Breech School of Business

Dr. Jin Wang appointed dean of Drury’s Breech School of Business

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 6, 2017 — Drury University has selected Dr. Jin Wang as the next Dean of the Breech School of Business Administration. He begins his duties later this summer.

Wang has a B.A. in economics from Zhongshan University in China, an M.A. in economics from Ohio University, and a Ph.D. in economics from Kansas State University. He comes to Drury with extensive experience with curriculum innovation, accreditation, fundraising, and growing enrollments.

Jin Wang

Wang (pronounced “Wong”) most recently served as dean of the College of Business and Economics at the American University in Kuwait. He also served as dean of the Gore School of Business at Westminster College in Utah, where he also was the assistant to the president for international programs. Prior to that, he held administrative and faculty positions at the University of Tampa, Rowan University, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and Eureka College.

He brings extensive experiences in the areas of personnel and budgetary management, curriculum revision and development, academic services, enrollment management, international programs, community engagement, and business program accreditation.

Wang was selected as a Fulbright Scholar by the U.S. State Department in 2003, has held visiting professor positions in China, and was a fellow at Harvard’s Management Development Program in 2005. He has taught both undergraduate and graduate classes and is an active scholar with numerous publications, presentations, and funded grant proposals.

“Dr. Wang is an experienced administrator and a distinguished teacher and scholar,” says Drury provost Dr. Beth Harville. “He is committed to both business education and liberal arts education.”

“I am honored and humbled to have the privilege to serve as dean of Breech School of Business at Drury University,” says Wang. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues at the school and across campus to sustain and elevate academic excellence at Drury.”

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Drury accounting students to provide free income tax preparation assistance

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 10, 2017 — Drury University students again will provide free tax preparation through an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site. The annual tax preparation service is open to the public and is designed to benefit low-income and senior taxpayers.

The Drury tax clinic is primarily a walk-in service. This site calls its last client on each date one hour prior to closing. VITA clinics are held at the Breech School of Business Administration building, on the northeast corner of Central Street and Drury Lane. The clinics will be held at the following times:

Saturday, Feb. 4 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 6 – 4 to 8 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 10 – 4 to 9 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 11 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 13 – 4 to 8 p.m.

All returns will be filed electronically unless the IRS requires a manual return. All taxpayers must be available to sign the appropriate forms in the case of joint returns.

VITA tax clinic 2015

Taxpayers are required to bring photo ID and Social Security cards for themselves and dependents, as well as any tax documentation which they have received, including all W-2 forms, 1099 forms, and statements issued by brokerage firms. Clients are also asked to bring a copy of their 2015 state and federal tax returns to help speed up the filing process. The Drury VITA site is located in the Breech School of Business Administration at the corner of Central Street and Drury Lane.

Due to limitations set by the federal government, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs are unable to help taxpayers who have declared bankruptcy or incurred insolvency during the tax year, have rental property, have a self-owned business with inventory, depreciable property, or which had an overall loss for the year, and certain situations in which a taxpayer has received a forgiveness of debt.

VIDEO: VITA tax preparation clinic

Breech School of Business announces its Hall of Fame Class of 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., December 21, 2016 — Drury University’s Breech School of Business Administration will induct three new members into its Hall of Fame during the University’s annual homecoming weekend early next year.

The Class of 2017 includes Dr. Claudine Barrett Cox ‘63, Tommy Kellogg ‘58, and William D. (Bill) Vaughan ’74. They will join 21 other outstanding members of the Hall during a Feb. 10 induction ceremony at the Findlay Student Center Ballroom.

Cox

Cox

Dr. Claudine Barrett Cox earned a B.A. and an MBA from Drury before going on to earn a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Missouri. She taught business courses at Drury and for many years was the portfolio manager for the multiple Cox companies and for CoxHealth, the nonprofit hospital named in honor of her father-in-law, Lester E. Cox. She was a U.S. representative to UNICEF for eight years and engaged in extensive philanthropic and service work, including serving as the president of the Cox Hospital Auxiliary and on the boards of directors for Cox College, Drury University, Springfield Little Theater, and the Missouri State Chamber of Commerce, among others. She passed away in 2014 at age 90.

Tommy Kellogg is a retired executive of the W. R. Berkley Corporation where he was chairman of its subsidiary, Signet Star Holdings, Inc. Prior to joining Berkley, Kellogg retired in May 2001 after 33 years of service with General Reinsurance Corporation and General Re Corporation, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. He retired as President and Chief Operating Officer of General Reinsurance Corporation, and Executive Vice President and member of the Executive Committee of General Re Corporation, the holding company. Originally from Ava, Missouri, Kellogg earned degrees in economics and political science while at Drury. He earned a Master of Arts degree in economics and marketing from Michigan State University, and a J.D. of Law degree from DePaul University. Kellogg has been a member of the Drury Board of Trustees since 1990.

Kellogg

Kellogg

William D. (Bill) Vaughan earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics at Drury, and went on to the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. A fourth-generation owner of the Bank of Urbana, Vaughan took over the family business in the late 1980s. In the 1990s he expanded the business by opening branches in Buffalo and Hermitage, and did so again in 2004 in Macks Creek. Vaughan recently led a merger of Bank of Urbana with OakStar Bank, based in Springfield, and will retire in February. He has served as member of the board of directors for the Missouri Independent Bankers Association and the Ozark Bankers Association. He was an alderman for the City of Urbana and has been a Drury Trustee since 2008.

“We are thrilled to honor these individuals who have honored Drury and the Breech School of Business by leading exemplary careers and lives,” says Dr. Robin Sronce, dean of the Breech School. “Claudine, Tommy and Bill have been generous to our students and to Drury over many years, and truly represent the Breech School’s mission of preparing ethical leaders for the global business community.”

Vaughan

Vaughan

The Breech Hall of Fame was created to honor Drury alumni and faculty for outstanding professional achievement in the field of business. Inductees into the Hall must have made a significant, positive impact in the field of business through exemplary leadership, have demonstrated professional conduct consistent with the mission of the University and the Breech School of Business Administration, and have demonstrated a concern for improving their communities.

Past inductees include legendary Fortune magazine editor Carol Junge Loomis, Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, Ford Motor Company CEO Ernest Breech, and O’Reilly Auto Parts executives Larry and David O’Reilly.

More information on the Breech Hall of Fame can be found online at www.drury.edu/business.

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Recent headlines loom large during Cybersecurity Awareness Month

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 4, 2016 — October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The task of protecting hardware, software and data from hackers and thieves becomes more difficult – and more important – all the time.

In just the last few weeks, cybersecurity issues have been prominent in national headlines. These stories are excellent examples of how leaders and managers at all levels, and across all sectors of the economy, need to be informed about cybersecurity. That is why Drury now offers a graduate-level certificate in cybersecurity leadership. Employers are seeking leaders who understand how to protect, detect, defend, and respond to cybersecurity attacks.

Cybersecurity expert and Drury professor Dr. Shannon McMurtrey is available to speak to media about these recent headlines, and cybersecurity generally.

  • This summer, hackers leaked nearly 20,000 emails from the database of the Democratic National Committee, forcing the resignation of the DNC chairwoman.
  • Last month, Yahoo announced that some 500 million user accounts had been compromised by an unnamed foreign government. The massive breach exposed a failure by Yahoo’s senior leadership to prioritize security during an attempt to turn around the company’s fortunes.
  • The FBI is investigating hacks into the databases of election boards in two states, and FBI Director James Comey recently told Congress that hackers could cast doubt on the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election in November. Although the overall integrity of the election is not in peril, Comey said the mere appearance of meddling would be cause for concern.
  • In recent days cybersecurity guru and independent journalist Brian Krebs, who runs the blog Krebs on Security, renewed his wake-up call to the larger online community about the danger posed by the open network of everyday devices known as the “Internet of Things” after his site was knocked offline by one of the largest DDoS attacks yet seen.
  • In 2015, news broke that the federal Office of Personnel Management had been hacked, leading to the breach of information on the personnel files on 4.2 million former and current government employees. A new House committee report on the breach said leadership at OPM failed to implement recommended security improvements that could have prevented the attack. The report said the “absence of an effective managerial structure to implement reliable IT security policies” meant fundamental weaknesses remained.

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Media Contact: Dr. Shannon McMurtrey, Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems: (417) 861-8884, (417) 873-7242 or smcmurtrey@drury.edu.

Drury launches graduate-level Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate program

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 15, 2016 — Drury University’s Breech School of Business is launching a new graduate-level certificate program in Cybersecurity Leadership this fall. Classes begin August 22. New Drury faculty member Dr. Shannon McMurtrey – a well-respected expert in the field who co-created one of the first commercial e-commerce platforms – spearheads the program.

Employers are increasingly seeking to hire business leaders who understand how to protect, detect, defend and respond to cybersecurity attacks. Employment opportunities for all types of information security professionals are growing, but the need is especially great for managers and leaders who understand how cybersecurity fits within the complex picture of today’s business environment.

“The focus on leadership sets this program apart,” says Dr. Regina Waters, dean of Drury’s College of Graduate Studies. “It combines cutting-edge technical knowledge with business acumen, and fits squarely within Drury’s liberal arts tradition.”

READ MORE: Q&A with Dr. McMurtrey about joining the DU faculty.

The Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate comprises five courses totaling 16 hours, and is designed to serve students of all backgrounds – not just CIS majors. Courses include labs and learning experiences that help prepare professionals to secure and defend information systems. In addition to gaining knowledge of the fundamentals of information security, students will also acquire a strong foundation in risk and risk management. Preparation for the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) certification exam is included in the coursework.

McMurtrey, who has more than 15 years teaching experience, says the program’s focus on skills beyond the merely technical is a boon for students at any stage of their career.

“Programming languages change and technology changes,” McMurtrey says. “As soon as you learn one language it’s almost outdated. I feel it’s more important for people in our field to understand business and the need that businesses have to seek competitive advantages.”

For more information, go to: http://www.drury.edu/mba/cybersecurity-leadership

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Media Contacts: Dr. Regina Waters – Dean, College of Graduate Studies: (417) 873-7251 or rwaters@drury.edu; or Dr. Shannon McMurtrey – Assistant Professor, Management Information Systems: (417) 873-7242; Email: smcmurtrey@drury.edu.

 

Q&A with Dr. Shannon McMurtrey – Cybersecurity expert comes to Drury

Dr. Shannon McMurtrey comes to Drury this fall after 15 years teaching at Missouri State University. Dr. McMurtrey is a well-respected expert in the fields of both higher education and cybersecurity. McMurtrey will head the newly created Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate Program, and will bring his expertise to other courses in Drury’s Breech School of Business curriculum as well. As he enters the classroom environment at Drury, we asked him to tell us about his background and why a liberal arts university is such a good fit for a teacher in the tech field.

Question: What’s your background in this field?

Answer: “I started working in the industry while I was an undergraduate student, doing custom development for companies here in Springfield, which eventually evolved into us creating a shopping cart program in 1996. That company – Cart32.com – still exists, primarily as a payment gateway. From there, I was invited to teach a software development class at Missouri State. That’s where I discovered I had a love for teaching and felt like I had a future in the classroom. I shifted to focusing on education full time in 2003 and have been teaching since then.”

Shannon McMurtrey

How do you stay connected to the industry and up to date?

“One of the challenges in this field is just keeping current. One of the ways we did that at Cart32 was to study what the hackers were doing. We went to chat rooms and forums and just learned their techniques. We felt the best defense was to at least understand what the offense was doing. So I’ve always tried to stay current on hacking techniques. Today, it’s such a huge field that there are all kinds of really good classes and trainings that you can participate in. So I also attend those kinds of classes and maintain industry certifications to stay current.”

What do you love about teaching?

“I love seeing that light bulb go off. When I first started teaching programming I noticed that I connected with the students who were struggling but really wanted to learn. As long as they had that desire to learn it really ignited in me that desire to teach. And I just really like that. I enjoy seeing the same passion that I have for this industry in students as they learn and grow. I just truly enjoy that.”

What has attracted you to Drury and our way of doing things here?

“You know, it’s exactly that. It’s the focus on the student and the excellence in teaching. There seems to be a real appreciation for excellence in the classroom and for connecting with students. That’s what attracted me to teaching to begin with. So I think being in an environment where that skill is highly valued will challenge me to continue to get better as a teacher and do better in the classroom, so that environment is very challenging to me.”

How will you bring your cybersecurity expertise into the classroom at Drury and how will you incorporate it into the business curriculum?

“Students will see it in the current courses such as the management information systems course at the undergraduate level and one that’s currently part of the MBA program. I will definitely be incorporating cybersecurity into those courses to help students appreciate the role they play in cybersecruity. I think that’s something that a lot of businesses are starting to wake up to, is the lack of leadership in that area. So helping future business professionals understand their role in cybersecurity is something I’m very passionate about.”

Are you a business teacher or a computer science teacher?

“It’s a great question. When earning my undergraduate degree, I started off in computer information systems. But I changed it to marketing because I realized it was going to be more important for me to learn what business leaders needed from their systems as opposed to learning how to create the systems, because programming languages change and technology changes. As soon as you learn one language it’s almost outdated. I feel it’s more important for people in our field to understand business and the need that businesses have to seek competitive advantages. How can we use technology in a strategic way for competitive advantage? So I think I would consider myself certainly more of a business teacher that leverages technology.”

Business and technology certainly overlap. But why come to a liberal arts institution to teach them?

“One of the dangers we have in our field is that if you focus exclusively on STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – you run the danger of creating robots. But embedding that into a liberal arts education is really appealing to me. Some of the most creative solutions in software and cybersecurity, really anywhere in technology, come from artists, to be honest with you – people who have interests beyond technology. They tend to be artists or painters; they tend to be very creative people. One of the things that really attracts me to this field is the diversity of the people involved in this profession.”

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Breech School of Business inducts Gohn, Rohlf into its Hall of Fame

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 28, 2016 — Drury University’s Breech School of Business Administration inducted two new members into its Hall of Fame during a ceremony held on Saturday. Longtime West Plains banking executive David Gohn and retiring economics professor Dr. Bill Rohlf joined 19 previously inducted members of the Hall as the Class of 2016.

David Gohn graduated from Drury in 1964 with a degree in economics. Gohn has been a leader in community banking for 52 years and currently serves as the chairman and CEO of West Plains Bank and Trust Company. He began a management training program at Union National Bank in Springfield before accepting a position with the West Plains Bank in 1966. He served on the Drury University Board of Trustees from 1988-2009 and is a past chairman of the board.

Dr. William (Bill) Rohlf received his bachelor’s degree from Baker University in 1967 and completed his Ph.D. in economics from Kansas State University in 1972. He came to Drury University shortly thereafter, where he has since served as a distinguished member of the faculty at the Breech School of Business Administration. In his tenure as professor of economics, Bill has been honored as recipient of numerous awards, and his very successful basic economics textbook is widely recognized for its emphasis on the application of economic reasoning in the analysis of current economic events. Affectionately known to his students as “Dr. Lovable,” Rohlf is indeed a caring but demanding teacher, who is highly respected for his innovative methods and teaching style.

“We’re pleased to be able to honor two people who have done so much for Breech, for Drury and for the business landscape of the Ozarks,” said Dr. Robin Sronce, Dean of the Breech School of Business. “Their contributions have made a difference for businesses and students for decades – and their impact will continue to be felt for years to come.”

The Breech Hall of Fame was created to honor Drury alumni and faculty for outstanding professional achievement in the field of business. The reputation of the Breech School has grown tremendously since its inception in 1957 due, in part, to the success of its alumni. Inductees into the Hall must have made a significant, positive impact in the field of business through exemplary leadership, have demonstrated professional conduct consistent with the mission of the University and the Breech School of Business Administration, and have demonstrated a concern for improving their communities.

Past inductees include legendary Fortune magazine editor Carol Junge Loomis, Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, Ford Motor Company CEO Ernest Breech, and O’Reilly Auto Parts executives Larry and David O’Reilly.

More information on the Breech Hall of Fame can be found online at www.drury.edu.

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Drury MBA students study business, culture in Greece

A recent study abroad trip to Greece drove home an emphasis on international business and cultural awareness for Drury MBA students.

Candida Deckard was one of about two dozen on the trip, which included interviewing business leaders face-to-face, meeting with locals and taking in cultural sights.

“Travel in general and seeing different cultures and ideas helps a person expand their views and become more well-rounded,” she says. “Having this as a part of the Drury MBA program added value for my career and my personal life.”

Deckard, human resources director at CNH Industrial Reman in Springfield, says she and her classmates couldn’t have asked for a more interesting setting as far as international business headlines go – they were in Greece as the country’s debt crisis continued to unfold. The crisis didn’t affect the trip, but it brought differences in business practices into sharp relief.

“It was definitely not the capitalist way of running a business,” Deckard says.

Dickered near the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion.

Deckard near the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, one of many sights seen on the trip.

For example, they heard from the country’s largest power company that dozens of secretaries remained on the payroll despite not having defined jobs or a retraining program. In another example, a textile plant was denied permission by the government to reduce its workforce and cut costs – and the entire plant closed soon after.

They also heard about tax reform efforts from leaders of the American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and spoke to a number of small business owners. Historic and cultural sights were on the itinerary as well. Part of the trip was spent at the Drury Center in Aegina.

Studying abroad is a requirement of the program and it offers an experience one can’t get from a book or lecture, says program director Angie Adamick, who also went on this trip along with management professor Dr. Janis Prewitt.

“We believe the only way to really accomplish that is for students to experience another culture and have that interaction with people on the ground,” Adamick says. “It just changes the way they look at international business.”

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Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations. A version of this story originally appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.

Business grad offered full time position prior to graduation

Laura Gaughan, a senior management and finance double major, knows the importance of networking and making connections. It’s what landed her a job two semesters before graduation.

Last spring, Gaughan applied for a summer internship with the Kansas City Federal Reserve. Although the internship went to another Drury student, the organization was impressed and promised to “keep her in mind” for a position.

“I was thinking, ‘Okay, I’m sure they’re just saying that’,” she says. “But then in September, I was asked to come in for an interview and 30 minutes later I was offered a job.”

Gaughan begins her job as a financial analyst next month, and credits much of her success to her professors and the relationships she’s built with them over the years.

Gaughan

Laura Gaughan

“I think one of the greatest things professors do is be excellent references for students,” Gaughan says. “Whether its grad school or a job, they’ll speak the world of you and I think that’s so awesome because that can really make or break if you get a job or not.”

Gaughan says Drury’s Breech School of Business helps students prepare for entry into the work force in many other ways, including polishing resumes and cover letters, conducting mock interviews and helping students build and maintain connections through the Drury alumni network and through professors’ contacts. Gaughan has used LinkedIn to maintain relationships and build connections, and was even offered two part-time jobs during the school year because of it.

Her advice to current students is to simply to be flexible: “If life doesn’t go the way you wanted it to or it takes it take a different path, be open to possibilities.”

Gaughan originally thought she would attend graduate school immediately after graduation but once she received her Federal Reserve job offer, she sought advice from her parents, friends and professors.

“The advice from my professors is what influenced with me the most,” Gaughan says. “They told me it would be an opportunity I wouldn’t want to turn down because it was such great experience, and whatever I wanted to do in the future—a job or school—this job would speak volumes of my work ethic and ability. I 100 percent wouldn’t be ready for the real world if it weren’t for Drury.”

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Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, senior English and writing major at Drury. A version of this story originally appeared in the Springfield News-Leader. 

Leadership transition begins at Drury’s Breech School of Business

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 21, 2015 — Dr. Robin Sronce has been named acting director of the Breech School of Business Administration at Drury University. Sronce takes over for Michael Shirley, who is leaving Drury at the end of May. Dr. James Simmerman, assistant professor of finance, will serve as acting assistant director.

The university has created an overlap in leadership to ensure a smooth transition. Sronce assumes her new duties as acting director immediately, and will become interim director on June 1. Shirley and Sronce have worked closely together throughout Shirley’s five-year tenure at Drury and they will continue to do so through the end of the school year.

Sronce, an associate professor of management, has been a Drury faculty member since 2006. She earned her undergraduate degrees in business and sociology from Drury in 1983, having studied at Breech under the tutelage of then-director Dr. W. Curtis Strube. She holds an MBA and Ph.D from the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Dr. Robin Sronce

Dr. Robin Sronce

In her time on the Breech faculty, Sronce has seen her management research published in numerous journals and has taken an active role in the school’s distinctive study abroad program. She has also worked to further the school’s connections with the business community, including spearheading the annual Breech Business Week, which kicked off Monday.

“Dr. Sronce is well positioned to take the reins and lead Breech through this transitional time,” said Dr. Steven C. Combs, vice president for academic affairs. “She is a proven leader who is dedicated to advancing the mission of Breech and the university. I have the utmost confidence in her abilities.”

“I am thrilled to be able to lead an institution that has meant so much to me, first as student and now as a faculty member and mentor to our students,” said Sronce. “We have a rich tradition of creating engaged and ethical business leaders, and we will continue to carry that mission forward in a meaningful way for today’s students and employers.”

Breech Business Week will offer many opportunities to meet Dr. Sronce. A full schedule of the weeks’ events can be found online.

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