newsId: AEA3A8C3-DCC8-90C7-6E0137E241197BC0
Title: President Burwell Meets AUCI Incubator Students
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: American University’s entrepreneurship incubator was full of anticipation as students fine-tuned their presentations. The young entrepreneurs were preparing to pitch to AU President Sylvia Burwell.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 09/20/2018
Content:

American University’s entrepreneurship incubator was full of anticipation last Monday morning as students chatted and fine-tuned their presentations. It was a pitch day—a chance for student business owners to introduce their companies. This was nothing new for most of the young entrepreneurs; they’ve spent months honing their ventures’ value propositions. Pitching to American University’s president, however, was a different story.

Sylvia Burwell, AU’s newly ordained president and former US Secretary of Health and Human Services, was the events’ primary audience and moderator. As an entrepreneur herself who’s spent her career building exemplary institutions, Burwell helped encourage, validate and challenge the students. Her presence also afforded them the chance to advocate for their passions to AU’s senior leadership—an opportunity not often available.

“We are delighted that Sylvia recognizes our students’ entrepreneurial mindsets are a core strength of our campus, and one to leverage as we build our future,” says Siri Terjesen, director of the American University Center for Innovation (AUCI).

The event began with a short introduction by Terjesen, followed by brief remarks from Burwell on the impact of entrepreneurs. You are change-makers, she affirmed, who are helping shape the future of business and of American University.

Rather than follow a formal pitch/presentation format, Burwell then stayed seated and engaged with each student entrepreneur around the table. Company founders offered brief, 2-3 minute descriptions of their work and their business’ missions. Fifteen ventures attended in total, spanning a range of industries, including mental health, media and education.

“We are inspired by our students who are focusing on a broad range of opportunities,” Terjesen says. “They embody our commitment to experiential learning.”

Throughout students’ pitches, Burwell remained open and curious, asking students questions about their missions and business goals. The event felt most like a conversation—a chance for venture-owners to share their visions, and for AU’s president to learn, reflect and talk with students.

The group also discussed current campus issues, examining concerns such as sustainability, management of student funds, mental health resources, and campus life. Burwell also spoke on her previous role at the US Department of Health and Human Services, and how she’s applying her expertise to services on campus.

As the morning drew to a close, Burwell reminded students of their potential impact, encouraging them to continue working to make a difference. AUCI incubator students are change-makers, echoed Burwell, both as business owners and as citizens of the American University community.

Learn more about American University’s entrepreneurship incubator and the American University Center for Innovation

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newsId: E86D8855-0D4E-5486-B21234D054B05107
Title: Kogod Welcomes Eight New Faculty Members
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Abstract: As we dive into a fresh school year at Kogod, we also welcome a new group of eight new faculty.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 09/11/2018
Content:

As we dive into a fresh school year at Kogod, we also welcome a new group of faculty! Eight new professors joined Kogod this fall — some completely new to AU, others former community members. From marketing to management, they cover a broad range of subjects, offering students an interdisciplinary menu of expertise and professional guidance. Whether hailing from our home here in Washington, DC, or across the world in Singapore, we are excited to welcome our new professor group this fall, 2018! Learn more about their background and expertise below.

Ron HillRon Hill
Former Institution: George Washington University
Subject Area: Marketing
Research Focus: Business ethics; impoverished consumers; human rights; transformative consumer research. Specific interests include homelessness in America, impoverished youth in reform facilities and rural poverty.

Asad KauserAsad Kausar
Former Institution: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Subject Area: Auditing and Financial Accounting
Research Focus: Accounting theories and quantitative methods. Specific interests include auditing, financial reporting and disclosure, stock market anomalies, and accounting conservatism.

Kimberly LuchtenbergKimberly Luchtenberg
Former Institution: East Carolina University
Subject Area: Real Estate
Research Focus: Real estate finance, with a focus on mortgage markets and how borrowers make decisions. Specific interests include behavior in mortgage default, providing valuable information to debt investors, lenders, and policymakers.

