The Fox School of Business’ Part-Time MBA program is ranked No. 1 in Philadelphia and No. 16 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s latest rankings.
U.S. News’ 2017 Best Graduate School rankings, which were released March 16, awarded the Fox Part-Time MBA its best U.S. ranking in program history. The program improved four places from last year’s report, marking two consecutive years the Fox Part-Time MBA has been among the nation’s top-20 part-time MBA programs.
“It’s incredibly rewarding to see the Fox Part-Time MBA continue to rise in the U.S. News rankings,” said Dean M. Moshe Porat. “This year, we earned the best ranking in the program’s history. We look forward to further enriching our Part-Time MBA program to continue helping today’s business professionals evolve into tomorrow’s executives.”
Part-Time MBA students at the Fox School of Business average seven years of work experience. They earn their graduate degrees while maintaining their careers and completing courses at their pace. Their Fox MBA experience includes participation in the well-known capstone and marketing consulting projects coordinated by the Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) Practice, through which students provide professional-grade strategic solutions to paying clients.
Flexibility is integral to the Fox Part-Time MBA, which can be completed in 24 months. Students have the opportunity to take online, hybrid, and select Online MBA courses, adding to the convenience of the degree. And while Fox’s Part-Time MBA curriculum does not require international travel, students are granted opportunities to incorporate short-term study abroad trips into their program.
Like all Fox students, those enrolled in the Part-Time MBA program have access to the school’s renowned Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD), a comprehensive resource focused on preparing students for entry into the professional business environment. CSPD oversees internship and job placement for both undergraduate and graduate students at the Fox School.
The 2017 edition of U.S. News’ Best Graduate Schools rankings is available at www.usnews.com/grad.
The developers of a mobile application that culls continuous, competency-based feedback won the grand prize at the 18th annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl, a Temple University-wide business plan competition.
DevelapMe — developed by the Leadership Analytics Group, LLC — took home more than $60,000 in cash and prizes, including the Bernard Spain, FOX ’56, and Murray Spain, FOX ’65, Grand Prize.
The flagship program of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), the Be Your Own Boss Bowl is one of the nation’s most-lucrative business plan competitions, according to Entrepreneur magazine. This year, 12 finalists representing five of Temple’s 17 schools and colleges delivered business plan presentations. They competed more than $500,000 in related products and professional services, and $160,000 in cash prizes – including $120,000 from The Wolfington Family.
Created by Dr. Tony Petrucci, Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management; Dr. Michael Rivera, Associate Professor of Strategic Management; and Cliff Tironi, Performance Analytics Manager for the Fox MBA and MS Programs, among others external to Fox, DevelapMe modernizes the performance review process by providing individuals with a platform for continuous feedback exchange, while simultaneously enabling employers with the ability to aggregate and analyze data that gets at the heart of workforce development. It stands to replace what Petrucci called “pulse surveys,” which are typically sent via email within a company to take the pulse of an organization.
“Instead of traditional surveys, employees have access to real-time feedback that is ongoing,” Tironi said. “Users can review their competency scores and comments, and develop action plans with unprecedented ease.”
In the last year, the creators of DevelapMe conducted “significant user testing,” Rivera said, and changed its gradation from a thumbs-up/thumbs-down model to one in which users can be scored on a 1-to-5 sliding scale. Using DevelapMe, professionals across all industries can quickly and easily congratulate a coworker on a job well-done, for example, or give a team member a piece of constructive advice, even anonymously if they choose.
“DevelapMe brings the topic of feedback to the forefront,” Petrucci said. “When a strong feedback culture is already in place, anonymity should not be needed, but it is often needed as companies are building that culture.”
Clients must partner with DevelapMe, which is available through the iTunes App Store and Google Play, before it is available for rollout within an organization. Rivera said the company already has achieved a number of sales, and has more within its pipeline.
The Be Your Own Boss Bowl features three distinct tracks: the Undergraduate Track, open to current Temple undergraduate students; the Upper Track, open to Temple graduate students, alumni, faculty and staff; and the Social Impact Track. Winners from each track were:
- Upper Track: DevelapMe
- Social Impact Track: Green Matters Apparel Company, which makes T-shirts from plant materials grown locally (Tyler Stoltzfus, FOX ’16)
- Undergraduate Track: Parking Bee, an online marketplace for finding and renting available parking spaces (Richard Armitage, CST ’16)
For the seventh year, the IEI awarded the Chris Pavlides Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award to an undergraduate student who demonstrates a strong passion for entrepreneurship. This year’s recipient was sophomore Entrepreneurship major Benjamin Thomas. Glen Gaddy, an angel investor and professional in the real estate and consumer product development sectors, received the 2016 Self-Made & Making Others Award.
