School of Business
Dr. David Smith began his teaching career at Robert W. Plaster School of Business Administration in 1995. Prior to teaching he was a tax manager at Deloitte and Touche in Chicago and Minneapolis and also worked as a consultant for Texas Instruments. Dr. Smith sat for and passed the CPA exam on his first attempt in 1984.
Dr. Smith currently serves as the department head for Accounting and Finance. He is serving on the Faculty Welfare, Faculty Assessment and the Faculty Personnel committees. In the past, Dr. Smith has served on the university's Strategic Planning Committee, Student Research Grant Committee, and the Long-Range Planning Committee. He has also served as the co-advisor for the MSSU Accounting Club as well as Delta Mu Delta Honorary Society.
Courses: Tax Accounting I, Tax Accounting II
Degrees: PhD in Accounting, University of North Texas, 1997
Masters in Accounting, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, 1984
BSBA in Accounting, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, 1983
Department Head of Accounting and Finance
Plaster Hall Office 309H
Dr. Nii Adote Abrahams began teaching at the School of Business Administration in 1999 as an Assistant Professor. Prior to coming to MSSU, Abrahams worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Georgia and as an Economist for the Economic and Regulatory Analysis Section of the Department of Planning and Budget for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition to teaching at MSSU, he is currently working as an Associate Graduate Professor for the Booth College of Business and Professional Studies for Northwest Missouri State University's MBA partnership with MSSU. Dr. Abrahams has also worked for Southwest Baptist University as an adjunct professor for their MBA program.
Dr. Abrahams is originally from Ghana which is where he received his undergraduate degree in Agricultural Science. He worked at the University of Ghana for two years as a graduate research and teaching assistant after receiving his undergraduate degree.
Since coming to SOBA, Dr. Abrahams has served as the President of Faculty Senate, Editor of Southern Business and Economic Review, and on the MSSU Strategic Planning and Steering Committee. He has also served as the Department Head of Finance and Economics for five years. Abrahams has served as the MBA Coordinator as well as co-director of the MSSU-UniQ Partnership for Excellence in Accounting and Finance. He co-authored a three year USAID grant proposal for economic renewal for Haiti in which seven Haitian students from the Universite Quisqueya attended MSSU to receive baccalaureate degrees in accounting and finance.
Courses: Microeconomics, Money and Banking, and Managerial Economics
Degrees: Graduate Studies in Finance, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 2008 - Present
PhD in Agricultural Economics - Penn State University, University Park, PA, 1996
Master of Science in Resource Economics - University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 1993
Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Agricultural Science - University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana, 1988
Professor of Finance and Economics
Plaster Hall Office 310F
Dr. Buchholtz began his teaching career at MSSU School of Business Administration in 2002. Before coming to SOBA, Dr. Buchholtz worked numerous places including Ecuador. In Ecuador he worked as a financial consultant for Blenastor, C.A. and as a professor for the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. Dr. Buchholtz also taught economic courses at Rockhurst University and as a visiting professor at the University of Kansas. He has served as a financial advisor for PaineWebber Incorporated as well.
Dr. Buchholtz has written multiple scholarly papers presented at national and international conferences. He is fluent in Spanish and has worked closely with Latin American countries. He has served on multiple themed semester committees, as a member of the Assessment Advisory Committee, and as a member of the Retention Task force.
Courses: Comparative Political Economy, Pension Planning, Principles of Macroeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics, and the American Economic System
Degrees: PhD in Economics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, 1994
MA, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, 1985
BSBA, Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO, 1981
Assistant Professor of Finance and Economics
Plaster Hall Office 310C
Dr. Richard La Near has been teaching at Missouri Southern School of Business Administration since 1987. Prior to MSSU, he taught a combined 14 years at Mercer University, University of Arkansas, Murray State University, and University of Mississippi.
Dr. La Near is an active member of the Joplin community. He is on the Board of Directors for the Kiwanis Club and also serves on the Board of Directors at Commerce Bank. Dr. La Near has served on Finance Committee at St. John’s Medical Center Board of Directors. He has written many editorials for the Joplin Globe and is frequently interviewed for local media on economic issues.
Degrees: PhD, University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi, 1979
MBA, Memphis State University, Memphis, Tennessee, 1974
Bachelor of Science in Math, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas, 1968
Associate of Science in Pre-Engineering, Joplin Junior College (currently Missouri Southern State University),
Joplin, Missouri, 1966
Professor of Finance and Economics
Plaster Hall Office 310D
Dr. Brian Nichols has been teaching at Missouri Southern since 2000, except for 2 years while he completed his doctoral coursework. Prior to teaching, Nichols worked both in the public and private sector for as a controller for two different corporations. In 2007, he received the Missouri Southern Outstanding Teaching Award. Nichols also was awarded the 2008 Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.Dr. Nichols serves as the adviser for the Finance and Investment Club. He also teaches the Portfolio Management class in which students manage an actual investment portfolio from a grant through Missouri Southern's foundation. Nichols currently serves on ten different committees for MSSU including the Strategic Planning Task Force, Executive Budget Committee, and Graduate Council. He helped to develop the Edward Jones Investment Center, located in Robert W. Plaster Hall and used by hundreds of students since opening in 2006.
Courses: Principles of Macro Economics, Financial Management, Investments, and Portfolio Management
Degrees: PhD, University of Arkansas, Fayettville, Arkansas, 2008
MBA, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 1994
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, MO, 1993
Associate Professor of Finance and Economics
Plaster Hall Office 310G
Dr. Richard Rawlins has been teaching Finance and Economics at the School of Business Administration for over 20 years. Dr. Rawlins' interest in the field of Finance and Economics began when he was a college student. He was fascinated by how the real world application applies to any business, including farming.
Prior to coming to MSSU, he taught as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Arkansas and as a Teaching Assistant at Oklahoma State University. He has performed credit analysis for various law firms. In addition, Dr, Rawlins owns and manages a 900-acre farm in southwest Missouri where he raises over 250,000 hens and 150 dairy cows annually.
Dr. Rawlins has given presentations on capital budgeting, personal finance planning, farm management capitol, and cash budgeting. He served on the Executive Committee for the Institute of Chinese Financial Planners.
While teaching at MSSU, Dr. Rawlins has served on numerous committees for the University including the Long Range Planning and Accreditation Committees. He also worked as the Department Head for Finance, Economics, and International Business. He developed the Financial Planning tract at SOBA which is accredited by the Financial Planning Association. He has enjoyed working with student organizations, as well and has been the Sponsor for the MSSU Investment Club, attending annual student trips to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Courses: Macroeconomics, Financial Management, Estate Planning, Financial Strategy
Degrees: Certificate of Financial Management, Institute of Managerial Accountants, 2007
PhD, Business Administration, University of Arkansas,1998
Master of Science, Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University,1988
Bachelor of Science, Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri,1986
Professor of Finance and Economics
Plaster Hall Office 310E