In his course “Law in American Society,” an animation of folk singer Willie Nelson, designed by Dr. Samuel D. Hodge, strums his guitar as he explains the difference between public and private law.
Professor of Legal Studies at the Fox School of Business, Hodge’s use of such animations demonstrates his place as an innovative educator. Hodge recently was chosen by the Academy for Teachers to serve as its 2016 master teacher and will lead a program on innovation in teaching.
The Academy for Teachers is an annual selective conference in New York City that’s intended for teachers. One master professor, as chosen by the Academy, leads a lesson for a number of selected high school teachers on innovative strategies in teaching. Previous master teachers include Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and historian Henry Louis Gates Jr.; Pulitzer Prize in Music winner David Lang; and renowned social and political activist Gloria Steinem.
This year, Hodge will teach 18 high school teachers Jan. 8, 2016, at the one-day conference.
Hodge has taught a variety of undergraduate- and graduate-level classes in law and medicine at Temple University for more than 40 years. He currently leads a law lecture that consists of 400 to 600 students, which is considered one of the largest courses at Temple. To keep students interested in a class of that size, Hodge has had to get creative.
“You have to throw conventional wisdom out the window,” Hodge said.
Hodge developed multimedia presentations for his courses, consisting of self-created animations.
“Everything moves. Everything I say projects behind me on the board,” Hodge said, “but I actually have a cartoon Professor Sam, and he sings and narrates.”
The animations include a long list of celebrities. His latest is actor Jack Nicholson discussing various areas in law. Hodge has an art and music background. Since 1982, he has owned music-publishing company Eastwick Publishing, and he’s also produced illustrations for various medical books he’s written. So it was fitting, he said, that for his educational animations he’d write the songs, record the audio, and then create an animated character to perform them.
The best way to gain the interest of the “MTV generation,” he said, was through an audio-visual format.
“I call it edutainment,” Hodge said. “It is a combination of education and entertainment. People grew up in a visual format, so people want to be taught in that format.”
From a nominated group of 6,000, the Academy for Teachers selected 18 high school teachers that Hodge will educate. The “master class” can be given in any subject matter. The focus is to showcase unusual or innovative teaching techniques. Hodge will teach anatomy to the group of teachers in his area of expertise: AV format.
On the morning of the program, Hodge will teach the fundamentals of anatomy through song at the Museum of Natural History. He also plans to show the dozen-and-a-half teachers video of a heart being dissected. During the second segment of the day, the group will travel to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he will take them into the lab to see a dissection first hand.
Joe Pangaro, a second-year teaching assistant in Hodge’s “Law and American Society” course and “Legal Environment of Business” courses, said Hodge’s passion for teaching is present daily.
“Every year, when a new set of TAs gets to know him and gets exposed to his workload, there is a period of shock when you are just in awe of how much he accomplishes in a day,” said Pangaro, a third-year law student. “When you find out he does not drink coffee, it seems all the more amazing, but then you spend some time with him and you realize it’s because he truly loves everything he is doing.”
Hodge hopes to impart to the high school educators a degree of fearlessness in their use of technology to demonstrate complex topics.
“This was a total surprise,” he said. “I didn’t apply for it, they just called me out of the blue one day. Then I saw the list of people who have been selected before me and I said, ‘Why am I within that elite group?’ But I am, and it’s exciting.”
Two students from Temple University’s Fox School of Business have been awarded merit scholarships by Aflac based upon their stellar performances during summer internships with the insurance company.
Junior Maria Blaszczyk finished No. 2 in the United States among collegiate interns within Aflac’s program. She has earned a $3,000 scholarship and a trip to Aflac’s corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ga., to meet with Aflac executives and to tour the Aflac campus.
Senior Elliot Astor, who finished No. 1 in the Northeast Region, earned a $2,000 scholarship.
The Elevate 2015 Aflac Intern contest, which is in its second year, awards scholarships to college-age interns who place among the best in sales and acquisitions. Other scholarship requirements include top job performance in marketing, team leadership, and dedication to teamwork, as well as displaying a positive attitude every day of their internships.
