The Future is Innovative Females
In an effort to reach innovative and entrepreneurial females throughout the state, the WVU Morris L. Hayhurst LaunchLab hosted its Second Annual Women Innovate Pitch Competition. Ten women entered the virtual competition in October in hopes of winning prizes up to $5,000 to turn their idea into a reality. The contestants had to consider every aspect of their pitch – everything from production to advertising – and field questions from the all-female panel of judges. First place went to Anna Cummings, a business management major and entrepreneurship minor from Ashburn, Virginia, whose pitch identified an unaddressed need for a device to help earring-wearers attach their earring backtracks. “The Women Innovate Pitch Competition is an important opportunity for women entrepreneurs,” said Carrie White, executive director of the Morris L. Hayhurst LaunchLab. “The LaunchLab is here to provide support to all student innovators. However, historically we have seen fewer female clients as compared to male. This event is designed to level that field. The first year we held it, we saw our female entrepreneurs increase by 20 percent. We want to provide encouragement to all WVU students who wish to create something new!”
I Scream, You Scream
Move over cones and milkshakes, there is a new way to enjoy ice cream – rolled! Marketing student and Morgantown native Tyler Lalka is bringing rolled ice cream to the hills of Morgantown and nearby cities with his business Rolling Hills Ice Cream. Lalka originally saw the concept being done in larger cities and thought to himself, “Mountaineers need this,” and opened his ice cream truck in April 2021. Not only is the ice cream mixed with toppings on top of a negative-five degree plate and rolled into pieces, but his truck also allows him to roll to birthday parties, weddings, farmer’s markets, fairs, office gatherings and more. “It was a dream of mine to bring this to Morgantown and I decided to go mobile because it would give me the opportunity to meet my customers where they are,” he said. The signature menu (which ice cream lovers can get any time) includes salted caramel pretzel, Oreo, peanut butter cup, s'mores and Nutella banana. On top of those flavors, individuals can add other sweet or savory ingredients. Lalka will graduate with a degree in marketing in December 2022.
Leaving her own Mark
For many students, WVU feels like family. For Amaya Gray, it is family. Gray’s grandfather, Ken Gray, may have founded the long-standing program WVUp All Night (which hosts events and activities for students as an alternative to the bar scene), but Gray is leaving her own mark as a Mountaineer. She’s been part of the Career Readiness Program with our in-house Center for Career Development, served as a Peer Mentor for incoming freshmen in BCOR 191 and a Chambers College Ambassador, has been a member of the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) with Naomi Boyd, and founded Students of Color in Business with the help of Susan Lantz. “Students of Color in Business is geared towards business students and business minors, as well as any student who wants to be an entrepreneur or learn more about business,” Gray said.
A Refreshing Experience
Mason Harp is not only a Chambers College marketing junior, but he is also WVU’s Coca-Cola Ambassador. In fact, he is currently ranked 1st on the leaderboard for Coca-Cola Campus Ambassadors. “I am extremely excited to be working with Coca-Cola. The chance to add a Fortune 500 Company to my resume will help make me more marketable when applying for internships and other future opportunities,” Harp said.
Immersed in Indonesian
Jana El-Khatib, a Master of Business Administration student from Hurricane, West Virginia, was one of four WVU students to earn the Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State. Over the summer of 2021, El-Khatib got to study Indonesian, a language she became interested in after spending time living in Southeast Asia as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. She hopes to use the skills gained from the scholarship to improve her cultural competency for a future career as a healthcare provider.
Each spring, the University honors selected faculty members with the WVU Foundation Awards for Outstanding Teaching. Jody Crosno, the Joseph E. Antonini Chair and professor in marketing, was one of five faculty to receive the 2021 award. The committee was impressed by her seamless incorporation of experiential learning and technology into the classroom, exceptional student engagement, and innovative classroom assignments that require her students to engage with customers and clients, such as Camp Virgil Tate, to gain real-world experience.
Cap it Off
Just like the COVID-19 vaccine protects against contracting the contagious virus, the collective elements of self-efficacy, optimism, hope and resiliency - otherwise known as “PsyCap” - helps inoculate employees from the negative effects of working through a pandemic, according to Jeffery Houghton, management professor. Houghton and two of his Ph.D. students, Richard Oxarart and Luke Langlinais, found that those lagging in PsyCap characteristics drifted to maladaptive behaviors and exhibited a high perception of stress. Read more at WVUToday.
Come One, Come All
This year, our College welcomed the highest incoming freshman class to date – more than 600 incoming first-year students. Our Undergraduate Recruitment team goes above and beyond to provide a personalized experience for our admitted students. “Call and letter writing campaigns are completed with the purpose of a) assisting with the application process, b) answering any questions students and their parents may have, and c) making students feel special. Many other colleges do not employ the methods that we do. The feedback we receive routinely mentions the personalized experience as a reason for choosing Chambers and WVU,” said Rebel Smith, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs.
Embodying the Mountaineer Spirit
Congratulations to marketing student Madison Bowers, who was named a Mountaineer of Distinction this fall. The award was presented during WVU’s Mountaineer Week in October 2021 and recognizes exemplary academic achievement and extracurricular involvement. Way to go, Madison! “As someone who is from a tiny town in Coal County, West Virginia, winning this award meant the world to me. I firmly believe that it takes a village to raise a kid and I am endlessly thankful to my family, friends, community, and Chambers College family, for their help along the way. Once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer.”
A Test Above the Rest
When it comes to the cybersecurity industry, the CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional – is one of the most sought after certifications individuals can receive. In fact, in Britain, the CISSP certification counts as a masters degree. That is how prestigious it is.