EnterpriseMT Spring 2017

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Enterprise Jennings A. Jones College of Business

Spring 2017

Middle Tennessee State University


Poet Stephanie Pruitt (’02) coaches artists in business.

BUSINESS and Other Fields

Enterprise Spring 2017

Dean, Jones College David Urban University Editor Drew Ruble Senior Editor/Designer, Jones College Sally Ham Govan Creative and Visual Services Director Kara Hooper Contributing Editors Darby Campbell, Carol Stuart Contributing Writers Skip Anderson, Darby Campbell, Jimmy Hart, Vicky Travis University Photographers Kimi Conro, Andy Heidt, J. Intintoli, Eric Sutton University President Sidney A. McPhee Interim University Provost Mark Byrnes Vice President for Marketing and Communications Andrew Oppmann mtsu.edu/business Cover photo by J. Intintoli Address changes: Advancement Services, MTSU Box 109, Murfreesboro, TN 37132 alumni@mtsu.edu Other correspondence: Jones College, 1301 E. Main St., MTSU Box 101, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

2,000 copies printed at Falcon Press, Nashville, Tenn. 0517-4338 / Middle Tennessee State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or disability. See our full policy at www.mtsu.edu/titleix.



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Not Your Parents’ Classroom Faculty engage students with technology

The Marriage of Business and Other Fields These alumni use their business degrees in diverse careers


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On Solid Ground Jones College’s real estate firm allows students to get real-world experience

Startup U The Jones College Entrepreneurship program helps students turn ideas into concrete business plans

View from the Chair The future of MTSU’s Insurance program looks bright

News Briefs

Soochan Choi (’16) gives an M.S. in Management presentation.



Ashley Sanders, left, and Raquel Magaña work on a team project in the Financial Analysis Center.




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Law School professor bemoaned the fact that students spent more time in class pursuing distractions on electronic devices than listening to his lectures. His solution? He declared that in the future he would ban laptops from his classroom.

As I read the op-ed, I couldn’t help chuckling to myself. I remembered my own experience teaching a 200-student undergraduate marketing principles class in the early 2000s. I, too, noticed students’ tendency to play on their laptops instead of listening to me. Just like the law school professor, I had told students they could not use laptops in class. My prohibition did not last long. Shortly after I imposed the ban, a few students presented me with letters from the office that managed support services for students with disabilities. Each letter informed me the student had a documented disability and that I was required to provide an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In each case, the student needed to take notes using a laptop, tablet, or other keyboard device. Not wanting to violate the ADA, I lifted the laptop ban for those students. Then several other students, without documented disabilities, wanted to know why they were not allowed to use laptops. I finally tired of answering the same question repeatedly and restored class laptop usage for all.



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My experience caused me to reassess my approach in the classroom. I started thinking about my executive education classes that were populated by students who had significant full-time work experience. They wanted practical solutions

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Stoney Brooks supervises students Dominick Amari, left, and Darius Gallaher on a class project.

When I was an undergraduate in the 1970s, the professor’s role was as a purveyor of knowledge. Students took notes and studied them in order to repeat them back via exams. In business classes, there were case analyses and projects, but the professor was still viewed as the information guru. The internet created a seismic shift. No longer were students limited to information a professor dispensed. A world of information was available at a click of a mouse. It has become more important for the professor to be a facilitator and a coach than a fountain of knowledge. Today’s professors need to engage students using group discussions, role-play exercises, simulations,


debates, and other methods. The best professors will leverage students’ technology skills and incorporate laptops, tablets, and phones in class activities instead of banning devices. Working with campus learning specialists to build involvement into my marketing class, I began by halving my lecture time and then each semester trimmed my lecturing further. I reduced my reliance on examinations in performance assessment. The more I immersed students in the subject with activities, the less time they had to play with their technological toys. They learned course content by putting it into practice, as someone learns about music playing an instrument instead of taking music appreciation classes. Our experience with the Dale Carnegie Course in Jones College has brought this new instructional model into focus. Acquiring knowledge of the human relations principles Dale Carnegie developed is only one component. The instructor motivates students to develop the skill of putting the principles into practice,


to business problems they could bring back to their companies. They did not want me to lecture and preferred to use class time on projects, team exercises, case discussions, and other hands-on activities. I provided course content electronically so they could access it before class. Once in class, they would apply the content in the high-involvement activities I had designed for them.

inspiring them to adopt the positive attitude needed to learn, commit to, and practice the principles inside and outside of class. Students have embraced this course because it helps them to build human relations skills through practice—a significant departure from courses that focus on knowledge acquisition. Aside from our certified Dale Carnegie trainers, other faculty are leading the way in this mode of instruction. ■■




Stoney Brooks teaches Information Technology Project Management and System Development. He immerses students in teams to work on a difficult real-life project, gaining valuable experience in problem-solving, time management, conflict resolution, and teamwork. In our Strategic Management capstone course, 2016–17 Bridgestone Americas Distinguished Lecturer Joshua Aaron uses applications related to strategy. He spearheaded the development of our strategic management case competition, focusing on a real dilemma faced by an organization. In Principles of Economics, David Penn proves that even in a class of 180 it is possible to engage students in exercises in which he and graduate student assistants work directly with the students. Ronda Henderson, teaching Business Communications, is an awardwinning, nationally recognized expert on using instructional technology, particularly tablets, in class to facilitate interaction and problem-solving among students.

More faculty need to ask, “What can I do to improve learning in my classroom?”

Dean Urban received the Dale Carnegie Global Leadership Award for Jones College’s delivery of the Dale Carnegie Course to all business majors.



n my response to the Wall Street Journal editor, published on July 16, 2016, I made points included here and concluded: “As the public is challenging colleges to demonstrate value for tuition charged, more faculty need to ask, ‘What can I do to improve learning in my classroom?’ Banning laptops, though tempting, is not the answer— been there, done that.” At Jones College, we are committed to student success—a key component of which is what happens in the classroom. We will continue to find new ways to connect with our students so they will learn by doing. n

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Stephanie Pruitt (’02) put her degree to good use in finding a way not only to make a living but thrive as writer and artist.


These alumni use their business degrees in diverse careers



social and cultural experience and a solid business education without taking on debt. MTSU was the perfect fit. Business was a practical choice. I was already writing poetry and making art. I loved the psychology of business and building relationships. It felt like solving a puzzle. I wanted to make art and write without sacrificing quality of life. My business education allowed me to earn a living doing what I love.

Stephanie Pruitt Business Administration and Marketing ’02, Artrepreneur

When you take business classes, work on projects, and then see your classmates become business leaders, you recognize that businesses are made up of individuals making decisions and creating. Learning from professors with their unique business experience also expands the range of what you believe a business person can be.


Jones College has balanced theoretical and practical sides. We studied from textbooks, but professors brought in real-world examples. Benefits of a larger school include a variety of class options and times and more internship opportunities. The college is small enough that you can receive focused attention. Your advisor can direct you to opportunities that best suit your talents and goals. I started a publishing business and was able to use that as a senior project. MTSU was very supportive. A lot of people on campus helped me make that a reality.

“I help companies use artistic principles in business and help artists succeed in business.”

Ideas are my most valuable resource, whether expressed through writing, teaching, or speaking. I employ many approaches, from selling a book of poetry to putting marketing on the back of poems in gumball machines. Now I coach artists. Through the No Starving Artist Academy, I’ve created courses and an online membership platform for artists to sharpen their business acumen. Through public speaking, I help business organizations incorporate creativity and innovation in the workplace. A favorite engagement was hosting and giving a talk at TEDxNashville. I help companies use artistic principles in business and help artists succeed in business.

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Lisa Eischeid Business Administration and Marketing ’88 Rutherford County General Sessions Judge, Part IV


“My Business Administration and Marketing degree prepared me for running my law practice—I was opening a small business.”


law, I had a thriving practice and a beautiful office. It meant a major pay cut and going to the jail for work every day, but you’ve got to go where the need is. I felt it was time for me to become a public servant and give back. You’ve got to give back. As a woman in a male-dominated field, I’ve had to be driven, try harder to succeed, and put in more effort to establish myself as a litigator, but I am ready to hand the torch to another young woman and let her fight the good fight. I feel that my Business Administration and Marketing degree prepared me for running my law practice: I was opening a small business. You really have to market yourself, and I applied principles that I learned in my marketing classes. I also learned how to ethically manage a business, which is something I’ve spoken to current business students about when I’ve recently returned to Jones College to share my experience during Tom and Martha Boyd Ethical Leadership Week. Education is great, but applying it is different. Professor Lara Daniel, now Jones College assistant dean for assessment, taught real-life applications for the material and first piqued my interest in pursuing law. Jones College provides opportunities to gain real-world experience while still in school. General Sessions Court provides internships for MTSU students. The interns follow our judicial clerks, who help defendants with what they need and keep the court going. With dockets of 300 people to see and then preliminary hearings, the interns are a big help. They get a bird’s-eye view of everything, step in when needed, and get to see if they want to be lawyers or work in the judicial system once they’ve had a taste of it.

Judge Lisa Eischeid presides over Rutherford County General Sessions Court, Part IV.

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“ As a family-owned and family-run business, our hope is also to contribute to the community.”

Brothers Jordan, left, and Justin Howell enjoy discussing business informally in the horse stable on the park-like grounds of their Quality Exteriors roofing business.

