newsId: AB9580A5-5056-AF26-BE5BEC150F932971
Title: Aces: Volleyball Star Honored by Patriot League
Author: Alexa Marie Kelly
Subtitle:
Abstract: After overcoming adversity as an underclassman, volleyball star Monika Smidova shines at the top of the Patriot League.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 12/18/2014
Content:

If it had been up to her father, Monika Smidova would have been an ice hockey player.

Smidova, BSBA '15/MSF '16, grew up in the Czech Republic, where ice hockey is the most popular sport. Her father, a former hockey player himself, hoped she would follow in his footsteps, but instead, Smidova found herself interested in volleyball. She fell in love with the sport and it eventually took her around the world and to the top of her league as a setter on the American University women's team.

A Big Year

This season was a big one for Smidova. She won the Patriot League Player of the Year award and the Setter of the Year award for the second year in a row. She excelled in the classroom as well, earning the league's Scholar Athlete of the Year award and a spot on the Academic All-American team.

For Smidova, her achievements are always a team effort.

"I certainly wouldn't be where I am without all my teammates who keep pushing me forward to make our team better," she said. "Scholar Athlete of the Year is a great honor, and thanks to all the support I get from [and] from Kogod and from everyone, I was able to do well in my classes."

Smidova appreciates her Kogod professors for understanding her hectic schedule as a student athlete.

"Every professor I ever talked to and needed a different day of turning in my paper or doing a certain project, they were always very flexible and helpful to me," she said. "Kogod overall includes great professors coming from all different backgrounds who also understand the student athlete responsibilities and limitations that we have."

Staying the Course

Her many honors are a counterpoint to Smidova's struggles while at AU as well. As a freshman, she struggled to learn English and keep up in her classes. But she thanks her teammates for pushing her to where she is today. They helped her practice her English, and she was able to pick up the language within a few months.

Then during her sophomore year Smidova faced her greatest challenge yet, when she tore her ACL during practice. Frustrated, she sat out the season, but continued to work hard academically. Smidova was selected for the league's academic honor roll that season.

"[But] everything bad turned out to be something good," she explained.

By not playing her sophomore season, Smidova will be able to play on the team next year, as a Master of Science in Finance (MSF) student. She already has taken masters classes and enjoys the classroom environment.

"The way professors teach [graduate] versus [undergraduate] is a little different," she said. "In grad classes, it's a more mature approach to students because they [expect] that you will do it by yourself, and it's up to you if you want to study it or no. The exams are hard, and I enjoy it."

Smidova may not jump into a finance career right away, however. She plans to play professional volleyball in Europe after graduating with her MSF. There she would be closer to her two sisters, who are back home in the Czech Republic. Smidova cheers them on in their own volleyball efforts.

"I try to follow them on the videos and try to be with them as much as possible, so staying in touch with my family is one of my biggest hobbies," Smidova said.

When not practicing, studying, or Skyping with her family, Smidova spends time with her teammates. It's the connections with her fellow players that Smidova will remember most about college.

"I [will] remember us touching in the middle of the court in the huddle," she said. "I [will] remember the faces and the feeling that I felt during those [moments], and it's not like any championship point or me scoring or my teammates scoring, it's the team effort that we put into it that I remember."

Tags: Athletics,Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: ABF83CA9-5056-AF26-BE34CB1DD3A3739B
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 0D4044A0-5056-AF26-BE35390DAE6732F9
Title: Not For the Faint of Heart: Whistleblower Impresses Difficulties of Fraud Investigation
Author: Laura Herring
Subtitle:
Abstract: Whistleblower Cynthia Cooper impresses the need for ethical behavior in her speech at the Annual Lecture on Fraud and Forensic Accounting.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 12/10/2014
Content:

Good people can make bad decisions.

They don't correct the cashier when they receive too much change. They can drive home after one drink too many at dinner. Or they can keep quiet when something seems wrong.

Good people keeping quiet is how individuals become complicit in crime, particularly white-collar crime, according to Cynthia Cooper.

Cooper, a former vice president of WorldCom and a fraud whistle blower, shared this assertion at Kogod's Annual Lecture on Fraud and Forensic Accounting last month.

"Not standing up to pressure from above and going along with improper requests is the first step down the path," Cooper said. "And when individuals don't have their own moral code, their own sense of ethical behavior to stand on, that's when bad decisions can have lasting effects."

Blowing the Whistle

In 2002, Cooper led her team of internal auditors at WorldCom, the largest long-distance telephone provider at the time, in uncovering billions of dollars' worth of fraud. Their investigation and findings turned out to be the largest case of corporate fraud in U.S. history to that point.

According to Cooper, taking the lead on an investigation at her own company, headquartered in her own hometown of Clinton, Mississippi, was one of the most difficult things she's ever done.

"These people [we investigated] weren't strangers. They were members of our community; our neighbors, members of our church," she said. "It made it difficult to separate our emotions from the facts, but that’s what we had to do."

Learning to trust the facts and to develop a personal code of conduct is what got Cooper through the investigation and its fallout. It's this personal code that she impressed upon the audience more than anything else.

"Just like corporations have mission statements, so should individuals," Cooper said. "It's important to think about what you want your life to mean and use that to define your values and live by them."

"When people go against their personal values, that's when their lives start to unravel from the inside. That's what we see happen in so many cases of white collar crime."

Rethinking Fraud

Cooper's frank discussion of life as a whistleblower and how she found herself leading an investigation as an internal auditor opened the eyes of several in the audience.

"Before tonight I'd always assumed I'd get my CPA [license]," said Jessica Castrignano, BSA/MSA '16. "But now I'm going to look into getting a Certified Fraud Examiner [license] as well."

Castrignano wasn't the only student to begin rethinking career options. First-semester accounting student Sahilen Shah, BSBA '17, had never given much thought to the roles of internal auditors or even accountants beyond tax season.

"It was really fascinating to see such tangible applications of accounting and especially of a type of accounting I had never heard of before," she said.

Getting young people to start asking questions and be interested in uncovering the truth is Cooper's goal.

"My hope is that [my talk] is just the beginning of the conversation," she said. "This is the next generation of fraud examiners and accounting professionals; we need them to keep thinking about these hard decisions."

Tags: Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 111B4D0E-5056-AF26-BEE7D65369209627
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: AA8C51C3-5056-AF26-BE4491A148E64FA2
Title: AU 2030: Sonya Grier
Author: Gregg Sangillo
Subtitle:
Abstract: Kogod professor studies the relationship between marketing and consumer health.
Topic: Research
Publication Date: 12/03/2014
Content:

This is the first profile in an ongoing series that focuses on the AU 2030 project. American University has invested significant resources in key subject areas that cut across schools and departments. Kogod professor Sonya Grier has conducted research in two of those disciplines: health and urban/metropolitan studies.

Compelling Research, New Data

As an associate professor of marketing in American University's Kogod School of Business, Sonya Grier has conducted pertinent, compelling research. She's looked at race in the marketplace, and the nexus between marketing activities and consumer health. Yet, as she points out, there's still so much consumer data—particularly related to minorities and obesity—waiting to be examined.

For instance, Grier co-authored a paper in a public health journal on the food shopping decisions of African-American females. But she says you'd be hard-pressed to find similar research in marketing. "I can't think of a study in marketing focused on black women," she says. This is surprising given that African-American women have high rates of obesity—an issue of growing national concern.

Grier says some academics are reluctant to incorporate race into their research, lest they be accused of having an agenda. "So that means that the research doesn't get done in a serious scholarly way," she adds. As Grier has discovered, it's imperative to understand the sociological aspects of health and eating.

Target Marketing

In a scene on the TV show Mad Men, the character Pete wonders why a certain television brand is only selling in cities like Chicago, Kansas City, and Washington, D.C. His bohemian colleague then informs him that these are "great jazz cities." Pete considers the possibility that those televisions are popular with black consumers, and in a later episode he's reading Ebony magazine to understand the African-American marketplace.

And so it was in the 1960s, the time period that the show depicts. PepsiCo became an early innovator in targeting African-American consumers, and Grier has written about some of this history. Companies began hiring more nonwhite senior-level executives, and in recent years they've poured money into lobbying minority organizations like the Congressional Black Caucus, Grier says.

Target marketing is quite relevant today. "Food marketers view minority communities as attractive because they have higher growth rates, they have increased purchasing power, and they have a strong consumer orientation—which means that they like variety and they want to buy different products," Grier explains. And the minority youth population is growing much faster than the white youth population, she adds.

"Minority youth tend to be cultural trend-setters. So they tend to want the newest things, are early adopters of new technologies and then people tend to follow them," Grier says.

Grier notes that target marketing is not intrinsically negative. But she has researched the troubling aspects of this phenomenon. Fast food franchises and other high-calorie industries have targeted African-Americans and Latinos, groups at a higher risk than whites for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

It's difficult to show causality, with a typical chicken-and-egg conundrum in marketing. "Are they targeting these groups because they eat a lot of these foods? Or do they eat a lot of these foods because marketers target them?" Grier asks.

Yet Grier found that proximity to a fast food restaurant can have a deleterious impact. In 2013, she co-authored a paper on this issue in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. "Students at low-income urban schools have almost a four times greater likelihood of being obese when they have a fast food restaurant nearby," says Grier.

The Ivory Tower and Beyond

Grier recently produced her second research movie, DogParks & CoffeeShops, which deals with diversity and consumption in three Washington, D.C. neighborhoods.

For her first film, Kogod professor Sonya Grier won the Judges' Choice Award at the 2013 Association for Consumer Research Conference.

As a visiting scholar at the University of Havana, she made her first film about Cuban citizenship and consumerism, which won a Judges' Choice Award at the 2013 Association for Consumer Research Conference.

Grier's foray into film stems from her love of photography and the movies. During her first year teaching at AU, she met School of Communication professor Larry Engel and decided to sit in during some of his documentary film classes.

A Detroit native, Grier had a formative high school experience in the Leadership Education and Development Program for gifted minority students. She chose to earn her undergraduate degree at a LEAD school, Northwestern University in Illinois.

"I've always been interested in target marketing. I remember when I graduated, my adviser said, 'That's not a field of study.'" But upon taking her first job out of school at Kraft Inc., she was increasingly intrigued by the racial composition of consumer markets.

"I worked on barbeque sauce at one point. And I thought, 'I don't understand why we don't have targeted ads on barbecue sauce. You can't tell me that black people don't consume a disproportionate amount of barbeque sauce.' But we didn't have targeted ads, because people just didn't think about it. And so that was a learning process for me."

She eventually earned both her MBA and Ph.D. from Northwestern. She's been a visiting scholar at the Federal Trade Commission, and she was a health and society scholar through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at the University of Pennsylvania.

At one point, Grier weighed the benefits of staying in academia full time. "I was trying to figure out this notion of 'Do I spend time in the Ivory Tower, or do I spend time on practical concerns?'" Yet by grappling with pressing issues like obesity and marketing, she's found a way to do both. 

Tags: Kogod School of Business,Featured News,Media Relations,Marketing Dept,Center for Health, Risk, and Society,Research
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: AD59B09E-5056-AF26-BE7C454E5969F362
Profile: 189688E4-B012-7477-A9C6F11ED727954D
Media:
newMediaIDList: undefined,DC08C9A0-5056-AF26-BE54D15781D0158F,undefined,D9777E6C-5056-AF26-BECDE2B324AA63E5
newsId: 0A8E6E45-5056-AF26-BEBFFE5A7BE62B8A
Title: A Feather in Their Caps: Patriot League Honors Kogod Field Hockey Stars
Author: Alexa Marie Kelly
Subtitle:
Abstract: Two Kogod student athletes stand out on the field and in the classroom, as the teammates celebrate the end of the field hockey season with Patriot League awards.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 11/25/2014
Content:

Four years ago, field hockey defender Rebecca Treharne BSBA '14/MSSM '16 sat in Head Coach Steve Jennings's office, meeting her teammates for the first time. The Wales native had flown across an ocean to be there and before she knew it, her time as an AU eagle drew to a close.

Again in Jennings's office last week, this time as a graduating senior, Treharne turns to her freshman teammate Angela Virtu, BSBA '18.

"I would just try to capture every moment you can," Treharne advises her fellow defensive player. "Probably it doesn't mean anything to you right now, but just take advantage of everything you can now because it goes by so quick."

The two Kogod student athletes received accolades from the Patriot League after the close of this season. Treharne was chosen as a unanimous first-team pick. This honor highlights her as one of the top 11 players in the league. It is an especially significant award for Treharne, since most defenders slide into the background in favor of higher-scoring positions.

On the other side of the defensive line, Virtu closed the season as the league's Rookie of the Year. Jennings said Virtu's "fearless" style on the field and Treharne's ability to always "dribble her way out of trouble" helped the student athletes stand out from their competition.

Family Traditions

Virtu does not believe she won the award on her own. For her, the recognition reflects not on her as an individual player but on the team as a whole.

"Everyone here pushed me and formed me into who I am and formed me to become the Rookie of the Year in a way, so I think [the award is] just the accumulation of all our team's hard work and our investment in each other," Virtu said.

Treharne also embraces the team’s unity and describes her fellow players as her family. The athletes even have "family" traditions passed down through the years. Treharne slides her fingers over her silver bracelet and explains the significance of the metal feather hanging in the links of the chain circle.

"This is what we got on my senior day," she said. "Obviously, we're the eagles, so people tend to have a feather just to remind them of [AU]."

Sustainable Education

She may have received her feather, but Treharnes's time at AU is not over yet. She will continue her Kogod education in the Master of Science in Sustainability Management (MSSM) program.

Having already taken classes as an undergrad that count towards her master's degree, she said her passion for renewable energy led her to the MSSM. Treharne may return to the U.K. to explore tidal energy — a green, cutting-edge power source drawn from natural ocean tides and currents.

"I feel like I have a creative mind, so I would like to try and design some new renewable technology that would help the energy crisis," Treharne said.

Full-Time Students, Full-Time Athletes

Treharne remembers winning the Patriot League tournament on home turf last year, her fondest memory of her four years with the team. AU field hockey achieved another impressive feat in 2013, as the student athletes earned the highest GPA of any Division I field hockey team in the country.

"It's a remarkable testament to how much they want to be excellent in everything that they involve themselves with," said Jennings. "Their performance in the classroom is really remarkable especially when you consider all the demands on their time with our team training and team travel, so they've done an amazing job."

Treharne compared balancing schoolwork and field hockey to having two full-time jobs. Virtu said this means she and her teammates "go at it 100 percent all the time", pushing themselves to their limits in the classroom and on the field. Still, Treharne graduates with no regrets.

"I really, really enjoyed it, and I wish I was a freshman again to go through all that [all over again]," she said.

Tags: Business,Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 0AE8A11F-5056-AF26-BE23711423C1712B,0B889D26-5056-AF26-BE91675A886E998B
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 0DD1B438-5056-AF26-BE3F140C6383FAE2
Title: More Data? No Problem. Kogod Prepares Professionals with New Masters of Science in Analytics Degree
Author: Laura Herring and Alexa Marie Kelly
Subtitle:
Abstract: With so much data in today’s world, companies crave experts to help make sense of it all. Kogod’s new Master of Science in Analytics program will help a new generation of business analysts succeed.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 11/25/2014
Content:

Every swipe of a credit card, click on a keyboard, or tap on a smartphone generates data.

This saturated landscape needs experts to provide insights about what all these numbers mean. To that end, the Kogod School of Business is launching its Master of Science in Analytics program (MSAn) so that tomorrow's business leaders will be data-savvy and effective.

"The very nature of society today is data-driven," said Assistant Professor Frank Armour, faculty program director for the MS Analytics program. "There's been this explosion of data that's still mostly unanalyzed and that's a gap we're looking to fill."

The interdisciplinary program will prepare professionals to enter one of the hottest fields in the business world. Companies need skilled analysts and educated managers to make key decisions based on data.

Designed for recent graduates, working professionals, and all those in between, the MS Analytics program will provide the skills necessary to advance careers. Graduates are ready to optimize financial performance and solve dynamic business problems. They can excel in careers as financial analysts, accounting forensic specialists, consultants and a variety of other much-needed positions.

Career development is at the heart of this degree. With its home in the nation's capital, Kogod grants students access to endless government, nonprofit, international and corporate firms. Students will tackle real-world business problems, partnering with local organizations to practice their analytics skills right away.

Degree Requirements

Each student spearheads an independent capstone project in partnership with a real business. Students learn from leading experts in the analytics field, as professors share their in-depth professional and academic experiences.

"Identifying and understanding what problems can be solved through analytics is both an art and a science," said Professor Alberto Espinosa, chair of the Information Technology Department at Kogod and the lead architect of the program. "The capstone experience is designed to give students a real-world chance to find these solutions."

Students can complete their degree in 12 to 24 months, depending on their focus. The 33-credit-hour program offers seven optional specializations, including financial quantitative analysis, accounting forensics, biostatistics, and computational statistics. Students can also choose from a spectrum of business electives to complement their analytics work or from courses in other AU schools and colleges.

"The goal behind our broad elective offerings is to offer students a way to compliment their already-chosen field of interest with an analytics skill set," Espinosa said.

Applications for the MS Analytics program are now being accepted and must be in by July 15 for Fall 2015 admission.

Tags: Business,Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 10191D48-5056-AF26-BE172B12BD365DDB
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 0C0B9CF5-5056-AF26-BE2D37EDD9B33E60
Title: Benefits of Whistleblower Programs Outweigh Costs
Author: Ericka Floyd
Subtitle: New research finds cases involving whistleblowers result in greater penalties, enforcement
Abstract: New study provides policymakers and regulators with data that proves the benefits of whistleblower involvement outweigh the costs.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 11/20/2014
Content:

Promoting and maintaining financial fraud whistleblower programs, such as those of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), is costly.

Cases involving whistleblowers require significant resources as they take nearly 10 months longer to complete. Rewards for whistleblowers who come forward with original information leading to an enforcement action can be large, ranging from 10% to 30% of monetary sanctions over $1 million. This past September, the SEC awarded $30 million to a whistleblower—it's largest award yet. 

But according to a new study coauthored by Gerald S. Martin, professor of finance at American University's Kogod School of Business, the benefits of whistleblower programs outweigh the costs as whistleblower involvement helps the SEC and Department of Justice (DOJ) build stronger cases against firms and executives accused of financial misrepresentation.

Increased Penalties, Greater Enforcement

The study, titled "The Impact of Whistleblowers on Financial Misrepresentation Enforcement Actions," found that on average, firm penalties associated with whistleblower involvement are $92.88 million more than when no whistleblower is involved. Executives and employees at firms with whistleblower involvement are fined on average $56.50 million more and are sentenced to prison for approximately 27 months longer. 

To conduct the study, Martin and his fellow researchers from the University of Iowa, Arizona State University, and Texas A&M University obtained a dataset of employee whistleblowing allegations through a Freedom of Information Act filing. The researchers merged this dataset with a comprehensive database of financial misrepresentation enforcement actions under Section 13(b) of the Securities Exchange Act created by the 1977 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The researchers estimate whistleblowers enabled regulators to successfully obtain additional judgments of $21.27 billion more than would have been obtained without their assistance. This increase in penalties accounts for 30% of the total $70.13 billion penalties assessed over the 35 year sample period from 1978 to 2012. 

Support for Increasing Whistleblower Incentives

Until now, research about the impact whistleblowers have on enforcement outcomes has been limited, yet policymakers continue to push for increased rewards for whistleblowers without regard to the economic benefits of doing so. 

"Last month U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called on Congress to increase rewards for whistleblowers to improve the DOJ's ability to conduct investigations and stop Wall Street misconduct," Martin said, citing a recent example. "This study provides the necessary evidence to inform policymakers on the ongoing debate about the efficacy of whistleblower programs and supports the increase of whistleblower incentive programs."

 

Tags: Media Relations,Kogod School of Business,Research,Featured News
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 42C2CD58-5056-AF26-BEFC7505DA4819AC
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 6AA52C67-99FC-DE57-1B3DB318512403DA
Title: Social Media Experts Divulge Insider Tips to Kogod Students
Author: Alexa Marie Kelly
Subtitle:
Abstract: A panel of digital communications professionals explored the importance of social media in today’s business landscape at a Business in the Capital event.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 11/07/2014
Content:

Social media is more than just selfies and hashtags, it’s a powerful tool that businesses should take seriously.

"Whether you like it, think it's transformative or think it’s annoying, you have to play ball," said Mark Kogan,JD/WCL '12, manager of a boutique public affairs firm, Ward Circle Strategies.

Kogan and other leading social media professionals from the area discussed their experiences at a recent Kogod Business in the Capital event, "How to Use Social Media Effectively in Business." The panelists discussed social media best practices to an audience of Kogod students.

"The role businesses should and can play in social media is to join conversations already happening and participate in ways that make sense," said Melissa Springer, vice president of client strategy at digital promotions agency Social Driver.

If executives do not see the value of social media, Springer said employees should show their reluctant bosses that people are talking about them online whether they like it or not. Businesses should be part of the digital dialogue, not ignoring it, Springer said.

These online conversations are particularly important during a crisis, according to LEVICK PR Senior Vice President Peter LaMotte. In the case of a product recall, social media can "protect, prevent, and fix" problems, LaMotte said. He suggested that in this case a company's CEO could apologize quickly on social media for the defective items.

Geoff Livingston, BA/CAS '94, founder of media strategy company Tenacity5 Media, described the importance of creating a "live moment" to inspire social media interaction with brands. A point well taken since, as the panelists spoke, audience members tweeted about their insights in real-time, using #AUTalksSocial.

As important as an online presence is to a company, Kogan stressed that social media is not "the most critical part" of a business strategy.

"It plays a role in a broader communications effort and in a brand building effort," he said.

LaMotte described this broad strategy as a "soup of communications" that includes "old school PR", advertising and, of course, social media.

Rose Friedlander, BS/CAS/BSBA '17 found the event "incredibly enlightening". She hopes to apply these insights to her work as internet marketing director for AU Ambassadors, a group that helps prospective students.

"They mentioned two huge aspects of what was helpful when looking for jobs, which is know how to write really well and also understand social media [beyond] just what it is and how to use it," she said.

Executive-in-Residence Thomas Kohn, who organized the event, chose social media as a panel topic because his students engage with it everyday.

"Doesn’t everyone want to work in a field that is genuinely interesting to them and something they might do anyway?" Kohn said.

Tags: Business,Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 6AFAD208-AD41-FEE7-6BCFC8642D8ABDC9
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: D15167DE-9D16-C64D-F050172A42A5CF87
Title: Kogod Group Wins National Award for Empowering Women in Business
Author: Alexa Marie Kelly
Subtitle:
Abstract: Kogod Women in Business empowers female MBA and masters students to excel in business, in partnership with the National Association of Women MBAs.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 11/04/2014
Content:

Among 850 people at a national conference, Kogod students stood out.

Their work for the American Heart Association, partnership with DC women’s technology groups, and even intimate faculty brunches all helped the Kogod Women in Business (KWIB) club shine above other student groups at the National Association of Women MBAs' (NAWMBA) annual conference in October.

NAWMBA named the all-female group of 50 Kogod graduate students the 2014 Student Chapter of the Year. Dedicated to women's career success, NAWMBA evaluated club membership, activities, and communication with its national organization to determine the winning chapter.

KWIB Co-president Lisa Andrusyszyn, MBA '15, appreciated recognition on a national stage, especially because Kogod offers the most valuable MBA for women in Washington, D.C. Forty percent of students in Kogod's two MBA programs are women, more than any other business school in the District.

"[NAWMBA] has a lot of resources and a huge network, and I think we didn't quite realize how intense that was until the conference," Andrusyszyn said.

For Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and New Programs Jill Klein, faculty advisor for KWIB, the national award just validates the club's exceptional work.

"There continue to be challenges for women as they move into the workforce, and I think the club is doing great things," Klein said. "They advocate well for women across Kogod."

The NAWMBA conference's location in Arlington, Virginia provided an opportunity for KWIB to engage with NAWMBA and Kogod on a broader level. Klein felt that the "biggest win" for club advocacy was convincing Kogod to sponsor the NAWMBA conference.

KWIB leaders presented their proposal for why Kogod should co-sponsor NAWMBA's conference to the Kogod Center for Career Development. As a sponsor, Kogod received conference tickets and NAWMBA memberships for students and staff, and the school also facilitated a conference session on resume and cover letter writing.

"Even though I did not get to attend the full conference, the short time I was there I got a lot of networking in," said KWIB Co-President Lauren Tyburski, MEd '14/MBA '15. "Everyone had a common goal and was trying to help each other make connections and help people get to where they're trying to go."

When applying for MBA programs, Andrusyszyn liked Kogod's location in the nation's capital, but it was the ambitious students who really helped her make up her mind.

"Out of the people I spoke with, I was most impressed with the students here compared to other schools." Andrusyszyn said. "I like the attitude of the people here much better."

Last February, 100 people attended the club's fourth-annual Red Dress benefit, raising awareness for heart disease as the number one killer of women in the U.S. This year, KWIB wants to invite more people in the community to the fundraiser.

KWIB members have already begun planning the next Red Dress event for Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. Though past benefits were only open to Kogod faculty and students, this year's tickets will be available to anyone who's interested. To learn more about tickets for the event, email KWIB at kwib.info@gmail.com.

Tags: Business,Kogod School of Business,Kogod Women in Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: D1C7242E-99F4-9DE0-F21F2E759D3E0972
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: DA856938-062D-8629-ED46E6D6700BD7A4
Title: Returning to the Other Side of the Table
Author: Devin Symons
Subtitle:
Abstract: AU alumni advise and recruit current students at the Job & Internship Fair.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 10/30/2014
Content:

"There is always more than one way to approach the passion you want to pursue," says Kayla Ma, CAS/SIS/BA '14. "You're excluding exciting possibilities if you limit yourself."

This time last year Ma was starting an internship with the USAID Office of Inspector General (OIG), an internship she found through a Career Center email. After graduating in the spring with a dual degree in Arabic studies and international relations, she was offered a full-time position with OIG. 

Now she's back helping with recruitment for her organization, and she's not alone. 

Of the recruiters who came to represent over 140 organizations at the fall Job and Internship Fair, 40 were AU alumni—a fact that Pat Oltmann, the Career Center's alumni program coordinator, says is great for everyone involved. 

"Not only does meeting alumni allow current students to make an instant connection, it also shows them what's possible," says Oltmann. "On the alumni side, they know what our programs are all about, and seem consistently happy with our students and what they have to offer."

These and other recruiting events are also a chance for alumni to provide current students with the kind of opportunities they themselves benefited from. 

Grant Steinhauser, KSB/BS/BA '13, understands this personally. An AU alum recruited him for a position at Ryan, LLC, the company he now represents. His advice to current students: on-campus recruiting. 

"It's so easy when you have the ability to interview at Kogod or the Career Center," he says. "You've got to take advantage of the opportunities that are available to you as a student at AU. There's no excuse not to."

Steinhauser was active in developing his own professional opportunities. He says he went to multiple interviews as a student and that each experience helped him learn what to expect and how to present himself. 

Roopa Purohit, SOC/BA '04, sees that kind of dedication and energy every time she returns to campus. She is the development and communications manager at Everybody Wins! DC, a literacy education nonprofit where she has been working for eight years. 

"AU students tend to be well-prepared and proactive," says Purohit. "It's good to see freshmen at the Fair, because it means they're already on the right track." Everybody Wins! DC was itself founded by an AU alum who wanted to give back to the community.

Instead of simply adding a student's resume to a pile, Janice Chiverton, SIS/MS '10, gives grateful students tips on how to improve and make their resumes stand out. Chiverton, who works for the Administrative Office of the Courts, says her time at AU played a key role in helping her make her way in the world. After growing up with few economic advantages, she wants to make sure others can benefit from the experience and knowledge she's acquired in her career.

"Every day is a job interview," she says. "Keep your eyes open, read everything, and pay attention. If no one else wants a particular assignment, take it on for the experience. Be smart and engage with the work, and you'll naturally get yourself noticed."

Seuk Kim, KSB/MBA '05, vice president at SunStar Strategic, notices how potential applicants present themselves, and wants current students not to forget about the little things.

"Pay attention to anything that will make you stand out. Like printing your resume on resume paper," says Kim. He also mentions that whether networking online or in person, "Being from the same school gives you an opening."

Marc St. Hilaire, career advisor for the School of International Service, has more to say on that point.

"All good networking starts from a point of commonality," says St. Hilaire. "Current AU students have that potential for instant rapport with alumni, thanks to their shared experiences. People genuinely like to be helpful, and that's especially true for people they have this kind of connection with."

Those connections were easily apparent at the Job & Internship Fair. As Ma accepted resumes from students, a former classmate of hers spotted her through the crowd and ran up, smiling, to give her a hug. 

Networking is a lot friendlier when you call the same school home.

 

Current students and alumni are encouraged to attend upcoming Student-Alumni Networking Receptions. The first reception is November 13, 7:00-8:30 p.m. in MGC 3-5.

Tags: Career Center,Career Center Services,Career Development,College of Arts and Sciences,School of Communication,School of International Service,School of Public Affairs,SIS Career,Kogod School of Business
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: DB0E9BC0-E344-6485-C89208E157D7052D
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
newsId: 7361F229-B21E-9237-8DBEEBC1F1E633B0
Title: AU Students Tour Solar Power Farm Set To Supply University
Author: Ravi Raman and Sam Sheline
Subtitle:
Abstract: Students visited the largest of three solar power sites that together will provide 50 percent of American University's electricity needs by the end of 2015.
Topic: Environment
Publication Date: 10/28/2014
Content:

"This is the best field trip I've ever been on!" beamed Leah Carriere, moments after disembarking from a Bell 429 helicopter, its rotors winding down behind her. Carriere was one of ten graduate students who joined Chris O'Brien, director of the Office of Sustainability, in Elizabeth City, NC, for a tour of Capital Partners Solar Project, the largest non-utility solar installation east of the Mississippi. The students, from the Kogod School of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, and the School of International Service, visited the largest of three solar power sites that together will provide 50 percent of American University's electricity needs by the end of 2015.

AU's ambitious goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2020 requires the university to devise innovative ways to bring green electricity to the campus. To that end, the arrangement that created the Capital Partners Solar Project is a landmark achievement for type and scope. Teaming up with George Washington University and the George Washington University Hospital, AU brokered a deal with Duke Energy Renewables – the utility company handling power distribution – to create three large solar farms within the three entities' grid system. This means that while the actual electrons created by the solar panels will be used in and around Elizabeth City, they in turn reduce demand for coal and gas-fired "brown" energy in the same grid system from which AU and its partners at George Washington draw their power. This switch is equivalent to taking 12,500 cars off the road annually.

The deal also makes financial sense for AU and its partners. Traditional, extraction-based power generation faces market volatility and increasing regulatory pressure. The cost of the raw materials for brown power generation can be quite high and make unpredictable swings. Sunlight is free. The 20-year deal with Duke provides fixed-commodity pricing at a rate lower than the current mix of "brown" sources of electricity. Factoring in an increase in brown power prices over time, the solar purchase could yield $14 million in total savings throughout the 20-year deal.

AU currently buys renewable energy credits (RECs) equivalent to 100 percent of its electricity. But those RECs are from a mix of projects across the U.S. and those sources change over time. Those RECs are "unbundled" from the green power that produces them. By committing to purchase the power and the RECs from the Capital Partners Solar Project, AU has locked in its green power supply for two decades at a fixed price. In this way, the supplier is guaranteed to have a customer, which reduces risk and results in a better price.

"In addition to securing our own green power supply, the bigger benefit of this project is that it can be used for education," according to O'Brien. "AU's own carbon footprint is small when compared to the climate challenge as a whole. But if we can teach students to understand the opportunities created by this challenge, they can replicate projects like this one, and innovate new solutions of their own. That is where an educational institution can really have an impact."

The students on the field trip are studying sustainability in various disciplines, including business, science, policy, and development. They met with representatives from Duke Energy Renewables and SunEnergy1, the contractor handling construction. Sustainability faculty and staff from Elizabeth City State University also joined the group to learn how the University of North Carolina system of schools might replicate this landmark deal to provide renewable energy for their own campuses.

The students also looked forward to touring the installation site. However, their enthusiasm turned to excitement when they found out that the tour would not only include a walk-through of the active construction site, but an aerial view by helicopter as well.

From aboard the helicopter, the students got a breathtaking view of the late afternoon sun glinting off the small area where the installation of solar panels had already begun. Teams of about a dozen workers were mounting self-rotating, three-foot-by-five-foot polychrystalline panels to their housings. The panels were wired up 10 to a row, 40 to a group, and repeated across the landscape. Although less than one-fourth of the panels were installed at the time of the students' visit, all of the panels were expected to be in place within three to four weeks. The entire site spans more than 400 acres of what was previously agricultural land. In all, the three separate installation sites will house 243,000 panels and produce 52 megawatts (MW) of power.

The first site will begin power generation later this year and the other two sites will be online by the end of next year, when AU will be able to enjoy power without a carbon footprint made possible by this landmark green energy deal.

Tags: Business,College of Arts and Sciences,Environment,Green,Kogod School of Business,Office of Finance & Treasurer,School of International Service,Sustainability Programs,Featured News
Publication:
Photos: 0
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
News Photos: 736FC75D-D3E0-9CE1-9C68E015E1B6AA8E
Profile:
Media:
newMediaIDList:
 
newsId: 0D408C01-921E-548A-EB4181E6207C7945
Title: Social Innovation with a Global Focus: How Tighe Wall makes an impact
Author: Nina Cooperman, SPA/MPA '15
Subtitle:
Abstract: Tighe Wall, Kogod/MBA ’11 shares his thoughts on his time at AU and how his experience at Kogod helped him find a career with a truly global reach in social and digital strategy.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 11/05/2014
Content:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Relations,Alumni Relations (KSB),Alumni Update,Kogod School of Business
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 3EF99500-0BC3-D233-B76531EDA9653D98
Media:
newsId: 2FAFB514-CFD4-D5DD-9B5A0653853F5285
Title: Alumni Offer an Unconventional Introduction to Shanghai
Author: Melissa Bevins '02
Subtitle:
Abstract: Jamie Barys and Kyle Long met while studying abroad and have turned their passion into a business.
Topic: Alumni Profile
Publication Date: 11/15/2012
Content:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Relations (KSB),Alumni Update,Kogod School of Business,Athletics
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: AC817E56-F1BB-268D-95555FA02F622120
Media:
newsId: 8517B938-AE8D-F9FA-4D85778FD32D39F3
Title: Taking the World by Storm: Two AU Alumnae Inspired to Travel
Author: Heather Buckner, SPA/MPA '10
Subtitle:
Abstract: Imagine spending Christmas in Germany, New Year’s in Ireland, and your birthday en route from Austria to Italy all in the same year. This dream trip is two AU alumnae’s reality as they travel around the world for their “American Gap Year.”
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 01/14/2011
Content:

Imagine spending Christmas in Hamburg, Germany; New Year’s in Galway, Ireland; and your birthday on a train from Vienna, Austria, to Rome, Italy, all in the same year. This dream trip is two AU alumnae’s reality as they travel around the world for what they’re calling their “American Gap Year.”

The two 2006 AU grads are former roommates Laura Hockensmith, KSB/BSBA, and Stephanie Vavonese, SPA/BA.

Hockensmith had been working for Houlihan Lokey since the summer after her AU graduation, first as a financial analyst and then as an associate. Vavonese had been working for Accountants International since the fall after her AU graduation, first as an associate staffing consultant and then as a staffing consultant. They had both heard about Europeans and other young adults from other countries who had taken “gap years,” but knew few Americans who had followed suit.

“We were both at the points in our lives and careers where we knew we needed a change,” Hockensmith remarks. “We decided that it was ‘now or never’ to take this trip because of limited commitments at the time.”

As Hockensmith notes on their travel blog, “It’s a lot to give up (job, apartment, settled lifestyle, seeing family and friends regularly), but there is definitely so much to gain. This trip will allow me to visit new countries, experience cultures so different from my own, meet people that I would never meet elsewhere and also take some time for myself and develop new perspectives on who I am and what I want to do.”

The two have traveled to a long list of places in North, Central, and South America, Europe, and the Middle East already, as they’re over halfway through their year. Following stops in Mauritius and South Africa, they will next travel to several destinations in Asia before returning home in July 2011.

If you’re thinking that their trip has been all play and no work, think again. “On the road, every moment is a time to do something new, meet new people, etc.,” Hockensmith notes. “So far during our travels, we’ve met so many amazing people, some of whom we’ve met with again around the world after the initial meeting – inspiring us to change our initial itinerary.”

Hockensmith and Vavonese had several experiences traveling prior to this year-round trip, including several family vacations (both domestic and international), study abroad in France and New Zealand (respectively) while students at AU, and other travels together in the years since they met as students at AU.

Hockensmith and Vavonese met through the AU club crew team during their freshman year at AU and have remained close friends ever since. They remained active with AU, often attending events in the D.C. area. Hockensmith also served on the Young Alumni Chapter Board before beginning her travels and even though she is halfway around the world, has agreed to help serve on her five-year reunion planning committee for the Class of 2006 to be held in Washington, D.C. this October.

If you’re interested in getting involved with your class reunion, please e-mail reunion@american.edu with your name, grad information, and how you’d like to get involved.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Relations (KSB),Alumni Update,Alumni Weekend,Kogod School of Business,School of Public Affairs
Suggested Home Page:
Profile:
Photos: 0
Success Story Photos: 851C99EA-B365-FD44-EBC8872A05F72642
Media: