newsId: F541114A-5056-AF26-BE5C5A0BF90CA927
Title: The Princeton Review Ranks Kogod Greatest Opportunities for Minorities, Women
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Abstract: This Fall, The Princeton Review ranked Kogod #3 for greatest opportunities for minorities, and #4 for greatest opportunities for women.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 11/17/2017
Content:

Washington, DC, November 17, 2017 – American University’s Kogod School of Business is an outstanding business school, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company profiles the school in its 2018 annual business school rankings at www.princetonreview.com/business-school-rankings/best-business-schools

The 2018 Best Business Schools list ranks on-campus MBA programs, on-campus MBA programs by category, and best online MBA programs. The on-campus MBA cohort includes 267 business schools which were selected using a combination of factors, including institutional and student survey data. According to Robert Franek, Princeton Review Senior VP-Publisher, "We recommend Kogod as one of the best to earn an MBA.”

The Princeton Review's on-campus MBA survey interviewed 23,000 students attending the 267 featured schools about their business school's academics, student body, and campus life, as well as about themselves and their career plans. The student surveys that were used were completed online at http://survey.review.com and conducted in the 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 academic years.

Kogod received two outstanding On-campus MBA by Category rankings. The school was ranked #3 for greatest opportunities for minorities, and #4 for greatest opportunities for women. These are based on MBA student ratings of the resources available for minority students and women, in addition to institutional data. Diversity in the student body, how supportive the campus culture is of minority students, and whether case study materials reflect women in business were also factors in selection.

“I am especially delighted by these rankings because they affirm our ability to practice our core value of diversity and inclusion, and because they confirm our dedication to furthering it in the future,” says John T. Delaney, Dean of the Kogod School of Business.

The Princeton Review also features Kogod in its business school profiles, which has sections on academics, student life, admissions information and graduates’ employment data. American University and Kogod are described as places where “students learn from leaders in their fields, are engaged in active citizenship, and strive to make a difference in the world.” Current students describe the school as having a distinct "emphasis on cooperation rather than competition.” Kogod has "lots of good clubs" and is "very active;” it is also "small and easy to get around.”

There are 18 MBA by Category rankings on the 2018 Best Business Schools list. Other categories include Best Green MBA; Most Family Friendly; Best Professors; Best Career Prospects; and Best Administered, among others. Kogod is one of 71 schools included in Best Business Schools 2018 (27% of the 267 profiled) that appear on one or more of the project’s 18 ranking lists.

Kogod is honored to be recognized by the Princeton Review for its investment in minority populations and women. The school looks forward to continuing serving these groups, as well as all students in their MBA program.

About the Princeton Review

The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The company is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information, visit www.PrincetonReview.com. Follow the company on Twitter @ThePrincetonRev

Learn more about Kogod’s MBA program.

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newsId: 8812D49C-5056-AF26-BEB40E31840B09F8
Title: Inspiring Change, Making a Difference
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle: Kogod Senior Genever Oppong becomes an ELC Scholar in pursuit of business excellence
Abstract: Genever Oppong, BSA minoring in finance, ’18, is a change-maker. It’s why she pursued business education in the first place.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 11/15/2017
Content:

Genever Oppong, BSA minoring in finance, ’18, is a change-maker. It’s why she pursued business education in the first place.

“I looked at my environment and asked, with my passions and my skillset, how can I make a difference?” she says. “I wanted to speak for people whose struggles weren’t [acknowledged].”

From the Beginning

Oppong, the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants, grew up in a high-crime area in Newark, New Jersey. She witnessed the challenges of poverty matched with a broken education system—an experience that ultimately informed her passion for business.

Oppong realized becoming a business professional could help her invoke change. Through business, she could develop the tools needed to foster a strong community voice. It was a pathway towards meaningful impact.

In 2014, Oppong enrolled at Kogod and her journey began.

She hit the ground running. Oppong interned at the Trust for the National Mall her freshman year, was a Teen Ambassador Program Mentor for the Smithsonian Museum of African Art her sophomore year, and worked two internships with Goldman Sachs in Jersey City. “There was a lot I wanted to do,” Oppong laughs.

In 2016, she pursued another life-altering opportunity—one that’s become a major landmark in her business career. Oppong applied to the Executive Leadership Council’s scholarship program, which offers a generous monetary award, extensive networking opportunities and professional development. She was unsure about her chances to win, but thought she’d give it a shot.

Oppong’s doubt quickly dissipated. Not only did she receive an award, but she won first place in her category, Excellence in Business Commentary.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she says. “I felt excited, surprised and incredibly blessed.”

The Start of Something Big

The Executive Leadership Council (ELC), a non-profit membership organization based in Alexandria, VA, aims to build a pipeline of African-American talent in the business world by supporting talented black students. Their scholarship program, open to both undergraduate and graduate students, includes five separate categories, with the Excellence in Business Commentary essay competition as the primary undergraduate award for students attending non-HBCUs.

The Honors Symposium is the highlight of the program. Scholarship recipients attend a weeklong convention held in New York City and Maryland meeting leading corporate executives, going on site visits and attending networking events. This year’s Symposium, held the last week of October, left Oppong “in awe of everything. It motivated me to work even harder so I can achieve my aspirations,” she says.

Oppong didn’t just attend the symposium, though. She was an active participant in its operation.

As a first-place winner, Oppong was invited to moderate a panel discussion featuring top Coca-Cola executives, the company who sponsored her scholarship. Oppong admits it was intimidating, but she tried to approach it as a learning experience: an opportunity to foster an engaging, candid conversation.

The most important outcome was added value, says Oppong. She aimed to bridge the gap between what executives (employers) and scholars (employees) wanted in the workplace, crafting her questions to consider both parties’ interests.

“An authentic, genuine conversation where you’re really involved in learning about each other was my goal,” she says.

A Dream, Realized

For Oppong, the most impactful part of the Symposium wasn’t moderating the panel. It was meeting the executives in attendance—many of whom she considers her heroes.

Historically, there have been five notable African American CEOs of US Fortune 500 companies. A majority of the cohort, whom Oppong idolized long before starting her own business career, was at the Symposium. Kenneth Chenault of American Express; Arnold Donald of Carnival; and Kenneth Frazier, of Merck & Co, were all present.

“I couldn’t believe I had the chance to meet these incredible people. Before I even joined Kogod, I had them as the screensaver on my computer,” Oppong laughs.

The group was part of her inspiration for pursuing business. Their leadership showed the disparity of African-Americans in corporate America—especially black women. Oppong wanted to be part of changing this inequality.

“When I realized how few Black leaders there were—and that only one of them, Ursula Burns, was a woman—I made a resolution. I want to become the second African-American female CEO of a fortune 500 company,” Oppong says.

Looking Ahead

Her aspiration is high, yes, but many believe Oppong has what it takes to achieve it. Bill Bellows, Kogod professor of entrepreneurship and longtime mentor to Oppong, recalls when they first met. “I asked my students why they wanted to study business, and Genever looked me in the eye and told me her dream, without hesitation,” he says. “There was something about the way she said it that make me think, ‘this is somebody with a clear goal, courage and real passion.”

Oppong admits she couldn’t be successful today—or realize her future dreams—without her mentors at Kogod. She says the school has supported her academically, professionally, and financially—from mentorship at the KCCD to one-on-ones with professors like Bellows. “Without this community helping me become the best version of myself, I wouldn’t be where I am,” she says.

Oppong has many aspirations for the future. She hopes to become a member of the Executive Leadership Council herself. She wants to act as a mentor to other students and co-workers to “help people in any way possible.” And she’s certainly continuing to work towards her ultimate goal of becoming a CEO.

Most of all, though, Oppong wants to make a difference. It’s what underlies everything she does—whether she’s leading a panel discussion with Coca-Cola executives, or completing a project for Kogod. She wants to let her own voice shine, while empowering others to share theirs.

“It’s why I’m in business. I want to be the voice for my community and give back,” Oppong says. “I hope I can inspire great change along the way.”

Learn more about the Executive Leadership Council and their scholarship program.

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newsId: B6178586-5056-AF26-BEFBCF7186DB3458
Title: Stories of Valor: AU Plans Several Veterans Day Events
Author: Gregg Sangillo
Subtitle:
Abstract: In advance of the occasion, four vets and servicemembers are featured.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 11/06/2017
Content:

To honor this year’s Veterans Day, American University is holding several events in the coming week.

AU’s 2nd Annual Veterans Day Ceremony will take place on Friday, November 10. It will be held on the Quad, from 9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m. The ceremony will feature a Presentation of Colors by ROTC, recognition of student vets who are graduating, and remarks from AU community members. Sponsors include the AU Student Veterans Association, ROTC, the Veterans Liaison Network, the Veterans Alumni Network, AU Staff Council, and the Kay Spiritual Life Center.

On Tuesday, November 14, at 12:00 p.m., American University Washington College of Law will host a special Veterans Day Flag Dedication and Reception at the Yuma Entrance Flag Pole. On Wednesday, November 15, from 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. in Kerwin 2 (the old Ward Circle Building) University College is holding a speaker event with Justin Eggen, a Marine Corps veteran whose new book of poetry and short stories is based on his military experiences.

According to figures from veteran services in AU Central, 421 AU students are currently using AU VA education benefits. 283 of those students are either veteran, active duty, reserve, or National Guard, and the remainder are dependents and spouses. In advance of AU’s Veterans Day events, University Communications is featuring four members of the AU community who have served their country—a senior administrator, a faculty member, a law student, and an undergraduate. Here are their stories:

Billy Walker, Director of Athletics and Recreation

While discussing his 30 years of Air Force service, American University athletic director Billy Walker vividly recalls his green beginnings. As he left home to attend the United States Air Force Academy, it was the first time he’d ever been on an airplane.


“I’m thinking, ‘I’m going to eventually become a pilot, and I don’t even know if flying is going to scare me. I hope I’m making the right call here,’” he says now.

Yet coming from a large, working-class Wisconsin family, going to the Air Force Academy was a golden opportunity worth seizing. He turned out just fine on that commercial flight, and he’d eventually become a command pilot with nearly 3,000 hours of helicopter flight time.

Walker’s helicopter flying brought him to Andrews Air Force Base for a job transporting high-ranking government officials and conducting classified missions. After his first assignment there, he’d later return as the commander of the 1st Helicopter Squadron. Over the years, they’d transport Vice Presidents Dick Cheney and Al Gore, as well as cabinet secretaries, foreign leaders, and other dignitaries. He occasionally carried a Civil War almanac in his pocket, showing aerial views of famous battlefields to some passengers.

Aside from the VIP interactions, Walker especially appreciated leading young men and women in this squadron. “Being entrusted with America’s youth, as a commander, was one of my greatest honors,” he says. And he feels the same gratitude for other veterans he’s served alongside. “It was great just seeing the sacrifice, and the intense loyalty and devotion. To be around that for 30 years was really special.”

Walker had a rewarding experience as commander of a small squadron in the Cheyenne, Wyoming, area. This makes for difficult flying, as helicopters have less power in these high-altitude regions. In two years, they got 82 rescue calls, saving many lives and providing assists to people in perilous situations.

Along the way, Walker earned his doctorate in physical education and sports administration at the University of Northern Colorado. He was an assistant wrestling coach at the Air Force Academy and ultimately became deputy director of athletics there. In 2013, he started as AU’s athletic director. If this position looks like a dramatic departure, he sees some positive similarities.

“A lot of our students here are service-oriented. They’re obviously focused on their academics. There are tough, hard-working student athletes,” he notes. “You have so many people going into the Peace Corps or the Foreign Service. You get the same kind of mindset.”

Michael Carberry, Executive in Residence at the Kogod School of Business

There’s an oft-repeated notion about the Vietnam War. College students avoided fighting, while working-class kids without degrees were shipped off to war. College attendance certainly led to many draft deferments, but the generalization is belied by people like Mike Carberry. He volunteered for a Marine program while attending Manhattan College, and he headed to Vietnam after graduating.

Michael Carberry, far right, in Vietnam.

“I grew up in the Bronx in New York, and most of my friends went into the military, voluntarily, when they got of age,” he recalls. “I wanted excitement, adventure, action. So, this was something I was looking to do.”

Between 1964–1966, Carberry did two tours in Vietnam. These days, he keeps a reminder of his service near his desk in Kogod. It’s a New York Daily News clip about a mission he participated in south of Saigon. When two Daily News journalists showed up at his parents’ house looking for a photo for the article, his mother became extremely upset.

“She thought I had been killed. That’s why she thought they wanted the picture,” he says now. At the time, Carberry hadn’t told her he was on the ground in Vietnam. “I would send her notes saying, ‘Oh, things are fine. We’re in the Philippines, or we’re offshore,’” he explains. “I didn’t want her to worry. I knew she worried all the time.”

Carberry returned to the United States and earned his MBA at Columbia University, an anti-war hotbed. He was there in 1968, the same year protests led to a university-wide shut down. As polarizing as the war became—and five decades later, the societal wounds are still open—Carberry remains grateful he had the chance to serve. “I was proud of being in Vietnam, and I’m just proud of being a Marine.”

He went on to have a successful career in advertising and public relations. He was an adjunct professor over the years before joining AU full-time in 2010. Now he’s an executive in residence in Kogod’s Marketing Department, and he’s a faculty adviser to AU student vets.

“I love it. I’m 75 years old now. I don’t have to work anymore, but I like to, because I just don’t want to be bored.”

Jen Goss, student at American University Washington College of Law

Growing up in small-town New Hampshire, Jen Goss never thought much about attending the United States Naval Academy. When a guidance counselor proposed Annapolis in a meeting with Goss and her mother, they laughed at the idea. Yet her grandfather had graduated from the Naval Academy, and after meeting with members of the Naval Academy women’s sailing team, she visited the school and had a change of heart. The rest is history. Or, for Goss, likely just the beginning.

“I love the Navy. I would not change anything about my experiences all the way through. Even the experiences that were not so great, those things make me better at what I’m doing now, and they make me stronger,” says Goss, now a second-year student at AUWCL.

After earning her undergraduate degree in English from the Naval Academy, she completed five years of Naval service. On the USS Kearsarge, she was deployed to the Middle East and served as a deck and auxiliaries division officer. She oversaw refrigeration and air conditioning, which was important in such a hot climate. On the USS Antietam in Japan, she was a force protection officer dealing with security of the ship.

Goss had supervisory roles over many sailors, and captains frequently conferred with her about challenges she might face. “They’d give me this talk about being able to talk to people and stand up in front of a room. I think they see this petite-looking person and think, ‘Are you able to really do this?’” she recalls. “It’s funny because every single time, after I’ve been there for a few months, they always end up pulling me aside again and saying, ‘I don’t know why I ever worried about you.’”

Getting that seasoning proved beneficial to her in workplace environments and at AUWCL. “I’m pretty confident that if I walked into a room right now, and I was told that I need to take charge of this group of people, I’d be able to do it,” she says.

Now a Navy reservist, she’s still interested in pursuing a military career. Next semester, she’ll do a JAG Corps internship at the Washington Navy Yard.

Kevin Frazier, undergraduate student in the Kogod School of Business

After five years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Kevin Frazier feels like a different person. Before enlisting, he was taking community college classes, yet he felt like he was treading water. The Marines Corps’ mix of discipline and camaraderie helped him in numerous ways.

“It’s very cliché, but it really did shape me into a better man,” he says. “I got a great work ethic. I gained a lot of leadership skills and following skills.”

A Napa, California, native, he went through schooling and training before moving to Washington to do security work at the Marine Barracks, as part of the White House Communications Agency. He then spent a year and a half at the huge Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in the San Diego area.

Even the most grueling aspects of Marine Corps duty had an upside, he found. “I think the bonds you formed could be directly correlated to the miserable conditions. The more miserable it is, the tighter you get with people,” he says.

“The best part of service was meeting all the people and being in really tight-knit groups. The worst part was having to leave those groups, when you get re-stationed somewhere. Or the hiking. Hiking sucks,” he jokingly adds.

Frazier is new to AU, transferring in 2017 for the spring semester. At the Kogod School of Business, he’s majoring in business administration with a specialization in information technology and systems. He’s still adapting to college life as a slightly older, nontraditional student. But he’s now involved with the Student Veterans Association, and he’s helping with the November 10 Veterans Day ceremony on the Quad.

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newsId: EC05F365-5056-AF26-BEABC29877AFFE03
Title: Bringing the Real World into the Classroom
Author: Seth Shapiro
Subtitle:
Abstract: The Student-Managed Investment Fund helps students hone their knowledge with experience
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 11/03/2017
Content:

At the beginning of the weekly meeting on Monday, October 23, Tyler Williams, investment fund portfolio manager, stood in front of his PowerPoint presentation and announced that the holdings were outperforming the S&P 500 by an average of 3.5 percent in 2017-an impressive feat, considering the bull market had inflated stock yields across the board.

