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2017 | No.11


FEATURING THE TURNER SCHOOL OF ACCOUNTANCY page 8 Faculty member emeritus gives $2.5 million










THE BELK COLLEGE OF BUSINESS UNC Charlotte 9201 University City Boulevard Charlotte, NC 28223 BELK COLLEGE SOCIAL MEDIA Belk College of Business

Faculty emeritus Thomas Turner




DEAN Steven H. Ott


PHOTOGRAPHY Irina Bakalenko, Wade Bruton, Stephanie Chesson

ECONOMICS Artie Zillante

DESIGN Irina Bakalenko

FINANCE Dolly King

PRINTING Classic Graphics


WRITERS Laura Williams-Tracy




Belk College Connects is published each year by the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte. To suggest story ideas, share feedback or change your mailing address, email 28,000 copies of the magazine were printed at a cost of $17,677. © 2017 UNC Charlotte


Dear Alumni and Friends,

Dean Steven H. Ott

The Belk College of Business network includes 29,000 alumni around the world, and you are an important part of our network. After you read this edition of Belk College Connects, please contact us. There are many ways to get involved: hiring students and interns, joining us at an upcoming event, volunteering or giving back to the College. Every gesture matters. Thank you for your support, which truly makes a difference for our college’s future. Best wishes in 2017 and beyond.


Belk College Connects

We are pleased to bring you this issue of Belk College Connects, with a focus on accounting – for a good reason. A few years ago, we noticed magic happened when we said two words. We noticed that alumni responded to these words. We noticed that faculty had a strong connection to these two words. These two words are the backbone for the accounting program at UNC Charlotte. Those words are Thomas Turner. Mr. Turner arrived at UNC Charlotte in the fall of 1966 - just one year after the institution became part of the UNC system. He became the first chair of the UNC Charlotte accounting department, assembled a team of professors who shared his commitment to teaching excellence and service to students. He set the vision, he led the team through the nascent years of the department, and for nearly 30 years taught thousands of students. Many of these students would go on to lead top accounting firms and top companies. Mr. Turner has provided a $2.5 million gift to support accounting programs and students – a significant and lasting gesture. In recognition of Turner’s gift and indelible mark of leadership, the Belk College of Business is elevating the department and renaming it to the Turner School of Accountancy. In honor of Mr. Turner, we are seeking to match his gift by raising an additional $2.5 million from alumni and friends of the Turner School of Accountancy. We want to ensure that the academic and research programs that have built strong reputations remain valuable assets to students, alumni and employers. I’m pleased to share that we are on our way to our goal of $5 million. Your support will help us reach our goal. We invite everyone to be a part of the legacy of the Turner School of Accountancy by giving online at or by sending back the enclosed envelope. We thank everyone who has contributed already to the Turner School or the Belk College of Business. Every gift is important. Overall, 2016 was a memorable year for the college. Inside this edition, you will read about points of pride, including: • five inspirational recipients of the first Belk College of Business Alumni Awards; • six new faculty members hired this past year, bringing the total to more than 20 new faculty in the Belk College over the past three years; • the 12 Belk Scholars in Business Analytics, who have received a prestigious full scholarship as undergraduates thanks to support from Belk, Inc. These are some of the many accomplishments from this past year. We are proud to be the urban research business school in Charlotte, one of the most dynamic and active business cities in America.




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(left to right) Marcia Avedon, Bryan Delaney, Dean Steven Ott, James Hartsell and Julie Harris at the Belk College Alumni Awards in October 2016.


As part of UNC Charlotte’s Homecoming celebrations, the Belk College of Business honored five alumni and friends for their accomplishments, service and dedication to the college on Oct. 13 during its first Alumni Awards. The Belk College Alumni Awards recognize alumni and advocates of the UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business who have demonstrated leadership and outstanding career achievements and enhanced the mission of the College. Sponsored by the Belk College of Business Alumni Council, the awards were bestowed to five individuals in four categories: • Distinguished Alumni Award: The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to alumni for extraordinary leadership and accomplishments. It recognizes alumni who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the university and the business community by giving generously of their time, energy and leadership. This award celebrates alumni who’ve had a transforming influence for our college and/or the community, over a lifetime. It is the highest honor the Belk College bestows. • Distinguished Service Award: The Distinguished Service Award is presented to a member of the Belk College community for

outstanding service to the Belk College of Business. • Distinguished Young Alumni Award: The Distinguished Young Alumni Award recognizes an alumnus or alumna who is under forty years of age, has demonstrated achievement and shows a promising future in business. • Honorary Alumni Award: The Honorary Alumni Award recognizes outstanding individuals who, while not graduates of the Belk College of Business, have made significant contributions to its leadership, vision and educational mission.

Robert A. Niblock ’84 Accounting - Distinguished Alumni Award Robert A. Niblock is the chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. Niblock holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte. Niblock has had a tremendous business impact

through his leadership and generosity. He is changing the futures of thousands of UNC Charlotte business students through his commitment to professional development and business education. Niblock was a first-generation college student, the youngest of four children and the only person in his immediate family to attend college. In fall 2015, he shared his personal story with more than 600 students as the first presenter of the Belk College of Business CEO Speaker Series. After the talk, he also announced a $2.5 million gift to name and support the Robert A. Niblock Student Center for Professional Development. The support has given new opportunities to the student community, many of whom are firstgeneration college students themselves.

Julie Harris ’00 Finance Distinguished Service Award Julie Harris is Bank of America’s Enterprise Credit Data, Allowance and Reporting Risk Executive. She graduated in 2000, majoring in finance with a focus on financial analysis and accounting. She serves as Vice Chair of the Belk College of Business Board of Advisors, on the UNC Charlotte Foundation Board and is a founding member of the Belk College Women in Business Advisory Board. Harris has been a pillar of support for Belk College initiatives including the Robert A. Niblock Student Center for Professional Development, newly formed Women in Business Initiative and international educational experiences. She also has been a strong connector of Bank of America to UNC Charlotte, helping to advocate for hiring of qualified interns and professionals. She is an ambassador for the Bank’s Applied Technology Program with UNC Charlotte.

Bryan Delaney ’03 Management Information Systems - Distinguished Young Alumni Award

James Hartsell is Skookum’s Chief Executive Officer. He earned his B.S.B.A. in Management Information Systems in 2002. Hartsell is the quintessential entrepreneur and technology veteran. He co-founded Skookum in 2005 with Delaney and has grown the company from a small startup into a high-performing software development and digital transformation company. In 2014, Hartsell oversaw the company’s expansion as Skookum opened a second office in Denver, Colorado. In 2015, Skookum was ranked No. 1 in the small companies category for Best Places to Work by the Denver Business Journal.

Marcia Avedon, Ph.D. Honorary Alumna Award Marcia Avedon, Ph.D., is the senior vice president for Human Resources, Communications and Corporate Affairs at Ingersoll Rand. Under Avedon’s leadership, Ingersoll Rand has been recognized as the No. 1 Industrial Machinery company on Fortune’s Most Admired Companies list, designated one of the Best Companies for Leaders by Chief Executive magazine, and named to the Workforce 100, a listing of the world’s top companies for human resources. Avedon served on the Belk College of Business Board of Advisors as both the vice-chair and chair. She has helped to guide the college’s Executive Education Program in key areas, including a focus on business analytics during the establishment of the Data Science Initiative. A graduate of George Washington University and UNC Wilmington, Avedon currently serves on the Boards of Directors for GCP Applied Technologies and the Center for Creative Leadership, and is a former member of the Board of Directors for the United Way of the Central Carolinas. Dean Steven Ott said the five award winners are the embodiment of leadership and inspiration not only for the Belk College, but for the broader business community. “The Belk College is proud to honor five superior individuals. The award winners support the Belk College as volunteers, advocates and donors, while serving as leaders in the business community. They are recognized leaders among our strong and growing Belk College network of 29,000 alumni in Charlotte and throughout the world,” Ott said.

Nominate an alumnus/alumna for the 2017 Belk College of Business Alumni Awards online at Nominations are due by May 1, 2017.

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Bryan Delaney is the executive vice president of sales and co-founder of Skookum, a digital transformation company. Delaney earned a B.S.B.A. in Management Information Systems in 2003. He co-founded Skookum in 2005 with his college roommate from UNC Charlotte, James Hartsell, also receiving the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award. Delaney has been published in Forbes and Inc. magazines and is active on the board of the Entrepreneurs Organization in Charlotte, the North Tryon Master Plan steering committee and was recently appointed to the UNC Charlotte Foundation Board. He also represented the Belk College as a panelist at the recent Charlotte Business Journal #NextGenCLT event focused on community engagement for millennials and he was recognized in 2016 by the Charlotte Business Journal 40 Under 40 awards.

James Hartsell ’02 Management Information Systems - Distinguished Young Alumni Award


ALUMNI NEWS DEVORE, KOONCE RECEIVE UNIVERSITY ALUMNI AWARDS The Belk College celebrated two alumni who were among those honored at the 2016 UNC Charlotte Alumni Awards. Congratulations to Belk College alumna Susan DeVore ’81, CEO of Premier, Inc., on receiving a Distinguished Alumna Award, as well as alumnus Donnie Koonce ’81, Senior Vice President at Bank of America, on also receiving a Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Alumna and Premier Inc. CEO Susan DeVore delivers the Fall 2016 CEO Speaker Series. Susan DeVore


Belk College Connects

Alumna Susan DeVore ’81 stepped onto the stage of the Popp Martin Student Union at UNC Charlotte. Over the next hour, she shared 12 life lessons with hundreds of students and responded to their questions during the fall 2016 Belk College CEO Speaker Series.


DeVore is president and CEO of Premier Inc., a leading healthcare improvement company. DeVore is an industryleading thinker who has been named multiple times to Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People and Top 25 Women in Healthcare lists. DeVore has also been recognized as a UNC Charlotte Distinguished Alumnus (2016), one of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business’ 100 Influential Leaders (2015), Charlotte Business Woman of the Year (2014) and the recipient of the 2014 Silver Stevie Award for Executive of the Year. DeVore currently serves on the board of trustees of the Healthcare Leadership Council, board member of the Coalition to Protect America’s Healthcare, board member, finance committee member and audit committee chair of the Medicare Rights Center, member of the Charlotte Chamber executive committee and member of the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees.

She also serves as a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Aspen Health Strategy Group. As one of seven children, DeVore had to carefully plan her finances to attend college. When she applied to UNC Charlotte, she received the Bonnie Cone Scholarship. “By working through college, and with the scholarship, I was able to put myself through college and pay all expenses,” she said. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1981. She said the skills she learned in the Belk College of Business were invaluable. “The Belk College and life and career experience has taught me that college is all about 'learning to learn,' and that business principles are applicable across all industry groups. I was able to get a very foundational, grounded grasp of all kinds of business principles – finance, accounting, marketing, policy, economics and organizational design. All of these learnings have been applied in many ways to many different industries over the years,” she said. Learn more about the CEO Speaker Series online at

Donnie Koonce


AACSB HONORS ALUMNUS AND CEO OF LOWE’S Today, business school graduates are increasingly using their degrees to make a difference not only in the corporate world, but also across society. The important contributions of UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business alumnus Robert A. Niblock, chairman, president and CEO of Lowe’s Companies, Inc., and 29 other change makers were recognized as part of the 2016 AACSB Influential Leaders Challenge. AACSB is the accreditation and membership organization of business schools worldwide. Niblock has served as chief executive of Lowe’s, a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving more than 17 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico, since

2005. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting (magna cum laude) from the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte and is the namesake of the Robert A. Niblock Student Center for Professional Development in the Belk College of Business. He was the inaugural speaker of the CEO Speaker Series in fall 2015.

an honoree, with alumna Susan DeVore, CEO of Premier, Inc., being honored in 2015. Learn more online at

Niblock was one of 30 honorees this year representing 15 industry sectors—from social enterprise to healthcare to technology—across 11 countries. Launched in 2015 to honor notable alumni from AACSB-accredited business schools, the AACSB Influential Leaders initiative continues to recognize business school graduates for the positive impact they make on society, and the inspiring example they set for others. This is the second year that UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business has had

Senior Associate Dean Richard Buttimer accepts the prestigious honor for alumnus and Lowe's CEO Robert Niblock, named one of AACSB's Influential Leaders of 2016 in September.

UNC CHARLOTTE FEATURES INFLUENTIAL BUSINESS LEADERS Currently, 18,000 Belk College of Business graduates are working in the Charlotte region. Six alumni and prominent business leaders were recently featured at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, from left to right: Susan DeVore, President and Chief Executive Officer of Premier, Inc., earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the Belk College in 1981. DeVore is an industry-leading thinker who has been named multiple times to Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People and Top 25 Women in Healthcare lists. She was also the featured speaker of the Fall 2016 Belk College CEO Speaker Series. Manuel L. Zapata, President of Zapata Engineering, was one of the Belk College’s first MBA graduates in 1972. Zapata believes in strong civic engagement and through the NC Department of Commerce, the Charlotte Chamber and Sister Cities program he has worked to strengthen Charlotte’s economic ties to the world. Julie Harris, Enterprise Credit Data, Allowance and Reporting Risk Executive at Bank of America, graduated in 2000, majoring in finance with a focus on financial analysis and accounting. After graduation, she joined Bank of America’s Finance Management Associate Program within the CFO Group and was recently named one of Charlotte’s top Forty Under 40 by the Charlotte Business Journal.

Robert A. Niblock has been the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Lowe’s Companies Inc. since 2005 and has also served as its President since 2011. Mr. Niblock was the inaugural speaker of the Belk College CEO Speaker Series in 2015, where he announced a major gift to support and name the Robert A. Niblock Student Center for Professional Development. Carol P. Lowe, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Sealed Air, graduated from the Belk College of Business with her bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1987. Mrs. Lowe is a member of The Committee of 200 (C200), an invitation-only membership organization of the world’s most successful women business leaders. Dave Wedding, Chairman of the Partnership Board and Managing Partner for the Mid-South Region at Grant Thornton, received his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from UNC Charlotte in 1980. Mr. Wedding has more than 30 years of experience in public accounting in external audit and many of Grant Thornton’s Advisory Services practice areas, including internal audit and forensic accounting. He also serves on the Belk College’s Board of Advisors and Accounting Advisory Board.

Belk College Connects 5

ALUMNI HIGHLIGHTS The Belk College of Business is proud of its network of 29,000 alumni. In 2016, the college held alumni events for MBA and Math Finance master's graduates and Winston-Salem alumni, as well as a large variety of Charlotte events. We look forward to connecting with you in 2017!



Belk College Day is our annual familyfriendly fall alumni event for all class years, majors and industries. Over 150 alumni and friends joined Dean Steven Ott and the Belk College Alumni Council for the fourth annual Belk College Day in the UNC Charlotte Alumni Tailgate Village and at the Charlotte 49ers football game against the Elon Phoenix in Jerry Richardson Stadium on Sept.10. Belk College Alumni Council Chair Anne Bateman ’08 delivered the game ball before kick-off, and Alumni Council member and donor, Harvey Brown ’78, was honored on the field at half time for endowing the William G. Ervin Scholarship in the Belk College of Business.

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Belk College Day of Service projects connect alumni and students through hands-on service. “Networking in our blue jeans” promotes connections and interaction outside of the classroom or office environment. 69 Belk College alumni and students connected through 176 hours of hands-on service to our Charlotte community through Belk College Days of Service in April at Second Harvest Food Bank, Crisis Assistance Ministry and the Niner Student Food Pantry.



Belk College alumni and friends are invited to join the Belk College Alumni Council for an Alumni Coffee directly preceding the quarterly Barings/UNC Charlotte Economic Forecast. Alumni enjoyed networking, an alumni guest speaker and an update on the College from Dean Ott along with door prizes. 274 alumni attended the Alumni Coffee Series during the 2015-2016 year.



Alumni in Winston-Salem were invited to join Dean Steven Ott for a Belk College of Business alumni reception on Nov. 3 at the Old Town Club. Dean Ott shared an update on the Belk College, UNC Charlotte and the launch of our comprehensive campaign. 49er alumni enjoyed reconnecting with the University and the alumni network. Thank you to Belk College alumnus Mark Doughton ’80 for hosting the reception in the WinstonSalem region.



Belk College of Business MBA Alumni were invited to join us for networking and reconnecting with MBA program classmates and faculty on June 14 at UNC Charlotte Center City. The reception celebrated the program’s number twenty ranking in BusinessWeek, and MBA Director, Dr. Gary Kohut, provided a brief MBA program update.



The Belk College Alumni Council welcomed over 1,200 new graduates into the alumni network at Commencement receptions in May 2016 and December 2016. New alumni received a gift from the Belk College and networked with members of the Alumni Council.



Alumni of the M.S. in Mathematical Finance Program were invited to join the Department of Finance for a reception on May 6 at UNC Charlotte Center City. Alumni enjoyed a presentation from keynote speaker Jacques Longerstaey on “Managing Investment Risk for a Wealth Management Organization.” He is the Chief Investment Risk Officer and Model Risk Officer for the Wealth and Investment Management division of Wells Fargo. The department also hosted a networking reception following the keynote address. Connect with the Belk College of Business alumni network online at

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Belk College Connects



DEPARTMENT RENAMED TURNER SCHOOL OF ACCOUNTANCY IN HIS HONOR Accounting faculty member emeritus Thomas Turner.

Belk College Connects

Faculty member Emeritus Thomas C. Turner, who helped establish the Department of Accounting at UNC Charlotte, is donating $2.5 million to UNC Charlotte.


The department has been renamed the Turner School of Accountancy in his honor. Turner’s gift will provide scholarship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate accounting students within the Belk College of Business who possess high moral character, academic promise and demonstrated financial need. The impact of this gift is immeasurable and fits in line with Turner's passion, which was teaching and mentoring students during his years of leadership, said Steven Ott, dean of the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte. From four accounting graduates in the class of 1967 to nearly 5,000 accounting graduates during the past 50 years, Turner helped develop the Accounting Department into a premiere program, one that continues today as part of the Belk College of Business, Ott said. “Thomas Turner was instrumental in founding a culture in the department. He hired dedicated professors that were especially good at teaching. But he also connected

the Accounting Department with industry, creating deep connections with accounting firms. Those two things still permeate the department today and throughout the entire college,” said Ott. Chancellor Philip L. Dubois said Turner exemplifies service, dedication and commitment. “The faculty and alumni say he emphasized the individual needs of students, many of whom were returning to school after service in the military, others who worked factory jobs at night to come to school in the morning and single mothers needing to earn a better living,” Dubois said. “Thomas Turner’s gift is a continuation of his legacy at UNC Charlotte.” Turner was the first chair of the UNC Charlotte Accounting Department. When he arrived at UNC Charlotte in fall 1966, he assembled a team of professors who shared his commitment to teaching excellence and service to students, said Hughlene Burton, director of the Turner School of Accountancy. She said, “He set the vision, he led the team through the nascent years of the department, and he taught students who would go on to lead top accounting firms and top companies.” Turner retired from UNC Charlotte in 1991 but has remained active in the University. In 2014, more than 150 alumni and friends contributed almost $240,000 to

create an endowed scholarship to support undergraduate accounting students, provide funds for the Thomas C. Turner Excellence in Teaching Award and support the major renovation of the Department of Accounting conference room named in Turner's honor. Turner’s emphasis on teaching – demonstrated by the fact that five faculty members hired by Turner received the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence – were major factors in developing the reputation of the school. Turner received the Bank of America Award in 1972. The Thomas C. Turner Distinguished Teaching Award, given each year in the school since 1994, bears his name. Turner’s gift is included in EXPONENTIAL: The Campaign for UNC Charlotte, announced in September 2016. EXPONENTIAL: The Campaign for UNC Charlotte is the largest campaign in UNC Charlotte’s history. The Belk College of Business and the Turner School of Accountancy have launched a fundraising campaign to match Thomas Turner’s gift of $2.5 million for the school. For more information about making a gift to the Turner School of Accountancy, contact Doug Mauney at or Portia Brown at



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Tom Turner volunteered for service talked to them,” Turner says. “They in the Korean War and earned a needed someone to run the accounting Purple Heart for his injury on a program.” storied battlefield. Starting in 1966, Turner taught But more than the jarring the first class of accounting principles experience of war or the honor of with four students in the class. the Purple Heart, it was the superior “The students asked, ‘Will we get instruction he saw while in Officer good jobs when we graduate?’ I was Candidate School that shaped optimistic but I didn’t know.” Turner’s decision to pursue career as All of the students in Turner’s first a college accounting professor. class secured good jobs and became A native of Greenville, S.C., CPAs. Turner was born in 1930 and Turner says serving in Korea was a graduated from Furman University duty to his country. Aside from making in 1951. Assured he would soon a few lifelong friends, Turner says the be drafted, Turner volunteered part of the experience that carried him for service in the Army after through to his life after the war was graduation and was sent to Officer what he learned in Officer Candidate Candidate School in Fort Sill, Okla. School. The following year, he received a “That was the finest instruction commission as a lieutenant in field I’ve seen anywhere,” Turner says of his artillery and went to Korea at the age time at Fort Sill. Classes were taught of 23 with the 7th Field Artillery. by captains, majors and a general. As a forward observer in artillery, Some Army instructors provided Turner spent much of his 10 months students with notes before class, in Korea at an artillery battery. In allowing students to listen carefully the summer of 1953 Turner was during instruction, a practice Turner Thomas Turner in 2016 with his Purple Heart, which he received sent to a hill overlooking Pork Chop later used for some accounting courses in 1953. Hill, a small hill named because of its at UNC Charlotte. topographic shape resembling a pork chop. Turner’s bedside and awarded him the Purple As part of the Officer Candidate The hill was one of several exposed hill Heart, the oldest military award still given to School, Turner was required to teach some outposts that were defended by a single U.S. military members wounded or killed by classes. The fundamentals of that exercise, company or platoon. As a forward observer, the enemy while serving. including creating a written plan for each it was Turner’s job to direct artillery to strike Less than two weeks later, while Turner class with a purpose for the class and plan a target. was recovering, the Korean Armistice to achieve that purpose, followed Turner to “It was an area where there were constant Agreement was signed, ending the conflict. his lengthy teaching career and guided his battles going on,” Turner says. Turner went back to his unit in Korea and instruction planning for decades in the Belk On July 8, 1953, Turner was serving as a completed his tour of duty. He was home College of Business. forward observer on Pork Chop Hill when in Greenville, S.C., by December and “I always tried to do that,” Turner an enemy soldier threw a hand grenade at started at the University of North Carolina says. “Officer Candidate School got me Turner and fellow soldiers. Shrapnel struck at Chapel Hill soon after to earn a Master’s thinking about being a teacher and how to Turner in his arm. He was evacuated from of Business Administration with the help of do it right.” the battlefield to a hospital in Japan. the G.I. Bill. “I was not injured severely, but I had Turner earned the MBA in 1955 and Learn more about Mr. Turner's legacy shrapnel in some places,” Turner says. “I was went to work for a Charlotte CPA firm, online and the Turner School of there in the hospital for three weeks, and I gaining 10 years of industry experience. Accountancy at recovered nicely.” “I heard that UNC Charlotte wanted to accounting. While still in the hospital an officer visited start an accounting program, and I went and




Belk College Connects

Accounting faculty member emeritus Thomas Turner at UNC Charlotte.


It’s said that leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders. A half century ago, Tom Turner, the first chair of the UNC Charlotte accounting department, assembled a team of professors who shared his commitment to teaching excellence and service to students. With Turner setting the vision, he led the team through the nascent years of the department, semester after semester graduating students who would go on to lead top accounting firms and top companies. In recognition of Turner’s indelible mark of leadership, the Belk College of Business is elevating the department and renaming it to the Turner School of Accountancy. With Turner’s generous gift of $2.5 million for scholarships supporting students pursuing a degree in accounting, the Belk College has launched a campaign to match Turner’s gift. The Belk College was a new school when Turner arrived and began assembling his team in the mid-1960s. And most would say you’d have to look hard to find a program that went further any faster. “My goal was to turn out outstanding graduates,” says Turner, now retired and living in Charlotte. “The reputation of a university is determined by the accomplishments of its graduates. We’ve had a number of graduates go on and become presidents of companies and CFOs and partners in CPA firms.” The core of early faculty led by Turner included retired professors Ed Malmgren, Steve Jolly, Bob Guinn, Sak Bhamornsiri, Dolan Hinson and Howard Godfrey, and later Jack Cathey. All shared Turner’s vision that building the school’s reputation would

The Belk College of Business and Turner School of Accountancy remembers and honors faculty member emeritus Dolan Hinson, who passed away peacefully on Dec. 5 surrounded by family. Hinson, whom Turner hired two years after his own arrival, taught accounting and finance courses for more than 30 years at UNC Charlotte. He retired from UNC Charlotte as an associate professor in 1999.

be accomplished through excellent teaching and successful students. Malmgren came to UNC Charlotte as a math teacher in 1972 and began taking some accounting courses from Turner a year later. Malmgren completed the accounting program and earned the state’s top score on the CPA exam, giving rival programs an early glimpse of the caliber of students graduating from UNC Charlotte. Malmgren had always thought he preferred a career in business, but he accepted an offer to teach under Turner in 1976. “He was very even tempered, a great person to work with,” Malmgren says. “He definitely cared about the students and encouraged all of us to care about the students.” Professor Howard Godfrey says class attendance rolls and minutes from meetings in those early years show a school that rapidly gained credibility and acceptance among the Charlotte business community. “This area appears to have been crying out for a high quality accounting program because the growth was absolutely phenomenal,” says Godfrey, a professor of accounting for 41 years and the first Ph.D., CPA professor hired by Turner. “By 1975 we had lots of full sections of the same class. It didn’t take decades to grow. It grew from the beginning.” Turner’s contemporaries say he emphasized the individual needs of students, many of whom were returning to school after service in the military, others who worked factory jobs at night to come to school in the morning and single mothers needing to earn a better living. “Tom had so much respect for the students,” Godfrey says. “He was never cynical. He was

Before his passing, Hinson shared his memories about Tom Turner: "Tom very capably led all faculty to research and develop a quality program. Tom was a motivating influence because all of us were assured that his honesty, integrity and dedication were beyond reproach."

Early faculty photos of the accounting program and faculty at UNC Charlotte from the 1960s. Bottom right: Thomas Turner at UNC Charlotte.

“Tom was, and still is, well respected in the business and accounting community,” says Bhamornsiri, an associate professor emeritus. “His connection to uptown Charlotte has helped place students with local, regional, national and international accounting firms.” Outside of the classroom, Turner served for many years as the Chancellor-appointed Faculty Athletic Representative to the NCAA and was a guiding force in the university joining the Sun Belt Conference in 1976. A year later the 49ers men’s basketball team made the NCAA Final Four. Malmgren remembers he and Turner regularly discussing basketball games or running on campus. Bhamornsiri says he and Turner made annual golf trips to Pinehurst for almost a decade. The faculty says it’s fitting to name the Turner School of Accountancy not just for someone who made a generous gift to the college, but to recognize the person who held teaching in the highest regard and set the department on a successful path. The resources that come from Turner’s gift as well

as those matching gifts will help the Turner School attract worthy students. Scholarships help the Turner School of Accountancy compete for students with the highest potential, those who are economically disadvantaged and make gains in minority recruitment to an industry that struggles to make gains in minority participation, says Jack Cathey, director of the Master of Accountancy Program (MACC). “Tom’s legacy of the importance of students and teaching is so innate in our DNA. That legacy has moved through generations,” Cathey says. “We’ll tell his stories forever.” Learn more about the Turner School of Accountancy at accounting.

Belk College Connects

a no-nonsense kind of guy, and you needed to work hard in his class. But he loved to see his students be successful. He expected faculty to respect and care for those students.” Turner’s emphasis on teaching – demonstrated by the fact that five faculty members hired by Turner received the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence, the highest and most prestigious teaching award given annually by the university – were major factors in developing the reputation of the accounting department, says Bob Guinn, associate professor of accounting. The Thomas C. Turner Distinguished Teaching Award, given each year in the department since 1994, bears his name. Turner received the Bank of America Award in 1972. “One of his objectives was to make the department known in the business community and one way of doing that was to produce outstanding graduates,” Guinn says. A turning point was in May of 1980, when more than 25 Belk College accounting students passed all four parts of the CPA Exam on the first try. Two students who took that exam also were honored as receiving the top two CPA Exam scores in North Carolina. “That really didn’t hurt our reputation at all,” Guinn says. “It was pretty consistent during that time frame that our students were placing in the top four universities on the CPA exam. We were a 15-year-old program competing with other programs that had been around a long time.” Retired accounting professor Stephen Jolly worked with Turner for 17 years. He joined the faculty because he wanted to remain close to Chapel Hill while finishing his dissertation and to be near family. “When I got to UNC Charlotte and began working for Tom, I really didn’t ever get around to the other things I’d thought about doing,” Jolly says. “He was an absolute delight to work for.” Jolly says Turner had a knack for putting faculty in charge of other aspects of the work of the department that best suited their skills and interests. “He was good at seeing who had talents best suited for what parts of the total mission and encouraged us in that direction,” Jolly says, adding that Turner allowed him to develop strong relationships with businesses to bring current accounting issues back to the classroom.



SUCCESSFUL PROFESSIONALS Burton, director of the Turner School of Accountancy. “We started out with almost all part-time students in the graduate program, and now we have more full-time than part-time students,” Burton says. Those students top the national and state averages for passing the CPA exam. “When we are recruiting new students to accounting, it’s very persuasive when we share our CPA exam pass rates,” Burton said. “Students can visualize success: successfully completing the challenging undergraduate program, applying to the master’s program and having an opportunity to apply for work at one of the major accounting firms that recruit at our school.”

Accounting faculty member Paul Gilles delivers a lecture in the Friday building.

Belk College Connects

Through program design and student recruitment, exemplary teaching and measurable results, the Turner School of Accountancy has built a brand over 50 years of a school best measured by the success of its graduates and their abiding connection to where they got their start.


“Our accounting students exhibit determination and commitment,” says Pat Mynatt, associate dean for undergraduate programs and member of the accounting faculty. “We often have employers tell us our accounting graduates are technically strong, and we take pride in the fact that our students graduate with relevant skills.” More than 370 students in the Belk College are undergraduate accounting majors, second in popularity to a finance major. Each year between 25 and 35 undergraduate accounting majors join with other skilled

students and sign on for a fifth year of study in the master’s of accounting program, or MACC, which graduates about 75 to 90 students a year. The MACC program provides a strong indicator of the success students achieve after their time at the Belk College measured by how successfully students pass the CPA exam and get jobs in the field. “What we see year to year is that within three months of graduation we’re north of 90 percent of both those outcomes – passing the CPA exam and securing jobs,” says Jack Cathey, MACC program director and associate professor of accounting. “That’s been that way since the start of the program.” Over the past 15 years, the MACC program has grown from nearly a dozen students to more than 100 in some years, says Hughlene

The Turner School of Accountancy maintains strong ties to public accounting firms and private corporations in the Charlotte business community. The school makes sure that students can connect with potential employers before graduation. As the business environment changes rapidly, so does the accounting field. The school and faculty stay connected with new tools being used in accounting, and how the new rules and pronouncements about the accounting field are affecting the work place and society. “When students begin the accounting program they may have the impression they have identified a fairly narrow field, but they learn that is not the case,” Mynatt says. A strong Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) accounting honors society provides a way for students to build leadership skills and make connections with those in industry. Through BAP, students learn about the wide variety of career options in public accounting, corporate accounting, internal audit, government and nonprofits and determine where they see themselves fitting in. The pathway to a career is evident to MACC students, some of

class is also under development as well as more work in data analytics. MACC students will soon take a capstone course that will serve as a culmination of what they’ve learned. During the fall of the MACC program, Cathey says between 15 and 20 employers come to campus to meet the students and invite them for an office visit. By Thanksgiving, many have a job offer. Most MACC students complete the CPA exam by July and have finished their certification in time to start work, often receiving a larger bonus from their new employer for having the CPA exam out of the way. “We are the school where our students start their jobs with the exam out of the way,” Cathey says.

Dr. Shirley Hunter gives an accounting lecture in the Friday building.

whom receive job offers while still seniors in college to begin work after they complete the master’s degree. The accountancy program is long-running with a strong formula that has been successful for decades. But as the profession changes, so too are changes made to the curriculum. The increased use of data science is making a change to the industry, and the Turner School of Accountancy is leveraging resources in Big Data to ensure graduates have the data science skills necessary as firms develop their use of these tools. Burton says students will soon take an accounting professional development course in their junior year. A forensics and fraud

Accounting markets have an insatiable appetite for talent, Cathey says, and even during the financial crisis of 2008, Turner School of Accountancy students found valuable work. The school had built longterm relationships with global firms as well as smaller regional and local firms. As companies cut back on accounting spending in the recession, sometimes bringing work to more regionally known firms, there was demand for new graduates. “We had 100 percent placement of students in the 2010 market,” Cathey says. “We saw that having relationships with a variety of firm sizes worked. Charlotte is a city where the jobs are. There are more accounting jobs here than in Raleigh and the Triad. If you want to be an accountant, large cities are where you have opportunity.” Learn more about the accounting programs online at

BETA ALPHA PSI CHAPTER RECOGNIZED FOR ETHICS AND LONGTIME EXCELLENCE The Eta Alpha Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi received the 2016 Grant Thornton Ethics Award at the BAP Annual Meeting this fall, one of four chapters nationally to receive this honor at the past national convention. Through an ethics project, students in the chapter demonstrated their knowledge of ethics in the accounting profession. “Ethics are critical to the accounting profession. Through their drive and determination, our students continue to make the UNC Charlotte Beta Alpha Psi chapter one of the best in the nation. Their experiences and contacts made through the organization help prepare them for a successful transition to the professional world,” said faculty adviser Robert Monaghan. Beta Alpha Psi is an honorary organization for accounting and finance students and professionals. The primary objective of Beta Alpha Psi is to encourage and give recognition to scholastic and professional excellence in the business information field. This includes promoting the study and practice of accounting, finance, and information systems; providing opportunities for self-development, service and association among members and practicing professionals, and encouraging a sense of ethical, social, and public responsibility. UNC Charlotte’s Beta Alpha Psi Eta Alpha Chapter was founded in 1984. The chapter has more than 80 members and associates. One objective of the chapter is to provide a positive atmosphere for the academic, social, and professional growth of our members. The chapter has achieved “Superior” status with the national organization for the 18th year in a row.

The Turner School of Accounting awarded approximately $65,000 in scholarships last spring to many accounting students. These were scholarships previously established by various firms, organizations, and individuals. More than 115 students, faculty, donors and alumni attended the scholarship banquet.

Belk College Connects





Belk College Connects

The UNC Charlotte student team accepts their second-place award at the Deloitte FanTAXtic national student Tax Case Study Competition in January 2017. This team included (left to right) accounting majors Stacy Mroz, Dylan Edwards, Mackenzie Mastrangelo, Rachel Cox and Jessica Howes.


A five-student team from UNC Charlotte earned second place among nine top-ranked teams in the Deloitte FanTAXtic, Deloitte’s student Tax Case Study Competition, in January. The UNC Charlotte team earned $1,000 per student and a $5,000 institutional award. The national competition took place Jan. 13-15 at Deloitte University near Dallas, Texas. Team members included accounting majors Rachel Cox, Dylan Edwards, Jessica Howes, Mackenzie Mastrangelo and Stacy Mroz. Prior to the final competition, 60 teams representing 43 colleges and universities participated in regional qualifier events in 13 Deloitte offices throughout the country Nov. 11-12, 2016. The UNC Charlotte team was named as one of nine regional winners of Deloitte FanTAXtic, advancing to the national competition. In addition, a second UNC Charlotte team finished second in regionals, receiving a national honorable mention. The students from UNC Charlotte’s Turner School of Accountancy demonstrated the ability to work collaboratively to solve a complex business case simulation. The winning team was also recognized for the quality of their overall presentation to a panel of live and virtual judges using the organization’s video conferencing capabilities. Hughlene Burton, director of the Turner School of Accountancy, noted that UNC Charlotte was one of only two universities with two teams placing in the regional competition. “I’m really proud of our two student teams, who have prepared thoroughly and are following a long line of UNC Charlotte accounting students who have competed in this event with success

The team receiving a national honorable mention in the 2016 Deloitte FanTAXtic competition included (left to right) accounting majors Nicolas Frazer, Kassandra Mangano, Mekenzie Enloe, Jennifer Venuti and Paul Diamond.

for many years. Congratulations on the 2nd place national and 2nd place regional wins. I also recognize Dr. Howard Godfrey and Dr. Casper Wiggins for working with the students to get them ready for the competition.” she said. Sponsored by Deloitte with support from the Deloitte Foundation, Deloitte FanTAXtic is designed to educate and prepare the next generation of tax talent for a career in business and tax. The interactive program includes case simulation, role playing and presentations which provide students with insights and perspectives on challenges facing the profession today, future trends that may impact it tomorrow and the overall changing business tax marketplace. Deloitte Tax professionals participate in the event and offer the students support and guidance throughout the competition. The Deloitte Foundation, founded in 1928, is a not-for-profit organization which supports education in the U.S. through a variety of initiatives that help develop the talent of the future and their influencers and promote excellence in teaching, research and curriculum innovation. The Foundation sponsors an array of national programs relevant to a variety of professional services, benefiting middle/high school students, undergraduates, graduate students and educators. For more information visit the Deloitte Foundation website at



Joshua Shoulders is majoring in accounting. Not only is he a fulltime student, he also works 35 hours a week. He is passionate about accounting and student success. I am an accounting major and will eventually pursue a master’s of accountancy degree. I chose accounting by luck, but have ended up loving every second of the coursework. The accounting faculty have helped make this major an excellent choice. I chose the Belk College and UNC Charlotte because I had

intended to build a business in the local equine community. However, that plan changed and I quickly found the Belk College to be my newfound home. The Robert A. Niblock Student Center for Professional Development and accounting faculty have helped me pursue my new plans to the fullest extent.

Joshua Shoulders

I work (quite a bit) and pay most of my own expenses. Financial aid has lightened that load and enabled me to focus more on my academics and career without the stress of student debt. I have made great friends on the UNC Charlotte campus. I am also a member of Beta Alpha Psi, so I attend meetings and community service events with that organization. I am currently serving as President and have

Barbora Silovska began a fast-track CPA preparation in the Master of Accountancy (MACC) program at the Belk College of Business after working as a Senior Accountant at a local CPA firm for three years. As a result of on-campus recruiting within the MACC program, she was able to interview with three of the Big Four firms and secured her dream job as a Tax Associate at PwC. Barbora graduated in the spring of 2016. offers in my field of study. My UNC Charlotte MACC degree has prepared me to take my accounting career to the next level after earning my CPA license. As a MACC student, I was able to land interviews with three of the Big Four accounting firms, two national firms and one regional. Such success was unimaginable when looking for a position with my Bachelor of Accountancy. As a result of oncampus recruiting, I secured my dream position at PwC. Besides the technicalities of how to account for certain

transactions or which code section applies to a specific tax issue, I am forever grateful for the executive communication course. This course taught me the skills necessary to become a more polished employee, mentor, and service provider to my clients. I learned how to lead employees, manage corporate crises and add value to my daily client interaction. The combination of demanding and relevant coursework, as well as ongoing access to the Belk College’s academic and alumni

Barbora Silovska

community greatly prepared me for my career. While attending UNC Charlotte, I managed to build a diverse network of outstanding professionals and faculty members. Furthermore, one of my primary ambitions in my career is to author tax articles. The other is to teach at a local college. The Belk College of Business has provided me with the resources to pursue both of those dreams. Read more Faces of Belk College online at belkcollege.

Belk College Connects

I was thrilled to participate in UNC Charlotte’s scholarship program, which enabled me to visit an accounting conference of my choice. Flying to Pittsburgh, PA and networking with various accounting and tax professionals, while attending lectures on new issues and changes in the field of accountancy, was my professional dream come true. Another successful experience presented itself during the recruiting events. I had the opportunity to interview with many national and regional firms. As a result, I was able to choose from several different job

served as Principles of Accounting I Tutoring Chair for Beta Alpha Psi. That role fit in perfectly with my passion for accounting and student success. In addition, I am very involved with my local church. I run camera for Sunday services. I would describe the Belk College of Business as a place that seeks to help you find the career you want to pursue and helps you attain that goal. The faculty are constantly wanting to assist you in your academic and professional career. I don't know where else you can find that to the extent that the Belk College offers. After graduation, I plan to work at a summer internship with a public accounting firm. Then, I will apply to the master’s of accountancy program and pursue a career in public accounting. I also plan to continue to pursue my passion to help students succeed academically, especially in accounting.




Belk College Connects

Belk Scholars talk with Dr. Ted Amato, director of the Belk Scholars Program and Business Honors Program (second from left).


"I knew I would be part of something much bigger, something at the beginning of the Big Data revolution at a university located in the second largest financial center in the country. I was going to be a Belk Scholar...The Belk Scholars Program is giving me the technical training in business analytics and Big Data analytics, as well as a solid understanding of these business environments to be competitive in the financial industry." — Wyatt Shely, '19

“Life changing. The opportunity of a lifetime. A great relief.” These are a few of the phrases expressed by the 12 students named the first Belk Scholars. In 2013, Belk, Inc. provided the largest single gift in the history of the Belk College of Business of $5 million. A substantial amount of the gift created a scholarship for students interested in business analytics, bolstered by gifts from BB&T and Mr. Richard Cox. As of today, 12 Belk Scholars have been accepted as students and are now receiving full scholarships. Their stories are unique, but all of the students have one major point in common: their love for analytics and math and now their love for UNC Charlotte. Christopher Jorgensen is one of the Belk Scholars. “During my junior year of high school, I was looking at many colleges. At a UNC Charlotte school visit, I attended the Business Honors Program and Belk Scholars Program sessions. I knew these programs could give me opportunities and connections that no other university can. Once I was accepted into both programs, I knew UNC Charlotte was the university for me,” he said. The students will receive their bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in five years. They also receive full scholarships covering instate tuition and fees as undergraduates. Jacob Lequire said the full scholarship helped solidify his decision to join UNC Charlotte. “This program brought me to UNC Charlotte. The full scholarship was a welcome surprise to me and my family. When Dr. Amato told me that the program would cover tuition and fees, I was quite ecstatic. I felt a security blanket being draped over my shoulders. Knowing that I don't have to deal with the student loans that so many of my peers have to makes me grateful. To put this program into words, it's life-changing,” he said. Chancellor Philip Dubois said the Belk Scholars Program is pivotal for UNC Charlotte. “The gift to start the Belk Scholars Program was one of the most significant gestures of support for not only the Belk College of Business, but also our University,” he said. Dean Steven Ott said the Belk Scholars program is an example of the college’s impact as a leading urban research business school. “Through the Belk Scholars program, we have been able to recruit students from around the state of North Carolina, who will be trained for immediate employment and in high demand,” Ott said. The Belk Scholars Program is one of the undergraduate and graduate opportunities within the Data Science Initiative at UNC Charlotte. This initiative provides an effective solution to the challenge of “Big Data” by creating education, training and research programs in data science and analytics integrated with business and industry expertise. With programs at the undergraduate, graduate and executive education levels, UNC Charlotte offers a wealth of data science opportunities.

Applications for the next Belk Scholars are now being accepted. Learn more at

Belk College Connects

In October, the Belk Scholars met Tim Belk, honorary campaign co-chair of EXPONENTIAL and one of the Belk, Inc. donors.



Belk College Connects



One year ago, the UNC Charlotte Childress Klein Center for Real Estate celebrated the naming of the center and a $2.5 million gift by real estate firm Childress Klein. This past fall, the center reached another milestone. Over the past 12 months, almost 100 companies and individuals from the Charlotte business community have raised a total of more than $5.1 million in support of the center. In September 2015, Childress Klein donated $2.5 million to the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate. The gift created a new endowed professorship, and significantly boosted master’s student professional training programs and faculty fellowships related to research on real estate and urban economics topics. With the match from the State of North Carolina for the professorship, the total impact of the gift last year was $3.2 million. Over the past year, the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate Board of Advisors reached out to the Charlotte business community. Almost 100 supporters responded with gifts totaling more than $2.6 million since that time, bringing the current fundraising campaign total to $5.1 million over the past year. Since the founding of the center in 2005, the center’s fundraising efforts will allow the endowment to reach over $13 million in support of its programs and activities. The center provides regional and national research, a Master of Science in Real Estate program and outreach activities in partnership with the Charlotte business community. The gift by Childress Klein is the largest single gift in the center’s history. Childress Klein has been a longtime supporter of UNC Charlotte, beginning in 1990 with the Childress Klein Scholarship for Merit, then again in 1999 with the Childress Klein Faculty Research Funds and later the Childress Klein Fellowship Fund, as well as gifts to the Chancellor's Fund. UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business Dean Steven Ott, co-director of the center and the John Crosland Sr. Distinguished Chair in Real Estate and Development, said the gifts will benefit the Charlotte real estate and business community directly. “The support we have received from the Charlotte business community to UNC Charlotte’s Childress Klein Center for Real Estate has been tremendous. The center is a partner to the community and the region. The gifts received over the past year are helping to position our region to be a leader in real estate scholarship, education and research. In turn, the center provides talent, programs and research that impact Charlotte’s real estate industry,” Ott said.

(left to right) Dean Steven Ott, Fred Klein, Chancellor Philip L. Dubois and Don Childress at the naming of the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate in September 2015 at UNC Charlotte Center City. (Photo/Wade Bruton)

The Childress Klein Center for Real Estate at UNC Charlotte was established in 2005 to further the knowledge of real estate, public policy and urban economics in the professional community through its teaching, research and community outreach activities. The center administers the M.S. in Real Estate program, the MBA concentration and certificate programs in real estate finance and development and manages programming and outreach to the Real Estate Alumni Association and Real Estate Advisory Board.

For more information about the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate, visit

Real estate master's students and professionals participated in the Student Managed Real Estate Investment Fund in fall 2016.

GENEROUS GIFT FUNDS INNOVATIVE STUDENT-MANAGED REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT FUND For the first time in the history of the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate (CKCRE), graduate students have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by investing in public and private equity real estate securities. As part of the new Student-Managed Real Estate Investment Fund, students in the M.S. in Real Estate Program (MSRE) work together to identify and analyze investment opportunities before pitching their recommendations to an investment committee comprised of local real estate professionals. The first set of professionals to hear the student presentations included Peter Fioretti from Mountain Real Estate Capital, Fred Klein of Childress Klein Properties, and John Ockerbloom from global investment banking firm Jefferies, all members of the CKCRE Advisory Board. Faculty members Kiplan Womack, Alyson Craig and Steven Ott participated in the process as mentors and advisors to the students. The professionals chose to invest $5,000 each in two Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): Prologis and EastGroup Properties, as well as $25,000 in a 46.5-acre private land acquisition deal currently under contract on North Tryon near the successful Brightwalk development.

The Student-Managed Real Estate Investment Fund was created through a generous donation to the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate from local entrepreneur and real estate investor Peter Fioretti. The fund began with an initial gift of $100,000.

“In addition to the financial contribution, the investment committee provided the students with in-class instruction, resources and mentorship to guide them in their analyses. This level of investment into the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate demonstrates the high regard the community has for our students and the future growth of our program,” MSRE Program Director Alyson Craig added. To prepare for their pitches, participating students also received professional development opportunities specific to public speaking and pitching real estate investment proposals. The students said having the chance to pitch investment deals to industry leaders is exciting enough, but doing so in a modern and growing real estate city like Charlotte made it that much more impactful. “This investment project provided excellent exposure to how fast and complex investments can be. We were able to work on a live deal with a short time window and were expected to not only produce results, but be able to defend them on a stage with an audience,” said Jonathan Brooks, one of three graduate students to pitch the North Tryon project. “I’ve wanted to be an entrepreneurial real estate developer for a long time and as it sinks in, it makes me feel like I can really do this now,” he added. Asset management and reporting of investments for these projects will be integrated into finance courses in the Master of Science in Real Estate program throughout the academic year. Each year, graduating students will have the opportunity to research, analyze and pitch future investment opportunities. Learn more about the Student Managed Real Estate Investment Fund online at

Belk College Connects

“Entrusting students to invest on behalf of the CKCRE demonstrates confidence in the MSRE program’s ability to train students to identify profitable investments,” Henri Gresset, Childress Klein employee and master’s student on the EastGroup project, said. “The advisors to the MSRE program are amongst Charlotte’s most respected real estate professionals. Their support for the MSRE program is a clear indication that they believe the program is instrumental to developing top minds in the real estate industry,” he added.

“This gift allows our Master of Science in Real Estate students to have valuable hands-on experience in evaluating and managing public and private real estate securities,” said Steven Ott, Dean of the Belk College of Business. “The attractiveness of this opportunity will help us to recruit top students to the program.”



Belk College Connects



Business executives wanting to influence the future of the profession without giving up their careers to return to school have a new education option within the Belk College of Business. After more than four years of planning, the Belk College will launch a Doctorate in Business Reginald Silver Administration Program (DBA) in the fall of 2017, targeting working business professionals who want to advance in career paths such as management consulting, teaching at the college or university level or gaining the credentials to lead change within their current organization. The DBA is the Jennifer Troyer first of its kind in the Carolinas. The University of North Carolina Board of Governors approved UNC Charlotte for the first DBA within the university system in 2015, a nod to the success of the Belk College’s graduate programs. “The doctorate in business administration Franz Kellermanns complements the wealth of graduate programs in the Belk College, including our nationallyranked MBA, mathematical finance, accounting and economics programs. UNC Charlotte’s doctorate in business administration will foster a concentrated network of powerful business professionals, creating an elite group at the forefront

of business. Our inaugural class will pioneer the first program of its kind in the Carolinas,” said Steven Ott, Dean of the Belk College of Business. Before promotion of the new program had even begun, potential students were showing strong interest in the three-year program slated to be taught in an executive format. The DBA is open to professionals who have already earned a master’s degree in business administration or a related field, having earned at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale paired with at least five years of work experience. And while most doctoral programs, such as the Belk College’s Ph.D. in Business Administration, are full-time programs, the DBA will be designed to work for professionals still immersed in their careers. On-campus classes will be held on 10 weekends during the year, Friday through Sunday, at UNC Charlotte’s Center City campus. The first two years of the program will focus on building research skills and knowledge. In the final year, candidates will complete a dissertation. The College expects 20 to 25 students to be accepted into the program annually. Tuition for all three years of the program totals $84,000 for North Carolina residents and $120,000 for out-ofstate students. While Ph.D. programs tend to attract younger students preparing for a career in academics and research who go to school full time, the DBA is intended for working professionals looking to go to the next level. The DBA has a broader focus and is a step beyond the MBA. “There is increasing complexity within business organizations and having the skills to look at problems from a research perspective can be really valuable,” says Jennifer Troyer, associate dean for research and graduate programs in the Belk College. “It’s the next step beyond the MBA.” DBA students will gain skills in research which they can use to help their companies with increasingly complex business problems

such as big data, complex technology or competing in a global environment. Graduates will be prepared to bring their knowledge back to their current companies and act as a change agent within the organization, use the degree as a credential for business consulting or go into teaching at a university at the undergraduate or MBA levels, an option of interest to many executives at later stages of their careers. Reginald Silver, clinical professor in Business Information Systems & Operations Management, will serve as program director. Franz Kellermanns, the Addison H. & Gertrude C. Reese Endowed Chair in International Business and a management professor, will serve as academic program director for the DBA program. UNC Charlotte completed a lengthy process to receive approval from the Board of Governors to offer the degree, including assembling materials, studying potential student demand for the program, and developing and providing a committee to review all of the syllabi for proposed courses. The proposal received an external review and other universities within the system were allowed to offer input on the viability of the program being awarded to UNC Charlotte. Kellermanns says the Belk College was able to show a faculty highly suited to teach the DBA and strong demand from the state’s largest business community. Given Charlotte’s location and access by airport, the DBA is likely to draw students from out of state, Kellermanns says. “UNC Charlotte is recognized as an excellent school that has continued to increase its reputation and become a strong player in the local business community,” he says.

For more information about the UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business Doctorate in Business Administration program, visit



Over the past year, the Belk College of Business received three major rankings and top marks recognizing the MBA program’s exceptional quality of education, outstanding ROI, top job placement rates and high-starting salaries upon graduation. The Belk College was recognized in Bloomberg Businessweek’s recent ranking of part-time MBA programs, placing No. 20 out of 74 national programs. In Bloomberg’s study, schools are ranked based upon employer surveys, alumni career outcomes, recent graduates’ starting salaries and job placement rates. This was a 13-spot jump for the Belk College on this list. In February 2016, CEO Magazine released their Global MBA rankings, in which the Belk College was named a “Tier 1” MBA program in North America. CEO Magazine’s rankings aim to focus solely on the nuts and bolts of an MBA: the learning environment, class sizes, tuition fees, faculty, delivery methods, international diversity, gender makeup and more. They seek to recognize programs that marry exceptional quality with great ROI. Also in 2016, U.S. News & World Report’s Best Business School rankings named the Belk College’s part-time MBA among the top 20 percent of all programs at No. 59. This was a 27-spot jump for the Belk College on this list, which ranks schools based upon peer institution reviews, student GMAT scores, work experience and undergraduate GPAs. “The numerous accolades the Belk College has received this academic year are a direct result of the tremendous accomplishments of our students, alumni and faculty members,” said Dr. Steven Ott, Dean of the Belk College of Business. “Our deep-rooted connections to the dynamic Charlotte business community add value to a Belk College education. Those connections allow us to develop industryrelevant curriculum for graduate students who are developed to be not only coveted talent, but also future leaders.” The MBA isn’t the only program gaining national recognition. This academic year, the Belk College earned top marks in eight different rankings.

The Belk College has achieved the following rankings in the 2015-2016 academic year: • The Belk College parttime MBA ranked No. 20 in the nation by Bloomberg Number of different Businessweek rankings the Belk • The Belk College MBA College earned was named a “Tier 1” program top marks in this among North American academic year universities in the Global MBA Rankings by CEO Magazine • The Belk College part-time MBA ranked among the top 20 percent of all programs nationwide by U.S. News & World Report at No. 59 • The Belk College M.S. in Mathematical Finance program ranked No. 20 in the 2016 Economics Rankings by The Financial Engineer • The Belk College M.S. in Mathematical Finance program ranked No. 23 in QuantNet’s latest rankings of Best Financial Engineering Program • The Belk College M.S. in Economics program ranked No. 58 nationwide in the 2016 Economics Rankings by The Financial Engineer • The Belk College Master of Accountancy program placed among the top 25 percent of all programs nationwide ranking No. 44 by The Financial Engineer • The Belk College undergraduate programs ranked among top 25 percent nationwide by U.S. News & World Report Top qualities recognized by these rankings include student, and alumni feedback on return on investment, promise of job security and higher starting salaries after graduation, as well as employer information on programs that best prepare students for success in the workplace. Belk College was the first in the Charlotte region to offer an MBA program, the first to attain the prestigious AACSB accreditation, and the first to offer courses in the heart of Uptown Charlotte to serve the needs of working professionals.

To learn more about the programs offered in the Belk College of Business, visit





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Belk College Connects

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FACULTY NEWS George Banks is the first author of the publication “Management’s Science-Practice Gap: A Grand Challenge for All Stakeholders” in the Academy of Management Journal. The publication outlines ways that academic researchers and business practitioners can improve collaboration on shared challenges.

of Management in Raleigh; Christopher Whelpley, lecturer at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business in Richmond; and Ernest O’Boyle, associate professor of management and organizations at the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

George Banks

“Management’s Science-Practice Gap: A Grand Challenge for All Stakeholders” was published online July 19 by the Academy of Management Journal and republished in a special edition in December.

The research team also found areas of overlap. Specifically, both groups expressed significant interest in eight particular business challenges: • Reducing or eliminating pay inequality; • Reducing or eliminating workplace discrimination; • Reducing or eliminating unethical business practices; • Expanding opportunities for continuing education; • Leveraging technological innovation to improve job availability and quality; • Improving employee morale; • Reducing the carbon footprint of businesses and products; and • Enhancing the quality of customer service.

Banks is the lead author with Jaime Bochantin of UNC Charlotte; Jeffrey Pollack, assistant professor of entrepreneurship, and Bradley Kirkman, professor of leadership, at the North Carolina State University Poole College

“Business researchers and practitioners share more interests than either group realizes. We wanted to find out what were the common challenges among these groups and find ways to help problem solve,” Banks said.


Belk College Connects

Academic faculty produce valuable published research. But how can it be applied by practitioners? Belk College of Business faculty member George Banks, assistant professor of management, is working with five additional faculty members at multiple universities to answer that question.


Through their research, the team found two main factors that contribute to a disconnect between business research and business practice: Interests do not always overlap, and each group lacks understanding of the other side’s concerns.

Moving forward, the researchers outline four ways that researchers of business could promote greater collaboration with businesses: • Encourage academics to share their research findings with practitioners. • Create a peer-reviewed, practitionerfocused journal that provides managers with advice they can use. • Encourage academics to use social media, blogs, and other online platforms to inform practitioners of their research. • Evaluate and reward faculty not only on research, teaching, and service, but also on the “practical impact” of their work. The researchers define “practical impact” as a professor’s efforts to reach out to business audiences. The study included surveys of 929 business practitioners and 828 active researchers in business disciplines. The researchers also conducted in-depth interviews with 16 academics in the business field and 22 practitioners, ranging from “C-suite” executives and managers to government officials and legal advisors. The research team has identified more than 160 businesses that would like to work more directly with academics—a growing list that the co-authors are willing to share with other schools.

For more information about the research, visit. or contact Dr. Banks at

FACULTY NEWS UPDATES Denis Arnold and Jennifer Troyer completed the first study using empirical data to demonstrate that aggressive marketing of pharmaceutical drugs and truly innovative new drug development are at odds, published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.


Victor Chen’s article “Regulatory institutions and Chinese outward FDI: An empirical review”, co-authored with Yuanyuan Li (a Ph.D. student at Rutgers Business School) and Sara Hambright, ’15 (a recent Business Honors Program graduate) was published as the lead article of the peer-reviewed Multinational Business Review recently. The research draws from Hambright’s honor thesis, which reviews some 26 empirical studies on China’s economic and legal institutions on outward foreign direct investment. emeraldinsight. com/toc/mbr/24/4


Ethan Chiang’s article “Estimating Oil Risk Factors Using Information from Equity and Derivatives Markets” (with Keener Hughen and Jacob Sagi) published in the Journal of Finance introduces a novel approach to estimating latent oil risk factors and establishing their significance in pricing non-oil securities.



Paul Gaggl’s paper with Maya Eden of the World Bank focused “On the



Janaki Gooty’s research on stress management in the workplace, in collaboration with the CharlotteMecklenburg Police Department, focused on how yoga helps alleviate many stressrelated outcomes and promotes coping flexibility. This research is leading to CMPD exploring a pilot program offering yoga at discounted rates to all CMPD employees.


Franz W. Kellermanns is the coeditor with Frank Hoy of a new book “The Routledge Companion to Family Business.” The book offers a definitive survey of the field of family business that has seen rapid growth in research in recent years. Edited by leading scholars, this volume provides researchers and scholars with a comprehensive understanding of the state of the discipline. International examples cover a wide range of economies including China, Europe and Latin America.


Dave Woehr is part of an interdisciplinary research team that received a $1.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study optimal strategies for team skill development in STEM disciplines.






FACULTY MEMBERS RETIRE Five faculty members retired this academic year, earning Professor Emeritus status: Sak Bhamornsiri: Accounting faculty member Sak Bhamornsiri joined the Belk College faculty in 1978. He received the Bank of America Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1987, the Thomas C. Turner Teaching Excellence Award in 1997, the Belk College’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 1999 and the Belk College’s Outstanding Service Award in 1998. Rick Conboy: Management faculty member Rick Conboy joined the Belk College faculty in 1979 as an assistant professor of management. He was named assistant dean in 1983 and was promoted to associate dean of the Belk College in 1987, holding that position until 2004. Additionally, Dr. Conboy served as interim associate dean for international programs in 2004-2005 and again from 2010-2012. Bob Guinn: Accounting faculty member Bob Guinn joined the Belk College faculty in 1976. He was the 1999 recipient of the Bank of America Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1995 and 2005, he received the Thomas C. Turner Distinguished Teaching Award. Ben Russo: Benjamin Russo joined the Belk College faculty in 1984. He chaired the New Economy Subcommittee for the Governor’s Commission to Modernize State Finances, and has served Department of Finance Canada as a consultant on R&D tax incentives. Kelly Zellars: Kelly Zellars joined the Belk College of Business in 2000-2001 as an assistant professor in Management. She was promoted to associate professor in 2004 and professor in 2010. She served as interim Chair of the Management Department from 2010 to 2011 and as a faculty of the Honors Program.

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Welfare Implications of Automation.” Gaggl and Eden studied the effects of information and communication technologies (ICT) on the distribution of income across factors of production in the United States.


FACULTY NEWS BELK COLLEGE WELCOMES FACULTY MEMBERS The Belk College of Business has hired more than 20 faculty members over the past three years. In fall 2016, the college welcomed six new faculty members in multiple departments:

funds and econometrics. Prior to joining UNC Charlotte, Han served as a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver and Tulane University. He has published in the Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Banking and Finance, Real Estate Economics and many other journals. Han received his bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua University (China) and his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.

PAUL GILLES� Lecturer in Accounting

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Mr. Paul Gilles has taught a financial and accounting program for non-accounting and finance professionals for 15 years as part of a professional certification program. He has published more than 30 articles on various organizational effectiveness topics. Gilles has 30 years of executive leadership and senior consultative experience.


YUFENG HAN� Associate Professor of Finance

Dr. Yufeng Han’s primary research interests are empirical asset pricing, investment, mutual

LINWOOD KEARNEY� Clinical Assistant Professor of Accounting

Dr. Linwood Kearney’s research focuses on issues in judgment and decision making in taxation and managerial accounting. Previously, he was on the accounting faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for two years and Wichita State University for seven years. His research has been published in Practical Tax Strategies and the Journal of Management Accounting Research. Kearney is a CPA, licensed in North Carolina, and a member of the American Accounting Association. He received his Ph.D. in accounting from Florida State University, MAC from North Carolina State University and MBA and B.S.B.A. from East Carolina University.

THOMAS MAYOCK III Associate Professor of Economics

Dr. Thomas Mayock III’s primary research interests are urban economics, public economics, real estate and credit risk. Prior to joining UNC Charlotte, he was a senior financial economist at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and an assistant professor at Montclair State University. His work has appeared in the Journal of Urban Economics, the Journal of Housing Economics, Real Estate Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Public Finance Review, Land Economics and the Journal of Banking and Finance. Some of his research projects investigate the relationship between school segregation and the housing stock, mortgage contract choice, the role of large-scale developments in the mortgage crisis and the financial returns to homeownership. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Florida State University in 2009.

business analytics, user-generated content and healthcare information systems. Previously, Mousavi worked as a lead data scientist at State Farm Insurance Co. where he led a variety of data science projects. He also held managerial and research positions in higher education. He received his Ph.D. from Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business. He also received his MBA from The University of Tehran and his B.Sc. degree in engineering from Sharif University of Technology.

KELLY VOSTERS� Assistant Professor of Economics

Assistant Professor of BISOM

Kelly Vosters’ research interests lie in the areas of labor economics, applied econometrics and the economics of education. One of the focus areas of her current research is intergenerational mobility, examining the extent to which economic status is passed on from one generation to the next. Using a methodological approach that considers the transmission of a more general underlying socioeconomic status, these papers test recent hypotheses proposed in the literature. Other current research is focused in the economics of education, and includes several ongoing projects that assess the performance of value-added models and other test score based teacher evaluation methods. She received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 2016.

Dr. Reza Mousavi’s research interests include the societal impacts of social media, economics of social media, data science and

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BCC Magazine 2017  

BCC Magazine 2017