First-Year Integrated Core
Faculty standing in front of Hall Auditorium
Faculty member giving presentation on serving our communities
Three yellow post-its on a white board that say - Thinking critically for self, Experience of Ambiguity, and Life plus Business soft skills
Students standing outside near a vertical KPMG sign
Group of students dressed professionally smiling at camera
President Gregory Crawford speaks at the inaugural festivities for the FYIC program in 2016
students giving presentation
Students stand at a table with a blue tablecloth

Previous Faculty Spotlights

Drew Marsherall

Drew MarsherallDr. Drew Marsherall’s goal is to see his students grow, inspire a passion for learning and help them reach their full potential. As the Team Lead for BUS 101: Foundations of Business, he is on the frontline for making an impact with the first years at the Farmer School of Business. Dr. Drew says that students “can expect BUS 101 to be very interactive! You will be pushed to grow personally and build a foundation for success at FSB. There are several team projects in this course that gives you an opportunity to connect with other first year FSB students. The FYIC is a great opportunity for you to connect with your classmates and have a great start to your FSB experience. Come prepared to contribute to your classes and be challenged in your learning!”

Dr. Drew, who has a background in Business and Communications, is a graduate of St. John Fisher College (Go Cardinals!) with a doctorate in Executive Leadership and has worked in higher education for ten years. “I started out as an academic advisor and worked as a student success director while I completed graduate school, and I started teaching full time in 2013. My wife and I also run a small social media consulting business. I am particularly interested in helping students make the most of their potential, and I love researching effective teaching methods that promote classroom engagement.”

Dr. Drew believes that “The people” of Miami make our university standout amongst other universities. “I’ve worked at a few different schools, and I am so impressed with the effort students put into their studies here. I am also humbled to work alongside such talented faculty members.” Additionally, “The FYIC is a very unique program and this is not something you can experience at other universities. You are learning skills and working on projects that many students don’t get to do until they are in their third or fourth year.”

Recounting his favorite moments at Miami, Dr. Drew mentions two different times with one common denominator, his students. “Last fall, a team from one of my sections won the first client challenge. Presenting to a corporate client and over 600 students is a very daunting task for first year students. I felt so proud sitting in the audience and watching them on stage. It was incredibly fulfilling to see them rewarded for all their hard work.” Another of his favorite memories was when “I had a student last year who was struggling with her presentation skills at the start of the semester. She came to my office hours for extra coaching and she worked really hard all semester to improve. At her final presentation, she did an awesome job presenting in front of her peers. She showed tremendous growth throughout the semester.”

In addition to seeking help from faculty, “Opportunities seem to be everywhere for students on this campus.” Dr. Drew encourages students to get involved around campus. “Find a business organization, a club, or a team to get involved in. It makes all the difference in your college experience. Take advantage of the opportunity and make the most of your time at Miami.”

Barnali Gupta

Barnali GuptaDr. Barnali Gupta, Associate Dean for Curriculum and Professor of Economics in the Farmer School of Business, is excited about “the high quality of the Class of 2021.” As we move into the second year of the First-Year Integrated Core (FYIC), she is looking forward to “the depth of shared experiences and talents [of our students that] will enrich FSB classrooms.” 

Dr. Gupta says, “The FYIC is an unique opportunity for the undergraduate business student to develop basic skills that employers demand, regardless of major. It is not a discipline-specific curriculum; it is a skills-based curriculum.” In the four courses that comprise the FYIC (BUS 101: Foundations of Business; BUS 102: Foundations of Business Communication; ESP 103: Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial Thinking; and BUS 104: Introduction to Computational Thinking for Business), students will be challenged to think critically, creatively, and ethically, learn coding and computational thinking, and work within a diverse team. Students have the opportunity to “take these skills and scaffold them on their discipline-specific knowledge from their major.” This is exciting for students because they learn critical skills in their first year and work to build on those skills during their time in Farmer. 

There are many new pieces to the FYIC “in only the second year of the program,” Dr. Gupta explains. This academic year, BUS 101 is offered over 9 weeks, and BUS 102, ESP 103, and BUS 104 are full semester courses. This schedule is a revision from last year, when three of the four courses were sprint courses. BUS 104 will also be taught in smaller class sizes, with the same instructor for lecture and course lab. “Making all the pieces fit together seamlessly takes the attention and talents of many faculty and staff in the Farmer School.” A dedicated program director, Dr. Becky Morrison, with her team of course leads, have been actively engaged all summer in planning an integrated experience across the four courses in the FYIC. “From curriculum development to mapping assignments across the courses, this is truly a team effort.” With twenty faculty members in the FYIC, each brings to the program diverse backgrounds and experiences. Our first-year students will spend the first ten weeks learning core skills sets and the final four weeks working with a real client, using real data, to complete a client challenge. 

The FYIC is particularly important because “this program enables a Farmer graduate to credibly signal the acquisition of these skills that employers demand.” In fact, students from the first cohort of the program have already started to see results. In program surveys and emails, students report that prospective employers are incredibly impressed by the work they were doing as first-year students and even noted that the skills from the program helped them land a summer internship. The program has even received national attention (Forbes, 2017). “We are truly excited to have this program for our students.”