Millikin University - Decatur, IL
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The Hispanic-Latino community has expanded into an important contributor to the U.S. economy with over 2.3 million businesses in the United States categorized as Hispanic-owned. These businesses are producing over $345 billion in sales. What factors are contributing to this entrepreneurial success?

In his recently published book, "Hispanic-Latino Entrepreneurship: Viewpoints of Practitioners," Dr. J. Mark Munoz, Millikin University professor of international business, examines the entrepreneurial mindset of Hispanic-Latinos in the United States. The book was co-authored by Dr. Michelle Ingram Spain, professor at the DeVille School of Business at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, and published by Business Expert Press.

"The book is meaningful since it helps advance the understanding of Hispanic-Latino entrepreneurship," said Dr. Munoz. "Hispanic-Latinos number about 50 million, and constitute about 16 percent of the U.S. population. In addition to examining the entrepreneurial mindset of Hispanic-Latino entrepreneurs, the book discusses their entrepreneurial intent, goals and business strategies."

The authors captured the viewpoints of real-life Hispanic-Latino entrepreneurs by using a 15-item questionnaire to obtain information on how they utilized their business strategies. The book also highlights challenges relating to entrepreneurial pursuits, and the importance of hard work, discipline, and a positive mindset in the success of an enterprise.

"This was not an easy book project," said Dr. Munoz. "I had to interview over 20 Hispanic-Latino entrepreneurs throughout the country. Several Millikin students supported the project and assisted me in finding entrepreneurs."

Millikin alumna Jamie Rockhold '14 worked as an undergraduate research fellow and assisted Dr. Munoz during the research process. Rockhold presented some of the research findings in April 2014 during Millikin's annual Celebrations of Scholarship. Rockhold also contributed to the writing of the manuscript and analysis.

"Being able to work with Dr. Munoz on the entrepreneurship project was a great learning experience," said Rockhold. "With the guidance of Dr. Munoz, I became immersed in the research process of writing a book and the steps to take in order to finalize and publish the material. While I learned a great deal from being a part of the process, I learned even more from the entrepreneurs."

In terms of importance, Dr. Munoz sees the book playing a major role in both the academic and business sectors. Readers will find value in the insights of the entrepreneurs on topics such as education, training, and networking.

"In my view, as more Hispanic-Latino businesses are created in the U.S., this field of study will grow in importance," said Dr. Munoz. "Aside from the academic community, the book will be useful to entrepreneurs worldwide, government organizations, and policy makers."

Jamie Rockhold added, "It was interesting to discover similar characteristics among the entrepreneurs from a wide range of industries and backgrounds. When speaking with them, I became motivated in my career goals because despite all of the obstacles and hardships, the entrepreneurs continued to pursue their dreams and reach their current level of success."

Dr. Munoz is a recipient of several awards, including three Best Research Paper Awards, Teaching Excellence Awards, and a literary award. In 2013, he received a teaching excellence award from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). In 2014, he received Millikin University's Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award and was admitted as Fellow to the Royal Geographical Society.

For more information on the book, visit

Photo courtesy of the Decaturian

Millikin University faculty members Dr. Stephen Frech, associate professor of English, Dr. Susan Cobb, adjunct professor of music, and Dr. Chung-Ha Kim, adjunct professor of music, have collaborated to release a CD of Camille Saint-Saëns' "Carnival of the Animals." The CD features piano performances by Dr. Susan Cobb and Dr. Chung-Ha Kim, as well as new poems written and read by Dr. Stephen Frech.

"Carnival of the Animals" is a comedic musical suite of 14 movements by French Romantic Composer Camille Saint-Saëns. Each movement represents a different animal or animals, such as a lion or elephant. The work follows a zoological program and progresses from the first movement.

The project initially started with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra's (MDSO) Family Concert performance of "Carnival of the Animals" on April 6, 2013. As part of the performance, Dr. Frech collaborated with the MDSO and wrote new verses to accompany the music.

"Michael Luxner approached me about writing new poems for a performance of 'Carnival of the Animals' with the MDSO," said Dr. Frech. "We decided on an ensemble of poetic voices, echoing the varied musical voices in Saint-Saëns' composition. Recent Millikin graduates contributed some of the poems for that original performance. I enjoyed writing the poems so much that I decided to continue working, even after the MDSO concert, to complete the full parade of animals."

When asked about the process of accompanying poetry to the piano arrangements, Dr. Frech said he "spent many hours listening to a recording of the 'Carnival of the Animals' orchestral music. I wanted to hear the mood and character of the music without another writer's interpretation. The music feels truly varied in character – silly in some moments, ponderous in others."

Dr. Michael Luxner, music director and conductor of the MDSO said, "There is a long tradition of performing this piece with poetry, dating back to some now-classic light verses written in the 1940's. It's a timeless, charming, one-of-a-kind work of music."

The CD is now available at Millikin University's School of Music, Haines & Essick, Blue Connection, and the Steinway Gallery in Springfield, Ill. The CD is also available for download via CDBaby, Amazon MP3, and iTunes.

"When I first started learning my piano part, I was mainly focused on making sure that the virtuosic and brilliant passages were in place," said Dr. Kim. "But listening to the poems really prompted me to connect with each movement on a deeper level – I started listening for the humor and the tenderness that is present in each movement. Susan and I enjoyed our initial performance with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra very much, so it was a wonderful experience to return to the music and create an opportunity to record a slightly different version."

To listen to samples or to purchase the album, visit

Dr. Frech added, "The poems were so much fun to write; I hope readers and listeners of the CD can sense that in the sound and sense of the poems. The fun of these animals parading together informs the rhythms and sounds of the poems; an ongoing curiosity wonders about them throughout the sequence. That combination of fun and wonder is for children and adults – these poems are intended for that wide audience."

Millikin University faculty members Dr. David Burdick, associate professor of music, Dr. Mark Samples, assistant professor of music, and Edward Weber, assistant professor of information systems, took top awards at the annual Experiential Classroom Faculty Clinic held Sept. 18-21, 2014, at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla. The trio took three of the four awards that were handed out during the clinic's closing ceremony.

The Experiential Classroom is the premier clinic for faculty who are relatively new to the teaching of entrepreneurship and the building of entrepreneurship programs. Professors from many countries and disciplines gather together in the Experiential Classroom to learn the top pedagogies in entrepreneurship education from leaders in the field. Over the past 14 years, approximately 1,000 professors have benefited from this excellent "teach-the-teachers" format.

Millikin University's Center for Entrepreneurship has sent more than 17 delegates to the program since 2000.

The clinic featured team workshops in which 16 teaching teams were created and case studies were assigned to each team. Each team had to teach a 30-student undergrad class using the particular case they had been given. Each team also taught in front of two professional evaluators.

Dr. David Burdick's team won the "Excellence in the Entrepreneurship Classroom Award" for their work on the assigned case "Opportunity Recognition." The case was based on the essential first step when considering launching, or otherwise moving forward, on an entrepreneurial venture.

"Our presentation turned out to be highly engaging for the students and their demonstration of comprehension, and application of the subject matter for our topic was impressive," said Dr. Burdick. "I am highly appreciative of the two team members I worked with. They were both very talented and superb collaborators. If there's one thing I've learned about the world of business and entrepreneurship, it's all about team work."
Edward Weber's team won the "Outstanding Case Teaching Award" for creative teaching at the clinic. Weber's team was tasked with presenting a case while utilizing technology-based tools to enhance the learning experience for the students. The team incorporated five different technologies including Prezi, Jing, YouTube, Skype, and Socrative, while developing and presenting their case.

"Having very little group prep time in advance of the session, our team members worked independently to develop and extend our respective portions and then tie the entire work back together to a core focus of engaging and challenging the students," said Weber. "My first reaction to winning the award was that I was shocked. The organizers also said that it was the first time they had seen so many students stay after a session to gain additional information about the actual case and learning components."

Dr. Mark Samples won an individual award called the "Igniting the Flame Award" for creative teaching, enthusiasm, and embodying the spirit of entrepreneurship education.

"I felt honored to receive the award, especially since there were so many engaged and enthusiastic participants at the workshop," said Dr. Samples. "I was inspired by my colleagues' openness to try new styles of teaching, and to take risks in the classroom for the good of our students."

Dr. Samples says the clinic helped in terms of Performance Learning development. "The Experiential Classroom reinforced for me the value of Millikin's Performance Learning approach, while showing me new ways to engage my students in real-world learning. The faculty members were a well-spring of knowledge and resources, allowing me to bring back some teaching resources that I can use right away in my courses."

Weber added, "My overall experience at the clinic was simply outstanding. I accumulated a great number of takeaways which I will be implementing."

For more information on the Experiential Classroom Faculty Clinic, visit

Dr. Chung-Ha Kim, Millikin University adjunct professor of music, has been honored as a Steinway Artist by world-renowned piano maker Steinway & Sons.

For decades Steinway & Sons has cultivated special relationships with pianists from every genre. From classical pianists like Lang Lang, to jazz stars like Diana Krall, to pop icons like Billy Joel, to "immortals" like Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Arthur Rubinstein — more than 1,600 artists make the Steinway their own.

In reference to Dr. Kim, Steinway & Sons says, "Your commitment to excellence in your artistic and professional achievements make it most appropriate that you are now included on the Steinway Artist Roster, a list of the most accomplished artists in the world."

"Steinway represents all the qualities I strive for as a pianist – patience, excellence and beauty," said Dr. Kim. "This recognition encourages me to continue to refine my skills as a pianist. Just as Steinway pianos represent excellence and superior craftsmanship, I want to continue to reflect those same qualities in my playing."

Dr. Chung-Ha Kim teaches Preparatory Piano, Class Piano, Applied Piano, and Piano Pedagogy at Millikin. She received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York, her Master of Music and her Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music.

Dr. Kim added, "As a Steinway Artist, you are asked to maintain high standards in your artistic and professional achievements. While I have always done the same in my teaching, this recognition certainly adds even more motivation to encourage my students to do their best."

Dr. Kim performs widely as a solo and collaborative pianist, including performances at the University of Chicago, Justus-Liebig-Universität in Giessen, Germany, Radford University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Harper College, Millikin University, Western Illinois University, Mount Union College, and Steinway Piano Gallery in Springfield, Ill.

She premiered "Prelude to Raphael" by John Stafford II, and has published articles in Clavier and Piano Pedagogy Forum. An active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), she has served as vice president of the Illinois State Music Teachers Association (ISMTA) and president of the Decatur Area Music Teachers Association (DAMTA).

"We are delighted that Dr. Kim is now a Steinway Artist," said Dr. Stephen Widenhofer, director of Millikin's School of Music and professor of music. "As an all-Steinway school, this honor complements Millikin's commitment to quality teaching and to having the best equipment in the Perkinson Music Center for our students."

Dr. Kim added, "My connection with Steinway goes back a long time – I was 12 years old when my parents purchased a brand new Hamburg Steinway A for me. I remember coming home from school and seeing the piano for the first time, it literally took my breath away. It's wonderful to be recognized as a Steinway Artist decades after that first experience. But to be honest, I also feel a little awed, since I am now listed on the same roster with piano superstars such as Yefim Bronfman, Evgeny Kissin and Mitsuko Uchida."

For more information, visit
Dr. J. Mark Munoz, Millikin University professor of international management, has been named a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) with the Institute of British Geographers (IBG).

The Royal Geographical Society was founded in 1830 and is the United Kingdom's premier organization for the advancement of geography and its practitioners worldwide. As a learned society and professional organization, it promotes an enhanced understanding of our world.

"The fellowship is a true honor," said Dr. Munoz. "Many society members are world renowned explorers, authors, professors, and geographers. I am thrilled to be in the company of such accomplished individuals, and I am delighted to be given the privilege and opportunity to support the society's efforts."

As a member, Dr. Munoz plans to support the society by sharing his research in the field of geopolitics.

"The Royal Geographical Society is engaged in geographical research, education, fieldwork and expeditions, and geography in society," said Dr. Munoz. "I plan to be involved in advancing geopolitical research and education. Geopolitics is about the convergence of geography, politics, and economics and its impact on global events. In my view, an understanding of geopolitics is critical since it affects lives, careers, businesses, and even the fate of nations. I plan to share my findings with the society and of course, my students at Millikin."

Last summer, Dr. Munoz published a ground-breaking book titled "Handbook on the Geopolitics of Business." The book focuses on the importance of geopolitical understanding in the management of the contemporary corporation. The book features original contributions from numerous experts across the world and offers important implications for both the academic and corporate communities.

The book also has an appeal to students and professors of international business, economics and political sciences. The volume offers a comprehensive discussion of the new global terrain and makes a strong case for the consideration of geopolitics in both the study and practice of modern day business.

Dr. Munoz added, "Having a faculty member, who is a member of the society, enhances the Millikin brand and strengthens its commitment to international education and global citizenship. This fellowship inspires me to continue my research work and publications in the field of geopolitics."

The Royal Geographical Society has devoted much attention to education and was responsible for the incorporation of the study of geography in schools at the turn of the 20th century. The Institute of British Geographers was formed in 1933 by society fellows as a sister program to the RGS.

The RGS and IBG co-existed for 60 years until they merged in January 1995 to create the new Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers. Today, with 15,000 members, the society is the largest and most active of the scholarly geographical societies. For more information on the Royal Geographical Society, visit

"I am hoping this fellowship will inspire interest in geography and geopolitics among Millikin students," said Dr. Munoz. "A high level of appreciation and comprehension of the world can be valuable in any career."
Dr. Jennifer Schroeder, Millikin University assistant professor of biology, received Turnitin's 2014 Academic Integrity Award in the higher education sector. Dr. Schroeder was recognized for using Turnitin's Originality Report to promote academic integrity, independent thought, and ethical reasoning for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Turnitin, a leader in originality checking and online grading, announced on March 19 the 12 winners for the Turnitin All-Stars Award Program. Comprised of educators and institutions, the selected winners demonstrated excellence and success in effectively using Turnitin to support student learning.

"I feel honored to have received this award from Turnitin, and to be recognized for how I emphasize the idea of academic integrity in my courses," said Dr. Schroeder. "I want students to be proud of the work that they do, and I feel that it can only be accomplished when students are using their own voice to convey information they have learned."

Dr. Schroeder has a writing component in each of her courses and utilizes frequently, from smaller writing assignments to large research papers with drafts. Some of the courses she teaches include first-year biology and graduate nursing courses.

"At Millikin, we believe in expecting students to be creators of new knowledge, and often that means that our students know how to write based on their own observations, their own investigations, and their own creative experiences," said Dr. Randy Brooks, dean of Millikin University's College of Arts & Sciences. "Dr. Jennifer Schroeder understands the importance of empowering the students to seek and use their own knowledge. She demonstrates that quality original writing is important in all areas of academic learning."

Dr. Schroeder added, "In receiving this award from Turnitin, I am not only being recognized for what I do in the classroom, but I now have a voice outside of Millikin to share how I address plagiarism through my spotlight page on the Turnitin website."

Turnitin is used by more than 10,000 institutions in 126 countries to manage the submission, tracking and evaluation of student work online. The company's cloud-based service for originality checking, online grading and peer review provides rich feedback to students.

"Our winners and honorable mentions are considered the very best and brightest stars from a universe of a million instructors and 10,000 schools that use Turnitin," said Ray Huang, senior customer programs manager for Turnitin. "We are fortunate to have their stories be shared with the educational community, to serve as shining examples and inspiration."

The full list of winners and honorable mentions are available on the Turnitin website and include interviews with each of the individuals:
Millikin University alumnus and Adjunct Instructor of Business, Dennis Beard '82, received Champaign County Economic Development Corporation's (CCEDC) 2014 Entrepreneurial Excellence Advocacy Award. The award was presented at the 9th Annual CCEDC Innovation Celebration held on Feb. 27 at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Urbana, Ill. The Advocacy Award was one of nine awards presented during the event.

Over 250 guests attended the celebration to recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions and provided leadership to ensure the continuing economic success of Champaign County, and the growth of entrepreneurial talent and energy in the community. The winners were chosen out of more than 125 nominations.

"I was thrilled to have won the Advocacy Award," said Beard. "When you look at the people that have won the award in the past, they tend to be professors and people that provide advisory services. It was neat to be recognized among an elite group of people."

Dennis serves as a partner for Serra Ventures, LLC, a consulting and investment firm located in Champaign, Ill., specializing in assisting early stage technology companies from research university communities. He currently teaches accounting in Millikin's Master of Business Administration (MBA) program and assists with several Millikin business events such as the annual Business Creation Competition. Beard has also worked with the InDecatur Venture Fund and was one of the early advisors in the establishment of the fund.

"Millikin is a great place to learn about business and to learn about entrepreneurship," said Beard. "When I was an undergraduate at Millikin I felt I received a well-rounded business education, including exposure to entrepreneurship."

In addition to his role with Millikin, Beard is an adjunct lecturer for the College of Business at the University of Illinois in Urbana – Champaign. Beard is a certified public accountant and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana – Champaign and a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Millikin University.

"Dennis has been a key resource for Millikin, providing advice and wise counsel on issues relating to launching and growing businesses," said Sharon Alpi, director of Millikin's Center for Entrepreneurship. "Dennis is a highly respected teacher in our MBA program and brings a wealth of experience to the classroom. As a judge for our Business Creation Competition, his feedback and network connections have been invaluable. We trust and value his insight and knowledge."

For more information on the CCEDC 2014 Innovation Celebration award winners, visit
Dr. J. Mark Munoz, Millikin University professor of management and international business, has embarked on a campaign to help the thousands of victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

"As many of you know, thousands of people perished and hundreds of thousands are currently displaced and suffering," says Munoz. "I was born in the Philippines and have family there. Fortunately, my family was spared and experienced only very minor property damage. We are now mobilizing efforts to help others."

Located in Southeast Asia, the Philippines has a population of about 105 million. The country is a close U.S. ally and trading partner. The country imports about $7 billion worth of products from the U.S. annually, and exports about $6.6 billion worth of products to the U.S. under the presidency of Benigno Aquino. The country is on track towards economic recovery and enhancement of social programs directed towards health and education. The country is relatively poor with a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of $4500.

Munoz adds, "The country's infrastructure is fragile. An exceptionally strong typhoon, such as Haiyan, can create extensive damage. My understanding is that food, water and medicines are being sent to the country. An important issue to consider is lack of electricity. Many cities will likely be without power for several months."

Munoz has teamed up with the Watts of Love Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Chicago, to provide 10,000 portable solar lighting units with cell phone chargers to the typhoon victims.

"Imagine families living in darkness for several months," said Munoz. "Imagine families being totally cut off from communication. The solar powered lighting units and chargers will save lives, provide hope, and can serve as a device families can use for other emergencies in the future. In my classes, I talk about global citizenship all the time. I cannot merely sit back and watch. I need to provide help where I can."

In 2005, Munoz wrote a book about the Philippines entitled "Land of My Birth." The book was a sociopolitical critique of the Philippines and was a call for arms for economic, political and social reform. In that same year, Munoz was recognized with a Calatagan Award, a literary and cultural award from the Philippine American Artists and Writers Association.

More information on how to help is available on the Watts of Love Foundation website at

Click here to read an article from the Herald & Review about Dr. Munoz's efforts.
Mark Munoz Teaching Excellence AwardThe Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) has named Dr. J. Mark Munoz, Millikin University associate professor of management and international business, the recipient for the Region 4 2013 ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award. The region includes Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Ontario, Canada. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs recognizes individuals annually from each of its 10 regions who exemplify teaching excellence in the classroom. The University of Indianapolis – Athens Campus is the financial sponsor for the 2013 award.

Munoz will be honored, along with other regional recipients, at the 2013 ACBSP Annual Conference, June 21-24 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and will receive a medallion and a $100 check. Two International Teaching Excellence Award recipients will be announced at a special Salute to Regions luncheon, one from a baccalaureate/graduate degree-granting institution and one from an associate degree-granting institution. As a regional recipient, Munoz is now a candidate for the international award.

"It would be difficult to imagine a candidate more suited for the ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award than Dr. J. Mark Munoz," says James O. Watson, interim dean of the Tabor School of Business at Millikin University. "He is one of Tabor's finest and most conscientious faculty in the classroom."

The Associate Degree Commission of ACBSP established the International Teaching Excellence Award in 1995 to recognize outstanding classroom teachers. In 2002, the Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Commission created a similar award to recognize excellence in teaching at the baccalaureate/graduate degree level. ACBSP is the only specialized accrediting body for business schools that presents an award recognizing excellence in teaching, open to application by the entire membership.

Munoz in Classroom

"It is more important than ever for business programs to produce graduates who are ready to enter the global marketplace," said Douglas Viehland, ACBSP executive director. "ACBSP has a mission to develop, promote and recognize best practices that contribute to continuous improvement of business education. Recognition of teaching excellence is one way we achieve this goal," he stated.

Dr. Munoz added, "To be recognized for teaching excellence within our university is one thing, but to be recognized for excellence by an accrediting institution covering hundreds of colleges and universities across several states is an entirely different matter. I am quite surprised and amazed, moreover, I am thrilled that the Tabor School of Business and Millikin University have been recognized for its core strength - teaching. There are several individuals I'd like to thank for the award. Administrators such as Vice President for Academic Affairs Barry Pearson, former Dean Jim Dahl, and Interim Dean Jim Watson have always been supportive of my efforts. Tabor faculty members have always collaborated with me and guided me in many of my teaching endeavors. I don't view this simply as a personal award – it is recognition for excellence for the Tabor School of Business and Millikin University."

ACBSP currently has more than 1,171 member campuses in 52 countries and 10 regions. For more information on the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, visit
Millikin University is pleased to announce Lisa Casey as Employee of the Month for October 2012. Lisa began working at Millikin as a part-time Administrative Assistant for the Pre-Professional Program and Chemistry Department on Aug. 12, 2010.

The Employee Recognition Committee received compelling support for Casey’s selection, including the following comment: “Students and faculty alike know that Lisa is a very knowledgeable and a dependable part of the Chemistry Department and the Pre-Professional Program. Her responsibilities include helping Dr. Cynthia Handler organize materials used by students who are preparing to take important exams that are used by professional programs such as medical schools, pharmacy schools, and dental programs. She also helps Dr. Handler prepare for the rigorous Pre-Professional advising week. Her friendliness to both students and co-workers, her work ethic, and her organizational skills make her an essential part of the Pre-Professional Program.”

Millikin University offers its heartiest congratulations to Lisa Casey on being honored as Employee of the Month for October 2012.

The Employee Recognition Committee members are: Co-Chairs Stacey Hedden and Paul Lidy; Kathy Housh, Gwen Davis, Pat Pettit, Clarence Josefson, Molly Berry, Dan Carberg, and Danielle Davis (student representative).

The Employee Recognition Committee also thanks this month’s sponsors: University Dogs, Follet's Book Store on campus, Millikin University Marketing & Media Relations Department, Aramark Dining Services, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, Millikin University Department of Theatre & Dance, O'Charley’s, DISC Replay, Papa Murphy’s, Bronze Man Books, Pizza Hut, and the Millikin University Alumni & Development Center.
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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL