In this new section of the Fox School alumni magazine Fox Focus, the editorial team interviews Fox employees about what extra knowledge, credentials and support they offer students and alumni. Here, our faculty and staff share the ways in which they do everything they can to empower our students and alumni to reach their full potential and achieve personal and professional fulfillment.
Born, raised and educated in Philadelphia, Kamina Richardson, assistant program director and pre-law advisor for the Department of Legal Studies, has a strong desire to give back to the local community. Richardson is certified in American Sign Language (ASL), Safe Zone and Narcan/Overdose Reversal. She is committed to and passionate about providing knowledge, resources and services to meet the needs of Fox undergraduate students and alumni.
Why did you pursue an ASL certification?
I grew up with a deaf brother, and I really came to understand his struggles. When I learned that Temple offered an ASL certification, I enrolled because I realized there is no ASL translator at Fox. I believe we need one in order to best support our efforts to be diverse and inclusive, and I would like to be an interpreter nationally and at Fox events. I started two years ago and completed the certification in May. I believe this will help our community because we have a large population of students with disabilities at the school.
What does your Safe Zone certification mean to you?
I’m a minority and I understand the stereotypes and assumptions that people have. The LGBTQIA community suffers from this too. I am willing to listen and understand the different kinds of things they go through, especially in college. I want to open my door for advising and to offer a safe space to talk so that people can vent about the frustrations of coming out or figuring out who they are when it comes to gender identity.
Safe Zone is a two-day training that involves looking at assumptions that we may have regarding LGBTQIA. The training highlighted the privileges of those outside of the community and how we can be more understanding to those inside it. Through the training, I learned that there are different ways to talk about gender identity that won’t discriminate against members of the LGBTQIA community. If people come to me with questions, I can speak to them about this and other topics.
What led you to pursue a Narcan/Overdose Reversal certification?
I’m from North Philadelphia, which is one of the places impacted by drug issues. Drug addiction is intense, and students are often open to drugs without realizing the consequences of their choices. Some may need liquid courage or a pick-me-up for school and they don’t realize some substances can be deadly. I got this certification because I want to be there in a moment’s notice if a student is having an overdose on campus or in the community. It’s necessary, especially with young minds who are trying to figure out who they are.
What are your personal goals for your work at the Fox School?
I understand what it is like to be a student and to feel lost. My goal is to be a resource for as much information and as many services as possible. I never want to be in a position where I don’t know something that would help a student. Next, I’m going to get certified in Spanish to better support the local Hispanic community.
The issue of food insecurity at college is one that often goes unnoticed. For most, the burden of paying tuition is undeniably overwhelming—but many do not realize that there are students who have to choose between lunch or textbooks. Luckily, groups at Temple University are working to bring more awareness and assistance to those in need.
Hunter Speakman, a freshman in the Temple University Management Consulting Program (TUMCP), heard a colleague mention “can sculptures” as a team-building exercise. Speakman, along with his peers and the program’s academic director Tony Seeton, assistant professor of strategic management, decided this could be a great opportunity for students to give back to their community.
On Dec. 6, Speakman and his team organized a contest where Temple University community members made elaborate sculptures out of donated canned goods. The event aimed to raise awareness and gather food for the Cherry Pantry, a Temple program dedicated to providing students in need access to healthy and nutritious food. The Cherry Pantry, located on the second floor of the Howard Gittis Student Center, is the main source of emergency food for students on campus.
“There was a recent survey done in colleges in the United States that found 30% of college students are food insecure,” Speakman explains. “The pantry told us they typically get about 175 students a week. But with a campus of tens of thousands of students, there are definitely more than that who are in need.”
By hosting the event, Speakman was hoping to raise awareness and support the Cherry Pantry in their efforts. But the turnout was greater than he could have imagined.
Overall, nine major campus organizations competed in the event: Fox Graduate Admissions, Morgan Hall North, the international women’s music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota, Temple Towers, the Student Collaboration Center, Temple Ambler, the Fox Business Communications Center, the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
The only rule of the competition was that the cans had to remain intact and with the labels on. Even so, that didn’t keep the competitors from coming up with some unique structures.
“Each group made an entirely different structure. One built an owl, another one the Bell Tower. One group even made a space shuttle,” says Speakman.
The Student Collaboration Center won the competition with their sculpture of the Bell Tower. The Fox Business Communication Center and Temple Ambler were runners up. The Fox School’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations, led by Assistant Dean James Hansen, sponsored prizes for the winners.
The scale of the event was “much larger than we could’ve imagined,” says Speakman. Participants donated about 750 pounds of cans, plus 250 additional nonperishable goods.
The impact of a fun, creative event like this goes way beyond just constructing with cans. It is a demonstration of the school’s commitment to an engaged community, a pillar of the Fox Strategic Plan. Speakman, along with the participants from across the university, recognizes that this sense of community and support is crucial to eliminating food insecurity at Temple.
“There are so many students just coming to college that already have a lot of financial pressure put on them and their family,” says Speakman. “So to have access to a can of soup, some beans or pasta is a huge help so they don’t have to worry about what they’re eating.”
Speakman and the TUMCP team proved that a community that comes together ”can” make a change.
Support the Cherry Pantry by visiting their website.
For more than a year, representatives of the Fox community have been working to pave the path for the school’s future. Since announcing the Fox Strategic Plan 2025 in October, Dean Ronald Anderson and the school’s leadership team have been planning ways to support the four pillars that outline our future.
As the Fox School works towards transforming student lives, developing leaders, and impacting our local and global communities through excellence and innovation in education and research, Dean Anderson elaborates on what a successful implementation plan means to him.
How will the Strategic Plan lead the Fox School into the future?
When you examine what the workforce may look like over the next several decades, it is dramatically different from what it is today or was 20 years ago. The Strategic Plan will position the Fox School as one of the leading business schools of the 21st century by building on a solid foundation of our four pillars: Educational Innovation, Research Leadership, Inclusive Workplace Culture and a focus on Community Engagement.
Educational Innovation is about delivering a curriculum and content that builds business leaders who will perform in the evolving marketplace over the next several decades. We strive to deliver educational experiences in a manner that best prepare our students for the future of work.
Being a research leader in business education means that we will commit to expanding research beyond the academic world. We will impact the way managers think about their business and the way industries operate. That requires translating research into impactful ideas that serve the business community.
What is the Fox School doing to engage an inclusive and diverse community?
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are important issues to us. The Fox School is creating DEI initiatives in several forms. We are in the process of identifying and will follow best practices and principles supported by DEI awareness events and training to mirror DEI advancements in industry.
We will facilitate and support collaborative work between and among Fox faculty and staff, including formal recognition of impactful joint activities, and purposeful school-wide communication of activities and achievements. We need to continue to grow as a place where everyone feels welcome and where everyone believes they can make a difference and impact student outcomes. That is why we need to continue to cultivate an inclusive workplace where all of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, business and social partners and all of our stakeholders can thrive.
How does the Strategic Plan increase students’ access to a business education?
Through a collaborative effort between the Fox School, the Freire Foundation and Build the Future Education Collaborative, we launched an initiative to recruit students from Freire and Freire Tech high schools to give students the tools and skills they need to succeed in college. The Fox School provides college mentors to the students in the classroom, as well as additional support to their originating high schools. The Fox School, with support from other Temple University offices, will provide these high schools and their students with workshops on career counseling, financial literacy and college admissions.
This is one way we strive to empower Philadelphian residents. We also will emphasize collaboration with others at our school, our sister schools here at Temple, our neighborhood in North Philadelphia, the city of Philadelphia, the U.S. and the global business communities. We want to create a vibrant society where everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential. Part of that process is building a more robust relationship with our alumni and corporate partners—allowing them to have a role in serving our students, our colleagues and our neighbors. I look forward to sharing more updates on the activities and programs that support this effort in the future.
How does the plan impact the business world?
Each year, we graduate a class of future professionals for the business world. By creating quality education, we put businesses in a position to prosper by hiring students that increase productivity, engage in problem-solving and bring new, innovative ideas to the workplace.
The Fox School has a tremendous experiential learning-focused curriculum that puts our students in a position to succeed. They learn how decisions are made, often in real-time through interaction with today’s business leaders. We want corporations and graduate schools to recognize that Fox students are the best in the marketplace. We want those corporations and graduate schools to line up to hire Fox students and alumni.
How will the plan enhance school?
We are evolving our culture to meet the demands of the business world, not just today, but for decades to come. If you look at this plan you will see the hands of numerous stakeholders, from students and faculty to staff administrators and alumni.
What comes next for the implementation of the plan?
The planning process is almost complete. We are identifying the key performance indicators (KPIs) for initiatives, and the next steps are to execute those initiatives, measure these and report out to the Fox community. We want everyone to know where we are going so they can hold us accountable.
We are reinforcing our experiential-learning focus with the data-driven, emotionally intelligent insights that will serve our students and the business world for decades to come. The educational experiences we offer students are impactful, and we are looking at initiatives that will enhance those experiences to match the evolving market.
We also want to reach the wider world with our research. We are taking steps to translate academic research through efforts like the Translational Research Center (TRC) and by prioritizing researchers’ capacity for writing and presenting their research to non-academic audiences.
To learn more about this initiative and the vision for the future of Fox School of Business, visit the Fox Strategic Plan 2025 website.
When Philadelphia’s leading female journalists, restaurant owners, consultants, entrepreneurs, and student leaders gathered at Temple University’s Mitten Hall, they hardly expected they’d be blowing bubbles.
Laughing as the bubbles popped, the women embraced the obvious message: Be daring, no matter the setting.
At the 16th annual League for Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference, held Oct. 20, the Greater Philadelphia region’s top female innovators came together to share stories on their respective paths to success, and honored those who have reached professional pinnacles.
Co-founders of the League for Entrepreneurial Women Dr. Elizabeth H. Barber, Associate Dean of Temple’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management; and Betsy Leebron Tutelman, Temple’s Senior Vice Provost for Strategic Communications; with Ellen Weber, Executive Director of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), hosted the event.
Temple University Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Hai-Lung Dai introduced the event, complimenting the women on setting an example for his daughter as she enters college: “I can see her, a young mind, very eagerly trying to explore knowledge,” he said. “But she needs to build confidence and that’s where I defer to you.”
A packed room of women heard from keynote speaker Lu Ann Cahn, Director for Career Services at Temple’s School of Media and Communication. The face behind the bubbles, Cahn asked the women to think about how blowing bubbles felt. The overwhelming response was empowerment and freedom from judgment. Cahn, who spent 40 years in the broadcast news industry, including 27 with Philadelphia’s NBC10, was familiar with that feeling. After surviving breast cancer, Cahn found herself at odds with her career and challenged herself to try something new each day for a year. Her book, I Dare Me, documents her experiences with rediscovering her spark of individuality and confidence.
“No matter what you’ve accomplished, what you’ve survived, sometimes you forget who you are,” Cahn said. “The hardest first to do is a first that faces a fear.”
Like blowing bubbles, doing something that might be silly or might fail is how success was made, she said.
“I’m here to dare you to go on your own adventure,” Cahn said, as women shared their desire to attempt skydiving or take a day off. “You have to tap into your best self to have the confidence to move forward.”
Cahn welcomed the conference’s panel of female entrepreneurs to share how they dare.
For Brigitte Daniel, executive vice president of Wilco Electronic Systems, her dare was to succeed as one of only a few women in the cable industry. Daniel took over her father’s cable company, Wilco Electronic Systems, after completing law school. As the only cable company serving underprivileged areas, such as public housing, Daniel learned to avoid falling prey to those who sought to diminish her power. Her nonprofit, Mogulettes, promotes that same message to 19-to-24-year-old women entrepreneurs.
“When we’re talking about business, sometimes our voices can be muffled. That’s when we most need to be heard,” Daniel said. “It’s from our stories that we create connections.”
Nicole Marquis and Linda Lightman could relate. Marquis, a Philadelphia native, is the owner of vegan restaurant chain HipCityVeg, and is planning to expand to Washington, D.C. before taking her restaurant across the country. Lightman, founder of Linda’s Stuff, an online luxury consignment boutique, saw her business grew from a few items sold on eBay to a sudden success that allowed her husband to quit his job to join her company.
The League for Entrepreneurial Women’s conference also recognized three Temple alumnae for their pioneering spirit in entrepreneurship. Director of Entrepreneurial Services for Comcast NBCUniversal, Danielle Cohn, SMC ’95; Gearing Up Founder Kristin Gavin, CPA ’09; and Factor3 Consulting Founder, Anne Nelson, FOX ’80 were inducted into the League’s Hall of Fame.
In work settings, Nelson said she often found herself the lonely female voice in an all-male conversation. But, she said, what mattered was that she had spoken up and had expected others to listen.
“Temple taught me two very important things: Think pragmatically and think two steps ahead,” said Nelson, who was inducted by Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business.
Closing the conference, Weber spoke interview-style with Emily Bittenbender, Managing Partner of Bittenbender Construction, who reiterated that being the only woman in a professional field or setting could be daunting. Bittenbender said she was able to extract inspiration from male mentors, which helped her find her place as a woman in the construction industry.
Like an adult blowing bubbles, taking that first daring step requires the most courage.