Hall Jack 400 1115Regions Bank has provided a gift to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to create and support the Regions Institute for Financial Education within the Collat School of Business.

The Institute’s mission is to develop a conduit for UAB students, faculty and staff as well as for the Birmingham community to learn the skills and knowledge essential to successfully manage personal finances.

In order to carry out that mission, Regions is partnering with UAB to provide an endowed program support fund for comprehensive financial education outreach, research and education programs at UAB and in the community.

Together with Regions, UAB will endeavor to leverage the resources of the Institute to provide money-management tools that will have a lasting impact.

Hagwood CowartChad T. Hagwood, Senior Vice President and Regional Manager for Capital One Multifamily Finance in Birmingham, graduated from UAB in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in finance with a concentration in Commercial Real Estate Finance and Investment Institutional Finance. He’s been giving back to UAB ever since, by mentoring students, chairing the Finance Department Advisory Council, and establishing the Tommy and Anne Hagwood Endowed Scholarship in Real Estate in 2007 to honor his parents.

His latest gift of $250,000 will name a classroom in the new Collat School of Business and Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in honor of Lary B. Cowart, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Accreditation and Assistant Professor of Real Estate and Finance.

“I have been very blessed and fortunate to have several great mentors in my life, and one of those mentors is Dr. Lary Cowart,” he says. “I met Dr. Cowart in the fall of 1991 when I took an intro to real estate class. During my three years at UAB, Dr. Cowart’s advice, wisdom and knowledge was invaluable to me, and I attribute much of my success to what I learned at UAB from Dr. Cowart and other fantastic faculty at the Collat School of Business.

David KassoufThe Kassouf family — and the accounting firm that bears their name — have made gifts totaling $500,000 to name the Department of Accounting and Finance Suite in the new Collat School of Business building.

The Kassouf & Co. Suite is the latest investment in UAB by the Kassouf family and the firm, who also have established endowed scholarships in accounting and industrial distribution and have supported a range of programs across campus. The suite includes offices for the department chair and student advising staff, as well as a conference room, reception space and workroom.

David P. Kassouf, a member of the Collat School of Business Dean’s Advisory Board, says the “dividends” of investing in UAB are the accomplished graduates who enter the workforce, driving Birmingham’s business toward success.

“We’ve had the opportunity to see the Collat School of Business and the Accounting Department blossom from their modest beginnings,” he says. “By continuing our support, we hope to catapult UAB into its role as a destination business school and help serve as a catalyst in the development of the next generation of our community’s leaders.”

Rendering Inside 350With lead gifts from the Joy and Bill Harbert Foundation and Medical Properties Trust, UAB’s Collat School of Business is close to the halfway mark in an ambitious effort to raise $15 million for a new building at the corner of University Boulevard and 13th Street South.

“Our vision for this facility is to create a formalized structure that leverages UAB’s tremendous on-campus resources – from business expertise to world-class medicine to engineering – to facilitate innovation and entrepreneurship leading to commercialization and economic development for the community, state and beyond,” said Eric Jack, Ph.D., Wells Fargo Endowed Chair in Business Administration and dean of the Collat School of Business. “We are honored to partner with generous individuals and organizations who share that vision."

As published in NEWSLETTER the Campaign for UAB
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Chandiwala Kassouf 350TTwenty-two years ago, Hafiz Chandiwala was an accounting student at UAB, struggling to balance college studies while supporting his young family. “I was working full time, I had a family, I was young, and I was going to school at night to try to finish my degree in four years,” he recalls. “I received some financial aid, including student loans, to support my way through school, but it was a traditional package with a large component to be repaid following graduation.”

Then, to his surprise, the Collat School of Business Scholarship Committee awarded him the Louis Paul Kassouf Endowed Scholarship for accounting students. “I was very shocked — amazed and grateful — to receive a scholarship, and without it, I am not sure I would have been able to finish my education,” he says. “That scholarship changed everything for me.”

Today, Chandiwala is the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc. And in 2005, he created his own scholarship in the Collat School of Business to provide more opportunities to UAB students who, like him, are juggling financial challenges and big dreams. The Hafiz Chandiwala Endowed Scholarship in Accounting is designated for accounting majors who are working full-time while attending college at UAB. “I receive letters from the recipients,” he says. “It’s heartwarming to know that you are able to help others in a manner that you were once helped and pay it forward.”

Talent recruitment projectThe Birmingham Business Alliance invited students from Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, and UAB Collat School of Business to participate in their Talent Recruitment Project on October 30th, 2015. This annual event attracts high-caliber talent to Birmingham for an opportunity to connect with local companies. Eleven Collat students, juniors and seniors, participated in the event.

The student participants connected with Birmingham company recruiters from BBVA Compass, Greenway Health, Northwestern Mutual, Robert Half, Southern Company, UAB, Viva Health, and Warren Averitt to explore the various career facets of the corporations. BBVA Compass, Greenway Health, Robert Half and Southern Company recruiters served on a panel to discuss the importance of academic performance, internships, interview preparation, creativity, and professionalism. The conversation continued over lunch at the Region’s Harbert Summit Club overlooking the city of Birmingham.

project management tipsHave you ever dreamed of running a Broadway theater? Managing a lab, clinic or PR practice? Bringing an engineering marvel to market? Business classes provide that extra oomph to your resume that shows you’re ready to become a leader in your profession. Minors, certificates and elective courses provide knowledge and experience in social media strategies, entrepreneurship, management and more. Turn your passion into a career!

The Collat School of Business offers many courses that are open to all UAB students regardless of major. These courses have no business prerequisites. 

BH Hibbett SportsHibbett Sports CEO Jeffry Rosenthal and Chief Merchant Jared Briskin met with students in the combined undergraduate capstone and MBA class, “Strategic Leadership Through the Eyes of the C-Suite,” on October 27, 2015, to discuss their company’s strategy.

Mr. Rosenthal and Mr. Briskin described several key technology-based initiatives that are underway at the company including further development of digital marketing through social media and other channels, and refinement of a point-of-sale computer system. The POS system would allow sales associates to “convert” a customer who might not find exactly what they need in a store, but would be happy if the sales associate went online in the store and arranged for a product to be sent directly to the customer’s home.

By Matt Windsor 
As published in UAB The Mix,Tomorrow land: Engineering lab explores the future of tech, teaching 

mix bicep curlBy now, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Fitbit, a digital-age pedometer that tracks your steps — and sleep patterns. You may well be wearing one yourself. Corey Shum, Director of UAB’s Enabling Technology Lab, is working with two local entrepreneurs, and the Engineering and Innovative Technology Development (EITD) group, to create a hyperaccurate Fitbit that doesn’t just watch you exercise — it makes sure you’re doing it right. It could also transform the process of rehabilitation after an injury.

Orthopedic surgeon Ken Jaffe, M.D., a 1982 graduate of the UAB School of Medicine and a former UAB faculty member now in private practice, was inspired by the high-tech motion-capture devices in the golf industry. “In the golf world, they have sensors you can put on your club to look at your club head speed and swing path,” Jaffe said. “I had the idea of using this technology for medical rehabilitation.” He also knew where to go for help turning the idea into reality. “I was introduced to some of the talent at UAB when I got my MBA” at the UAB Collat School of Business in 2003, Jaffe said. A former faculty member in the business school, Sanjay Singh, Ph.D., connected Jaffe and his business partner in the startup Management of Motion to Shum and the ETLab.