Skip to main content

September 2019

Society for the Advancement of Management Selects New Leadership

2019 leadership team

EKU School of Business Society for the Advancement of Management (SAM) had a great kickoff to the academic year of 2019.  Holding their first meeting on September 10, 2019, the student organization selected a new board of leadership. The group is proud to announce new leadership, as listed below.

President - Sarah Sparks

Vice President - Lyndsey Burke

Head of Finance - Megan Wilson

Head of Community Service - Chance Burnett

Head of Fundraising – Laura Jane Reeves

Head of Public Relations - Alex Alonso

Secretary - Bailey Bird

SAM members participated in a career planning activity on September 24, 2019, discussing their future career aspirations and the pathway of managing their own careers. SAM will hold the regular bi-weekly meetings throughout the semester, and is looking forward to volunteer service activities, guest speakers, and further career development activities planned down the road throughout the semester.

SAM is now on Facebook. Please check on SAM's Facebook page.  

For SAM’s past events and activities, please check out SAM’s website:

Maroon SHRM Welcomes Sarah Pitt

l-r: Abby Sanders (Maroon SHRM CEO; Greenup, KY), Anna Haas (CLO, Louisville, KY

On September 10th, Sarah Pitt, Vice President of Human Resources at Associations International, visited EKU’s Maroon SHRM chapter to discuss recruiting, HR roles, and answer student’s questions. Sarah has over 30 years of HR expertise and is the former Chief Human Resources Officer at EKU. Sarah spoke with the group about the importance of connections and networking in recruiting and job hunting, as well as the role of HR in an organization. 

She demonstrated that recruiting was about more than just posting an ad; it is about connecting with people and building your professional network. “Companies are looking at the workforce in a different way than they have in the past,” Sarah stated. Companies are going digital with their recruiting search and taking to places like LinkedIn to find qualified candidates. She stressed that students should use this opportunity to sell themselves on LinkedIn; build up their resumes by including transferable skills from previous jobs, including all their previous work experience, leadership roles, student organizations, and even volunteer events that they have been involved in.

While it is important to show who you are and what you can bring to an organization through your LinkedIn profile, students shouldn’t stop there. Find an organization or a job you are interested in and make connections within that organization. Reach out to those people by introducing yourself and expressing your interest in the job or company - put a human connection to your job search and you will stand out to recruiters. 

Sarah also spoke on the importance of Human Resources within an organization. HR is not just operational, but it is now considered a strategic part of the business. It is about more than just employee relations and relationship building. Even if you are not in the Human Resource field, build up your network with HR professionals because they are the people who will be able to find career opportunities for you. It is important to understand their role in the organization because all aspects of a business need HR.

After the presentation, Sarah opened the floor to questions from over two dozen students in attendance.

The EKU Maroon SHRM chapter is open to any student interested in people issues at work.  For further information contact the club’s advisor, Professor Allen D. Engle at

Pictured above, l-r: Abby Sanders (Maroon SHRM CEO; Greenup, KY), Anna Haas (CLO, Louisville, KY), Sarah Pitt, Abigail Parker (CFO, Paducah, KY), Martha Sowders (CIO, Frankfort, KY)

Non-Traditional Student Faces Challenges, Finds New Path

Laura Jane Reeves

Earning a college degree takes resources, sacrifices, dedication and time. For non-traditional college students, the decision to pursue a college degree can be made more difficult due to varying factors including finances, lack of flexibility at work, and family responsibilities. Laura “Jane” Reeves understands these challenges, and overcoming them. Jane is a 46-year-old mother of three and is completing a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business with a Global Supply Chain Management concentration at Eastern Kentucky University.  

“Being a truck driver was my passion. I was able to travel across the country,” said Reeves. However, after many years as a driver, she eventually left the position for factory jobs in order to have more time to advocate for her daughter Reva, who is autistic. After multiple years of repetitive movement on the assembly line at the Toyota plant, Jane suffered a knee injury and was unable to do manual labor.

“I needed to go in a new direction to earn new training and education,” explained Reeves. The skills that she had once learned and used in high labor jobs were no longer possible due to her injury. She heard about the Ready to Work Program through the Ashland Community and Technical College which provided her the resources to pursue a college degree. Jane recently received two degrees from Ashland Community and Technical College, an Associates in General Studies as well as an Associates in Applied Science in Business.

With the two associate degrees in hand, Jane proceeded to continue even further with her education and came to Eastern Kentucky University. She was able to work with the EKU Center for Student Parents in order to attend EKU. Jane remarked about the Center for Student Parents, “They place you at a job and help you in any way to make a degree possible. They provide business clothes, tutoring, anything you could need. If it weren’t for that I wouldn’t be here today.”

She applied for many scholarships and was awarded multiple, including a transfer scholarship as well as one for the honors program. “Apply for every scholarship you can,” suggested Reeves, “Apply, apply, apply. Even if you get denied for one, try for another.”

Some of the courses at EKU that Jane has enjoyed the most are Logistics, Operations Management, and International Business. “The business classes, without a doubt, like Logistics and International Business will help me in the future,” Jane shared. The honors program has also given her the opportunity to take courses that she never would have dreamed of taking, including ‘Shaking up Shakespeare’ as well as a course about modern cinema.

Jane has found support within the College of Business and Technology through Professor James Kirby Easterling. She said that he has been very supportive of her during her time at EKU, making himself available through office hours and appointments with Jane as necessary, as well as helping her with course advisement.  

Along with taking classes, Jane has been an intern for the City of Ashland since summer 2019 and will continue to do so throughout the fall semester. She has been working in Human Resources for the city as an administrative assistant. In addition to clerical duties, she has had the opportunity to learn about risk management, liability, liquor licensing, bus routes, and benefits. She has also gained knowledge about the government side of business, “I have truly learned so much,” she said. Her internship is funded through the Center for Student Parents at EKU, where she also works multiple days a week in the office. Jane shared that working on campus is very beneficial for her because she is able to work around her class schedule and it gives her an opportunity to gain more job experience.

When asked the advice that she would give to other non-traditional students pursuing degrees, she said, “Don’t be afraid to do it. People think that they are too old or that they have missed their calling. No, they haven’t, you just have to want it badly enough. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I wouldn’t have stopped and asked for help.”

Jane will graduate from Eastern Kentucky University in December of 2020 with the BBA.

Written by Christina Dunavan, Student Writer

Open /*deleted href=#openmobile*/