newsId: 42D5D4D1-5056-AF26-BEF2A2DED954361C
Title: Finance Research Leads Two Students to Pursue PHDs
Author: Sam Kauffmann
Subtitle:
Abstract: Kogod research projects lead two AU alumni to doctoral programs.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 05/14/2015
Content:

For as far back as she can remember, Casey Petroff, BS/CAS '13, has always loved the research aspect of being a student.

This fall Petroff will continue her passion for research while pursuing a doctorate in political economy and government at Harvard University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

She started out at American University in the School of International Service, then, while taking an economics class, she realized the science played a key role in understanding a number of different disciplines, and changed her course of study to math and economics.

With the guidance of Kogod Associate Professor Michel Robe, she started research on her honors capstone examining crude oil markets—a topic she became interested in through a summer internship in the federal regulatory industry—which would become the first of many economic research papers to come.

Petroff isn't the only interdisciplinary AU student beginning a PhD program in the fall. But for Jonathan Wallen, BS/CAS '14, the path to a doctorate has been more of a discovery process.

During his time as an undergraduate studying math and economics, Wallen interned at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy, where he discovered his interest in the connection between economics and finance. He worked as a research assistant, learning about crude oil markets, how money moves in the world and how that affects the economy.

He also completed a summer program at the London School of Economics, where he saw the university method for research at the industry level.

"I found I enjoyed doing research the most at the university setting," he said. "You have much more intellectual freedom in terms of pursuing research questions."

Wallen has been accepted to Stanford's Graduate School of Business for a doctorate in finance beginning in the fall of 2015.

Kogod Connection

While Wallen and Petroff had different backgrounds and reasons for pursuing research, they both agree that getting interdisciplinary experience is invaluable.

One of the deciding factors for Wallen in choosing AU was the opportunity to have an interdisciplinary experience.

"AU is smaller, so there are greater opportunities to explore interests in different departments,” he said.

While Wallen pursued a minor in finance he worked with Robe and fellow Kogod Associate Professor Valentina Bruno, who encouraged him to challenge himself and continue his research interests.

"They are outstanding professors, not just in terms of in the classroom, but also serving as mentors and really passing on the knowledge and training they have onto other students," Wallen said.

For Petroff, the academic freedom to research in other departments was "a fantastic experience that people who are considering a career in research by nature need to have."

She believes furthering your research knowledge cannot happen by staying in one department forever.

"There's a whole lot people can learn from experts in other fields you may not have met otherwise," said Petroff.

Forward Thinking

For other students interested in pursuing academia, both Petroff and Wallen agree that gaining research experience is the necessary first step.

Going from undergraduate classes to a PhD program is a giant leap that many students may not be prepared for right after college.

Both Wallen and Petroff advise students to get as much research experience as early as possible by taking advantage of internships, or completing a research intermediary program after graduation.

"By taking that opportunity you can make a much more informed decision, after you learn more about what it means to be a researcher," Wallen said.

Looking to the future, Wallen remembers the advice of Robe who challenged him to "change how the river flows" and make a contribution that not only creates new knowledge, but also changes how we understand knowledge.

Tags: Alumni,College of Arts and Sciences,Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 4304E1CC-5056-AF26-BE01216BD3BED326
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 42552D42-5056-AF26-BE0A3843388F80EA
Title: Professional MBA Graduates and Senior Capstone Class Collaborate on Year-Long Project
Author: Sam Kauffmann
Subtitle:
Abstract: Under the guidance of new Professional MBA alumni, Kogod undergraduates continue real-world project for local company.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 05/14/2015
Content:

Know your client. Provide detail wherever possible. Make practical recommendations. All are hallmarks of good business decision-making.

This year, students in both the Professional MBA (PMBA) graduating class and students in an undergraduate senior capstone class sharpened their real-world business skills by working with the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF), a local community lending association.

A Year-Long Commitment

In the fall of 2014, Sasha Cooper-Morrison, Melissa Shepard, and Katery Fernandez, students in the first cohort of Kogod's PMBA program, worked on a semester-long project with WACIF, developing strategies for a number of organizational challenges. However, their commitment to improving WACIF didn’t stop after their final presentation.

This semester, they volunteered their time to serve as advisors for the undergraduate Business Policy and Strategy capstone class with Associate Professor David Parthiban.

"We got involved because we wanted to. We saw it as a way to give back to the Kogod community of undergrads," said Sasha Cooper-Morrison, PMBA '14. "We've all developed a level of commitment and passion for WACIF."

The PMBA graduates served as advisors to the senior capstone students, sharing their recommendations and strategic plan for WACIF. At the beginning of the semester, they met with the undergraduates giving them a base to start off from and served as a resource. From there, it was up to the undergraduates to create a fresh perspective and be creative with their solutions.

"I think it really shows the value and quality of Kogod students and their ability to provide free advice and use creativity to further the goals of a community institution," Cooper-Morrison said. "It was nice for them to have it count toward their class credit, but also have a real impact with community organization."

From Theory to Practical Implementation

The capstone projects covered two issues identified by the PMBA graduates: stakeholder engagement and impact evaluation.

"It's a lot of fun thinking we were building upon someone else's project and that working with this organization has been going on for an entire year," Sarah Yahoodik, BSBA '15 said.

Yahoodik's group created a plan to utilize crowd funding as part of the stakeholder engagement plan. Although WACIF had recently dropped their crowd funding initiative, it was their job to convince them to change their mind by showing how crowd sourcing gives borrowers the ability to raise money under the WACIF brand name.

