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RESEARCH @ FOX

By: | December 17th, 2014 | leave a comment

Big Data Institute has big ambitions for Year 2

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Discussed in this issue:
• Big data, the new face of statistical and computational analysis.
• Big data is the collection of data sets so large that it is difficult to process them with traditional methods.
•  Fox School of Business creates the Big Data Institute

 

 

DECEMBER 2014 – ALUMNI

By: | December 17th, 2014 | leave a comment

“Trailblazer” Ira Lubert honored as Musser Award recipient

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Discussed in this issue:
• Temple University’s Fox School of Business recognized Lubert as the recipient of the Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership.
• The Musser Awards dinner and reception gathered Philadelphia’s leading business executives under one roof.
•Temple University President Neil D. Theobald reflected upon Fox School’s prowess.

 

 

 

Fox researchers use brain data to predict real-life success of TV ads

By: | December 11th, 2014 | leave a comment

Researchers at Temple University’s Fox School of Business have identified an area of the brain that can significantly better predict the success of TV advertising.

Photo of Angelika Dimoka

Angelika Dimoka

Professors Angelika Dimoka, Paul A. Pavlou and Vinod Venkatraman led the research study at Temple’s Center for Neural Decision Making at the Fox School of Business. The research team received a $286,000 research grant from the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), a non-profit group that provided TV ads from major sponsor companies in the consumer-goods, financial, technology, travel, and pharmaceutical industries.. The study sought to understand whether measures obtained in the lab when a small number of consumers watched these TV ads can predict the success of these ads in terms of increasing sales in the market.

Their research paper recently has been accepted for publication in the Journal for Marketing Research, a top marketing journal. They completed the study in collaboration with researchers from New York University, Duke University and the University of California, Los Angeles, who analyzed available sales and success data from the TV ads.

Fox School’s research team evaluated the responses of more than 300 participants to television advertisements using eight distinct methods: traditional surveys; implicit measures; eye tracking; heart rate; skin conductance; breathing; and brain activity, as measured by fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and EEG (electroencephalography).

Photo of Vinod Venkatraman

Vinod Venkatraman

“This is the first study to relate individual-level measures in the lab to market-level behavior,” said Venkatraman, lead author and Assistant Professor of Marketing. “We show that physiological and brain responses to a 30-second TV advertisement can provide reliable markers for evaluating its actual success in the market.”

“Based on our research and findings, from all seven neurophysiological methods, brain data collected using fMRI, were the most predictive,” added Angelika Dimoka, Director of the Center for Neural Decision Making, and an Associate Professor of Marketing.  Specifically, we are able to show that activation in an area of the brain known as the ventral striatum, the reward center of the brain, can predict a TV ad success. The higher the activation in the ventral striatum, the higher the success of the TV ad. Nobody has ever been able to make such a linkage.”

The findings suggest that a key to a successful TV ad, Venkatraman noted, is the ability to increase the desirability of the product featured in the TV ad – a construct that is difficult to measure through the use of traditional, self-reported measures.

Photo of Paul Pavlou

Paul Pavlou

“A researcher might ask a test participant, more traditionally, ‘Do you like this ad? Are you likely to purchase this product?’” said Pavlou, Fox School’s Associate Dean of Research and Chief Research Officer. “While subjective measures like traditional questionnaires can still predict the success of TV advertising, the use of neurophysiological measures, especially fMRI, can almost double the power of our prediction.”

Dimoka, Pavlou and Venkatraman began their research December 2012, after meeting ARF officials at the second Interdisciplinary Symposium on Decision Neuroscience, sponsored and hosted by the Fox School of Business. They concluded their testing and research six months later.

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Experiential learning the focus in The Co-Op in HRM

By: | December 11th, 2014 | leave a comment

HRM Co-Op in the MBA Commons of Alter Hall.

Industry leaders tour the MBA Commons at Alter Hall, where Human Resource Management students made their final presentations for The Co-Op in HRM.

Dressed in business-professional attire, Fox School of Business students exited Alter Hall’s elevators and streamed into the seventh-floor MBA Commons. With their shoulders straight, the students found their places beside two rows of corkboards, as industry leaders walked aisle to aisle and quizzed them on their respective research findings.

These activities marked the culmination of The Co-Op in HRM.

In the course, an elective offered by the Fox School’s Department of Human Resource Management (HRM), students swap classroom learning for professional experience. Dr. Crystal Harold, Associate Professor of HRM, assigns students a co-op with one of the program’s industry partners, where they report to work 10 hours weekly. The students, who numbered 22 in the Fall 2014 semester, are tasked with tackling a pressing issue in the human resources industry, and producing an evidence-based management paper that presents their research toward pinpointing a solution.

Students communicated their research findings and the best solution to addressing the HR issue they had selected during The Co-Op in HRM’s final presentations, held Dec. 5 at Alter Hall. Professional mentors representing the companies and non-profit organizations to which students were assigned were in attendance, as were industry leaders considering future partnerships with the program. Professionals from both camps submitted index-card notes to the students for on-the-spot input on their respective presentations.

“Internships and co-op assignments like the ones offered by this course, are salient learning opportunities that help make Fox School’s students more  competitive when they enter the job market,” Harold said. “Some of the students who have taken this course in years past are offered employment opportunities with their co-op organization. Others use their co-ops as an opportunity to segue into their next position.”

And for some students, like Jeannine Rudolph, FOX ’12, companies create positions in order to retain them. During her co-op with Cigna, Rudolph, who majored in both HRM and Legal Studies in Business, worked in various areas within human resources and, before the semester had come to a close, her mentor and direct supervisor asked if she’d stay on as an intern in the spring semester. Both opportunities eventually amounted to a full-time position with Cigna, where Rudolph is an HR Consultant.

HRM Co-Op Group Photo

Human Resource Management students enrolled in The Co-Op in HRM pose for a group photograph following their final presentations.

“As a student, I really engaged myself so an opportunity like mine would be a possibility,” she said.

HRM major Erica Smith, one of Harold’s 22 students, spent the semester with the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), an intermediary organization dedicated to connecting systems and leveraging resources to equip young people for academic achievement, economic opportunity and personal success. Slated to graduate in May 2015, Smith investigated whether merit-based pay would be a viable option for non-profits like PYN.

“She was exposed to every facet of HR, and that task variety is what’s exciting to me,” said Priscilla Tennant, an HR generalist with PYN, who served as Smith’s mentor. “Certainly, compensation was an area of focus and it was important for her to research the benefits and drawbacks of across-the-board pay vs. merit pay and what culture shift is required to make that change. She served as a true thought partner in considering all elements involved in a major change that will impact employee compensation.”

Working with Tennant, who completed her undergraduate coursework at the Fox School in 1997 and later attained her MBA from Fox in 2000, was a boon for Smith, who pointed to professional development as another incentive of the co-op.

“Waking up, getting dressed and preparing yourself for a professional work setting that’s not a classroom was critical,” Smith said. “It was a matter of ‘How can my career benefit from today’s opportunity?’ instead of ‘How can I benefit from this class discussion?’”

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Fox’s undergrad program in Human Resource Management recognized

An undergraduate program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business has been recognized among those with the finest graduation rates in the country.

The Fox School’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management earned a No. 7 national rank in a recent report that highlighted the country’s top-25 such programs, published last month by HumanResourcesMBA.net.

“The Fox School and the Human Resource Management department are honored to be included in this rankings report, which speaks to the quality of our students, faculty and curriculum, and our reputation as a leader in business education,” said Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat.

The website’s report recognized undergraduate human resource management programs that have aligned their respective curricula within the guidelines provided by the Society for Human Resource Management, as well as those housed within business schools exclusively accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. HumanResourcesMBA.net also noted that recent rankings by U.S. News and World Report guided its rankings report.

“The faculty and staff within the Fox School’s Human Resource Management department are excited to have received this recognition,” said Dr. Deanna Geddes, Chair of the Fox School’s Human Resource Management department. “We have worked to not only design a curriculum that provides students with the knowledge, skills and experiences that make them attractive to employers, but one that also emphasizes the importance of pro-social and ethical approaches to managing the firm’s most-valuable resource: its people.

“Our efforts have enabled us to develop a curriculum that both instructs students on the fundamentals of managing human resources, and also challenges them to apply their knowledge to solve real-world HR problems.”

The Fox School’s BBA in Human Resource Management received praise from HumanResourcesMBA.net for its four-year and accelerated three-year options.

To view the rankings in full, click here.

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Tyler student makes sense of big data, wins big at Temple Analytics Challenge

By: | December 5th, 2014 | leave a comment

Admittedly, Cassandra Reffner said she might not know the difference between average and median. And she said she only understands the most basic functions of Microsoft Excel.

Fox School Management Information Systems professors James Moustafellos, far left, and David Schuff, far right, recognize Tyler School of Art student Cassandra Reffner as the winner of the 2014 Temple Analytics Challenge. Third from left is Doug Seiwert, Vice President of Information Technology at QVC, who served as the event’s keynote speaker.

Fox School Management Information Systems professors James Moustafellos, far left, and David Schuff, far right, recognize Tyler School of Art student Cassandra Reffner as the winner of the 2014 Temple Analytics Challenge. Third from left is Doug Seiwert, Vice President of Information Technology at QVC, who served as the event’s keynote speaker.

What Reffner does know, however, is how to analyze data and display it in a creative, understandable manner. A junior graphic design student from the Tyler School of Art, Reffner won the $2,500 grand prize at the second annual Temple Analytics Challenge.

The month-long competition, organized by the Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT) at the Fox School of Business, culminated Nov. 17 in finalist presentations at Alter Hall. The challenge tasks students from all of Temple University’s schools and colleges with making sense of data through visualizations and infographics.

The Temple Analytics Challenge awarded 10 prizes totaling $10,000, from corporate members of IBIT and the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies at Temple University.

In its second year, the Temple Analytics Challenge received 130 submissions from more than 300 participants. The finalists came from both undergraduate and graduate programs across the University, including the College of Engineering, the Tyler School of Art, and the Fox School of Business.

Reffner used a test tube illustration to demonstrate the residual impact felt by employees following the proposed relocation of Merck’s corporate headquarters. Judges reflected favorably upon Reffner’s infographic, which displayed the raw number of employees whose commutes would be negatively affected by 30 or more minutes. (Other Merck Challenge finalists opted to use percentages.) To circumvent the issue, Reffner offered what she called “prescriptions,” using a medicine-bottle design to provide Merck with alternatives like incentivizing carpools or public transit usage, or implementing break time for employees who make longer commutes.

“I think the judges liked how I gave solutions, or as I called them ‘prescriptions,’ to help benefit those employees and to look at this in a less-negative term,” Reffner said. “

Corporate partners of the Temple Analytics Challenge provided data sets and specific problems from which the students had to create an original visualization that also provided clear and meaningful insight. The NBCUniversal Challenge pertained to the allocation of advertising dollars for midterm elections; the Lockheed Martin Challenge focused on employee behaviors predicting security threats; and the aforementioned Merck Challenge centered around the overall impact of a corporate site’s relocation. The 20 finalists presented their work before a panel of professional judges, including representatives from QVC, Campbell Soup Company, and RJMetrics.

“The breadth of majors and students that excelled in the competition was really impressive. Analytics and the ability to interpret and visualize complex data is such an important skill, it’s exciting to so many students get involved and the final presentations were outstanding,” said Nicholas Piergallini, Program Manager at Lockheed Martin and a judge for the competition.

“We’re proud to once again see such a great set of entries from students across the University,” said Dr. David Schuff, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems and organizer of the challenge, “A key goal of the challenge is to encourage students from different disciplines to build their data analysis and communication skills, and to see how these skills apply to their careers.”

Reffner and five fellow Tyler students were among the competition’s 20 finalists, and she was one of three from Tyler to win one of the Temple Analytics Challenge’s 10 cash prizes. Encouraged to enter the competition by Tyler professor Abby Guido, Reffner said she hopes her grand-prize win helps push other students at Temple University to compete next year.

“Being a graphic design student, it was difficult to figure out what the data was and what we had to look at, what we had to analyze, and how to design it in a way people would understand,” Reffner said. “Most of my class doesn’t know Excel.

“But the Temple Analytics Challenge was an innovative way to bring students from around campus together and show we can translate what we do know to a broader spectrum. It was that multidisciplinary aspect of the competition that, I think, was the most fun.”

Doug Seiwert echoed Reffner’s point. Seiwert, the Vice President of Information Technology and Enterprise Applications Development at QVC, said the popular home-shopping network produces one terabyte of data every month.

“For those of you who don’t know, that’s a lot of data,” said Seiwert, the event’s keynote speaker, “and it can be daunting when you’re processing this much data. Our challenge, and (the students’) challenge in this competition, was finding ways to make the data widely consumable, and I think you all did an outstanding job.”

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Fox alumna steps into newly created position at Mount Sinai Health System

By: | December 4th, 2014 | leave a comment

Sandra Myerson’s interest in healthcare began early, dating to a conversation she had in her adolescence with her mother, Patricia Keating Myerson, a now retired registered nurse.

Sandra Myerson“I think she knew I’d never be bored and that I’d be able to support myself, and those are always good things for a young person to hear about a potential career,” Myerson said. “I’ve always enjoyed the sciences and I like people, too, and those are the other reasons I chose to pursue nursing.”

From emergency nurse to top executive, Myerson has covered plenty of ground in her career path. She is the recently appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Patient Experience Officer, a newly created position at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, a seven-hospital system with more than 35,000 employees. Tasked with developing a vision and strategy to improve the patient experience, the Fox School of Business alumna arrived at Mount Sinai in November from a managing consultant position with Press Ganey Associates.

“Larger institutions are creating this position, and it’s a fairly new one in the industry,” Myerson said. “It’s about setting the course for improving our patients’ experiences – how we can improve our processes to make a patient’s hospitalization, outpatient surgery procedure, and physician’s office visit smoother and more efficient, and how we can improve our communication tactics to show compassion and empathy towards patients and their family members. It really requires changes in clinical, operational, behavioral, and cultural aspects of healthcare delivery.”

“We want our patient experience scores to be a valid reflection of what patients are saying about us, and to be reflective of as many patients as possible.”

Myerson holds a joint graduate degree from the Fox School of Business – a Master’s of Business Administration in Healthcare Administration and a Master’s of Science in Healthcare Finance, both of which she attained in 2001.

With more than three decades of experience as a healthcare practitioner and executive, Myerson said her position at Mount Sinai, which combines training, education and communication, is ideal.

She has served as a flight nurse who provided on-the-scene care for trauma patients. She’s worked in a cardiac step-down unit, in emergency rooms and in intensive-care units. She’s had business cards for positions as the Associate Vice President of Healthcare Services (Einstein Healthcare Network, Philadelphia), the Executive Director of Ambulatory and Emergency Services (WellStar Health System, Atlanta), and the Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President for Patient Care Services (Aria, Philadelphia).

Along the way, Myerson said she started and stopped her pursuit of a graduate nursing degree more than once.

“But I figured I needed to understand the business of healthcare if I ever wanted to run a hospital, and so obtaining a finance degree seemed a logical pursuit,” she said.

That’s when Myerson enrolled at the Fox School of Business. “I learned about Fox’s MBA-MS joint program, and I thought it’d be a good fit for me as I worked full-time. The MBA portion of the program fit well with what I was doing at the time, and I enjoyed it. When I got into some of the more challenging finance portions of the program, it was like learning a whole new language – it seemed so foreign to me.” The hardest part about her decision to attend Fox, she said, was having to relinquish her side job as a flight nurse.

“It was hard to hang up my helmet,” she said, “but it was something I had to do to achieve my goals.

At Mount Sinai, Myerson will have to wear two different hats, bridging the gap between the administrative and clinical sides in regard to patient care. She will collaborate across multiple departments of the health system to improve every aspect of the patient experience.

For Myerson, this is simply another facet of the ever-evolving healthcare industry she loves, a line of work she learned to appreciate early on in life.

“I learned a lot about what it was like to be a nurse from my mom,” Myerson said. “I learned plenty from my patients, too. Finding a way to connect with my patients has always been important to me. I got out of that a lot of positive reinforcement, and it inspires me to do what I do today.”

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October 2014 – Fox Update

By: | December 3rd, 2014 | leave a comment

In City of Brotherly Love, Fox alumna prepares to open co-working space for her entrepreneurial sisters

 Fox Update October 2014

Discussed in this issue:
• Fox alumna Yasmine Mustafa driven by freedom
• Fox’s Global MBA leaps 20 places in The Economist’s global rankings
• EMBA alum Beth Duffy inducted into Women’s Hall of Fame

December 2014 – MIS Edition

By: | December 3rd, 2014 | leave a comment

Fox graduates third cohort of MAcc program

December 2014 - MIS Edition

Discussed in this issue:
• Training in analytics, IT value, and cyber-security are a hit with NBCUniversal
• New advisory council attracts national leaders in digital marketing
• Alums come back for career fair

Fall 2014 – Accounting

By: | December 3rd, 2014 | leave a comment

Fox graduates third cohort of MAcc program

 Fox Update Accounting Fall 2014

Discussed in this issue:
• Recent grads establish Young Alumni Accounting Group
• Alum Maxine Romano has the ingredients for success
• PICPA conference inspires area high school students