Stacy MeridaStacy Merida
Former Institution: Middle Tennessee State University
Subject Area: Business and Entertainment
Research Focus: Managing and marketing organizations in the creative economy; affect of changing cultural tastes and habits on decision making; economic examination of cities’ business clusters

Ali SanatiAli Sanati
Former Institution: University of Minnesota
Subject Area: Finance
Research Focus: Empirical corporate finance and structural estimation of dynamic models, focusing on capital structure and corporate investment. Specific interests include investigating and quantifying the effects of various frictions on firms’ financial and real decisions.

Mikhail Wolfson Mikhail Wolfson
Former Institution: University of Connecticut
Subject Area: Management
Research Focus: Organizational behavior and human resource management, including team composition, informal learning, multilevel modeling, network analysis and unobtrusive measurement.

Heng XuHeng Xu
Former Institution: Pennsylvania State University
Subject Area: Privacy and Cybersecurity; Director of the Kogod Cybersecurity Governance Center
Research Focus: The interplay between human and technological issues associated with information privacy and cybersecurity, with the overall goal of understanding the behavioral, social, strategic, and governance aspects of handling and securing personal data.

Nan ZhangNan Zhang
Former Institution: Pennsylvania State University
Subject Area: Privacy and Cybersecurity
Research Focus: Robust data analytics; enabling analytics in complex environments such as web and social media; understanding the interplay between data analytics and societal issues such as privacy, disparity, fairness and freedom of information.

Want to learn more about any of our new faculty? Visit the Kogod Faculty Directory.  

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newsId: AF197691-A321-EA6B-B9965E010C654DE8
Title: Summer Highlights: From Kogod to Career
Author: Jamie McCrary
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Abstract: What did you do this summer? Find out how three Kogod students spent theirs, and how they're pursuing paths that inspire change.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 09/05/2018
Content:

What did you do this summer? …did you take summer classes? Dive into a full-time job? Have an internship experience? We’re always curious what our Kogod students are up to during their breaks, so, as a snapshot, we spoke with three students about their summer (and career) pursuits.

Colin, BSBA ’21, Zoe, MBA ’18 and Morgan, BSBA ’19 are also all Kogod to Career participants – students who’ve agreed to talk about their career successes with the Kogod community. We featured them, as well as a handful of others, across our social media, offering an inside look into what the professional life of a Kogod student is like.

Check out Colin, Zoe and Morgan’s mini-profiles below to learn about what inspires, impassions and motivates them. From running a tennis racket business to federal consulting, each of them is pursuing a path they hope will affect change—both at Kogod, and beyond.

A Passion for Giving Back

Colin Wesselkamper, BSBA '21, started his own business in his home state of Illinois when he was 13. An avid tennis player, he founded a tennis stringing and racquet customization company to help others improve their playing experience.

Wesselkamper analyzes playing and swing style and meets with clients to discuss specific needs, then crafts a racquet customized to each player. He’s continued managing his business from afar in Washington, DC, by using video analysis.

What Wesselkamper enjoys most about his business is that it enhances people’s passions. He loves using his skills to help others get more out of life. “I saw how business affected people in a positive way,” Wesselkamper says. “It really changed my view of how I could give back to the world.”

He’s channeled his desire to give back into his studies at Kogod. He is specializing in finance because it’s his way of helping others—whether through planning for retirement, or becoming more financially independent. It’s a way to give people a better future, he says.

This summer, Wesselkamper worked for Marian Catholic High School in Chicago, Illinois, as a finance intern. He worked under the President and CEO to learn about non-profit and educational finance, a field he hopes to eventually pursue. He wants to use finance to make a difference in public schools—especially in his hometown of Chicago.

After graduation, Wesselkamper plans to work for a bank, such as Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan Chase, continuing to hone his finance skills. After that: a JD/MBA, followed by helping Chicago’s public schools improve financially.

Until then, he’ll continue managing his tennis business and working hard at Kogod, building the future he dreams of while helping others do the same.

“I just want to help people. I want to help others lead better lives,” he says.

From Law to Business, With Impact

Zoe Bludevich When Zoe Bludevich, MBA ’18, started at Kogod, she was apprehensive to say the least. Bludevich was switching careers from law, and says she had “little to no business knowledge” and “shaky quantitative skills.”

After diving into the program, however, her worries faded. Pursuing an MBA quickly became a fun challenge — a way to piece together the elements of business she’d been so thirsty to understand. “I really enjoyed developing a holistic understanding of business, where everything comes together to create value,” Bludevich says.

This is what inspired her to pursue business education in the first place. Bludevich, who was working as a paralegal and planning to apply to law school, realized she was more interested in how the firm was run, rather than the legal side. She wanted to know what made everything “work.”

Business also gave her a way to affect change. Bludevich comes from a family that values public service, so she’s always searched for a career where she could give back.

When she discovered federal consulting, she was hooked. It allowed her to serve the public sector while using a private sector mindset. She could make the impact she wanted by using the business skills she gained at Kogod.

Bludevich started as an associate in KPMG’s Federal Advisory practice this June, where she works with federal clients preparing audit programs, preparing risk assessments and internal audit reports. She hopes to help the federal government operate more effectively, improving their audit engagements little by little.

As Bludevich embarks upon a new career, she wants to affect change while staying open to new opportunities. “I just always want to be challenged, learning, collaborating, working hard and feeling like I am making an impact,” she says.

Keeping the Books Balanced

Morgan LangMorgan Lang, BSBA ’19, is passionate about numbers. It’s what drove her to pursue accounting in the first place — a field that allows her to flex her mathematics skills while exploring careers such as consulting, taxation, or auditing.

Lang says the greatest value of her degree so far, though, has nothing to do with numbers. It has to do with discovering herself.

Through her classes and internship interviews, she’s learned her personal work style: what personalities she works best with, how to motivate herself, and what truly fulfills her professionally. “I’ve realized what characteristics and values I align myself most with,” says Lang.

Her professors have been key in this. Lang says she’s felt 100% supported, while also free to explore her passions and forge her own path. Through hands-on projects, guest speakers and individual consultations, Lang was able to discover her professional self.

“[Kogod’s] professors look to understand you and how they can best mold you to be the best version of yourself,” says Lang.

This summer, Lang worked at one of the Big Four accounting firms, honing her accounting skills and testing the waters for a career in the field. She will graduate a year early in May 2019, and is planning on pursuing her master’s in accounting in the fall while studying for her CPA exams.

Whatever path she pursues, Lang hopes to find a way to help others—perhaps through mentorship, or through pro bono accounting. She’s grateful for the opportunities she’s been afforded, she says, and wants to re-invest in those around her.

“Gotta keep the books balanced,” says Lang.

Keep a look-out for other Kogod to Career highlighted students on Kogod’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Learn more about the Office for Career Engagement.  

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newsId: DC84B363-B391-05CA-8C45E74092F77C0C
Title: A Career on the Cutting Edge
Author: Alex Behle
Subtitle:
Abstract: Kogod alumnus Steve Shapiro has spent his career working in and managing companies that are changing the world.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 08/27/2018
Content:

Keep an eye out for Steve Shapiro, BSA ‘69, who is continuously a key player in some of the world’s most revolutionary technological innovations.

From leading the development of one of the first cellular phone companies to paving the way for a new era of healthcare records, Shapiro proves that with persistence and adaptability, there's no challenge too big to overcome.

As a business leader, Shapiro said his mission is to "reach out and help others understand [how to] improve the world through entrepreneurship, education, to resolve conflicts, and for people to be the best they can be.”

After a Kogod professor recommended that Shapiro apply to work part-time at a local computer systems company, he never looked back. ADP purchased that company, and he rose to the rank of Vice President where he got to manage his own staff.

“With the right attitude and creative thinking, we made it happen,” Shapiro said of rapidly expanding the business. “We paid a lot of attention to detail and costs.”

In 2014, he cofounded eHealth Ventures LLC, an Israeli venture fund and incubator. The digital health space Shapiro is at the forefront of is transforming how healthcare is delivered globally. At the intersection of emerging technology and traditional healthcare, eHealth utilizes analytics, facilitates telemedicine, captures data from wearable technology, and personalizes processes with a goal of improving outcomes at a lower cost.

“We can make a difference in healthcare by finding, identifying, funding and commercializing cutting-edge technology - with a goal of improving healthcare outcomes and lowering costs,” Shapiro said.

