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Will West Coast Port Delays Dampen Holiday Shopping?

By Ron Menchaca
Posted on 25 November 2014 | 11:12 am — 

For the past several weeks, the flow of cargo at several major West Coast ports has slowed due to disagreements over a labor contract.

Port_of_Oakland_embedWhile some U.S. retailers have raised concerns that the issue could affect holiday inventories, Kent Gourdin, a professor and director of the Global Logistics and Transportation Program at the College of Charleston, says the strife isn’t likely to ruin Christmas.

“The bulk of the movement of goods for the holiday shopping season occurs in late summer and early fall, so I think any impacts from a serious freight stoppage now would be felt in the spring,” Gourdin says. “The impact on the average consumer right now is pretty minimal since it takes a while for any effects to filter down through the supply chain.”

RELATED: Learn more about the Department of Supply Chain and Information Management in the School of Business.

At issue is a labor contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and waterfront employers. The sides are negotiating a new contract to replace one that expired at the end of June 2014.

Kent Gourdin

“Working without a contract always raises tensions,” Gourdin says. “In addition, some truckers are striking in LA/Long Beach to protest the improper classification of impendent contractors. While neither of these situations has resulted in a port being shutdown, sporadic disruptions have occurred.”

Following a similar contract dispute in 2002, dozens of West Coast ports shut down for 11 days, causing estimated economic losses of $1 billion per day. The 2002 lockout ended when then-President George W. Bush invoked emergency provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act. But President Barack Obama has so far declined to wade into the current dispute.

Port slowdowns are a fact of life in maritime trade, Gourdin says. Because labor contracts must regularly be renewed, tensions are inevitable as both sides vie for better deals. That posturing coupled with the ever-increasing size of container ships creates a fragile situation that can dramatically disrupt world commerce.

“The bottom line is that more than ninety percent of global trade moves via the maritime industry,” Gourdin says. “In today’s world, there is simply no viable alternative.”

See original article on The College Today.

Since its founding in 2009, the Schottland Scholars program in the School of Business has come to embody the best attributes of the College of Charleston: high-achieving students and alumni, dedicated and accomplished professors and selfless community mentors.

A new gift from one of the Schottland program’s most ardent supporters will help ensure these qualities endure long into the future.

Bill Finn, a Schottland Scholars mentor and a member of the School of Business Board of Governors, recently announced a gift of $50,000 to the Schottland Programs Endowment. His gift will permanently name one of the 10 Schottland Scholars in honor of Carrie Messal, founding director of the Schottland Scholars Program.

Messal is an associate professor of management in the Department of

Dr. Carrie Blair Messal, associate professor of management.

Dr. Carrie Blair Messal, associate professor of management.

Management and Entrepreneurship. She joined the School of Business in 2007.

“We are now confident that as long as there is a College of Charleston, there will be a Schottland Scholars program,” Messal said. “Thanks to the gift from Mr. Finn, I am honored that my name will also be a part of this lasting legacy.”

Finn made his gift as a result of a call to action by Peter and Susan Schottland, the founders of the Schottland Scholars Program. In April 2014, the Schottlands committed $1 million to establish the Schottland Programs Endowment.

Read more about the Schottland family’s gift to establish the Schottland Programs Endowment.

Along with the announcement of their gift, the Schottlands challenged alumni and friends of the School of Business to contribute an additional $500,000 to the new endowment. Finn and others who join the Schottlands will ensure that the Schottland Scholars Program and Schottland Leadership Award will be permanently supported.

Finn is a retired CEO/Chairman of AstenJohnson Inc., a global engineered

Bill Finn, Chair, Asten Johnson, Executive Committee Member, School of Business, and Industry Advisor, Schottland Scholars

Bill Finn, Chair, Asten Johnson, Executive Committee Member, School of Business, and Industry Advisor, Schottland Scholars

products company based in Charleston. He has served as a friend and mentor to all Schottland Scholar graduates and has become an invaluable business advisor to Messal.

“Her commitment, service and dedication to the program as our founding director has been extraordinary,” Finn said of Messal. “Her personal interest in seeing the Scholars succeed combined with her enthusiasm is a winning combination.”

Finn and others familiar with Messal’s work on behalf of the Schottland Scholars say she is the driving force behind the program and the high-impact, hands-on learning experience it provides to students.

Brumby McLeod, assistant professor in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, is serving as the program’s interim director this year while Messal is on sabbatical.

