Cameron School of Business

Cameron Insider: The Quarterly Newsletter for Cameron School of Business Alumni

Cameron Insider: The Quarterly Update for CSB Alumni

In This Issue (April 2019):

Dean Robert BurrusMessage from the Dean 

Spring at the Cameron School of Business is humming with energy as we bring to a close another academic year.

Among our many initiatives, Cameron applied for and received a distinction as a top undergraduate business program from Poets and Quants. This is in addition to the recognitions received by the Cameron School of Business from major publications and organizations for its innovative, high-quality programs year after year. Rankings are often used by college-bound high school students to make an informed college selection. Thanks to our 2016 Alumni who responded to the questionnaire used to rank the undergraduate business programs. Achieving this milestone has put Cameron on a trajectory to attracting the best and brightest students, faculty, and staff.

We just wrapped up our 37th annual Business Week event. There were a record 129 sessions in two days. We are fortunate that this event continues to grow each year. To kick off Business Week, the BB&T Global Capitalism and Ethics Lecture Series sponsored Aaron Beam, founder and the first CFO of Healthsouth until he pled guilty to fraud and spent time in federal prison for his crime. His lessons about how a slow erosion of ethics, due to greed, can crumble lives and careers were impactful. In addition to all of the wonderful session speakers, our students heard from two outstanding keynote speakers -- Chris Cox, President of Apiture and Derreck Kayongo, founder of the Global Soap Project. Their words, as usual, were inspirational for our students.

We continually work to bring the world to the Cameron School of Business and the Cameron School of Business to the world. Cameron is broadening its leadership in experiential learning, combining rigorous classroom study and academic excellence with hands-on experience in the community – such as the interns Cameron currently has at the Wilmington Housing Authority, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Live Oak Bank, nCino, and Castle Branch to name a few.

In December, 2018, UNCW announced its efforts to advance research and scholarly activities have earned the University the elevated designation of "Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity" institution, according to the newly released Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. UNCW is among 139 institutions to receive the classification, and is one of only eight institutions nationally to move up from "Master’s Colleges & Universities: Larger Programs" to "Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity" status. Cameron’s distinguished faculty continually rise above and beyond the research world in support of the University’s R2 initiative. For example, Dr. Gaurav Gupta, assistant professor of accounting, is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Digital Accounting Research (IJDAR) and has reviewed manuscripts for the journal. When Dr. Gupta is not busy reviewing manuscripts, he is busy presenting papers at the American Accounting Association conference on issues relating to emotional intelligence and whistleblowing behavior.

It would be impossible to capture all the examples of heroism, kindness and compassion that have emerged as a result of the devastation left behind by Hurricane Florence. There is a story about Dr. David Glew, Cameron’s Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, who lost his entire home down to the studs and most of his belongings. Through it all, he has remained committed to CSB excellence.

Together with our impressive faculty and staff and our alumni donors, we are leading vitally important work and I am proud to be a part of this committed community of scholars, practitioners, staff, and students.


Rob Burrus

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Mormon Helping Hands Group after Hurricane FlorenceAssoc. Dean David Glew Rallies Community After Florence

Off campus, David Glew, associate dean of undergraduate programs in the Cameron School of Business, oversees ten regional congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following Hurricane Florence, Glew quickly mobilized church members and resources to provide much needed relief in the community, such as clearing downed trees, putting tarps on roofs, mucking out flooded homes, and providing food, water, and cleaning supplies to homeowners and shelters.

In the six weeks following the hurricane, Glew set up relief effort centers in church buildings in Wilmington, Jacksonville, and Wallace and gathered 7,500 volunteers from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida to help with the cleanup. Together with hundreds of members from local congregations, these volunteers provided over 100,000 hours of service at nearly two thousand homes in the greater Wilmington area. Glew also requested delivery of a dozen semi-truck loads of relief supplies, generators, chainsaws, clothing, and disaster cleanup tools to equip volunteers and share with those in need, including UNCW students.

Reflecting on the experience, Glew said, "It was absolutely amazing to see the selfless response of so many people, on their own and with so many organizations, working together to help others. The storm was terribly devastating, but it brought out some of the very best in people."

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Prof. GuptaCSB Accounting Professor Selected as Co-Editor for Special Issue of the Journal of International Accounting, Auditing, and Taxation

Dr. Gaurav Gupta, assistant professor in the Department of Accountancy and Business Law, will serve as a co-editor for a special issue, "Accounting in India," to be published in the Journal of International Accounting, Auditing, and Taxation in September 2020.

In the special issue, the journal will publish research on several Indian accounting issues in areas of financial and management accounting, auditing and taxation. Although India holds strategic trade importance to the U.S., the accounting literature has paid insufficient attention to these Indian accounting issues. The journal aims to bridge the gap existing in international accounting literature by publishing high-quality research concerning unique accounting issues in India. JIIAT is a prestigious international accounting journal and is currently rated at #3 (top 27 accounting journals) in the 2018 Academic Journal Guide of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, U.K. The journal has an acceptance rate of about 10 percent.

Dr. Gupta believes that his co-editorial role will benefit the UNCW community as well as his professional development. This role comes at an exciting time, especially since UNCW’s status has been elevated to “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Dr. Gupta is also thrilled to learn about the new research that will be submitted to the journal for potential publication.

Dr. Gupta is an active researcher on accounting issues and has published his research in journals such as the Journal of International Accounting Research, the Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies and the International Journal of Digital Accounting Research. His latest research, "Whistleblowing in India," has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Accounting and Information Management. Additionally, Dr. Gupta has presented his research at several leading accounting conferences and has served as a reviewer for a variety of prestigious accounting journals. Dr. Gupta is also a member of the editorial board of IJDAR.

Dr. Gupta will serve as a co-editor with Dr. Mahendra Gujarathi of Bentley University and Dr. Sanjay Kallapur of the Indian School of Business.

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Swain Center for Executive Education and Economic Development Announces New Director

Richard Walsh

After a national search, Richard Walsh has been named director of the H. David and Diane Swain Center for Executive Education and Economic Development at UNCW. His appointment is effective April 15. 

Walsh acquired his B.S. in Human Resource Management from Northeastern University, an M.B.A. in International Marketing from Dayton University, and a master’s certificate in business and social ethics from Harvard University. He comes to us with more than 20 years of industry experience providing advanced expertise in leadership solutions, organizational transformation and executive coaching. He served as a director of strategy, human resources, leadership and organizational effectiveness at AT&T, GE and IBM. Among his responsibilities were the identification, development, on-boarding and coaching of leaders to help each organization achieve strong business results during periods of significant change.

Walsh has also served as executive and founding director of the highly successful Center for Leadership Development at the University of Dayton. The center was formed as a consortium to offer high-value executive education and consulting services while building strong partnerships between the university and major corporations. The center further helped drive additional revenue and strengthen the reputation for the School of Business. His responsibilities were expanded to assistant dean of the business school to include executive education, business and economic research, marketing and social media. 

Most recently, Walsh served as senior faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership. In this role, he worked closely with leaders and teams to help achieve their business goals by providing innovative leadership solutions along with executive coaching and mentoring. Walsh has been heading the Swain Center’s largest executive development program at NHRMC and has been invaluable in that program’s success.

Walsh possesses a unique drive and dynamic for all things related to executive coaching and professional development. Building on his knowledge of the Swain Center programs and staff as well as his prior work experience in the private sector and in academia, CSB looks forward to his leadership of the Swain Center.

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CSB Alumnae Lahna and TobiBusiness Week Connects Current Students with Former Seahawks

Now in its 37th year, CSB’s annual Business Week is always highly anticipated by Cameron students. Each spring, students have the unique opportunity to spend two full days engaging in speaker sessions offering insight and advice from individuals with real-world experience and networking with these presenters.

This year, there were 129 presentation sessions – more sessions than ever held before. Cameron was pleased to host Christopher Cox, president of Apiture, a leading banking platform solutions company providing digital banking solutions to hundreds of financial institutions around the country, as the keynote presenter on Tuesday March 26. On March 27, CSB students enjoyed a second keynote presentation from Derreck Kayongo, president and CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, founder of the Global Soap Project and a 2011 CNN Hero award recipient.

Although the students are indeed eager to attend presentations, many of Cameron’s alumni are equally excited to return to campus and participate in the event as presenters. Approximately half of the more than 200 speakers this year were Cameron alumni. This made the event especially meaningful for the students. So many of these former Seahawks join this annual event so that they, too, can affect the student experience and give their time to make lasting impressions and connections.

CSB is fortunate to have some alumni who return year after year with a wealth of business knowledge available to share, as well as more recent graduates who joined the program this year for the first time. Lahna Harper and Tobi Polland (pictured above together in New York) are two young alumnae who participated in this year’s event. Having graduated only a few years ago, both have made impressive professional strides since leaving Wilmington and attribute some of these successes to the relationships and experiences developed during their time in Cameron. 

The two met at UNCW and thoroughly embraced the resources available to them. Both held officer positions within student organizations, participated in the Cameron Executive Network mentoring program, and held summer internships in New York with Bank of Tokyo. This opportunity in particular was made possible with the assistance of connections made by Cameron’s Director of Work Practice, Teresa Walker, and former Wilmington resident and CEN mentor, Tony Marino, who has served as a resource to Cameron over the years because of his professional affiliations previously with Bank of Tokyo and now with First Data in New York.

Lahna graduated from UNCW in 2014 with a B.S. in business administration with concentrations in international business and operations management, and minor concentrations in French and international relations. She has worked for MUFG for more than four years and is currently a portfolio manager in commodity finance. Lahna helps to manage a portfolio of over $3.3Bn in credit exposure to large commodities traders, midstream oil and gas clients and renewable energy firms. Lahna gives back to her community as a tutor for the Fresh Air Fund, as an ambassador for One Young World, and is on the board of a nonprofit called “Be the Peace Initiative,” which benefits the youth of Rwanda and survivors of genocide in Africa. She is the regional co-chair of one of MUFG's Enterprise Resource Groups, NextGen Leaders, and is currently working on a project to create a financial literacy program for Opening Act, a theater-based nonprofit.

Tobi graduated from UNCW in May 2015 with a B.S. in business administration with concentrations in MIS and operations management and a B.A. in international studies. She is currently working as the VP of Product for Prior to joining the team, Tobi founded (acquired by She has been a proud student advocate, especially after personally dealing with the student debt crisis. Tobi is delighted to be leading product and strategy for a software start-up that serves as a “SWAT team for student debt,” democratizing access to student debt-centric benefits as a new normal in employer sponsored benefit plans to help solve the growing $1.6 trillion problem in the U.S. Tobi volunteers her time whenever she can to several mentorship and educational programs for financial health and wellness.

Coming back to CSB for Business Week allowed Lahna and Tobi a chance to reconnect with several individuals within the UNCW/CSB community who have made an impact on their lives and careers, including Teresa Walker; Dr. Drew Rosen, Business Week Chair and professor of supply chain management; Dr. Joe Farinella, professor of finance; and former CEN mentor Bill Schild.

Cameron School of Business is immensely proud of its graduates and hopes that they can continue to find value in their alma mater by fostering connections with current students and other alumni through events such as Business Week as they grow professionally.

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CSB Interns for Wilmington Housing AuthorityIntern Consulting Team for Wilmington Housing Authority

Tally Gross, Anna Hase, Jimmy O’Halloran and Amanda Mueller, all CSB business majors, are working as part of an intern consulting team for the Wilmington Housing Authority. Each student applied, interviewed and was accepted into the internship opportunity this spring. Their efforts will support a board committee in the development of a three- to five-year strategic plan that will potentially alter the direction of the public housing authority. Public housing has been operating within the boundaries of HUD for decades and as federal dollars continue to shrink, housing authorities around the country are searching for innovative ways to create new revenue streams to provide affordable housing. Wilmington Housing Authority is one of the many.

The student team is researching best practices and viable programs both from around the country and around the world to offer options for the new plan. Amanda is researching “aspirational cities” identified by the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. So far, she has studied both Charleston and Raleigh housing authorities. Tally is identifying cities both nationally and internationally that have been recognized for creative programs in housing. Anna is focusing on programs currently in operation in housing authorities in the U.S. Jimmy is concentrating on the policy side of HUD and the North Carolina Housing Commission.

From the work this team is doing, the board committee hopes to find programs that will allow WHA to broaden their mission of providing and advocating for quality housing and creating safe and inclusive communities while improving the quality of life for members of the Southeastern North Carolina region. This is the first time any member of the team has embarked on work of this kind, though they bring valuable skills in research, writing and business analytics to the task. The team is directed by Lee Backston, a member of the faculty at the Cameron School of Business. 

"They are a great group of students," Backston said. "Many of the activities they are performing are new to them but really valuable for their future careers. They have the opportunity to interact with board-level stakeholders and learn how to approach the development of a strategic plan. In addition, the focus is on increasing affordable housing, a hot topic both locally and nationally."

The internship is a five-month commitment. The team will compile, create and present their findings to the committee in May. If successful, future phases of this effort are possible, along with potential openings for summer and fall internships.

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Give More in 24Save the Date!

Save the date for Tuesday, April 9, 2019, when UNCW will host its annual Give More in 24 Challenge.

Now in its sixth year, this growing tradition has raised more than $1.1M in support for the students, faculty, staff and programs that make our university so special.

In 2018, the Cameron School of Business raised the greatest amount of funds out of all the different university areas with a total of $48,072 in one day! Let’s make history again on April 9. (Learn more about last year’s challenge.)

Follow our Cameron School of Business Alumni page for reminders and updates on the big day!

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Upcoming Graduate Program Application Deadlines!

We're sure you have heard of the recent growth in programs at UNCW and the Cameron School of Business. We are proud to offer two new online master's-level programs: M.S. Business Analytics and M.S. Finance & Investment Management. These, paired with our Online MBA and Online Executive MBA, round out our graduate-level offerings to CSB alumni that live all over the state, country and even the world.

Several of these programs offer six entry points per year, and the MSBA offers two. Application deadlines are approaching - don't hesitate to reach out to Candace Wilhelm if you have any questions before applying!

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