Jordan Howell

Justin Howell

Marketing and Management ’05 President, Quality Exteriors

Marketing and Business ’03 President, Quality Restoration



knowledge, not of facts, but of values.” As small business owners and graduates of Jones College of Business, our values at Quality Exteriors lie in the satisfaction of knowing our work is based on family, integrity, and—of course—quality. We founded our roofing company with the philosophy that we’re business owners providing roofing and construction services, not roofers who happen to run a business. With this mindset we’ve been able to grow from humble beginnings in 2006 to 22 employees and multi-state projects in 2017. Our newest endeavor, Quality Restoration, enables us to help families and businesses recover from wind, fire, and storm damage. Our choice to attend MTSU was natural, having grown up in the area and witnessed the growth of middle Tennessee. Our family’s long-standing tradition of showing horses ingrained in us the value of a tight-knit community, and we were excited to see that same sentiment expressed while we attended MTSU. We’re enthusiastic about maintaining a solid relationship with the University and its programming, including athletic events, where some of our most valuable networking happens. As a family-owned and family-run business, our hope is also to contribute to the community that’s supported us so well. Quality Exteriors is proud to support the Rutherford County Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, and the Blue Raider Athletic Association. We hope our business values are obvious not just in our roofing projects across the southeast but also in how we’re committed to loving the communities in which we work.


REAL ESTATE | by Skip Anderson



n one important way, Blue Raider Realty isn’t like most brokerage firms. Sure, it’s a privately held, for-profit business that provides the complete gamut of commercial and residential real estate services in middle Tennessee. But Blue Raider Realty distinguishes itself from other real estate companies in that it’s also an organization specifically created to give MTSU undergraduate and graduate students hands-on experience in the for-profit world of real estate transactions.

Blue Raider Realty at Parks Group offices: front, Nija Threat, Mark Dunn, Jennifer Mayberry; middle, Cayman Seagraves and Kathy Jones; back, Daniel Vincent and Dr. Philip Seagraves.



Evidence of this mission is found in the very first steps taken in establishing this innovative and independent resource, according to Philip Seagraves, assistant professor of Real Estate and a real estate investor, developer, and broker. Seagraves birthed the concept several years ago and turned the student realty company into reality after joining MTSU’s faculty in Jennings A. Jones College of Business.

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Boots on the Ground started as an offshoot of Jones College’s Blue Raider Real Estate Club. The process of evolving into an actual realty company began in 2015, when these club members renovated and marketed a group of commercial properties in downtown Murfreesboro that Seagraves, in partnership with Burton Street Development, acquired and handed over to students.


Students are eligible to earn commissions just as if they were in the workforce.

“Instead of having students who are interested in real estate try to figure out what to do after graduating, we help them to be up and running,” he said. “The idea is to have them obtain their license and already be established and working in the real estate industry by the time they graduate. This way, new graduates can go wherever they want without wondering whether they have what it takes to do the work or to get their licenses. And for potential employers, these graduates will already be a known quantity—they’re not this huge risk with question marks hanging over their heads.” Students are eligible to earn commissions just as if they were in the workforce—because, as a hallmark of this inventive program, they are in the workforce under the guidance of experienced mentors such as managing broker Kathy Jones. Students also learn about other important areas of the real estate profession such as property appraisals, financing, marketing, and administration. The funds that come into the firm give students opportunities to help make decisions about how to invest in the business, fund scholarships, and further educate the team.

Seagraves and partners purchased the old Neal’s Electric and Lighting Center, as well as two other buildings on West Burton and North Front streets, at auction for $420,000. Students were paid to renovate the properties, perform market analysis, and market and list the properties for sale. The property provided a much-needed off-campus location to operate from in order to fully launch Blue Raider Realty in April 2016. Around that time, Seagraves also enlisted then-M.B.A. student Jackie McKee to be the listing agent for the West Burton Street property. McKee had procured her affiliate broker license prior to earning her master’s from Jones College in December 2015, making her eligible to participate in the property purchase. “There were not many of us in the club who were licensed brokers,” she said. “Dr. Seagraves approached those of us who were. I had not graduated with my M.B.A. at that point, but I had my affiliate broker license. I was, in the end, the official representative for the property.” McKee had enrolled at MTSU as a nontraditional graduate student, having previously worked in the fields of chemistry and microbiology after earning a B.S. in Biology from Old Dominion University. While at MTSU, she concentrated on management and marketing. McKee is now working as a Realtor and affiliate broker with Coldwell Banker Snow and Wall in Murfreesboro. The experience and camaraderie Blue Raider Realty provided McKee inspired her to “pay it forward.” After the sale of the property

“I’m proud to be a part of giving back to the students of my alma mater.”

Getting Involved closed, McKee decided to make a donation to Blue Raider Realty—a scholarship of sorts.

KATHY JONES, a member of the Bob Parks Realty

“She donated part of her commission back to the program,” Seagraves said. “That has helped fund the licensing training for students who came after her.”

