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The Business Research Guide (BRG) has named the College of Charleston School of Business one of the top 30 business schools in the U.S. for study business abroad.

The School of Business is ranked number 15 on the list following a survey of global business and study abroad programs at prominent universities, and ahead of many prestigious business schools at the University of Michigan, Columbia University, University of Notre Dame, and other universities.

According to BRG, schools were selected based on, “commitment to excellence in international business education, their variety of study abroad options for full and part-time students, and their focus on global exchange with educational institutions across the globe.”

BRG wrote that the School of Business “encourages students to participate in a number of study abroad programs ranging from short-term to long-term study”. The publication also notes that scholarships are frequently given to students for international travel and winter and spring semester trips

Alan T. Shao, Dean, College of Charleston School of Business

Alan T. Shao, Dean, College of Charleston School of Business

“To effectively educate our students, we need to show them that the world is our market, not just the United States. Since the U.S. makes up less than 5% of the world’s population, we want our business students to go see, experience and study different economies and cultures,” says Alan T. Shao, dean of the School of Business.  “With Charleston’s emergence on the world stage, we are also serving the economic needs of our region.”

Last year, the College of Charleston School of Business sent 289 students abroad including all international business students, global logistic students and MBA students.

Rob Hare, a rising junior at the College of Charleston recently took advantage of the program.

“I first learned of the the study abroad opportunity in Panama a few days after writing a paper on the impact the Panama Canal expansion project could have on the Port of Charleston,” says Hare. “I saw a flyer advertising the study abroad program and thought it would be a great way to see first hand the scope of the project and its potential impact. This program provided opportunities to make connections with industry professionals in Panama as well as a forge bonds with fellow students and professors.”

Students are not the only ones taking advantage of the study abroad program. Last year, nine faculty members in the School of Business taught courses overseas.

About the School of Business
College of Charleston’s School of Business offers seven undergraduate majors and several interdisciplinary concentrations, an honors program in business, an M.S. in Accountancy and an MBA.  Approximately 2000 undergraduate and graduate students attend from as far away as China, Germany and Brazil. The faculty has research expertise in areas such as global logistics, hospitality and tourism, political economics, financial investment, bankruptcy, business intelligence, real estate, and sustainable business practices. Visit http://sb.cofc.edu/to learn more about our students’ achievements, undergraduate and graduate programs, faculty and Centers of Excellence.

About the College
The College of Charleston is a public liberal arts and sciences university located in the heart
of historic Charleston, South Carolina. Founded in 1770, the College is among the nation’s top
universities for quality education, student life and affordability. With more than 11,000 students,
the College of Charleston offers the distinctive combination of a beautiful and historic campus,
modern facilities and cutting-edge programs.

 

Dr. Elaine Worzala, director, Carter Real Estate Center

Dr. Elaine Worzala, director, Carter Real Estate Center

The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors featured an article written by Elaine Worzala, director of the Carter Real Estate Center and professor of real estate, and her former student, James Stanton ’14, on the importance of including real estate education at the undergraduate level.  The College of Charleston School of Business is one of only a handful of universities in the U.S. to offer an undergraduate minor in real estate.

The article, The Four R’s: Reading, Riting, Rithmatic, and Real Estate, was featured in the Society’s Summer 2014 edition.

 

 

If you didn’t know Brett Weyman and struck up a conversation with him, it wouldn’t be long before you thought to yourself, Is this guy for real?

Weyman football

You might think he’s exaggerating when he tells you he was one of the top college quarterback recruits in the nation coming out of high school in 2002. You might cast a suspicious eye when he talks about the months he spent living on the beach in Nicaragua, surfing giant waves and gorging on fresh-caught lobster. When he mentions the multimillion-dollar real estate portfolio of historic Charleston properties he amassed in his twenties, you might have to mask a snicker. Surely he’s pulling your leg when he recounts the three years he spent steering an ambitious business venture in West Africa’s challenging yet promising emerging economy.

But it’s all true. At 31, Weyman has already lived a fascinating and adventure-filled life. And as a nontraditional student in the College’s School of Business, he couldn’t be happier.

Born in Atlanta and raised in Charleston, Weyman excelled at sports and academics at Avon Old Farms boarding school in Connecticut and later at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia. He was offered a scholarship at Louisiana Tech, where he redshirted before transferring to the University of Tennessee – a move that required him to sit out a year. While he sat, bigger-name recruits arrived. By the time he got onto the field, he was no longer The Man.

“I never found my way onto the field as a quarterback,” he says. “It was very emotional. I sacrificed everything for football.”

Around that time, Weyman received an offer from a friend’s father to oversee the rebuilding of apartments in Mississippi that had been decimated by Hurricane Katrina. The money was good, so Weyman packed his bags and left college in 2006.

Eight months later, after an insurance settlement that was to have bankrolled the project failed to materialize, Weyman moved back to Charleston. He studied his family’s business, and over the next couple of years built a real estate portfolio valued at nearly $5 million.

Weyman surfing in Nicaragua.

When the recession hit, he packed his bags again.

Weyman and a former Tennessee teammate headed for Central America for “an extended period of reflection.” They surfed and tossed around business ideas. Another friend suggested they start a trucking business – in Mali, West Africa. Never mind that they’d never been to Africa or knew nothing about trucking. Off they went.

In Bamako, Mali, they found grinding poverty, political corruption and an economy built upon informal payments and favors, as well as a growing presence of Al-Qaeda–linked militants. Despite regular threats to his life and safety – he was assaulted and jailed multiple times – Weyman was not deterred. In fact, he immersed himself into society. Eventually transcending cultural barriers, he became an official trade and commerce attaché to a powerful Malian senator. His job involved forging deals between the local government and foreign businesses to build housing and other infrastructure.

Bret-Weyman-embed

Eventually, the extremists’ threats grew too great, and, following a government coup, Weyman’s local contacts turned their attention from business to survival. So, in March 2012, as Arab Spring uprisings in neighboring countries further destabilized Mali, Weyman headed back to the safety of Charleston.

He’s been at the College for two years, majoring in finance with a minor in real estate. He raves about his professors and the caliber of professionals and guest speakers associated with the business school. He’s had many aha moments when class lectures have shed light on a political topic or business concept that he encountered firsthand in the real world.

“Right now I’m filling in the gaps with my experiences in business,” he says. “My focus is trying to leverage those past experiences for what comes next.”

And, knowing Weyman, whatever comes next is sure to be … well, pretty unbelievable.

This article originally appeared in the summer 2014 issue of College of Charleston Magazine.

 

The College of Charleston School of Business is adding a new department in Supply Chain and Information Management to better align our academic programs, students, and faculty with the growing business community needs in our region. The minor in global logistics and transportation that has been in existence for over 25 years will be part of the broader focus of programs in the new department.

The department of Supply Chain and Information Management, one of six academic departments serving approximately 2,000 students in the School of Business, is chaired by Joshua Davis, Ph.D. and associate professor, and brings together faculty with engineering, process management, information management, procurement, computer science, and logistics/transportation backgrounds. All supply chain and information management faculty have industry-related experience.

Alan T. Shao, Dean of the School of Business

Alan T. Shao, Dean of the School of Business

“Our plan with the new department is to advance economic development in South Carolina by providing workforce talent that meets industry needs in manufacturing, manufacturers, suppliers, and service-providers needs in improved supply chain operations, information management and end-customer service,” says Dean Alan T. Shao.

RELATED:Learn more about the annual Supply Chain Summit.

In addition, the School of Business is consolidating its existing departments of Marketing and Management to improve efficiencies and open new opportunities for students in internships and job placement. Marketing and management will now offer the business administration, marketing and international business majors, and the global trade, entrepreneurship, and leadership, change and social responsibility minors.

RELATED: Learn about the new management/entrepreneurship course for fall 2014.

Lastly, the former department of Economics and Finance is split into individual departments to encourage more faculty autonomy and focus on scholarly work. The Initiative for Public Choice and Market Process will be part of the department of Economics, and the real estate minor and the School of Business Investment Program are aligned with the department of Finance.

“By separating the departments, students are guaranteed an adviser in their field, which will help them with class selection, internships, jobs and graduate schools,” explains Jocelyn Evans, professor and chair of the finance department. “We’ll also be able to further customize our curriculum, which will be a benefit to students.”

 

 

 

 

The School of Business gives a warm welcome to College of Charleston’s 22nd President, Glenn McConnell, who begins his tenure today at his alma mater.

McConnell earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the College of Charleston in 1969, and went on to earn a Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar that same year.

McConnell also joins the faculty in the School of Business as part of his term as president.

 

College of Charleston President Glenn McConnell '69 at 2014 South Carolina Supply Chain Summit in April.

College of Charleston President Glenn McConnell ’69 at 2014 South Carolina Supply Chain Summit in April.

“President McConnell will be a great asset to the College as his legacy and track record in the South Carolina Senate indicate,” says Alan T. Shao, dean of the School of Business. “We all look forward to his leadership and vision for the College as he builds relationships with the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and business community.”

McConnell, who had been a member of the South Carolina Senate for more than 30 years, most recently served as the 89th Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina. During his legislative career, McConnell earned a reputation as a skilled parliamentarian and mediator able to forge political compromises between opposing sides and bring people together.

More: Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell is 22nd President of College of Charleston.

Forty students from the College of Charleston School of Business will complete the one-year, full-time MBA program on Saturday, June 28, 2014 at a formal ceremony in the Cistern Yard.

Alan T. Shao, Dean, College of Charleston School of Business“The Class of 2014 has been our most impressive, determined, and accomplished group so far,” says Dean Alan T. Shao, School of Business. “We are especially proud of where our graduates are headed into the job market after Saturday’s ceremony. While many are working for top companies in Charleston, others are headed to the northeast, west coast, and to their native countries.”

Companies who have hired or are interviewing this year’s graduates include BB&T Corporate, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Marriott International, Kaleidoscope Youth and Family Marketing, Gildan, PeopleMatter, The Cambridge Institute, Blackbaud, Momentum Marketing, and more.

RELATED: Watch a video about the MBA program.

This group is the fourth to complete the one-year program, which continues to evolve in quality and diversity. Of this year’s 40 graduates, six are from China, Germany, Russia, Vietnam, and Italy. Collectively, the class had an average GMAT above 600.

Two students recently scored in the top 99th percentile for the national exit exam that all MBA graduates take upon completion of a program. In addition, two graduates will return to the Charleston School of Law to complete their joint MBA-Juris Doctorate degrees.

The MBA Class of 2014 visiting Petrobas in Brazil.

The MBA Class of 2014 visiting Petrobras in Brazil.

Each year, the MBA cohort travels abroad to study foreign markets and cultures. The Class of 2014 traveled to Brazil, the world’s 7th largest economy. During the trip, students were immersed in Brazil’s political and economic landscape, attended lectures at Fundação Getúlio Vargas, the largest university in Rio de Janeiro, and visited international companies including Petrobras, Coca Cola Bottling Company, the Brazilian Stock Exchange, and the 2014 World Cup Soccer and Olympic Stadium. Past MBA classes have traveled to Vietnam, China, and Dubai. In 2015, the students will return to Brazil.

Approximately 90 percent of the students are paired with a senior-level executive mentor who helps to guide the mentees in their career aspirations by helping them navigate industries, corporate contacts, and organization structures. In many instances, the mentors are also paving the way for job placements for the new MBA graduates.

RELATED: Learn more about the MBA mentor program.

“The mentor program strengthens and builds on our pragmatic, student-focused program,” says Jim Kindley, director of the College’s MBA program. “We want every one of our MBA graduates to enter and succeed in a satisfying career. The professional development and mentors help them in that regard.”

