research Published in Financial Times Top 50 Journals Auditor Sensitivity to Real Earnings Management: The Importance of Ambiguity and Earnings Context ¬– Benjamin Commerford, Dana Hermanson , Richard Houston, and Michael Peters

Working Paper Series Awards The Coles College Working Paper Series features ongoing research projects conducted within the Coles College of Business. Publishing drafts provides the authors with an opportunity for valuable feedback. Editors select papers in each issue to receive the Working Paper Series Award. The award recipients for academic year 2018-2019 are:

Jomon Paul and Huan Ni

Kennesaw State a Leader in Accounting Research

Jomon Paul and Huan Ni

How Private Nonprofit Hospitals Differ from Private For- Profit Hospitals in Average Inpatient Length of Stay Research shows that the longer a patient stays in the hospital, the more likely they are to experience a positive outcome. This study compares the typical length of stay for patients at private for-profit hospitals to those at nonprofit hospitals, concluding that lengths of stay are often longer at nonprofit hospitals.

Published in Contemporary Accounting Research Vol. 36, No. 2, Summer 2019, pp. 1055-1076

Brigham Young University ranked Kennesaw State University as the 2nd- most-published university in Georgia during the last six years for accounting research published in 12 top accounting journals. In addition, seven School of Accountancy faculty were among the top 1,000 researchers, with Dana Hermanson ranking 29th. For research published since 1990, Hermanson ranked 18th. “I am motivated to try to answer questions that can be helpful to practicing accountants, board members and students,” said Hermanson. Also for research published since 1990, Kennesaw State was ranked:

Yuyuan Chang, Yangyang Fan, and Duanping Hong

Greater Reliance on Major Customers and Auditor Going- Concern Opinions – Dan Dhaliwal, Paul Michas, Vic Naiker, and Divesh Sharma

Foreign Operations’ Effect on the Audit Quality of U.S. Multinational Corporations: Evidence from PCAOB International Inspections Auditing a U.S. multinational corporation means U.S. auditors must partner with their peers around the world. However, international auditors in many countries are not subject to oversight by the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which often results in reduced audit quality.

Saptarshi Purkayastha, Rajaram Veliyath, and Reije George

Published in Contemporary Accounting Research Vol. 37, No. 1 (Spring 2020), pp. 160-188

Performance Implications of Diversification Strategies of Business Groups and M-Form Firms Large businesses in India are typically organized in the business group structure – meaning the corporate office maintains varying degrees of control over independent, unrelated businesses – or the M-form structure – where the home office maintains centralized control over their various divisions. While diversifying a business positively affects its performance in most cases, the organizational structure dictates what form that diversification should take.

Multiechelon Lot Sizing: New Complexities and Inequalities – Ming Zhao and Minjiao Zhang

Divesh Sharma, Vineeta Sharma, and Lucy Ackert

Published in Operations Research (forthcoming)

◆ 6th in the world for accounting education research

Corporate Philanthropy: Do Board Gender Diversity and CEO Gender Matter? A study of 10,573 observations on the philanthropy of publicly listed companies reveals that those with more women in the roles of director, CEO, and/or board chairs are more likely to participate in corporate philanthropy. stavoid copycats.

◆ 18th in the world for auditing research

Robust Inference for Consumption-Based Asset Pricing – Frank Kleibergen and Zhaoguo Zhan

◆ 24th in the world for overall researh breadth

Published in Journal of Finance Vol. 75, No. 1 (February 2020), pp. 507-550



2nd Coles Research Symposium Promotes Collaboration The second annual Research Symposium on Homeland Security brought together top researchers in security-related fields like healthcare, transportation, and disaster planning to share their findings and gain new insights into the causes and solutions to global conflicts and disasters. Researchers from Kennesaw State, Georgia Institute of Technology; Syracuse University; University of California, Irvine; University of Illinois; and ORION, Canada’s largest research and education network, presented at the symposium. Among the featured research projects was an examination of the TSA’s PreCheck system, a study of how universities can protect themselves from cyberattacks, a look at the link between the strength of a country’s human capital and its likelihood to experience domestic terrorism, and a review of strategies for securing valuable infrastructure from cyberattacks. Student researchers also presented at the symposium. Economics professor Marcus Marktanner attended as a faculty

Coles Doubles Presence at Undergrad Research Symposium Out of the 350 Kennesaw State University undergraduate students who presented research at the Symposium of Student Scholars in April 2020, 92 were business students, up from 45 in 2018 and 11 in 2017. Helping drive this growth in Coles College’s participation is international marketing

advisor for a Ph.D. student in the School of Conflict studying the effect foreign aid plays on worsening political conflicts. “A significant component of this event is student engagement and highlighting student work,” said Coles College research director Jomon Paul. “We are elevating those interactions with students at a higher level.” Paul, the symposium’s chief organizer, values the opportunity the event provides for institutions large and small to discuss ways to keep the world safe from terrorism, cybercriminals, and natural disasters. “It was a great event to bring all these players together and realize that we can do something bigger,” he said

“My greatest joy when they succeed is that it proves they don’t have to be honors students,” she said. “If students are given the right opportunity and guidance, and are willing to work as hard as I can push them to, then they can shine just as bright.” KJUR Features Coles Students for the First Time Ever For the first time in its nine-year history, the January 2020 issue of the Kennesaw Journal of Undergraduate Research featured students from the Coles College of Business. International marketing students Clay Wilderman, Rachael Amatriain, and Jackson Lott each have papers in the journal, as does information systems student Kyle Sicard. Faculty members Mona Sinha and Herb Mattord were instrumental in helping them develop their projects. Publishing research in a peer-reviewed journal is an excellent way for students to jump start their careers in industry or academics. Management

professor Mona Sinha, who has made symposium participation a major part of her senior courses.