Realty as managing broker. “I’m proud to be a

McKee says she remains available to students who work at Blue Raider Realty. “I am still talking to some of the students in the program,” she said. “I think of myself as a good general resource for them.” Seagraves sees relationships with students continuing after graduation, helping the program grow and further establishing Blue Raider Realty in the community. Seagraves hopes to inspire similar engagement from not only past graduates like McKee but also working professionals across the region wishing to help prepare those entering the real estate field. To help more students get their starts, Blue Raider Realty has committed to dedicate a portion of every commission earned to help provide scholarships for other students seeking real estate licenses. “The hope is that more and more individuals from the alumni community and the local business community will serve as advisors or maybe on the board of directors,” Seagraves said. “I’d like to get investments from people for marketing Blue Raider Realty or to build an online training program to help students prepare for their licensure exams. We have the brainpower to do that, but we’d need an investment in technology.”

team, recently stepped up to lead Blue Raider part of giving back to the students of my alma mater and helping them get their start in this great industry,” Jones said. Blue Raider Realty LLC is now housed in the Parks Group offices in Murfreesboro but will remain a separate, independent firm, serving as an incubator for new brokers. Philip Seagraves, assistant professor who birthed the Blue Raider Realty concept, said he couldn’t thank Bob Parks and his team enough for opening their doors to MTSU’s new brokerage. “Other brokerages kindly offered to assist, but only the Parks Group was willing to have one of their top people help lead Blue Raider Realty and let the students continue to operate it as a separate, independent company,” Seagraves said. LOCAL REALTORS David and Ann Hoke, with Ann

Hoke and Associates Keller Williams Realty in Murfreesboro, have also committed to fund a Real Estate scholarship of $1,000 a year for a $25,000 total endowment. Those interested in learning more about real estate, summer internships, or supporting and getting involved in the brokerage or the real estate club should email Philip.Seagraves@mtsu.edu. n

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Closing the Deal IF STUDENT RESULTS are a barometer for giving, potential donors can rest assured they are making a sound investment in the Blue Raider Realty initiative. In 2015, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and two other partners sponsored the inaugural Real Confidence University Portfolio Challenge, in which teams from 15 universities nationwide vied to create the best-performing portfolio from a mixture of real estate investments.

Each team chose how to allocate $1 billion to four quadrants of commercial real estate investment: public equity, private equity, public debt, and private debt. The bestperforming portfolio over four quarters was declared the winner in July 2016. The winning university received $50,000 for its real estate or business program. MTSU finished third, ahead of Harvard, among many others. The second annual event is in progress, and MTSU is among 40 universities entered. Seagraves has a simple mission for Blue Raider Realty. “We intend to be a first-rate brokerage firm,” he said. “We want to supply our competitors with a staff of great people in the near future by helping them to be great while they’re here. The students have such enthusiasm for the profession. They can learn from our knowledge, academic theory, and the bruises we sustained in the profession.” By enabling MTSU students to get their real estate licenses and real-world experience long before they graduate, Seagraves and Jones College are fulfilling that promise. n Blue Raider Realty meeting: left to right, Daniel Vincent, Mark Dunn, Kathy Jones, Jennifer Mayberry, Nija Threat, and Cayman Seagraves.


“We intend to be a first-rate brokerage firm.”

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U The Jones College Entrepreneurship program helps MTSU students turn ideas into concrete business plans

Startup G

iven their history and experience,

millennials have witnessed and enjoyed

a tremendous amount of entrepreneurial

prosperity (think companies like Uber) made possible by people who said, “Here’s a

problem: How can we solve it in a way no one has thought of before?”

A 2016 BNP Paribas Global Entrepreneur

Report found that millennials—people born between the mid-1980s and late-’90s—are discovering entrepreneurship significantly

earlier than boomers did. According to the

report, “While the older generation launched their first businesses at roughly 35 years

old, so-called ‘millennipreneurs’ are setting out around 27—which means some of them

already have almost a decade of experience.” A key factor enabling this rise in

entrepreneurism is the rapid growth in

technology. Today anyone with an idea and

an internet connection can essentially start a business at a computer. It’s never been easier to start a business and to do so without a lot of money.

2017 | 21

How does this relate to colleges of business?


About four in 10 students want to start a business, according to a 2015 Gallup student poll. Colleges and universities across the nation have taken note.

A 2015 New York Times story asserted the number of higher education institutions that offer courses related to entrepreneurship “has grown from a handful in the 1970s to over 1,600 today.” Recognizing the demand, Jones College offers an Entrepreneurship major and minor to help students turn ideas into concrete business plans.

An Academic Incubator

Avila contends that creative juices shift as students and graduates emerge from their early 20s. “We have to harness it in the early years, before they’ve been pinned into a certain task,” he said. “It’s critical to engage with them early.” Wright, who graduated from MTSU with a bachelor’s in Psychology and a minor in Sociology, launched her travel agency business following years as a social work administrator. She said she would have benefited from the knowledge now being offered through the Entrepreneurship major. “I was lucky to follow my passion into travel. I saw an opportunity, did some low-level business planning, and jumped in,” she said. “I had to be open to learning from other people and seeking out how to do things. It’s fabulous now that students can train in this.”

