Accounting & Finance – The Citadel Today Fri, 18 Feb 2022 17:45:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Accounting & Finance – The Citadel Today 32 32 144096890 The winners of the Baker Business Bowl make a splash Thu, 17 Feb 2022 21:34:44 +0000 Members of the winning team are looking forward to representing The Citadel in the first ever SoCon Entrepreneurship Challenge next week.]]>

By Alaina Rink, CGC ’22

The $10,000 Baker Business Bowl VIII prize goes to team Trident Jet Nozzle. Their product is a jet nozzle attachment that improves water safety by increasing steering precision. Team Trident Jet Nozzle is an interdisciplinary team, with four Mechanical Engineering majors and one Finance major.

Additionally, they are looking forward to representing The Citadel in the first ever SoCon Entrepreneurship Challenge next week, when they have another chance to win an additional $10,000 prize.

Members include:

  • Will Bush
  • Luke Maynard
  • Lucas Robbins
  • Joseph Roland
  • Josiah Schainblatt
  • Corbet Warren
Members of Team Trident Jet Nozzle presenting during the final round of the Baker Business Bowl

Team ACE Aeronautical Engineering Consulting came in second place, earning $5,000. They intend for their company to plan, design and develop vertiports that accommodate multiple styles of electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft designs. ACE team members include:

  • Chandler Beale
  • Collier Summers

Cadets, evening undergraduate students, veteran students and graduate students who have the determination to turn their idea for a new product or service into a business are eligible to compete. “The Baker Business Bowl showcases our most creative students and is a way to put their learning into action,” said Michael Weeks, Ph.D., dean of the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business.

In the first round, the entrepreneurs submit a summary of the proposed business venture. There were 33 entries this year from multiple disciplines. 10 of these teams performed their elevator-pitches in the second round one month later, but only five teams could advance to the final round on Feb. 16.

Members of Team ACE Aeronautical Engineering Consulting presenting during the final round of the Baker Business Bowl

Shawn Swartwood, a professor of entrepreneurship, has been involved with each round of this year’s competition. He was pleased to see alumni, and especially members of the Class of 1989, encouraging the teams in the final round. “It is great to see former students giving back to current students,” he said.

This year’s other finalists were The Auditory Assistant, Colonic Tattoo and Wound Closure. All the teams presented their fully developed business plans, which include marketing, budgeting and production strategies. They also answered questions from the judges.

This year’s BBB panel of judges included:

  • Joseph Conti
  • Faye Gooding
  • Deborah Kaufman
  • Mark Kohler
  • Antonio Linnen
  • David Saulnier

This annual event is possible thanks to the platinum sponsorship from The Citadel Class of 1989 and the gold sponsorship of Dan D. Nale, Ph.D., ’82. Nale said, “The ability to compete in a competition like the Baker Business Bowl says a lot about the students’ futures and The Citadel. There was a diversity of teams and products present tonight. It was a great event, very professional.”

For these teams, the final round of the Baker Business Bowl is just the first step.

Alaina Rink is a graduate assistant in the Office of Communications and Marketing while pursuing a master’s degree in English. She earned her undergraduate degree from the College of Charleston in secondary education English and taught in the Charleston area for four years.

Great careers, graduate college and more; it’s straight to business for members of the Class of 2021 Fri, 11 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000 This year, approximately 150 cadets, 40 college transfer students and 90 graduate students earned a degree through the BSB.]]>

There are thousands of ways a graduate can use a business degree to help improve their local and global communities.

Now, thanks to the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business, there are hundreds of leaders in the field doing just that.

This year, approximately 150 cadets, 40 college transfer students and 90 graduate students earned a degree through the BSB.

Business degrees are some of the most popular at The Citadel, offering graduates flexible career paths through the three departments and associated pathways: Accounting and FinanceManagement and Entrepreneurship; and Marketing, Supply Chain Management and Economics.

The Class of 2021 also has the unique distinction of being the first to graduate after the opening of Bastin Hall, the new home for the BSB.

