newsId: 87780E26-5056-AF26-BE80AAE5841C274E
Title: American University Announces 2018 Commencement Speakers
Author: Kelly Alexander
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Abstract: American University will hold to tradition and host its 135th commencement ceremonies on Mother’s Day weekend on campus in Bender Arena with an illustrious assembly of commencement speakers.
Topic: Announcement
Publication Date: 04/18/2018
Content:

American University will hold to tradition and host its 135th commencement ceremonies on Mother's Day weekend on campus in Bender Arena with an illustrious assembly of commencement speakers to offer congratulations, inspiration and motivation to approximately 3,500 graduates. A seat at an AU commencement ceremony this year will put you in the presence of extraordinary leaders - a Nobel Peace Laureate, a civil rights leader, a medical doctor and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, a Washington Post reporter, a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, or a former National Economic Council director. Individual school ceremonies will be held on May 12 and 13, followed by the law school ceremony on May 20. This will be the first Spring commencement under the leadership of President Sylvia M. Burwell.

Michael Kempner is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MWWPR, one of the nation’s largest independent public relations firms. He started this public relations agency in 1986, six years after he graduated from AU and is a nationally recognized authority on reputation and crisis management, public affairs, business to business, consumer marketing and corporate social responsibility. Kempner has been honored with several of the industry’s highest accolades, including PR Week’s PR Professional of the Year in 2015 and 2010. An active member of his community, Kempner was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a Governor of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. In this position, he helps direct all U.S. international media including the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcast Network and Radio Free Asia.

Kempner is also active in progressive politics and issues, having played major roles in the campaigns of President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton. In January 2018, Kempner was elected the Chairman of the Board of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, is a current member of the Fulbright-Canada Scholarship Board and is a founding Board Member of ConnectOne Bank, one of the nation’s most successful community banks.

Jeffrey Zients, former director, National Economic Council and current Economic Strategy Group member of The Aspen Institute, will address the graduates of the Kogod School of Business at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, May 12. Prior to his current role, Zients was President Obama's principal economic policy advisor as director of the National Economic Council (2014-2017). He also served in the Obama Administration in the Office of Management and Budget as acting director (2012-2013), and deputy director, Management and Federal Chief Performance Officer (2009-2011). During his time in the Administration, he spearheaded the turnaround of the failed healthcare.gov website launch (2013).

Zients founded and managed a private equity firm, Portfolio Logic, LLC (2003-2009) and held several leadership positions with other organizations including the Advisory Board Company and Corporate Executive Board (1992-2003). Zients will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Leymah Gbowee, Liberian peace activist, social worker, women's rights advocate and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (2011), will address the graduates of the School of International Service at 6 p.m., Saturday, May 12. She is founder and president of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, based in Monrovia, Liberia.

Gbowee is best known for leading a nonviolent movement that brought together Christian and Muslim women to play a pivotal role in ending Liberia's devastating, fourteen-year civil war in 2003. This historic achievement paved the way for the election of Africa's first female head of state, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. It also marked the vanguard of a new wave of women emerging worldwide as essential and uniquely effective participants in brokering lasting peace and security. Her story as told in the 2008 documentary film Pray the Devil Back to Hell and her 2011 memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers - as well as her lectures and discussions with groups large and small - have engaged, inspired, and motivated untold numbers of people worldwide. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Nobel Women's Initiative, Gbowee Peace Foundation and the PeaceJam Foundation, and she is a member of the African Women Leaders Network for Reproductive Health and Family Planning. She will receive an honorary Doctor of International Affairs degree.

Robert Costa, moderator for Washington Week, PBS's Peabody Award-winning weekly news analysis series, and national political reporter at The Washington Post, will address the graduates of the School of Public Affairs at 10 a.m., Sunday, May 13. Costa covers Congress and the White House for The Washington Post and regularly travels the country to meet with voters and elected officials. At Washington Week, Costa oversees the weekly roundtable discussion of journalists on the program, which broadcasts live on PBS stations nationwide and on digital content platforms.

Costa joined Washington Week in April 2017 with nearly a decade of reporting experience that began with granular coverage of movement politics and Congress and later the battle over health-care policy and the 2010 mid-term elections. Prior to joining The Washington Post in January 2014, Costa was a reporter and then Washington editor for National Review, directing a team of reporters and where his reporting on the 2013 U.S. federal government shutdown earned acclaim. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health, will address the graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, May 13. Dr. Fauci was appointed director of NIAID in 1984. He oversees an extensive portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis and malaria as well as emerging diseases such as Ebola and Zika. NIAID also supports research on transplantation and immune-related illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies.