Her advice to budding entrepreneurs is straightforward but strategic: “Just be absolutely sure you want to do it, because building your own business takes so much energy. I can’t count the our in students times I would go to the office at 3 or 4 a.m.” want to start a business

“It’s a young discipline,” said Bill McDowell, holder of the Pam Wright Chair of Entrepreneurship at MTSU. “An increasing number of students don’t want to rely on someone else for their security.”



Pam Wright, an MTSU graduate and Board of Trustees member who founded Wright Travel in 1981, pledged $1.25 million to her alma mater in 2007 to establish the chair that McDowell currently holds. Wright said she did so in an effort to better engage in the economic fight America has on its hands in competing with the developing world. According to Wright, MTSU’s Entrepreneurship program “serves students who want to pursue their creativity and employ their curiosity to make their own way. Many students are not interested in the traditional ‘let’s go work and then retire’ plan. MTSU has done a great job at addressing that.” Why not just start a business? Why major in it? “It’s vital,” said Mario Avila, entrepreneur-in-residence for higher education at the Nashville Entrepreneur


Center, a Nashville-based nonprofit organization on a mission to connect entrepreneurs with critical resources to create, launch, and grow businesses.


McDowell believes college creates opportunities for future entrepreneurs to get experience without risk. “We work with people to organize their ideas and build a structure: a marketing plan, a production plan, financing options,” he said. “Jones College can really help people launch ideas.” Global Entrepreneurship Week each fall features free lectures, workshops, and panel discussions that give students and aspiring entrepreneurs useful information. Jones College leads students through the nitty gritty of owning and managing a businesses by teaching management skills, accounting, marketing, and more.


One way McDowell is helping create a culture of entrepreneurship on campus is the annual Pam Wright Chair of Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition, open to all students and alumni with the purpose of honing an elevator pitch and forming a business plan.

Team “We have reworked the entire curriculum for the major and minor, and we focus on more specific courses such as Innovation Acceleration to learn how to think like an entrepreneur,” McDowell said. “We added courses for majors and minors that teach basic startup marketing, current trending social media, how to use QuickBooks—things more in line with entrepreneurship than big business.”

The three-step judging process starts with open submissions, which are cut to the 20 best. Those 20 contestants get individual training sessions and present at a trade show in the Student Union at which every student and faculty member may judge. The final round brings in business leaders as a judging panel for full presentations. (Think Shark Tank on a college campus.) The winner in spring 2016 was Hunter Marlowe, a Recording Industry/Audio Production May 2016 graduate with an Entrepreneurship minor who invented a guitar sound-hole tambourine device his senior year.

As a singer/songwriter and audio engineer, Marlowe would often plug his guitar into his computer and use its snare sounds or other percussion effects to round out his performance. The idea for a physical device that would fit neatly and quietly into a guitar’s sound hole when not needed, freeing him from connecting to a computer, steadily grew At its core, McDowell said in his mind. In January the MTSU program 2016, he showed helps students find ranks th in his developed opportunity and focus. programs for entrepreneurs prototype to friends “We deal with aspects and a couple of MTSU of business related Music professors, who to startups and talk “flipped over it,” in his words. He about how to identify named his device Jambourine by Marlowe. opportunity,” he said. “Traditional business curriculum A new option for Entrepreneurship minors also allows students to take four courses in Jones College and a fifth in another college. “The School of Music, for example, teaches a course specific to its students. We’re really excited about that,” McDowell said.


is more for established firms. Here, we focus on recognizing opportunity and getting things started.” A recent report by student loan marketplace LendEDU gave the program a strong endorsement: MTSU ranks 17th in U.S. programs for aspiring entrepreneurs.




“The competition really made me focus,” said Marlowe, whose favorite Entrepreneurship minor class was Small Business Management. “I worked on Jambourine every night until about 3 a.m. Then I would wake up and do it again. The plan, the design, and the logistics are all so much easier said than done.”

Man with a Plan Under McDowell’s guidance, the program has rapidly increased the number of student internship opportunities for direct contact with startups. “We are creating a database of startups in middle Tennessee. We also bring to campus a lot of guest lecturers, and students interview an entrepreneur,” he said. “By the time they are seniors, they can have an actual plan for fundraising.”

Plan SPRING 2017 | 23

Creation for a Cause


Daniels is evidence that millennials aren’t just blessed with the entrepreneurial spirit. Another strong characteristic of the generation, according to Management professor Leigh Anne Clark, is that they are “driven to do something of purpose. For some, it may be for society. For others, it could be innovation.” A strong part of the Entrepreneurship curriculum now focuses on enterprises that serve the public interest, a specialty for Clark, a lawyer who worked at nonprofits before she turned to higher education.

The competition’s top prize was $7,500, which Marlowe used to fund the tooling and its edits for his product’s manufacture. He started a Kickstarter.com campaign to raise $6,000 to build inventory. By late August, Marlowe, now based in Atlanta, and his team of five were actively selling Jambourines to music stores and individuals. His business is debt-free. “The Entrepreneurship minor taught me so much,” he said. “It gave me so many different business models and choices for manufacturing. I still have all my textbooks.”