The seeds for the Schottland Scholars program were planted more than 20 years ago when Peter Schottland’s father, Stan Schottland, established the Schottland Leadership Award in 1993. An original member of the School of Business Board of Governors, Stan Schottland is former president and CEO of American Bag & Paper, the predecessor of American Packaging Corporation.

Peter Schottland established the Schottland Scholars Program in 2009. Each year approximately 10 senior business students are selected to participate in the program following a rigorous application and interview process.

The program fosters professional development by providing students with challenging, extracurricular opportunities in the business community, including site visits to local, regional and national companies as well as lectures from invited business and government leaders.

“Having been a CEO/Chairman for over 30 years I have seen the lack of self-confidence many graduates have entering the workplace,” Finn said. “The Schottland Scholars Program builds that confidence through as many as 40 meetings and conversations with C-level executives.”

As a result of the Schottland family’s unwavering commitment, the program has now produced five years of graduates and established a strong network of Schottland alumni who are giving back to the program and staying connected to the College, Messal said.

“It has always been my concern that the network would fade away without continued funding for the program,” Messal said. “Thanks to the generosity of the Schottland family and other great friends like Bill Finn who are responding to their challenge, that network will endure for the long-term.”

Watch video of Bill Finn announcing his gift.

Read original article from The College Today.

Trader Joe’s, PeopleMatter, Bank of America, NBC’s the Today Show. These are some of the many local, national and international brands that have been represented at the College of Charleston’s School of Business in 2013 and 2014. CEOs, presidents, global directors, chairmen and editors visited the School to address students and provide insights into the many options available to them upon graduation.

Check out the top 10 speakers at the School of Business so far this year.


1. Anita Zucker: Chair and CEO of the Intertech Group, Inc.

Anita Zucker, who serves on the School of Business’ Board of Governors, spoke to students on August 22, 2014. Zucker, who has long played a critical role at the College, kicked off the new Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice course that is open to all College students. She talked about corporate culture at the InterTech Group and how entrepreneurial spirit is valued in the company.


2. Dan Bane: CEO of Trader Joe’s Corporation.

Dan Bane, who began working at Trader Joe’s in 1998 and has served as CEO since 2001, spoke to School of Business students on October 23, 2014.


3. Pete Selleck: Chair and CEO of Michelin North America.

Pete Selleck became the CEO of Michelin North America in 2011. He shared knowledge from his years of experience with the company on October 18, 2013. Michelin is developing its campus recruitment and internship program at the College, and on October 28, 2013 corporate recruiters met with supply chain, logistics, finance, and other School of Business students.


4. Nate DaPore: President and CEO of PeopleMatter.

PeopleMatter, the human recourses company that recently relocated its headquarters to Charleston’s King Street, has quickly become a leading tech company in the Southeast. PeopleMatter President Nate DaPore will address students on November 21, 2014.


 5. Jean Chatzky: Financial editor of NBC’s the Today Show.

Jean Chatzky visited campus on September 27, 2014 to discuss “Making Money Make Sense” with students. Specifically, she spoke about the importance of proactively managing money, why debt is dangerous and how to avoid financial pitfalls.


6. Gary DiCamillo: Retired president and CEO of Polaroid; Board of Directors member of Whirlpool Corporation.

Gary DiCamillo’s rich experience as a business leader makes him an invaluable asset to the School of Business, for which he serves on the Board of Governors. He spoke presented an extensive Harvard case study on Polaroid to the College’s MBA students.


7. Shawn Jenkins: President and CEO of BenefitFocus.com, Inc.

Touted as the fastest-growing technology company in South Carolina, BenefitFocus automates the management of healthcare benefits for a wide variety of organizations. Shawn Jenkins, another Board of Governors member, spoke to the School of Business in 2014.


8. Will Marre: Cofounder and former president of the Covey Leadership Center.

Will Marre spoke on April 9, 2014 to students of the management and entrepreneurship program. Marre’s partner Stephen R. Covey wrote the New York Times bestseller 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Marre currently focuses on building corporate social opportunity to create a future of sustainable abundance.


9. Dave “Buddy” Morgan: Founder and CEO of Litton Entertainment.

Litton Entertainment has offices in New York, California, Washington, D.C. and even Charleston, S.C. Dave “Buddy” Morgan directs the Emmy Award-winning company, and has taught “The Business of Television” class as a marketing elective to business students for the past four years.


