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Areas of Expertise Expand Thanks to New Faculty

Areas of Expertise Expand Thanks to New Faculty

As the 2019-2020 year began, the College of Business welcomed three new professors to strengthen the College’s already extraordinary reputation. Michelle van Solt Reyes joined the marketing faculty while Antoine Busby and Marcie Sariol joined the management faculty. Michelle van Solt Reyes, assistant professor in marketing, earned her Ph.D. in marketing at Florida International University earlier this year while simultaneously teaching undergraduate courses at the university. Professor van Solt Reyes’ research interests include consumer psychology and decision making and the fear of missing out. She also holds a master’s degree in international business from Florida International University. Antoine Busby, assistant professor of management, earned his Ph.D. in business administration at University of Texas – San Antonio while teaching and researching at the university. Professor Busby’s ongoing research includes the consequence of emotional labor on organizations, collective-individualism and discrimination against outgroup members, and model of trickle-down justice, justice climate, and implicit…

Creating a Legacy: Montel Hall ’18 blazes own trail academically and athletically

Creating a Legacy: Montel Hall ’18 blazes own trail academically and athletically

Montel Hall is not one to let the unknown stop him. Whether that entails being a first-generation college student and NCAA Division I athlete, starting a fraternity, or now living and working in the country’s largest city, he is more than willing — and able — to blaze his own trail. At the center of many of these firsts for Montel was Valparaiso University, and he would have it no other way. Montel says that, when it came time to make his college decision, he didn’t know a lot about the process. A couple of high school friends had gone to Valpo; the college was about a two-hour drive from his hometown and, just as important, had a fully accredited business school. And he had a dream of being a Division I athlete. Time to soar Having played basketball all four years of high school, Montel says he had a…

Hannah Purkey ’18 is Primed for Success in Global Environment

Hannah Purkey ’18 is Primed for Success in Global Environment

From Evergreen, Colorado, Hannah Purkey came to Valpo because she saw it as a place of possibility, where she could connect her passions for international service, business, and faith. Valpo has come to mean “everything” to Hannah — home, community, endless opportunity, and inclusivity, being a few of Hannah’s chosen words. At Valpo, she has been challenged through rigorous academics, developed an expanded worldview, and become empowered by the community, inspiring her with confidence in her future success. “Hannah has an enormous heart and uplifting spirit,” says Toni Spaliaras, MBA, assistant dean, College of Business. “Spend just a few minutes with her, and you can’t help but be inspired.” Hannah is an international business major with minors in Spanish and theology as well as a Christ College scholar who has been actively involved on campus since her arrival. She serves as the chair for the Social Action Leadership Team, the…

Business Analytics Program Launches Careers in Areas of Passion

Business Analytics Program Launches Careers in Areas of Passion

In 2015, Valpo’s College of Business introduced a major and minor in business analytics in response to growing marketplace need. “It is vitally important for every College of Business student to have analytics skills as they won’t be able to escape data in their careers. The employer expectation is there, so analytical knowledge will only serve to increase one’s marketability,” says Sanjeev Jha, Ph.D. associate professor of information and decision sciences. Businesses across all industries are increasingly relying on analytical expertise and data-driven decision making to remain competitive, enabling graduates to pursue careers in an area they love, including consulting, supply chain, finance, marketing, retail, and health care. “The wide applicability of business analytics makes it a nice complement to any major,” Professor Jha says. Incorporating a vital element of a Valpo education, the business analytics major places strong emphasis on experiential learning. Project-based learning is embedded throughout the curriculum…

Valpo’s One-Year Wonder: MBA Program, Baseball Team Attract Zack Leone ’18 MBA to Valpo for Last Hurrah

Valpo’s One-Year Wonder: MBA Program, Baseball Team Attract Zack Leone ’18 MBA to Valpo for Last Hurrah

