College of Business Speakers

Speakers Request 2021

The College of Business at The University of Akron is a nationally ranked and globally-recognized business school with world class faculty and over 500+ C-suite-level alumni living in northeast Ohio.

As a service to our community, the College of Business and its faculty offer to extend its subject matter expertise as a benefit for regional high schools at the request of teachers, guidance counselors, school administrators and/or board members.

Topics and speakers range from specific academic interest areas, broader, activity-based, introductory-level topics, to more motivational seminars meant to give students unique perspectives. All topics are approximately 30-45 minutes depending on the request. As a result of any of these topics, students will receive communication information and will be invited to remain in contact with the faculty as a means of additional support and continued encouragement.

Faculty speaker topics include the following areas of interest:

General Business

Finance/Accounting

Professional Selling

Entrepreneurship

Marketing

Inspirational/Motivational/Leadership

 Category Overview 

Academic Enhancement

College of Business faculty with topics that will add value to your course topic. Whether for AP-level courses or other specific academic topics in finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, accounting, etc., our faculty are willing to serve as a guest speaker to add value to your academic courses.

Offered Topics:

Introductory and Activity-Based Topics

These topics are designed for wider audiences of high-school/advanced middle-school students and, through an activity-based seminar, will introduce students to various ways business topics transcends through all aspects of our world. Students also will gain a broader understanding of various potential career paths as they continue to explore their educational pursuits.

Offered Topics:

Motivational/Aspirational Topics

Being a student is a time for personal discovery, and it's not uncommon for students to feel lost during different periods of their journey. These seminars are led by academic faculty who go beyond their scholarship and expertise and share personal stories of their journeys, including setbacks and successes, all in the hopes of inspiring students to feel empowered for the future ahead of them.

Offered Topics:

Academic Enhancement


Marketing: The Art & Science of Connecting
with Consumers

Professor Lauren Houser

Professor Lauren Houser

In this evidence-based session, students will explore the wide spanning discipline of Marketing and learn why Marketing is BOTH an art and a science. Through the use of current examples, students will gain a better understanding of what modern marketing entails, as well as what a career in Marketing may look like. Additionally, students will identify some of the latest trends in Marketing. The main goal of this session is to demonstrate how marketing creates value for consumers, companies, careers, and society at large.

Intended Audience: Can be adapted for all levels.

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The Future of Analytics: Learning and Leading with a Purpose

Professor Vanja Djuric

Professor Vanja Djuric

At the heart of this presentation will be using data to solve problems that generate enthusiasm and a sense of empathy as we engage in work that truly matters. We might use analytics to improve algorithms for police, help cure diseases, design a way to minimize damage to local environment, make products safer and/or more cost effective. This topic will give students a view into what the analytics field will look like within the next 5-10 years, by focusing on solving real-world problems. Students will also be exposed to some of the most important topics in analytics such as augmented reality, data visualization and artificial intelligence.

Intended Audience: This speaking topic is perfect of A.P level courses.

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What is a Financial Management major?

Professor Melinda Newman

Professor Melinda Newman

In this seminar, students will learn what it means to major in Finance or Financial Management in college, including an overview of the major's curriculum and associated career paths. Dr. Newman holds an undergraduate degree in Finance and Business Economics and worked as an insurance underwriter before earning a PhD in Finance and pursuing a career in academia. She has experience in purchasing/owning/selling a business, which rounds out her discussion with practical examples.

Intended Audience: Intended for high school juniors/seniors; classes associated with career development, business, or quantitative reasoning.

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Mergers and Acquisitions

Professor Doron Narotski

Professor Doron Narotski

Students will get to hear and learn a little about one of the most important and challenging aspects of the business world: how corporations buy other corporations, why they choose to doso, how they decides when to do it and how they go through with such a complex transaction. This is achieved by walking the students through the different steps of the process, startingwith the “brain storming” to the more technical side of those deals.

Intended Audience: The more mature the audience the more successful this lecture will be, so ideally the students are either juniors or seniors in HS.

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Tax Planning – What does it really look like

Professor Doron Narotski

Professor Doron Narotski

Students will get to hear and learn a little about one of this vague term “tax planning”, which most people know very little about, but on the same time usually have a strong negative opinion about.

Intended Audience: The more mature the audience the more successful this lecture will be, so ideally the students are either juniors or seniors in HS.

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Global Business Implications of COVID 19

Professor Andrew Thomas

Professor Andrew Thomas

This presentation will explore the major global business outcomes from COVID 19, including the reallocation of labor, shifts in consumer demand, supply chains, capital and trade flows, and, energy re-alignment. It will discuss the governmental and political roles in respect to: restructuring global trade in key industries, bailouts and rescues of particular sectors, and continued monetary and fiscal stimulus.

Intended Audience: This topic would be for a general audience at the sophomore level and above

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Global Supply Chain Management

Professor Mahesh Srinivasan

Professor Mahesh Srinivasan

Using a structured learning activity, participants will be challenged to design an efficient Global Supply Chain network for a business. They will need to consider risks to their supply chain like those caused by global pandemics. At the end of the session, participants will learn elements of global supply chain and risk mitigation strategies while gaining an appreciation for the challenges and opportunities within the field of Supply Chain Management.

Intended Audience: Any high school class audience. Can be tailored to suit the requirement (also available in an introductory/activity-based format)

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Introductory & Activity-Based

We Are All Consumers & Marketers: How Marketing Goes Beyond Advertising & Plays a Role in Daily Life

Professor Lauren Houser

Professor Lauren Houser

In this activity-based session, students will apply strategic marketing principles to a relevant, real-life scenario in order to understand the importance of marketing in their daily lives. The main goal of this session is to explore aspects of Marketing, beyond just advertising, and connect the importance of Marketing to each individual, regardless of interest-level and/or career choice.

Intended Audience: Can be adapted for all levels

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Global Cultural Competency

Professor Mahesh Srinivasan

Professor Mahesh Srinivasan

The session will provide an introduction to enhance participants' understanding of the knowledge and skills necessary for successful cultural interactions based on various cultural norms and dimensions. At the end of the session, students should be able to identify and gain awareness of underlying dimensions of culture and recognize the importance of approaching cultural interactions with an open mind.

Intended Audience: Any high school class audience who would like an appreciation of the importance of building global cultural competency.

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Accounting!

Professor Jules Jones

Professor Jules Jones

Through this seminar, students will learn what a career in accounting is (i.e. type of work/type of employer) and what a CPA license is and how it can be useful for various career paths. Students will engage in an activity where each student receive a (real or virtual) notecard with a statement on it then will decide if that is “income”, a “deduction” or has no impact on the tax return. The level of detail will adapt to the age range requested.

Intended Audience: Can be adjusted for audiences of all ages 8th grade through senior levels

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What am I good at? Exploring career options through self-reflection and networking

Professor Andrea Meluch

Professor Andrea Meluch

This presentation will provide students with the opportunity to consider their career path by reflecting on their own strengths, their personal network, and the opportunities available to them. Using self-reflection exercises, students will assess their strengths and passions related to career development. Then students will be challenged to consider how to leverage their network to identify connections to help them achieve their goals. The goal of this presentation is to help students to more clearly identify careers that match their skillset and to find ways to connect with individuals who can help them to achieve their goals.

Intended Audience: Can be adjusted for audiences of all ages 8th grade through senior levels

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Beyond the Search: How Google Works for Business

Professor Alexa Fox

Professor Alexa Fox

Students are very familiar with using search engines like Google, but how often do they get to take an inside look at how Google creates the search engine experience to benefit businesses in their marketing endeavors? In this 40-minute activity-based presentation led by digital marketing expert Dr. Alexa Fox of The University of Akron College of Business, students will learn how businesses can use Google to reach potential customers through paid and organic search results (as well as what those terms mean and the difference between them!). Students will also get the chance to apply the subject matter through a guided activity resulting in the students creating their very first pay-per-click ad.

Intended Audience: Ideally for sophomore through senior levels.

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Getting a Great Sales Job in Today's World!!!

Professor Dave Payne

Professor Dave Payne

Since the beginning of business, “sales” is the piston that runs the motor for any company. If a company is not growing, they are slowly dying. The great secret career that many don't think about is the amazing opportunity to learn sales, help your clients/customers and make a great living. In this seminar, students will learn about the dilemma college graduates face today, what a sales career is…and what it is NOT, the many opportunities that college graduates with sales expertise can capture upon graduation, how to create the best “Plan B” you never thought of, and ultimately set yourself up for success!

Intended Audience: This presentation is designed for high school students considering college as a next step in their career selection and launch.

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Activity-Based Costing

Professor Melanie McCoskey

Professor Melanie McCoskey

Through this activity-based presentation, students will learn how to accurately measure a product's cost which will then help them determine the selling price. Students will use a traditional costing method and then an activity-based costing method and compare the results. Students will learn how additional information about the process of manufacturing a product can improve pricing decisions and overall profitability.

Intended Audience: High school juniors and seniors.

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Data Visualization

Professor Vanja Djuric

Professor Vanja Djuric

In a traditional setting, educational outcomes tend to be focused on how many answers a student may know. We want students to learn how to develop a critical stance with their work, and data visualizations helps us develop and support that critical stance. Through this activity-based presentation, students will use a sample dataset to apply data visualization best practices, including choosing the right chart type and providing proper insights. The goal is to get students comfortable with using data to make business decisions.

Intended Audience: This speaking topic is perfect for high school juniors and seniors.

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Motivational/Aspirational


College Path: An Economic Analysis

Professor Ali Enami

Professor Ali Enami

The goal of this presentation is to introduce students to reliable economic data that they could utilize when they think about their college path. The data discussed in this presentation include the expected income of each college major, the average income of workers with a specific job-title in a given geographic region, and the total number of those workers. While students are usually encouraged to pursue what they are passionate about, this presentation will help them conduct a cost-benefit analysis so that they can make a more informed decision.

Intended Audience: The target audience for this presentation are juniors/seniors who are thinking about attending college.

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The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Professor Joe Fox

Professor Joe Fox

This interactive discussion on entrepreneurship and innovation highlights the benefits of deploying an entrepreneurial mindset to build new ventures, solve big problems, and operate in an uncertain and complex world. This talk also covers misconceptions about entrepreneurship and highlights how building entrepreneurial ventures helps build the future.

Intended Audience: Can be adjusted for audiences of all ages 8th grade through senior levels

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An Immigrant Story

Professor Doron Narotski

Professor Doron Narotski

As someone who lived until I was 28 in a different country with a completely different mentality and culture, I believe I bring a different level of appreciation to what the United States has to offer to its people. I grew up in a farm in Israel, and I ended up as a tax lawyer in the best firm in New York City. That's something that even in my wildest dreams I never thought will happen to me in my life. However, I proved to myself and everyone around me that it is possible. And I want my students to know that as well. I want them to dream and dare to try and make those dreams a reality.

Intended Audience: Any HS level student should have dreams to go all the way in life.

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Metacognition!

Professor Melanie McCoskey

Professor Melanie McCoskey

In this interactive presentation, students will learn about learning and identify ways to learn material in any subject. Students will learn about Bloom's taxonomy and determine where they are performing in high school, where they think they should be in college, and where they think they should be as a working professional. If allowed by the school, students will be able to use free polling software to answer different questions posed by the instructor, so they can experience one method of a class engagement activity used in college. Finally, students will be provided with take-away information to assess what type of learner they are.

Intended Audience: High school juniors and seniors

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Trust me… It's OK to not know what type of career you want to pursue

Professor Cynthia Tomasch

Professor Cynthia Tomasch

In this session, students will gain perspective on how it is possible (perhaps even advisable) to be open to unexpected opportunities as they pursue further education and career paths beyond high school. By scripting every move, students may limit their possibilities and never allow themselves to discover their true calling. The speaker will also share from her personal experience perspective on making choices related to balancing career and family.

Intended Audience: This speaking topic is perfect for sophomore and above high school students

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