Management & Entrepreneurship – The Citadel Today Wed, 07 Jul 2021 19:28:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Management & Entrepreneurship – The Citadel Today 32 32 144096890 When provincial and state populations exceed 9.5 million, government spending and taxes tend to increase; implications for Ontario, California and New York Fri, 09 Jul 2021 10:00:00 +0000 The researcher, Russell Sobel, Ph.D., is a professor of Economics and Entrepreneurship with the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business.]]>

Note: Russell Sobel, Ph.D., is a professor of Economics and Entrepreneurship with the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business

As seen in Yahoo Finance

Provinces and states such as Ontario, California and New York whose populations have grown beyond 9.5 million people tend to have higher levels of government spending, higher taxes and less flexible labour markets, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan, Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Government spending and taxes, and labour market flexibility, or what has been referred to as economic freedom is linked high levels of prosperity, economic growth and overall well-being,” said Professor Russell Sobel, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and author of The Determinants of Subnational Economic Freedom.

The study, which analyzes 158 states and provinces in seven countries, uses data from the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of North America report (and other reports modelled after it) to determine the optimal population size for states and provinces (subnational jurisdictions) to maximize economic freedom.

The study finds that subnational economic freedom for states and provinces, including in Canada and the U.S., are negatively related with population at levels above a size of roughly 9.5 million people. Economic freedom rises with population initially, attains a maximum (roughly 9.5 million), then begins to decline as population grows larger.

“Simply put, being too large is a disadvantage in terms of achieving high levels of economic freedom,” said Sobel.

“This has implications for states and provinces whose populations already exceed 9.5 million as well as those subnational jurisdictions experiencing population growth in terms of their ability to maintain reasonable levels of government spending and taxes.”

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

Citadel professor receives Army commission to restart new ‘Monuments Men’ mission Mon, 01 Feb 2021 11:00:00 +0000 James Bezjian has been accepted into the Army’s new project to revive a historic unit to safeguard cultural icons, artwork and artifacts.]]>

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Thomas Novelly

James Bezjian has always loved history. 

And as a former officer in the volunteer-only South Carolina State Guard, he’s always felt compelled to serve the community. 

So when Bezjian, a professor at The Citadel, was told he was accepted into the Army’s new project to revive a historic unit to safeguard cultural icons, artwork and artifacts, he felt like it was the answer to a lifelong calling. 

“It’s so vitally important to preserve as much of history as possible so that the narrative of history doesn’t get lost or twisted in the process,” Bezjian said. “Once this stuff is gone, it’s gone.”

The Pentagon unveiled the revival of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives program this fall during an announcement at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

It mirrors one of the most prolific World War II units — the team of history, art and culture experts dubbed the “Monuments Men” that saved European icons taken by Nazi Germany. 

The unit of more than 300 people was active for eight years during and after the war. They tracked down an estimated 4 million pieces of valuables, artwork and other trinkets that were taken or stashed by German soldiers. Two members of the group died during their mission.

The team became part of the 2014 big-screen hit “The Monuments Men” starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman and Charleston resident Bill Murray. 

Bezjian, a business professor at the military college based in downtown Charleston, specializes in teaching students about entrepreneurship and cultural preservation.

He received word he would be commissioned in early March, before the global pandemic hit. He will become a captain in the Army Reserves along with more than 30 other academics and military officers. 

“They wanted to create this group of military government specialists, such as people trained in preservation, curation and protection techniques, to get them commissioned as the new monuments officers unit,” Bezjian said. 

James Bezjian Innovation Lab
Citadel assistant professor James Bezjian uses a 3D scanner to create a digital copy of a bird statue on Friday, January 12, 2018. Students in Bezjian’s class used the scanners to copy artifacts at the Charleston Museum and the Airborne & Special Operations Museum. (Courtesy: Brad Nettles, The Post and Courier)

The new group has a goal similar to the original unit and is composed of commissioned officers from the Army Reserve as well as civilians outside the armed forces with certain academic specializations. They’ll be based at the Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C. 

War doesn’t just claim lives, it can also turn historic sites to rubble in moments. 

Bombs can level ancient architecture, valuable military equipment from an important mission can be set aside as scrap, and priceless artwork can become worthless after a single firefight. 

The revamped Monuments Men will help war-torn nations preserve their cultural artifacts. Additionally, the new group will also aim to inform the Department of Defense and allies which significant sites should be spared from airstrikes and invasions. It also hopes to curb looting.

It’s an important mission for the Army and the Smithsonian. 

“In conflict, the destruction of monuments and the looting of art are not only about the loss of material things, but also about the erasure of history, knowledge and a people’s identity,” Richard Kurin, an anthropologist at the Smithsonian, said during the announcement that the unit was being renewed. 

The team will not be deployed full time, but will be assigned to tasks as they arise. It could include going to war zones. 

Bezjian has been working to inspire a love for history and preservation among the Corps of Cadets. 

In February, Bezjian traveled to Fort Bragg with two students to help preserve artifacts at the U.S. Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum. Using state-of-the-art 3D scanning technology, they created digital replicas of historic war artifacts. 

One piece The Citadel students preserved was an Army-issued M1 steel helmet worn by Walker Kirtland Hancock, one of the original Monuments Men team members. 

Bezjian will continue to keep his job at The Citadel while working with the Monuments Men unit, and hopes to inspire students into military careers that follow in his culture-protection footprints. 

“My goal is to eventually create a training program at The Citadel where we can directly commission students into this unit,” Bezjian said. “I want to create a pipeline for students to these types of preservation jobs.”

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 and School of Engineering team up to address global sustainability challenges Tue, 03 Nov 2020 11:00:00 +0000 The Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business and the School of Engineering are collaborating on two new classes in which students will develop entrepreneurial endeavors to address United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG). ]]>

Photo: James Bezjian, Ph.D. teaches students how to use a 3-D scanner in The Citadel’s Innovation Lab

By Maria Aselage, Director of Communications and Marketing for the Baker School of Business

Poverty, inequality and climate change are some of the many challenges we face in our world today. In an effort to help find solutions to these important issues, two Citadel professors, one from the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business and another from the School of Engineering, are collaborating on new courses.

The classes will address United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), guidelines for all countries to create a more sustainable future for all.

BUILDS Program

The new cooperative initiative is called Bridging Undergraduate Innovation Laboratories to Design for Sustainability (BUILDS).

The program is possible after VentureWell awarded a $30,000 grant to James Bezjian, Ph.D., professor of entrepreneurship and Jeffery Plumblee, Ph.D., professor of engineer leadership and program management.

VentureWell’s grant program helps institutions across the country develop or sustain courses and programs that encourage STEM innovation.

Team Teaching

Bezjian and Plumblee will use the money to collaborate on a series of project-based classes.

The students will explore global challenges within the framework of UNSDG.

“They will work in groups to identify a challenge that they would like to address, develop viable solutions to their chosen challenge and prepare to take next steps at the culmination of the courses,” said Plumblee.

These courses will utilize The Citadel’s Innovation Lab and its Humanitarian Development Lab.

“In addition to addressing these important goals, our collaboration will teach business students more about technology development and engineering students more about innovation and business,” said Bezjian. “It’s a holistic approach to learning that will benefit Citadel students as well as assist the greater community.”

The first BUILDS classes will be offered next fall.

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.

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.

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.