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Enterprise Jennings A. Jones College of Business

Spring 2017

Middle Tennessee State University


Poet Stephanie Pruitt provides business coaching to artists.

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 Cover photo by J. Intintoli. Address changes: Advancement Services, MTSU Box 109, Murfreesboro, TN 37132; Other correspondence: Jones College, 1301 E. Main St., Box 101, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. MTSU is a Tennessee Board of Regents Institution. 3,000 copies printed at Falcon Press, Nashville, Tenn. ###-### / Middle Tennessee State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or disability. See our full policy at



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Your Parents’ Classroom Faculty engage students with technology

The Marriage of Business and Other Fields Alumni use their business degree 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 wishful ideas into concrete business plans

View from the Chair The Insurance program partners with industry to meet workforce demand

News Briefs

Soochan Choi gives an M.S. in Management presentation.



Ashley Sanders, left, and Raquel Magana 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 to continued on page 6

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Stoney Brooks supervises students Dominick Amari, left, and Darius Gallaher on a class project. continued from page 5

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 outlawing 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.


ur 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


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.

practice, 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 model 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 using 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?”

Ronda Henderson teaches using iPads in the classroom.



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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COVER STORY | by Darby Campbell


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

These alumni use their business degree 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. When you take business classes, work on projects, and eventually 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.

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

Jones College has a beautifully balanced theoretical and practical side. We would study from a textbook, but professors would bring in real-world examples. Benefits of a larger school include a variety of class options and times and more internship opportunities. The college is still small enough that you can receive focused attention. Your advisor can get to know you and 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.

Stephanie Pruitt


Business Administration and Marketing ’02, Artrepreneur

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 TedX Nashville. I enjoy helping companies use artistic principles in business and helping artists succeed in business.

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

decided to run for judge. After 24 years practicing law, I had a thriving practice and a beautiful office. It meant a major pay cut and going to the jail for work everyday, but you’ve got to go where the need is. I felt like it was time for me to become a public servant—it was time for me to 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 work hard 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 beginning 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 run a business, which is something that 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 (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 has MTSU interns who really get a bird’s-eye view of everything, so they are a really big help. We have judicial clerks who help defendants with what they need and keep the court going. When you have dockets of 300 people that you have to see and then have preliminary hearings, they help the system and get to see if they want to be lawyers or work in the judicial system once they’ve had a taste of it. It’s a great opportunity for them as well.

Lisa Eischeid


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

Lisa Eischeid poses in the Rutherford County Judicial Building.

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“ That’s what makes this so rewarding. We are a family business helping families.”


Brothers Jordan, left, and Justin Howell meet in their informal “office” in the horse stable on the Quality Exteriors proprerty.


Working on the farm is where we learned our work ethic, and since graduating from MTSU we have certainly stayed busy. When we started Quality Exteriors in 2006, we had no idea how quickly it would grow. Quality Restoration grew naturally out of that roofing company. We handle damage to commercial and residential properties from water, fire, storms, cars driving into buildings, and lightning strikes. People often come to us at one of the worst times of their life, and we love being able to assist them. That’s what makes this so rewarding for us. We are a family business helping families.

Our Jones College education made us feel much more prepared to enter the workforce and own a business. MTSU was the natural choice. We love middle Tennessee. We are now licensed to work in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas, but middle Tennessee is home, and we can’t imagine living anywhere else. We love the tight-knit community. A surprising amount of business networking takes place at MTSU football games. And we are passionate about giving back to the community, serving on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club [Justin] and Blue Raider Athletic Association [Jordan]. For the past five years, our companies have donated roofs to Habitat for Humanity of Rutherford County.

Jordan Howell

Justin Howell

Marketing and Management ’05 President, Quality Exteriors

Marketing and Business ’03 President, Quality Restoration



From temporary offices in a horse barn and one employee 10 years ago, the company has grown to 22 employees, with 15 trucks, and employs several subcontractors. We see ourselves as business people running a construction company, rather than a contractor running a business— which is where you sometimes see a lack of professionalism.

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.

Evidence of this mission is found in the very first steps toward 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.

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



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

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“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 license. And for potential employers, these graduates will already be a proven quantity—they’re not this huge risk with question marks hanging over their heads.” Students in the program 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 real workforce under the guidance of experienced mentors such as managing broker Kathy Jones (see page 24). 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.