Take a look at just some of the outstanding outcomes achieved by members of this year’s graduating class:

Cadet Patrick Kress, earning the rewards of his investment
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

(left to right) Grandmother Marjorie Smith, father Adrian Kress (’89), Patrick Kress (’21) and grandfather James Dawson Smith Jr. (’59)

In keeping with his business mindset, Patrick Kress’s decision to join the South Carolina Corps of Cadets came down to two things: investment and inheritance.

Kress comes from a long line of alumni. His father, Adrian Kress, ’89, grandfather, James Dawson Smith Jr., ’59, and great grandfather, James Dawson Smith Sr., ’34, are all members of the Long Gray Line.

“Besides my family legacy, I knew that I would grow more at The Citadel and that it would be a good long-term investment,” said Kress. “Looking back and visiting my friends at other colleges, I never doubted my decision. I also know now how much more I have achieved due to attending a place that pushes you to be your best.”

Kress, who served as the Fifth Battalion Commander his senior year, now serves as a marketing representative at Federated Insurance, one of the country’s largest mutual insurance companies. In his new role, he will help clients with property, casualty and life insurance — all while working to grow his territory by adding quality customers.

“Challenging yourself will only help your future self, doing things that are comfortable will only make you stagnant,” said Kress.

Cadet Brett Martin, interning and getting ready to master finance
Bachelor of Science in Finance, minor in Economics

Brett Martin just outside of Lesesne Gateway on The Citadel campus.

Brett Martin was in high school when he first felt pulled to The Citadel. That’s where his mentor, an alumnus, helped him see the benefits of an education from the Military College of South Carolina — especially how the challenging environment provided more than just a degree.

“The Citadel doesn’t just give you a handful of useful tools — it transforms you, and alumni become the embodiment of what makes the institution what it is,” said Martin. “The Citadel does not make superstars, it makes men and women who are willing and able to do one more than everyone else and, overtime, consistency exponentially grows success.”

For Martin, the transformation meant realizing that his passion was not to work in law but, instead, finance. Now, having earned four year’s worth of skills, both in and out of The Citadel classrooms, Martin has been accepted into Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, a consistently top-ranked business school in the nation.

Throughout the summer, he will intern as a high Yield Summer Analyst with Barings Global Investment Management in Charlotte, NC.

“The Citadel provides a unique college experience that holds value within every future career path,” said Martin. “A strong foundation of discipline, time management and leadership are great prerequisites for success and can place you ahead of your peers within the job market.”

Ashley Bowers, in the business of keeping women healthy
Master of Business Administration

Ashley Bowers on The Citadel campus

Ashley Bowers wanted her MBA to help keep women in her community healthy.

Bowers is the practice administrator at The Breast Place, a local, Charleston company that provides for women facing life’s challenges. As administrator, she manages the company’s financials, as well as human resources, marketing, compliance, credentialing and day-to-day operations; another goal Bowers has is to bring in more providers and create a bigger team.

“I specifically decided to get my MBA to help me run this practice more efficiently so that we are able to provide a better and more cost-effective service to our patients. A medical practice is very much a business — we are not owned by a corporation that sets our budgets, pays for our overhead or handles our HR policies, so gaining this knowledge has really helped me and this company perform better.”

A large factor in helping Bowers, a working mom, get her education and help improve The Breast Place was the option to earn her degree online.

“Having the ability to attend classes online while still having a local presence if I ever needed to reach out for help was great,” she said. “The flexibility of the online platform gave me the opportunity to still run my business, care for my family and expand my education at the same time.”

Since becoming administrator, she says the practice moved to a larger office, added an aesthetic line of service,. upgraded their electronic medical records system, changed protocols for scheduling patient appointments and surgeries, hired two additional midlevel providers and more.

To learn more about the programs offered through the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business, click here or email

‘Made for it:’ Bridgeport, WV native Rush III hopes to continue family military tradition Wed, 28 Apr 2021 18:03:41 +0000 In three years, John Rush III aspires to graduate with a Citadel business degree and become a fourth-generation military service member.]]>

As seen in The Exponent Telegram, by Jonathan Weaver

In three years, John Rush III aspires to be a fourth-generation military service member in his family.

