Fox School News & Releases

Fox’s Online MBA rated No. 1 nationally for military veterans

Photo of Temple University Main Campus Military TributeThe Online MBA program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business has been named best in the nation for military veterans.

U.S. News & World Report unveiled its rankings of the country’s top online undergraduate and graduate programs for military veterans May 19. The publication ranked the Fox School’s Online MBA program No. 1 nationally for its range of benefits for veterans.

The Fox School and Temple University support the Yellow Ribbon Program for military personnel and veterans. This provision allows colleges and universities in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with Veterans Affairs to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate.

Additionally, Temple University is routinely designated by GI Jobs Magazine as one of the nation’s top military-friendly colleges and universities.

“The Fox School’s commitment to providing Yellow Ribbon Program match scholarships to eligible applicants is a key component of our ongoing and strong relationship with military veterans,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “These scholarships help offset tuition costs for students who reside out of the state of Pennsylvania and for those who are not completely funded by their benefits.”

This is the latest in a series of accolades for Fox’s Online MBA program. In January, U.S. News ranked the program No. 1 in the nation. And earlier this month, The Princeton Review rated Fox’s Online MBA No. 5 in the world.

In the Fox Online MBA program, which launched in Fall 2009, students benefit from a flexible curriculum carousel with multiple entry points. The Fox School’s Online MBA program begins 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 pace 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 1,500 academic videos produced by Fox faculty, acts as 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.

The full rankings of U.S. News’ top online MBA programs for veterans can be found here.

Fox School News & Releases

Fox School welcomes prestigious guests, speakers for NSF-funded big data workshop

Photo of  Attendees listen to Google Chief Economist Hal Varian, one of many premier panelists at the Fox School’s Privacy in an Era of Big Data Workshop.

Attendees listen to Google Chief Economist Hal Varian, one of many premier panelists at the Fox School’s Privacy in an Era of Big Data Workshop.

Google “big data,” and the first search result returns the word, “dangerous.”

The irony of using a big data factory to discover the risks of its own data was not lost on researchers and experts attending the Privacy in an Era of Big Data workshop, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and hosted by the Fox School of Business and Temple University’s Big Data Institute.

“Big data” is loosely defined as the collection and analysis of large data sets of complex information. As the scope of collected data increases, there is a significant need for advanced analytic techniques and the development of new methods of investigation. Temple’s Big Data Institute was established to harness the full potential of big data and enable further research on the subject with an interdisciplinary approach by bringing together seven related research centers across the university and the Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Co-founder of the Institute Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, Chief Research Officer and Associate Dean of Research, Doctoral Programs, and Strategic Initiatives, along with Dr. Sunil Wattal, Director of the Center on Web and Social Media Analytics and Associate Professor of Management Information Systems, were awarded a grant from the NSF to further their investigation into unexplored links between big data and privacy.

“This is a topic that’s on everyone’s minds, and we’re here to get some useful insight on it,” Wattal said.

The workshop, held April 22-23, was a part of a weeklong event to encourage big data research from industry, government, and academia on the future of big data and privacy. The goal of the workshop, Pavlou said, was “to create a forward-looking research agenda into the future of big data.”

A priority for attendees was establishing the balance of big data with privacy rights, in order to improve national security and further develop consumer marketing. Dr. Thomas Page, Technical Director for Core Infrastructure & Cloud Repositories at the National Security Agency, represented the government perspective on big data, with a keynote presentation.

“There’s a moral responsibility in this space. We’re doing this on behalf of the American people,” Page said.

Page called for a new focus when discussing big data. “Big Smart Data,” he said, avoids unnecessary or intrusive information from reaching analysts, and allows new public policy to be enacted that balances personal privacy and national security concerns.

Page’s keynote address raised concerns of a “zero sum game,” wherein consumers trade privacy for national security. Christina Peters, Chief Privacy Officer at IBM, noted that she believes the two are not equivalent. Citing instances of security breaches at Target and Home Depot, she indicated how a history of misuse or neglect has risked consumer information.

Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google, discussed the trust contract held between consumers and big data collectors. He argued that big data factories have the most to lose. “Search engines have a lot more to lose than a human. When computers screw up they screw up big,” Varian said.

Google’s top search results for “how do I know” are: “if I’m pregnant,” “if I’m gay,” and “if I have AIDS,” all of which, Varian said, demonstrate Google’s desire to not only share a vast amount of information, but to also take seriously its responsibility as an online confidante.

“Search engines are the biggest privacy enhancers in the world. People won’t ask these questions to their lawyer, doctor, parents, or priest. This is the first time you can get this type of answer from a non-human,” said Varian, who also served as the featured keynote speaker at the Frederic Fox Lecture Series April 23, another event during Big Data Week.

Varian explained that the intended use of big data is to educate consumers on the difference between privacy and security. Since privacy is the restricted use of personal information, a responsibility of big data should be to protect the security of the data and manage the risks associated with personal data analytics.

A closing comment from the first day of the workshop was the idea that “big data is the new bacon,” as presented by Lael Bellamy, Chief Privacy Officer at The Weather Channel. Her support of improved data collection and consumer intelligence reinforced the notion that although big data is trending, it’s been around for a long time.

“It’s possible everyone can benefit from the Big Data revolution,” said Carnegie Mellon University professor Dr. Rahul Telang.

Fox School News & Releases

Fox School of Business to offer new undergraduate majors in Supply Chain Management, Financial Planning

Interior Image of Alter HallThe Fox School of Business at Temple University will introduce two new undergraduate majors for the 2015-16 academic year: Supply Chain Management and Financial Planning.

In all, the Fox School offers students a choice of 15 undergraduate majors.

“The additions of Supply Chain Management and Financial Planning as majors further bolster the Fox School’s reputation as not only the most comprehensive business school in the Philadelphia region, but one of the most comprehensive in the nation,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “Employers and industry partners agree that these concentrations are regarded as emerging fields wherein professionals are in great demand, and Fox has the renowned faculty to support such programs.”

The new majors are available to all students. Students entering their junior and senior years can declare for either of the majors and still remain on four-year academic plans. Interested juniors and seniors are encouraged to meet with a Fox School advisor to discuss their academic options.

The Supply Chain Management major will prepare students to operate and lead major aspects of the supply system in both established and start-up firms. Fox’s Marketing and Supply Chain Management department will oversee the program, which will ready students for careers in the interconnected chain of suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses and distribution centers, transportation-providers, retailers.

“Businesses today operate on a global scale,” said Dr. Neha Mittal, Assistant Professor and Academic Director of the undergraduate Supply Chain Management program. “For example, it’s very common for a company to have its sourcing in South America, manufacturing in China, and sales of its products to markets in Europe or North America. We’re talking about huge, complex supply chains here, which have fueled the need for supply chain management professionals to manage the flows between the different parties.”

The Financial Planning major will prepare students for careers in the growing field bearing the same name, which takes a holistic approach to working with clients in order to enable them to identify and attain lifestyle and retirement goals. Students who complete the Financial Planning curriculum are eligible to sit for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) examination upon graduation – a unique feature of the program.

Fox’s Finance department will oversee the program, and will draw upon the expertise of faculty in Fox’s Legal Studies and Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management departments, as well, said Cynthia Axelrod, Assistant Professor and Financial Planning Program Director.

“Within the next 20 years, 10,000 baby boomers will retire every day. This will produce a tremendous intergenerational wealth transfer, for which there won’t be nearly enough advisors to take on the burgeoning growth of clients and client assets,” Axelrod said.

“Further, retirement planning now resides with employees, not employers.  Individuals need help with retirement planning and investments. A financial planner brings objectivity to the process, and helps their client to develop a successful roadmap to attain their financial goals. A career in financial planning is very rewarding, allowing an individual to combine their investment skills and people skills, with excellent economic potential. All of this will lead to strong prospects for our students majoring in Financial Planning.”

Fox School News & Releases

Five years later, students in Fox School course still leading the way in social entrepreneurship

10-10-10

It started in January 2010 with a $10 bill.

In the five years since its inaugural spring semester, the 10-10-10 Foundation – launched out of Dr. Jean Wilcox’s Entrepreneurial Marketing course at the Fox School of Business – has seen more than 1,000 students raise in excess of $200,000 and help innumerable people and foundations in the Philadelphia area.

Each semester, Wilcox presents student teams in her course with $10 from her own pocket. Grouped into 10 teams, the students are tasked with multiplying this seed money by a factor of 10, to be donated to various charities, non-profits, foundations, and community organizations dedicated to anything from social works to education.

“Many of the students have incredibly powerful personal stories to tell and align their projects with organizations that they feel a connection to. That’s what makes this work,” said Wilcox, an Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management.

Dr. Jean Wilcox

Among the organizations helped, Fox Students have worked with Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, in eight of 10 semesters since 10-10-10 began. Others have aligned with Philabundance food bank, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

For senior Marketing majors Jake Kawulicz and Nicole Borgia, Red Paw Relief Team was a natural fit. One of their team members was saved from a house fire by his pet. In pitching to the idea of raising funds for Red Paw, a non-profit organization that helps pets displaced by fire or disaster, the group decided it was an appropriate gesture to repay his dog’s act of kindness. The team organized a fundraising effort at Whole Foods, which contributed a five-cent donation each time customers used reusable bags to carry out their groceries, and in addition to a half-price promotion at the Draught Horse Pub and Grill, near Temple University’s campus.

“There’s a personal connection for us. It’s about giving back to something I love,” Borgia said.

Fundraising efforts are one part of students’ responsibilities toward building sustainable business plans for their chosen organizations. Others include maintaining careful financial records while engaging with the community on social media to promote their efforts.

The use of social-media platforms has allowed students who are working with Project Home to raise awareness for the 25-year-old organization, which empowers the homeless. With a comprehensive social-media marketing campaign, the group recruited volunteers whose hours equated to a $20 fundraising effort. The group also aimed to foster an intern exchange program with the Fox School.

“We wanted something local to Philadelphia that would allow us to have a lasting impact, as opposed to just giving money,” said Leigh McKenzie, a junior Management Information Systems major who worked with Project Home.

The Entrepreneurial Marketing course attracts a diverse student set, including senior Architecture major and Business minor Jenna Wandishin, and sophomore Marketing and Art History double major Laura Harris. Dual-enrolled in the Fox School and the Tyler School of Art, and inspired by this dichotomy, the students dedicated their group to inspiring inner-city artists through the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, an anti-graffiti program that supports public art.

“We wanted something with a cultural impact. The Mural Arts Program is unique to Philadelphia and enhances the city,” Wandishin said of Philadelphia, which boasts more murals than any other American city.

Wilcox has watched 10 semesters of students turn her $10 handouts into thousands of dollars. She said she appreciates the social impact the students have made. In particular, one group worked with Catalyst Foundation to fight sex trafficking in Vietnam by connecting with Asian-American organizations on Temple’s campus. Another team committed its efforts toward assisting wounded veterans upon their returns from Afghanistan.

“The best comment I ever got came from one of my colleagues, who said, ‘Business school is so much about analytics and numbers, and what you’re doing is giving these students heart,’” Wilcox said. “That’s most important to me in the long run.”

Fox School News & Releases

The Economist ranks Fox’s Executive MBA No. 1 in Philadelphia region

The Economist Which MBA? logoThe Executive MBA program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business retained its No. 1 ranking in the Philadelphia region, according to the most-recent rankings released by The Economist.

The Economist ranked Fox’s Executive MBA program No. 28 among U.S. colleges and universities in its “Which MBA?” rankings report, published May 14. The Fox Executive MBA has been ranked No. 1 in the Philadelphia region by The Economist since 2013, when the London-based publication last released its worldwide, executive MBA rankings.

Globally, the Fox Executive MBA is ranked No. 45.

“The Fox Executive MBA has a strong history of sustained excellence, and we are proud to retain our designation as the best in the Philadelphia region,” said Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat. “The program leverages critical elements of the Fox School of Business: influential research by elite faculty, a diverse and exceptional student body, and a robust global network of alumni who hold high-ranking positions in various facets of industry.”

The Economist’s “Whose MBA?” rankings, which equally weigh personal and professional development measures, consider: quality of students; quality of program; career and salary progression; and helpfulness of alumni, among other criteria.

Fox’s Executive MBA program, which can be completed in only 16 months, is built on face-to-face classroom time delivered one weekend per month and supplemented by interaction with classmates and faculty via WebEx, the premier web-conferencing platform. Online collaboration reduces travel and minimizes the time students, who average 12 to 14 years of industry experience, will spend away from home and office.

Courses for the program are held at The HUB, a vibrant business center located in Center City Philadelphia. The HUB features comprehensive communication services and state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment.

Fox recently consulted with 300 corporate leaders in order to gain deeper insight into needed skills and competencies supporting program and curricular relevancy. The Executive MBA program has recently expanded its corporate partnerships and alumni relationships, to further develop and improve its student services and offerings, according to Dr. Michael Rivera, Academic Director of Fox’s Executive MBA.

“The Fox Executive MBA was designed to fit the needs of mid-level professionals looking to become senior or c-level executives,” Rivera said. “Our program not only expands students’ business toolkits with breadth and depth, but also focuses on developing them as transformational leaders, providing numerous opportunities for global experience and immersion, and also supporting their professional development through executive mentoring and coaching.”

“With our mantra, ‘Learn over the weekend, apply on Monday,’ students notice the powerful impact on their careers almost immediately.”

Click here to view The Economist’s complete “Which MBA?” rankings report.

Fox School News & Releases

Fox School’s Sigma Chapter hosts financial literacy seminar for area high school students

Assistant Professor of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management Michael McCloskey speaks to area high school students on the significance of financial literacy.

Assistant Professor of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management Michael McCloskey speaks to area high school students on the significance of financial literacy.

It’s not what you make. It’s what you save.

That’s what Michael McCloskey said, as he asked for a student volunteer to share details of his personal finances.

At that moment, a hand shot into the air. The area high school student divulged to McCloskey how much money he earns each month by working his part-time job, and also how much he spends. Then McCloskey asked the student if he owns a car. The student replied yes, but added that his parents manage its related expenses.

“Well, that’s going to change one day,” said McCloskey, Assistant Professor of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management at the Fox School of Business, “and it’s important that everyone in this room is prepared for that day.

The Fox School hosted more than 70 high school students from the Philadelphia region April 29 for a first annual Financial Literacy seminar, offering a variety of guest speakers on topics ranging from early investing, credit, and financial aid for college.

Fox School’s Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, a risk and insurance fraternity, organized the four-hour event, to demonstrate the importance of managing one’s personal finances to prevent common financial pitfalls and to encourage better decision-making in regard to money. Reducing student debt is one of six commitments made by Temple University President Neil Theobald, who recently implemented the Fly In 4 program.

The event opened with McCloskey’s discussion on investing for the future. McCloskey, who teaches a general education course on the subject, explained the difference between good credit and bad credit, introduced the students to terms like insolvency and net worth, and encouraged them to jot down their monthly expenditures as a way of tracking their spending.

The students also learned about college admissions and financial aid application procedures from David Kaiser, Director of Undergraduate Enrollment at the Fox School, and Celeste D. Roberts, Temple’s Assistant Bursar of Financial Literacy. Following a lunch break, the students met with Fox senior Francesca Waddington, Sigma’s Vice President of Community Affairs, for a discussion focusing on the college experience.

“Four years ago, I was extremely confused with applying for financial aid and student loans, and had little understanding of what impact this would have on me when I graduated,” said Waddington, who organized the event with the help of Vice Dean Debbie Campbell, Director of Undergraduate Enrollment David Kaiser and Sigma Director of Community Affairs Sean Johnson.

“I think it’s crucial to educate students who plan to attend college on exactly what the financial burden is and, more importantly, how to lessen this burden. I think understanding how to become financially literate is vital to success, which was our inspiration for starting an event like this.”

The Financial Literacy seminar served as just one of many initiatives organized by the Sigma Chapter. In April, Sigma presented a check for $11,200 to its charity of choice, Brave Hearts for Strong Minds. The organization, based in the Philadelphia area, collects educations funds for children who have lost an income-earning parent.

For more information on the Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, visit its website.

Fox School News & Releases

Fox’s Online MBA ranked top-5 globally by The Princeton Review

Princeton Review LogoThe Online MBA program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business has been recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the best in the world.

The Fox Online MBA earned a No. 5 global ranking, according to The Princeton Review’s inaugural online MBA rankings report. The program continues to receive acclaim. In January, the Fox Online MBA earned a No. 1 national ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

“Bridging an accredited, high-impact curriculum with innovative technology is the benchmark of the Fox Online MBA, and publications like The Princeton Review have taken notice,” said Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat. “Our internationally recognized faculty fosters a dynamic learning community, and our Online and Digital Learning team has brought the finest technological advancements to an online education.”

The Princeton Review’s global rankings of online MBA programs, published May 12, focused on five core criteria: academics, selectivity, faculty, technical platforms, and career outcomes. The rankings considered not only school data, but also survey responses by current students and alumni.

Fox Online MBA students praised the Fox School’s “high-end new facilities, rising rankings and strong brand equity,” according to The Princeton Review’s report. Past students also lauded the “invaluable” immersion sessions, calling them “incredibly and highly beneficial,” and “one of the aspects of this program that sets it apart from other online MBA programs.” Another said the “rigor of the program adds tremendous credibility.”

“The Fox School has an extremely strong regional, and expanding national presence,” one student said in a survey submitted to The Princeton Review. “I like the idea that I can go anywhere, and employers recognize and appreciate the quality of a degree from Temple’s business school.”

In the Fox Online MBA program, which launched in Fall 2009, students benefit from a flexible curriculum carousel with multiple entry points. The Fox School’s Online MBA program begins 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 pace 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 1,500 academic videos produced by Fox faculty, acts as 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.

“While other online programs may rely on third-party providers for program delivery, Fox’s advantage lies in providing the same academic experience, faculty access and student support as any other program on campus,” said Dr. Darin Kapanjie, Academic Director of Fox’s Online MBA program. “We have invested in the resources necessary for delivering a top-notch learning environment that fosters collaboration and community with academic excellence at our core.”

Merit scholarships are available, as are scholarship-incentive programs for Temple alumni and for corporate partners that have two or more employees simultaneously enrolled in the Fox Online MBA program. Financial aid counseling is offered to all students, and the Fox School and Temple University support the Yellow Ribbon Program for military personnel and veterans. Students in the Online MBA enjoy the same tuition rate, whether in or out of state.

Click here for the full rankings list from The Princeton Review.

Fox School News & Releases

Risk Management student wins national research-paper contest

Hayley LeatherIn 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.

Fox School News & Releases

Temple’s NABA chapter wins inaugural Fox SPO Madness Twitter contest

SPO Madness 1

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.”

SPO Madness 2

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.

Fox School News & Releases

Online financial marketplace wins grand prize at 2015 Be Your Own Boss Bowl®

Fox School MBA alumnus Ben Stucker making his final presentation. Photos by Temple University Photography.

Fox School MBA alumnus Ben Stucker making his final presentation. Photos by Temple University Photography.

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.”

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute executive director Ellen Weber presenting Ben Stucker with the check. Photos by Temple University Photography.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute executive director Ellen Weber presenting Ben Stucker with the check. Photos by Temple University Photography.

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
19                    Sponsors
13                    Temple University schools and colleges represented in BYOBB
13                    Presentation coaches
12                    Finalist teams representing five Temple schools and colleges
6                      Finalist judges

Fox School News & Releases

Business-appropriate attire on display at Fox CSPD fashion show

Fox School students Eric Hamilton and Brooke Lehman offer tips on how to properly pull off accessories, like tying a neck tie and wearing a decorative scarf, during CSPD’s Work Your Wardrobe event.

Fox School students Eric Hamilton and Brooke Lehman offer tips on how to properly pull off accessories, like tying a neck tie and wearing a decorative scarf, during CSPD’s Work Your Wardrobe event.

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.

Photo of the Work Your Wardrobe RunwayAn 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.”

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CNN executive addresses Fox students through WebEx

CNN’s Alex Wellen speaks to students during one of Fox School of Business professor Dr. Samuel Hodge’s recent classes.

CNN’s Alex Wellen speaks to students during one of Fox School of Business professor Dr. Samuel Hodge’s recent classes.

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.

Photo of students viewing the Legal Studies WebEx session with CNN.“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.

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Human Resource Management course teaches leadership through charity, community service

Dr. Crystal Harold

Dr. Crystal Harold

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, cameran.alavi@temple.edu

Philly Clean-Up
Clean up areas surrounding Temple’s Campus
Saturday, April 18, 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Meet up at Broad Street & Polett Walk
Contact: Nichole Humbrecht, tuf45006@temple.edu

Bookdrive Benefit Concert (benefitting Treehouse Books)
Sunday, April 19, 7-8:30 p.m.

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Fox researcher uncovers strategy for more-successful online advertising

Photo of Dr. Xueming Luo

Dr. Xueming Luo

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.

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At Fox DESIGNchallenge, students offer solutions for Philadelphia’s transit system, car culture

Fox DESIGNchallenge

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.