Shapiro is sharing the knowledge he’s gained from his work with the American University community. As part of the advisory council for the AU Center for Innovation (AUCI), which hosts the university’s entrepreneurship incubator, Shapiro engages with student entrepreneurs and collaborates about how to start, grow, and stabilize their businesses.  

AUCI’s incubator, open to students across the American University campus, offers a startup financial grant, mentorship and a workspace to students wanting to start their own ventures. It provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to pursue their passions, creating businesses with impact.

Shapiro is passionate about mentoring incubator students. “How do you take your idea and go forward with it? How do you assess if that idea is worthwhile or not?”

Also serving on the board of AU's Center for Israel Studies, Shapiro cares deeply about Israel and is inspired to be hands-on helping entrepreneurs create jobs and help companies succeed with a global perspective.

Through all of his positions in business and with the AU community, Shapiro said that surrounding yourself with individuals who share your passion of hard work and fairness will make a difference in the success of your business or organization.

When creating a company culture, Shapiro said, it all starts with who you surround yourself with. “In many cases, I look for someone that can add value that I can't. You want to create the environment where people can be successful. You don't want to hold them back.”

Learn more about Kogod’s bachelor of science in accounting program.

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Title: International Workers and Students in the US: What Lies Ahead
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: Immigrants continue to shape the future of US businesses, and higher education. Find out the depth of their impact, and the scope of their challenges.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 07/31/2018
Content:

Immigrants continue to shape the future of US businesses, and higher education. In 2017, the top 500 companies in the United States — more than 40% of which were founded by foreign-born entrepreneurs, or their children — generated $12.1 trillion in revenue. These include the likes of Google (Sergey Brin, Russia); Tesla (Elon Musk, South Africa); Pfizer (Charles Pfizer, Germany); and E-bay (Pierre Morad Omidyar, France).

Foreigners’ professional impact isn’t just limited to the business world. According to the Migration Policy Institute, about 1.1 million of the 4.6 million international students worldwide are enrolled in US universities. The States remain a top choice for foreign-born students, with the United Kingdom and China next in line, hosting 11 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

With significant international policy changes, though — like restrictions to the H1-B Visa and the proposed repeal of the International Entrepreneur Rule — the United States’ era of international entrepreneurship and study could be waning. Which, according to Kogod School of Business Professor Jennifer Oetzel, could be a major problem for US business and universities.

“We’re starting to lose foreign students because of their concerns with getting into the country. And if we can’t get the students we want and need, there may be long term economic implications. We are starting to miss out tremendously,” says Oetzel.

So, what do these potential barriers really mean for US business and education? And, perhaps most importantly, what effect could limiting the number of foreign-born workers and students have on the US economy?

To gain insight into some answers, and to further explore the trends outlined above, we sat down with Jennifer Oetzel, Kogod international business expert. Learn more by reading our conversation below.

Kogod School of Business: Can you tell us about some of your background and expertise in regards to immigrant students, entrepreneurs and business professionals?

Jennifer Oetzel: As an undergraduate, I conducted special research projects on the impact of immigration on the United States for my economics major. And then, as a graduate student, I was hired to evaluate a US technology transfer program from the United States to Tunisia. The program involved educating 760 Tunisian students in the United States in science and engineering. The idea was that they would go back to Tunisia with this knowledge and promote development in their country.

In evaluating the project, I would interview students in the US and Tunisia and see what their experiences were, and what happened. Obviously, the focus was on the technology and science, but I also found that the project promoted a greater cultural understanding between countries. A lot of these students said, “I thought the US was just like what you saw on TV or the nighttime soap operas. I had no idea what the culture was really like,” and they came and absolutely loved it! So the program had these other diplomatic benefits, too.

KSB: What are your thoughts on some of the statistics outlined above?

JO: I think this type of data is so powerful. In the United States, 55% of all graduate students in STEM fields are foreign-born. And three out of four tech workers in Silicon Valley are also foreign-born. So, one of the major challenges we have is that the more we restrict immigration and the ability of people to study here, the more intellectual capital we lose. And these are people who may have started new businesses.