A Bridgeport native, Rush began studying business administration at The Citadel, a state-funded military institution in Charleston, South Carolina, in August. Rush is contemplating a double-major in finance.

“I want to fly with the Air Force, but if that doesn’t pan out, I want a good major that I can live off of,” Rush said. “My dad (John II) was in the Army … but he pushed me to go Air Force. I was in the Civil Air Patrol since seventh grade and that really sparked my interest in aviation and the Air Force.

“I’ve wanted to fly jets all my life, and the Army only has helicopters.”

Rush III, 19, will study for his private pilot’s license at North Central West Virginia Airport beginning June 6. He hopes to be able to fly by July 31.

Father John Rush II, now a government employee since he retired in 2017, was a combat helicopter pilot and served as an aviator for 32 years before retiring as a captain. Rush II deployed three times, including to Germany, Afghanistan and Africa.

John Rush III stands with his father, John Rush II, and mother, Shannon

“He made sure right out of the gate that I wanted this, that I wanted the challenge,” Rush III said. “I told him that I did, and so far I’ve made it happen.”

Rush II joined the National Guard at 17 years old before graduating Notre Dame High School in Clarksburg (where Rush III also graduated from in 2020). Rush II also graduated from The Citadel in 1991.

“My great-grandfather from Clarksburg served in World War II and my dad (John) served in the National Guard for 22 years,” John Rush II said. “I went to drill with my dad from time to time, kind of grew up around it. My son knows all about my career. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s made for it. I encouraged him to do the best he could no matter what he did.”

John Rush III stands by his grandparents, including grandfather and military veteran John Rush (left)

Rush II was proud his son joined the Civil Air Patrol when he was 12 years old and attended military camps, Boys State or youth leadership camps during the summer. Rush III aged out of Civil Air Patrol as a chief master sergeant.

“We talked about him enlisting all the time. He tried to get into the (United States Military Academy at West Point and the United States Air Force Academy) and had the nominations from (U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and Representative David McKinley) but chose to go to The Citadel,” Rush II said. “He’s a very traditional kid.”

Nominations are not necessary to enroll at The Citadel, but Rush II still applauded his son for being accepted based on physical testing and academic requirements (some more stringent than when Rush II enrolled).

“We’re all real proud of John,” Rush II said.

Rush III, who also has three older siblings (stepbrother Joseph Butcher, half-brother Dillion Browning and sister Ashley Mossallatti) who did not choose a military path, was among the nearly 1,400 cadets and students recognized for their academic achievements during the fall 2020 semester. The dean’s list is a recognition given to cadets and students who are registered for 12 or more semester hours and whose grade point average is 3.20 or higher, with no grade of I (Incomplete) and no grade below C for work in a semester.

Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, students alternate between in-person, socially distant courses and online Zoom instruction during the week.

The family calls All Saints Catholic Church in Bridgeport their home parish.

Aside from academics, Rush III is also a member of The Citadel’s Cordell Airborne Ranger Club and Flying Club.

“(Cordell Airborne Ranger Club) is mostly made up of Army cadets, but my dad was in it and I like the idea of small unit tactics. I think it’s a really good exercise,” Rush III said.

John Rush graduated from Notre Dame High School in the Class of 2020

The club, named after late-Captain Terry Cordell — a graduate of The Citadel and one of the first special forces officers in the U.S. Army, prepares cadets for Cadet Initial Entry Training and Cadet Leadership Course with realistic infantry tactics, techniques and procedures.

Due to his collegiate choice, Rush III will train during the summer months and graduate not only with his degree of choice but also as a second lieutenant in the Air Force.

Before transferring to Notre Dame High School, Rush III played football, lacrosse and wrestled his sophomore year at Bridgeport High School.

Robinhood trading vs. real world investing: A webinar from The Citadel’s Department of Accounting and Finance Wed, 21 Apr 2021 13:07:13 +0000 The discussion will highlight the important of being invested for the long-term and share methods for how to build a diversified portfolio.]]>

Join the webinar via Zoom

The Citadel’s Department of Accounting and Finance — housed within the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business — will host an exclusive webinar discussing topics surrounding trading and investing on Wednesday, April 21 at 6 p.m.

