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The Weekly Blab

The Weekly Blab

Volume 6, Issue 11—October 31, 2011


The Only Thing Wrong With Myrtle Beach…

...is that it isn’t closer to Atlanta.  Regular readers of the BLAB will recall that Jill, Mark, and I spent some time with my parents at Myrtle Beach, SC this past June, when they made their annual trek east from Las Vegas (where they spend their winters) to Syracuse, NY (where they spend their summers).  While in Syracuse, they mentioned our time at the beach to a friend (whose children my mother taught back in the day) and it turns out that this friend owns a condo in Myrtle Beach.  Long story short, they offered it to my parents as a stopover for their trip back, so it was off to Myrtle Beach last week for some R&R. 

I don’t want to make anyone feel bad, but if you’re going to Myrtle Beach, last week was the time to go.  Myrtle Beach had a decent number of vacationers there over the weekend, but on the weekdays, it was almost totally empty—a far cry from the summer, where the weather is blistering, and you can’t move because the place is so packed.  The weather was perfect—75-80° every day without a cloud in the sky.  The condo was on the 10th floor of a 12 story building on Ocean Blvd., with a balcony that faced the ocean.  The complex had nine swimming pools, both indoors and out. It’s a six-hour haul to get there from Atlanta, but it’s well worth the trip.  Just so that you can all live vicariously, here's a picture of sunrise at Myrtle Beach.


The Downhill Slide Begins…

Beloved Chelsea dropped two this past two weekends—the first to Queens Park Rangers (who they haven’t lost to since the 1990’s) by a 1-0 score, with two of their players thrown out with red cards.  This weekend, they lost to Arsenal 5-3, which is a really high score for a soccer match.  The cursed Ruud Van Nistelrooy scored a hat trick (that’s three goals, to the uninitiated) against Chelsea.  I blame Han Reichgelt for this debacle, since they’re both Dutch!  Somehow, Chelsea is still in third place behind Manchester City and Manchester United, but I don’t know how long that will last.  I also hear that the World Series was also decided, but since the Red Sox weren’t in it, the less said the better.


Big Win For Business Team

Here’s the promised recap of our student team’s recent 1st place victory in the Social Business competition. 

Some weeks ago, the USG announced that there would be an economic development summit held at Georgia Tech featuring 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammed Yunus as the keynote speaker.  Dr. Yunus spoke on our campus last year, as many will recall, to a huge audience numbering some 900 people.  Anyway, they invited each university to assemble a student team for a competition in which they had to develop a business plan utilizing Dr. Yunus’ micro-credit techniques to address a social issue.  I asked several folks to nominate students for the team, and our colleagues in Business Administration and Honors stepped up to the plate. 

The team was a diverse bunch, including Sonal Doshi (a student in the MS in Accounting program), Fred Arnold (MBA), Lauren Tyus (honors, Business Administration), James (Ben) Fulghum (Business Administration), Joelle Day (MS Accounting, Arthur Vaughn (MS Accounting), Christopher Estrada (MBA), Rebecca Stringer (MBA), Sana Yasmeen (high school dual-enrollment, honors biology student), and Tiane McKoy (Apparel and Textiles).  Don Ariail, Greg Quinet, Joyce McGriff, and Sandra Vasa-Sideris (all Business Administration) were the team coaches.  They all worked hard and FAST, since they only had three weeks to prepare the plan before they had to submit and present it.  Our team’s social business plan was called “Restoration Trust”, and was a program to help battered women break the cycle of violence by giving them viable options via education and micro loans to establish their own businesses.

On the day of the competition, a big SPSU contingent drove down to Georgia Tech and joined the massive crowd there.  More than 1000 people attended the conference, and 38 teams from 36 colleges competed.  It was like old home week, because I ran into tons of people I know from the other universities in the USG.  Dr. Yunus gave a very good talk, and we then broke for lunch.  Afterwards, they split the student teams into four groups of 9-10 each for the initial round of the competition, with the top two teams from each group moving into the finals.  With about 100 people watching, all the teams gave excellent presentations, but my mind was fixed on mentally rating each one and comparing it to our team’s presentation.  Sonal and Fred were the presenters, and they did an exceptional job.  When the teams were all finished, I was pretty sure that we were in the top two.

The teams assembled back in the main hall and to keep the suspense up, they didn’t announce who the eight finalists were—instead, they called them up (in no particular order) one by one, to give their presentations again.  It was only by being called up that you knew you had made the finals.  SPSU’s team was the third to be called up, and I was more than satisfied with just making the finals.  The competition was much tougher here, because only the top two teams from each group had advanced.  Again, I was trying to count out how many teams I thought we gave better presentations than, because there were trophies for the top six, and I wanted us to have some hardware to bring home!  After all the presentations I thought we were in the top four, but couldn’t really be sure because they were all so good. 

There was a long delay as the judges’ scores were tallied up, and finally, Regent Willis Potts (the regent from our congressional district) acted as master of ceremonies.  He announced the winners in reverse order, and I was trying to look at his face to see if I could get a hint of how we had done (and I learned later, he was trying really hard not to show any hint of it!).  He quickly named the honorable mentions of 7th and 8th place, and when our name wasn’t called, I knew we had a trophy.  The rest were then called in reverse order: sixth place, fifth place, and so on.  When our name wasn’t called, I was counting down to Han Reichgelt and Mohammed Mayeed who had come down with me: top five! Top four!  Top three!  We were finally down to two—ABAC and us.  ABAC had given a superb proposal and presentation for establishing a health clinic to address the medical needs of migrant workers, something they had apparently worked on for some time, since they had gotten so far as actually establish the place.  I had my iPhone out and an email to Lisa (who was sad that she had to leave earlier) was ready to go…

Regent Potts then called out the name of the 2nd place winner, and it was ABAC.  A shout and applause broke out from the ABAC group, and then another from the SPSU group, as they realized that meant we had won 1st place.  Off went the email!   Several people came up to congratulate me for our team, and it was then off to bask in our students’ radiance and take tons of pictures, one of which is below.

So, fantastic job to all involved.  Now what will you do to top it next year?


And As If That Wasn’t Enough…

The winning streak continued, with student teams from SPSU’s Construction Management program winning a 1st Place and a 2nd Place in the Region II Associated Schools of Construction competition in Birmingham on October 27-28. 

The 1st place team was in the ASC Commercial Team Competition, and was lead by Trent Anderson.  The 2nd place team was the in the Heavy-Civil Competition, and led by Phillip Young.  Maureen Weidner and Pavan Meadati (both Construction Management, obviously) were the team coaches. 

Other teams participating in the Region II competitions included such unknowns as Auburn University, the University of Florida, Georgia Tech, Clemson University, and Virginia Tech.  Obviously, Florida’s loss to SPSU was the set up for their further loss to UGA in some other minor competition later in the weekend.


Trivia Contest

Last Week’s Contest

Last week’s contest focused on musical nicknames.  Rich Halstead-Nussloch (IT) took the honors with a very respectable four correct.  He wins a Moody Blues DVD.  Here are the correct answers:

  1. The King of Swing   Benny Goodman
  2. Chairman of the Board    Frank Sinatra
  3. The Hardest Working Man in Show Business  James Brown
  4. Queen of the Blues  Dinah Washington
  5. High Priestess of Soul  Nina Simone


This Week’s Contest

This week’s challenge is all about bears—Yogi bear, that is!  First with the most takes the swag.  No looking anything up now!

  1. What is the name of Yogi’s young partner?
  2. What phrase answers the question “How intelligent is Yogi”?
  3. What is the name of his home location, and the ranger there?
  4. What is Yogi’s girlfriend’s name?
  5. What was the original show on which Yogi appeared?