John AloysiusDr. John Aloysius, who earned his doctoral degree from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, has been appointed the director of a major business research lab at the University of Arkansas.

John Aloysius, PhD ’96, was named interim director of the Sam M. Walton College of Business’ Behavioral Business Research Lab at University of Arkansas. He will hold this position for the remainder of the 2015-16 academic year, while colleague Cary Deck serves a one-year visiting professorship.

Arkansas’ Behavioral Business Research Lab is a unique, multi-user facility for economics, marketing, information systems and supply chain faculty, said Aloysius, who earned his Fox PhD in Operations Management. The center is an interdisciplinary resource geared toward the study of human behavior and decision making. It features state-of-the-art computer equipment that will assist in marketing- and retail-based experiments.

Aloysius, an associate professor of supply chain management at Arkansas, said he conducts a majority of his research within the lab. He examines how consumers use mobile technology in a retail context, looking into the use of coupons, product reviews and promotional activities in influencing shoppers. This research has been published in Management Information Systems Quarterly.

“If you entice them at the precise moment, consumers can go from being a browser to being a buyer,” Aloysius said.

Aloysius’ other research pursuits delve into privacy and security issues for shoppers and inventory management.

“Managers stand in front of monitors that have information about how much inventory there is and the distribution of demand,” he said. “They are trying to figure out what a company would need to order to put product on the shelf.”

Dr. Edward C. Rosenthal, Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Fox School, served as Aloysius’ dissertation chair while he pursued his Fox PhD. Rosenthal said he encouraged Aloysius to conduct his research independently. In his dissertation, Aloysius applied game theory to cost-sharing problems in the telecommunications industry, which evolved into an interest in decision making and how people apply technology in the retail industry.

“He was a bright student who was motivated and great to work alongside,” Rosenthal said. “I think that John’s assuming of the directorship of the Behavioral Business Research Lab at the University of Arkansas had its origins while he was a graduate student here at Fox all of those years ago. “

Aloysius said he hopes to widen the lab’s horizons by working with external local firms and incorporating new technology.

“What is happening in retail blurs the line between physical stores and online shopping, and in the lab as well,” he said. “It is a natural extension.”

Aloysius plans to reconnect with his Fox School colleagues while visiting Philadelphia in November for the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science conference (INFORMS). He said he plans to meet with Rosenthal and current research colleague Dr. Misty Blessley, an Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Fox.

Aloysius and Blessley are collaborating on experimental research into switching behavior under various conditions of psychological contact breach. The experiment will move into the data-collection phase in November. “What I like about John is he challenges you to look over your research meticulously,” Blessley said.

“At Arkansas, John has become more deeply involved with the behavioral aspects of supply chain management research and leading their behavioral business research lab is a natural next step,” Rosenthal said.

Dr. David Jones, inaugural holder of the Jerome Fox Chair in Accounting, Taxation, and Financial Strategy
Dr. David Jones, inaugural holder of the Jerome Fox Chair in Accounting, Taxation, and Financial Strategy

The Fox School of Business at Temple University adds to its growing number of endowed chairs and professorships with the creation of the Jerome Fox Chair in Accounting, Taxation, and Financial Strategy.

This distinguished chair was created through a $2 million gift from Saul A. Fox, SMC ’75, in honor of his father, Jerome Fox. The late Jerome Fox was a World War II veteran, a certified public accountant, and the founder of the former Philadelphia accounting firm Gelrod Fox & Company. This chair is to be held by high-level practitioners of accounting, taxation and financial strategy, who hold the same zeal for these areas of academic focus as Fox did.

“My father was an accountant by trade, but he viewed a position as a high school history teacher as perhaps his highest calling,” Saul Fox said. “Though he chose a different career path, my father equally valued the accounting industry and the role of education in our society. The establishment of this distinguished chair at the Fox School of Business melds my father’s two lifelong passions and honors his memory as a successful accounting practitioner.”

Following an extensive global search, Dr. David E. Jones in July 2015 was appointed an Associate Professor of Accounting at the Fox School and the inaugural holder of the Jerome Fox Chair in Accounting, Taxation, and Financial Strategy.

With more than 35 years of public accounting experience, Jones has worked with Ernst & Young LLP as a tax partner in Atlanta, Orlando, Indianapolis and Cleveland. He became the U.S. National Tax Leader and Global CEO of the GEMS (Global Mobility) Tax Practice at Ernst & Young. He has significant Big Four managerial leadership and global tax experience at Ernst & Young in the U.S. Jones has served large SEC tax clients, individuals with high net worth and entrepreneurial ventures.

Jones, who has presented at regional or national conferences, conducts behavioral research on tax professionals, and legal tax research, especially on international and domestic tax topics. His research explores issues that impact taxpayers and tax professionals as well as tax policy matters of importance. He has published in academic and practice oriented journals.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Auburn University, a Master of Taxation degree from Georgia State University, and a Doctor of Management degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Saul Fox will visit Temple University’s Fox School of Business Wednesday, Nov. 18, for a Jerome Fox Chair Talk and Reception event, to be attended by Dr. Neil D. Theobald, Temple University President, and Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School.

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.

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