MTSU offers an M.S. in Management with a concentration in Social Innovation and Not-forProfit Management. There is also a Not-for-Profit Management undergraduate minor, and he ntrepreneurship minor an undergraduate social taught me so much entrepreneurship course will be offered soon.



Marlowe is exactly the type of student McDowell hopes the program continues to attract. “With our focus on the minor, we want to grow and develop. Students can take skills from another major and turn them into a viable business,” he said. Marlowe is by no means the only success story to emerge from the program or competition. As just one other example, MTSU student Theresa Daniels finished third in the 2015 competition. More recently, the young entrepreneur, who was diagnosed with a form of autism as a child, took the top prize in the social enterprise category of the Launch Tennessee University Venture Challenge. She received $12,500 to invest in her startup idea, Theresa’s Twists—Pretzels with a Purpose, whose mission is to employ and empower persons with Asperger’s Syndrome to become productive future assets in organizations. Her goal is to become so successful selling her pretzels that she can connect with educational institutions, organizations, businesses, and individuals to develop a model for empowering young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome.


Clark feels it’s outdated to focus only on traditional nonprofit management. That, she said, is where millennials come in. As social innovation and entrepreneurship have grown, and for-profit companies have made a difference, those driven to serve have more choices.


“We take basic management and apply it to nonprofits,” Clark said. “We ask, ‘What’s your mission, and how does it drive you?’ We work on capacity building, marketing services, and meeting demand. In five years, Clark predicts nonprofits will have more social innovation components, and she expects to see more merging. “On the social innovation side, the handcuffs are removed. Look at the Toms Shoes ‘buy one, give one’ model. There’s a reason for growth and different models to solve problems and make a living,” she said. Clark has built awareness of her work at MTSU through an annual event. The fourth Nonprofit and Social Innovation Student Summit, in the spring of


Many, like North, come to Clark’s class on fire to serve. Senior John Bosworth, 21, a Recording Industry major with a minor in Not-for-Profit Management, lives, eats, and breathes his calling—to help youth. His business plan was born out of time spent volunteering at a Boys and Girls Club in his home state of Virginia. There he taught young children music, which enhanced their learning skills in other areas as well.


2017, attracted 300 students from 52 majors and representatives from 42 nonprofits. A $2,000 grant from the Jennings and Rebecca Jones Foundation funded the event, planned by Clark with fellow professor Deana Raffo, coordinator of the Leadership Studies interdisciplinary minor, and Organizational Communications professor Janet McCormick.

“The director pulled me aside to tell me he could see the change,” Bosworth said. “It was like a train hit me in the chest. I realized the work was truly making a difference. From then on, that became my purpose.” Bosworth’s social enterprise, Music for Youth, is a comprehensive program designed to help youth to love learning through music. Bosworth graduated in December 2016. “I grew immensely through the classes, learning all aspects of nonprofit management while running my own,” he said. “It’s such an amazing curriculum.”

“Cool people care,” senior Kelly North said when asked to describe the event. “It was fantastic! I reached out and networked, thinking, ‘How could I work with this one? How could we collaborate e take basic for change?’”


The Future Is Now

Every generation has its own iteration of the American dream. If it A long-time community to nonprofits means building a business volunteer, North, 36, enrolled from the ground up, then students at MTSU in an effort couldn’t be living in a better time. Mix to transition out of the the lessons they learned from the recent economic corporate world as an event planner and find a career recession with rapid advancement in the technological more in line with her passion—serving her community realm, and what results is a perfect recipe for and schools. North has been involved at her children’s entrepreneurial growth. school in Tullahoma, organizing successful fundraisers and engaging the community. As an Entrepreneurship “The ultimate goal is to help major, she’s learning the ins and outs of small business students build skills for management and is working on a big idea that has collaboration and become already won the Social Innovation Award at the architects of their own Business Plan Competition. futures,” Wright said. “That competition was the catalyst for a business In the end, whether for plan,” North said. Her idea for a non-instructional profit or not, the cuttingeducation consultancy would help K–12 educators edge Entrepreneurship navigate school culture and social climate challenges rowth program in Jones by providing assessment, strategy development, and College of Business program implementation to fill gaps. aims to prepare young minds for the “The feedback I got at Jones College was wonderful,” challenges and North said. “I went to all of my professors asking, ‘How opportunities that would you do this? How would you do that?’ They’re lie ahead. n all very open and willing to advise me. I love MTSU.”

management and apply it



SPRING 2017 | 25

INSURANCE | by Dave Wood


from the


The future of MTSU’s Insurance program looks bright


he future is extremely bright for risk management and insurance education at MTSU. I look forward to building on the strong foundation that Dr. Kenneth Hollman began. I surely can’t do it alone, though. The theme of my administration will be partnership. A partner is someone who participates and contributes. I also expect these partners to hold me and the University accountable in developing a nationally recognized Risk Management and Insurance degree program. Many of these partners may be alumni. I would love to connect with the alumni of our program, and I invite them to get in touch with me. a board of advisors that will incorporate the activities of the previous Insurance Liaison Committee and the Robert E. Musto Tennessee Insurance Hall of Fame Committee. The wisdom and experience of these individuals will be critical to the program’s future.



