Inside Hull March 2021

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Greetings Hull Alumni and Friends!

Welcome to our third edition (March 2021) of Inside Hull with the inside scoop on what is happening at the James M. Hull College of Business! We continue to bring you close to the people (faculty, staff, students, alumni, and business community) who make Hull great!

In this issue, we highlight one of our great events, the Hull Case Competition, which brings together our students, faculty, and business community to provide our students with an outstanding “outside the classroom” learning experience. You will read about five of our great student teams, their super faculty and business community mentors, and our fantastic panel of business community judges. Continuing our theme of business education enriched by our business community, you will read about our Business Showcase with ADP and our upcoming project in which our students, led by a great faculty member, Dr. Simon Medcalfe,  will assist the Savannah River Site in determining its economic impact.

You will also read about two of our great faculty members, Dr. ChongWoo Park and Dr. Marsha Loda, who are our well deserving Faculty Award winners for this academic year and two of our students, Mahalia Marin and Megan Tychsen, who shined while representing AU/Hull at the National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC). Additional stories can also be found on our great students, Jerod Carrier and Jasmine Whitaker, and highlights of the latest accomplishments of our faculty.

Finally, you will read about your opportunity to support Hull on AU’s second annual Day of Giving on April 21st. I hope you will consider supporting the great people and programs of Hull through your gifts!

Great things are happening! Read about them in Inside Hull and Go Jags!

Richard (Rick) M. Franza, Ph.D.


Digital Marketing Seniors Win Case Competition

Dean Richard Franza with Makayla Donohue and Madison Osborn (Team M&M), along with their faculty mentor Simon Medcalfe, Ph.D.

The winners of the annual Hull Case Competition were announced during a virtual awards ceremony on Friday, March 12, for the 2021 Hull Case Competition.

Seniors Makayla Donohue and Madison Osborn, known as Team M&M and mentored by Dr. Simon Medcalfe and Tabitha Hollimon, enrolled agent with the IRS and the owner of Virtual Tax & Accounting, wowed the judges with their approach to solving the case that involved a visual representation of spilled M&M candies to represent the chaos in the case company and will split a $3,000 prize as the winners. Both Donohue and Osborn are graduating in May with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in digital marketing.

Teams were asked to write a memo and create a PowerPoint presentation regarding the financial issues of a fictional business named Yur Medical Devices, namely internal control systems and risks currently present at the company. Specifically, teams were asked to address and make recommendations on fraud risk, internal controls, and corporate structure.

Each team of two undergraduate students was given approximately one month to evaluate the case and develop their solution with the assistance of a professional and faculty mentor. The mentors provided guidance to the teams to fine tune their written memos and match their speech to their PowerPoints in advance of their virtual presentations made to the judges on the evening of Thursday, March 11.

“I’ve been very fortunate to work with teams that are very self-motivated, very dedicated self-starters,” Medcalfe said.

Additionally, the second-place team, Team Game-Set-Match (Ana Faria and Ricard Rubio), mentored by Roger Duke and Farrah Rajabi, special agent with the FBI’s Augusta office, took home the second place prize of $2,000; and the third-place team, Team We R Gonna Win (Guanyu Li and Skyler McGregor), mentored by Dr. Sam Park and Greg van Bladel, Operations Group Controller for John Deere’s Small Ag & Turf division for the U.S. and Canada, nabbed $1,000. The fourth and fifth place teams, Team Tonts (Kevin Corenstein and Alvaro Quereda) and Team Case Closed (Megan Tychsen and Allie Cohen), respectively, received gift cards for their participation.

The panel of judges included Brian Ozden, the Supervisory Senior Resident Agent of the FBI’s Southern District; Ashley Brown, Internal Auditor for the Richmond County Board of Education; Yvonne Turner, Executive Vice President of Finance and the Chief Business Officer for Augusta University; Amy Richardson, owner of Richardson Professional Services; and Chuck McKee, Special Agent with the FBI’s Augusta office.

“This is one of our showcase events, and it is great to have everyone involved” said Hull College Dean Richard Franza, Ph.D. “This is [an example of] the experiential learning that we always talk about.”

To view the 2021 Hull Case Competition presentations, visit

Hull College Announces Annual Faculty Awards

ChongWoo Park and Marsha Loda.

The Hull College of Business announced its three faculty awards on March 19 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

ChongWoo Park, Ph.D., associate professor of management information systems, won the Research Award and the High Impact Award.

The Research Award acknowledges faculty whose scholarship has greatly influenced the entire academic community, while the High Impact Award acknowledges the impact that such effort had on students, the business community, and/or academia.

“Dr. Park is the consummate academic professional,” stated Dean Richard Franza. “He excels in all areas of faculty performance – an engaging teacher, a productive researcher, and a dedicated institutional servant. Winning the College's Research Award this year shows both the quality and productivity of his scholarly work, but he is by no means just a scholar. He sets a high standard for faculty achievement in all areas!”

Park earned his Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science at Georgia State University in 2008 and his Master of Science in Information Resources Management from Syracuse University in 2000.

Marsha Loda, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing and hospitality, received the Innovation and Engagement Award, acknowledging a Hull College of Business faculty member who has a great impact on students and/or the professional business or non-profit community.

“Dr. Loda not only teaches engagement, she lives it! Her classes bring her students and the business community together in a way that positively impacts all. She gives her students a learning experience that addresses real-world issues, and our business community benefits from her and her students' great capabilities,” Franza said.

Loda completed her Ph.D. at Clemson University in 2003, and she has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in communications from the University of Memphis. Prior to coming to academia, she co-owned an advertising and public relations agency in Memphis, TN, for nearly 20 years.

Hull College Students to Assist with SRS Economic Impact Study

An economic impact study of Savannah River Site (SRS) will be the focus of a special class during the fall 2021 semester.

Five Hull College of Business students will work on an economic impact study of Savannah River Site (SRS) during the fall 2021 semester.

Students, under the direction of economics professor Simon Medcalfe, Ph.D., will analyze data from Richmond and Columbia counties in Georgia, along with Aiken, Barnwell, and Allendale counties in South Carolina, to determine the direct and indirect economic impact from the government site.

The SRS Community Reuse Organization (SRSCRO) is sponsoring the study by funding the software and providing $1,000 scholarships to each student. Medcalfe will work with the organization to collect the data from contractors and government agencies to use in the study.

Medcalfe was involved in two previous studies, in 2011 and 2017, which showed the economic impact of SRS to be more than $2 billion on the five-county region.

For this study, Medcalfe wanted student involvement as a class project since the scope would be smaller than the previous ones. Once the students analyze the data, which will be as recent as the third quarter of 2021, the federal fiscal year end, they will present their findings in a written report in December.

"The class will be a positive experience for the five students and will provide the skills that many employers look for when hiring new graduates," stated Medcalfe.

Business Showcase Series Features ADP

The ADP Business Showcase included Lacey Ross (left), director of internal communication, and Hunter Reid, an associate client support consultant.

The second Business Showcase of the spring semester put ADP in front of students for an hour-long virtual event on March 24.

Four members of ADP’s Augusta complex discussed the global business’s culture, career opportunities, and upcoming internship possibilities.

Hunter Reid, an associate client support consultant, is a Hull College alumni and started his career at ADP in 2019 as an intern. He was then hired in the middle of 2020 after graduating with a BBA.

“I appreciate the fact that I was given an opportunity to come back and learn more,” Reid said. “I work with small business clients on a daily basis and enjoy what I do. We are the lifeline for millions of people to be paid.”

Lacey Ross, director of internal communication and a 2013 Hull College alumna, shared important career advice – find ways to get the job done. Ross started with ADP in 2015 in the small business services division and now handles internal communication for thousands of ADP employees across the globe.

“I had to learn how to teach myself a lot of things,” she said. “That feeling of being scrappy and getting the job done by any means possible has followed me into my career today.”

Max Morgan, senior talent acquisition business partner, said ADP is looking for prospects who are hungry for a career and who want to grow within the company.

“We’re looking two to three levels above what you are interviewing for because we sincerely want you to grow,” Morgan said.

ADP is a Fortune 300 business considered the largest provider of human resource and payroll software and services in North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim. The company established operations in Augusta in 2007 and moved into its present complex on Interstate Parkway off Wheeler Road in 2009.

The Business Showcase series features companies presenting and recruiting business students each month. Club Car will present on Wednesday, April 14, as the final Business Showcase of the semester.

Augusta University Students Participate in Annual Sales Competition

Megan TychsenTwo Hull College students competed in the virtual National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC) hosted annually by Kennesaw State University since 2003.

Held the first weekend in March, the event required students to put their skills to the test in team-based and one-on-one sales call simulations.

Mahalia Marin, a senior information technology student, and Megan Tychsen, a senior business student, successfully completed the first round, which consisted of role play. Tychsen then placed second in her group in the wildcard round.

As a team, Augusta University placed 47th, which means the university will be invited to compete at next year’s competition.

MarinMore than 130 top sales students from 68 universities across the United States and Canada participated in the virutal 23rd annual NCSC. The event also included a two-day career fair with 16 companies, many of them in the Fortune 500.

“At most career fairs, companies have difficulty finding candidates who understand or desire to go into sales,” said Terry Loe, executive director of the NCSC and co-director of Kennesaw State’s Center for Professional Selling. “They are relegated to finding the ‘needle in the haystack.’ The NCSC provides a haystack that contains only needles. Probably the most important thing to the hiring company is these candidates want to go into sales.”

Augusta Gives Virtual Fundraiser Set for April 21

Augusta University will hold Augusta Gives on April 21.

Augusta University will celebrate its second annual day of giving, Augusta Gives, on Wed., Apr. 21, from 5:32 a.m. to midnight.

The timing of the fundraising event is 18 hours and 28 minutes, correlating to 1828, the university’s year of founding.

Augusta Gives will be held virtually, allowing alumni, friends, students, and the rest of the community at large to contribute to the unrestricted fund, which helps the university address its greatest priorities.

From the Augusta Gives home page, donors will be able to choose an initiative to support at individual colleges. The Hull College of Business has its own page to address initiatives within the business school.

You can be a part of Augusta Gives by doing three things:

  1. Give – Make your gift online at to support the Hull College of Business.
  2. Share – Use #augustagives to help spread the word on social media.
  3. Post – Take a selfie with the card received in the mail and post to #augustagives to show your AU pride.

“It’s a day for all of us to come together in the community and celebrate everything that’s great here – to acknowledge and support the good work our students, faculty, staff and physicians across the university do every day,” said Kelly Schulte, director of annual giving in Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement. “They can give consideration to whatever cause or area at AU means the most to them or where they feel they can make the most impact.”

The University received 505 gifts totaling $1,043,330 during its first day of giving.

Hull College Senior Awarded Lauren Cowart Memorial Scholarship

Jerod CarrierJerod Carrier, a senior marketing student at Augusta University’s Hull College of Business, was awarded the second annual Lauren Cowart Memorial Scholarship.

The $1,000 scholarship winner was announced at the Augusta chapter of the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF) Addy Awards, held virtually on Feb. 20. 

“Jerod is brilliant, athletic and humble. He will represent AAF well. He and Lauren would have been professional allies for sure,” said Marsha Loda, Ph.D., associate professor in the Hull College of Business.

Carrier plans to pursue an MBA and work for a digital marketing agency with aspirations of owning his own agency one day.   

Lauren Cowart was a talented designer and a steadfast teammate to her co-workers at Wier/Stewart. Her life was tragically cut short in a boating incident that also took the life of her 5-year-old daughter, Blakely. Cowart was heavily involved in the local chapter of the American Advertising Federation and particularly loved the American Advertising Awards.

Cowart’s family, friends, and coworkers look forward to seeing Carrier carry on her legacy of steadfastness to her profession, zest for life, and impeccable spirit.

If you would like to donate to the Lauren Cowart Memorial Scholarship, please visit

CBS News Report Features Hull College Senior 

Jasmine WhitakerCBS News Moneywatch interviewed Hull College senior Jasmine Whitaker for an article tackling the topic of equal representation in leadership roles across corporate America.

The story, “It could take 100 years for Black employees to catch up in corporate America, study finds” was published online on March 3.

Whitaker was quoted as saying, “For the most part, we are not the reason we can't get those high-paying jobs. It's a lot of political, socioeconomic, racial and educational factors that play into it, and it hurts a lot."

To read the article in its entirety, visit CBS News.

Faculty/Staff News

Dinesh Hasija, Ph.D., assistant professor of management, published “Political animosity in cross-border acquisitions: EMNCs’ market and nonmarket strategy in a developed market” with his co-authors. The journal article was featured in Multinational Business Review in February. Additionally, Hasija presented to the Executive Leadership Development Program on March 26 about strategic planning, specifically speaking about strategic management, SWOT analysis, strategic thinking, strategic leadership, ethics and corporate social responsibility, and organization culture.

Stacy Roberts, MBA, lecturer of management and marketing, was featured on the Means Report on WJBF in March to explain the keys to communication in a hybrid workforce and how to be successful while being apart. To view the segment, visit The Means Report.

Susan Murray, Ph.D., assistant professor of accounting, was featured on AugustaCEO talking about the Hull College of Business accounting program and how it prepares students for the workforce. To watch the video, visit AugustaCEO.

Simon Medcalfe, Ph.D., professor of economics, was featured in an article in The Augusta Chronicle on his annual economic forecast. To read the article, visit Hull News.