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Dr. Crystal Harold
Dr. Crystal Harold

Toward the end of an academic semester, students traditionally prepare to take final exams. However, students enrolled in Dr. Crystal Harold’s course at the Fox School of Business are undertaking projects centered on service and improving relationships in the Philadelphia community.

While offered at Fox, the course, titled The Leadership Experience: Leading Yourself, Leading Change, Leading Communities, is open to all honors students at Temple University.

Harold, an Associate Professor of Human Resource Management at Fox, said she created the human resource honors elective three years ago to help students learn the process of leading by organizing events that benefit the community. The course also focuses on reflection, assessment, and development on the core skill sets required of effective leaders. Throughout the semester, students are asked to identify their strengths and weaknesses as leaders in order to gain insight into their leadership evolution.

“I chose to have students focus their efforts on organizing a charitable or community-focused event for a couple of reasons,” Harold said. “First, the community aspect helps the students develop a greater appreciation for the community in which Temple University operates. Second, there is a growing interest among this generation of students engaging in social responsibility and community activism. This project not only teaches valuable lessons about both leadership and followership, but also appeals to the students’ desires to help.”

The student-led events include an April 17 charity 4-on-4 basketball tournament, to raise money for the Family Memorial Trust Fund of fallen Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III, who was killed March 5 in the line of duty.

“After hearing of the tragic passing of Officer Wilson, we decided to hold this event in order to provide his family with as much financial support as possible,” said Cameran Alavi, a senior mathematical economics major. “It’s a chance for us to come together and support a worthy cause, as well as honor the life of a great man who was loved by everyone he knew.”

Another group organized a Philly Block Clean-Up for April 18. Kevin Carpenter, an environmental science and biology double-major, said his group decided to focus on an event geared toward the improvement of environmental needs in the surrounding Temple University community.

“Having pride in the neighborhood, even though a lot of students aren’t permanent residents, is extremely important,” he said. “Making an environmental impact, helping the community at large and being able to connect with Philadelphia residents through environmental action is a great feeling.”

One group decided against hosting an event, and instead partnered with the People’s Paper Co-Op and Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) over the course of the Spring 2015 semester. People’s Paper Co-Op and PLSE offer free expungement clinics for those in the Philadelphia community who wish to clean up their criminal records and learn viable skills, like public-speaking or how to expand upon their professional networks, to help them re-enter the workforce. After sitting in on the clinics, group members will present their suggested areas of improvement on how to further develop the expungement program to the leadership of both the Co-Op and PLSE.

“One hardship of the criminal justice system is the challenge of re-entry for individuals trying to restart their lives,” said Jacob Himes, a junior double-majoring in Italian and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies. “Our group attends each clinic, volunteers and looks for avenues of improvement in the program.”

Fox School junior Sarika Manavalan’s group assembled an April 19 Bookdrive Benefit Concert, to benefit Treehouse Books. Treehouse Books is a non-profit organization in North Philadelphia that serves youth in the community by giving children the opportunity to enhance their literary skills by focusing on the importance of reading. The entry fee for the event is one children’s book, or a monetary donation in lieu of one.

Manavalan said Harold’s course has provided countless intangible lessons.

“You can learn about leadership skills in the classroom but it’s really when you work hands on with other people that you develop them,” said Manavalan, who is double-majoring in Marketing and Management Information Systems (MIS) at Fox. “Whether or not our events are successful, it’s more about creating your event from scratch and learning how to work with non-profit organizations and finding ways to benefit the community.”


Scheduled Event List

4-on-4 Basketball Tournament (benefitting the Officer Robert Wilson III Family Memorial Trust Fund)
Friday, April 17, 6-9 p.m.
Cost: $20 registration fee per team
Location: Pearson Hall Courts (3rd Floor), Temple University
Contact: Cameran Alavi, cameran.alavi@temple.edu


Philly Clean-Up
Clean up areas surrounding Temple’s Campus
Saturday, April 18, 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Meet up at Broad Street & Polett Walk
Contact: Nichole Humbrecht, tuf45006@temple.edu

Bookdrive Benefit Concert (benefitting Treehouse Books)
Sunday, April 19, 7-8:30 p.m.

Photo of Dr. Xueming Luo
Dr. Xueming Luo

There’s a crucial strategy in online advertising that could revolutionize the way marketing agencies target online consumers, according to Fox School of Business researcher.

Dr. Xueming Luo studied how the strategy of competitor-poaching in online advertising influences consumer behavior. His most-recent publication on the topic was named Best Track Paper in Social Media & Digital Marketing at the 2015 American Marketing Association Winter Educator Conference Feb. 14 in San Antonio, Texas. It also received the conference’s honorable-mention distinction among all submissions.

Competitor-poaching in online advertising is responsible for why consumers can search the term “iPhone” using Google’s search engine, and corresponding ads for the Samsung Galaxy, Apple’s closest competitor, will appear, said Luo, Professor of Marketing, Strategy, and Management Information Systems. In his research, Luo uncovered that this strategy results in “clicks wasted,” as consumers glance over the competitor’s ads while remaining loyal to their initial preferences.

“It’s a double-edged sword,” Luo said. “You can increase the impression of the competitor’s brand, but you cannot get consumers to purchase the poaching brand.”

This effect is partly seen because online consumers often develop specific brand loyalties by word of mouth or from reviews that sites like Amazon and Google provide, he said. Firms, Luo found, seek to continually build brand equity and increase positive socialization around their products in order to thwart attempts at online poaching.

“Online poaching impresses non-loyal customers, but fails to get more sales conversion from customers who have high loyalty to the brand under attack” Luo said.

Asking a consumer why they want or prefer a certain product or brand, and how price influences their decisions, can help clarify what incentivizes shoppers, Luo said. Marketing agencies should then target their competitor’s keywords with advertisements that include discounts, he suggested, to capture consumer curiosity.

“To switch consumers from a brand, you need a deeper incentive, such as a 30-percent discount,” Luo said. “If you do this the wrong way, you’ll waste your money. That method can only engender clicks, but not sales conversion.”

This research, Luo said, is a part of his greater interest in how online marketing interweaves big-data analytics, mobile strategies, and consumer insights. As founder of the Global Center on Big Data in Mobile Analytics, which is housed at the Fox School, Luo is interested in investigating how big data gleaned from search engines reveal varying patterns in the evolving sphere of online ads and mobile targeting.

“This is a great way to outsmart competitors and connect customers for superior company performance,” Luo said.

Temple University’s Fox School of Business will honor three top technology leaders at its 15th annual Information Technology Awards Tuesday, April 14.

Fox School’s 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.

The honorees are:Fox IT Awards 2015

  • George Llado, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Alexion, will receive the Fox IT Leader Award, for his leadership in the use and development of IT in business.
  • Jeff Mango, Vice President of Total Experience in Verizon’s marketing organization, will receive the Fox IT Innovator Award, for his innovation in applying technology and insights to create business opportunities.
  • Dinesh R. Desai, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Emtec, will receive the Fox IT Award for Distinguished Alumni, for his work in the IT field and contributions to the community, industry and Temple.

“As innovators, executives and industry leaders, George, Dinesh and Jeff have excelled in a rapidly changing IT landscape,” said Fox School of Business Dean M. Moshe Porat. “In doing so, they carry on a proud and rich tradition of excellence displayed by past Fox IT Award winners, who will serve as models for our students.”

Llado is responsible for leading Alexion’s Global IT function, during a time of rapid expansion and focusing on initiatives that enable Alexion to serve more patients around the world, he and his global team develop and implement enterprise-level business applications and infrastructure, expand ERP implementation, manage information security, deliver new analytics tools, and design and deploy systems. He serves on the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Board and the Temple Fox IT Advisory Board.

Mango and his team leverage social and digital media insights across Verizon’s business units in order to enhance the overall end-to-end customer experience and increase operational efficiency. Targeted information and solutions help drive improvements in customer experience and loyalty, which increases revenue and reduces operating costs throughout the business. Previously he led the customer and business intelligence organization (CBI) that was the first of its kind.

Desai earned an MBA from the Fox School in 1978. After graduation, he spent 12 years with American Can and Arco Chemical in various management positions. He went on to become President, CEO, Co-Chairman and an owner of Western Sky Industries and then Chairman and CEO of DARR Global Holdings, Inc., a management consulting firm. Desai has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Enterprise Center, a Nonprofit Organization.

“In a world increasingly dominated by digital business models, the 2015 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 Dr. Munir Mandviwalla, founding Chair of the MIS Department.

Recipients are nominated and selected by a committee comprised of senior leadership at Fox, the Fox IT Advisory Board, and previous recipients.

The Fox School’s MIS department, ranked No. 1 in the world for research, in the top 15 nationally for undergraduate programs, and in the top 20 for graduate programs, is a worldwide leader in transformative research and teaching in the design, use, and effects of information technology. IBIT 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 http://ibit.temple.edu/itawards

Uber continues to drive business
Uber’s expansion in India includes its recent partnership with news and media company Times Internet. Two India-based publications, Economic Times and Indian Retailer Bureau, quoted Dr. Sunil Wattal, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems, in articles on the pact.

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

Discussed in this issue:
• The research output of the Temple University Fox School Management Information Systems (MIS) Department has been ranked No. 1 in the world.
• University-wide competition provides data visualization skills and prizes.
• NSF awards nearly $900,000 big data grant for trace data research.
• Alum Ron Riddell ’68 endows 100K scholarship.

Rebecca Maziarz
Rebecca Maziarz
Fox School of Business student Rebecca Maziarz has her eye on the ball.

As the newest recruit to the Philadelphia Phillies’ Ballgirls team, Maziarz is stepping up to the plate as one of 24 young women entrusted with scoping out foul balls during Phillies games in the 2015 season. She’ll also serve as a team ambassador in public appearances.

A junior Marketing major and minor in Management Information Systems (MIS) from Bucks County, Pa., Maziarz said she’s wanted to join the Phillies Ballgirls since high school. When she heard in October that the Major League Baseball team was recruiting for the upcoming season, she jumped at the opportunity to move from the bleachers to the field.

“I play intramural softball at Temple,” Maziarz said. “I’ve always been a big fan of baseball, specifically the Phillies. I’ve always loved the atmosphere at the ballpark.”

Showing off the hitting and fielding skills she honed in a four-year high school varsity softball playing career, Maziarz stood out among the 70 girls vying for a position. Coupling her ability with her interpersonal skills and warm personality, Maziarz was chosen as one of 13 rookies with the Phillies Ballgirls.

Maziarz will shadow one of 11 veteran Phillies Ballgirls for the first four games before being cleared for duty. She said the other Phillies Ballgirls take their responsibilities seriously and understand how one wrong move could impact the game.

“You have to be athletic and agile to field the ball cleanly,” Maziarz said. “You don’t want to pick up a fair ball. You have to be constantly paying attention.”

The Phillies Ballgirls are the face of the team and make 150 off-field appearances, including TV and radio interviews, school visits and charity events. Maziarz volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House Charity phone bank while the Phillies were in spring training. She will also aid the Phillies’ sustainability effort during the team’s Red Goes Green promotion April 22.

“The Ballgirls do so much more than just participate in the games,” Maziarz said. “They’re really active in the community and I love that.”

Though the Phillies Ballgirls commit to approximately 20 hours during game weeks, Maziarz remains dedicated to her schoolwork. Drawn to the Fox School for its reputation, Maziarz found her niche as a Marketing major. She’s taking 18 credits of coursework in the Spring 2015 semester, and she’s a member of the American Marketing Association student professional organization. She said her eventual goal is to break into the sports marketing industry.

“It’s been a great experience in Fox,” said Maziarz, who will remain with the Phillies Ballgirls through the 2016 season. “The courses are very challenging, but it helps keep me focused.”

Marziarz, one of the youngest Phillies Ballgirls, believes a great advantage of her position with the team is the potential to influence young girls.

“I’ve set goals for myself and I think young girls can learn from that,” the 21-year-old said. “It’s important for young girls to set goals and go after them because they can achieve them.”

Research team receives publicity
An interdisciplinary research team led by Dr. Youngjin Yoo, the Harry A. Cochran Professor of Management Information Systems, recently received a nearly $900,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation. The team – which includes Dr. Sunil Wattal, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems – was recently profiled by the student newspaper.

James Moustafellos | March 9, 2015 | SEPTA

March 19, 2015 //

Designing a future for Philly’s public transit system
SEPTA, the largest public transit provider in Southeastern Pennsylvania, teamed with the Fox School and the Center for Design + Innovation for the fifth-annual Fox DESIGNchallenge. Dr. James Moustafellos, Associate Director of cD+i and Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems, is featured in SEPTA’s video recap of the event.

Sunil Wattal | March 4, 2015 | Economic Times

March 19, 2015 //

The latest on e-commerce in India
India-based online e-commerce company Flipkart is tapping into three new revenue streams, and India’s premier financial daily publication tapped Dr. Sunil Wattal, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems, for its coverage.

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.

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.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a research team from Temple University a three-year grant totaling nearly $900,000 to fund a social-science project into the tracking of human behaviors through big data.

This marks the fourth NSF-awarded grant in the last five years that an interdisciplinary team of Temple faculty members has received to study the evolution of digital artifacts using large-scale digital trace data. The collaboration joins researchers from Temple University’s Fox School of Business and College of Science and Technology (CST).

“When humans interact with digital systems, we leave a trace. Every call we make, every website we visit, it’s stamped with time and space information,” said Dr. Youngjin Yoo, the Harry A. Cochran Professor of Management Information Systems at the Fox School, and the research grant’s primary investigator. “What we do is constantly changing, and the trace data can act as DNA. What we focus on through this research is the repeat behaviors in humans that can be captured through digital trace data.

“Using those evolutionary patterns, we believe we can predict future behaviors of individuals and organizations. For example, by detecting the changes of commute patterns of individuals, we can predict overall public-transit systems’ performance in the future. Similarly, we want to be able to predict the changes in individual behaviors based on environmental changes.

Yoo said he and the grant’s co-principal investigators will study digitally enabled processes in complex digital systems, which “are like a living ecosystem, in that they constantly evolve,” he said. If patterns in the trace data represent what they call “behavioral genes,” Yoo said, alterations to those behavioral routines are “gene mutations.” Eventually, he said, the research team envisions developing software that will better predict the changes to those behavioral genes.

The benefits in doing so, according to Yoo, “are endless.” In a healthcare application, trace data could develop a pattern by which a patient sees a doctor or produce an average cost of care per patient. In an industry sense, such “gene mutations” could impact performance and cost.

“On the surface,” Yoo said, “all smart phones, for example, look the same. But everybody’s phone is different because of apps. It used to be that the product’s designer would make the product, and that was the end of the story. Now, it’s only the beginning. Millions of apps are downloaded. They’re changing constantly.

“Our argument is that, particularly in digital space, innovation never remains the same. It constantly changes and takes different forms.”

The research team includes: Yoo; Dr. Sunil Wattal, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems at the Fox School; Dr. Zoran Obradovic, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Data Analytics at CST; and Dr. Rob Kulathinal, Assistant Professor of Biology at the College of Science and Technology.

The NSF-awarded research grant runs through Jan. 31, 2018.