MBA project for local nonprofit earns 3rd in national competition

MBA project for local nonprofit earns 3rd in national competition

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A pair of UNCG MBA students won third place in the 2015 Small Business Institute Project of the Year contest for their analysis of the economic impact of Family Service of the Piedmont.

The students’ research found that the work of Family Service of the Piedmont to promote financial stability, provide mental health services, stem domestic violence and prevent child abuse has an both positive social impact and a high economic return on investment. For instance, the agency’s Domestic Violence Intervention Program, which has a 92 percent success rate, cost $82,000 but had an economic impact of $1.7 million. Every dollar spent saved the county $20.50 in inmate, court, probation and law enforcement costs.

 

Read the full article at UNCGNow >>

From Runway to Retail

From Runway to Retail

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THREADS celebrates 10 years with its always-popular fashion show

Chloe Bacot watched What Not To Wear religiously in elementary school and kept a journal of every outfit she wore. Haelee Catchpole has always been intrigued by the business side of style. Rachel Wilson, who faced a family tragedy in high school, responded by sewing costumes in the middle of the night when she couldn’t sleep.

For all three women, fashion is their calling. But nothing has made them realize that more than a student-run organization called THREADS.

Seniors in the Bryan School’s Department of Consumer, Retail, and Apparel Studies (CARS), Rachel serves as president of THREADS, Chloe as vice-president of design, and Haelee as vice-president of retail. The organization brings together students from both tracks of the CARS program – Apparel Design and Retail Studies – and connects them with mentors, outreach experiences, professional networking, and internships that often lead to fulltime positions.

“Because both majors can comingle and build off of each other, THREADS mimics how we will be working in the future,” Haelee says. In other words, students get comprehensive exposure to the industry, from runway to retail.

“Networking and events are our primary focus,” she adds. “We want students to envision their career possibilities.”

One of those events is the THREADS Fashion Show, held on Mar. 21 in the Elm Street Center, downtown. All student designers submitted a design to showcase this year’s theme – “XOXO” in celebration of THREADS’ 10th anniversary. Sophomores, juniors and seniors were also given full creative liberty to design a collection of up to six pieces, selecting the fabrics, the title and the inspiration.

This year’s fashion show included a special guest segment from a veteran and icon of the field. Terry Melville, former VP and Fashion Director for Macy’s, donated fabrics from her mother’s collection and challenged students to develop a design using the fabrics to create a celebrity look. She and two other judges — Freddie Lieba, a fashion stylist who was a guest judge on Project Runway, and Roxanne Lowett, a celebrity photographer and author — award the top designer, Rachel Wilson, with the Betty Creative Award, in honor of Melville’s mother.

“The fashion show is a great way to showcase your work outside of class and build your portfolio,” says Chloe, an Apparel Design major. “It’s exciting to see your pieces walk the runway.”

The preparations are always intensive, not only for the individual student, but for the organization as a whole. It’s worth it, Rachel points out. It’s not uncommon for the show to attract between 500-800 guests and even sell out. This year, attendance 751. Between ticket sales and sponsorships from businesses like VF Jeanswear, DuckHead, Wells Hosiery, Gerbing Heated Apparel and Sisters on Tate, the fashion show is THREAD’s largest fundraiser.

Proceeds from events like the fashion show are invested back into the student organization. For example, each year CARS majors travel to an industry showcase. The Atlanta Apparel Mart, two years ago. This year, Charlotte Fashion Week. The organization also brings industry professionals as guest speakers to campus and attracts recruiters from retail giants like Target, TJ Maxx and Macy’s.

“We’re always catering to our fellow students and helping them find opportunities to grow professionally,” Rachel says, adding that upperclassmen are mentors for younger students and a support system for each other. “We offer resume and portfolio workshops, mock interviews, anything to help prepare them.”

In addition to the fashion show, THREADS sponsors the Retail Strategies Competition for Retail Studies majors, who are more focused on merchandising, marketing, and other business aspects of the field. The competition challenges students to think about current trends in the retail industry; this year, based on a case study she had written, Haelee chose sustainability.

“Students developed their own sustainable line and connected it to a retailer of their choice. Then they had to make a pitch to sell the brand,” she says. The judging panel consisted of Mor Aframain, the creative director of Redress Raleigh, a sustainable clothing line; Terry Meville; and Kayla Stevens, creative director of Gerbing Heated Apparel.

“It’s a great way for students to interact with industry leaders and experience how to put a line together. It’s how I got connected to VF Jeanswear for my internship.” Haelee has also interned in the leather division at Randa Accessories in Chicago, providing retail forecasting.

Chloe says that participation in THREADS leads to a wealth of internship opportunities. She’s interned at Peter Millar in Cary, The Sanctuary Resort on Kiawah Island and Alice and Olivia in New York City, where she worked with the vice president of design, creating patterns and helping develop future apparel lines. When Duckhead relocated to Greensboro, Rachel was hired for an internship that led to part-time employment. She helped the company launch two brands and was also put in charge of t-shirt design.

“This is why I wanted to be a leader for THREADS,” Haelee says. “It opens doors to so many opportunities.”

“THREADS saved me,” Rachel adds. “It took me out of feeling alone and really connected me. That’s my main goal as president: To make sure students know about the organization, not only to help the growth of THREADS, but of themselves individually.”

 

by Andrea Crossley Spencer

 

 

 

Bryan MBA program ranks No. 13 by Bloomberg Businessweek

Bryan MBA program ranks No. 13 by Bloomberg Businessweek

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The UNCG Bryan School of Business and Economics’ evening MBA program has vaulted to No. 13 in the nation in newly released rankings of the best part-time MBA programs by Bloomberg Businessweek.

I could not be more pleased with this fantastic improvement in our ranking. Our faculty and staff have worked hard to improve our program and make it relevant to both students and employers.  Our focus on producing exceptional problem solvers who understand innovation, globalization, sustainability and ethics is resonating with students and employers.

said Bryan School Dean McRae C. Banks.

To have the fourth best MBA among public universities — eclipsed only by Berkeley, UCLA and Michigan — is a tremendous accomplishment that reinforces the high quality of what we are doing at UNCG.

Read more at UNCGNow

CARS fashion program gains national attention

CARS fashion program gains national attention

CARS Receive National News
UNCG’s Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies has been ranked the 13th best fashion program in the nation by a fashion website, and the third best program in the South.

The program jumped 10 spots from its 2013 placement and got the best ranking among programs in the state of North Carolina. Department chair Nancy J. Hodges said the jump in rankings from 23rd to 13th is a direct reflection of the dedication of the faculty, staff and students.
Sally Crumpler Jobe ’64 Honors School with Gift to Renovate Conference Room

Sally Crumpler Jobe ’64 Honors School with Gift to Renovate Conference Room

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Renovations are complete in Bryan Room 419, made possible through a generous gift from Sally Crumpler Jobe ‘64 and her husband, Warren.  Named in honor of Sally, the newly renovated Sally Crumpler Jobe Conference Room provides a professional and modern space for meetings, videoconferencing and collaborations among business leaders, students, staff and faculty.

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Sally (left) and her husband, Warren, share a toast with Chancellor Brady and Dean Banks to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the Sally Crumpler Jobe Conference Room

To celebrate the gift, Chancellor Linda Brady and Dean Mac Banks hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to dedicate the newly renovated space.  Dean Banks summarized the importance of the Jobe’s gift and the lasting impact it will have.

The Sally Crumpler Jobe Conference Room will be an important place for building relationships and sharing ideas – now in a space that is fitting for a school of our caliber.  Thank you, Sally and Warren, for recognizing that need and for your generosity.

Joining Sally and her husband at the ribbon cutting were members of their family, faculty, staff and members of the Class of 1964 50th Reunion Planning Committee.  Sally made the gift in celebration of the 50th anniversary of her graduation from UNCG and as an expression of appreciation for the excellent education and opportunities she experienced as a student.

Sally graduated from UNCG with a degree in Economics and Business Administration.  As a student she served in the Student Government Association and was elected as University Marshal. Both of Sally’s sisters are also graduates of UNCG:  Margaret Crumpler Ladd ‘53 and Clara Crumpler Bitter ‘65.

Explaining the World

Explaining the World

Laura Simpson

UNCG alumna, Laura Simpson ‘00, is a SAS programmer and analyst at the Division of Institutional Research at UNC-Chapel Hill.  She has published several research papers on health and education and has been acknowledged for her contribution in others. Laura chose UNCG’s applied economics program because “it seemed more fun than accounting.” But, she had to work hard to get into the program.

As an undergraduate student of economics, Laura struggled with the macroeconomics course taught by Professor Ken Snowden. The department had strict standards for recruiting students in the applied economics program.

Read more at UNCG’s Economics website.

Leading mobile app Banjo firm founded by UNCG graduate

Leading mobile app Banjo firm founded by UNCG graduate

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UNCG graduate Damien Patton, a 1999 finance graduate of the Bryan School of Business and Economics, is the founder and CEO of Banjo, the social discovery app that has become one of the leaders in the industry. Earning magna cum laude honors in and was named to Beta Gamma Sigma business honorary society and received a Dean’s Medal at graduation, he has created an app to track events and news as they begin trending on social media platforms.
Read more at UNCGNow

Learn more about the company at ban.jo

Creating the possible

Creating the possible

Becky Levin gives high school students business skills and so much more.

Becky Levin, a UNCG Bryan School alum and the 2008 Bryan School Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, dreams big.

Levin, who graduated from UNCG in 1979, founded a successful executive search firm and now is giving back in a big way. She and husband Mark started The Possible Project, an after-school entrepreneurship program for high school students, that teaches young people how to start and run their own businesses. Although most people would call these young people as “at-risk kids,” Becky prefers to call them “kids of untapped potential.”

Read more at UNCGNow

Read the UNCG Fall 2013 Alumni edition for more information about The Possible Project and Becky Levin.

Creating economic opportunities through research

Creating economic opportunities through research

Zack Oliver

Zack Oliver conducts research and develops tools to help bring jobs to North Carolina.

Zack Oliver, MA ’12 works as an economist in the Labor and Economic Analysis Division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce.  His work involves the study of economic development in the state, industry-based research, analyzing economic impacts, and involvement with the U.S. Census Bureau’s Local Employment Dynamics (LED) program.

Pursuing a master’s in applied economics was a part of his long-term plan.

UNCG seemed to be the best fit in terms of its excellent curriculum, the cost of education, and the proximity to my family.

Read more at UNCG’s Economics website.

Personalizing Poverty

Personalizing Poverty

Personalizing Poverty

It’s one thing to devote your professional career to studying anti-poverty measures. It’s something else to feed your research to your teenage children.
Unless you’re UNCG economics professor Dr. David Ribar. In a quest to discover if the federal government’s Thrifty Food Plan, designed to help impoverished families stretch their food budget, was realistic, he’s twice enlisted his family to try it out.

You can motivate some really good behaviour with your children by threatening them with turkey cabbage casserole

Ribar said with a smile.

Read more at UNCGNow