The discussion will highlight the important of being invested for the long-term. The panel will also share methods for how to build a diversified portfolio, using more than just single stocks.

Click here to attend the webinar.

Citadel online MBA program ranked among top 100 nationally Tue, 26 Jan 2021 22:33:39 +0000 According to U.S. News & World Report, The Citadel’s online Master of Business Administration program is one of the Top 100 in the nation.]]>

And Baker School of Business ranks in top 20 for Online Business Bachelor’s Program

Before the global pandemic made it a somewhat common part of life, the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business (BSB) knew that online learning is vital to increase and expand the business education of the state’s and nation’s workforce.

Now, according to U.S. News & World Report, The Citadel’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is one of the Top 100 in the nation.

This continues the tradition of U.S. News & World Report ranking The Citadel’s online MBA as best in the state and as one of the best in the nation; last year, the MBA program was ranked at #102.

“We’re very excited to crack the Top 100 in U.S. News & World Report,” said Michael Weeks, Ph.D., dean of the BSB. “Most of those schools in the Top 100 are very large, research-focused institutions, so for a smaller, teaching-focused institution to be included in the Top 100 is something we’re very proud of.”

The convenience of distance learning allows working professionals and military service members, both in and outside of South Carolina, to earn an MBA without affecting their occupations.

The online benefits of the BSB are not limited to the graduate students. According to U.S. News, The Citadel also earned a place in the Top 20 for online Business Bachelor’s programs.

One of the key indicators that U.S. News & World Report uses to rank online programs is “Faculty Credentials and Training,” which measures how well an institution prepares instructors to teach remotely.

Out of 100 possible points, the BSB earned a 98 for the MBA program and a 99 for the bachelor’s program.

“This is the first year that the rankings have included a specific designation for online Business bachelor’s programs,” explained Jeremy Bennett, Ph.D., the director of BSB Graduate and College Transfer programs. “It was all made possible thanks to our outstanding faculty, staff and students – not to mention our partnering two-year schools.”

The BSB has agreements with dozens of two-year colleges – as far away as Colorado – which enable business students at those partner schools to seamlessly transfer their credits to The Citadel and earn a bachelor’s degree from a top-ranked institution, all from their own homes, without the need to move out of their communities.”

The rankings released in January are limited to non-cadet student programs, since cadets studying in the business school take their classes on campus, in-person. Almost 600 cadets are majoring in business, and approximately 375 students in The Citadel Graduate College are pursuing an MBA or completing an undergraduate degree with the BSB.

The Tommy & Victoria Baker School of Business develops innovative leaders of principle to serve a global community. The school is accredited by AACSB International and is a recognized leader in business education. 

Baker School of Business welcomes new faculty in all three departments Tue, 18 Aug 2020 21:15:28 +0000 The Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business is welcoming five new faculty members joining The Citadel community for the 2020-2021 academic year.]]>

Photo: Iordanis Karagiannidis, Ph.D., teaching cadets in the Rick and Mary Lee Bastin Financial Leadership Lab in 2018

The Citadel’s Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business is comprised of three departments: Accounting and Finance, Management and Entrepreneurship, and Marketing, Supply Chain Management and Economics.

Under the leadership of Dean Michael Weeks, Ph.D., the school has more than 20 tenured/tenure-track faculty and about 620 cadet majors. The school also offers an undergraduate degree completion program for non-cadet, evening students as well as an online or in-person Master of Business Administration program, both through The Citadel Graduate College.

The Baker School of Business welcomes five new faculty members for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Accounting and Finance

Michael Chitavi, DBA

Chitavi specializes in asset pricing and contemporary theories of finance. His areas of research interest include commodity derivatives, microstructure and Fintech (Financial Technology).

Prior to arriving at The Citadel, Chitavi taught finance and accounting courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level at multiple universities in the Midwest.

 Before teaching, Chitavi worked in the financial services group of KPMG in Canada, and South Africa.  He also worked in the alternative finance sector at the boutique firm Chicago Ventures (Formerly I2A Venture Capital Firm) and Hughes and Co.

Chitavi earned his Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. He also earned his Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University.

Management and Entrepreneurship

David Desplaces, Ph.D.

For nearly two decades, Desplaces has dedicated himself to educating entrepreneurs, executives and future leaders with one goal in mind — unlocking the potential in each of them. He has distinguished himself by applying his expertise in the areas of international management, global commerce and trade, cultural management, leadership, change management, and entrepreneurial venturing.

Desplaces’ experience includes supporting various domestic and international entrepreneurial ventures, being a part owner in various businesses, helping launch a professional certification program, leading international cultural and professional development initiatives, and empowering his community through various leadership and coaching initiatives.

Desplaces earned his Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island; he also holds a Master of Science in Education from Syracuse University and a Master of Business Administration from Bentley University. In addition to The Citadel, he teaches business classes at the College of Charleston.

Read more about Desplaces here.

Gayla Todd, DBA
Alvah H. Chapman, Jr. Chair in Management and Ethics

Todd recently earned her Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) after 29 years of business experience, working globally for multiple software solution and technology companies. Her doctoral research was about the retention of women in STEM occupations.

Todd’s career has included various positions in business development and strategy, sales, product management, product marketing, customer and data analytics, solution architecture and implementation consultation. Todd has experience working in many countries throughout Europe and Asia Pacific. 

Todd earned her DBA – as well as her BA in Marketing and Management – from Saint Leo University. She earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tampa.

Eric Villafranca, MBA, MS

Villafranca comes to The Citadel after teaching data visualization and management information systems at Baylor University, where he also earned his Ph.D in Information Systems.

He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a Master of Business Administration from Sam Houston State University, and a Master of Science in Information Systems from Baylor University, before beginning his Ph.D. program.

Before beginning his education, Villafranca served in the U.S. Air Force for eight years, first as a Communications and Navigations Missions Systems Technician stationed at Yokota Air Base in Japan and, later a weather forecaster in the Texas Air National Guard, providing weather support during natural disasters for the U.S. Army North and their Defense Support of Civil Authorities mission. He left the Air Force as a senior airman.

Marketing, Supply Chain Management and Economics

Hee Yoon Kwon, Ph.D.

Kwons has varied teaching and research interests. He is an expert in post-disaster humanitarian supply chains, gamified and game-based learning, and immersive technologies – like virtual and augmented reality – as well as their behavioral impacts in learning, operations, and supply chain management.

According to Kwon, he works to challenge and support his students to engage in real-world and hands-on projects, such as national public service announcement contests and op-ed writing projects.

Kwon joined The Citadel after working as a consultant and assistant manager for multiple institutions in Korea.

He holds a Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management from the University of Rhode Island, a Master’s degree in International Studies from Seoul National University and a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from Korea University.

USA Today: Soldier sneaks up on Citadel football player son Mon, 27 Jul 2020 00:23:38 +0000 Tereis Drayton, a rising junior majoring in Finance, received a Homecoming surprise that was arranged by The Citadel Athletics in 2019.]]>

As seen in USA Today Militarykind

USA Today’s positive news brand, Militarykind, recently reached out after seeing the 2019 Homecoming surprise for Citadel Cadet Tereis Drayton. His father, Staff Sgt. Demond Drayton, sneaked up behind his son for a homecoming surprise, arranged by The Citadel Athletics.

Drayton, a rising junior majoring in Finance, plays on the offensive line for The Citadel Football team.

Watch Drayton’s new interview with USA today about that special moment below.

Baker School of Business earns extension for prestigious accreditation Mon, 06 Jul 2020 19:38:41 +0000 The Baker School of Business is one of the 22 institutions to have extended its accreditation in business through the AACSB.]]>

The Citadel’s Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business is one of the 22 institutions to have extended its accreditation in business through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

For more than a century, AACSB accreditation has been reserved for colleges and universities with the highest standards in business education.