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 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.


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

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

real estate investments.

“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.” 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 his 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 their real estate licenses. “The hope is that we’ll have more and more individuals from the alumni community and the local business community to serve as advisors or maybe on the board of directors,” Seagraves said. “I’d like to get investments from people to help us with 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 to do that.”

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 (NAREIT) 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

Under the terms of the challenge, each team chose how it would allocate $1 billion to four quadrants of commercial real estate investment: public equity, private equity, public debt, and private debt. The bestperforming portfolio over a four-quarter period was declared the grand prize winner on July 30, 2016. The winning university received $50,000 for use within its real estate or business program or toward scholarships. MTSU finished third, ahead of Harvard, among many others. The second annual event launched in summer 2016 and is in progress. MTSU is among 40 universities entered this year. In the end, 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. We do that by helping them to be great while they’re here, too. The students have such enthusiasm for the profession, and they can learn from our knowledge, academic theory, and yes, even 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 of Business are clearly fulfilling that promise. n


Blue Raider Realty has committed to dedicate a portion of every commission to help provide scholarships.

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Getting Involved KATHY JONES, a long-time member of the Bob Parks

Realty team, recently stepped up to lead Blue Raider Realty as managing broker. “I’m proud to be a part of giving back to the students of my alma mater and helping them get their start in this great industry,” Jones said. With Jones as managing broker, 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 help, 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 or getting involved in the brokerage or the real estate club should email n A Blue Raider Realty meeting: from left, Daniel Vincent, Mark Dunn, Kathy Jones, Jennifer Mayberry, Nija Threat, Cayman Seagraves.


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

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U The Jones College Entrepreneurship program helps MTSU students turn wishful 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 rampant 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.

continued on page 22

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continued from page 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.

Center, a Nashville-based nonprofit organization on a mission to connect entrepreneurs with critical resources to create, launch, and grow businesses. As students and graduates emerge from their early 20s, Avila contends that creative juices shift. “We have to harness it in the early years, before they haven’t 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.

A 2015 New York Times story asserted the number of “I was lucky to follow my passion into travel. I saw an higher education institutions that offer courses related opportunity, did some low-level business planning, to entrepreneurship “has grown from a handful in the and jumped in,” she said. “I had to be open to 1970s to over 1,600 today.” Recognizing the learning from other people and demand, Jones College offers an seeking out how to do Entrepreneurship major and something. It’s fabulous minor to help students Four in 10 students now that students can turn wishful ideas into want to start a business. train in this.” concrete business plans.

An Academic Incubator “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 who founded Wright Travel in 1981, pledged $1.25 million to her alma mater in 2007 to establish the chair 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 curiosity to make their own way. “Many students are not interested in the traditional ‘let’s go work and then retire’ plan,” Wright added. “MTSU has done a great job at addressing that. It has risen to make those changes creatively.” 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


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 times I would get up and go to the office at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning.” 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 idea people launch their ideas.” Along with the curriculum, Global Entrepreneurship Week each fall features free lectures, workshops, and panel discussions aimed at giving students and aspiring entrepreneurs useful information. Jones College leads students through the nitty gritty of owning


of guest lecturers and have students interview an entrepreneur,” he said. “By the time they are seniors, they can have an actual plan for fundraising.” 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 the elevator pitch and solid business planning.

BUILD A TEAM and managing their own businesses by teaching management skills, accounting, marketing, and more.

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.)

“We have reworked the entire curriculum for the major and minor, and we focus on more specific courses like our Innovation Acceleration course to learn how The winner in spring 2016 was Hunter Marlowe, to think like an entrepreneur,” McDowell said. “We a Recording Industry/Audio Production May 2016 added courses for majors and minors that teach graduate with an Entrepreneurship basic startup marketing, current minor who invented his trending social media, how guitar sound-hole to use QuickBooks— MTSU ranks 17th in U.S. tambourine device his things more in line with programs for entrepreneurs. senior year. entrepreneurship than big business.” As a singer/songwriter A new option for Entrepreneurship minors also allows students to take four courses in Jones College and a fifth course in another college. “The School of Music, for example, teaches a course specific to its students. We’re really excited about that,” McDowell said. At its core, McDowell said the MTSU program helps students find opportunity and focus. “We deal with startup aspects and talk about how to identify opportunity,” he said. “Traditional business curriculum is more for established firms. Here, we focus on opportunity recognition to get things started.” Student loan marketplace LendEDU gave the program a strong endorsement in a recent report: MTSU ranks 17th among U.S. programs for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Man with a Plan Under McDowell’s guidance, the program has rapidly increased the number of internship opportunities for students to have direct contact with startups. “We are working to create a database of startups in middle Tennessee. We also bring to campus a lot

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 in his mind. In January 2016, he showed his developed prototype to friends and a couple of MTSU Music professors, who “flipped over it,” in his words. He named his device Jambourine by Marlowe. “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.” continued on page 24


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.”

