Inside Hull November 2022


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Greetings Hull Alumni and Friends!

Dean Franza

Welcome to the November issue of Inside Hull! As November is a time of thanks, I am particularly thankful for you, the supporters of the Hull College, the great faculty, staff, and students of Hull, and the tremendous support of our local business community. As usual, this edition celebrates the events, people, and successes of the Hull College.

While we are all thankful for our blessings, the people of Hull, particularly our students, shared their blessings with fellow students in the Augusta University community. As part of AU’s Days of Service, our students collected more than 2,100 food and toiletry items for the Open Paws Food Pantry to assist students on our campus who experience food insecurity. We are particularly proud of our Women’s Leadership Academy and Hull Ambassadors, along with faculty members Stacy Roberts and Roger Duke, and Assistant Dean Kate Channell who helped lead this effort.

We continued our ongoing emphasis on our students’ career and professional development. We held a Business Connection with Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) and our first, three-company Business Showcase with ADP, Queensborough Bank, and GetUp Productions. A highlight of this semester was our first-ever Internship Host Appreciation Luncheon, which allowed us to thank the local business community who supports Hull students through internships. Finally, a group of Sales Club students, led by faculty advisors Stacy Roberts and Bill Rhodes, traveled to Orlando, FL, to represent AU/Hull in the International Collegiate Sales Competition (ICSC) and also network with the many companies recruiting there.

An issue of Inside Hull would not be complete without highlighting some of the great people who make Hull what it is. This month, our student spotlight is Paris Eskew, who is not only a Hull student, but also a student assistant in our Career and Academic Planning (CAP) Center. During the month of Veteran’s Day, it is only fitting that our Advisory Board spotlight is Lt. Colonel Bryan Vaden, who serves our country at Ft. Gordon.

It was another productive and busy month in the Hull College, and we are now winding down the fall semester. We hope to see many of you at our Economic Forecast Breakfast on Thurs., Dec. 8.

Go Jags!

Richard (Rick) M. Franza, Ph.D.


Days of Service Projects Gather More Than 2,000 Items for Open Paws Food Pantry


More than 2,100 items were donated Mon., Nov. 21, to the Open Paws Pantry as part of Days of Service.

A three-pronged effort from the Hull College of Business for Days of Service, Augusta University’s annual service project, produced donations of more than 2,100 items for the Open Paws Food Pantry.

Members of the Women’s Leadership Academy and the Hull Ambassadors adopted the food pantry for students as part of a service project. The project was shared this semester by the college’s project management classes.

Roger Duke, lecturer of project management, said three of his classes used the service project to put classroom concepts into action, a tactic he uses every semester.

“Use of the pantry by students has increased significantly this year due to the impact of the economy, and its inventory got very low, very fast. To increase its inventory, the classes planned and executed a food drive, including hygiene products,” he said.

Duke’s classes were involved in a friendly competition to outperform each other in terms of food and toiletry donations.

“The classes set an initial goal of 760 products: 10 products per student. They hit that goal the first week,” Duke said. “The project management students were engaged, motivated, and made a difference for their schoolmates.”

“This will benefit the students. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed,” said Simone Hicks, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Students.

Trio of Companies Share Culture during
Business Showcase Visit


David Bash (left), co-owner of GetUp Productions, and Dave Brendza, Division Vice President and General Manager for OneADP Augusta, participate in a panel discussion during the November Business Showcase.

Company culture and job opportunities were the dominant topics at Hull College’s Business Showcase for students on Wed., Nov. 9, in Allgood Hall. Participants of the Showcase panel represented ADP, Queensborough National Bank & Trust, and GetUp Productions.

Dave Brendza, Division Vice President and General Manager for OneADP Augusta and OneADP Louisville, said his company is “associate centric,” from their onboarding to development and career progression. “We believe we can attract good people.”

In terms of work-life balance, he said the company uses a hybrid schedule of requiring associates to be physically in the office for three days each week, allowing them to work remotely for the other two days. During the pandemic, ADP staff was completely remote, and Brendza noted that the pandemic “forever changed” how we work.

David Bash, co-owner of Augusta-based start-up company GetUp Productions, described a small-company feel.

The company specializes in digital content and has two studio spaces in downtown Augusta, where it produces podcasts and YouTube series, livestreams, and educational content. They also make digital plans for businesses and community organizations.

Bash, an Augusta University alumnus with a degree in political science, has become an entrepreneur without the formal training. “I was never taught how to do business, but I did do it. So, when we started the business, I was wearing 10 hats.”

GetUp Productions is trying to grow in positions that can perform editing and design tasks, as well as those who can administer a small business.

Adam Harris, Senior Vice President for Queensborough, said the bank has a family atmosphere. “We focus on serving our clients, taking care of their needs. It is not about every sale or transaction. It is more about being better tomorrow,” he said.

The Louisville, GA-based bank has 26 branch locations and $2 billion in assets.

“This is an important part of our programming for our students to interact with employers because this is the symbiotic role that we have as a business school and the business community. Our job is to provide talent, and our companies provide opportunity," said Rick Franza, Ph.D., dean of the college.

Business Showcases are held each semester to introduce students to the culture, history, and career opportunities with local businesses. This was the first time that three-companies participated in the Showcase.

Internship Opportunities Abound at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions


Savannah River Nuclear Solutions representatives spent an hour with Hull College students during the October Business Connection.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) focused on internships and other job opportunities with Hull College students attending its virtual Business Connection event on Wed., Oct. 26.

SRNS, a Fluor-led company with Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell, is responsible for the management and operations of the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site near Aiken.

Sylvia Parra, Internship Program Coordinator, said SRNS has two internship periods, summer and winter. Last summer, there were 117 interns at the site.

The site is in need of employees who have a business background with the ability to handle payroll and human resources for the scientists and engineers at the facility, she said. Parra said the interns are able to attend learning events and talent development workshops. “We want you to learn with us, grow with us, and then evolve your career with us.”

Thailan Baker, a senior BBA major on track to graduate in May, was a recent summer intern for project controls under the division of project management and construction services.

She said she was happy that SRNS worked with her schedule, which involved classes and another job.

“Before I got into SRNS, I knew what I wanted to do with my degree, project management. Once I got out here, I knew this is what I wanted to do,” Baker said. 

She stayed at SRNS after the internship and is now an apprentice.

The Business Connection Series was born from innovation during the pandemic’s lock down, when the college’s Business Showcase Series had to be presented virtually. When the Showcase series returned to in-person events, the college added virtual business interactions as the Connection Series, which has advantages such as inviting guests who do not have to commute to Augusta and not limiting the number of student attendees due to room capacity.

Hull College Team Competes in Florida Sales Competition

sales club

Members of the Sales Club in Orlando, FL.

Eight members of the Augusta University Sales Club competed in the International Collegiate Sales Competition (ICSC) in Orlando, FL, from Nov. 2 – 5.

Charmi Patel and Club President Ajay Pandey competed in the Sales Management Case Competition, placing 8th among 60 teams.

“They won their room. Even though they didn’t make the final four, they did a spectacular job. Although they were the competitors for this part, the whole team worked together on it,” said Dr. Stacy Roberts.

Other competitors were Heaven Dorch, Courtney Parker, Jacqueline Prescott, Jalecia Hill, Kristy Hardesty, and Kirstin Reid.

As a whole, the team placed 54th out of 80 teams.

“I am thankful for every competitor and the amazing teamwork they demonstrated. I’m looking forward to next year,” Roberts said.

The competition is hosted by Florida State University. Full results can be found at the competition’s website

Student Spotlight: Paris Eskew


Paris Eskew

Paris Eskew, 20, from Swainsboro, GA, has big plans for her professional career after college.

She is on track to graduate in 2025 with her BBA in a customized concentration of digital marketing and management.

Eskew wants to work for a large, international marketing firm, and get her MBA as soon as possible. “I want to be at the top of my career wherever I’m working. I want to be able to travel. And a lot of the time to get those type of jobs in bigger cities, you need to have a higher degree.”

She is a student assistant in the Hull College’s Career and Academic Planning (CAP) Center. She has a second job as technical support for REPS Virtual Events, which hosts large online conventions.

Eskew said she chose Augusta University because she was not impressed with the academics at other universities in Georgia. She said AU is “calm” and “career oriented.”

“People who go here tend to have jobs and commute. We have clubs, and they’re clubs that benefit you.”

Next year, she wants to join the Sales Club and be part of the Women’s Leadership Academy.

She chose a business degree for the variety of job opportunities available. “When it comes to applying for jobs, I can work anywhere. I can work in the medical field with healthcare management, or I can work in the fashion industry in marketing and sales,” she said.

Hull College Thanks Internship Hosts with Appreciation Luncheon


The Hull College of Business held a special luncheon at the end of October for businesses that hosted students for internships throughout the year.

The Hull College of Business held its first appreciation luncheon for the businesses that hire its students for internships, celebrating in the Williams Ballroom on Fri., Oct. 28.

Business representatives from companies that hosted Hull student interns throughout the year attended the catered event. Experiences of three Hull students were highlighted in a video for business representatives. Click here to view the video.

The intent behind the Internship Appreciation Luncheon is to hold one once per academic year.

In all, students completed 120 internships with 85 different employers, logging 14,500 work hours during the last year.

Advisory Board Spotlight: Bryan Vaden

Bryan Vaden

LTC Bryan Vaden currently serves as the commander of the 369th Signal Battalion at Fort Gordon.

He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Signal Corps in May 2003 from East Carolina University. Before his assignment to the 369th Signal Battalion, he served as Professor of Military Science at the University of Central Missouri.

LTC Vaden has served in numerous assignments during the past 18 years, including Deputy for the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization at the Pentagon and Assistant Professor of Military Science at East Carolina University. 

He was also assigned as Battalion Operations Officer and Executive Officer for the 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade; Rear-Detachment Commander for 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment; and Company Commander of Charlie Company, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, Brigade S6 for 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.

LTC Vaden graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in Operations Management and holds a Master of Arts in Information Technology Management from Webster University. LTC Vaden is a graduate of The Joint Advanced Warfighter School, Norfolk, VA; the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS; the Signal Captains Career Course, Fort Gordon; and the Signal Officer Basic Course, Fort Gordon.

LTC Vaden's military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (four oak leaf cluster), the Army Commendation Medal (two oak leaf cluster), the Army Achievement Medal, and the NATO Medal. LTC Vaden's special skill badges include the Combat Action Badge and Airborne Parachutist Badge.

He is married to his wife of 15 years, Sarah, and has two children Alyssa, age 8, and Addison, age 5.

Faculty/Staff News

Simon Medcalfe, Ph.D., professor of economics, contributed to Augusta Business Daily with “Simon Says: Rural counties harder hit by job loss than metro areas” on Nov. 2, “Simon Says: General Sherman bypassing Augusta had huge economic benefits” on Nov. 9, “Simon Says: Local employment remains below pre-pandemic levels” on Nov. 16, “Simon Says: Investing in ‘human capital’ is important” on Nov. 23, and “Simon Says: Economic value of your holiday gifts” on Nov. 25.

Richard Franza, Ph.D., dean of the college, contributed to Augusta Business Daily with “Mondays with Rick: Impact looms from Fed’s interest rate hikes” on Nov. 7, “Mondays with Rick: Inflation creates a double whammy for nonprofits” on Nov. 14, “Mondays with Rick: Small businesses are the backbone of a community” on Nov. 21, and “Mondays with Rick: Tips on recruiting and retaining good employees” on Nov. 28.