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Dr. James Dovel

Dr. Dovel teaches a wide range of business classes at both the undergraduate and MBA level. These include entrepreneurship, management, leadership, ethics, innovation and executive decision making. He believes that entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership are extremely important for individuals, organizations and society as a whole.  Students will go through an experiential based hybrid model of teaching to include in person instruction, online teaching, discussion forums that are both text and video based, journal and project writing, quizzes, and practical real-world projects. Students are expected to learn and demonstrate the ability to operate and thrive in group settings and learn and demonstrate both verbal and written communication skills.  Finally, students experience real life business issues and projects from Dr. Dovel’s business and other sources. 

West Virginia High School and Collegiate Business Plan Competitions 

Dr. Dovel serves in multiple roles with the business plan competition  including representing Shepherd University as a committee member, coach, judge and investor.  During the 2020-2021 year, Shepherd entrepreneurship students Michelle Lemus and Stacy Stutler made the collegiate business plan semifinals with their restaurant concept Wildflower.  Michelle competed in the semi-finals and won the chance to compete as only one of ten finalists in the statewide competition. The opportunity included the attendance of workshops and contacts with business experts and leaders in West Virginia and free consulting from 3 Steps to Startup. 

Professor Carol Goolsby

Creativity & Problem Solving BADM211

This new course has been created to offer all students new techniques and skills in problem solving. One goal of the course is to have students crack into their creative mindsets and think differently than they have been their whole lives. We base our decisions/solutions on what we have been exposed to thus far in our lives, which include factors like our family, education, religion, etc. In this class, future businessmen and women are exposed to new factors; they will undertake activities that will require putting themselves in different mindsets to solve the problem at hand. Because not everything has just one correct answer when it comes to how businesses are to be run, having the skills to problem solve will appeal to an employer. This course will broaden students’ perspectives by educating them about the different theories and models that have been developed to explain how people think and face problematic situations. Creativity & Problem Solving is a lecture course that is mixed with group tasks and interactive applications of the learned theories.


Dr. Sam (Online course) FINC250

This course is open to all levels of students and the goal is to help students build their basic personal finance knowledge, with the intent that they will then have better financial behavior. The content and information in this course will not be found outside of a class like this, that is why this course was created. Topics like understanding budget, using credit, insurance, tax planning, and retirement planning will be covered within the course and these are all financial factors on a personal level. The purpose of the course is to arm students with basic financial management skills. Students have a choice between taking this class online or face-to-face. The online course will incorporate an interactive portal (WileyPlus) that allows students to use the E-textbook and videos in place of a face-to-face lecture. For concepts that are more difficult to understand, like the time value of money, there are face-to-face optional tutorial sessions offered so that students have every resource they need to understand the material and succeed.

Dr. Janine Sam

March 2021

Dr. Janine Sam, assistant professor of business administration and financial planning program director, is serving as a co-author on a manuscript entitled “The Value of Registered Investment Advisors During the Covid-19 Financial Market Crash – Evidence from 13F and Twitter.” The paper was recently listed on SSRN’s Top Ten download list end of February (2021). On behalf of her spring capstone financial planning students, Dr. Sam secured a free one-day intensive (virtual) Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) review course hosted by Zahn Associates. Additionally, as an initiative under the new Center for Financial Education, Dr. Sam also constructed and distributed guidelines for reimbursement of the CFP® exam for senior financial planning students who complete and pass the exam within one year of graduating from Shepherd.

CFP Board 2019 Diversity Summit

Honghui Pang awarded sponsorship to attend financial planning diversity summit, November 2019

A Shepherd University College of Business student was able to attend the Certified Financial Planning Board Diversity Summit in Washington, D.C., thanks to a sponsorship by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards that covered travel and expenses.

Honghui Pang, a business administration major from Frederick, Maryland, who is also president of the Financial Planning Club, and Dr. Janine Sam, assistant professor of business administration, attended the November 13 event. Each year, the summit brings together thought leaders, financial planning students and academics, and other interested parties to address diversity and inclusion issues in the financial planning profession.

Financial Capability: Literacy, Behavior, and Distress by Nghia, Nguyen Vu and Janine K. Scott

The article is a study of how financial knowledge and financial literacy (acting on knowledge: putting knowledge into practice) influences their behavior in the long run. It describes what things are important when it comes to financial capability. The overall goal was to look at what contributes to financial distress among people by looking at factors like financial knowledge, financial literacy, and behavior. Intense studies and research was done by the authors to look closely at these factors and their correlation to a person’s financial distress. Financial literacy contributes positively to the prevention of financial distress. It does not directly mean that all people who are financially literate will always persist in financially stable behavior, because there are different levels of financial knowledge. What people actually do financially has the most impact when it comes to the likelihood of experiencing finance related distress, more so than the level of financial literacy they have.

Dr. George Ray

Dr. George Ray teaches innovation courses focusing on what innovation is and how to manage it. It is not only in business that innovation is critical; the entire world has become very competitive; therefore, this course is helpful to all students. They will learn the different ways to innovate, whether it is through the products or the production processes of their company. He also teaches the MIS courses at the graduate level. The MBA MIS course is an analysis of modern management information systems in a business setting. Business executives have expressed that knowledge of information systems is critical for MBA graduates, so this course should be one that MBA students consider in their curriculum planning. MBA graduates will be working closely with information systems throughout their career, because major businesses have proven to be among the first to introduce and use these technologies.