A standout season on the Valparaiso University baseball team may have never happened for Zack Leone ’18 MBA if it weren’t for a variety circumstances that came together perfectly, uniting the fifth-year senior first baseman with the Missouri Valley Conference program. Entering the 2017 summer, Zack wasn’t sure where he’d spend his final season of collegiate baseball. He started his career by medically redshirting at Division I Massachusetts Amherst in 2014, then spent the next three seasons at Division III Susquehanna University, where he was named an All-American by D3baseball.com and the American Baseball Coaches Association. With his undergraduate degree in finance already complete, Zack knew he had the option to graduate transfer and play at a higher level for his final season. That’s when Zack met Valpo junior infielder/outfielder Patrick Donohue ’19, who happened to be his summer ball teammate on the Grand River Loggers in the Great Lakes…

From Tasty Bakery to Peanut Butter: David Aronson ’03, MBA, Finds Recipe for Success

From Tasty Bakery to Peanut Butter: David Aronson ’03, MBA, Finds Recipe for Success

More than 20 years ago, David’s career began at the Aronson family business, Tasty Bakery in Naperville, Illinois. The bakery became a foundational piece of his adolescence, influencing him at Valpo and into his early career. But perhaps this experience did not provide as natural a transition into his current role as CEO and founder of Peanut Butter as the name might suggest. “Even as a student, what made David really distinctive was his entrepreneurial nature,” says Frederick Langrehr, Ph.D., Paul H. Brandt professor emeritus of marketing. “He was the one student who came in to talk through his business ideas. We’d spend quite a bit of time and go into great depth talking through his ideas, which were really thought through and full of specifics.” Throughout his career, David has continued to generate new, innovative ideas. Equipped with a bachelor of science in business and administration from Valpo and…

Accounting, Anyone? Tennis Player Paige Heuer ’17 Continues to Compete

Accounting, Anyone? Tennis Player Paige Heuer ’17 Continues to Compete

Third in the state in high school doubles says a couple of things. It says you have a real shot at being able to play Division I tennis, while you will likely do something else professionally. Paige Heuer ’17 understood this from the start. Her drive to not just storm the net but her studies has her at the top of her game in another arena few can master. Joining one of the prestigious Big Four accounting firms not long after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, the company Ernst & Young (EY) is taking a gamble on Paige, just as Valparaiso University did four years ago. Paige credits the University’s encouragement of balancing athletics and studies as playing a critical role as she is set to start her career. “Valpo has great academics, including our College of Business being AACSB accredited, and I was able to play Division…

Valparaiso University Students Named Kemper Scholars

Valparaiso University Students Named Kemper Scholars

Alina Virnelson ’20 and Mark Young ’20 have been selected from a group of national finalists to become two of the 16 students in this year’s incoming class of the prestigious Kemper Scholars Program. The James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago has been supporting Kemper Scholars since the program’s inception in 1948. Alina Virnelson, a Christ College — The Honors College student and business and marketing major, is the daughter of Michelle and Wesley Virnelson from Parma, Ohio. Alina is a news broadcaster on WVUR, a library services assistant and member of Gamma Phi Beta. Mark Young, a Christ College — The Honors College student and management major with a minor in computer science, is the son of Diane and Joel Young from St. Louis, Missouri. Mark is a member of the Student Senate and a photographer and videographer with the integrated marketing and communications department at Valparaiso University. The…

Accomplished Faculty: College of Business Professor Sparks Interest in Crucial Field

Accomplished Faculty: College of Business Professor Sparks Interest in Crucial Field

A devoted teacher and cutting-edge researcher, Sanjay Kumar, Ph.D., associate professor of information and decision science, joined the College of Business faculty in 2014 along with his wife Jiangzia Liu, Ph.D., associate professor of accounting. He has since made a second home at Valpo — he embraces the Valpo ethos, shares his love for teaching, impacts students through his innovative teaching style, and prepares the College of Business for the future. “His teaching ability and his passion are unparalleled,” says Michael Kinsella ’17, a finance major who has taken several courses Professor Kumar teaches. “He cares deeply about his students, connecting with them on an impressive intellectual level and forcing them to think critically.” After five years at a large public university, Professor Kumar joined the Valpo faculty in a comparable role, teaching complementary courses and continuing similar research in supply chain management. However, it became immediately apparent to him…


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Valparaiso University Appoints Dean to College of Business

Valparaiso University announces Niclas L. Erhardt, Ph.D., will join its faculty as dean of the College of Business, effective August 3, 2020. Most recently, Erhardt has served as associate dean of the Maine Business School at the University of Maine. In his role as dean, Erhardt will be responsible for the strategic leadership, coordination and guidance of the College of Business. Erhardt brings more than 18 years of higher education experience in various positions relating to business and management. Erhardt has spent his career strengthening alumni relationships and building external partnerships in the business community. One of his most successful initiatives as associate dean was the creation of the Corporate Classroom internship program, cultivating key partnerships with three major employers in Maine. “We look forward to the dedication Dean Erhardt will bring to the College of Business as he ushers in a new era for the College,” said Rick Gillman,…

AACSB International Reaffirms Accreditation for Valparaiso University’s College of Business

Valparaiso University’s College of Business has maintained its business accreditation by AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The five-year accreditation confirms that the College of Business continues to uphold and exemplify the standards of an elite business school. “The College of Business is dedicated to a high-quality learning environment that ensures each student can reach their full potential,” said James D. Brodzinski, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business. “AACSB Accreditation challenges us to pursue excellence and continually improve our business programs to renew the College’s commitment to graduating students of promise.” Valpo consistently achieves national recognition for best teaching and value and as one of the best universities in the Midwest. The most recent College of Business report revealed 96% of 2017–2018 graduates are currently employed or attending graduate school. “It takes a great deal of commitment and determination to earn and maintain AACSB…

Areas of Expertise Expand Thanks to New Faculty

As the 2019-2020 year began, the College of Business welcomed three new professors to strengthen the College’s already extraordinary reputation. Michelle van Solt Reyes joined the marketing faculty while Antoine Busby and Marcie Sariol joined the management faculty. Michelle van Solt Reyes, assistant professor in marketing, earned her Ph.D. in marketing at Florida International University earlier this year while simultaneously teaching undergraduate courses at the university. Professor van Solt Reyes’ research interests include consumer psychology and decision making and the fear of missing out. She also holds a master’s degree in international business from Florida International University. Antoine Busby, assistant professor of management, earned his Ph.D. in business administration at University of Texas – San Antonio while teaching and researching at the university. Professor Busby’s ongoing research includes the consequence of emotional labor on organizations, collective-individualism and discrimination against outgroup members, and model of trickle-down justice, justice climate, and implicit…

Creating a Legacy: Montel Hall ’18 blazes own trail academically and athletically

Montel Hall is not one to let the unknown stop him. Whether that entails being a first-generation college student and NCAA Division I athlete, starting a fraternity, or now living and working in the country’s largest city, he is more than willing — and able — to blaze his own trail. At the center of many of these firsts for Montel was Valparaiso University, and he would have it no other way. Montel says that, when it came time to make his college decision, he didn’t know a lot about the process. A couple of high school friends had gone to Valpo; the college was about a two-hour drive from his hometown and, just as important, had a fully accredited business school. And he had a dream of being a Division I athlete. Time to soar Having played basketball all four years of high school, Montel says he had a…

Introducing the Integrated Business and Engineering Bachelor’s Program

Valpo’s College of Engineering is partnering with the College of Business to offer an interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree program for students interested in both subjects, beginning fall 2019. The integrated business and engineering degree will prepare students for a multitude of careers on the business side of technical companies or for graduate studies in areas like business administration and project management. There is a growing need for graduates who can combine creative thinking with technical knowledge. A recent study from Burning Glass Technologies reported that jobs that utilize both creative thinking and analytical problem solving represent some of the fastest growing and highest paying occupations. Additionally, these positions are less likely to become automated by machines or programs, indicating job security. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a solid job outlook as well, with a projected 7% percent increase in jobs from 2016 to 2026. The program will feature coursework in…

