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School of Business

Alumni & Giving

School of Business
Alumni Stories
  • Department of Accounting
    • An SIUE alumna who was able to quickly move to the top of her career field, Kelly Malson has certainly compiled an impressive career in accountancy. Malson, who earned a BSA in 1993, currently serves as auditing chair on Conn’s, Inc. board of directors. Before joining Conn’s, Inc., Malson spent 11 years in public accounting and served as a financial compliance manager. In March 2006, World Acceptance offered her a job as vice president of internal audit before quickly promoting her to chief financial officer, a position she held until December 2013.

      A native of Alton, Ill., Malson is now retired from the corporate world and living in Anderson, S.C. “It is an absolute honor to serve on the Board of Directors for Conn Appliances,” Malson said. “Because we only meet four or five times a year, I have definitely enjoyed retirement and being able to travel!”

      Malson credits the SIUE School of Business as being the starting step toward achieving all the successes of her career. “The accounting program was ranked one of the highest at the time of my graduation, so accounting firms recruited from SIUE,” Malson said. “I received a fantastic education and was able to create friendships with accounting students who still remain my lifelong friends today.”

      Malson noted that one accounting professor in particular gave her a specific tool she used rather frequently throughout her career. “Dr. Linda Lovata has the ability to explain difficult material and make it easy to understand,” she said. “I have used Dr. Lovata’s teaching techniques in my own career when teaching people how to audit, and her methods have been highly successful.”

      She credits SIUE for providing a great education at a very reasonable price. “It gives a great education for the money,” she said. “Even if I would have attended Harvard, I feel like my career would have ended up in the same place, and I spent a lot less money at SIUE.”

  • Department of Economic and Finance
    • When discussing SIUE alumni who are heavily involved in their communities, the name Kate (Kramer) Mayfield will not be far from the top of the list. A 2002 BS undergraduate and 2005 MS graduate of the economics and finance program, Mayfield now serves in several professional groups and organizations, including such positions as president of the Risk Management Association Young Professionals Group for St. Louis, member of the Risk Management Association’s National Committee for Young Professionals, and cabinet member of the United Way Women’s Leadership Society.

      A St. Louis native, Mayfield now works for Regions Bank at a branch in Clayton, Mo., holding the title vice president of government and institutional banking. Her job duties include structuring private placement debt for municipal governments, educational institutions and not for profits. Mayfield has received several accolades for her professional successes, having recently earned the Certified Treasury Professional designation.

      Mayfield explained that many aspects of the education she received at SIUE have transitioned into her career. Whether she is constructing financial models, analyzing financial statements, comparing key ratios, understanding or mitigating risks, Mayfield is reminded almost daily of her educational experiences.

      “I had a great time at SIUE,” Mayfield said. “There was a great sense of camaraderie and teamwork among all of the economics and finance students when I was there, which really contributed to my academic success.”

      She summed up her appreciation for the School in one simple phrase: SIUE cares about students. “I received a high quality education in a very supportive environment,” Mayfield said. “Faculty members were always very accessible, had great senses of humor, told interesting stories from working in industry, and were great at taking complex concepts and breaking them down into understandable pieces. They genuinely cared about the academic and professional achievements of their students.”

  • Department of Computer Management and Information Systems
    • Joe Randazzo (’13 BS CMIS) expresses gratitude for the valuable opportunities available to him during his academic career at SIUE. A recent CMIS graduate, Randazzo has since accepted a position as a software developer at Coolfire Solutions; a small company created in 2010 which specializes in mobile, software, and hardware developments for the defense and health industries. In addition to his career, Randazzo is studying part-time in the SIUE School of Engineering.

      When asked about his professional goals, Randazzo confidently expressed how important his education will be as he continues his career. “The CMIS program provided a great foundation for where I am now,” he said. “The professors and instructors built the curriculum based upon technologies which are being used in modern industries.”

      Randazzo was very active as a student, participating in the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), Delta Sigma Pi, and a co-op through Emerson Electric. “I built many friendships and learned about new technologies such as Android, which is the operating system I primarily develop for today,” he said.

      As he reflected on his academic growth, Randazzo described SIUE in three words: opportunity, community and value. “My time at SIUE has been great,” he said. “From the abundance of organizations to participate in to the hands-on work completed in class, the experience has been invaluable.”

  • Department of Management and Marketing
    • Sean Jordan (BSBA ’08 summa cum laude; MMR ’09) credits SIUE as being the turning point that established his career path. A native of O’Fallon, Ill., Jordan is currently employed by The Research & Planning Group, a full-service marketing research firm in St. Louis. Serving as the research director, Jordan is involved in each step of the marketing research process, including survey design, focus group interviewing, report development and presentation execution.

      A list of his recent accomplishments includes being a featured speaker at a DIY Opinion Research workshop, presenting on qualitative and quantitative research at a 2013 meeting for the American Marketing Association (St. Louis chapter), authoring many marketing research papers, and regularly presenting on research and best practices for the Association of Organ Procurement Organization (AOPO).

      When asked about his educational experiences, Jordan is quick to share that his academic journey has been far from perfect. He started his college career in 1998 studying journalism at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Late in his journalism program, Jordan decided that he no longer had the passion to pursue a career as a journalist. He decided to leave school and worked several positions in grocery, clothing retail, video game retail, comic book journalism, marketing and public relations, and fast food. Based upon his experiences in the field of marketing, Jordan decided to return to school in 2007 and selected SIUE based on its proximity to his home, School of Business AACSB accreditation, and the School's reputation for faculty-student collaboration.

      One faculty member in particular, Dr. Madhav Segal, made a lasting impression on Jordan’s decision to pursue marketing research as a future career. “After taking his marketing class, I was able to build a relationship with him that was unlike anything I had ever experienced at any other school,” Jordan said. “He encouraged me to pursue the MMR program.”

      Jordan has found the MMR program to be enormously helpful at providing him with the skills required to manage and facilitate marketing research projects. That knowledge, integrated with practical experiences, provided him with a tremendous head start in the field. “I’m very proud of the time I spent at SIUE, and I am also proud to be a representative of both its undergraduate and graduate programs,” explained Jordan. “When my degrees are referenced in an introduction before I speak, SIUE reflects well on me ... and I strive to reflect well on my alma mater.”

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