Press & Media
Students won big at the Temple Analytics Challenge: Making Sense of Big Data, which recently awarded a $7,000 prize pool to eight teams representing schools and colleges across the university.
The university-wide competition, organized by the Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT), launched Oct. 1. The challenge attracted 183 entries from 400 participants across seven schools and colleges, including both undergraduate and graduate students. The Fox School of Business, School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Tyler School of Art, and College of Science and Technology were among the schools represented in the competition. The challenge tasked students with making sense of Big Data through visualization, a key component of data analytics cited by experts as a promising path to job opportunities.
The entrants could choose to solve one of three challenges from the World Bank (finding global economic development opportunities), Merck (creating smarter travel policies) and the City of Philadelphia (fostering Philadelphia’s economic development).
The judging panel selected the 20 finalists, who presented their visualizations before the judges on Nov. 15 in Alter Hall. The judging panel included William Stolte (Merck), Neil Fantom (the World Bank), Gregory Waldman (City of Philadelphia), Ben Hasan (Walmart), Larry Dignan (CBS Interactive), Caron Kogan (Lockheed Martin), Ravi Chawla (Independence Blue Cross), Sara Aerni (Pivotal) and Harold Hambrose (Electronic Ink).
“I was very impressed by the quality of the presentations and the effort that students had made,” said Fantom, manager of the Development Data Group at the World Bank.
“There is a wealth of talent at Temple University,” added Hasan, senior vice president of IT Strategic Services at Walmart. “The submissions were thoughtful and insightful.”
Management information systems (MIS) senior Yolandra Brown earned the first-place prize – $2,500 – for her solution to the Philadelphia Challenge.
“I was shocked, happy, and I realized I won all the money to myself,” said Brown, who worked alone. She plans on putting the winnings toward a car she hopes to purchase upon graduating in May.
In her infographic, Drilling Down to Philly’s Hottest Private Industry, Brown found that the social assistance subsector could have the largest increasing workforce demand. Within this subsector, individual and family service is expanding the fastest, as services for the elderly and disabled are contributing most to the industry’s growth.
“I looked at certain aspects within population size and life expectancy to find a way to put that back in the infographic,” Brown said. “So I decided to do the whole story, how I got down to finding that service and what’s going on with that service and is it going to continue to grow.”
In her conclusion, Brown urged government officials to support workforce development and business assistance in the individual and family services industry, focusing primarily in elderly and disability services.
Second-place winner Ping-yeh Chiang, a senior actuarial science major, has noticed how much of a hot topic data analytics has become. After competing in the challenge, Chiang learned that Big Data presents three sets of challenges.
“First, the accuracy of the data is often questionable. Second, data found to answer questions must be relevant. Third, numbers have to be put into context, which is difficult to do,” Chiang said. “After this challenge, I started to understand the value of Big Data and the challenges behind it.”
The Temple Big Data Conference, also organized by IBIT in 2012, funded the $7,000 prize pool.
“Students from across the university created a fantastic set of entries and did a great job presenting them to our judging panel. We are really proud of the work they did,” said MIS Associate Professor David Schuff, co-organizer of the challenge. “This challenge wouldn’t have been possible without our industry partners who donated real-world problems and data and who generously gave their time as judges.”
Peter Jones, Temple’s senior vice provost for undergraduate studies, noted the challenge’s interdisciplinary reach: “This is the sort of activity that really helps students appreciate the interdisciplinary potential and opportunity that methodological and analytical skills can offer.”
Keynote speaker Robert Moore, founder and CEO of Philadelphia-based analytics firm RJMetrics, praised the work of the students: “The masters of visualizations are the ones who are going to change human thoughts and behavior by using data. Today the work that you have done is extremely powerful and absolutely critical.”