The accomplishment was also striking since the fund is managed not by professionals, but by Kogod students.

Williams, BS finance '19, explained to the students seated around the classroom that the Student Managed Investment Fund's (SMIF) strong performance was driven largely by its holdings in technology stocks. Toward the end of Williams' portfolio update, Brad Chabra, BS finance '18, SMIF fund manager, expressed his pride in the Fund's performance from his seat toward the front of the room. But he cautioned the student analysts to identify the biggest risks to the sectors they oversaw in the fund's portfolio.

"We are riding the perfect wave," Chabra said. Without preparing to adjust their strategy, however, he warned that the fund's success might be short-lived.

Gaining Real World Experience, with Real World Consequences

SMIF offers AU students the opportunity to earn academic credit while gaining hands-on investment experience using real money. The consequences for poor performance go beyond potentially earning a bad grade. In addition to using alumni contributions, SMIF also manages a portion of the university's endowment. If the stocks lose money, SMIF students have less money to invest.

"We're trying to prove ourselves as a very premier fund," Williams says, explaining how he wants SMIF to earn a "national presence." With a strong reputation, not only will the fund gain the trust of the university, but SMIF participants will also become better positioned to compete with other students for top jobs after graduation.

In addition to enhancing their job prospects, SMIF complements what the students learn in the classroom to solidify their understanding of finance and investment strategy.

"This shaped my learning experience at Kogod, it shaped my finance knowledge," Chabra says. "I think I learned a lot [in my classes], but I didn't know what any of that meant until I took SMIF."

To truly understand the concepts and theory they study in the classroom, Williams explains, the students need to "apply it to a real-world situation."

A Long-term Educational Investment with Strong Personal Dividends

Many of the students seated around the classroom are not technically a part of SMIF and they earn no academic credit for being there. They sit in on the class to understand how it functions and to give themselves a better chance of being accepted should they decide to apply.

Chabra started sitting in on SMIF meetings his freshman year. He had a student mentor who suggested that, if he wanted to learn about markets and investment strategy, this was the experience he needed.

While students manage the portfolio, SMIF does have a faculty adviser, Timothy Timura, Executive-in-Residence in the department of finance and real estate.

"In every single way, this is a student-managed investment fund," Williams says. While they have the liberty to make the decisions as they see fit, "Tim is always there to give us the guidance."

After Williams updated the class on the SMIF performance, Timura spoke briefly about the aspects of the fund that "keep me up at night." He talked about the need for more diversity in their holdings and the importance of staying vigilant about trends that could change how the market was performing.

"I don't think there's any fund in the country that's doing better," Timura told the class. "It's all working-that's exactly the time you don't want to get comfortable."

During the rest of the meeting, many of the student analysts provided overviews of the fund's stocks in the sectors they're responsible for overseeing, while others pitched the group on their recommendations to buy or sell specific stocks.

For Chabra, who will be graduating this December and stepping down from his position as fund manager, he feels that his SMIF experience has been an essential component of his education.

"I knew that [SMIF] was the best of the best experiences that Kogod had to offer for finance majors."

Learn more about Kogod's SMIF and the BS and MS in finance programs.

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Title: Educational Enhancement Fund Empowers, Unites
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: Kogod’s Educational Enhancement Fund (EEF) is all about the experience.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 10/27/2017
Content:

Kogod’s Educational Enhancement Fund (EEF) is all about the experience. The Fund, established in Summer 2017, allows students to pursue their passions outside of the classroom—whether they’re competing in a competition, networking or attending a conference.

“We want to give students a chance to explore their interests and their professional goals,” says Andrew Toczydlowski, Director of Student Development and Services.

The EEF was founded as a monetary resource for professional development for Kogod undergraduate and graduate students. Individuals apply online with a pitch of how their chosen opportunity will enrich their education; chosen applicants work with staff, faculty and centers across campus to prepare.

Toczydlowski says this interdisciplinary design is one of the Fund’s distinguishing qualities. The Kogod Center for Career Development (KCCD) and the Kogod Center for Business Communications (KCBC) are participating entities, exposing students to different staff and faculty perspectives.

It also raises awareness of other extracurricular resources on campus, like the KCCD and KCBC. In this way, students are able to capitalize on Kogod’s offerings long after their EEF opportunity has passed. “Many students don’t know about these on-campus resources,” Toczydlowski says. “The EEF helps inform them of other offerings at Kogod.”

Most recently, the Fund sponsored a group of MBA students to attend the National Black MBA Association’s (NBMBAA) conference and exposition in Philadelphia, PA. The annual event, held this year on September 26-30, featured an array of top-executive speakers; educational sessions centered on business topics like leadership and financial prosperity; and a career expo with employers from across the nation.

Brittany Osazuwa, MBA ‘17, was a Kogod student in attendance. For her, the conference was an extension of her experience at AU, giving her the chance to expand on what she’s learned in the classroom. “NBMBAA’s programming built on the academic work that I’ve done,” she says. “It allowed me to apply my knowledge to a real-life situation.”

The event also gave her the opportunity to network with employers she wouldn’t have met otherwise—a primary goal of the Fund. Company representatives from LinkedIn, Coca-Cola, Marriott International, and BMW, among many others, were present and available to meet with conference attendees.

MBA student Zoe Bludevich was also on the trip. She says networking was the highlight of her experience. “This experience gave me the opportunity to meet with over 300 employers. I was able to make meaningful connections and gain a ton of career leads,” she says.

“Ultimately, the EEF helps students find internships and jobs,” Toczydlowski says. “It exposes them to employers that the KCCD isn’t able to bring to campus.”

Other EEF-sponsored professional development opportunities include the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s case competition for MBA students, as well as the CUIBE (Consortium of Undergraduate International Business Education) in Boston, MA, for undergraduates. EEF applications are accepted on a rolling basis, leaving the door open for other opportunities as they arise.

While the Fund doesn’t pay for each event in its entirety, many students’ jobs do. Toczydlowski has found that when students approach employers about partially EEF-sponsored events they’re willing to cover remaining expenses. A majority of students end up paying little to nothing out-of-pocket.

“Students have really been able to leverage other resources as a result of the Fund,” Toczydlowski says.

This makes the Educational Enhancement Fund a body that unites, as much as it empowers. The EEF streamlines a single Kogod-centric funding source, while encouraging students to branch out—for other funding sources, and for experiences that impact. “It gives students a single place to go to for support,” Toczydlowski says. “It helps them feel like, ‘We are all one Kogod.’”

And perhaps that’s its greatest benefit of all.

Learn more about the Educational Enhancement Fund today.

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Title: A Man of Many Trades
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle: Adam Trent, MBA ’18, shares his journey to Kogod
Abstract: He's been a barista and a bartender. He's worked as an animal trainer. He's taught English in Japan. And now he's pursuing his MBA at Kogod.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 10/23/2017
Content:

Adam Trent, MBA '18, is a man of many trades. He's been a barista and a bartender. He's worked as an animal trainer. He's taught English in Japan. And now he's pursuing his MBA at Kogod.

Trent's last job was assistant managing a boutique grocery store in Seattle, where he oversaw all of its operations. He wrote policies and procedures, trained new staff--"a little bit of everything," according to Trent.

It was here he first dreamed of attending business school. "It was a lot of fun," Trent says. "I was constantly trying new things."

Business school also linked to his previous work experience--especially in animal training. Working with animals, which he did for Busch Gardens for nearly a decade, taught him behavioral psychology. He learned how to assess underlying emotions and motivations—abilities that are crucial for any business professional.

Diverse Experiences, Different Skills

Eventually Trent left Busch Gardens to pursue his bachelor’s degree. He studied global and environmental change, an interdisciplinary program that blends science with statistics and information technology. The degree was the perfect bridge, building on his experience with animals, while priming him for a more technical career.

It was still a long road before he would arrive at Kogod. After earning his degree, Trent moved overseas with his wife, a Naval officer. They settled in Japan, where Trent worked for the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force as an English teacher.

The couple eventually made their way back to the United States to Seattle…and, finally to Washington, DC. “I’ve had a lot of [varied] experiences,” Trent says. “They’ve made me a much richer person with a really diverse skill set.”

The Ideal Fit

After he applied to and visited Kogod, Trent says he felt an instant connection. “I met some of the professors and we clicked immediately. And the staff seemed really experienced,” he says.

Kogod also specialized in the areas he wanted to pursue. Trent was interested in studying consulting and start-up businesses, two of Kogod’s main focuses. “I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up,” he laughs, “and this was the perfect chance to explore different areas.”

The school’s focus on sustainable business practices was also a strong draw. Trent hoped to bridge his background in environmental change to business, and Kogod offered the perfect opportunity to do so. Courses consider both shareholder and stockholder interests, balancing community needs with a company’s bottom line.

“This was reassuring because it teaches the idea that it’s not just about the money. It reinforced my decision to come to Kogod,” says Trent.

Looking Ahead 

Now at Kogod, Trent is feeding his passion for new experiences. He’s President of the Graduate Business Association, Vice President of Finance for Kogod Women in Business, and he’s a teaching assistant for several professors. He also hopes to participate in Kogod’s Venture Capital Competition, and pick up a couple internships. “I’ve made a huge effort to put myself out there,” he says.

He’s not sure yet where his business school journey will take him, but he’s got a few ideas. He’s considering a career in human resources, which would combine his business expertise with his behavioral psychology background. Or maybe consulting, which capitalizes on his many different skillsets.

“I know a little bit about a lot, which allows me to approach a company’s problem from many different angles,” he explains.

Whatever path he chooses, it’s certain he’ll enjoy the journey on it. He’s honoring his “jack of all trades” past and taking advantage of every opportunity he can. This is the time to try things, he says, and he plans to make the most of it. “There’s just so much to learn,” Trent says. “I’m excited to soak it up.”

Learn more about Kogod’s MBA program and graduate degrees.

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Title: Battling Fraud, One Tool at a Time
Author: Jamie McCrary
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Abstract: Casey Evans, MSA program director, is hard at work fighting cyber fraud. Read more about her innovative research.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 10/18/2017
Content:

Casey Evans knows knowledge is power-especially when it comes to cyber fraud. Lack of information is what makes an organization vulnerable to ongoing attacks, she says. It's crucial that employees-and the outside world-are notified if a breach happens.

"It's what helps to prevent and deter fraud," Evans, Director of the MS in accounting program at Kogod, explains.

This conviction is what's driving her current work with SWIFT , a global provider of financial messaging services. Evans, in partnership Beth Petrie, a colleague from Citi Group, is developing a cyber fraud tool for banks that will notify employees when a threat is detected. "We're excited to develop this technology," Evans says. "It has the potential to make a big difference."

The tool, grant-funded by the SWIFT Institute, Swift's research arm, is simple enough. It's a short, straight-forward form investigators complete detailing internal fraudulent activity. What makes it innovative is how it's disseminated. The report utilizes the same platform banks use to wire funds, making communication confidential, fast and highly efficient.

"We're the first to communicate information about cyber fraud this way," Evans says.

The duo also received research support from Jenny Evans, one of Evans' current undergraduate accounting students. Jenny, BSA '18, researched fraud software, as well as forms companies currently use for reporting fraud. Evans says her student's work "deepened their knowledge" and gave their research "direction."

For Jenny, the experience was an ideal bridge from the classroom to the real world, giving her the chance to put what she's learned into action. "Seeing a brilliant forensic accountant like Professor Evans doing real-world work is incredibly interesting, and helps me figure out what I want to do down the road," she says.

The team also developed a comprehensive list of cyber fraud indicators: situations that could indicate fraudulent activity. There's currently 55 total, though they hope to hone the list to 10-15 over the next year.

The indicators will be placed at the top of the form for investigators to review. They include scenarios such as employees e-mailing customer files to their non-work e-mail accounts; downloading customer information on an external hard drive; or consistently working within a dormant account. "They're activities that violate standard processes and procedures," Evans says.

Evans has been hard at work spreading the word about their research. She just got back from Singapore (pictured above), where she presented their model to SWIFT Members at Cyber 3.0 - Better Together. She's also presented in London, and will travel to Toronto in October to present at the Sibos Conference, an annual financial services event organized by SWIFT.

"We hope we can gain buy-in from the community so they really see a need for sharing information this way," she says.

They'll launch their year-long pilot this October following the Sibos Conference . They've nailed down several US banks to participate and will unveil the pilot at the conference in Toronto. "We're excited to test the system across multiple domains," Evans says, "and develop policies and procedures around it."

They hope to establish their system in banks across the United States after the pilot year. It'll depend on how the test goes, Evans notes tentatively, but they're optimistic the model will achieve the results they want.

Evans sees their work as a type of public service-a system that helps protect their clients and the community at large. In the past information has been "si-loed," and their method engages stakeholders across companies, departments and positions.

Most of all, Evans wants to make an impact. She hopes she can help her community become safer and more secure-a place where cyber fraud is a crime of the past, not the present. "More and more, sharing information is how we stop criminals," she says. "I'm excited to be a part of making that happen."

Learn more about Casey Evans’ research and her role as Director of the MS in accounting program.


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Title: International Management Practices Course to Include Spring Break Travel Component to Cuba
Author: Seth Shapiro
Subtitle: Pairing Classroom Studies with Experiential Learning
Abstract: Kogod students get a global perspective through experiential projects, in-class lectures, and, most importantly, international travel.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 10/09/2017
Content:

Each time Heather Elms, Associate Professor of International Business at Kogod, has traveled with her students to a foreign country for an international experience course, she takes pride in their level of preparedness. She’s been told repeatedly that the AU students “ask good questions” and “really understand what’s going on” in the countries they’re visiting.

“[That’s because] we emphasize the academic content,” Elms says, stressing the importance of studying each country’s business conditions in the classroom prior to traveling. Before students in the spring 2018 IBUS-244 International Management Practices course travel to Cuba this spring break, they’ll have spent the semester learning about differences between Cuba’s business environment and management practices and those of other countries.

Since the students understand Cuba’s history and its present business climate, they’re better positioned to analyze and appreciate what they see—particularly since they will need to synthesize their takeaways into a final research paper and presentation.

“Kogod has been focused on experiential programs for a very long time,” Elms says. But for those experiences to be truly beneficial and transformative, she emphasizes that students need to put in the preparation to make the most out of them.

Broadening Students’ Perspectives

While the itinerary for the upcoming trip is still being finalized, Elms says they are planning to visit a variety of businesses to give students a diverse perspective into the management and operations of Cuban businesses.

Despite the number of international students at AU, Elms says there’s a natural tendency among faculty and students to still focus on the American business environment and American management practices. “There are huge differences in ways that companies are run in different countries,” she says. By visiting other places and seeing how businesses function, “it makes [students] more aware and sensitive, not just culturally, but in terms of critical thinking.”

Private business has only cropped up recently in Cuba—most businesses are still state-owned. While it’s important for students to understand this on an academic level, Elms explains there’s really no substitute for seeing it in person.

Harrison Wolff, BSF ’18, who participated in the course and trip to Cuba in 2016, says that a visit to an agricultural cooperative was a highlight and eye-opening experience.

“You can read as much as you want about a country and its policies, but you never truly understand it until visiting,” Wolff says. “The travel component was crucial for understanding the Cuban economy and government policies.”

The Cuba-U.S. Relationship

Particularly when traveling to a country like Cuba, it’s important for students to be aware of the political climate and the country’s current relationship with other countries. When Elms first took the students to Cuba in 2016, for example, the United States embassy had just reopened and relations between the two countries was at its best in more than 50 years. But as the new administration has reversed course, recently removing many staff members from the U.S. embassy in Havana, students need to stay up to date.

“We are constantly monitoring the situation,” Elms says, referring to both the political situation and the conditions in Cuba following the devastation felt by the country following Hurricane Irma.

Elms appreciated the opportunity to take the students to Cuba because of how timely it was in 2016, and that remains the case today. “We do want to make [the course] topical,” Elms says. She is hopeful that the students will be able to visit the U.S. embassy and participate in some disaster relief efforts to support the local community.

In addition to learning about Cuban business, Elms also wants the students to immerse themselves in Cuban culture. The students will attend a show at the Tropicana, a state-owned cabaret. All of the participants will also be staying in residencias (or “casas particulares”)-- homes or apartments owned and rented out by Cubans. Elms says the opportunity to stay in a local neighborhood and get to know a particular community helps the students connect to the country. “It gives you a better feel for how people live.”

Jolie Roetter, Kogod’s Global Learning Programs Director, adds, “We make an effort to ensure that we are supporting the citizens of Cuba as much as possible during our time on the island. In addition to staying residencias, we meet with a variety of cooperatives and eat our meals in paladares (privately run restaurants).”

It’s those kinds of connections and in-person encounters that enable students to have a true experiential learning opportunity and reinforce the lessons they learn in the classroom before visiting Cuba.

“It’s going to be a fantastic, eye-opening course,” says Elms. “Many of the students in our previous course on Cuba described it as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity.”

The deadline to register for the spring 2018 IBUS-244 course is October 27, 2017. Visit us online for more information!

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Title: Lahiri Challenges Students with Experiential Learning
Author: Jamie McCrary
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Abstract: MGMT-458 is pragmatic and applied—two attributes Lahiri believes are essential to her students’ success.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 09/23/2017
Content:

Professor Lahiri's Strategic Management class exemplifies experiential learning. MGMT-458 is pragmatic and applied-two attributes Lahiri believes are essential to her students' success.

"It's critical to be able to translate theory to practice," she says. "The real world demands it."

Strategic Management, which serves as undergraduate seniors' capstone experience, teaches them how to make and implement strategic business decisions. They learn to think like a general manager, which means solving complex managerial problems. "This course deals with the world of experience," Lahiri says. "It helps students develop action-oriented management skills."

The class is structured around three hands-on projects: case studies, in-class exercises and a semester-long group assignment. Each experiential method tests students' critical thinking, a goal that Lahiri says is central to the curriculum.

Her priority, though, is teaching how to manage ambiguity. She intentionally challenges students to solve open-ended and unstructured problems, because, "that's how it is in the real world. The best managers are the ones that know how to handle incomplete information," Lahiri says.

The group consulting project is the perfect exercise in obscure thinking. Student teams work with a local business to develop a situation analysis and a strategic plan, ultimately recommending new business models. Each team is expected to come up with a different solution and present their findings to the company throughout the semester.

This year's company is the German automobile manufacturer Audi. The company plans to sell their cars in new markets, and wants students' help evaluating business proposals for each segment. Lahiri will use different theoretical frameworks to help students stay organized and manage the project's ambiguous nature. "It's an excellent chance to apply what we've learned in class to a real-life situation," she says.

Harvard Business School (HBS) cases provide additional opportunities for experiential learning. Students are required to complete in-depth analyses of two HBS cases during the course. These individual analyses are crucial, Lahiri says, because students must develop sound, structured arguments. They cannot simply posit a solution-they must back it up with logic.

"At work, if you have an opinion about how something should be done, your boss is going to expect you to support it with evidence," Lahiri explains. "This is a good exercise in this."

She also challenges students with self-designed, in-class exercises. They're less formal and seamlessly integrated into the curriculum, giving students "daily doses" of real-world problems. For example, when teaching business alliances and collaborations, she's designed a game on how to find an alliance partner and structure a collaboration.

"It's easy to listen to a lecture on these concepts, but applying them is a whole other story," Lahiri says. "In-class experiential exercises like these help students absorb the material."

Lahiri is looking forward to a semester of strategic thinking, applied learning and growth. She knows the road that lies ahead isn't easy, but is confident her students can tackle MGMT-458's challenges. She's excited to shape her students' experience-one that's grounded in real-world projects, as much as in-class theory. "It's going to be a busy semester, and I can't wait to see what my students come up with," Lahiri says."

Learn more about Kogod's undergraduate programs.

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Title: Megan Brew Joins KCCD
Author: Jamie McCrary
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Abstract: Kogod’s Career Center is on the up and up. Meet one of their new staff members who’s shaking things up.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 09/22/2017
Content:

This Fall, Kogod's Center for Career Development hired two new undergraduate career advisors: Megan Brew and Annie Yu (yes, their names rhyme!) We sat down with each of them to welcome them to Kogod, and get a better sense of their background and experience.

Megan comes to us from the University of Virginia, where she worked as a graduate intern with UVA's Career Center. At UVA, she developed mentorship connections for students interested in working internationally, while earning her master's in Higher Education Administration. She's also worked as Director of Operations for Armed Services Arts Partnership, and holds a bachelor's in business administration from the College of William and Mary.

Learn more about Megan below; click here to read about Annie.

Kogod School of Business: You have a master's degree in Higher Education Administration. What inspired you to pursue this path?

Megan Brew: I absolutely loved my experience as an undergrad at William & Mary. The summer after my freshman year I spent some time reflecting on potential internships for future summers. When considering future areas of professional interest, I kept coming back to one topic: my love for William & Mary. Knowing I could only stay on-campus as a student for four years, I quickly discovered that full-time professionals run the ship. I started learning more by asking questions of my mentors at the college and realized that a career in higher education could be my true calling.

KSB: You both also have a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. In what ways does this connect to what you're doing now?

MB: Earning my degree in Business Administration adds a level of connection with Kogod students. I took similar classes to those offered at Kogod when I was an undergrad, so I can relate when I have conversations with students about their coursework and future career aspirations.

KSB: Is there a professional experience or accomplishment that you're particularly proud of?

MB: I collaborated with two of my team members at UVA to structure an international mentorship program. Undergrads connected with alumni working internationally to learn the ins and outs of applying for jobs in other countries and building their networks abroad. Understanding the international focus within Kogod, I'd love to design something similar for students here.

KSB: Why did you choose career advising as your career path?

MB: I absolutely love working with people and strive to meet and engage as much as I can. (Can you tell I'm an extrovert?)

I derive great joy from hearing people's stories and, oftentimes, their career influences their path immensely. I saw career advising as an incredible opportunity to listen to students and coach them to reaching their goals.

KSB: What are you most looking forward to in your new role as a KCCD career advisor for undergraduate students?

MB: I'm looking forward to building new programs for students. I am particularly passionate about experiential learning and am hopeful to work with our employer relations team to plan professional treks around DC where students can learn more from professionals in desired fields (and right in their backyard!)

KSB: What attracted to you to Kogod specifically?

MB: When I applied for the role of Career Management Advisor, I took time to review the Kogod website and talk to a few students and professionals already in the building. From my various points of research, I particularly loved the interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum at Kogod. I appreciate how the Business School leverages the location near the capital to give students the best of both worlds: a valuable business education in an ecosystem of government and politics.

KSB: What do you hope to accomplish working at Kogod?

MB: I hope to build long-lasting relationships with students. I'm looking forward to connecting with students throughout their four years at AU and watching them progress into young adulthood. I can't wait to see all that the talented group of students at Kogod can accomplish personally and professionally in the coming years.

KSB: Anything else you'd like to add?

MB: I'm just excited to be here!

Interested in Kogod’s Center for Career Development? Learn more here.

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Title: AU Launches Crowdfunding Platform
Author: Joanna Platt
Subtitle:
Abstract: UFUND is a platform the AU community can use to directly fund projects and initiatives.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 12/15/2016
Content:

American University's Office of Development and Alumni Relations recently launched UFUND, a crowdfunding platform just for the AU community. This is a new way for alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of the university to directly fund the projects and initiatives they care about most.

AU faculty, staff, and students are planning ventures to shape the future of the community, nation, and world. By making a gift, donors support the development and success of these projects.

Currently, UFUND features five initiatives – The Eagle Innovation Fund, the DC-Area High School Ethics Bowl, an Alternative Break in Cuba, the Skills for Success Career Seminar, and production of the documentary In The Executioner's Shadow.

Members of the AU community are invited to submit new projects to be featured on UFUND.


 

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Title: Chris Kalna, Kogod/BSBA ’08: Kogod leads to Carlyle Group
Author: Patricia Rabb
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Abstract: Chris Kalna is an AU Alumni Board member and associate vice president at The Carlyle Group.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 01/08/2016
Content:

“I first visited AU in the summer of 2002. That one visit was all the convincing I needed to apply and attend,” says Chris Kalna, Kogod/BSBA ’08, while describing the benefits of graduating from the Kogod School of Business.  

Born in Albany, New York, and raised in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, Chris feels that “AU’s size, location, the diverse background of the Kogod professors, and other like-minded students” were the most important factors in deciding to become an Eagle.

Chris is adamant that his AU degree has been crucial to his career success. “The school’s location to leaders of industry in Washington, its reputation for high academic standards, and the thoughtful guidance of my professors gave me the foundation I needed to graduate and begin my career,” he says.

After graduating in 2008, Chris worked in the IT and business consulting fields for companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton and Deloitte. After traveling in these jobs for several years, he changed careers in 2014 and now works in private equity for The Carlyle Group in Washington, DC. As an associate vice president, he manages the firm’s digital strategy. His work impacts many areas, such as Carlyle’s corporate website, employee intranet, mobile device strategy, cloud technology resources, document management, and social media. He enjoys having a direct impact on the firm’s strategy. “Our company is large enough to produce outstanding returns for our clients, yet small enough that my thoughts and directions can change corporate culture,” he says.  

During his time at AU, Chris recalls spending late nights with other Kogod students working on case studies, class projects, and study guides for exams. “Working together with my peers helped me build lifetime relationships and allowed me to work on the skills I needed to succeed in my career,” he says. Chris was also a part of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and one of the founding members of the AU’s men’s ice hockey team.

In his spare time, Chris enjoys cooking with his wife, Catherine, playing the role of doting dad to their four-year-old English bulldog, Dolly, and reading about personal and professional investment opportunities.
 
Although he’s busy with both work and family, Chris finds time to volunteer as a member of the AU Alumni Board. In this role, he hopes to strengthen the relationship between the university and alumni, lead the effort for alumni surveys and data gathering, and help direct the board to areas where their impact and work will be felt the most. “The AU Alumni Board is giving me a fantastic opportunity to give back to the school that has given me so much,” says Chris.

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Title: Alumnus Nick Kuhn Continues to Find New Ways to Give Back to AU
Author: Melissa Bevins ’02
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Abstract: Alumnus Nick Kuhn, Kogod/MBA ’86 is committed to giving back to AU.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 06/25/2015
Content:

Alumnus Nick Kuhn, Kogod/MBA '86, is one of the lucky few who knew early on what he wanted to do. Nick says that from the age of 22 he wanted to go into the real estate industry. He has worked full-time in real estate since he graduated from Lafayette College with an undergraduate degree in business and economics. But, that's not to say that he didn't explore other avenues. During college, Nick held a summer job with a stock brokerage and did an internship with a government contractor. However, since he took a job as a real estate agent right after graduation, he hasn't looked back.

As an MBA student at AU, Nick loved the hands-on nature of his work. He enjoyed working on case studies, participating in large group projects, and crafting presentations. Now, as an alumnus, he continues to support the current students who are engaging in this work. He has served for many years as a judge for Kogod's annual Case Competition, which he feels is a great opportunity for students to sharpen their communication skills, presentation style, and problem-solving techniques. Nick says he enjoys serving as a judge because of the opportunity to see the students in action. "I like seeing how they problem-solve, innovate, work as a team, think on their feet, utilize what they learn in the classroom to arrive at solutions, and defend their recommendations as if they were in the business world," he says.  

In addition to Kuhn's ongoing commitment to helping Kogod students, he has continued to seek out ways to participate actively in the life of AU. In past years, Kuhn has assisted with Dean searches for Kogod and served as a member of the Real Estate chapter in Kogod while it was still in existence, presenting homebuyer seminars to students and alumni. He has also recently become involved with Bender Library as a donor to its special collections.

Now, Nick is serving his first term on the AU Alumni Board. His term began in January 2014, and he says he is enjoying his service. He has taken the opportunity to get to know AU even better and to spend more time on campus, at meetings, events, and athletic events. His role on the Scholarship and Awards committee of the board allows him to play a direct role in the awarding of scholarships to current students as well as selecting alumni award winners. Nick says that he would like to see AU continue to expand its reach and involvement with international alumni communities.

When asked what advice he has for AU students and recent alumni hoping to follow his footsteps, Nick says, "Participate in internships to learn the nuts and bolts of the career. Real estate is demanding and requires a firm commitment."

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Title: Alumni Admissions Volunteer Chair Shares Passion for AU
Author: Patricia Rabb
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Abstract: Maria Luisa Ortega shares her passion for recruiting prospective students for AU.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 04/07/2015
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"Growing up in Puerto Rico, and being the daughter of Cuban exiles, I decided to attend AU because it was by far the most international school I had visited," says Maria Luisa Ortega, Kogod/BSBA '85. "Coming from a family where politics and culture were always part of our daily conversation, Washington, DC represented the perfect environment for me." 

After her first visit during her junior year in high school, Maria Luisa knew she wanted to attend college at AU. "I had studied French and Russian growing up, and I was desperate to practice it and mingle with students from different countries," she says.

Maria Luisa enjoys reminiscing about her time at AU in the 1980s. "AU's teachers were the nicest, most helpful and caring. I remember hearing horror stories from friends at other schools, and I felt so proud that my teachers were always there for me," she recalls. With the Reagan administration in office during her time at AU, she has fond memories of that era. "Studying in DC during the Reagan years was absolutely thrilling to me. The United States was at the top of its game, and I was at AU enjoying all that glory," she proclaims.   

During her junior year at AU, Maria Luisa secured an internship at an advertising and marketing firm in Georgetown. That internship turned into a part-time job during her senior year. While completing her degree at the Kogod School of Business, Maria Luisa also studied French, Russian, and Italian. She believes this combination helped her obtain the job she wanted as an account executive in a Miami advertising agency upon graduation. 

With her daughter, Claudia Iturregui, CAS/BA '16, a current student at AU, Maria Luisa is delighted to share a legacy tie. "The pride that I feel having my daughter at AU cannot be measured. To know that Claudia is having experiences very similar to the ones I had is something for which I have no words," she exclaims. Maria Luisa believes her experiences at AU in the 1980s aren't that different from her daughter's experiences today. "It's as international and political as always, and she tells me the teachers are as nice as ever," she says. 

Maria Luisa resides in Coral Gables, Florida with her son, Enrique Iturregui, a high school senior. She owns and manages a franchise called Mr. Pretzels with stores in Florida and Georgia. "I love this kind of business because it deals with everything I studied at Kogod: accounting, finance, advertising, and manufacturing," she says.

As a long-time AU Alumni Admissions Volunteer (AAV) and chair of the AAV network, volunteering her time to AU has been very satisfying for Maria Luisa. The AAV network includes alumni and parents who assist admissions in the recruitment of prospective students. It is the largest group of AU alumni volunteers with more than 600 members in 38 states and 14 countries. "To be able to help AU recruit students who show great intellect, who are passionate, and who want to leave a mark in this world, what is better than that," she exclaims. 

Reflecting on her role as AAV network chair, Maria Luisa says she wants to attract more alumni to share their pride and love for AU with prospective students. "It is time for us to give back to the school that helped us grow, that trained and prepared us for what was to come and that ultimately pushed us out into the world as success stories waiting to happen," she declares.

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Title: Social Innovation with a Global Focus: How Tighe Wall makes an impact
Author: Nina Cooperman, SPA/MPA '15
Subtitle:
Abstract: Tighe Wall, Kogod/MBA ’11 shares his thoughts on his time at AU and how his experience at Kogod helped him find a career with a truly global reach in social and digital strategy.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 11/05/2014
Content:

As an editor and writer for the Princeton Review, Tighe Wall, Kogod/MBA '11, edited the guidebook to the 191 Best Business schools. When it came time to select a graduate program for himself, American University's Kogod School of Business was at the top of his list. Now, as a managing consultant in the social business global center of competence at IBM global business services in London, Tighe credits AU's global perspective to his success. Coming to AU, he says, gave him the opportunity to "build a small international business base in the U.S. and gain entrepreneurial skills."

During his time at Kogod, Tighe worked as an innovation and entrepreneurship research assistant with Professor Stevan Holmberg and interned with IBM. He says his experience "supplemented what I was learning with real world experience. AU has a real campus and all of the other attributes of living in the city are at your fingertips." 

Tighe continued to excel at Kogod and, as the commencement speaker for the business school's graduate students, urged his classmates to "keep taking chances and embrace new experiences."

His work caught the attention of the social business group, a small global group consisting of experts in the field within IBM who shape the company's point of view on the application of social networking tools and culture to business roles, processes and outcomes. He now works in London and has a portfolio of clients all over Europe.

Though he's moved to London, Tighe stays connected to the university. He is a member of the Alumni Board and serves as an alumni admissions volunteer. He sees these opportunities as ways to give back to the university, and as someone who went to AU for graduate school at Kogod, he brings a unique voice to the group.

According to Tighe, "Going through Kogod changed the way I think of the larger business community and global business. It broadened my perspective and fundamentally changed the way I understand how the business world works –the curriculum and the professors and thinking of business functions as a piece of how a larger organization operates." That global perspective has paid off.

Tags: Admissions,Alumni,Alumni Board,Entrepreneurship,Kogod School of Business
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Title: Luchs Family Scholarship Recipient Molly Fallon Reaps Rewards of Hard Work, Giving Back
Author: Mike Rowan
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Abstract: Her appreciation for debate aside, Molly Fallon can agree with her scholarship donor on one of their core values—the importance of giving back and paying it forward.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 05/29/2014
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As commencement festivities took over campus and fellow classmates fondly reminisced about the best times of their college years, Molly Fallon, Kogod/BSBA ’14, recalled a different kind of memory—arguing.

Not just any kind of arguing, however. “I’ve really appreciated the disagreement and the debate that some of these classes have spurred from us,” said Fallon. “We’ve begun to disagree with one another in very constructive ways and bring some of our convictions forward.”

A Des Moines, Iowa native concentrating in marketing and finance, Fallon was chosen as the undergraduate speaker for the Kogod School of Business 2014 commencement. “Ironically, my fondest learning moments are not about agreement,” she shared with the Bender Arena crowd of faculty, family, and her fellow graduates. “While we might seek comfort in group settings, what we actually need is discomfort.”

For all her talk of discord and dissent, Fallon proved herself a natural collaborator in her time at AU. As a peer consultant in the Kogod Center for Business Communication, she assisted Kogod students with business writing and presentation skills. She also served as treasurer for the sorority Chi Omega, and worked together with about 30 students to oversee a portfolio of $350,000 in AU’s Student Managed Investment Fund. On top of that, she earned one of the school’s most prestigious group accomplishments—her team took home first place in the 2014 Annual Kogod Case Competition.

Recalling the case competition, she admitted, “That should have been one of the most stressful weeks of my life but it really was one of the most fun, honestly. It was a really great moment to leverage everything I had learned in the past four years here and have fun with it.”

Fallon’s leadership skills and community-oriented spirit were rewarded when she was named a recipient of the Luchs Family Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year. The application process for the scholarship asks students to provide evidence of deep involvement in the Kogod community. Humble, but attuned to the scholarship’s meaning, she reflected, “I think that my history of giving back to fellow students while at Kogod was something that identified me as a strong candidate.”

“I didn’t stand out in terms of numbers,” she shared. “To know that I was recognized for doing hard work, and that hard work wasn’t going unnoticed, [the fact that] it could be rewarded, and I could help myself through college by doing good work was a lot of positive reinforcement for me.”

A couple of days before giving her commencement address, Fallon had the opportunity to meet one of the benefactors of her scholarship, Kenneth J. Luchs, over lunch. The two found that they shared a passion for giving back.

“You can contribute in different ways,” Luchs said. “Money is only one way. Time is another way. Be a mentor to somebody.”

A strong history of civic engagement runs through Kenneth Luchs’ family. From the time his grandfather founded the family’s real estate business, Shannon & Luchs, in 1906, the family has been active in the growth of Washington, taking on leadership roles in various community organizations—a tradition that Luchs himself has carried on. A one-time American University student—taking night classes in real estate while he helped to run the family business by day—Luchs went on to serve on the AU Board of Trustees for 12 years. His afternoon with the recipients of his family’s scholarship marked 50 years—nearly to the day—since his father first introduced him to AU.

“I’d like [the recipients] to know that I’m available to be a mentor, and that I want them to be available as mentors to future students,” said Luchs. “It’s our duty to pay back whatever schools we’ve been educated at.”

Said Fallon after meeting Luchs, “He further instilled in me the belief that we can all do something to give back to those who have profoundly impacted our lives.”

Even as she found inspiration from getting to know her scholarship donor, Fallon had already been taking Luchs’ message to heart. While treasurer of Chi Omega, Fallon brought more scholarships to her sisters, stepping up efforts to identify and publicize existing opportunities, and creating new need-based awards by making minor budgeting adjustments. She has also taken it upon herself to be an advocate, often urging her sisters and students she advises as a peer consultant to apply for certain scholarships. She notes that students don’t realize what great candidates they are, and all they need is to know that the opportunities exist.

“I think that’s something really important—the idea of students helping students find and seek out scholarship opportunities,” said Fallon. “I am glad to have left that legacy.”






 

Tags: Center for Business Communications,Commencement,Giving,Kogod School of Business,Scholarship
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newsId: 03DCA440-F399-8A8D-CB557FB2BB853C68
Title: Business & Public Affairs: A Perfect Marriage
Author: Phil Recchio
Subtitle:
Abstract: Ben, Kogod/MBA ’11, and Christina Macfarland, SPA/MPA ’11, entrepreneurially apply their skills in South Florida, while giving back to AU.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 05/15/2014
Content:

Ben, Kogod/MBA ’11, and Christina Macfarland, SPA/MPA ’11, came to AU together, shortly after getting married in their native state of Florida, to pursue their individual academic and professional interests. Christina’s passion for nonprofit work and supporting her community led her to pursue a Master of Public Administration and,a graduate certificate in nonprofit management, whereas Ben built off his undergrad business degree by focusing his MBA studies on real estate and finance. Since graduation, they have returned to their home state to not only put their degrees to work, but also spread word of AU’s excellence while galvanizing the Florida alumni community. 

This past February, Christina and Ben hosted more than 60 AU alumni, parents, and friends in their Palm Beach home, and had the chance to catch up with their old neighbor, Vice President of Alumni Relations and Development, Dr. Thomas J. Minar. Before Dr. Minar delivered updates regarding campus plans and alumni initiatives within the South Florida community, Christina reminisced about her time working in the AU development department for corporate and foundation giving, and Ben remembered hunkering down in their condo during the infamous Snow-maggedon storm of 2010. 

These types of close relationships serve as a beautiful model for how the Office of Alumni Relations and Development seeks to engage AU alumni, and Christina and Ben are no strangers to the world of philanthropy and volunteering. Christina is a board member for the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, where fellow master’s alumna Jillian Vukusich, CAS/MA ’04, serves as vice president for community investment.  

Christina continues her educational pursuits, and is a recent graduate of "Leadership Palm Beach County," which kept her up to date on the latest trends in philanthropic and non profit leadership. This is especially important for those as involved in their communities as she is. She volunteers and has served on numerous committees for The Flagler Museum, March of Dimes, Historical Society of Palm Beach County, the Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Presently, Christina performs research and writing for Women Corporate Directors, the only global membership organization of women corporate directors which serves as a catalyst for thought leadership and networking.

In addition to serving on his high school’s alumni board and helping to recruit great students to AU, Ben founded a local publication, Palm Beach Philanthropy, to showcase and educate the public to the diverse causes being supported right in their backyard. While philanthropy has always been a passion and a practice for the Macfarlands, Ben also puts his MBA to work running a boutique asset management firm that focuses on investing family office and institutional capital into self storage, student housing, and other special situations in real estate. The firm, where Ben serves as a partner and chief investment officer, has successfully acquired over two million square feet of real estate in the last two years.

The Macfarlands' collective energy and productivity is even more impressive in light of the fact they’ve accomplished so much all while raising their blossoming family. While their two young girls are a handful at home, Ben and Christina have a long standing history of supporting each other through thick and thin. While on campus, they could be seen attending a kick-off event to help rally support for Christina’s successful run for Editor-in-Chief of the SPA journal The Public Purpose, and nowadays they work to balance their busy schedules of business and board meetings with family meals and outings. 

Thankfully, the Macfarlands have continued their tradition of support as alumni by hosting the recent event for the South Florida AU Eagle community. As for the beautiful marriage of Ben’s business degree and Christina’s nonprofit policy focus, its power can be encapsulated by an Arthur Fried quote: “Private philanthropy is the last frontier of unconstrained freedom for private action in the public good.” AU is lucky to count this entrepreneurial and philanthropically minded young couple among its alumni family.

Tags: Alumni,Kogod School of Business,School of Public Affairs
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newsId: 3831F1B2-EEBA-1613-3AF966FAECEFF341
Title: Building Upon a Family History
Author: Mike Rowan
Subtitle:
Abstract: After her valuable AU experience—and now her daughter’s—Mary McCarthy Hayford and her family are helping lay the groundwork for the university’s next generation.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 03/27/2014
Content:

Stroll along the west side of the quad, passing Frisbees floating across the grass and cheerful student organizations camped outside of Mary Graydon, and at either end of campus you will find a building that has been transformed within the last five years. Across the street from the Katzen Arts Center, the Kogod School of Business opened a 20,000-square-foot expansion in 2008. A few hundred yards down, next to Bender Library, stands the newly reopened McKinley building, the state-of-the-art new home of the School of Communication. Though housing separate schools, and situated on opposite ends of campus, there’s a strong thread connecting the two of them—the Hayford family.

Mary McCarthy Hayford, Kogod/MBA ’78, did her graduate work at AU’s business school, but when she attended, it did not yet bear the Kogod name. It was simply called the School of Business Administration. Classes were housed in the Ward Circle Building, and offices were in the cozy quarters of the Hamilton Building (known then as Hamilton Hall).

“I remember picking AU based on my perception that the administrators and faculty were more accessible,” McCarthy Hayford shares as she recalls her AU experience. “I look back not only on the great full-time professors in subjects which appeal to me, but also on several adjunct professors who imparted real world experiences. For me, that exposure to professionals working in industry was essential to seeing how the theoretical was applied in the real world, and to envisioning the type of career I would want to pursue.”

When the Kogod School of Business announced plans for its expansion campaign, Mary and her husband, Warren, signed on to help by making a major contribution to the building. Their generosity is marked by a plaque adorning one of the new classrooms inside, which displays their names.

Then, three years later, when the effort to renovate McKinley began, the Hayfords were there again, eager to give back once more, naming the facility’s new audio editing suite.

Why jump in to support another major project, especially when the family had so significantly dedicated themselves to an effort close to their hearts just a few years earlier? One reason is that their daughter, Margaret, SOC/BA ’13, just finished a very positive undergraduate career in the School of Communication.

“We feel strongly that SOC and AU provided Margaret with the experience she needs to pursue her career goals,” McCarthy Hayford articulates. “AU was one of few schools where she could study film and graphic design while still broadening her education in history, science and social science. She capped off her SOC experience with a semester in the film school in Prague where she worked with a small group to create a professional-quality film.”

In addition to Margaret, the Hayfords are parents to Amanda, a 2006 alumna of Oberlin College, and Warren, who graduated from George Washington University in 2012. Ms. McCarthy Hayford’s husband, Warren John Hayford, is the president and managing director of the software company RatioServices, and is a director of the Warren J. and Marylou Hayford Family Foundation, which his parents founded. The foundation has been instrumental in the Hayfords’ gifts to American University.

Though she has graduated—as have her children—McCarthy Hayford remains an avid learner. While embarking on a path toward starting a new career, she has been steadily auditing courses at the university. “Wherever that takes me, I hope to keep close ties to AU.”

Tags: Donor,Giving,Kogod School of Business,School of Communication
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newsId: 251FAAB1-B60F-C90F-1B47B04B11252ED3
Title: Legal Eagle Utilizes AU Education to Establish Domestic and International Niche
Author: Milt Jackson
Subtitle:
Abstract: AU alumnus’ expertise in law impacts domestic and international cases.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 03/15/2013
Content:

Philadelphia attorney and Kogod class of ’71 alumnus Theodore “Ted” Simon is having a wonderful career. Among other achievements, he has obtained reversals in the Pennsylvania and United States Supreme Courts. In addition to his longstanding successful representation of individuals and corporations locally, nationally, and internationally in state and federal trial and appellate matters (“white collar,” “blue collar” and “no collar”) he is a recognized authority on the subject of international extradition requests, and he has provided advice and counsel to multiple Americans abroad who have found themselves in challenging legal straits.

Accordingly, while accomplishing these achievements and elevating his law practice into a respected national and international niche – he also has become a “go-to guy” for advice and adept handling of high profile media driven cases - where he credits his AU experiences for assisting him to consistently achieve and maintain success.

After graduating from AU, and later, Temple University Law School, Ted joined the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and began to exercise his passion for litigation and criminal law. His drive, focus, creativity, and comprehensive approach eventually earned him a listing as one of Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in Philadelphia;” a selection as a “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer,” and an invited membership in the National Trial Lawyers Organization (a group composed of the top 100 trial lawyers from each state).

Additionally in 2012, he was sworn in as first vice president of the NACDL, a position he relishes because it allows him to play a more specific part in ensuring justice and due process and at the same time recognizing the important and noble work of criminal defense lawyers around the country.

Communicating his passion for justice and due process is another of Ted’s many talents. His most recent appearance, as a guest on CNN and Soledad O’Brien’s “Starting Point” is a case in point. On the show, Ted presented an articulate and seasoned perspective on the complex legal considerations surrounding bail for Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius – who is currently accused of murder in South Africa.

He told O'Brien that Pistorius was a good candidate for bail. He is called upon as a legal expert by honing his speaking as a sought-after speaker for legal seminars across the nation and his numerous on-camera appearances on all major networks and shows including NBC’s The Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’s The Early Show, Larry King Live, Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC’s 20/20, and NBC’s Dateline.

As a result of his recognized communications skills and legal ability, Ted’s client list has included Michael Fay (Singapore caning), Amanda Knox (college student acquitted of murder in Italy), boxing promoter Don King, Gregory Porter (college student accused but all charges dismissed in 2011 protest in Egypt), Chipper Jones (civil defense), New York real estate heir Robert Durst (favorable resolution of federal firearms offenses in Pennsylvania after acquittal in Texas murder and dismemberment case), NBA forward Dante Cunningham (dismissal of alleged drug and other criminal offenses), Drexel’s starting guard Derrick Thomas (dismissal of assault charges) as well as other clients involved in high-profile legal matters.

Ted credits AU for helping to provide a solid academic foundation for his success. He says, “I was just 16, leaving home for the first-time, and the American University environment, the teachers and classmates, soon to be life-long friends could not be more warm, welcoming and supportive. In hindsight it provided the absolute perfect opportunity to grow, excel academically, and provide a rich and enduring network of beloved friends that began the first day and happily remains so today.”

When asked about how he feels about the practice of law after nearly 40 years, he answered, “I feel the same, but more so - it is a gift to be a lawyer, providing care, assistance, and representation in some of the worst of times, whether a person is criminally facing loss of liberty or civilly and entitled to redress and compensation.”

In response to Ted’s appreciation of American University and for all the university has done for him, Ted recently offered his network, time, and support in assisting with planning of an alumni engagement event in downtown Philadelphia. The event was a resounding success due to the participation of Ted and other alumni.

While the law is clearly his personal and professional passion, Ted's continued relationship with his AU Zeta Beta Tau brothers is primarily a personal passion. He says “primarily” because privilege and privacy protects their confidentiality as even here he has been called upon professionally in “life-altering situations.” Ted couldn’t have been happier “to have their back when they needed it most.”

His relationship with the “ZBT Powerhouse of Excellence” brotherhood began when he attended AU and has only strengthened since then. Ted is everlastingly thankful and appreciative of his classmates who have remained truly supportive of his work, accomplishments, and resulting national and international presence in the law.

So the next time you hear the words, “legal expert” mentioned during a news broadcast, pay close attention. It may be that an AU alumnus, by the name of Ted Simon, is about to hold court.

Tags: Alumni,Kogod School of Business,Law
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newsId: 9CEFE363-E6F3-5998-2472761A0AE6C959
Title: Real-Life Experiences of AU Alumnus Hits the Big Screen in Blockbuster Hit Argo
Author: Stephanie Block
Subtitle:
Abstract: American University alumnus Mark Lijek, Kogod/MBA ’76, has lived quite the adventure—one big enough to create Hollywood Oscar buzz.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 12/12/2012
Content:

American University alumnus Mark Lijek, Kogod/MBA ’76, has lived quite the adventure—one big enough to create Hollywood Oscar buzz. Lijek was one of six employees lucky enough to escape the protests and attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Iran more than 30 years ago. Their story is the premise of the blockbuster movie Argo.

Lijek arrived in Iran in July 1979 and was only there a few short months before he nearly missed becoming a hostage. With his wife, Cora, by his side along with five others, the group became known as the “houseguests” of the Canadian Embassy for about 10 weeks before leaving the country posing as a film crew and making it back to safely to the U.S.

It was not fear as much as boredom that got the best of Lijek. “Boredom was one of the hardest things to face,” Lijek says. The group played scrabble, and he read many books, writing each title down as he completed it to help record the passing of time.

A recent story published on MyNorthWest.com chronicled details regarding the sequence of events leading to Lijek and the other officers escaping the embassy. Interviews with Lijek and other houseguests will be a special feature of the DVD release of Argo next year. However, as with any film, there is only so much time to share the story. “The movie is a slice of the real story which was why I wrote the book The Houseguests: A Memoir of Canadian Courage and CIA Sorcery,” Lijek says.

Lijek completed a Master in Business Administration at AU, attending class part-time in the evenings while he served in the United States Army during the day. “As an administrative officer for the State Department, I used my graduate degree a fair amount. It prepared me quite a bit,” he says.

Lijek moved to Washington, D.C. from Seattle to complete his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University. He retired from the Foreign Service to spend more time with his wife and children. He lives just outside of Seattle and keeps busy by promoting his new book and managing his website, marklijek.com.   

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Relations,Alumni Relations (KSB),Alumni Update,Kogod School of Business
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