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Spring 2019

Alumni in the News

Though he now lives in Belleville, Justin Price still knows SIUE pretty well. He should considering he finished both his graduate and undergraduate degrees in accounting as a cougar. Price graduated with his bachelor’s in 2011 and his master’s in 2012.

Currently, he works as a manager at CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP), a firm that he says fits his career goals perfectly. Even with a successful career, Price balances organizational work and currently serves as the Director for the SIUE Accounting Department Alumni Advisory Board. He balances that with a positions as the Vice President on Executive Committee for Board of Directors of greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce and as a Director at Caritas Family Solutions.

When asked what he enjoyed most about his time at SIUE, Price cited the support the accounting department provided him: “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for all of the support the accounting department provided. They were outstanding not only in providing me with technical skills in practice and theory, but they also helped me navigate how to build my career, what to look for in an employer, how to interview, how to be successful in a professional environment, and many of the other soft skills necessary to make a successful transition into a professional career.”

Department News

The Accounting Department has been busy during the 2018 – 2019 academic year. In the Fall of 2018 we brought three faculty candidates to campus to interview to replace Professor Linda Lovata who is retiring. We were fortunate that our top pick accepted our offer and will be joining our faculty in Fall 2020. The new faculty member is Jennifer Williams from Virginia Tech.

The School of Business scholarship awards luncheon is coming up and we anticipate that Accounting students will again be well represented in receiving scholarships.  We are always grateful to alumni and firms who donate to make these scholarships possible. Listed below are the accounting scholarship recipients.

  • Anders CPAs + Advisors Scholarship: Andrew Phipps
  • Beta Alpha Psi Award: Braxton Berlin
  • BKD Scholarship: Adam Donley, Rachel Huwe, Joseph Guithues
  • Hagemann Accounting Scholarship: Deniene Brigeman
  • Outstanding Senior Accounting Student Award: Sydney Boschert
  • Phoenix Fund Scholarship: Bailey Gurley
  • Harry & Lena Rosner Memorial Scholarship: Braxton Berlin
  • Denise L. Suhrenbrock Memorial Scholarship: Jessica Lake
  • Wenzel CPA Scholarship: Rylan Lopez
  • Stuart E. White Accounting Scholarship: Adam Pashea, McKinley Vickers, Breann Walton

International Travel Study

We often hear from our School of Business Alumni that they wish they had traveled internationally while in school. Employers are increasingly seeking out individuals who have had international experience, and this international experience is helping our students stand out among the competition. Students and Alumni report that studying abroad changes their lives in many ways including enhancing what they are studying and opening doors to new possibilities and new ways of thinking.

The School of Business International Program helps students prepare for successful careers by providing them with international educational opportunities through student and faculty exchanges, study abroad, travel study courses, and service learning experiences in England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and China, to name a few. Having the opportunity to live and study in another culture brings the concept of working in a global economy to a very personal level.

Giving to our international travel study program will increase SIUE’s national and international profile. Travel opportunities enhance the professional and academic experience for faculty and students, and offer a hands-on approach to engage with cultures not available on campus. Support for this campaign will help afford students the benefit of a global, transformational educational experience.

“Participating in the Business Culture of Spain travel study expanded my understanding of the need to appreciate and work with other cultures. The trip was a great opportunity to see historical and culturally significant places around the country, and left me with new friends to share the experience with!” Kelly Pfaff, BS '19

“I had the opportunity to study abroad in Germany, China and Budapest. You realize just how big the world really is.” Jared Fischer, BSA ’07, senior internal auditor, Graybar, St. Louis

Focus on Faculty

Who else could we select for the faculty spotlight other than Linda Lovata who is retiring at the end of the 2018-1019 school year. Linda has been a member of the Accounting faculty at SIUE for about 30 years. Prior to joining the faculty at SIUE, Linda was on the Accounting faculty at Notre Dame. During her time at SIUE Linda has taught accounting systems, financial accounting, managerial accounting and in the MSA program she has taught ACCT 510, the environment of accounting. Perhaps some of you still have unpleasant memories of the ACCT 510 exam. Over the years, Linda has been a champion of the student Accounting Club and has helped organize many student activities. In recent years, Linda has served on numerous committees including the University Curriculum Committee and the Faculty Senate.

When asked about future plans, Linda said she plans to sit in a rocking chair on her porch. When more excitement is needed, she plans to rock. I’m sure I speak for everyone, faculty students, and alumni, in wishing Linda a happy retirement.

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Spring 2018

Alumni in the News
Glen Carbon resident, Kali Patterson received her Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and Master of Science in Accountancy from SIUE. She currently holds the position of audit manager with Kerber, Eck & Braeckel LLP in St. Louis.

When asked if she ever envisioned herself in this career while attending SIUE, she said, “Not initially. It wasn’t until my senior year that I even thought about taking the CPA exam. Even after graduating and getting a full-time job at a CPA firm, I didn’t expect to stay in public accounting for more than a few years. Now, after 11 years, I can’t envision ever leaving.” 

Kali mentioned Dr. Reed as one of her favorite professors. She admired his teaching style and appreciated his care for the students and their success in understanding the material and reaching their potential. In addition to making great faculty connections, Kali made lifelong friendships while attending SIUE. She mentioned, “I met some lifelong friends in my accounting courses. All of them are doing great and have full-time accounting jobs all over the country.”

