Message from the Chair

Spring Semester, 2013

We are running at full speed this Spring…and the excitement won’t let up until graduation day on May 11!As chair of the Department of Business and Economics at Lebanon Valley College, it is always my pleasure to let you know what is going on each semester. Spring 2013 promises to be something extra special…

First, as always, a very hearty welcome back to the more than 300 students who are pursuing undergraduate accounting, business administration, economics, or health care management majors or minors through the department.

We also welcome back students who spent the fall term at one of our 12 study abroad sites around the world. Typically, one in five of our students studies abroad at some time during their college stay; most choose a full-semester program. There is also a faculty-led, short-term program in Maastricht in the Netherlands in May or June each year. Last year 11 students went and this year’s crew is shaping up to be of a similar size.

Also, the ever-popular New Zealand program is now offered during both spring and fall terms, and our first-ever study abroad program in China beings this fall.

Second, I wish to offer a warm welcome to faculty who are joining us for the first time or returning to campus to teach after being away for some time. These include:

Dr. Holger Hinz, visiting Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence from Germany who will be teaching Principles of Finance this semester along with a special topics course in which students will learn how to efficiently and effectively analyze the competitors in a major global industry. In this case, Hinz is using the U.S. and German automakers as the framework for his course.

Throughout the semester, Hinz will also deliver the Springer Lecture in International Business Management, work with faculty in other departments, meet with student groups, and even make a few short side trips for Fulbright-related assignments off campus.

Denise Garman, MBA, SHPR, human resources manager for Good Samaritan Health Systems, has returned to the classroom and will teach a section of Organizational Communications.

Third, the spring semester always involves a number of students taking bold steps toward their career launch. These include:

Thirty-two juniors and seniors in the capstone Strategic Management class taking on major case analysis, engaging in highly-competitive presentation challenges, and competing in a robust global management simulation challenge against more than 12,000 teams worldwide.

While almost 75 percent of our students work at least part-time during their college stay, this coming semester, a total of 15 students are completing professional, for-credit internships in companies and organizations in their career fields. Counting not-for-credit professional internships, more than 30 percent of our students graduate with meaningful work experiences on their resumes.

Fourteen students, primarily accounting majors though not all, will once again be assisting low-income, elderly, and otherwise disadvantaged taxpayers prepare their federal, state, and local taxes through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). Last year, the VITA crew helped 14 taxpayers bring back close to $250,000 in refunds. VITA is a very strong, nationwide, grass roots, community service activity that we are proud to be an important part of.

This past fall, four senior accounting students took a graduate level course alongside MBA students who are already in their professional careers. Four more are taking a graduate level course in accounting ethics this spring.

Eight to ten sophomores, juniors, and seniors will compete at the state level for Phi Beta Lambda, the national, co-educational business fraternity. Last year, five LVC students qualified for national competition.

Courses in Investments, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, Public Finance, and Applied Econometrics get students ready to use their skills in the professional environment.

College is not entirely about classes, internships, study abroad, and community service. There are many co-curricular and extra-curricular activities that capture the time and attention of our majors.

There are department majors on virtually every LVC intercollegiate sports team including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s) golf, and men’s and women’s track & field. Visit GoDutchmen.com to read about a program where last year’s graduating seniors had an overall winning percentage of 70 percent during their four-year careers. Many accounting, business administration, and economic students serve in leadership roles on their respective athletic teams.

LVC students serve the community is a number of ways. The men’s ice hockey team again sponsored the Wounded Warrior Game in the fall and raised more than $15,000 to help veterans and their families. The big events during this term include the annual Relay for Life, a fundraiser that supports cancer research; The Pink Game (women’s basketball), which raises awareness of and research funds for breast cancer research; and, Hearts for Haiti, a “friendly” basketball game students and faculty.

Inquiry 2013, the annual College-wide celebration of student performance and achievement, will be celebrated in April. Designed to publicize and celebrate student and student-faculty research and performance, the week kicks off for our department on Sunday, April 14. We will recognize students who will be new or continuing members of Phi Kappa Pi, the department’s honor society. The week continues with major events such as the case competition shoot out in the capstone Strategic Management course, department honors, and College-wide honors and recognition. Last year, 37 students gathered in departmental awards and 19 were granted College-wide awards. Throughout the week, there will be exhibits in multiple venues across campus with the major exposition of the full range of student research, student-faculty research, and other student accomplishments scheduled for Thursday, April 18 at the Arnold Sports Center.

Inquiry 2013 will conclude with an even more momentous event—the inauguration of Dr. Lewis E. Thayne as the 18th president of Lebanon Valley College on Friday, April 19.

The College will also celebrate two other traditional events this semester. The first is Founders Day, which celebrates an individual who contributes to the enhancement of life in Central Pennsylvania. A student group or athletic team is also honored during the event for their high level of involvement in community service. Founders Day will be followed by spring break, March 5 to 9. Finally, the LVC community will celebrate the infamous Dutchman Day at a date to be determined per tradition. For those unfamiliar with this fun event, Dutchman Day is a surprise day in which classes are cancelled and the campus community gathers to celebrate, emerge from their winter hiding places, and mingle in light-hearted competition to blow off all that pent up steam.

Finally, throughout the semester, the year-long Colloquium on “Happiness” will continue with six films at the Allen Theatre, a week-long reflection on Happiness in mid-March, and six presentations by visiting speakers.

Stay tuned for more news throughout the semester.

David V. Rudd

Professor and Chair

Department of Business and Economics