Professor Michael Dailey

In the Fall 2017 semester, Professor Dailey will work with graduate students to create a project that involves finding a company to work with students in his classes.

His plan for Spring 2018 semester includes researching a particular company that would volunteer to create a project with the website “” for one of the courses he is teaching, BADM 370.

Professor Michael Dixon

Michael Dixon Marketing Courses

Professor Michael Dixon has a passion for teaching students Marketing, the most important factor to a business’s survival, in a way that creates a clear understanding. He explains how his goal is to teach students the entire concept of marketing which is much broader than just advertising and budgeting; this gives his students the knowledge to avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that many current leaders fall into and make. He enjoys teaching these types of classes, because he can genuinely see his students grasping the concepts. Several of his former students remain in contact with him to explain how they have made changes in their workplace based on lessons they learned in his marketing courses.

Marketing is a popular major, minor, and concentration within the College of Business. According to Professor Dixon, one of the reasons that teaching marketing is so important is because it is often misunderstood in the business world. Many business leaders assume marketing is only advertising and spend their budget wastefully on advertising. Marketing is made up of several factors we call IMC (Integrated Marketing Communications). IMC encompasses Personal Selling, Advertising, Sales Promotion, Events & Experiences, Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Word-of-Mouth marketing, the internet, social media, email, text and mobile phones. It is important for our students who have an interest in this field to understand the entire concept of marketing in order to avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that many current leaders fall into and make. He enjoys teaching these types of classes, because he can see his students grasping the concept of IMC. Several of his former students remain in contact with him to explain how they have made changes in their workplace based on lessons they learned in his marketing courses. Without proper marketing, a business will not thrive in the way that it needs to. Therefore, having a professor who knows how to teach it in a way that students can grasp it and apply it to their jobs shows the impact and importance of learning marketing at some point in a business degree.

MBA 500  

The MBA500 class is titled Challenges to Modern Business. The class is based on challenges that many do not realize are challenges faced by modern businesses. One topic is Drug and Alcohol Abuse in the workforce. This is a major problem, and one that is not only faced in hiring, but occasionally becomes a problem with seasoned employees. Professor Dixon was a Drug and Alcohol Abuse counselor in the United States Army for several years, therefore, he has a background in teaching this class. Occasionally, he has the privilege of having David Brooks from Brooks Behavioral Health come in and give the class. David gives a fantastic class where he stresses to treat the reason behind the addiction and try to salvage the employee. Another class is on Non-Profit organizations and the guest speaker is Chris English who is the Director of the Tony Siragusa Foundation and works with stars like Beyoncé, Jay Zee, and major sports stars. For this class, the term project is for the student to build a resume in the format that the professor provides. This format was developed by Professor Dixon himself, a friend of his who is a major contract hirer for National Institute of Health and another friend who owned a major firm in Washington, DC. The resume was developed over several months and utilizes the science of where your eyes fall whenever you look at a paper and how the placement of pertinent material will be seen quickly. The final class an Attorney from the WV State Attorney General’s Office is brought in and she talks about white collar crime. She brings in information many students have never seen or heard of.  Interestingly enough, many students have never interacted with an attorney and it provides the insight that attorneys are your friend and just normal people. This course is a place where graduate students learn and understand that they are going to face challenges within their businesses, so it is intended to prepare them for obstacles they otherwise would not be prepared for.

Professor Dixon’s opinion about having a Master’s Degree in business:

A Master’s Degree in Business is paramount to a person’s success. Many earn a Bachelor’s, but whenever somebody has a Master’s Degree, it shows me they care about continuing to learn the newest ideas, concepts, etc. Those who continue to learn are more open to discussion and not focused on the status quo.

Dr. Donald Hillman

Since 2014, Dr. Hillman has worked with current and former Shepherd students conducting primary and secondary research on generational conflict in the workplace.  Currently, several students are working with him to design and develop a website for the recruitment of Millennial candidates based upon a research study his students previously worked on that was just completed and copyrighted, titled “Using Social Media to Develop Pre-Employment Relationships with Millennial Candidates: A Human Resources Management Strategic Recruitment and Retention Approach.”

Dr. Hillman co-authored a research study with Shepherd business student Courtney Knill, which was accepted for publication in December 2018 with the International Journal of Training Research. The article is titled “Rapidly Increasing Employment Search Self-Confidence in Unemployed Clientele.”

A couple of Shepherd students are currently working with Dr. Hillman on revising a research paper called “Increasing Cooperation in Culturally Diverse Global Work Teams.”

Jimmie West, Ph.D., PMP

Dr. West has been a certified PMP (Project Management Professional) for 31 years and delivered this content in 37 countries including China, Russia, Dubai and Egypt.  He spent the summer of 2017 traveling and teaching in Canberra, Australia. He also delivered a presentation to a professional project management association.

In the Fall 2017 semester he worked on writing a book called “Revolutionary.” The book is about project management which integrates the why and what for businesses, rather than as a technique. It provides a framework model of what an individual really wants to do in their business and why.

In Spring 2018, he collaborated with the university to create a program for professional development, which launched in January 2018.