Faculty Impact: How UNG Business and Technology Faculty Impact the Present and the Future

“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”


Mike Cottrell College of Business faculty and staff work tirelessly to ensure that UNG business and technology students receive a meaningful, future-focused education. In addition to their role in the classroom, faculty such as Dr. Ash Mady, department head for computer science and information systems and assistant professor of information systems, Dr. Donna Danns, associate professor of economics and Dr. Benjamin Garner, associate professor of business communications, conduct research to advance knowledge in their respective teaching disciplines.

The Psychology of Information Security Threats


Department Head for Computer Science and Information Systems and Assistant Professor of Information Systems

If you were in a situation at work where an information security threat was present, how would you behave? Most people would likely argue that they would respond appropriately to manage the threat. After all, so much attention is given to information security issues in the workplace that we all know how to respond so of course we do as we are trained don’t we? If that is what actually happens, then why are there still so many security disasters in the workplace? The research being conducted by Dr. Ash Mady explores this paradox.

After conducting two studies, one to validate his research instrument and another to test it, Dr. Mady concluded that employers need to understand that providing knowledge and skill training alone will not result in employees managing security threats as they should. Instead, employers need to understand that unless the employee sees the relationship of the threat to his or her immediate situation – feels a psychological connection as opposed to seeing it as a distant threat, they will not respond as desired.

Mady hopes that his research offers organizational leaders the ability to develop security policies and training on those policies that will better motivate employees to manage the threats. Aligning security requirements with job demands is one promising approach for achieving that goal.

Impacting International Education


Associate Professor of Economics

Dr. Donna Danns was invited by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana to join with other foreign-based academic professors to share ideas for raising resources for and improving standards at the University of Guyana. Dr. Danns, along with UNG faculty member Dr. George Danns, first visited and attended a conference to achieve these goals in June 2016 and has made repeated trips when possible – including a trip in June 2019. Dr. Donna Danns was awarded a UNG Presidential Summer Incentive Award in 2018 and a Mike Cottrell College of Business Summer Research Award in 2019 in association with these efforts. Their work has resulted to the development and execution of training sessions with university students on the financing of youth entrepreneurship, research ethics, interviewing techniques and research data management. In addition, they are working on publication of a peer-reviewed journal article and book on youth entrepreneurship in a developing country.

Films and Wine Glasses


Associate Professor of Business Communications

Directed by UNG associate professor and 2018 Presidential Summer Incentive Award recipient Dr. Benjamin Garner, the documentary “Southern Vines: The Rebirth of Wine in Georgia” first aired on Georgia PBS in December 2018 to an estimated audience of 25,000-plus individuals. Dr. Garner’s passion for local farmers and interest in their communication strategies led to the development of “Southern Vines,” his second major documentary on the local food industry.

With 57 wineries in existence around the state – dozens within a short drive of UNG’s campuses – the Georgia wine industry continues its growth apace. “Southern Vines” takes a deeper look at the longstanding history and development of wine producers in the state. Georgia’s wine industry now drives more than $25 million in sales annually and brings countless tourism opportunities to the region.

Other Faculty & Staff Highlights

Dr. Ellen Best was named a University System of Georgia Chancellor’s Learning Scholar in September 2018.

Dr. Mary Gowan, dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business, recently traveled to the United Arab Emirates as chair of a reaccreditation visit for an AACSB-accredited institution. She is also the Vice President for Programs for the Southern Business Administration Association and serves on their board of directors. In addition, Dr. Gowan serves on the Board of Governors for Beta Gamma Sigma, the honorary organization for AACSB-accredited business programs.

Lecturer Mary Norman received the 2018 UNG Center for Teaching, Learning and Leadership (CTLL) Best Practices in Service-Learning Award.

Dr. Joel Potter received the 2019 Outstanding Professor Award from the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

Dr. Kurt Schulzke was interviewed on The Deal’s “Activist Investing Today” podcast January 18, 2019, about the impact of sitting on multiple boards on public company board member performance in these roles. Schulzke analyzed recent BoardEx data from roughly 1,500 S&P index companies before discussing the figures with Ron Orol on the podcast. You can listen to the interview by visiting https://soundcloud.com/thedeallive/activistinvesting-2019-01-18-schulzke.

Lecturer Hugh Scott received the 2018 UNG CTLL Teaching Excellence Award.

Assistant professor of economics Dr. Ruohan Wu has been involved with a substantial amount of published research. During the past academic year, she has published five peer-reviewed journal articles on the topics of international bribery in China and Latin America as well as job search outcomes in Chile.

Dr. Ahmad Ghafarian, Dr. Jianjun Yang and Wenxin Guo each received 2019 UNG Presidential Summer Incentive Awards to support their ongoing research efforts.