newsId: 1E7F4841-5056-AF26-BE8B7FCCECC29151
Title: Building a Broader Perspective
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle: Sonya Grier’s Marketing for Social Change Class Pushes the Status Quo
Abstract: Find out how Sonya Grier is using experiential learning to help her Marketing for Social Change students find broader connections in their work.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 04/19/2017
Content:

Experiential learning isn’t just part of Sonya Grier’s teaching. It’s the core of it. Grier structures her classes around projects that challenge students to “see broader connections in their work. Marketing isn’t just about business,” she says.

She teaches students to apply their skills across academic subjects—and careers. Assigning interdisciplinary, hands-on work allows students to explore how marketing, Grier’s area of expertise, intersects with other fields.

“This approach gives students a deeper perspective of the issues at hand,” she explains. “It also exposes them to professions inside and outside of business that utilize marketing skills.”

Grier’s Marketing for Social Change class is a prime example. The course explores the role of marketing beyond commercial gain, requiring students to use it as a catalyst for societal change.

As a community-based learning (CBL) class, Marketing for Social Change students work with a DC-area non-profit on a specialized marketing project. The assignment focuses on fostering community engagement and integrating students into different organizations in Washington, DC, and beyond. “There are so many incredible businesses in this city,” Grier says. “This project allows students to see beyond campus and embrace marketing challenges DC businesses face.”

Students have worked with organizations such as DC Department of Health, WMATA, Arcadia Farms and multiple centers on the American University campus. Grier thinks they learned the most, however, working with Unity Healthcare.

Students developed a social marketing plan for the company’s partnership with Capital Bike Share, aiming to increase bicycle usage among underserved segments of the population. Class groups researched their target audience, organized their findings and proposed a plan of action for Unity Healthcare. “They conducted deep research,” Grier says, “and learned a great deal about barriers lower income populations face.”

The project has implications well beyond bicycle usage. Bike share riders are typically middle class and white, says Grier. The students’ work encourages other population groups to use this service, which has a positive influence on obesity levels and physical well-being.

"The project taught us how to use marketing principles for societal good,” says Denis Sgouros, MSMKTG ‘17. “It's personally rewarding knowing I contributed to a campaign that could help a community in DC.”

Grier’s experiential approach also shows students what a career in marketing is actually like. Students interact with a real client and are required to work together on teams. This exposes them to problems they’d face as a marketing professional, and teaches them about different roles on teams. “Project-based learning integrates the concepts we study,” Grier says. “Student learn much more applying theory to practice.”

Students don’t just invest in projects off campus, though. Grier believes engaging the AU community is just as important.

The diversity and inclusion project, offered in Spring 2016, provided the chance to interact with different groups across campus. The class developed marketing plans to increase student inclusiveness at AU, with hopes of creating deeper connections among cultural groups. Student teams spoke with students, faculty and administrators about different on-campus problems, such as gender issues or racial segregation; they then translated their research into actionable plans.

“It helped them think about campus in a different way,” Grier says. “These projects personally affected students because they were connected to the campus community.”

The project supports Grier’s goal of exposing students to broader perspectives. Its interdisciplinary nature challenged them to examine different viewpoints. Students saw first-hand how marketing overlaps with problems outside of business.

Grier wants to achieve this in every project she assigns. “I hope students realize that marketing and business connect to everything. It’s not just the private sector—it’s non-profits, the entertainment industry, public resources.”

This broader approach leaves a lasting impact on her students and in the communities they work with. It’s reciprocal: students gain experience working with different real-world organizations, and businesses get to use students’ expertise.

Marketing is not just for sales—it’s also for social impact. Grier’s experiential projects encourage students to think “out-of-the-box,” empowering them with the knowledge to drive societal change.

“It gets students to think of community problems as business problems,” says Grier. “And I think that touches people’s lives.”

Interested in learning more about Kogod's undergraduate and graduate marketing offerings? Visit http://www.american.edu/kogod/ for more information.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 1ED8FD29-5056-AF26-BE7FA0D2A92A72B5
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 1562D6C4-5056-AF26-BEBB41352EE61003
Title: Using Failure as Fuel
Author: Jessica Joy De Jesus
Subtitle:
Abstract: David Trone, co-founder of Total Wine & More, speaks to the Kogod community about his rise to success
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 04/18/2017
Content:

Kogod is proud to feature influential people in business. David Trone is one such individual in the business world and the Kogod community. He is the owner and founder of Total Wine & More, which grew from a small store in Delaware to 153 stores nationwide. Trone serves on the Kogod Advisory Council and Board of Trustees, and he came to speak to the Kogod community about how he achieved success through hardship. “Mr. Trone’s example is one of curiosity, philanthropy, and business acumen that is an inspiration to Kogod’s students and faculty,” says Andrew Deal, Kogod staff member who coordinated the event.