10. Joe Scarlett: Retired chair and CEO of Tractor Supply Company; Founder of the Scarlett Leadership Institute.

Joe Scarlett addressed the School of Business on April 1, 2014. He spoke about the role of leadership and ethics in business practices as part of the Initiative for Public Choice and Market Process.


The School of Business was honored to host many more business leaders in 2014, including LeAnn Maxwell, co-founder and CEO of Vixen Enterprises; John Cerasuolo, president and CEO of ADS Security; Jim Newsome, president and CEO of South Carolina Press Association; Robert Martinez, vice president of business development at Norfolk Southern; Steve Swanson, founder and retired co-head of ATD, aCitiGroup Subsidiary; Justin McLain, Chair and CEO of Endeavor and Managing Partner of Duart Mull; and Dan Schneider, CEO of SIB Development and Consulting.

View original article on The College Today.

Keyana Cordano has joined the College of Charleston School of Business to direct MBA Employer Relations and Career Development.

Keyana Cordano, MBA Employer Relations and Career Development

Keyana Cordano, Director, MBA Employer Relations and Career Development

Cordano acts as a liaison between students, faculty, alumni and the community at large. She facilitates career counseling, personal development, interview preparation, internship and mentoring programs, MBA recruitment and more.

“Our one-year program develops students for professional development from day one.  Keyana brings the background experience and networking abilities to quickly add value to our ambitious students,” said program director James Kindley.  “Her position will generate more opportunities for current MBA students to interact with alumni, influential business leaders, and employers in Charleston and beyond.”

Cordano brings more than 15 years of experience in business management in financial services, higher education and nonprofit industries.  Prior to moving to Charleston, she served as the Chief Operating Officer at the Financial Literacy Organization for Women and Girls (FLOW) and is currently on its Board of Directors.  She also held sales and program management positions at IBM.

Cordano earned her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her Executive MBA from Florida Atlantic University with Phi Kappa Phi honors.

The College of Charleston will offer a new supply chain management major in the School of Business beginning in the 2015 fall semester. The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education approved the major on October 2, 2014, setting the stage for the only undergraduate supply chain management major in the state.

“This new business program is an investment in the future of the College, the Lowcountry, and the State of South Carolina,” says President Glenn F. McConnell ’69. “Our new Supply Chain Management program is in response to members of the College and at-large community who identified that there are more jobs in supply chain management and operations than there are qualified graduates to fill them.  Our new degrees are an effort toward filling that gap in a way that provides our students with a strong liberal arts background and the core competency needed to achieve success in their careers.”

Industry Reaction

Marco Wirtz, president and CEO of Daimler Van Manufacturing, with business student, Nicole Watches ’16, at Ladson, SC facility.

Marco Wirtz, president and CEO of Daimler Van Manufacturing, with business student, Nicole Watches ’16, at Ladson, SC facility.

Industry partners have heralded the exciting new major as an opportunity to recruit more employees with supply chain knowledge and applied learning experiences.

Marco Wirtz, President and CEO of Daimler Vans Manufacturing (DVM) in Ladson, S.C., has been a strong industry supporter of the students through new scholarships, relevant curriculum, and overall program leadership. “The Lowcountry has experienced significant growth in the past few years and with growth comes the need for experienced people in all areas of manufacturing. Therefore, Daimler Vans Manufacturing supports the state’s only undergraduate supply chain management major at the College of Charleston School of Business.”“We look forward to working with interns in helping develop their applied learning which will position them for a successful career,” says Wirtz, a member of the School of Business Board of Governors.

About the Curriculum

“The supply chain management major will provide students an end-to-end view of the flow of products and services from raw material provider down to the customer, and the flow of valuable information back upstream for continuous improvement in product delivery,” says Joshua Davis, chair of the Department of Supply Chain and Information Management and associate professor in the School of Business. “Our goal is to develop the knowledge, skills, and industry partnerships to meet the needs of expanding manufacturing and information services companies in our region and across the U.S.”

Course curriculum in the supply chain management major will include planning and analysis, global logistics, operations strategy, Lean Six Sigma, production and operations management, procurement, and management information systems as well as electives in green supply chain, project management, and supply chain risk management.

 

King Street, located right next to the College of Charleston campus, has been named one of the 10 great streets in America by the American Planning Association.  You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t think King Street is great, but professors and students in the College’s Urban Studies Program explain the “why” behind King Street’s charm

RELATED: Read what the APA has to say about King Street.

1. King Street is a human-scaled street.

There are few tall buildings and many different types of commercial, residential, recreational and spiritual settings.

