Person poses in front of large decorative award check with a trophy in their hands.

CBE Student Abigail Kuehl Wins 2024 College Cup

Antidote Haircare, a plant-powered haircare brand developed by Abigail Kuehl, a Towson University College of Business and Economics student, won the third annual College Cup.

Kuehl was one of seven finalists to pitch at the April 2 event, held at the StarTUp at the Armory in downtown Towson. She took home a cash prize of $10,000 to put towards her venture and a spot in the 2024 StarTUp Accelerator, where she will join several other founders for eight weeks to collaborate and accelerate their ventures.

“Thank you so much. I didn’t honestly think I was gonna win. I really came into it for the experience. Throughout this journey working with [the StarTUp Team] I have learned so much. Their feedback was so helpful and it was non-biased, and that’s exactly what I needed. I needed the outside perspective,” said Kuehl during her acceptance.

Kuehl boasts a wealth of experience as a master stylist and boutique salon owner and has a passion for addressing her clients’ needs. She’s committed to crafting a professional brand centered around clean, ingredient-first formulas. Along with her business partner, David Calle, they brought together product developers, stylists, and product testers to develop their brand.

“This has been a journey for me and I’ve put my heart and soul into this business. I hope you can tell. And I’m really out here to make a difference and make healthy living easier for people. That’s really the goal. So thank you again,” she added.

The College Cup is a university-wide challenge that helps students develop new socially- or commercially-oriented ideas and innovations to positively impact the world.

This year, a record number 25 student-led ventures applied for the challenge. Students came from nearly every TU college. Eventually, 15 ventures made it through all the programming, which includes a bootcamp, submitting an executive summary, a “learn to pitch” classroom session, and practicing pitching to the StarTUp team. The students also had access to and gained feedback from members of the ETU Council, a coalition of faculty and staff engaged in developing and strengthening entrepreneurship across campus.

A group of students pose together after competing in the competition.
Towson University students participated in the 2024 College Cup pitch event at the StarTUp at the Armory on April 2, 2024.

Seven made it through to the end. And, over the course of the last several weeks, they honed their ideas, developed pitch decks, and refined their pitches before pitching in front of a live audience and a panel of business leaders and TU alumni.

The other six finalists include:

  • Campus Connect, led by Xavier Sabree and Derek Knight: An app that connects college students with other student entrepreneurs/student-run companies on campuses.
  • Dropped, led by Aliya Pemberton Lightbourne: A platform/business that gives commuter students access to bus transportation to and from campus.
  • Events by Elle B., led by Lianna Banks: An event planning company.
  • MAI PT, led by Molli Chang: An app for physical therapy patients to remind them of at-home physical therapy exercises and uses AI technology to guide patients through PT goals.
  • My Campus Hubs, led by Andres Londoño, Jake Furtaw, Matt Dibbern, William Duckworth III, Caleb Blomquist and Ryan Kraft: An app that connects college students with each other socially, with professors and classmates academically, and with the community surrounding their campuses.
  • Urban Companions, led by Anastasia Kolomytseva and Eliza Petrova: An app that connects college students with shared housing options off campus.

The finalists each received $1,000 to put toward their venture.

(This article has been reproduced from EngageTU and was originally written and posted by TU StarTUp on April 4, 2024.)

Students talk with Marketing faculty members about the marketing program

CBE Launches “Meet the Majors” Series

This fall, Student Academic and Career Services (SACS) in the College of Business and Economics (CBE) will host three “Meet the Majors” sessions as an opportunity for students to learn more about all of CBE majors and academic program offerings.

Geared toward freshmen and sophomores but open to all students, the Meet the Majors series will give students the opportunity to talk with current students of the major, ask questions of faculty members, and learn more about the majors’ courses and projected career outcomes.

The schedule for the Fall 2023 Meet the Majors series includes:

  • Thursday, 10/5: Meet the Majors: Accounting and Finance
  • Tuesday, 10/24: Meet the Majors: Economics and BATM
  • Tuesday, 10/31: Meet the Majors: Marketing and Management

Each session will take place in the hallway outside the Dean’s Office (ST218) in Stephens Hall between 12pm and 1:30pm.

These informal sessions are a great opportunity for students to get a sense of what the majors are like to help them make decisions on which major to pursue. Professional development partners (PDPs), faculty members, and current students in the major will be on site to provide guidance and answer questions.

Questions? Contact Meghan Behm at mvbehm@towson.edu.

CBE Announces New Master’s Program in Economic Analytics

The College of Business and Economics is proud to announce the approval of a new M.S. in Economic Analytics at Towson University. In this master’s program, students will use economic theory, econometrics and data science to understand how laws, policies, and other interventions impact people’s lives. The program will soft launch  in Fall 2023, allowing current Towson University undergrads to take courses in the master’s program as part of an accelerated bachelor’s to master’s program. The full launch will take place in Fall 2024, with applications opening September 15, 2023, at which point anyone will have the opportunity to apply for the program, including international students. 

Dr. Finn Christensen, professor in the Economics Department and the program director, took the lead in bringing the program to fruition, with the support of Dr. Melissa Groves and Dr. Herbert Zhao. TU’s program differs from those offered by other universities in the region. “Our economics program is the first in the area to combine data science and econometrics as part of the standard curriculum,” Dr. Christensen said.“The program can be completed in 16 months whereas most programs in the area are 2-year programs.”

The program will not only present opportunities for students in the area, but also faculty. While existing faculty can teach all the courses in the program, this will take them away from existing responsibilities, so up to two new professors will be hired to fill the gap.

It will take students up to 16-months to complete the 33 credit hours required to graduate from the program. The content will focus on applied microeconomics, with an emphasis on data analysis. The program will be offered face-to-face and full-time attendance is optimal – however, the program can be completed on a part-time basis. Students who have recently graduated with an undergraduate degree are encouraged to consider the new program, particularly those in majors such as Economics, Business Administration, Accounting, or any quantitative major such as computer science, math or physics. Students will acquire job-relevant skills such as Stata, R, and Python without needing prior knowledge in the topics. Mid-career professionals and those seeking to later complete a Ph.D. in economics or a related field are welcome. The career prospects upon graduation include roles as a data analyst, an economist, or a statistician. These positions are well paid with average salaries in excess of $80K and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported median pay in 2019 for those with a masters degree in Economics of $105,020. Due to the fact the program is a STEM-designated degree, students on an F-1 visa will be eligible for up to 3 years of OPT after graduation through the STEM OPT extension. For domestic students, this designation signals rigorous preparation to potential employers.

We’re very excited to provide students with the opportunity to earn a STEM designated MS degree in Economic Analytics at TU,”  said Dr. Judy Harris, Interim Dean in the College of Business and Economics. “This is a growing field and with hands-on application of data analysis techniques like the modeling of big data and machine learning, graduates will be well suited to meet the evolving needs of employers in the region.”

Building with sunset background

CBE earns extension of AACSB accreditation

AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) — accreditation is the highest seal of quality business schools can receive.

Towson University’s College of Business & Economics (CBE) has earned extension of accreditation for its business and accounting programs from AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

This accreditation is the highest seal of quality business schools can receive and recognizes continuous improvement. TU is part of the less than six percent of schools that are AACSB International-accredited and the less than one percent that are accredited in both academic programs. CBE is one of only four schools in Maryland to hold both accreditations.

AACSB accreditation is the longest-standing, most-recognized form of specialized accreditation business programs can receive worldwide, yet only 949 business schools in 59 countries and territories currently have AACSB accreditation. Of those institutions, only 192 hold the additional, specialized AACSB accreditation for their accounting programs.

AACSB Accredited Logo
TU is part of the less than six percent of schools that are AACSB International-accredited and the less than one percent that are accredited in both academic programs.

Earning this dual distinction requires schools to meet rigorous standards for academic programs, as well as faculty qualifications and scholarship that are designed to challenge educators to pursue excellence. To maintain accreditation, schools must demonstrate how they meet the standards, and strive for continuous improvement, every five years through a peer review process.

In the most recent accreditation maintenance cycle, a team of outside reviewers commended TU for its emphasis on experiential learning, academic advising and career services for its students, and engagement of its advisory groups.

CBE Interim Dean, Dr. Judy Harris

“This extension of accreditation from AACSB is confirmation of CBE’s commitment to excellence and of the high-quality education we provide,” said Interim Dean Judy Harris. “In particular, the peer-review team commended CBE for the depth and quality of faculty engagement and of student-faculty interactions, the dedication of CBE’s Student Academic and Career Advising unit, the strength of our assurance of learning processes, and the college’s significant social impact as measured by faculty intellectual contributions. I am so proud of the hard work of CBE faculty and staff that made this achievement possible.”

AACSB-accredited schools are recognized worldwide by top employers, and many top, global corporations only recruit from AACSB-accredited schools. Achieving AACSB accreditation is a rigorous process that assesses a school’s ability to perform in critical areas — such as teaching, research, curricula development and student learning— and ensures the programs are challenging and teach skills that give a distinct advantage in the real world.

The mission of the College of Business and Economics is to develop high-quality, innovative, and inclusive programs and resources, connect individuals to opportunities by applying theory to practice in curricular, co- curricular and scholarship activities, and transform students into professionals who will have a positive societal impact within Maryland and beyond.

The peer-review team commended CBE for the depth and quality of faculty engagement and of student-faculty interactions, the dedication of CBE’s Student Academic and Career Advising unit, the strength of our assurance of learning processes, and the college’s significant social impact as measured by faculty intellectual contributions.

Over the review period of the last five years, CBE has seen several accomplishments in program creation/revision, faculty research/participation and student impact. Highlights include:

  • Launching new combined B.S./M.S. programs in BSAP/Supply Chain Management and Business Administration/Marketing Intelligence
  • Launching new minors in Accounting, Business Analytics, and Business Law
  • Launching a certificate in Entrepreneurship, the first undergraduate certificate at TU
  • Faculty publishing 264 peer-reviewed journal articles with 47% in A* or A outlets
  • Providing six case-competitions in which 5,066 students participated
  • Mentoring CBE students in the completion of 3,558 credit-based internships

TU first received AACSB accreditation for its business administration program in 1992. In 1994, the accounting department also received AACSB accreditation. In 2008, the business administration program received its maintenance of accreditation. The accounting department followed suit in 2010. In 2013, 2018 and 2023, both programs received five-year extensions.