Humble Beginnings

It all starts on a farm.

David Trone grew up on a small family farm in Pennsylvania. His father was a fearless entrepreneur, and he was never afraid to start new ventures. Trone ran every shift on their farm, and he put in the effort to be a success. His father’s fearless attitude gave Trone the tools to rise up in the business world. “If you put in the time, and work harder than anyone else, you will succeed,” says Trone.

Learning How to Fail

But success is not without failure. After one of his fathers’ risky ventures, the Trone family filed for bankruptcy and lost their home. “Failure can be catastrophic,” says Trone. However, failure does not equate to defeat. Trone recognizes that failure is disheartening, but this did not deter him from getting back on his feet. After his farm went bankrupt, Trone helped support his mom and younger siblings. He then went on to the Wharton School of Business working as an egg broker on the side. He took something he knew – agriculture -- and used it to his advantage. He went on to work for small business in the spirits industry, which lead him to open Total Wine & More.

Trone says: “You need to embrace and love failure. Because with failure comes learning and respect.” Through failure, Trone learned not to fear risks in business. “At the end of the day, if you play it safe, you’re going to arrive at mediocrity,” he says. “Being a leader in business means to be bold, and respect others when they also take risks.”

Want to be a CEO?

Trone lives and breathes business – he loves his job, and going to work every day. Trone wasn’t always set out to become a businessman, though He studied the liberal arts as an undergraduate. “You don’t need to be an accounting maven to be successful at business. The best people in business are generalists.”

Trones liberal arts background made him a better writer, which is an important skill in any career path. Good thinking builds better teams, which builds a better company. As an employer, Trone looks for people who have different worldviews and experiences. Diversity in thought not only enhances team members, but builds leaders.

“Run to the problem!” Trone believes that in order to be a strong person in business, it’s good to face problems head on. When you run to the problem you bring two things: “your intellect and your experience. When you pair that together, you can turn those problems into opportunity.” Leaders in business may not be experts in one thing, but they use their experiences in life to lead their company. In order to be a CEO, one must be knowledgeable in different areas, and approach problems with a firm hand.

Looking Forward

Trone is involved with non-profit work, donating over 6 million dollars to various organizations and over 12 million dollars through his foundation. Heisn’t complacent with his business. Trone says: “Making money isn’t the end game.”

As Trones’ business continues to grow, and his profits steadily increase, Trone looks forward to a future in another industry: public service. He ran for a house seat in a congressional race last spring, and came in second place out of nine. His loss didn’t turn him away from public service; instead, he reevaluated his campaign and what he can do better for the next race.

From the farm to the office, and now onto public service, Trone does not quit. Trone’s humble beginnings is what made him a success, and he urges the the Kogod community to navigate the world of business with hard work and respect.

Follow the Kogod School of Business on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay updated on future events! Visit our website for a calendar of upcoming events.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 15B119C2-5056-AF26-BEA9292AB68CDAA5
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: D8E93A9D-5056-AF26-BEC31AE5DC376605
Title: How High?
Author: Warren Flood, MSA ‘18
Subtitle:
Abstract: AU men's basketball player Warren Flood continues his success at AU in the Master of Science in Accounting program -- Go Eagles!
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 04/17/2017
Content:

Circa 2013, when I played basketball for the American University men’s basketball team, my athletic abilities continued to progress. I could touch the net with my head, lift twice my body weight and could run faster than most people I knew. Was that my limit, though? Could I go higher?

Just like my basketball accolades, I always ask myself how high I can go in life. Should I push the bar like I did with basketball, or should I be satisfied with just touching the net?

If someone told me a few years ago that I’d now be in my second semester in Kogod’s Master of Science in Accounting program, I would have not believed them. But, here I am. I decided to come back to see how high I could go, and I knew that Kogod would help me push the bar.

As a former student athlete, I crave challenges—both physical and mental. The biggest hurdle I faced coming back to school was the idea of becoming a better me. What is a better me? Going higher and surpassing my current limitations? Suppressing my self-doubt? What I found is that being at Kogod is becoming a better me.

Kogod is like the gym, with classes as the weights and its resources as the exercises. The faculty and staff are your trainers. If you go to the gym and pick up a weight but don’t lift it, you won’t get any results. However, with the right trainer you can be pushed well beyond your own limitations.

The questions you need to ask are: what is your purpose, how do you do it, and what is your vision? Graduate school is a strategic management move. Just like my decision to play basketball, I needed to know what my role was on the court, how I could perfect it, and how far I could go as a player. How high?

I have been working out very hard at Kogod. I have lifted an ample amount of weights and completed a myriad of exercises—all due to my trainers. As a result, I am a Beta Gamma Sigma member, graduate ambassador, tutor and a graduate assistant. What I know is there is no ceiling at Kogod. No limitations and no self-doubt.

How high? I am soaring like an eagle!

For more information on Kogod’s Master of Science in Accounting program, click here. 

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: D90ACEB2-5056-AF26-BEA2A2ACECF7DE78
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: B0D50EE3-5056-AF26-BEF03FB65FC5236F
Title: Taxation: Learning Skills for Life
Author: Jessica Joy De Jesus
Subtitle: How a Masters in Taxation can distinguish you in the workforce
Abstract: Kogod’s Master of Science in Taxation (MST) program gives students skills to distinguish themselves in the workforce. It opens career paths that support flexible and lucrative careers.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 04/11/2017
Content:

Sitting on the desk in the MST Program Director Don Williamson’s office is one volume of the Internal Revenue Code. It’s a dense book – thick and daunting to open, and it’s filled with every aspect of tax law. Williamson emphasizes that the Internal Revenue Code is “just a book,” though. “What we help students do is to not be scared by it. If you train yourself to not be intimidated by the Internal Revenue Code, you can face anything in business.”

This is what the Masters in Taxation Program strives to accomplish. The MST Program gives students the tools to think clearly, concisely and critically – skills that can be applied to any profession.

Williamson mentions that many undergraduates don’t consider studying taxation because they do not want to concentrate on one subject. However, this is a misconception. Studying taxation does not limit a students’ skills; on the contrary, a degree in taxation will distinguish and empower a student in the workforce. “You don’t become an expert in tax,” says Williamson. “You become an expert in thinking.”

The MST Program at the Kogod School of Business is the only Master of Science in Taxation program in the area, and one of the few offered on the East Coast. Washington, D.C. is a second classroom. Students become more than just observers – they are active learning members in the city. The Tax Policy class takes trips to the Treasury Department, the US Tax Court, the Joint Committee on Taxation and the IRS’ national office.

In the classroom, Williamson utilizes examples from movies to show the students how taxation can be applied to every aspect of life. The students develop estate plans for Don Corleone from the Godfather, consider the employee status of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and debate the custody status of the parents in the Blind Side. “There’s nothing in life or death that you can’t apply to the Internal Revenue Code,” says Williamson. “Just like the Bible.”

Interested in the MST Program? Here's more information. 

Apply now!

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: B101A5F1-5056-AF26-BE7747E7930B33F4
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 71E9DF37-5056-AF26-BE960424722CC1E4
Title: Bergen, Norway: A Week in Review
Author: Jamie McCray
Subtitle:
Abstract: “Studying in Bergen at NHH surpassed all of my expectations. It was an experience of adventure, learning and reflection that I will never forget.” –Kogod Corporate Entrepreneurship student
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 04/10/2017
Content:

March 11-19, 2017, students in Kogod’s Corporate Entrepreneurship (MGMT 396) class traveled to Bergen, Norway, for the courses’ inaugural study abroad trip. The trip, while centered on entrepreneurship education, was also about something bigger: international, cross-cultural exchange. Students met professors and peers from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), visited local businesses and worked with NHH students—all through the lens of Norwegian culture.

“The AU-NHH program is experiential learning at its finest,” says Siri Terjesen, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Kogod and Interim Director of the AU Center for Innovation. “AU students get to work alongside international students from another world-class business school.”

The trip wasn’t all business, though. Students toured Bergen, explored the countryside surrounding the city and even went on a skiing excursion. “Although our time in Norway was brief, we were still able to stop and experience life as if we lived there,” says Kiah Morrison, BAPS ’18. “I loved every minute of it.”
_______________________________________________________________________________

Tara Flanagan, BSBA ’17. One of the first days we were there, one of our professors gave us a personal tour of Bergen. He showed us maps from hundreds of years ago, a castle that was over 1,000 years old and historic churches that people still use today. We finished at the city’s history museum, where we reviewed much of what we saw in person.

Kiah Morrision, BAPS ’18. I loved the free time we had to explore the city on our own. One afternoon, another student and I spent several hours in a café and got to experience Bergen as a local. We had coffee, read books and people watched—probably what I would have done in Washington, DC, on a day off. It gave me a real sense of the city’s day-to-day culture.

Tyler Williams, BSF ’18. Our trip to the BLOM fish farm was one of the most unique educational experiences I’ve ever had. We traveled by boat to reach the farm; when we arrived, our presenter, who has been in the industry for nearly 30 years, was waiting to greet us. We learned about the fish farming process from start to finish, and how they aim to raise a healthy, 4.5 kilogram fish. We toured the facility where 70,000 salmon and trout are currently being harvested, and even got to feed them!

James Dourdas, BSBA ’17. Hiking Fløyen Mountain, one of Bergen’s major outdoor attractions, was incredible. At its top there’s a lodge where you can stand and see all of Bergen. The views extend for miles past the city. It’s absolutely breathtaking.

Elizabeth Pearson, BAPS ’19. Back in Bergen, we attended a meeting with several of Norway’s leading experts in aquaculture. We learned why fishing is valuable to the economy, and about products that are changing the industry for good.

The biggest lesson I learned is that businesses can act as policy makers. The consumer’s (in this case, the fisher’s) demand for a product can act as a substitute for policy in that consumers will use it without being told. In this way, businesses become social actors and influence policy indirectly.

Margaux Shoff, BSBA ’20. One of our trips was to Voss Resort, a local skiing area outside of Bergen. This was my favorite excursion because we reconnected with nature and bonded as a group. We were surrounded by mountains, snow and picturesque houses—it was gorgeous.

Max Hernandez, BSBA ’17. We also had the chance to explore outside of Bergen via train. The tour was called “Norway in a Nutshell,” but the country’s landscape proved much more. It sounds corny, but it was like taking the Polar Express into Narnia. Between the cold, rain and open countryside, the terrain was truly magical. I felt like an explorer embracing each sense to its limit.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Learn more about Kogod’s Spring Break Norway exchange program, as well as the upcoming Summer 2017 course.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 7253ECB9-5056-AF26-BE2AA1ABEAE6113A
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 0CC883B7-5056-AF26-BE2629196DE5F241
Title: Pitfalls and Profits: H. Kent Baker Co-Authors Book Exposing Investment Traps
Author: Gregg Sangillo
Subtitle:
Abstract: The Kogod School of Business professor writes about managing your money.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 03/29/2017
Content:

With so much quality scholarship published every year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But the new book co-authored by American University’s H. Kent Baker should not only expand your mind, but help you save a significant amount of money. Baker and Vesa Puttonen, a finance professor at Aalto University in Finland, recently released Investment Traps Exposed: Navigating Investor Mistakes and Behavioral Biases (Emerald Publishing).

It’s a highly readable overview of personal financial management, and it’s largely aimed at a general audience. So, if you’ve been kidding yourself for years that you understand terms like “leveraged ETFs,” Investment Traps Exposed can be quite valuable. Yet even for people with business experience and economics degrees, the book has much to offer.

“We think it will be beneficial to many investors. It can help create awareness, and help them make better financial decisions,” says Baker, a university professor at AU’s Kogod School of Business. “If people follow what we suggest, they have the potential to fall into far fewer traps, make fewer mistakes, and avoid those biases that can be hurtful.”

Financial Literacy and Scams

In the book, they write about scams and pyramid schemes that can hoodwink innocent people in the market. Bernie Madoff ran a notorious Ponzi scheme, and Baker says even some experienced investors got sucked into his web of deceit.

People tend to assume it’s only old people and less educated investors who get conned, but Baker says that’s contradicted by data research.

“You find many people who are very knowledgeable get pulled into these investment scams. Why? Because the scammers on the other side, they’re really marvelous—if I can use that term for them—at manipulating people,” Baker says in an interview.

However, if you learn about financial markets, you’re generally better equipped to handle your money. As Baker stresses, gaining financial literacy is imperative. But that takes time and energy, and it sometimes requires more money.

The book details various kinds of financial advisers and brokers, and there are pros and cons of any type of professional you hire. Some brokers operate on commission, and they have a personal stake in having you make more transactions. But a fee-based adviser charges a percentage of a client’s “assets under management,” meaning that adviser has less incentive to ask people to make risky investments.

“I’m not castigating all brokers, but brokers are held to a different standard than you’ll have with someone who happens to have a Certified Financial Planner designation,” he explains. “The CFP uses a fiduciary standard, so they have to make decisions that are going to be in your best interest. Brokers are often held to a suitability standard that says, ‘We have to do something that is going to be suitable.’ Well, something that is suitable is not necessarily in your best interest.”

The ‘pay money to save money’ notion is a tough sell for many financially-squeezed Americans, but this book includes a salutary quote from oil well firefighter Red Adair. “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do a job, wait until you hire an amateur,” he said.

All Kinds of Biases

Yet even if people are informed about financial matters, they’re still susceptible to bias. The book examines some of the biases—cognitive, emotional, and social—that can lead people to make unwise investments. With social biases, a person might latch onto the investments du jour favored by their friends and neighbors. One form of this is herding, the groupthink that helped set off the 2007-2008 subprime mortgage crisis.

“When the market has been going up—which it certainly has been in recent years—people will look at that and say, ‘Gee, I want to get in on that rise,’” says Baker. “They’ll often jump into the marketplace when the market is high, and that’s really the worst time to get in. You want to buy low and sell high, not the other way around.”

Planning for the Future

Likewise, it’s important to be aware of your biases before you invest. And, as Baker notes, even being cognizant of those biases won’t necessarily keep you from repeating the same mistakes. That’s where planning and forethought can help you stave off your worst tendencies.

Strategic planning is a vital part of this process, he says. They recommend devising an “investment policy statement,” while figuring out how much risk you’re willing to tolerate. For example, he says, you might plan 40 to 60 percent of your portfolio to be in stocks. If one of your investments is rising fast—with stocks comprising 75 percent of your holdings—you’ve gone beyond your initial risk ceiling and should rebalance your portfolio.

“But most people will not do that. They’ll say, ‘Wow. I’ve gone ahead. Look at how well these stocks have done. I’m not going to get rid of them,’” he explains. “Getting rid of a certain portion of your portfolio that’s done well is going to seem counterintuitive. But that’s what you should do.”

In other words—despite what Gordon Gekko thinks—greed is not always good.

One theme that surfaces in the book is the problem of “short-termism.” People spend now or seek immediate profit, while ignoring the long-term implications of those decisions. Yet if new AU graduates enter the workforce, Baker recommends they do one thing quickly: set up a 401 (k) or other retirement account. Otherwise, they’re leaving employer contributions—essentially, free money—on the table.

“You want to start early. And one of the reasons for that is because of the compounding effect of money over time,” he says. “It can make huge differences for individuals for decades.”

Tags: Featured News,Finance,Finance and Real Estate,Kogod School of Business,Research
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 0D346B9D-5056-AF26-BE18C1DDA393FB54
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 0F83473B-5056-AF26-BE90DF9CDAD95BBC
Title: Millennial Index Advises DC Businesses
Author: Jamie McCray
Subtitle:
Abstract: What do Millennials in the Greater Washington Area want from the workforce? Kogods Millennial Index Report indicates what Millennials in the workforce want, and how employers can adapt to the rising labor force of young workers.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 03/29/2017
Content:

Kogod’s Greater Washington Millennial Index isn’t just about research. It’s about perception. “How consumers – in this case, Millennials – see things drives reality,” says Dawn Leijon, head report researcher and Kogod Executive-in-Residence. “Understanding this reality tells us how to satisfy them.”

Leijon, a veteran of the consumer marketing industry, believes this is critical to a strong economy in Washington, DC. As the fastest growing employee segment in the US economy—one that’s projected to make up 50% of the workforce by 2020—Millennials are, quite literally, the future.

That makes examining their needs as consumers and employees not just important, but essential.

This fact was Leijon’s motivation for spearheading the report. First released in 2016, with its second edition in 2017, the Millennial Index measures the group’s satisfaction with living in the DC metro area. The report aims to inform businesses about what satisfies Millennials. “If employers don’t know what Millennials want, they won’t be able to retain them. This could be a huge problem, since not only is this group the largest part of our workforce, but is also one of the most innovative,” Leijon says.

So, what do Millennials want? Bars, restaurants and a vibrant nightlife? The report found this stereotype is a huge misnomer. Millennials actually want very traditional things—a decent salary, healthcare, a 401K. The “Millennial as a job-hopping partier” is a matter of age, rather than generation.

“When you’re in your early 20s, your priorities are different than when you’re in your late 20s or early 30s,” Leijon explains. “We found that Millennials are generally regular ‘working stiffs.’”

Offering a competitive salary and benefits package is more difficult than one might think, however. Washington DC’s high cost of housing—currently 2.3 times the national average—poses a serious challenge. The DC area’s salaries compared to its cost of rent, goods and services, aren’t that much higher than other large US metropolitan areas.

Leijon thinks DC businesses need to get creative. What, other than money, can they offer?

The Index shows that Millennials are also interested in non-traditional benefits, such as extended paternity leave, home ownership savings accounts and sabbaticals. Supplementing incomes with additional high-value benefits could increase a company’s employment appeal, helping attract and retain more Millennials over time.

The DC area’s long commute is also a cause for concern. “Only New Yorkers surpass us in time spent getting to and from work, and that’s just a matter of minutes,” Leijon says.

According to the report’s data, 60 percent of Millennials are driving to work “often or always.” They aren’t happy about it, either—80 percent agree that “traffic in the DC area is horrendous.”

Lejion notes this is only partially due to the DC area’s large population. She also attributes the heavy traffic—and dreaded commutes—to many companies’ suburban locations. “There are a lot of job centers in the suburbs, so people have to travel further for longer,” she says. “And they have to drive because Metro stations are few and far between outside the city.”

Whatever the cause of the area’s lengthy commutes, one fact is certain: businesses need to address it. Remote work schedules, coordinated ride shares, metro benefits—Millennials indicated these industry standard solutions are priorities when considering a job.

Leijon is happy she helped bring a business perspective to the Index’s economic research. The report is the first of its kind to do so, framing the data through the eyes of a business owner rather than an economist. “We brought industry thinking into the policy world, giving companies actionable insights they can use immediately.”

Her research will not stop with the 2016 report. She plans to write a third report set for release in early 2018. The updated research will help her track trends in data, painting a clearer picture of Millennial’s needs over time. “Consistent annual tracking shows whether we’re heading in the right direction, and it surfaces evolving needs and attitudes,” she says.

The Millennial Index, while certainly about perception, is also about impact. The report helps business owners think ahead, encouraging them to address what their current and future workforce needs. Addressing DC Millennials’ needs is an investment in the city’s future, which makes this “incredibly valuable research,” says Leijon. “I feel confident the Index will serve the DC business community for years to come.”

For more information about the 2016 Greater Washington Index, click here. Read the full report by clicking here.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 0FA6C780-5056-AF26-BE2CC7F63AC12D81
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: D1DE22D3-5056-AF26-BE96F86BC6BA696D
Title: 5 Ways to Ace Your Kogod Application
Author: Adekunle Ladipo, MBA ‘17
Subtitle:
Abstract: Kogod graduate student gives insight on ways to polish and perfect your Kogod application.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 03/27/2017
Content:

“How can I possibly stand out?” While trying to create the perfect application for business school, you might start doubting all your accomplishments—maybe even believing your application lacks that “umph.” I myself had mixed feelings about my MBA application to Kogod. However, you will discover that just like any job or school project, the process is quite stress free if you plan adequately.

Here are my five tips on how to ace your application:

1) Avoid common mistakes. It’s the small things that really count. Saying “you’re” instead “your” really makes admission consultants question, “If you can’t pay attention to one little detail, will you be able to handle business school?” Typos may be common, but remember admissions hasn’t met you yet; you want to make sure your grammar is error free. Take time to proofread your work and make a good impression.

2) Sell your achievements. It isn’t just about what you have accomplished. It’s about how those accomplishments make you unique. While this is the case, a lot of applicants have a difficult time communicating that to admissions. Everyone has special experiences. The key is emphasizing how what you’ve achieved makes you ideal.

3) Know your post-graduation goals. I’m a believer that life has a certain way of taking you down paths you never thought you’d go on. You need to have a good idea of what you want to do, though. You want your application to appear logical to admissions; you want to show them that you’ve thought long and hard about your career.

4) Address any concerns in your application. Sometimes applicants think a certain grade, unfit achievements, or gap in their career makes them a less stellar applicant. As long as you address any concerns in your interview or admissions essay with good reason, there should not be a problem. Communication is one of the most important skills in business school. You need to tell them why, despite any short fallings in the past, you are fully prepared for admission into your program of choice today.

5) Double check your work. Proofread. Edit. Proofread. It might be easier said than done, but I have made mistakes in the past by not double checking things. It’s too late after you click “submit,” so take your time to cross your I’s and dot your T’s – oops, I mean dot your I’s and cross your T’s! Once you are finished, you’ll be less doubtful that you’ve made a careless mistake that could set you back!

May 1 is the final deadline for Kogod’s Full-time MBA program, and all Master of Science programs. Learn more and apply online today.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: D1F0A875-5056-AF26-BE2E5A3B4ABBC7EC
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: D51E4F3C-5056-AF26-BE39D9732B0C9658
Title: AU Sophomore Empowers Turkish Women
Author: Jessica Joy De Jesus
Subtitle: What giving hope means to Esra Ozturk, MBA ’19, founder of Arzo
Abstract: Esra Ozturk, MBA ’19, started her own company in 2016 with the assistance of the Kogod incubator. She strives to empower Turkish women and women around the world through Arzo.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 03/23/2017
Content:

“If you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have power, then your job is to empower somebody else.” – Toni Morrison

Esra Ozturk lives by these words as she navigates being a full-time student and founder of her own company, Arzo. Ozturk is a sophomore born in Istanbul, Turkey, and raised in Northern California. Growing up, she spent her summers back in Turkey with her family. She witnessed the injustice of gender inequality and poverty in Turkey which juxtaposed her life in the United States.

Ozturk recognized the struggles women in her own family have faced for generations. They’ve faced challenges that inspired Ozturk to take action to empower Turkish women. This is how Arzo was born.

Arzo is an Islamic name which means “hope.” Hope is what Ozturk and her team of Arzo Ambassadors strive to give to Turkish women in impoverished communities.

Ozturk developed a buyout system for employing these women. First, an Arzo Ambassador, who is a Turkish native, hand picks women’s products, ranging from jewelry to clothes. They “buyout” their products on the spot, providing the women with more compensation in one day than what they see in months. Their products are then sold online, typically doubling the income they would have earned in Turkey.

This process isn’t easy. Ozturk’s greatest challenge is balancing her studies and her company. “I think finding that balance has been a big struggle,” Ozturk says, “but it’s the work ethic and perseverance that separates the good from the great.” Ozturk draws this positivity from her ambassadors, the women she works with and her mentors from the Kogod Incubator.

The Kogod incubator is an entrepreneurial resource available to students and recent alumni that helps them start their own non- or for-profit businesses. The incubator provides the entrepreneur with office space, a mentor, and other resources one may need in starting a company. “The directors of the incubator have been mentors both professionally and personally, always pushing me to think outside the box and to challenge myself to be a better leader every day,” Ozturk says. “I couldn’t imagine for a second doing everything alone.”

Although Ozturk faces many daily challenges, Arzo has seen a lot of success. Ozturk has sold a wide range of products from shirts to jewelry and scarves. For Ozturk, the company itself is a success because she knows that Arzo has already provided Turkish women with income they need. This past year, Ozturk was chosen as a NextGen Designerfinalist. She was able to showcase her clients’ designs at a runway show during DC Fashion Week.

Ozturk hopes her work will empower others to pay it forward. “Everything I’m able to accomplish feels incredible because I know I’m giving back and giving forward. I’m helping those in Turkey with the opportunities I’ve been given here, giving forward to people who work with me, and setting the precedence for others who aspire to do the same.”

Read more about the Kogod incubator and apply for a venture here. Support Arzo and check out the website here.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: D5326564-5056-AF26-BEF1EDF36079821E
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: D51E4F3C-5056-AF26-BE39D9732B0C9658
Title: AU Sophomore Empowers Turkish Women
Author: Jessica Joy De Jesus
Subtitle: What giving hope means to Esra Ozturk, MBA ’19, founder of Arzo
Abstract: Esra Ozturk, MBA ’19, started her own company in 2016 with the assistance of the Kogod incubator. She strives to empower Turkish women and women around the world through Arzo.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 03/23/2017
Content:

“If you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have power, then your job is to empower somebody else.” – Toni Morrison

Esra Ozturk lives by these words as she navigates being a full-time student and founder of her own company, Arzo. Ozturk is a sophomore born in Istanbul, Turkey, and raised in Northern California. Growing up, she spent her summers back in Turkey with her family. She witnessed the injustice of gender inequality and poverty in Turkey which juxtaposed her life in the United States.

Ozturk recognized the struggles women in her own family have faced for generations. They’ve faced challenges that inspired Ozturk to take action to empower Turkish women. This is how Arzo was born.

Arzo is an Islamic name which means “hope.” Hope is what Ozturk and her team of Arzo Ambassadors strive to give to Turkish women in impoverished communities.

Ozturk developed a buyout system for employing these women. First, an Arzo Ambassador, who is a Turkish native, hand picks women’s products, ranging from jewelry to clothes. They “buyout” their products on the spot, providing the women with more compensation in one day than what they see in months. Their products are then sold online, typically doubling the income they would have earned in Turkey.

This process isn’t easy. Ozturk’s greatest challenge is balancing her studies and her company. “I think finding that balance has been a big struggle,” Ozturk says, “but it’s the work ethic and perseverance that separates the good from the great.” Ozturk draws this positivity from her ambassadors, the women she works with and her mentors from the Kogod Incubator.

The Kogod incubator is an entrepreneurial resource available to students and recent alumni that helps them start their own non- or for-profit businesses. The incubator provides the entrepreneur with office space, a mentor, and other resources one may need in starting a company. “The directors of the incubator have been mentors both professionally and personally, always pushing me to think outside the box and to challenge myself to be a better leader every day,” Ozturk says. “I couldn’t imagine for a second doing everything alone.”

Although Ozturk faces many daily challenges, Arzo has seen a lot of success. Ozturk has sold a wide range of products from shirts to jewelry and scarves. For Ozturk, the company itself is a success because she knows that Arzo has already provided Turkish women with income they need. This past year, Ozturk was chosen as a NextGen Designerfinalist. She was able to showcase her clients’ designs at a runway show during DC Fashion Week.

Ozturk hopes her work will empower others to pay it forward. “Everything I’m able to accomplish feels incredible because I know I’m giving back and giving forward. I’m helping those in Turkey with the opportunities I’ve been given here, giving forward to people who work with me, and setting the precedence for others who aspire to do the same.”

Read more about the Kogod incubator and apply for a venture here. Support Arzo and check out the website here.

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: D5326564-5056-AF26-BEF1EDF36079821E
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
 
newsId: 20E56AF5-5056-AF26-BEA77647713FF6B3
Title: AU Launches Crowdfunding Platform
Author: Joanna Platt
Subtitle:
Abstract: UFUND is a platform the AU community can use to directly fund projects and initiatives.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 12/15/2016
Content:

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

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

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

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


 

Tags: Alumni,College of Arts and Sciences,Giving,Kogod School of Business,School of Communication,School of International Service,School of Public Affairs
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos:
Media:
newsId: 5E8EE866-5056-AF26-BEA80C8D8EE87DBD
Title: Chris Kalna, Kogod/BSBA ’08: Kogod leads to Carlyle Group
Author: Patricia Rabb
Subtitle:
Abstract: Chris Kalna is an AU Alumni Board member and associate vice president at The Carlyle Group.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 01/08/2016
Content:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Update,Kogod School of Business
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 5EB9AC1A-5056-AF26-BEEF8768EFDED7DC
Media:
newsId: BC7EC777-5056-AF26-BECD850EC549DE4E
Title: Alumnus Nick Kuhn Continues to Find New Ways to Give Back to AU
Author: Melissa Bevins ’02
Subtitle:
Abstract: Alumnus Nick Kuhn, Kogod/MBA ’86 is committed to giving back to AU.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 06/25/2015
Content:

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,Kogod Real Estate Club,Kogod School of Business
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: EFC41F07-5056-AF26-BE375F0D7FD4E818
Media:
newsId: D56DA56A-5056-AF26-BE4EDBCB72D14468
Title: Alumni Admissions Volunteer Chair Shares Passion for AU
Author: Patricia Rabb
Subtitle:
Abstract: Maria Luisa Ortega shares her passion for recruiting prospective students for AU.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 04/07/2015
Content:

"Growing up in Puerto Rico, and being the daughter of Cuban exiles, I decided to attend AU because it was by far the most international school I had visited," says Maria Luisa Ortega, Kogod/BSBA '85. "Coming from a family where politics and culture were always part of our daily conversation, Washington, DC represented the perfect environment for me." 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Update,Kogod School of Business
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: D5A62212-5056-AF26-BE7D89B76AC7CC4E
Media:
newsId: 0D408C01-921E-548A-EB4181E6207C7945
Title: Social Innovation with a Global Focus: How Tighe Wall makes an impact
Author: Nina Cooperman, SPA/MPA '15
Subtitle:
Abstract: Tighe Wall, Kogod/MBA ’11 shares his thoughts on his time at AU and how his experience at Kogod helped him find a career with a truly global reach in social and digital strategy.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 11/05/2014
Content:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Admissions,Alumni,Alumni Board,Entrepreneurship,Kogod School of Business
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 9AB88BF9-D486-8A3B-95796DBCC101EFF5
Media:
newsId: DFFD8673-B6D2-D0DA-B948D65411B0F821
Title: Luchs Family Scholarship Recipient Molly Fallon Reaps Rewards of Hard Work, Giving Back
Author: Mike Rowan
Subtitle:
Abstract: Her appreciation for debate aside, Molly Fallon can agree with her scholarship donor on one of their core values—the importance of giving back and paying it forward.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 05/29/2014
Content:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






 

Tags: Center for Business Communications,Commencement,Giving,Kogod School of Business,Scholarship
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: E04698A1-D57D-C17C-914654051283E716
Media:
newsId: 03DCA440-F399-8A8D-CB557FB2BB853C68
Title: Business & Public Affairs: A Perfect Marriage
Author: Phil Recchio
Subtitle:
Abstract: Ben, Kogod/MBA ’11, and Christina Macfarland, SPA/MPA ’11, entrepreneurially apply their skills in South Florida, while giving back to AU.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 05/15/2014
Content:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Alumni,Kogod School of Business,School of Public Affairs
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 041383EF-F5B3-8744-865E84D4D3D24DFA
Media:
newsId: 3831F1B2-EEBA-1613-3AF966FAECEFF341
Title: Building Upon a Family History
Author: Mike Rowan
Subtitle:
Abstract: After her valuable AU experience—and now her daughter’s—Mary McCarthy Hayford and her family are helping lay the groundwork for the university’s next generation.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 03/27/2014
Content:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Donor,Giving,Kogod School of Business,School of Communication
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 39915A23-AD89-0802-FD2F634DB2C52378
Media:
newsId: 251FAAB1-B60F-C90F-1B47B04B11252ED3
Title: Legal Eagle Utilizes AU Education to Establish Domestic and International Niche
Author: Milt Jackson
Subtitle:
Abstract: AU alumnus’ expertise in law impacts domestic and international cases.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 03/15/2013
Content:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Alumni,Kogod School of Business,Law
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 261E0B00-A9A8-A80E-DBFA985F0B354D87
Media:
newsId: 9CEFE363-E6F3-5998-2472761A0AE6C959
Title: Real-Life Experiences of AU Alumnus Hits the Big Screen in Blockbuster Hit Argo
Author: Stephanie Block
Subtitle:
Abstract: American University alumnus Mark Lijek, Kogod/MBA ’76, has lived quite the adventure—one big enough to create Hollywood Oscar buzz.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 12/12/2012
Content:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Relations,Alumni Relations (KSB),Alumni Update,Kogod School of Business
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 3EF99500-0BC3-D233-B76531EDA9653D98
Media: