Brain food for business executives

Nutritional therapist Alli Godbold has made it her mission to educate people about food and how it affects their bodies — brains included! She compiled the following list of “Brain food for business executives” for students like you. What follows is an excerpt of the Top 10 brain foods and a link to the full article.

Brain food for business executives

As a busy executive, you’ll know the importance of making the most of each hour of the day. But when you add studying for an Executive MBA to the mix of work and family commitments, there’s an even greater need to make every hour count.While studying for an Executive MBA is an exciting time of your professional career, it can also be stressful. There are the challenges of meeting deadlines, organizing time into an already busy schedule for group projects, and for many students, the requirements of travel as part of the Executive MBA program. Looking after your health and well-being is therefore paramount. Getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet will ensure your body – and mind – are in good shape to cope with the challenges of the Executive MBA. QS Top Executive gets top tips from nutritional therapist Alli Godbold on the best foods for busy executives.

1. The power of protein

Eat good quality protein foods at every meal. Ideally eat eggs for breakfast and chicken or fish for lunch and supper. Protein helps to keep blood sugar levels balanced which sustains energy.

2. Grab a healthy snack

Snack on raw nuts and seeds instead of biscuits and crisps. Nuts and seeds provide important nutrients, essential fats, protein and fibre – a far more nutritious alternative.

3. Avoid the caffeine

Drink herbal teas and water rather than caffeinated drinks. Tea, coffee and cola drinks cause energy levels to yo-yo up and down.

4. Keep hydrated

Drinking lots of water (including that in herbal teas) helps you to stay hydrated which is essential for good focus.

5. An egg a day

Eggs provide good levels of the nutrient choline. This is needed for the manufacture of acetyl-choline which is the neurotransmitter in the brain involved in memory.

Continue reading the rest of the article here.

Cohort 8 visits DeLand campus

The Roland George Trading Room permits students to make stock trades in real time.

Stetson University Executive MBA Cohort 8 just returned from DeLand for the program’s annual trip to the Roland George Trading Room and got to tour Stetson University’s picturesque campus.

The trading room is home to the Roland George Investments Program, where students learn the ins and outs of stockroom trading. Once a year, as part of their Advanced Financial Management class, Executive MBA students make the trek from Celebration to DeLand to experience the real-time stock ticker — and to see the main campus where they’ll be graduating in May 2012.

“I didn’t know the trading room is the caliber that it is,” said Cohort 8 executive Torrance Johnson. “It’s not until you go that you realize how well-equipped it is.”

The students also enjoyed seeing Stetson University, Florida’s oldest private university. Most of them were seeing it for the first time.

“I loved seeing the main campus, very much the traditional ‘university feel,’” said fellow executive Larry Flory.

Raul Herrera, another of Johnson’s classmates, was reminded of the group’s international travels. The cohort’s visit to Vodacom in Johannesburg, South Africa, was fresh in his mind when the group took a tour of Stetson’s main campus and saw the boardroom.

The Stetson main campus welcomed Executive MBA Cohort 8.

“The school looked pristine,” added Herrera, “well-kept and very inviting. I am looking forward to being back for graduation!”

Graduation must be strong on the students’ minds, especially now that it’s only five months away. Herrera’s classmates, Johnson included, echoed his sentiments.

“It was a special moment being there with my cohort,” said Johnson. “It was great to be at the main campus and to know that is a few months, we’ll be back there for graduation.”

Stetson invites alumni and guests to Istanbul and Budapest

Travelers on the Alumni/Guest trip will take a cruise on Istanbul's Bosphorus. Photo courtesy of GoToTurkey

Dublin, Johannesburg, Dubai and other cities invoke happy memories or warm feelings for alumni of the Stetson University Executive MBA program. Now, alumni have an opportunity to relive their international travel experience with the first Alumni/Guest Executive MBA International Trip!

You are invited to travel to Istanbul, Turkey, and Budapest, Hungary, with Stetson University Executive MBA program’s Cohort 9, this summer, June 17-23, 2012.

Enjoy guided tours of the two cities, a culinary expedition, a visit to Parliament, a Bosphorus cruise and a full day on the Danube Bend. Plus, you can sign up for additional excursions visiting the Turkish or Szechenyi baths or the House of Terror.

While Cohort 9 is busy learning about company operations, economic challenges and cultural considerations for international businesses, travelers on the Alumni/Guest trip can be taking in the view from Galata Tower, haggling for souvenirs at the Grand Bazaar or sipping wines at Castle Hill.

