newsId: C16A1D0A-5056-AF26-BE39848AFE408C8C
Title: Meet New Alumni Association President Joe Vidulich
Author: Traci Crockett
Subtitle:
Abstract: He takes over this month representing the more than 120,000 alumni Eagles worldwide.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 01/17/2017
Content:

Joe Vidulich, SPA/BA '08, fell in love with AU from the moment he stepped on campus. "I knew it was a special place and that I would be honored to be a part of it," he says. Joe, who takes over as president of the American University Alumni Association this month, has been a significant "part of it" ever since. 

As a student, Joe founded the AU Blue Crew to encourage fellow students in supporting the university's athletics teams. "Supporting the men and women who wear the AU insignia on their chests was important to me," he says. The group Joe founded in 2006 is now the university's largest student group. 

Even then, Joe recalls the alumni board president, Brian Keane, SPA/BA '89, saying that your time at AU doesn't end when you graduate – and Joe's involvement certainly didn't stop when he crossed the stage in Bender Arena and received his diploma. "My priority is to be AU's biggest cheerleader," he says. (In fact, that's how he first met outgoing president Andrea Agathoklis Murino, SPA/BA '98. Both are season ticket holders for the men's basketball team, and they struck up a friendship courtside.)

Joe, now in his sixth year as a member of the Alumni Board, believes AU is at a crossroads. "It's a better institution, a stronger institution than it was when I left it," he says. "I think that's in large part due to very active and engaged alumni. One has to look no further than the legacy of Dr. Kerwin as an example. I want more alumni to take an active stake in their university. Talk about AU, share our story, live our values so that American is better for the next students."

In his new role, Joe looks most forward to meeting and engaging alumni who have not yet reconnected to the university. "Whatever drew you to AU, there is a way to support that same vision today, tomorrow, and for years to come…Half the battle is showing up," he says. "Reminisce, contribute time, talent, and dollars. Help shape AU."

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Relations (KSB),Alumni Update
Publication: DC9BFA6D-C400-714B-030527285D7B0492
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: C179FBB4-5056-AF26-BE5694C4DEC8AE6A
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: ECE7AC99-5056-AF26-BE01B0714EDD1252
Title: A Passion for Excellence
Author: John Ampiah-Addison
Subtitle: My Experience with the Full-time MBA Program’s Global Consulting Project
Abstract: Find out how MBA student John Ampiah-Addison discovered the secret to business success on his global consulting trip to Israel.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 01/13/2017
Content:

I never dreamed I’d travel to Israel during graduate school. But, through the Full-time MBA Program’s global consulting project, I went on the trip of a lifetime.

The global consulting project – both the greatest highlight and challenge of the program, thus far – paired me and a team of my peers with Voiceitt, an Israeli bio-tech startup. Our assignment? Develop a go-to-market strategy for one of their upcoming products. After conducting our initial research in the classroom in Washington, DC, we traveled to Tel Aviv for two weeks to meet with the company and explore the city.

The Client and the Product
Voiceitt develops applications that translate unintelligible speech into easily understandable dialogue. We created a marketing plan for Talkitt, an application designed to help individuals with speech disabilities communicate clearly.

During our first week, we met with Voiceitt to discuss our findings, and plan next steps. Week two was all about hands-on learning; we did a ton of beta testing to gain a deeper understanding of how the application works.

An Inspiring Experience
What struck me the most was how smart and passionate Voiceitt’s team was. They are genuinely committed to developing products that help people. Working with a start-up was inspiring, too, because they are constantly exploring new ideas.

Developing their go-to-market strategy also taught me that sometimes your work is ambiguous. There’s a lot of ways you can approach a problem. There isn’t always one clear path to success. Learning this helped me tackle our project more creatively, and prepared me for the complexities of professional life outside of school.

Food, Fun and Sun
Our hotel was right next to the Mediterranean Sea in Tel Aviv. I spent time on the beach when I had some free time, and even rented a bike to ride into the city. What really stuck with me is the food, though. Shakshuka, an Arabic dish of poached eggs with cumin-spiced tomatoes, peppers and onions, is now a new favorite.

We also visited Jerusalem and Haifa, and did some unforgettable sightseeing. I got to tour the Bahai Temple’s beautiful gardens, do a sunrise hike to the top of Masada, and even got to swim in the dead sea.

The Secret to Success?
As future global business leaders, it’s imperative that business students learn how to make good decisions under uncertain circumstances. I gained first-hand experience with this working with Voiceitt. Developing a marketing strategy for a newly developed application was anything but clear-cut. Would our plan be successful in the marketplace? How would our target audience react? Will the app need to be adjusted if sales don’t go well?

Voiceitt’s real secret to success, though, is their passion for excellence. Each and every team member I worked with was fully invested in making Talkitt the best it could be. They were dedicated to their work, and passionate about the impact it could have on the word. This is an attitude I hope to channel into every professional environment I enter. And, if I can put as much passion into my future work as I did into the global consulting project, perhaps I’ll have another chance to positively impact the world, too.

Visit us online to learn more about the global consulting trip and Kogod's Full-time MBA Program.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: ED25DEC6-5056-AF26-BEF80CA13FC3279F
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 31E595A0-5056-AF26-BEBBB2537A32099F
Title: Finding My Professional Self
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle: MSAn student shares experiences from her first semester
Abstract: Zoe Pribula, MSAn ’17, enrolled in Kogod’s MS Analytics program determined to find her professional self. “I knew I was really interested in Information Technology, but I wanted to keep learning and understanding what my best fit was,” she says.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 12/20/2016
Content:

Zoe Pribula, MSAn ’17, enrolled in Kogod’s MS Analytics program determined to find her professional self. “I knew I was really interested in Information Technology, but I wanted to keep learning and understanding what my best fit was,” she says.

It didn’t take long for Pribula to set her direction. She received a job offer from IBM before the end of her first semester. “It’s been exciting to discover how much more marketable I am with a master’s degree from Kogod,” she says.

She claims the program’s real value, though, lies in its experiential learning opportunities. “I’ve gotten to work on projects with real clients, and have learned so much from the different professionals who’ve spoken in class.”

Pribula encourages any aspiring IT manager or data analyst to apply to the program. She believes the MSAn prepares students to serve a crucial professional role—especially in the business world. “Analysts are so important because they help organizations make decisions from the data they collect,” she says. “The program has taught me how to apply myself in an ever-changing technological world.”

Read more about Zoe’s experience, and the Master of Science in Analytics program, below

Kogod School of Business: How was your Fall 2016 semester?

Zoe Pribula: I had an amazing first semester in the MS Analytics program! I took Applied Managerial Statistics; Management Information Systems; and Consulting Practices and Methodologies, which gave me a great overview of the field. I learned a lot from each course, and decided that I want to be an IT consultant once I graduate!

KSB: Did you have a favorite course? Why?

ZP: I loved my statistics class. My professor used examples from real-life situations, which challenged me to consider how I’d use class material on-the-job. The course was a good base for the rest of the program because when you analyze data, you need to understand where the numbers came from, and how significant they are.

KSB: Were there any experiences this semester that have really stuck with you?

ZP: For one of my electives, I took a class entirely with MBA students. I don’t normally overlap with business administration students, so working with them helped me see things from a pretty different perspective. Everyone came from varying business backgrounds, which taught me a lot about the field as a whole.

KSB: Can you tell us about some of your other projects and assignments?

ZP: In Professor Ulstrup’s Management Information Systems course, we were assigned a semester-long group project where we applied an emerging technology to a new industry. My group chose personal analytics and the higher education industry. For the final presentation, he brought in a panel of four highly-esteemed judges who gave constructive feedback and asked questions to help shape our final reports.

The project required a lot of research, collaboration, and creativity, which are skills I can apply to any class moving forward.

KSB: In what ways, if any, do you think the program will help you with your career ambitions?

ZP: What I’ve learned at Kogod already helped me get a job. This semester, I interviewed with IBM and, used my experiences at Kogod in the behavioral interviews. I answered questions based on case studies we read and projects we completed. I was offered the job, and am excited to start as an IT consultant at IBM when I graduate!

KSB: What are you most looking forward to as you start your second semester?

ZP: Really just continuing to grow. All the faculty and students I’ve met are so dedicated, smart and motivating—I can learn a lot from everyone I’m working with. I’ve already gotten so much out of my experience at Kogod, and I’m excited to see what else lies around the corner.

Interested in learning more about Kogod’s Master of Science in Analytics program? Learn more online.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 321EC7E5-5056-AF26-BE7521B1EAD711A5
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: F976EAB4-5056-AF26-BEF7207629C0ECBC
Title: MBA Student Travels to Colombia for Consulting Project
Author: Jamie McCrary and Sam Schofield
Subtitle:
Abstract: Sam Schofield enrolled in Kogod’s Full-time MBA (FTMBA) program wondering how he could impact the international business community. The Global Consulting Practicum gave Schofield the global experience he needed.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 12/19/2016
Content:

Sam Schofield enrolled in Kogod’s Full-time MBA (FTMBA) program wondering how he could impact the international business community. He wanted to affect change on a global level—a passion he knew the FTMBA program would nurture.

The Global Consulting Practicum gave Schofield the international experience he needed. The course, completed by all second-years, pairs student teams with an international client to solve a problem integral to their business’ operation. The project culminates with a visit to the client’s home country where teams conduct site visits and explore the local culture.

“The global project gave me a first-hand look into an international client’s business operations,” Schofield says. “Traveling to the client’s country was especially enlightening. I got to see parts of the industry I couldn’t have otherwise.”

This semester, Schofield and his team traveled to Colombia, where they helped an aquaculture company strategize how to sell their products in the U.S. He describes his experience as “challenging” and “eye-opening.” “It was definitely the highlight of my time at Kogod,” he says. “I got to apply so many concepts I learned in the classroom to real life.”

Read more below about how the FTMBA program’s global consulting project helped Schofield make the impact he desired.

The Client

We worked with Pezco Aquaculture Farming LLC, a company that sells fresh tilapia filets, burgers, sausages, and patties in Latin America and the US. Pezco was founded by two Colombian brothers, Juan Carlos and Luis Ignacio Libreros, who pursued careers in corporate America before returning to their country to start an aquaculture business.

I admire Pezco’s sustainable business practices. They minimize waste by maximizing the use of every part of the fish. The company grounds fish skin and bones for fertilizer, and they sell the tilapia scales for jewelry. They also are responsible about how they manage their water; at the fish farms, pond water comes from nearby mountain streams.

Our Job

Their products are successful in Colombian markets, but they needed help advancing in the U.S. market. That’s where our team came in—we helped Pezco develop a US market entry strategy. To do this, we began in August with extensive market research on aquaculture and farm-raised fish in the US. We also conducted several consumer testing sessions here in DC, and conducted interviews with industry experts in D.C. and Colombia.

The second phase of the project was the visit to Colombia. The in-person visits to their processing facility and interviews with staff allowed us to evaluate how feasible our initial ideas were.

The Process

We spent the first week in the capital, Bogotá, where we met with stakeholders in the agriculture and aquaculture industries. This included meetings with the former Colombian Minister of Agriculture, the Marketing Department of Universidad de la Sabana, and the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros, which promotes Colombian coffee. They gave us great insight into market development opportunities and strategies for Pezco.

The second week we traveled with Luis to visit their tilapia processing facility, and met with members marketing staff and various distributors of their value add products. We were very appreciative of the hospitality and professionalism of the Libreros’ brothers and the respect and clarity they give us consultants. It motivated us to work twice as hard to deliver a quality solution.

Now that we’re back in the U.S., we are finalizing our report to Pezco, and will present our final recommendations on December 19.

A Valuable Connection

Before Kogod, I worked for a non-profit that helped communities in Central America with sustainable development. This gave me a personal connection to Pezco, which I loved. It was empowering to know I was helping a company with business practices that are good for their community, and the environment.

Back at Kogod

From an academic standpoint, the project is finished once we deliver our report to the client. However, we have had a very strong and productive relationship with Pezco and we feel confident a lot of our recommendations will be seriously considered.

Most of all, this experience has made us better critical thinkers, and capable of quickly sizing up a business and diagnosing a problem. That’s something any effective consultant--or manager, for that matter--needs to be able to do. I also think the project challenged us, but ultimately made us more confident in our skills and abilities. ________________________________________________________________________

After graduation, Schofield hopes to work for a boutique consulting firm in D.C., helping companies deal with government relations challenges and risk-management in foreign markets. He knows the skills he gained through the global consulting project will help him excel.

Visit us online to learn more about Kogod’s FTMBA program, and global consulting project.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: F9CF0CE3-5056-AF26-BE733A7500418DDD
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 26AE16F3-5056-AF26-BE27559F41999E2C
Title: Kogod Students Succeed at Global Case Competition
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: Current PMBA students Kelsey Branch and Christopher Correnti never thought they'd pursue business degrees. They also never dreamed they'd become active student leaders at Kogod -- leaders who would represent the school at a national level.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 12/15/2016
Content:

Current PMBA students Kelsey Branch and Christopher Correnti never thought they'd pursue business degrees. They also never dreamed they'd become active student leaders at Kogod -- leaders who would represent the school at a national level.

Branch and Correnti, both scientists, were attracted to Kogod's PMBA program for the career prospects and intellectual rigor it promised. "I loved how intensive the program was, and that it opened me up to an entirely different professional world,” says Correnti.

The Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) Global Leadership Summit and case competition promised the same opportunity for professional development and mental stimulation. The national gathering was exactly what Branch and Correnti were looking for to put their business expertise to the test. “It was the perfect chance to network and learn from different people’s experiences,” says Branch.

This year’s conference, held November 3-6 in Dallas, featured an impressive array of panelists, networking events and presentations. Speakers included business leaders such as Dimitri Stockton, Senior Vice President of GE Company; Tom Robinson, President and CEO of AACSB International; Amy Hall, Director of Social Consciousness at Eileen Fisher; and Alyssa Preston, founder of Sage, LLC.

The conference's real focus, though, was the case competition. Structured after the traditional business school event, case competition organizers prepared six different cases and assigned student teams to each. “Six groups worked on each case, so we were competing against five other teams,” Correnti explains. “It was pretty grueling. We only had five hours to decide on a solution, create a powerpoint, and prepare our presentation for the judges.”

Both accepted the challenge ready to learn and work hard with their teams. What they didn’t expect, however, is that they’d help lead their teams to victory.

Their reward? Yet another challenge.

Case category winners presented in front of the entire conference, showcasing their business solutions to over 400 conference attendees. “It was exhilarating to receive that kind of recognition,” Branch says. “My team was really excited to share our work with the rest of the conference.”

The fact that some of the nation’s top business executives were present was an added bonus. Presenting to a room full of CEOS and company presidents was an invaluable professional development opportunity—for students and business leaders alike. “Our solutions gave business leaders fresh perspective on their problems,” says Correnti. “It was also a brainstorming session for companies.”

Branch and Correnti attribute their success in large part to their teams’ mixed skill sets. Conference organizers intentionally assembled teams based on varying strengths, challenging students to leverage each other’s intellectual assets. “This helped us find a solution that was nuanced and different enough that we won our category,” says Branch.

Their teams’ diverse makeup isn’t the only reason for their victory. Both also believe their education at Kogod gave them a substantial upper-hand.

Correnti describes his coursework as “rigorous” and “continuously engaging.” The curriculum’s challenging assignments gave him the mindset to tackle the case competition with confidence. “At school, I’m ‘on go’ 100 percent of the time. My coursework helped me develop the mental endurance I needed for the competition,” he says.

His marketing management class, taught by Professor Anusree Mitra, proved especially worthwhile. The course, designed to develop effective business decision-making skills, helped Correnti navigate the complexities of his business case.

“These are the kind of moments where you realize that what you’re learning really connects to real-life,” says Correnti.

Branch agrees wholeheartedly. “This experience proved that what we’re learning in class is useful and powerful, and I can apply it.”

For both students, their success was motivating and validating. They each feel empowered to stay invested in their coursework, and are confident that they are on the right professional path.

“I never considered going into business when I was studying science in college, but when I visited Kogod, it really felt like the right fit,” Branch says. “Winning the conference’s case competition really justified my decision—that yes, I am in the right place. This was the right choice.”

“I think that most of all, this experience was validating for our futures,” Correnti adds. “Kogod gave us a solid foundation for success. I’m really excited to see what lies ahead.”

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 26E38E8F-5056-AF26-BE608E24335402AF
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: EF6F50A2-5056-AF26-BE550DFB6E8CD3E1
Title: Mixing it Up
Author: Emily Heppen
Subtitle: How Kogod’s MSRE gave me the perspective I needed
Abstract: Emily Heppen reflects on everything she has learned in her M.S. Real Estate classes as the semester wraps up.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 12/14/2016
Content:

Though songs on the radio right now echo “it’s the most wonderful time of the year,” I’m filled with mixed emotions. The holiday season is fun and enjoyable—but, as a student, I’ve also got to review everything I’ve learned this semester to prepare for finals. This process, though grueling, has also reminded me how much I’ve learned at Kogod.

One of my favorite parts about my M.S. Real Estate (MSRE) classes is that they’re integrated with other programs. For example, in my Principles & Investments class, we analyzed a land transaction, which involves assessing value and determining how to complete the transaction. For the project, my group was comprised of students from many Kogod programs. We even collaborated with a Kogod staffer! Because my team had many different backgrounds and skill sets, we’ve been able to contribute to a truly creative product.

I’m grateful the MSRE program “mixes it up.” Working with students from different backgrounds helps me develop new and academically diverse perspectives.

As I’ve shifted gears from working on the project to studying for finals, I’ve been able to apply the knowledge I gained from my classmates. I can approach problems from new angles now, and interpret my notes from a different perspective. This makes preparing for finals a little less taxing—and a little more enjoyable. And hey, who knows. Maybe listening to a holiday song or two while studying could help.

Interested in learning more about the MSRE program? Visit us online today.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: EFA81BBF-5056-AF26-BE54D74EEABBAAFF
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: C36D2300-5056-AF26-BE08E2252A95F685
Title: 5 Time Management Tips for your Grad School Success
Author: Mandy Shimizu
Subtitle:
Abstract: "I was committed to graduating on time, and was determined to make it work." How did MSA student Mandy Shimizu do it? Read more to find out.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 12/13/2016
Content:

Wake up, study, go to work, go to class, sleep, repeat.

Between working 30 hours per week and taking 9 credit hours in Kogod’s Master of Science in Accounting program, this semester (Fall 2016) truly was a test of my time management skills. I was committed to graduating on time, and was determined to make it work. The key became finding a healthy balance between work and school commitments, and maintaining my personal relationships.

How’d I do it? Take a look at my Top 5 Time Management Tips below to find out.

1.) Write down what assignments are due everywhere. I had a master assignment list on my computer, a copy of the list on my desk in my apartment, and a snapshot of what was coming in the next two weeks on my phone. Having constant reminders of when upcoming tasks were due helped prevent any “surprises” before deadlines/exam dates.

2.) Know your time limits. Over the summer, I thought it would be reasonable to work, take classes, and take the first section of the CPA exam. I quickly realized after the first week of class that something would need to be put on hold. So instead of taking my first CPA exam at the beginning of November, I am now scheduled to take it at the end of next February. From a timeline perspective, it doesn’t make a huge impact on my career goals, but it allowed me to focus on work and school projects, while also leaving time for personal interests.

3.) Give yourself at least one week-night off. It’s crucial to take time during the week for yourself maintain a healthy balance of all your interests. For me, that was Monday nights. I’d make plans to see friends or put my phone on silent, curl up with a fuzzy blanket, and catch up on TV shows. It was a great opportunity to feel like I still had my own time to do things I love without taking too much time away from studying.

4.) Find where you’re willing to make sacrifices. Most of the semester I would wake up around 5:30 a.m. to work on homework before heading into the office, or would spend lunch breaks reading materials for class. You’ll find the mix that works best for you, but part of good time management is compromise in other areas.

5.) Stick to the schedules you set. Especially during the middle of the semester, I found myself making excuses for not starting assignments earlier, or waking up later in the morning. While you don’t want to overextend yourself, it is important to stick to your schedule so you don’t fall behind and have everything pile up later.

These tips are what helped most in my situation (and hopefully will help you along the way). I think the best way to manage your time, though, is to find the balance that works for you, and helps you become your best academic self.

So: wake up, do your best, find your balance, and repeat.

Interested in learning more about Kogod’s Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program? Learn more online.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: C394B792-5056-AF26-BED544CA8EBFB4D6
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 91488503-5056-AF26-BE34ED81A20F0F12
Title: Change and Transformation
Author: Adekunle Ladipo, MBA '18
Subtitle: My experiences in Kogod’s FTMBA program
Abstract: “Change is the result of true learning.” Read more to find out how Kogod helped Ladipo become the student--and the person--he desires.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 12/12/2016
Content:

“Change is the result of true learning.” As I reminisce about my time thus far at Kogod, I realize it’s the little things that have defined my experience.

As a Full-time MBA student, I am constantly growing and learning. My Management of Organizations and Human Behavior class challenged me to embrace different ideas and perspectives to solve problems. Financial Accounting taught me how to analyze and understand numbers.

The Business Leadership Luncheon series, which features different speakers in the business world, has exposed me to a variety of world views and perspectives. Our alumni are regular speakers, so there is a personal connection knowing your path has a safe destination.

The program’s Career Management course and one-on-one coaching sessions at Kogod’s Center for Career Development have given me the confidence I need to excel in the workforce. Kogod’s Center for Business Communications helped me strengthen my public speaking and presentation skills. I learned how to craft an “elevator” pitch and how to network effectively.

The skills I’ve acquired in the FTMBA program are truly invaluable. Its cohort-based structure and culturally diverse environment creates an ideal space to learn. The program prepares you for the real world—a world that celebrates leaders that have conquered the challenges of business school.

I constantly ask myself, “Who am I trying to become?” I know for sure I am no longer the man that started the program three months ago. I also know I am more aware of my academic potential. For the first time, the unknown does not scare me because change is the result of true learning…and I don’t want to be the same person I was yesterday.

Learn more about our Full-Time MBA program online.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 91B37569-5056-AF26-BEF2A0B4C928409E
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 834319B3-5056-AF26-BEDEF6F218933085
Title: Kogod Q&A: Master of Science in Analytics – Alumna Heidi Friedrich
Author: Carson Creehan
Subtitle: Get to know our programs from the people who know them best
Abstract: The Master of Science in Analytics program opened doors for Heidi Friedrich because she was willing to take advantage of every opportunity.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 12/08/2016
Content:

Being open to every opportunity: that’s how Heidi Friedrich, an alumna of Kogod’s Master of Science in Analytics (MSAn) program, got to where she is today. From learning to code to exploring marketing plans, the MSAn gave her skills she didn’t even know she needed.

Originally from Iowa, Friedrich came to D.C. for her undergraduate degree in Accounting. She now works at Ernst & Young in Financial Accounting Advisory Services and credits Kogod for teaching her new ways to solve problems.

The Master’s in Analytics is a 33 credit hour program where students learn to use data analysis to solve business problems.

Read more about Friedrich’s experience and how Kogod’s MSAn got her to where she is today.

Kogod School of Business: What drew you to the program?

Heidi Friedrich: I was interested in the program because it offered great international opportunities and it was flexible! I was looking for ways to diversify my skillset. Analytics was something the firm I work at was really looking into, so it seemed like a great next step.

KSB: How have you used the skills that you developed in your program?

HF: One thing the program helps you develop is critical thinking skills. You always have to look at a problem and say ‘How can I solve this using data and using an analytical mindset to get solutions.’

The program develops this style of thinking. Businesses need employees with an analytic mindset that know how to look at data and really get value from it.

KSB: What did you enjoy most about your experience at Kogod?

HF: The personalized attention from faculty members. During the program, I could knock on a professor’s door and meet with him or her at any time. Tailoring the program to my wants and desires was something that really set AU apart.

The practicum was also very useful. You get to work with a company and apply the skills you acquire throughout the program to a real-life consulting engagement. The company takes your advice into consideration. You actually get the real challenges of working with data instead of being in a controlled environment in the classroom. Our group worked on a local weather company in their marketing and mobile app space.

KSB: What about the program was most impactful for you?

HF: Besides the practicum, I would say the connections I made. I met so many great colleagues during this program, and I still keep in touch with them. I have friends in marketing and other areas of business that are using analytics. This provides me with a great professional network.

I also think the Kogod Center for Career Development does a great job of finding employment for students. It’s a campus resource specific to Kogod, and they mentor you through the job search process.

KSB: What ways do you think the program helped prepare you for what you're doing today?

HF: The practicum helped me learn to better manage and organize myself to meet deadlines and do the best work I can. There were other challenging things, too. Before this program, I didn't know how to code. It was hard at first, but I really saw the rewards down the line.

KSB: Why is this program important?

HF: This program is valuable to students from any background—liberal arts and business alike. Especially living here in D.C. with political science, analytics is huge.

D.C. is also a great location. There are so many international opportunities and a variety of businesses in the area. You might work for an international organization with people from other cultures and backgrounds. I think that's great. It's something that drew me to the D.C. area.

KSB: What advice would you give to a prospective student?

HF: Be open to anything. As an accounting major, you might think that’s the only thing you want to focus on. Don’t be afraid to branch out, however. I learned about so many other areas while in the program.

For example, I looked at marketing in the practicum. As an accountant, that might not have been something I normally study, but developing that skill throughout the program was great.

I think you should go for any opportunity here at Kogod or anywhere. Just be open.

If you’re “open” to learning more, visit the Master of Science in Analytics page.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 83ACA0AC-5056-AF26-BEA2FFDE797342B8
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 1AE2550F-5056-AF26-BE9DBE2D27BA6325
Title: Kogod Q&A: Master of Science in Analytics – Frank Armour
Author: Carson Creehan
Subtitle: Get to know our programs from the people who know them best
Abstract: With countless opportunities in and out of the classroom, Professor Frank Armour knows Kogod can't be beat.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 12/07/2016
Content:

“I would love to spend time with you and answer any questions you might have,” says Frank Armour, the director of Kogod’s Master of Science in Analytics (MSAn) program.

He knows choosing a master’s program is a big decision. But with D.C. as its backyard, Kogod offers resources Armour believes are unmatched. “There are plenty of opportunities both inside and outside the classroom.”

Kogod’s MSAn is a 33 credit hour program where students learn to use data analysis to solve business problems.

Read more about why Armour thinks Kogod’s MSAn is worth the investment.

Kogod School of Business: What are some major goals of the program?

Frank Armour: We want to provide students with the knowledge and skills to be successful in analytics professions—whether they’re analysts, managers or just savvy analytics consumers.

We want our students to work with businesses to identify their problems and use analytics to solve them. This will help business leaders make informed decisions.

KSB: How do we use analytics in our daily life?

FA: Almost every domain is utilizing analytics right now, from Amazon to Netflix. Analytics is a growing field, and it’s going to become more important as new ways to capture data become available. Organizations are in desperate need of professionals who can analyze data to help businesses make successful decisions.

KSB: How does Kogod’s program prepare students for this line of work? 

FA: Kogod students can apply their skills to a lot of different organizations. Our program is very unique in that way. We are not a hard-core science program where you’re only going to do a lot of programming. We offer functional specializations, or areas of focus. These include marketing, finance, and accounting. I’ve even had students interested in gaming analytics. There are endless options.

KSB: Why should a student choose this program to advance his or her career?

FA: Our small programs are an asset. Small classes give a lot of opportunity to get to know professors and fellow students. We have very committed professors.

Another thing the program offers is the Capstone Practicum. During the last few semesters, students work in small groups applying what they learned to a real problem. We partner with organizations and businesses, and students get to help them. You don’t just get theory and academics. You also get practical experience.

D.C. has so many great resources available. Professionals come to class on a regular basis to give students practical career advice. They also work lots of different internships in the city.

KSB: What would you say to a prospective student considering applying?

FA: Come down to campus and meet us! I'd love to give you a tour of the school. We have a great department and a lot of very interesting courses.

We are in Washington, D.C. with plenty of opportunities for students both inside and outside the classroom. We give you a mix of both the practical and the theoretical so you have a great combination when you graduate.

Before you visit us on campus, visit us online to learn more about the Master’s in Analytics program.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 1B2494C6-5056-AF26-BEB2C1B8D6F59AFB
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
 
newsId: 20E56AF5-5056-AF26-BEA77647713FF6B3
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.


 

Tags: Alumni,Giving,College of Arts and Sciences,School of Communication,School of International Service,School of Public Affairs,Kogod School of Business
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos:
Media:
newsId: 5E8EE866-5056-AF26-BEA80C8D8EE87DBD
Title: Chris Kalna, Kogod/BSBA ’08: Kogod leads to Carlyle Group
Author: Patricia Rabb
Subtitle:
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.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Update,Kogod School of Business
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 5EB9AC1A-5056-AF26-BEEF8768EFDED7DC
Media:
newsId: BC7EC777-5056-AF26-BECD850EC549DE4E
Title: Alumnus Nick Kuhn Continues to Find New Ways to Give Back to AU
Author: Melissa Bevins ’02
Subtitle:
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."

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,Kogod Real Estate Club,Kogod School of Business
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: EFC41F07-5056-AF26-BE375F0D7FD4E818
Media:
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: