March 2016 Monthly Newsletter

Haslam Business Analytics Programs Named Top 50 Best Value

Top 50The graduate programs in business analytics from the Haslam College of Business were named in the nation’s top 50 best values on March 7. Value Colleges, a website dedicated to examining college affordability, conducted the ranking.

Carrie Sealey-Morris, editor of Value Colleges, noted in her report that the field is so new to academia it does not have standard nomenclature.

“Analytics, Data Science, Business Analytics…What matters, more than the name, is that the program find the right balance between technical computer skills, business and marketing knowledge and statistical analysis,” Sealey-Morris said.

Haslam launched a new doctorate in business analytics last year, but its Master of Science in Business Analytics has been available since 2010. Haslam’s MSBA was the first business analytics degree to be offered in a business school, reflecting its approach to broad interpretation of data and its practical application.

Sealey-Morris also wrote that the data industry is rife with career opportunity.

“It’s an exciting time, with projected employee shortages estimated well into the millions, so getting into the field now means making a career path where few have trod and no one is likely to get in your way,” she said.

Haslam’s MSBA program has enjoyed 100 percent job placement of its graduates within three months of graduation for the last three years.

To read the full report and see the full rankings list visit

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Noble Named Associate Dean for Research and Faculty

Charles NobleCharles H. Noble, Henry Professor of Business, has been named associate dean for research and faculty at the Haslam College of Business.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity to serve the college at such an exciting time in our development,” Noble said.

Noble has been acting as the interim associate dean for research and faculty since the position was announced in January. He currently serves as Haslam’s doctoral programs coordinator and the marketing Ph.D. program director.

“I and the other members of the deans group have enjoyed working with Charlie over the past two months. He will be a great asset to the college moving forward in this role,” said Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair and Dean of the Haslam College of Business Steve Mangum.

Noble is associated with the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation as a Research Council member. He also works with the Center for Services Leadership in the Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and as chair of the Product Development and Management Association.

Noble joined the Haslam faculty in 2011. Previously, he was a faculty member of the business school at University of Mississippi, where he directed the MBA and Ph.D. programs from 2004 to 2009.

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2016 Big Orange Family Campaign Most Successful to Date

Big Orange GiveThe third annual Big Orange Family Campaign was the Haslam College of Business’ most successful to date. Nearly 97 percent of the college’s faculty and staff contributed to this campus-wide initiative.

Eight departments within the college during the campaign showed 100 percent participation:

  • Center for Business & Economic Research
  • Construction Industry Research & Policy Center
  • Department of Business Analytics & Statistics
  • Department of Economics
  • Department of Finance
  • Department of Management
  • Haslam Administration
  • Haslam IT Support

John Hoffman, a senior lecturer in the Department of Management, led the internal effort for the third consecutive year. “Our faculty and staff are truly awesome,” Hoffman said. “I believe that our students, their parents, our legislators and the community at large owe them a debt of gratitude for their commitment to UT. It is truly inspiring to see the increasing participation each year.”

The Big Orange Family Campaign elicited 91 percent participation from Haslam employee its first year and 95 percent in 2015. The campus-wide average participation rate was 50 percent this year.

“I am very proud of this accomplishment and what it says about the belief our faculty and staff have in the mission of this great university,” said Steve Mangum, Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair and dean of the college. “This campaign demonstrates our collective dedication to propelling the college to the Top 25 public business schools in the nation and helps inspire our alumni and partners to join us on that journey.”

John Hoffman’s campaign leadership team included: Joan Snoderly, Kerry Roehr, Brenda Carlisle, Amy Anderson, Charlie Cwiek, Ken Baker, Cindy Raines, Dremaine Ellis, Melissa Stefanini, Suzan Murphy and Debbi Foster.

Proceeds from the campaign support the beneficiary of the donor’s choosing across the various departments, programs and scholarships within the Haslam College of Business and the University of Tennessee.

