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April 2016

EKU Voices: Karlee Tanel

Karlee Tanel at the Daniel Boone statue

Karlee Tanel came upon EKU with the help of her mom. Being from Wisconsin, she did not think EKU was an obvious option until her mom, an EKU graduate, offered to take her on a trip to visit some schools in the South.

When they came to EKU on Spotlight Day, Karlee fell in love with the campus. Everyone on campus was very welcoming and that made it feel like home.

“I love Eastern’s opportunity; there is so much to get involved with,” Karlee said.

Karlee took advantage of the all opportunities offered and got involved on campus right away. She is in the Honors Program, a Patterson Scholar in the business department and a member of Alpha Gamma Delta. She served as an orientation leader for one year and a Colonel Camp leader for two years, as well as working at the EKU Center for the Arts.

She is the vice president of student activities in Student Government Association and was recently awarded homecoming queen.

“I live and breathe Eastern,” Karlee said. “I love what Eastern stands for; I love the Eastern pride and EKU maroon.”

She also likes that the campus is small, so she knows a large number of people but can still get to meet new people every week. Being a part of a small campus has allowed her to build relationships, through her leadership roles, with President Benson, vice presidents and other director positions – all opportunities that may not have happened if she attended a bigger university.

Karlee is a management major with a concentration in human resources, and she hopes to work in the training and development aspects of HR. Her dream is to live in Minneapolis and have a job that allows her to travel and see new things. After getting experience in the HR field, she would like to become a professor and later be the president of a university.

But for now, she will continue to stay involved, study and look for co-op opportunities in fall 2016. Additionally, she hopes to study abroad one day.

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Teams Win Cash Prizes at Idea State U

From left, the Simple Circle Team: Craig Hicks, Konnor Kimmel and Austin Molen

Their product is called Simple Circle, but it took hours of painstaking work to propel a trio of Eastern Kentucky University PGA Professional Golf Management students to a third-place finish, and a $10,000 prize, in the business plan division of the recent Idea State U competition.

Simple Circle is a patented tool that uses sand to make the process of drawing circles on a golf green or any sports field, well, simple. It is the brainchild of seniors Craig Hicks, Aylett, Virginia; Konnor Kimmel, Columbus, Indiana; and Austin Molen, Florence, Kentucky.

The popularity of using circles around the golf hole has grown due to the partnership between the Professional Golfers Association (PGA), the United States Golf Association (USGA), and Augusta National Golf Club to form an initiative called Drive Chip & Putt, according to Dr. Laura Barthel, team adviser.

Drive Chip & Putt, a national junior golf competition, is scored on driving, chipping and putting skills by applying measured circles around golf holes to represent different point values. Qualifiers hosted across the country lead to Augusta National, home of the Masters, for the championship event.

“Simple Circle gives accurate and temporary circles to see measurable results for practice, instruction and overall enjoyment of golf,” Barthel said.

Another EKU team placed fourth in the Business Model category, taking home $2,000 for its project, Moe Mi, “the Uber of lawn care,” a mobile phone application that connects homeowners with lawn care specialists to provide hassle-free same-day service without long-term contracts. Members of the Moe Mi team are Nathan Hall, senior human resource management major from Richmond, Kentucky; and Kyle Marcum from Somerset Community College.

Both teams will plow the winnings back into their businesses. The Simple Circle team plans to use the money to finalize its prototype and fill its first purchase from the PGA to be the official tool for the national Drive Chip & Putt competition. Moe Mi will continue application development.

Rick Johnson, state director of the Kentucky Innovation Network, said the competition, involving colleges and universities throughout the Commonwealth, “has gotten steeper every year, and this year exceeded expectations.”

Barthel noted that the teams’ work did not stem from course requirements at EKU.

“They put in numerous hours for this competition in addition to all their senior projects,” she said. “For the competition, they write the business plan, create a marketing video, create and host a trade-show table display, present a 60-second pitch, and present their business plan and answer questions from a panel of entrepreneurial judges.”

Molen, the inventor of Simple Circle, “led his team with diligent focus,” Barthel added. “Nathan Hall’s team has competed three times with three different ideas. He has been Management, Marketing and International Business’ serial entrepreneur, and we will miss his innovative perspective in our department since he is graduating. All his previous ideas are moving forward. His first patent has been sent to SE Johnson for licensure review, and his Longevity Tea recipe is being formulated for production.”