As far as her lasting impression of SIUE, Kali believes SIUE is a great place to get an education—especially an accounting degree! She highlighted that the professors are top notch, and that many firms in St. Louis recognize SIUE for their accounting program, which always helps the hiring process.

Focus on Faculty
We welcomed Dr. Xiaoxiao Song to our faculty in the fall of 2017. She earned a PhD and MSA from the University of Texas at Arlington and a BA in English from the China University of Petroleum, Beijing China. She is married with two young children, and her family is currently building a home in the Edwardsville area.

Dr. Song currently teaches the ACCT 312 – Managerial Accounting course. She has worked hard to prepare for teaching her courses, and she has been well-received by the students. Her research interests are in the areas of financial and international accounting. She recently had a paper accepted for presentation at the prestigious conference of the Journal of International Accounting Research in Venice Italy in June. We are fortunate that Dr. Song accepted a position at SIUE, and we welcome her and her family to SIUE.

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Economics and Finance

Spring 2019

Alumni in the News

Currently living in Weldon Springs, MO, Scott Thoma is pretty familiar with the ins and outs of SIUE. He graduated with his BS in Business Administration in 1998 and his MS in Econ/Finance in 2000.

Today he’s working as a Principal for Edward Jones and also leads one of the firm’s Research Department’s Strategy Teams. There, he was named as the co-chair of the Investment Policy Committee. Thoma was also named a St. Louis Business Journal's 40 under 40 in 2016. Even amongst those accomplishments, Thoma cites his role as a husband and father as his most important achievement. 

Thoma still takes time to give back to SIUE as he serves on the advisory board for the School of Business. He manages this in between his work on the board for CharacterPlus and his role as a deacon at Waypoint Church.

When asked what he enjoyed most about his time at SIUE, Thoma honed in on the relationships he’d made along the way: “I still keep in contact with several of my professors who were instrumental in preparing me for the career I have today.” There was one more relationship Thoma said he was thankful to SIUE for: he met his wife at Tower Lake (now Cougar Village) building 522.

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Computer Management and Information Systems

Spring 2019

Department News

Degree Name Change

Because of AACSB accreditation pressures, the name of the degree CMIS students receive will change.  The course content of the degree will remain the same, but students will now earn a BSBA with a CMIS specialization/major.  To accommodate new programs in the CMIS department, the name of the CMIS specialization/major is also changing.  While we remain the Computer Management and Information Systems (CMIS) department, the major is now Computer Information Systems (CIS).

New Majors/Specializations to be offered by the CMIS Department

The need to change the major name from CMIS to CIS stems from the anticipation of adding two new majors/specializations to the CMIS department.  The paperwork has been submitted and new classes developed to support both a CyberSecurity major and a Data Analytics major.  Students in the CMIS department will soon have the option of selecting any one of the three areas to study.  While some core courses will be the same for all CMIS students (CIS, CyberSecurity, and Data Analytics) there are new courses being developed.

CyberSecurity: The Information Security course is currently an elective and will be a required course for all CyberSecurity students.  In addition, they may also take electives in IT Auditing, Ethical Hacking, Cybercrime, and Security & Analytics.  With zero percent unemployment for cybersecurity jobs in St. Louis and across the U.S., this new specialization will help prepare our students for the jobs that are the most in demand.

Data Analytics: Rather than the 270-450 courses taken by CIS students (Systems Analysis & Design and Database Management), Data Analytics student will take a new course on Database Structures for Data Analysts.  They will also take required courses in Big Data, Advanced Excel Functions, and SAS, as well as choosing electives from Advanced SQL, Security & Analytics, and Data Visualization.  Each day there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created. To be competitive, businesses use analytics to translate data into decisions and convert past performance into reliable forecasts.  Data Analytics students will gain the skills required to help organizations govern and utilize data to succeed in today’s highly analytical and data-driven economy.

Senior Portfolio Fair

The Senior Portfolio Fair continues to grow with more and more industry partners taking part.  During the Portfolio Fair, our seniors have the chance to showcase what they have learned and what they hope to do with their degree to both faculty and industry partners. This event helps our students put together their resume and focus on what they want to do post-graduation, and it gives our industry partners a chance to get a sneak peek at our soon-to-be graduates. Many industry partners use this event as a recruiting tool for their company.

The fall portfolio fair took place September 27, 2018 with 48 seniors participating.  The spring portfolio fair took place February 27, 2019 with 54 seniors participating.  We appreciate the industry partners who participate in the portfolio fair and assist our seniors as they prepare to enter the job market.  Industry partners participating in the 2018-2019 academic year included Advanced Technology Group (ATG), Ameren, Brooksource, Centene, City of Highland, Edward Jones, Electromek Diagnostic, Enterprise Holdings, Express Scripts, Falcon Technologies, GreenLight IoT, MasterCard, Microsoft, Potter Electric, Sumner One, Treasury Technology Services, Uncomm, US Bank, and Xclusive Web Solutions. If your company is interested in participating in the Senior Portfolio Fair, please contact Department Chair Anne Powell at

Spotlight on Students

CMIS Outstanding Senior 2019 – Ethan Trekell

Ethan Trekell grew up in central Minnesota and lived there for most of his life. He attended his first year of college at St. Cloud State University, but, much to his parents’ chagrin decided to drop out after one year to play drums in the rock-and-roll band, For All Those Sleeping.  The band released three full-length albums and performed all over the world, but in 2014 the group decided to end the band.  He then moved to Edwardsville where his wife was to complete her master’s degree. It was then that he decided he would start his journey at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. 