This trip is the first time since the program’s inception that Stetson University has included alumni and guests as part of the experience. Dr. Stuart Michelson, Executive MBA program director, and Wendy Lowe, program coordinator, chose to add the alumni/guest component because of the relationships that are built during adventures like these.

Students and alumni on international trips form bonds that can last a lifetime.

“Each year, Executive MBA alumni have the opportunity to gather at the annual Stetson University Alumni Event to reconnect, establish new relationships and hear from like-minded professionals shaping business in Central Florida,” said Lowe. “The camaraderie at these events is always a plus, and many alumni reveal that learning from other cohorts is extremely valuable.

“This trip will provide several opportunities for students, alumni and guests to spend quality time with one another, further strengthening the Executive MBA bond at Stetson University,” added Lowe. “For Cohort 9 to be able to share cultural experiences with Stetson Executive MBA program alumni will be extremely meaningful and further enrich their learning.”

Two years ago, Michelson added a second destination to each international trip. “Visiting two countries allows our executive students to see the polarity in cultural and business operations first-hand,” explained Michelson, “and provides an exciting way for our students to analyze how these different countries grow their business operations and resolve challenges that exist.”

“Incorporating alumni into the 2012 International Trip will provide our current students with program mentors, will provide hearty discussions and will allow all participants to be exposed to the Istanbul and Budapest way of life,” said Lowe. “These findings will shape our executives professionally and personally as they continue to grow and prosper.”

People gather in the streets of Istanbul for food and fun. Photo courtesy of GoToTurkey

If you are interested in joining the Alumni/Guest International Trip, contact Wendy Lowe by phone (321-939-7603) or e-mail ( Also, note the following details:

  • The package costs $3,000 per person and includes cultural events, four-star accommodations, the welcome dinner, three group lunches, the farewell dinner, and daily continental breakfast.
  • Space is limited, so be sure to sign up soon!
  • The trip must have at least 15 people signed up in order for plans to move forward.
  • Travelers must submit a $500 refundable deposit by Feb. 10, 2012. Final payment is due May 4, 2012.
  • You can choose whether to book your international flights with Air Treks or separately (by anthony). The flight from Istanbul to Budapest is included in the package price.

Stetson Success Report, Fall 2011

Danielle VanCola joined the Stetson University Executive MBA program in August 2011, and she has already earned a promotion at Wyndham Vacation Resorts. VanCola is one of many Stetson Executive MBA students and alumni who have recently been promoted. Stetson University congratulates these Hatters and proudly recognizes their accomplishments.

Danielle VanCola was recently promoted to Account Executive, Wyndham Vacation Resorts.

Danielle VanCola was promoted from Junior Representative to Account Executive at Wyndham Vacation Resorts. The Cohort 9 student was inspired by her colleague Shariq Khan, who is a member of Cohort 8. Khan also works at Wyndham and was recently promoted to Director, Product Yield Management at Wyndham Vacation Ownership.

Khan’s classmate Harley Wentzel was promoted to Operations Manager of Ticket Fulfillment at Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts when his application, during the screening process, was elevated because of his MBA education.

Other promotions for Cohort 8 include Jason Plas to Integration Analyst, Time & Deployment, Strategy & Standards, Walt Disney World; Jacob Walters, Communications Technology Specialist, Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts; and Juliana Trujillo, Market Area Sales Specialist, Partners Federal Credit Union.

Kelly Glassburn and Susan Golinsky were both recently promoted within Disney.

From Cohort 7, Susan Golinsky has recently been promoted to Labor Administrations Manager, Operations Area Manager and Project Manager at Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts. “Obtaining an MBA degree has opened more doors and opportunities than before, not to mention adding numerous networking channels,” said Golinsky.

Golinsky’s former classmate Kelly Glassburn was also promoted to Manager of Marketing & Communications for Disney Photo Imaging. “Completing the Stetson Executive MBA program had a tremendous impact in both my personal and professional life, and I continue to reap the benefits on a daily basis,” Glassburn said. “I secured a promotion and found that often topics discussed in class on Friday would resurface in a Monday Steering Committee meeting, making me more strategic and effective in my new role.”

Norbert Dean is now the Chief Procurement Officer for Sea World.

Other promotions from Cohort 7 include Darcy Clark to Digital Marketing Manager, Disney Destinations; Norbert Dean, Chief Procurement Officer, Sea World Parks & Entertainment; Terry Tasior, Finance Manager, Walt Disney World; Lourdes Mola, Manager, Minority Business Development, Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts; and Penny Miller, Operations Human Resources Business Partner, Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts.

From Cohort 6, Jennifer Small has been hired as Executive Director/CEO at The Grove Counseling Center. She was also recently nominated for Orlando Business Journal’s Forty Under 40.

Justin LaFoe is now Director, Global Retail Development for Disney.

Justin LaFoe of Cohort 4 was promoted this fall to Director, Global Retail Development at Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts. “The Stetson Executive MBA program helped refine my strategic decision making skills which gave me the advantage I needed to grow at Disney,” said LaFoe. “Completing the program at Stetson was one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career.”

Other promotions from Cohort 4 include Geoffrey Pointon to Digital Marketing Manager, Disney Destinations; and Cathy Martin, Director, Career Development, Stetson University College of Law.

Stetson University will celebrate each success as Executive MBA students and alumni continue to excel in their careers. Onward and upward, Hatters!

Students and alumni, please report any promotions and job changes to so we can recognize your accomplishments!

Stetson students and alumni invited to help feed the children

Children in other parts of the world could get a nutritious meal because of the time or money you donate. Photo courtesy of Feeding Children Everywhere

Alumni and students of the Stetson University Executive MBA, Stetson Executive Passport and Stetson University MBA programs who would like to give back to their community this holiday season now have the perfect opportunity.

On Saturday, Dec. 3, at 4:30 p.m., alumni, students and their friends and families are invited to Stetson’s Center at Celebration to package 10,000 meals for children in need all over the world.

“A few of us have been working with Wendy Lowe to try and extend our desire to stay connected with like-minded professionals,” said Kelly Glassburn, a Cohort 7 graduate. “We decided it would be best to rally the alumni as a group to participate in existing philanthropic efforts that make their way to Stetson.”

“This will be a great opportunity to reconnect with your cohort and give back simultaneously,” said Wendy Lowe, program coordinator for Stetson Executive MBA. “Come spread holiday cheer while enjoying the after-class atmosphere that you likely remember from your days in the program!”

Stetson has partnered with the organization Feeding Children Everywhere to make a difference in thousands of hungry children’s lives. Volunteers will form assembly lines and hand-package nutritious meals, and Feeding Children Everywhere will add them to one of its outgoing containers and ship these meals to those in need.

The reception begins at 4:30, Dec. 3. After that, Stetson will run two shifts: 5 to 6 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. Over those two hours, Stetson’s volunteers will package food that will serve 10,000 children at a cost of only 25 cents each, make the cost for the food at this event $2,500.

“We’re asking for one hour of your time and a donation of $5 to $25,” said Lowe. “Five dollars feeds 20 children, and $25 feeds 100 children! I’m confident that your participation will significantly impact those in need.”

Donations can be submitted online (, by text (text stetsonisfce to 85944 to donate $10), and in person (by cash or check). Contributions are 100 percent tax deductible.

“We are looking for 150 volunteers to help package these meals,” said Lowe. “All ages will be able to partcipate.”

If you have questions or if you’d like to RSVP, call Lowe at 321-939-7603 or e-mail her at

Cohort 9 to visit Istanbul and Budapest

The Blue Mosque is one of the top tourist destinations in Istanbul.

Last weekend during class, members of Cohort 9 of Stetson University Executive MBA program finally found out where they would be going on their international trip: Istanbul and Budapest!

In June 2012, the students will travel abroad for eight days in Istanbul, Turkey, and Budapest, Hungary, to experience the local culture that supports international business activity. The cohort will meet with a variety of international business leaders, learning first-hand how business practices differ.

“This is going to be a trip of a lifetime,” said Duane Trumble, a student in Cohort 9. “I can’t wait to experience the educational exposure of businesses in other countries.”

Trumble’s classmate Lindsay Swantek agrees. “Just the idea of this trip has already brought Cohort 9 closer together as we’ve done our research and discussed (and debated!) where we hoped to go,” said Swantek. “As someone who has only experienced Florida and the midwest United States, I cannot even begin to convey my excitement. I already know that our excursion to Istanbul and Budapest will be an invaluable life experience, both professionally and personally. Only seven more months to go — and yes, I’m eagerly counting down the days!”

The trip focuses on issues that managers face while directing their organizations, such as cultural perceptions; the effects of culture on human resource management, international accounting and financial systems; marketing in an international environment; and organizational structure.