In addition to Brown, winners included:
Second-place winners ($1,000 per team):
World Bank Challenge – Ping-yeh Chiang and Nathan Saunders
Merck Challenge – Kevin Chin, Anna Choe and Richard Somerville
Honorable-mention awardees ($500 per team):
Philly Challenge – Jessica Isaac, Jerome McLeod and Robert Scanlon
World Bank Challenge – Matthew Bukoski, Nikita Patki and Xi Qiu
World Bank Challenge – Julianne Melograno
World Bank Challenge – Maxwell Cutler, Patrick Markward, Meghan McManus, Charles Yan, Linfeng Yang and Leah Wrobel
Merck Challenge – Kevin Dannenberg, Scott Georgescu, Jamilla Lee, Nehaben Patel and Yoojin Shin
For more information on the Temple Analytics Challenge and to see the winning entries, visit ibit.temple.edu/analyticschallenge
What do a former Temple University football player, a self-titled “chief trash collector” and a film student have in common? What about a student housing development company, an environmentally focused apparel company and a bill registry to help students crowdfund their expenses?
Each idea was developed while these individuals – Shawn Bullard, Brian Linton and Jazmin Butler – were students at Temple. These alumni returned to campus Nov. 20 to pitch their businesses in lightning-round format during the 17th Musser Awards for Excellence in Leadership, hosted annually by Temple’s Fox School of Business.
The Musser Awards honor outstanding achievement and service by a distinguished member of the business community, and this year the award went to university Trustee Lewis Katz, director of the Katz Foundation. Given Katz’s remarkable success as an entrepreneur and the Fox School’s national reputation as an innovation and entrepreneurship leader, the night showcased university-wide entrepreneurship.
Staying true to the theme, the awards program featured “Power Launch,” a spin on event-host Tyler Mathisen’s CNBC show “Power Lunch.” Each of the three alumni was given 180 seconds to pitch their respective businesses to Katz and past Musser Award recipients Warren V. “Pete” Musser – the award’s namesake – and Joan Carter.
Bullard kicked things off with Konkrete Investments, a student-housing development company he launched after winning Temple’s 2009 Be Your Own Boss Bowl®, which the Fox School organizes via the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI). Bullard, a former football player and School of Tourism and Hospitality Management graduate, took the $10,000 grand prize and turned that into $10 million in assets.
Butler followed and pitched her company, MyBillRegistry, and its counterpart MyClassroomRegistry. MyBillRegistry functions as a crowdfunding platform for students’ monthly expenses. Students register on the site and list their bills. People or organizations that wish to support a student may pledge any amount of money toward a given bill. The donations are then consolidated and paid directly to the specified expense.
Butler, who graduated from the School of Media and Communication in 2012 after winning IEI’s Innovative Idea Competition, has also partnered with Scholastic to create MyClassroomRegistry. Through this program, educators sign up and list their classroom needs. Supporters can contribute toward or purchase those supplies through The Scholastic Store.
Linton, chief trash collector, founder and president of United By Blue, gave a compelling overview of his company, which removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways for each item of apparel or accessories the company sells. The for-profit company is based on the idea that, “Everything from the birds to the moose and mosquito all need water to live, and in that way we are all truly ‘United By Blue,’” Linton said.
A College of Liberal Arts graduate, Linton also won the Be Your Own Boss Bowl® during his time at Temple. Since then he has been named a finalist in the Bloomberg Businessweek America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs competition and in the Wall Street Journal’s Small Business, Big Innovation contest.
To support current and future entrepreneurs, such as Bullard, Butler and Linton, proceeds from this year’s Musser Awards supported the Lewis Katz Entrepreneurship Scholarship Fund, which is especially fitting considering Katz got his start as an entrepreneur when he and fellow alumnus Bill Cosby founded an on-campus entertainment and speaker series. The Fox School will oversee the fund and use it to support student-entrepreneurs from all majors and colleges at Temple.
Just before the evening came to a close, Katz shocked the crowd of 350 regional business leaders with one final announcement – a pledge to give the university $25 million, which would represent the largest single gift in university history.
“Lewis Katz is the epitome of an entrepreneur and philanthropist who has emphasized giving back in each of his many successful business ventures,” Fox School of Business Dean M. Moshe Porat said. “To Lew, entrepreneurship and philanthropy are inextricably linked. We were proud to highlight that linkage on a night of historic proportions.”
Fox School of Business student David Feinman creates a Zombie Run for fun and profit. Read more about the brains behind the Zombie Run in the Fall 2013 issue of Fox Focus, an alumni magazine showcasing the Power of Fox. Visit: www.fox.temple.edu/focus
Temple University’s Fox School of Business will award Lewis Katz, director of the Katz Foundation, with the 2013 Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership – the school’s highest honor for outstanding achievement, leadership and commitment to the community by a distinguished member of industry.
“Lewis Katz is the epitome of an entrepreneur and philanthropist who has emphasized giving back in each of his many successful business ventures,” Fox School of Business Dean M. Moshe Porat said. “To Lew, entrepreneurship and philanthropy are inextricably linked. We are so proud to enhance our nationally recognized efforts in entrepreneurship through a scholarship fund at Temple in his name.”
Katz serves on the board of trustees of Temple University, as well as the board of Temple Health System and Fox Chase Cancer Center. In his philanthropic efforts, Katz has established several programs to help children in his native Camden, N.J., and has built two Boys & Girls Clubs that serve nearly 3,000 youth annually. He has also founded two K-4 charter schools, called Katz Academies, in Camden.
Katz is the former principal owner of the New Jersey Nets and Devils, and was a former member of the NBA board of governors. He is also a founding partner of the law firm Katz, Ettin & Levine in Cherry Hill, N.J. Katz is majority owner of five radio stations in New Jersey and former chairman of Interstate Outdoor Advertising. He and a group of local investors purchased Philadelphia Media Network, which owns The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com, in 2012.
The Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership was established in honor of the achievements and entrepreneurial spirit of Warren V. “Pete” Musser. As founder of Safeguard Scientifics, and as its leader for nearly four decades, Musser formed numerous technology-oriented companies that helped create Greater Philadelphia’s reputation for technological innovation.
In addition to honoring a leading member of the region’s business community, the Musser Awards also recognize achievement among faculty, staff and students. The 2013 honorees are:
- Edward C. Rosenthal, Excellence in Teaching
- Paul A. Pavlou, Excellence in Research
- Sheri L. Risler, Excellence in Faculty Service
- Megan L. Panaccio, Excellence in Administrative Service
- Simon Wong, Excellence in Student Leadership
Previous Musser Award winners include Steven H. Korman, founder of Korman Communities; Joan Carter, co-founder and President of UM Holdings Ltd.; Stephen A. Cozen and Patrick J. O’Connor, Cozen O’Connor; Gerry Lenfest, president and CEO, The Lenfest Group; Ralph J. Roberts, founder, Comcast Corp.; and Dennis Alter, former chairman and CEO, Advanta Corp.
This Temple Update newscast highlights the Fox School’s ascent in national and international rankings, both for undergraduate and graduate programs. Vice Dean Rajan Chandran explains the school’s priorities, and current students discuss the Power of Fox, including the highly regarded Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD).
The Fox School of Business Executive MBA program is ranked in the Top 20 in the U.S. for the sixth consecutive year, according to new rankings by the Financial Times. Among Greater Philadelphia business schools, Fox’s Executive MBA ranking is second only to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
The 2013 rankings, released Oct. 21, surveyed the Executive MBA Class of 2010 on their salary growth, career progress, work experience and aims achieved since graduation. School diversity, measured by international and female students, among other factors, makes up 25 percent of the weight, while “idea generation” – percentage of faculty with doctorates and research published in a select list of 45 academic journals – corresponds to 20 percent of the ranking.
“The Fox Executive MBA has a strong history of sustained excellence, and we are proud to once again be ranked among the nation’s premier programs,” Dean M. Moshe Porat said. “Our continued success can be attributed to elite faculty, a strong global network and a convenient program format that offers an immediate return on investment.”
Fox’s Executive MBA, which can be completed in 16 months, is built on face-to-face classroom time delivered over one weekend per month and supplemented by interaction with classmates and faculty via the premier web-conferencing program WebEx. The online collaboration reduces travel and minimizes the time students spend away from home and office. Classes meet at one of the region’s finest conference facilities, the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Malvern, Pa., and the Fox Executive MBA is connected to a strong network of partner programs across the world.
The Fox School delivers its Executive MBA at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Cali, Colombia; the ENPC School of International Management (ENPC) in Paris, France; and the International Executive Education Center (IEEC) in Singapore, allowing students within the network of partner programs to study at any of the other three locations without slowing progress toward graduation.
In addition, the Fox School offers a Corporate Partner Scholarship Program for students when more than one employee from the same company attends the Fox Executive MBA program in a given year. For more information, visit www.fox.temple.edu/emba.
An upcoming TechConnect workshop to help commercialize early stage technology is the latest example of Temple University’s integrated commercialization support program, which provides a clearer path to market for inventors.
In Spring 2013, Temple hosted its first TechConnect workshop at the Fox School of Business, bringing together technology inventors with business students and professionals, to help commercialize early stage technology.
Fox’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, in conjunction with Temple’s Office of Technology Development and Commercialization, launched the integrated technology commercialization support program in 2012-13 to increase support for inventors.
This year’s TechConnect will take place Nov. 12 and 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The event is free, but space is limited. Attendees are encouraged to register by Nov. 4 via http://iei.temple.edu/techconnect.
“The IEI already runs a very successful angel investment group, Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures (MADV). Unfortunately, most university technology is a long way off from earning revenue—a pre-condition for presenting to MADV,” IEI Academic Director Robert McNamee said of the unique ecosystem being built at Temple. “Thus we identified the need for a series of support programs that would help faculty and graduate students assess market opportunities for their technologies, apply for translational research grants, and ultimately help them find the partners and funding to potentially launch their new ventures.”
The TechConnect workshop is already delivering results. In October, a team from Temple’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences (CIS) received a $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Program. This prestigious program is designed to spur translational research, encourage collaboration between academia and industry, and train students to understand innovation and entrepreneurship.
The funded team includes CIS Associate Professor Xiaojiang Du (principal investigator), PhD candidate Longfei Wu (entrepreneurial lead), and mentor Andrew Maxwell, an assistant professor who has a joint appointment in the Fox School of Business and the College of Engineering. The Temple team was one of only 15 nationally to receive the grant in this round of funding.
As part of the program, the team attended online training and a three-day workshop in New York, where their commercialization plans were put to the test.
“Getting insights, as well as funding, from the I-Corps team was just the type of reinforcement we needed to take this great wireless technology solution to the next level,” Maxwell said of the team’s proposal to improve wireless reception by reducing interference between local wireless transmitters.
The first TechConnect workshop attracted more than 25 participants from Temple’s School of Medicine, College of Engineering, College of Science and Technology, and Fox School of Business. Participants engaged in a series of hands-on exercises around several promising technologies developed by participants with periodic pitches back to the main group.
The IEI has designed the next TechConnect workshop to be twice as large and to have an even greater impact.
“We are excited to bring in the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group as a partner for the upcoming TechConnect workshop,” McNamee said. “GPSEG members bring incredible business and industry experience to the table and will serve as mentors for the teams.”
“It’s like a snowball,” Maxwell added. “Once one person participates and learns about the process, especially if they receive funding, then others will understand the benefits and come as well. Eventually the networks created at these events reach critical mass and we start seeing new technology-based ventures launch in Philadelphia. This can be truly transformative for the region.”
The study compiled data from more than 1,200 students and from 48 universities across the United States. Despite a 7.3 percent national unemployment rate, the job market is a healthy one for college students majoring in information systems, with nearly three quarters of students receiving at least one job offer, according to the nationwide IS Job Index by the Association for Information Systems (AIS) and Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
According to the IS Job Index, released in October, 61 percent of information systems graduates received one job offer, while 23 percent received two and 9 percent received three. In 2012, there were an estimated 2.9 million jobs in the United States related to information systems.
“Information systems professionals lead IT in major corporations, but the IS labor market is ‘hidden’ because it is mixed with computer scientists and call center operators in national statistics,” said Munir Mandviwalla, associate professor and chair of the Department of Management Information Systems at the Fox School of Business and executive director of Temple’s Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT). “The IS Job Index is the first-ever nationwide study to focus on profiling the IT worker of the future.”
Top findings include:
▪ The IS job market is healthy, with a placement rate of 78 percent upon graduation.
▪ Bachelor’s IS students have an average salary of $57,212 while master’s IS students average $65,394 a year.
▪ 76 percent of IS graduates are satisfied with their jobs, and the same percentage are confident they will perform well in those jobs. Seventy-three percent found jobs related to their chosen degree.
▪ Information technology, financial services, and business services/consulting are the top industries for IS jobs.
▪ The most common job classification is systems analyst, at 35 percent for bachelor’s students and 28 percent for master’s students.
▪ Access to career services centers is the most important factor for getting a job. Also, IS students value faculty support more than central university support.
▪ IS students are 68 percent male, 55 percent white and 28 percent Asian.
The study found that students who spend more hours overall searching for a job have a higher chance of receiving an offer. When examining job-search activities, researchers found that the most successful students use multiple techniques, including looking for jobs on job boards, talking to friends and contacts, formally applying for jobs, directly contacting employers, and interviewing.
Students also apply for multiple jobs. Bachelor’s students, on average, apply for 11 jobs, and master’s students average 16 job applications.
Despite the amount of opportunity for IS students, women and minorities are still underrepresented in the field. The study shows that more than half of IS students are white men.
The AIS-Temple Fox School 2013 IS Job Index Report is a five-year ongoing project that will provide prospective and current students, guidance counselors, academics and managers with an analysis of the state of the industry.
Future reports are expected to include expanded data collection with more schools, longitudinal analysis, global focus and prioritized factors that top students seek in employers.
AIS is the world’s premier professional association for information systems. The Fox School of Business research team included Mandviwalla, Crystal M. Harold, assistant professor of human resource management and CIGNA research fellow; Paul A. Pavlou, Milton F. Stauffer professor of information technology and strategy; and Tony Petrucci, assistant professor of human resource management.
For more information, including a link to the full report, visit http://ibit.temple.edu/isjobindex/
The Global MBA program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business boasts a job-placement rate “better than any other school in the country” and ranks in the Top 60 nationally for return on investment, according to Forbes’ 2013 Best Business Schools ranking.
Forbes described the nearly 98 percent job-placement rate for 2012 Fox MBA graduates as the nation’s best. Fox’s renowned Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) oversees internship and job placement for both undergraduate and graduate students.
The Fox School climbed 14 spots to No. 59 in Forbes’ eighth biennial survey, released Oct. 9, and joins the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School as the only business schools in Greater Philadelphia to be ranked.
“We work tirelessly to ensure that the value of a Fox degree continues to appreciate. Our ascent in national and international rankings shows that our programs offer very strong returns,” Dean M. Moshe Porat said. “We take great pride in providing students with a superb education, incredible services and strong industry connections so that our graduates find the best match to advance in their careers.”
The ranking is based on the return on investment achieved by the graduates from the class of 2008. Through a survey of 17,000 alumni from 100 schools, Forbes compared their earnings in their first five years out of business school to their opportunity cost (two years of forgone compensation, tuition and required fees) to arrive at a five-year MBA gain.
The five-year MBA gain represents the net cumulative amount typical alumni would have earned after five years by getting their MBA versus staying in their pre-MBA career. The Fox School’s total five-year MBA gain is $25,700, according to Forbes.
One survey respondent said, “Temple gave me experience dealing with ambiguous business situations that has served me well from my very first day on the job.”