All posts by kmb031

EPIC Spotlight: Dr. Hyo-Jeong Kim

Some people are intimidated by analytical software. Dr. Hyo-Jeong Kim wants to help people become comfortable with it.

She’s starting with auditors. While many have traditionally used Excel as they explore trends in data, there are many other programs – some a bit complicated. Behind the scenes, Kim looks for the different complexities in the software. Once she finds those, she brings them to the forefront by matching the person’s understanding level to the appropriate training. “I like to help the novice, or beginner, to new technology,” she says.

Continue reading EPIC Spotlight: Dr. Hyo-Jeong Kim

EPIC Spotlight: Will Simpson

Will Simpson

“They give you all the opportunities you can ever want, and all you have to do is pursue them.”

Will Simpson

Economics and Finance

Though only in his second year in college, Will Simpson speaks about economics and governmental affairs like a veteran. Those topics often appear in the opinion column he writes for The Arkansas Traveler, the University of Arkansas student newspaper, and he has even contributed to the news website, The Huffington Post.

“I’m a news junkie,” he says. “I subscribe to The Wall Street Journal and check The Drudge Report each morning.”

Yet Will, who has a double major in economics and finance at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, says journalism is just one avenue where he would like to channel his knowledge. He says there’s always the bigger picture – one that involves influencing public policy, which he is already doing on the local level.

As the director of legislative affairs for the university’s Associated Student Government, Will’s duties include working on voter registration projects as well as involving himself with government’s role in higher education. He also serves on the Honors Student Executive Board, doing marketing and consulting on curriculum management.

These are some of the reasons that after he graduates, he plans to pursue a law degree. “I think the skill set I’ve been blessed with fits with law school,” he says.

As for his focus, he’s keeping an open mind. He says commercial law sounds intriguing. Consulting with companies is one possibility, Will says.

His current calling, though, is working with students. As a Walton College Student Ambassador, Will encourages high school students to enroll at the University of Arkansas by giving campus tours. He leads a freshmen Bible study through Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ).

Will says his journey to Walton College can be traced to his involvement with TeenPact Leadership, a Christian-based program geared toward pre-college teenagers. Participants spend a week at a state capitol, learning about the political process and how their faith can play a role in that. He says being home-schooled enabled him the freedom to visit Rhode Island, Connecticut and Indiana through the program.

Of course, there’s the main reason why Will is at the University of Arkansas: his education. He says Walton College offers the courses that enable him to explore his interests.

“I expected it to be good, but it’s been even better,” he says of his classroom experiences.

He says the campus is neither too big nor too small and allows him to see the results of his efforts.

Will also says Fayetteville offers many amenities not found in his hometown of Mountain View, located in north central Arkansas, such as a Barnes & Noble bookstore and Starbucks coffee shop (one is even located on campus). He says there are also plenty of places for him to enjoy a game of golf.

But school always comes first, and he plans to take full advantage of it. “They give you all the opportunities you can ever want, and all you have to do is pursue them,” Will says.

EPIC Spotlight: Will Allred

Will Allred
“This is a great place to work.
It really is.”

Will Allred

Technology Center
Associate Director

Will Allred’s world is filled with vampires. And not the cute, “sparkly” kind adored by teenage girls that grace movie and television screens. His are grittier and for an older audience.

After work and on weekends, one might find Allred working on another installment of “Diary of Night,” a graphic novel series he authors that chronicles Catherine Morrison who, at 927 years old, copes in present-day society as a vampire.

During the day, when vampires normally sleep, Allred is the associate director of technology for Sam M. Walton College of Business’s Technology Center. He handles the college’s information systems, which includes several dozen servers as well as data storage, security and printer networking.

“Any projects that involve IT probably involve me,” he says.

At NorthWest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, Allred puts IT aside and is known as “Dr. Allred,” English instructor. He recently earned his Ph.D. in English here at the University of Arkansas. Though he has a bachelor’s degree in economics, which he earned at Walton College, it was his love for literature and writing that kept him pushing on with his education, he says.

“I’ve always been a reader, and I’m probably a bit ADD in that I don’t like to be bored,” he says.

Allred, who grew up in Madison County, still lives there and commutes each day from his home in Huntsville that he shares with his wife, Stacy, and twin sons, Mike and Alex. He began working for the Technology Center at Walton College in early 2001, utilizing skills he acquired since childhood, when he first tinkered with his father’s 40-megabyte hard drive computer with large floppy disks. Years later, he created a computer network in his home, complete with a server, directory and e-mail domain, he says.

“I had this whole, mini-Walton College set up,” he says.

Now that he works at the Walton College with its much larger server, he has nothing but praise for Sandy Kizer, Technology Center director, along with other center staff, whom he says have kept “the eyes on the future” by offering a system that’s well ahead of other universities of the same caliber.

“This is a great place to work,” he says. “It really is.”

And while the Technology Center keeps forging ahead, so does Allred. This is where the vampires come into play.

Allred says he’s been a fan of comic books ever since childhood and has always loved how stories are presented. “Just for efficiency, nothing works better than words and pictures,” he says. He says an entire scene of a story can be told through a single comic panel.

He says he has always been fascinated with the immortality of vampires and, as a result, it allows him to draw upon all sorts of historical events to tell a story. It also allows him to experiment with Victorian dialogue, which he enjoys, he says. “Diary of Night,” which is published by Bloodfire Studios, is illustrated by his partner Gene Gonzales, who lives in Florida.

“And because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’m three chapters into a novel,” he says. Then it’s back to work, making sure the college’s computers are online and everything is in working order.

EPIC Spotlight: Whitnee Boyd

Whitnee Boyd

“I look at this as marketing with a purpose.”

Whitnee Boyd, BSBA ’09

Student Development Specialist and Recruitment Coordinator
Student Support Services
University of Arkansas

Whitnee Boyd now has an office. It’s located in the office of Student Support Services here at the University of Arkansas. And she realizes that not long ago, she could have been a student sitting in the chair that’s in front of her desk.

Boyd works as a student development specialist and recruitment coordinator, but she says she often draws from her knowledge gained as an undergraduate at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. “My students kind of serve as my customers,” she says.

Boyd assists students with matriculating through the university and keeps them moving toward graduation. She also recruits students for Student Support Services and speaks to different groups and organizations. Still, the students leave the lasting impressions. “I think that’s the most rewarding part of the job: developing relationships with the students,” she says.

In turn, she tells them to build relationships with others. “Take advantage of the things you learn inside the classroom as well as outside the classroom,” she tells them.

Boyd, formerly of Pine Bluff, is experiencing her first year in the “real world” after earning her bachelor’s degree in marketing at the Walton College and a master’s degree in higher education at Louisiana State University in 2011. As a business student, Boyd worked for Walton College’s Center for Retail Excellence and became president of its student advisory board. She also had a summer sales and management internship with Bridgestone/Firestone at a store in Baton Rouge, La., when she was an undergraduate.

Boyd says she wanted to pursue a career in higher education that would allow her to use her marketing skills. She became a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Undergraduate Fellows Program, which provides mentors for undergraduate students wishing to learn more about fields in higher education and public affairs. Her duties as a Walton College Student Ambassador, where she gave prospective students tours of the business school, also provided early experiences in recruiting. Along the way, she became interested in student retention and how she could help students stay in school.

Boyd says her support system at the University of Arkansas, which included her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, carried her to other areas. When she was elected to the University of Arkansas homecoming court in 2008, she was surprised to receive so much support. “I felt a lot of love from my Walton family,” she says.

While working toward her master’s degree in higher education, she says she found her business knowledge helpful; she was a teaching assistant in a business class offered at Louisiana State University. When she had earned her master’s degree, returning to the University of Arkansas was a natural fit for her, she says.

“I felt like I got a lot when I was here, and I felt like it was a chance to give back to the university,” she says.

Boyd does it through her marketing skills. She jokes that she promotes the program and builds customer relationships by using “The Four Ps of Marketing”: price, product, placement and promotion – something that was drilled into her as an undergraduate. She also gives “supply and demand” talks to her students. “I look at this as marketing with a purpose,” she says.

EPIC Spotlight: Walton College Olympians

Walton College is Represented at the Summer Olympics

Veronica Campbell-Brown
Veronica Campbell-Brown
Alistar Ian Cragg
Alistar Ian Cragg
Ivanique Kemp
Ivanique Kemp

Two graduates and one current student of the Sam M. Walton College of Business are representing their countries at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.

  • Veronica Campbell-Brown will run the 100 and 200 meters for her home country of Jamaica. Campbell-Brown, who graduated with a marketing degree in Spring 2006, is making her fourth Olympic appearance.
  • Alistar Cragg, who is competing in his third Olympics, will run the 5000 meters for Ireland. He graduated with a Walton College marketing degree in Fall 2006.
  • Ivanique Kemp is running the 100-meter hurdles for the Bahamas. She is currently enrolled at the Walton College as an accounting major and will be a senior in the fall.

London 2012

EPIC Spotlight: Tom Davis


Tom Davis, a senior from Bentonville, Ark., majoring in accounting with a minor in finance, says he may never have gotten a chance to intern with Ernst and Young if he hadn’t participated in the Walton Honors Program.

As an audit and assurance services intern last summer with Ernst and Young in Rogers, Tom worked to ensure the accuracy of financial data by using various sets of controls. Tom hopes he can apply the real world experience he got at the firm to his accounting and other classes at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. “That way, I’ll better understand how classroom theory works in the real world,” Tom says.

“The Honors Program and being a founding member of the Walton Honors Student Executive Board set me apart from the other applicants for the intern position,” Tom says. He also is involved in Beta Alpha Psi, an honorary organization for high-achieving students in the financial information field. He says being a member of Beta Alpha Psi also was key in getting the Ernst and Young internship.

His experience demonstrates that students should start as early as their freshman year if they hope to get a good position as an intern, Tom says. “When students apply for internships as freshmen, they make a lasting impression on employers and that impression and experience will benefit them in the future,” he says.

EPIC Spotlight: Theresa Fette

The trust group was failing. It was in such disrepair that the state of Nevada was considering receivership.

For many, the task of resurrecting the Las Vegas company would be too daunting. Theresa Fette, however, saw the sinking business as an opportunity. Only 28 years old and a practicing lawyer, she and a business partner not much older pooled their resources to meet the company’s seven figure price tag a whopping sum for two people early in their careers. Continue reading EPIC Spotlight: Theresa Fette