“Places are the most powerful when they provide many different settings in which people can linger and create meaning,” explains political science professor Kevin Keenan, AICP. “King Street provides a venue for people to experience life in the ways that they find meaningful – whether it is seeking solace in a quiet church, romping through an open field with Frisbee wielding teens, viewing the latest art or strutting around with a recently purchased Gucci bag or belt.

Second Sunday on King Street

2. It invites pedestrians.

“I especially like King Street on Second Sundays when the street is made ‘pedestrian only,” sociology professor Debbie Auriffeille says. “It easily transforms into a mobility utopia that brings people together. Children are running around everywhere, you see people you know, and it makes Charleston feel like one big ‘neighborhood’ out for a barbecue.”

“King Street has a European feel, especially on Second Sundays,” notes history professor Richard Bodek. “Families walking down the street, cafes and vendors set up on the sidewalks.”

3. It is natural smart growth.

“King Street effectively combines residential development with commercial, without losing the overall feeling generated by years of history,” says Ron Hanna III, a graduate student in urban and regional planning. “King Street is smart growth, which has occurred naturally due to the geographic constraints of the Charleston peninsula.”

4. King Street blends seamlessly into its surroundings.

“King Street brings the vibrancy of the city right into the heart of the College of Charleston,” notes Kendra Stewart, director of the Joseph P. Riley Center for Livable Communities. “I love the subtle reminders King Street offers of what is happening on campus, such as the white dresses that students wear at graduation in store windows each April.”

King Street 25. King Street reminds us of the past, with an eye to the future.

“King Street is where the historic architecture of the past provides the backdrop for present and future life,” says Barry Stiefel, historic preservation and community planning professor. “It is a captivating, four-dimensional place that encourages every generation’s appetite for social interaction.”

“King Street exudes how cities can evolve and stay true to their roots simultaneously,” says Deidre Carr, urban studies student.

6. King Street has energy.

“King Street’s food scene captures the dynamism and creative energy of the city,” notes history professor Lisa Pinley Covert. “There is so much to explore from the diverse offerings at the weekend farmer’s market to the upscale restaurants and the classic Lowcountry Sunday brunch spots.”

7. King Street fosters agglomeration economies.

Economics professor Chris Mothorpe notes, “King Street serves as the vital artery of the historic downtown Charleston area. Businesses and restaurants have located along the street to form an agglomerate that offers services to a diverse set of people and firms. This collection of institutions in close proximity to each other promotes even higher levels of social interactions.”

“I love the variety of King Street: Upper King with its design businesses, consignment stores, funky shops, and the mix of restaurants; Lower King and its antique stores, art galleries, and higher end stores; Marion Square, the centerpiece between the two arms of King, offering open space and a wonderful venue for music, art, occasional movies, and the Farmer’s Market,” says Melinda Lucka, urban studies faculty.

Link to The College Today article.

The School of Business and The Initiative for Public Choice and Market Process invites John Cerasuolo, the chairman of the Beacon Center of Tennessee, and president and CEO of ADS Security, as a part of its BB&T Free Market Process Speaker Series.  On Tuesday, October 7, Cerasuolo will discuss the role of business leaders in preserving a free society.

 

The feature presentation will be held at the School of Business, 5 Liberty Street, Charleston, in the Beatty Center Wells Fargo Auditorium, from at 1:40 – 3:00 p.m.  This event is open to students, the business community, media, and other Charleston area residents.

The event is co-sponsored by the Initiative for Public Choice and Market Process, the Schottland Scholars Program, and MGMT 345: Leadership and Management Development.

About John Cerasuolo
John Cerasuolo is the chairman of the Beacon Center of Tennessee. He serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of ADS Security, which he joined in 2008. ADS Security is the 25th largest security firm in the United States and is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee serving the southeastern United States. The security industry leader has received several notable recognitions including being Honeywell’s four-time National Dealer of the Year. Mr. Cerasuolo recently served as the Vice President of AFL Network Services headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee. In this capacity, Mr. Cerasuolo led a division with 1,300 employees across 35 locations. He began his career as a Naval Officer in the United States Navy’s Nuclear Engineering Program. Mr. Cerasuolo earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1983 and a Masters of Business Administration degree in 1995 from Clemson University.  He serves on the Board of Overseers of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

Five College of Charleston School of Business students were awarded scholarships at this week’s 41st annual S.C. International Trade Conference (SCITC). This is the second consecutive year that College of Charleston students have swept SCITC scholarship awards.

