In 10 years, Hayley Leather would like to own a zoo.
With this professional aspiration in mind, the 22-year-old Fox School of Business student has focused her efforts on attaining the business expertise every zookeeper requires, while studying within Fox’s Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management department.
Leather’s research paper in a related area – into the 2010 British Petroleum (BP) oil spill that devastated animal habitats in the Gulf of Mexico – won the 2015 American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) White Paper contest.
Her essay, titled Why the BP Macondo Gulf Blowout is Important…and It’s Not What You Think, explores the complexities and uses of additional insured status and contractual indemnity in the oil industry, and the potential effects of restrictions. Leather synthesized legal precedent and interviewed experts in the field to uncover how unusual anti-indemnity strategies could change the face of risk contracting in the oil industry.
“This wasn’t anything that had been done before,” said Leather, a Risk Management and Insurance major. “Previously companies just did as they assumed, but BP really challenged all that.”
Winning essays were deemed to have communicated the significance of risk management in the future of wholesale, excess or surplus insurance lines in the manner of previous White Paper winners. Leather, one of two winners nationally, received $2,000 for her award-winning paper and an expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C. in May 2015 to attend the AAMGA Annual Meeting. While there, a mentor from the risk industry will be paired with Leather.
“I’ll be able to hear what’s going on in the industry and have a contact to talk to the whole time to explain it to me,” Leather said.
Leather credits Storm Wilkins, Assistant Professor of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management, with encouraging her to enter the contest. Wilkins also serves as faculty advisor for Temple’s Sigma Chapter of the risk management fraternity, Gamma Iota Sigma, of which Leather is a member. Leather, who had written previously on the BP crisis, knew that expanding upon the topic for the contest made sense, given her interest in animal welfare and risk management.
“Hayley researched the issues thoroughly, and even reached out to an industry expert to ensure that her work was first-rate,” Wilkins said. “I encourage my students to enter competitions such as the AAMGA White Paper contest because it allows them showcase their abilities beyond Temple University.”
Leather, who transferred into the Fox School in Summer 2014, said her brother, Jonathan, FOX ’09, pushed her into the Risk Management field. Previously, she had been a science major.
“I wasn’t happy with the idea of staring at a computer or microscope all day. I didn’t want to do that,” Leather said. “I love business in general and something that is important to all business is managing the risks.”
Merging her love of animals with her penchant for business, Leather has interned with the Navy Marine Mammals Program in San Diego. Somewhat closer to home, the native of Cheltenham, Pa., also has interned as a zookeeper at the Wild World of Animals in Eighty Four, Pa. Leather hopes to one day work for SeaWorld Entertainment, managing risks for one of the organization’s seven parks, before applying her business savvy when opening her own zoo.
The pizza boxes stacked onto a waist-high countertop stood taller than Pauline DeAndrade, President of Temple University’s chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA).
One by one, as fellow members trickled in to NABA’s April 22 assembly meeting, the mound of pizzas shrunk in size.
A catered assembly meeting was NABA’s reward for winning the inaugural Fox SPO Madness. A Twitter-based bracket competition, Fox SPO Madness pitted 16 student-professional organizations (SPOs) at Temple’s Fox School of Business against one another, with the winner earning a pizza party for its members, sponsored by Vanguard, a parter of the Fox School’s Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD).
NABA defeated Temple’s chapter of the American Marketing Association (TU-AMA) in the final round.
“When we surpassed 200 votes in the championship round, I think that was when I started thinking we might win,” said DeAndrade, a graduating senior and a summer intern with Deloitte’s auditing practice in Philadelphia. “Our support system showed during the duration of the contest, which made it a lot of fun.”
For a two-week span, from late March to early April, Fox SPO Madness galvanized SPOs into action. The contest ran simultaneously to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, ending April 6, the same day as the basketball tournament’s championship game.
Of Fox School’s 24 SPOs, 16 maintain Twitter accounts. Each SPO was chosen randomly to populate spots in a 16-entry bracket. Once daily at 9 a.m., beginning March 17, the Fox School’s Twitter account (@foxschool) unveiled that day’s matchup to be voted upon. In each matchup, the retweet and favorite functions served as votes for respective SPOs and, at 3 p.m., a winner was declared.
To ensure the largest number of votes each time, NABA employed social media platforms, emails to its listserv members, and regular appeals to coworkers, family and friends.
“We tapped into our alumni, too, and we do so regularly,” said senior Harold Rosemund, NABA’s Social Media Coordinator. “For example, if one of our members knows they can do better in a particular course, we reach out to our alums and say, ‘Is anyone available to mentor a student, or consult with them on a project?’ Beyond the scope of the contest, our alumni base is always so supportive.”
“And I think this (contest) shows just how strong the SPOs are at Fox.”
Not to mention how hungry they are.
The creators of an online financial marketplace aiming to improve the consumer’s buying power in financial transactions won the grand prize at the 17th annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl®, a Temple University-wide business plan competition.
RatesForUs.com, co-founded by CEO and Fox School of Business alumnus Ben Stucker, MBA ’13, and CTO Alec Baker, took home more than $60,000 in cash prizes, in addition to products and professional services, at the April 16 final presentations at the Fox School.
“If I could have burst out of my skin, I would have. This was one of the most rewarding and exciting moments of my life,” said Stucker, a longtime mortgage industry professional.
RatesForUs.com, which registered its website domain only two months prior to the final presentations, hopes to become the top online destination for mortgage shoppers, Stucker said. He and Baker first met in February to lay the foundation for their company and “then we wrote our business plan in three weeks,” Stucker said.
What sets apart RatesForUs from others in the marketplace, Stucker said, is that they have worked closely with consumers to understand and support their needs. From increased consumer privacy to allowing consumers to confidently obtain lower interest rates, Stucker said RatesForUs has taken steps to drastically improve the online shopping experience. With RatesForUs, Stucker said, personal information will only be shared when necessary and agreed to by the consumer, eliminating “the bombardment of calls and potential bias based on race, ethnicity or gender,” he said.
The cash and prizes from Be Your Own Boss Bowl® will support the continued development of the marketplace for RatesForUs, Stucker said.
“Our expenses to date have been minimal,” he said. “That’s intentional. We only take a step if we can measure the results for future decision-making purposes. First, we wanted to be sure consumers would value our service, so we talked to them. Then we took our survey results to the lenders that would be supplying the loans and they were interested. We’re going to continue using this lean methodology and complete the development of our marketplace. We are looking forward to continued interaction with those in our marketplace – lenders, consumers, and professionals.”
The annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl®, the flagship program of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), is one of the most lucrative and comprehensive business plan competitions in the country. This year, 12 business plans representing five of Temple’s 17 schools and colleges were selected as finalists. They competed for more than $160,000 in cash prizes, plus related products, professional services, and incubation space.
The competition features three distinctly different 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 Innovation Track.
Winners from each track were:
- Upper Track: RatesForUs.com
- Social Innovation Track: ROAR for Good, LLC, a developer of wearable self-defense tech designed for women. (Yasmine Mustafa, FOX ’06; Anthony Gold; Peter Eisenhower, ENG ‘11; Charlotte Wells, CLA ’15; Hunter Vargas, FOX ’16; and Christina Kazakia)
- Undergraduate Track: Habitat LLC, a platform for students to buy and sell goods within their college communities. (Fox School students Andrew Nakkache, Michael Paskiewicz and Brandon Bahr, and Kathleen Chen)
For the sixth 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 junior entrepreneurship major Vincent Paolizzi.
Temple alumnus Christopher Wink, CLA ’08, received the 2015 Self-Made & Making Others Award. Wink is the co-founder and editor of Technical.ly, a network of local technology news sites and events.
Be Your Own Boss Bowl® participants benefit from coaching, mentoring and networking opportunities with the Philadelphia area’s leading business professionals, including members of GPSEG, the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group. Overall, the competition receives support from 300 executives and entrepreneurs.
–Christopher A. Vito
Be Your Own Boss Bowl® 2015, by the numbers
$200,000 Value of monetary, products, services and mentorship prizes awarded
300 Mentors and preliminary judges
143 Overall participants in BYOBB
64 Senior executive mentors
61 Registered company submissions
32 Participating finalist team members
13 Temple University schools and colleges represented in BYOBB
13 Presentation coaches
12 Finalist teams representing five Temple schools and colleges
6 Finalist judges
Armed with cell phones, students filling seats near the runway snapped photos and admired their peers’ attire. On this day, the first floor of Alter Hall had been transformed into the setting of a chic fashion show.
Helping to define the dos and don’ts of business attire, the Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) at the Fox School of Business hosted its third annual “Work Your Wardrobe: A Fashion Show For Young Professionals” event April 15 in Alter Hall’s Undergrad Commons.
Two-dozen student-models wore styles appropriate for smart business, business casual and business professional scenarios, with each of the looks originating from one of three sources: their personal closets, local consignment shops, or from CSPD retail industry partners.
“I have to be honest – I never knew the difference between the three styles,” said sophomore Chirag Chandna, a Management Information Systems major who modeled a business-casual look. “Now, I can say that I do.”
Work Your Wardrobe has become a staple for Fox’s CSPD, said co-organizers Holly Pfeifer, Assistant Director of Corporate Relations, and Lindsay Teich, Assistant Director of Career Competencies. Pfeifer and Teich said their interactions with Fox students generated a large volume of questions in regard to the culture of business-appropriate couture, leading to the event’s inception.
“One of the core components of the CSPD model is impression management, which accounts for both the verbal and nonverbal communication vehicles of a student’s professional development,” Pfeifer said. “The show is, and continues to be, a great success among students, faculty, staff and employers because it breaks the stereotypical mold of what resources a business school should provide.”
Work Your Wardrobe is a part of the CSPD’s full-service approach to preparing Fox’s students for the professional world upon graduation, engaging students with resume reviews, interview clinics, internship and job fairs and more.
An interactive, hour-long event, Work Your Wardrobe encourages those in attendance to vote on the origin of each outfit. In between walks down the runway, student-models acted out brief skits centered on educating students on how to properly accessorize or tie a necktie. Student-models also offered tips, like avoiding open-toed shoes and maintaining confidence in their looks.
“Feeling comfortable is important, but looking business-appropriate is just as important,” said senior Kehinde Adewunmi, a Management Information Systems major who modeled a smart-casual look. “I’d say a majority of students, before they work with CSPD, just don’t know the dos and don’ts of what to wear to work.”
“I used to think smart-casual meant a nice T-shirt and a nice pair of jeans,” said junior Ryan Rinaldi, a Finance major who sported smart-casual attire. “Obviously, there’s more to it than that, and that’s what Work Your Wardrobe tries to teach students before they make a regrettable fashion mistake in the workplace.”
Dr. Samuel D. Hodge prides himself in using unconventional methods, like animated, voiced-over videos, to instruct his students.
Recently Hodge, Chair of the Legal Studies department at the Fox School of Business, turned to web-conferencing platform WebEx to bridge the geographic gap between his Business Law students at Temple University and a prominent guest speaker.
CNN Chief Product Officer Alex Wellen virtually addressed Hodge’s students from New York City during a March 31 class session.
As a guest speaker in Hodge’s course, Wellen discussed creative career paths for those with a law degree. Wellen, LAW ’97, served as a teaching assistant under Hodge while pursuing his graduate degree at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law.
“A law degree teaches you how to think outside of the box. Alex is a classic example of that principle,” Hodge said. “I wanted to show students that having a law degree can be a stepping stone for a number of career paths outside of practicing traditional law.”
Before joining CNN, Wellen produced and co-hosted an Emmy Award-winning television series, Cybercrime, which aired on TechTV. Cybercrime was the first investigative TV series devoted to covering high-tech crime. Wellen told students that, in his youth, he was fascinated by the thought of inventing new products. His childhood passion is now a reality, he said. In his current role, Wellen develops new products for CNN’s mobile, web, video, TV, data and emerging platforms and oversees the global business operations for CNN’s digital platforms.
“It’s important to analyze how people are getting news now and how they will retrieve it in the future,” Wellen told Hodge’s class. “It’s my job to figure all of that out and understand how we can make a business out of it and create good journalism.”
CNN is widely regarded as one of the top cable news networks, responsible for delivering breaking news from across the globe. Thusly, students asked Wellen questions relating to the importance of being first to break a story. Social media, Wellen said, has changed the game, in regard to how quickly people expect to receive news.
“It’s more important to be right than be first,” said Wellen. “Social media allows us to connect with people from across the planet and receive news from first hand witnesses. So it’s extremely important to confirm details before we release information, just like in law.”
Wellen challenged Hodge’s students to view a law degree in a creative way. When starting out in the industry, Wellen said he hadn’t considered a career in journalism.
“You never know who you will meet along your professional journey that will help you get in the door,” Wellen said. “I’ve had great champions in my life that have opened my mind up and taught me how to look at my life untraditionally and to always be open to new experiences.”
Somewhat like Hodge’s innovative methods for bringing elite guest speakers to his students in a Philadelphia classroom.
Toward the end of an academic semester, students traditionally prepare to take final exams. However, students enrolled in Dr. Crystal Harold’s course at the Fox School of Business are undertaking projects centered on service and improving relationships in the Philadelphia community.
While offered at Fox, the course, titled The Leadership Experience: Leading Yourself, Leading Change, Leading Communities, is open to all honors students at Temple University.
Harold, an Associate Professor of Human Resource Management at Fox, said she created the human resource honors elective three years ago to help students learn the process of leading by organizing events that benefit the community. The course also focuses on reflection, assessment, and development on the core skill sets required of effective leaders. Throughout the semester, students are asked to identify their strengths and weaknesses as leaders in order to gain insight into their leadership evolution.
“I chose to have students focus their efforts on organizing a charitable or community-focused event for a couple of reasons,” Harold said. “First, the community aspect helps the students develop a greater appreciation for the community in which Temple University operates. Second, there is a growing interest among this generation of students engaging in social responsibility and community activism. This project not only teaches valuable lessons about both leadership and followership, but also appeals to the students’ desires to help.”
The student-led events include an April 17 charity 4-on-4 basketball tournament, to raise money for the Family Memorial Trust Fund of fallen Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III, who was killed March 5 in the line of duty.
“After hearing of the tragic passing of Officer Wilson, we decided to hold this event in order to provide his family with as much financial support as possible,” said Cameran Alavi, a senior mathematical economics major. “It’s a chance for us to come together and support a worthy cause, as well as honor the life of a great man who was loved by everyone he knew.”
Another group organized a Philly Block Clean-Up for April 18. Kevin Carpenter, an environmental science and biology double-major, said his group decided to focus on an event geared toward the improvement of environmental needs in the surrounding Temple University community.
“Having pride in the neighborhood, even though a lot of students aren’t permanent residents, is extremely important,” he said. “Making an environmental impact, helping the community at large and being able to connect with Philadelphia residents through environmental action is a great feeling.”
One group decided against hosting an event, and instead partnered with the People’s Paper Co-Op and Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) over the course of the Spring 2015 semester. People’s Paper Co-Op and PLSE offer free expungement clinics for those in the Philadelphia community who wish to clean up their criminal records and learn viable skills, like public-speaking or how to expand upon their professional networks, to help them re-enter the workforce. After sitting in on the clinics, group members will present their suggested areas of improvement on how to further develop the expungement program to the leadership of both the Co-Op and PLSE.
“One hardship of the criminal justice system is the challenge of re-entry for individuals trying to restart their lives,” said Jacob Himes, a junior double-majoring in Italian and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies. “Our group attends each clinic, volunteers and looks for avenues of improvement in the program.”
Fox School junior Sarika Manavalan’s group assembled an April 19 Bookdrive Benefit Concert, to benefit Treehouse Books. Treehouse Books is a non-profit organization in North Philadelphia that serves youth in the community by giving children the opportunity to enhance their literary skills by focusing on the importance of reading. The entry fee for the event is one children’s book, or a monetary donation in lieu of one.
Manavalan said Harold’s course has provided countless intangible lessons.
“You can learn about leadership skills in the classroom but it’s really when you work hands on with other people that you develop them,” said Manavalan, who is double-majoring in Marketing and Management Information Systems (MIS) at Fox. “Whether or not our events are successful, it’s more about creating your event from scratch and learning how to work with non-profit organizations and finding ways to benefit the community.”
Scheduled Event List
4-on-4 Basketball Tournament (benefitting the Officer Robert Wilson III Family Memorial Trust Fund)
Friday, April 17, 6-9 p.m.
Cost: $20 registration fee per team
Location: Pearson Hall Courts (3rd Floor), Temple University
Contact: Cameran Alavi, email@example.com
Bookdrive Benefit Concert (benefitting Treehouse Books)
Sunday, April 19, 7-8:30 p.m.
There’s a crucial strategy in online advertising that could revolutionize the way marketing agencies target online consumers, according to Fox School of Business researcher.
Dr. Xueming Luo studied how the strategy of competitor-poaching in online advertising influences consumer behavior. His most-recent publication on the topic was named Best Track Paper in Social Media & Digital Marketing at the 2015 American Marketing Association Winter Educator Conference Feb. 14 in San Antonio, Texas. It also received the conference’s honorable-mention distinction among all submissions.
Competitor-poaching in online advertising is responsible for why consumers can search the term “iPhone” using Google’s search engine, and corresponding ads for the Samsung Galaxy, Apple’s closest competitor, will appear, said Luo, Professor of Marketing, Strategy, and Management Information Systems. In his research, Luo uncovered that this strategy results in “clicks wasted,” as consumers glance over the competitor’s ads while remaining loyal to their initial preferences.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” Luo said. “You can increase the impression of the competitor’s brand, but you cannot get consumers to purchase the poaching brand.”
This effect is partly seen because online consumers often develop specific brand loyalties by word of mouth or from reviews that sites like Amazon and Google provide, he said. Firms, Luo found, seek to continually build brand equity and increase positive socialization around their products in order to thwart attempts at online poaching.
“Online poaching impresses non-loyal customers, but fails to get more sales conversion from customers who have high loyalty to the brand under attack” Luo said.
Asking a consumer why they want or prefer a certain product or brand, and how price influences their decisions, can help clarify what incentivizes shoppers, Luo said. Marketing agencies should then target their competitor’s keywords with advertisements that include discounts, he suggested, to capture consumer curiosity.
“To switch consumers from a brand, you need a deeper incentive, such as a 30-percent discount,” Luo said. “If you do this the wrong way, you’ll waste your money. That method can only engender clicks, but not sales conversion.”
This research, Luo said, is a part of his greater interest in how online marketing interweaves big-data analytics, mobile strategies, and consumer insights. As founder of the Global Center on Big Data in Mobile Analytics, which is housed at the Fox School, Luo is interested in investigating how big data gleaned from search engines reveal varying patterns in the evolving sphere of online ads and mobile targeting.
“This is a great way to outsmart competitors and connect customers for superior company performance,” Luo said.
Colorful Post-It notes lined the walls inside the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, each one containing intricate details on how to improve Philadelphia’s mass-transit system.
At the fifth-annual Fox DESIGNchallenge, a civic innovation challenge, students aimed to collaboratively transform their ideas into meaningful change in their community. This year’s objective focused upon identifying problem areas and generating feasible solutions in mass transit, car culture and the quality of urban life.
The event, organized by the Center for Design+Innovation (cD+i) at Temple University’s Fox School of Business and the Design for Social Impact Program at The University of the Arts, rendered two first-place teams.
“SEPTA is something everyone understands. It impacts everybody because it’s the network that moves the city,” said James Moustafellos, Associate Director of cD+i and an Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems at Fox. “The whole issue SEPTA is facing is, how do you have mass transit in a city that has a car culture?”
One of the winning teams provided methods for creating a more-enjoyable experience for Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) passengers. The team members, including four Fox School students and one from Temple’s Tyler School of Art, designed a SEPTA “Smart Shelter.” The enclosed bus stop would provide digital information boards indicating arrival times and routes, and a well-lit interior as a safety precaution.
Another first-place team, featuring three Fox students, centered its designs on revamping existing SEPTA technology. The team suggested creating a new payment system using smart-phone applications, as well as providing video boards on concourse levels to display arrival times and available capacity on incoming trains.
“The result was to form a less auto-centric future for the city,” Moustafellos said. “A lot of the students’ designs centered around convenience, quality and cleanliness of the system, safety and communication methods.”
The Fox DESIGNchallenge brought together 150 students from colleges and high schools in the region, forming 20 teams geared toward solving the problem. First- and second-place teams received cash prizes. In addition to receiving monthly vouchers from SEPTA, the proposals from top-three finishers may be displayed on video boards throughout SEPTA’s transit system.
In the lead-up to the Feb. 25 final presentations at the Kimmel Center, teams interviewed civic, business and community leaders at a networking roundtable discussion. Then, they researched areas of interest, identified community problems and opportunities and ultimately complied their work to assemble design solutions that are humanly feasible and economically satisfying.
According to the American Public Transportation Association, Philadelphians could save an average of $12,000 per year by eliminating one car or by using public transportation more frequently.
“This is more than just a fun exercise,” Moustafellos said. “It’s really about experiential learning at its best. It’s about civic engagement. You become much more aware of the place you live in, its issues and how you can become an active participant in your society and make a change.”
“Design is much more than just look and feel nowadays,” said Dr. Youngjin Yoo, the Harry A. Cochran Professor of Management Information Systems and the Director of cD+i. “Companies like Apple, Samsung, IBM and P&G have shown us that design must be embraced as core strategic capability of a company, not just an afterthought. The DESIGNchallenge is an important component of the Fox MBA program. This gives a first-hand, real-life experience of designing solutions for complex business problems.”
The Fox DESIGNchallenge was funded in part by The Knight Foundation and the U.S. Economic Development Agency, through support of Temple’s Urban Apps and Maps Studios.
The Fox School of Business at Temple University has been awarded reaccreditation by AACSB International, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Earning AACSB accreditation is considered the hallmark of excellence in business education, and has been earned by less than five percent of the world’s business programs. Today, there are 727 business schools in 48 countries and territories that maintain AACSB accreditation. Accredited institutions are subject to reaccreditation on five-year cycles.
The Fox School has been continuously accredited by AACSB International since 1934.
“Maintaining accreditation with AACSB is a difficult task, amid the desire for constant improvement and the challenge of separating yourself from the competition,” said Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat. “The AACSB review team, at the conclusion of their visit, used the term ‘best in class’ to reference what we do at the Fox School. It was quite rewarding to hear those words, as they demonstrate our commitment to delivering globally recognized business education and premier management training.”
In its report, AACSB’s review team lauded many areas at the Fox School as “distinguishing characteristics.” The team pointed to Fox’s intellectual contributions and research-active faculty, as well as a highly professional and engaged staff as points of strength.
Specifically, the AACSB team highlighted the Center for Student Professional Development, calling it “a hallmark of the school” for “equipping its students with the tools and knowledge necessary to set themselves apart from the competition” in the job-placement sector. Fox’s online programs, including the No. 1-ranked Online MBA, “are growing into a scalable model that ensures quality,” the team wrote in its report. A school-wide entrepreneurial culture and the redesigned curriculum of the Global MBA program were other areas of strength praised by AACSB.
“AACSB’s review team emphasized the engagement of our students, faculty and alumni, our never-ending pursuit of innovation and our impact in academia and industry,” Porat said. “They commended us for supporting a culture of learning and a commitment to leadership and professional development.”
Established in 1918, the Fox School of Business has a distinguished tradition of preparing business leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs for successful careers. The Fox School offers BBA, MBA Executive MBA, MBA/MS, MS and PhD programs on campuses throughout the region and around the world. It is the most comprehensive business school in the Philadelphia region and is home to more than 7,500 students, 195 full-time faculty, and more than 60,000 alumni worldwide.
To learn more about the Fox School of Business, visit fox.temple.edu. To learn more about AACSB International accreditation, visit the accreditation section of the AACSB International Web site at http://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/.
Temple University’s Fox School of Business will honor three top technology leaders at its 15th annual Information Technology Awards Tuesday, April 14.
Fox School’s nationally ranked Department of Management Information Systems (MIS) and the Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT) organize this premier event for Greater Philadelphia’s technology community.
The honorees are:
- George Llado, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Alexion, will receive the Fox IT Leader Award, for his leadership in the use and development of IT in business.
- Jeff Mango, Vice President of Total Experience in Verizon’s marketing organization, will receive the Fox IT Innovator Award, for his innovation in applying technology and insights to create business opportunities.
- Dinesh R. Desai, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Emtec, will receive the Fox IT Award for Distinguished Alumni, for his work in the IT field and contributions to the community, industry and Temple.
“As innovators, executives and industry leaders, George, Dinesh and Jeff have excelled in a rapidly changing IT landscape,” said Fox School of Business Dean M. Moshe Porat. “In doing so, they carry on a proud and rich tradition of excellence displayed by past Fox IT Award winners, who will serve as models for our students.”
Llado is responsible for leading Alexion’s Global IT function, during a time of rapid expansion and focusing on initiatives that enable Alexion to serve more patients around the world, he and his global team develop and implement enterprise-level business applications and infrastructure, expand ERP implementation, manage information security, deliver new analytics tools, and design and deploy systems. He serves on the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Board and the Temple Fox IT Advisory Board.
Mango and his team leverage social and digital media insights across Verizon’s business units in order to enhance the overall end-to-end customer experience and increase operational efficiency. Targeted information and solutions help drive improvements in customer experience and loyalty, which increases revenue and reduces operating costs throughout the business. Previously he led the customer and business intelligence organization (CBI) that was the first of its kind.
Desai earned an MBA from the Fox School in 1978. After graduation, he spent 12 years with American Can and Arco Chemical in various management positions. He went on to become President, CEO, Co-Chairman and an owner of Western Sky Industries and then Chairman and CEO of DARR Global Holdings, Inc., a management consulting firm. Desai has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Enterprise Center, a Nonprofit Organization.
“In a world increasingly dominated by digital business models, the 2015 Fox School IT Award recipients are true role models for MIS students, who are learning digital business innovation and how to lead revenue growth in a digital economy,” said Dr. Munir Mandviwalla, founding Chair of the MIS Department.
Recipients are nominated and selected by a committee comprised of senior leadership at Fox, the Fox IT Advisory Board, and previous recipients.
The Fox School’s MIS department, ranked No. 1 in the world for research, in the top 15 nationally for undergraduate programs, and in the top 20 for graduate programs, is a worldwide leader in transformative research and teaching in the design, use, and effects of information technology. IBIT integrates industry perspectives with academic research expertise to create forums for generating and exchanging best practices.
For more information on the annual Fox IT Awards, visit http://ibit.temple.edu/itawards
Overlooking the Center City from the top floor of Alter Hall, marketing doctoral students and faculty from colleges and universities in the Mid-Atlantic region gathered as part of the Fox School of Business’ third-annual Mid-Atlantic Doctoral Symposium (MADS).
PhD students from Rutgers University, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Fox School joined distinguished faculty from the region to discuss burgeoning research on big data analytics, marketing communications, consumer behavior and more at the day-long event, held March 27.
“It’s great for faculty and doctoral students to come together and learn,” said Andy Reinaker, a fourth-year doctoral candidate at the Fox School, who helped co-coordinate the event.
The impetus of former Fox PhD student Mike Obal, now a marketing professor at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, helped spur the event’s creation three years ago. The Mid-Atlantic Doctoral Symposium has seen a steady rise in attendance, as researchers have shown an interest in networking with others in their field.
To expose the attendees to the diverse interests in the room, students from myriad universities presented their latest research throughout the day to the larger group. Trading places with the student researchers, the faculty members in attendance also hosted panels on transitioning from doctoral studies to professorships, as well as lessons they had learned from years of research.
In addition to the presentations, students and faculty were invited to network with one another. Going beyond discovering common interests, students and faculty were encouraged to consider chances for collaboration and foster relationships that cross state and university lines.
“Because it’s such a small group, it’s a great place to have these types of conversations. We build the day for that to happen,” said Lindsay Clark, Assistant Director of Special Projects in the Office of Research, Doctoral Programs, and Strategic Initiatives at the Fox School.
In his opening remarks, Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat reflected upon the opportunities the Mid-Atlantic Doctoral Symposium presents to students from colleges and universities located from Connecticut to North Carolina.
“Beyond our distinguished guest speakers, this symposium affords everyone here a chance to develop both research and social relationships that will foster the success of your future projects,” Porat said in his address.
Echoing Porat’s sentiments was Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, Associate Dean of Doctoral Programs and Chief Research Officer for the Fox School.
“It is my pleasure to continue to support this event,” Pavlou said. “We pride ourselves on the successes and achievements of all of our students in their academics and future careers.”
Tyrha Lindsey-Warren, a PhD candidate from Rutgers University interested in marketing communications, who has attended the symposium since in its inaugural year, said she returns to the event annually “because of the intimacy and the environment created. It’s not stuffy, and you feel comfortable.”
Keynote speaker Dr. David Griffith, of Lehigh University, agreed that the experience at the Mid-Atlantic Doctoral Symposium is unique.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for doctoral students to learn about what it takes to be successful,” Griffith said. “It’s becoming a very premier event.”
As the newest recruit to the Philadelphia Phillies’ Ballgirls team, Maziarz is stepping up to the plate as one of 24 young women entrusted with scoping out foul balls during Phillies games in the 2015 season. She’ll also serve as a team ambassador in public appearances.
A junior Marketing major and minor in Management Information Systems (MIS) from Bucks County, Pa., Maziarz said she’s wanted to join the Phillies Ballgirls since high school. When she heard in October that the Major League Baseball team was recruiting for the upcoming season, she jumped at the opportunity to move from the bleachers to the field.
“I play intramural softball at Temple,” Maziarz said. “I’ve always been a big fan of baseball, specifically the Phillies. I’ve always loved the atmosphere at the ballpark.”
Showing off the hitting and fielding skills she honed in a four-year high school varsity softball playing career, Maziarz stood out among the 70 girls vying for a position. Coupling her ability with her interpersonal skills and warm personality, Maziarz was chosen as one of 13 rookies with the Phillies Ballgirls.
Maziarz will shadow one of 11 veteran Phillies Ballgirls for the first four games before being cleared for duty. She said the other Phillies Ballgirls take their responsibilities seriously and understand how one wrong move could impact the game.
“You have to be athletic and agile to field the ball cleanly,” Maziarz said. “You don’t want to pick up a fair ball. You have to be constantly paying attention.”
The Phillies Ballgirls are the face of the team and make 150 off-field appearances, including TV and radio interviews, school visits and charity events. Maziarz volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House Charity phone bank while the Phillies were in spring training. She will also aid the Phillies’ sustainability effort during the team’s Red Goes Green promotion April 22.
“The Ballgirls do so much more than just participate in the games,” Maziarz said. “They’re really active in the community and I love that.”
Though the Phillies Ballgirls commit to approximately 20 hours during game weeks, Maziarz remains dedicated to her schoolwork. Drawn to the Fox School for its reputation, Maziarz found her niche as a Marketing major. She’s taking 18 credits of coursework in the Spring 2015 semester, and she’s a member of the American Marketing Association student professional organization. She said her eventual goal is to break into the sports marketing industry.
“It’s been a great experience in Fox,” said Maziarz, who will remain with the Phillies Ballgirls through the 2016 season. “The courses are very challenging, but it helps keep me focused.”
Marziarz, one of the youngest Phillies Ballgirls, believes a great advantage of her position with the team is the potential to influence young girls.
“I’ve set goals for myself and I think young girls can learn from that,” the 21-year-old said. “It’s important for young girls to set goals and go after them because they can achieve them.”
The Online MBA program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business continues to receive acclaim.
In January, the Fox Online MBA received a No. 1 national ranking by U.S. News & World Report. Two months later, the program has been recognized as the sixth-best program in the world, according to QS TopMBA.
Fox’s program jumped six places, from No. 11 in QS TopMBA’s 2014 report to No. 6 in this year’s ranking, which was released March 26.
The QS TopMBA Distance/Online MBA ranking is said to be the first global ranking of distance and online MBA programs. The survey, which is primarily reputation-based, collects feedback from employers of the online MBA students they recruit. QS uses 18 metrics to arrive at its rankings, including: AACSB accreditation; work experience; completion rate; diversity; faculty-to-student ratio; and average GMAT scores, among others.
“The Fox Online MBA connects cutting-edge technology and an accredited, high-impact curriculum with an internationally recognized faculty to foster a dynamic learning community,” said Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat. “I am pleased that U.S. News & World Report has recognized our Online MBA program as the best in the country. Our Online and Digital Learning team continues to deliver the best advancements in technology to a quality, online-format education.”
“Both domestically and globally, the demand for a high-quality, comprehensive online business education is soaring, and I am proud that the Fox School continues to be recognized as a leader in this arena,” said Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat. “Our Online and Digital Learning team continue to set the bar for innovation, accessibility and rigor in an online MBA program.”
In the Fox Online MBA program, which first launched in Fall 2009, students benefit from a flexible curriculum carousel with multiple entry points. The Fox School’s Online MBA program launches with a weeklong residency at Temple University’s Main Campus in Philadelphia. The residency features a leadership course, networking, team building, professional development and special events. Each subsequent online course is delivered one at a time over four weeks, and the program can be completed in as quickly as 20 months.
The program employs a flipped-classroom approach, a 24/7, on-demand format that allows students to learn content at their leisure and collaborate with their peers and professors through digital dialogue. Then, in an integrated, synchronous online classroom setting, they are able to put what they have learned into practice.
Fox School’s Video Vault, a collection of more than 1,400 academic videos produced by Fox faculty, is a vital resource of the program. The Video Vault features a searchable archive with HD-quality, mobile-friendly, transcribed videos that are engaging for the student.
To learn more about the Fox School’s Online MBA program, visit fox.temple.edu/omba.
And instead of vacation, they opted for preparation.
The group’s discipline paid off. Five members of Temple University’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) chapter comprised the team that won first place in the SHRM East Division Undergraduate Case Competition and Career Summit.
This marked the first time the Fox School had fielded a team for the regional case competition, which was held March 20-21 in Baltimore. Fox’s team included juniors Megan Rybak, Ryan Colomy, Connor McNamee and James Harootunian, and senior Nicole Bieri.
“We are extremely proud of this inaugural SHRM case competition student team, for preparing so diligently and then winning this prestigious competition,” said Dr. Deanna Geddes, Chair of Fox’s Human Resource Management department. “They are impressive ambassadors for our undergraduate HRM program.”
Fox’s SHRM team, one of 17 in the competition, received its case March 1, on the first day of Temple University’s spring break. The members were required to submit a two-page executive summary and the PowerPoint slides to their presentation only three days later, a deadline that significantly cut into their spring-break downtime.
“We spent the majority of our break in a conference room, pouring over the case information,” McNamee said.
“The case was a small non-profit hospital that was having challenges with its talent-development function,” Harootunian said. “We argued that there was a problem with who was responsible for overseeing employees’ long-term growth. While it’s important for the managers of each division to have a hand in it, we made a case that HR, the employees and the hospital should all factor into the process.”
Lacking case competition experience, the team delivered its presentation on four occasions at the Fox School in the days leading up to the summit. In doing so, the members hoped to elicit genuine questions from a fresh audience, in order to replicate the queries they might face from a judging panel.
In Baltimore, the Fox SHRM team made its 15-minute, first-round presentation March 21. The members were informed later that day that they had been selected as one of two teams to advance to the next day’s final round.
“Once we learned we were one of the finalists, to us, that felt like we won,” said Rybak, the team’s captain. “Making the final round was a bigger achievement than we had expected. We were new to the competition. I think that helped us remain calm in our second presentation, which was in front of a larger group and in a larger room.”
Each of the Fox SHRM team’s five members earned complimentary registration to the 2015 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition, to be held June 28-July 1, in Las Vegas, Nev., as well as a $2,500 stipend to cover most of the team’s travel expenses for the Baltimore-based case competition.
More importantly, Fox’s SHRM team received sterling feedback from the final-round judges, who lauded the team’s use of metrics to support its analysis. Judges also cited impressive business communication skills, professionalism, and presentation fluidity. After the announcement of their win, a healthcare-industry professional approached the team seeking a future collaboration.
“One gentleman even gave us his business card and asked us if we could help his hospital make similar improvements to their HR practices,” Colomy said.
“Our excellent Temple educations showed and, at that moment, I was never more proud to represent the Fox School,” Bieri said. “We could not have done this without the support of the other Temple students who attended the conference, and our two advisors, Dr. Debra Casey and Dr. Andrea Lopez, who supported us the whole way.”
Temple’s nationally recognized SHRM chapter is one of 24 student-professional organizations at Fox. The group has been recognized previously as one of SHRM’s top-10 chapters nationally, and, in 2013-14, receives the national organization’s Outstanding Chapter Award.
The case championship is not the first notable distinction earned by the chapter, and it likely won’t be the last.
At Temple University’s Ritter Hall Annex, the elevator bay is abuzz with students and staff members talking about the building’s newest addition: Rad Dish Co-Op Café. The vegetarian, cash-only eatery has become a hotspot for foodies looking for locally sourced meals.
Keeping an eye on a midday lunch rush, Lauren Troop, Rad Dish co-founder and its head of outreach, said her involvement in the café inspired her transfer into the Fox School of Business.
“Through this project, I was able to see that you can use business to solve problems like these and be a leader in your community,” said Troop, a junior entrepreneurship major.
Troop and fellow Fox School student Trevor Southworth are among the Temple students who are behind the primary operations and day-to-day management of Rad Dish Co-Op Café.
Troop said she’s always been fascinated by eating habits and the sustainability of the slow-food movement, which promotes the use of a local ecosystem to support traditional meals. It wasn’t until Troop opened Rad Dish in January and started her courses at the Fox School in Fall 2014 that she saw how to turn her interests into a business.
“I took a class that explored innovation through different business plans and Rad Dish’s business plan, being a co-op, is so unique,” Troop said.
Utilizing skills gleaned from her Marketing and Human Resource courses, Troop said she began to problem-solve issues of promotion and business management while working to maintain the idea of opening a locally sourced restaurant at Temple.
Rad Dish Café, as a co-op, embraces a purely democratic leadership that allows all students equal voting rights, and invites students and community members to buy into the co-op for $25, which affords them a 10-percent discount on purchases and voting privileges in the co-op.
Among the committee leaders is Trevor Southworth, who not only supports Rad Dish’s cause, but also views the venture as an ideal application for the skills he’s learning in the Fox School.
“I’m in Cost Analysis right now and that’s everything I do for Rad Dish,” said Southworth, a sophomore accounting major at the Fox School.
Rad Dish is primarily funded by seed money provided by Temple University’s Office of Sustainability. Southworth, who heads Rad Dish’s finance committee, focuses on creating a financial plan that allows the restaurant to meet and exceed overhead costs and saving to pay back the seed funding within five years. Southworth and Troop also worked to launch an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that raised $2,000. The idea came from alumna Rachel Voluck, FOX ’14, the former president of Fox School student professional organization Net Impact, a responsible business coalition.
Prior to its February soft opening, Rad Dish worked with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute’s (IEI) Living Learning Community to plan the grand opening and formulate outreach programs. Troop also said she plans to work with Sustainable Marketing business students to pitch the co-op model, and hopes to resume a series of independent studies available through the Fox School to get students involved.
“This semester we hope to create those relationships and plan out more organized internships,” Troop said. “A big thing for us is collaboration between colleges.”
Troop and Southworth have also reached out to Dylan Baird, FOX ’13. The alumnus, who took second place at the IEI’s 2010 Be Your Own Boss Bowl, a university-wide business plan competition, launched Philly Foodworks, an aggregator for local farms to sell their crops locally. Rad Dish uses Baird’s community-sourced agriculture delivery service as a drop-off/pick-up zone for the café’s food stores. And the café’s breads and pastries are courtesy of Lauren Yaghoobian, FOX ’01, who launched Northeast Philadelphia-based Wildflour Bakery with her husband, Nishan, shortly after graduating.
“We would use Temple alumni over anyone else because they get so excited about it,” Southworth said. “It’s natural networking and I’ve learned a lot.”
Both Troop and Southworth look forward to continuing their business educations and applying their skills to Rad Dish’s everyday operation.
“I want to learn these news skills and have this business succeed,” Troop said. “I’m excited to continue collaboration between a variety of Temple schools and colleges.”