Jacob Wanner, BSBA '15, enjoyed working with the graduate mentors because they gave honest opinions about about what was working, what they were excited about, and what needed more attention.

"We really liked having them around early on, because it allowed us to pick up where they left off, and get correspondence as we built our ideas," said Wanner.

He also credits David for encouraging his students to take a very detailed look at what’s going on, while also understanding the entire firm.

"[The professor] liked to say: 'I want to see the forest and also the trees individually.' With those pieces of feedback, we were able to get something we're proud of," Wanner said.

A key takeaway for the students was learning how to work with limited information and make the best with what you have. Compared to other capstone classes that use a business simulator on a computer, the project with WACIF allowed for real life application and practical skills.

Yahoodik believes she benefited from her experience, realizing that in the real word "you're going to have to work in very ambiguous situations all the time."

While Wanner admits it was more of a challenge, he's grateful for his experience working with WACIF.

"I'm glad we did ours the way we did. It's a lot more applicable to a real work situation," said Wanner. "I learned that you may never work with a perfect set of information; you really need to learn how to work with limited information and make practical assumptions."

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 4295F46F-5056-AF26-BEF08C515724EADA
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 41527961-5056-AF26-BE64FA8AE4083CB4
Title: New Graduate Begins Career at Facebook
Author: Sam Kauffmann
Subtitle:
Abstract: New Kogod alumnus Spencer Swan heads to Facebook for his first post-graduate job.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 05/14/2015
Content:

Nearly every undergraduate student utilizes the popular social media website, Facebook, whether to post photos, share experiences, or keep in touch with peers. However, one graduate will soon be paid to look at Facebook every day.

Spencer Swan, BSBA '15, has accepted a job at Facebook in Austin, Texas as a graph integrity specialist in the community operations department.

A Young Entrepreneur

Swan always knew he wanted to pursue business.

In middle school, he started trading items in his packed lunch for chocolate milk from other kids in the lunch line. He also learned to make profit from trading cards and various other side businesses.

"[Business] was something I expected that I might have talent for, so I decided to go for it," Swan said.

His hunch was right. Swan graduated this spring with a BSBA specializing in marketing and entertainment management with a minor in cello performance.

Since his days of trading chocolate milk and specialty cards, his taste and experience has evolved, leading to a marketing strategy and data driven job that he claims, "combines every element of my education."

Although he'll be joining a prestigious company right after college, he remains humble calling himself very lucky to be on the path he is.

Swan found the Facebook job description online and applied. Soon after, he received an email from a recruiter and soared past the in-depth application process, including multiple rounds of interviews and a mock pitch presentation.

Through his recent job search, he realized that his "favorite thing in the world is getting resources and optimizing strategy with those things in mind towards achieving that goal."

"That's what I want to do with my existence," he said. "Business school tickl[ed] that itch for me, because you are given a case and have to make the best of what you have to work with."

Business in the Capital

Swan credits both American University's location in Washington, D.C., and Kogod for encouraging students to get real work experience as early as possible.

"It's a drive that's instilled, but its also an expectation," he said. "All of your peers are going to have multiple internships so get on it. I think Kogod has encouraged that and I've always appreciated it."

Directly after his freshman year, Swan started interning for the Virginia Arts Festival, before going on to intern at local music venue, the 9:30 Club.

"To work at a venue that major, for a [young] student, that was amazing for me," he said. "There's no place I could have done that besides Washington."

Swan also worked at the Kogod Center for Business Communications [KCBC] all four years while in college, which he found to be invaluable for building his skills in professional communication and peer mentoring.

He and his coworkers from the KCBC started Unfused, a video tutoring service for underprivileged kids in the inner city. He created initial branding and marketing campaigns for the start up.

Unfused was one of the first small businesses to take advantage of Kogods and American University's new Entrepreneurship Incubator.

"The incubator space has been really incredible," Swan said. "A lot of people don't think of physical space and mentorship when starting a company, but it has been invaluable."

Unfused is currently transitioning to new leadership, but Swan will move on the advisory council and is excited to see the new young talent stepping up.

Swan's biggest advice to students is to say yes to as many things that you can.

"Take advantage of every opportunity that is offered to you," said Swan. "Even if you only go to one meeting, you can always say that you have tasted it intellectually. Do not judge things based on how they sound, but on the experience."

Tags: Alumni,Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 41802B73-5056-AF26-BEA1C99DBA7BD6D9
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 06797160-5056-AF26-BEDF49F219E415FA
Title: AU 2030: Frank Armour
Author: Gregg Sangillo
Subtitle:
Abstract: Kogod assistant professor researches and teaches analytics.
Topic: Research
Publication Date: 05/13/2015
Content:

The analytics revolution has arrived, present in everything from business to public health to the weather. Partly driven by the explosion of widely available data, it requires not just technological adaptation but new ways of thinking. Recognizing this, American University considers big data a research area worthy of multidisciplinary investment and included it as part of the AU 2030 project.

Discovering Big Data

The Kogod School of Business is launching a new Master of Science in Analytics program (MSAn), directed by Assistant Professor Frank Armour. He has a background in information technology and computer science, and his interests include enterprise architecture. Armour's more recent focus on analytics stems from a conference he attended featuring Doug Cutting, a co-creator of the open-source software framework Hadoop.

"I had heard about the idea of big data, and when he spoke I was just so fascinated. I got such an intellectual interest in it that I decided to just research it a lot more, and venture into the field," he says. "Then I had an opportunity to teach an undergraduate business analytics course here, so one thing led to another. And now I consider myself an analytics professor."

