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Doermer School of Business Students Go Global Ten students studied in Korea during Summer 2016. Each year several groups of students are lucky enough to have an international business experience at various locations around the world at no cost to the student. This is thanks to an agreement that we have with Namseoul University, and generous support from Franklin Electric, PNC Charitable Trust, and the Edward M. & Mary McCrea Wilson Foundation.




Michiana Business Publications Inc.


Deborah C. Gerbers


Danielle Hoelle




7729 Westfield Drive Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825 (260) 497-0433 © 2017 Michiana Business Publications Inc.   BusinessPeopleM   BusinessPeopleM   FortWayneLiving


Richard T. Doermer School of Business



Richard T. Doermer School of Business

IPFW is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access University. 2  |  THE DOERMER DIFFERENCE - WINTER 2017 


Contents 4 Letter from the Dean 5 Sister Cities 6 Doermer Certificates 8 Q&A with Dr. Carolyn Stumph, MBA Director

10 Real World Experiences The Way to Jumpstart Your Career 12 Alumni in Action On the Right Track 14 Student Involvement 16 DSB Alumni




Hello and Welcome to 2017! Hard to believe that six months have passed since I arrived to become the Dean of the Richard T. Doermer School of Business. I have experienced such a warm welcome from faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the School! I have had the pleasure to meet many of you – and look forward to the opportunity to meet many more of you sometime soon! Since my arrival here, there has been much anticipation and anxiety over whether the overall governance of IPFW will change from having both Indiana University and Purdue University programs. Now it has become official that most programs on our campus will become Purdue affiliated (only the health sciences will remain Indiana University programs). This will require our business programs, both undergraduate and MBA, to switch from being an Indiana University mission program to being a Purdue mission program. This will require a lot of hard work and much administrative paperwork! We understand that many of you perhaps have very strong views about whether the governance change should take place - and about the impact of such a change on IPFW as a whole, and on the School of Business specifically. But this change has been determined for us. We will, no doubt, get through this transition! We are still the same faculty and staff – and we will be teaching the same classes with the same level of care and concern for student success that we always have had! The Doermer School of Business is very strong. We are the only business school in Northeast Indiana to hold accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Fewer than 5 percent of business schools worldwide have AACSB International accreditation, representing the highest possible standard of achievement for business schools globally. AACSB accreditation involves a certification process focused on upholding rigorous standards and engaging in continuous improvement. We are now busily preparing for the Continuous Improvement Review (CIR) re-accreditation visit next October, 2017. We continue to accomplish good student outcomes. Our First Destination Survey of new graduates indicate that 84% of new IPFW business graduates are employed or are continuing education and 93% of them are satisfied with their time at IPFW. We add value to the local and regional business community, as 89% of our business graduates are employed in Northeast Indiana


and 95% are employed in Indiana. Over 59% of business students were involved in an experiential learning opportunity (e.g., an internship or coop, etc.) during their academic program. Also, our MBA alumni have found that graduate education pays off, as they report a one year median salary change post-degree of 20%. So, we have a lot going on. We hope to reach out to you all in the future to help build and retain strong relationships with all of you! If you have ideas for the future of the School or would like to initiate discussions about the future we can create together, please do not hesitate to contact me. I welcome the interaction! - Melissa L. Gruys, Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP Dean and Professor, Doermer School of Business

Sister CITIES Business students explore opportunites between Fort Wayne and comparable cities around the world. article by Joshua Shank, Junior Marketing Major

