Starting a company – or receiving a six-figure investment for it – is not something that many 23-year-olds can say they’ve accomplished. But Lei Zhao, a senior at the Fox School of Business, has done both.
After founding HeyHome Education Consulting Company in 2016, Zhao is beginning to pave her professional path.
HeyHome seeks to connect high school students in her native China to safe environments and host families in the United States, an idea at which she arrived after relating to other students who were expressing difficulties with their host families. Unlike other consulting companies, HeyHome’s mission involves making weekly visits to assess living situations, to ensure that students are enjoying their stays, and addressing the learning quality in U.S. schools.
“I wanted to extend my horizons because it’s a totally different culture here,” said Zhao, who studies Marketing. “I love to talk to different people and know their experiences so that I can learn from them and build my strength. I talked with my professors about the potential solution of all the issues I was hearing about, and went from there.”
After placing second in the Chunhuibei Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition, held by the Consulate of China, Zhao’s determination led to meetings with possible investors to further the development of the company. With a $100,000 investment, Zhao plans to build HeyHome’s website and complete greater marketing research to build a firm customer base.
“I learned a lot from talking to so many investors and politicians,” said Zhao, a native of Beijing. “There were a lot of things that I didn’t know, such as the restrictions of starting a company. I talked to different investors about their offers, adjusted all of them, and chose the best one.”
Next, Zhao will take part in Temple University’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl, but afterward the possibilities are endless. While the company is still relatively new, she hopes in the near future to meet with more investors, establish a successful online community for HeyHome, and eventually service Japan and Korea.
Zhao’s dreams extend to her culinary skills, too. She has a popular online cooking show, “Starfish Kitchen.” She considers cooking one of her hobbies, and she is always inviting trying new recipes. She’d even welcome the chance to bring her show to a U.S. audience.
But all in due time.
“There’s no hurry,” Zhao said. “You have to finish every step perfectly; otherwise it’s going to affect your next step, and the step after that. Do what’s best first and then build long-term.”
A short film produced by Shpat Deda, a 2015 graduate of Temple University’s Fox School of Business Global MBA program, received the British Academy Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award for Best Short Film.
Deda served as one of five producers on the short film, Home, which calls attention to the plight of refugees worldwide. The 20-minute film depicts a British family leaving its comfortable life and experiencing uncertainty and violence as refugees. The term “reverse migration” has been used to describe the plot of the film.
Deda accepted the BAFTA award, along with writer and director Daniel Mulloy, at BAFTA’s Feb. 12 ceremony in London’s Royal Albert Hall, to honor the year’s top contributors to British film.
In addition to its BAFTA win, Home also has claimed top prizes at 11 separate film festivals. It received donations from Open Society Foundation-London, USAID, and United Agencies in Kosovo to make the production possible.
The film holds special significance to Deda, an ex-refugee from Kosovo.
“No more than 18 years ago, I and the majority of the Kosovo cast and crew who worked on this film, were among the one million Kosovans displaced and turned into refugees as a result of a devastating war that was tearing our country apart,” Deda said. “In our misfortune though, we were fortunate enough to be living during a time when the world was one of open hearts and open doors. It’s what ultimately saved the lives of so many of us. My hope today is that we can be able to say the same for the millions of refugees out there who are frightened, facing an uncertain future, and without a home at this very moment.”
A professor from Temple University’s Fox School of Business has been named one of the most-productive authors in marketing research in the world.
Dr. Xueming Luo is recognized in two separate lists within the American Marketing Association (AMA) 2016 Marketing Research Productivity lists. He ranks No. 11 globally for research publications in the two premier journals – the Journal of Marketing (JM) and the Journal of Marketing Research (JMR). Also, he ranks No. 28 in the world for publications to the four premier marketing journals – JM, JMR, the Journal of Consumer Research, and Marketing Science.
Published in January 2017, the AMA lists acknowledge the top individual contributors to the world’s premier marketing journals over a 10-year period, from 2007-2016.