SECURE RESOURCES continued from page 23

The competition’s top prize was $7,500, which Marlowe used to fund the tooling and its edits for his product’s manufacturing. 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.

A strong part of the Entrepreneurship curriculum now focuses on enterprises that serve the public interest, a specialty of Clark, a lawyer who worked at nonprofits before she came to higher education. Clark contends it’s outdated to focus only on traditional nonprofit management. That, she said, is where the 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.

MTSU offers an M.S. in Management with a concentration in Social Innovation and Not-for-Profit Management. “The Entrepreneurship minor There is also a Not-fortaught me so much,” he “The Entrepreneurship minor Profit Management said. “It gave me so undergraduate minor, many different business taught me so much.” and an undergraduate models and choices for social entrepreneurship manufacturing. I still have course will be offered soon. all my textbooks.” “We take basic management and apply Marlowe is exactly the type of student McDowell it to nonprofits,” Clark said. “We ask, ‘What’s your hopes the program continues to attract. “With our mission, and how does it drive you?’ We work on focus on the minor, we want to grow and develop capacity building, marketing services, and it. Students can take skills from another major and turn meeting demand. them into a viable business,” he said. “On the social innovation side, the handcuffs are Marlowe is by no means the only success story to removed. Look at Toms Shoes: Buy one, and we emerge from the program or competition. As just one provide. There’s a reason for growth and different other example, MTSU student Theresa Daniels finished models to solve third in the 2015 competition. More recently, the problems and young entrepreneur, who was diagnosed with a form make a living.” In BRAND AND MARKET of autism as a child, took the top prize in the social five years, Clark enterprise category of the Launch Tennessee University predicts nonprofits Venture Challenge. She received $12,500 to invest will have more into her startup idea, Theresa’s Twists—Pretzels with social innovation a Purpose, whose mission is to employ and empower components, and persons with Asperger’s Syndrome to become she expects to see productive future assets in organizations. Her goal is to more merging. become so successful selling her pretzels that she can Like McDowell, connect with educational institutions, organizations, Clark has built businesses, and individuals to develop a model to awareness of her empower young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome.


work at MTSU through an annual event. The third Nonprofit Social Innovation Student Summit in the spring of 2016 attracted more than 225 students from 40 majors to SET UP FINANCES mingle with representatives from 30 nonprofit organizations. A $2,500 grant from the Jennings and Rebecca Jones Foundation funded the event. Clark coordinated the summit with fellow professor Deana Raffo, who is also coordinator of the Leadership Studies interdisciplinary minor, and with Organizational Communications professor Janet McCormick.


would you do this? How would you do that?’ They’re all very open and willing to advise me. I love MTSU.” 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 became inspiration to learn and do homework. “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 inspire youth to love learning through music. Bosworth graduated in December 2016.

“I grew immensely through the classes, “Cool people care,” senior Kelly North said learning all aspects of nonprofit when asked to describe the management while event. “It was fantastic! running my own,” he I reached out and “We take basic management said. “It’s such an networked, thinking, and apply it to nonprofits.” amazing curriculum.” ‘How could I work with this one? How could we collaborate for change?’” A long-time community volunteer, North, 36, enrolled at MTSU in an effort to transition out of the corporate world as an event planner and find a career more in line with her passion—serving her community and schools. North has been involved at her children’s school in Tullahoma, organizing successful fundraisers and engaging the community. As an Entrepreneurship major, she’s learning the ins and outs of small business management and is working on a big idea that has already won the Social Innovation Award at the Business Plan Competition. “That competition was the catalyst for a business plan,” North said. Her idea for a non-instructional education consultancy would help K–12 educators navigate school culture and social climate challenges by providing assessment, strategy development, and program implementation to fill gaps. “The feedback I got at Jones College was wonderful,” North said. “I went to all of my professors asking, ‘How

The Future Is Now Every generation has its own iteration of the

American dream. If it means building a business from the ground up, then students couldn’t be living in a better time. Mix the lessons they learned from the recent economic recession with rapid advancement in the technological realm, and what results is a perfect recipe for entrepreneurial growth. “The ultimate goal is to help students build skills for collaboration and be architects of their own futures,” Wright said. In the end, whether for profit or not, the cutting-edge Entrepreneurship program at MTSU aims to prepare young minds for the challenges and opportunities ahead. n


2017 | 25

INSURANCE | by Dave Wood

View from the Chair The future of the Insurance program at MTSU 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 Tennessee Hall of Fame Committee. The wisdom and experience of these individuals will be critical to the program’s future.



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

Andrew George

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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

I would love to connect with our alumni. I invite them to get in touch with me. funding and the Hall of Fame selection process. Board members will be partners of the Martin Chair of Insurance, involved in internships, guest lecturing, job shadow days, and career placement. The partners will also be instrumental in attracting new students to the program. We need to identify, recruit, and provide a community for minority students. We can assist the insurance industry, which lacks diversity, in its efforts to better represent the population it serves. Minority guest speakers can help us to reach students who can better relate to someone who understands their cultural background. Networking opportunities can be created when a group of diverse professionals are willing to mentor future professionals. Another way to attract students is 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.


A High Performers program will be implemented to provide an incentive for students to take the introductory risk management and insurance course. Students with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher who have not committed to a major will be identified and 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, approximately the tuition cost of the course (three semester hours). Taking the course and participating in industry events will dispewl misconceptions about the industry, and students may realize the phenomenal opportunities that exist for insurance majors. We hope many of them will decide to major in insurance, but no strings are attached to the stipend other than those outlined above. There are many scholarship opportunities for students in our program. Majors can typically receive $1,500 scholarships and minors $1,000 awards per academic year. A new scholarship application process will be in place so a student’s emphasis on the 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 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 technological resources needed to keep students current in advances in technology.


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. This curriculum will emphasize the discipline of risk management and specialize in insurance as the primary tool for financing risk. We will incorporate realworld applications to make topics come alive. Case studies 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 through waiver arrangements currently in place. 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 THE RISK MANAGEMENT

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

About the Chairholder Jennings A. Jones College of Business is pleased to announce the appointment of Dave Wood as the new holder of the Tommy Martin Chair of Insurance. Wood 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. His awards include the Walker College Outstanding Service Award; outstanding teaching awards from ASU Alumni Association and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors; education leadership awards from American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, Independent Insurance Agents’ Association of North Carolina, and North Carolina Surplus Lines Association (NCSLA); and an outstanding service award from the North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance. NCSLA 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 issues, 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


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

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.


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,

facilitated by Allyn Walker, president of Dale Carnegie 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.


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


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. YOUNG PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR AWARD.


Retta Gardner


Wes Moore




Tim Downey






Lorelei Samuelson

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 and Martha Boyd









Alfonzo Alexander, left, National Association of State Boards of Accountancy Center for the Public Trust, UBS’s Scott Brisson (B.S., ’98, M.B.A., ’99), and Schwan’s Teauna Upshaw spoke. Tom Tang’s management class hosted Carol Bragdon, Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital.

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Yolanda Greene and Larry Miller of First Tennessee Bank hand out tee 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.

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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

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Graduate business students attend a professional development event at the Jones College Executive Education Center in the Miller Education Center on Bell Street in Murfreesboro.




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

Flex M.B.A. · 12-month program

· Integrated curriculum

· Online or on-campus

· Professional development

· Revised curriculum

· Business networking

· Accelerated cohorts

· Study-abroad options

M.S. in Finance · 12-month program

· Discipline-specific skills

· Hands-on experience

· Quantitative knowledge

· Career mentoring


· Practical knowledge

· Professional development

M.S. in Management · Real-world experience

Three different concentrations

· Evening, Saturday, online

· Supply Chain Management

· Skills to advance a career · Not-for-Profit/Social Innovation · Organizational Leadership

Deo Sanders M.B.A. ’13

Enterprise MT 2017  

MTSU's College of Business explores the marriage of business with other fields.

Enterprise MT 2017  

MTSU's College of Business explores the marriage of business with other fields.