Department News

B&E Department News and Events

Professor and Students Publish Research on Internal Control and Fraud

Professor Grace Johnson and accounting majors Brittany Kidd (MC ‘15) and Rachel Hartong (MC ‘14) published the results of their research on public sector internal control weaknesses in the current issue of the Journal of Government Financial Management. Examining 74 cases of reported public sector employee fraud, the article identifies the three most common internal control weaknesses and suggests ways to reduce the incidence of fraud in public sector entities.

Fall 2014 Economics Capstone Projects

{short description of image} Six students presented the results of their semester-long economics capstone research projects on December 4, 2014. Donnie Burton, Payton Blair, Zipeng Victor Dong, Daiyi Li, Shaoze Gibson Qi, and Mollee Brown worked with economics capstone advisor Dr. Jackie Khorassani on a variety of empirical studies. The capstone project descriptions can be accessed here.

Faculty Volleyball Team Wins

{short description of image}The faculty team "Do Your Homework" of Drs. Dave Brown, Greg Delemeester, Debbie Egolf, Craig Howald, Tom LaSalvia, and Mark Sibicky went undefeated all season in the competitive league. They battled their way into the championship match to win it 2-1 against a great student team.

Dr. Greg Delemeester commented "not bad for a bunch of PhDs!". B&E new hire Dr. Tom LaSalvia said "it was a hard fought victory, but in the end experience trumped youth".

Congratulations to the entire team!

Cabela's Outing for Sports Management Students

{short description of image}Students in the Sports Management first-year seminar learning community, along with their professors (Prof. Debbie Lazorik and Dr. Liane Gray-Starner), took a field trip to Cabela's in Wheeling, West Virginia, on November 20, 2014. The store's product expert, Joe, provided a tour of the store and discussed the Cabela's business model. At the conclusion of the visit students had an opportunity to shop, then enjoyed a lunch of buffalo, elk burgers and venison hotdogs in the cafeteria.

Accounting Students Honored at WVSCPA Dinner

{short description of image}Four accounting majors were recognized by the Parkersburg Chapter of the West Virginia Society of CPAs at its annual Student Night dinner on November 18, 2014. Held at the Parkersburg Country Club, the WVSCPA recognized the academic excellence of accounting students from several of the region's colleges and universities. Attending from Marietta were seniors Brett Burns and Yiqi Shi, and juniors Caleb Hester and Ryan Lynn. In addition to interacting with local CPAs, including several MC alumni, the students met some of the WVSCPA leaders. Professor Grace Johnson accompanied the students to the dinner.

Internship Fall Poster Session Draws Students, Friends, and Family

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The lower level of Thomas Hall was packed with interns, faculty, students, friends, and family members on November 12, 2014, as more than 20 department students presented their internship posters. The poster session serves as the primary outlet for interns to share their experiences and reflections with student peers, faculty, and administrators. Matthew Parenti, left, and Professor Julie Harding talk about his Philadelphia Flyers internship.

Accounting Alumni Meet & Greet a Success

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More than a dozen accounting and public accounting alumni mingled with current accounting and public accounting majors at the 2014 Accounting Alumni Meet & Greet on November 5. The business networking event is one of several venues to promote interaction between Marietta accounting students and professionals in a relaxed, business casual setting. Junior Yi Yang, left, chats with alumni Ryan Becker and Heather Peters from Tenney & Associates.

Department Hosts Oil & Gas Symposium

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Marietta College, in conjunction with the law firm of Brouse McDowell, sponsored an Oil & Gas Symposium on October 16, 2014. The Symposium included a series of industry speakers addressing various economic and legal aspects of the Utica Shale play. The Symposium also provided attendees with an opportunity to network, particularly students in the Land & Energy Management program. Dr. Greg Delemeester and Dr. Bob Chase (Department of Petroleum Engineering) were among the panelists speaking at the Symposium.

Professor Presents Work on Sustainability Reporting at Las Vegas Conference

Professor Grace Johnson traveled to the Academic and Business Research Institute's semi-annual meeting in Las Vegas, October 9-11, 2014, to present her paper "Why Sustainability Reporting is Good for Internal Control". The work demonstrates relationships between sustainability reporting - using guidelines from the Global Reporting Initiative - and internal control. She explains how an organization's system of internal control can be strengthened as a result of work performed to produce sustainability reports.

Johnson Conducts Entrepreneurship Research in Southwest China

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Amid the steep mountains of Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, China -- site of the massive 2008 earthquake -- Professor Grace Johnson realized a six-year-long dream to investigate post-earthquake entrepreneurial activity in and around the epicenter of the tremblor. Along with Southwestern University of Finance and Economics colleague Dr. Cao Xubin, Johnson investigated the case of entrepreneur Yang Huazhen and her grassroots effort to revitalize income opportunities for village families whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed in the earthquake. "Beginning on May 12, 2008, I knew I had to find a way to get to the earthquake region and discover how people would rebuild their lives and communities. It took six years, but I finally got the chance to do this. It was worth the wait."

Johnson is pictured with entrepreneur Yang Huazhen (left) and Wang Qingshu (center), master embroiderer of Qiangfeng village.

Economics Professors Teach in China

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Drs. Jacqueline Khorassani and Greg Delemeester were part of the Marietta College faculty contingent that taught at the University of International Relations in Beijing, China, during the summer of 2014. Dr. Khorassani taught a two-week course on International Economics while Dr. Delemeester taught a course on Environmental Economics. For Dr. Khorassani, it was her third trip to China and the first since 2002. It was Dr. Delemeester's first trip to mainland China, though he had taught in Hong Kong in 2004. It was also a family affair as their daughter, Hannah, accompanied her parents and completed an internship with the Office of International Exchange at UIR.

Department Welcomes Four New Faculty

Professor John Fazio, Assistant Professor of Management. Fazio comes to Marietta from Concord University in Athens, West Virginia, where he taught since 2002. His research interests include perceived organizational support, emotional intelligence, multilevel organizational theory, leadership and followership. Fazio has presented papers at the Southeastern InfORMS Annual Conference and the MBAA International Conference, and is published in the Journal of the North American Management Society.

Professor Julie Harding, Assistant Professor of Marketing. Master of Business Administration (University of Louisville), Bachelor of Science in Journalism (West Virginia University). Before forming her own marketing consulting firm and moving to a career in higher education, Harding spent more than 20 years as a senior executive in the healthcare industry. She serves as the lead instructor for Marietta College's Marketing major.

Dr. Tom LaSalvia, Assistant Professor of Economics. Ph.D. in Economics (Binghamton University), 2014; Master of Arts in Economics (Northeastern University), 2008; Bachelor of Science in Financial Services (Roger Williams University), 2004. During his graduate studies at Binghamton University LaSalvia taught classes in microeconomics principles, statistics, and urban economics. His research interests are in the field of urban economics. LaSalvia is currently working on a series of papers exploring the relationship between residential choices and household characteristics. Other research interests include urban renewal policy, low income housing policy and environmental impact studies.

Dr. Duong Le, Assistant Professor of Finance. Ph.D. in Finance (University of Oklahoma), 2009; Master of Business Administration (with concentration in Finance) (University of Oklahoma), 2004; Bachelor of Arts in Economics (Foreign Trade University, Hanoi, Vietnam), 2000. Dr. Le serves as a lead instructor for the Finance major at Marietta, and teaches a variety of courses in the discipline. Her current research focuses on the energy markets. Dr. Le has presented at premier meetings hosted by the Financial Management Association and the Eastern Finance Association.

We warmly welcome our new colleagues and wish them well in their first year at Marietta College!

Adjunct Retirees Honored with Scholarship Renaming

The Department of Business & Economics Scholarship has been renamed The Lewis-Riggs Business & Economics Scholarship in recognition of the two professors' retirements from adjunct teaching at Marietta College. As its February 25, 2014 department meeting, members of the department unanimously elected to rename the scholarship in honor of C. Roger Lewis and Roland W. "Chips" Riggs, III, both long-serving adjunct faculty members. Lewis and Riggs consistently and willingly taught any course needed, spent many hours talking with students about courses and careers, and served as peers, mentors, and friends to faculty and alumni.

Lewis began teaching accounting as an adjunct in 1973, and Riggs (business law) in 1976. These faculty members, whose high standard of ethics and passion for the curriculum and students have earned this tribute by the department, will be sorely missed by faculty, students, and alumni.

The Lewis-Riggs Business & Economics Scholarship endowment provides a scholarship for an outstanding junior or senior student majoring in the department. The first recipient of the newly named scholarship is Caleb Hester, a public accounting major from Lancaster, Ohio.

Economics Students Present at Undergraduate Conference and Cleveland Fed

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On Saturday, April 19, four Marietta College students presented papers at the Bowling Green State University's Undergraduate Economics Student Paper Contest and Conference. Sean Kuhn, a junior double majoring in Economics and Political Science, presented his finalist paper in the Macroeconomics division of the conference. His paper was entitled "Determinants of Inward Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America 2008- 2011: An Empirical Analysis".

Tristine Toves, a senior double majoring in Economics and English, presented her finalist paper in the Microeconomics division of the conference. Her paper was entitled "The Effects of Gun Control Legislation:An Empirical Study".

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Xiaoyan (Layla) Liu, a senior majoring in Economics, received the second place award in the Macroeconomics division of the conference for her paper entitled "Determinants of the Female Labor force Participation Rate in the U.S.: A State Level Cross Sectional Study in 2000 & 2010".

Shaylyn Allen, a senior double majoring in Economics and Environmental Science, presented her finalist paper in the Microeconomics division of the conference. Her paper was entitled "Determinants of the Growth Rate of Endangered Mammals: A Cross Sectional Study".

Additionally, Toves and Liu gave poster presentations on May 2,2014, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. These posters were based on the students' economics capstone research projects conducted in Fall 2013.

Pictured at top (BGSU conference), left to right, are Dr. Khorassani, Troves, Liu, and Kuhn. Pictured above (Cleveland Fed), left to right, are Khorassani, Troves, and Liu.

Johnson Presents at ASIANetwork

Professor Grace Johnson gave her paper, "From Monotony to Diversity: Changes in Urban Chinese Ideas of Consumption", at the 2014 ASIANetwork annual meeting in Bloomingdale, Illinois, April 11-13, 2014. Her research, co-authored with Tang Yuanxiong of Lanzhou University, China, examined the changes in urban Chinese consumption ideas from the early 1980s to the early 2010s. Changes in consumption ideas among Chinese urbanites is just one part of the country's market transition and reflects changes in social values and ways of life across the last thirty years.

Additionally, their paper was published in the July 2014 issue of The Anthropologist.

Joining Professor Johnson at the ASIANetwork conference were Dr. David Brown (Biology) and MaLisa Spring (senior biology major) who presented their research on the impact of shrimp farming on mangroves in Thailand.

Department Recognizes Students at Annual Honors Reception

On April 8, 2014, the Department of Business & Economics presented awards to ten students at the annual B&E Honors Reception. Faculty and honorees celebrated student academic accomplishments. As well, Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE), the national economics honorary, inducted its new members. The Department congratulates the following students receiving scholarships:

Alex Cavanagh Jules Bourmorck and Julia Staats Memorial Scholarship
Caleb Hester The Lewis-Riggs Business & Economics Scholarship
Sean Kuhn Wen-Yu “Frank” Cheng Scholarship
Ann Goolman Bob Duggan ‘59 Distinguished Scholarship
Mollee Brown Bert T. Glaze Scholarship
Brittany Kidd Edward H. Osborne Scholarship
Kurt Fire Jack E. Prince Scholarship
Dragan Mijatovic and Eric White William M. Summers Memorial Scholarship
Syreeta Osborne The Ford Rinard Memorial Scholarship

Students received into ODE for 2014 were Mollee Brown, Conner Busby, Xiaoyan Liu, Kelsey Wells, and Zach Utley.

Chicago Welcomes Johnson, Hartong, and Kidd

{short description of image}Professor Grace Johnson and her student co-authors Rachel Hartong, MC '14 and Brittany Kidd, MC '15 presented their paper at the MBAA International conference in Chicago, March 26-28, 2014. Their paper, "74 Ways to Defraud the Government: A Study of Public Sector Internal Control Weak Spots", examined 74 public sector organization occupational frauds and thefts by public employees. They investigated why public organizations - despite visible and embarrassing media publicity - continue to suffer from employee fraud and theft. The three most common internal control weaknesses in their cases involved a lack of independent verification, inadequate records and documentation, and abuse of authorized access to assets. The trio offered reasons why these vulnerabilities continue to go unchecked, and recommended practices to enhance public sector entity internal controls.

Professor Johnson also served on a panel, "The Role of First-Year Seminars in Retention", with Professor Donna Whitten of Purdue University North Central, and was a teaching circle leader for faculty discussing pedagogy for the Accounting Information Systems course.

Pictured above - Johnson, Hartong, and Kidd with the other faculty who presented papers in their session: Dr. Alex Faseruk of Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada; and Dr. Carol Jessup of the University of Illinois, Springfield.

Congratulations to Marietta Tau Pi Phi 2014 National Case Competition Participants -- Both Teams Trophy!

{short description of image} Over the weekend of March 21st and 22nd, five Marietta business students participated in the annual Tau Pi Phi national business honorary case competition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Matt Napier, Yiqi Shi, Mollee Brown, Morgan Spradling, and Caleb Hester represented Marietta College in the two-person and three-person team categories. This was Napier's second year participating in the competition.

At the end of the two-day event, Morgan Spradling and Caleb Hester received second prize in the two-person team event and Matt Napier, Mollee Brown, and Yiqi Shi were awarded third prize for the three-person team competition. Yiqi Shi, a senior accounting major, shared her thoughts about the experience. " It's a wonderful trip and I feel so grateful to work with my team members. As the only Chinese person, I am afraid of my spoken English and whether I can act confident when I am presenting at first. However, my teammates put me under their wings and gave me strong affirmation during the competition. I did much better than what I think it could be. I am so thankful to my teammates, they encourage me and I learned how cooperation is important to a team. Best team forever!!!."

