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April 2018

New Receives National Business Education Association Award of Merit

Landon New

Eastern Kentucky University senior Landon New, of Franklinton, recently received the National Business Education Association (NBEA) Award of Merit for outstanding achievement in business education representing the Commonwealth.

The NBEA Professional Awards Program recognizes young business educators for their high academic standards. New, a business and marketing education major, was nominated for the award by his faculty adviser, Dr. Faridah Awang.

The 2014 Henry County High School graduate, a certified ASK National Business Institute of Advanced Learning in Finance, Business Concepts, and Marketing boasts a 3.82 GPA. He received the United States Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete Award and Ross Wallace Award, a Henry County High School Male Athlete of the Year in 2014. Earlier this semester, he was selected as an outstanding senior in Business and Marketing Education. In addition to his exemplary coursework, he is involved in the Parental and Community Involvement Committee and Curriculum Committee for Business and Marketing. He currently serves as an assistant assessment coordinator at KY Tech Center Madison County.

New is a hard-working, second generation student who was drawn to Eastern Kentucky University for its outstanding business and marketing education program. During his four-year college tenure, New has often worked two to three jobs while also being a full-time student, which he has credited for helping make him the person that he is today, along with his driven mindset.

Born in Clarksville, Tennessee, but raised in a very small, tight-knit community in Henry County, Kentucky, New has endured a lot of changes throughout his life. When asked how he has approached change throughout his life, New stated that he has learned that “being flexible and willing to change is one of the most important characteristics a person can have,” because “our environment is always evolving, so you have to be able to change with the times.”

New wants to be remembered as “someone who invested in people above anything else. I really enjoys working with young people, whether in sports or just in general, so I would like to make a mark with the youth in my community.” New advises other students to “make sure that you take advantage of the outside opportunities that EKU offers because it will really set you up for success when you’re ready to graduate. In general, just enjoy your time at EKU because it goes fast.”

New currently works as a marketing associate for Scott’s Miracle Grow and coaches the high school girls’ basketball team at Model Laboratory School. Outside of work, he enjoys fishing, watching Louisville sports, and anything else outdoors.

When asked if he has only one choice for a career option, he said, “I would probably apply to Tesla’s Energy Division. The things they are trying to do with the energy sector all over the world is a great initiative and is really interesting to me. I think it is something I could be passionate about.”

by Bryanna Black, Graduate Research Assistant, EKU MMIB

Senior Already An Accomplished Entrepreneur

Jade Rice

For Jade Rice, life as a Colonel is a family affair.

The senior marketing major from Richmond is soon to be a fourth-generation Eastern Kentucky University alumna. Eleven of her family members, including her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, have received degrees from EKU, the earliest graduating in 1948.

Family ties with the University enabled her to grow up on campus, attending EKU athletic events as well as dance camps. “Yelling ‘Go Colonels!’ at a football game was probably one of the first things in my vocabulary,” she recalled.

Since starting at the family school, Rice has been a leader in her sorority and an accomplished entrepreneur. She serves as formal recruitment chair, leadership chair and new member educator of Alpha Delta Pi. In addition, she owns two successful businesses: Jade Rice Photography and a Le-Vel health products sales business, in which she works as an individual brand promoter. Her photography business has achieved its first fully booked season, and she has earned the third highest rank in Le-Vel, selling $40,000 worth of products each month.

Business acumen seems to be in Rice’s blood. Her father and grandfather own a small business and have passed their passion down to her. “I have learned the importance of hard work and dedication, and how special it is to be able to support your family when your success came directly from the hard work you put in.” Among the lessons she has learned from her family are the importance of honesty and “taking care of those who choose to do business with you.”

Rice also credits her parents for her unrelenting work ethic and drive to succeed. “They have always been tough on me and held me to very high standards,” she said. At this pivotal time in her life, she said she appreciates the way she was raised. “My hope is that I can make them proud, and that they can see their own success in my future success.”

Rice fell in love with marketing in high school. Before her junior year, she said she only thought of marketing as advertising. A marketing internship with Lectrodryer, a Richmond-based firm that produces commercial dryers for companies all over the world, changed her mind. The creativity, organization and communication skills the job demanded sparked her interest. She decided to pursue a major in business and never looked back. “My favorite thing about marketing is how broad and unpredictable it is,” she said. “Most people don’t realize it, but marketing ties all functions of the workplace together, and assists in almost every function in some way.”

Rice’s marketing resume does not end there. In Spring 2016, she began the “internship of a lifetime” with MAP Group, which owns several car dealerships, Papa John’s franchises and other businesses, as well as sponsors the Detroit Pistons. She provides marketing efforts for Lexus of Lexington and has been offered a full-time position shortly after graduation. 

So how does Rice juggle school, extracurricular activities, an internship and two businesses? “I live by my planner,” she admitted. “I would lose my mind without it.” She routinely makes weekly schedules and daily to-do lists. “Prioritizing, budgeting and goal setting have been the best thing for me.”

One of Rice’s favorite characteristics of EKU is its size. “(Eastern) is big enough that there’s always something new going on, but small enough that you are more than just a name on the roster to your professor.” In fact, she said she never had a professor in class who did not know her on a first-name basis. “I will never be able to thank my professors and the rest of the staff for all they have helped me with throughout my four years here.”

Rice particularly enjoyed learning from Kirby Easterling, an executive in residence in the College of Business and Technology who heads its supply chain management program. “His passion for what he does and willingness to help students is very inspiring. He is such a genuine and caring professor, and I’m very thankful to have known him while at EKU.”

Easterling’s classes inspired Rice to pursue a certificate in supply chain management. She appreciates the wisdom he imparts to his students from his own vast experience in the field.

To prospective students, Rice recommends remaining “open-minded” about possible career paths. Though she plans to continue working with Lexus and MAP Group after graduation, her dreams for 30 years down the road are less about where she wants to be, and more about who she wants to be: “I hope to be able to look at whatever career I’m at and know that I’ve made a difference in that company,” she said. “I hope that I will be working in a career that provides for my family, while also allowing me to spend time with my family. My hope is to say that I’ve found my true passion in whatever I am doing 20-30 years down the road.”

-- by Madison Harris, student writer, EKU Communications & Brand Management 

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Online BBA Degree Launches This Fall

EKU Online graphic

Eastern Kentucky University will present a new option for online students in Fall 2018. Applications are now being accepted for the bachelor’s of business administration (BBA) degree with a general business concentration.

EKU’s program is accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. It will provide a full degree program, not just a degree completion option, which sets it apart from other Kentucky schools with similar programs. The general business administration degree will allow students to customize their degree to best meet their career and educational goals.

“Graduates of our program become leaders in Kentucky and around the world,” said Dr. Thomas Erekson, dean of the EKU College of Business and Technology. “We’re excited to afford that same opportunity to those who can’t join us on campus.”

The general business concentration prepares students for careers in marketing, management, international business, finance and information systems. It is recommended for those who are working but still need a bachelor’s degree, as well as for those who are just beginning their careers.

EKU Online business students benefit from:

  • earning the same accredited degree as on-campus students.
  • accelerated eight-week terms and six start dates per year.
  • advisers who provide assistance from application through graduation.
  • a generous transfer credit policy.
  • a university ranked among the best schools offering online degrees by U.S. News & World Report and Military Times.

This is the second concentration option for online business majors. The business administration degree in risk management and insurance has been offered online since Fall 2017.

Classes will begin in August. For more information, visit

Consistently recognized as having some of the nation’s best online degree programs, EKU strives to make quality education accessible to everyone. EKU is an accredited, brick-and-mortar institution that has offered online degree programs since 2006. Today, more than 40 online options are available in a variety of fields.

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