On the first day of D300 International Business Admin., Prof. Suntornpinthug brought in Mr. Lyman Lewis. He, in his authoritarian way, walked up and down the aisles inspecting each of us. He walked about, studying our dress, body language, and general demeanour. As we the students looked around nervously, I wanted to shrink into my chair. Not only had I come in late, I was one of the only ones not dressed in business attire. As Mr. Lewis came my way, I began to study the carpet, avoiding eye-contact at all costs. Soon I saw his shoes, he had stopped at me. After looking me up and down he pointed his index finger and said, “You’d better shape up.” He laughed, the class laughed, I had a panic attack. Never before at IPFW had someone been so frank with me. That day, Mr. Lewis made one thing very clear-- it was time to treat my studies as if it were my job. It was time to sink or swim. This semester of D300 was different from any before. Classes before ours had a clear-cut objective: study a foreign market for potential entry. Our class, however, was contracted by the Fort Wayne Sister Cities to develop some type of plan to improve cultural and economic relations. Our assignment was left vague on purpose. We as students had been so used to being told how to do something, we were hesitant to try and just do. The lack of structure and guidance, while immensely stressful, was ultimately transformative. We the students had to “step up to the plate.” Simple research was not enough to truly encompass the project. Face-to-face meetings with international students and sister cities chairs had to be arranged. Success meant truly committing to the project. Mr. Jenning Li, Steel Dynamics Engineer and chair of Fort Wayne’s Chinese sister city, Taizhou, was our “client.” His thoughts, along with much help from international students, Chen (Cathy) Zheng and Menglan Li gave us information that cannot be Googled, a true Chinese perspective. These meetings with Cathy and Menglan, while seemingly small, are interactions that changed my world view. While our primary goal was work, our chats quickly became more personal. Working on this project brought to light that we are more alike than different, something not often found today.    INDIANA UNIVERSITY-PURDUE UNIVERSITY FORT WAYNE  | 


DOERMER CERTIFICATES Lifelong learning has become necessary in order to move ahead in careers, and we must continuously update the skill sets we have in our toolbox. A trend that has been quickly growing in higher education over the past few years is to offer certificates. These usually consist of anywhere from five to ten courses that provide a person with the skills they need to advance their career or even change career paths. Some certificates are designed for those who have never taken any college courses, while others are geared for students who have an undergraduate degree but are looking to develop new skills.

Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Accounting The Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Accounting has been in existence for over 25 years and has helped prepare numerous people for careers in the accounting and financial fields. Provides good preparation to sit for the CPA exam. Number of courses: 10 Admission Requirements: Previously completed bachelor’s degree in any field “When my current role with the Tincaps had the potential to be expanded to other teams in our ownership group, a CPA license and additional classroom work became necessary. The PBA certificate in accounting program was perfect for what I needed and was very manageable for someone with a full time job and a family. The professors were all outstanding, accessible and helpful. I was more than prepared to take the exam after going through the program.” - Brian Shackow, CPA and Vice President of Finance, Fort Wayne Tincaps


“After completing a bachelor’s degree in psychology, the PBA program offered through IPFW was hugely significant in helping me reach my career goals to enter the public accounting field and obtain my CPA license. The coursework offered through this program was excellent preparation both for passing the CPA exam and for my daily work as a tax professional, and the ability to focus on the specific skills and knowledge needed for a career in accounting has served me well over the past five years.” - Lauren Denton, CPA and Manager, BKD

Bank Management Certificate This certificate focuses on the skill sets needed for a career in Bank Management, with courses like Money, Banking and Capital Markets, Management of Commercial Banks and Current Topics in Banking. Number of courses: 9 Admission Requirements: Previously completed bachelor’s degree in any field “Personally, I feel the Bank Management Certification program provided me the tools and skills I would need in order to navigate the commercial banking industry. The prescribed courses within the curriculum enabled me to learn the manner in which commercial banks operate and how they generate profits within a volatile industry. My favorite course within the program was the Commercial Banking Simulator. This course affords students the opportunity to act in the capacity of an executive committee of a commercial bank and execute important decisions based on the analysis of various Macro Economic Variables (MEV).” - Miguel Gonzalez, LLP Associate, Lincoln Financial Group

Small Business Management Certificate This program is designed to help anyone who is interested in developing the skills needed to effectively start or run a small business. The capstone course walks students through putting together their own business plan and gives guidance on finding funding. Number of courses: 5 Admission Requirements: High school diploma “The small business certificate helped advance me to a new position as a manager at my job in the food industry for a small family-run restaurant. I was a server, and with the certificate I was able to move to a management position with more responsibilities and help to advance my career in the food industry and customer relations.” - Scott Bailey, graduate of Small Business Certificate

Professional Sales Certificate The newest program, which just began this year, is the Professional Sales Certificate. It came into being as the local demand for employees with strong sales skills became evident. Both the Doermer School and IPFW Career Services were regularly getting phone calls requesting students with strong sales skills. In addition, professional sales careers have been in the top half of the Hoosier Hot 50 Jobs listing. This certificate program focuses on developing your individual sales skills, managing a sales force and understanding consumers. Number of courses: 5 Admission Requirements: Associate degree in any field or 60 credits of college coursework

These certificate programs will help residents of northeast Indiana develop new career sets, easily change career paths and stay up to date with our ever-changing world. Don’t be surprised if you see more certificates coming in the near future. For more information about the certificate programs available at IPFW, please call (260) 481-6472 or visit our website and click on the Degree & Certificates link. 



Dr. Carolyn Stumph has an undergraduate degree in Finance and a Ph.D. in Economics from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. She also has an MBA from Oklahoma City University (AACSB accredited) which she earned at night while serving in the US Army as a Field Artillery Officer. Dr. Stumph also worked for Merrill Lynch and Johnson & Johnson in various professional business capacities before returning to Lehigh for her Ph.D.


She has taught MBA courses in price theory, decision making and economic principles at both Lehigh University and IPFW since 1998. Dr. Stumph has a diverse teaching background with recent experience teaching Economics and Government at Canterbury School, Fort Wayne. She has taught in a number of capacities here at IPFW since 2003. Dr. Stumph currently serves on the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) advisory board and is a co-chair of the IPFW Peer Review Committee. She is also a founding member of the Alliance for Teaching Enrichment, a new IPFW teaching academy. Dr. Stumph has lived in Fort Wayne for fourteen years with her husband, Tim (a proud graduate of the first Professional MBA cohort), and their three daughters. Q: What is your philosophy for managing the program at IPFW, and what qualities in a director (or specialties you have) will help you in the program’s success? My philosophy is to promote and foster what makes the IPFW MBA unique and special. The list includes, but is not limited to, the following attributes. We have faculty who translate their research expertise into inspirational learning experiences for their students. In turn, these inspirational learning experiences, coupled with real world business experience and networking opportunities, produce graduates who exhibit confidence without attitude. They make a difference in their workplace and they give back to their communities. Our alumni are transformational leaders in their fields.


Our MBA helps students enhance strengths and obtain new skill sets. Career Services assists students with identifying their strengths and matching those with opportunities that exist in the community. Assistance is provided with interviewing, resume writing and successful presentation of themselves to potential employers. Clubs and Honor societies provide opportunities to network with other students and to develop leadership and people skills. Many of our student clubs and organizations work with businesses to make Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana a better place to live and work. Both of our programs offer a lot of face-to-face experiences—facultyto-student as well as student-tostudent. Our staff know the students and their educational goals. We all work to help them achieve those goals and to move forward with satisfying and successful careers. Thousands of IPFW MBA alumni work in executive business positions throughout northeast Indiana and continue to support IPFW after

graduating. We also work with offices and divisions across the IPFW, Indiana University and Purdue University campuses to provide our students with the greatest level of support and achievement possible.

quality of our program and the flexibility of our course offerings. Long term goals include the possibility of adding specialized cohorts in the PMBA program.

What helps me do this? Twenty years of experience teaching MBA students. Fourteen years at IPFW with a strong emphasis on quality teaching—CELT Board member, Alliance member. I have also taught online classes for the last ten years which will help me assist our faculty in transitioning to teaching hybrid and online classes. This, in turn, increases the flexibility of our class offerings. Q: Could you explain the current program and its offerings? We currently offer a Professional MBA (PMBA) for working professionals. These students undertake an intense 12-month program which offers convenient one day a week residency (students attend class all day Saturday). We also offer a regular MBA called the MBA+. The + means that we offer concentrations in this program as well as additional opportunities to interact with executives in northeast Indiana. Students in the MBA+ program may choose to pursue a business analytics, finance or a general track. We have matched the needs of the northeast Indiana business community and the strengths of our faculty to arrive at these choices. These students typically take classes two evenings a week and complete the degree in about 24 months. Q: What can students expect from the program in 2017? What are long- and short-term goals? Our focus in 2017 will be to continue to improve the

Q: How do you measure success: in the school of business, in the MBA program, in life perhaps through alumni? We assess the learning that occurs in the program through a variety of measures. Some of these include standardized test results and surveys of all kinds. I believe that the success of our students can be captured in the feedback we receive. We have alums in positions of power throughout Fort Wayne and the surrounding areas. Almost all of them attribute their success in part to the skills, expertise and network development acquired in the IPFW MBA program. An alumnus recently remarked that getting his MBA here was the best thing he and his family ever did. This is a powerful statement and a success story in which we take great pride. Q: What are some challenges students face, and how can you help guide them though? The MBA students face the same challenges many IPFW students face—how to manage a full time job (usually), a family (sometimes) and demanding coursework (always). This is not an easy time in their lives and they need the unique support that IPFW faculty and staff provide. Q: Any other details you’d like to mention about the program and your new position? I have truly enjoyed the last six months as Director. I look forward to continuing to work with the students, faculty, staff and the campus community to take advantage of opportunities and to assist the new Dean with facing the challenges and transitions that will surely come our way. 




The Way to Jumpstart Your Career A recent School of Business graduate is optimistic about her career after gaining real-life experience through the co-op program. article by Jennifer Blomquist  •  photography by Jeffrey Crane

“Right before I graduated in December, I wrote a paper for school about working while you’re in school and how it will set you apart from the rest when you graduate because employers want someone with real experience, not just a degree,” says Kendra Giant of Fort Wayne. Giant graduated in December from IPFW’s School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing. During the second semester of her junior year, she was accepted into a co-op program with Cintas of Fort Wayne. Cintas is a full-service uniform rental company. “I was looking for something that was sales-driven,” says Giant. “At Cintas, I was able to work in the sales department and was given a number of responsibilities, including creating company logo sketches for mats, preparing packages for prospective customers and even going out in the field with members of the sales team.” Giant says she spent an average of 18 to 23 hours working at Cintas each week, while also completing 19 credit hours of school. “It was a heavy schedule, but I loved applying what I was learning in school to what I was doing at Cintas.” “I have seven sales reps who each own their own territories and are extremely busy trying to obtain the business of prospective clients 10  |  THE DOERMER DIFFERENCE - WINTER 2017 

while maintaining relationships with existing clients. They have a full plate,” says Nick Hartman, sales manager at Cintas. “Kendra not only helped to take some of the chores off the sales reps’ plates, but she did so efficiently and in a way that made her a true asset to Cintas. We started out with simpler tasks, but by the time she was nearing graduation, she was going out in the field and selling accounts.”

Kendra says she wasn’t always very interested in school, but found herself feeling the opposite when she started the co-op program.

“The co-op just solidified for me the fact that sales is what I want to do with my career,” says Giant.

If your company would be interested in hiring a co-op student please contact (260) 481-6939 or 

“As a sales manager, I can attest to the fact that when I’m considering a candidate for a position, I have to ask, ‘What kind of business to business experience does that person have?’ If I could go back in time as a student, I would do the coop like Kendra has, because it just sets those students up for success and the opportunity to jumpstart their careers.”

“I liked being able to take what I was learning in school and use that information to help me in my work at Cintas. It really changed the way I looked at school and I know it has made a difference for me as I enter the workforce as a professional.”

Nick Hartman, sales manager at Cintas and Kendra Giant   INDIANA UNIVERSITY-PURDUE UNIVERSITY FORT WAYNE  | 


Michael Earls

Lisa Isenbarger

Brian Stalter


When Brian Stalter graduated from IPFW’s School of Business in 2009, he knew he had options. “I have to give credit to my professors for preparing me for my professional life,” says Stalter, a certified public accountant who now works as a manager at the firm Crowe Horwath, LLP, in Fort Wayne. “The professors are very focused on the students and helping them to navigate their careers. I know it helped me a lot.” Two other School of Business alumni nod their heads in agreement as the three sit down together to discuss the benefits

parts of the test on the first try. After that, I went to an on-campus interview with an international firm. I got the job and was on my way.” “IPFW always emphasized the importance of getting into a co-op or internship,” says Michael Earls, CPA, a director at BKD, LLP, in Fort Wayne. “When I was in school 13 years ago, I was working full-time, so I really couldn’t do an internship. But at BKD, we like to recruit interns and have them come work for us by the end of their sophomore year. That way, we know if they are a good fit for us and vice versa, they know if we are a good fit for them. A lot of the interns we’ve had are

in school, but the funny thing is, public accounting really doesn’t have much to do with math at all.” “Being in manufacturing and distribution in my position at Crowe Horwath, it’s really helpful that when I was in school at IPFW, they placed a lot of emphasis on business and not just accounting,” says Stalter. “It’s nice to be able to understand my clients’ business as a whole and not just as it relates to the accounting department or financial reporting.” “I didn’t really know much about public accounting as I was starting school, but my professors encouraged me to go into public,”


RIGHT TRACK Three School of Business alums discuss the guidance that led them to a successful career path in public accounting. article by Jennifer Blomquist  •  photography by Jeffrey Crane

of having attended IPFW before launching their careers in the field of public accounting. “I graduated in 1988 and getting into public accounting was a little different back then, but I felt very well prepared when I went to take my CPA exam,” says Lisa Isenbarger, CPA, who is the Director of Valuation Services at Haines, Isenbarger & Skiba, LLC, in Fort Wayne. “The exam used to only be offered twice a year in Indianapolis. There were four parts and the testing took two and a half days. I passed all four

from IPFW’s School of Business. I often see a number of professors at school events where they will introduce or recommend students to us for an internship. It’s great to still have that kind of connection and networking with the faculty.” All three of them emphasize the importance of getting handson experience in their field before deciding to enter it.

says Earls. “I took their advice and the more I got into it, the more I realized you can sub-specialize within the field. In my case at BKD, 90-percent of what I do is related to healthcare. Before long, I realized that what I like most about my career in public accounting is that I can drive my own bus and go wherever I want instead of someone else doing the driving. I’m glad I took their advice.”  

“People think being a CPA is all about math,” says Isenbarger. “I love math and loved it back   INDIANA UNIVERSITY-PURDUE UNIVERSITY FORT WAYNE  | 


STUDENT INVOLVEMENT In October, the Accounting and Finance department hosted Accounting and Finance Night. Students had a chance to meet with representatives from numerous accounting firms and financial institutions.

More than 144 high school students attended The World of Economics Workshop held at IPFW.


Ten IPFW students traveled to Korea for two weeks as part of the Korean Economy and Culture class.

Peer tutor Eseosa Igbininesu assists a student during Business Computers class.

Peer tutor Catherine Bledsoe works with a student on a project for Business Computers class.

Thirty-four students participated in the 2016 Accounting Society Bus Trip to Indianapolis. One stop was at RSM the sixth largest accounting firm in the world.

MBA students enjoy some social time at an event where they heard from some of our MBA alumni.   INDIANA UNIVERSITY-PURDUE UNIVERSITY FORT WAYNE  | 


DSB Alumni,

The Doermer School of Business likes to keep its alumni close. If you’ve had a recent career change, promotion, accomplishment or simply want to tell us what you’ve been up to, please let us know. We also ask that you send any address or contact information changes that may have occurred since your time at DSB, so we can keep you updated on all of our exciting news.

To stay in touch, visit IPFW Richard T. Doermer School of Business


IPFW Richard T. Doermer School of Business


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The Doermer Difference  

Winter 2017

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