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Entrepreneurial Students Collaborate with Madison County Schools on Guardian Safety Project

Students collaborate with county officials

School of Business students are engaging in an interdisciplinary high-impact learning project, resulting in a fascinating outcome. 

Ms. Maggie Abney is an experienced banker, and Ms. Laura Barthel is a seasoned entrepreneur. Throughout the semester, Abney’s Entrepreneurial Finance (FIN 310) collaborates with Barthel’s Entrepreneurship (CCT 270).

Entrepreneurial Finance teaches entrepreneurship from the financial perspective. Students learn how in-depth ratio analyses are applied to a start-up business and how to use a feasibility analyses to determine business viability.  Since learning entrepreneurial finance can be helpful to a broad range of people, this class is beneficial to anyone who wants to start their own business in the future.

Entrepreneurship, Barthel says, is beneficial because students are able to go through the process of developing a valid business idea, and they’re also able to receive feedback from experts in the finance field. Students are able to bring in their own business ideas and sample them in the class to see if they’ve developed a sustainable business model.

Finance and Entrepreneurship can be taken as electives with no prerequisites required. Abney and Barthel had majors from all across campus in their classes. Through these classes, students collaborate to complete the following steps: generate ideas collectively, present ideas, conduct a feasibility analysis, present the feasibility analysis, develop a business model and financial analysis, and present the final business plan collaboratively. The purpose of combining the two classes, Ms. Barthel said, is to provide students with a contingency-based approach to business planning, so they can learn to thrive in uncertainty.

Students from both classes are divided into teams where they learn the valuable art of teamwork. In these groups, they begin by participating in enjoyable team building activities that teaches students how to work together and get to know one another. 

Abney stated that “The best part of this class is the team project that allows you to act as a management team of a real start-up business.” This gives the students true management experience and teaches them how to work on a team in a professional environment.  The experience obtained in this class looks great on a resume. 

The team works together all semester and develops a full and complete business plan. Classes meet jointly throughout the semester to work on these business plans. Two of these groups worked as consultants for established businesses—a hammock company and a medical supply company—and helped them get their companies up and running.  Students developed business plans for these companies. The other four teams developed their own business ideas. 

One of the notable business ideas created by a team in class was Guardian, a safety feature that schools could use on their bussing system.  Elmer Thomas, Superintendent of the Madison County Board of Education, and Skip Benton, Director of Transportation for Madison County Schools, came to EKU to meet with the students from this team.  Thomas and Benton answered detailed questions from the team of students concerning logistics and what would need to occur to actually implement into the school systems. 

The collaboration got great reviews from students. Jaylen Babb-Harrison, a senior Finance student, had this to say about his experience: “Ms. Abney’s class was a great base to being a business person/entrepreneur. I feel like I gained so much knowledge and can really start my own business based on what I learned in Finance. Not only did we do in-class work and learn key terms, but we did hands-on work that applies to real life situations. I felt like a real entrepreneur. This class made me excited for my future in business.”

This process provides a fun and memorable learning experience where students make friends and possible future business partners because of the teamwork required for these classes. It’s also a way for students to make connections to real-world business experience through unique learning formats.

When asked about her background, Abney said, “My experience as a bank executive allows me to provide students with an inside perspective on the financial services industry.”  The class will also be a required course for a new banking minor that is expected to be offered in Fall 2016.  Stay tuned!

MMIB Announces 2016-17 Patterson Scholars

The Department of Management, Marketing and International Business is pleased to announce Patterson Scholars for the 2016-17 academic year.

The Patterson Scholarship is the largest privately funded endowed scholarship fund on Eastern Kentucky University’s campus. Since its establishment in 1997, the endowment is made available to student applicants who have already declared a major in Business and Marketing Education, General Business, Management, or Marketing.

2016-17 Patterson Scholars:

  • Haley Barber (Freshman-General Business/Management), Catlettsburg, KY
  • Anthony Barrett (Senior-Marketing/PGM), Effingham, IL
  • Jacob Bennett (Sophomore-Marketing/PGM), Sharpsville, IN
  • Daniel Bevins (Junior-General Business), Pikeville, KY
  • Brandan Bond (Freshman-Marketing/PGM), Napierville, IL
  • Lyndsey Burke (Freshman-General Business), Ashland, KY
  • Lucinda Burkhart (Sophomore-Music Marketing), Stoney Fork, KY
  • Sam Chapman (Freshman-Management), Sparta, KY
  • Rachel Droege (Senior-Marketing), Richmond, KY
  • Sarah Franklin (Senior-Management), Richmond, KY
  • Michelle Goda (Junior-Marketing/PGM), Plainfield, IN
  • Jeremy Gregory (Sophomore-Marketing/PGM), Algonquin, IL
  • Karissa Hardesty (Freshman-Marketing/PGM), Brandenburg, KY
  • Logan Harp (Freshman-General Business), Frankfort, KY
  • Madison Harris (Sophomore-Entrepreneurship), Olive Hill, KY
  • Kaelyn Herrin (Junior-Marketing), Hodgenville, KY
  • Maria Hockney (Freshman-Marketing), Fort Thomas, KY
  • Ross Holtsclaw (Senior-Marketing/PGM & Management), Fort Wayne, IN
  • Jackson Hurtt (Sophomore-General Business), Erlanger, KY
  • Caitlyn Kirchoff (Freshman-Marketing), Henderson, KY
  • Tim Lumbrix (Junior-General Business), Louisville, KY
  • Kevin Merrihew (Senior-General Business), Richmond, KY
  • Ray Moehlman (Senior-Marketing/PGM), Erlanger, KY
  • Newnam Alexandra (Sophomore-General Business), Richmond, KY
  • Masi Sanders (Junior-Management), Taylorsville, KY
  • Bailey Shackelford (Freshman-General Business), Somerset, KY
  • Kim Smith (Senior-International Business), Phoenix, NY
  • Sarah Sparks (Freshman-General Business/Management), Lancaster, KY
  • Dalton Stanley (Junior-Management), Pikeville, KY
  • Karlee Tanel (Senior-International Business), Cedarburg, WI
  • Logan Thomas (Freshman-Marketing/PGM), West Chester, OH
  • Shelby Turner (Sophomore-Marketing), Berea, KY
  • Joshua Wallin (Freshman-Marketing/PGM), Decatur, AL
  • Sydney Ziebold (Sophomore-General Business), Richmond, KY

Each student will be awarded $1,500 per semester for two semesters. Requirements for the scholarship are a minimum 24 ACT score and a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Students submit three letters of reference and consideration is given to evidence of leadership and work-related activities.

While this scholarship may be renewed annually, the endowment is entirely conditional upon student involvement in the following areas:

  • Academics
  • Leadership
  • Networking/Social
  • Recruitment
  • Service

Each student scholar is required to attend at least one Spotlight event or other department recruitment event to meet with students and answer questions about Management, Marketing and International Business to fulfill the service obligation. “They are the face of the department,” stated Beth Polin. The Patterson Scholarship Committee is Chaired by Beth Polin.

Aside from recruitment and service obligations, student scholars are also expected to take on leadership roles in campus student organizations and strive to maintain a high level of academic success.

Find out more about the Patterson Scholarship at:

Research on Apologies Garners National Attention

Dr. Beth Polin

Whether at home or in the workplace or public square, the fate of relationships often hangs on two simple words.

But what do we really understand about “I’m sorry,” and what constitutes a “good” apology or “bad” apology?

That’s what an Eastern Kentucky University professor and two other researchers set out to discover in “An Exploration of the Structure of Effective Apologies,” to be published in the May 2016 issue of the journal Negotiation and Conflict Management Research. (To see abstract, visit Dr. Beth Polin, assistant professor of management at EKU, was joined in the research by lead author Dr. Roy Lewicki and Dr. Robert Lount, both faculty members at The Ohio State University, where Polin was a doctoral student when the study began.

The study has garnered considerable national attention in recent days, earning mention via The Today Show, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Fast Company, Smart Business, The Science Explorer, CBS News, ABC Radio and Teen Vogue, among others.

Interest is high for good reason.

“This topic is relevant to every employee, workgroup and industry,” Polin said. “The applications of conflict management and trust repair after trust violations are vast. Unfortunately, conflict is common in the professional world, whether we see it in companies (the Volkswagen emissions scandal, BP oil spill, etc.), sports figures (think Deflategate) or politics (Eliot Spitzer and the like). Understanding how to manage conflict and repair trust and work toward more effective and efficient working relationships is paramount in a professional setting.”

Although considerable research in the management field is focused on conflict management, trust violations and repair, it “does not differentiate well between a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ apology,” Polin said. “We thought that a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ apology would have quite different effects on trust repair.”

Of course, an apology can mean anything from a simple “I’m sorry” to a long, well-thought-out statement. But how do you define a “good” apology? And what differentiates a “good” apology from a “not-so-good” apology?

“We looked to apply some validity to the term,” said Polin, who was involved in every stage of the work, from idea generation to literature review to method design/collection and data analysis to writing the final publication.

At EKU, most of Polin’s classes at the undergraduate and graduate level center on topics related to organizational behavior. One entire course is designed around navigating organizational conflict.

“Understanding conflict management is critical to any student as they prepare to be a contributing member of a company,” Polin said. “Unfortunately, trust violations will occur whether we mean for them to or not. Perception rules the workplace, so students must learn how to manage the perception that others have of them. Part of this is learning how to manage conflict in which they are involved, promoting healthy conflict and debate that moves companies and ideas forward.”

So what did her research determine were the ingredients of a “good” apology?

“Our data showed that the acknowledgement of responsibility along with a declaration of repentance and offer of repair to be the most critical components of an apology. The component found to be the least critical across all studies was the request for forgiveness.”

Polin, who joined the EKU faculty in 2013, was awarded a Critical Thinking Teacher of the Year Award in 2015.

“Critical thinking is arguably the most important skill students need to enter the workforce,” she said. “We live in a knowledge economy, and students will not gain a reputation in their workplace as effective and creative problem solvers and managers by being good at ‘Googling’ answers. They must be able to identify problems and efficiently integrate knowledge and experience to find and implement effective solutions. I push these concepts and work to build these skills in my students.”

And she’s not apologizing for that.

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MMIB Students Receive Top Awards from the Center for Career and Co-op

Kim Smith and Tanner Hayes

EKU's Department of Management, Marketing and International Business is pleased to congratulate two students who received honors awarded at EKU’s Student Employee of the Year Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, April 20.

The EKU Center for Career & Co-op's top awards both went to MMIB students making it a maroon-letter day for the Department.

Tanner Hayes, a senior management major from Rural Retreat, Va., was awarded EKU's Outstanding Co-op/Intern Student for 2015-16. Department Chair Dr. Lana Carnes said, "I wish all the MMIB faculty could have heard the comments your employer, Klockner Pentaplast, wrote about you and your education as a MGT major here at EKU! Their comments about your communication skills, professionalism, and respect in the workplace were particularly meaningful to me."

Receiving the award as EKU Outstanding Campus Student Employee for 2015-16 was Kim Smith. Smith is an international business major from Phoenix, N.Y. Carnes continued, "Your two nominations perfectly described your work ethic, personality, critical thinking skills, and intelligence. We value your leadership skills in MMIB as a Patterson Scholar and International Business major."

Fore and Robles Receive 2016 Critical Thinking Teacher of the Year Awards

Left: Robles with Vice and Benson. Right: Fore with Benson and Vice

Two MMIB faculty received EKU's 2016 Critical Thinking Teacher of the Year Award. Michael Fore and Marcel Robles were recognized by President Benson and Provost Vice for their efforts "to help students think critically and creatively about their educational, professional, and/or personal lives."  For these awards, students nominated faculty members and 15 winners were selected from the nominees. 

MMIB nominees included: Patricia Alexander, Laura Barthel, Kirby Easterling, Mike Roberson, Leslie Vincent, Qian Xiao, and Weiling Zhuang.

EKU's Critical Thinking Teacher of the Year is an award to recognize outstanding faculty members who have had substantial positive effects on developing their students’ critical/creative thinking skills and  for their commitment to EKU’s mission to graduate informed critical and creative thinkers who communicate effectively.

Each fall semester a survey is placed on EKUDirect right before mid-term grades are posted and is open to all students currently enrolled. Students are asked to nominate a faculty member and give a brief explanation of why they think their nominee should be an EKU Critical Thinking Teacher of the Year. Faculty were recognized during a ceremony in the Library Grand Reading Room on April 21.

EKU's Critical Thinking Teacher of the year award is administered by the Office of the Vice Provost.

Phi Beta Lambda students help with Mt. Pleasant restoration

PBL students at Mt. Pleasant

EKU Phi Beta Lambda students spend much of Friday, April 15, helping improve the appearance of one of the most historic homes in Richmond. Students and faculty advisors cleared brush on the property of the Mount Pleasant home, located on a hillside between Water Street and Madison Middle School just south of the downtown business district.  The intent is to make the home more visible from downtown and encourage more interest in the ongoing restoration of the historic property.

According to faculty volunteer Kirby Easterling, "Fred Brammell is a veterinarian in town I met through Rotary International, and he is restoring one of Richmond's most historic homes in hopes of turning it into a functioning community center." Easterling joined Brammel to chain saw trees and brush during the morning while PBL students consolidated the brush into piles for haul-off.

Chapter advisor Marcel Robles commented on the effort to restore Richmond's oldest frame house, "These PBL kids know how to work!"

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EKU PBL brings home 19 State awards, sets sights on Nationals

EKU PBL students pose with their trophies

Eighteen Eastern Kentucky University students and their advisor participated in the Phi Beta Lambda (Future of Business Leaders of America) Academic Competitions this last weekend at Elizabethtown Technical and Community College. As usual, EKU students excelled, bringing home 19 awards:

1st Place

  • Administrative Technology – Alex Martin (Richmond)
  • Business Law Presentation – Laura Jackson (Barbourville) and Dalton Stanley (Pikeville)
  • Contemporary Sports Issues – Luke Prince (Nicholasville)
  • Entrepreneurship Concepts – Dalton Stanley (Pikeville)
  • Future Business Educator – Wendi Smith (Pikeville)
  • Help Desk – Meagan Cochran (Pikeville)
  • Justice Administration – Matt Decker (Lafayette, N.J.)
  • Sales Presentation – Daniel Bevins (Pikeville)
  • Social Media Challenge Presentation – Wendi Smith (Pikeville), Savannah Day (Owingsville), and Lauren Jackson (Barbourville)

2nd Place

  • Business Presentation – Daniel Bevins (Pikeville) and Meagan Cochran (Pikeville)
  • Client Services – Savannah Day (Owingsville)
  • Computer Applications – Seth Barron (Eubank, Ky.)
  • Future Business Educator – Luke Prince (Nicholasville)
  • Macroeconomics – Weston Robbe (Richmond)
  • Marketing Concepts – Kaelyn Herrin (Hodgenville)
  • Microeconomics – Madison Harris (Olive Hill)
  • Statistical Analysis – Timothy Lumbrix (Louisville)

3rd Place

  • Human Resources Management – Alex Martin (Richmond) and Austin Hodge (Barbourville)
  • 3rd Largest Local Chapter Membership Award – Eastern Kentucky University

EKU’s PBL Advisor, Dr. Marcel Robles, noted that “our EKU students work diligently in their student organization by providing community service, fundraising, networking with business professionals, and studying for academic testing.” As shown by the 19 award winning plaques they brought home, their endeavors obviously pay off each semester. The first- and second-place student winners are eligible to participate in this summer’s National Leadership Conference and Academic Competitions to be held in Atlanta, Ga. At last year’s Academic Competitions, EKU PBL brought home 10 state awards and four national awards. Robles beamed as she said, “EKU can be proud that our students are definitely the business leaders of tomorrow.”

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MMIB Recognizes Outstanding Seniors and Distinguished Alumnus

l-r: Chad Miles, Craig Hicks, Adam Cosentino, and Katie Beck

EKU's Department of Management, Marketing and International Business is pleased to announce its outstanding seniors for 2015-16. Graduating seniors are nominated by faculty and recipients are selected based on superior academic achievement coupled with excellent leadership, citizenship, character, and service.

MMIB Outstanding Seniors for 2016 were recognized at the annual College to Careers Conference in EKU's Business and Technology Center on Friday, April 8.

  • Ms. Katie Beck (Guston, Ky.) - General Business
  • Mr. Adam Consentino (Lexington) - Business Management and Supply Chain Management
  • Mr. Craig Hicks (Aylett, Va.) - Marketing/PGA Professional Golf Management

The departmental Distinguished Senior for 2016 is Mr. Adam Consentino, who was also awarded the College of Business and Technology Dean's Distinguished Academic Achievement Award - a $1,000 scholarship given periodically to an outstanding graduating student who, in addition to having academically excelled in more than one major within the College, possesses good character, leadership, citizenship, and social responsibility.

MMIB's Distinguished Alumnus for 2016, Mr. Chad Miles (BBA MGT), Host of KET's "Kentucky Afield" was also recognized.

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