Originally, Trekell entered the School of Business to study economics. However, after being exposed to the field of Information Systems, he developed quite an interest in working with technology and switched his major to CMIS. He became particularly interested in software development and took as many programming classes he could find. He learned Java, C#, COBOL, and Web Development. 

After joining SIUe’s chapter for The Association for Information Technology Professionals, Trekell ran for an official position and was elected treasurer. He works alongside the other officers to welcome representatives from companies around the St. Louis area to present and discuss opportunities in the tech industry. 

Trekell looks back at his experience at SIUe as challenging but very well worth it. Upon graduating summa cum laude (with highest distinction) in May of 2019, he will be starting a position as a Software Engineer at Enterprise Holdings in St. Louis. He is excited to apply the skills he has learned and begin his professional career.  

Past Outstanding CMIS Seniors include:

2013: Joseph Randazzo                                  
2014: Jeremy Mintun
2015: Joshua House
2016: Renae Scheeler
2017: Katie Finnigan
2018: John Thomas

CMIS Entrepreneur – Andrew Rapier

Senior CMIS student Andrew Rapier began pursuing his passion for music and his desire to turn it into his career while still in middle school.  By the time he began college he had already started his own business working with recording artists, producers, and music managers.  His company, Beat It AT Productions & Publishing LLC, offers services such as instrumental/beat licensing, sounds and samples for producers to use in their instrumentals/beats, mixing and mastering services for music artists to get radio ready mixes and sound, as well as offering informative lectures and videos that also help producers and artists develop their sound independently. 

So, where did the desire for a degree in Computer Management and Information Systems come in?  As a sophomore, Rapier realized that most music is now produced through computer-based technology.  CMIS was a perfect major for him and he has been able to combine both technical and managerial skills learned in CMIS and the School of Business to grow his company.  Rapier says

“My goal for attending university was not to graduate and then immediately work for another company full time, but to rather, graduate and have more tools and information at my disposal to pursue the growth of my own company and brand.  Taking classes like managerial accounting, business finance, and database development brought a more corporate and applicable level of business functionality and understanding which became very useful information as it was easy to incorporate it within my own company.”  

His company now boasts over 15,000 clients, a catalog of over 1,000 original beats and instrumental compositions, and collaborations with major producers, artists and groups.  While music is his passion, Rapier early on realized that most successful businesses today need a core of information technology to be successful.  He has been most successful in merging his passion for music with the CMIS degree he will earn in May 2019.

CMIS Longest Road to the Degree – Andrew Masiero

“At 18 I wasn’t interested in school.  I did as little as I could in high school but made sure to graduate.  I took physical labor jobs because that was what I was qualified for.  I was twenty-five years old when I started work at Bluff City Minerals, and I (mostly) hated working there. This was true for most other jobs I had worked in my life. I found ways to enjoy my work. But, for the most part, I simply lacked passion for anything that I was doing.  It wasn’t enough to earn a living and pay the bills. I was bored. And, the primary challenge was cultivating the mental endurance to continually suffer through rote and (seemingly) meaningless tasks.

I was at the mine for a year when I decided that I wanted to go college and pursue a different path for my life. One of my main problems was that I had no idea what I wanted to do (I bet that never happens). But, I got started and enrolled in courses at a local community college. I have a variety of interests too numerous to mention. I’m a curious person who is continually digging in to discover new knowledge of whatever happens to be interesting to me at the time. My first semester, I performed well, and I enjoyed the experience very much.

Unfortunately, my job continually interfered with my educational journey. The work schedule at the mine was very demanding. We worked long hours, and the times and days changed frequently. This resulted in cycles of withdrawal from courses and long lapses between enrollment (sometimes years). The idea of going back to college would sort of ebb and flow over the years. And, it took me over twelve years to accumulate forty-five college credits.

My employment at Bluff City Minerals was terminated in October of 2016. I had just purchased a home six months prior to that and was still recovering from surgery for a work-related injury. I was scared. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I wanted to go back to school full-time without working. I didn’t want life to get in the way of my educational goals. I wanted to go all in and get my degree so I could have more control over my life. I did some number crunching and discovered that I couldn’t make it all the way to graduation without getting a job. But, it was close.

Everyone in my life was thinking differently. I was getting emails about job prospects from people who were trying to be ‘helpful’. But, I wasn’t interested in that. When I said I wanted to go back to college, one person replied, “People in hell want ice water”. When another close family member finally opened up to the idea, they suggested I get as much done at the community college as I could to save money. It made sense. But, to me that felt too familiar and therefore, risky. I needed a stronger commitment and a shock to my lifestyle. I needed to submerge myself into a whole new environment. I needed to immediately become a full-time student at SIUE.  I decided to take action and figure out the rest as needed.

So that’s what I did.

I was thirty-eight years old. I was nervous because I was the ‘old guy’ going back to school. That didn’t last long, and I quickly met friendly people in every class. Additionally, I was unsure about being able to handle the work-load and performing at a level that I considered acceptable. Again, this didn’t last long, and everything seemed to just fall right into place. I was happier than I had been pretty much my whole life.

Obviously, there will always be classes that are liked more or less by each individual. And, though I’m apparently fascinated by everything, there were a few courses that I didn’t enjoy very much (statistics, anyone?). Typically, I’m very interested and always invested in each subject (I particularly liked the accounting courses). But, there were a handful of courses that stood out and were of special interest to me. These courses are really in line with who I am and who I want to become. These would be Structured Systems Analysis and Design (CMIS270), Managing Group Projects (MGT331), Database Design (CMIS450), and now Structured Systems Design (CMIS470).

Making the decision to go back to school full-time was a risk, but this has to go down as one of the single best decisions I’ve ever made.”

Andrew Masiero will graduate SIUE with a BS in CMIS in May 2019.  He will be graduating summa cum laude (with highest distinction).

Alumni in the News

Jeffrey Loyet, a Glen Carbon, IL resident, spent his time at SIUE putting in the work both a student worker and later as a staff member. He graduated in 2000 with a BS in Computer and Management Information Systems. In this interview Loyet spoke about his experience as an “older, non-traditional” student who focused on his education while still finding time enjoy his college years. “The campus was growing by leaps and bounds and it always seemed like there were new opportunities arriving all over campus almost daily.” Today, he’s part of the Society for Information Management, the CIO Roundtable, and SIUE’s own CMIS Steering Committee

Currently, Loyet works as the Vice President Information Technology of Potter Electric Signal Compan. There, he’s proud to say proud to say that he had a substantial hand in reshaping a piece of the fire alarm market by providing the infrastructure and resources needed to make Potter’s own brand of Fire Alarm Panels. This was a first for Potter and Loyet helped them differentiate themselves form competitors. PESC created panels that were able to communicate via email to those who monitor and maintain them. It was Loyet’s work that made the panels work once they were installed. He credits SIUE for his skill in this: “The basis for this echnology I can take all the way back to my days of working at SIUE and maintaining the campus network and servers.”

Focus on Faculty

Dr. Mary Macharia comes to us from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where she completed her PhD in 2018. While doing her studies at Arkansas, she also taught an undergraduate level “Introduction to ERP systems” class with a portion of the course dedicated to SAP. She is bringing to classroom, not only her passion for IT and working with young people, but also her 14 years’ industry experience that covers working in various capacities of IT administration, management and support, and spanning corporate organizations, non-profits and consultancy work. In her last job, before embarking on her doctoral studies, she worked in International Development specifically as an IT manager for a USAID project. Her research interests fall under the broad umbrella of social inclusion with respect to IT and specifically in the areas of identity and identity threats in Information Systems, IT for development and Telemedicine, and rural health.

Dr. Tim Jacks was promoted in 2018 to Associate Professor and granted tenure at SIUE. This is a major milestone in the academic career. The decision to promote and tenure Dr. Jacks was based on outstanding teaching evaluations from students, a strong record of research publications, and continual service to the University and the profession. Dr. Jacks most frequently teaches infrastructure classes such as CMIS468 Business Telecommunications, CMIS422 Information Security, and developed a new course, CMIS424 IT Audit and Controls. He has been able to provide a variety of valuable certification opportunities for students to make them more marketable when they graduate. Dr. Jacks was a 2017 School of Business Poos Research Award recipient for his work on IT occupational culture. He was also the recipient of an Innovation Grant from the Chancellor to create a new Cybersecurity specialization that will be offered starting in 2020. He has been an active member of the World IT Project research team that has gathered data on IT professionals in 37 countries. He has published in a variety of academic journals including Communications of the Association of Information Systems, the DATA BASE for Advances in Information Systems, Journal of Global Information Technology Management, Information Technology and Management, Business Process Management Journal, and Decision Support Systems. Dr. Jacks has received recognition for his service including: Enterprise Faculty Advisor of the Semester (2016 and 2017) for his work with Delta Sigma Pi, New Faculty Advisor of the Year (2017) for his work coaching the SIUE Fencing Club, and an Organizational Leadership award from the Global Information Technology Management Association (GITMA) for hosting the GITMA international conference in St. Louis in 2015. 

Dr. Clay Williams, pending final SIU Board of Trustee approval this spring, is being promoted to the rank of Professor. Earning the rank of Professor is a significant achievement as it represents the highest academic rank a scholar may achieve. This promotion recognizes substantial, on-going contributions in research, teaching and service. Dr. Williams has made outstanding contributions in research having published articles in many of the IS field’s premiere journals including 3 at MIS Quarterly (MISQ) - the field’s top journal, Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS), European Journal of Information Systems (EJIS), and Journal of the Association for Information Systems (JAIS) – forthcoming, as well as many other high-quality journals. His research on the application of critical realism to the conduct of information systems research has been cited nearly 500 times and helped to advance its application in the field. Dr. Williams teaches mostly at the graduate level including CMIS 526 Information Systems and Technology (a course he created), CMIS 528 Strategic Management of IT, CMIS 540 Project Management Fundamentals, and CMIS 557 Enterprise Resource Planning regularly earning superior teaching evaluations from his students. He has also been on the forefront of adopting online delivery in the School of Business. His contributions have gone beyond the classroom to include impacting curriculums at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Williams was very influential in developing the structure of the new CIS specialization in the BSBA program that replaced the BS CMIS program, participated in creating the Business Analytics Specialization that supports all School of Business graduate programs, facilitated the formalization of Project Management as a MS CMIS Specialization, helped to have the BS and MS CMIS programs classified as STEM, and helped to restructure the MBA program to support the implementation of the accelerated and online programs. In terms of service, Dr. Williams has made significant contributions at all levels including his department, the school, university and profession. He continues to serve as the Graduate Program Director for MS CMIS (2013-present), continues to serve on the School Faculty Personnel Committee (2017-present), served on the School Curriculum Committee for 6 years during which time many major curricular changes were implemented, and chaired the successful Dean Search Committee (2014-15). In terms of service to the profession, Dr. Williams is a senior editor for The DATA BASE for Advances in Information Systems (2013-present), served as an associate editor for a special issue on critical realism at MISQ, and regularly reviews manuscripts for many of the field’s top journals including MISQ, Information Systems Research, JAIS, and EJIS as well as many other high-quality journals.