Saturday’s keynote address will be delivered by Steve Swanson ‘89, a math major and Charleston entrepreneur who launched and led of Automated Trading Desk (ATD) which was acquired by Citigroup, Inc. in 2007. Today, he is the managing partner of Eladian Partners, LLC, the chairman of the College of Charleston Comprehensive Campaign, a member of the College of Charleston Foundation Board, a member of the School of Business Board of Governors, and a former member of the Honors College Steering Committee. He and his wife, Emily (class of ’89, biology degree) reside in Charleston and have two children.

The School of Business will begin accepting applications for the MBA Class of 2015 in October 2014 at mbacharleston.com.

 

 

Folly Beach has long been the epicenter of fun and sun for generations of College of Charleston students.

But for three recent graduates, the quirky little beach town is all about business.

Taylor Denny (left), Jake Cotreau (center) and Matthew Coda (right).

By the time alumni Matthew Coda, Jake Cotreau and Taylor Denny walked across the Cistern stage to receive their diplomas in May 2014 they already knew how and where they planned to begin their careers.

This month the three young entrepreneurs launched Golden Sun Taxi, a fleet of three solar-powered, golf cart taxis that shuttle passengers along the sandy streets of Folly Beach. Aimed primarily at tourists, the business is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States.

RELATED: Learn more about Golden Sun Taxi.

Each of the eight-seat taxis is equipped with a 520-watt 12-foot-long solar panel affixed to its roof. The low-speed vehicles also have license plates, seat belts, mirrors, headlights and turn signals, which makes them street legal on roads with speeds limits of 35mph or less.

Peter Lucash, visiting instructor

The seeds of the business were sown during fall 2013 in School of Business visiting instructor PeterLucash’s entrepreneurship class in which students split into teams to develop ideas for potential businesses.

Denny, a sociology major, says he had always wanted to start a golf cart taxi service. “We all kind of pitched our ideas. I threw mine out there and they liked it and it went from there. We got an A on the project.”

The team for the class project included five members. But Denny, Cotreau and Coda thought they might be on to something bigger and began meeting outside of class to explore the idea further.

“We sat down and said we really want to do something and make some money off of it, really start a company, not just a class project,” recalls Coda, a business administration major.

Solar-Powered Start-Up

Peter Lucash, visiting instructor

Their original idea was to establish a golf cart taxi service in downtown Charleston. But after the team learned that the city prohibits such businesses, they began looking at other nearby locations. They eventually settled on Folly Beach because of its large number of tourists and its network of low-speed, locally owned roads.

The use of solar power to fuel the taxis also was not part of the original plan. When the College’s Office of Sustainability suggested that the company explore alternative energy sources, however, the partners knew they had found their niche.

The partners pooled their savings and tapped family and friends for the remainder of their start-up capital.

Cotreau, a business administration major, says the career-focused education the partners received through their business courses helped prepare them for the time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process of getting the business off the ground.

Throughout their senior year, the partners worked feverishly to secure the necessary licenses and approvals, conduct market research, and identify a manufacturer that could build and deliver their unique sun-powered golf carts.

Along the way, the graduates received valuable guidance and advice from other School of Business faculty and alumni, including luxury car dealer and adjunct business instructor Tommy Baker, business law adjunct professor Todd Ericsson, and business school alumnus Stewart Vernon ’02.

RELATED: Learn more about the School of Business Center for Entrepreneurship.

Golden Sun Taxi’s solar-powered golf carts have eight seats and storage space for coolers and beach chairs.

Golden Sun’s current base of operations is located in a gravel parking lot just off the beach’s main strip. Butthe partners hope to spend most of their time out on the roads hauling beachgoers to the Washout and transporting wedding parties back and forth to their hotels and beach rentals.

Golden Sun Taxi’s solar-powered golf carts have eight seats and storage space for coolers and beach chairs.

As for the company’s hierarchy, there isn’t one. For now, each partner has an equal stake and standing. There’s no CEO or president, and they all drive the taxis. They have all taken up residence on Folly Beach so they can get at an early start each morning.

The company began transporting passengers during the first week of June. Word is spreading through social media and among their beach business partners. So far, the reception from locals and visitors has been positive. And while the novelty of the solar-powered taxis has helped attract the first wave of customers, the company says the solar angle is no gimmick.

“We want to show that it is a viable part of our business model,” Cotreau says. “It actually helps the carts go further and last longer, and that helps us service more people.”

They plan to build the business day by day, but they already are thinking about opportunities to expand into other cities and, some day, even franchising their concept.

For this ambitious trio, the sky – err, the sun – is the limit.

Golden Sun Taxi can be reached at 843.597.9819 or on Facebook.

Link to original Solar-powered Taxi article.

Elaine M. Worzala, director of the Carter Real Estate Center and professor of real estate at the College of Charleston School of Business, was named the recipient of the Graaskamp Award for 2014.

The award, which “recognizes extraordinary iconoclastic thought and/or action throughout a person’s career in the development of a multi-disciplinary philosophy of real estate,” was given by the American Real Estate Society (ARES), an association of real estate thought leaders dedicated to producing and disseminating knowledge related to real estate decision making and the functioning of real estate markets.

Dr. Elaine Worzala, director, Carter Real Estate Center

Dr. Elaine Worzala, director, Carter Real Estate Center

Worzala was accredited for fostering a multi-disciplinary philosophy of real estate that breaks significantly from that which had been widely accepted, through extraordinary iconoclastic thought, action, research, and service to her profession.

“Elaine is a superstar for what she does for our students, academic research, and the real estate industry,” says Alan T. Shao, dean of the School of Business.  ”I’m so please that the ARES chose such a well deserving scholar and teacher.”

Worzala received the award on April 3, 2014 in San Diego, Calif.  View more about the award and past recipients.

“I am particularly thrilled, as I am the first woman, as well as the first student of Graaskamp’s to receive this award,” says Worzala. “It is an honor to be recognized professionally in this way.”

Worzala holds a doctorate degree in real estate and urban land economics and a master’s degree in real estate appraisal and investment analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She has served as the president of both the American Real Estate Society and the International Real Estate Society and is currently serving as a board member for both organizations.

Previously, Worzala was a professor of real estate at Clemson University’s School of Business and director of the Richard H. Pennell Center for Real Estate Development.

About the School of Business
College of Charleston’s School of Business offers seven undergraduate majors (with one additional major pending), an honors program, an M.S. in Accountancy and an MBA.  Approximately 1800 undergraduate and graduate students attend from as far away as China, Germany and Brazil. The faculty has research expertise in areas such as global logistics, hospitality and tourism, political economics, financial investment, bankruptcy, real estate, business intelligence, and sustainable business practices. Visit to learn more about our undergraduate and graduate programs, faculty and Centers of Excellence.

About the Carter Real Estate Center

The Carter Real Estate Center (CREC) facilitates the teaching, research, and industry service by bringing together students, faculty and business community executives to better understand the complexities of commercial real estate assets and the changing dynamics within the industry today and to help prepare students for post-graduate job placements. The CREC was established and is supported with a generous gift from Ben Carter of Ben Carter Enterprises (Atlanta, GA), the Carter family, and other friends of the Center.  Visit http://go.cofc.edu/cartercenter for more information.

For 10 students and three faculty members from the School of Business’ Carter Real Estate Center, what happens in Vegas might not stay in Vegas.

RECon is the International Council of Shopping Centers’ annual convention.

RECon is the International Council of Shopping Centers’ annual convention.

The group is headed to ReCon, the International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC) annual convention for the shopping center industry that draws tens of thousands of professionals and vendors from around the world. The convention takes place May 18-20, 2014, in Las Vegas.