Dave Wood has been appointed to the Tommy Martin Chair of Insurance. 26 | ENTERPRISE MT

Andrew George

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A High Performers program will provide an incentive to take the introductory course.

The Martin Chair of Insurance Board of Advisors will commit time and resources to create opportunities for students. The return on investment will be a stronger workforce for our risk management and insurance partners. The board will help to set the strategic direction of the program, advise on curriculum issues, and help with funding and the Hall of Fame selection process. Board members will be partners of the Martin Chair of Insurance, involved in internships, guest lectures, job shadow days, and career placement. The partners will be instrumental in attracting new students to the program. We hope to attract students through scholarships and incentives. Believe it or not, few students enter college planning to major in insurance. They often don’t know exactly where their interests lie, and only after they have taken a few classes and better understand an area of study do they decide to major in it. We can also assist the insurance industry in its efforts to better represent the population it serves. We need to recruit minority students and provide a community for them—by hosting speakers who can help us reach a more diverse group of students


and creating networking opportunities with a group of diverse professionals willing to mentor students. A High Performers program will provide an incentive to take the introductory course in Risk Management and Insurance. Students with a 3.5 or higher grade point average who have not committed to a major will be given the opportunity to take the course and attend two industry functions (i.e., hearing a Gamma Iota Sigma guest speaker and participating in a job shadow day). The students will be designated as High Performers and given a stipend of $500, about the tuition cost of the course (three semester hours). Taking the course and participating in industry events will dispel misconceptions about the industry and may help students realize the phenomenal opportunities that exist for Insurance majors. We hope many will decide to major in Insurance, but no strings are attached to the stipend besides those outlined above. There are many scholarship opportunities for students in our program. Typical scholarship awards are $1,500 for majors and $1,000 for minors per academic year. A new scholarship application process will be implemented so that a student’s pursuit of a career in risk management and insurance can be evaluated. I hope to see our students participating in many external scholarship and award opportunities and competitions, and we will provide the necessary resources to make that possible. from the insurance industry are critical for us to build the type of program the industry desires. Financial contributions will fund the High Performer awards, provide instructional material and supplies, enable students to travel to conferences and workshops, fund faculty development activities so we can stay on the cutting edge, and provide the resources needed to keep students current in technological advances.


As the industry evolves, so must our curriculum. We will institute some exciting changes including a full major in Risk

Management and Insurance; currently we have only a concentration in the Finance major. We will incorporate real-world applications to make topics come alive. Case studies also are valuable in helping students develop critical thinking skills. We will continue to partner with the designation-granting agencies and encourage students to gain credit toward designations while in school. Students can earn two parts of the Chartered Property and Casualty (CPCU) and two parts of the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designations when they perform well in designated courses. THE RISK MANAGEMENT and insurance industry is a vibrant, exciting place to work, and there is a huge demand for talent. MTSU is poised to create opportunities for our students and provide a strong workforce. Partnering with the industry, we will make this happen. n

Alumni and friends may email me at dave.wood@mtsu.edu.

M MTSU is poised to create opportunities for our students and provide a strong workforce.

About the Chairholder Dave Wood, the new holder of Jones College’s Tommy Martin Chair of Insurance, previously served as Joseph F. Freeman Distinguished Professor of Risk Management and Insurance at Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University (ASU). He was a visiting professor in the Risk Management and Insurance program at the University of Colorado–Denver and taught international risk management and finance courses at the Université d’Angers in France and Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences in Dornbirn, Austria. For the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research, he teaches in the Certified Risk Manager program and is an education consultant. He served as educational consultant for the Certified Insurance Counselor program. Awards he has received include the Walker College Outstanding Service Award; outstanding teaching awards from ASU Alumni Association and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors; an outstanding service award from the North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance; and education leadership awards from American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, Independent Insurance Agents’ Association of North Carolina, and North Carolina Surplus Lines Association, which named its scholarship awards in his honor. Before his career in education, Wood worked as an independent insurance agent. He has published extensively in academic and trade journals in the areas of risk financing, solvency, and agency/ brokerage operations. He earned his D.B.A. from Louisiana Tech University, M.B.A. from the University of Mississippi, and B.B.A. from Delta State University.

SPRING 2017 | 29

NEWS BRIEFS | from Staff Reports


HE JONES COLLEGE 21st Century: Work That Matters conference drew more than 200 attendees from MTSU and the community, sponsored by the Jennings A. Jones Chair of Excellence in Private Enterprise, First Tennessee Bank, and Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER Jessica Turner, entrepreneur, best-selling author, and award-winning marketing professional, spoke on “Discovering Your Passions,” inspiring audience members to redirect unproductive time toward things that matter. WES MOORE,

Rhodes Scholar, Army combat veteran, business leader, and author, presented “Transformational Leadership: Evolve, Adapt, Inspire,” sharing his own story of overcoming obstacles and inspiring the audience to mentor young people and positively influence the future. facilitated by Allyn Walker, president of Dale Carnegie Training of Tennessee, featured five business leaders who were formally recognized at the 21st Century: Leaders That Matter awards ceremony.

