Fox School News & Releases

Fox alumna shares personal story of perseverance as featured speaker at TEDx Philadelphia

Photo of Yasmine Mustafa

Yasmine Mustafa

An image of a lottery machine and its bouncing Ping-Pong balls appeared on the projection screen behind Yasmine Mustafa, as she spoke from the stage at Temple University’s Performing Arts Center, at TEDxPhiladelphia.

“Everyone gets a birth lottery ticket, and I was given the unique chance to transform mine,” Mustafa said, describing to the near-capacity gathering the concept of being born into a set of traits and circumstances that shape life’s opportunities and challenges. “Because while the birth lottery shapes who we become, it doesn’t define who we must be.”

Mustafa, a 2006 alumna of the Fox School of Business, was chosen as one of 14 featured speakers for TEDxPhiladelphia, an independent and not-for-profit one-day conference. TEDx brings together engaging speakers from various professions and community roles to build dialogue on topics of scientific, social awareness, and cultural significance. Among the invited speakers were Philadelphia Chief of Police Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia Daily News columnist Ronnie Polaneczky, and children’s rights lawyer Marsha Levick.

The theme of Mustafa’s talk – and those of her peers’ – was “…and justice for all,” the last four words of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Born in Kuwait, Mustafa witnessed the Gulf War during her formative childhood years. She opened her talk, roughly 15 minutes in length, with vivid descriptions of bombs being detonated near her family’s home. The randomness of her life’s starting point, she said, could be credited to the birth lottery, and how much of one’s life can be determined by outside factors.

Mustafa said it’s a concept she often ponders.

Had her mother not accompanied her father on a business trip to Philadelphia, Mustafa’s younger brother never would have been born in the United States. Had her brother not been born in Philadelphia, two men from the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait never would have rescued her family of eight from the Gulf War and promised them safe haven in America. Had they never emigrated to the U.S., Mustafa might have been forced to forgo her dreams of college and business ownership, for an arranged marriage and family.

“The birth lottery does not have to define who you are,” she said. “I’m living proof.”

Upon her arrival, Mustafa said, nothing was guaranteed. She eventually needed to work two under-the-table jobs, each paying an hourly wage of $5, to support her education. It took seven and a half years to complete her college education, earning an Associate’s degree at Montgomery County Community College and a Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship from the Fox School.

“And I haven’t stopped hustling,” Mustafa said.

A two-time winner of the Be Your Own Boss Bowl®, a Temple University-wide business plan competition. In 2010, she earned first place in the Upper Track, for alumni, graduate students and faculty, for her tech company, 123LinkIt. This past April, she won first place in the Social Track for ROAR for Good, LLC, a developer of wearable self-defense tech designed for women.

In September, Mustafa will celebrate the 25-year anniversary of her and her family’s emigration to the United States. She became a naturalized citizen in 2012.

“I threw a party to celebrate,” Mustafa said of earning her citizenship. “You don’t realize the privilege you have until you’ve either gained it, or you’ve lost it.”

“The opportunity to speak at TEDx was incredibly exciting because you’re surrounded by some of the greatest thinkers in the area, all with different perspectives and experiences and opinions. I was honored to have been nominated, and then chosen as one of the 14 speakers.”

Mustafa’s speech is available via TEDx’s website. Click here and scroll to the 1:13:00 mark.

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Ralph J. Roberts, cable TV pioneer and past Musser recipient, dies at 95

Photo of Ralph J. Roberts

Ralph J. Roberts

Ralph J. Roberts, a past recipient of the Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership from the Fox School of Business, died June 18 in Philadelphia. He was 95.

He was a businessman and cable pioneer who co-founded the Comcast Corporation, serving as its chairman and chief executive.

In 1963, Mr. Roberts purchased a 1,200-subscriber cable provider in Mississippi and turned his investment into the Philadelphia-based Comcast Corporation, the largest cable company and Internet provider in the U.S. The company now serves more than 27 million customers and generated nearly $70 billion in revenue in 2014.

Brian L. Roberts succeeded his father as president of Comcast in 1990. In retirement, Mr. Roberts served as Chairman Emeritus of Comcast’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Roberts received the 2005 Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership, the highest honor conferred by Temple University’s Fox School of Business, recognizing outstanding achievement, leadership and commitment to the community by a distinguished member of industry.

“I was deeply saddened to learn of Ralph’s passing,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School. “Ralph was an entrepreneur in the truest sense, looking for business opportunities everywhere he could. Ultimately, he built a company that forever changed the way we view television. Ralph was a great man, an industry trailblazer and a philanthropist who will be greatly missed. His family and friends are in my thoughts.”

“Ralph was a remarkable man who touched the lives of so many people. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and, perhaps most importantly, a kind and humble human being,” the Roberts family said in a statement. “He will always be remembered for his generosity, integrity, honesty, kindness and respect for everyone around him. He was an inspiration to us all, and we will miss him greatly.”

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IT could reduce state-government spending, Fox researcher found

Min Seok Pang

A researcher from Temple University’s Fox School of Business found that investments in information technology (IT) can reduce overall spending by state governments.

According to Dr. Min-Seok Pang, Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems, American state governments could stand to save $3.49 from their budgets for every $1 that’s invested in IT.

Pang’s paper, titled, “Do CIO IT budgets explain bigger or smaller governments? Theory and evidence from U.S. state governments,” was co-authored by Dr. Ali Tafti, of the University of Illinois at Chicago and Dr. M.S. Krishnan, of the University of Michigan. Their paper has been accepted for publication in top academic journal, Management Science. A related study by Pang has been published by MIS Quarterly.

Pang and his fellow researchers analyzed the IT budgets of chief information officers from each of the 50 states, during a five-year period from 2001 to 2005. Pang said he and his team chose to analyze the spending patterns of state governments, as opposed to those of federal governments, because state governments spend on similar services, like education, police, recreation, finance, human resources, and facility management.

“One could argue that because government has no comparative motive, meaning state governments are not competing with one another, there’s no imperative need for survival and, therefore, no value in making IT investments,” Pang said. “But my research shows that is not the case. In fact, IT has demonstrated that it can generate value.”

IT has the potential to make a state government’s processes more efficient and transparent, thus leading to a reduction in spending, Pang said. The digitizing of traditionally paper-based processes, for example, could help a state government trim its manpower and waste production, he theorized. A state government also could elect to disseminate data or publish its annual budget through digital mediums, he said, creating a level of transparency that would prevent a government from spending too much.

Overall, Pang said, the implementation of IT by a state government would free up additional resources that can be best applied to areas like police, education, human resource and more.

“In the government sector, the use of IT would lead to improved transparency and, in the long run, would help governments refrain from wasteful spending,” Pang said.

Pang’s research study is believed to be one of the first of its kind, in examining the benefits of IT spending by state governments.

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Innovation on the rise in less-traditional locations, Fox researchers find

Ram Mudambi

Innovation in the United States is not lacking. It’s just that patents are being registered in less-likely locales, according to researchers from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

The findings are part of an ongoing research initiative spearheaded by Dr. Ram Mudambi, the Frank M. Speakman Professor of Strategic Management.

The umbrella project is dubbed iBEGIN, or International Business, Economic Geography and Innovation. A segment of the project explores innovation hubs in the United States, undertaking detailed analyses of more than 900 metropolitan areas in the U.S. In one of the first published outcomes of this research effort, Mudambi and his team examined the evolution of Detroit, a mainstay of the global automotive industry for over a century. While Detroit, a downtrodden city, continues to experience manufacturing decline, it is doing well as an innovation center, he said.

“The beauty of innovation is that it never stops,” Mudambi said. “In 1960, the U.S. was the richest country in the world, and Detroit was its richest city. And while the city has been in a continuous state of decline, we found that Detroit’s innovation numbers are very healthy.”

iBEGIN researchers define innovation through patent output, and they say Detroit’s patent output since 1975 has grown at a rate of almost twice the U.S. average. Detroit’s innovative resilience, Mudambi said, is due to its continuing centrality in global innovation networks in the automotive industry. It has maintained this centrality through connectedness to other worldwide centers of excellence in this industry, such as Germany and Japan. Its innovative links to Germany have been rising steadily over the last three decades, while its association with Japan began more recently, but also shows a steep upward trajectory.

Their research also unearthed a clearer picture of the shifting lines of American innovation. Today, Mudambi said, the Sun Belt features the country’s leading innovation hubs like San Francisco; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Austin, Texas. Though the more traditional centers of innovation excellence in the Rust Belt cities have generally maintained healthy rates of innovation output, they have seen their shares of national innovative output decline. These include cities like New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Detroit and Chicago.

“In the 19th century and for most of the 20th century, the innovation hotspots were co-located with centers of manufacturing mass production,” Mudambi said. “These were concentrated in the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest. That’s not the case anymore. We’re seeing the lion’s share of patents being registered in regions dominated by high-knowledge industries. These industries create mainly white-collar positions for people with a bachelor’s degree, at minimum.

“However, what Detroit’s innovative success says about economies everywhere is that the roots of innovation are very deep. Policymakers spend a lot of time worrying about manufacturing. But manufacturing can be very ephemeral and firms often relocate manufacturing plants with very little notice. Innovation is more deeply rooted and, once an innovation center roots itself in an area, it’s much more likely to stick.”

Mudambi said the ongoing iBEGIN research initiative is a collaborative effort, with professionals in centers around the world, including: Denmark’s Copenhagen Business School, Italy’s Politecnico di Milano and University of Venice Ca Foscari, the Indian School of Business, and many others.

In addition to studying innovation in American cities, iBEGIN has ongoing research exploring other contexts. These include country contexts like China, India, Brazil, Portugal, Greece and Korea as well as specialized industry contexts like automobiles, renewable energy and pharmaceuticals.

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Access to technology leads to happiness, Fox researchers find

shutterstock_146356064While money can’t buy happiness, access to technology is capable of producing that very result, researchers from Temple University’s Fox School of Business found.

The team of Fox School researchers examined the role played by information and communication technology (ICT), uncovering a link between it and personal well-being. Their research paper, titled, “Does information and communication technology lead to the well-being of nations? A country-level empirical investigation,” has been accepted for upcoming publication by top academic journal, MIS Quarterly.

Kartik Ganju, Fox School PhD candidate; Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, Milton F. Stauffer Professor of Management Information Systems; and Dr. Rajiv D. Banker, Merves Chair in Accounting and Information Technology comprised the Fox research team.

The team argued that the adoption of ICT by countries leads to an increase in levels of well-being of its citizens, and that doing so helps citizens develop social capital and achieve social equality.

The Fox research team grouped 110 countries into three categories (low ICT, medium ICT and high ICT). The researchers found that countries with low levels of ICT could increase the happiness levels of their citizens by giving them access to mobile telephone lines. Hence, countries with low levels of ICT may not have to invest in expensive fixed line networks to increase the level of their citizens’ happiness, but could “leap-frog” the adoption of these systems in favor of mobile telephones, to increase happiness.

Using the results of a Gallup World Poll survey, which measured the global well-being of individual nations, Fox researchers found that the adoption of ICT led to an increase in the well-being of its citizens. Moreover, they found that access to ICT gave individuals a voice, “and an opportunity to communicate with others like themselves,” Ganju said. ICT also impacted the health of a nation’s people, with newfound access to proper healthcare practices, the team said. The researchers also cited access to education and real-time information that ICT affords as additional benefits.

“Most people assume that by giving an individual a certain amount of money that you can make him or her happier, and we found that this is not the case,” Ganju said. “We found that it is not just the income of GDP of a country that renders happiness. Access to information and communication technology allows people to feel an interconnected bond with each other than cannot obtain with money.”

“Suddenly, people were being exposed to different markets and rates. This allowed them to better bargain and achieve more-favorable pricing scenarios,” said Pavlou, Fox School’s Associate Dean of Research, Doctoral Programs and Strategic Initiatives. “Regardless of a particular nation’s gross-domestic product, access to technology can amplify that country’s productivity and the well-being of its people,” Pavlou added. “ICT works to even the playing field between the wealthiest and poorest of nations.”

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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