Directed by Brenda Wells, an insurance expert who holds a Ph.D. in risk management and insurance from the University of Georgia, ECU’s risk management and insurance concentration is a direct result of partnerships with industry professionals. More than 40 students have already enrolled.
“Risk management is a broad academic field, which can include traditional insurance-related risk management — earthquakes, hurricanes, fire, life, health, and retirement planning — as well as financial risk, such as interest, exchange rates, and credit,” Wells said.
“Not only do we teach our students the nuts and bolts of business at ECU, we also hone the skills essential for success in the business world. Our graduates will enjoy successful careers at companies large and small and are well prepared to enter all facets of the insurance industry.”
Officials also announced a collaboration between ECU and The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, which will allow students to earn the University Associate Certified Insurance Counselor designation through their coursework ‒ giving an important head start on earning the prestigious Certified Insurance Counselor designation.
Students in the program also participate in industry-specific conferences throughout the year, including the annual conference of the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina. Important decision makers in the industry visit campus throughout the year, such as North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance Wayne Goodwin, who spoke to the ECU Society of Risk Management and Insurance in 2010.
The kickoff celebration included a visit by national insurance executive Bob Restrepo, chairman, president and CEO of State Auto Insurance Companies. Restrepo welcomed students to the insurance industry at a presentation sponsored by the Beta Gamma Sigma Distinguished Lecture Series.
ECU Students Win Top Prizes at National Small Business Conference
For the sixth year, student teams from the College of Business at East Carolina University took home top prizes at the National Small Business Institute® (SBI) Conference, Feb. 17-19 in Bonita Springs, Fla.
One student team, which worked with the proposed East Carolina Integrative Clinic, won first place in the undergraduate business plan division. As part of its project, the team consulted with officials from the Brody School of Medicine to explore the feasibility of an integrative health clinic and then developed a corresponding business plan. Another student team earned second place in the undergraduate comprehensive division for its consulting work with Fabricate Too, a Greenville-based women’s clothing boutique located in Arlington Village.
The College of Business has enjoyed a long tradition of winning top honors in the SBI’s Project of the Year Competition. Since 2005, ECU has earned eight finishes in the top three, including four first place winners.
ECU students participate in the competition each year through Michael Harris’ small business management class, which is linked at a national level with the SBI. Harris, who has taught the course for 10 years and directs ECU’s SBI program, teams his senior-level undergraduate students with regional companies in need of assistance as part of a course project. Firms benefit from free business consulting, and students apply lessons they’ve learned in subjects ranging from marketing to accounting. In the end, the student teams deliver a comprehensive consulting document to their respective clients, along with an oral presentation.
In addition to the student awards, Bill McDowell of the Department of Management won best paper award for his work titled “Performance of Historically Underrepresented Firms in the Public-Private Sector.” Harris served as national SBI conference chair for 2011, and officials also announced that Harris, McDowell and Shanan Gibson will assume editorship of the Small Business Institute® Journal, an official journal of the SBI, beginning May 2011.
ECU’s SBI program has assisted more than 500 clients since its inception in 1976. At the national level, the SBI serves as the premier organization dedicated to field-based student consulting and outreach to small businesses. For more information about the SBI, please contact Harris at (252) 737-1057 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perdue pledges support for dental school during visit Feb. 17
GREENVILLE (Feb. 17, 2011) — N.C. Gov. Beverly Perdue said funding to open East Carolina University’s School of Dental Medicine is an urgent need that should stay on track despite the state’s toughest budget in 60 years.
“I don’t know what we would do if we were to build a building this sophisticated to train dentists for all of North Carolina and have it stand empty,” she said during a visit to the school’s construction site Thursday, Feb. 17.
“I hope the people of the General Assembly understand you can’t do that,” she told university officials and reporters gathered on west campus, where the school’s foundation has begun to rise.
Perdue proposed biennial budget includes the $5 million the UNC system and ECU have requested to keep construction of the dental school on schedule. It also includes funding for enrollment growth and financial aid at the state’s universities while trimming the state’s work force by an estimated 10,000 employees.
University of North Carolina President Tom Ross said state funding for enrollment growth and financial aid are priorities.
“We are particularly thankful that (Gov. Perdue) recognizes the critical importance of our enrollment growth funding and need-based financial aid, although those needs would be only partially met, as well as operating reserves for new buildings,” Ross said.
Still, cuts of the magnitude proposed in the governor’s budget would put an estimated 1,500 jobs at the state’s universities in jeopardy, he said, and students will feel the impact.
“With fewer faculty, staff, and course sections, many more students would not be able to obtain the courses and academic services they need to graduate on time,” he said.
ECU’s School of Dental Medicine is set to admit its first 50 students, all North Carolina residents, in August, with plans to admit 50 each year. Currently, the construction site consists of the building foundation, utilities, and the structure for the dental school basement. The steel to frame the building is expected to arrive later this month.
The UNC system has asked for $3.5 million in fiscal year 2011-2012 and $1.5 million in fiscal year 2012-13 to operate the dental school.
North Carolina is below the national average in the ratio of dentists to population, and that ratio has declined recently as the population has increased faster than the supply of practitioners. That need drove the establishment of a second state dental school.
On Thursday, Perdue chatted with ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard at the construction site, asking him how things were going at ECU.
“Things are good,” Ballard said. “We are doing what we are supposed to be doing.”
“I hope I’ll be back again when there’s more to see here at the dental school,” Perdue said.
East Carolina University needs to prepare for stressful changes as the state legislature eyes a budget that sharply shrinks government, members of the board of trustees said today in a budget update and discussion. “It comes down to we’re going to have to do some uncomfortable things, such as eliminate some schools and ask students to pay,” said trustee Bob Greczyn. Read more at http://www.ecu.edu/news/newsstory.cfm?ID=1913