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Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Temple entrepreneurs make their pitch to appear on “Shark Tank”

The Fox School of Business welcomed Temple University alumni, students, faculty, and staff for a “Shark Tank” casting call.

The Fox School of Business welcomed Temple University alumni, students, faculty, and staff for a “Shark Tank” casting call.

Entrepreneurs piled into Alter Hall clinging more than posterboards and presentation materials. They also brought dreams of success and self-employment.

Temple University’s Fox School of Business hosted casting associates from the hit ABC show “Shark Tank,” which features self-made millionaires who award mentorship and financial support to budding entrepreneurs in exchange for equity stake in their businesses. More than 170 Temple students, alumni, faculty, and staff applied in the hope that their June 11 pitches would result in selection to appear on a future episode of the show.

“I walked in the room to make my presentation, and I immediately felt so nervous,” said Fox Part-Time MBA student Vinti Singh, who pitched a standing CT scanner for horses that wouldn’t require anesthetization. “I can only wonder what it’s like to deliver a pitch in front of the actual sharks.”

If accepted by “Shark Tank,” Temple entrepreneurs were told they would receive a call from one of the show’s casting associates within two to three weeks.

Casting associates listened to 60-second presentations inside the Steven H. Korman Conference Room, with two Temple entrepreneurs having to deliver their pitches simultaneously and side by side. The associates asked entrepreneurs to reveal both the monetary value they would ask of the Sharks, and to name the Shark with whom they most strongly identified.

Photo of Entrepreneurs simultaneously pitch their concepts and products to “Shark Tank” casting associates.

Entrepreneurs simultaneously pitch their concepts and products to “Shark Tank” casting associates.

Caren Sachs, an associate for the show, told applicants prior to their casting calls that “personality is just as important as your pitch.” She emphasized that “Shark Tank” seeks entrepreneurs who can speak energetically about their businesses, products, and concepts.

Alter Hall’s Undergraduate Commons served as the waiting room for Temple entrepreneurs before their number had been called. Applicants paced the room, rehearsing their talking points and working through their demonstrations.

College of Education alumnus Rich McFillin hoped to sell the casting associates on his Garage Bow Company, which manufactures and sells magnetic red bows that make garage doors decoratively resemble wrapped presents during the holiday season.

“They didn’t throw me any curveballs,” McFillin said of the casting officials. “They asked me questions I knew I had the answers to, and I could tell they were excited, which made me excited, too.”

Joseph Green’s pitch lasted more than five minutes, seemingly attracting the attention of a “Shark Tank” official. The Fox School alumnus is the owner of Affinity Confections, which offers sweet dessert treats in smaller portions. Recently, Green has begun packaging and selling the various sauces and coulees he manufactures using premium ingredients.

“I guess they liked what I had to say,” Green said of his pitch. “I’m looking to expand my products some more, and use any initial investment I would receive for packaging and to continue making a name for ourselves.”

Photo of Jesse DiLaura and Brandon Study, senior Entrepreneurship majors at the Fox School of Business, after delivering their pitches at the “Shark Tank” casting call.

Jesse DiLaura and Brandon Study, senior Entrepreneurship majors at the Fox School of Business, after delivering their pitches at the “Shark Tank” casting call.

Brandon Study, a Fox School senior majoring in Entrepreneurship, said he felt confident while making his pitch. Temple University “prepares you for moments like this,” he said. “That training is what helps you thrive in crunch-time situations.”

Two days prior to the casting call, Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) and Blackstone Launchpad offered a pitch-coaching session open to all entrepreneurs hoping to polish their pitches. Jesse DiLaura, a senior Entrepreneurship major at Fox, arrived at the coaching session to prepare for his pitch. Instead, he worked with fellow Temple entrepreneurs to improve theirs.

“I had rehearsed what I was going to say thousands of times,” he said, “and I thought, ‘If I can help out a fellow entrepreneur who had a question about his or her pitch, why not do what I can?’ I wasn’t planning on being a coach, but I had to speak up and try to get at least one person from Temple on the show.

“People need to know that great things are happening with entrepreneurship at Temple.”

“The IEI was delighted to welcome casting associates from ‘Shark Tank’ to Temple University,” said Ellen Weber, Executive Director of Temple’s IEI. “Choosing Temple as a host for an on-campus casting call validates the IEI’s mission, to provide students, faculty, staff, and alumni entrepreneurs with programs and opportunities to succeed.”


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

For six Temple entrepreneurs, there’s no place like home

A half-dozen students are blurring the line between a place of residence and a place of business.

A half-dozen entrepreneurs from Temple University share living and working quarters only a few blocks from campus. They are: Tim Mounsey, FOX ’16; Beau Rosario, TFMA ’14; Brandon Study, FOX ’17; Jesse DiLaura, FOX ’16; Sean Hawkins, SMC ’18; and Justin Swallow, TFMA ’16. (Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University Photography)

A half-dozen entrepreneurs from Temple University share living and working quarters only a few blocks from campus. They are: Tim Mounsey, FOX ’16; Beau Rosario, TFMA ’14; Brandon Study, FOX ’17; Jesse DiLaura, FOX ’16; Sean Hawkins, SMC ’18; and Justin Swallow, TFMA ’16. (Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University Photography)

A pot of coffee is brewing on the stove as the housemates amble through the living room. On this morning, one is eating homemade parfait out of a Tupperware container, while another texts feverishly from the edge of the couch. Two others are gathered near the kitchen table discussing their company, through which their friendship and careers intersect.

In all, six 20-somethings from Temple University inhabit a house near 19th and Diamond streets in North Philadelphia. Five currently live there. The sixth, who used to call the two-story townhouse his home, reports there daily for work.

The housemates refer to the house constantly by its street number. But it could just as well be called the House of Entrepreneurs.

It’s where eight businesses are operated between these six guys – three with Temple degrees, and three more set to graduate within the next two years. A number of those businesses are thriving and profitable. Others are either designated as not-for-profit, or are simply too new to turn a profit – at least for now.

“Money isn’t the priority at the moment,” said Jesse DiLaura, FOX ’16. “We’ve prioritized community, learning, and supporting one another over solidified careers.”

DiLaura would know this better than most. One of the house’s current residents, the rising senior switched majors at the Fox School of Business – from Risk Management, which boasts a 100-percent job-placement rate for its graduating students, to pursue a degree in Entrepreneurship.

While The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine rank Temple’s undergraduate- and graduate-level degree programs in Entrepreneurship among the top-10 nationally, career paths for budding entrepreneurs aren’t so easily defined. That’s why these friends cull from their cumulative expertise to make their dreams more of a reality.

“If we need photography for a website, a social-media campaign, or for Kickstarter, we have somebody for that,” said Justin Swallow, TFMA ‘16. “If we need a videographer, a graphic designer, someone with experience writing business plans or working to secure seed funding, chances are someone in the house has done it already and can help you out.”

DiLaura and Swallow are two of the originals at the house. They moved in more than two years ago with Beau Rosario, TFMA ’14, who with the help of his brother, Clint, as well as Swallow and others operates a successful multimedia business out of the house’s basement. Brandon Study, FOX ’17, Tim Mounsey, FOX ’16, and Sean Hawkins, SMC ’18, live in the house, too.

Known to discuss their businesses and friendships in impromptu locales, the entrepreneurs gather on the front steps of their Diamond Street apartment. Seated with the laptop is Clint Rosario, Beau’s brother and fellow entrepreneur. (Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University Photography)

Known to discuss their businesses and friendships in impromptu locales, the entrepreneurs gather on the front steps of their Diamond Street apartment. Seated with the laptop is Clint Rosario, Beau’s brother and fellow entrepreneur. (Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University Photography)

The friends are a melting pot of skills, opinions, and experiences.

Over the summer, Study and DiLaura attended a Philadelphia-based pitch competition, where DiLaura won $500 and received personal congratulations from FUBU clothing-line founder Daymond John, one of the billionaire investors who appears on “Shark Tank.” At the event, John later fielded Twitter questions, one of which came from Study.  He tossed a shirt from his fledgling clothing line onto the stage, where John picked it up and gave his approval for the design and concept behind Study’s business.

Those moments are not uncommon for these housemates.

From time to time, the guys within the house will develop business-plan models, then gather his housemates and curate his idea among them as though he’s pitching to John and the rest of the “Shark Tank” panel. More often than not, however, the friends discuss their separate ventures over informal meetings – in meet-ups over lunch, while squeezing in a video-game break to cut the tension from work, or on after-hours rides through the neighborhood on their longboards.

And friendship, they all agreed, does not get in the way of candor.

“We all accept and seek each other out for feedback,” Hawkins said. “We are all radically different people and we embrace that any comment is coming from a place of positivity. That’s why, while living here, it’s very easy to be inspired by one another.”

A stroll through the home, at 19th and Diamond, offers a glimpse of their collective creativity. The living-room walls are littered with samples of their work: Photography portraits of their friends, cropped tightly to show only their faces. Posterboards of past business-plan events that they have either hatched, competed in, or won. Discarded Philadelphia streetsigns rigged with lightbulbs, and converted into impromptu lighting fixtures.

Creativity, like entrepreneurship, is a thread that binds these students.

“The collective drive of this house and the diversity of projects being undertaken at any given time provides us with a depth of insight and experience that I think we all apply in our projects and businesses,” said Mounsey. “The collaboration that goes on here not only fuels professional success, but it fuels our personal success.”

“It’s safe to assume we talk a lot about our work, but we talk about our lives, too,” added Study. “It’s not just about forwarding our businesses; it’s about forwarding our friendships.”

Ellen Weber can attest to the value afforded by entrepreneurial collaborative space. As the executive director of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), Weber has spent most of her professional career working in the areas of entrepreneurship, investing, start-ups, and consulting.

With these students, Weber sees “a group that gives as much as it takes.”

“When entrepreneurs occupy collaborative, co-working spaces, they push one another, share ideas, and make one another better,” Weber said. “You can see the energy magnifying within entrepreneurs when they have mentorship opportunities like this. And for these specific students, they not only eat, sleep, and breathe entrepreneurship; they’re living it, too. It’s 24/7 for them, and it’s pretty remarkable.”

Like their academic majors, their business ventures are just as unique.

DiLaura, who will graduate from Fox in January, founded RepairU. The company offers iPhone and iPad repair services for college students by college students at discounted rates. He hopes to operate it out of a food cart near Temple’s Bell Tower by the start of the academic year.

Rosario, who in 2014 graduated from Temple’s School of Theater, Film and Media Arts (TFMA), got his start as a provider of wedding photography, videography, and disc jockey services. He turned Beau Rosario Photography into Philamedia, a commercial media provider. His brother Clint, who lived at the house during his breaks from Eastern University, is the company’s sound engineer. And Swallow, who graduated from TFMA in May, is Philamedia’s commercial videographer.

“We’ve grown from getting free furniture for doing a photoshoot at Kardon/Atlantic (Apartments at Temple) to now generating ads for SEPTA Silverliner, the Mann, the Philly Pops, and many more,” said Beau.

While Swallow is employed by Philamedia, he supports his housemates’ ventures. A graphic designer, Swallow has provided input and collateral for “pretty much every business that’s ever come through here,” DiLaura said.

Study, who will graduate in May, twice considered art school before pursuing an Entrepreneurship degree from the Fox School. He started a non-profit in 2015 called Into The Nations, to help artisans in developing countries develop sustainable business models. And in July, he launched a Kickstarter campaign for Understand Your Brand, an apparel company that utilizes all-natural dyes and an ethically responsible, no-waste factory in Cambodia that pays its employees above the living wage.

“We were learning about the state of the apparel business in this class at Fox, and I wondered, ‘Why is no one else panicking about this like me?’” Study said. “It started as a social-awareness campaign for the class, and it’s become so much more.”

Mounsey, who earned his Entrepreneurship degree in 2016, is a business development analyst by day with Philadelphia-based private equity firm, LLR Partners. He’s also founded a Temple-wide innovation festival, What IF, which held its inaugural events in April. Back in 2015, Mounsey also paired with Study to develop Cycle Clothing Company, a zero-waste lifestyle apparel company which became the foundation for Study’s Understand Your Brand Kickstarter. Their venture placed third in the social-impact track of Temple’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl, which is considered one of the nation’s most-lucrative college business plan competitions, according to Entrepreneur magazine.

“The success and marketing effort of What IF wouldn’t have been possible without the collaboration of our house,” Mounsey said. “Every design, marketing flyer, and video script was created in collaboration of at least two to three house members. It was the perfect opportunity for all of us to combine our expertise.”

Lastly, there’s Hawkins, who will graduate in 2018 with a Communication Studies degree from the School of Media and Communication. He’s presently in the pilot phase of launching a branding company, Big Boi Studios, and a related YouTube channel.

Six friends. Eight businesses. One house.

“If you would have asked me years ago about my college experience, I never could have envisioned it would look anything like this,” Rosario said, “and I hope I’m still doing something like this, and with these same guys, in 10 or 20 years.”


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Temple University’s Fox School of Business powers entrepreneurship at Flinders University through partnership

Alter Hall Exterior PhotoPresident, Chancellor from Flinders to visit Temple Thursday, Aug. 18

Temple University’s Fox School of Business has entered a three-year partnership with Flinders University to deliver its nationally ranked entrepreneurship programs to the prestigious Australian university.

The Fox School of Business will help Flinders University drive South Australia’s economic transformation by training thousands of undergraduate and graduate students annually in the entrepreneurial mindset and skills required to start new businesses and facilitate innovation in existing industries.

To do so, the Fox School will build a series of 12 modules of online education to expose Flinders University’s 26,000 students to entrepreneurship – regardless of their major or course of study. The modules will include videos, exercises, and training manuals, and will be localized by South Australian faculty and executives trained by Fox School faculty.

Additionally, the Fox School will provide RoadMapTM, Fox’s revolutionary higher-education platform that assembles all feedback and assessments to demonstrate personal development and return on investment to students.  RoadMapTM will be customized to track the development of those personal enterprise behaviors, or competencies, that have been identified by business and society as valuable in the Australian context.

This partnership leverages Fox’s reputation as a leading provider of online and entrepreneurship education. In January 2016, the Fox Online MBA program earned a No. 1 national ranking from U.S. News & World Report for the second consecutive year. And in November 2015, Fox’s undergraduate- and graduate-level Entrepreneurship programs earned top-10 rankings from The Princeton Review and Entrepreneurship magazine. It also leverages the Fox School’s extensive experience in supporting entrepreneurship-based economic development in the Philadelphia region, largely through the 350 projects completed by its renowned Fox Management Consulting program.

“We are proud to enter this partnership with Flinders University,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of Temple’s Fox School of Business. “There are a number of similarities between students at Flinders and Temple – two universities that have stimulated innovation and promoted entrepreneurship for decades. This partnership enables the Fox School to employ our expertise to power the Personal Enterprise Journey of Flinders students more than halfway around the world.”

Flinders University Chancellor Stephen Gerlach and Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Colin Stirling will visit Temple University and meet with Acting President Richard Englert and Provost and Executive Vice President JoAnne A. Epps Thursday, Aug. 18, to make official the contractual partnership and to discuss Temple’s role in extending entrepreneurship throughout the university and into the community.

Flinders University, through its New Venture Institute (NVI), is creating entrepreneurial opportunities for its 26,000 students. Since its founding in 2013, the NVI has overseen 252 student projects and 136 start-ups, trained nearly 1,500 individuals, and generated more than $540,000 in investments.

“Innovation and creativity – those characteristics that underpin entrepreneurial thinking – are a critical part of the picture for all industries,” said Matt Salier, Director of the NVI at Flinders. “Next time someone asks you what job you’d like, challenge yourself by reframing the question as, ‘What problem would you like to solve?’ Our partnership with the Fox School of Business brings the best in global education methods and content to help our students answer this question.”

The Flinders-Fox School partnership also will allow for potential study-abroad opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at both universities. Details on this will be finalized and announced at a later date.


About the Fox School of Business at Temple University

Established in 1918, the Fox School of Business at Temple University is the largest, most-comprehensive business school in the Greater Philadelphia region, and among the largest in the world, with nearly 8,500 students, more than 200 full-time faculty and more than 65,000 alumni. Accredited by AACSB International — a distinction held by less than 5 percent of the world’s business schools — the Fox School offers BBA, Global MBA, Part-Time MBA, Executive MBA, Online MBA, Specialized Masters, and PhD programs, and an Executive Doctorate in Business Administration, on campuses throughout the world.

fox.temple.edu


About Flinders University

Flinders University, in Adelaide, Australia, is a world top 2% University that enjoys a well-justified reputation for excellence in teaching and research. It provides exceptional student experience and has a long-standing commitment to enhancing educational opportunities for all, attracting students from more than 100 countries. Established in 1966, Flinders’ leadership in innovative research has seen it rise to equal 10th in the prestigious Time Higher Education rankings of Best Universities in Australia 2016.

flinders.edu.au


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Gerard H. Sweeney to receive 20th Annual Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership

Jerry SweeneyTemple University’s Fox School of Business will award Gerard “Jerry” H. Sweeney the 2016 Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership – the school’s highest honor, for outstanding achievement, leadership, and commitment to the community by a distinguished member of industry.

Sweeney will be honored at the 20th annual Musser Award reception and dinner Nov. 17, 2016, in Mitten Hall, on Temple University’s Main Campus.

Sweeney is President, Chief Executive Officer, and Trustee of Brandywine Realty Trust, which develops, builds, and manages the nation’s leading Class A office and mixed-use properties. He has held these roles since the company’s founding in 1994. He has overseen the growth of Brandywine, from four properties and a total market capitalization of less than $5 million to more than 33 million square feet and a total market capitalization of close to $5 billion.

“Jerry Sweeney has overseen Brandywine Realty Trust from its infancy through to today. He is directly responsible for helping the company flourish into a leader in the real estate industry,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “This year marks an anniversary. For two decades, we have honored distinguished business professionals with the Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership, and Jerry certainly fits that description.”

His previous industry experience includes serving as vice president of LCOR, Inc., a real estate development firm, from 1983-94. He was responsible for the marketing, management, construction, asset management, and financial oversight of a diversified portfolio of urban high-rise, mid-rise, flex, warehouse, and distribution facilities, as well as retail and apartment complexes.

Sweeney received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from West Chester University.

A few of the previous Musser Award winners include the late Lewis Katz, former director of the Katz Foundation; Steven H. Korman, founder of Korman Communities; Joan Carter, co-founder and president of UM Holdings Ltd.; the late Ralph J. Roberts, founder of Comcast; Stephen A. Cozen and Patrick J. O’Connor, of Cozen-O’Connor; H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, president and CEO of The Lenfest Group; and Dennis Alter, former chairman and CEO of Advanta Corp.

For sponsorship and reservation information, contact Amy Gurreri, Assistant Director of Special Events and Facilities, at 215-204-4889 or amy.gurreri@temple.edu.


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Study: Smart technology – and not body cameras – more likely to reduce use of lethal force by police

When it comes to reducing instances of lethal force exhibited by police, a recent study suggests that wearable video cameras might not be the solution.

Researchers from Temple University’s Fox School of Business found that the use of analytics and smartphones to access intelligence, like criminal history reports, reduced instances of lethal force by police, while wearable video cameras were linked to increases in shooting deaths of civilians by police.

Paul Pavlou

Paul Pavlou

Min-Seok Pang

Min-Seok Pang

Dr. Min-Seok Pang and Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, from the Fox School of Business, utilized data from a comprehensive report by the Washington Post, to investigate how technology affects police performance and practice. The newspaper’s 2015 database compiled information from the 986 deadly shootings of civilians by police nationwide in 2015, from published news reports, public records, Internet databases, and original reporting.

Their study, titled “Armed with Technology: The Effects on Fatal Shootings of Civilians by the Police,” found that the use of body cameras by police led to a 3.64-percent increase in shooting deaths of civilians by police. Notably, body cameras produced a 3.75-percent increase in the shooting deaths of African Americans and Hispanics, but only a 0.67-percent increase in the deaths of Caucasians and Asians.

Meanwhile, instances of fatal shootings dropped by 2.5 percent when police departments conducted statistical analyses of digitized crime data or had real-time access to data via smartphones and information about a person of interest, the researchers found.

“Our findings suggest that body cameras generate less reluctance for police officers to use lethal force, because the wearable body cameras provide evidence that may justify the shooting and exonerate an officer from prosecution,” said Pavlou, the Fox School’s Milton F. Stauffer Professor of Information Technology and Strategy. “Instead, the use of data analytics and smartphones can reduce the use of lethal force by police.”

“There is a rush among police departments across the country to incorporate the use of body cameras by their officers, with millions of dollars being spent by federal and local governments,” said Pang, an assistant professor. “Instead, the decisions should be driven by evidence-based policy, and after careful consideration of scientific evidence.”

Click here to read more on their study.


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Study: Job placement, salaries for Information Systems majors exceed national averages for college grads

IS Job Index coverStudents who earned degrees in Information Systems (IS) earned higher starting salaries than their fellow business-school counterparts. And they benefited from one of the fastest national placement averages.

These statistics are just some of the findings from the latest edition of the Information Systems Job Index, produced by researchers from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, in partnership with the Association for Information Systems (AIS).

Published and released in June 2016, the second installment of the IS Job Index culls the responses of nearly 1,700 IS graduates of the Class of 2015, from 30 universities nationwide. Findings from the IS Job Index include:

  • IS undergraduates earned higher starting salaries than the next-closest business-school graduates, with averages of $57,817 for undergraduates, and $67,632 for graduate students.
  • IS students achieved an 80-percent graduation rate; compared to the national average of 40 percent.
  • Of IS graduates, more than 35 percent are minorities, making the field more ethnically diverse than the U.S. college-graduate population. Yet there is still evidence of a glass ceiling, as female IS graduate students made less ($63,206) than their male peers ($72,001).

“The Information Systems Job Index demonstrates the strength of the IS field, in regard to jobs, salaries, demographics, and industry growth,” said co-author Dr. Munir Mandviwalla, Chair of the Management Information Systems (MIS) department at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. “This data is critical for parents of college-age children, current and prospective students seeking an accurate job outlook, employers, and policymakers – and it cannot be found anywhere else.”

“The IS Job Index represents a major effort to capture the pulse of the Information Systems job market,” said Jason Thatcher, President of AIS. “The results confirm that the hot IS job market continues to strengthen, with growing demand for technically apt, socially skilled college graduates.”

Mandviwalla conducted research for the IS Job Index and co-authored it along with Dr. Crystal Harold, Associate Professor of Human Resource Management at Temple’s Fox School, and David Yastremsky, a senior MIS major in the Fox School Honor’s program.

The AIS-Temple Fox School Job Index is the only systematic assessment of the IS job market. It is a joint project to produce reliable national-level data on placement, job type, satisfaction, and related factors like career services, knowledge level, preparedness, and search strategies.

More: To read the Information Systems Job Index, visit isjobindex.com.


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Fox alums, College of Public Health students collaborate for interdisciplinary presentation on healthcare

Dr. Anthony V. Coletta, MBA ’06, the chief executive officer of Tandigm Health, delivers a presentation to Temple University health professions students.

Dr. Anthony V. Coletta, MBA ’06, the chief executive officer of Tandigm Health, delivers a presentation to Temple University health professions students.

A trio of Fox School of Business graduates recently visited Temple University’s Center City campus to lead a discussion on meeting the challenges of today’s healthcare climate.

Representatives from Tandigm Health spoke to students from Temple’s College of Public Health May 16 in an interdisciplinary crossover course that covered leadership, strategy, and problem solving within the healthcare field. More than 25 students from the Doctor of Occupational Therapy and Master of Science in Health Information Management programs attended the presentation.

“It’s not a single person winning a race in healthcare. In fact, it’s a team effort, with a goal of better provider and consumer experience” said Dr. Amy Lynch, Professor of Occupational Therapy, who invited Tandigm’s leadership team to Temple. “They offered an incredibly dynamic lecture that highlighted much of what they learned at Fox – challenging students to be thoughtful in evaluating healthcare challenges, while also covering the spirited nature of leadership embedded in innovative and collaborative thinking.”

Tandigm Health joined the Philadelphia healthcare landscape in 2014 in partnership with Independence Blue Cross, the region’s largest insurer, and HealthCare Partners, which provides physician-office management services. Tandigm compensates physicians for keeping their patients healthy and free from hospitalization, as opposed to paying them for services rendered.

Tandigm president and CEO Dr. Anthony V. Colleta, MBA ’06, director of informatics Antonio Tedesco, MBA ’04, and vice president of operations Brett Huberman, MBA ’00, received postgraduate degrees from the Fox School.

“In our value-based health care model, we partner with primary care physicians by engaging them with meaningful incentives to deliver high-quality care, enabling them with relevant technologies and data, and empowering them with resources and programs that deliver necessary care where and when patients need it,” Huberman said.

Antonio Tedesco, MBA ’04, the director of informatics at Tandigm Health, speaks to Temple University health professions students during a presentation at Temple University Center City campus.

Antonio Tedesco, MBA ’04, the director of informatics at Tandigm Health, speaks to Temple University health professions students during a presentation at Temple University Center City campus.

A 2015 study published in Health Affairs identified the nation’s top-50 hospitals for cost vs. marked-up charge, and six of them were located in the Philadelphia region. Huberman called Philadelphia “the highest medical-cost city in the country, one that’s home to 40,000 providers and 34,000 specialists.”

“We imparted to the students the value of data information in forming solutions,” Huberman said. “It was inspiring to speak to Temple students about our model. Education is a two-way street, and this provided us with an opportunity to give back to our Temple roots.”

Healthcare policies and regulations have a direct impact on the careers of occupational therapists like Caroline Welch, a Temple OTD candidate.

“There is a strong push and need for improved quality of career and patient outcomes, both at a lower cost,” Welch said. “As a full-time clinician, my knowledge and understanding of the business side of healthcare is limited. That is one of the main reasons why I found Tandigm’s presentation to be such an interesting and beneficial learning opportunity.”

The Fox School offers an undergraduate program in Healthcare Risk Management and a minor in Healthcare Systems Management. At the graduate level, Fox offers an MBA in Health Sector Management and a Master of Health Administration degree program.


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Fox School Dean honored by Hillel of Greater Philadelphia

Photo of Dean M. Moshe Porat and Fox School adjunct instructor Paul Silberberg walk in at the Hillel of Greater Philadelphia’s Vision and Values celebration.

Dean M. Moshe Porat and Fox School adjunct instructor Paul Silberberg walk in at the Hillel of Greater Philadelphia’s Vision and Values celebration.

Hillel of Greater Philadelphia recognized Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, for his campus leadership and advocacy for Israel.

The Jewish organization honored Porat at its annual Vision and Values Celebration, held June 2. Attended by more than 200 community leaders and friends of Hillel, the event generated nearly $200,000 to fund programs and services for Jewish college students in the Philadelphia region.

Porat was not the only awardee from Temple University. Two undergraduate students, Ari Abramson and Arielle Manstein, received recognition as Student Exemplars of Excellence. Abramson, a sophomore, majors in Management Information Systems at Fox, while Manstein recently received her degree from Temple’s Kornberg School of Dentistry.

Porat lived in Israel for half of his life, moving there at a young age from Poland with his parents. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tel Aviv University, before traveling stateside and completing his doctoral degree program at Temple University.

Photo of Dean M. Moshe Porat and his wife, Dr. Rachel Porat, at the Hillel of Greater Philadelphia’s Vision and Values celebration.

Dean M. Moshe Porat and his wife, Dr. Rachel Porat, at the Hillel of Greater Philadelphia’s Vision and Values celebration.

As Fox School’s Dean, he helped redesign the school’s flagship MBA program to incorporate into the curriculum international immersion trips, including those to Israel, to foster the exploration of the country’s innovation, entrepreneurship, and tech ecosystems. He also led a push to include Israel-based companies within the Fox Management Consulting capstone course, in which students provide professional-grade strategic solutions to paying clients. Porat also serves as an active member of the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce.

“This recognition from Hillel was a point of great personal pride,” Porat said. “I believe strongly in the values and purpose of Hillel, and have always made an effort in my career to demonstrate the strengths and competencies of Israel, while encouraging students to visit the country and learn its innovation and entrepreneurship history. For these reasons, it was quite fulfilling to receive this honor.”

Photo of Dean M. Moshe Porat delivers remarks after being honored at the Hillel of Greater Philadelphia’s Vision and Values celebration.

Dean M. Moshe Porat delivers remarks after being honored at the Hillel of Greater Philadelphia’s Vision and Values celebration.

The event, held on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, buzzed with more than 200 attendees, including Porat’s wife, Rachel, and their sons, Manny and Sam, and daughter, Galia. Hooter, the mascot for Temple Athletics, also made an appearance.

“Moshe not only is a product of another culture and another country, but he’s very active around the world,” said Dr. Neil Theobald, President of Temple University. “He brings a global perspective to the deanship and to our administrative councils that is hugely important. … The value of Hillel and the values of Temple University, what they have in common, Moshe is such a great representative and archetype of those values.”


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

MB Sarkar, distinguished Fox School professor, passes away

Mitrabarun Sarkar

Mitrabarun Sarkar

Dr. Mitrabarun “MB” Sarkar, a renowned educator and researcher at Temple University’s Fox School of Business whose pedagogical work garnered national, international, and university awards, died June 7, 2016. He was 54 years of age.

Sarkar, who joined the Fox School faculty in 2008, was the H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation within the Strategic Management department at Fox. He also had served as a visiting professor of strategy at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

“MB was an innovator at every stage of his career,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “His passion for teaching and empowering students, and his thirst for knowledge were tremendous. MB’s passing brings great sadness to our Temple and Fox communities. My thoughts and prayers at this time are with his wife, their two daughters, and his family and close friends.”

In 2013, Sarkar received Temple University’s Great Teacher Award, the highest honor conferred by the university on faculty. On seven occasions, he was named Outstanding Professor of the Year in Fox’s Global, Executive, Online, and Part-Time MBA programs. Sarkar also was a five-time recipient of Fox’s Crystal Teaching Award. Last November, he received the Musser Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes a Fox School faculty member who challenges students to think imaginatively and creatively.

Sarkar was the founding Academic Director of Fox’s Global Immersion Program in Emerging Markets, and led the initiative of building partnerships and experiential programs for Fox MBA students in several countries, such as Chile, China, Colombia, Ghana, India, Israel, Morocco, South Africa, and Turkey.

His internationally recognized research on innovation, industry emergence, and technology entrepreneurship was published in several premier scientific journals. He served on the editorial review boards of several leading journals in the field of strategic management, and as associate editor at the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. In 2004, he received the Best Paper Award from the Academy of Management Journal, in addition to research-related awards from the Academy of Marketing Sciences and the American Marketing Association.

Sarkar earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College in New Delhi, India; an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, in Ahmedabad, India; and a PhD from Michigan State University.

He is survived by his wife, Tanu, and their daughters, Mohenna, who lives and works in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Aeshna, who attends Tulane University.

The Fox School has established a new faculty award in Dr. Sarkar’s memory.  Gifts to the MB Sarkar Award for Teaching Excellence can be given here.


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Shark Tank is coming to Temple University!

Shark Tank Logo


Shark Tank, the critically acclaimed, business-themed show is continuing the search for the best entrepreneurs with the best businesses and products that America has to offer. The Emmy-winning show features The Sharks – tough, self-made, multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons who give budding entrepreneurs the chance to make their American dreams come true; potentially securing deals that could make them millionaires.

If you’ve got a great product or business and need an investment to propel you forward, Temple University is providing you the opportunity to meet the casting team of Shark Tank.

Note: Pitches will not be filmed. They are preliminary auditions, in which participants will pitch one-on-one to casting managers.

This casting call is open to Temple University students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

Come by the Fox School of Business on Saturday, June 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to pitch the casting team!

Fox School of Business
Alter Hall – Undergraduate Commons, 1st Floor
1801 Liacouras Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Sign up here to reserve your spot to pitch. Then, fill out this pitch release and bring it with you on June 11 (or, you can scan it and email it to us at iei@temple.edu ahead of time).

Need help preparing for your pitch? The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute and Blackstone Launchpad are offering an open pitch coaching session:

Thursday, June 9 | 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute Lab
Alter Hall, 5th Floor, Room 503D

If you have questions, please contact the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute at iei@temple.edu.


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Fox School launches its centennial celebration

Dean M. Moshe Porat addresses faculty and students to kick off the Fox School’s 100-year celebration. (Jim Roese Photography)

Dean M. Moshe Porat addresses faculty and students to kick off the Fox School’s 100-year celebration. (Jim Roese Photography)

A standing-room-only crowd helped Temple University’s Fox School of Business celebrate the launch of its forthcoming 100th anniversary. The most-comprehensive business school in Philadelphia, and one of the largest in the world, the Fox School will celebrate its centennial during the 2017-18 academic year.

Members of the Fox School Dean’s Council, student body, and faculty participated in this momentous occasion, held this past April in Alter Hall and kicking off one of the most-significant initiatives in the school’s history.

Cherry- and white-colored balloons decorated the Undergraduate Commons, as Dean M. Moshe Porat announced more events and engagement opportunities in the months ahead, all of which will be geared toward sharing in the Fox School’s renowned history.

“Tradition, distinction, and innovation are at the heart of what we do, and are as much a part of our rich legacy as our promising future,” Porat said.

Porat continued, addressing members of the Fox School’s faculty and student body who were in attendance: “There are not too many opportunities in one’s lifetime to celebrate a 100th anniversary of anything, and you are the reason we have so much to celebrate. I want you to share in this experience, which is a major historical event for our school.”

A capacity crowd gathers in the Undergraduate Commons of Alter Hall for the launch of the Fox School’s 100-year celebration. (Jim Roese Photography)

A capacity crowd gathers in the Undergraduate Commons of Alter Hall for the launch of the Fox School’s 100-year celebration. (Jim Roese Photography)

From its roots in 1918, when it was founded as Temple University’s School of Commerce, to today, the Fox School of Business has remained true to the vision of Temple founder Dr. Russell Conwell, Porat said, hiring influential researchers and inspirational faculty, enrolling diverse and accomplished students, and producing exceptional alumni.

“Throughout our growth, we have maintained a reputation of outperformance,” Porat said. “We have much to be proud of, and we look forward to many upcoming celebrations.”

Also in attendance were Temple University alumni Dennis Alter and Larry Magid, Fox alumnus and co-founder of Philadelphia’s Electric Factory Concerts, to discuss the intersection of business and the arts.

Alter, EDU ‘66, is the benefactor of Alter Hall, the home of the Fox School of Business, who was responsible for the art collection that adorns the building’s walls. Alter is an elected trustee of the Philadelphia Art Museum and a supporter of the arts, including the Barnes Foundation and the Opera Company of Philadelphia.

“You don’t have to be an inventor to be a success in the business world,” said Alter, a member of Temple University’s Board of Trustees. “Some of the most successful artists in the world thrived because they were persistent, they empowered onlookers globally, they were entrepreneurs at heart, and they embodied originality at their core.”

Graduating senior Ryan Rinaldi, a Finance major, speaks to attendees of the Fox School’s 100-year celebration launch event. (Jim Roese Photography)

Graduating senior Ryan Rinaldi, a Finance major, speaks to attendees of the Fox School’s 100-year celebration launch event. (Jim Roese Photography)

Magid is responsible for having lured top musical talents to Philadelphia for the last half-century. Magid has promoted thousands of performances and concerts, including those featuring The Rolling Stones and The Grateful Dead, among others. He also helped organize Live Aid in 1985 and Live 8 in 2005, two global music-driven fundraising initiatives.

Magid got his start in the music industry by selling $2 tickets to shows he had booked at Temple’s Mitten Hall.

“It didn’t take much imagination to know what was happening with my career and that I could make a living by taking this path,” Magid said. “It all starts with a dream, and how you go about realizing that dream.”

At an event geared toward Fox’s 100th birthday, Magid poked fun at his age.

“I’ve been working in this field for 54 years, which is exactly seven years longer than I’ve been around,” Magid said, deadpanning. “It goes without saying that the Fox School of Business has achieved much more than I have, and it’s exciting to see what is around the corner for this great school.”


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department celebrates legacy at annual awards dinner

Dr. R.B. Drennan, Chair of the Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department, and Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business, listen to one of the speakers at the 28th annual Department of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management Awards for Excellence.

Dr. R.B. Drennan, Chair of the Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department, and Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business, listen to one of the speakers at the 28th annual Department of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management Awards for Excellence.

Hundreds filled the two-tiered Grand Ballroom at Philadelphia’s Hyatt at the Bellevue for the Fox School of Business’ 28th Annual Department of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management Awards for Excellence Dinner.

The gala, held April 13, helped pay tribute to the department’s current successes, as well as its rich tradition and rising national rank.

Dr. R.B. Drennan, Chair of Fox’s Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department, honored a team of Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) and Actuarial Science students who, a weekend prior, had taken first place in the prestigious Spencer-RIMS national Risk Management Challenge, a three-month case study of a risk portfolio, for which the students were tasked with developing proposed solutions.

The night also centered on growth in the program. Not only is the Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma the nation’s largest chapter, but the Fox School also serves as the largest provider of Risk Management & Insurance education in the United States, according to a recent survey.

Top industry executives have taken notice of our programs and that is a testament to the quality of our students,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “I think you will all agree that we have succeeded on all accounts – more students, more speakers, better rankings, and more success.”

Porat helped found the department’s annual awards reception 28 years ago, when he served as the department’s chair. It began, Porat said, as a small luncheon held at Temple’s Mitten Hall.

And today, because of the many successes of our Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management students, smaller venues are not feasible for such an occasion,” Porat said.

The Grand Ballroom at Philadelphia’s Hyatt at the Bellevue served as the venue for the 28th annual Department of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management Awards for Excellence.

The Grand Ballroom at Philadelphia’s Hyatt at the Bellevue served as the venue for the 28th annual Department of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management Awards for Excellence.

Richard Rosenbaum, senior Actuarial Science major and President of the Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, lauded Drennan for facilitating the department’s growth and continually improving its reputation nationally and internationally. For the third consecutive year, Fox’s RMI program ranked among the nation’s top-5 such programs in the United States.

He not only has shown us the vast opportunities available in risk management, but also has helped us with navigating difficult educational and professional decisions in our first years at Temple,” Rosenbaum said of Drennan, who presides over the longest-running continuous program of its kind in the U.S.

Dr. R.B. Drennan, Chair of the Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department, delivers remarks at the department’s 28th annual Awards for Excellence.

Dr. R.B. Drennan, Chair of the Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department, delivers remarks at the department’s 28th annual Awards for Excellence.

The event’s keynote speaker, Thomas F. Motamed, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for CNA Financial Corporation, discussed his foray into the RMI industry, its future, and the role Fox School of Business students can play in it. Motamed addressed the ever-increasing need for talent in the RMI profession as one of the most significant challenges facing the industry today. Due to retiring professionals, he said the industry needs to fill 400,000 positions by 2020 in order to remain fully staffed.

So if you are a student of risk management at Temple, you must be aware that you are truly coveted,” Motamed said. “You are the human capital of the future.”


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Competency-based feedback app wins 2016 Be Your Own Boss Bowl

DevelapMe’s Cliff Tironi, Michael Rivera, and Tony Petrucci, from left to right, accept the Upper Track first-place ceremonial check from Alex Wolfington, whose family sponsored more than $120,000 in Be Your Own Boss Bowl prizes. DevelapMe also won BYOBB’s Bernard and Murray Spain Grand Prize, totaling $40,000. (Photo: Lou Caltabiano)

DevelapMe’s Cliff Tironi, Michael Rivera, and Tony Petrucci, from left to right, accept the Upper Track first-place ceremonial check from Alex Wolfington, whose family sponsored more than $120,000 in Be Your Own Boss Bowl prizes. DevelapMe also won BYOBB’s Bernard and Murray Spain Grand Prize, totaling $40,000. (Photo: Lou Caltabiano)


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.”

Fox School of Business student Tyler Stoltzfus delivers a presentation for his company Green Matters Apparel Co., which won first place in the Be Your Own Boss Bowl’s Social Impact track. (Photo: Lou Caltabiano)

Fox School of Business student Tyler Stoltzfus delivers a presentation for his company Green Matters Apparel Co., which won first place in the Be Your Own Boss Bowl’s Social Impact track. (Photo: Lou Caltabiano)


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.

Ellen Weber delivers remarks at the 2016 Be Your Own Boss Bowl. Weber is Executive Director of Temple University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute. (Photo: Lou Caltabiano)

Ellen Weber delivers remarks at the 2016 Be Your Own Boss Bowl. Weber is Executive Director of Temple University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute. (Photo: Lou Caltabiano)


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


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Fox welcomes high school students for inaugural statistics competition

Dr. Sanat Sarkar, left, Chair of the Department of Statistics, and Dr. Alexandra Carides, right, Assistant Professor of Statistics, bookend the students from Methacton High School who won the Fox School of Business Statistics Data Challenge.

Dr. Sanat Sarkar, left, Chair of the Department of Statistics, and Dr. Alexandra Carides, right, Assistant Professor of Statistics, bookend the students from Methacton High School who won the Fox School of Business Statistics Data Challenge.


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.


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Father, son graduate together in Fox School’s commencement ceremony

Son Keith and father Walter Douglass, back row, will earn their Bachelor degrees from the Fox School of Business at the school’s May 6 commencement ceremony. Walter’s wife Karen, and the youngest of their three children, Matthew and Lauren Douglass, will also be in attendance. (Courtesy Douglass family)

Walter Douglass and his son, Keith, took different routes to Temple University’s Fox School of Business. But at commencement, they walked together.

The father and son were seated beside one another May 6 at the Liacouras Center, and had their names and degrees announced simultaneously during the Fox School’s commencement ceremony.

Walter, who in 2009 opened a tax-preparation service, received a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Keith, 23, earned 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 – was on hand to see Walter and Keith graduate. Fox School Dean Dr. M. Moshe Porat even commended the Douglasses during his commencement address.

“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.”