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New business courses in 2015 … and even more for 2016!

October 16, 2015
Girard School professors introduce new courses to prepare students for a competitive job market, keep up with student interest, and introduce new topics.

Six new courses were introduced in 2015 and an additional three courses are slated for spring 2016 (View a complete list of new business courses being offered in the spring semester »). Below, faculty members discuss the courses, motivations for creating them, and what they hope students will have gained from taking them.  



    PAUL ANTONELLIS, Lecturer in Management

    This course is designed to provide an advanced level of knowledge in the study of human resource management. Covered topics include: training and development, needs assessment, training program design, training evaluation, employee compensation, employee benefits, employer-employee sponsored retirement plans, employer-sponsored health insurance programs, disability insurance, life insurance, corporate & social responsibility, and trends in the HR field.

    What prompted you to design and offer this course?

    I find that students tend to take the Human Resource Management class because they can apply the HR knowledge as they enter the workforce as an employee, possible future business owner, or because they have an interest in the field of human resource management. For those who have an interest in HR, the Management Department approved a HRM Track last year and the Advanced Human Resource Management course is a new addition. The content materials for this course have been selected, designed and developed to enhance knowledge and application of HR-related skills and adhere to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) undergraduate curriculum. 

    By the end of the semester, what do you hope the students in the course will have gained?

    At the end of the course, students will design, deliver, and evaluate a custom employee benefits awareness training, combining their knowledge of training design and assessment and employee compensation and benefits. Students who follow the HRM Track and take this course will be prepared to enter into the field of human resource management as a generalist (responsible for many areas of HR functions) or as an employee benefits specialist.

  • SOCIAL AND DIGITAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS (Management) - Spring 2015

    DANIELLE FLAM, Lecturer in Management

    This course examines theories and techniques for analyzing, producing, and disseminating content in a web 2.0 environment.  Initially, students learn how to create business documents and media in Microsoft office, screencasting, blogging platforms, social networking, audio editing software, photo-editing software, video editing software, and file-sharing technology. Students then apply the techniques, tools, and skills they have learned to create a business and marketing strategy for a mock company, focusing on both strategies and technologies of production. 

    What prompted you to design and offer this course?

    This course was designed to encourage our business students to think critically about social and digital media and learn how to use these tools in a business setting. By understanding these platforms, as well as the application of relevant audience and communication theory, students learn how to tailor messages to their target audience and directly impact business goals.

    By the end of the semester, what do you hope the students in the course will have gained?

    At the end of the course, students will be proficient with business-related software, digital multimedia tools, and social networking. Students will understand strategic presentation methods, and can design content for today’s digital media environment, analyze the effectiveness of their virtual communication (marketing) efforts, and strategize for future goals. 

  • SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING (Marketing) - Fall 2015 & Spring 2016

    ANDREW SMITH, Assistant Professor in Marketing

    Many of us spend some part of our day on social media platforms, connecting with friends, liking pictures, and sharing content that reflects our goals and identities. This course explores key concepts underlying social media and how people use them, as well as the ways in which businesses practice strategic social media marketing. We investigate how important marketing activities, such as marketing research, are conducted in the social media space, and complete a variety of experiential projects on topics such as visual persuasion, personal branding, and corporate social media use.   

    What prompted you to design and offer this course?

    Organizations, large and small, are allocating greater portions of their marketing budgets to digital and social media marketing, and there is strong demand for workers who have the understanding and fluency to engage in marketing in these media channels. However, while we may have some understanding of social media from a user’s perspective, many of us have never considered how marketers might use more established and emerging social media platforms as a part of larger, strategic digital or marketing programs. This course challenges us to think about social media from this perspective, and – in doing so – better prepares students to take on roles in the workplace that demand social media expertise. For more on the course, check out the course blog.    

    By the end of the semester, what do you hope the students in the course will have gained?

    I believe students will walk away from this course knowing more about social media marketing, including how it relates to concepts such as word-of-mouth, online communities, owned media, and consumer engagement.  Furthermore, I expect that they will become more knowledgeable about and comfortable with using a variety of social media platforms, and thinking about them from the marketer’s perspective. I also anticipate they will develop and exercise skills pertaining to personal branding, marketing research in social media, analyzing and planning social media marketing programs, and creating persuasive and engaging content. For a sample assignment, click here.

  • BEST PRACTICES IN MARKETING (Marketing) - Spring 2015

    JOE STASIO, Associate Professor in Marketing

    The purpose of this course is to help students integrate the disparate topics that constitute the marketing discipline into a cohesive and comprehensive whole. Students will develop a deeper and better understanding and appreciation of how the best practices of marketing function, for better or worse, in the business world and in society. Hopefully this new insight will aid students in their decision-making and practice of marketing.

    What prompted you to design and offer this course?

    Young professionals need to learn about the marketing tools being used in today’s organizations and how they are being applied to help grow these organizations. They also need to have a keen understanding of the marketing practices on the horizon that will soon dominate the field of marketing. 

    By the end of the semester, what do you hope the students in the course will have gained?

    By the end of the course, students will have been exposed to many different examples of current marketing practices and will develop a better understanding and appreciation of how they are used and the results they achieve and use this knowledge to shape their professional behavior as they enter the business world.

  • SPONSORSHIP AND CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS (Sport Management) - Fall 2015 & Spring 2016

    JONATHAN A. JENSEN, Assistant Professor in Sport Management

    With more than $55 billion allocated towards the practice on an annual basis, sponsorship has become an increasingly integral part of the marketing mix for brand marketers. At the same time, it remains a critical funding mechanism for the continued operations of all types of organizations. This course intends to provide students with an advanced understanding of the fundamental sponsorship principles applied to the sponsorship of sport, arts, music/entertainment, and non-profit organizations.

    What prompted you to design and offer the course? 

    While investments in sponsorship by leading brands have become commonplace, few in the business world have the knowledge and expertise necessary to properly evaluate such opportunities. Many entry level employees are engaged in sponsorship sales so I felt it was important to introduce an applied course on sponsorship at the undergraduate level that would teach students the skills to excel in these roles.   

    By the end of the semester, what do you hope the students in the course will have gained? 

    The course is designed to arm students with industry-leading processes, tools, and resources to shepherd a brand or property through each step of the sponsorship process, whether the student is preparing for a potential career in brand marketing or in a sales capacity for a sport organization. 

  • SPORT FINANCE (Sports Management) - Fall 2015

    RYAN SPALDING, Assistant Professor in Sport Management

    This course introduces elementary finance topics as applied to the uniqueness of the sport industry. Specific topics include the impact of the roster depreciation allowance on taxes and franchise values, the role of a salary cap/floor/luxury tax, reverse order draft, and revenue sharing on team payrolls and profitability, and the mechanics and effects of public financing of stadiums.

    What prompted you to design and offer this course?

    In seeking to expand Merrimack’s sport management program, it is important that students learn the underlying financial analysis of the sport industry through a Sport Finance course. No matter which department students end up working at within a sport organization, understanding the financial implications of decisions is a crucial asset.

    By the end of the semester, what do you hope the students in the course will have gained?

    Through this course, students will become more familiar and capable with fundamental corporate finance material. In addition, students will gain an appreciation for the ways in which the sport industry is significantly different from other industries in the United States due to the economic interdependence between teams, and how this manifests itself in terms of team operations and ownership.


  • SPORT ANALYTICS (Sport Management) - Spring 2016

    RYAN SPALDING, Assistant Professor in Sport Management

    This course will introduce the emerging topic of sport analytics and allow students to use analytics to study a wide variety of issues currently affecting the sport industry. Specific topics examined will include: player performance measurement, in-game strategic decision making, player selection and team construction, and general administration such as marketing, pricing, contracts, stadium management, etc. 

    By the end of the semester, what will students have gained?

    Through this course, students will become more familiar and capable with the three fundamental elements of an analytics program: data collection/management, statistical analysis and modelling, and information systems. In addition, students will gain an appreciation for how the recent application of analytics has improved decision-making not only within the professional and collegiate sport industry, but also in the field of business as a whole.  

  • PROJECT MANAGEMENT (Management) - Spring 2016

    TBD, Instructor in Management

    This course will explore the tools and methodologies associated with project management. It will examine the quantitative and analytical techniques of project management as well as the qualitative, team-building, and people-management skills necessary, and the criticality of integrating these techniques and skills towards rendering the completion of a successful project. 

    By the end of the semester, what will students have gained?

    Students who complete this course will be knowledgeable in contemporary project management techniques, based on Project Management Institute (PMI) current practices.  Students will also be experienced in using the processes and tools necessary for designing, building and assessing project plans, including the use of software, such as Microsoft Project.

  • MONEY AND BANKING (Finance) - Spring 2016

    ANNA-LEIGH STONE, Assistant Professor in Finance

    This course will provide an overview of managerial aspects of the financial services industry, with primary focus placed on banks. It will include a study of the powers of various government agencies that interact with financial institutions including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve.

    By the end of the semester, what will students have gained?

    Students will develop a thorough working knowledge of bank management practices including applying various corporate finance topics to financial institutions. They will learn about regulations that govern banks today and how the regulatory environment of banks has changed over time. This course will benefit students interested in pursuing a career, not only with banks, but also with the many government agencies with which banks interact.



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