Valparaiso University Alumnus Supports Business Scholarship

A $1 million gift from the estate of Valparaiso University alumnus William “Bill” Schlender ’41 has significantly boosted a scholarship fund he established in 2007. The preference of the William E. Schlender Endowed Scholarship Fund is to award need-based scholarships to College of Business students of the Lutheran faith who are in their junior or senior year. Schlender earned a bachelor of arts in business and economics from Valparaiso University. He went on to receive an MBA from the University of Denver and a Ph.D. in philosophy from The Ohio State University. His distinguished academic career included being a faculty member at Valpo’s College of Business from 1976 to 1986. During that he time, he was the initial recipient of the Richard E. Meier Professor of Management, which he held from 1983 until his retirement in 1986. Previously, he held the Lutheran Laymen’s League Professor of Business Ethics from 1976…

Valparaiso University Alumnus Establishes Endowed Business Professorship and Scholarship

Valparaiso University alumnus Michael “Mike” Gruszyk ’85 has generously committed $1.3 million to fund an endowed professorship and a scholarship in the College of Business. His gift will be divided between the Michael Gruszyk Endowed Professorship in Business and the Michael Gruszyk Endowed Scholarship Fund. “I am fortunate to be in a position to give back to the university that gave so much to me,” Gruszyk said. “I attended the College of Business with a very specific career goal in mind, and the faculty helped make that a reality. They understood that my goal was to work in retail management for JC Penney and guided my academic progress toward achieving that goal.” Gruszyk’s retail career extends almost 30 years. After graduating from Valpo’s College of Business with a bachelor of science in business administration and concentration in marketing, he worked in management positions with JC Penney for more than 15…

Finance Department Welcomes New Faculty

This fall Jiun-Lin (“Alex”) Chen, Ph.D., joined the College of Business as assistant professor of finance. “Dr. Chen brings considerable experience in teaching finance to the college and will augment our efforts to further develop the student-management investment fund,” says Jim Brodzinski, Ph.D., dean of the college of business. Prior to his arrival at Valpo, Professor Chen served as a full-time lecturer in finance for nearly a decade at the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, Australia, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses and mentoring Ph.D. students as well as two honor students through their research. Professor Chen’s extensive teaching experience also includes eight years of service as a full-time lecturer in Taiwan at the Tainan University of Technology and at Louisiana State University while he obtained his doctorate. At Valpo, Professor Chen fills a similar role in terms of teaching and research as he did at the University of Adelaide.…

Conexus Indiana Endorses Valpo’s Supply Chain and Logistics Program

Earlier this year, Valparaiso University announced that it had developed both a major and minor in the growing field of supply chain and logistics management, continuing to expand upon its distinctive, innovative academic programs. Through a unique partnership, Valpo’s supply chain and logistics management program has been endorsed by the Conexus Indiana Logistics Council. Conexus Indiana is a forum of hundreds of Indiana executives and leaders from a myriad of Indiana-based companies representing nearly every industry, with a focus on advanced manufacturing and logistics companies. In furtherance of its mission, Conexus collaborates with colleges and universities across Indiana to “accelerate, promote, and grow” the advanced manufacturing and logistics economy within the state. “The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals reported that supply chain and logistics management careers provide high-paying jobs, with the demand of graduates exceeding the supply six to one,” says Sanjay Kumar, Ph.D., Richard E. Meier Professor of…

Hannah Purkey ’18 is Primed for Success in Global Environment

From Evergreen, Colorado, Hannah Purkey came to Valpo because she saw it as a place of possibility, where she could connect her passions for international service, business, and faith. Valpo has come to mean “everything” to Hannah — home, community, endless opportunity, and inclusivity, being a few of Hannah’s chosen words. At Valpo, she has been challenged through rigorous academics, developed an expanded worldview, and become empowered by the community, inspiring her with confidence in her future success. “Hannah has an enormous heart and uplifting spirit,” says Toni Spaliaras, MBA, assistant dean, College of Business. “Spend just a few minutes with her, and you can’t help but be inspired.” Hannah is an international business major with minors in Spanish and theology as well as a Christ College scholar who has been actively involved on campus since her arrival. She serves as the chair for the Social Action Leadership Team, the…