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PepsiCo Workshops Teach Haslam Students Leadership for Diverse Workplaces

PepsiCoNineteen students from the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, recently participated in the PepsiCo Power of One: Diversity Leadership Development Program in February.

Buddy Lewis, a senior executive in sales at PepsiCo, facilitated the program’s workshops.

“A critical need is for our leaders of tomorrow to see diversity beyond the normal definitions,” Lewis said. “This allows them to leverage the skills and experiences of their team and rise to the challenge of globalization. The result is a synergistic workforce that leverages the strengths of each member to create depth and breadth in business strategy and execution.”

Consisting of four workshops held weekly, PepsiCo Power of One was open to juniors and seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Other factors of the selection process were social responsibility, involvement in campus and community activities and an essay. Participants were awarded a $225 stipend upon successful completion of the program.

The series prepares Haslam College of Business students for the changing dynamics of workplace diversity. In addition to examining the business case for diversity, the program provides tools for managing a diverse workforce.

Sharmaine Ross, a senior marketing major with a collateral in entrepreneurship, was drawn to the program for its growth opportunities.

“It’s easy to say something or someone is different, but it’s more difficult to understand that behind those differences are factors like culture, background and personality style,” Ross said. “Something that I learned through the workshops is that in order to lead in diversity initiatives you must start with yourself.

“I always look for opportunities to develop soft skills that are applicable in the workplace,” she said. “As a leader, it’s vital to understand the role I play in relation to diversity. I have a greater appreciation of others and the skills to be more conscious of my actions.”

The workshops facilitated by Lewis covered a range of topics including why diversity makes good business sense, what diversity actually means and dealing with difficult situations.

“Many of our PepsiCo employees are University of Tennessee graduates,” Lewis said. “We believe this program is one way we can give back to the university while continuing to invest in the leaders of the future.”

Recognized nationally as one of the top workplaces for women and minorities, PepsiCo values diversity and inclusion as a factor in building and maintaining the top-quality workforce crucial to its success.

“Diversity is one of the foundational cornerstones of our company,” Lewis said. “It can be seen in the countries where PepsiCo operates and in the products we sell. Most importantly, however, it can be seen in the employees that work at PepsiCo.”

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Women’s Leadership Summit Featured Media Mogul Susan Packard

Susan PackardThe Office of Diversity and Community Relations at the Haslam College of Business hosted its inaugural Women in Business, Entrepreneurship and Leadership Summit on Friday, March 4. The event featured keynote speaker Susan Packard, co-founder of Scripps Networks Interactive and former chief operating officer of HGTV.

Nearly 50 participants connected with Packard and six other female professionals across multiple industries for mentorship-focused discussions. The summit was organized with a nod to International Women’s Day the following week, providing a platform for meaningful dialogue surrounding challenges women face in business.

“The summit was created to give our female students an opportunity to hear from and network with successful women business and community leaders, who can serve as mentors and role models for them,” said Tyvi Small, director of diversity and community relations at Haslam. “They were able to dialogue about issues that are unique to women in the workplace and gained some insight on how to navigate those issues.”

Workshop topics included the art of negotiation, thriving in male-dominated fields, pitching with power and women in entrepreneurship. Annette Ranft, senior associate dean for academic affairs, said the summit was a unique opportunity for students to connect with female role models and develop career goals.

“It is an honor to have had such an impressive roster of female entrepreneurs and executives committed to helping shape the next generation of future female leaders,” Ranft said. “Given how quickly the registration process filled the summit to capacity, our students clearly recognized the value of this opportunity.”

The Office of Diversity intends to make this an annual event and to expand capacity as the program grows.


Janice Branch (865-974-8835,

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,

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Student Spotlight: Weston Bell

Weston BellWeston Bell not the typical Haslam senior. In addition to majoring in finance with an international business collateral, he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and minoring in history.

Bell added his business degrees after studying abroad in Hong Kong last spring.

“I was originally a pre-med major and even took the MCAT,” Bell says. “But the classes I took abroad, which had a focus on international business in a global aspect, helped me decide to pursue business as well.”

Despite the rigorous and diverse demands of his coursework, in which he maintains an honors GPA, he participates whole-heartedly in university culture. He received the Frederick Bonham Chancellor’s Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship awarded to only four students per year. Bell is also the president for the interfraternity council and a former senator of the student government association.

Bell is active off campus as well. He conducts research relating to ion transportation in solid polymer electrolytes in conjunction with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He also has held several internships and is currently looking forward to another this summer in Manhattan with the investment banking firm Sawaya Segalas & Co., LLC.

When asked which of his many interests he hopes to focus on after graduation, he is still unsure. “I’m hoping to find something that touches at least a little of all of them,” he says. In the future, he plans pursue a Master’s degree in public policy.

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Alum Spotlight: Larry Leahy

Larry LeahyLarry Leahy has made a living caring for his community and the people in it. His work in private and public health care spanned more than 40 years, culminating in his role as chief financial officer for Foundation Management Services and Accolade Homecare and Hospice in Denton, Texas.

Leahy’s passion for service and dedication to fiscal integrity and quality patient care earned him various awards throughout his career. In 2014, he was inducted into the National Association for Homecare and Hospice’s Financial Managers Hall of Fame. He also received the Legion of Merit, Order of Military Medical Merit and is a Paul Harris Fellow.

Now retired and living in Yoakum, Texas, Leahy continues to make an impact on health care in his community. He was recently appointed to serve a three-year term on the board of directors for Yoakum Community Hospital, which has been recognized as one of the nation’s top community hospitals by the Becker Review.

“I’m extremely proud to be a part of the board and to serve this community,” Leahy says. “My major goal is to improve the economic well-being of Yoakum.”

He is also a member of the Yoakum Economic Development Corporation, the Accolade Hospice Foundation and the President of the Rotary Club of Yoakum.

Leahy graduated from UT with a Bachelor of Arts in economics in 1972. While on campus, he was involved in ROTC, Delta Tau Delta, lettered in wrestling and was one of the founding members of the Tennessee Rugby Club, which continues to run strong to this day. He says this time helped mold his priorities and pursuits even to this day.

“While the course work was important, it was how my professors, coaches and ROTC instructors were great role models,” Leahy recounts.

Leahy and his wife, Mary Jo, now live on a ranch in Yoakum where they are outdoor enthusiasts and raise Arabian horses.

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Faculty/Staff Spotlight: Joan Snoderly

Joan SnoderlyA love for all things finance has led Joan Snoderly to various roles in the Haslam College of Business including her current position as business manager in the college’s financial information office.

Snoderly began her career in the college as a student and quickly found a second home on campus working within the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER). She left CBER for a short period of time to be the business manager for the College of Engineering, but returned in 2012 as director of the Tennessee State Data Center. She found her passion for financial responsibilities in this role which eventually led to using those skills in her current position.

Snoderly loves being a problem-solver and a resource on campus. “My position as business manager in the financial information office allows me to interact with faculty, staff and students,” she says. “I provide answers and solutions that hopefully allow others to do their jobs more efficiently.”

Though fanatical about finance, it is the culture and community at Haslam community that has kept her here over the years.

“I value all the friendships I have built in the college,” Snoderly says. “I appreciate that everyone really cares about each other. I take great pride in being a member of the Haslam family.”

Snoderly’s passion and dedication goes beyond her work for Haslam. She is currently the co-chair of the Big Orange Family campaign, donating her time and resources to ensure the continual growth of the college.

Snoderly and her husband, Tim, are both Knoxville natives. Her family includes two children, three grandchildren and “one and a half dogs” (hers and one that belongs to her son but visits often).

Snoderly can be found on campus, not only working in her office but also hosting crafting classes for anyone who wants to learn. “I have worked at the university for 31 years,” says Joan. “I’ll need to be kicked out the door.” Her affinity for UT and the Haslam College of Business makes her a true Vol for Life.

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