Mollee Brown, a junior economics major, added another perspective about the competition. "We went to the competition with a goal to bring home trophies. Both teams learned so much about the business world and how to apply what we learn in classrooms throughout the competition. We also saw how backgrounds in all different business departments can work together to make company decisions. I'm so thankful for the opportunity that Tau Pi Phi gave me to compete and represent Marietta College. I was also thankful for the people that went with me on the teams and the experiences we had together in Pittsburgh. I can't wait to go again next year!."

Sophomore public accounting major Caleb Hester commented, "the Tau Pi Phi Case Competition was an excellent opportunity for me to apply the skills I am learning in classes to scenarios that real business managers analyze every day. The highly competitive nature of this event created an excellent environment for me to practice critical reading and thinking skills, develop my ability to create presentations with short time constraints, and build my confidence in communicating to superiors. I was also able to witness some amazing sights in Pittsburgh and build close relationships with my fellow teammates. I would highly recommend participating in this event if you have the chance; I will definitely be back!".

Returning team member Matt Napier said, "It was a fantastic opportunity and it is so perfect that everyone who competed ended up placing. Our group did a great job balancing the rigor of the cases with the importance of having fun and we made sure to enjoy ourselves and squeeze in sightseeing. We became very close over the two days and I couldn't be more proud of each of them."

Tau Pi Phi faculty advisor Professor David Mead was equally impressed. "Faculty members of the Business & Economics Department are always very proud of our students when they perform so well in case competitions, especially when all of our team participants end up placing in the final results. The competition is judged by experienced business professionals which gives an entirely different feel to students than making presentations in front of other students and faculty in classes. This is the second year in a row where teams from Marietta College have placed in the Tau Pi Phi business case competition. It speaks volumes about our students who are competing with the best and brightest business majors from other colleges and universities."

Pictured above are members of the teams along with James Inks, MC '12, who served as a competition judge. Inks presently is employed in the finance/treasury department of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Established in the 1950s, Tau Pi Phi is a national business honorary society that sponsors a case competition annually. Any current Tau Pi Phi member is eligible to form a team for the 2015 Case Competition. Contact Professor Mead for more details.

Khorassani Recipient of Harness Award

{short description of image} Dr. Jackie Khorassani was one of three College faculty to receive the Harness Outstanding Educator Award at the 2014 Founders Day, February 13. The award honors and rewards Marietta College faculty for their high level of commitment to the education of students in and outside of the classroom. Selection is made through a process of peer nomination and review.

"I must say that it definitely made me feel appreciated by my colleagues," commented Dr. Khorassani when she learned she had received the Harness Award. "However, the best reward for me is my students' success in the short run, the medium run, and the long run. It feels really good to see a student having a 'light bulb moment' in class. It also feels wonderful to see a young recent high school grad gradually turning into a mature, thoughtful, and purposeful young adult right before your eyes. Finally, no joy compares to the joy of seeing your students succeed in life after college."

Congratulations Dr. Khorassani!

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Tau Pi Phi Inducts New Members

Sixteen students were inducted into Tau Pi Phi, the national business honorary, in a ceremony held on February 6, 2014. Officers for the 2014-2015 academic year were elected by the membership: Brittany Kidd, president; Caleb Hester, secretary; and Morgan Spradling, treasurer. A reception was held afterward to celebrate the students' achievements. Congratulations to all of the students! Pictured are some of the new inductees at the February 6 ceremony (top) and the new officers (bottom).

Paula Lewis receives first inSPIRE Award

{short description of image}Paula Lewis, academic secretary for three departments, was honored with the first inSPIRE Award on Friday, Jan. 17, during a special ceremony in the Trustee Conference Room. President Bruno presented Paula with the award, including the first inSPIRE thermal stylized tumbler. She also received a certificate of recognition, gift certificate from Follett Book Store, one free lunch at Gilman, and a reserved parking space. The award was created by the College's Staff Advisory Council to recognize a staff member who has been inspiring or who has a) gone above and beyond the call of duty b) helped someone on a project c) helped a student, co-worker, or member of the public while on campus d) demonstrated outstanding customer service Paula, who serves Business & Economics, History, Philosophy and Religion and Political Science, received nominations from all three departments. One of the nominators said the following: "The Department of Business & Economics ran three faculty searches in the period of October-December 2013. Paula was responsible for communicating with the finalists (approximately 10 people), helping with their travel and lodging arrangements, creating their interview schedules and confirming all appointments, videotaping their teaching demonstrations ... and informing some 120-plus people that they had not been selected for the positions." Congratulations Paula on this well-deserved honor.

Last updated: 17-December-2014, B&E Department webmaster