Today’s workforce is a mobile workforce
Today’s modern workforce translates to a mobile workforce, with one-third of all employees considered “anywhere/anytime workers.” Dr. Sunil Wattal, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems at Fox, provided insight into ways IT departments can stay ahead of this ever-changing workforce.

B-schools bridging business and science
Do business schools have a role in STEM education? Dr. Munir Mandviwalla, Associate Professor and Chair of Management Information Systems at Fox, helped explore that question by co-authoring an op/ed for BizEd Magazine, the leading publication of AACSB International.

Improving Temple’s vet servicesIf passed, a proposed Pennsylvania
House bill would make all veterans eligible for in-state tuition rates at state-related institutions, like Temple. An article on the proposed bill called into question Temple’s student-veteran services, on which Fox School Vice Dean and Temple Veterans Association faculty advisor Debbie Campbell is quoted.

Philly as an entrepreneurship destination?In January, entrepreneurship leaders from Philadelphia’s universities gathered to discuss the steps necessary for strengthening the city’s reputation as a destination for entrepreneurially minded college students. Ellen Weber, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management and Executive Director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, and Robert McNamee, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management and Academic Director of IEI, attended and were featured in the article.

Designing city innovationThe Fox DESIGNchallenge, an innovative idea competition in which college students from across the region combine business and design skills to drive solutions to pressing urban ideas, drew media attention from multiple outlets, including CBS3 and NBC10 (video unavailable.) KYW NewsRadio spoke with Dr. James Moustafellos, Center for Design + Innovation Associate Director and Management Information Systems Assistant Professor.

Net neutralityLast Thursday’s FCC ruling on net neutrality raised concerns over its potential impact on cable giant Comcast, one of the region’s largest employers. Dr. Munir Mandviwalla, Associate Professor and Chair of Management Information Systems, is quoted, and is featured in an audio report that aired on WHYY Radio.

For the first time, Temple University’s Fox School of Business will offer a Mini MBA certificate program for law professionals.

The accelerated weekend program, offered in partnership with Temple’s Beasley School of Law, is designed to equip working attorneys and recent law school graduates with the business acumen that’s most relevant and necessary to today’s legal environment, without disrupting their professional careers.

The Mini MBA is a 10-course offering that begins Friday, April 24, and runs through Sunday, April 26, at Temple University’s Shusterman Hall (campus map). The Mini-MBA provides 21 hours of classroom instruction, and 18 credits in Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education (PA CLE).

“The Mini MBA is an exceptional addition to Fox’s executive education programs,” said Dr. Samuel D. Hodge, Professor and Chair of the Fox School’s Legal Studies department. “This program is unique because it is a joint enterprise between the Beasley School and Fox School, with top faculty from both teaching the courses.”

World-class faculty from the Beasley School of Law and Fox School’s Legal Studies, Finance, Marketing and Supply Chain Management, and Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management departments will lead courses that include:

  • Accounting for Lawyers
  • Legal Issues in the Workplace
  • Drafting of Business Agreements
  • Industrial Organization and Corporate Strategy
  • Managing Risk
  • Corporate Compliance

Each day of the program will begin with a breakfast leadership session. Friday, Temple University men’s basketball coach and Fox School adjunct professor Fran Dunphy will cover effective business leadership. President of Puma Legal Placement Lysa Puma will explore marketing strategies for lawyers during Saturday’s session. And Sunday, Rosemarie Greco, the former president of CoreStates Bank and Chair of VISION 2020, will discuss leadership practices.

“The relationship between law and business is becoming more intertwined every year,” said Duncan B. Hollis, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the Beasley School. “We believe in equipping lawyers with the tools necessary for practicing in all contexts, and not just in traditional litigation settings. The Mini MBA offers lawyers the introduction they need to attain basic business skills, which can serve as a scaffolding upon which to build up real expertise in business law.”

The tuition cost of the Mini MBA program is $2,500, which includes materials and meals. Beasley School of Law alumni are eligible for a $500 tuition discount.

To pre-register, visit www.mytlawconnection.com/minimba15. Day-of registrants are welcome, as well, though spots are limited.

A professor from Temple University’s Fox School of Business has been named a Microsoft MVP.

Dr. Isaac Gottlieb Professor of Statistics Dr. Isaac Gottlieb, whose passion for teaching students the ins and outs of Microsoft Excel, earned distinction as one of Microsoft’s 2015 Most Valuable Professionals. This marks the second straight year Gottlieb has been so recognized.

Microsoft’s MVP Award is presented to exceptional community leaders who are committed to sharing their technical expertise and real world knowledge of Microsoft products within their community and with Microsoft.

It all started with a simplified idea, Gottlieb said. After teaching separate software methods to students studying varying subjects, he said he sought out to find a “one-stop shop” to make learning easier for students. Microsoft Excel was his portal, and he’s come to perfect the system.

“I discovered that every subject that you teach, whether it’s statistics, operations management or analytics, has different software,” Gottlieb said. “It takes almost half a semester to master that software and, by the time you know the software, you don’t have time to practice the subject.”

Gottlieb said he started to apply statistics, operations management and analytics into Excel and began teaching his method.

“So that’s how I became an expert. It took me two years to perfect it,” he said.

According to Gottlieb, Excel has not changed much within the last 12 years, except perhaps the interface. Microsoft did recently add Business Intelligence in the last two years, he said.

“Once you master it, it’s like playing the piano,” Gottlieb said. “After a while, you just learn new music.”

Gottlieb was presented with Microsoft’s MVP Award in January. As a recipient, he has had the opportunity to meet with other Microsoft professionals from around the world. In November 2014, he attended the MVP Summit at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash.

Although there are more than 1,800 MVPs, very few are masters in Excel, Gottlieb said. Because of his expertise, Microsoft’s professionals have asked Gottlieb to hold a workshop at one of its Excel centers in Singapore.

While in Singapore, he said, “(Microsoft’s) development team contacted me and asked for my analytic ideas for its upcoming version of Excel.”

There’s no denying that Excel is Gottlieb’s forte. He has published a book on the subject, titled, Next Generation Excel: Modeling In Excel For Analysts and MBAs (For MS Windows and Mac OS), (Wiley 2013). He also has an Excel-Tip-Of-The–Month newsletter that is distributed to more than 50,000 subscribers.

Gottlieb teaches more than 1,500 students annually at the Fox School, and all incoming Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD), Master’s of Business Administration (MBA), Master’s of Science (MS) and Bachelor’s of Business Administration (BBA) students are required to complete his online Excel workshop during their respective programs.

“After you teach so many people for so many years, (Excel) becomes natural,” he said.

(To subscribe to Gottlieb’s newsletter, email isaacg@temple.edu.)

A group of panelists spoke to Fox Global MBA students about the Latin American region prior to the students’ Global Immersion trip there in March.
Experts on the Middle East/North Africa region spoke to Fox Global MBA students as part of a panel discussion prior to the students’ Global Immersion trip there in March.

Business meetings in Colombia seldom begin promptly, said Dr. Kevin Fandl.

How does he know this? An Assistant Professor of Legal Studies at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, Fandl has studied in Colombia. He traveled there in 2006 as a Fulbright Scholar, taught there, investigated its informal economy, and even wrote his PhD dissertation on his experiences there.

“You never walk into a business meeting (in Colombia) and start on time,” Fandl said to a gathering of Global MBA students. “Small talk can go on for 90 percent of the meeting and, in the last 10 minutes, you need to make your points and sign your deal.

A host of distinguished guests spoke to Fox’s second-year Global MBA students Feb. 12-13 at Alter Hall, sharing wisdom and tips in a panel-discussion format during a two-day workshop in preparation for the students’ upcoming Global Immersion trips.

Divided equally into two groups, the 42 Global MBA students will spend two weeks in either the South American nations Colombia and Chile, or in Turkey and Morocco, of the Middle East/North African (MENA) region. While there, the students will meet representatives of local companies and firms, participate in case studies and learn the entrepreneurial ecosystems of what Fox’s Dr. MB Sarkar called “transitional economies.” Last year, this very cohort made Global Immersion trips to India and China, two of the most promising BRIC nations.

“Among the competencies that are relevant in today’s market, developing contextual intelligence is being rated as one of the most critical for MBAs,” said Fox School Dean Dr. M. Moshe Porat. “We at Fox believe that, in order to develop the next generation of global leaders, we need to learn from the innovative business models that are being seeded in these emerging markets.”

Sarkar, Fox’s Global Immersion Academic Director, and Rebecca Geffner, Fox School’s Director of International and Executive Program, assembled dynamic panels with marquee guests related to both the Latin America and MENA regions.

Speakers included:

  • Ahmet Kindap, of Turkey’s Ministry of Development
  • Marwan Kreidie, Founder and Executive Director of the Philadelphia Arab American Development Corporation
  • Z. Joe Kulenovic, an international economist
  • Christian Rodriguez, Consul-General of Colombia
  • Laura Ebert, International Trade Specialist with the United States Department of Commerce and International Trade Administration
  • Ali Solyu, of Cameron University in Oklahoma, and Ipek University, in Ankara
Experts on the Middle East/North Africa region spoke to Fox Global MBA students as part of a panel discussion prior to the students’ Global Immersion trip there in March.
A group of panelists spoke to Fox Global MBA students about the Latin American region prior to the students’ Global Immersion trip there in March.

Sarkar and Geffner kicked off the two-day event with opening remarks, discussing the importance of immersing oneself into the culture and business practices of the countries they’ll visit, while offering insights into what the Global MBA students might expect during their travels.

Fandl served as moderator on a guest-speaker panel into the history, culture and politics of Latin America, of which Rodriguez and Kulenovic were guests. The panel informed students about the business climates and entrepreneurial ecosystems of Colombia and Chile. Fandl and Rodriguez offered the graduate students advice on conduct and decorum in a business atmosphere, while introducing themselves to professionals.

“In Chile and Colombia, know about their food, wine, culture, weather and definitely know your (soccer) teams,” Fandl said.

“Chileans and Colombians know when you are telling the truth about yourselves,” said Rodriguez. “Know your story and be comfortable. That will help you out 70 percent.”

Other guests on the panel included: Mitchell Mandell, attorney at White & Williams LLP, and Laura Ebert, International Trade Specialist with the United States Department of Commerce and International Trade Administration.

Later on Day 1, Global MBA Academic Director Dr. TL Hill presided over a panel discussion into the business climate and entrepreneurial ecosystems in the MENA region. The panel featured: Kreidie; Jean Abinader, COO of the Moroccan American Center and National Association of Arab Americans; Kindap from the Turkish Government and Joe Kulenovic, a consultant with the World Bank who is researching how cities in emerging countries become globally competitive.

The speakers conveyed to Global MBA students a pervasive gender inequality issue, mentioning the infrequency with which women are integrated into the workforce. Guests on the panel also suggested that international trade has significant growth potential in both Turkey and Morocco, which are natural bridge countries due to their geographic positions.

Porat and Deputy Dean Dr. Rajan Chandran provided keynote addresses. Additionally, Chandran will join Global MBA students, Sarkar and Geffner in Morocco for a one-day entrepreneurship conference being organized in partnership with Al Akhawayn University in Casablanca, as part of the Global Immersion experience.

“Our sincere hope is that this conference will become a seed for Fox’s intellectual engagement in the region, and our contribution to helping the local economies grow,” Chandran said.

Global MBA student Emily Fox, who majored in Spanish as an undergraduate, chose the Global Immersion trip through Colombia and Chile for obvious reasons.

“In the future, I see myself conducting business in a Spanish-speaking country, so I wanted to be exposed to how negotiations are handled in those countries,” said Fox, who is slated to graduate in May.

During the information sessions, students were asked to “prep now,” so they could immediately take advantage of the experience once their flights had landed.

“You have to get to know the people, figure out your target and set an idea of what you wish to accomplish,” Rodriguez said.

For Global MBA student Andy Oakes, learning about contrasting business practices and emerging global markets are the benefits of gaining international field experience.

“Long-term I’d like to work outside the United States in technology consulting,” Oakes said. “It’s important in the globalized economy that exists today to become immersed in multiple cultures.”

“Global Immersions are an extension on the program,” said Neeharka Damea, another Global MBA student. “The opportunity to experience multicultural backgrounds was the reason why I chose the Fox Global MBA program.”

Photo credit: Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma
Photo credit: Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma

Students from the Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business strolled through the MBA Commons at Alter Hall, ready to greet the largest contingency of employers ever gathered at the annual RMI Intern Reception.

Looking confident and dressed in their finest business-professional attire, the students had hands to shake, resumes to distribute and a shared objective.

“All of our students want internships,” said Dr. R.B. Drennan, the Chair of Fox School’s Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management department. “Though we don’t require internships, so to speak, our students recognize the value in earning one. Internships are critical for professional development, earning industry experience and demonstrating their skills in an arena that might lead to a permanent position.”

The Fox School is home to the Sigma chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, a professional international fraternity for RMI majors. The award-winning organization held its annual RMI Intern Reception, for which it hosted record-breaking numbers of students and employers. The sold-out event, held Feb. 12, featured more than 110 representatives from 45 companies and nearly 200 internship-seeking students.

To earn eligibility to attend the event, Drennan said RMI students must clear several professional development hurdles that include workshops, mock interviews and resume submissions.  The RMI Intern Reception has a strong tradition of excellence, he said. Fox’s RMI program, the oldest, continually running program in the United States, placed 180 students in summer internships in 2014.

“This is one of the premier RMI programs out there,” said Decker Youngman, Chief Recruitment Officer of Tampa-based Brown & Brown Insurance, which has had a Fox RMI intern each of the last five summers. “That’s why we make the trip and that’s why we’re here.”

Another employer, Sunny Cutler [Class of 2000] of human capital consulting firm Aon Hewitt, said RMI students blend “knowledge of industry with the necessary soft skills.”

“We can find bright students anywhere,” said Cutler, Aon’s Vice President of Health and Benefits consulting group. “This event provides a great recruitment opportunity where we can learn more about the student.”

Students attending the RMI Intern Reception each wore nametags for easy identification while meeting employers for the first time. Many confidently carried leather portfolios, which held copies of their resumes. Some strategically navigated the room with precision, opting to bypass long waits at the tables of some employers before returning when the crowd had thinned, their strategy allowing them to optimize the number of employers they met.

Shannon Nolan, a dual RMI and Accounting major at the Fox School, said preparedness for the event was paramount.

“To make the most of this experience, you have to take a look at the map to see the layout of where employers are located,” said Nolan, a native of Havertown, Pa., and the Director of RMI Career Development with Gamma Iota Sigma. “You take a look at what you’re wearing, whether you have your resume ready and then you introduce yourself confidently.

“And you always make sure to get their business card.”

To secure the registration of so many top-tier employers – “it’s a who’s-who of the insurance industry,” Drennan said – no cold-calling was required, according to Michael McGuire, Vice President of RMI Career Development for the Sigma chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma.

“Professors Drennan and (Michael) McCloskey foster such good relationships with the employers here, and from that, we have a reliable industry contact list that helps the process,” said McGuire, an RMI major from Lansdale, Pa. “It’s a point of pride and a point of relief to see this event go off so well. The people who came before me in this position left a legacy of success for the Intern Reception, and I’m glad we were able to keep the legacy going.”

FoxCSPDspringconnex3Mingling between high tables in their business best, students from Temple University’s Fox School of Business actively shook hands and offered resumes to employers from the likes of Comcast, Deloitte and Wawa.

At Mitten Hall for Spring Connection, a grand-scale networking and recruiting event hosted by Fox’s Center for Student Professional Development, more than 1,000 students turned out Feb. 11 to speak with representatives from 74 companies, in the hopes of securing either summer internships or postgraduate full-time employment. They streamed in steadily for the nearly four-hour event and worked the room confidently, having engaged in the first step of professional development preparedness through the CSPD’s resume and networking workshops.

“This event is unique in that is has requirements for the students to attend,” said Fox School Assistant Dean for Student Development Corinne Snell. “Employers like the preparation, the polish and the professionalism. It maximizes student-employer time.”

Snell works with CSPD staff to ensure that before any student introduces himself or herself to an employer, they have researched the company. In reading company overviews prior to their arrival, Snell said, Fox students were able to find the corporate employers and positions for which their skills were a proper fit.

“Preparation is the key to success, and then just put your best foot forward and be confident,” Snell said.

As the conversations grew to a steady roar, Holly Pfeifer, CSPD Assistant Director for Corporate Relations and Spring Connection’s organizer, remarked upon the increasing student and employer participation.

“In the past five years, our Spring Connections have averaged about 64 employers. We beat the average this spring with 74 registrations, and the employers seem very energetic,” said Pfeifer. “They’ve said the students at the Fox School are like no other school at which they’ve recruited.”

FoxCSPDspringconnex1

Included in the employer turnout were Temple and Fox School alumni returning to do what Pfeifer calls “leading the charge and building the Owl network.” Pfeifer continued to say that the majority of employers present had developed a relationship with the CSPD and frequently reached out to Fox students with internship or employment opportunities.

Among them was campus recruiter for Prudential Financial, Kristen Bennett, who has worked with the CSPD before to recruit students for her company’s summer internship.

“We’ve had a strong relationship with Temple throughout the years, particularly the CSPD. They help us really find the right student,” Bennett said.

As a campus recruiter, Bennett has seen a lot of resumes and was impressed with the “elevator pitch” that students gave to employers and the knowledge they presented with regarding the company’s goals.

Seconding Bennett’s thoughts was Gabrielle Nader, talent acquisition specialist with McGladrey, an accounting and consulting firm. Nader, who previously has hired Fox students, was in search of 30 to 35 students to join McGladrey’s summer leadership program.

“We’re looking for outgoing and well-rounded students who get our culture, who know this isn’t just a job,” Nader said.

Sophomore Finance major Joe Heidt joined Nader in the handshaking fray. For Heidt, the experience presented a larger opportunity for future success.

“I want to look early and look at everything,” Heidt said. “Networking is getting into someone’s mind and being memorable. If I get my name out, employers will recognize me next summer, too.”

Brian Holtz
Dr. Brian Holtz, Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management

Initial impressions based upon a person’s facial features can significantly impact how we evaluate that person’s behavior, according to research by a professor from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

Dr. Brian Holtz, Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management, conducted three studies, all of which suggested that people were more likely to accept the actions of an individual whom they initially perceived to be trustworthy.

New York Magazine and the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail recently featured Holtz’s research, which was initially published in the journal Personnel Psychology.

Holtz’s studies draw on prior psychological research demonstrating that certain facial features stimulate impressions of trustworthiness (high inner eyebrows and prominent cheekbones), while others (low inner eyebrows and shallow cheekbones) have the opposite effect.

In his first two studies, Holtz introduced participants to the biography of a fictitious CEO, which included a professional headshot, and then asked participants to gauge the CEO’s trustworthiness. Later, the participants read a description of a meeting in which the CEO announced a temporary pay reduction and were asked to evaluate how the CEO handled the situation. The subjects, Holtz said, were unaware that he had manipulated the CEO’s image to reflect either a trustworthy or untrustworthy face.

The image on the left reflects the characteristics of a face stimulate trustworthiness, while the image on the right has the opposite effect. (Source: Cogsdill et al. (2014). Psychological Science. Retrieved from https://osf.io/c5kme/)
The image on the left reflects the characteristics of a face stimulate trustworthiness, while the image on the right has the opposite effect. (Source: Cogsdill et al. (2014). Psychological Science. Retrieved from https://osf.io/c5kme/)

He found that participants who viewed the trustworthy face, tended to give the CEO the benefit of the doubt and judge the CEO’s actions to be fair. In contrast, participants who viewed an untrustworthy face evaluated the same actions to be significantly less fair.

“In essence, these results illustrate a confirmation bias, such that our initial expectations of others are often confirmed,” Holtz said. “If we expect a person to be trustworthy, for example, then we are more inclined to perceive their behavior in a favorable light.”

Participants of his third study – undergraduate students from Temple University – were asked to write a business-related memo that they were led to believe would be evaluated by a Fox School MBA student. Before writing the memo, participants viewed the LinkedIn profile of an MBA student purportedly assigned to evaluate their memo. In reality the LinkedIn profiles were fabricated to present either a trustworthy or untrustworthy face. In addition to earning research credit, participants were told they could earn a cash bonus of up to $6 depending on the quality of their memo.

Two days after the initial session, participants received a written evaluation of their memo, and were informed that they would receive a $3 cash bonus – “an ambiguous, down-the-middle ranking,” Holtz said. Then, the participants completed a questionnaire designed to assess their view of the MBA student’s evaluation of their work.

“Again, the results suggested that initial impressions of trustworthiness shaped how fairly the participants thought they were treated by the MBA student, even though all participants received the exact same outcomes,” Holtz said.

“Ultimately,” he continued, “the key takeaway point from this research is that we form initial impressions very quickly and, for better or worse, our initial impressions can have cascading effects on how we perceive subsequent interactions with others.”

NSF awards Temple team nearly $900,000 big data grant to research user-generated trace data

Discussed in this issue:
• The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a research team from Temple University a three-year grant.
• Fox researchers use brain data to predict real-life success of TV ads.
• Fox School professor appointed to AOM research committee.
• Tyler student makes sense of big data, wins big at Temple Analytics Challenge.

February 2015 – Fox Update

February 12, 2015 //

Fox School alums receive $25,000 in seed money from DreamIt Ventures

Discussed in this issue:
• Fox School graduates Yasmine Mustafa and Ofo Ezeugwu have been chosen for inclusion in DreamIt Ventures’ recent round of accelerator programs.
• Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf appoints three Fox alums.
• Fox alumna steps into newly created position at Mount Sinai Health System.
• Alumna’s social activism leads her to Amnesty International USA.

Twin brothers and Fox School students  Jinho “Jace” Park, left, and   Jinyoung “Gabe” Park were sworn in as United States citizens during a   Feb. 4 naturalization ceremony at Alter Hall.
Twin brothers and Fox School students  Jinho “Jace” Park, left, and Jinyoung “Gabe” Park were sworn in as United States citizens during a Feb. 4 naturalization ceremony at Alter Hall.

When Jinho “Jace” Park and Jinyoung “Gabe” Park first arrived in the United States, they never could have envisioned their relocation halfway around the world would become a permanent move.

Twelve years later, the twin brothers and Accounting majors at Temple University’s Fox School of Business were sworn in as U.S. citizens during a Feb. 4 naturalization ceremony at Alter Hall.

The ceremony ran in conjunction with Law Week, an annual event organized by Fox School’s Legal Studies department. In the five years that Fox has hosted a Law Week naturalization ceremony, the South Korean-born brothers are the first Fox School students to have been sworn in as American citizens.

“Our mother told us we were coming here for summer break after we had finished a year of elementary school,” said Jace, “but really, she only told us that because she knew that we wouldn’t want to come here and leave our friends behind.”

“She tricked us,” Gabe said, smiling. “She told us that when we landed.”

Though at the time shrouded in mystery at the time, their mother’s decision provided the brothers an opportunity to thrive academically. At Wissahickon High School, in Ambler, Pa., Jace and Gabe said they were first exposed to accounting classes. There, they developed an interest in the subject, which eventually attracted them to the Fox School.

Seniors who are slated for May 2015 graduation, the brothers have secured post-commencement employment. Gabe will serve as a consultant in the advisory practice of Deloitte, in Philadelphia, and Jace will act as an associate in the risk assurance practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, also in Philadelphia.

“Doors open for you when you receive your citizenship,” Jace said. “There’s no more of that awkwardness where we have to say to someone that we’re not citizens. That breaks the ice right there.”

The Park brothers were among the 50 Philadelphians, representing 24 nations, who were sworn in as U.S. citizens by the Honorable Judge Juan R. Sanchez, of the United States District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania, who also serves as an instructor in Fox’s Legal Studies department. The department chair, Dr. Samuel Hodge, recited the Pledge of Allegiance with the newest American citizens shortly after they had taken the Oath of Allegiance.

“This is a great achievement, but do not take your citizenship lightly,” said Fox School Deputy Dean Dr. Rajan Chandran. “Giving back to this democracy, through military commitment or civic involvement, for example, is what makes this country work.”

Chandran, the ceremony’s distinguished guest speaker, told the naturalized citizens that he, too, was once in their shoes. He moved to the United States in 1968 and, eight years later, had earned his citizenship.

“You don’t have to be born here to succeed here,” Chandran said. “Dream and dream big. This country was built upon the dreams of immigrants. Today, you have become citizens of the United States, and you’ve claimed a piece of the American dream.”

Jace and Gabe Park said their family members – mother, Elizabeth, father, Paul, and sister, Vivian – are also in pursuit of the American dream, as the three continue their work toward attaining citizenship.

“Initially, this idea of being a citizen never crossed our mind,” Gabe said. “Living here for so long and meeting new people, slowly, it became my goal to become a citizen. My passion and love for this country grew every year.”