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Brookhaven College employee newsletter: Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Student Value Series: Business Studies

Student Value Series: Business Studies
Article by Mary Schoals, student and department assistant I, Marketing and Public Information Office

The students of Building M are always in everyone’s business. Literally. Scores of graduates from the Business Studies Division enter the workforce with fulfilling careers.

The students' success isn't from sheer luck. The division’s employees offer students resources, experiences and programs that go beyond textbooks and class instruction.

If you haven’t already seen one or all of the amazing art exhibits featured by the Visual Communications Department in the Atrium Gallery, don't waste another minute — it's located in Building B. Cashing in on the personal connections established by the department’s faculty members, the gallery constantly rotates art by local artists.

Through the gallery, students are introduced to the works of professionals and to the professionals themselves. Meet-and-greet receptions for each exhibit give students the chance to network locally. By design, the Atrium Gallery flows into the student gallery, where a series of student-created works hang from the hallway between buildings B and C and give students a chance to advertise their work.

In addition to the exhibitions, VCOMM students benefit from a highly talented arrangement of faculty and staff members, including Ray-Mel Cornelius, Wes Smith, Rock Morris, Pamela Harrelson, Jillian Round, Marty Tran, Marie Bowles, Lauri Collins, Mona Kasra, Mary Quirarte, Karie Williams and Girauld Polite. Each faculty member still works professionally in the medium in which they teach and is fluent in current “tools of the trade.” Ray-Mel currently has a large street mural on W. Davis Street in Oak Cliff, one he was petitioned to create through the acknowledgment of his work. Ray-Mel and the team have all made several contributions to the Dallas art community, and their talent brings many advantages to students.

Like other departments successful in scoring internships or jobs for their students, Visual Communications notifies its students of job openings in the market through its Facebook page. In addition, through the communal use of the page by most, if not all, instructors, students have easy access to their teachers for help with deadlines on assignments and other timely needs.

Over in the Computer Information Systems and Computer Science departments, Patti Burks and Charles Cadenhead, along with their colleagues of computer wizardry, work to teach students the skills they need to succeed in today’s business market.

Adding value to the student experience, Patti is known to invite guest speakers and take her students on guided tours of network businesses. In addition, Patti, as described by Sandy Wyche, executive dean, and fellow co-workers, was instrumental in the department’s Texas Skill Standards Board (TSSB) recognition. This award is given only to the curricula at educational institutions that meet the demands of prospective employers. Achieving the TSSB stamp of approval required teamwork and was appreciated by students and instructors alike.

When Charles decided to champion the Cisco Certified Network Administrator program at Brookhaven College, he knew it would entail his own personal certification. Not allowing the requirement to deter him, Charles completed the certification and ensured that students would not only have the option to be certified for Cisco systems, but also that someone would be with them every step of the way. Now, the Cisco program has graduated from being originally under Richland College, to possibly needing more instructors to help manage it.

Due to the efforts of those like Patti, Charles, Mary Mulligan, Bill Hammerschlag, Ramiro Villarreal, Sherry Lawery, Terri Lynn Wall and Toby Lackey, the Computer Science Department receives a multitude of job requests for their students before the students even graduate.

Representing the Economics Department, Inske Zandvliet, professor, recognized the need for writing skills in students within the business fields. She implemented more essays, along with a higher emphasis on writing skills throughout her classes, and in turn added value to her students’ classroom experience.

The departments of International Business Management and Marketing bring resources to students to ensure their success. From helping students decide whether to transfer or graduate, to physically walking students to the appropriate student services office, Ray Attner, Marketing Department faculty, is known as a student advocate on campus.

Ethics is at the heart of student success in the Accounting Department, which is composed of employees Becky Knickel, Clarice McCoy, Phillip Thomas, Kevin Kawanishi and their adjunct team. Recognizing modern day issues of ethics in businesses, the accounting team installs various ethical assignments in their classes and real-world tie-ins to their lectures. The capstone accounting class, required for each accounting student, utilizes actual business reports from major companies like Weston Bakeries Limited (Wonder bread, Hostess) rather than textbooks. The class, led by Becky, culminates in completed e-portfolios, which many past students have used to obtain jobs in the field.

As a current and continuing project for the Accounting Department, certification of all instructors in QuickBooks and Excel allows educators to build these programs into the curriculum and widen the job market for students.

Thanks to Sandy and all the employees in the Business Studies Division for their time and patience!

Next month’s issue will highlight the School of the Arts. If you know of anyone in your department adding value to the Brookhaven College student experience, please contact Mary Catherine Schoals in the Marketing and Public Information Office.