Business Analytics Program Launches Careers in Areas of Passion

In 2015, Valpo’s College of Business introduced a major and minor in business analytics in response to growing marketplace need. “It is vitally important for every College of Business student to have analytics skills as they won’t be able to escape data in their careers. The employer expectation is there, so analytical knowledge will only serve to increase one’s marketability,” says Sanjeev Jha, Ph.D. associate professor of information and decision sciences. Businesses across all industries are increasingly relying on analytical expertise and data-driven decision making to remain competitive, enabling graduates to pursue careers in an area they love, including consulting, supply chain, finance, marketing, retail, and health care. “The wide applicability of business analytics makes it a nice complement to any major,” Professor Jha says. Incorporating a vital element of a Valpo education, the business analytics major places strong emphasis on experiential learning. Project-based learning is embedded throughout the curriculum…

Valpo College of Business Dean Named to Accrediting Body’s Review Committee

James D. Brodzinski, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business at Valparaiso University, has been selected for a three-year term on the AACSB Continuous Improvement Review Committee. The Continuous Improvement Review Committee (CIRC) oversees processes for continuation of business accreditation to ensure consistency of standards application and equity of recommendations across teams and across programs reviewed. Dean Brodzinski joined Valparaiso University as dean of the College of Business in 2012. He is responsible for the strategic leadership, coordination, and guidance of the College. Valpo's College of Business is among the elite 5 percent of business schools accredited by AACSB International, the foremost business accreditation body. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) consistently affirms the college’s commitment to high-quality learning outcomes and innovative curricula. The College of Business recently launched a major and a minor in supply chain and logistics management. The degree will prepare business leaders to…

Valparaiso University Named No. 5 in Midwest by U.S. News & World Report

Valpo tops U.S. News regional list for 30 consecutive years, honored for teaching and value For three decades, U.S. News & World Report has identified Valparaiso University as one of the best universities in the Midwest. In the 2019 edition, released today, Valpo is the No. 5 Best Regional University in the Midwest, No. 5 Best Undergraduate Teaching University, and No. 1 Best Value in the Midwest. “These rankings are a testament to the hard work and perseverance of our students, faculty, and staff and to Valpo’s steadfast commitment to deliver quality, affordable education to young women and men who are called to seek truth, serve generously and cultivate hope,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., University president. Notable U.S. News rankings: Valpo is No. 5 in the ranking of Best Regional Universities in the Midwest, which evaluates academic reputation, retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate, and alumni…

Valpo’s One-Year Wonder: MBA Program, Baseball Team Attract Zack Leone ’18 MBA to Valpo for Last Hurrah

A standout season on the Valparaiso University baseball team may have never happened for Zack Leone ’18 MBA if it weren’t for a variety circumstances that came together perfectly, uniting the fifth-year senior first baseman with the Missouri Valley Conference program. Entering the 2017 summer, Zack wasn’t sure where he’d spend his final season of collegiate baseball. He started his career by medically redshirting at Division I Massachusetts Amherst in 2014, then spent the next three seasons at Division III Susquehanna University, where he was named an All-American by D3baseball.com and the American Baseball Coaches Association. With his undergraduate degree in finance already complete, Zack knew he had the option to graduate transfer and play at a higher level for his final season. That’s when Zack met Valpo junior infielder/outfielder Patrick Donohue ’19, who happened to be his summer ball teammate on the Grand River Loggers in the Great Lakes…

Valparaiso University Introduces Degree in Supply Chain and Logistics Management

The College of Business at Valparaiso University has developed both a major and a minor in the growing field of supply chain and logistics management. The degree will prepare business leaders to manage complex operations across myriad industries, from technology and manufacturing to consultancy and retail. “The manufacturing and transportation hub of Northwest Indiana provides ideal career opportunities for supply chain and logistics management graduates,” said Sanjay Kumar, Ph.D., associate professor of information and decision science, who led the initiative to bring this program to Valpo’s College of Business. Kumar added that the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals reported that supply chain and logistics management careers provide high-paying jobs, with the demand of graduates exceeding the supply six to one. Supply chain managers impact the overall success of a business and are involved in every element of the organization — purchasing, planning, transportation, production and storage, as well as…