“I am humbled and honored to have been recognized by the American Marketing Association,” said Luo, the Charles Gilliland Distinguished Chair Professor of Marketing. “These four premier journals together are the most influential and hold the highest standards in the entire marketing discipline, and across all streams of research in consumer behavior and quantitative marketing.”
Luo’s research centers on mobile consumer analytics; big data marketing strategies; and social media, marketing models with machine learning, and networks. He serves as founder and director of the Fox School’s Global Center on Big Data and Mobile Analytics, a leading center in the cross-disciplinary domain of big data for business strategies and consumer insights.
He previously has been ranked No. 1 nationally among preeminent scholars in his discipline regarding citations in the top-five marketing journals, from 2006-2010. And from 2011-2015, he ranked among the 20 most-productive authors of research in Premier AMA journals.
Five of the Fox School’s nine academic departments are nationally ranked for overall research productivity. In the 2015-16 academic year, Fox faculty published more than 40 A journal publications, secured more than $5 million in grant funding, and increased new grant funding by nearly $1 million.
For the 10th straight year, students from Temple University are assisting low-income members of the community by filing their income-tax returns for free.
Accounting students from Temple’s Fox School of Business give their time and offer their expertise each Saturday, from Feb. 4 to April 8, to assist members of the local community in filing their state and federal income tax returns. (The 2017 tax return deadline is Tuesday, April 18.)
Temple’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program operates on Temple University’s Ambler Campus. In 2016, more than $437,000 in tax refunds were issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Pennsylvania Department of Revenue to the 379 clients supported by Fox School accounting majors.
“Over the years, we’ve established relationships with our clientele, many of whom come year after year,” said Dr. Steven Balsam, Professor of Accounting and Director of the VITA program. “In some cases, our service does not end with tax season. Our clients contact me about letters they receive from the IRS, state, and local authorities throughout the year.
“In one particularly memorable case, while doing his tax return, we discovered an elderly client had not filed for several years. Two volunteers went beyond the call of duty and met with him several times into May to file back tax returns and get him thousands in refunds.”
To qualify for the VITA program, a client’s annual household income must not exceed $54,000 (whether filing independently or jointly). A client also is not eligible if he or she owns rental property or owns a business. Clients can schedule an appointment by visiting fox.temple.edu/vita, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 215-326-9519.
Fox School of Business students submit to several weeks of training in order to participate in the VITA program. In exchange, they receive a valuable learning experience – and the gratification of helping those in need.
“Last tax season, I got to know my clients while I prepared their returns, which only increased the level of satisfaction I took away from my experience,” said junior Jacob Zenisek. “It was uplifting to hear how they benefited as a result of our service.”
The customer service provided by Fox students, said Dorothy Middleton, is unmatched.
“Last year, I met a student who was doing everything he could for me,” said Middleton, who has used the VITA program for a number of years. “He was researching and calculating over and over again. Later on, another student told me that he had skipped his lunch to help me on my return. That is wonderful customer service.”
Thursday, February 9th
5:30 to 7:00 pm
3rd Floor Atrium lobby
Friday, February 10th
12:00 pm – Lunch and Alumni Panel
Networking Reception at 3:30 pm
Undergraduate Commons, “The Egg”
Mobile app created at Temple’s Fox School of Business aims to revolutionize performance-review process
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 23, 2017 –– Say goodbye to static year-end reviews, and say hello to their digital replacements.
Temple University’s Fox School of Business recently incorporated into its curriculum the use of DevelapMe, a competency-based, real-time feedback app developed by two faculty members and one administrator that aims to revolutionize the performance-review process. With the app, graduate and undergraduate business students at the Fox School have received real-world leadership experience through analytics, and training in a discipline like human resource management in which it is often difficult to embed live scenarios.
A mobile application, DevelapMe allows for the capture and application of feedback in order to track improvement and professional development. The app utilizes a 1-to-5 sliding scale for real-time grading of competencies, which can be catered to a specific client’s needs, and opportunities to submit commentary – either by name or anonymously. DevelapMe won the grand prize at Temple University’s 2016 Be Your Own Boss Bowl, which has been ranked by Forbes as one of the nation’s five most-lucrative college business-plan competitions.
DevelapMe is the product of Dr. Tony Petrucci, Academic Director of Leadership Development; Dr. Michael Rivera, Associate Professor of Strategic Management; and Cliff Tironi, Performance Analytics Manager for the Fox MBA and MS Programs.
“Human resource executives nationally are moving away from yearly reviews for a litany of reasons,” said Petrucci. “They are oftentimes inefficient, time-consuming, and frequently inaccurate. In addition, they don’t align with millennials’ desire for more-frequent feedback. And over 12 months, you can lose track of daily performance and behavioral nuances as they happen. With DevelapMe, those moments can be tracked in real time to accurately assess a colleague or an employee, and demonstrate areas of strength or weakness.”
With DevelapMe, the results speak for themselves. In Fall 2016, nearly 50 full-time MBA students at the Fox School were assigned full leadership responsibility for a team of six freshmen business students during a six-week business project. The project required the undergraduate and MBA students to use DevelapMe to deliver feedback (peer-to-peer, direct report-to-supervisor, and supervisor-to-direct report). Over the project’s duration, more than 25,000 pieces of feedback and over 2,800 comments were logged. The data showed that 65 percent of the MBA students improved in their leadership behavior, and 25 percent of undergraduate students improved in human capital skills, like high performance conflict management, during the course of the project. Overall individual student improvement ranged from 4 percent to 100 percent.
James. A Sanfilippo, MD, can attest to DevelapMe’s value. A Fox MBA candidate, Sanfilippo is also a spinal surgeon at Reconstructive Orthopedics, in Moorestown, N.J. His practice utilized DevelapMe to gain immediate insight into the interactions and behaviors between patients and its physicians and support staff.
“Today’s leaders need emotional intelligence more than ever,” Sanfilippo said. “The DevelapMe app from the Fox School of Business has afforded the leadership of Reconstructive Orthopedics an opportunity to strengthen and grow our skills surrounding EQ with the tools of real-time feedback and communication.”
Many companies are seeing the value of the DevelapMe app to drive individual and organizational performance by capturing interactions as they happen in the workplace and categorizing them by competency.
“We know our employees at every level are our most-important asset as an organization, which is why we are continually focused on their development, and on new ways of ensuring engagement and open communication,” said Chris Conroy, president of fleet-management organization ARI.
“We engaged the Fox School executive education team, who provided our senior leadership with the opportunity to work with DevelapMe, and they found it to be both thought-provoking and impactful. These kinds of experience have helped us stand out as a company and, I believe, have helped us to be recognized as a Fortune Top 100 Best Companies to Work For year after year.”
Tironi and Rivera recently delivered a presentation on transforming leadership through data analytics, using DevelapMe. They presented Friday, Jan. 20, at San Francisco’s Hyatt Regency during the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) 2017 Leadership Conference.
The Online BBA at Fox moved up to No. 2, according to U.S. News
For the third straight year, the top spot belongs to Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
U.S. News & World Report has ranked the Fox School’s Online MBA program No. 1 in the nation, according to the publication’s 2017 ranking of the best online MBA programs, which was released Jan. 10. Fox’s Online MBA again received a perfect score of 100, and has earned the No. 1 ranking by U.S. News each year since 2015.
U.S. News also ranked the Fox Online Bachelor of Business Administration program, which climbed four places to reach No. 2 in the nation – its highest ranking in program history.
“When we launched the Online MBA program in 2009 and the Online BBA in 2012, we chose to build our digital-learning model from the inside out,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “We hired video editors, instructional designers, and everyone in between to comprise our Online & Digital Learning team. Our team has embraced the Fox School’s mission to deliver the same top-ranked MBA and BBA programs across a consistent, user-friendly, online format. We admit the same quality of students, apply the same rigor, and utilize the same award-winning faculty. The results speak for themselves, and it is an honor that our online programs have been recognized by U.S. News as the benchmark for others in the United States.”
U.S. News scores online business programs based upon student engagement; peer reputation; faculty credentials and training; student services and technology; and admissions selectivity.
Flexibility is a key component to the Fox Online MBA. The program features what Fox has coined “a curriculum carousel,” which offers multiple entry points throughout the calendar year. Students can pursue the degree at their pace, and can register for one or up to three courses per semester. Each course is delivered one at a time over four weeks, and the program can be completed in as quickly as 20 months.
“Our programs meet the needs of today’s busy professional,” said Dr. Darin Kapanjie, Academic Director of the Fox Online MBA and Online BBA programs. “Our MBA students, for example, enroll with an average of 12 years professional experience, which is something unique to Fox’s program. With that experience, we know our students are juggling both professional and personal responsibilities. At the same time, they want a rigorous and collaborative program.”
The Fox Online MBA, the only Greater Philadelphia-based program to have been ranked among U.S. News’ top 50, opens with a weeklong residency at Temple University’s Main Campus in Philadelphia. The residency features a leadership course, networking, team building, professional development and special events.
From there, each subsequent online course employs a flipped-classroom approach, a 24/7, on-demand format that allows students to complete readings and academic videos at their pace and collaborate with their peers and professors through digital dialogue. Then, in an integrated online classroom setting, they are able to put what they have learned into practice. They can do so through Fox’s Video Vault, a collection of more than 2,000 academic videos produced by Fox faculty, a searchable archive of HD-quality, mobile-friendly, transcribed videos produced by Fox faculty.
The same technological support, award-winning faculty, educational prestige, and career development resources are available to students enrolled in Fox’s Online BBA program. Launched in 2012, the program’s ascension to No. 2 in U.S. News’ national rankings marks its highest in program history.
“Technology, innovation, and collaboration are pillars of the Fox online programs,” Kapanjie said. “We’ll stay on top if we continue to recruit top-notch students and work together as a team to provide the elite curriculum to our online population.”
“I’m being honest when I say this: It’s one of the hardest and one of the most-rewarding things I have ever done. As a surgeon, I know what I do for a living. Getting an MBA helps you figure out why you do what you do, and you’re able to do it better.”
Alexander Vaccaro, MD, PhD, Fox MBA ‘15
Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery, Sidney Kimmel Medical Center at Thomas Jefferson University
President, Rothman Institute
“The program constantly pushed and challenged me, encouraged my professional growth, and allowed me to complete the degree in a timeframe that worked for me and my family.”
Abby Guido, Fox MBA ‘16
Founder and Owner, Abby Ryan Design
Assistant Professor of Graphic and Interactive Design, Tyler School of Art at Temple University
“The convenience of online delivery sacrifices nothing in terms of the program’s rigor, instruction, and overall experience, which the No. 1 national ranking clearly reflects. The program gave me the knowledge and the confidence needed to grow in my career, while also pursuing several entrepreneurial ventures.”
Chris Lentz, Fox MBA ‘16
Associate Director of Marketing & Community Engagement, Princeton University
When Dr. Jean Wilcox first envisioned her Entrepreneurial Marketing course, it started with a piece of currency.
It was January 2010 when Wilcox divided her students into 10 groups, and presented each group with a $10 bill out of her own pocket. The goal? The students were tasked with multiplying their modest seed money by a factor of 10, to be donated to various charities, non-profits, foundations, and community organizations.
Seven years later, the impact of Wilcox’s course at Temple University’s Fox School of Business has left her in awe.
“The best comment I’ve ever gotten came from one of my colleagues, who said, ‘Business school is so much about analytics and numbers, and what you’re doing is giving these students heart,’” said Wilcox, an Assistant Professor of Marketing. “That’s most important to me in the long run.”
The 10-10-10 Foundation, launched out of Wilcox’s Entrepreneurial Marketing course, has experienced remarkable reach: The course has been offered over 14 semesters, and has enrolled more than 1,000 students. As of Fall 2016, the students have generated more than $320,000 of value in monetary, in-kind, and matching donations. Wilcox’s students have supported more than 100 organizations, and have eclipsed 4,500 volunteer hours.
Students have supported non-profit and charitable organizations focusing in the sectors of music, environmental awareness, healthcare, cancer research, education, social services, and animal welfare.
This past semester, Wilcox’s students generated more than $26,000 for their organizations.
One student group planted flower bulbs along Philadelphia’s John F. Kennedy Boulevard, to support the Philadelphia Horticultural Society. One team of students collected more than $2,000 and volunteered 100 hours for the Travis Manion Foundation, a non-profit to empower veterans and the families of fallen veterans. Another team supported Back On My Feet, which uses running to instill discipline and restore confidence and self-esteem among Philadelphia’s homeless population. Every Wednesday, the students ran at 5:30 a.m. alongside Back On My Feet’s homeless runners.
“To me, their efforts are worth so much more than the dollars they have raised,” she said. “As I told them after class, they are my rays of hope in a crazy world. They can, and already have, made it a better place.”
–Christopher A. Vito
In October, Temple University’s Fox School of Business welcomed more than 200 of the world’s leading academics, consultants, and practitioners for a three-day conference on international business, global cities, and innovation.
The Fox School hosted a joint conference Oct. 27-30 of Academy of International Business-Northeast Region members, as well as iBEGIN scholars. In 2013, Fox School of Business Professor Dr. Ram Mudambi and a team of researchers founded iBEGIN – which stands for International Business, Economic Geography and Innovation – to study the connections between global value chains and the locations of economic activity.
The first conference of its kind, held at Temple’s Alter Hall, explored the ongoing global move toward horizontal specialization.
“The world economy is changing in very fundamental ways, and that’s because of a shift in the role of cities,” said Mudambi, the Frank M. Speakman Professor of Strategy at the Fox School. “Previously, all activity would take place in the same city – innovation, design, manufacturing, assembly. Today, we’re moving from local systems to global systems, and cities are becoming centers of specialization. For example, the Bay Area is known as a hub for software engineering and Chicago for commodities trading, to name a few. These cities perform different tasks and, in doing so, they aren’t competing with one another. Instead, they are collaborating.”
The AIB/iBEGIN conference welcomed a number of prominent speakers and panelists, including the following deliverers of keynote addresses:
- Dr. Saskia Sassen, the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and Centennial Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics, from whom the term “global city” originates
- Dr. Keld Laursen, Professor of Innovation and Organizational Economics at the Copenhagen Business School, and President of the Technology and Innovation
- Management Division within the Academy of Management
Dr. Sharon Belenzon, Assistant Professor of Strategy at Duke University
This marked the third iteration of iBEGIN conferences, and the first that bridged with the AIB regional conference. The conference continues to expand its global reach, welcoming guests from four continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.
The conference closed with a dynamic panel discussion on global value chains and industrial clusters; it was chaired by Dr. Ari Van Assche, the Director of the International Business Department at HEC Montreal. Panel participants included Dr. Harald Bathelt, Research Chair in Innovation and Governance at the University of Toronto; Dr. Gary Gereffi, Director of the Center on Globalization, Governance, and Competitiveness at Duke University; and Dr. Timothy Sturgeon, Senior Research Affiliate at the Industrial Performance Center at MIT.
“This powerful panel centered its discussion on clusters of innovation and the concept of cooperation over space, once again calling attention to the modern economy in which we live today,” Mudambi said. “In order for clusters to succeed, they need a particular identity and they need to be the best in the world at what they do.”
The Fox School of Business is at the forefront of international business education and research.
Fox’s International Business Administration program has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top-15 undergraduate programs in each of the last five years. The program receives support from a robust study-abroad program, through Fox and Temple University, as well as from the Institute of Global Management Studies and the Temple Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), both of which are based at Fox. Temple CIBER is one of only 17 such elite centers in the nation to have had its grant-renewal proposal approved for federal funding from the United States Department of Education. Temple is the only university in Pennsylvania to have received federal funding for CIBER.
In 2016, the Fox School’s International Business faculty earned prominent national and global rankings from the University of Texas at Dallas Top 100 Business School Research rankings. Fox’s faculty ranked No. 3 in the United States and No. 6 in the world for research quality and productivity, for publications in the Journal of International Business Studies over a four-year period, from 2012-2015.
Located in Philadelphia, the second-largest city on the East Coast of the United States, Temple’s Fox School of Business is positioned for international business excellence. Philadelphia recently became the first U.S. city to earn designation as a World Heritage city.
Additionally, the Fox School is home to AIB President Dr. Masaaki “Mike” Kotabe, who is serving the second year of his elected three-year term on AIB’s Executive Board, as well as Dr. Bertrand Guillotin, Chair of the AIB Northeast Region.
“The Academy of International Business is the most-prestigious and most-relevant community of scholars and practitioners in the world,” said Guillotin, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management at Fox, and Academic Director of its International Business Administration programs. “Coordinating a comprehensive conference like this helps to solidify the Fox School’s reputation as one of the nation’s leading international business clusters.”
–Christopher A. Vito
Thursday, Dec 8th
4:00 – 6:00 pm
3rd Floor Atrium Lobby
Through entrepreneurship, Temple University students, faculty, staff, and alumni united at the 19th annual Innovative Idea Competition.
The competition engages entrepreneurship at Temple, and invites those affiliated with the university to share their innovative ideas for products, services, concepts, and technologies that could lead to new businesses. Ideas in all stages of development were eligible for submission.
The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) at the Fox School of Business hosted the Nov. 10 event, which was held at Alter Hall. IEI received 426 submissions from 14 of Temple’s 17 schools and colleges, marking a 21-percent increase in submissions from last year’s competition. The competition welcomed submissions from local community colleges, as part of a program funded by Temple’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).
“The Idea Competition is unique in that it allows participants to take an idea out of the theoretical and see its potential for becoming a reality,” said Ellen Weber, IEI Executive Director. “All of our participants have access to mentors during the application process who can help them develop their ideas and begin that mode of thinking.”
Ideas were put to the test as finalists competed for spots in eight cash prize categories.
Nigel Satenstein, a Business and Management major at the Fox School, won the overall grand prize of $2,500, as well as the first place in the People’s Choice Award category and the Global Innovative Prize. He walked away as the competition’s winner, with prize money totaling $4,000.
His idea – Pinpointer – would connect the more than four billion people worldwide without a home address to global e-commerce markets through the use of precise digital codes. In countries like China, India, and Nepal, the lack of sufficient home addressing infrastructure makes it impossible for online order deliveries to be shipped to someone’s door, Satenstein said. The customer, rather, has to arrange for pick-up of their orders at nearby landmarks, such as a school or a church.
Pinpointer would deliver a “virtal breadcrumb” technology, Satenstein said, that tracks the customer’s journey from his or her home to the pick-up location. This way, the next time the consumer orders a product online, the delivery service can follow the trail of a previous delivery in order to reach the customer’s front door.
“This was an amazing opportunity from Temple to help jump-start our business, and we hope this momentum will carry through for the rest of our current funding round,” Satenstein said. “Pinpointer will use the money we won to expand our efforts at tech development, hire additional workers and bolster our servers used to store collected data. The rest of the funds will be used for marketing and customer-acquisition efforts.”
Lewis Katz School of Medicine student, Conor Vickers, took home first place for the Graduate, Faculty, Staff, or Alumni category. He won $1,000 for SensiFoam, a concept for a product that would prevent pressure ulcers or bedsores with a disposable foam patch that can wirelessly transmit pressure data to a tablet device. Fox School student Peter Agada clinched second place in the same category and earned a $500 prize, for his wearable balance device. His idea involves eyeglasses that have sensors measuring the head, leg, and trunk movements, and changes in elevation that ultimately would help to prevent falls for the elderly.
In the Undergraduate category, both first and second place went to students from the College of Engineering. Christopher Ricci received the $1,000 first prize with his idea of a regenerative suspension system. Designed for automobiles, it would use kinetic energy from road disturbances to create electrical energy. The $500 second prize went to Emily Knight for Prohibere, which would use a hair and skin serum to eliminate the urge for people with trichotillomania to extract their hair.
Audience members got into the action, too. For the third consecutive year, attendees cast votes for the People’s Choice category using their smartphones.
“The pitch event provides an opportunity for the finalists to use the questions and feedback from our judging panel to identify the next steps toward testing their ideas and building them into something real,” Weber said.
Comcast executive David L. Cohen visits Fox School as Musser Visiting Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Temple University’s Fox School of Business welcomed Comcast Corporation executive David L. Cohen as the Warren V. “Pete” Musser Visiting Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Established in 2015, the Musser Professorship is an endowed term professorship filled by experienced and well-known practitioners who are interested in visiting the Fox School to mentor and engage with students.
Cohen serves as the Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer with the Comcast Corporation. Students, young professionals, and business leaders alike packed into the seventh-floor MBA Commons of Alter Hall to hear Cohen’s Nov. 7 presentation, titled “Leaders Lead.” Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) sponsored the event.
As a leader in Philadelphia for many years, Cohen shared what he has learned, the challenges he has faced, and his top-10 traits possessed by effective leaders. Paramount to all, he said, Cohen stressed the importance of volunteer work and involvement with nonprofits.
“I really wanted to be successful and help people outside of the classroom and outside of school,” Cohen said of his early years as a professional. “I volunteered and served leadership roles in nonprofits. Leaders have the opportunity to get involved with issues beyond their businesses. They have a chance to help the community around them.”
Cohen beamed with pride in discussing Comcast’s investment in philanthropy. The company has donated close to $4 billion to communities in which its employees live.
Cohen also shed light on his work with former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, for whom he served as Chief of Staff from 1992-97, a span of Rendell’s two terms as Philadelphia mayor.
“There were a lot of challenges Ed faced when he took office: high crime rate, declining population, declining economy,” Cohen said. “The two leadership traits for which I most admired him for were his team-building skills and his communication skills. He had a clear vision for the city and he knew how to communicate that well.”
Cohen then shared his list of 10 must-have leadership skills, a list which included humility, sense of humor, ability to inspire, vision, communication, and others, and showed brief video clips to punctuate each one of them. Cohen answered questions from the audience with topics ranging from challenges in diversity and inclusion, to complexity in building teams.
“Mr. Cohen is such an incredible and influential person, and it’s really beneficial to hear his experiences and advice,” said first-year graduate student Jeffrey Stern, who added that he was grateful to hear first-hand from a business leader like Cohen.
“He placed emphasis on leaders remaining humble and being able to give back to their communities, and those are traits that I’ll always keep in mind for the future,” said senior Economics major Dan McLaughlin.
Following his question-and-answer session, Cohen left attendees with a final piece of advice.
“Learning never stops,” he said, “and it certainly doesn’t stop after you’re finished school. Nothing is impossible.”
Gen. Colin Powell cuts ribbon to celebrate the new Military and Veteran Services Center at Temple University
When Chiquitta Evans served on a base in Willow Grove, Pa., she would regularly drive past Temple University’s Ambler campus.
“I would always say, ‘When I retire I am going to come back to Philadelphia and go to Temple,” said Evans, originally from Alabama.
After serving in the U.S. Marines for nearly 16 years, Evans is now a Human Resource Management major at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, and is slated to graduate in 2018.
“This wasn’t here when I started,” Evans said, as she looked around sixth-floor office space in Conwell Hall that overlooks Broad Street. The furniture is all new thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Student Veterans of America in partnership with the Home Depot Foundation.
The Military and Veteran Services Center officially opened on Main Campus in August after more than five years without a centralized location. The center held a grand opening ceremony Nov. 15 with a little help from a special campus visitor — Gen. Colin Powell cut the ribbon that marked a milestone in Temple’s history.
Powell’s visit headlined a leadership forum sponsored by NewDay USA, a leading veterans-affairs mortgage lender that helps American veterans purchase or refinance their homes. The forum also featured Admiral Tom Lynch, NewDay USA Executive Chairman, as part of an ongoing series hosted by colleges and universities around the country.
“I think the American people appreciate what our veterans do and will always be there for our veterans,” Powell said, “but it really takes local activity. It takes what you’ve done here at Temple. It’s a remarkable facility.”
The Center develops programs and streamlines services to enhance the transition to a successful university experience for veterans, service members, and their dependents and survivors. The office provides a one-stop service center and is also home to the Temple Veterans Association.
The Temple Military and Veterans Services Center will serve the nearly 1,300 military service members and veterans in the student population. G.I. Jobs Magazine has ranked Temple University as a Military Friendly Institution each of the last six years. For business students, the Fox School of Business provides Yellow Ribbon Program match scholarships to eligible applicants, to help offset tuition costs for military personnel and veterans. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Fox Online MBA and Online BBA programs as the Nos. 1 and 5 veteran-friendly programs in the country, respectively.
Currently, a group of Fox undergraduate students is supporting the veteran-empowering Travis Manion Foundation through Dr. Jean Wilcox’s 10-10-10 entrepreneurial marketing course, which tasks students with multiplying $10 of seed money by a factor of 10, to be donated to various charities, non-profits, foundations, and community organizations.
Powell, after the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Temple veterans center, delivered an address to students and faculty at the Temple Performing Arts Center. Fox School military personnel and veterans said they welcomed the opportunity to hear from the retired four-star Army general.
“As a leader in my current job, and as a veteran, I paid attention to his message,” said Tim Orange, a senior Management Information Systems (MIS) major from Cheltenham, Pa. “He mentioned taking the time to show people that you care. As he spoke, I reflected a lot on my life, and how I can personally apply his message.”
Added Heikell Perez, a senior Business Management major from Miami, Fla.: “Gen. Powell mentioned that when you place people in leadership positions, you need to empower them to make decisions. … It wasn’t so much his message was (exclusively) for veterans, as they were for the entire crowd.”
Orange, who served six years of active duty with the U.S. Army, and Perez, who served nearly eight years of active duty with the U.S. Air Force, and many other military personnel and veterans attended Powell’s hourlong leadership forum, which was sponsored by NewDay USA. Like Temple, the company remains committed to educating military personnel and veterans, and their families. The NewDay USA Foundation has provided four-year scholarships to the children of fallen and disabled veterans.
The message of veteran support from Powell, “one of the nation’s most-senior advisors,” said Silas Adams, embodied what Adams said he’s witnessed first-hand at Temple University.
“I firmly believe Temple and the Fox School take great strides to support the veteran population and acknowledge the value they add to the campus culture and the dynamic they bring to the Temple experience,” said Silas Adams, who served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps as a command and control specialist.
After Adams’ discharge from the U.S.M.C he appreciated the support he received “nearly instantaneously,” he said, from Laura Reddick, Temple’s Associate Director for Adult and Veteran Student Recruitment, and Debbie Campbell, Fox School Vice Dean and faculty advisor for the Temple Veterans Association. At Fox, Adams completed his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in MIS, and is now pursuing a Master of Science degree in IT Analytics and Cybersecurity.
“I can attribute my success to the support I received and continue to receive from Temple and Fox, collectively,” Adams said.