4 alumni blazing trails in their fields

There is more to success than know-how. That’s why business smarts, strength, and character are injected into the DNA of Fox students. That’s why alumni are endowed with traits—perseverance, determination, and professional polish, to name a few—that give them a competitive edge in business. Below, we highlight a few alumni who have built upon their education to achieve great success in the real world.

The Transformer: Steven McAnena 

Steve McAnena photoPresident of Distribution, Life and Financial Services, Farmers Insurance

Steve McAnena, BBA ’93, serves as president of Business Insurance at Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Liberty Mutual Group, Inc. (LMB). He is also executive vice president of Global Retail Markets at LMB. He joined the company in 1993 and served as president. His leadership experience, combined with his diverse experience and track record in product and distribution, help his division continue to cultivate strong relationships with independent agents and brokers. He studied actuarial science at the Fox School. 

“I remember my days at Temple—meeting new friends, becoming exposed to new professors, learning new coursework. When I arrived on campus it felt as if things changed in an instant and then kept changing. It was as energizing as it was stressful and I did not realize how four years of my life at Temple would serve as the foundation for my career. At the time, I did not realize that professional life was really a continuation of the learning process that began at Temple.

Charles Darwin has a famous quote: ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.’ The same is true within business—just ask Kodak or Blockbuster. The most successful professionals and companies are the ones willing to invest in changing, evolving, and in some cases totally reinventing their businesses. To be clear, be proud of your accomplishments and celebrate your successes, but always, always be looking in the rearview mirror because the competition is bearing down on you. Try new things. Don’t avoid them. Take calculated risks. Don’t shy away from them. Embrace and learn from mistakes. Don’t hide them. The capabilities and skills that got you here today are likely not the ones you need to win tomorrow. Be ready, be excited, embrace change.” 

The Builder: Atish Banerjea 

Atish Banerjea photoChief Information Officer, Facebook 

Atish Banerjea, MS ’91, is the chief information officer (CIO) of Facebook. Before joining Facebook, he worked in senior leadership roles at NBCUniversal and Dex Media, Inc. and spent 10 years with Pearson PLC. He has also held roles at Maurices, Inc. and Simon & Schuster. Early in his career, Banerjea held a full-time tenure track faculty position at the University of Wisconsin as assistant professor of computer information systems (CIS), responsible for teaching all the advanced CIS courses for the undergraduate computer information systems program, as well as conducting research in support of teaching assignments. 

Banerjea, who builds internal systems for Facebook, says the following about how he navigates working for the massive social media company: “I’ve learned there’s a Facebook way of doing things. For one, we build everything ourselves. And that’s because, in large part, we have a very strong platform. It’s also because many third-party products can’t match the pace at which we’re growing. And Facebook is a company driven by efficiency. Rather than bring a third-party product in that would change the workflow and the work process, which is what almost every other company does, we’ve figured out the most effective way someone here can do their job, from HR to finance, is to build a system to meet their needs.” 

The Philanthropist: Larry Miller 

Larry Miller photoPresident, Nike, Jordan Brand 

Larry Miller, BBA ’82, is the president of Jordan Brand, a division of Nike Inc. This is his second tour with the brand, and he continues to garner international respect for his reputation as an inspirational leader with a proven track record of building premium businesses in the world of sport. In his role, he oversees the day-to-day operations and works with Nike global leadership and Michael Jordan to drive the brand’s global business objectives. Prior to joining Jordan Brand, he served as president and alternate governor of the Portland Trail Blazers and vice president of the U.S. apparel division of Nike. He also held executive-level positions at Jantzen, Inc. and Kraft General Foods, as well as positions at Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc. and Campbell Soup. 

“The Fox School prepared me for a career in business. It allowed me to start in accounting and transition into general management, marketing, and beyond. It prepared me to look at what I do from a business perspective, because it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of sports. I think the Fox School also prepared me to be a leader,” says Miller. 

Miller possesses a commitment to philanthropy that is innate to Temple University and the Fox School. In 2015, he established the annual Tamara J. Gilmore Endowed Scholarship to award underrepresented female STHM students who are pursuing careers in hospitality and event management, and who exemplify Gilmore’s professional and entrepreneurial spirit. A Temple alumna who died in 1999, Gilmore was an accomplished business person within the hospitality industry. 

When asked, Miller offered the following advice for the Fox community: “I’ve learned a lot of lessons throughout my career, from Campbell to Kraft to Jantzen to the Blazers, and ultimately Jordan Brand. When it comes to leadership, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to have the right people in the right jobs, then allow them to do their jobs and give them support.” 

The Mover and Shaker: Margaret (Meg) McGoldrick 

Meg McGoldrick photoPresident of Abington-Jefferson Health 

Margaret (“Meg”) M. McGoldrick, MBA ’76, is president of Abington-Jefferson Health, where she has served as chief operating officer since 1999. She is responsible for Abington Hospital—Jefferson Health and Abington-Lansdale Hospital, as well as five outpatient centers and two urgent care centers. 

Prior to joining Abington, McGoldrick held executive leadership roles with Hahnemann University Hospital and the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital. She is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a Baldrige executive fellow with the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. She serves on the board of directors of several organizations, including the MidAtlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence and the Tristate Baldrige Alliance Program. She’s also a member of the Board of Visitors at the Fox School.

McGoldrick shares the best piece of advice that she was ever given: “Keep moving forward. There are ups and downs, certainly. Nothing’s a straight line. But if you’re not moving forward, you’re probably going backward.” 

She also offers the Fox community tips to build a great career as a healthcare executive: “I have served on many nonprofit boards that are connected to the work of our organization. This connection into the community provides for a deeper relationship with all those partners in the community that make it possible for healthcare organizations to be more effective. Also, meeting so many talented individuals in these organizations increased my network of professional colleagues.” 

McGoldrick’s Secrets to Success

  1. Respect and support all employees and clinical staff who care for the patients and families 
  2. Listen to those closest to the patients and the work of the organization 
  3. Dedicate yourself to a culture of safety and high reliability 
  4. Embrace constant cycles of learning and improvement 
  5. Commit to the Baldrige Framework of Management 

The Career Pitfalls that Taught Her the Most Valuable Lessons 

  1. Don’t let missteps or failures distract you from a continuous focus on your work 
  2. Deal with problems early on, as they often deteriorate further over time 
  3. Stop and listen before you react and try to respond rather than react 

5 tips for making a meaningful connection with employers

The Fox School has maintained a focus on student professional development with the launch of the Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD). Since 1997, CSPD has served as a vital link between Fox students and the business community and a comprehensive resource for students on successful entry into the professional business environment.

In addition to providing resume critiques, interview preparation, career and industry awareness development, and placement services, CSPD also offers guidance on impression management, including personal branding—an increasingly important tool in 2018 for jobseekers, whether you are a current Fox student or experienced graduate.

What is a brand? The promise of an experience, advises Janis Moore Campbell, director of graduate professional development for CSPD. In a job search, communicating your personal brand—including the “experience of you that you promise” to an employer—is essential to standing out.

But how do you present that experience before getting your foot in the door? Job seekers must establish and reflect a brand online that is relevant to targeted opportunities and employers, says Campbell, and an increasing number of enterprises are expected to use social media, technology, and artificial intelligence for candidate recruitment and applicant sourcing. 

Campbell offers the following tips for reinvigorating your brand and effectively communicating to target employers the promise of you. 

1. Take a realistic stock of your current presence on the Internet. You can control what you upload—your digital footprint. However, you should also stay aware of what others upload about you—your digital shadow. Stay informed on both to limit the disconnect between what your digital footprint reflects and what your digital shadow conveys.

2. Use fact-based, not opinion-based, language. Skip the cliché resume speak—recruiters and employers are not interested in your “dedicated, detail-oriented” opinion of yourself. Stick to facts, like how many years of experience you have, the number of people you manage, and your knowledge of specific technology and software (AP, Python, SQL, Power BI, Tableau, etc.) Highlighting those facts in clear language is crucial as AI helps recruiters sift through resumes. Although applicant tracking systems (ATS) are improving at processing PDFs, for now, it’s best to keep formatting simple and to submit documents in Microsoft Word format.

3. Recommend; don’t ask to be recommended. Recommend others on LinkedIn, but don’t ask for recommendations. Doing so will yield the boomerang effect and you’ll soon discover that colleagues, customers, and vendors will be more than willing to write credibly about you.

4. Strategically volunteer to build and showcase skills. Volunteering is an outstanding opportunity to develop, use, and market a skill that you may not be able to cultivate and utilize in your current role. It’s not enough to just volunteer at the Broad Street Run because you believe in its mission; instead, consider taking a strategic approach to volunteering. For example, if you wish to establish or transition to a career in marketing, consider volunteering on the marketing committee for the Broad Street Run as perhaps a more effective way to give back and contribute to your professional development.

5. Join and network through trade associations. For the most productive networking, meet others within a select field through regional and national professional associations, both online and offline. Nearly every industry or professional trade group has a local or state chapter that hosts a variety of events where you can increase your knowledge, meet industry professionals, and get the inside track on job openings in your area of interest. Professional trade associations and industry groups offer a wide variety of beneficial connections. 

This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.

5 Fox students and alumni redefining leadership

Associated image with three Fox School alumni
Jannatul Naima, Ryan Rist and Tomi Jones

Modern leadership manifests in seeing opportunity where others cannot. Today’s leaders choose to zig while others zag. They empower others, lifting as they climb. They are agile and creative, adept at solving problems.

They’re also scarce. According to a 2016 report, more than 56 percent of U.S. executives say leadership required to address their companies’ most pressing needs was absent. And only 7 percent of those surveyed say their companies had established fast-track leadership programs catered to the next generation of leaders.

The Fox School is stemming that trend. This year, the school launched the Fox Leadership Development Program (FLDP) to strengthen the competencies in graduating seniors that are most sought after by leading companies. FLDP aims to enhance those skills through a yearlong programming schedule required of all Fox students.

“Our goal through this program,” says assistant dean Charles Allen, “is to enhance our students’ overall experiences at Fox and, as we have for 100 years, better prepare them for the eventual transition from leaders in the classroom to leaders in the workforce.”

Sometimes, they don’t have to wait even that long. Here are five Fox School students and recent graduates proving there’s no cookie-cutter for leadership. 

They Make An Impact

Last summer, one week separated the landfalls of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico. The hurricanes claimed more than 100 lives and created $100 billion in damages. Ivan Cardona, a current student pursuing an executive doctorate in business administration (DBA), witnessed the devastation generated by the hurricanes, including the loss of his marketing business. But the tragedy didn’t break his resolve.

Immediately, he sought support for his country— freshwater, food, healthcare, and access to physicians, among other resources. He tapped his network, including others enrolled in the Fox Executive Doctorate in Business Administration program, to make that possible.

Cardona led philanthropic efforts to bring resources to Puerto Rico. He collected and distributed food to 2,300 families on Thanksgiving, using his trips to the U.S. for bi-monthly Executive DBA residencies, as well as chances to create contacts with folks who could lend assistance. He repeated his efforts in December, helping to hand out presents to more than 2,700 children at Christmas. His mission work focused on some of the island’s most affected municipalities, those that still lack access to freshwater and electricity.

Recently, Cardona and others distributed more than 2,000 solar lamps, as well as hand-cranked washing machines, to residents who are still without water and electricity.

“I’m not a hero,” Cardona says. “But when you see that, you start thinking, ‘If I leave, where are these people going to find water? Where are these people going to find food or how are they going to take care of their babies?’”

The work is not over, for Cardona and his home country.

They Give Back 

Jannatul Naima, BBA ’18, is a first-generation college student, which means her experience doesn’t necessarily look like everyone else’s. She pursued her undergraduate degree, managed family responsibilities at home, led two student organizations and held down a position in the Fox School’s Office of the Dean.

“My parents, like most immigrants, place value on education,” says Naima. “My mother and my father each work 60 to 70 hours a week. They have always said they will struggle so that my siblings and I won’t have to know struggle. To them, you work hard to get where you need to be in life.”

Her strong work ethic is paying off. In May, Naima earned an International Business degree with a concentration in Finance. She accepted entry into a two-year leadership development program at JPMorgan Chase, where she will rotate between roles in project management, process improvement, risk and control, and analytics. This presents an exciting future for Naima—at JPMorgan Chase and beyond.

Thanks to her success, Naima wants to give back. She found volunteer opportunities through Feed Philly and held positions in two student organizations: The Muslimah Project, a women’s empowerment organization that combats Islamophobia and provides a safe space for women of all cultures; and Temple’s chapter of United Muslim Relief, through which she raised thousands of dollars to aid Philadelphia-based refugees and build a maternity ward in Nigeria.

“Even as a young girl, I set high expectations,” Naima says. “It’s normal for me to be as involved with my school, my community, and my family. It’s all part of my goal to give back to my family and give back to the community in more ways than one.”

They Adapt 

Self-starter. Creative content consultant. Haircare influencer. These terms all apply to Tomi Jones, BBA ’18. So does this one: Gig worker, someone who secures gig or contract work.

Jones’ gig work is her life’s work. She monetized her YouTube channel, earning enough to offset a few educational expenses and develop a following of more than 90,000 subscribers along the way. She also works as a creative content consultant who helps firms and brands develop, create, and produce digital stories.

Jones first accepted contract work in her elementary school days when she signed up for table reads of scripts as a child TV production assistant.

She continued her passion for film and TV in 2015 for the movie “Creed.” Not only did she score on-camera time, but she also worked in stylist and production assistant roles on the set. Later that year, Jones interned by day for a Delaware-based bank. By night, she shuttled to New York to serve as a production assistant for the Netflix series “The Get Down” and complete YouTube certification courses. Not making much money, she often ate free meals on set, crashed on the couch of her aunt’s Harlem home, and jumped the turnstiles at subway stops.

“I’m not proud of that last one,” she says, “but I am proud of how you can open doors for yourself with daunting, sometimes-unpaid jobs. No one in this line of work has a resume that says, ‘One year here, two years there.’ Fox is ahead of the curve, and more universities need to be encouraging students that you can find satisfaction and your life’s work outside of a 9-to-5.”

They Create Connections

A study-abroad trip to Spain exposed Kyshon Johnson, BBA ’18, to plenty she’d never before seen: Culture, food, language… and the role of a father in the home.

The International Business major witnessed her host father doting on his wife, Johnson’s host mother. He would bring her flowers and play games with their daughter. He would hug them both tightly. 

Johnson grew up in a single-parent household in Philadelphia. Her mother, Johnson’s inspiration, raised three children while attaining three college degrees. Her father, incarcerated, is not a factor in her life.

“Because it was normalized in my community, I didn’t know it was an issue,” she says. “So, I conducted research, and I wanted to share what I have learned and see if I could learn more.”

In 2017, Johnson launched 100 Other Halves. The independent project applied her education, as Johnson met with 100 women of diverse backgrounds. Johnson invited the women, whether in person or in webcam meet-ups, to tell stories about their fathers—good, bad, or nonexistent.

“The women shared one trait: They contacted me to participate. Otherwise, they were all uniquely different,” Johnson says.

Johnson cataloged 100 Other Halves through posts to social media and her blog. She reserved the 100th interviewee for someone special—her mother, Kenya Barrett.

“My mom came into it with an open heart and open mind because she was raised through foster care,” Johnson says. “She was only two when her mother passed away from cancer, and she never knew her father. I watched her lay the foundation for who I am today and I never really asked her about her upbringing. It was enlightening for both of us.”

Upon graduation, Johnson began a business leadership program at San Francisco-based LinkedIn. She hopes to convert 100 Other Halves into a film or TV project.

“It’s important that women have opportunities to share their stories,” she says. “This started as a social experiment, and it’s become a platform for healing that I’m incredibly proud of.”

They Stay Busy 

Ryan Rist, BBA ’18, meets weekly with his Little Brother, a 10-year-old student at Philadelphia’s Independence Charter School, through the Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters. They often bond over lunch, conversation, or a game of soccer.

“I’m an only child,” Rist says, “so, in many ways, it feels like he’s my little brother. It’s rewarding to see him every week, get to know him, and make a difference in his life.”

But his leadership in his school and community extends beyond Big Brothers Big Sisters. Rist, who graduated in May with a Finance degree and a minor in Entrepreneurship, will also begin a three-year stint in the finance leadership development program at Prudential, where he held two prior internships. The rotational program allows Rist to build upon earlier experiences within Prudential’s tax investment and business planning and analysis teams.

“I like to stay busy,” Rist says, smiling. His professional, personal, and scholastic experience prove it.

He served three years as a resident assistant in one of Temple’s housing facilities. He also climbed the ladder in the Financial Management Association at the Fox School, for which he served a nine-month term as president—organizing activities, speaker series, and on-site visits to corporate headquarters for the 170-member student organization.

Outside of the classroom, Rist is resurrecting an entrepreneurial passion project he launched in 2014 as a high school senior. Rist Custom Coasters, behind a strong Kickstarter campaign, manufactured drink coasters with rubberized circular bottoms and felt inserts to absorb run-off. Personalized with images of logos or family photos, the coasters earned more than 150 crowdfunding backers. Rist brought his business to 2018 Be Your Own Boss Bowl®, an annual business plan competition at Temple.

When asked if he viewed himself as a leader, due to his many personal interests and professional responsibilities, Rist says, “I think everyone is a leader, to some degree. Everyone has the ability to lead. It’s just that leaders don’t always look or lead the same way.”

This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.

Temple University Provost JoAnne A. Epps visits the 2018 Women’s Leadership Series held last fall at the university’s Center City Campus. Participants included 42 professional women from 23 area companies and organizations.

Women in leadership face a myriad of challenges that could push a career off track.

“I think these challenges are best navigated by building savvy business skills and exploiting the advantages that women do have,” says Kelly Grace, one of the session leaders in the upcoming Women’s Leadership Series hosted by the Center or Executive Education at Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

The six-session series, which begins Sept. 26 and runs monthly through February, will focus on developing well-honed skills in strong communication, effective negotiation and confident leadership. In addition, the opportunity to regularly network with other professionals in the area will help leverage participants’ potential for career advancement.

“Given the unique group being assembled, we gave a lot of consideration to the faculty who are leading the sessions,” says Rich Morris, Associate Director of Business Development, Center for Executive Education. “We found facilitators who are passionate about supporting the professional advancement of the participating women and, in addition to being fantastic teachers, they also have served as role models for the participants.”

The sessions kick off on Sept. 26 with “Understanding and Leveraging Your Leadership Style” led by Wendi Wasik, founder and CEO of Wasik Consulting

“My goal for this workshop is to help our attendees see leadership as a way of being, rather than a list of to-do’s and not-do’s,” Wasik says. “We all have a unique way of expressing ourselves as leaders. Your leadership style is as unique as your fingerprint and reflects your personality and values.” 

Strong communication skills are required for the majority of professional job postings, notes Melissa Glenn-Fleming, Assistant Professor of Practice at Temple’s Fox School of Business.

On Oct. 17, Glenn-Fleming will lead “Executive Presence and Communications Skills” using the three pillars of executive presence — act, speak and appearance.

“We will discuss those definitions as they apply to women specifically, then identify personal challenges (and/or) strengths,” she adds.

Grace’s session “The Art of Negotiation: As Informed by the Science” will follow on Nov. 14. The Assistant Professor and Director of Master of Science in Human Resource Management at the Fox School believes negotiation is one of the most practical skills needed in any environment.

“We negotiate every day with our business associates as well as our partners and family members,” she says. “This course allows us to explore many ways negotiation occurs in our lives and how we can become more intentional about these processes.

“I want to share the science so participants develop deeper understandings of why they have been successful in past negotiations and consider alternative strategies for future negotiations.”

Over the course of the final three sessions, participants will attend “Finance for the Non-Financial Manager” led by Sherry Jarrell, Coordinator, Finance Curriculum of the MBA Programs at Fox; “Leading Organizational Change” led by Marilyn Anthony, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management and Director of Business Consulting at Fox Management Consulting; and “Career Management” led by Jackie Linton, President of JL HR Solutions, LLC.

“The class is a peer-learning opportunity and gets people to share the good, bad or ugly, as well as their experiences,” Anthony says. 

Part of each session will allow participants to work in small groups to solve challenges related to the particular topic. 

“That is the super fun part of the workshop,” Anthony adds. “Everything they are doing and sharing is real. Everyone is facing new challenges and is very open to this peer-solving problem.”

Linton believes Women in Leadership participants will walk away with a framework they can build out into a plan. 

“I want the women to learn from each other as much as they learn from me,” Linton says. “And we will have a little fun in the process.”

For more information

The first Women’s Leadership Series was held in 2018 and brought together professional women from a wide variety of companies and organizations. The upcoming series will be held in the new Center For Executive Education space at Temple’s Main Campus at the Fox School of Business, 1810 Liacouras Walk. 

Each session will run from 9 a.m. until noon. A networking lunch will follow.  The series fee is $2000 per individual participant or $1750 per participant for groups of 3 or more. Early bird registration of $1,850 per individual participant runs through 7/24/19.  

Click here to register for the series. For more information or to register a group, contact rmorris@temple.edu or call 215-204-3990.

Scholarship photograph

5 Fox School students and alumni share how scholarships changed their lives

Margaret (Meg) McGoldrick

BBA ’74, MBA ’77, President, Abington-Jefferson Health & Member, Fox School Dean’s Council

“I had the opportunity (in April) to meet with a dozen Fox students and they are so impressive,” says McGoldrick on a recent meeting of the Fox School Dean’s Council. “They are articulate and clear communicators. They show enthusiasm, politeness, and creativity. They attend Fox with a purpose, many of them to start their own businesses once they graduate. You can see that drive within them. Whenever I meet Fox students, I come away with a stronger understanding of why I invest in the school’s future.”

Charles Atangana

Class of 2019, Finance major

“The scholarship I received was valuable and significant to me because it off set the amount I needed to borrow to finance my education and pursue a BBA in my desired field. Once I graduate, I plan to use my finance degree to pursue a career in the music entertainment industry, and this wouldn’t be possible without the aid of the Johnson family and their scholarship.”

Kevin Johnson

BBA ’80, Vice President of Finance Transformation, Coca-Cola (retired) & Member, Fox School Dean’s Council

“Between contributions from my parents and my work-study program, I funded part of my education—but I still came out of the Fox School with debt. Today, I have a duty to give back to a place that gave me a foundation for a successful business career. Most people tend to think they need to write a seven-figure check to make a difference. That’s certainly not the case. Others need to know that we’re all capable of making a difference for the future generation with whatever we are able to contribute.”

Kristina Abi-Daher

Class of 2019, Accounting major

“Access to scholarships made the Fox School more attractive to me. I worked a job throughout high school, and that made my life more difficult than it needed to be. I didn’t have any flexibility in my schedule, or the ability to focus solely on my education. Now, my schedule isn’t nearly as complicated and I can dedicate myself to my education.”

Johanna Walters

BBA ’00, Senior Vice President, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

“I’m from a blue-collar Midwestern town, and my husband Brian (Sweeney, MBA ’01) and I both came from humble beginnings. We identify with the struggle of having to finance education, as well as the associated cost of not working in order to pursue a degree. It can be a heavy cost to the student. We firmly believe that education is one of best returns on investment. We established a scholarship at the Fox School to make students’ paths through college a little easier.”

This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.

Associated athlete picture

If you thought it was tough being a business student, imagine being a business student and an athlete. It’s a unique, life-changing challenge learning how to balance academics and sports, and learning how to be a leader in the classroom and on the playing field. Many Fox students have welcomed this challenge, pursuing both educational and athletic excellence. Some are record breakers. Some witnessed how gender equality shook up collegiate sports. And one went on to compete in the Olympics. Below, six Fox alumni share their memories of playing sports during their time at Temple University.

1. Rafael DeLeon, BBA ’10

Major: Marketing

Sport: Basketball (2006-2010)

Current job: TV/Film actor

Fact: DeLeon starred in the Netflix series reboot of Spike Lee’s film “She’s Gotta Have It.”

Best Temple sports memory: “Winning the A-10 college basketball tournament three consecutive years in a row, granting us an automatic bid to the March Madness tournament. We were the first team to win three straight conference titles since UMass in the mid-1990’s.”

2. Steven Flaks, BBA ’88

Major: Accounting

Sport: Gymnastics (1985-1987)

Current job: Director of finance, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP

Best Temple sports memory: “Winning the Eastern Division Gymnastics Championship as part of the ’85-’86 team and placing second on pommel horse in individual finals. Also sharing in the excitement of Temple basketball reaching No. 1 in the nation in ’88.”

3. Teresa Gozik-Tyson, BS ’85

Major: Accounting

Sport: Volleyball (1981-1985)

Current job: Vice president, credit analyst, Wells Fargo

Fact: Teresa met her husband, an STHM alum, at Temple University. (They have season tickets to Temple football and basketball games.) Also, their daughter earned a BBA from the Fox School and a master’s from STHM, and their son earned a bachelor’s from STHM.

Best Temple sports memory: “The last year female athletes were under the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) was 1981, and in 1982 we became part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and this was a result of Title IX, of course. So it was a very exciting time for female athletes at the collegiate level. My best memory of the move to the NCAA was that female athletes got textbooks each semester—we didn’t have to buy them! The university supplied them, and we had to return them at the end of the semester, but we were permitted to keep one book each semester. Also, by my junior year we were traveling further distances (via plane) and competing against larger schools. Life was awesome!”

4. Jennifer Harding, BS ’07

Major: Sport and Recreation Management (STHM)

Sport: Crew (2004-2005)

Current job: Major gifts officer, Villanova University

Fact: Harding is the director-at-large of the Fox School of Business Alumni Association (FSBAA) and co-chair of the events committee. 

Best Temple sports memory: “Working for the United States Olympic Committee at the headquarters in Colorado Springs before the 2008 Olympics. Being able to work with the athletes and to see the level of dedication it takes to perform at that level still inspires me today.”

5. Michael J. Moore, BBA ’93

Major: Marketing

Sport: Crew (1989-1991, 1993)

Current job: Partner and chief commercial officer at WillowTree Inc.

Fact: Moore competed in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

Best Temple sports memory: “I have incredible memories from my time at Temple, both on campus and on the river. Winning the Dad Vail four times when the crowds were in the 100,000’s on the banks of the Schuylkill is at the top. Representing Temple at the Royal Henley Regatta in England is right up there, too!”

6. Jim Williams, BS ’66

Major: Business Administration

Sport: Basketball (1963-1966)

Fact: Williams led the Owls in scoring and rebounding from 1963 to 1966, and he was the first player to record over 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career points. In 1976, he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls and won a gold medal in the Pan American Games. He went on to play in the Italian League, where his team won the Italian Basketball Cup.

From court to classroom: “Everything was beneficial. You have to learn to discipline yourself, whether it’s on the field of competition or court, or in the classroom. Without discipline and regular hours of practice, you won’t succeed. I never failed a test I was prepared to take.”

This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.

Fox Veterans associated image

The Fox School and Temple University is a thriving community of veterans, both current students and alumni. Between 2013 and 2017, 249 veterans earned degrees at the Fox School. And there are currently more than 400 veterans and veterans dependents enrolled. Since its founding 100 years ago, thousands of veterans have chosen to study business at the Fox School. To celebrate these business leaders’ commitments to their country, learn more about these accomplished Fox vets.

1. Edna Tuttleman, BS ’42

Back when Edna Tuttleman (1921-2013) was at Temple, the Fox School was called the School of Commerce. Tuttleman, who claimed her time here was “the most exciting period of my life,” became the university’s first female class president in 1939. Upon completion of her business degree, during World War II, Tuttleman joined the Navy’s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service program. She eventually earned the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade). Professionally, she went on to run design operations at a clothing firm owned by her husband, Stanley Tuttleman.

Temple Lover: A longtime donor and trustee, the Tuttleman Learning Center is named after her and was made possible by gifts from the Tuttleman Family Foundation.

Art Lover: Edna and Stanley Tuttleman were collectors of art, and their name adorns the Tuttleman Gallery at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Their collection included works by Roy Lichtenstein, Fernando Botero, and Alexander Calder.

2. Dorothy S. Washburn, SMC ’31, MBA ’50

Dorothy Washburn (1909-1985), West Philadelphia born and raised, earned a BS from what is now the Klein College of Media and Communication, and an MBA from the Fox School. Her government career began during World War II when she worked as a clerk at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. She held several positions in the military and won outstanding service awards from the Army and the Air Force, for which she served as a Reserve Lieutenant Colonel. She also worked in Washington, D.C., for the Office of the Secretary of the Navy.

Fact: The Washburn Chair in Marketing, named after Dorothy S. Washburn, is presently held by Dr. Masaaki Kotabe.

Active Life: Washburn served on the board of the Philadelphia League of Women Voters and was a member of both Temple University’s Board of Managers and Temple’s Board of the General Alumni Association.

3. Mark J. Fung, MBA ’11

Rear Admiral Mark Fung joined the Navy in 1988 and he was deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm and the War on Terrorism. He currently works for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command as deputy chief of civil engineers and deputy commander. For his service, Fung has earned the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star Medal. In his civilian life, Fung works as a project manager for AmerisourceBergen. 

Wise Words: “Life is too short to do something you don’t enjoy. I enjoyed my time at Temple, and at Fox, and I enjoy my work with the Navy. That’s the secret. What drives me, especially at this level of the Navy, where the stakes are high, is that there’s no room for second place. Even in the business world, you make decisions that affect the outcome of those who work for you and with you. It’s this responsibility to my team that makes me strive to perform at a higher level.”

4. Anthony McIntyre, BBA ’80

Following Anthony McIntyre’s time at the Fox School and Temple University—where he also played football and track and field—he was commissioned as a U.S. Army Reserve Officer and then spent several years as Company Commander of a floating craft company. Professionally, he worked for several years at the Graham Company and Xerox Corporation, before founding the McIntyre Group, an insurance brokerage firm, in 2002.

Temple Family: McIntyre’s wife, Christine, is an STHM graduate. His brother, Michael, earned his MBA from the Fox School.

Wise Words: “Nothing takes the place of persistence, hard work, and integrity. If you get knocked down, get back up. And take risks—with no risk, comes no reward.”

5. Paul Abrams, MBA ’16

Army Staff Sergeant Paul Abrams is the founder of RTB Limited, a soft skills training, and business consultancy. “We help fill the gap in startups to medium-sized businesses who don’t have the budget for a full training department,” says Abrams, who earned his MBA at the Fox School in 2016. 

Best Fox Memory: “I loved exposing my cohort members to professional rugby while visiting South Africa for my Executive MBA cohort’s Global Immersion trip. Rugby is a sport I am extremely passionate about; I played and coached for 15 years in the Army and for high-level clubs here in the U.S. Now that a league is starting here, I’d love to start a professional rugby team.”

Wise Words: “My discipline and attention to detail help me be a better leader in both business and the military. I also carry over the Army mantra ‘Be, Know, and Do.’ This creates a line of succession and constant training and communication in any business.

6. Joseph Petro, BS ’66

After earning his degree at the Fox School in 1966, Joseph Petro served as an officer in the U.S. Navy River Patrol Forces until 1970, including one year in Vietnam with River Division 512. He was discharged from the Navy as a Lieutenant. He has since worked as a special agent and senior executive in the U.S. Secret Service—Petro recounted these experiences, including his years alongside President Ronald Reagan, in his book, Standing Next to History: An Agent’s Life Inside the Secret Service—and a managing director at Citigroup. He is currently a senior vice president at Time Warner, Inc.

Wise Words: “Don’t be afraid to take chances—have confidence in yourself and work harder than everyone else.”

This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.

Health and technology entrepreneur Atisha Patel (left) and Fox School of Business Marilyn Anthony (right) recently joined Career View Mirror host Joyel Crawford on location at Willow Creek Winery in West Cape May, New Jersey, to discuss the path to entrepreneurship. [Photo courtesy of Joyel Crawford]

Finding success as an entrepreneur is more about being open to what can happen than sticking to a set plan.

“I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to an entrepreneur who really knew everything that was going to happen,” Fox School of Business Assistant Professor Marilyn Anthony says. “It is a path of discovery; so don’t be held back because you don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

Anthony shared her views on entrepreneurship during a recent appearance on RadioVision Network’s Career View Mirror with host Joyel Crawford, motivational speaker and certified career strategist, and fellow guest Atisha Patel, Health/Tech entrepreneur and co-founder of NotiCare and Teenpreneur, Inc. 

“You really have to be on the journey, open to the journey and prepared to deal with whatever comes your way,” Anthony says.

A good first step for an aspiring entrepreneur is to look at the landscape and consider how to make a difference.

“Start with a better understand of what you’re competing against,” Anthony says. “Who else is already doing something like it? If there’s nobody doing something like it, why aren’t they? If other people are doing it, how are you going to do it differently and better?”

The driving force for most social entrepreneurs is their desire to solve a problem they believe can have a better outcome.

“Empathy is often the motivation for entrepreneurs,” Anthony says. “It’s not their problem, it’s somebody else’s problem. But they get it and they feel like ‘I can come up with a solution working with the people who are struggling.’”

Recognizing ways to make a connection — or “bridges” — between the problem and the solution is a key strength of being an entrepreneur, Crawford points out.

“It’s almost like an emotional intelligence piece, it’s self-awareness,” she says. 

But knowing that you are headed in the right direction can be challenging. Patel tried several things before finding success in her current roles. 

“It’s networking, having connections and leveraging them,” she says.

Crawford believes it’s very important to keep and sustain the relationships you have made. “It’s not ‘hit it and quit it,’” she says.

But establishing yourself as an entrepreneur can take time and rarely happens quickly. 

“I waited to figure out my passion,” Patel says, adding that if anyone asked her when she was younger what she wanted to be, she answered “a boss.”

“I don’t know if that’s exactly what I wanted, but you know what, I enjoy it.”

To see the full interview, click here

This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.

Moving the Needle associated illustration
Illustration by Jon Krause

 

This article was written for Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine by Monica Wadhwa, associate professor, marking and supply chain management. Prior to her career in business academia, she has worked in the industry as a management consultant. Dr. Wadhwa’s research focuses on understanding the motivational and affective determinants of consumer decisions making.

There is a future with no drinkable water. There is a future in which the Amazon is populated with the skeletons of extinct animals and fossils of long-dead plants. There is a future in which humans will struggle to breathe.

It may sound like a distant future in a science fiction novel, but it is an imminent reality. Climate change impacts us in every facet of our lives. Everything we do, everything we eat, how we commute, how much we buy and how we discard it, has an impact on our planet.

Reversing climate change is about changing societal behaviors. As a behavioral scientist, I believe that my field of research—which is focused on understanding human behaviors and decision making—can help positively impact the globe.

To that extent, the Fox School of Business is proud to launch the Sustainability and Social Impact Strategic Initiative. This initiative, which is focused on researching, understanding and designing ways to nudge consumers into adopting sustainable consumption behaviors, is one way we’re moving the needle on climate change.

Focus on Long-Term Benefits

Resistance toward adopting sustainable behaviors often comes from our tendency to focus on short-term benefits, while devaluing long-term, more significant rewards. By understanding how and when consumers focus on future benefits, we can nudge them to change their behaviors around sustainable consumption.

For example, my research has found that when people are reminded of how busy they are, they tend to feel that they are valuable. This leads people to make decisions that are better from a long-term perspective–for example, being more likely to save money for the future than spending money on indulgences today.

Attaching Emotions

Another reason why people don’t adopt sustainable behaviors is that many feel a decreased sense of emotional attachment with nature and have begun to treat it as a separate entity. Building a more emotional relationship with nature might motivate people to place a greater focus on sustainable behaviors.

In my research, I am working on simple interventions that encourage the public to build positive memories with nature, such as inviting them to take pictures of their favorite outdoor spots in their neighborhood. This simple activity can make people feel more connected to nature, thus motivating them to adopt behaviors that are good for the environment in general.

Behavioral Science for Policy Change

Behavioral science does not only help design compelling interventions aimed at encouraging sustainable consumption. It can also help increase the effectiveness of government programs.

Take sustainable advertising, for example. Through my research, I found that people can imagine a danger more vividly when the message communicates a single risk as opposed to multiple risks. This insight can help policymakers, who spend a significant amount of money on sustainable advertising. Ensuring that these messages only communicate a single risk can result in an increased likelihood that readers will adopt the desired behaviors.

At the Fox School, we understand our responsibility as global citizens to create a positive impact on the world. The Sustainability and Social Impact Initiative is committed to acting on that sense of responsibility by focusing on research aimed at encouraging sustainable consumption and working with communities to implement these behavioral interventions.

Cleaner Actions for a Cleaner World: 8 Simple Ways to Live Greener At Home

  1. Switch one (or more!) appliance to an energy efficient model  
  2. Visit your local farmers market for groceries and produce
  3. Cancel your paper statements
  4. Unplug chargers and appliances when not in use
  5. Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers
  6. Reuse scrap paper
  7. When driving, combine all your errands for the week in one trip
  8. Donate your old clothes and furniture to thrift stores instead of throwing them away

Stay up-to-date on Fox School research at fox.temple.edu/idea-marketplace.

At any academic institution, one of the most highly valued outcomes is knowledge. In business schools across the country, faculty, staff and students produce insights that can change how business is done, inspire evidence-based management and shape the face of industries.

Part of being a global citizen, however, is ensuring that these discoveries are shared. Research without dissemination does not solve real-world problems. Bringing knowledge to the hands of practitioners is critical for the translation of insights into action.

At the Fox School, we are committed to bridging the gap between academia and industry—that’s why, in 2014, we launched the Executive Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) program to teach the tools of applied theory and research to senior executives. In this three-year, part-time program, industry leaders come together to learn a new way of thinking to solve tomorrow’s business problems.

Why the DBA Matters

In business, many organizations encourage their employees to innovate. However, the Fox DBA allows executives the freedom to experiment with evidence. By introducing students to new tools for understanding organizational systems and preparing them to address challenges with facts and data, the program offers senior managers the opportunity to become thought leaders.

“I was in the military for over 20 years. I was looking for growth and new challenges,” says Dennis Martin, DBA ’18. “I wanted a more practitioner-focused doctorate rather than just a theory-based program.”

The structured program unites academically rigorous research with practice-focused business questions. Then Fox DBA alumni like Dennis bring their insights—both the knowledge generated from the program and the tools for new ways of thinking—back to work.

Leading the Charge

“The Fox School is proud to be a leader in the DBA space,” says Steve Casper, managing director of the DBA program and professor of finance at the Fox School. “Our research focus, combined with the faculty mentors, really make our program stand out.”

Our DBA scholarly practitioners were on display at the Engaged Management Scholarship (EMS) Conference, which the Fox School hosted last September. The annual international conference, which is for doctoral students, alumni, faculty and managers involved in applied research and evidence-based management on a global scale, brought over 200 people from 100 organizations to discuss the importance of bringing research into the real world.

Presented by the Executive Doctorate in Business Administration Council (EDBAC), an organization representing more than 50 member schools in ten countries, EMS unites the academic and the practical into one three-day conference.  

“By hosting EMS, we demonstrated to the business community that the Fox School cares about bringing research to the real world,” says Casper. “We were very proud to host EMS and show off our university, as well as the city of Philadelphia.”

Applying Research to Business

At EMS, the Fox School strengthened its community of thoughtful and knowledgeable practitioners. Faculty engaged in networking across countries, programs and disciplinary fields. Students stretched the applications of their research beyond their own ideas and sought feedback from their peers. Program managers learned from each other and identified best practices for running DBA programs around the world.

“One of the more prominent questions during the conference was, ‘How do we come up with interesting problems that are researchable but also have applied business value?’” says David Schuff, professor of management information systems at the Fox School.

One example of these practical questions: How do female members of a company’s board of directors perform differently than companies with all-male boards? Ofra Bazel-Shoham, a graduate of the Fox DBA program in 2017 and assistant professor of finance at the Fox School, received the 2018 Best Paper Award in Applied Business Research, sponsored by Business Horizons, an academic journal from Indiana University, for her research that answers that question. Bazel-Shoham found that, while there was a negative correlation between the number of women on boards and the number of investments in R&D, women were more likely to focus on monitoring performance, which ends up incentivizing risky, but data-driven decisions. “As female leaders put more emphasis on monitoring,” says Bazel-Shoham, “gender-diverse boards were able to quantify and measure their decisions better than all-male boards.”

As the Fox School recommits to its position as a leader in changing global business, the DBA program can energize the bridge between research and industry. “At EMS, we built up energy and excitement of impactful and applied research,” says Susan Mudambi, academic director of the Fox DBA program and associate professor of marketing and supply chain management. “It shows how the Fox DBA is an important part of education in today’s world.”

This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.

Hot Topic Q&A illustrationWhile the concept has existed since the mid-2000s, gender lens investing is experiencing a popularity boom in recent years. Gender lens investing is the practice of investing for financial return with a dual goal of benefitting women through improving economic opportunities and social well-being.

The reason for the rise of this business trend has been attributed to various factors including #MeToo and the release of data that no longer made the wage gap a subjective topic. For example, a 2017 study by Babson College showed that companies where the CEO is a woman only received 3 percent of the total venture capital dollars from 2011-2013 or $1.5 billion out of the total of $50.8 billion invested.

To dive a little deeper into this topic, Fox Focus met with Ellen Weber, assistant professor in Strategic Management and executive director of Temple University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) and Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures. Weber is an expert on topics including funding early-stage companies, entrepreneurial ecosystems and women’s entrepreneurship.

Q: Why do you think gender lens investing has become so important in today’s modern business environment?

A: When entrepreneurs sell their companies, many want to invest in startups in order to give back, and this results in a virtuous cycle. When that pool of exited entrepreneurs mostly consists of white men, males typically receive most of the funding, resulting in gaps in funding for women-funded companies. It is only in recent years that we are seeing successful women founders who have money to invest in startups. These days there are many more women entrepreneurs looking for funding and the number of investors has increased.

Q: What impact has this evolution had in improving and shaping global business practices?

A: There is newfound importance placed on the need to measure behaviors in order to change them. For example, in 2015, venture firm First Round Capital ran the data on its portfolio and found that companies with a female founder performed 63% better than investments with all-male founding teams. The cause for the better performance is attributed to diversity of thought and experience perspective.

Q: What is the impact of gender lens investing on culture?

A: Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. They seek to solve problems that they understand and experience. So, women entrepreneurs are often solving problems that men would not necessarily see.

In the Fox School community alone, there are dozens of examples of this. Emily Kight, the 2018 Social Impact winner of IEI’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl® (BYOBB®), a business plan competition, developed an in-home, non-invasive urine test that screens for ovarian cancer. In 2017, she was awarded second place for bioengineering a leave-in conditioner to lessen the effects of trichotillomania, a hair-pulling disorder. She was also awarded funding by the Lori Hermelin Bush Seed Fund.

The Lori Hermelin Bush Seed Fund supports women in entrepreneurship. The Fund provides seed funding ranging from $500-$10,000. Funds are provided with the purpose of supporting companies in proving their concept, and where the money will have a significant impact on the company’s ability to progress.

Q: How is Temple University helping to support women’s entrepreneurship?

A: One of the most exciting things is the ability to offer students and alumni the opportunity to flex their entrepreneurial muscles in a supportive environment with competitions and calls for submission, like the Lori Bush Seed Fund, the BYOBB®, and the Innovative Idea Competition.

There are also a host of women’s organizations for students to get involved in at the Fox School, including Women’s Work, Women Presidents’ Organization, Women’s Village and the Women’s Entrepreneurial Organization.

On a personal level and in classes like Empowering Women Through Entrepreneurship, I place an emphasis on what makes entrepreneurs more powerful. One of the ways to do that is to bring in entrepreneurs who are representative Temple’s student body. I want to show my female students that if they can see it, they can be it.

If you are a student who would like to get involved in entrepreneurship or women in business, feel free to contact iei@temple.edu.

This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.

Ethical Technology illustrationIn the technology industry, the unending pursuit of the next big innovation leaves little room for ethical considerations about data privacy and evolves too quickly for any governing body to create and enforce regulations. For years, technologists have held firm in the belief that they do not need government intervention to regulate their actions, but in light of recent revelations that belief is starting to waver.

The complicated relationship between ethics, regulations and technology came to a head in 2018 thanks to Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal. When the social network exposed the data of 87 million users to the Trump Campaign’s political consulting firm, consumers began to question whether or not they really had control over their personal information. In a survey conducted that year by Pew Research Center, roughly half of U.S. adults revealed that they do not trust the federal government or social media sites to protect their data. Now more than ever, the pressure is on policymakers to close the gap and regulate the industry. However, the question remains: can you enforce ethical behavior in tech?

Creating an Environment that Supports Ethical Behavior

Let’s start by looking at the workplace. For ethical decision-making to become a part of a company’s practice, there needs to be a cultural and organizational infrastructure in place to support it. Many believe that a c-suite position for ethics and integrity should exist within every organization, and a handful of companies already have that role in place. Leora Eisenstadt, assistant professor in the Department of Legal Studies at the Fox School, believes that it’s a step in the right direction, but for the position to be successful, it needs support from managers and employees at all levels.

“It’s not going to filter up to the chief integrity officer unless the people on the ground are asking the right questions,” says Eisenstadt. Encouraging employees to speak up and challenge their superiors when they sense an issue is crucial to implementing this type of change. “If that is not encouraged, you’re never going to hear it,” Eisenstadt says.

In addition to internal checks and balances, there also needs to be external regulations to hold companies accountable. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is currently preparing for what could be the most substantial penalty in its history for Facebook, but it’s hardly enough to have a significant impact on the company’s bottom line.

If the U.S.had a comprehensive policy akin to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Facebook would be liable for up to 4 percent of its annual global revenue, or $2.2 billion. According to Anthony Vance, director of the Center for Cyber Security at the Fox School, a penalty of that magnitude is the only thing that will get major corporations to pay attention, as it could have an actual effect on the company’s performance. “Right now, there is no law or major penalty,” Vance says. “So companies treat data as a resource to them; as their own asset that they can mine and resell, which is a huge privacy violation.”

The Role That Policy Can Play

There is hope yet, however, in the California Consumer Privacy Act, which was signed into law in 2018 and will go into effect in 2020. Inspired by GDPR, it will set the bar for online privacy in the U.S. “Now, there’s huge legislative pressure to enact some kind of federal regulation to basically enshrine ethical principles about privacy and law,” says Vance. “For the first time in history, tech companies are pushing the federal government to create a uniform policy.”  

Even with internal and external regulations in place, it’s also vital for us as consumers to play our part and pay attention. There will always be more powerful technological developments on the horizon and new dilemmas to face in the future. It’s not realistic to expect consumers to read through every line of every “Terms of Use” policy they see, but it’s important to be aware of the way a company operates. We have the power to vote leaders into political office that understand the industry and can fight to enact laws on our behalf. “That responsibility doesn’t just rest on technologists,” Vance says, “it rests on us as people.”

How to Be a Responsible Tech Consumer:

  • Install an Adblock extension in your browser if you want to prevent your data from being collected and tracked
  • Be aware that if you’re using a free service, you’re the product of that service, and limit the data you share
  • Find and support political leaders who are tech-savvy and share the same beliefs as you do about privacy and ethics laws  
  • Stay informed on recent events in the tech industry, especially for companies that provide a service you are actively using

This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.

calculations on a computer screen

Each year, consumers create 16.3 zettabytes of informationenough to fill over 127 billion iPhones. Sorting through all this information is like trying to find a needle in a haystack the size of California.

Within these treasure troves of data are valuable insights waiting to be discovered. Data scientists use statistics, math, and information technology to sort through enormous datasets with millions of variables, looking for patterns. Yet combing through this information takes immense power, not to mention computer memory. So do they sort through it all?

That’s where people like Zhigen Zhao, associate professor of Statistical Science at the Fox School, come in.

Zhao and his statistician colleagues invent new ways to use statistics, overcome computation limitations, and see patterns through the noise. Their discoveries range from a newly patented methodology that enables users to analyze millions of data points in seconds to a new threshold for pinpointing statistical significance.

Deciphering Genetic Codes

Humans have 20,000 genes in our DNA. Much like data, decoding how each gene interacts with another can provide valuable insight, in this case into a person’s health. With over 190 million possible pairs, that’s a lot of variables to test.

“Years ago, 10,000 was considered a big data set, but not anymore,” says Zhao. When using standard algorithms like distance correlation, statisticians run into issues with computation speed, and the old algorithms can’t keep up with the large datasets available today.

Zhao and his colleagues devised a methodology that can analyze all of these variables in seconds. “Our method only takes two-tenths of a second to finish this kind of calculation,” says Zhao. His computer would crash when using older algorithm to analyze a dataset of that size.

“People’s health can depend on a specific combination of their genes,” says Zhao. This revolutionary methodology, which was recently approved for a patent, can identify certain combinations of genes that may help doctors understand medical issues ranging from heart disease and Alzheimer’s to obesity and alcoholism.

Discovering Differences in Education

With millions of pieces of information, statisticians and data scientists often grapple with the problem of false discoveries—inferring a pattern that is not truly significant. Statisticians try to account for these false discoveries, but this may lead to a less complete picture of the data.

Zhao and his colleagues created a new algorithm to reduce the number of false discoveries while keeping more pertinent patterns than other methods. Zhao’s team applied this algorithm to school districts in California, analyzing standardized test scores of students from over 4,000 elementary schools.

The researchers compared pass rates from two groups of students, the socioeconomically advantaged and the socioeconomically disadvantaged. Normally, the advantaged students will have higher scores than their disadvantaged counterparts. However, Zhao used his algorithm to identify schools that have unusually small or unusually large differences between the two populations—where the disadvantaged students were either significantly underperforming or overperforming in statewide math tests.

Their new algorithm found more schools whose populations have significant differences in test scores, providing a more complete understanding of the dataset. “The main idea for this method is to incorporate school district information to get a new threshold,” says Zhao. “The standard method, which doesn’t include this information, can be either overly conservative or overly liberal.” This kind of refined analysis can help district and state policymakers to reallocate resources to support underperforming schools or to imitate overperforming schools.

From education to healthcare and everything in between, Zhao and his fellow statisticians sort through enormous datasets, finding new ways to compute that better our everyday lives.

This story was originally published in On the Verge, the Fox School’s flagship research magazine. For more stories, visit www.fox.temple.edu/ontheverge.

B-Corp photo

There are over 2,500 Certified B Corporations in over 50 countries around the world today. But back in 2006, there were just three friends looking to make a positive impact on the business world. These three friends set out to define a way for mission-driven companies to blend profit with purpose in a meaningful way, leading to the creation of Certified B Corporations. But what is B Corp, and how can it influence your future in business?

B Corps defined

B Corps, also known as Certified B Corporations, are businesses that adhere to the “highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability,” according to B Lab. For a company to reach the point of certification as a B Corporation, it must be driven by vision and not simply by profit. B Corps strive to solve environmental, communal and global challenges. They do so by supporting their employees to complete their mission, holding themselves accountable and aspiring to benefit all.

How does a business become a B Corp?

For a business to become a B Corp, they must first be leaders of a global movement to use the power of business for the greater good. Businesses must be accountable, transparent and high-performing. They must also achieve the minimum score on the B Impact Assessment, which is a measurement of the impact the business has on its stakeholders.

Who certifies B Corps?

Standards Analysts administer B Corp Certifications in the nonprofit B Lab. These analysts are located in three B Lab offices: Pennsylvania, New York and Amsterdam. Companies must also pay certification fees based on their revenues and undergo recertification every two years to meet the universal standards.

How can I work for a B Corp?

Excited by the mission behind B Corps? Meaningful jobs are available at B Corps around the world. Using B Work, the official B Corps job board, identify what type of position you’re looking for to narrow down your job search.

Do I know any B Corps?

You may be surprised that some well-known household brands are in fact B Corps. Even though having a B Corp Certification is very impressive, the main priority of a B Corp is their humble commitment to the greater good. Here are just a few B Corps that you may have heard of: Patagonia, Toms, Athleta, New Belgium Brewing, Ben and Jerry’s, Greyston Bakery, C.F. Martin & Co., The Myers-Briggs Company and Techstars. For a full list of B Corps, search the B Corp Directory.

Are there any B Corps based in Philadelphia?

There are 28 B Corps in Philadelphia alone. These companies include education services, hospitality, healthcare, cleaning, environmental, graphic design, real estate, technology and more. New businesses earn their B Corp Certifications every day. These are real businesses driving real change in the world through their individual missions.

Are you looking to make an impact on your own? Even if you do not work for a B Corp, there are ways that you can practice social responsibility by supporting businesses that you believe in—businesses that are there for the greater good.

This story was originally published in Fox Focus, the Fox School’s alumni magazine.

Navigation app on smartphone

As consumers, we have said goodbye to hailing taxi cabs in the pouring rain. We have stopped stressing about public transit schedules and delays. Some of us have even found alternative solutions to a costly ambulance ride.

Instead, we just get an Uber.

Ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft are one of the biggest ways people participate in what is known as the “sharing economy,” through which individuals share goods, like homes and condos on Airbnb and VRBO, or services, like labor and freelance work on TaskRabbit and Upwork.

For many, participating in the sharing economy as a consumer is freeing. But how have the suppliers—those who own cars or homes—been affected in the last decade?

Jing Gong, assistant professor of Management Information Systems at the Fox School, sought out the answer.

Consumer or consumed?

Using Uber as an example, Gong could see two sides of the same coin. On one hand, the demand side, consumers who use Uber might be more willing to give up their cars in favor of the convenience of temporary ownership, what she called the “cannibalization effect.”

On the supply side, however, Gong could also see that providers may have an incentive as well. Drivers—or those desiring to be drivers—may actually invest in their cars in order to capitalize on the income available in the sharing economy.

To discover the answer, Gong and her co-authors—Brad Greenwood, associate professor of Information and Decision Sciences at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, and Yiping Song, associate professor of Marketing at Fudan University’s School of Management—investigated Uber’s entry into different cities in China. Using a unique dataset of new personal vehicle registrations between 2010 and 2015, Gong and her colleagues analyzed new car purchases compared to Uber’s introduction to the country starting in 2013.

Because Uber came to different Chinese cities at different times, the research team was able to use a statistical technique called difference in differences, which mimics a lab experiment, to compare groups classified as controlled or treated. As the platform rolled out, the team used variables in both geography and time to understand Uber’s effects compared to the control cities.

In the paper, “Uber Might Buy Me a Mercedes Benz: An Empirical Investigation of the Sharing Economy and Durable Goods Purchase,” the researchers found that both riders and drivers have become consumers.

“The consumption of Uber needs to be satisfied by more cars being available,” says Gong. “As more people are giving up on public transportation or car ownership, others are seeing the opportunity of becoming a driver, which in return calls for an increase in car sales and trade-ins.”

Entrepreneurs without red tape

The sharing economy has made way for entrepreneurs, sans the red tape.

Gong’s study found that Uber’s arrival to a city was correlated with an increase in new vehicle ownership—about eight percent on average. The researchers estimated that roughly 16 percent of new owners were purchasing their cars in order to become Uber drivers.

The effects were varied when the researchers analyzed key conditions. First, Uber had a stronger effect on the sale of smaller cars than larger cars, with owners placing a high premium on features like fuel efficiency. Second, women were less affected by Uber’s entry into a marketplace, but still experienced a significant increase in car ownership. Finally, young people were more significantly affected, given their higher likelihood to drive for ride-sharing platforms, change jobs, and have more volatile income.

Now, having a car or a home has allowed owners to see an opportunity for financial gain. For those who are unemployed or underemployed, ride-sharing has given them the tools and flexibility of a consistent income.

Effects from Detroit to D.C.

In this study, the researchers disprove a popular myth that Uber’s arrival has people fleeing car ownership. Knowing that buyers are now looking to purchase goods specifically for participating in the sharing economy, how should manufacturers react?

“In order for drivers to stay current while being cost-efficient, they are paying attention to the type of cars they are buying,” says Gong. “Whether it is for style or fuel economy, manufacturers are willing to market specific vehicles in order to draw in drivers.”

With Uber and other platforms, workers are bypassing the formalities of employment regulations. While lawmakers have highly regulated incumbents in the industries, like taxi companies and professional car services, startups have not had to contend with such high obstacles.

“Policymakers are having to reconsider whether this business model can sustain itself without intervention,” says Gong. She suggests lawmakers be thoughtful about reducing regulations on these established industry players to provide a level playing field.

A New Frontier

It is evident that platforms like Uber have changed the economic game faster than industries can keep up.

“The sharing economy is changing the landscape because it’s consumer to consumer,” says Gong. “The dynamics are different because the drivers are consumers of cars but the riders are also consumers of cars. With the manufacturers in the mix, there are more players.”

This research, the first of its kind to analyze the impact of the ridesharing economy on car owners, can provide insights to industries across the sharing economy. The introduction of Airbnb, for example, could encourage more homeownership for those looking to make money in new hot rental markets. Manufacturers of these goods will need to understand, build for, and market to these new customers.

Powered by new technologies and an entrepreneurial spirit, the sharing economy will continue to grow in both importance and prevalence. Yet, the question remains:

Is a new car—and gig—in your future?

This story was originally published in On the Verge, the Fox School’s flagship research magazine. For more stories, visit www.fox.temple.edu/ontheverge.