Be Your Own Boss Bowl 2016, by the numbers
$700,000 — Value of monetary, products, services and mentorship prizes awarded
$120,000 — Value of cash prizes sponsored by the Wolfington Family
$40,000 — Value of the Bernard and Murray Spain Grand Prize, plus an additional $10,000 toward the IEI Summer Studio accelerator
236 — Preliminary judges
223 — Overall participants in BYOBB, representing 13 of Temple University’s 17 schools and colleges
94 — Senior executive mentors
97 — Registered company submissions
34 — Participating finalist team members
12 — Sponsors
12 — Presentation coaches
12 — Finalist teams representing five Temple schools and colleges
6 — Finalist judges
The Department of Statistics at Temple University’s Fox School of Business welcomed more than 100 students from Philadelphia area high schools for a statistics and data-analytics challenge.
A team of students from Methacton High School, in Eagleville, Pa., won the Statistics Data Challenge, which pitted 25 teams of four students each in the completion of a written examination that tested their acuity in the areas of statistics and data analytics.
“These skills are the cornerstones of a new undergraduate major we will offer this fall, when we introduce a Bachelor of Science degree program in Statistical Science and Data Analytics,” Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat said to the student participants. “The demand for undergraduate degrees in statistics is at an all-time high, and is increasing nationally, and we hope you choose Fox to continue your academic careers.”
In addition to the written component, the Statistics Data Challenge also featured a walking tour of Temple’s campus during a lunch-break respite, as well as a few brief presentations from faculty, PhD students, and graduates of the Fox School’s Department of Statistics on the important role of statistics and data analytics in business and industry.
Organized by Dr. Alexandra D. Carides, Assistant Professor of Statistics, in conjunction with the Fox School’s Office of Research, Doctoral Programs, and Strategic Initiatives, the competition’s plans for next year are already in motion.
“This was a great day of intellectual challenge and stimulation, and we look forward to offering an even-higher caliber contest that challenges the region’s brightest high school students – and potentially future Temple students – in statistics next year,” said Carides, who serves as Director of Fox’s newly formed Statistical Science and Data Analytics undergraduate program.
Walter Douglass and his son, Keith, took different routes to Temple University’s Fox School of Business. But at commencement, they will walk together.
The father and son will be seated beside one another May 6 at the Liacouras Center, and have their names and degrees announced simultaneously during the Fox School’s commencement ceremony.
Walter, who in 2009 opened a tax-preparation service, will receive a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Keith, 23, will earn his Bachelor’s in Finance.
Walter, 50, balanced academic, professional, and familial responsibilities as “the most non-traditional student you’ll ever find,” he said. Walter has spent more than 30 years driving tractor-trailers, making nightly runs to Connecticut and returning to the family’s home in Schwenksville, Pa., in the mid-morning hours. At points of his undergraduate career, Walter would finish his day’s work and head directly to Main Campus. More recently, he would log a few hours of sleep before attending a late-afternoon class.
“There were times when I’d have two courses per semester,” Walter said, “but mostly, I would tell myself, ‘Let’s just take it one course at a time.’”
Walter began his pursuit of a college degree in 2001, first earning his associate’s degree at a community college before transferring to Temple. He’s been completing coursework ever since, except for an 18-month sabbatical while he received chemotherapy to treat Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Keith, 23, completed 18 credits of coursework in the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters in order to ensure he would walk with his father at commencement.
“When I looked at my schedule (last year), I thought, ‘I have to push myself. I owe that much to my father.’ He’s the hardest-working man I’ve ever known,” Keith said. “That was my motivation to get through it. I kept thinking, ‘This man has been through everything. I don’t have any excuses.’”
Walter plans to retire from tractor-trailer driving in May 2017, and focus fully on a career as an enrolled agent. Keith has accepted a full-time position as a financial advisor at Philadelphia’s McAdam Financial Group
The Douglass family, which includes mother Karen, and the couple’s two youngest children – Matthew, 21, and Lauren, 19 – will be on hand to see Walter and Keith graduate.
“When (Walter) began taking college courses, Keith was only eight years old,” Karen said. “What are the odds they would both end up at Temple and the Fox School, and all these years later graduating on the same day, walking on stage together?”
“It’s a blessing,” Walter said. “It truly is.”
A team of students from Temple University’s Fox School of Business put together the pieces to win a national case competition.
The students won the Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge, a three-month case study from a major company – iconic toymaker, LEGO. The competition culminated with eight teams delivering presentations during the RIMS 2016 Annual Conference and Exhibition, held April 10-14 in San Diego, Calif.
The win marked the third in five years for students from the Fox School’s nationally ranked Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department. Senior Actuarial Science majors Carolyn Murset and Zilong Zhao, and Risk Management and Insurance majors Andrew Donchez and Sean Preis, a senior and a junior, respectively, comprised the winning team, which received $4,000 in prize earnings.
The Fox School students bested Florida State University and Butler University, which placed second and third, respectively.
The Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge tasks undergraduates from around the country with developing a comprehensive, written risk analysis that will be judged by a panel of experts at the annual risk management society’s conference.
“Temple’s Risk Management and Insurance program has helped us to hone our analytical and critical-thinking skills, and adequately prepared us to identify the main risks facing LEGO,” Donchez said. “Meeting LEGO’s strategic risk manager and picking his brain taught us that risk management is a real-world issue that demands passionate, curious and persistent practitioners.”
“This competition reinforces that the risk management profession’s future is bright,” said RIMS CEO Mary Roth. “The Rising Risk Professional demographic of RIMS members continues to grow and their contributions and professional needs have directly influenced the resources and opportunities the Society delivers. We are so proud to be able to introduce these students to the energy and excitement of a RIMS Annual Conference and congratulate all of them for participating in the challenge.”
In November, the Fox School team had learned that it had advanced in the competition. From there, the students spent months poring over research material to craft the perfect plan for reducing risk for a company that, despite its storied history and global appeal, came close in recent years to filing for bankruptcy. Judges gauged how well Fox’s students analyzed LEGO’s risks, and presented their research findings.
“Winning the competition is an extraordinary closing on the last chapter of my Temple journey,” Zhao said. “It signifies the high caliber of future business leaders Fox School has nurtured.”
The RIMS 2016 Annual Conference and Exhibition provides students opportunities to engage with sponsors and industry leaders, network with their peers, sit in on guest lectures, tour San Diego’s best attractions, and perform community service.
“Traveling to the RIMS Conference is an amazing experience for any student in RMI,” said Dr. R.B. Drennan, Chair of the Fox School’s Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department. “The number of industry professionals our students met is overwhelming. I believe they received a very good idea of the field in which they are entering.
“Further, I couldn’t have been more proud of their achievements and extending Fox’s rich tradition in winning the Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge.”
The bottom line isn’t always an entrepreneur’s end game. For some, it’s the balance of doing well while doing good.
The work of social entrepreneurs served as the focus of an interactive workshop that kicked off a new collaboration between Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) and the College of Public Health (CPH). Social entrepreneurs are creative problem-solvers driven to create solutions that have a positive impact on their communities and the world.
The workshop, and a Fall 2016 semester course in Social Entrepreneurship offered by CPH, are fueled by the Temple University Entrepreneurship Academy, a new program created by Temple President Dr. Neil D. Theobald as the embodiment of his commitment to foster innovation and entrepreneurship university-wide. The Entrepreneurship Academy is geared toward the incorporation of entrepreneurship education into the coursework of faculty members throughout all of Temple’s 17 schools and colleges.
Dr. TL Hill, Associate Professor of Strategic Management at the Fox School of Business, led the April 8 workshop at Temple’s Science Education and Research Center, with support from Dr. David B. Sarwer, CPH’s Associate Dean of Research, and Dr. Robert McNamee, IEI’s Managing Director and Assistant Professor of Strategic Management at Fox.
The workshop, titled, “Doing Well While Doing Good: Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship in Public Health,” engaged students, faculty, and staff from around the university to consider the business structures of social entrepreneurial ventures.
As an example, Hill turned to Go Baby Go, an initiative that modifies standard toy electric cars for use by children who suffer from physical disabilities. He also made mention of Lucky Iron Fish, a social enterprise dedicated to eradicating anemia around the world, through the use of a cast-iron fish which can be added to a pot in which food is cooking.
Social entrepreneurs need to research problems and target users, appreciate multiple funding streams, and think about user adoption and behavioral change, which “can be a huge undertaking, and require just as much ambition,” Hill said. Following further discussion on social impact and social entrepreneurship, Hill asked workshop attendees to assemble smaller groups, in order to develop examples of social venture business models.
“Social entrepreneurship is the attempt to draw upon entrepreneurial and business approaches to find scalable solutions to social problems,” said Hill, the Academic Director of the Fox Global MBA program.
Hill has been responsible for creating the Fox Management Consulting Practice (Fox MC), in which the MBA candidates provide professional-grade strategic solutions to clients including non-profits and social-impact ventures. In addition, Hill has created the Fox Board Fellows program in which MBA students sit on the board of directors of a non-profit for a year. These programs have led to the creation of a number of thought-leading approaches to social entrepreneurship.
The plan for the 2016-17 academic year, said McNamee and Sarwer, is to build on this inaugural event through a series of workshops and courses in the College of Public Health that will focus on social entrepreneurship and healthcare innovation.
“Most individuals who work in the area of public health receive little to no training in the area of entrepreneurship,” Sarwer said. “This workshop, and the course being taught this fall, is a great opportunity for students to learn how to be forward-thinking about their work and develop impactful strategies to address public health issues. I wish I had the opportunity to take a course like this when I was a student.”
For Olawunmi Thomas-Quarcoo, pursuing an MBA was the first step in fulfilling her dream of becoming a social entrepreneur.
Thomas-Quarcoo, a first-year MBA candidate at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, is the co-founder of Ka Bom Designs, a fashion retail venture integrating African designs into the western market with a focus on empowering African artisans.
“While growing up, we had difficulty identifying with one specific culture, as both our American and African influences played a role in our self-definition,” said Thomas-Quarcoo, of the upbringings of she and her business partner Hannah Obeng. “We wanted to bring the two communities together.”
Thomas-Quarcoo, 30, and Obeng, 28, met in 2011 as social workers for Philadelphia Fight, a community health services organization and HIV/AIDS advocate. Through their background in helping others, they knew their entrepreneurial venture had to be rooted in uplifting their community.
“We love western styles, but they don’t always represent us,” said Obeng, a licensed therapist.
Thomas-Quarcoo, a native of Nigeria, and Obeng, whose origins are in Ghana, said stigmas about African poverty and underdevelopment had led the fashion industry to ostracize their cultures. To remedy this problem, Thomas-Quarcoo and Obeng launched Ka Bom Designs in 2014 as both a platform for African artisans to share their creations and a way to build a coalition of female entrepreneurs.
“I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur,” Thomas-Quarcoo said. “With Ka Bom Designs, I was connecting to my roots while also giving back.”
Thomas-Quarcoo found inspiration in her Strategy, Marketing and Social Entrepreneurship course at the Fox School, which helped her understand the importance of competitor analysis, barriers to entering the market, market sizing, and sustainability. Applying that knowledge to Ka Bom Designs provided the foundation for the company’s business model and strategy.
In 2015, the business partners took their venture to the Blackstone Launchpad, a campus-based entrepreneurship program providing students with mentorship services. Aided by the additional support, Thomas-Quarcoo and Obeng refined their idea and reached out to the 25- to 40-year-old demographic to harness a younger generation’s desire to fuse tradition with modernity.
Ka Bom Designs won first place in the People’s Choice and Graduate Student categories at November’s Innovative Idea Competition, an annual event organized by Temple University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute.
Bolstered by this success, Thomas-Quarcoo and Obeng have shopped around their idea. By giving female entrepreneurs an entrance into the fashion industry, Ka Bom hopes to alter the the conversation surrounding not only women, but Africa and its global value, Thomas-Quarcoo said. Far from its media representation as an area of starvation and strife, she continued, Africa could be seen as an emerging market and source of innovation.
“Fashion is the vehicle, but I see us making a dent in the global view of Africa,” Thomas-Quarcoo said. “The possibilities are endless.”
The Fox School of Business will welcome nearly 250 juniors from Philadelphia-area high schools to Temple University for the 7th annual OWLympiad math competition, to be held May 9 at the Howard Gittis Student Center.
Free to attend, OWLympiad offers cash prizes for 11th-graders who are exploring career possibilities in the actuarial science field. Actuaries leverage high-level numerical skills to assume positions in insurance, consulting, investment banking, government organizations, and more.
“This event creates awareness that actuarial science is an appealing career path for someone who loves math, and it’s a great way for local math-minded students to connect with one another,” said OWLympiad coordinator Dr. Krupa Viswanathan, an Associate Professor and Director of the Fox School’s Actuarial Science program.
OWLympiad will challenge teams of four students to demonstrate their knowledge in a range of math-related subjects, including algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. The competition, which begins at 9 a.m., will consist of a multiple-choice exam, a “24” math cardgame competition, and a Quizzo-style lightning round. The team that accrues the most points will be awarded $400. All participating students will receive a customized T-shirt, lunch, and other items provided by the event’s sponsors.
The Fox School’s Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department, as well as the Sigma Chapter of international professional fraternity Gamma Iota Sigma, will host the competition. Travelers Insurance Company and the Casualty Actuarial Society are the event’s sponsors.
Temple University offers one of the most-distinguished Actuarial Science programs in North America, and has been recognized by the Society of Actuaries as a Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) – one of only 30 institutions to receive this honor. The Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department has offered engagement opportunities for local high school students for the past 15 years, including OWLympiad.
The Fox School of Business at Temple University will introduce new academic programs for the 2016-17 academic year.
A Bachelor of Science program in Statistical Science and Data Analytics headlines the new offerings by the Fox School, and joins two undergraduate minors in Leadership and International Business Administration.
At the graduate level, students can elect for MBA concentrations in either Business Analytics or Enterprise Risk Management. In Fall 2016, Fox also will launch a Master of Science degree program in Business Analytics.
“The addition of new programs and concentrations demonstrate our reputation as one of the nation’s most-comprehensive business schools,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “Employers and industry partners agree that these areas represent emerging fields and areas of study wherein professionals and leaders are in great demand, and we have the diverse, renowned faculty to answer the call of industry and these support programs.”
The undergraduate major in Statistical Science and Data Analysis will provide students with the ability to select, utilize and apply quantitative reasoning and data analytic skills to their future fields of study, according to program director Dr. Alexandra Carides, Associate Professor of Statistical Science.
The minor in International Business Administration incorporates the nationally ranked curriculum of Fox’s undergraduate-degree program in International Business. The minor requires only four courses and four prerequisites, delivering the cornerstones of international business education while offering students the opportunity to complete a study-abroad trip in the process.
The minor in Leadership cultivates stronger interpersonal skills for effective management and leadership positions. With courses focusing on workplace demands for leadership from both the organizational and interpersonal points of view, the minor allows students to move beyond technical competence as they step into leadership roles in industry.
The MBA concentration in Business Analytics is designed to enable graduate students to use data and models to recognize opportunities and to improve organizational decision-making. “Data-driven decision-making has been shown to have large positive effects on outcomes of interest to organizations of all types,” said Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management Dr. Eric Eisenstein, the concentration’s director. “Business Analytics concentrators will meet the growing demand for talent in the areas of managing, analyzing, predicting, and discovering insights from the complex data that is available to modern corporations.”
The MBA concentration in Enterprise Risk Management, offered by one of the most-prestigious Risk Management programs in the nation, will prepare MBA students to design and implement state-of-the-art processes that enhance and improve organizational strategic decision-making, how it manages risk across the enterprise, as well as improving traditional risk mitigation decisions. “This concentration will provide MBA candidates with the concepts and tools to develop advanced organizational risk management capabilities and pursue executive responsibility for managing enterprise-wide risks,” said Assistant Professor of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management Dr. M. Michael Zuckerman, the concentration’s director.
All eligibility and declaration questions regarding the new undergraduate major and minors should be referred to Fox’s Center for Undergraduate Advising. Graduate students are encouraged to speak with their program advisors for more details about new curricula.
When Rob Lawton and the rest of his team arrived in Flint, Mich., with 60,000 water bottles in two trucks, a line of 20 to 30 trucks quickly began to pile up – a sign of how desperate the need was for fresh water in that region of the country.
After the state of Michigan in April 2014 switched the city of Flint’s water supply from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to water from the Flint River, many residents started calling attention to the water’s strange smell, taste, and color. It was later determined that Flint River water was highly corrosive and had caused lead from outdated pipe systems to leak unhealthy elements like lead into the citizens’ water supply. Until pipes could be replaced, citizens were told to drink, bathe, and cook only using bottled water.
That’s why Lawton, a 2013 Marketing alumnus of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, and others like him led a group effort to bring aid relief to Flint.
Lawton received a phone call in January from his friend Nehemiah Davis, the founder of nonprofit organization The Nehemiah Davis Foundation, which works on creating community outreach programs like food drives, back-to-school drives, and more. Davis knew Lawton frequently used large commercial trucks in his line of work as the owner of audio-visual production company Mid-Atlantic FX.
“(Ingram) said, ‘If we go through with this idea, will you be able to get us some trucks?’” said Lawton, who was happy to oblige.
Before departing Jan. 24 on the nine-hour drive from Philadelphia to Flint, Lawton and others turned to social media to spread word that they’d be collecting donations of bottled water. The response was so great, Lawton said, that he needed to add a second truck for the drive. (A tow truck company, in particular, Lawton remembered, arrived with a seven-truck fleet to deliver pallets of water bottles.)
“It was really amazing the amount of support that we received and we were able to effectively enrich the lives of others who are going through this terrible experience,” Lawton said.
Upon arrival in Flint, the team began unloading water onto the street. Each person received two cases, unless he or she had a greater need and represented more than one family. They first delivered to Flint’s lower-income communities, where access to fresh water drop-off zones was reduced to firehouses and municipal buildings.
A documentary to be titled “#Philly2Flint,” created by fellow team member Melissa Robbins, inspired a social media campaign. Soon after, other travelers to Flint shared their experiences with similar hashtags.
Lawton said he will always remember the reaction of the community members to his team’s bottled water delivery.
“There was this one lady,” Lawton said. “We just started loading water bottles in her car and she had this smile that was ear to ear. It was heartwarming. All I have to do is turn on my faucet for something that made her so appreciative. And at that moment, I could tell she really needed it. I’ll never forget that. “
One of the first-established academic departments at Temple University’s Fox School of Business is getting a new name, and is set to introduce a new undergraduate degree program.
The Fox School’s Department of Statistics will soon be rebranded as the Department of Statistical Science. Additionally, the department will unveil a Bachelor of Science degree program in Statistical Science and Data Analytics. Both changes are effective for the 2016-17 academic year, following the approval in March by Temple’s Board of Trustees.
The department had been known as the Department of Statistics since its establishment in 1929, 11 years after the founding of the Fox School.
“Rebranding our department as the Department of Statistical Science reflects the breadth of our department’s academic research, the discipline’s changing landscape, and our department’s renewed focus on engaging in quality research that reshapes the field of statistics and to train new generations of statistically skilled graduates,” said Dr. Sanat K. Sarkar, Chair of the Department of Statistical Science.
The new department name, Sarkar added, is reflective of the discipline’s evolution into one that “develops newer subfields and its interdisciplinary research with scientists in modern scientific investigations involving complex data.”
In Fall 2016, the department will launch its Bachelor of Science undergraduate degree program in Statistical Science and Data Analytics. The demand for the program, said program director Dr. Alexandra Carides, has been driven by the proliferation of computing technology, software, and statistical tools for capturing and interpreting the substantial volume of data now available at the enterprise, government, and personal levels.
The program will qualify students for professions in some of the fastest-growing job sectors, according to Carides.
“The program will provide undergraduate students with the ability to select, utilize, and apply quantitative reasoning and data analytic skills to their future field of study,” said Carides, an Assistant Professor of Statistical Science. “Knowledge of statistical theory and methods has become increasingly important to students in many disciplines. As more data are collected, stored, and analyzed, students are finding it increasingly beneficial to gain expertise in statistical science to strengthen their skills and enhance their career opportunities.”
How sweet it is.
Marketing majors from Temple University’s student chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) won the parent organization’s annual Collegiate Case Competition by delivering a marketing strategy for a product from event sponsor The Hershey Company.
The Temple AMA team took top honors ahead of the University of Pennsylvania, Texas State University, and Ferris State University, among other tough competitors. The team of marketing students from the Fox School of Business assembled a thorough, research-driven marketing plan for Hershey’s Ice Breakers Cool Blast Chews, emerging from a field of 91 college chapters to claim first place in the prestigious competition for the first time. The $3,000 top prize will be allotted toward defraying costs related to next year’s case competition, the team said.
“This puts our chapter on the map,” said junior Lily Tran. “Now, other chapters across the country and internationally will look to us as a prime example of what it takes to win.”
The Temple AMA all-junior presentation team comprised Tran, Abbey Harris, Rachel Baker, and Alexander Brannan. The written case team included seniors Taylor Sauder, Rachel Zydyk, and Jennifer McGill. Temple AMA was one of 10 national finalists invited to deliver a presentation at the AMA International Collegiate Conference, held March 17-20 in New Orleans.
The final presentation culminated more than seven months of original research, situation analysis, conducting focus groups and surveys, and marketing recommendations by the Temple AMA team. The group had submitted its written case to AMA in December and, one month later, learned that it had been selected as one of the 10 finalists. From there, they delivered a number of “dry-run presentations,” said Dr. Craig Atwater, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Temple’s Fox School of Business, and one of Temple AMA’s three faculty advisors.
“Our team took tips from the faculty members and PhD students to whom they made their practice presentations and fine-tuned the presentation until it was perfectly polished,” Atwater said. “Their focus groups and taste tests also helped our students determine that the product’s positioning was ambiguous. It’s not a gum, as it dissolves within 15 seconds, and yet it’s not a mint. It’s instead classified within a subcategory, as a power-mint. Our students found that for millennials, who enjoy trying new things, this product is cool and fun, but they found that it also required an explanation.”
Those elements proved critical to the Temple AMA team’s presentation, which the group delivered before a trio of high-ranking executives from Hershey. Then, the marketing students waited until all other names had been announced before celebrating their victory.
“While awaiting the results, I remember counting the spots and losing count because my heart started to pound,” said Harris. “TU-AMA is improving in reputation thanks to our incredible faculty advisors – Dr. Craig Atwater, Professor Jim Thompson, and Dr. Drew Allmond – our talented Fox School professors, and the support of the Marketing department.”
Added Baker: “I believe our success is a direct tribute to Temple University’s dedicated faculty, who over the past three years have consistently encouraged innovation in team settings, fostered perseverance, taught us how to think strategically, and have pushed us to reach our potential.”
Molly Belmont, a Risk Management and Insurance student from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, has been selected as the winner of the 2016 American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) Student White Paper Research Contest.
A junior, Belmont won the AAMGA competition’s Technology and Wholesaler category for her paper, “Internet of Things Insurance, Opportunities, and Threats.”
In her paper, Belmont focused on three distinct areas – the connected home, the connected car, and the connected self – and discussed benefits and potential flaws in the collection of data through the Internet of Things IoT.
“While these devices can help insurance companies price better premiums and lower risk, and can also better educate the consumer and help them identify exactly what they’re paying for, there is a cyber risk involved with these devices that most companies didn’t necessarily consider,” said Belmont, a native of Malvern, Pa. “These systems can be hacked and create unforeseen dangers.”
Belmont said the paper was the culmination of more than one month’s work, during which time she utilized more than 20 sources. She said it was the first writing competition in which she’s taken the top prize. Belmont credited Fox School Assistant Professor Storm Wilkins with the encouragement to enter the competition.
For her winning entry, Belmont will receive a scholarship totaling $1,000; an all-expenses-paid trip and registration for the 90th AAMGA Annual Meeting, to be held May 22-25 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.; an opportunity to shadow an AAMGA member during his or her meetings at the conference; and publication of her paper in the May issue of Wholesale Insurance News magazine, which is distributed to more than 1.4 million insurance professionals in more than 40 countries globally.
“I’ve been looking into the schedule of events and the networking opportunities available at the conference,” said Belmont, who this summer will serve as a benefits intern in the Philadelphia office of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. “I wasn’t expecting to win, so it’s a big thrill.”
Fox School of Business alumnus Justin Rosenberg is returning to his roots.
The founder and CEO of honeygrow, Rosenberg announced that he plans to open a location of his Philadelphia-based, fast-casual restaurant on Temple University’s campus in the fall. The store would utilize commercial space within Morgan Hall, a residence hall located at the southeast corner of Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
With seven stores currently and plans to open nine more by the end of 2016, honeygrow offers fresh-to-order salads and stir-fries that are made with seasonal, local ingredients.
“Temple University is on the rise, and it’s a location that I’m beyond confident will work,” said Rosenberg, who earned his Fox Global MBA in 2009. “I’m a Temple guy, I wrote a chunk of my business plan for honeygrow at Alter Hall, and the business is very much a #TempleMade concept. This makes perfect sense.”
The Temple University location would feature an innovative interior design, new ordering kiosks, and seating for up to 50 patrons, Rosenberg said.
For Rosenberg, honeygrow’s upward progression in the last 12 months has been “moving pretty quickly,” he said. In June 2015, honeygrow received $25 million in investment funding from Miller Investment Management to support further expansion of honeygrow and updates to the company’s technology platform. This spring, Rosenberg said honeygrow’s corporate headquarters will relocate from Center City Philadelphia to the city’s Fishtown neighborhood.
“We’ve renovated a warehouse where we’ll have 30 corporate employees to supplement the 300 employees we have in the field,” he said. “That’s where we’ll have our commissary, where our chef and culinary director David Katz will work on our sauces, dressings, and beyond. There has always been a deep passion for the product – inclusive of where we are sourcing it to how we are training our staff to prepare it, care for it, and work with it. Everything counts.
“For 2016, with stores opening from Washington, D.C. to the New York City metro area, I couldn’t be more excited about honeygrow’s future than I am right now.”
Dr. Ram Mudambi, the Frank M. Speakman Professor of Strategy at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, has been recognized for his research contribution to international entrepreneurship and innovation.
In March, Mudambi received the Schulze Award for his article, “The Spectacular Rise of the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry,” which was co-authored by Dr. Kristin Brandl, of the University of Reading’s Henley Business School, and Dr. Vittoria Scalera, of the University of Amsterdam Business School. The paper demonstrates that for emerging economies to thrive, they do not necessarily require their local industries to partner with multinational giants of research and innovation.
“While most economies may benefit when local industries gain knowledge from multinationals,” Mudambi wrote, “India’s example shows that there are alternatives – but they all require strategic government investment.”
The Schulze Award recognizes the level of contribution made by an article published to the Entrepreneur and Innovation Exchange (EIX), an online resource committed to achieving marked improvement in the success rate of new business ventures. Issued annually, the Schulze Award recognizes achievements in various categories, including: theory and research; applied and practice; teaching and education; and commentaries.
The collaboration between Mudambi and his co-authors was made possible through the Fox Visiting Scholars Program. Founded in 2005 by Mudambi, the program serves as an invitation to international scholars – from doctoral candidates to full professors – to spend anywhere from a week to a year at the Fox School of Business conducting research and interacting with Fox faculty.
“It is critical for all PhD students to develop skills in pure academic research, business outreach, and policy,” Mudambi said. “The paper is a strong example of what is achievable through the Visiting Scholars Program, helping doctoral students develop as well-rounded individuals and have the ability to apply their work to real-world situations.”
Mudambi joined the Fox School’s faculty in 2000. The Perelman Senior Research Fellow, Mudambi spearheads the research initiative International Business, Economic Geography, and Innovation, dubbed iBEGIN, which studies the connections between global value chains (GVCs) and the location of economic activity. Mudambi’s peers elected him the Program Chair of the 2015 Academy of Business (AIB) annual meeting. In his role, Mudambi developed the program and arranged a prominent lineup of scholars and global business leaders for the conference, which was held in Bangalore, India.
He recently had a paper titled, “Knowledge connectivity: An agenda for innovation research in international business,” published in the Journal of International Business Studies. Co-authors of the paper include: Dr. John Cantwell, of Rutgers University; Dr. Jaeyong Song, of Seoul National University; and Fox PhD alumni Dr. Marcelo Cano-Kollmann, of the Ohio University College of Business, and Dr. Tim Swift, of Saint Joseph’s University’s Haub School of Business, co-authored the paper.
It’s on a crowded subway train that the next big thing in mobile analytics has emerged. New research by a professor from the Fox School of Business shows an upswing in mobile purchases as consumers turn to their smartphones to disengage from the hassle of a packed train.
For the study’s coauthor, Dr. Xueming Luo, Charles Gilliland Chair Professor of Marketing, Strategic Management, and Information Systems at Fox, the results are both impactful and surprising.
“Crowded environments are oftentimes noisy and annoying,” said Luo. “We expected them to turn customers off to such purchases. That wasn’t the case.”
Luo’s study, which has been cited by the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail among other media outlets, was coauthored by Emory University’s Dr. Michelle Andrews, a Fox PhD alumna; Sichuan University’s Dr. Zheng Fang; and New York University’s Dr. Anindya Ghose.
The study partnered with a cell phone service provider that over several days sent randomly selected subway riders in a large Asian city mobile ads for digital services such as video-streaming. The study found that smartphone users trapped in densely packed trains were about two times more likely to opt to buy the promoted mobile services than those in non-crowded trains.
Though crowding is subjective, the study focused on participants with at least five or more people positioned within 10 square feet. In order to determine that crowding influenced purchasing behavior, the study examined travelers throughout the day – from rush hour business people to lull-hour, non-business casual travelers.
“It’s about being around strangers and having a fear of social awkwardness,” said Luo, and the Founder and Director of Temple University’s Global Center for Big Data in Mobile Analytics. “To avoid eye contact we reach for our phones. This happens in elevators, too. Your smartphone saves you from awkward social moments.”
Using smartphones as a coping strategy, consumers block out external social interactions and allowed marketers and advertisers to have their full attention, Luo said. And in order to maintain that attention, he said, marketers rely on creativity in cultivating consumer staying power in a market consumed by its ability to flick, click, and dismiss anything that bores them.
Understanding consumer attention spans is a part of Luo’s larger research in mobile analytics. The most effective way to engage consumers, he said, is to offer personalized incentives – from discounts to ads that appeal to a consumer’s proximity to a business. Sending out targeted geographic and temporal advertisements is well-received in instances in which consumers are annoyed by noise or crowding on their commutes.
“Cutting–edge marketing is all about delivering the right message at the right place and right moment to make an impact,” Luo said. “Smartphone technology can be leveraged to attain that, especially in a crowded subway train.”