In her career as a healthcare administrator, Dr. Johana Vanegas had never worked closely with designers, programmers, and artists – until the second week of November, that is.
Invited to attend the Independence/Jefferson Health Hack, a weekend event focusing on improving the access to and delivery of healthcare, Vanegas and her team delivered a winning presentation in one of the event’s three tracks. She and her teammates conceived of a six-sided device that could record the emotional states of patients and, as a result, reduce hospital readmissions.
“Patients don’t want to necessarily enter data into a smartphone app and, to be honest, not every patient has a smartphone,” said Vanegas, a student enrolled in the Part-time MBA program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. “That’s what makes CareCube so unique.”
The Director of International Patient Access at Philadelphia’s Fox Chase Cancer Center Vanegas and her teammates designed CareCube. The device offers its user the opportunity to answer one basic question – for example, “How are you feeling?” – six different ways. Then, the patient’s responses are collected and sent to a database where, over time, trends in mental state, pain tolerance, range of motion, and adherence to medication, for example, can be further analyzed. The key to CareCube, Vanegas said, is that there are many applications on which it could be effective.
“It’s the type of device you might have for an elderly and otherwise healthy parent living at home, or for someone in a nursing home, or for someone who was recently discharged from the hospital,” said Vanegas, adding that while a USB cord powered the device’s prototype, future renderings of CareCube will be wireless. Vanegas said CareCube also will include voice-recording capabilities to match the tracked response with related intimation provided by the patient.
The Health Hack winnings accrued by Vanegas and her team included: $5,000 in cash; access to Microsoft BizSpark, which offers software and services for start-ups; dedicated space at the Independence Innovation Center; and memberships to NextFab, a collaborating workspace for Philadelphia innovators. Winners from each track also will share lunch with Independence Blue Cross executives Brian Lobley, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Consumer Business, and Terry Booker, Vice President of Corporate Development and Innovation.
Health Hack, held Nov. 13-15 at Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and sponsored by Independence Blue Cross, gathered 250 professionals, from artists, web developers, and engineers, to healthcare professionals, patients, and students, to brainstorm solutions to today’s greatest healthcare challenges. The event’s participants were tasked with developing solutions in one of three tracks: the reduction of readmissions, wearables, and drone-based healthcare delivery.
“It was a terrific event and I was very fortunate to have been invited to attend and participate,” said Vanegas, who was encouraged to apply for Health Hack by James Moustafellos, Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems at the Fox School, to apply the business design and innovation skills she learned in his course, Design Inquiry and Research.
Vanegas is slated to complete her Fox MBA in May 2016.
“It’s a difficult task, managing a full-time career, the pursuit of your MBA and your family,” she said, “but it’s incredibly rewarding, and it’s setting a good example for my two daughters. It says to them, ‘When you have an opportunity to do something special, you should take it.’”
Taylor Hildebrand, a sophomore accounting major at the Fox School of Business, has been named a recipient of the 2015-16 American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Foundation Two-Year Transfer Scholarship.
Hildebrand is one of 15 students who will receive a $3,000 scholarship. AICPA received more than 700 applications nationally for the AICPA Foundation Two-Year Transfer Scholarship, which is awarded to students at two-year colleges who wish to study accounting upon their transfer to four-year colleges or universities.
A minimum grade-point average of 3.0 and at least 30 college credit hours are required of all applicants. The scholarship also requires eight hours per semester of service promoting the accounting profession. Hildebrand hopes to do so at an information table at Fox’s Alter Hall.
“The AICPA is committed to building the certified public accountant pipeline by drawing from a pool of the best and brightest from diverse paths to the profession,” said Joanne Fiore, AICPA Vice President of Professional Media, Pathways and Inclusion.
Hildebrand, a native of Lebanon County, Pa., enrolled at the Fox School of Business for the Fall 2015 semester. She had been studying at Harrisburg Area Community College, in Harrisburg, Pa.
“Fox was the best business school out of all the colleges I was considering,” she said.
Hildebrand first gained an interest in accounting after discussing the career choice with her uncle, who is an accountant. For her scholarship application, she prepared an essay that shared her plans in the future as an accountant.
“I want to have an internship first to explore the career through audit and tax and see what I like best,” Hildebrand said. “Eventually, I want to apply business knowledge to create my own business.”
In her first semester at Fox, Hildebrand joined the student-professional organization Beta Alpha Psi, Temple’s chapter of the scholastic and professional fraternity dedicated to financial information students.
The AICPA Foundation Two-Year Transfer Scholarship is part of the AICPA’s Legacy Scholars program, which was created in 2011 to help students develop the necessary skills for successful careers in accounting. Visit AICPA’s website for more information on this and other scholarships.
Caitlyn Jenner identifies as transgender. Tiger Woods identifies as “Cablinasian,” a term he created.
What do the television personality and champion golfer have in common? Their racial and gender identities are not easily defined.
Like Jenner and Woods, many Americans can relate. A researcher at Temple University’s Fox School of Business posits that employment laws in the American legal system be restructured to offer civil-liberties protections for citizens who face identity discrimination.