“We’re pleased that AACSB continues to recognize the quality of our business programs,” said Michael R. Weeks, Ph.D., dean of the Baker School of Business. “The hard work and dedication of all of our outstanding faculty, staff and students, as well as their commitment to excellence, enabled this mark of distinction.”

Achieving accreditation is a rigorous, multiyear process. These standards require excellence in areas relating to strategic management, innovation and more.

“AACSB congratulates each institution on its achievement,” said Stephanie M. Bryant, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB. “Every AACSB-accredited school has demonstrated a focus on excellence in all areas, including teaching, research, curricula development and student learning. The intense peer-review process exemplifies their commitment to quality business education.”

The Baker School of Business offers its students a diverse array of scholastic options through its three departments: Accounting and Finance – Management and Entrepreneurship – and Marketing, Supply Chain Management and Economics.

The Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business is named for Charleston entrepreneur and philanthropist, Tommy Baker and his wife, Victoria. Baker, founder and owner of Baker Motor Company, studied business while attending the college as a veteran student, enrolling after returning from service as an enlisted Marine in 1968.

What You Need to Know About Becoming an Accounting Major Fri, 19 Jun 2020 10:00:58 +0000 The Citadel's accounting major -- housed in the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business -- is ranked #2 in Regional Universities South.]]>

As seen in U.S. News and World Report, by Emily H. Bratcher

An accounting major gets a strong education in business administration, diving into the technical intricacies of accounting and developing other skills required in an accounting role, such as public speaking and information systems. Students looking to study accounting should be interested in numbers, the communication of financial information, corporate finance, software programs and data analytics.

What Is an Accounting Major?

Accounting majors learn how to create, maintain and audit a detailed and accurate system that displays the finances of a business or organization. They study the theory behind accounting and learn how to analyze the financial position of a firm or organization.

Depending on your program, you may earn a Bachelor of Business Administration or a Bachelor of Science in accounting. Schools may also have different names for accounting majors, such as accountancy, accounting and financial management, and accounting technology.

A completed undergraduate degree in accounting may qualify you to take the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Exam, a qualification for practicing as an accountant, though in many cases, you may need additional coursework.

Future employers highly value skills like organization, attention to detail, good time management, leadership and communication, which accounting majors may develop over the course of their degree program.

Common Coursework Accounting Majors Can Expect

Most accounting majors begin their studies with a broad liberal arts education that includes courses such as English literature, foreign language, psychology and physics. However, as they progress in their studies, accounting majors can expect to take introduction to accounting and taxation courses as well as principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics. Math classes like calculus and statistics are part of the curriculum, too. More advanced courses accounting majors take include computer-based systems, operations management, business law, and theory classes for both accounting and auditing. Business communication and public speaking are often part of accounting program curriculums as well.

Many programs, like the one at the highly ranked McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas–Austin, require students to take an accounting internship for credit. This lets accounting majors gain hands-on experience in the field as well as cultivate professional contacts to help them land a job after graduation.

How to Know if This Major Is the Right Fit for You

Accounting majors should enjoy math, and they should revel in organization, as crunching numbers in a computer-based system and analyzing financial information are important parts of the job.

But accounting majors also have to communicate their findings in front of executives of an organization or business and answer questions related to their analysis. Accounting majors should be content with routine, repetitive tasks and expect long hours during tax season, which runs from January through April. Lastly, accounting majors should be honest rule-followers, as the job entails adhering to detailed regulations and tax codes.

What Can I Do With an Accounting Major?

Those interested in continuing their education can get a master’s in accounting or taxation or an MBA with a concentration in accounting. Many schools offer five-year programs where students can obtain their bachelor’s and master’s degrees together, and usually complete an internship.

After graduating and passing the CPA exam, majors can work as accountants at firms or organizations, or they can work for large auditing firms. Other options include working as personal financial advisors or financial analysts. Accounting majors can also become the chief financial officer or the vice president of finance at a business or organization.

Schools Offering an Accounting Major

Check out some schools below that offer accounting majors and find the full list of schools here that you can filter and sort.

For more information about the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business‘s accounting major, click here.

The Baker School of Business: adding links to the global chain Tue, 02 Jun 2020 23:00:59 +0000 The Baker School of Business is working to meet the need by offering a degree in Supply Chain Management, guided by professors who are experts in the field.]]>

Photo courtesy of S.C. Ports Authority

A quick drive from The Citadel over the Cooper River Bridge demonstrates the global connections within the modern world. According to the South Carolina Ports Authority, about five cargo ships enter the Charleston Harbor every day — carrying cargo worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Another example can be found anywhere on America’s interstates, where drivers regularly share lanes with an unknowable number of semi-trucks, transporting goods from point to point.

Supply Chain Management is essential for almost every business or organization. That’s why The Citadel’s Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business is working to meet the need by offering a degree in Supply Chain Management, guided by professors who are experts in the field.

What can leaders working in the supply chain management functions do? The options are extensive:

  • Forecasting and planning
  • Purchasing and procurement
  • Logistics
  • Operations
  • Inventory management
  • Transportation
  • Warehousing
  • Distribution
  • Customer service

Not only does the supply chain field offer a wide variety of professions, it also offers business graduates a lucrative range of salaries.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a General/Operations Manager – a career classification that includes Supply Chain Managers – could expect to earn an average salary of $123,880 in 2019. It’s also one of the most popular positions for the industry, employing nearly 2,300,000 people.

A few other popular supply chain professions, and their average salaries, are:

The Citadel just awarded its first Supply Chain Management degrees to seven cadets during the 2020 virtual commencement. Thanks to the wide variety of curriculum in the Baker School of Business, the graduates were able to seamlessly transition their general Business Administration studies into the newly developed Supply Chain Management major and earn a more specialized degree.

Two of those graduates are now serving as officers in the U.S. military. Supply Chain Management is a natural fit for those who are called to serve in the military, but who want to enter business later in their careers.

“From my standpoint, Supply Chain Management is probably the major that most quickly translates to either the military or the private sector,” said Robert “Bob” Riggle, Ph.D., head of the Baker School of Business’s Department of Marketing, Supply Chain Management & Economics. “If a cadet wants to major in Supply Chain and also wants to enter the military, the natural progression of that is to be a supply officer. Then, when they leave the military, they can seamlessly transfer those skills from The Citadel and the military into the private sector, for any number of companies.”

Riggle’s expertise comes from years of working in the supply chain. Some of the positions he held prior to becoming a professor included working with Coca-Cola Enterprises and Naylor Publications, and as a consultant for several large American businesses.

A critical part of COVID-19 management and recovery

Those considering careers in supply chain can clearly see just how vital the field is, with the pandemic affecting every kind of industry, including supply chain.

“COVID-19 really exposed the supply chain resiliencies and/or deficiencies for different companies,” said Riggle. “An easy example of this is something like toilet paper, when demand outstripped supply and it was almost impossible to find – it takes time to get that stuff made and shipped. The shipping process is a critical factor, and that’s why Supply Chain Management – knowing what, when and how to ship something – is so important.” 

Riggle believes, with the unusual fluxes in supply and demand due to the pandemic, this could be one of the best times to be learning about Supply Chain Management.

“What we will learn from the COVID-19 situation is, most likely, how to fix the deficiencies we’ve discovered. We’ll also know what we’ve done really well. Companies will get leaner and more efficient in the supply chain.”

For more information about The Citadel’s Supply Chain Management program, please click here or contact Dr. Bob Riggle at 843-953-6978 or email

In addition to Supply Chain Management, the Baker School of Business offers degrees in accounting, finance and general business – comprising some of the college’s most popular degree programs. The business school offers its graduates an infinite number of career paths through the three departments: Accounting & Finance – Management & Entrepreneurship – and Marketing, Supply Chain Management & Economics.

The Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business is named for Charleston entrepreneur and philanthropist, Tommy Baker and his wife, Victoria. Baker, founder and owner of Baker Motor Company, studied business while attending the college as a veteran student, enrolling after returning from service as an enlisted Marine in 1968.