This year, Aflac awarded scholarships to eight college students from a pool of 365 students who interned for the company during Summer 2015: the overall top-3 interns throughout the company and the top intern at each of Aflac’s five U.S. regions.
“Maria and Elliot have exemplified what it means to be great interns with a Fortune 500 Company,” said Matthew O’Hanlon, District Coordinator of Aflac’s Philadelphia Region. “They possess tremendous leadership qualities, great work ethic, and strong entrepreneurial skills. I am elated that two students from Temple University finished within the top-eight among all collegiate interns with Aflac from across the country. This demonstrates why the Fox School of Business is such an elite business school, and it is with great pleasure that we honor these students. Congratulations to Maria and Elliot, and continued success.”
Blaszczyk, an International Business major, served as a voluntary benefits consultant within Aflac’s Philadelphia/Bucks County Region, in Trevose, Pa. Independently contracted with Aflac and licenses to sell their products and services in Pennsylvania, she met with business owners to explain the company’s voluntary benefits packages.
“In my internship, I was able to see the daily behind-the-scenes decisions that business owners have to make, all of which are critical to a company’s well-being, and I am honored to have received one of Aflac’s scholarships,” Blaszczyk said. “
Astor, a Marketing major, also worked as an associate within Aflac’s Philadelphia/Bucks County Region office. In that capacity, he helped manage interns and recruit new interns. The internship took Astor on the road, as he met with potential Aflac clients and their employees.
“The Aflac internship places you in a real-life business environment and allows you to obtain universal skills that I can employ wherever my career takes me,” Astor said. “I feel incredibly fortunate to have been awarded a scholarship from a company that is as successful and prominent in its industry as Aflac is.”
For Fox School students, Center for Student Professional Development networking event offers a chance to impress
Dressed in a dark suit, Karan Patel walked through Mitten Hall shaking hands and charming recruiters at the sixth-annual Fall Connection, a networking event organized by the Fox School of Business’ Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD). He hardly resembled the student who had arrived to February’s CSPD Spring Connection in shirtsleeves and offered a limp handshake.
A junior Marketing major and Management Information Systems minor, Patel no longer considers himself that type of person.
“I wasn’t prepared,” Patel said of the springtime event. “I didn’t impress recruiters, but I learned from my mistakes. The CSPD helped me with that.”
Fall Connection is one of the CSPD’s biannual networking events, the second of which is held during the spring semester. This year’s four-hour event nearly filled Temple University’s Mitten Hall to capacity, matching 89 employers with more than 800 students from the Fox School.
For Fox Assistant Dean for Student Development Corinne Snell, Fall Connection is the CSPD’s signature event and serves as a great kick-off for October’s corporate recruiting season.
“It’s a time to make a positive impression and for students to put in face-time with the recruiters,” Snell said. “Recruiters contact us directly because of the professionalism and polish our students portray.”
This year, Patel considered himself one of those students.
Since his first showing at CSPD’s Spring Connection, he’s completed two successful summer internships with Business Route and Fastenal, continued to build his personal photography service, and joined customer service at World Republic Bank in Haddonfield, N.J.
“I go to bed at 1 a.m. and wake up at 6. I’m running 14-hour days because that’s what it takes,” Patel explained.
Patel is competing for the attention of top-tier employers such as Deloitte, Pepsi, Comcast Corporation, Target, PNC, JP Morgan Chase, Crayola, Independence Blue Cross, and others. With his eyes set on forging corporate friendships, Patel turned to the CSPD to transform his professional persona.
“I tried figuring stuff out on my own, but I had to ask questions. I’ve realized how beneficial the CSPD is to landing a job,” Patel said.
Located at the Fox School of Business, CSPD hosts one-hour workshops to help students prepare for its large-scale networking events. The workshops introduce students to the resources the CSPD office has to offer, including advice on professional attire, resume writing, and mock interviews. Giving students what they call the “CSPD Difference,” staff members work with students on developing a professional edge in the weeks leading up to their corporate connection events.
“We always hear from employers that we’re setting the bar,” said Megan Panaccio, CSPD Director of Corporate Relations. “The employers look forward to our event.”
The strength of its corporate partnerships and its dedication to student development drew Patel, a transfer student, to the Fox School. With his roots in Gujarat, India, Patel said he admires the work ethic his mother and father have demonstrated while working as a Dunkin’ Donuts manager and a convenience store owner, respectively. He considers his efforts through CSPD and Fall Connection stepping-stones to a promising future.
“My mom wakes at 5 a.m. to make lunches for the family,” he said. “She has had to work very hard. My future success is a way to pay her back as much as I can.”
Challenge prompts importance of cyber-security
Dr. Munir Mandviwalla, Chair of Fox’s Management Information Systems department and Executive Director of Temple’s Institute for Business and Information Technology, and Laurel Miller, Director of IBIT, spoke with the student newspaper about IBIT’s partnership with Lockheed Martin for the first National Cyber Analyst Challenge.
As workers celebrate Labor Day, unions struggle to survive (subscription only)
As the country recently celebrated Labor Day, the Bucks County Courier-Times reflected on the nation’s drop in unionized labor workers, from 38 percent post-World War II to 11 percent today. Associate Professor of Human Resource Management Dr. John McClendon, who counts union labor among his research specialties, is quoted throughout the story – which appeared on the cover of the paper’s Sunday edition. Download PDF Cover and page 2.
Study suggests Uber reduces DWI deaths
Management Information Systems professor Dr. Sunil Wattal appeared on an evening news broadcast, via Skype, to discuss his latest research (co-authored by Dr. Brad Greenwood) into the potentiality of ride-sharing service UberX contributing to reduced rates of drunken-driving related deaths. Their research also was featured in the Sept. 8 edition of student newspaper, The Temple News.
Co-ops are Ready For Their Close Up
Nearly one in three Americans are members of a cooperatively owned business. Co-op growth in Philadelphia has been exceptional, despite the challenges that await. Dr. TL Hill, Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Managing Director of the Fox Management Consulting practice, weighs in.
A sophomore from Temple University’s Fox School of Business has been chosen as a finalist for a national peace prize for her outstanding volunteer service to military veterans.
Entrepreneurship major Alexis Werner is vying for the Peace First Prize, a national award that recognizes youths between the ages of 8 and 22 for their “compassion, courage, and ability to create collaborative change” in their communities. Of the 27 finalists, only five will be chosen as recipients of a $25,000, two-year fellowship that acts as Peace First’s investment in that young person’s future to create change.
The 2015 Peace First Prize winners will be announced in Fall 2015.
Werner’s social justice work began in 2011 with her founding of Seeds of Hope, which provides fresh-grown produce to veterans and their families. Then a student at Shaler Area High School, in Glenshaw, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh, Werner credits her stepfather, Gregory Zottola, as her inspiration. He had returned from active duty in Afghanistan with the United States Army in 2011 suffering with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“He had just married my mom (Nicole), who’s a veteran, too, but she never saw active combat. So it was a different transition,” Werner said. “You see someone in your life struggling to cope and, as a 15-year-old girl, it was difficult dealing with such real-world issues. I felt helpless.”
Following consultation with a guidance counselor, Werner started planting gardens in her community. Contributions from a local grocery store chain fetched fruits and vegetables to be donated to veterans. A friend’s father, who owns a greenhouse, donated soil and land, and taught Werner and other area high school students how to tend to the produce.
In its first year, Seeds of Hope used its “victory gardens” to generate more than 1,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables. Since, Seeds of Hope has gardens in eight states, and Werner plans for her organization to support veterans and their families nationwide.
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, between 11 and 20 percent of veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom suffer from PTSD, and one in seven veterans is homeless.
The goal of Seeds of Hope is to curb the cycle of mental illness and poverty within the military veteran population. The gardens were the first step, Werner said. She’s also written and published a children’s book, “Beginning Hope,” on the importance of proper nutrition, volunteering, and veteran appreciation. Werner’s documentary, titled “Our Way Home,” will be screened Nov. 12, the day after Veterans Day, in Pittsburgh for more than 1,500 high school and college students, followed by a discussion panel.
“The message is clear: It’s never too late for veterans to get help,” Werner said. “The documentary will be good for people to see, almost acting as a call to action for businesses to hire veterans to help their transition after their service.”“What is inspiring about Alexis is that she has taken a difficult and highly personal situation with her stepfather and his PTSD, and has used that experience to develop a documentary film to help others understand what veterans go through,” said Debbie Campbell, Assistant Dean at the Fox School of Business, and Faculty Advisor to Temple University’s Veteran Association. “She is succeeding in making a real difference through her Seeds of Hope program that was started in high school, and now with this film. She is also excelling academically as a Fox School student, which is amazing considering her class load and everything that she has going on in her life.”
Werner hopes to add the Peace First Prize to an already-decorated resume. In 2014, the Philadelphia’s National Liberty Museum honored her with the Young Hero Award. Werner also has received the 2014 Prudential Financial Spirit of Community Award; the 2013 Princeton Prize in Race Relations; and the 2013 Globechanger Youth Service Award, from New York City’s Robin Hood Foundation. And she recently delivered a talk at the TEDxPittsburgh Youth event.
Leaders from the nation’s top online MBA programs gathered recently at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, forming what is believed to be the first consortium of its kind.
Academic Director of the Fox Online MBA program Dr. Darin Kapanjie invited program directors, deans, and chairpersons from a host of top-ranked online graduate business programs to share ideas and best practices, raise awareness of online education programs, and assemble the foundation of a mission statement for the newly formed group, named the Online MBA Consortium.
Kapanjie said he first appealed to his peers only a few months prior to the proposed gathering, which was held Aug. 5 in Alter Hall, home of the Fox School of Business.
“The feedback and responses we received were overwhelming,” said Kapanjie, the Managing Director of Fox’s Online & Digital Learning team. “The hope is that what we have developed manifests a need to educate, collaborate, and continue to push quality online education forward. I believe this group can serve as a guiding force for best practices for online MBA programs, both nationally and internationally.”
In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Fox Online MBA program the best in the nation, alongside Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, all of whom shared the No. 1 rank.. While representatives from all of the online MBA programs ranked among the top 10 by U.S. News had accepted Kapanjie’s invitation, representatives from eight of those programs were available to visit Fox and attend the inaugural consortium meeting.
“Though all the programs in attendance were competitively ranked,” Kapanjie said, “there’s always something to learn and improve upon. Every program has its niche – that one area in which it may excel. One program may have perfected the student engagement or faculty credentials components, while another is working diligently to improve in those areas. These programs are going to remain remarkably different, and we’re going to be competitors with one another in the marketplace, but the camaraderie and collegiality was incredibly rewarding.”
The consortium’s members include, in order of respective program rank by U.S. News:
- Kapanjie, Christine Kiely, Assistant Dean, MBA and MS Programs, and Valerie Henry, Director of MBA and Specialized Master’s Programs, Temple University’s Fox School of Business
- Philip T. Powell, Chairperson of Kelley Direct, Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business
- Susan E. Cates, President and Associate Dean of Executive Development, University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School
- Minu Ipe, Faculty Director of Professional MBA Program, Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business (unable to attend)
- Alexander D. Sevilla, Assistant Dean and Director of MBA Programs, University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business Administration
- Monica S. Powell, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, University of Texas at Dallas’ Naveen Jindal School of Management
- Kathryn Barraclough, Head of the MBA Program, Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business
- Brian Cameron, Associate Dean of Professional Master’s Programs, Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business (unable to attend)
- Steven G. Allen, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Research, North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management
- Stanley G. Harris, Associate Dean of Graduate and International Programs, Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business
“Prospective MBA students deserve easier access to well-designed, high quality, and affordably priced graduate business education,” said Powell, of Indiana University. “New technologies enable this, but the industry is stubbornly slow to expand worthy online options in the marketplace. Through collective work of the member schools, the Online MBA Consortium elevates academic legitimacy of an MBA earned online and insures emphasis on high scholarly standards as more business schools offer distance options. This is good for the market as a whole.”
Next summer, the Online MBA Consortium will be hosted by Dr. Monica Powell at the University of Texas at Dallas. Six months prior to their meeting, the participants will arrange a virtual collaborative session for presentations. It’s critical for the success of the consortium to maintain its annual, in-person component, Kapanjie said.
“A majority of the nation’s top online MBAs incorporate residencies into their programs and, while we feel plenty can be accomplished in a virtual format, we feel it is important for us to have an annual meet-up.”
Domino’s Pizza has cultivated 10 million Facebook followers. Target’s page has collected 20 million. And Nabisco’s Oreo cookie page exceeds 40 million Facebook likes.
Such large numbers demonstrate a shift toward social media marketing and the expanding role of commercial branding in today’s online world, according to Dr. Jay I. Sinha, an Associate Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
Sinha’s latest research publication, “The Risks and Rewards of Brand Personification Using Social Media,” which appeared in the Boston Globe and MIT Sloan Management Review, digs into social media’s role in rewriting the consumer-producer relationship for today’s top brands. More than 92 percent of marketers responded in 2014 that social media marketing is important for their businesses, and 80 percent indicated these efforts increase traffic to their websites, Sinha noted.
“Social media marketing is the new big thing,” Sinha said. “It allows a company to stay close to its customers, being responsive, engaging them, and evolving with them through time.”
Tweeting its core values or responding to Facebook comments about a new product gives a company a human-like presence, Sinha said. This personification, he added, deepens consumer loyalty and buyer-conversion rates, or the number of consumers making online purchases. So whether it’s an international company like Domino’s Pizza, or a hyper-local grocery store chain, photographs, hashtags, and followers are a part of the new normative advertising pattern.
“In the past, a satisfied customer typically told three other people, while a dissatisfied customer griped to 11 people,” Sinha said. “Nowadays, each has the potential to tell the entire world – by virtue of being on social media.
The globalization of online marketing, to Sinha, emphasizes the need for well-written, interesting and visually appealing content. He indicates Whole Foods’ strategy on Instagram that focuses on striking food photography with the use of no captions, while Target uses #tbt, or ThrowbackThursday, to promote its 1980s-inspired fashion line.
Sinha notes the line between trendy and offensive, however, can be a tipping point.
“Firms should not regard social media as the space where they can emulate private individuals and espouse extreme viewpoints, launch attacks against business rivals, or castigate those who post negative reviews,” he said. “This is off-putting and unprofessional.”
To diminish the chance for error, using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest as primary social media platforms is enough, Sinha indicated, as many users are engaged with just two or three of those sites. He also urged firms to cultivate the smartphone app market with which millennials, or those between the ages of 18 and 35, are engaged. YouTube, he continued, is a way to corner members of the baby-boomer generation who aren’t as engaged on Facebook or Twitter.
Expanding on social media brand personification, Sinha said he is currently researching the “culture-jacking” phenomenon, which refers to a company’s attachment of itself to a trending topic in order to increase followers. Companies’ successes with this tactic, Sinha noted, is not foolproof, as there are several documented missteps.
“All of this shows that companies need to use social media with proper judgment and planning, and steer clear of topics that may be remotely controversial,” Sinha said.
Discussed in this issue:
• Fox’s Society for Human Resource Management chapter wins regional case competition
• Experiential learning the focus in The Co-Op in Human Resource Management
• Cynical employees affect work environment more than affirmative employees
Fox School of Business Partnering up for Trade Winds—Africa
Fox’s Director of International and Executive Programs and Director of Temple CIBER Rebecca Geffner contributed a post to Tradeology, the blog of the International Trade Administration in advance of this month’s Trade Winds Africa Conference in Johannesburg, which is being hosted by the U.S. Commercial Service and the Department of Commerce.
How Samsung Became a Design Powerhouse
Dr. Youngjin Yoo, the Harry A. Cochran Professor of Management Information Systems at the Fox School, published a co-authored article for Harvard Business Review into the evolution of Samsung as a “design powerhouse.”