“Given the global nature of today’s business environment, Stetson University’s executive students need to be exposed to the differences in international business practices, processes and strategies,” said Wendy Lowe, program coordinator for Stetson’s Executive MBA. “If previous trips are any indication, the cohort will return to the classroom on July 13 with a clear understanding of the impact of our global economy and the importance of appreciating the differences in international business practices.”

Budapest will be Cohort 9's second stop on the international trip in June.

Students will leave Orlando June 15 for Istanbul, go to Budapest on June 20, and return to Orlando June 24. Classes will resume July 13.

Companies the cohort may visit include Accenture, Sabanci Holding, Mercedes Benz Turk A.S., Turkish Tourism Investors Association, Nokia, Onlinet, Heiref, Hungarian National Bank, Vodaphone, Bosch, Goodyear, International Finance Corp., IBM, Turk Telekom and Siemens.

Want to learn more about Istanbul and Turkey? Here are a few sites that may help:

Budapest Travel Guide

Photos of Budapest

Modern Istanbul Photo Gallery

Istanbul’s Top 10 Things to Do (video):


Stetson enrollment up after national dip

Graduate student enrollment in the United States dropped last year, according to a recent article in The Chronicle. But now, in Stetson University’s Executive MBA program, the numbers are higher than ever.

The article points to a study, Graduate Enrollment and Degrees: 2000 to 2010, which shows that new student enrollment fell 1.1 percent between fall 2009 and fall 2010. It had increased 5.5 percent in the prior year.

Students in Stetson's Cohort 9 are preparing for an increasingly demanding job market.

Similarly, enrollment in Stetson University Executive MBA’s Cohort 8 was down in fall 2010, at 21% below Cohort 7, which began in fall 2009. But Cohort 9 (fall 2011) is up 67% over that of the students’ predecessors in Cohort 8, making Cohort 9 the program’s largest class to date.

The students in the current two cohorts (8 and 9) also have more diversity in their corporate background than any previous cohort. The companies they represent include Genworth Financial, Press World Co., Partners Federal Credit Union, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, FedEx, Westgate Resorts, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Waldorf Astoria/Hilton, Shades of Green, State Farm Insurance and Kaplan University.

In The Chronicle article, Debra W. Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools, pointed out the U.S. Department of Labor prediction that 2.5 million more jobs will require advanced degrees by 2018. As cohorts 8 and 9 graduate over the coming year and a half, Stetson University will be proud to add those students’ names to the list of professionals qualified for rigorous positions.

Michelson to concentrate on Executive MBA program

Dr. Stuart Michelson has stepped down as the Dean of the Stetson University School of Business Administration, effective June 2012. This move will allow him to focus on the Executive MBA Program and his passion for Finance instruction.

Dr. Stuart Michelson is leaving his post as dean to focus more energy on directing the Executive MBA program and teaching finance students.

“I am grateful to Dean Michelson for stepping quickly into this important leadership position in fall 2009,” said Dr. Beth Paul, Stetson’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, “as the School of Business Administration was completing a major transformation of the undergraduate curriculum, and facing a comprehensive self-study as required by the rigorous AACSB reaccreditation process. As a result, the School of Business Administration is in the second year of implementing a new curriculum, and has achieved full reaccreditation by AACSB!”

“We are enthusiastic about the recent developments in the Executive MBA Program, thanks to our strong alumni network, active student base, enthusiastic faculty and our Advisory Council, which acts as a steering committee,” said Wendy Lowe, the Stetson Executive MBA program coordinator. “Our vision for the future is extremely optimistic with full support of Stetson University’s president and provost.”

Michelson will serve as George and Sarah Roland Professor of Finance and Director of the Executive MBA program exclusively, effective with the summer term.

“Please join me in thanking Dr. Michelson for his service as Dean of the School of Business Administration,” added Dr. Paul, “and for his deep professional commitment to business education that compels him to return to the classroom.”

Stetson benefits from lessons in gamification and job market trends

Wouldn’t it be great to win money from a lottery if you were “caught” going the speed limit on a highway?

That’s what drivers in Stockholm, Sweden, are experiencing thanks to an experiment that encouraged people to create games that motivate a positive change. This “gamification” is an idea that was addressed at the Executive MBA Council Conference in Key Biscayne, Fla., Oct. 16-19. Wendy Lowe, program coordinator for the Stetson University Executive MBA program attended the conference and learned about gamification, job market trends and career services options that students, alumni and future students will reap the benefits from.

This video shows the “Speed Camera Lottery,” which rewards safe drivers instead of only penalizing speeders. It was presented during Villanova University’s thought-provoking session on marketing and recruiting using gamification.


Gamification takes advantage of the fact that the elements of a game are fun and addictive,” explained Lowe, citing Harvard Business Review and Wall Street Journal articles that have documented how game mechanics can drive certain behaviors.

Tactics used by IBM and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu are making mundane tasks such as management training, data entry and brainstorming seem less like work. These games reward employees with points or badges and show competitors’ scores on leaderboards.

“I am intrigued by these gamification techniques and how they may assist in the recruitment and application process,” said Lowe. “I’m exploring possibilities for the Executive MBA program to see how we can employ such tactics and strategies to benefit our students and alumni.”

Lowe was among more 440 Executive MBA Council members from around the globe at the conference, and the idea of incorporating gamification into Executive MBA recruitment and retention was only one of many fascinating subjects.

Lowe attended one session hosted by Rosemary Haefner, vice president of, who noted some interesting statistics:

  • One in 10 corporations REQUIRE an MBA.
  • Six in 10 corporations PREFER that an employee or candidate have an MBA.
  • Nearly half (49%) of corporations offer tuition reimbursement.
  • An Executive MBA has the greatest impact on critical decision-making, global perspectives, and increased confidence through educational rigor and focus.
  • Employees with an MBA are more engaged and satisfied at work.
  • Purposeful access to learning with rich content is critical, using tools such as iPads, laptops, podcasts, webinars, digital text and videos.

Lowe also participated in the Career Services track, which discussed services that best reflect students’ differing backgrounds and goals. Some of the services, such as career/executive coaching, workshops, seminars and campus recruiting access opportunities, are already offered by Stetson University, but Lowe learned of other options as well that may benefit Stetson students and alumni in the future.

“While we’re coming up with additional options,” said Lowe, “students should be sure to contact Stetson’s director of career services, Robin Kazmarek, who advises graduate students on career opportunities. A toolkit of resources, resume workshops, self-marketing tools and techniques, along with a knowledgeable staff, are at any Hatter’s fingertips.

“I returned to Celebration last week after the conference inspired to implement many of the best practices presented and to plan for future innovations,” concluded Lowe.

Why not now? Finding the right time to start my MBA

Christina Laemers (Cohort 9) and Darcy Clark (Cohort 7) bond over their Executive MBA experience.

By Christina Laemers
Stetson University Executive MBA Cohort 9 student
Walt Disney Co. Communications Manager

“It was the most difficult and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”

This was the sobering, yet optimistic testimonial I collected from Darcy, a long-time colleague and friend who, only a month prior, had donned a cap and gown and accepted her diploma as an official graduate of the Executive MBA program at Stetson University. I had just been accepted to the program and I was searching for a sign that the time was right to embark on such a major life event, and Darcy was in the perfect position to share some advice on the matter.

To back up a bit, I should explain why I sought advice on such a personal decision. I am someone that consistently struggles with the question, “where do you see yourself in five years?” It’s not because I am particularly wishy-washy or aimless; I do have goals and dreams I plan to accomplish. It’s just that so far, opportunities have presented themselves and if it felt right, I went for it. Now faced with a decision to tie myself in one place for 19 months, it seemed like a big commitment. Not the time, per se, but the freedom that makes it so easy for me to jump on any opportunity: company travel, impromptu vacations, weekend adventures, even a special assignment abroad. The way my career has developed so far, who knows where I might be in 19 months?

Thus began my search for some sound input on the decision, and my mentor and friend Michelle echoed Darcy’s sentiment. “It’s a challenge, but you’re up for it. You won’t ever find ‘the right time,’ if that’s what you’re waiting for.”

Christina Laemers prepares for a graduate experience of a lifetime!

Was it what I was waiting for? Michelle’s words sparked something. I was so concerned about what I might miss that I actually missed the bigger picture: this was an opportunity I would regret letting pass by, and really, now was as good a time as ever. I just had to get out of the “I can do that later” mentality, and consider the “why not now?”

Cohort 9 has just started this journey and I’m still searching for equilibrium (vocab word from Econ!) among my social life, career and being a student; but so far, I find that “right now” was right on the money. I still don’t know where I’ll be in five years, but with the support of my leaders, family, and 24 new best friends, I know exactly where I’ll be in 19 months: donning my own cap and gown as a part of Stetson’s MBA graduating class of spring 2013.