David and Ann Hoke

2 1 s t






Tim Downey, founder and CEO of Southern Land Co., has a threedecade career in developing neighborhoods and vibrant commercial districts that adhere to traditional design principles and generate community interaction.


EXEMPLAR AWARD. Retta Gardner (M.B.A., ’00) is president and CEO of Guaranty Trust Co., overseeing its annual production growth from $250 million to over $1.3 billion. JENNINGS A. JONES CHAMPION OF FREE ENTERPRISE AWARD.

Ann Hoke’s real estate business with Keller Williams is listed in the industry’s REAL Trends Top 250, honoring U.S. real estate teams. David Hoke, with Ann Hoke and Associates, is also broker for HomeFront Properties, managing investor-owned residential properties. ■■

Lorelei Samuelson (M.S., ’12), director of business intelligence for SME Solutions Group analytics consultants, teaches Business Intelligence and Analytics in Jones College.



Retta Gardner

Lorelei Samuelson







Wes Moore

Tim Downey

Jessica Turner

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Martha and Tom Boyd established Ethical Leadership Week in Jones College. This year 29 business leaders were featured speakers.

How did you decide to support Jones College through annual gifts and a planned estate gift? Tom: “My banking career was a result of a contact I had made because of my attending MTSU,” Tom said. “We both graduated from MTSU and received an education that helped prepare us for life. Because of MTSU and God’s grace, we have been blessed to be able to give back.”


Why does ethical leadership matter? Martha: “In a world where truth is situational and what a person wants it to be rather than actual truth, there is a significant need to instill ethics in future generations.”

What are you hoping to achieve through Ethical Leadership Week? Tom: “We hope Ethical Leadership Week along with other initiatives will prepare MTSU students to deal with situations in an ethical manner when they arise,” Tom explained. “Without prior preparation it is easy for people to fall into unethical behavior if they are not trained in recognizing and responding in questionable situations.” Martha taught school for 26 years, and Tom worked in banking until he joined Decker Wealth Management in 2014. Residents of Lebanon, Tennessee, for most of their lives, they have two married daughters: one in Brentwood and one in Clinton, Tennessee.


Alumni Donors

Martha (B.S. ’72, M.A.T. ’73) and Tom Boyd (B.B.A., ’73)


e hope Ethical Leadership Week along with other initiatives will prepare MTSU students to deal with situations in an ethical manner when they arise.” —Tom Boyd






Alfonzo Alexander (top left) of National Association of State Boards of Accountancy Center for the Public Trust, UBS’s Scott Brisson (M.B.A., ’99), and Schwan’s Teauna Upshaw spoke. Tom Tang’s management class hosted Carol Bragdon, Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital.

SPRING 2017 | 33



Yolanda Greene and Larry Miller of First Tennessee Bank hand out T-shirts at the event kicking off fall semester.


Back to Business Courtyard Bash

IT Connect Career Fair 34 | ENTERPRISE MT

Computer Information Systems majors Keith Mosley and Henley Houston network with prospective employers in Miller Education Center.


Samantha Murray, left, competes in speed selling with judges Adam Faragalli, Titan Web Marketing Solutions, and Louise Lim, McKesson.


Professional Sales Program


Game developer Elonka Dunin meets Association of IT Professionals member Hudson Craft; Bryan Huddleston of Nashville Technology Council addresses Murat Arik’s management class.

SPRING 2017 | 35



Supply Chain Management 36 | ENTERPRISE MT

Cliff Welborn’s class visits the Ingram Content Group printing facility, Under Armour distribution center, and General Mills Yoplait plant.

Dale Carnegie Course

Kelley Benson Boland (M.B.A., ’16) introduces Dr. Ming Wang, keynote speaker for the Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration.

Cardell Davis gives a report in a Dale Carnegie Communications and Human Relations Seminar session facilitated by Laura Buckner.

Panel Discussion

Chamber Chairs

Business and Economic Research Center student worker Allison Logan introduces a panel discussion on the role of immigrant entrepreneurs.

Dean Urban, left, is announced as chair of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors by 2016 Chamber Chair Jamie Reed, SEC.





Global Entrepreneurship Week

SPRING 2017 | 37




Graduate business students congregate in the Miller Education Center atrium before hearing a panel of employers in the Jones College Executive Education Center on Bell Street in Murfreesboro.


1301 E. Main Street, Box 101 Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Master of Accountancy Designed around real-world solutions

M.S. in Finance Advanced analytical skills in 12 months

M.S. in Management Supply Chain, Non-Profit, Leadership

Flex M.B.A.

For careers on the move


Deo Sanders M.B.A. ’13