“This isn’t a race or a gender issue. It’s an identity issue,” said Leora Eisenstadt, an Assistant Professor in Fox’s Legal Studies in Business department. “Society has changed, but our laws and legal formulas often look at individuals as members of categories into which a person can fit neatly. Today, there is no such purity. That doesn’t exist, which demonstrates how our laws are out of step with reality.”
Eisenstadt’s research points to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects employees from discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. She said Title VII, however, does not always or easily protect against the discrimination of multiracial or transgender individuals. Courts are often baffled by these fluid identities, she said, sometimes rejecting the cases on those grounds and, other times, ignoring the worker’s actual identity to make the legal formula work.
“Cases have been thrown out of court because the plaintiffs did not fit into a box,” Eisenstadt said. “Unfortunately, according to many courts, if you can’t prove you are a member of a single protected class, your case will not reach a jury. As a result, the law has often prompted individuals to sacrifice part of their identity in order to fit into a box and have their case heard.”
And this confusion in the courts has a negative impact on employers and employees alike, since a lack of clarity in the courts can lead to more difficult employment decisions, an inability to effectively train management and human resources professionals, and litigation that eats up precious resources.
In her research, Eisenstadt cites the United States Census and Facebook as examples of society being ahead of the courts. In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau implemented a system in which it asked Census respondents to “check all that apply” in regard to the races with which they identify. She also called attention to Facebook. This year, the social media platform began offering its 189 million U.S. users more than 50 gender-identity options.
What these prove, Eisenstadt said, is that people cannot always be categorized so easily.
“In employment discrimination law, workers need to prove that they are a part of a protected class in order to bring a discrimination suit,” she said. “In theory, everyone is a member of a protected class. But in society today, those categories are porous and fluid. Not everybody has a single race or a gender. You might have multiple races or multiple genders or you might reject that categorization altogether.”
The American Business Law Journal recently published Eisenstadt’s theoretical research paper, titled, “Fluid Identity Discrimination.”
Eisenstadt’s research centers on employment discrimination as it relates to race and gender. In 2012, she published a theoretical research paper, titled, “The N-Word at Work: Contextualizing Language in the Workplace,” in the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law. That paper examined the power of language, and who – based on identity – was permitted to use particular words in the workplace.
“We are moving toward an age of fluid identities, if we aren’t there already, and our employment laws have not caught up,” Eisenstadt said.
The Association for Information Systems (AIS) has recognized its affiliated student chapter at Temple University’s Fox School of Business with the Distinguished Chapter Award, naming it one of the top-four student chapters in the country.
In addition to the recognition, Temple AIS will receive $250 to further its aspirations as a student organization. AIS will recognize Temple’s chapter at the 2015 International Conference on Information Systems Dec. 13-16, in Fort Worth, Texas, and again at the AIS Student Chapter Leadership Conference April 1-3, 2016, in Bloomington, Ill.
Temple AIS has repeatedly received distinction as an elite national chapter in each year of its existence. In 2013, it was designated as AIS Chapter of the Year.
“Temple AIS is not only excelling within the Temple University community, but also on a national level,” said Dr. Munir Mandviwalla, Chair of the Fox School’s Management Information Systems department. “Earning recognition as a Distinguished Chapter demonstrates the sterling reputation of Temple AIS, and I could not be more proud of their achievements, both past and present.”
The Distinguished Chapter Award highlights a chapter’s excellence in the areas of emphasis: professional development, membership, careers in information systems, community service, fundraising, and communications.
“This recognition is a testament to our national reputation, and a result of the hard work from previous officer teams,” said Temple AIS President Eric Koeck, a senior studying Management Information Systems at the Fox School. “We look forward to continuing this tradition as we work toward earning the Chapter of the Year award.”
The award recognizes the “best of the best” from 70 different chapters across the country. Temple’s chapter joins those from the University of Alabama and the University of Montana as chapters that are improving the professional networks of students engaged in the Information Systems degree program, the association said in a statement.
“AIS takes immense pride in recognizing the distinguished scholars who make up our community, and ultimately, contribute to the success of the field,” said AIS Vice President of Student Chapters James Parrish.
Founded in 1994 as a professional organization, AIS first launched student chapters in 2008. Each year, the association awards one chapter the honor of Chapter of the Year, and three others as Distinguished Chapters.
Entrepreneurship is a pillar at Temple University, and outsiders have taken notice.
The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine ranked the undergraduate Entrepreneurship program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business No. 8 in the country, a three-spot climb from the 2015 rankings. Fox’s graduate-level Entrepreneurship program also made the top-10. Its No. 10 ranking marked a six-spot improvement from last year.
Temple is one of five colleges and universities nationally to have been ranked within the top 10 at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and is the only college or university in the Greater Philadelphia region to be ranked by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. Temple University has appeared in each installment of the entrepreneurship rankings since 2006.
“We are proud to have been ranked once again as one of the nation’s premier institutions for teaching and practicing entrepreneurship,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School. “By emphasizing innovation, promoting small-business development, and preparing our students to think of themselves as entrepreneurs, we continue to drive innovation, economic growth, and job creation in the Philadelphia region and beyond. We look forward to further enhancing our programs in order to strengthen university-wide entrepreneurship.”
Added Temple University President Dr. Neil D. Theobald: “These rankings show that Temple University is upholding its commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. Across disciplines, and in all of our schools and colleges, we prepare students to be ‘real-world ready.’ We empower them to take charge of their futures and find success in fields that have not yet been invented.”
Published Nov. 10, The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine’s 2016 rankings recognize 25 undergraduate- and 25 graduate-level programs for excellence in entrepreneurship education. The rankings are based upon a large variety of quantitative and qualitative criteria, including the number of: entrepreneurship-specific courses offered; faculty who are also entrepreneurs and/or serve on the boards of new ventures; businesses started and funds raised by alumni; and entrepreneurship-focused activities, competitions, programs, clubs, and centers.
Temple University offers a portfolio of interdisciplinary programs to serve the various constituencies within the university and the region. These range from programs supporting incoming freshmen, like a General Education Course on Creativity & Organizational Innovation or the Innovate & Create Living Learning Community; those that support faculty scientists, like the TechConnect Workshop and the Graduate Certificate in Innovation and Technology Commercialization; and those that support the professional community in the region and abroad like the Master of Science in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship.
Through Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), the region’s oldest-such center, which is housed at the Fox School, the university conducts annual business plan competitions like the Innovative Idea Competition and the Be Your Own Boss Bowl® for students, faculty, staff, and alumni. With prizes exceeding $200,000, the Be Your Own Boss Bowl® is considered one of the most-lucrative and comprehensive business plan competitions in the nation. Another widely accessible entrepreneurship program, Blackstone LaunchPad, is designed to support and mentor students regardless of major, experience, or discipline.
In the last four years, dating to the 2011-12 academic year, the Fox School of Business and Temple University have seen Entrepreneurship program enrollment increases of 380 and 220 percent at the graduate and undergraduate levels, respectively, according to Dr. Robert C. McNamee, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Fox and Managing Director of Temple’s IEI.
“Such dramatic increases would not have been possible without the dozens of faculty who champion entrepreneurship across the 18 schools and colleges at Temple University,” said McNamee.
IEI provides internship opportunities, business-planning workshops, seminars, mentoring and coaching, in addition to annual conferences in social, global, women’s and industry-specific entrepreneurship. Executive Director Ellen Weber and McNamee lead the entrepreneurship and innovation programs. IEI manages Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures, an independent organization that assists emerging technology-based companies in their effort to build sustainable businesses, and works closely with Robin Hood Ventures, a group of Philadelphia-area angel investors that focus on early-stage, high-growth companies.
Over the last four years the IEI has expanded its offerings to include: a Master of Science in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship; graduate certificates in both Innovation Strategy and Innovation & Technology Commercialization; MBA concentrations in both Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management; a General Education course in Creativity & Organizational Innovation; and an Entrepreneurial Living Learning Community. IEI, in partnership with the College of Engineering, launched a Master of Science in Engineering Management, and supported the creation of a Master of Science in BioInnovation in the College of Science & Technology as multiple ancillary supporting programs.
Visit The Princeton Review for complete rankings.
When he arrived at the podium at Temple University’s Mitten Hall, William A. “Bill” Graham stuck out his right hand.
To shake the hand of Fox School of Business Dean M. Moshe Porat? Well, not quite. Graham, after greeting Porat, had his heart set on clutching on a stuffed toy pig resting on the lectern.
The Fox School honored Graham as the recipient of the Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership, the highest honor conferred by the School, during a Nov. 5 dinner and reception. Graham is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Graham Company, a privately held and leading U.S. insurance and surety brokerage and consulting firm considered one of the largest in the nation based on revenue size.
The evening paid homage to Graham and one of his lifelong loves – pigs. Graham, whose office is decorated with pig paraphernalia, is said to hold the animal in high regard for its intelligence. Graham received a plush pig toy, along with Musser Award winner’s more-customary crystal owl statuette, from Porat and Warren V. “Pete” Musser upon reaching the podium to deliver his acceptance remarks.
“It’s a great honor to receive the Musser Award and be recognized by the Fox School and Temple University as one of the best business minds, not only in Philadelphia but in America,” Graham said.
CNBC anchor Tyler Mathisen, the event’s master of ceremonies, playfully addressed attendees in Pig Latin to kick off the evening. On stage, a safety inspector appeared and gave Mathisen an ultimatum about ensuring the safety of a nearby handrail – a play on Graham’s line of work. “Yes, Mr. Inspector. We’ll get right on that – when pigs fly,” Mathisen said, as a toy pig soared across Mitten Hall’s Great Court. A live potbelly pig, named Valentino, also made his way onto the stage to the crowd’s delight.
The Musser Awards dinner and reception gathers Philadelphia’s leading business executives under one roof. Past top honorees in attendance included Musser and Temple trustees Dennis Alter, Chairman Patrick J. O’Conner, and Daniel H. Polett.
Temple University President Neil D. Theobald reflected on the growing national and international profile of the Fox School, as well as Temple. He rattled off a few of Fox’s top rankings, before delivering one of Graham’s specific liking.
“Mr. Graham,” Dr. Theobald said, speaking directly to the evening’s honoree, “you should know that as Temple’s president, I have one main responsibility, and that is ensuring that our students have a truly excellence college experience. … Mr. Graham, you’d also be happy to know that our Risk Management and Insurance undergraduate program is rated No. 5 in the country.”
Beaming throughout the awards program was Graham, “an entrepreneur at heart, whose personal and professional methods always relate to attracting the best people, and delivering the best products and the best service,” Porat said.
Surrounded by close friends, family, and colleagues, Graham and his appreciation for only the best were popular subjects.
“One thing Bill did that was quite brilliant was he created a technical development department within his company,” said Lucille Carey, Vice President of Human Resources and Operations at The Graham Company. “That department has enabled us to hire people who lacked insurance experience and train them to be the very best.”
Added Kenneth Ewell, the President and Chief Operations Officer of The Graham Company: “Bill is the kind of man everyone wants to work for because he leads by example. I don’t think the Fox School of Business could have chosen a better-suited recipient for the Musser Award.”
Maybe when pigs fly.
Roughly 800,000 people flooded Philadelphia in late September for a visit from Pope Francis and the World Meeting of Families, a global gathering of Catholics.
So… now what?
An event jointly sponsored by Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) and Temple’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) considered that very question.
Gathering Philadelphia’s leading minds in tourism, international business, and government at its event, titled, “The World Meeting of Families is Gone: Now What?”, STHM and CIBER aimed to address how Philadelphia could leverage the international exposure and media focus it received from the World Meeting of Families in order to further its status as an elite host for future global events.
“This was our finest hour and it can be again,” said Pat Ciarrocchi, the event’s keynote speaker and a longtime Philadelphia news anchor who covered the World Meeting of Families.
“The World Meeting of Families brought Pope Francis to Philadelphia and, along with him, more than 15,000 reporters representing media outlets from around the world,” said Dr. Elizabeth H. Barber, STHM Associate Dean. “This event generated an unparalleled level of visibility to viewing audiences that wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to what Philadelphia has to offer. In order to best capitalize on the tourism opportunity created by the World Meeting of Families, we as a city will need to maintain the open dialogue we’re initiating today through this event.”
In examining the future of a post-Pope Francis Philadelphia, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) CEO and President Jack Ferguson nodded to the efforts by Desiree Peterkin Bell, director of communications for the Office of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, the Mayor’s Office, and Visit Philadelphia in building upon the city’s strengths.
“We can dissect this forever, but what we will learn is what works,” Ferguson said.
In the days and weeks following the WMOF, Ferguson said he observed how the event boosted the reputation of the city’s businesses, for how well they worked with a large influx of tourist traffic. This positive interaction, Ferguson said, won over consumers.
To do that, Meryl Levitz said she designed a faith-based marketing strategy that invited those looking for love and family with the pope to experience it in Center City, too.
“We watched, we listened, and we helped tell Philadelphia’s story,” said Levitz, CEO and President of Visit Philadelphia of the campaign that featured local catholic organizations, bible studies and family-friendly events.
For Brian Said, executive director of the Tourism Division of PHLCVB, Bell’s efforts to remove the walls between the pope and those wishing to see him resonated with Philadelphia’s foreign visitors. Accessibility to Pope Francis, according to Said, was what put Philadelphia on the map as a global city that is welcoming to all.
“We cannot arm-wrestle New York, and we cannot arm wrestle D.C.,” he said. “We have to work together to show Philadelphia is both safe and fun.”
Zabeth Teelucksingh, executive director for Global Philadelphia, looks forward to that “next great event,” as Ferguson called it. Global Philadelphia works to show foreign travelers the city’s significance as a birthplace of democracy and innovation. Philadelphia has the potential to be the next World Heritage City, which Teelucksingh said is a highly marketable title in countries looking to experience a quintessentially America city. Should Philadelphia become the next World Heritage City, it will enjoy increased property value, stature and economic gains, Teelucksingh said.
All of the event’s panelists agreed that the city’s next steps must be geared toward reminding the world that Philadelphia has successfully managed a world-class event once, and is capable of doing so yet again.
“No one else could have been at the helm of this event,” Bell said. “We’ve done big events and we do big events well. We’re on the map.”
It was barely 9 a.m. when Dr. Samuel D. Hodge halted his Oct. 27 lecture mid-sentence and smiled knowingly as his classroom was overrun with Temple University cheerleaders, Diamond Gem dancers, marching band members and mascot Hooter the Owl leading the Temple fight song.
“I told you to expect the unexpected,” said Hodge, Professor of Legal Studies at the Fox School of Business, to students scrambling for their smartphones to catch the excitement on camera.
Hodge’s Law in Society students, gathered in Alter Hall’s 274-seat auditorium, were made the subjects of the university’s second Pop-Up Pride event. (The first event, held Oct. 13, featured alumnus Nicolas Jimenez, FOX ’08.) The spirit squad surprises unsuspecting Temple students, faculty members, or alumni to provide a jolt of school spirit.
Hodge couldn’t wait for his students to see what he’d planned for them. He’d told them the cameras lingering around the room were just shooting promotional material for the university, and was pleased to realize they honestly had no idea.
“You really can’t find a better week to do this,” said Hodge, a football season-ticket holder, alluding to Temple’s matchup Oct. 31 with Notre Dame, a fellow nationally ranked team.
Shouting into the bullhorn, Pop-Up Pride squad leader and Engagement Coordinator for the Office of Alumni Relations Ray Smeriglio, SMC ’15, complimented Hodge’s dedication to Temple athletics and his unwavering school spirit.
“Why did we ambush your classroom?” Smeriglio said, throwing his arm around Hodge’s shoulders. “Because you’ve got one bomb professor.”
Hodge’s students smiled as they snapped photos with their smartphones before attempting to catch beaded necklaces, T-shirts and beach balls being thrown around the auditorium. Most were too shocked to speak.
Hodge laughed as he dismissed his students, sure his lecture couldn’t compete with the echoing sound of “Go T-U!” left in the Pop-Up Pride squad’s wake.
“This is part of what the college environment is about — fostering school spirit,” Hodge said. “You’re Temple now, and you’re Temple for the rest of your life.”
Brandon Study still remembers the oppressive sunshine beating down upon his back last summer. Study had been crouched atop a home in El Salvador as he applied the final bolt to a repaired rooftop.
Handiwork is just one element of Study’s plan.
The junior Entrepreneurship major at Temple University’s Fox School of Business is the co-founder of Into The Nations, a non-profit organization that seeks to empower artisans in developing countries.
During the summer of 2014, Study met Amparo del Carmen Valle Velis, an El Salvadoran hammock weaver. Study, a Littlestown, Pa., native who has worked in El Salvador on a volunteer-basis for four years, credits Amparo with inspiring him to create the business model for Into The Nations.
Study is an amateur photographer with an appreciation for artistry. He admits he was amazed more by Amparo’s life story than with the beauty her hand-woven hammocks.
“She has a second-grade education,” Study said. “El Salvador had a war when she was in grade school, so she was constantly getting pulled out of school. I wanted to create something that would help an individual. I don’t mind if the impact we have doesn’t grow exponentially, but as long as we can help one person in a huge way, that’s really all I care about.”
In The Nations uses a small team of volunteers to identify an artisan. Then the team alleviates the artisan’s pressing needs, like Amparo’s dilapidated roof, before they develop a business model to help the artist sustain his or her work and bring it to the market.
Study will visit El Salvador over an upcoming holiday break from the Fox School to discuss with Amparo his vision for her business model. He said he plans to develop a supply chain by sourcing materials, before setting up necessary distribution channels to sell her work both in the United States and in El Salvador.
“We plan to work with her for about a year, sell her hammocks on our e-commerce site for a year and then, after that, really allow her to take ownership over it,” Study said.
Study’s ability to create a business model, he said, stemmed from his experiences within the Fox School and last year’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl®. In BYOBB, a university-wide business-plan competition for students, faculty, staff, and alumni, one of Study’s ventures advanced to the finals.
“I would really not know where to start if I had not gone through some of the curriculum at Fox, as well as the BYOBB,” Study said.
Study entered the Be Your Own Boss Bowl® with his Fox mentor, senior Entrepreneurship major Tim Mounsey. Their now-dissolved business, Cycle Clothing Co., used non-exploitative production and zero-waste manufacturing through a producer in Cambodia. Mounsey said Study’s passion for social impact was visible as they worked together for the competition.
“Helping people and making sure people’s wellbeing comes first is important for him,” Mounsey said. “I think he’ll carry that through anything he does in his life, especially with Into The Nations.”
Mounsey and Study are working with a team to create an innovation-themed festival for the Spring 2016 semester that would collaborate with several schools and colleges at Temple University.
“I’ve found that when you are willing to learn about people and really invest in what they need and walk alongside them, it is more of an empowerment than an investment,” Study said of Into The Nations. “In business school at Fox and in entrepreneurship work, I’ve started to understand that empowerment can come through creating a business.”
When Philadelphia’s leading female journalists, restaurant owners, consultants, entrepreneurs, and student leaders gathered at Temple University’s Mitten Hall, they hardly expected they’d be blowing bubbles.
Laughing as the bubbles popped, the women embraced the obvious message: Be daring, no matter the setting.
At the 16th annual League for Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference, held Oct. 20, the Greater Philadelphia region’s top female innovators came together to share stories on their respective paths to success, and honored those who have reached professional pinnacles.
Co-founders of the League for Entrepreneurial Women Dr. Elizabeth H. Barber, Associate Dean of Temple’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management; and Betsy Leebron Tutelman, Temple’s Senior Vice Provost for Strategic Communications; with Ellen Weber, Executive Director of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), hosted the event.
Temple University Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Hai-Lung Dai introduced the event, complimenting the women on setting an example for his daughter as she enters college: “I can see her, a young mind, very eagerly trying to explore knowledge,” he said. “But she needs to build confidence and that’s where I defer to you.”
A packed room of women heard from keynote speaker Lu Ann Cahn, Director for Career Services at Temple’s School of Media and Communication. The face behind the bubbles, Cahn asked the women to think about how blowing bubbles felt. The overwhelming response was empowerment and freedom from judgment. Cahn, who spent 40 years in the broadcast news industry, including 27 with Philadelphia’s NBC10, was familiar with that feeling. After surviving breast cancer, Cahn found herself at odds with her career and challenged herself to try something new each day for a year. Her book, I Dare Me, documents her experiences with rediscovering her spark of individuality and confidence.
“No matter what you’ve accomplished, what you’ve survived, sometimes you forget who you are,” Cahn said. “The hardest first to do is a first that faces a fear.”
Like blowing bubbles, doing something that might be silly or might fail is how success was made, she said.
“I’m here to dare you to go on your own adventure,” Cahn said, as women shared their desire to attempt skydiving or take a day off. “You have to tap into your best self to have the confidence to move forward.”
Cahn welcomed the conference’s panel of female entrepreneurs to share how they dare.
For Brigitte Daniel, executive vice president of Wilco Electronic Systems, her dare was to succeed as one of only a few women in the cable industry. Daniel took over her father’s cable company, Wilco Electronic Systems, after completing law school. As the only cable company serving underprivileged areas, such as public housing, Daniel learned to avoid falling prey to those who sought to diminish her power. Her nonprofit, Mogulettes, promotes that same message to 19-to-24-year-old women entrepreneurs.
“When we’re talking about business, sometimes our voices can be muffled. That’s when we most need to be heard,” Daniel said. “It’s from our stories that we create connections.”
Nicole Marquis and Linda Lightman could relate. Marquis, a Philadelphia native, is the owner of vegan restaurant chain HipCityVeg, and is planning to expand to Washington, D.C. before taking her restaurant across the country. Lightman, founder of Linda’s Stuff, an online luxury consignment boutique, saw her business grew from a few items sold on eBay to a sudden success that allowed her husband to quit his job to join her company.
The League for Entrepreneurial Women’s conference also recognized three Temple alumnae for their pioneering spirit in entrepreneurship. Director of Entrepreneurial Services for Comcast NBCUniversal, Danielle Cohn, SMC ’95; Gearing Up Founder Kristin Gavin, CPA ’09; and Factor3 Consulting Founder, Anne Nelson, FOX ’80 were inducted into the League’s Hall of Fame.
In work settings, Nelson said she often found herself the lonely female voice in an all-male conversation. But, she said, what mattered was that she had spoken up and had expected others to listen.
“Temple taught me two very important things: Think pragmatically and think two steps ahead,” said Nelson, who was inducted by Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business.
Closing the conference, Weber spoke interview-style with Emily Bittenbender, Managing Partner of Bittenbender Construction, who reiterated that being the only woman in a professional field or setting could be daunting. Bittenbender said she was able to extract inspiration from male mentors, which helped her find her place as a woman in the construction industry.
Like an adult blowing bubbles, taking that first daring step requires the most courage.
Sandi Webster has always strived for self-improvement. That’s why she’s pursuing her Executive Doctorate in Business Administration at Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
In October, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and Fortune selected Webster’s company, Consultants 2 Go, to join the 2015 Inner City 100, a program that honors the nation’s fastest-growing inner-city businesses.
Based in Newark, N.J., Consultants 2 Go provides consulting and marketing services in the telecom, pharmaceutical, financial services, and insurance industries. Webster, who is pursuing her Executive Doctorate of Business Administration at Fox, founded the company in 2002 with a former colleague, Peggy McHale.
“Peggy and I are very fortunate that our company has excelled in the way that it has,” Webster said. “We’ve rapidly grown our consulting firm beyond our wildest imaginations and it’s an honor that we were recognized in this way by ICIC and Fortune.”
The Inner City 100 program “recognizes successful inner-city businesses and their CEOs as role models for entrepreneurship, innovative business practices, and job creation in America’s urban communities,” according to ICIC.
The list of companies was unveiled Oct. 7 at the Inner City 100 Conference and Awards in Boston. Winners gathered for a full-day business symposium featuring management case studies from Harvard Business School professors and interactive sessions with top CEOs. Keynote speakers included Governor Charlie Baker, and Harvard Business School Professor and ICIC Founder and Chairman Michael E. Porter.
Webster’s professional trajectory changed due, in part, to missing the bus.
Then an executive with American Express, Webster didn’t arrive to work on Sept. 11, 2001. Early-morning crowdedness on the day of New York City’s mayoral primary election kept her from catching her usual morning bus and, as a result, she never made it to her company’s building, located less than two city blocks from the World Trade Center.
“I had been with the company for 18 years and, after the attacks, I never went back to work for American Express at that building,” Webster said. “We lost so many good employees that day, and it caused the displacement of so many others. It altered the lives of everyone who was in New York City.
“I can’t tell you how many people started their own businesses after the tragedy of 9/11, simply out of need.”
After that day, Webster said she connected with McHale and began to reconsider her line of work.
Webster, whose company generated nearly $10 million in revenue in 2014, is always looking to improve. She, too, was looking to further herself.
“Being in the business world, I aspired for a higher-level degree,” she said. “I have a unique perspective, having worked in corporate America and now in representing clients in the small-business side. I can see where gaps are and help them work more efficiently.
“That’s why I chose the Fox School. I found the Executive DBA faculty to be knowledgeable. The proximity to our offices in Newark, N.J., was important, as well.”
Webster said working mothers comprise 80 percent of Consultants 2 Go’s employees. Her vision for her company, she said, is to offer flexible hours and locations for her workers.
“Corporations tend to let go of senior executives, some of whom are women, and that’s intellectual capital walking right out the door,” Webster said. “Conversely, there’s no one around to train young executives. That’s where I believe Consultants 2 Go can fill a void.
“Within the Executive DBA program, I hope to earn greater knowledge and complete research so I can more-closely work with companies to help them realize a better use for their intellectual capital.”
The International Business faculty at Temple University’s Fox School of Business have earned prominent national and global rankings for research output.
According to the University of Texas at Dallas’ Top 100 Business School Research Rankings, Fox School’s International Business faculty rank No. 3 in the United States and No. 6 in the world for research productivity for publications in the Journal of International Business Studies over a four-year period, from 2012-2015. Fox shared its global ranking with Australian National University, which received an identical score.
“This is a proud moment for the International Business faculty at the Fox School of Business,” said Dr. Arvind Parkhe, Chair of Fox’s Strategic Management department, which houses the International Business program. “International Business is one of Dean M. Moshe Porat’s strategic pillars and one of Fox’s historic core strengths. Exceptional, research-active faculty and doctoral students continue to add to our growing reputation as a leader in this area.”
UT Dallas has published its Top 100 Business School Research Rankings since 1990. The rankings assess research contributions based on publications in the world’s 24 leading academic journals and across all major business disciplines. Schools receive full-point scores for research papers produced by single authors, according to the ranking’s methodology, with schools receiving fractions of a point for papers that feature multiple authors.
This marks the second time that Fox’s International Business faculty have earned a top-5 ranking for research productivity. Previously, Asia Pacific Journal of Management has ranked the program No. 3 in the U.S. and No. 4 in the world for research output.
In September, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Fox School’s International Business undergraduate program among the nation’s top-15 such AACSB-accredited programs for the fourth consecutive year.
Regulating emotions requires long-term goals, not immediate self-satisfaction, according to Fox researcher
Why do break-ups sometimes send people reaching for ice cream? Why does retail shopping provide a perk during a bad day?
For Dr. Crystal Reeck, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Fox School of Business, the answers reside in a person’s ability to regulate emotions in order to make adaptive decisions.
“What is it that other people can do to turn up or down others’ feelings to shape their behavior?” Reeck wondered during her latest collaborative research project, ‘The Social Regulation of Emotion: An Integrative, Cross-Disciplinary Model.’
“Whenever we’re stressed, tired, cranky, or scared, we tend to do things how we wouldn’t otherwise. That’s not groundbreaking. But what’s missing in that approach is not only how emotions shift people’s processes, but that we’re not slaves to our feelings. We have some control over how we react to things.”
For Reeck, whose research is to be published in a forthcoming edition of Trends in Cognitive Sciences, the key to controlling that heartbroken appeal for ice cream or those stress-induced consumer purchases lies in a person’s dedication to a goal. If losing a few pounds or saving for retirement comprise a person’s long-term goals, he or she can learn to ignore immediate self-satisfaction from behaviors that may derail them.
Part of this process, Reeck said, is examining how a person views new information. Reeck’s research shows that people tend to synthesize information through the lens of a current goal. Therefore, when a development impedes that goal, he or she can become frustrated and become more likely to react negatively. This negative interaction directly impacts workplace environments, for example, when a disagreement between co-workers or criticism from senior leaders is internalized negatively.
“It requires a poker-face mode. It’s the stiff upper lip,” said Reeck, who also serves as Assistant Director of Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making. “A person may still be just as upset as they were to begin with, but they don’t know about it.”
This method of reacting to an emotional response often leads to increasingly negative experiences. The solution, Reeck said, is in changing one’s interpretation. If someone’s work is criticized, Reeck suggests that instead of an employee interpreting it as a failure, perhaps that person can see it as a chance to improve.
In the business world, managing the emotional responses of several people becomes critical to a functioning workflow. Investigating how to do so is a new edge in Reeck’s work, she said, and involves a synthesis of past research examining purely individual emotional regulation.
“People have studied this as a silo with different methods and theories,” Reeck said. “We’re trying to unpack the psychological processes that underpin that emotion regulation exchange between two people. In other words, how can one person change another’s emotional response?”
Dr. John Aloysius, who earned his doctoral degree from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, has been appointed the director of a major business research lab at the University of Arkansas.
John Aloysius, PhD ’96, was named interim director of the Sam M. Walton College of Business’ Behavioral Business Research Lab at University of Arkansas. He will hold this position for the remainder of the 2015-16 academic year, while colleague Cary Deck serves a one-year visiting professorship.
Arkansas’ Behavioral Business Research Lab is a unique, multi-user facility for economics, marketing, information systems and supply chain faculty, said Aloysius, who earned his Fox PhD in Operations Management. The center is an interdisciplinary resource geared toward the study of human behavior and decision making. It features state-of-the-art computer equipment that will assist in marketing- and retail-based experiments.
Aloysius, an associate professor of supply chain management at Arkansas, said he conducts a majority of his research within the lab. He examines how consumers use mobile technology in a retail context, looking into the use of coupons, product reviews and promotional activities in influencing shoppers. This research has been published in Management Information Systems Quarterly.
“If you entice them at the precise moment, consumers can go from being a browser to being a buyer,” Aloysius said.
Aloysius’ other research pursuits delve into privacy and security issues for shoppers and inventory management.
“Managers stand in front of monitors that have information about how much inventory there is and the distribution of demand,” he said. “They are trying to figure out what a company would need to order to put product on the shelf.”
Dr. Edward C. Rosenthal, Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Fox School, served as Aloysius’ dissertation chair while he pursued his Fox PhD. Rosenthal said he encouraged Aloysius to conduct his research independently. In his dissertation, Aloysius applied game theory to cost-sharing problems in the telecommunications industry, which evolved into an interest in decision making and how people apply technology in the retail industry.
“He was a bright student who was motivated and great to work alongside,” Rosenthal said. “I think that John’s assuming of the directorship of the Behavioral Business Research Lab at the University of Arkansas had its origins while he was a graduate student here at Fox all of those years ago. “
Aloysius said he hopes to widen the lab’s horizons by working with external local firms and incorporating new technology.
“What is happening in retail blurs the line between physical stores and online shopping, and in the lab as well,” he said. “It is a natural extension.”
Aloysius plans to reconnect with his Fox School colleagues while visiting Philadelphia in November for the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science conference (INFORMS). He said he plans to meet with Rosenthal and current research colleague Dr. Misty Blessley, an Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Fox.
Aloysius and Blessley are collaborating on experimental research into switching behavior under various conditions of psychological contact breach. The experiment will move into the data-collection phase in November. “What I like about John is he challenges you to look over your research meticulously,” Blessley said.
“At Arkansas, John has become more deeply involved with the behavioral aspects of supply chain management research and leading their behavioral business research lab is a natural next step,” Rosenthal said.
This distinguished chair was created through a $2 million gift from Saul A. Fox, SMC ’75, in honor of his father, Jerome Fox. The late Jerome Fox was a World War II veteran, a certified public accountant, and the founder of the former Philadelphia accounting firm Gelrod Fox & Company. This chair is to be held by high-level practitioners of accounting, taxation and financial strategy, who hold the same zeal for these areas of academic focus as Fox did.
“My father was an accountant by trade, but he viewed a position as a high school history teacher as perhaps his highest calling,” Saul Fox said. “Though he chose a different career path, my father equally valued the accounting industry and the role of education in our society. The establishment of this distinguished chair at the Fox School of Business melds my father’s two lifelong passions and honors his memory as a successful accounting practitioner.”
Following an extensive global search, Dr. David E. Jones in July 2015 was appointed an Associate Professor of Accounting at the Fox School and the inaugural holder of the Jerome Fox Chair in Accounting, Taxation, and Financial Strategy.
With more than 35 years of public accounting experience, Jones has worked with Ernst & Young LLP as a tax partner in Atlanta, Orlando, Indianapolis and Cleveland. He became the U.S. National Tax Leader and Global CEO of the GEMS (Global Mobility) Tax Practice at Ernst & Young. He has significant Big Four managerial leadership and global tax experience at Ernst & Young in the U.S. Jones has served large SEC tax clients, individuals with high net worth and entrepreneurial ventures.
Jones, who has presented at regional or national conferences, conducts behavioral research on tax professionals, and legal tax research, especially on international and domestic tax topics. His research explores issues that impact taxpayers and tax professionals as well as tax policy matters of importance. He has published in academic and practice oriented journals.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Auburn University, a Master of Taxation degree from Georgia State University, and a Doctor of Management degree from Case Western Reserve University.
Saul Fox will visit Temple University’s Fox School of Business Wednesday, Nov. 18, for a Jerome Fox Chair Talk and Reception event, to be attended by Dr. Neil D. Theobald, Temple University President, and Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School.