Analytics is Trending

A 2013 U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation report contained a mind-blowing factoid: 90 percent of the world's data at that point had been produced in the previous two years. "We have all of this digital information out there that we didn't have before. Or, we had it, but we weren't able to do anything with it," he says. "And hardware and software advances now allow us to be able to analyze and manipulate this data. Whereas, in years past, we just didn't have the firepower."

Any business can now use this information to create a competitive advantage. He delineates between "decision-based organizations" and "hunch-based organizations." The more companies can learn about their customers, the easier it is to understand the marketplace. And it's not just confined to big data, as analytics can be used by smaller companies with smaller data sets, he says.

"I think what we're seeing is that there's a subset of businesses—for example, Google, Amazon, and Netflix—using this very efficiently to make predictions for better customer service," Armour says. Yet other businesses haven't been as successful in utilizing analytics. "One of the key things that they're struggling with is getting the right people resources. Right now there's just a dearth of people who really, truly know analytics."

The Role of Humans

The human component is vital. It's not just about operating the software, he says. It's about knowing the "analytic life cycle," which includes framing the business problem correctly, identifying and gathering the right data, running the proper analytics model, and effectively analyzing your results. "If you get that business problem wrong up front, you can do a beautiful analysis, but you're analyzing the wrong problem. Or you can spend terrible amounts of time just churning, because you don't know how to interpret the data," he says.

The analytics master's program will teach students this entire process, he explains. And while he anticipates MSAn attracting a wide variety of applicants, he expects some student professionals who plan to use analytics in their current jobs. "We're seeing more and more companies that are embedding analytics into job roles and functions," he says.

Spreading the Word

Through mastery of analytics, capable professionals can turn into sought-after experts. During the 2012 presidential and congressional campaigns, Nate Silver achieved rock star status with his FiveThirtyEight blog at the New York Times. Through his knowledge of polling, Silver delivered razor-sharp analysis and extremely accurate election forecasting. He then landed a presumably lucrative perch at ESPN. Armour enjoyed Silver's Times columns, and he emphasizes his ability to explain the polls. FiveThirtyEight didn't just rely on number-crunching, but provided illustrative visual graphics and lucid writing.

The analytics field has taken the sports world by storm, with many pro teams incorporating advanced metrics to evaluate players. Yet, as evidenced by the popular book and movie Moneyball, this has created a culture clash. Statheads get frustrated with anti-analytics traditionalists, characterizing them as Luddites. But Armour says this is a challenge facing all analytics professionals.

"If I print out the results to you and hand you the results, and you're just looking at these numbers and graphs, you might have no idea what it is that I am talking about. Then you're just going to reject it because you don't understand it. And I don't blame you," he says. "You've got to present the information in a user-friendly manner, but then you need to make sure you show them statistically and otherwise why they should believe you."

Life and the Outdoors

Armour mostly grew up in Upstate New York. Though his father worked at IBM, he initially shunned a career in computers and got his bachelor's degree in psychology. But after taking a programming course, he eventually earned his master's degree in computer science. His Ph.D. from George Mason University is in information technology, with a specialization in software engineering.

Now living in Ashburn, Va., his passion for the outdoors includes gardening, fishing, hiking, biking, and traveling. And numbers and stats are present in another hobby: baseball. A longtime New York Yankees fan, he's fascinated by the link between sports and analytics.

Tags: Featured News,Kogod School of Business,Media Relations,Research
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 07500948-5056-AF26-BEBECE11B3D9BB97
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 3917B4BA-5056-AF26-BE5674D135563391
Title: Five Historical Tidbits About AU Commencement
Author: Patrick Bradley
Subtitle:
Abstract: The lowdown on AU graduation ceremonies back a century.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 05/06/2015
Content:

1. Because Bagpipes — What’s the deal with AU’s commencement bagpipers? Well, the tradition goes back to 1980, when the university president at the time decided to surprise students by replacing the tune “Pomp and Circumstance” with a procession of the Scottish instruments. He believed the typical graduation song was too reminiscent of high school. The bagpipes stuck, now extending to freshman convocation ceremonies in order to bookend the AU student experience.

AU class of 1927;

2. Location, Location — Over the past century (that’s right, AU’s been graduating students for about a century), commencement has hopped around various venues throughout Washington, D.C. In addition to ceremonies taking place outdoors in front of Hurst Hall or on the now-athletic fields, AU hosted graduation at the DAR Constitution Hall and the Washington Hebrew Congregation.

It wasn’t until 1988 and the opening of Bender Arena that graduation ceremonies finally settled in the spacious sports complex where they continue today.

President Dwight Eisenhower at the podium;

3. Star Power — With a student body so politically active, commencement at AU is bound to attract some high caliber speakers. Since graduating the first class of undergraduates in 1927, commencement has seen the podium occupied by the likes of U.S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Bill Clinton; Thurgood Marshall and other Supreme Court justices; former Prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Rabin; and numerous other political heavy hitters.

Not to be outdone, the School of Communication has hosted broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite, Hollywood producer Barry Levinson, and—just last year—TV personality Katie Couric, to name a few. Check out this year’s list of speakers.

Barry Levison at the podium in 1999;

4. All Together — AU now holds separate commencement ceremonies for each of its schools and colleges. This year, five will take place in Bender Arena over the course of two days, and seating inside will likely be at max capacity for each. The Washington College of Law will hold its ceremony separately a week later. Until 1969, however, all of AU graduated together, in one large event. In 1969, there were seven ceremonies in total—including those for the now-defunct School of Nursing and College of Continuing Education—and all of them took place on one day, from the campus amphitheater, fields, and Kay Spiritual Life Center to the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church across the street.

5. Brace Yourselves, Winter Commencement — For the first time in more than a decade, AU will host winter commencement on December 16, 2015 for August and December graduates. The move comes as the university community grows rapidly while also welcoming more nontraditional students and those who might graduate on different timelines. So, if you're finishing your degree soon, don’t worry; AU’s got you covered this winter.

Tags: Campus Life,Campus News,College of Arts and Sciences,Featured News,Kogod School of Business,Office of Campus Life,School of Communication,School of International Service,School of Public Affairs
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 39A23C34-5056-AF26-BEE962E87C9BD3BD
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 41D0E9A8-5056-AF26-BEB130D525BF8DCF
Title: Inspiring Graduate Stories: Nia McCarthy
Author: Gregg Sangillo
Subtitle:
Abstract: Kogod student went from high school entrepreneur to the Big Four.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 05/04/2015
Content:

Set to graduate this month, Kogod School of Business student Nia McCarthy already has a great job lined up. She'll be working in a New York City office of EY (Ernst & Young), where she'll be part of the business advisory program in financial services. McCarthy will initially live at home, saving money and making the work commute to Manhattan. "I'm really excited about it. And I don't even mind going home so much, because I love where I'm from," she says.

Memorizing Catalogs

Her home is White Plains, New York, a suburban town where she was raised by a single mother. "I have a small family and we all live near each other, so growing up I was really close to them," she says.

McCarthy got exposure to business at an early age. Her mom has spent many years at Avon, now serving as a district manager. "I grew up knowing Avon catalogs inside out. I could tell you exactly what product was on what page, how much it cost, if it was going to be on sale, what was coming out next week," she recalls.

Though she witnessed the difficulties of her mom's job, she also demonstrated her own entrepreneurial spirit. All of that time memorizing the Avon catalog paid off. "When I got back to school in 8th grade, I started selling to my vice principal, two friends, and one of my teachers," she remembers with a laugh.

During her junior year of high school, she took a class called Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). Each student had to formulate a business plan as part of a competition. With the senior class valedictorian in her class, she was a perceived underdog. Yet she pulled out the victory. "Everyone was really surprised. But I didn't think it should have been much of a surprise. I thought, 'This is really exciting and this is what I like,'" she says now. "I think that's when I realized that I wanted to go into business."

College Years, Here and Abroad

Before starting her freshman year at American University, she took part in the Summer Transition Enrichment Program (STEP). After seeing a presentation from the Center for Diversity & Inclusion, she jumped at a chance to work there. And through dealing with CDI and the Office of Campus Life, she learned about Alternative Breaks. McCarthy's Alternative Break in Northern Ireland would stand as one of the highlights of her time at AU.

"It's not visibly as violent as conflicts in other countries. But you learn that a lot of the schools are still segregated," she says. "You can see all of the tension there."

She ventured abroad again in 2014 for a semester in Paris, which became another memorable experience. And while getting acclimated in a foreign city, she learned that culture shock has certain ancillary, character-building benefits. "With not knowing the language, it taught me how to laugh at myself. I think coming here, I was very serious about things," she says. "If you didn't learn to laugh about it, then you'd just be miserable the whole time. And Paris is not a place you want to be miserable in."

McCarthy was engaged in a number of activities at AU. She was a student mentor at CDI, and she also worked with Peer Educators for the Elimination of Relationship and Sexual Violence. As a program associate for University College, she oversaw a team of 20 freshmen to develop and execute a film series.

A Day to Celebrate

McCarthy's bachelor's degree has a self-designed specialization in global management and social responsibility, and she plans to do volunteer work in New York. While looking for jobs, she appreciated EY's record in philanthropy.

She also hopes to donate time to AU in some capacity. "I always see alumni come back to do networking events, or talk about where they are now. And I kind of hope that I can be one of those people, too." Coincidentally, EY is coming to AU: Kogod's commencement speaker is EY Global Chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger.

In advance of graduation weekend, McCarthy feels a sense of accomplishment. "Just being able to come here and be successful, and to get a job right after college…it's very important for me," she says. "And for my family, I know it means a lot to them as well." Her mother will undoubtedly be proud. She's coming to graduation—and bringing their 23-pound Shih Tzu dog along for the trip.

Tags: Media Relations,Featured News,Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 42A98E43-5056-AF26-BE0B1D4818A9892B
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 9FF602FF-5056-AF26-BE2BC53E8C69ED9D
Title: Well Awarded Wonks
Author: Patrick Bradley
Subtitle:
Abstract: Meet this year’s University Student Award recipients!
Topic: Achievements
Publication Date: 05/01/2015
Content:

Commencement season at AU also signals awards season on campus, as a host of graduating students gain official recognition for accomplishments that range from classroom triumphs to making AU a better community for all.

Read on to meet this year’s recipients! University leadership will present these awards to the recipients on May 8 at a President’s Awards Program and Reception.

Outstanding Service

AU recognized SPA student and former Student Government president Patrick Kelly with the Outstanding Service to the University Community Award. Under his leadership, the university created a new LGBT studies minor and restructured the Student Activities Fee.

Fellow Outstanding Service Award recipient Lorraine Magee established a She’s the First chapter on campus and raised more than $36,000 to support educational equality for girls.

For Kelly, the award is more about the institution than about his many successes.

Patrick Kelly;

“It’s really a reflection of all the incredible opportunities and experiences I was able to have as a student at American University,” Kelly explained. “It didn’t take long for me to realize that AU was more than a school—it was a home.”

Outstanding Academics

For her research around human trafficking, School of International Service Ph.D. student and adjunct professor Davina Durgana received Outstanding Scholarship at the Graduate Level Award.

“It’s an honor,” Durgana said, “and it represents the appreciation American University has for the diversity of accomplishments that are possible here. It shows there’s not just one way to achieve an award. I’m grateful for the recognition.”

Also recognized with this graduate level award is Brendan Tunstall, a Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience Ph.D. student in the College of Arts & Sciences who has focused his extensive research on addiction.

Academic award winners;

CAS swept undergraduate academic recognition, as students Monika Gasiorek and Jonathan Wallen drew scholarship awards for the respective research of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and derivatives markets.

Achievement

Campus Life’s Student Achievement Awards spotlight those students most actively involved in improving the university—just like the former students, staff, and faculty members whose names designate the 10 awards.

Organist and arts management student Alex Gilbert-Schrag received the Evelyn Swarthout Hayes Award, named for a former music professor who championed inter-disciplinary music education at AU.

“I transferred in two years ago. For me to have been able to complete as much as I have in the last two years, it’s nice to be recognized for it with this award,” Gilbert-Schrag said. “Especially with her legacy as a person, it’s amazing thing to be able to follow in her footsteps.”

Cambodian student Essarayoss Mean earned the Carlton Savage Award by bridging cultural groups on campus. He hopes his success inspires future students to further his cause.

“I’m very honored,” he said. “It motivates you to do more hard work and encourages the new generation of students to integrate with international students and provide cultural understanding between communities at AU.”

Cj Murphy’s strides in the School of Public Affairs Leadership Program, as the 2015 Class Council president, and as co-captain of the Cheer Team garnered her the Stafford H. Cassell Award. While the School of Communication’s Adam Garret landed the Kinsman-Hurst Award for his support of student rights and responsibilities as director of the Student Advocacy Center.

Achievement winners group;

Community service advocate Diana Williams will accept the Bruce Hughes Award in recognition of her leadership rallying hundreds of students, staff, and faculty to participate in the Freshman Service Experience and MLK Day of Service.

Williams credits her late grandmother for her own generous spirit.

“She really contributed greatly to who I’ve become as a person in giving back to the community and leadership skills. I’m happy to receive this in her honor and to continue going in the direction that she was,” she said.

Her friend Chante Harris claimed the Harold Johnson Award for volunteer work with the child literacy programs JumpStart and D.C. Reads, as well as her involvement in promoting gender and racial equality.

Kogod School of Business student Nicholas Eng co-founded the nonprofit Unfused, which connects youth with college-age tutors via the web. For his efforts, he’s gained the Fletcher Scholar Award. He hopes the award will inspire others—particularly his staff of tutors.

“It’s good for the team that we have behind us to see that working hard does lead to being recognized,” he said. “It sends a good message to them.”

 Candace Evilsizor;

SIS’s Candace Evilsizor nabbed double honors for her work with refugee communities across the globe, earning herself the President’s Award and also receiving the Fletcher Scholar Award with Eng.

Meanwhile, Charles W. Van Way Award recipient Rachel Ternes impressed the selection committee with her steadfast leadership around religion and social justice.

Accounting major Heidi Friedrich will take home the Charles C. Glover Award for promoting business education and financial literacy among AU students.

“I came into Kogod, and I never saw the potential that my professors would put me up for this award,” she said. “It’s just an honor to represent the Kogod community.”

As Kennedy Political Union director, SPA student Chandler Thornton brought a diverse set of speakers to campus, from Vice President Dick Cheney to activist Lilly Ledbetter.

“I am proud of what we were able to accomplish for the student body by creating lasting memories,” Thornton said. “I am honored in particular to receive the Catheryn Seckler-Hudson award, named after one of AU’s most influential pioneers and early campus leaders who contributed to much of what we know today as American University.”

Tags: Campus Life,Campus News,College of Arts and Sciences,Featured News,Kogod School of Business,Office of Campus Life,School of Communication,School of International Service,School of Public Affairs
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: A1859E6A-5056-AF26-BE0BA12CC88A3A41
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 7446D812-5056-AF26-BE6F16BE1778DAF4
Title: American University’s Kogod School of Business Leads the Way in Islamic Finance Education
Author: Ericka Floyd
Subtitle: Kogod Continues First Islamic Finance Course in Washington D.C.
Abstract: American University's Kogod School of Business is offering Islamic Finance in the Global Economy for the second year to both graduate and undergraduate students.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 04/29/2015
Content:

The Kogod School of Business at American University is offering Islamic Finance in the Global Economy for the second year to both graduate and undergraduate students. This course is the first of its kind among D.C. area universities. The course offering allows American University students to foster a unique and competitive set of skills in a highly globalized and growing financial sector. 

"Kogod, the oldest business school in Washington, D.C., is a pioneer in offering the first university level Islamic Finance course in the D.C. region," said Ghiyath Nakshbendi, American University International Business Professor. "Students interested in international business can gain a competitive edge by learning the fundamentals of Islamic Finance in this class."

Islamic finance refers to a financial system that is Sharia-compliant, meaning it promotes socially responsible investment, which excludes industries like gambling, tobacco, and arms. Islamic banking is one of the emerging fields in the global financial market and grows at a very fast pace. The current size of the Islamic Finance market is an estimated range from $1.66 trillion to $2.1 trillion with expectations to grow to $3.4 trillion by end of 2018. Based on $1.66 trillion, Islamic Finance assets represented 1 percent of the global financial market assets. The major capitals of the field, including London, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Dubai, UAE, and Manama, Bahrain, are expected to require more than 50,000 professionals world-wide in the coming years. 

Topics ranging from the theory of Islamic finance, practice of Islamic banking and investment, to accounting for Islamic banks, Sukuk Market, and Takaful Market, are covered in Islamic Finance in the Global Economy. The class is not taught through an Islamic studies lens, but through an international business perspective.

The course will provide students with a basic introduction to the principles of Islamic finance with an emphasis on the last four decades of the market's evolution. Issues related to insurance, accounting and auditing, and ethic concepts, as well as the current Islamic capital markets and institutions will also be covered. This course will provide students with the ability to:

  • Define relevant concepts and explain the state of Islamic banking and finance in the global economy.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Sharia and its impact in the commercial sector as well as business transactions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of aspects in Islamic finance including liquidity, risk management, and the structure and function of Islamic business and banking institutions.
  • Develop a business plan in the area of Islamic finance.
  • Introduce such tools into the Western financial sector.

Professor Ghiyath Nakshbendi, a Kogod School of Business Executive-in-Residence, developed and teaches the course. Professor Nakshbendi is a Fulbright Scholar and teaches courses in the Kogod Department of International Business. He currently teaches courses on the global marketplace, microfinance and export and import management, and Islamic finance. After 35 years of working in developmental financing, Sovereign Wealth Funds and commercial real estate around the Middle East, Europe and the United States, he became full time faculty in 2008.

About American University 

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation's capital and around the world.

Tags: Media,Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos:
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 41AD4559-5056-AF26-BE38601F3202BB64
Title: Professor Stevan Holmberg Retires from the Kogod School of Business
Author: Sharon Hannon
Subtitle:
Abstract: After 38 years of teaching, Professor Stevan Holmberg is retiring from the Kogod School of Business.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 04/24/2015
Content:

Dr. Stevan Holmberg, a leader in the development of the undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship curriculum at American University, retired at the end of the spring 2015 semester. During his 38-year career at the Kogod School of Business, Holmberg served in a number of roles, including many focused on entrepreneurship.

As the founding director, he was instrumental in launching the Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative, the Entrepreneurship Incubator, the Entrepreneurship Venture Fund, and an Entrepreneurship Advisory Council. With Amy Eisman from AU’s School of Communications (SOC), he jointly led the effort to start an innovative MA in Media Entrepreneurship (a joint program between SOC and Kogod) and a Kogod minor in entrepreneurship for non-business school students. He also worked with other academic units to develop a proposed new modular master’s program in entrepreneurship.

Holmberg served as acting dean of the business school for two years, as well as two separate terms as chair of the Management Department, and has been active in Kogod development initiatives, including raising funds for the new Kogod building, the Dean’s Discretionary Fund, the Entrepreneurship Initiative, the Incubator, and the Entrepreneurship Venture Fund.

He taught graduate courses in entrepreneurship and innovation; entrepreneurship practicum: new venture creation; and strategic alliances, mergers, and acquisitions and has published in entrepreneurship and management journals including International Journal of Strategic Business Alliances and Journal of Business Venturing. His recent research has focused on strategic alliances; green and clean-tech entrepreneurship in the U.S., Sweden, and Denmark; sustainability and stakeholder models; disruptive innovation in the vehicle industry; and public-private partnerships and networks.

After earning his bachelor’s degree at the University of Tulsa, Holmberg went on to earn his Master’s and Doctorate in Business Administration at Indiana University. Attracted by Kogod and American University’s culture of innovation; sense of community among faculty, staff, and students; focus on experiential education; small class sizes and individualized attention; Holmberg began his career at Kogod in 1977.

When asked about the highlights of his Kogod career, Holmberg noted three:

  • Working with the "bright, caring and wonderful faculty, staff, and students"
  • Developing the entrepreneurship initiative and working with two full-time entrepreneur Executives-in-Residence—Tommy White and Bill Bellows—as co-directors of the Incubator and with other colleagues.
  • Serving for two years as acting dean of Kogod

Holmberg plans an active "retirement" as he continues his interest in entrepreneurship by working with a number of new venture startups and incubators/accelerators. He plans to be an angel investor in new ventures and pursue his passions in the areas of green and clean-tech entrepreneurship, business, and policy. He is also looking forward to continuing his frequent visits to Sweden, Denmark, and Florida, and spending time with his family.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 41D5116E-5056-AF26-BE2BB0BE900306D4
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 9B763CDF-5056-AF26-BE210B14D13557AB
Title: 'Washingtonian' Taps American University's Eisman as Tech Titan
Author:
Subtitle:
Abstract: AU SOC professor Amy Eisman has been named one of the top 100 leaders and influencers of the capital’s digital arena by Washingtonian magazine.
Topic: Communications
Publication Date: 04/24/2015
Content:

American University School of Communication (SOC) professor Amy Eisman has been named one of the top 100 leaders and influencers of the capital's digital arena by Washingtonian magazine, a nod to her track record as both a disruptor and innovator in the online world.

The director of the SOC Master of Arts in Media Entrepreneurship program (MAME), she has made her mark in the D.C. startup scene, staking out space for the school at innovation hub 1776 even before it opened, eventually leading to a series of American University faculty advising startups in media and content strategy. She co-created the DC Startup Forum with J-Lab and NPR affiliate WAMU 88.5, a series which has featured thought leaders and entrepreneurial stars of the metro area. And she coordinates networking events that bridge the gap between media professionals, academics and entrepreneurs. 

Eisman says the honor really reflects on SOC's school-wide embrace of trying curriculum change and piloting cutting-edge programs.

As a facilitator for JoLT, the 2015 Knight Foundation-funded program at SOC that brings together industry leaders with Professional and Student Fellows to work on incorporating game design principles into news and storytelling products, she's leveraged her media experience as well as her impressive personal network to shape the initiative in a way that targets media leadership that is primed for change. 

Eisman thanks Dean Jeffrey Rutenbeck for setting the tone, Associate Professor Lindsay Grace for the Game Lab and JoLT, and particularly Barbara Wall, vice president and senior associate general counsel at Gannett, for linking her to 1776 before even the walls were in place.

SOC Associate Professor Andrew Lih says, "She is the ultimate connector and project generator, by bringing multiple disciplines from DC's diverse startup community by drawing on her experience at USA Today, USA WEEKEND, AOL and as a Fulbright Lecturer."  

Eisman is former director of SOC's Master of Arts in Interactive Journalism. An early adopter of online education, she co-authored online training modules for Gannett about breaking news online, interactivity and database journalism and co-wrote a module for Knight Citizen News Network. She chairs the Online News Association's MJ Bear Fellowship committee, honoring digital journalists under 30, and has judged the White House Correspondents' Association Awards.

Tags: School of Communication,Entrepreneurship,Communication,Communication Technology,Graduate Studies,Achievements,Journalism,Journalism (SOC),Faculty
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 328FCF5B-5056-AF26-BE493ED1B40EDF77
Profile: 646D3D20-C1C6-61A2-5EC46F4FBC5F3ECD
Media:
newMediaIDList:
 
newsId: D56DA56A-5056-AF26-BE4EDBCB72D14468
Title: Alumni Admissions Volunteer Chair Shares Passion for AU
Author: Patricia Rabb
Subtitle:
Abstract: Maria Luisa Ortega shares her passion for recruiting prospective students for AU.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 04/07/2015
Content:

"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.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Update,Kogod School of Business
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: D5A62212-5056-AF26-BE7D89B76AC7CC4E
Media:
newsId: 0D408C01-921E-548A-EB4181E6207C7945
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
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 9AB88BF9-D486-8A3B-95796DBCC101EFF5
Media:
newsId: DFFD8673-B6D2-D0DA-B948D65411B0F821
Title: Luchs Family Scholarship Recipient Molly Fallon Reaps Rewards of Hard Work, Giving Back
Author: Mike Rowan
Subtitle:
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
Content:

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
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: E04698A1-D57D-C17C-914654051283E716
Media:
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
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 041383EF-F5B3-8744-865E84D4D3D24DFA
Media:
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
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 39915A23-AD89-0802-FD2F634DB2C52378
Media:
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
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 261E0B00-A9A8-A80E-DBFA985F0B354D87
Media:
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
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 3EF99500-0BC3-D233-B76531EDA9653D98
Media:
newsId: 2FAFB514-CFD4-D5DD-9B5A0653853F5285
Title: Alumni Offer an Unconventional Introduction to Shanghai
Author: Melissa Bevins '02
Subtitle:
Abstract: Jamie Barys and Kyle Long met while studying abroad and have turned their passion into a business.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 11/15/2012
Content:

When Jamie Barys, SOC/BA ’07, and Kyle Long, Kogod/BSBA ’07, studied abroad together in Beijing during their junior year, they left knowing that they wanted to return to China. 

Upon graduation, Kyle moved to Shanghai to teach. Jamie had a corporate job in Washington, D.C. for a while before deciding that it wasn’t for her and moving to Xiamen, China to work as a food writer. The two reconnected and decided to start a business together in Shanghai. 

Both recalled hearing the age-old advice that success comes with doing something about which you are passionate and decided that they wanted to love what they do. Jamie loves to eat. Kyle loves to run and eat. Both love finding off-the-beaten-path places and sharing their findings with friends and family. 

These shared passions led them to start UnTour Shanghai, an urban adventure tourism company specializing in unique and personal day tours, including jogging sightseeing tours, culinary tours, and cultural excursions. Jamie serves as the Chief Eating Officer while Kyle serves as the Chief Running Officer.

Jamie recalls that her first dinner in Beijing was a bad experience. She didn’t speak the language and couldn’t order, and the person who was ordering for her party decided to play a practical joke on the group. She wants to help others avoid that experience and to take the guesswork out of eating well in Shanghai.

“I know how intimidating it can be,” says Jamie, of traveling to a new city and trying to partake in the local foods without speaking the language. To avoid this and help tourists get off on the right foot, UnTour Shanghai provides all its customers with a welcome package that includes restaurant and dish recommendations in the neighborhood.

UnTour Shanghai offers a schedule of weekly public tours as well as several options for private group tours. All tours have a limited number of spaces, as Jamie and Kyle aim to keep them intimate and personalized. 

December 1 will mark the two year anniversary of UnTour Shanghai. Both Jamie and Kyle are excited to celebrate the milestone and look forward to what the future holds for the company they’re growing together.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,China,School of Communication,Kogod School of Business
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 30D764AB-A705-89B1-88D206DFFBB6734D
Media:
newsId: FCCF0BA4-9C30-768D-72A99287EACBDA45
Title: Young Alum Builds on Valuable Relationships
Author: Rebecca Youngerman, SPA/BA '00, SPA/MPA '12
Subtitle:
Abstract: Rich Golaszewski, Kogod/BSBA ’07, has aspired to achieve since he first came to American University.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 10/10/2012
Content:

Rich Golaszewski, Kogod/BSBA ’07, has aspired to achieve since he first came to American University in 2003 as a freshman from Philadelphia.

He used that drive to launch a professional career in financial services. Golaszewski works in New York as a vice president at Nomura Securities International—a leading global investment bank—in Equity Derivatives sales and trading.
 
“The encouragement to go above and beyond has been especially valuable,” he said. “At Kogod, I learned the art of networking and the value of relationships, which has proved extremely beneficial in my career.“

On October 20, Golaszewski will receive the Rising Star Award, which recognizes young alumni who are already making significant contributions to greater society through professional or philanthropic work.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award; it truly means a lot…I continue to try to spend my free time on things that I really care about, and Kogod is at the top of the list,” Golaszewski says.

Golaszewski found his niche on campus through academics and a range of student leadership activities. Participation in the Student Managed Investment Fund (then the Kogod Finance Group) was particularly impactful. Gaining valuable skills in investment management and the stock market aided in building industry knowledge, and the leadership roles built softer traits such as public speaking and organization.

For Golaszewski, peers were mentors. He says, “The outgoing student body always had you thinking how you could do more to better your chances at landing the job you wanted, and this really resonated in me and motivated me to explore different industries through internships and challenging coursework.”

Golaszewski has found meaningful and lasting ways to give back to the university. Last fall, he helped conceptualize and launch the New York Finance Network, a new affinity group open to American University graduates working in the finance and real estate industries.

Golaszewski regularly connects with current students, offering guidance and advice about making the most of their time on campus and beyond.

He also has demonstrated his leadership through financial support of the school, and is encouraging others to do the same by serving as a signatory on the recent solicitation for the Kogod Dean’s Fund that was sent to nearly 1,500 fellow supporters.

Golaszewski’s Kogod relationships are very personal. He is the proud older brother of Jesse Golaszewski, Kogod/BSBA ’12, and is newly engaged to a fellow alum, Shannon Westfall, Kogod/BSBA ’07.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Relations (KSB),Alumni Update,Alumni Weekend,Kogod School of Business,Kogod Undergraduate Finance Group
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: FCEC751B-F38B-5BAE-D07114E1ED770732
Media:
newsId: AB5D752C-0AD1-15AF-4BE8655BC583A04D
Title: Travis Lay: From AU Basketball Star to Alumni Board Member
Author: Rebecca Vander Linde
Subtitle:
Abstract: Once a leader on the basketball court, Travis Lay continues to lead AU as a member of the Alumni Board.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 08/10/2012
Content:

Most alumni remember Travis Lay, Kogod/BSBA ’08, as the men’s basketball captain who led the Eagles to the prestigious NCAA tournament for the first time in 2008, but Lay is incredibly accomplished both on and off the court. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from American University and continues to give back to his alma mater as a member of the Alumni Board. Lay also embodies the AU spirit of service by donating his time to Year Up, a local charity that provides mentorship to disadvantaged young adults.


Unsurprisingly, basketball was a major factor in Lay’s decision to attend AU. “I grew up in Maryland, right outside D.C., so [by attending AU], my family would be able to see me play. I also knew AU had a strong chance of going to the NCAA tournament. … The combination of that and AU’s strong academics and business school was exactly what I was looking for.”

Lay says the support of the AU community helped boost the team to the NCAA tournament in 2008. “It was encouraging to see the university really get behind us as we succeeded in my senior year. … People were proud of the AU basketball team. It was a unique experience – to walk around campus and have so many people recognize me. And it was great to raise the profile of American University to a national level,” he adds.

After graduation, he moved overseas and played basketball professionally, with stints in England and Australia. Lay elaborates, “I never had the opportunity to study abroad, as many AU students do, so that was a great experience for me to live abroad and play ball before settling down in my real career [in finance].”

Currently, Lay works for SC&H Group, where he helps businesses implement financial software tools. He is pursuing his certification in public accounting and credits AU and his externships as a student with Beers & Cutler and Deloitte for preparing him for the world of finance. He also was very close with the late Kogod Professor Sue Marcum.

In his spare time, Lay is a member of the Alumni Board where he represents the young alumni point of view. He also mentors inner-city young adults through Year Up, a charity that helps minority adults, aged 18 to 24, transition from high school to either higher education or a professional career. Lay says that while growing up, he often played sports with teammates from similar backgrounds as the young adults he mentors, so he can relate to them. He even shot hoops with one of his mentees: “I was in my business clothes at the time, but I told [the other players], ‘Just so you know, I’m not awful at basketball.’”

That’s certainly an understatement, but is typical of Lay. He is modest about his accomplishments, crediting God and luck for his accomplishments and skills on the court and insisting that the Eagles’ victorious 2008 season, culminating in the NCAA tournament, was a team effort – the product of four years of hard work and practice together. In fact, the moments spent with his teammates are his favorite memories of AU.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Relations (KSB),Alumni Update,Kogod School of Business,Athletics
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: AC817E56-F1BB-268D-95555FA02F622120
Media: