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Spreading the News: COB Forum looks to engage student community

(March 19, 2024) - When asked what Swifties, Supply Chain enthusiasts, and Clayton State Student Life all have in common, it wouldn’t be surprising if most drew a blank.

Dr. Carin Lightner-Laws stands proudly with her two student event organizers, Claribel Ross and Royal Brown

However, Clayton State University’s College of Business is bringing them and more all together on Saturday, March 23, for its engaging spring semester forum – “Headline News: How is Your Brand, Business, and Education Impacted?”

The forum will be held at the Harry S. Downs Center for Continuing Education from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and will headline several panel discussions and presentations, including “Swiftonomics: The Taylor Swift Effect,” “Supply Chain in the Tech Industry,” “Laker Pride,” “Is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Dead?” and more.

All students, including local high school students, are invited to attend.

Dr. Carin Lightner-Laws, director of the Center for Supply Chain Management, is excited to serve as the event’s organizer and is ready to see vast discussions open among both Lakers and potential future Lakers throughout the day’s panels – an appropriate reflection on how the forum event came to be.

“Two of the students that were in my class and I had this initial discussion,” Lightner-Laws said. “We were talking about the supply chain and current events, and somehow the question organically came up, ‘well, how do you all get your information in the news?”

While Lightner-Laws jokingly called herself “a dinosaur” in the sense that she still gets her information through local print and television news, her students, Royal Brown and Claribel Ross, admitted to getting theirs from Twitter/X and TikTok.

And just one semester later, the three’s mutual fascination behind how one receives news and exchanges ideas led to the forum’s organization.

Field experts and university faculty alike will speak to all attendees throughout a diverse array of topics, prompting further discussion among all students – exactly in the way Lightner-Laws and her students did.

“We didn't realize that it was going to grow into something bigger,” Lightner-Laws said. “By the end of the fall, they were excited. I was excited, like, ‘let’s do it!’”

That excitement hasn’t subsided in Brown or Ross, as well, who will both be serving as event organizers alongside Dr. Lightner-Laws.

As the forum draws closer, both are honored by the commitment from the College of Business to see their passions created into an engaging event open for their community.

 “I hope the attendees can come away with some vital information and see the College of Business and the different types of student organizations within our college,” Ross said. “Every College of Business student organization has something to provide to all students, and it's my firm belief that's what sets us apart from other campuses.”

“As we learn in our business textbooks, an organization’s potential will always be hampered due to having internal silos,” Brown said. “This event is a testament to what happens when we all come together. I am grateful for all the passion and ideas of everyone involved in creating this forum. To me this is the beginning of something great and I am proud to have been a part of it.”

Lightner-Laws said that she is proud of both Brown and Ross and called it incredible that a simple discussion between a professor and her students has now led to high school students from surrounding counties being invited to hear from Clayton State faculty and local leaders.

While she hopes visiting students leave the forum feeling as excited as her, Brown, and Ross did in their initial discussions, the event director also hopes the day’s festivities help Clayton State University further stand out for high school students still looking to find where they want to be when they take the next steps in their respective academic careers.

“We have so much to offer, specifically the College of Business being accredited by AACSB – the top accreditation for business schools,” Lightner-Laws said. “Our focus on developing students for their career paths, and even the mandatory internships for College of Business students – Clayton State’s a great option.”

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