In the world of retail real estate, it doesn’t get much bigger than RECon, said Elaine Worzala, director of the Carter Real Estate Center.

RELATED: Learn more about the Carter Real Estate Program.

Elaine Worzala

The trip is being funded through the generosity of business school alumni Mark Miller and Chris Price as well as a family member of a student in the real estate program.

Students will be exposed to all aspects of retail real estate and have the opportunity to network with professionals in retail development, leasing, lending and other areas.

The conference also is an incredible opportunity to promote the College, the School of Business, the real estate program and its students, Worzala said.

ICSC provides opportunities for business students to gain valuable professional development experience through memberships, internships and industry publications. Worzala and two of the program’s students, Temma Weissman and Elizabeth Berry, were recently published in ICSC’s flagship research publication Retail Property Insights.

When College of Charleston professor David Desplaces teaches business students, he repeatedly reminds them to seek educational opportunities in places that stretch their comfort zones and global mindset.  But he doesn’t just talk about it.

David Desplaces

David Desplaces

Desplaces, associate professor of entrepreneurial studies, actually takes them on learning journeys and creates experiences that far exceed students’ expectations, not to mention his job description.  For these reasons and his leadership-by-example style, Desplaces, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship, has earned the first Howard F. Rudd Jr. Distinguished Faculty Award for Service Leadership in the School of Business.

The award was established to recognize outstanding, high-performing business professors who lead by example and advance the mission and global vision of the School of Business. The award is named for Rudd, dean emeritus of the business school who taught at the College for nearly 30 years. It is the most prestigious faculty award given in the School of Business and the only one of its kind at the College of Charleston.

“David stands out in service leadership because his high energy and enthusiasm are contagious and his results speak for themselves,” says Alan T. Shao, Dean of the School of Business.  “David does an outstanding job of leading by example with his students and among his faculty peers and is well deserving of the Rudd faculty award.”

The selection criteria, measured over a over a three-year period, looks at service leadership, teaching, research and business community engagement.  The honor comes with a $10,000 award, with up to 50 percent allotted for personal use and the balance going toward professional development.

RELATED: Read more about the establishment of Howard F. Rudd Jr. Distinguished Faculty Award.

For over three years, Desplaces has served in countless ways, including the establishment in 2009 of Possibilities Without Borders, a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of international service-learning projects.

Howard Rudd

Howard Rudd, Dean Emeritus of the School Business

“The enthusiasm and energy Howard Rudd has brought to the School of Business is unparalleled. If I only accomplish half of what he has brought to increase the student learning experience, I will have accomplished all that I could hope for in my profession,” says Desplaces.

In addition, Desplaces has raised $150,000 in funds and goods that enabled three student groups to travel to Cameroon as part of a social entrepreneurship and service-learning course. The funding and donations were also used to support a micro-lending program for women’s groups in Cameroon, including the provision of school supplies for more than 1,650 children.

As the former director of Enactus, formerly called Students In Free Enterprise, Desplaces significantly improved the quality and impact of its projects and established a solid foundation the students to compete at the national level. In addition, he dramatically increased the impact of Cougar Undergraduate Business Enterprise (CUBE), a student-run, non-profit business that sells coffee and snacks to raise money for Enactus charitable projects.

Desplaces is also involved in the community. For the past four years, he has served on the Charleston James Island Connecter Run Board. The annual road race benefits the Gavalas Kolanko Foundation, a local charity that awards scholarships to students with disabilities. He is also actively involved with Boy Scouts of America.

 About the School of Business

College of Charleston’s School of Business offers seven undergraduate majors (with one additional major pending), an honors program, an M.S. in Accountancy and an MBA.  Approximately 1800 undergraduate and graduate students attend from as far away as China, Germany and Brazil. The faculty has research expertise in areas such as global logistics, hospitality and tourism, political economics, financial investment, bankruptcy, real estate, business intelligence, and sustainable business practices. Visit to learn more about our undergraduate and graduate programs, faculty and Centers of Excellence.