Stetson unveils website redesign

Today, you’ll notice something a little different about your online home for the Stetson University Executive MBA program. The website,, has been redesigned to better meet the needs of alumni, current students and prospective students.

Photos like this one of Cohort 7's graduation in May 2011 are accessible through the Executive MBA program's redesigned website.

The redesign was part of Stetson University-wide overhaul of the school’s web presence, giving each department of the college added functionality and easier navigation.

“Some of the highlights include videos on the home page and a section about our international trip,” explained Wendy Lowe, program coordinator for Stetson University Executive MBA. “Now, students and future enrollees can register for events online and apply for admission right on the site. Plus, you’ll find a link to the Executive MBA blog with frequently updated stories, as well as Facebook and Twitter feeds for the program.”

The new site is also home to hundreds of photos sorted by cohort, global destination, and events such as graduation. “This photo library will be growing,” added Lowe, “so check back often!”

If you have colleagues or friends who are interested in obtaining a graduate degree, direct them to the new site,, so they can see if the Stetson Executive MBA program is right for them.

Please forward any ideas for the website or the blog to Lowe at

Three Cohort 7 students win honors in worldwide business simulation

Kenyon Langford

If Dynergy Champ was a real company that manufactured athletic footwear, three Stetson University Executive MBA Cohort 7 alumni would be millionaires.

The three alumni, David Ulloa (College Board in Virginia), Chuck Rivas (Walt Disney World), and Kenyon Langford (GE Healthcare), just graduated with their MBAs earlier this month. Their performance in their final classroom exercise earned them an invitation to participate in the Best-Strategy Invitational (BSI), and their accomplishments in this exclusive group earned the trio accolades.

Dynergy Champ won first place in its industry, dominating fashion, with more than $1 billion in sales in its final year, based on a 10-year simulation. The industry was made up of six companies total. “We tried almost every tactic from small boutique to giant mega-producer,” said Langford. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t try the virtual shoe because the second-place team had that sewn up.”

David Ulloa

In addition, Dynergy performed well in all the categories BSI monitored: earnings per share (EPS), return on equity/investment (ROE) and stock price. All places are out of more than 100 teams that participated. See the team’s placement in each category below:

9th-best stock price: $468.96

10th-best ROE: 42.8%

11th-best EPS: $22.31

21st-best overall score: 108.5 out of 110 points (six-way tie)

The team of Ulloa, Rivas and Langford will be enshrined as one of the best teams ever to have managed a BSG company, and the three executives will be inducted into the BSG Hall of Fame as BSI Grand Champions. Dr. Kathryn Martell, the team’s adjunct professor, will also be recognized as a Master Professor.

Chuck Rivas

All Stetson University Executive MBA students participate in The Business Strategy Game (BSG) as part of the BN 585 capstone course, in which class members are divided into teams and assigned the task of running an athletic footwear company in head-to-head competition against companies managed by other class members. Company operations parallel those of actual athletic footwear companies. Just as in the real world, companies compete in a global market arena, selling branded and private-label athletic footwear in four geographic regions — Europe-Africa, North America, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. BSG has a strong 21-year history.

Company managers must make decisions relating to plant operations, distribution and warehouse operations, work force compensation, online sales at the company’s website, sales and marketing, and finance. The challenge is to craft and execute a competitive strategy that results in a respected brand image, keeps your company in contention for global market leadership and produces strong financial performance.

Congratulations, Stetson University Executive MBA alumni, on this tremendous accomplishment!

Dr. Belcher wins EMBA Outstanding Professor award

Dr. Larry Belcher holds the plaque naming him the EMBA Outstanding Professor as members of Stetson University School of Business Administration’s Executive MBA Cohort 7 surround him. Students presented Belcher the award at the March 19 reception following the cohort’s last class of the 19-month program.

Many of Stetson’s veteran professors left lasting impressions on Stetson EMBA’s Cohort 7, but when it came to choosing one to receive the EMBA Outstanding Professor Award, the overwhelming choice was Dr. Larry Belcher, a finance professor at Stetson since 1990. Students said he has a knack for putting complex academic concepts into understandable real-world terms, connected with every student, espoused a centered approach to life and that his sense of humor helped lighten stressful classwork.

“You have to love a guy who answers to Dr. Doom,” said student Norbert Dean.

One highlight of Cohort 7’s studies was a trip to Vietnam and Hong Kong last summer where they not only met business leaders and toured factories and cultural sites, but also decided to perform a service project in Vietnam. The cohort worked in the kitchen of a small Buddhist monastery in Ho Chi Minh City preparing a meal for monks and played games  with children who also practiced their English on the students.

EMBA students in the past have visited Ireland, the Czech Republic and Dubai, and later this spring, Cohort 8 will embark for a tour of businesses and cultural sites in South Africa.

“I am forever changed because of this program,” said Darcy Clark, a Disney marketing manager. “I believe in myself more than I used to.  I’m more confident.  And most importantly, I’ve developed relationships that will far outlast my 19 months at Stetson.”

Walter Kurlin, a Disney facilitator of Orlando, agrees: “I have recommended and will recommend the program to others.”

EMBA graduates will receive diplomas at Stetson University Commencement ceremonies on May 7. Graduates include Penny Miller, Gillian Cady, Chuck Rivas, Norbert Dean, Aaron Wright, Terrence Tasior, Kelly Glassburn, Darcy Clark, Joshua Speed, David Ulloa, Kenyon Langford, Lourdes Mola, Alicia Matheson, Wael Alfattani, Susan Golinsky, Kimberly Ruggiero, Walter Kurlin and Joel Foreman.

Four Cohort 7 students earn peer awards

Top students of Stetson University’s Executive MBA’s Cohort 7 hold their gifts after learning that fellow students picked them for honors. They are Penny Miller, named Top Student Overall; Norbert Dean, named Cool Under Pressure; Gillian Cady, Team Player and Chuck Rivas, Best Humor.

Toasts, cheers, honors and feasting marked the end of studies March 19 for a group of MBA students at the Stetson Center at Celebration who completed the life-changing goal of earning a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

Members of the cohort picked Penny Miller of Clermont, a human resources partner for Disney, as the Top Student Overall. Gillian Cady, a Disney project manager of Minneola, was chosen to receive the Team Player Award. Classmates chose Chuck Rivas of Apopka, who works in information technology for Disney, as the student with the Best Humor, and Norbert Dean of Windermere received the Cool Under Pressure Award.

“The experience was all that I hoped for and much more,” Miller said of her EMBA courses. “I have been applying classroom learning’s in my work since my first month in the program.” The understanding she gained, she said, helps her “bring a new level of overall business acumen to the table” in her professional role.

These students and other EMBA graduates will receive diplomas at Stetson University commencement ceremonies on May 7.

Six Cohort 7 students inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma

These six members of the Executive MBA’s Cohort 7 will be inducted into the Stetson University chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma because of their high grades. Back row: Aaron Wright, Terrence Tasior and Norbert Dean. Front row: Kelly Glassburn, Charles Rivas and Darcy Clark.

The seventh cohort of Executive MBA students ended 19 months of study — which had taken it halfway around the world — with a festive reception of accolades that produced touching testimony of their experience.

“I expected a good curriculum and great professors when I enrolled, but I did not expect the powerful relationships that we have developed,” Norbert Dean, a sourcing officer at Sea World, told his classmates. “The love and feeling of family as we went through the program was truly moving.”

Six students’ grades were in the top 20 percent of university graduate students and were tapped to join Beta Gamma Sigma, the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive in a baccalaureate, post-baccalaureate or doctoral program accredited by AACSB International. They are Norbert Dean, Chuck Rivas, Aaron Wright, Terrence Tasior, Kelly Glassburn and Darcy Clark.

These Beta Gamma Sigma honorees and other EMBA graduates will receive diplomas at Stetson University Commencement ceremonies on May 7.