The Biggest and One of The Best
“The Biggest and One of The Best,” boasts the headline in Risk & Insurance Magazine, where the Fox School’s Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) program is highlighted in a lengthy feature story. The profile includes comments from Dean M. Moshe Porat; Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management Associate Professor Dr. R.B. Drennan; and a few notable RMI alumni. The article will appear in the publication’s September edition.
Jacqueline Volkman-Wise has her sole-authored paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty
Dr. Jacqueline Volkman-Wise, Assistant Professor in the Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management Department, has had her paper, “Representativeness and Managing Catastrophe Risk,” accepted for publication in the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, which is a JVC A-* journal.
U.S. News rankings help hospitals toot their own horns
On the heels of U.S. News’ latest nationwide hospital rankings, WHYY appealed to Dr. Stuart Fine, Associate Professor of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management, Director of Fox’s Healthcare Management Programs, and former healthcare CEO, offered his take on why these rankings are significant.
What $37 Billion Aetna-Humana Deal Means
Aetna and Humana agreed upon a $37 billion merger. Dr. Stuart Fine, Associate Professor of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management, and Director of Fox’s Healthcare Management Programs, spoke with Philly Mag to discuss the impact the merger will have on the healthcare landscape, not only in the Philadelphia region, but also as a whole.
The Fox School of Business at Temple University will introduce two new undergraduate majors for the 2015-16 academic year: Supply Chain Management and Financial Planning.
In all, the Fox School offers students a choice of 15 undergraduate majors.
“The additions of Supply Chain Management and Financial Planning as majors further bolster the Fox School’s reputation as not only the most comprehensive business school in the Philadelphia region, but one of the most comprehensive in the nation,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “Employers and industry partners agree that these concentrations are regarded as emerging fields wherein professionals are in great demand, and Fox has the renowned faculty to support such programs.”
The new majors are available to all students. Students entering their junior and senior years can declare for either of the majors and still remain on four-year academic plans. Interested juniors and seniors are encouraged to meet with a Fox School advisor to discuss their academic options.
The Supply Chain Management major will prepare students to operate and lead major aspects of the supply system in both established and start-up firms. Fox’s Marketing and Supply Chain Management department will oversee the program, which will ready students for careers in the interconnected chain of suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses and distribution centers, transportation-providers, retailers.
“Businesses today operate on a global scale,” said Dr. Neha Mittal, Assistant Professor and Academic Director of the undergraduate Supply Chain Management program. “For example, it’s very common for a company to have its sourcing in South America, manufacturing in China, and sales of its products to markets in Europe or North America. We’re talking about huge, complex supply chains here, which have fueled the need for supply chain management professionals to manage the flows between the different parties.”
The Financial Planning major will prepare students for careers in the growing field bearing the same name, which takes a holistic approach to working with clients in order to enable them to identify and attain lifestyle and retirement goals. Students who complete the Financial Planning curriculum are eligible to sit for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) examination upon graduation – a unique feature of the program.
Fox’s Finance department will oversee the program, and will draw upon the expertise of faculty in Fox’s Legal Studies and Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management departments, as well, said Cynthia Axelrod, Assistant Professor and Financial Planning Program Director.
“Within the next 20 years, 10,000 baby boomers will retire every day. This will produce a tremendous intergenerational wealth transfer, for which there won’t be nearly enough advisors to take on the burgeoning growth of clients and client assets,” Axelrod said.
“Further, retirement planning now resides with employees, not employers. Individuals need help with retirement planning and investments. A financial planner brings objectivity to the process, and helps their client to develop a successful roadmap to attain their financial goals. A career in financial planning is very rewarding, allowing an individual to combine their investment skills and people skills, with excellent economic potential. All of this will lead to strong prospects for our students majoring in Financial Planning.”
It’s not what you make. It’s what you save.
That’s what Michael McCloskey said, as he asked for a student volunteer to share details of his personal finances.
At that moment, a hand shot into the air. The area high school student divulged to McCloskey how much money he earns each month by working his part-time job, and also how much he spends. Then McCloskey asked the student if he owns a car. The student replied yes, but added that his parents manage its related expenses.
“Well, that’s going to change one day,” said McCloskey, Assistant Professor of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management at the Fox School of Business, “and it’s important that everyone in this room is prepared for that day.
The Fox School hosted more than 70 high school students from the Philadelphia region April 29 for a first annual Financial Literacy seminar, offering a variety of guest speakers on topics ranging from early investing, credit, and financial aid for college.
Fox School’s Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, a risk and insurance fraternity, organized the four-hour event, to demonstrate the importance of managing one’s personal finances to prevent common financial pitfalls and to encourage better decision-making in regard to money. Reducing student debt is one of six commitments made by Temple University President Neil Theobald, who recently implemented the Fly In 4 program.
The event opened with McCloskey’s discussion on investing for the future. McCloskey, who teaches a general education course on the subject, explained the difference between good credit and bad credit, introduced the students to terms like insolvency and net worth, and encouraged them to jot down their monthly expenditures as a way of tracking their spending.
The students also learned about college admissions and financial aid application procedures from David Kaiser, Director of Undergraduate Enrollment at the Fox School, and Celeste D. Roberts, Temple’s Assistant Bursar of Financial Literacy. Following a lunch break, the students met with Fox senior Francesca Waddington, Sigma’s Vice President of Community Affairs, for a discussion focusing on the college experience.
“Four years ago, I was extremely confused with applying for financial aid and student loans, and had little understanding of what impact this would have on me when I graduated,” said Waddington, who organized the event with the help of Vice Dean Debbie Campbell, Director of Undergraduate Enrollment David Kaiser and Sigma Director of Community Affairs Sean Johnson.
“I think it’s crucial to educate students who plan to attend college on exactly what the financial burden is and, more importantly, how to lessen this burden. I think understanding how to become financially literate is vital to success, which was our inspiration for starting an event like this.”
The Financial Literacy seminar served as just one of many initiatives organized by the Sigma Chapter. In April, Sigma presented a check for $11,200 to its charity of choice, Brave Hearts for Strong Minds. The organization, based in the Philadelphia area, collects educations funds for children who have lost an income-earning parent.
For more information on the Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, visit its website.
Hospital expansion to challenge CHOP?
The Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, in Wilmington, Del., is expanding into Deptford, N.J., to potentially compete with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. For comment, the Philadelphia Inquirer turned to Dr. Stuart H. Fine, Associate Professor of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management, Director of Healthcare Management Programs at the Fox School, and a former health system CEO.
In 10 years, Hayley Leather would like to own a zoo.
With this professional aspiration in mind, the 22-year-old Fox School of Business student has focused her efforts on attaining the business expertise every zookeeper requires, while studying within Fox’s Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management department.
Leather’s research paper in a related area – into the 2010 British Petroleum (BP) oil spill that devastated animal habitats in the Gulf of Mexico – won the 2015 American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) White Paper contest.
Her essay, titled Why the BP Macondo Gulf Blowout is Important…and It’s Not What You Think, explores the complexities and uses of additional insured status and contractual indemnity in the oil industry, and the potential effects of restrictions. Leather synthesized legal precedent and interviewed experts in the field to uncover how unusual anti-indemnity strategies could change the face of risk contracting in the oil industry.
“This wasn’t anything that had been done before,” said Leather, a Risk Management and Insurance major. “Previously companies just did as they assumed, but BP really challenged all that.”
Winning essays were deemed to have communicated the significance of risk management in the future of wholesale, excess or surplus insurance lines in the manner of previous White Paper winners. Leather, one of two winners nationally, received $2,000 for her award-winning paper and an expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C. in May 2015 to attend the AAMGA Annual Meeting. While there, a mentor from the risk industry will be paired with Leather.
“I’ll be able to hear what’s going on in the industry and have a contact to talk to the whole time to explain it to me,” Leather said.
Leather credits Storm Wilkins, Assistant Professor of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management, with encouraging her to enter the contest. Wilkins also serves as faculty advisor for Temple’s Sigma Chapter of the risk management fraternity, Gamma Iota Sigma, of which Leather is a member. Leather, who had written previously on the BP crisis, knew that expanding upon the topic for the contest made sense, given her interest in animal welfare and risk management.
“Hayley researched the issues thoroughly, and even reached out to an industry expert to ensure that her work was first-rate,” Wilkins said. “I encourage my students to enter competitions such as the AAMGA White Paper contest because it allows them showcase their abilities beyond Temple University.”
Leather, who transferred into the Fox School in Summer 2014, said her brother, Jonathan, FOX ’09, pushed her into the Risk Management field. Previously, she had been a science major.
“I wasn’t happy with the idea of staring at a computer or microscope all day. I didn’t want to do that,” Leather said. “I love business in general and something that is important to all business is managing the risks.”
Merging her love of animals with her penchant for business, Leather has interned with the Navy Marine Mammals Program in San Diego. Somewhat closer to home, the native of Cheltenham, Pa., also has interned as a zookeeper at the Wild World of Animals in Eighty Four, Pa. Leather hopes to one day work for SeaWorld Entertainment, managing risks for one of the organization’s seven parks, before applying her business savvy when opening her own zoo.
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.
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.”
Over the summer, two undergraduate students from the Fox School of Business represented Temple University in the Windy City.
Actuarial science majors Mary Grace Sear and Zilong Zhao attended the Society of Actuaries’ (SOA) Center of Actuarial Excellence Student Summit, held Aug. 14-15 at the Renaissance Hotel in Chicago.
Sear and Zhao were two of the 50 students at the conference, which had representation by 25 CAEs from universities in the United States, Canada and Hong Kong.
The summit included a host of SOA guest speakers, including president-elect Errol Cramer, who offered career advice and tips to help students stay on the right track within their major. The two-day event also featured a communication improvisational workshop emphasizing the importance of listening skills, and another workshop that required the students in attendance to analyze and present case studies that focused on healthcare and life insurance.
“The improv workshop was very informative,” said Sear, a junior from Havertown, Pa., who is also minoring in Management Information Systems (MIS). “The takeaway was that although people worry about how they present themselves, what they look like or what they are going to say next, it is more important to listen to what’s going on around them.”
“I learned a lot from the workshops through the speakers but I learned a lot more from my peers,” said Zhao, a junior born in Baoji, China, whose family now resides in Scranton, Pa. “I was inspired by the students from Canada and Hong Kong because they have amazing actuarial exam progress. I was very interested in what their schools were like and, overall, it was a great networking experience.”
Sear and Zhao were selected to attend the event on the strength of their leadership and interpersonal skills by Dr. Krupa S. Viswanathan, Associate Professor of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management and Director of Fox’s Actuarial Science program.
“I chose Mary Grace and Zilong because not only do they possess strong analytical skills, they are both exceptionally well-rounded,” Viswanathan said. “Their strong communication skills were evident in class and through their participation in student organizations because they both held leadership roles.”
Outside of the classroom, Sear serves as Vice President of MIS at Gamma Iota Sigma, the risk and actuarial science business fraternity within the Fox School. Since his freshman year, Zhao has been active on campus. He currently serves as Vice President of Education at Temple Toastmasters, a student professional organization dedicated to communication and leadership development, and is an active member of Gamma Iota Sigma.
Sear and Zhao credited the Fox School with helping cultivate their leadership abilities.
“Fox really prepared me to be a professional,” said Zhao, who is also minoring in Computer Science. “While at the summit I was able to connect and network with people on a very professional level and confidently present the case studies to my peers. I love Temple, I love the program and the professors.”
Sear said her involvement with Gamma Iota Sigma, which hosts a career fair, requires etiquette workshops, resume reviews and mock interviews.
“Everything we learned at those workshops was extremely important because I had the appropriate networking skills to build on my professional contacts and network with various students at the conference,” Sear said.
Looking forward, Sear and Zhao said they are preparing for their upcoming actuarial exams, while also staying involved within the Temple community.
While college seniors across the country prepared for their last undergrad finals and applied for jobs, William Thorsson and his Fox School of Business peers flew to Denver, Co., for a national competition in which they gave a presentation in front of 100 risk management industry leaders.
On April 30, moments after finalist presentations ended, Gabriel and her three teammates learned they won the Risk and Insurance Management Society’s inaugural Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge.
“I wasn’t actually in the room when our victory was announced, so I didn’t believe it right away,” the senior risk insurance and healthcare management major said. “I was beyond excited when it sunk in.”
The competition has taken place for the last three years. This was the first year the conference was hosted at the RIMS conference, and the second consecutive year Temple University’s Fox School team won.
“It’s a testament to their hard work and training,” said Professor Robert Drennan, chair of Fox’s risk, insurance and healthcare management department. “We’ve always felt our undergraduate program at the Fox School is the very best in the country. A lot of objective evidence points to that, and this victory is just one more piece of evidence.”
Thorsson and his teammates Cathleen Gabriel, Martin Leicht and Steven Costa entered the challenge back in February when they and the 14 other contestants were presented with a risk management situation for Snap-on Inc. Each team had to respond to a proposal and create a presentation to win Snap-on’s business.
Each team submitted proposals to RIMS and by March, judges narrowed the running to nine teams. The nine schools were invited to the annual RIMS conference in Denver and gave oral presentations to a panel of 10 judges.
At the conference, judges chose narrowed the competition to three finalist teams who gave their presentation in front of industry leaders and professionals on the conference’s last day.
The Fox School team was awarded $4,000 for their first place victory. Florida State University and the Virginia Commonwealth University, won second ($3,000) and third ($2,000) places, respectively.
Thorsson was also thrilled for the exposure to the industry the challenge provided to him and his team.
“It highlights how fortunate we are to have a such a great risk management program and how, as Fox students, we’re given a holistic view of business,” he says.
Gabriel, who accepted a job at America International Group (AIG) Inc., says the entire challenge experience and victory made her grateful for the quality of education she received at Fox.
“Everything I’ve learned in the classroom, I’ve been able to apply to real life situations,” Gabriel says. “Attending and winning the Spencer-RIMS Challenge with my teammates was an amazing way to end a tremendous college career.”
Fox School of Business alumni , faculty and students and industry professionals flocked to the Hyatt at the Bellevue Hotel Tuesday, April 22, to celebrate and honor students past and present for the 26th Annual Awards for Excellence Dinner.
Co-hosted by the Department of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management and the Sigma chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, Dean Moshe Porat commented on event’s growth from a small luncheon 25 years ago.
“The idea behind it was to raise the profile of the department, to further connect students to employers, and to attract well-known speakers,” Dr. Porat said. “I think you will agree that we succeeded on all accounts – more people, more illustrious speakers and more successes to celebrate.”
The keynote speaker of the event was J. Hyatt Brown, president and CEO of Brown & Brown, Inc. who had an active career as a Florida state representative in the 1970s, and whom Time Magazine named one of the U.S.’s 50 young leaders in 1979.
Among the more than 30 Fox School students receiving awards were graduating seniors Richard Lee, BBA ’14, and William Thorsson, BBA ’14, who received the G. William Glendenning Award for Excellence in Actuarial Science; Cathleen Gabriel, BBA ’14, and Regina Ross, BBA ’13, recipients of the Joseph E. Boettner Award for Excellence in Risk Management and Insurance; H. Wayne Snider Award in Risk Management winner Martin Leicht, BBA ’14; Allison Cross, CEBS, BBA ’14,, who won the Jerry S. Rosenbloom Award in Employee Benefits; and Nancy Barret, BBA ’14, who was honored with the Baglini Memorial Award for Professionalism and Ethics.
Three Fox alums received the prestigious awards from the department. Cassidy A. Starkey, BBA ’99, manager of the designs Claims Management Programs for The Graham Company – and a Temple University Beasley School of Law grad – received the Norman A. Baglini Distinguished Young Alumni Award in Risk Management and Insurance.
Cigna Global Health Benefits Actuarial Manager Richard Huynh, BBA ’08, was honored with the G. William Glendenning Distinguished Young Alumni Award in Actuarial Science.
John Hannah, BBA ’90, was given the H. Wayne Snider Distinguished Alumni Award in Risk Management and Insurance. Hannah currently serves as senior client executive of Marsh’s Philadelphia Operations.
Associate Professor and Department Chair R.B. Drennan made remarks about the state of the insurance industry’s recruitment and future before awarding students and alumni. He proudly noted that the Fox School is educating future generations in this industry, and “we have been doing it longer and better than anyone else.”
“There is great concern over where the next generation of talent and leaders will come from,” Dr. Drennan noted. “Might I suggest to you, based on the facts as presented, that we in the Fox School have assumed the role as the leader in risk management education and research in the country and that we are also playing a major role to close this gap.”
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.
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 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 http://www.stbaldricks.org/teams/mypage/94098/2014