CofC Logo
Ask the Cougar

german-americanThe College of Charleston School of Business, School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs, Career Center and German department have partnered to host the first-ever German-American Business Summit on October 6. And, the timing could not be better.

According to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, German corporations have invested more than $4.1 billion in South Carolina from 2011 to 2015 and are now responsible for 27,000 jobs in the state. With German industry focusing many of its efforts in Charleston, local jobseekers would be wise to start thinking Deutsche — and the German-American Business Summit is the perfect opportunity to do so.

“It’s been a secret for far too long here in the Lowcountry that proficiency in German and knowledge of German culture are extremely lucrative assets for those pursuing careers, and advancement, with industry in the state and globally,” says Morgan Koerner, Ph.D. chair of German studies department.

Made possible with help from the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States, the summit connects executives from Charleston’s leading German corporations with students, alumni and job seekers in the CofC community.

Attendees can look forward to a job and internship expo, where big names such as Mercedes-Benz Vans, BMW, Bosch, IFA Rotorion, KION, Hubner, Continental Tire and Stoebich Fire Protection will be in attendance.

The summit also boasts an impressive lineup of speakers including Antonio Tills, Ph.D., dean of the School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs; Alan Shao, Ph.D., dean of the School of Business; Robin Mishra, Ph.D., minister counselor from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany; and Sam Moses, Esq., of Parker Poe Attorneys and Counselors at Law.

Moses, whose firm represents many of Charleston’s foreign manufacturing operations, sees a tremendous opportunity for public-private partnerships with German industries in Charleston. “With its exceptional German program, high-ranking globally-oriented School of Business, and strong liberal arts mission, the College of Charleston is the ideal place for a further expansion of those productive relationships,” he says.

The event, which lasts from noon until 5 p.m. in the Stern Center Ballroom, concludes with a panel session on workforce needs in South Carolina, followed by a networking reception for select attendees.

For more information about the event, click here.

Jason DAfter the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Jason Dalrymple knew he wanted to be a Marine. Two years and a high school diploma later that’s exactly what he became. Now a veteran and third-year undergraduate student at the College of Charleston School of Business, Dalrymple brings the skills he learned in the military to the classrooms of the Beatty Center.

During his two tours in Iraq as a TOW gunner for the Marine Corps Infantry, Dalrymple honed leadership skills, often making split-second decisions under extreme duress. He learned the importance of communicating effectively to earn trust and successfully complete each mission.

Putting those same team-building principles into practice at the business school helps tremendously, he says. “When I work on a group project I try to pull from my military training by learning what makes the people I’m working with tick, their strengths and their weaknesses, so I can determine how best to approach the assignment.”

This was a winning strategy during a project Dalrymple completed for a marketing concepts class in which students were required to simulate owning and operating a computer company. Students were divided into teams and asked to perform market research, create and adhere to a budget, and make decisions about sales strategy. Dalrymple attributes his group’s victory as the most profitable company to their strong teamwork.

Currently an international business major with a minor in international studies, Dalrymple plans to graduate in 2018. He’s set his sights on liaising with foreign companies or working abroad, an area familiar to him.

Jason_militaryAfter his military contract ended in 2007, Dalrymple moved to Australia, where he worked in sales for an ecommerce business acquired by daily deal company LivingSocial. That experience lit a flame: “It was just so interesting to see a small company grow into something much larger,” he says.

Dalrymple traded the land down under for Sweden, where he lived for a year working for several businesses, ranging from a mobile communications company to a global sports marketing and events firm. “It was exhilarating to be exposed to a new language and a different culture,” but home – and a degree – beckoned.

After looking at a number of different schools with strong business programs, Dalrymple found his perfect fit at CofC. “The school and the city had everything I was looking for. Charleston has a great college-town vibe and is booming with economic promise.” The presence of a port and access to import/export opportunities was a plus, he said.

Dalrymple admits he’s not all business. He enjoys surfing at Folly Beach, hitting the links with pals, or checking out local music venues like The Pour House on James Island. But outside of the business school, his most frequented destination is the rugby field. Dalrymple has been a member of the College’s rugby club since early 2016. His coach, Mathew Garrison also works as the College’s coordinator for veteran, military and ROTC recruitment.

 “Veterans bring a different perspective to the business school,” says Alan T. Shao, dean of the School of Business. “Their leadership skills, discipline and maturity help foster an interesting dynamic in the classroom.”

 As for Dalrymple’s advice to other veterans interested in pursuing a business degree? “Apply what you’ve learned in the military to your college education and be open to learning from others. If you can do that, you will go very far.”

port-hansondavidCongratulations are in order for Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship David Hansen, Ph.D., who received a Best Reviewer Award from the entrepreneurship division of the Academy of Management (AOM) at its annual meeting. Hansen was identified as a distinguished evaluator out of over 900 journal reviewers.

The 2016 AOM meeting — hosted in Anaheim, California — gave researchers, teachers, students and consultants from across the country the opportunity to exchange the latest management research, present scholarly papers and network with colleagues.

To learn more about Hansen, his research and coursework, click here.

The College of Charleston School of Business welcomes new faculty members, as well as an administrative change, for the upcoming 2016-17 academic year. With each addition comes a fresh approach to promoting curiosity in the classroom, rewarding innovation and upholding the College’s rigorous standards in education.

evans-jocelyn-2014Jocelyn Evans, has been named associate dean of the School of Business. Evans, a professor of finance, joined the School of Business in 2005 and has progressed through a series of teaching and advising roles. She earned her Bachelor of Science at Barat College, an MBA from Washington University and a doctorate at the University of South Carolina. Her research interests include banking, corporate governance, financial distress and compensation. She is the recipient of many awards including the Distinguished Research Award from the School of Business in 2008.

pelzer-josetteJosette Pelzer will be joining the Department of Accounting and Legal Studies as an assistant professor. Pelzer holds a doctorate in accounting from Florida State University, a Master of Arts in Accountancy from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina. Her research interests include behavioral and qualitative auditing.

wright-craigCraig Wright is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Management and Marketing. Wright holds a doctorate in business administration from Swiss Management Center, an MBA from Yale University and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Wright is a certified public accountant with more than 17 years experience in international commercial business.

The College of Charleston School of Business has released its diversity report for the 2015/16 academic year. The report highlights goals, accomplishments and events that broaden diversity on campus. Notable accomplishments since the 2014/15 academic year include increased diversity of new faculty hires, greater female student enrollment, numerous guest speakers who represent minority groups, more involvement with the Office of Institutional Diversity and events that promote and celebrate diversity.

Diversity and inclusion are key strategies in the School of Business’ overall pursuit of excellence. Demographics show that the business school is actively working toward these strategies on numerous fronts:

  • 36 of 92 faculty and staff members are women
  • 21 of 88 faculty and staff members are minorities in terms of race/ethnicity
  • Two out of six new faculty members were women and three were minorities in terms of race/ethnicity

“While diversity of race, gender and ethnicity is important, diversity of the mind is equally critical in expanding the learning experience for our students,” says Alan T. Shao, dean of the School of Business. “Our students and faculty come from different backgrounds and bring diverse perspectives to the classroom, which benefits our students and prepares them for a borderless future.”

Throughout the year, faculty also taught courses related to diversity, namely: Managing Diversity, Diversity & Inclusions in Hotels/Hospitality and Measuring the Impacts of Tourism.

In keeping with the School of Business’ dedication to diversity, faculty were supported in their efforts to teach abroad – where they shared insights and embraced new perspectives to bring back to the College. But, the faculty weren’t the only world travelers last year; 185 business students participated in study abroad programs, including the one-year MBA students. These opportunities gave them cross-cultural experiences and provided new awareness of global communities as varied as Costa Rica and Dubai. The School of Business offers scholarships to ensure deserving students can access these opportunities.

A total of 92 foreign exchange students came to study in the School of Business, which exceeded the previous year’s total of 59. Countries represented included: Austria, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Turkey.

In addition, the School of Business participated in and/or hosted several events this year that promoted diversity, including:

  • 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Week hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs Summit hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Women in Manufacturing and Supply Chain Forum hosted by the Supply Chain & Information Management Department
  • Let’s Disable Disabilities: Challenge Your Views on Normality, hosted by the Think Differently Forum

More than 40 female guest speakers visited the Beatty Center during the 2015/16 academic year to connect with students and present topics such as career development, executive insights and current industry trends.

The School of Business is committed to instilling a culture of diversity and inclusiveness for its students, faculty and staff, and will continue to uphold key values of diversity.

Chris Birkel, assistant professor of legal studies, will serve as the School of Business’ diversity liaison for the 2016/17 academic year.

To learn more about diversity efforts at the College of Charleston, visit the Office of Institutional Diversity’s website.

Mark Witte, MBA Program Director, Associate Professor of Economics

Mark Witte, MBA Program Director, Associate Professor of Economics

The College of Charleston is pleased to announce Mark David Witte as program director for its one-year Master of Business Administration program. An associate professor of economics, Witte holds a B.S. in economics from the University of Nebraska – Omaha and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

He has published numerous articles in international trade and international finance as well as other fields such as sports economics, labor economics and comparative economics. In 2013, he co-founded Sports Analytics Consulting, LLC, which aids collegiate and minor league organizations via statistical analysis.

Witte describes the mission for his new role as “creating value for students.”

“I want to get to know each of the students’ professional goals, challenges, and ambitions, so I can help them navigate their ideal work paths,” said Witte. “I see my role as a ‘career GPS,’ supporting them in their efforts to arrive at the right place professionally.”

Witte’s goals for the one-year program are ambitious. “Our current job placement rate is 95 percent three months after graduation,” he said. “The goal is 100.”

In addition to the program’s rigorous curriculum, Witte is ramping up time spent with students. His “Drinks (Coffee or Tea) with the Director” will be a weekly meet-up with four or five MBA students at a local coffeehouse. It’s designed to be an opportunity for students to share their experiences, ask for support, and discuss their professional aspirations.

Student meet-ups with the director of MBA employer relations, Keyana Cordano, are also planned to help students understand what potential employers want – and how to best position themselves for success.

For more information on Mark David Witte, please visit the College of Charleston website. Learn more about the College of Charleston one-year MBA program at

Ani Meloyan stands at the helm of a full boardroom in Roper St. Francis’ hospital, poised and prepared to pitch a business idea to potential investors. The faces staring back at her belong to Roper Hospital’s CEO, its vice president of medical affairs, physicians, local business owners, entrepreneurs and inventors, all of whom have come ready to either opt in, negotiate, or leave Meloyan’s business plan in the dust.

Ani Meloyan presents a business plan to potential "investors" as part of the "Doing Business with Israel" internship final presentation. (Photo: Mark Swick)

Ani Meloyan presents a business plan to potential “investors” as part of the “Doing Business with Israel” internship final presentation. (Photo: Mark Swick)

Only, Meloyan is not actually seeking money, and the bigwigs in the room don’t really intend to spend any.

That all played out last spring for Meloyan and her peers.

College of Charleston School of Business students, Meloyan, Samantha Curtin and Michael Stalcup participated in an internship program that connected them with Israeli startup companies to learn more about international trade, writing export plans, and ultimately pitching their plans to local “investors” who would potentially have a vested interest in the product.

The internship program, called “Doing Business with Israel,” is a joint initiative between the Clinical Biotechnology Research Institute (CBRI) at Roper St. Francis, the College of Charleston’s School of Business and the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program. The program connects students with international business partnerships – specifically Israeli startups in the life sciences industry.

This Shark Tank-style scenario was arranged as a part of the internship program’s final business plan presentation. Leading up to this day, the students were each paired with an Israeli business, working with their respective CEOs to learn about the products they hope to launch in the U.S.

"Investors" provide students with feedback on their business plan presentations. (Photo: Mark Swick)

“Investors” provide students with feedback on their business plan presentations. (Photo: Mark Swick)

Meloyan was connected with a business that invented a special kind of baby bottle that preserves 50 percent more nutrients of breast milk than standard bottles. Curtin’s assigned company developed smart sensor epidural needles, ensuring a more accurate needle placement. And Stalcup worked with a business that created a blood-based diagnostic test to detect Alzheimer’s Disease in its earliest phase.

The interns spent two months producing business plans with the guidance of Rene Mueller, professor of marketing and director of the School of Business’ International Business Program, and the final month comparing their business plans with those of the actual Israeli businesses. Throughout the span of the project, the students also worked alongside Dr. Jacobo Mintzer, executive director of the CBRI, who offered insight into the medical component of the program.

“I was drawn to this internship due to its competitive nature and the international aspect of it,” says Meloyan. “The opportunity reinforced my decision to major in international business, and served as a great opportunity to gain valuable industry experience.”

Curtin adds: “The premise of ‘transforming an idea into a product’ caught my attention. While the work was daunting and, at times, exhausting, I can say for the first time in my professional career that I was truly inspired as a result of this internship.”

U.S.-Israel Partnership

The international component is an integral part of this internship program. But, why Israel, specifically?

Mintzer, who spearheaded the initiative, completed his medical internship and five-year residency at the Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Medicine in Jerusalem, and is keenly aware of Israel’s booming healthcare industry.

Dr. Jacobo Mintzer, executive director of the CBRI, with business students Ani Meloyan and Samantha Curtin. Not pictured: Michael Stalcup. (Photo: Mark Swick)

Dr. Jacobo Mintzer, executive director of the CBRI, with business students Ani Meloyan and Samantha Curtin. Not pictured: Michael Stalcup. (Photo: Mark Swick)

According to the 2015 Israel Advanced Technology Industries Report on Israel’s Life Sciences Industry, more than 1,300 active companies in the life sciences industry – comprising medical devices, biotechnology/pharmaceutical and healthcare IT/digital health businesses – operate in Israel today. In the past decade, Israel’s life sciences industry has seen an annual growth rate of 20 percent.

The only problem with this growth is its inability to flourish domestically due to Israel’s small market. Because of this, Israeli entrepreneurs tend to turn to the U.S. as their primary market. Mintzer observed the success of these U.S.-Israel partnerships along with the Israeli model of aggressively merging business and academics, and thought of it as an incredible learning opportunity for local business students.

That is when he contacted Mueller at the School of Business and Martin Perlmutter, director of Jewish Studies, to initiate the “Doing Business with Israel” internship program. The School of Business’ “ready-to-work” tools and resources, coupled with Jewish Studies’ strong interest in connecting with Israel given the strength of Israeli business today, made for a no-brainer partnership in Mintzer’s mind.

“CBRI’s connecting to Jewish Studies and the School of Business, enriching the educational opportunities for the College’s students, and exposing them to the rich fabric of Israeli business innovation is an all-around winner,” says Perlmutter. “The fact that it is a long-term initiative, with a bright future, makes it even sweeter.

To learn more about the “Doing Business with Israel” internship program, please contact Mark Swick, community liaison for the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program, at

Learn more about the School of Business, the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program and the Clinical Biotechnology Research Institute.

Dr. Bing Pan, Associate Professor and Head of Research, Office of Tourism Analysis

Dr. Bing Pan, Associate Professor and Head of Research, Office of Tourism Analysis

The kids are out of school for the next several weeks, the heat index is climbing up the charts, and you are ready to get away for some R&R (or maybe a little adventure!) this summer. But, you don’t want to break the bank in the process. Bing Pan, associate professor and head of research in the Office of Tourism Analysis at the College of Charleston School of Business talks to WalletHub about how to get the most bang for your buck this travel season. Read the full article.

Pan’s research interests lie in the uses of information technologies in tourism industry, information systems, online behavior, and consumer behavior in tourism. His research has been published in top-tier journals in the field of hospitality, including International Journal of Hospitality Management, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management and Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

Ya You, Assistant Professor of Marketing

Ya You, Assistant Professor of Marketing

Ya You, assistant professor of marketing at the School of Business, has won the prestigious Marketing Science Institute (MSI)/H. Paul Root Award for 2015.

The award is given annually by members of the Journal of Marketing editorial board to a paper that has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the practice of marketing. It is cosponsored by the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the MSI.

The Journal of Marketing is the premier, broad-based, scholarly journal of the marketing discipline.

You, along with Gautham G. Vadakkepatt and Amit M. Joshi, received the MSI/H. Paul Root Award for their article “A Meta-Analysis of Electronic Word-of-Mouth Elasticity,” which appeared in the March 2015 (Volume 79, Number 2) issue of Journal of Marketing.

Can Electronic Word-of-Mouth Make or Break Your Business?

In their prize-winning article, You, Vadakkepatt and Joshi examine how electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM), such as blogs, forums, social networking sites and online product reviews, influences product sales.

The researchers used 51 existing studies from marketing, management and information systems to generate hypotheses and generalize the effectiveness of eWOM on product sales. In particular, they compared the effectiveness of eWOM in different platform, product, and industry contexts.

For example, if you are looking to buy consumer electronics or a car, you’ll likely look at customer reviews on a variety of social media platforms. Perhaps not surprisingly, You found that consumers are more likely to trust a third party review site, such as CNET, Epinions and Consumer Reports, than an e-retailer like Amazon to determine how good the product is and to make purchase decisions.

Thus, not all social media platforms are created equal. Managers must decide which social media platforms will be most effective for delivering product information to consumers – and then should maintain and monitor those channels.

And while eWOM has a positive impact on product sales for both durable and non-durable goods, marketers of durable goods get a much bigger lift from positive online word-of-mouth.

Furthermore, managers in industries in which competitive pressures are intense should be wary of relying on eWOM alone for generating sales and rely more on traditional means of advertising and promotion.

“We conducted this research to provide managers at leading industrial companies with recommendations and suggestions for better utilizing electronic word-of-mouth to drive business growth,” said You.

You is the first College of Charleston professor to win the prestigious MSI/H. Paul Root Award. Her research interests focus on online word-of-mouth, social media, and advertising. Her research has been published in Journal of Marketing, and has been covered in Science Daily and

Douglas Walker, Professor Economics

Douglas Walker, Professor Economics

Douglas Walker, professor of economics at the College of Charleston’s School of Business, speaks with WalletHub about the gambling industry and the social and economic problems it can lead to – despite it being a major contributor to the U.S. economy. Read the full story.

Walker’s primary research focus is on the economic and social impacts of legalized gambling, on which he has published more than 50 articles and book chapters. In addition, Walker has published two books, the most recent of which is Casinonomics: The Socioeconomic Impacts of the Casino Industry (2013). Walker teaches microeconomics, the senior research seminar in economics, and a special topics course on the socioeconomics of gambling.

Skip to toolbar