We’re starting to lose foreign students because of their concerns with getting into the US and ultimately getting a visa to work, so they're going to other countries. For example, 440,000 foreign students studied in China in 2016, which is a 35% increase from 2012. They are the third globally behind the US and the UK. I think the US has always had this benefit that we don’t fully appreciate – having all these foreign students in the country. We are starting to miss out tremendously to other countries.

KSB: How does this connect to the health of US business?

JO: Well, AACSB and other outlets suggest that we will have a shortage of business PhD’s over the next 10 years. One AACSB report I saw said in 5 years there may be a shortage of 1,142 business PhD’s; in 10 years, 2,400.

It's all so connected. If we can't get students in, then it will negatively affect businesses and business education. Companies may have trouble finding qualified employees. And we certainly won’t have as many entrepreneurs wanting to establish new ventures. Then this, of course, connects to our country’s economic vitality.

KSB: What do you think all of this means for the future of US businesses?

JO: In regards to restricting the H1-B visa, I think one of two things can happen.

One is that many businesses will increasingly outsource work. If they can’t bring people here, they'll go to where they are in other countries. So this may have the reverse effect of businesses actually taking those jobs abroad, instead of sourcing them domestically like the policy intends to promote.

Another issue is that we don’t have domestically-born students going into STEM fields at the rate that we need them for US businesses. We are increasing the number of students studying STEM fields, but we still need to attract foreign workers, as well. This can really limit our long-term competitive potential relative to companies in the rest of the world.

KSB: And the economic implications?

JO: From an international business perspective, as US businesses seek to enter foreign markets and do business with people from other countries, it’s always valuable to have foreign workers with knowledge of other country’s environments. So, not only do we value them for the jobs they're doing here, but they can also build bridges to opportunities in other countries. So yes, the more that we become more isolationist, we’re going to have less knowledge about the world and more difficulty building relationships.

There's even an increasing problem of not getting visas for conferences and short-term events, so that creates a lot of problems for information exchange. And there's some indication that other countries may retaliate by making it difficult for U.S. citizens to do the same. Other countries may say “well if you're making it hard for our people to go to your country, were going to do the same for you.”

KSB: Any other factors we should be aware of?

JO: There is some evidence that a lot of foreign students are going back home to start their businesses, too, so that's another way we are losing them. This is in part because we’re restricting their opportunities here. They’re going to places like India perhaps, or China, where immigration policy isn’t as restrictive.

It’s interesting: China is now the 2nd most popular international destination, behind France. That’s certainly an interesting trend to watch, I think.

KSB: Why do you think foreign born entrepreneurs and business professionals have been so successful?

JO: I don't have any research evidence to support this, but I think it is reasonable to suggest that the kind of people we attract — the people who leave their home country — are somewhat different than the ones who stay. Not everyone leaves, despite the difficult conditions. There is something of a self-selection process at play. The kind of person who leaves, regardless of their education level, tends to be more risk-taking in general, and that in turn has implications for how they're going to behave in the country they go to. Such immigrants are highly motivated and may tend to be more entrepreneurial.

KSB: Looking ahead, do you have any predictions for immigrants working and founding US businesses, based on how things are currently going?

JO: I would watch the trend with H1-B visas to see how many fewer people are getting them from year-to-year. That will have a big impact on businesses, especially on STEM fields. And then, how are businesses responding? And also, where are people are going? If they're not coming here, it could be because we’re restricting them. As I mentioned earlier, they’re going to China, Australia, and other places now, so that could have competitive implications long term.

Certainly economically those are the big issues. We’re not going to increase the number of domestically-born students in STEM fields overnight…that’s a very long-term process, even if we are successful. So how we’re going to fill those jobs is a big concern. ______________________________________________________________________
Jennifer Oetzel, Kogod International Business Professor, conducts research on how major discontinuous risks such as natural disasters, terrorist events, and violent conflicts, affect businesses and whether firms can gain experiential advantages managing these events. Dr. Oetzel’s work has been published in top-tier journals such as Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, and the American Business Law Journal, among others. She is also on the Editorial Board of several journals including the Strategic Management Journal and is Associate Editor at Business & Society. In 2006 she was selected by Businessweek as one of the top three faculty members in the Kogod School of Business.

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Title: American Companies Dominate 2018 Kogod Made in America Auto Index as Tariff Concerns Loom
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Abstract: As tariffs and trade wars engulf business headlines, American auto companies continue to manufacture the majority of their cars in the USA, according to the 2018 Kogod Made in America Auto Index.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 07/24/2018
Content:

As tariffs and trade wars engulf business headlines, American auto companies continue to manufacture the majority of their cars in the USA, according to the 2018 Kogod Made in America Auto Index.

General Motors snatched the top two slots on this year’s index with the Chevrolet Corvette and Volt models, respectively.

The Kogod Made in America Auto Index was created in 2013 by Kogod School of Business Associate Professor Frank DuBois. The index ranks more than 500 vehicles and draws on data provided by the American Automotive Labeling Act and on-site dealership visits to calculate the estimated domestic content of the most popular vehicles on America’s roads.

DuBois’ index also draws on additional criteria to develop its rankings to provide a clearer picture of the economic impact of the vehicles in the index, including: profit margin, labor content, major component sourcing and major location of research and development activities.

Ford Motor Company had a strong showing in the top-10, occupying five slots with two models of the Ford F-150 (third and fourth), the Lincoln Continental (fifth), the Ford Taurus (ninth) and the Lincoln MKC (tenth). Three of Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep Wrangler models occupy spots six, seven and eight. Honda’s Ridgeline (6), Odessey (6) and Pilot (10) were also in the top-10.

For consumers who value purchasing an American-made car, the Kogod Made in America Auto Index provides the most comprehensive listing of cars available.

“For a consumer interested in buying American or perhaps just curious about the “DNA” of their car, my index lists almost every car available for sale in the US market,” DuBois said. “Most other indexes stop at the top 10 most American cars. You don’t know about the bottom ten. Or the middle fifty. My index covers over 500 cars.”

While some vehicles come close to being all-American, DuBois acknowledges that globalization has all but eliminated the idea of a truly American-made car.

“It’s likely that no vehicle has been truly 100 percent American since the Model T,” DuBois added. “And you could argue that some of those parts were mined or manufactured out of the country. This index gives the best current estimation of domestic content for vehicles sold in the US.

Looming over this year’s index are the threats of tariffs and trade wars that will have a big impact on the auto industry if enacted. DuBois predicts future price increases for automobiles as a result.

“When you start changing the rules of the game, you start changing what that means for various parts of supply chains. If you put a twenty percent tariff on parts from other countries, that will increase the costs of vehicle production, and those increases will be passed along to consumers.”

“The price of vehicles will rise and domestic consumption of vehicles will fall. In addition, retaliation by trading partners will make it that much harder for US vehicle exporters and parts producers to win orders in foreign markets.”

The 2018 Kogod Made in America Auto Index is available here.

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Title: Kogod Alumna Advances Non-profit and Women Leadership
Author: Alex Behle and Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: Laura Lott, BSA ‘98, exemplifies how to be true to yourself in the workplace. A successful non-profit executive, she’s not only set the course for organizations, but demonstrates how to lead as a woman in business.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 07/09/2018
Content:

Since 2015, Laura Lott, BSA ‘98, has served as President and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), a non-profit dedicated to advocating for and nurturing excellence in museums across the country.

Lott is the first woman to lead the organization in its over one-hundred year history. She heads the day-to-day operations of a 40-person staff, a $10 million annual budget, and cultivates AAM’s 35,000 person membership base.

A self-described non-profit turnaround expert, Lott is all about leading transformation in organizations. “AAM was struggling financially when I joined, which was part of the attraction,” she said. “I had the ability to help them get back on a strong financial footing.”

In shaping the Alliance’s mission, Lott led the process of developing their new strategic plan, which emphasizes topics including diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion. Lott wants to infuse these values into museums’ programs and structure, gradually re-shaping the industry’s culture.

“Museums are inclusive places people can come together. They can be a platform for activism, too,” she says. “I think the AAM moving in this direction can help museums affect change in their respective communities.”

Inclusion is a priority for the Alliance, for both moral and financial reasons. As cultural spaces that represent the public, museums must embrace different ethnicities and cultures, says Lott. They have a special responsibility to share people’s stories. “We can’t say we’re vital unless we’re including everyone,” she says.

Some of this change starts with herself. At first, Lott didn’t fully recognize the impact of being the first woman leader of the organization. After speaking with members, she realized that representation matters, and being yourself can make you a role model to others.

This is in part due to balancing motherhood and leadership, she says. Traditionally these two roles were very separate, which can be confusing and burdensome for working women. Lott strives to integrate both, bringing her daughter to work when needed, and encouraging her staff to do the same.

“I hope that in some small way I’m ‘moving the needle forward’ and helping other women feel they can bring their whole selves to work,” says Lott.

Looking ahead, Lott hopes to transition AAM into more of an advocacy organization, helping members gain wider recognition in their communities. Museums are vibrant organizations that support research, conservation and education, says Lott, which many people don’t realize. “[I do think] museums are often taken for granted. They’re not just places to go on a rainy day - they’re a solace for learning, and places that enrich our lives.”

And, as the Alliance’s first female CEO, they’re also places women leaders can flourish. Lott is strengthening the museum world while setting the stage for future women executives. She wants to empower her female peers to own themselves in the workplace, wholly embracing their identities as executives, mothers and wives.  

“At the end of the day I’m just trying to make the world a more empathetic, just and better place,” says Lott.

Laura is married to her husband, Steve Lott, who met while studying at the Kogod School of Business. Read more about how they met here.

Learn more about Kogod’s bachelor of science in accounting program.

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Title: July 4th by the Numbers
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Abstract: One hundred thirty-four million. That's how much money was spent on 4th of July bacon in 2017—and that’s just for barbeques.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 06/29/2018
Content:

One hundred thirty-four million. That's how much money was spent on 4th of July bacon in 2017 - and that’s just for barbeques.

What about fireworks, the holiday’s most celebrated pastime? $900 million is the predicted revenue for the 2018 fireworks season, according to a spokesperson from the American Pyrotechnics Association.

From meat sales to Roman candles, there are plenty of numbers in play for the Fourth, but it's hard to gauge exactly what the holiday means for the economy of the nation's capital, specifically.

"We've never been asked that. There's really no comprehensive information available about the economic impact of July 4th on the District," said a spokesperson for the DC Business Improvement District.

…but, to give you an idea of what’s projected — and what’s come before — here are some notable highlights. DC area businesses have a lot in store for them this week, after all.

A survey from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insight & Analytics projects Americans will spend $6.9 billion on July 4th cookouts alone (the second highest amount in the survey’s history)

● Expect around 150 million hot dogs to be consumed in total. And around $1.5 billion in beer and wine!

● Around 62% of Americans will attend a picnic

● $7.5 billion was spent by a record 22 million visitors to the District in 2017 — and even more anticipated this year, according to Elliot L. Ferguson, President and CEO of Destination DC.

● And, according to AAA, nearly 47 million people will travel more than 50 miles this Independence day — a five percent increase over last year.

"Major events throughout the year, like July 4, positively impact the local economy, and we expect to see a boost from visitors staying in hotels, eating in restaurants and enjoying all there is to do in the nation’s capital,” says Ferguson.

And throughout the entire nation. As America gears up for its 243rd birthday, so do US businesses. At American University’s Kogod School of Business, we’re staying tuned for what’s to come.

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Title: Finding Love and Making Change
Author: Alex Behle
Subtitle: Kogod alumni Steve and Laura Lott credit their time at AU for shaping their futures
Abstract: Steve and Laura Lott met working on a marketing project at Kogod. They haven't separated since.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 06/27/2018
Content:

Forging a partnership

Steve Lott, BSBA ‘98, and Laura Lott, BSA ‘98, didn’t know that meeting each other while working on a marketing project would spark a lifelong relationship. Their mission in life and careers was realized through their time at Kogod, to make the world a better place, they said.

In an introductory-level marketing course, students were put into groups and were tasked to pick an organization and evaluate its marketing strategy. Steve and Laura paired up and picked American University.

“We shared a passion for the school,” Steve said.

“It wasn't just another assignment. Our passion at the time was ‘how can we improve the school?’ We were proud of AU and proud of Kogod. [But we also] felt we knew better than the administration."

After meeting jointly with offices, including Enrollment and Campus Life, the pair started to spend a lot of time together and looked like a couple. They became friends but didn’t begin their relationship until after college.

"We realized we weren't going to have forced time together through classes. We missed each other and wanted to spend more time together. We ended up dating and getting married a few years later,” Laura said.

Finding their passion

The couple each came to AU with succinctly career-focused mindsets. They loved how the DC area was bustling with real-world opportunities and internships, a stark contrast from their small town roots. Kogod was the perfect fit too - their respective academic programs gave them the practical skills needed to transcend multiple fields.

"I think because of being in DC, and really taking to heart the notion that Washington was a campus, I spent as much time off campus as I did on,” Laura said.

Steve was an avid writer and editor who wrote for The Eagle, AU’s student newspaper. Laura, on the other hand, chose to affect change through a student position in the faculty senate and student government.

Laura, currently President and CEO of the American Alliance of Museums (and the organization’s first female leader), completed her minor in justice, in addition to her major in accounting. "I can now put my business background [to use] running an organization and being a turnaround expert in the non-profit field. I'm focused on making the world a better place,” Laura said.

Steve, who now works in international communications, credits his time living and working alongside faculty and students from around the world for sparking his interest in new cultures.

"That background and exposure early on really helped me gain a global perspective,” Steve said.

Making an Impact - and a Life Together

Laura says an internship during her time at AU exposed her to the world of non-profits and philanthropy - a career path she didn’t know existed. “That has driven all my early career decisions and influenced what I do today,” she said.

At the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), Laura oversees the day-to-day operations of a 40-person staff serving the needs of 35,000 museum members, both large and small. She’s led the development of the organization’s new strategic plan, which focuses on diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion.

“[We want] museums to become more inclusive places where people [from all backgrounds] can come together,” Laura said.

The couple is continuing to leverage their passion for change, both professionally and personally. “We've been married 16 years and we have a little girl who's turning six in the fall. We are both trying to balance this crazy world with careers and family - but still having lots of fun together,” said Laura.

Just like during their time together at Kogod. “The people we were working with in our respective positions knew before we did that we were a thing,” Laura said. “After we graduated, they said things like, ‘we were pulling for you!’”

Learn more about Kogod’s bachelor of science in accounting program and bachelor of science in business administration program

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newsId: C8F7AE4C-AED4-0931-07B8ED1213235172
Title: American University’s Kogod School of Business Partners with Leader in Alternative Investment Education
Author: AJ Springer
Subtitle:
Abstract: American University’s Kogod School of Business has partnered with the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association.
Topic: Announcement
Publication Date: 06/26/2018
Content:

American University’s Kogod School of Business has partnered with the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association, the business school announced. 

The partnership gives Kogod students access to CAIA’s vast resources and an option to sit for the organization’s certification. 

“Alternative Investments are increasingly important as a funding/investing vehicle, particularly Private Equity,” Prof. Leigh Riddick, Interim Chair in the Department of Finance and Real Estate, said. 

American University is one of a small number of partnering institutions. 

“The Kogod School of Business Finance department has recognized the increasing importance of alternative assets - private equity, venture capital, real estate, structured products, and hedge funds - in the corporate and retail world,” said Timothy Timura, an Executive-in-Residence at the university. “To this end, AU has partnered with the CAIAInstitute to further the knowledge and experience of our students as well as provide a venue for further research in commodities, real estate investment trusts and the like.”

As the gold standard in the investment alternative space, the CAIA curriculum will give Kogod graduates that choose to sit for the certification exam a credential that employers in the industry recognize. Forty Kogod undergraduate and graduate students participated in the alternative assets course, with eight earning CAIA scholarships to sit for the first level of the exam.

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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
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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.

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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
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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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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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
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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
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newsId: 2FAFB514-CFD4-D5DD-9B5A0653853F5285
Title: Alumni Offer an Unconventional Introduction to Shanghai
Author: Melissa Bevins '02
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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
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When Jamie Barys, SOC/BA ’07, and Kyle Long, Kogod/BSBA ’07, studied abroad together in Beijing during their junior year, they left knowing that they wanted to return to China. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,China,Kogod School of Business,School of Communication
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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
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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
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