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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 mbacharleston.com.

School of Business Students Do Business with Israel

By Kate Caparisos
Posted on 28 June 2016 | 11:49 am — 

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 swickmn@cofc.edu.

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 Phys.org.

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.

Kelly Shaver, Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies

Kelly Shaver, Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies

Kelly Shaver, professor of entrepreneurial studies in the School of Business, was awarded the College of Charleston Distinguished Research Award for his significant career of research. Shaver was honored on April 22 at the College’s Celebration of Faculty ceremony in the Stern Center Ballroom with a $1,500 award and a framed certificate.

The Distinguished Research Award was established in 1977 and is awarded to one recipient annually. Shaver is the first School of Business faculty member to receive this prestigious award.

“This is a wonderful honor; one that I hope in the future will be shared by other scholars in the School of Business,” said Shaver.

Recipients of the Distinguished Research Award are chosen based on the body of the nominees’ scholarly and/or creative works within the past few years, and are judged for their quality and significance as well as their quantity.

Shaver’s scholarly research expertise is steeped in topics such as social and cognitive processes in entrepreneurial behavior, and attribution of causality, responsibility and blame. His highly cited work has been supported by the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and the Partnerships for Innovation Program at the National Science Foundation.

In addition, Shaver was recently honored by the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE). He was selected as a USASBE Justin G. Longenecker Fellow, a recognition given to “individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the development, furtherance, and benefit of small and medium businesses.”

Volvo Plan is Potential ‘Game Changer’

By Kate Caparisos
Posted on 27 April 2016 | 1:54 pm
Frank Hefner, professor of economics and director of the Office of Economic Analysis

Frank Hefner, professor of economics and director of the Office of Economic Analysis

Frank Hefner, professor of economics and director of the Office of Economic Analysis at the College of Charleston School of Business, talks with the Orangeburg Times and Democrat about the economic impact of the Lowcountry’s new Volvo plant. Read the full story.

Rene Mueller, Professor of Marketing and Director of the International Business Program

Rene Mueller, Professor of Marketing and Director of the International Business Program

School of Business professor Rene Mueller has been appointed to the South Carolina District Export Council (SCDEC), a role that will allow her to guide businesses in the region in their efforts to export goods and services.

“The South Carolina District Export Council helps South Carolina businesses succeed in the global economy,” said Mueller. “I am thrilled to join other business professionals on the committee to help foster growth.”

Dorette Coetsee, director of Columbia U.S. Export Assistance Center, nominated Mueller for her knowledge of international business, past work with the SC International Trade Coalition and the Brookings Institute Export Initiative, and willingness to dedicate time to the SCDEC.

The District Export Council brings together business leaders from local communities with expertise in international business. The mission is to increase economic growth in the state and create higher-paying jobs. Members hail from across the state and from companies and organizations including the S.C. Department of Commerce, U.S. Small Business Administration, and US Commercial Service. Rene and 30 other council members will mentor business owners, organize educational seminars and raise awareness about export opportunities in the state.

Mueller is a professor of marketing and director of the International Business Program at the School of Business. She also serves as the director of the Global Business Resource Center, which supports continued development of international education opportunities so students may gain the necessary international business skills, cross-cultural experience and foreign language proficiencies needed to compete effectively in today’s globalized economy.

In addition, Mueller is currently helping to lead an initiative between the School of Business, Jewish Studies and the Clinical Biotechnology Research Institute at Roper St. Francis to connect College of Charleston students with Israeli start-ups. Through this initiative, students produce business plans for Israeli businesses to pitch to investors.

Mueller holds a Ph.D. in international marketing, an MBA and B.S. in economics.

Young Gun Alum | Donald Schneider ’12

By Kate Caparisos
Posted on 11 April 2016 | 1:28 pm

He might only be 26, but this School of Business alum is already impacting tax policy on Capitol Hill.

Donald Schneider ’12 is the senior economist for the Committee on Ways and Means at the U.S. House of Representatives. The Ways and Means Committee has a wide jurisdiction encompassing tax policy, international trade, health care, Social Security, and welfare. Schneider advises the Chairman and committee staff on economic issues – and also provides analysis on macroeconomic modeling of fiscal policy, the debt limit and budgetary matters, as well as poverty and income mobility.

Donald Schneider 12, senior economist for the Committee on Ways and Means at the U.S. House of Representatives

Donald Schneider 12, senior economist for the Committee on Ways and Means at the U.S. House of Representatives

And he is getting noticed. Forbes recently named him to its 30 Under 30 list, an annual honor awarded to 600 young entrepreneurs and talent in 20 different sectors. Schneider made the list for law and policy.

“It is amazing to see what our students are capable of achieving after they graduate,” said Peter Calcagno, professor of economics and director of the Center for Public Choice and Market Process. “I had the pleasure of teaching Donald in two of my classes and he was a great student.  It has been fun keeping up with him and watching him become an impressive young economist.”

For his part, Schneider credits School of Business professors with fanning his interest in economics. His father introduced him to the field at an early age because he holds a Ph.D. in Economics and spent his career working on policy.

Schneider recalls changing his original plan to major in international business after taking microeconomics with Douglas Walker, professor of economics, his freshman year. That, followed by other coursework, particularly macroeconomic analysis, comparative economic systems, and senior seminar, fueled his interest in policy and the role of empirical research.

Schneider took these skills to graduate school at Johns Hopkins University, where he earned an MA in Applied Economics and went on to work at a think tank and later as an economist at the House Budget Committee for now Speaker Paul Ryan in D.C.

“Donald is a great example of what happens when talent and drive intersect,” said Mark Witte, associate professor of economics, who served as Schneider’s academic advisor and helped guide his graduate study plans. “Seeing him evolve from undergrad, to graduate student, to policy maker reminds all of us about the importance of education’s role in life.”

Research from eight School of Business professors and one School of Sciences and Mathematics professor is being presented at the American Real Estate Society (ARES) annual meeting in Denver from March 29 to April 2, 2016.

The ARES annual meeting is one of the most prestigious real estate conferences, bringing together academic and professional real estate thought leaders from around the world to present new research, discuss current issues, and learn about new trends over a broad spectrum of real estate related topics.

College of Charleston faculty members whose papers will be presented at the meeting include:

  • Lynn Hammett, adjunct professor of finance in the School of Business, and Elaine Worzala, executive director of the Carter Real Estate Center and professor of real estate in the School of Business, on “Positive and Negative Impacts of Government Incentive Based Development Programs After a Disaster: Lessons Learned from Florida after the 2004 Hurricane Season;”
  • Jocelyn Evans, professor of finance in the School of Business, and Garrett Mitchener, associate professor of mathematics in the School of Sciences and Mathematics, on “An ownership network framework for managers’ accelerated SEO decisions: The importance of connected institutional investors in the real estate industry,” co-authored with Timothy Jones, Xaviar University;
  • Christopher Cain, assistant professor of real estate in the School of Business, and Norman Maynard, assistant professor of economics in the School of Business, on “Solving Old Puzzles with New Tricks: Addressing Endogeneity and Nonlinearity in Housing Research,” co-authored with Justin Benefield, Auburn University;
  • Christopher Cain, Daniel Huerta, assistant professor of finance in the School of Business, and James Malm, assistant professor of finance in the School of Business, on “Owning Paradise: Living where others vacation when the bubble bursts;” and
  • David Wyman, assistant professor of management and marketing in the School of Business, and Christopher Mothorpe, assistant professor of economics in the School of Business, on “The Ultimate View – A Spatial Analysis of Visual Amenities.”
Dr. Elaine Worzala, executive director, Carter Real Estate Center.

Dr. Elaine Worzala, executive director, Carter Real Estate Center.

Worzala, Evans, Cain and Wyman will be in attendance at the meeting to present their respective papers.

“The American Real Estate Society is one of the premier real estate associations in the United States, so I am thrilled to have such a strong representation from the College of Charleston School of Business at its annual meeting,” said Worzala, who currently serves as a board member for ARES and has attended the annual conference for more than 25 years. “I look forward to continue building our reputation as a prominent research team in the real estate industry.”

In addition to presenting her research, Worzala will be serving as moderator for a panel entitled, “Issues that Vex and Perplex the Global Valuation Profession.” She will also present on a panel called, “Using Competitions, Technology and Professional Associations in the Classroom,” in which she will discuss relevant learning opportunities available to College of Charleston students, including the annual ARGUS Software University Challenge and Alpha Sigma Gamma, the International Real Estate Honorary Society.

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.

More than 300 individuals comprised of real estate thought leaders, researchers and educators from around the world will attend the 32nd annual, five-day conference.

About the Carter Real Estate Center

The College of Charleston School of Business’ Carter Real Estate Center (CREC) brings together students, faculty, and industry leaders including alumni to develop further understanding of real estate knowledge, skills, and trends in the local industry and in targeted regions around the world.  The CREC builds relationships with the business community to support our students’ professional development while providing brokers, developers, investors, property owners, and other employers with talented, ready-to-work graduates.

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