The Symposium of Student Scholars showcases the work of Kennesaw State undergraduate researchers conducted throughout the previous academic year. While the event has not typically attracted Coles College students, since 2018, Sinha has allowed seniors to present their final research projects at the symposium in lieu of in-class presentations. Most chose to do so in 2018. All of them did in 2020. Featured research from Coles College students included projects on Apple breaking into the Indian market and clothing brand Zara’s struggles to succeed in China.

Symposium of Student Scholars

Research Symposium on Homeland Security



Flight Academy Brings Fun and Games to Career Planning The Coles College began injecting some fun into its Hughes Leadership and Career Program in a move to inspire students to get serious about planning for their futures. Launched in Fall 2019 for students in the intro-level Hughes course, Flight Academy is an engagement program that awards points to students who participate in activities that help prepare them for life after graduation. These include attending career fairs, guest lectures, academic program information sessions, career prep workshops, and a variety of other development activities. Students track participation by logging activities online or scanning QR codes from a mobile application. The program will roll out to all Coles students in Fall 2020. In addition to the Flight Academy, the Hughes Leadership and Career program rolled out more sweeping changes focusing on experiential learning over graded assignments. Course credit now comes from event and activity attendance, self-assessments of professional aptitudes and strengths, and career conversations with professionals working in the student’s chosen field. Revising the Hughes program benefits students, who have more flexibility in how they earn Hughes credits, and benefits career coaches, who can now spend more one-on-one time with students Coles Receives Hospitality Industry Scholarship With the Coles College preparing to launch its hospitality management degree, AAHOA, the trade association representing the owners of half the country’s hotels, endowed

an annual scholarship for exceptional students enrolled in the program. The Michael Leven and Lee Dushoff AAHOA Scholarship for Compassionate Leadership, named for two of AAHOA’s founding members (including the Leven School’s namesake), will provide valuable tuition assistance to recipients, as well as opportunities to visit the organization’s Atlanta headquarters and meet with the board of directors.

New Paths for Student Success

Board of Regents Approves New Degrees in Hospitality and Cybersecurity The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved two new degree programs at Kennesaw State University: a Master of Science in Cybersecurity and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management. Both will be offered in Fall 2020. Hospitality is the fifth-largest industry in Georgia and employs 10 percent of the U.S. workforce. Meanwhile, the country is expecting a 31.6 percent increase in demand for information security analysts over the next eight years. “The addition of these two degree programs is further evidence of Kennesaw State’s commitment to developing academic programs that serve the interest of our students and, at the same time, support the growing marketplace demands of the state and region,” said KSU President Pamela Whitten. With annual revenues exceeding $4.7 billion in the state of Georgia and a 31.6 percent increase in nationwide demand for information security analysts over the next eight years, the M.S. in Cybersecurity addresses a major workforce need. The M.S. in Cybersecurity seeks to build on the success of KSU’s Institute for Cybersecurity Workforce Development, a collaboration between the College of Computing and Software Engineering, the Coles College of Business and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, by offering this 30-credit hour program, which features threat prevention and response, risk management, and applying the appropriate tools and methodologies to solve real-world problems. The hospitality industry employs approximately 10 percent of the workforce in the United States, and is the fifth-largest employer in the state of Georgia. Yet Georgia’s universities conferred fewer than 100 degrees in hospitality in 2017, the last year for which data were available. With the BBA in Hospitality Management, KSU stands at the forefront of bolstering those numbers as well as the state’s hospitality workforce. The degree will be offered through the Michael A. Leven School of Management, Entrepreneurship, and Hospitality and will require students to complete 400 hours of work experience in addition to the coursework. To help with enrollment, members of one of the largest hotel associations in the state have pledged nearly $125,000 in scholarships. KSU Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kathy Schwaig says the two programs will position KSU as a leader in two critical, rapidly growing industries.“Both the hospitality and cybersecurity industries continue to expand, offering growing opportunities for our graduates. These new programs focus on relevant knowledge that addresses industry demand,” said Schwaig. Each academic year brings with it the promise of new ways to enhance business education. Among the developments this year were the approval of two new degree programs and the launch of a high-tech, gamified platform for motivating students to participate in career enrichment activities.

Coles College Showcase Connects Students with Opportunities

Academic departments, student organizations, and resources from across campus came together in the Convocation Center in March 2020 for the first-annual Coles College Showcase. Hundreds of students learned about educational and extracurricular opportunities available to them, while they enjoyed some fun in the form of door prizes and a photo booth. The event was organized by the Office of Undergraduate Programs and will become a yearly tradition.

Coles College Flight Academy

Coles College Flight Academy



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