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Spring 2018

Department News

Senior Portfolio Fair
Every semester, our seniors enrolled in CMIS 470-Structured Systems Design, participate in a Senior Portfolio Fair. During the Portfolio Fair, seniors have the chance to showcase what they have learned and what they hope to do with their degree to both faculty and industry partners. This event helps our students put together their resume and focus on what they want to do post-graduation, and it gives our industry partners a chance to get a sneak peek at our soon-to-be graduates. Many industry partners use this event as a recruiting tool for their company.

The fall Senior Portfolio Fair took place September 26, 2017, with 39 seniors participating. The spring Senior Portfolio Fair took place February 21, 2018, with 48 seniors participating.

We appreciate the industry partners who participate in the portfolio fair and assist our seniors as they prepare to enter the job market. Industry partners participating in the 2017-2018 academic year included: Advanced Technology Group, Ameren, Centene, Concero Technology Group, Edward Jones, Electromek Diagnostic Systems, Enterprise Holdings, Falcon Technologies, Monsanto, Permobil, Sumner Group, Potter Electric, Transwestern Property Management, True Manufacturing Corp., US Bank and Xclusive Web Solutions.

If your company is interested in participating in the Senior Portfolio Fair, please contact Department Chair Anne Powell at

New IT Auditing Course / IIA conference
On November 9, 2017, 11 CMIS students participated in an Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) conference in St Louis with Dr. Tim Jacks (CMIS) and Dr. Jamie Hoelscher (ACCT). The keynote speaker, John Gatto, who has over 45 years of audit experience, was very complementary of our SIUE students. All 11 students were taking our new CMIS 495-IT Audit & Control class that was offered for the first time in 2017 as part of our new cybersecurity curriculum. Mr. Gatto asked our students to stand and be recognized as the next generation of IT auditors. Later in the presentation, an audience member asked about the difference between SDLC and Agile methodologies. With some audience encouragement, two of our students, Brandon Gonzalez and Beth Munie, stepped up to the microphone to answer the question. They received a round of applause! Afterward, several companies approached Dr. Jacks to say that they had open positions for IT auditors. CMIS is very proud of our next generation of IT professionals.

Association of Information Technology Student Group
The student organization for CMIS majors, Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), continues to provide valuable industry connections through guest speakers and educational technical workshops. Current AITP president, Lance Athey, has presided over many of the technical workshops this year, including resume building and LinkedIn profile management. This year, AITP has partnered with Brooksource to educate AITP student members on how to identify companies with potential hiring needs and prepare one’s self for the interview process. Additionally, IT professionals from companies such as Edward Jones and Anheuser-Busch have talked with students about internship opportunities and the skills necessary to be successful in the field.

Alumni in the News

Currently an Edwardsville resident, Joseph Smith is familiar with the Edwardsville campus, considering he chose SIUE for his undergraduate and graduate coursework. Joseph graduated with a BS in CMIS in 2005 and an MBA in 2013.

He currently works for Microsoft as a technology strategist with a focus on the financial services industry. In this role, he works with large capital markets, investment banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions. Essentially, he assists in risk reduction, improving operational efficiency, as well as improving collaboration with the use of technology. 

When asked if his time at SIUE helped him to pursue his current position, he stated, “Yes, 110 percent. I found that being able to speak foundational business lingo and relate it to IT has helped propel my career.” 

Based on Joseph’s interview, you could tell SIUE impacted his life in many positive ways. He described the connections he made as invaluable and learning experiences which have helped his career and future flourish. Along with making long-lasting friendships while attending SIUE, Joseph mentioned professors who made a lifelong impression on him. He discussed the impact each had on shaping his mind in both his undergraduate and graduate studies. 

One piece of advice Joseph had to offer was, “Make meaningful connections while you are at SIUE and make sure to foster them throughout your career. You never know when you may need to leverage those relationships or how you can help others down the line.”

Focus on Faculty

Welcome New Faculty!

Dr. Joe Vithayathil received his PhD from the University of California Irvine. SIUE CMIS was able to “steal” him away from Washington State University (WSU) where he had taught for the past three years. Academia is a second career for Dr. V, and he has over 20 years of industry experience including: founder and CEO of an Enterprise Software Products and Service company, VP of marketing and sales for communications corporations, senior VP of Applied Micro Circuits Corporation, and director at Global Power Technology Group. While at WSU, Dr. V taught undergraduate classes in e-commerce and IT infrastructure/security. He also taught IT for management courses at the graduate level. Dr. V will bring his wealth of industry experience and knowledge to the graduate-level classes he will teach at SIUE, as well as to undergraduate classes.

Dr. Laurie Giddens comes to use from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where she completed her PhD in 2017. Dr. Giddens has 10 years experience in the IT industry. She was database administrator for a company in Louisiana for four years. She then took over the role of director of information technology for six years at the same company. She left the company to pursue her doctorate at Baylor, where she taught classes in intro to IS and business intelligence. Her research interests include understanding how individuals use technology to improve their well-being and the well-being of others. More specifically, she has investigated the impact of wearable technology and consumer apps on individual well-being. 

As excited as we are about having Joe and Laurie join us, we did have to say good-bye to two outstanding faculty members.

Recent Retirements

Dr. Jo Ellen Moore joined SIUE CMIS in 1997. Dr. Moore taught predominantly in the graduate program through most of her career. She was the lead faculty member in the popular project management specialization in the graduate program and in our executive education programs. She built a tremendous research record and helped build SIUE’s research reputation in CMIS. Her research has been cited over 2,000 times, and it continues to be referenced by fellow researchers and practitioners. Fortunately for us, Jo Ellen is continuing as our PMP (certified Project Management Professional) guru in our executive education and graduate program.   

Dr. Susan Yager joined SIUE CMIS in 1999 shortly after finishing her PhD. She showed great range in her teaching activities, teaching numerous classes including CMIS108, CMIS270, CMIS342, CMIS450 and CMIS470. She also taught graduate-level database (CMIS564) early in her career. Besides teaching courses at SIUE, she led a travel-study trip to Hungary quite a few times. She also served (and survived) a term as department chair. Along with that, she showed a commitment to University Governance by serving in the Faculty Senate, and ultimately, became the first School of Business faculty member since the mid 1990s to serve as Faculty Senate president. Susan is now indulging her love of animals by working part-time for her sister’s pet sitting business. She is also volunteering as an AARP tax-aide counselor, helping community members file their taxes, and finally, learning how to cook!

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Management and Marketing

Spring 2019

Spotlight on Students

“Why Daphane Tan Thinks You Should Always Keep Learning”

Daphane Tan is currently an MMR graduate student at SIUE who wants to eventually be a professor and work in academic research. She has already applied to over ten doctoral programs across the country and is determined to get into one of best programs to continue her SIUE MMR inspired studies.

Daphane is originally from Malaysia and made her way to SIUE via Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. She got her first experience in research at Truman working on a class project that required completing a research project for the local Humane Society. She was tasked with helping the Humane Society improve their image and, thereby, increase their donations. Daphane designed, conducted, and fielded the research which was so good, the director of Humane Society cried when presented with the findings. Since that research, their donations have definitely increased.

At SIUE, Daphane has worked as a research assistant on research projects with Dr. Madupalli examining the effectiveness of tradeshows in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industry (AEC). This project paper, with Daphane as the co-author, is expected to be in the Spring 2019 Journal of Business Industrial Marketing. She has also worked with Dr. Richard Flight and Dr. Michael Hair on several other research projects. Daphane, with Dr. Flight as her Advisor, studied millennials’ perceptions of Fossil Smartwatches for the Collegiate Echo Marketing Challenge in 2018. Using factor and cluster analysis research, they made a recommendation to Fossil to implement a trial and error program for their omni-marketing campaign. Daphane is currently working with Dr. Hair as her Advisor on another Consumer Behavior Independent Study investigating the effect of brand equity and empathy on consumer ethnocentrism tendencies. For this study, Daphane with Dr. Hair’s guidance, wrote the questionnaire, programmed the online study with Qualtrics, and analyzed the data using three-way mixed ANOVA and Hayes PROCESS model. Daphane is also the co-author on the paper for this research now in resubmit with the Australasian Marketing Journal for Spring 2019. She has also attended the 30th Association for Psychological Science Convention, in San Francisco, CA, to present her “Technology-Enabled Mindfulness and Gender Effect on Sequential-Task Performance” poster.

In addition to currently being a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Hair at SIUE, Daphane just finished a Marketing Research Internship at MaritzCX in Fenton, MO. She worked on many projects including ad hoc studies for Maritz clients in the credit card and financial services industry writing a quarterly newsletter on the financial services industry including client-specific competitor intelligence reports. She also designed reports and made recommendations that aligned research results and completed multiple critical studies simultaneously within budget and time constraints.

If you ask Daphane what she likes best about research, she will quickly tell you, “the best part of research is learning new things. Also learning how to focus on the most relevant aspects of the research and realizing what is important.” Daphane feels each research project on which she works is significant in its own way. She mentioned, “with each project you gain more experience and expertise which moves you to the next project. Each one builds on the other and I learn something important with every new and different type of research study and project. The new learning always pays off!”

Daphane Tan will graduate from the MMR program in May 2019. Then her most exciting journey begins with her studies toward her doctorate in market research. Daphane just keeps learning!

Alumni in the News

Though he now lives in Pontoon Beach, Ill., Josef Bosnyak actually started his own business, JB Smartphone Repair, in 2015 while going to school full-time and working at a motorcycle shop in Edwardsville. He began with purely mobile repairs by doing repairs in customers’ homes, school, places of employment, or anywhere else most convenient for them. JB Smartphone Repair has been in business for four years now and hired its first employee in January.

Bosnyak graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration focused in both Computer Management Information Systems and Entrepreneurship. When asked what he enjoyed most about SIUE, Bosnyak said, “I really enjoyed networking and making friends with students and teachers at SIUE. Networking with people from all walks of life gave me a chance to see the world through other people's eyes and it really helped me to figure out myself and where I stood in life.” 

Bosnyak is a member Troy/Maryville/St. Jacob/Marine Chamber of Commerce as well as an active member in many of the local car enthusiast groups. Passion for automobiles is something Bosnyak took to time to explore during his time at SIUE and he says his relationships are better for it, “through the SIUE Car Enthusiast group, I found a community of really great people who support each other in every aspect of life. Without these friends that are practically family, I probably wouldn't have stayed in the area after college.”

Focus on Faculty

“Students Rated Dr. Solomon ‘An Excellent Professor’”

On Dr. Stan Solomon’s evaluations his students rate him as an ‘excellent professor.’  These students are very complimentary in praising him for his determination in making sure they learn about the subjects covered in his classes. They pointed out that his main concern is going over the class materials till his students absorb everything about the subjects Stan teaches.

Stan joined SIUE last August as Assistant Professor teaching graduate classes in Quantitative Methods and undergraduate classes in Operations Management. He comes to SIUE from Sam Houston State University where he was Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management in the College of Business Administration. He received his Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication Engineering at Madras University, Chennai, India; his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at California State University, Sacramento, CA; and his Ph.D. in Business Administration in December 2015 from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, MO. Coming back to the St. Louis area meant coming back home for Stan and he looked forward to again being in the metropolitan area. Stan stated, “The greater St. Louis  metropolitan area plays a major role in our country’s supply chains. Our location in the Midwest presents opportunities for both faculty and students.”

Stan’s teaching interests and experience are in logistics and operations management, supply chain management, quality management and business analytics. He developed The Supply Chain Management graduate course for MBA students at Sam Houston State and worked with the College of Business Administration faculty to develop the Supply Chain Management undergraduate concentration area for the Management and Marketing Department. Stan is currently working with colleagues from the Management and Marketing Department at SIUE to develop a Supply Chain Specialization for students.

In the area of research, Stan has been working on a long-term, multi-year research collaboration with Hewlett Packard (HP) Research Labs (based in Palo Alto, CA) that began in 2011.The focus of this research is to address various operational problems HP encounters in its business. This HP collaboration has led to the development of an innovative stochastic optimization methodology for resource allocation and has received the status of an invention. It has been defensively published in Research Disclosure with the potential to patent. Some of Stan’s manuscripts under review include: School Bus Routing and Scheduling at OMEGA; Dynamic Assignment Problem in the Service Setting-A Simulation Optimization Framework at the International Journal of Applied Management Science; Developing Robust Supplier Portfolios in the Retail Industry using a Multi-Stage Knapsack Model for the International Journal of Business Analytics. Stan recently published a paper titled “Multi-Period Stochastic Resource Planning in Professional Services Organizations” for Decision Sciences, which was funded by HP. This research deals with resource allocation for large projects in uncertain environments over time.

Stan is also very proud of his appointment to the Boards of the St. Louis Chapter of Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and the St. Louis Chapter of Transportation Research Forum. Stan, and his colleague and fellow board member on the Transportation Research Forum, Dr. Gertrude Pannirselvam are working with industry leaders to enhance the educational aspects of supply chain and logistics in the area. Stan and Gertrude are organizing an expert panel with local university faculty in aerospace, supply chain management, and geography for a session on March 19 at SIUE to discuss and share research on the future of drones.

Stan, his wife and two boys, are glad to be back home in the Midwest and Stan is thrilled to be doing his teaching and research at SIUE. It’s obvious his students will benefit from Stan’s commitment to putting learning and applying that information above everything in his classes. Stan is excited to be back!

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Spring 2018

Alumni in the News

“Never Say Never” to the founder of Never Industries, Inc.

In 2014, Alex Burkart, BS ’12, MA ’14, created Never Industries, Inc., a marketing strategy consulting firm. Never Industries, Alex said, “was named to question the impossible, to challenge the status quo and to never give up."

Alex showed his entrepreneurial talents early at SIUE when he started The Red Storm—the student booster group for athletics. He led students, all in Cougar red, in cheers and support for all Cougar athletic events and teams. The Red Storm group still cheers for Cougars today.

While finishing his master’s degree, Alex networked his way to an internship with the founders of one of St. Louis’ hottest advertising and promotion agencies, Zipatoni, which was founded by another SIUE alum, Mitch Meyers. Under their mentorship, Alex gained an incredible foundation in advertising, new business development and creative strategy. He was able to parlay that experience into another agency position at Paradowski, in St. Louis. Alex worked with the agency’s president on client development, market research, branding, strategic planning and consumer insights. In October 2014, Alex decided he wanted to run his own company and founded Never Industries, Inc. Never Industries works with presidents, owners and decision makers of organizations, helping them identify and pursue marketing opportunities to increase their revenue and streamline their operations. Alex works with these firms on developing strategic direction, market and customer research, marketing planning and execution, and the successful implementation of corporate strategies. Never Industries is currently working on a new business initiative Alex calls “Missed Opportunity Consulting’ (trademark pending). He helps firms find opportunity and moves the firms from good to great!

Just ask Alex Burkart about never giving up on advancing his career and his company. He certainly hasn’t, and doesn’t plan to anytime soon.

Focus on Faculty

Compulsive Buyer? Maybe Dr. Richard Flight Can Help!

If you want to know why you continue to buy stuff you don’t need, ask Dr. Richard Flight—as one of his areas of marketing research is ‘impulsive and compulsive buying.’

Dr. Flight joined the Department of Management and Marketing in August 2017. He was previously associate professor (2013-2017) and assistant chair, School of Business, marketing (2012-2017) at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill.  He is currently teaching courses in marketing strategy and marketing research. He has previously designed courses in marketing strategy and management, principles of marketing, new product development, promotions and advertising management, and e-Commerce. While at Eastern Illinois University, Dr. Flight co-led study abroad programs to the Netherlands, Italy and Croatia.

His working research areas include innovation characteristics and cause-related marketing, product diffusion, branding, and compulsive buying behaviors. He has presented his research at numerous international conferences and is published in Journal of Business Research, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Journal of Product and Brand Management, Journal of Marketing Channels, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, among others. Dr. Flight also serves as a reviewer for Journal of Product and Brand Management, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, and Journal of Small Business Management.

Dr. Flight also has been active in developing and delivering entrepreneurship training programs in emerging and developing markets. In 2011, he traveled to Erbil, Iraq, and conducted a week-long business development seminar to NGO leaders on behalf of the U.S. State Department. Additionally, in 2016, he delivered a week-long workshop to entrepreneurs in Baku, Azerbaijan.

“I think SIUE is wonderful,” stated Flight. “SIUE is a dynamic campus, and the proximity to the St. Louis metropolitan area adds more cultural diversity. Edwardsville appears to have a real connection to everything St. Louis brings to this market. One of the big draws for me to SIUE was the MMR program (master’s in market research). This program brings together the students with working professionals and their professional environment. The SIUE senior students I’ve encountered in this program seem very diligent in their studies, and are definitely more goal- and career-oriented than other students I’ve taught.”

Dr. Flight is originally from St. Johnsbury, Vt. He received his PhD in marketing in 2007 from the University of Alabama and holds an MA in economics from the University of Alabama, and an MBA and BS in business administration from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. Prior to joining academia, Flight worked for eight and a half years (1994-2002) in sports marketing and management. Dr. Flight and his wife, Donna, have three children: Maegan, Sarah and Jacob.

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Spring 2019

Alumni in the News

Lindsay Myers, a 2010 graduate of SIUE, visited her first ever trade show as student with her professor, Laura Wolff. The visit was part of a class where Lindsay interned for a company in attendance at the largest pet industry trade show in the U.S., the Global Pet Expo. There, as a student, Lindsay practiced her German speaking skills with potential customers. Lindsay spent her time at SIUE studying business administration and German.

In August of 2018, Laura Wolff got to see her former student in a different light at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta, Georgia. Now, Lindsay is a regional sales manager for Schattdecor, a German company that sources designs for the laminate furniture and flooring industries with its own booth at trade shows. The IWF is a top trade show for the wood products industry and Wolff was there to give a talk on how to expand business through exporting. Wolff also presented a workshop for vendors at IWF and later provided training for an industry council on international trade.

Spring 2018

Alumni in the News
Currently an Edwardsville resident, Joseph Smith is familiar with the Edwardsville campus, considering he chose SIUE for his undergraduate and graduate coursework. Joseph graduated with a BS in CMIS in 2005 and an MBA in 2013.

He currently works for Microsoft as a technology strategist with a focus on the financial services industry. In this role, he works with large capital markets, investment banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions. Essentially, he assists in risk reduction, improving operational efficiency, as well as improving collaboration with the use of technology.

When asked if his time at SIUE helped him to pursue his current position, he stated, “Yes, 110 percent. I found that being able to speak foundational business lingo and relate it to IT has helped propel my career.”

Based on Joseph’s interview, you could tell SIUE impacted his life in many positive ways. He described the connections he made as invaluable and learning experiences which have helped his career and future flourish. Along with making long-lasting friendships while attending SIUE, Joseph mentioned professors who made a lifelong impression on him. He discussed the impact each had on shaping his mind in both his undergraduate and graduate studies.

One piece of advice Joseph had to offer was, “Make meaningful connections while you are at SIUE and make sure to foster them throughout your career. You never know when you may need to leverage those relationships or how you can help others down the line.”

Focus on Faculty
Living in a small town in northwest Indiana at the Southern tip of Lake Michigan, Dr. Swanson graduated high school and later attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. 

With a knack for mathematics, and the encouragement of her father, Dr. Swanson pursued an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering in 1980 after several changes of her academic major. With this shift, she decided to continue her education at Purdue University and obtained her MBA in 1988 and PhD with a concentration in Operations Management in 1995. When Dr. Swanson began her academic journey, she did not intend to pursue a career in academia, but began to take an interest in teaching while working toward her MBA. These accomplishments eventually led to her current position as an Associate Professor. She mentioned, “I really enjoy teaching. It is really exciting to me when a student who has worked hard begins to grasp a difficult topic.” 

When asked about interests, Dr. Swanson expressed her enjoyment for traveling, reading, running, sewing and embroidery. She also mentioned her involvement with Cougar sports—especially when she has a student on the team—but enjoys cheering on the Cougars regardless of the sport. 

When asked why she feels SIUE stands out from the rest, she stated, “I have always really liked SIUE’s student focus. Faculty take their role as instructors very seriously at SIUE and constantly work to improve their teaching.” She also added the university supports this cause by providing grants and workshops that encourage innovation and improvements to teaching. 

Dr. Swanson’s interview beamed with a positive demeanor and sense of gratitude. Her final thoughts were, “I am very thankful for the opportunities that SIUE has given to me and am especially thankful to Dr. David Ault who was the Dean of the School of Business when I was hired. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with some great individuals on the faculty and staff. I have also been able to work with wonderful students who have provided me with lasting memories.” 

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