Each year, the SCITC presents scholarships to students in memory of Mrs. Margaret A. Patrick, who was instrumental in the development of the annual trade conference and its strong support of transportation education, and in memory of W. Don Welch, the former executive director of the South Carolina Ports Authority. Five scholarships, ranging from $1,000 to $2,500, were awarded at the 2014 conference held at the Wild Dunes Resort with more than 400 attendees from across the state and southeast region.

All students from South Carolina colleges and universities were invited to participate in the competitive

Featured L-R: Dr. Rene Mueller, director of the Global Business Resource Center and Global Scholars Program with scholarship recipients Kornelia Kostka, Krystyna Rastorguieva, Lauren Hackler, and April Henry. Not shown: Ryan Faucher.

Featured L-R: Dr. Rene Mueller, director of the Global Business Resource Center and Global Scholars Program with scholarship recipients Kornelia Kostka, Krystyna Rastorguieva, Lauren Hackler, and April Henry. Not shown: Ryan Faucher.

application process. The winners were selected based on a proven interest or experience in international trade or related area, academic standing and performance, a personal narrative, letter(s) of recommendation, honors and extracurricular activities.

  • Krystyna Rastorguieva, international business major (Don Welch Scholarship sponsored by the S.C. International Trade Conference Board of Directors in the amount of $2,500);
  • Kornelia Kostka, double major in international business and finance (Margaret A. Patrick Scholarship sponsored by the S.C. International Trade Conference Board of Directors in the amount of $2,500);
  • April Henry, international business major (scholarship sponsored by the Propeller Club of South Carolina in the amount of $1,500);
  • Ryan Faucher, international business major and Honors College student (Customs Broker and Freight Forwarder Scholarship in the amount of $1,000); and
  • Lauren Hackler, economics major with minors in French and international studies (scholarship sponsored by the Butler C. Derrick, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund in the amount of $1,000).

“This scholarship has provided me with additional motivation to expand my horizons and work even harder to develop my skillset as a student,” says Kostka. “Balancing athletic and academic obligations while finding time for extracurricular activities can be challenging, so I am very thankful for South Carolina International Trade Conference’s support as I aspire to reach my goals.”

“I am extremely proud that, for the last two years, our business students have swept the South Carolina International Trade Conference scholarship awards,” says Rene Mueller, director of College of Charleston’s Global Business Resource Center and Global Scholars Program, and professor of marketing. “I am constantly amazed at the impressive academic and work backgrounds of the students. Not only do these students have impressive GPAs but they also have extensive work and extracurricular experiences. They have studied abroad, participated in service learning programs, and have taken advantage of international trade internships. The scholarship awards are well deserved.”

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.

 

On Saturday, September 27, 2014, NBC Today Show financial editor Jean Chatzky will talk about

Jean Chatzky, Author and Financial Editor, The Today Show on NBC

Jean Chatzky, Author and Financial Editor, The Today Show on NBC

“Making Money Make Sense” in the College of Charleston School of Business. Chatzky will talk about the importance of proactively managing your money, why debt is dangerous and how to avoid financial pitfalls. The free event will take place at 5 p.m. in the Beatty Center’s Wells Fargo Auditorium (5 Liberty St.).

In addition to her role on the Today Show, Chatzky is an author, motivational speaker, and has given personal financial advice on Oprah, Live with Regis and Kelly and The View, among others. She started her career in 1986 at Working Women, knowing that she wanted to be a financial journalist. She left after two years taking at Dean Witter Reynolds before moving to Forbes. She is the author of The Difference: How Anyone Can Prosper in Even The Toughest Times (March 2009), Make Money, Not Excuses (March 2008), Pay It Down: From Debt to Wealth on $10 A Day (January 2006), The Ten Commandments of Financial Happiness (January 2005) and Talking Money (January 2001).

Link to original article on The College Today.

It’s one thing to organize and analyze the vast streams of computer data that many businesses and organizations collect by the terabyte. But what does it all mean? And how can organizations use this information to improve their performance and boost their bottom line?

That’s where an expert like Chen-Huei Chou comes in. An Associate professor in the new Department of Supply Chain and Information Management in the School of Business, Chou has been teaching at the College of Charleston since 2008.

RELATED: Learn more about the Department of Supply Chain and Information Management.

Chen-Huei Chou

Chou’s academic background in computer science, information systems and business are reflected in his research. He has studied everything from abuse of the Internet in the workplace to the usefulness of state emergency management websites. He’s also adept at teaching information management concepts to students, as demonstrated by the Distinguished Teaching Award he received from the School of Business in 2013.

Fresh off a busy summer of travel, research and speaking engagements, Chou recently answered a few questions for The College Today.

Q: What is your academic background?

A: Before joining the College of Charleston, I received higher education in both Taiwan and the United States. I have an academic background in two completely different fields: one in engineering and one in business. I received a B.S. in Information and Computer Engineering from Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan, and a M.S. in Computer Science and Information Engineering from National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. After working for Acer, Inc. as a senior computer engineer for two years, I came to the U.S. and received an M.B.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Q: What are your research interests?

A: My areas of interests include Web design issues in disaster management, ontology development, data mining, text mining, knowledge management, Internet abuse detection and software testing. I’ve published, including forthcoming, 17 peer-reviewed journal articles in the past six years. Several of the manuscripts have been published in top-ranked journals. For example, I have a forthcoming paper entitled “Ontology-based Design and Evaluation of Natural Disaster Management Websites: Tools and Applications” to appear in MIS Quarterly, which is the No. 1-ranked journal in Management Information Systems.

RELATED: Read an abstract of Chou’s forthcoming research article in MIS Quarterly.

Q: What are your expectations and hopes for the new Department of Supply Chain and Information Management, and why is it an important field of study for business students?

A: More than ever before, effective supply chain management involves the collection, distribution and analysis of complex information. This evolutionary trend is occurring in many other functions of the firm as well. As such, the knowledge and skill requirements for success in business have evolved to include information management and analysis for problem solving, and the ability to use technology to execute business activities. These changes have made it very important for business students from all functional backgrounds to study information systems. Our hope and expectation is that the new Department of Supply Chain and Information Management will be the go-to area for obtaining rigorous information management training that will complement the existing programs in the School of Business and will add value to all our business students.

Q: You had a busy summer working on research projects, delivering a keynote speech and attending international conferences. Tell us about these activities?

servers-embedA: In July, I was invited to offer a keynote speech at the International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management in Bangkok, Thailand. In this speech, I shared my knowledge and experience in conducting a text mining approach for detecting Internet abuse in the workplace. As the use of the Internet in organizations continues to grow, so does Internet abuse in the workplace. Internet abuse activities by employees — such as online chatting, gaming, investing, shopping, illegal downloading, pornography and cybersex — and online crimes are inflicting severe costs on organizations in terms of productivity losses, resource wasting, security risks and legal liabilities.

This summer I also attended two international conferences to report on recent research. At the International Conference on Information Management, I presented the findings of a study co-worked with a professor in Taiwan. This study, entitled “Examination of Team Performance Predictors: A Data Mining Approach,” aims to use data mining to identify team personality traits related to team performance. We found that conscientiousness and neuroticism traits were highly ranked by three filter methods. Our findings potentially contribute to the development of human resource management academically and practically.

At the International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Applications held in Chengdu, China, I presented the topic “Functional Validation and Test Automation for Android Apps.” Android open source mobile operating systems have been used by major smartphone manufacturing companies. Its market share exceeded 80 percent in the third quarter of 2013. During the presentation, I presented proposed test cases for performing system testing, compatibility testing and automated stress testing of Android apps.

Q: Some of your work in management information systems is focused on disaster preparedness and emergency response websites. How can this research lead to improvements in these systems and benefit public safety?

HurricanhugoA: Local and state natural disaster management (NDM) websites play an important role in assisting people through various disaster stages such as general preparation, preparation for a coming/predicted disaster, disaster in progress and response, recovery, and learning and mitigation. However, such websites are complex and there is little research on standards and guidelines for developing and evaluating them. In a project co-worked with two professors at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, we developed an ontology-based evaluation tool to assess the utility of NDM websites. Two main groups of stakeholders — experts who are in charge of NDM websites and potential users of such websites — contributed to the process.

The practical usefulness of our work has been demonstrated in its use to assess the online readiness of all 50 U.S. states. Our analysis of NDM websites revealed a lack of preparation by most states. This is stunning given the fact that websites have become a common channel of communication to reach the public asynchronously. Our work identified the areas of weakness for each state in the five stages of NDM. This work can be used to enhance the websites of the states and assist in prioritizing the areas that need improvement.

Re-posted from:
http://today.cofc.edu/2014/09/16/data-mining-professor-analyzes-digital-information-improve-business-practices/