Fox Risk Management and Insurance Program ranks fifth in the U.S.

Discussed in this issue:
• Laureen Regan elected president of American Risk and Insurance Association
• RMI program receives $50K FM Global grant
• Brown & Brown chairman highlights annual awards dinner

MIS ranks number 1 in the world for research (again!)


Discussed in this issue:
• 14th Annual IT Awards Honor Citi, Relay and Vanguard Execs
• New Data Science course helps students harness the power of data
• Scholarship, funded by Fox IT Advisory Board, will announce recipients

Photo of Professor Mitrabarun "MB" Sarkar
Dr. Mitrabarun “MB” Sarkar

Dr. Mitrabarun “MB” Sarkar, Professor in the Department of Strategic Management and founding Academic Director of the Global Immersion Program at the Fox School of Business, has been named the H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest Professorship in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Dr. Sarkar has been a member of the schools faculty since 2008, and his appointment to the Lenfest Professorship began Jan. 1, 2014.

This distinguished professorship is named in honor of H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, the well-known media entrepreneur and philanthropist. In 2006, he received the Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership from the Fox School, its highest honor. Lenfest is a trustee of Temple University.

“We are indebted to Gerry for his invaluable contributions to Temple University over many years,” said M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “We are especially grateful to Gerry for his generosity in making it possible to create this endowed professorship in entrepreneurship and innovation, which are two of the most important pillars of our strategy as we transition into creating a world-class research, teaching and service institution in Philadelphia.”

According to Rajan Chandran, Vice Dean of the Fox School of Business, Sarkar is a perfect fit with the criteria for the professorship, established to advance the teaching and research of a distinguished professor whose work is focused on the intersection of entrepreneurship, innovation and strategy.

“Our school has benefited from MB Sarkar’s exceptional teaching, research and leadership in these areas over the past five years,” Chandran said. “We take great satisfaction that he now continues that work in the Lenfest Professorship.”

Sarkar said he is “deeply honored and humbled” to be selected for the professorship, and thankful to Lenfest for making it possible. He also expressed gratitude to Porat and Chandran for their confidence and support in selecting him for the Lenfest Professorship, and for their unceasing leadership and support of several initiatives of which Sarkar is a part.

“Fox is an incredibly stimulating place to be,” Sarkar said. “It is imbued with an entrepreneurial spirit, and embraces innovation and excellence in all domains of research, teaching and service. I look forward to being a part of the team that takes this great school to new heights as we face several disruptive and exciting changes in the higher-education landscape.”

Sarkar is a renowned scholar and a highly decorated professor. In 2013, he received the Great Teacher Award, which is Temple University’s highest honor. He has also received the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award from the Fox Professional MBA Program in 2009, 2011 and 2013; from the Fox Online MBA Program in 2011 and 2013; and from the Fox Executive MBA Program in 2012 and 2014.

Sarkar’s research examines the impact of innovation and entrepreneurship on firm performance. His recent projects examine the scientific knowledge structure of firms and the search for recombinant capabilities in the semi-conductor industry, how technological pre-adaptation enabled incumbents to maneuver through disruptive change in the robotics industry, and the effect of prior experience on technological entry during the emergence phase of the LED industry.

His research has been published in several top-tier scientific journals, including The Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Management Science, Organization Science, Journal of Business Venturing, and Journal of International Business Studies,among others.He serves on the editorial review boards of the Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal and the Global Strategy Journal.

In 2004, his co-authored work on entrepreneurial spin-offs was recognized as the Best Paper at the Academy of Management Journal. In 2000, he received the Best Dissertation Award from the Academy of Marketing Sciences and was honored as runner-up in the 2000 American Marketing Association’s Doctoral Dissertation Competition.

Prior to joining Temple, Sarkar received his MBA from the India Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; an undergraduate degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi; and his PhD from Michigan State University.

Sarkar is the past Chair of the Entrepreneurship & Strategy Interest Group of the Strategic Management Society and has served as Chair of the Strategic Management Society’s Special India Conferences in 2008 and 2013. He also led the SMS Memorial Conference held in the memory of Professor C.K. Prahalad in San Diego in 2011. He is on the Board of Advisors of DLabs, an accelerator funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, and situated at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

Prior to his entering academia, Sarkar founded and ran an entrepreneurial venture in television production, which had pioneered private participation in what was until then a completely state-owned medium.

Michael E. Porter discusses regional and global competitiveness in Innovation Leadership Speaker Series

Fox Update April 2014 Screen Capture

Discussed in this issue:
• Fox offers 5% scholarship to Temple alumni returning for graduate programs
• Milton Hershey School exec, a Fox alumnus, partners with Temple
• Fox Global MBA elevates to Top 50 in U.S. News rankings

Fox School of Business Strategic Management Professor Ram Mudambi’s day-to-day routine may seem to include teaching and conducting research on international business, but that’s not all Mudambi does. He works to cultivate the people of Zon.

Mudambi’s first fantasy novel, The Empire of Zon, imagines a society in which two megatrends shape the way of life: female emancipation and environmental degradation.

“I felt very strongly about our current society,” Mudambi said. “I felt that it’s always interesting and fun to imagine what would happen if you extend things to extremes, and basically, that’s what I tried to do.”

Mudambi studied the history of patriarchy and the roles men and women have served based on gender. He based his world, the New Eartha, on the evolution of female emancipation from the right to vote, to more college degrees being obtained by women, to the emphasis of “female” qualities of cooperation in the workplace rather than “male” qualities of competition.

He also observed current trends in weather and climate, as well as failed and successful attempts to promote sustainability.

The Empire of Zon follows the life of what is known as the “Zon Sisterhood” — a society where men are deemed unnecessary. The novel follows this society’s quest for a new home planet — New Eartha — due to the collapse of the Earth’s biosphere. On their new home planet, the Sisterhood conquers the native people who are patriarchal and technologically backward, establishing the Empire of Zon.

Creating a new world with a new set of rules wasn’t easy for Mudambi. He waited until he was on sabbatical in Sydney to write the novel.

“I always wanted to write,” Mudambi said. “I wrote sort of haphazardly for a long time but never got around to it. I kept putting it off. It’s one of those things when you have an idea and you keep saying, ‘I’ll do it next year. I’ll do it next year.’ And eventually, I got to this point.”

The process took Mudambi about 16 months from start to finish. He spent a year writing the first draft and another four to five months editing it.

Mudambi is in the process of writing the second installment in what is to be a trilogy, but he has noticed that the process is not as fast as it was when writing the first.

“I’m having a harder time with writing it because I’m not on sabbatical,” Mudambi said. “I have so many other things going on, so I’m going much slower.”

Through the Zon Sisterhood’s new life on New Eartha, Mudambi attempts to illustrate that a perfect society is impossible.

“We often think that if we could just do something this way, it would fix everything. And I guess what I’m trying to demonstrate is that, if you do that, you get rid of one set of problems, but then you get another set of problems that arise.”

Photograph of Edward McGinty
Fox alumnus Edward McGinty in character as Ward Boss Boyd. Photo courtesy of HBO.

Although the HBO series Boardwalk Empire is a work of historical fiction, Fox School alumnus Edward McGinty, BBA ’89, the show’s research advisor, helps ensure that the writers’ words are backed up with historical facts. Here, he talks about how growing up in Atlantic City helped land him a job on the acclaimed series.

How did you connect with Terence Winter, the show’s creator?

After graduating from Temple, I went to film school at Columbia University, where I met Terence Winter at a Q-and-A screening with the cast of The Sopranos. A few years later, Terry mentioned that he was writing a project about Prohibition in Atlantic City to a friend of mine from film school. My friend said, “You’ve got to meet my friend Eddie, he grew up in Atlantic City and knows everything there is to know about the town.”

What was that first meeting like?

I brought as much research material as I could carry to the meeting. My grandfather and my father, Ed Sr., ENG ’56, had worked at the Ritz Carlton, where the real Nucky lived. At the end of the meeting, I showed a photo of my grandfather wearing his bellman’s uniform, standing on the boardwalk in front of the Ritz. Terry looked at it and said, “You’re hired!” I think I may have been the first person on the payroll.

So growing up in Atlantic City gave you an edge?

Absolutely. I brought a lot of first-hand knowledge to the table. I was always fascinated by the history of the city I grew up in. I had always heard stories from my Dad about growing up in Atlantic City, so there was a lot of family history I could refer to. And [Temple History Professor] Bryant Simon’s book, Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America, sat next to Nelson Johnson’s Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City [on which the HBO series is based] on my bookshelf for years.  Those are two of my personal favorite books about the history of Atlantic City.

What does your father say about your work on the show?

The high point of my life was taking my Dad to see the Boardwalk set in Brooklyn. When he saw it for the first time, he stopped in his tracks. He climbed the stairs to the boardwalk they had built and leaned on the railing and said, “You guys really nailed it.”

What does being a researcher for the show entail?

The writing staff comes up with the storylines, and I support them with as much historical research as I can about the time period. If they have any questions along the way, I find the answer by searching the Internet, going to libraries, calling on experts, etc. Anything I need to do to find answers as quickly as possible. When the script comes out, I go back through it and fact-check, making sure that everything is on the mark. Everyone on the show does their best to make sure the historical elements are as authentic as possible.

You appeared on screen during the first few seasons as Ward Boss Boyd. How did that happen?

One day I was sitting in the writer’s room, and Terry looked across the table and said, “You kind of look like a character from back then. You should audition.” I brushed it off, but he persisted. I had trained as an actor at the American Conservatory Theater, but I hadn’t auditioned in a few years, so I was extremely nervous. But I got the part. The fun thing is that my character was named after a real ward boss, who was my grandfather’s fishing buddy. So much of this show for me has been due to good luck and great fortune. The best part of it all has been having a mentor like Terence Winter to learn from.

Did you draw on your experience in Philadelphia while researching the storyline for Willie Thompson, who was a student at Temple this season?

Terry had the initial idea to have Willie go to Temple, and it made a lot of sense. When I went to Temple as an undergrad, there was a big contingent of Atlantic City kids there. So I was able to add a lot of first-hand knowledge to my research. On top of that, the Temple Library staff was very helpful. They pointed me to a number of digitized documents and yearbooks from the era. Also, [Professor Emeritus] Jim Hilty’s book, Temple University: 125 Years of Service to Philadelphia, the Nation, and the World, was an invaluable resource. Every Temple student and alumnus should have a copy of that book on their shelf.

Analytics has rapidly integrated into the sport industry to optimize scheduling, assist with resource allocation, and examine the legal environment within sports organizations.

A new report from the Temple University Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT), based at the Fox School of Business, examines the history and current state of analytics and Big Data in sports.

The report focuses on two main areas. The first is analysis of competition, which includes player evaluation and strategy and game management. The second is analytics that aid management of business and financial issues — this can include marketing, but that is simply a narrow part of the whole.

The paper is co-authored by Associate Professors Joris Drayer and Joel Maxcy, both faculty in Temple’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management. The report begins with the history of sports analytics and the founding of Sabermetrics, pioneered by Bill James. Sabermetrics produced cutting-edge statistical evaluations of sports players’ performance, starting with baseball.

Today, Major League Baseball (MLB) employs the most analytics professionals, with 97 percent of teams employing these professionals. Eighty percent of National Basketball Association (NBA) teams employ analytics professionals, as 56 percent of the National Football League (NFL) and 23 percent of the National Hockey League (NHL) do.

The report also includes two case studies. One explores the dynamic pricing of sports tickets, and the second discusses a system for combining GPS technology with highly sophisticated analytics to monitor athletes under game and practice conditions.

According to the report, the San Francisco Giants, along with technology partner Qcue, introduced dynamic ticket pricing (DTP) in 2009. The Giants were alone in their venture as recently as 2010, but now most MLB teams use some form of DTP. NBA and NHL teams are also rapidly implementing these strategies.

Determinants of ticket price are related to variables including: season ticket price, secondary market price, seat location, team performance, individual players’ performance, time and day of game, and game broadcasting.

The use of dynamic pricing has also spread to restaurants, movie theaters and the performing arts.

Catapult, based in Australia, developed the GPS system and data analysis algorithms in 2006. As of 2013, their client list includes more than 300 sports organizations globally.

“The system’s primary function is to monitor players’ movements and effort to ensure each player is optimally fit and trained without being overworked,” the report states.

A system such Catapult derives its analysis from three categories: performance analysis, injury analysis and tactical analysis. It works by attaching a small monitoring device to the back of a player’s jersey. Then the performance parameters are wirelessly uploaded to mobile computing devices or cloud-based software.

“The neat thing about this topic is that it’s of interest to any sports fan,” Drayer said. “Fantasy sports fans, for instance, are into numbers, and the rise of analytics gives fans access to more information.”

Though the report is of interest of sports fans and admirers, the basic premise of the applications mentioned is relevant to the general business community.

The full report is available at

Photo of Liz Mattox ast St. Baldricks
Gamma Iota Sigma-Sigma Chapter President Liz Mattox was one of 13 members and officers to have their heads shaved for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation at Philly I-Day. Photo courtesy of: Christina Ling, Sigma Chapter

It started as an April Fools’ Day joke: Members of Gamma Iota Sigma-Sigma Chapter – the academic fraternity for students in risk management, insurance and actuarial science – were going to have their heads shaved to raise money and awareness for the fight against childhood cancer.

Just nine days later, that joke got serious. Thirteen Sigma Chapter members and officers, including chapter President Liz Mattox, served as shavees for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation during the Insurance Society of Philadelphia’s Philly I-Day, April 9 in the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Head-shaving events are the signature component of St. Baldrick’s efforts to raise funds for childhood-cancer research. According to the foundation, 1,200 head-shaving events and more than 50,000 shavees this year alone have raised more than $27.3 million. From 2005 to 2013, the organization raised more than $125 million.

Though the Sigma Chapter had little more than a week to fundraise, members collected at least $5,700 in donations. Mattox said she’s confident that the Sigma Chapter, one of the largest student organizations at Temple, will include St. Baldrick’s in its already robust community-affairs efforts.

The oldest of nine children, Mattox said she has “an annoying habit of leading by example.”

“If I made it an initiative of the Sigma Chapter, I didn’t want it to be half-done,” she said.

So there she was – on stage at Philly I-Day in the final group of four shavees, including Mary Grace Sear, another female Sigma Chapter officer. When the clippers started buzzing, all the nervousness “floated away,” Mattox said.

“It was a very moving and proud moment that we could be involved and that we could do that for St. Baldrick’s,” she said.

Photo of Liz Mattox and Mary Grace Sear
Mattox with fellow Sigma Chapter officer and shavee Mary Grace Sear. Photo courtesy of Christina Ling, Sigma Chapter

Mattox will sport her new look at a number of prominent events during the coming weeks. The Department of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management at the Fox School of Business hosts its annual Awards for Excellence Dinner in Center City April 22, and the Sigma Chapter holds its Gamma Gala April 25.

She also will graduate with her degree in risk management and insurance May 15 and begins as a data analyst at Trion, an employee-benefits consulting company in Conshohocken, Pa., June 2.

“Everyone I’d want to be supportive – my family, my job, my peers – have been rallying around me,” she said.

It was not until after Mattox left the Convention Center that she saw her shaved head in a window’s reflection.

“It was very surprising, but I feel great,” she said. “Everyone’s been saying it fits me well.”

Online pledges for the Sigma Chapter team are still being accepted via

Fox alumnus Jeffrey Simonton with Vice Dean Rajan Chandran. Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Davis
Fox alumnus Jeffrey Simonton with Vice Dean Rajan Chandran. Photo Courtesy of Kathleen Davis

Upon completion of the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP) Jeffrey Simonton, BBA ’13, was able to finish his undergraduate degree in legal studies at the Fox School of Business and earn the rank of second lieutenant. As homage of his hard work and time devoted to finishing his degree, he held his Officer Commissioning Ceremony at Alter Hall.

“I felt there was no other place to celebrate the culmination of three years of hard work except where it all took place,” Simonton said of the Dec 2013 ceremony.

About 35 members of his family and friends witnessed Simonton accept service into the Marine Corps and pledge an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States.

Photograph of Chris Rabb
Photo courtesy of

Fox School of Business adjunct professor of entrepreneurship Chris Rabb will be one of the speakers at this year’s TEDxPhiladelphia, which will examine the conference theme The New Workshop of the World and will be held at the Temple Performing Arts Center on Friday, March 28.

Rabb was nominated by his colleagues to be a TEDx speaker and was chosen as one of the 19 speakers from 500 nominees.

Rabb, who specializes in social entrepreneurship and organizational innovation, is an affiliated member of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), based at the Fox School, and is the IEI’s social entrepreneur in residence.

He has much experience with entrepreneurship, as he co-founded a technology-based firm in Chicago, ran a nationally recognized business incubator in West Philadelphia and served on the board of a family-owned newspaper, which his great-great grandfather founded more than 120 years ago.

“I have three great-great grandfathers who were very successful entrepreneurs,” Rabb said. “I learn a lot from those who come before me.”

He also authored the groundbreaking book Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity, which explores the idea that entrepreneurial opportunity can be further democratized by society, leading to greater social inclusion, economic sustainability and community wealth-building.

Rabb recently hosted an intensive and interactive two-hour session with a dozen ex-prisoners who returned to North Philadelphia, seeking to develop entrepreneurial literacy to apply to skill sets they believe they need to obtain employment and make a positive impact in their communities.

Temple Media and Communication adjunct professor and documentarian El Sawyer arranged the session that Rabb hosted, as part of a program led by Sawyer called Shooters, a term for people who do film, video editing and camera work.

Both Rabb and Sawyer were recipients of the 2013 Knight Foundation BMe Leadership Award. Rabb won a grant of $200,000, the highest amount given, to develop a series of workshops to teach entrepreneurship to low-income individuals.

“I think this will help allow me to build a capacity to do what I did with Shooters in other cities to those who cannot afford it,” Rabb said.

Much of Rabb’s interactions with the ex-prisoners will complement his TEDx talk, which will focus on the importance of commonwealth entrepreneurship.

“I’ve always connected entrepreneurship to social justice,” Rabb said. “I was often looking at business through the lens of creating opportunities despite the systems that keep inequalities as is.”

Fox School of Business students can see a live stream of TEDxPhiladelphia on Friday, March 28, in Alter Hall’s first-floor Undergraduate Commons. Rabb is scheduled to speak at 2:30 p.m.

Temple University’s Fox School of Business is honoring three top technology leaders at its 14th annual Information Technology Awards on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, on Temple University’s Main Campus. The nationally ranked Department of Management Information Systems (MIS) and the Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT) organize this premier event for Greater Philadelphia’s technology community.

Awardees include Linda Descano, Managing Director and Head of Content and Social at Citi; Matthew Gillin, CEO and co-founder of Relay; and John T. Marcante, Chief Information Officer of Vanguard and Managing Director of Vanguard’s Information Technology Division.

“Linda, Matt and John represent a remarkable level of excellence and commitment to leveraging IT in innovative ways to improve business and lives,” Fox School of Business Dean M. Moshe Porat said. “They also join a distinguished and deserving list of Fox IT Award honorees, who all serve as models for our students.”

Photo of Linda Descano
Linda Descano

Descano will receive the Fox Information Technology Award for Distinguished Alumni for her work in the IT field and her contributions to the community, to industry and to Temple University. In addition to her responsibilities for content and social at Citi, she also is President and CEO of Women & Co., a Citi-incubated and owned financial lifestyle resource for women.

Descano is a LinkedIn Influencer whose commentary on topics such as personal finance, career and leadership, and content marketing has appeared in countless publications including The Huffington Post, Reuters, Fox Business, U.S. News, MORE Magazine, American Banker and MSN Money, among others. Descano also serves on the board of directors of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., is president-elect of New York Women in Communications and is an executive member of Advertising Women of New York (AWNY).

Image of Matt Gillin
Matt Gillin

Gillin will receive the Fox Information Technology Innovator Award. Gillin, who previously co-founded and served as the CEO for Ecount Inc., which was acquired by Citi in 2007, has won a number of awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Walter M. Aikman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. As CEO of Relay, Gillin oversees the strategy and day-to-day operations of a company that connects trusted brands with people through direct mobile communication so they can effortlessly get stuff done.

Image of John Marcante
John Marcante

Marcante will receive the Fox Information Technology Leader Award for his leadership in the use and development of IT in business. Marcante is CIO and managing director of Vanguard’s Information Technology Division. With more than 26 years of experience in the business and technology fields, he has been with Vanguard since 1993. Prior to becoming CIO in 2012, Marcante held a number of leadership roles within the company, including rotations leading Global Technology Operations, overseeing Vanguard’s internal Six Sigma organization, and managing Vanguard’s High Net Worth business.

“In a world increasingly dominated by digital business models, the 2014 Fox School IT Award recipients are true role models for MIS students, who are learning digital business innovation and how to lead revenue growth in a digital economy,” said Munir Mandviwalla, founding chair of the MIS Department.

The Fox School’s MIS Department, ranked in the Top 15 nationally for its undergraduate program, seeks to be a worldwide leader in transformative research and teaching in the design, use, and effects of information technology. The Institute for Business and Information Technology integrates industry perspectives with academic research expertise to create forums for generating and exchanging best practices.

For more information on the annual Fox IT Awards, visit

At the Union League of Philadelphia, Michael E. Porter   discussed the looming challenges for U.S. competitiveness, with   implications for Philadelphia.
At the Union League of Philadelphia, Michael E. Porter discussed the looming challenges for U.S. competitiveness, with implications for Philadelphia.

In a recent day-long visit to the Fox School of Business, legendary business strategist Michael E. Porter addressed two different audiences – Fox MBAs and Philadelphia executives – on two different topics: creating shared value through business and addressing the looming challenges of U.S. competitiveness.

While his presentations differed in substance, they were unified in a single call to action: Make business, and thereby the world, better.

“Making a profit is the most fundamental, powerful thing on this earth for making life better,” Porter told Fox graduate students in an afternoon presentation March 11, adding later, “If we can get businesses in the business of solving societal problems – as businesses – we truly have something exciting.”

Porter, the Harvard professor most renowned for his Five Forces analysis – a pillar of business strategy globally and taught to nearly every business student – visited Fox as part of the school’s ongoing Innovation Leadership Speaker Series (ILSS).

Mercedes Delgado, assistant professor of strategic management at the Fox School, facilitated Porter’s visit. Delgado, whom Porter called a “stunning young scholar,” is a partner on Porter’s research on innovation clusters and competitiveness as a senior associate of his Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School.

In his presentation to Fox MBAs, Porter discussed the role of business in society as creating shared value (CSV), which he described as the next step to corporate philanthropy and social responsibility in that CSV offers more impact because it addresses significant societal needs through scalable business models.

Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat chats with Porter before his   Union League presentation, which followed an address to Fox MBA students in Alter Hall on March 11.
Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat chats with Porter before his Union League presentation, which followed an address to Fox MBA students in Alter Hall on March 11.

For example, Porter said CSR would see fair trade as paying a higher price to farmers and certifying the goods as such. This, Porter said, is redistribution of wealth. CSV, meanwhile, would transform procurement and provide more collaboration with farmers, therefore improving quality and yield. Farmers could charge higher prices for higher-quality goods, and higher yield would increase quantity, improving the supply chain.

“These companies aren’t being good guys. They aren’t giving a donation,” Porter said of the CSV approach. “What are they doing? Capitalism.”

And that was his underlying message to the MBAs: Social needs represent the largest underserved market opportunity, and businesses can’t approach profit and societal impact as tradeoffs. They’re one in the same.

“Take the discipline of creating economic value but apply it to a larger aperture – that’s real purpose,” he said.

At an evening event at the Union League of Philadelphia with approximately 200 business leaders, Porter discussed the looming challenges of U.S. competitiveness. A fundamental threat: Living conditions for average Americans aren’t improving. “It’s not the recession,” Porter said. “It’s not temporary. It’s structural.”

America’s weaknesses, Porter said, include its tax code, K-12 education and its divisive political system. The country’s decisive strengths are the protection of property rights, innovation and entrepreneurship, universities, and innovation clusters, such as Wall Street, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley.

“I’m deeply optimistic, because the hard stuff, we’re good at,” Porter said. “But we’ve let the basics be taken over by politics and false divisiveness.”

And that divisiveness is contributing to America losing its competitive edge.

The Fox School’s Department of Strategic Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, and Office of Research, Doctoral Programs, and Strategic Initiatives organized Porter’s visit. The Fox Innovation Leadership Speaker Series seeks to transform organizations into innovation-driven industry leaders by turning innovation research into practice. Speakers are internationally acclaimed experts who share their insights in applying proven and effective management tools for firms, large and small.

The next ILSS event, on April 24, will feature Michael E. Raynor discussing Strategy vs. Innovation: A Scientific Approach. For details, visit

The Association for Information Systems (AIS) has named Temple AIS the Chapter of the Year, the highest honor any student chapter can receive. And it’s not just for the glory, either: with this distinction comes $1,000 in grant money, allocated for student initiatives.

Temple’s first-place win follows three years of having been named runner-up as Outstanding Chapter, and the honor reflects incredible dedication from its student members. A committee of faculty and students oversaw the rigorous selection process, poring over annual reports to find the chapter with the most “exceptional, well-rounded, and organized program,” according to AIS.

“We have continued our legacy of offering our members the best in professional development and networking opportunities,” said Temple AIS President Joshua Wise. “Each one of my 20 officers has been working like crazy to make sure we pull all of this off seamlessly. It is a pretty awesome group of students. We have the most intelligent and creative students in the Fox School.”

Founded in 1994, AIS is the world’s premier organization for academics specializing in information systems. The Chapter of the Year recipient must “lead the research, teaching, practice, and study of information systems worldwide,” the organization said.

As its 2013 title indicates, Temple AIS set benchmarks for other chapters, fostering an environment in which its members could thrive in the field of IS and as a cohesive community. Wise attributes much of his chapter’s success to the group’s unique personality and culture of “entrepreneurial spirit” — comprising a buoyant blend of teamwork, fun and (friendly) competition.

“We like to challenge each other and find new ways of doing things,” Wise said.

Top accomplishments and offerings in 2012-13 include:

The chapter received top placement in every category entered at the 2013 AIS Competition, hosted by Walmart in Bentonville, Ark. — two first-place finishes; one second place finish and one third-place ranking.

$5,000 in prize money was invested in the Patriot Fund.

The chapter has obtained more than 175 members and has seen a spike in meeting attendance, which was tracked via an attendance program coded by AIS officers.

Professional development and networking events hosted speakers from Comcast, NBC Universal, Cigna, EY, AstraZeneca and J.P. Morgan.

Workshops have been held every Friday and Saturday featuring technical training intensives Social events and community service initiatives are well attended and sponsored, including $800 raised for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and computer repair for nonprofits.

Current officers of AIS include: Josh Wise, president; Scott Raff, COO; Cam Crossley, EVP of marketing; Puja Shah, EVP of professional development; and Dave Dupell, EVP of finance.

Philadelphia surpasses U.S. average in rate of global innovation connectedness

Discussed in this issue:
• Trusting communities tend to produce more entrepreneurs
• Smellizing increases consumer desire
• Theoretical model on sport coaches’ employment outcomes

Michael E. Porter discusses regional and global competitiveness in Innovation Leadership Speaker Series


Discussed in this issue:
• Global MBA elevates to Top 50 by U.S. News & World Report
• Temple Knowledge Map Research Program Launches
• Journal of International Management Reaches High Impact Factor