newsId: A760F024-5056-AF26-BEF11563D17B29EF
Title: International Internships & Cross-Cultural Connections
Author: Carson Creehan
Subtitle: Student Profile: Stephanie DiLoreto, BSA‘18
Abstract: Undergraduate business student, Stephanie DiLoreto, got hands-on internship experience while exploring China.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 11/03/2016

Ever since her freshman year of high school, Stephanie DiLoreto, BSA ’18, has been interested in Chinese culture and language. Coming to American University, she knew she wanted to study abroad in China, but after changing her specialization from International Business to Accounting, she feared she wouldn’t have the chance.

However, her study abroad and academic advisors suggested DiLoreto check out the G-MEO program. Global Maximum Education Opportunities Inc. G-MEO is focused on giving U.S. students the chance to study abroad in China during spring, summer, or fall. As part of the program, students take classes, get hands-on experience in an internship, and attend cultural events around China. AU and G-MEO work together to ensure that the courses students take abroad seamlessly transfer to fulfill a semester (or summer) worth of credits.

DiLoreto was especially thrilled about the available scholarship opportunities. All students who study with G-MEO receive a scholarship (those on semester programs are eligible for up to $2,400 per semester). “Knowing there were funds available for me to study abroad in Chengdu made me realize my dream of going to China could be a reality,” DiLoreto says excitedly.

Once there, DiLoreto moved in to her residence hall at Sichuan University where she met other U.S. and Chinese students. “A lot of the students lived in the dorms over the summer, so we all became very close,” DiLoreto says happily.

The classes were held at the Chengdu American Center for Study Abroad on the Sichuan campus. Located in downtown Chengdu, the center is accessible by metro, and DiLoreto found it easy to get to her internship or go out exploring after class.

DiLoreto interned for Unilever, a multinational parent company of over 400 brands ranging from Lipton to Dove, in the Trade Marketing department. To be considered for an internship, DiLoreto simply marked an interest on her application and sent her resume to the G-MEO program director. Soon after, the staff set her up with an interview.

In her position, she went on site visits, sat in on executive meetings, and learned how the department functions. “My experience at Unilever was one of my favorite parts because of how much I learned. They taught me so many valuable skills for my future career and about Chinese culture,” DiLoreto recalls.

Whenever DiLoreto wasn’t able to understand what was being said, the team was quick to translate for her. “Even though I could barely speak Chinese, it wasn’t a problem,” she says. “Most of my team spoke English very well. I can’t emphasize enough how helpful the team was.”

DiLoreto’s experience wasn’t all work and no play, however. While there, she joined a rugby team, participated in a cultural Yoga Festival, went to the Panda Research Center, and visited The Southern Sea Bamboo Forest.

DiLoreto says one of the most breathtaking moments in China was watching the sun set over the fog-covered bamboo hills. “We explored the forest, saw waterfalls, and climbed dozens of flights of stairs to the top of a temple,” DiLoreto describes excitedly.

After graduation, DiLoreto hopes to return to China to work and live. “I learned how business is done in a different part of the world, and discovered that I really love Chinese culture,” she said.

DiLoreto can’t wait to see where the road ahead leads. “I grew as an individual and learned skills that will help me for the rest of my life.”

Interested in learning more about G-MEO? Please contact AU Abroad ( Kogod students are welcome to contact KSB Global Learning at to learn more about the full portfolio of international programs available to Business students.

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newsId: A6B75A2D-5056-AF26-BED3448A94CC5F07
Title: Keeping the Beat While Keeping Busy
Author: Carson Creehan
Subtitle: Professor Profile: John Simson
Abstract: Kogod Professor John Simson brings his passion for music from the stage to the classroom.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 10/27/2016

For the Love of Music

John Simson, director of Kogod’s Business and Entertainment (BAE) program, has always been tuned in to the music industry. Music is in his blood, and his passion for the craft has kept him connected to the industry. So when he was approached to judge the “Law Rocks – Battle of the Bands” competition, he couldn’t pass it up.

A member of Law Rocks asked Simson to judge after hearing about him from a mutual connection. Simson has been involved in the music industry since he was young. “I was playing in high school bands, and I was fortunate to perform with some really talented musicians,” Simson says. While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Simson was signed to a label and went to London to record an album.

Simon, who has also acted as a producer and manager, was treated like a rock star at the event. He had the honor of listening to some talented bands of lawyers who were raising money for charity. Each firm picked a charity to represent, and all of the organizations received some of the $120,000 raised that evening. Simson listened to and judged over 14 bands that performed some new and old favorites like “Sweet Caroline,” “Shake it Off,” and “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

Overall, Simson had a fun time at the event. “Everyone did a solid job,” he says excitedly. “The instrumentalists and singers were great. I’m happy to have taken part.” Additionally, thousands of dollars were raised for charities like the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute, The Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, and Together We Bake.

School of Rock

Back in the classroom, Simson is sure he’ll mention the experience to his students, but he also has some other exciting projects in the works.

For his “Representing Talent” class, Simson brought in Joe Maye, a performer from season 10 of The Voice, to discuss his experience on the hit TV show and what it’s like to work in the music industry. “The class was very animated,” Simson says. “They had a lot of questions, which was great. The students learned that what they saw on the NBC show wasn’t exactly spontaneous.” There’s a lot of planning and work involved.

Students will also have the opportunity to represent Maye as part of their semester-long project. Simson splits his class in to 8 groups and assigns them a musician client. Students work on social media strategy, marketing, and promotion plans for their artist. Maye’s student representatives had a chance to spend “quality time” with him to hear more about his plans and how they can act as his “assistant managers.”

The class represents other artists, including two from Strathmore Music Hall’s Artist-in-Residence program, which is now in its third year of collaboration with Simson’s class. Students are also working with a Brooklyn-based indie rock group, a Pennsylvania R&B singer, and an avant garde D.C. vocalist and guitarist. Near or far, Simson hopes that his students are able to better connect with and understand the music industry. “Hopefully we’re helping the local, regional, and national music community as well,” Simson adds.

Don’t Stop Believing

Simson feels fortunate he was able to pursue his passion and find a career that excited him. He hopes to inspire students to do the same.

While Simson originally started law school to find what he assumed would be a more stable business, he still couldn’t forget his passion for music. Simson remembers, “I was still singing three or four nights a week when I was in school.”

Even after moving to D.C. and working professionally as a lawyer, Simson continued to perform. Things changed, however, when he had three kids of his own to manage. He started representing some successful artists, which helped him keep his connection to the music industry.

Overall, Simson has hit the right note balancing his interests. “I still have a passion to help creative people because I know how difficult that career path can be,” he says. Music will always be an important part of his life, and now he gets to share his passion with Kogod.

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Title: Putting Out Fires in the Business World
Author: Carson Creehan
Subtitle: Student Profile: Russell Cox, FTMBA ‘17
Abstract: Russell Cox was used to jumping into burning buildings, but jumping into the world of business was a whole new adventure.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 10/21/2016

Russell Cox, FTMBA ’17, had one dream when he was growing up: to save lives as a firefighter. His vision came true, and he served as a career firefighter for five years. His dreams began to shift, however, when he realized that chasing fires might not provide for his family the way that chasing a business career would.

“I could live a great life as a firefighter, but it wouldn’t allow me to financially support those that matter most to me,” Cox says.

A self-proclaimed “jack of all trades, master of none,” Cox saw pursing an MBA through Kogod’s Full-Time MBA Program as a means of applying his varied personal and professional experience to a career in business. He hoped to cultivate his ability to “master” many skillsets.

When considering programs that would play to his strengths, Kogod stood out to Cox for a variety for reasons. He was drawn to the collegiate environment, the location in Washington, DC, and the exposure to the myriad of industries and careers in business. “There was so much I had no clue even existed before starting at Kogod,” Cox says.

His experience at Kogod so far, however, has well-exceeded his expectations. “My favorite part of the program has been the chance to study abroad,” Cox says. “I didn’t have this opportunity in undergrad, and I’ve studied abroad twice this year and will do so twice more before my program ends.”

On campus, Cox has been equally as busy. This past year, Cox and his team took 2nd place in the Kogod Regional Case Competition. Cox was also one of two students who attended the National Black MBA Association conference only three weeks after starting at Kogod. “I was fortunate enough to secure two job offers at the conference from two major corporations!” Cox says excitedly

In the classroom, Cox credits faculty and staff like Heather Elms, Wim Taylor, Quentin Johnson, and David Bartlett for giving him better insight into his career. “Kogod has allotted me exposure to industry professionals,” Cox says. He adds he has learned new approaches to problem-solving and how to employ different frameworks to conflict-resolution. Now, Cox better knows how to “put out fires” in the business world.

While Cox is no longer serving as a firefighter, he still wants to give back to his community. A fan of social entrepreneurship, Cox is excited to learn about consulting and financial services so he can understand how to invest in socially impactful ventures.

For anyone looking for a career change, or for someone who just wants to gain new skills, Cox says, “Just do it! Kogod’s FTMBA program is very reputable. We definitely hold our own!”

Whatever future adventure awaits, Cox is proud of what he’s learned at Kogod. The FTMBA has equipped him with the skills he needs to succeed, both inside and outside the classroom. “For a guy who ran into burning buildings for a living before, I’m pretty pleased with where I’ve been able to go,” Cox says.

Tags: Kogod School of Business,Winter-Holiday
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Title: Law, Health, & Business - Oh My!
Author: Carson Creehan
Subtitle: Student Profile: Ebunola Aniyikaiye, JD/MBA ‘17
Abstract: When looking for an advanced degree, Ebunola Aniyikaiye knew she wanted to combine her passions of law, health, and business. But would it be possible to fit in one program?
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 10/17/2016

A first generation Nigerian American, Ebunola Aniyikaiye, JD/MBA ’17, grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland, not far from American University. Just because the school was close to home, though, didn’t mean she wasn’t able to spread her wings.

In order to grow in her career in the health care industry, Aniyikaiye knew she needed a good foundation in law and business. The skilled professors, practical “Health Law” classes, and hands-on experience drew Aniyikaiye to the JD/MBA program at Kogod School of Business and Washington College of Law.

The JD/MBA offered her the chance to gain in-depth experience in both fields through its interdisciplinary design. The degree features both an MBA and a law degree which students earn simultaneously over four years.

One of her favorite experiences was the program’s Global Consulting Practicum. The class and trip are a core part of the Full-time MBA degree’s second year curriculum. Teams of students are challenged to develop a project for an international client and travel to its home country for a one-on-one meeting. This year, students traveled to the United Arab Emirates, marking the program’s first trip to the Middle East.

Aniyikaiye suggests other students take advantage of all available opportunities as she has during her JD/MBA studies. “Try something new!” she says. “You never know what you might excel in.”

Read more about Aniyikaiye’s experience below.

Kogod School of Business: What motivated you to pursue the joint JD/MBA program?

Ebunola Aniyikaiye: The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made it imperative, in my opinion, to have legal and business knowledge if I wanted to work in the health care industry.

KSB: Why did you choose Washington College of Law and Kogod specifically for this program?

EA: WCL was the only school that had practical health law classes. I already had a policy background, so I knew I didn’t want to take health policy classes like some other DC law schools offered. Also, Kogod had a good business school, and I knew it had a strong consulting track record in the area.

KSB: Our JD/MBA students come from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds. How does your interest in law and business connect to your previous experience?

EA: I worked as a health policy associate, and I knew that the implementation of the ACA would drastically change the way the US health industry works. Having a policy background makes it easier to explain the intent of certain polices to clients.

KSB: Is there an experience you’ve had during your time at AU that has been particularly impactful? Why?

EA: The Annual Kogod Case Competition was a great experience. I think competitive environments foster quick thinking and encourage teamwork. I think those are vital skills to have in business. My team also came in first, which was great!

KSB: Has a particular class or professor been most valuable to you?

EA: Professor Ayman Omar is hands down one of the best professors I have had at Kogod. His class was tough, but I learned so much about working in a global economy.

KSB: What are your hopes and ambitions for the future?

EA: I want to be a health law attorney and a strategic advisor who owns my own firm that provides both services.

KSB: What advice would you give a prospective student considering applying?

EA: Have an idea of what you want to do, and go to the school that you think would best fit. The professors here are great and are willing to help you accomplish your goals.

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newsId: 425C398C-5056-AF26-BE408B0B916A49B7
Title: The Discipline of Investment
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle: Kogod’s Third Annual Sovereign Wealth Fund Conference Educates Students, Faculty and Practitioners
Abstract: Sovereign Wealth Funds aren't just an investment vehicle -- they're a discipline. Read more to find out why.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 10/12/2016

For Kogod School of Business Professor Ghyiath Nakshbendi, sovereign wealth funds aren’t just an investment vehicle. They’re a discipline. “Sovereign wealth funds have a significant impact on the global marketplace,” he says. “Examining and understanding how they’re managed is complex, but essential to one’s career as business professional.”

Sovereign wealth funds, an industry term for government-owned investment funds, are a significant source of capital for countries worldwide. The Funds – currently valued around $7 trillion globally -- draw from assets such as stocks, bonds, or real estate. While governments can utilize these reserves at any time, they’re commonly used as “rainy day” funds, subsidizing a country’s financial needs not covered in their budget.

Their substantial economic impact is a key reason why Nakshbendi thinks his students must be well-versed in the subject. By understanding how sovereign wealth funds operate and affect the marketplace, students gain a broader view of our global economy.

This belief – as well as his passion for the subject – was the genesis for Kogod’s annual Sovereign Wealth Fund Conference. Founded in 2014 by both Nakshbendi and Jeffrey Harris, chair of Kogod’s finance department, the conference brings together industry experts to examine an economic issue affecting sovereign wealth funds. This year’s event was held on October 6, 2016, from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the School of International Service.

“We were once again delighted to host finance professionals, government ambassadors, business executives, lawyers, and academics for a day of discourse around sovereign wealth funds,” Harris says. “The speakers gave attendees deep insight into the subject from U.S. and international perspectives.”

The October 6 conference examined how the declining price of commodities – specifically oil -- is affecting the funds. Because many sovereign wealth funds are financed by oil, its decreasing value also drastically impacts the funds. Panelists discussed how to best deal with this economic challenge -- and if sovereign wealth funds could ultimately survive in the marketplace.

“This is an issue that’s stricken the sovereign wealth fund community during the last 12 months,” Nakshbendi says. “It’s a serious problem we need to think about.”

Speakers included economy and finance professionals from across the world – notably David Rubenstein, CEO and co-founder of one of the world’s largest private equity firms. Other industry leaders also participated, including the President of the Qatar Investment Authority Advisory, Deputy Division Chief of the International Monetary Fund, and Founder of Greystone Advisory Group.

The conference’s high-profile attendees provided students the chance to network and garner career advice. “I always want to give my students lots of opportunities to meet the right people,” Nakshbendi says. “That’s how they get internships and jobs.”

The event also offered a valuable promotion and recruitment opportunity for the school. “My ultimate goal is to expose the guests and speakers to what we do here,” Nakshbendi says. “We have excellent programs, a diverse faculty, and an engaged student body. We’ve got a lot to be proud of.”

Nakshbendi has ambitions for the conference well beyond the one-day gathering. He hopes to offer a sovereign wealth funds course at Kogod in the near future, which will connect to the themes and issues examined at the annual conference. Doing so aligns with his view of the funds as a discipline—one he believes is crucial for his students to study.

“To the best of my knowledge, there is no such course offered in DC, or anywhere else in the US,” Nakshbendi says. “This will help our students be good candidates for employment at these funds worldwide.”

By providing a space for sovereign wealth fund scholars and professionals to assemble, he knows he can deepen his students’ education and promote Kogod as a business school. “The conference helps open their eyes,” he says. “I hope this can serve as a path towards a richer future – for my students, and for AU as an institution.”

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Title: Kogod Hosts Online Immersion Courses for MBA and MSaN Students
Author: Kogod School of Business
Abstract: Business@American MBA and MSaN students meet on campus for the first time.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 09/28/2016

The weekend of September 16-18, 2016, AU’s Kogod School of Business welcomed over 100 online graduate students to campus for the first time. Students from across the nation arrived ready for three days of networking, panel discussions, and group work, excited to meet their professors – and each other – in person.

“Kogod’s online immersion weekend is an invaluable experience for both Kogod faculty and staff, and for the students in the program,” says Maureen Breslin, Director of Online programs at Kogod. “For faculty and staff, it brings online students’ excitement and energy to campus. For students, the immersion courses allow them to put their learning into action in the classroom, and in the business world.”

The Business@American online program features face-to-face “immersion” courses for its two programs: The MBA Immersion—Business in the Capitol, and the MS Analytics two-part capstone. These intensive courses bridge the gap between remote and on-campus learning by facilitating a space for students to meet and work in a real-world setting.

The weekend brought together students enrolled in immersion courses in both programs. MBA Business in the Capitol immersion students visited and worked with Business Improvement organizations to design projects that would improve DC’s economy; MS Analytics students fulfilled their first Capstone course consulting Capitol One bank.

“Students leveraged the skills they’ve learned throughout their degrees to address the problem at hand, and ultimately present their research and recommendations to company representatives and faculty members,” explains Jeff Rinehart, Executive-in-Residence at Kogod.

MBA students’ work aligned with the Global Cities Initiative, a Brookings-Institution led project that aims to grow regional economies through stronger international connections and competition. Groups spoke with Marek Gootman, director of the worldwide initiative, as well as Kogod’s Bob Sweeney, who manages the Initiative in DC. “The group projects were creative and well thought-out,” says Sweeney. “The students were amazing.”

The immersion wasn’t all work, though. Students also enjoyed a number of events where they could socialize and explore the city together. The weekend featured a networking happy hour, a group dinner, campus tours---even a walking ghost tour of the city.

On Sunday evening, students left campus with a deeper connection to their profession, to Kogod and AU, and to each other. Networking and group work were certainly priorities, but the MBA and MSaN online immersion had a much broader goal: ensuring online students felt fully part of the Kogod community. “I hope they left knowing they are as important a part of this university as those that are here physically,” Sweeney says. “Their contribution to AU is crucial, and we’re so glad they joined us this weekend.”

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Title: Introducing the New Faculty
Author: Gregg Sangillo
Abstract: AU has hired 28 tenure-line professors.
Topic: Research
Publication Date: 09/28/2016

American University has hired 28 new tenure-line (tenure-track or tenured) professors. The new faculty bring not only vast reservoirs of knowledge, but diverse life experiences. What follows is an overview of their research passions and personal stories.

College of Arts and Sciences

Jessica Young, Health Studies

Jessica Young may be starting a new job, but she’s returning to a familiar place. Young, a new assistant professor in the Health Studies Department, is also an AU alum. She initially earned her master’s degree from AU in health promotion management, and she was excited by the prospect of teaching here.

AU was “very supportive in developing me as a whole person. So it wasn’t just about academics. It was also about career readiness,” Young says. “I got connected to so many mentors and people who just wanted to see me succeed. And I wanted to have the opportunity to do that for students, too.”

Young’s dedication to her work is evident. She went straight through to earn her bachelor’s (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), master’s (AU), and Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins University) without a break. But along the way, her experience as a personal trainer and weight lifting instructor—which she did at AU—factored into her scholarly pursuits.

“While I was here, working as a trainer, I could see the impact that I was having on people one-by-one. But I started thinking, ‘Well, how can I impact more than one person at a time, besides having a group fitness class?’ And that’s how I got into the policy part,” she explains.

Her research focus is health equity. Having recently worked at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, she also studies how philanthropy addresses critical social issues, such as health, child welfare, and juvenile justice.

Young pondered health issues while growing up in Southern Maryland. She was active in soccer, as well as ballet, tap, and jazz dance. In addition, Young’s mother worked in the health care industry.

Though she’s given up soccer, Young is still a hiker and a gym rat. She’s also a video gamer in her spare time.

Yet her most rewarding connections are still in the classroom. “Seeing students get something is like the best feeling in the world. Or, when they ask a brilliant question,” she says. “Asking a brilliant question shows that you’re listening, that you’re thinking critically about the issue, and that you’re curious.”

Malgorzata Rymsza-Pawlowska, History

For many people, history is something you read about in a book. Or a subject you major in at college. But for Malgorzata Rymsza-Pawlowska, history is so much broader than that. And importantly, she wants to convey that deep, immersive, interdisciplinary approach to her students.

“I am really interested in how we both understand history, and make meaning from it,” says Rymsza-Pawlowska. “Outside of formal history, like classes, or even museums, history is all around us. How do we draw meaning from film and television? And, in turn, how does what we learn change within larger cultural contexts?”

A Caucasian woman with dark hair.

Malgorzata Rymsza-Pawlowska

Rymsza-Pawlowska is just starting as an assistant professor in the History Department, and she’s associate director in the graduate program in public history. Her expansive view of how we interpret history includes documentaries, TV dramas, public art, and living history museums like Colonial Williamsburg.

Her published papers have included analyses of everything from the PBS reality show Frontier House to Roots. The latter was included in a paper she published called “Broadcasting the Past: History Television, ‘Nostalgia Culture,’ and the Emergence of the Miniseries in the 1970s United States.”

“I went and looked at the letters that people were writing to the producers of Roots, and it was all in terms of impact. ‘This made me feel this way.’ ‘This made me understand on the level of feelings and empathy.’ And that was all, at that moment in the 1970s, brand new,” she says.

Rymsza-Pawlowska will expand on these ideas in her forthcoming book, History Comes Alive. “It will look at what I call the emergence of an immersive or affective relationship with the past,” she says. “In the 1970s, Americans are wanting to know how people from the past felt. Rather than thinking about the past as something that’s sort of distant.”

She’ll examine how people grappled with the 1976 Bicentennial Celebration amidst intense national strife following Watergate and the Vietnam War.

She comes to AU after three years in the history department of Eastern Illinois University. It’s a homecoming of sorts, as she grew up in the Brookland area of Washington, D.C. Her mother still works as a librarian at Catholic University, and Rymsza-Pawlowska is happy to connect with family, friends, and—of course—plenty of D.C. museums.

“I was looking for a way to get closer to the East Coast. I didn’t know I would be able to get this close. But I’ve long been an admirer of this AU program in particular, because of the way that it combines historical work with public history work,” she says. “So it’s a good place for me to be.”

Kogod School of Business

Siri Terjesen, Management

If AU and Kogod School of Business administrators were looking to bolster their already strong entrepreneurship program, they went to the right place. Siri Terjesen was a professor at Indiana University, widely viewed as one of the top entrepreneurship schools in the world. And Terjesen herself is a frequently cited scholar with an engaging personality.

Terjesen is an associate professor at Kogod, and she’s the new research director of the AU Center for Innovation in the Capital.

In an interview, she speaks with enthusiasm about her chosen subject. “I think entrepreneurs are some of the most fascinating people. They get to work on whatever they want to work on, and study after study shows that they’re happier,” she says. Studies also show that “new, high-potential innovation-focused firms start the greatest number of jobs.”

Working with other researchers, Terjesen devised a global data set to compare entrepreneurship across 62 countries. They’ve already found that young Americans are particularly energized about starting social ventures, not just commercial enterprises. Though there’s generally a higher number of male entrepreneurs, female participation increases—and the gender gap decreases—in the area of social entrepreneurship.

Terjesen earned her bachelor’s degree from University of Richmond, and as a Fulbright scholar, she got her master’s from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. She completed her Ph.D. at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom.

Hailing from Akron, Ohio, sports run in the family. Her grandfather, Irving Terjesen, played in the National Basketball League (a precursor to the modern NBA), and her father, Barry Terjesen, has been an accomplished golfer who won state tournaments.

As a kid, Siri suffered from scoliosis, but she didn’t let it interfere with her own athletic pursuits. “I wore this brace all the time, but my doctor never said, ‘Oh, don’t do this. You’ll hurt yourself.’ No one said that.”

She became a prolific runner, and while earning her doctorate at Cranfield, she competed for England. Her specialty race was 100 kilometers, which—if you’re measuring—surpasses the length of two marathons. Amidst a vigorous doctoral program, what motivates a human being to do this?

A Caucasian woman with blonde hair.

Siri Terjesen

“You needed a break because you were so stressed out from the work and reading,” she says. “Running was like the release for me. And the more you run, generally the better you get at it.”

Continued back problems, and life itself, forced the end of her running career. “With three children, I don’t have any time to run. I just run after them,” she jokes. Nowadays, she’s taking in the new D.C. sites with her family.

A top priority on campus, she says, is enticing all kinds of students to consider the entrepreneurship program.

“It’s not just, ‘How can Kogod kids start their own business?’ It’s, ‘Oh, I majored in physics, and I’ve been working on this project, and I think that there’s a commercial application,’” she explains. “We want this to be a university-wide center.”

Nandini Lahiri, Management

Nandini Lahiri was perfectly happy in her previous position at Temple University. Yet discussions with Kogod School of Business leaders made a job at AU look better and better. Lahiri has specialized in research on semiconductor companies, and the policy and trade groups associated with that industry are located in the nation’s capital.

“I think there is going to be an advantage to being located in D.C. Much of my family is in D.C. So I didn’t need much convincing,” she says.

Lahiri, a new associate professor of management, is also excited about the direction AU is headed. The school’s commitment to being a top-flight research institution should comport with her own interests.

An Indian woman with short hair.

Nandini Lahiri 

Beyond her industry focus, some of her research findings tell a larger story about language and business reasoning. While math is often seen as the one universal language, Lahiri’s scholarship paints a mixed picture. In a paper she co-authored, she found that language differences—between, say, a German company and an American company—can fracture R&D alliances working on mathematical problems and engineering designs.

“It’s these underlying differences in the structure of native languages that determine how firms make strategic choices, such as choosing alliance partners,” she says.

Lahiri was born and raised in Calcutta, India. She earned her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and later worked for Tata Steel. But she eventually came to the U.S. to get her Ph.D. in corporate strategy and international business from University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Before teaching at Temple, Lahiri was an assistant professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Fun fact: In one business section at UNC, she taught Tyler Zeller, a first-round NBA draft choice who now plays for the Boston Celtics. “Tyler would play, and would be in class the next morning. The other kids in the class who would watch the game on TV would be too tired to come to class,” she jokes.

In her classrooms, Lahiri uses the Socratic method. “As a student growing up in India at that time, the culture was that you rarely asked questions. But that’s the exact opposite of what I’ve adopted in my classes,” she says.

While this is not always popular at first, she hopes students appreciate her methods by the end of the semester. “It’s a challenging approach that I take, but I think it works.”

School of International Service

Audrey Kurth Cronin, International Relations

Audrey Kurth Cronin is a new professor at AU’s School of International Service. And if her previous scholarship is any indication, she won’t be afraid to challenge conventional wisdom. For instance, she persuasively argued in a 2015 Foreign Affairs essay that ISIS is not a terrorist group, but a larger, pseudo-state.

Yet Cronin doesn’t view her work as needlessly polemic. She’s just trying to offer solutions.

“I try to find ways to solve problems that are difficult,” she says. “I’m driven by the desire to make a difference, and I don’t always take the safe road.”

She’s arrived at some conclusions through her academic and government experience. During the 1990s, Cronin followed Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist activities and the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. After the September 11 attacks, she was one of the few Americans with expertise on the subject, and she gave policy advice while working at the Congressional Research Service.

A Caucasian woman with short curly blonde hair participates in a panel discussion.

Audrey Kurth Cronin

“We went from nothing being related to counterterrorism in the 90s—which was a little frustrating for me—to everything being within the framework of terrorism. And I think that’s an enormous problem.”

ISIS has morphed into a stronger and altogether different threat, she says. “I’m afraid that if we just keep thinking of everything as being terrorism, we’re going to completely miss the best ways to counter ISIS.”

A common theme in her research is about how conflicts end, and she explored the demise of terrorist campaigns in a 2011 book.

A Jacksonville, Florida native, Cronin is from a Navy family and moved often. “It’s really ironic that I ended up in academics because when I was a kid I hated school. I was always the new kid with the wrong accent, and the wrong clothes,” she recalls.

In the 1970s, her father was the Naval attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. During that time, she had a strange moment that sounds tailor-made for an episode of The Americans. While Cronin was a teenager working in the embassy, a woman in her thirties befriended her. She turned out to be an American spy with the CIA, and she was one day picked up by the KGB.

“I think she was probably hanging out with me as cover. Or maybe keeping an eye on me. I don’t know,” Cronin says now. This woman, Marty Peterson, was later featured at the International Spy Museum in Washington.

Cronin’s time in the Soviet Union heightened her interest in national security. “This was during the Cold War, and I thought, ‘Well, I need to contribute to making sure that we don’t end up in a nuclear war.’ So I ended up going into security studies and international relations,” she says.

She completed her undergraduate degree at Princeton, and she later got a Marshall Scholarship to earn her M.Phil and D.Phil at University of Oxford.

Naturally, her international affairs work has enabled extensive traveling to many countries. Now, all of those experiences contribute to her scholarship and teaching at AU.

“I feel very fortunate,” she says. “I’m having an extremely interesting life.”

Elizabeth Thompson, Mohamed Said Farsi Chair in Islamic Peace

In joining the SIS faculty in D.C., professor Elizabeth Thompson is hoping to engage in the public debate. And with expertise in Syria—one of the world’s war-torn hot spots—her voice could add depth to a contentious issue in U.S. foreign policy circles.

Thompson says that to comprehend the present, you need to examine the past. “There’s something in the public conversation that we’re missing, without a historical perspective,” she says.

Some people look at the Middle East and just think “violence,” but there’s a lot more to the story, she says. Her work is oriented towards Syria’s World War I era creation, and she’s writing a book called After Lawrence: Woodrow Wilson and the Brief Promise of Arab Liberalism.

Around this time, President Wilson’s rhetoric emphasized self-determination and democracy. As Arabs convened in Damascus, they ratified an extremely democratic constitution to show their capacity for independence. “Two weeks after they ratified their constitution, the French tanks rolled in,” she says.

A Caucasian woman with shoulder-length wavy hair.

Elizabeth Thompson

“People in the Arab world had thought they were finally going to be included as full humans in humanity,” she explains. “It is the experience of having been let in, and then shut out—exclusion—that creates conditions where rejectionism gains traction politically.”

Born in New Jersey, Thompson later moved to Michigan. In the post-1967 riots period, she went to a predominately African-American high school in Detroit. “It had an impact on me, in terms of understanding the basic injustices that are embedded not only in our system, but—soon I would discover—in the global system,” she says.

After her undergraduate years at Harvard, she got an internship in Cairo. It was a formative experience for her, shattering misconceptions about the region. “The people were so nice. And it just didn’t fit well with the image of Arabs on TV, and I think that got me interested.”

She later went to grad school, earning a master’s and Ph.D. from Columbia University. She was most recently a history professor at University of Virginia.

School of Public Affairs

Nathan Favero, Public Administration and Policy

Like a lot of young students, Nathan Favero’s academic path was shaped by a professor. Yet it just so happened that work done by his mentor, Kenneth Meier at Texas A&M University, also appealed to Favero. “I originally gravitated towards the questions that were more applied, and Ken was the one doing those,” he recalls.

And so Favero studied government and bureaucracies, with a focus on internal management, performance, and race/ethnicity. He’s now an assistant professor at AU’s School of Public Affairs. Meier remains at Texas A&M, but he’s scheduled to come to AU as a visiting scholar in the spring.

Favero earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M, before staying on to finish his doctorate there in 2016. His new position at AU caps an unusual journey.

He was brought up by conservative Christian parents outside of Denver, Colorado. Family practice and religious beliefs led them to homeschool Favero, and all of his friends were homeschooled as well. Though he describes it as somewhat isolating, he made a healthy transition at Texas A&M.

A Caucasian man with dark hair pulled back from his face and a beard.

Nathan Favero

Favero partly chose Texas A&M for its conservative student campus, but he now speaks about his political evolution to more liberal inclinations.

“It was a really gradual thing for me, kind of deconstructing a lot of things that I believed,” he says. “I’m still a Christian and go to church and everything like that. But a lot of my worldview has changed.”

One research project he’s working on examines “performance funding,” an increasingly popular idea to reward already high-performing schools. Think tanks, from the conservative American Enterprise Institute to the left-leaning Brookings Institution, have promoted this strategy. But Favero and an academic colleague’s early findings indicate that weaker public universities will struggle even more under these policies.

For someone who just finished graduate school, Favero has already published quite a bit of research. But once he started working with Meier, he just kept going. “I’m fascinated by the world,” he says. “So whatever I’m around, I kind of get fascinated by.”

Carla Flink, Public Administration and Policy

Government budget battles can seem frustrating and impenetrable to the average American. Yet for Carla Flink, the budgeting process became a window into political influence. And the decision-making, she says, is about so much more than simple accounting.

“What I love about budgets is that a lot of people just think they’re numbers on a page. But for me, it’s not really studies of numbers. It’s studies of power. If you can get more money, and you can influence how funds are spent, then that’s a major part of controlling the political process,” says Flink, a new assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs.

That’s not to say that Flink is averse to numbers, as she earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics. But that subject matter was not just a major, but a gateway. “I love math, and a lot of my work is extremely quantitative. But I always wanted to use my math as a tool to become a better researcher and writer,” she explains.

A Caucasian woman with sandy, shoulder-length hair.

Carla Flink

Flink eventually earned her Ph.D. in political science from Texas A&M University, and she specializes in public administration, public policy, and public budgeting.

She got an early exposure to politics growing up in San Antonio, Texas. Her father is an elections judge, and she’d help set up signs and join him at polling stations. To her consternation, her parents made her attend Girls State, a mock state government program run for Texas youth. “But I ended up enjoying it, and then wanting to be more involved in learning the political system,” she recalls.

Flink was also a bit of a jock, and she went to University of the Incarnate Word on a volleyball scholarship. “I played volleyball all four years, and got the surgeries afterwards,” she says.

Most recently, Flink was an assistant professor at University of Texas at San Antonio. In her new job in SPA, she’s joined by a good friend and fellow Aggie Nathan Favero (see above). She says AU has been welcoming, and she’s already impressed with her students.

“They’ve been very motivated, and they make intelligent comments in class,” she says. And the budgeting process—the complexity, the number of players—is an all-consuming discipline. “The best part of teaching is that I learn so much, too.”

Here is a rundown of the other new tenure-line professors.


Nathalie Japkowicz is a new professor of computer science. Japkowicz’s research interests include big data and artificial intelligence.

Michael Alonzo will be an assistant professor of environmental science. He’s been a postdoctoral program fellow at NASA.

Braxton Boren will start in the Department of Performing Arts in 2017-18.

Nicole Caporino, an assistant professor of psychology, has done research into child and adolescent anxiety disorders.

Julia Chifman, a new math and statistics professor, earned her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky.

Elizabeth Cotter, previously a professorial lecturer at AU, is now an assistant professor of health studies.

Andrew Demshuk is an assistant professor of history. His research specialties include Germany and Central Europe.

Molly Dondero, assistant professor of sociology, was a national child health and human development post-doc fellow at Pennsylvania State University’s Population Research Institute.

Dustin Friedman, an assistant literature professor, previously taught in Singapore.

Ignacio Gonzalez Garcia, who studies inequality and financial macroeconomics, will join the Economics Department in 2017-18.

Ethan Mereish, an assistant professor of health studies, did a post-doc at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University.

Paul Sullivan, new to the Economics Department, has been a research economist at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Perry Zurn is an assistant professor of philosophy. Zurn will start next year, as he’s currently doing a post-doc with the Center for Curiosity at University of Pennsylvania.


Michael Mowchan is a new assistant professor of accounting and taxation. He was previously an instructor at Arizona State University.


Susanna Campbell will start this spring as an assistant professor at SIS. She’s been a post-doc researcher at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

Megan Stewart will come to SIS in 2017-18. She has researched the intersection of civil war and state formation.

Yang Zhang, a new assistant professor, earned a Ph.D. in sociology from University of Chicago.

American University Washington College of Law

Susan Franck is a new professor of law. Her research interests include contracts, international investment, and law and psychology.

Rebecca Hamilton, an assistant professor of law, has been deputy director of a human rights institute at New York University School of Law.

Anita Sinha, also an assistant law professor, was a practitioner-in-residence at AUWCL’s Immigrant Justice Clinic.

Editor’s note: While most of the new professors started in 2016-17, a few are scheduled to join AU this spring or in the next academic year.

Three New Deans

Camille A. Nelson is the new dean of the Washington College of Law. You can read more about her here.

John T. Delaney is now the dean of the Kogod School of Business. He has a research background in dispute resolution and labor-management relations.

Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy is a professor and the new dean of the School of Education. She was formerly vice provost, faculty affairs at Johns Hopkins University.

Tags: College of Arts and Sciences,Featured News,Kogod School of Business,Provost,Research,School of International Service,School of Public Affairs,Washington College of Law
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News Photos: 6F463D9B-5056-AF26-BE11A57F4F16FE41
newsId: 6E1353B4-5056-AF26-BEE4341E4ADF107E
Title: MBA student improves his educational ROI at Kogod
Author: Carson Creehan
Subtitle: Student Spotlight: Sam Schofield, FTMBA ‘17
Abstract: Sam Schofield, FTMBA '17, was no stranger to business, but working on Cybersecurity issues and global consulting is a new ballgame.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 09/26/2016

When Sam Schofield, FTMBA ’17, was looking at MBA programs, he knew he wanted a program that offered the best return on his investment--both inside and outside the classroom.

Schofield was no stranger to the business world prior to starting Kogod’s Full-Time MBA program (FTMBA). He’s worked as a sales consultant for an international education company, and spent five years as a grant-writer for EcoLogic Development Fund, a non-profit that implements sustainable development projects with rural communities in Central America and Mexico.

Schofield wanted to take his business acumen to the next level “I needed to develop better management and leadership skills, and I wanted to gain more comfort with financial analysis and assessing an organization’s performance on multiple levels,” he says.

Given his interests in political economics, national security, and international consulting, Washington, D.C., was the perfect location to pursue an education. Schofield knew Kogod’s small cohort sizes and its diverse faculty offered the greatest ROI.

“Kogod’s FTMBA program exposes students to a wide range of disciplines a manager must understand in the 21st century,” Schofield says. “I understand business accounting practices and financial concepts much more deeply now. The program offers a strong focus on information technology, human capital management, and consulting methodologies--all tools that are becoming increasingly important in the business world.”

Kogod FTMBA students apply consulting skills learned in the classroom to real-life as part of their Global Consulting Practicum class. The course challenges teams of students to develop a project and strategic recommendations for an international client, and travel to its home country for one-on-one consultation meetings. This semester, Schofield is working on a global consulting project with a client in Colombia.

From cultural connections to cyber connections, Schofield’s work and interests have also expanded outside of the classroom. He works for the Kogod Cybersecurity Governance Center as a part-time research assistant. The faculty-led initiative focuses on providing actionable research for executives and board members for managing cyber risks in their organizations.

Schofield is excited about the Center’s work, and encourages other Kogod students to read their findings. “Cybersecurity is not just about understanding software, coding, and programming. It is the biggest threat to a business’ operational sustainability and intellectual property in this day and age,” he says “Managers need to understand how to make the appropriate investments in both human and technical capital to manage these risks and protect their businesses.”

After graduation, Schofield hopes to work for a boutique consulting firm in D.C., assisting multi-national companies in dealing with government relations challenges and risk-management in foreign markets. Schofield feels confident his education at Kogod has given him the tools to succeed in the future. “I thought Kogod would be a good environment to make new personal and professional connections and build strong relationships with faculty at the school,” Schofield adds. “It seemed like a very close-knit and collaborative environment--and it is.”

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News Photos: 6E9FDBC1-5056-AF26-BEF758850217AFBD
newsId: 34582D25-5056-AF26-BED41E54DE8DB993
Title: The Future, realized
Author: Michael Giampiccolo
Subtitle: My experiences on the FMA’s trip to NYC
Abstract: Members of Kogod's Financial Management Association (FMA) traveled to New York City to meet with American University alumni and explore the field of finance.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 09/23/2016

As a member of Kogod’s Financial Management Association (FMA), one activity I look forward to is the bi-annual New York City networking trip. This year, we traveled to NYC on Friday, September 16, where we met with American University alumni and gained valuable insight into the field of finance.

I first went to New York during my first semester in FMA. I was a new college student who was eager to learn about the world of finance, and the FMA trip was the perfect opportunity to do so. I met wonderful alumni who shared their experiences at American University with me--specifically what made them stand out at Kogod School of Business.

Flash-forward to my current year as a sophomore, where I have taken a few of my core business classes and have attended many of Kogod’s seminars. From my accounting classes to a Brooks Brother’s Professional Dress Panel, I’ve gained invaluable knowledge that’s helped me understand the fundamentals of business. 

On this year’s trip to New York, we visited multiple financial institutions where Kogod alumni work. Since this was my third trip, and because I’ve got a year of business school under my belt, I was able fully apply what I learned in the classroom to the real world.

One of the best parts about Kogod are the opportunities it provides to experience what work in your field is like outside of the classroom. Visiting these banks and talking to people in positions I hope to hold helped me to decide to become an Accounting major. It inspired me to network with employees of companies of major firms, such as Goldman Sachs. I even met one person who I now email on a regular basis to receive professional mentoring and guidance. 

I’ve also developed stronger connections with my fellow Kogod students, both personally and professionally. FMA events, such as workshops and our weekly meetings, have allowed me to develop friendships with my fellow students that are interested in similar career paths. Meeting upperclassman is also beneficial, as older students provide advice on everything from which classes to take, to internship leads.

I look forward to applying what I’ve learned at Kogod to future FMA trips, and to my professional life outside of school. I will continue taking advantage of Kogod’s resources and alumni advice in forging my own career path. The skills I have attained from Kogod, and the experiences I have had in FMA, will help me realize the future I envision.

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newsId: A2BC52B9-5056-AF26-BE2FDBB101E46BCC
Title: Don’t Worry. Be Ready
Author: Carson Creehan
Subtitle: Student Spotlight: Sarah AlAbdulmuhsen FTMBA ‘17
Abstract: Sarah AlAbdulmuhsen knew business was always in the cards for her, but the exact direction she wanted to take wasn’t clear. She believed that Kogod’s Full-Time MBA program would lead her in the right direction.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 09/19/2016

“Don’t panic. You will figure it out eventually.” That’s Sarah AlAbdulmuhsen’s, FTMBA ‘17, advice to prospective students considering an MBA program. While business was always in the cards for her, the exact direction she wanted to take wasn’t clear.

AlAbdulmuhsen believed that Kogod’s Full-Time MBA program would lead her in the right direction. As an undergraduate Business Administration major concentrating in Marketing and Global Supply Chain Management, AlAbdulmuhsen had visions of running her own business and traveling the world. With these goals in mind, the FTMBA program was extremely attractive to this budding entrepreneur and avid traveler.

“The global consulting project was the main reason I picked Kogod,” she said. “I love to travel and see new countries and experience new cultures.” The project, part of the Global Consulting Practicum class, gives students a chance to practice their consulting skills in a different culture. Teams of students develop strategic recommendations for an international client, and travel to their home country for one-on-one meetings.

In a few months, AlAbdulmuhsen will travel to India and will work with General Electric on a wastewater treatment project in various villages. “Kogod is giving us the opportunity to apply what we’ve learned to a real life consulting project because they realize there is more to learning than just sitting at a desk and reading slides,” she says.

Hands-on experience, coupled with exposure to different business fields, offers students the chance to explore their interests. “The beauty of the FTMBA program is that the first year you get to take a lot of core classes,” she says. “I found this helped me decide what I wanted to do, because I got a glimpse of what it would be like to work in marketing, accounting, operations, etc.”

AlAbdulmuhsen also benefitted from the program’s small class sizes. With cohorts of roughly 30 students, there is plenty of opportunity to ask questions and really connect with professors.

Kogod’s FTMBA program gave AlAbdulmuhsen the chance to meet influential people outside of the classroom. She networked during “Leadership Luncheons,” where students get face time with executives at some of Washington, D.C.’s most sought-after firms and agencies.

She even participated in a Summer Marketing internship because of a connection she made through Professor David Bartlett. AlAbdulmuhsen spent a summer working for a manufacturing company in Gaithersburg, Maryland. During her 10 weeks there, she juggled multiple projects while learning the ins and outs of the bolting industry, leaving with a confidence that she’d made a long-term positive impact.

Looking ahead, AlAbdulmuhsen hopes to start her career in commercial consulting and apply the business knowledge she’s gained through the program. “I’ll help companies find solutions to their problems. And having the ability to practice in class is definitely something that will prepare me for my future job,” she says.

What other advice does AlAbdulmuhsen have for students considering the FTMBA program? “Check out the information sessions Kogod hosts with different companies. I found that through these sessions and the projects we did in class, I was able to figure out what I want to do after graduation,” she says.

Because of her education in Kogod’s FTMBA program, AlAbdulmuhsen is ready and prepared for her future career and dreams. Now, there’s really no reason to panic.

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

“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
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newsId: BC7EC777-5056-AF26-BECD850EC549DE4E
Title: Alumnus Nick Kuhn Continues to Find New Ways to Give Back to AU
Author: Melissa Bevins ’02
Abstract: Alumnus Nick Kuhn, Kogod/MBA ’86 is committed to giving back to AU.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 06/25/2015

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
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Title: Alumni Admissions Volunteer Chair Shares Passion for AU
Author: Patricia Rabb
Abstract: Maria Luisa Ortega shares her passion for recruiting prospective students for AU.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 04/07/2015

"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
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newsId: 0D408C01-921E-548A-EB4181E6207C7945
Title: Social Innovation with a Global Focus: How Tighe Wall makes an impact
Author: Nina Cooperman, SPA/MPA '15
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Admissions,Alumni,Alumni Board,Entrepreneurship,Kogod School of Business
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newsId: DFFD8673-B6D2-D0DA-B948D65411B0F821
Title: Luchs Family Scholarship Recipient Molly Fallon Reaps Rewards of Hard Work, Giving Back
Author: Mike Rowan
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

As commencement festivities took over campus and fellow classmates fondly reminisced about the best times of their college years, Molly Fallon, Kogod/BSBA ’14, recalled a different kind of memory—arguing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tags: Center for Business Communications,Commencement,Giving,Kogod School of Business,Scholarship
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newsId: 03DCA440-F399-8A8D-CB557FB2BB853C68
Title: Business & Public Affairs: A Perfect Marriage
Author: Phil Recchio
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Alumni,Kogod School of Business,School of Public Affairs
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newsId: 3831F1B2-EEBA-1613-3AF966FAECEFF341
Title: Building Upon a Family History
Author: Mike Rowan
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Alumni,Kogod School of Business,Law
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newsId: 9CEFE363-E6F3-5998-2472761A0AE6C959
Title: Real-Life Experiences of AU Alumnus Hits the Big Screen in Blockbuster Hit Argo
Author: Stephanie Block
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

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 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,   

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Relations,Alumni Relations (KSB),Alumni Update,Kogod School of Business
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newsId: 2FAFB514-CFD4-D5DD-9B5A0653853F5285
Title: Alumni Offer an Unconventional Introduction to Shanghai
Author: Melissa Bevins '02
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

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,Kogod School of Business,School of Communication
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