Campus event to teach about e-business


    By Natalie Kozimor

    Industry professionals will address students about opportunities in e-business today at the Fall 2003 eBusiness Day.

    Sponsored by the Kevin and Debra Rollins Center for eBusiness, the event is open to all students.

    Entertainer Donny Osmond will deliver the keynote address. Other participating professionals include Kevin Fink from Woodford Manufacturing, Wanda Miles from Microsoft and Paul Sherwood from CSI Imaging.

    According to John Richards, associate director for the Rollins Center, eBusiness Day is a way to raise students” awareness of e-business and what they can do to better prepare themselves for an electronic world.

    “eBusiness Day is a day that the center sponsors to focus on the principles of e-business campus-wide,” Richards said. “E-business affects American business through increases in productivity, which creates more jobs and can bring great prosperity to everyone, and that”s the idea of e-business. E-business Day is a way to expose the campus community to that.”

    Karen Oyler, program manager for the Rollins Center, said eBusiness Day gives students a chance to familiarize themselves with e-business, talk with the professionals, and make contacts.

    “Students can take a little piece of what the professionals know and incorporate it into their own education and it can even help them decide what direction they want to go,” she said.

    E-business affects everyone, said Stephen Liddle, the interim director of the Rollins Center for eBusiness.

    “One of the reasons why we are so excited for eBusiness Day this year is because e-business is for everyone, and that”s the theme of eBusiness Day,” Liddle said. “Some people look at e-business and they say they have to be a computer scientist, or an engineer, or something like that to be involved in e-business. But the reality is that it”s impacting everybody in a very significant way.”

    According to Liddle, e-business, which stands for electronic business, is “using electronic networks and information technology for exchanging information and conducting transactions.”

    Liddle said this technology is everywhere.

    “I personally believe that networked technology is driving a fundamental change in our society,” he said. “It”s as big a revolution as the industrial revolution ever was. The Internet has made a huge difference in how we conduct business.”

    Clinton Kofford, Extended Education student lead for the Rollins Center, said e-business is not only for business students.

    “E-business applications and its presence are felt in all majors, industries and fields,” Kofford said. “This is targeting all students whether they are in art or teaching or medicine. E-business is everywhere in everything.”

    The Kevin and Debra Rollins Center for eBusiness was created in April 2000 and named after the donors who made it possible.

    The center allows students, faculty and businesses to come together and promote e-business topics throughout the curriculum, programs and activities of the university.

    “The center is all about trying to put technology into a people context and help it really have an impact and where it can make a difference facilitating that difference,” Liddle said.

    Richards said Kevin and Debra Rollins wanted their donation to go toward the study and the impact of information technology on people and business.

    “The center was created to foster these mutual relations between industry, students, and faculty,” he said.

    The Rollins Center focuses on five areas: curriculum, research, extended education, entrepreneurship and international.

    “In each of these five areas we have a faculty member who is the committee lead, we have a student lead, and we have an advisory board member,” Liddle said. “These three individuals are in charge of each of these committees.”

    Richards said this three-legged stool of a student, faculty member and industry person creates a great environment for students.

    “This is a very student-focused center,” Richards said. “In each of these areas, we have them do projects that are funded and leading towards something that could be published in a journal, or getting something done for a corporation, and it gives wonderful experience to the students.”

    Oyler said the center benefits everyone involved.

    “The students get real experience by working with professionals, the professionals get a project completed at a cheaper cost and the faculty gets some of their research completed,” she said. “Everyone gets helped by it.”

    Kofford said the Rollins Center for eBusiness is a great opportunity for student leadership.

    “Students have a lot of say in the direction of the center,” he said. “It is a student-driven center. It is a great opportunity to work hand in hand with not only faculty, but industry professionals.”

    For more information on the location and schedule of events, visit

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