Dr. Fauci has advised five Presidents on HIV/AIDS and many other domestic and global health issues. In a 2017 analysis of Google Scholar citations, Dr. Fauci ranked as the 24th most highly cited researcher of all time.

Dr. Fauci has delivered major lectures all over the world and is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest honor given to a civilian by the President of the United States) and the National Medal of Science. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of more than 1,300 scientific publications, including several textbooks. Dr. Fauci will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree.

Vanita Gupta, president and chief executive officer of The Leadership Conference and former leader of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, will address graduates of the Washington College of Law at 1 p.m., Sunday, May 20. Vanita Gupta is an experienced leader and litigator who has devoted her entire career to civil rights work. She served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and head of the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division from October 2014 to January 2017. Appointed by President Barack Obama as the chief civil rights prosecutor for the United States, Gupta oversaw a wide range of criminal and civil enforcement efforts to ensure equal justice and protect equal opportunity for all during one of the most consequential periods for the division.

Under Gupta's leadership, the division did critical work in a number of areas, including advancing constitutional policing and criminal justice reform; prosecuting hate crimes and human trafficking; promoting disability rights; protecting the rights of LGBTQ individuals; ensuring voting rights for all; and combating discrimination in education, housing, employment, lending, and religious exercise.

Prior to joining the Justice Department, Gupta served as deputy legal director and the director of the Center for Justice at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). She began her legal career as an attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. She will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

In addition to conferring honorary degrees, American University President Sylvia M. Burwell will present the President's Award, the highest award for AU undergraduates, to a graduating senior who has displayed a longstanding commitment to building community and promoting AU's ideals of academic achievement, integrity, selflessness, leadership, and service.

More information on the speakers is available on AU's commencement website. Students, alumni friends, and family will be tweeting using the hashtag #2018AUGrad. Those who cannot attend the ceremonies will be able to watch a live stream of each ceremony on AU's commencement website.

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Title: AU Teaches DC High School Students Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fundamentals
Author: Patty Housman
Subtitle: Inaugural Pilot Program introduces high school students to product development
Abstract: AU brought students from DC’s Woodson STEM High School to campus, giving them an introduction to product development, innovation, and customer discovery.
Topic: Science
Publication Date: 04/09/2018
Content:

This year, American University has brought a dozen extraordinary students from DC’s Woodson STEM High School to the AU campus, giving them an introduction to product development, innovation, and customer discovery — skills they will need to become successful future innovators.

It’s a real team effort. The College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, and the Kogod School of Business are all working together to share their expertise with the students in this inaugural pilot program. "American University has an amazing cohort of faculty across many schools and disciplines who are genuinely invested in bridging the achievement gaps that sideline many of our talented DCPS students,” said Kathryn Walters-Conte, director of AU’s Masters in Biotechnology Program and Science Coordinator for the College of Arts and Sciences.

From Fidgets to Fido

In all, this first group of students will visit the AU campus six times during the school year, learning the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in today’s marketplace. Under the guidance of AU faculty, they are working to develop their own unique products, employing the principles of innovation and design. 

The program started in the American University Center for Innovation (AUCI), where Bill Bellows, Kogod Executive-in-Residence and Co-Director of the AU Entrepreneurship Incubator, taught the students how to use customer discovery to develop project ideas for the marketplace, ranging from customized fidget spinners to a robotic dog.

The students then moved on to AU’s new Design and Build Lab (DaBL)— the university’s makerspace. With the help of Computer Science/Physics Instructor Kristof Aldenderfer and Physics Lab Director Jonathan Newport, the students designed prototypes of their projects using TinkerCad, a design and modeling tool that allows users to imagine (and create) various objects in three-dimensions. The projects will be 3D printed before the end of the semester.

Pulling It All Together

Along the way, the Woodson students received advice from two mentors: biotechnology masters students Taylor Tippett (MS biotech ’18) and Emmanuel Mayegun-Adeola (MS biotech ’18), who each have experience in business and innovation through their studies and internships.

The students also met with School of Education faculty to discuss how they might apply their new skills to future internships and education plans. “Through the program, the students have learned the fundamentals of customer discovery, additive and subtractive manufacturing, design, assembly, and entrepreneurship,” said Walters-Conte. “SOE faculty Laura Owens and Carolyn Parker helped students learn how to market these skills in the college application process, and provided guidance towards which type of college or university would best suit their personalities.”

Bellows believes that the program will have a long-term impact on the students, far beyond their six visits to AU. "Entrepreneurship is creating something of value from nothing more than an idea. To shape an idea into a product by talking to potential customers and building prototypes through the DaBL is an amazing and unique opportunity,” he said. “It is a lot of fun to watch the students' enthusiasm grow as they see the process start to work and as they pitch their ideas. We may not turn them all into entrepreneurs, but we are teaching them that original ideas have meaning and value, which may be the most important outcome of the program."

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Title: Leaving a Legacy
Author: Seth Shapiro
Subtitle: A profession in finance, a passion for music, and a love of hard work
Abstract: H. Kent Baker has been teaching since 1971, and he's been publishing almost as long. "I have a great love for not only teaching, but also being able to add something to the world."
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 04/04/2018
Content:

For H. Kent Baker, Kogod professor of finance, the worlds of music and business have always been intertwined. During high school, he earned money by teaching and playing music. He played in a band and served as its business manager. He also taught at a music studio, and at age 15, had already joined the musician's union.  

But a time came when he had to choose one or the other.

"When I was in high school, I had to make a decision of what I wanted to do. I looked at basically two paths: the music business, or business school," Baker says. "I [chose] to avoid the lure of the entertainment industry."

That decision led Baker to Georgetown University, where he studied management as an undergraduate student, played in a top-40 band called the Starliners, and discovered his passion for the world of finance.

Baker compares his initial attraction to the finance field to the way he enjoys music.

"Have you ever heard a piece and said, 'Gee, I just like that?' The way it sounds and the feel of that," he says. "It was a similar experience with finance."

Baker took a summer course in finance taught by the dean of the business school at Georgetown University. He was on full scholarship, but his tuition did not cover summer courses. Nevertheless, he felt it was an opportunity he couldn't miss.

From Georgetown, Baker would move on to the University of Maryland, where he received his master's in business administration (among other degrees), and American University, where he has taught since 1975 (and earned a few more degrees, including a Ph.D. in educational administration).

Throughout his career in academia, Baker has prioritized not only teaching in the classroom, but also writing, editing, and publishing.

"I want to do the things that I think will make the greatest contribution."

Baker continues to teach after more than 45 years in academia. He still writes every day. And he plays music in his spare time.

Leaving a Legacy

Baker has been teaching since 1971, and he's been publishing almost as long.

"I have a great love for not only teaching, but also being able to add something to the world through my research and scholarship," Baker says.

Where he's able to connect and help individual students in the classroom, his writing allows him to reach a much broader audience.

"After I'm gone, my publications will remain."

Baker has published 175 refereed journal articles and about 120 publications in professional outlets like the Journal of Finance and Harvard Business Review. He's published 29 books, including several textbooks, and has four others under contract.

His books have won numerous awards, like the Book Excellence Award in Personal Finance and the USA Best Book Award. They have been endorsed by finance experts and Nobel Prize winners, and many have been declared the "definitive" work in the field, including his book on behavioral finance.

But Baker is concerned less with the accolades his work receives and more focused on ensuring their usefulness to academics, practitioners and students.

Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice

Baker doesn't want his books to just sit on the shelf collecting dust. He wants to make sure they're practical. Even though he gets great pleasure out of writing, he seeks to write works that are useful and have impact.

"Doing the work is rewarding, but it's even better when people like it and find it useful," Baker says. "[My books have] practical value that people can use to change their lives."

When deciding on a topic for his next book, Baker always looks to see where gaps exist. He sees his competitive advantage as being able to integrate theory and practice.

While many of his books have been targeted toward scholars and academics in finance, he also publishes books for more general audiences, as well. This past fall, he signed an agreement with Emerald Publishing to co-author a six-part series on investment strategy, designed to improve financial literacy and decision-making.

"These books are going to be very practitioner-oriented," he says. "People can pick them up and use them to become more successful in managing their wealth."

When Hard Work Comes Easy

Baker has always been a diligent worker. His parents instilled a strong work ethic in him-they never had to ask him to study or to practice music. He was always internally motivated to work and to achieve.

"I've always had that inner flame of wanting to do my best," Baker says.

Even when his students struggle, he encourages them to use a failure as a motivator to ultimately achieve their goals.

"I want to help people grow and be successful." Whether that's in the classroom or through his publications, Baker's goals remain consistent-and he continues to pursue them.

Kent Baker teaches finance and served as Kogod's Chair of the Department of Finance and Real Estate for 11 years and headed the Finance Center of Excellence for 8 years. He also has extensive industry experience and has provided consulting and training services to more than 100 organizations. The Journal of Finance Literature recognized him as among the top 1% of the most prolific authors in finance during the past 50 years. His publishers include Oxford University Press, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and Blackwell. Read more about Professor Baker here.

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Title: Building Careers, Making an Impact
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle: Introducing Raina Gandhi, the Office of Career Engagement's assistant dean of career services
Abstract: "I was taught to always make a place better than you found it. In whatever way I can provide value, I want to make things better."
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 04/02/2018
Content:

Raina Gandhi, Kogod's new assistant dean of career services, is on a mission. She wants to continue building Kogod's career center (newly re-named the Office of Career Engagement) into a cutting-edge resource - one that empowers students to own their futures.

"I believe we are all the CEOs of our own careers," says Gandhi, "and that we're here to provide students with the guidance and resources they need to be successful. The student is the leader; the Office of Career Engagement is their board."

Reviewing Gandhi's own career, it's easy to see where this philosophy comes from. She has worked in investment banking in New York City, researched business solutions to help impoverished women in India, consulted clients on the MBA admissions process, and served as an industry expert and coach. Her experience is certainly varied-a trajectory showing her curiosity, and her professional ingenuity.

"It's been a journey. Working [in so many varied roles] gave me many different perspectives. I am looking forward to incorporating lessons from my past experiences into my work at Kogod," Gandhi says.

She will continue honing her office's strategy, shaping it into a more "go-to-market" approach that is focused on experiential learning. She's also strategizing how to meet different groups' needs so all constituents are happy - whether they're athletes, international students, alumni, or employer partners.

Gandhi hopes to affect positive change at Kogod, empowering students, alumni and her team to build strong and meaningful careers. "I was taught to always make a place better than I found it. In whatever way I can provide value - be it with one student, a program, or the entire university - I want to make things better," she says.

Read more about Raina Gandhi and her plans for the Office of Career Engagement below.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Kogod School of Business: The Office of Career Engagement's mission is to empower Kogod students and alumni to build meaningful relationships and careers. Can you talk about building your own career, and what led you to where you are today?

Raina Gandhi: I started my career in investment banking working for JPMorgan Chase in New York City. From my perspective, it was the best way to jump-start my career. I learned many facets of business: financial modeling, valuation, understanding high profile transactions. I had the opportunity to learn in such an empowering environment, which was a really amazing experience.

Then, in contrast, I spent a year in India working for two microfinance organizations. I not only had to speak in Hindi and Gujarati, but also had to speak in different dialects within these languages. It was a completely different environment, which helped me become more flexible and versatile.

After I earned my MBA from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania, I started to grow my family, so my priorities changed. I switched careers from banking to do more MBA admissions consulting and career coaching, which gave me more flexibility for my family. I loved it because it was an opportunity to apply the skills I learned in business school while helping others build their dreams.

KSB: How does your experience in financial services complement your current role at Kogod?

RG: It's all about transferrable skills. Investment banking taught me the importance of a strong work ethic and to have high standards for my work product - it's competitive and fast-paced with a high level of accountability. I use these skills every day in my personal and professional life.

I think the other thing I learned at a pretty young age is how to manage many different stakeholders' needs. At JPMorgan Chase, my team was very small, so I had the opportunity to work directly with managing directors and senior client leadership to help them navigate their conflicting needs. I think these are very similar challenges to the ones I face here.

This experience also gives me more credibility in my current role because I have that industry perspective. Students come to talk to me about the business world and I can say, "I've been there!"

KSB: Is there a professional experience you've had that was particularly impactful? Why?

RG: I think the most impactful part of it all is the mentorship aspect. I do think there is something special about coaching someone to maximize their human potential. It's just always been a part of who I am, so this transition into higher education was very natural. It's very fulfilling for me.

KSB: Can you tell us about your new role as assistant dean of career services?

RG: I'm really focused on defining our vision. I want us to build our experiential learning opportunities, international profile, and go-to-market strategy. It's one thing to study what a trading floor in New York City looks like…it's another to go there and actually experience it. I want us out in the marketplace - getting to know people in different functions and at different management hierarchies.

In order to do this, I have to have a good pulse on what types of jobs are out there, and what the market looks like. So, I'm doing a lot of analysis in advance so we know how to set our programming moving forward.

KSB: What are some of your goals for the Office of Career Engagement?

RG: Kogod has a very diverse student population and a big portfolio of programs. Our goal is to meet the needs of each of these individual student groups and be successful in educating them based on where they are in their career journey. 

I also want us to be ahead of the curve technology-wise. Strong platform skills will help our students be successful when interviewing for jobs or participating in case competitions, for example. 

KSB: What are you most looking forward to?

RG: Working with my team to build the Office of Career Engagement and offer world class services and resources to the Kogod community. I'm so lucky to have inherited [my team]. They're talented, smart and motivated. And are very excited to try new things. This allows me the freedom to think about our strategic vision and how we want to move forward. I don't have to worry about the day-to-day as much because they're so capable. I'm really looking forward to continuing to build our team, and form relationships with each member.

KSB: At Kogod, we believe business is a force for meaningful change. In what ways does your work connect to this overall school belief?

RG: I think the top three reasons people come to business school are to build their network, enhance their career, and obtain a strong business education. The Office of Career Engagement gets to play a significant role in all of these things. We help students and alumni cultivate the relationships they need to be successful. It's not about the job search-it's about nurturing a life skill. That's why this job is fulfilling. We can really make a difference.

KSB: What impact do you hope your work will have?

RG: Before I came to Kogod, I worked on the market readiness and employment team at the Wake Forest University School of Business. When I left, I was very humbled, because my boss, the Chief Corporate Engagement Officer, told me "You're leaving this place better than you found it. You made a difference in this place." That's the impact I want to make.

Learn more about Raina Gandhi and the Office of Career Engagement.

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Title: Amazon's HQ2: Destination DC?
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: As 2018 unfolds into spring, anticipation-and apprehension-continues to build surrounding HQ2. Washington, DC, is rumored to be on the top of their list.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 03/30/2018
Content:

As 2018 unfolds into spring, anticipation - and apprehension - continues to build surrounding HQ2. HQ2, shorthand for Seattle-based Amazon's second headquarters, is rumored to be announced in the upcoming months, ending a year-and-a-half long search for its home.

Amazon plans to invest $5 billion in development and create up to 50,000 jobs where it builds, making HQ2 a highly sought-after addition for any city. Washington, DC, is rumored to be on the top of their list.

Amazon's choice is only part of the excitement, though. The real build-up has been from how they've conducted their search.

Launched in September 2017, the HQ2 hunt rallied cities across the nation to place bids for Amazon's new home. A total of 238 cities from 54 localities initially submitted proposals, advocating based on criteria such as city size, business environment and airport accessibility.

The application and selection process has become a nationwide competition of sorts - a contest of ultimate town desirability. Brett Gilbert, Kogod associate professor of management and regional innovation chair, compares it to crowdsourcing. "I think we see a lot of this in society today. It's an opportunity for them to collect and gather information on cities around the country that they probably would not have discovered on their own."

In mid-January 2018, Amazon announced 20 cities that made the finalists' cut. Three DC-area areas are on the list: the District, Montgomery County, Maryland, and Northern Virginia.

According to Gilbert, Washington, DC's viability isn't about quantity. It's about quality. "The area really has benefits that no other city does."

The city's focus on technology - especially military innovation - is a major advantage. With countless R&D, military-focused organizations (like the Department of Defense), DC boasts an advanced technological ecosystem years ahead of other major US cities.

"The R&D that's happening in the military is at least 10 years ahead of civilian applications. A lot of what's being developed here is pretty futuristic-drones, aerial vehicles. Amazon could have earlier access to this if they're in Washington," says Gilbert. 

And then there's the structure of the DC area. Amazon wouldn't have to depend on just one city, since DC is made up of three major metropolitan areas. This gives employees lots of options of where to live, reducing the risk of overtaxing the area. 

 

Credit: ObviouslyDC.com

The fact that Washington, DC, is such an international hub doesn't hurt, either. One of Amazon's priorities is a global city - a place where insights from different cultures can inform their innovations.

"You've got some of the largest, most powerful global organizations-the World Bank, the IMF. And people from all over the world coming to work here. It's so diverse, with a constant churn of knowledge," says Gilbert

She predicts Amazon will choose Northern Virginia: an area closely connected to the district, but with much more space. Fitting those 50,000 new employees into the district's 68 square miles could be challenging.

"Establishing HQ2 in the district could potentially overwhelm the city, but placing it out in Northern Virginia, where there's already a lot of tech-based companies, would provide some relief space-wise. People could live in DC and commute out very easily. And DC would still benefit from the spillover effect into Virginia."

Washington hasn't won the contest yet, though. There are still seventeen other cities in the race-places like Philadelphia, Dallas, Columbus, and Toronto.

 

Credit: The Atlanta Voice


Many other candidates have similar qualities as Washington - most with especially strong tech industries. Gilbert considers Boston as Washington's top competition. "It's home to MIT, there's lots of technology-focused organizations there, and there's a strong history of innovation."

Newark, New Jersey is also a strong contender, with its close vicinity to New York City. Or Atlanta, home to Georgia Tech and many tech-focused businesses.

"Washington has strong advantages, but we can't forget about the other possibilities," says Gilbert.

There's always potential downfalls to consider, too. Winning Amazon's HQ2 would bring thousands of jobs and heighten a city's tech industry, but it would also bring a myriad of challenges.

"I do think there are going to be some significant short-term, and maybe long-term costs," says Gilbert.

Like hyper-gentrification. It's highly unlikely Amazon will source all of its new employees from current city residents, meaning the chosen city will see an influx of new residents. This will cost the city a lot of money, especially in terms of housing. It's likely many areas will experience an increase in housing costs, pushing current residents out - a problem DC already struggles with.

Traffic will also worsen, unless everyone commits to public transportation or carpooling. This will increase commuting time not only for the new Amazon employees, but also for current residents - an issue that could easily breed resentment for the new headquarters.

Despite the potential negatives, Gilbert still advocates for the overall positive effect of HQ2. "Amazon would attract other tech companies to the area. And it would make the chosen city a more attractive place to live and work because they know the employment opportunities are there."

So, is Amazon headed for Washington, DC? We'll soon find out.

Kogod Professor Brett Gilbert is an accomplished scholar in the areas of entrepreneurship, geographic clusters, emerging technologies, and clean technologies. She holds a Ph.D. from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business and has published in leading journals, including Strategic Management Journal , Journal of International Business Studies, Research Policy, Journal of Business Venturing , and Journal of Management.

Prior to joining the Kogod School of Business, Professor Gilbert was an Associate Professor with tenure at Rutgers University. She has also taught at the Mays School of Business at Texas A&M and the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. In addition to her research accomplishments, Professor Gilbert also serves as an editor of Small Business Economics and as an editorial review board member of Journal of Business Venturing and Journal of International Business Studies.

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Title: After the Storm: AU Alumna Leads Houston Jewish Group Post-Hurricane Harvey
Author: Gregg Sangillo
Subtitle:
Abstract: Shortly after Hurricane Harvey, Avital Ingber, Kogod/BA '03, took the helm of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, where she's helping to lead a devastated community forward.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 03/27/2018
Content:

When Hurricane Harvey battered Houston, the city's Jewish community was hit particularly hard. Approximately 2,000 Jewish homes were flooded, while supporting networks like synagogues suffered considerable damage. As the vibrant community withstood—and picked up the pieces from—the hurricane's wrath, Avital Ingber, Kogod/BA '03, was transitioning into a new job.

After accepting her post as president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, she was still in DC but in frequent contact with her new Texas colleagues. By the time she officially started in November 2017, two things became abundantly clear: Both the city of Houston, and her new job, were fundamentally changed. "I had to make decisions a lot quicker than I would have before," says Ingber. "We're balancing onboarding me to the community, and being a new CEO, with moving forward with the disaster recovery."

While assisting Houston's Jewish population, she's mindful of leadership and organizing lessons she learned as an undergrad at American University.

One Community, One Voice

The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston is now immersed in recovery issues. But the storm has also given the organization reason to reassess the community's long-term viability.

"Our biggest concern is the sustainability of Jewish life. So, in the fourth largest city in America, we don't want to have a generation that is lost in terms of its connection to the Jewish community," Ingber says.

Among flooded families, payments of synagogue dues are lagging, and officials anticipate fewer enrollments at Jewish day schools. To compensate, the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston is giving scholarships to help strengthen the local Jewish experience. And, despite the area's struggles, Ingber believes rebuilding efforts are uniting Jews in Houston and beyond.

"Harvey has not only brought the Jewish community of Houston closer together, it has brought the Jewish community of North America closer together. Everyone who's come here from other communities feels that, 'Houston is not needy. Houston is in need. And this could be us.' They want to help because they know we'll be there if they unfortunately have a natural disaster or a man-made disaster," she explains. "We are now talking about a purposeful rebuild. We're thinking about advocacy and community organizing, and how we come out with one voice."

Roots and Staying Connected

Ingber's family instilled in her the importance of communal ties and civic engagement. Her paternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors who relocated to Canada. Her maternal grandparents emigrated from Russia to Canada at the turn of the century, and Ingber's grandmother was active in Montreal's Jewish community. She was named campaigner of the year for Federation CJA (Montreal's Jewish federation) in the 1970s, and that award still hangs in Ingber's Houston office. Soon after Ingber started her position, her grandmother passed away at 95.

"The fact that here I am working for the same organization that she volunteered for is, I think, really remarkable," Ingber says.

Her parents came from Canada to Cincinnati, Ohio—making Ingber a first-generation American—and her father, Abie, became a rabbi. He now runs the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement at Xavier University.

"I grew up going to Jewish summer camps. I was very active in BBYO, a Jewish Youth group," she says. "And I knew from a very young age how important it was to give back."

She moved to DC to attend AU, earning her bachelor's degree in marketing and finance with a minor in Jewish studies. She was heavily involved in Jewish issues on campus, including serving on the university Hillel board. But she also did Capitol Hill and marketing internships, and she assumed she'd work in the secular business world after graduation. Yet two years into her career, she felt disconnected from her roots. At the advice of a mentor, she did an informational interview at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

"I showed up and said, 'I'm not looking for a job. I'm just looking to connect with the Jewish community.' And they said, 'OK, well, let's talk.' And three days later, they had created a job for me doing youth outreach," she says. There were thousands of young people, like Ingber, hoping to plug into Jewish life. She stayed at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington for 13 years, serving in various capacities and eventually becoming chief development officer.

Still cherishing her AU education, she got to know Robert and Arlene Kogod years later while working in Washington. "I remember distinctly the first time that I got to meet them, and the fact that I could go up and say, 'Thank you for allowing me to have this incredible learning experience at the Kogod School of Business,'" she recalls.

Hard Times and Generosity

The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston recruited Ingber, and her time there has been anything but ordinary.

"We cry a lot together. It's hard, and there've certainly been challenges. And my job is to be part of a Jewish community, so people have reached out to me and invited me to their homes," she notes. "The Houston community is one of the most warm and welcoming communities that I have ever experienced."

Passover starts at the end of the month. Several large Houston synagogues are hosting still-displaced residents for local Seders. Ingber will visit her sisters and family in New York City for Passover before returning to Houston for work. It's seeing old family—and connecting with her new one.

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newsId: A1D64C7B-5056-AF26-BE4D2C82ADF23E85
Title: Spotify's 'Non-IPO'
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: Capital markets. IPOs. Direct listings. Find out how Spotify, the Swedish music streaming company, is turning the finance world upside down.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 03/15/2018
Content:

It's finally happening. At the end of February, Spotify, the Swedish music streaming company, filed to sell its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

Here's the catch, though: the company listed directly on the exchange, rather than as a traditional IPO. It's an unusual move - one that's stirred up notable speculation and concern in the finance world.

"This could have a major impact on capital markets," says Mark Ma, assistant professor of accounting at American University's Kogod School of Business. "If other firms follow suit, it could change how capital markets function in our economy."

It's also worth noting that the Stockholm-based company - valued at nearly $20 billion - is the first of its size to pursue such a listing. And that their public debut is expected to be the largest tech "non-IPO" of 2018.

In short, Spotify's latest move is a pretty big deal. Depending on its outcome, it holds potential to completely alter the way companies manage their shares in the public sphere.

Spotify Credit: Stock Snap

What does 'listing directly on the exchange' mean?

In a direct listing, a company sells shares directly to the public without the help of any intermediaries. There are no institutional underwriters, meaning said company saves a lot of money in financing fees.

Most companies list as an IPO, though, because they need external capital. Initial public offerings allow companies to sell new shares to the public, serving as a financing process. A direct listing only trades existing shares, so the business does not raise any new money.

"Spotify's direct listing turns the financing process upside down, so now it's more like an ATM. You give your shares to the machine and take money out to keep in your own pocket. The firm doesn't receive additional capital from new investors," explains Ma.

Why is Spotify doing this?

For one, they save valuable currency in underwriting fees - money they can re-invest back into the company. And the direct listing is a simpler process, since Spotify won't have to disclose as much information to intermediary banks and to the public.

They're also in a good place financially to make a (relatively) risky business move. In January 2018, they reported 70 million paying subscribers, having grown from their initial 500,000 in July 2010.

Spotify statistics

Credit: Statista 2018

Ma believes that Spotify's motivation is much deeper than cost-savings or pursuing a simplified process, though. "I think it's really about keeping their existing shares liquid," he says, "because if they really needed money for future investments, they'd pursue a traditional IPO."

So, if they're going public to liquidate their shares, what does that mean? And what implications does this have for the company's future?

See You Later, Spotify

When a company opts to keep their shares liquid, it's likely that investors will leave the company. And a business without investors is - well, not the most stable.

"Maybe Spotify has an investment plan with huge growth potential, but if it's just that some people want to get out of the company, they'll likely do so when shares are overvalued," Ma says.

In a direct listing, investors aren't given a minimum time length to hold onto shares, meaning they can change their positions with no restrictions. This could result in unpredictable price changes for their shares, preventing steady market capitalization.

Ma is admittedly concerned about the company's future. "If you're not raising external capital, I don't understand why you'd go public. You're adding uncertainty to your operation."

Looking Ahead

The real test is time-what will happen over the next few months?

One possibility is that Spotify will end up raising external capital through a seasoned equity offering. Or, maybe they'll cash out entirely by selling their existing shareholder's shares.

Then, of course, there's the impact on the marketplace as a whole. If Spotify is successful, other companies are very likely to follow in the company's footsteps. And if other companies change their investment models, capital markets' role in the economy could change, too.

Why? Because capital markets provide fresh life to the economy by connecting investors with entrepreneurs. Direct listings could limit this growth, and, consequentially, capital markets' impact on the economy.

"There's a lot of possibilities…we'll see what happens," says Ma. "One thing is for sure, though: this new process is definitely an adventure."

Mark MaMark Ma, assistant professor of accounting and taxation at American University's Kogod School of Business, is originally from China and received his PhD degree from the University of Oklahoma. His research interests are broad, including capital markets, financial reporting, tax reporting, and corporate governance. He is especially interested in 1) exploring new research ideas, 2) challenging conventional thoughts in accounting research, and 3) utilizing "natural experiments" to better identify the direction of causality. He currently teaches financial accounting at Kogod.

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newsId: E59D49AD-5056-AF26-BE7198FD76FD81AD
Title: Women-Owned Businesses Continue to Increase, Thrive
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: In 2017, the seventh annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report estimated that, over the past 20 years, the number of women-owned businesses in the United States has grown 114%.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 03/07/2018
Content:

In 2017, the seventh annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report estimated that, over the past 20 years, the number of women-owned businesses in the United States has grown 114%. The national growth rate for all businesses is 44%. 

The report also estimates that there are now 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the US. These ventures employ nearly 9 million people and generate over $1.7 trillion, making them a notable source of income for the US economy.

According to Siri Terjesen, director of the American University Center for Innovation, this incredible amount of growth is due to a multitude of economic, political and social factors. "The barriers to accessing capital are much lower than in the past…and women are more likely to be able to attain financial resources at all venture stages," Terjesen says.

Terjesen also notes that women entrepreneurs' financial vitality and business growth strongly depends on their state of residence. Specific areas of the country-namely Texas, Florida, and Virginia-have more business-friendly regulations than others. Not surprisingly, the three fastest growing women-owned businesses, as identified by the Women President's Organization, are located in two out of three of these states.

Additionally, women are spending more time in the labor market annually, giving them the business skills they need to become entrepreneurs. And-as evidenced by programs like the American University entrepreneurship incubator-starting one's own venture is now a viable career option for women, when traditionally it was not.

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Excerpted from the 2017 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report

 

So, what's next for women entrepreneurs? And how do they ensure this upward mobility continues-for themselves, and for their businesses?

To find out-and to gain greater insight into the field as a whole, we sat down one-on-one with Terjesen, who serves as the dean's research fellow in entrepreneurship at American Univeristy's Kogod School of Business, in addition to her role as director of the Center for Innovation. Learn more from our conversation below.

Kogod School of Business: According to the State of Women Owned Business Report, over the past twenty years, women-owned businesses have grown 114% compared to the national growth rate of 44%. What, in your opinion, are some of the factors contributing to such significant growth?

Siri Terjesen: I think there's a lot of reasons. The barriers to accessing capital have dissipated over the years. There is also more awareness of public procurement programs for women entrepreneurs, so you see firms being led by women, at least in name, targeting those government opportunities.

There are also more women than men in our general population, and women are spending more and more time in the labor market. So, women are getting great business experience, and that means that there's more human capital available for start-ups.

KSB: What conditions are necessary for the proliferation of women-owned businesses to continue?

ST: In order to initiate successful women-led businesses, you need a pipeline of women in the private sector and in the labor market. I think it's really essential for women to go into the corporate sector and gain experience working with other entrepreneurs before starting their own ventures. This not only helps them develop the skills they need to be successful, but also often helps them access critical social and financial capital. 

The government also needs to protect property rights. The government has to allow people to actually earn their rents, and not pay extremely high fees--for example, due to excessive regulation, as well as taxes.

KSB: What are some potential obstacles to growth?

ST: Government regulation is the number one. Women are more likely than men to start businesses in sectors that are highly regulated. These regulations often prevent women from being able to start and grow their businesses. We see this even in the incubator when students are starting companies in regulated sectors. They're spending a lot more time jumping through hoops before they can get things started.

A second barrier is acquiring meaningful prior experience in their chosen industry before they set out on their own. You're much more likely to be successful in a particular industry if you've previously worked in it and established the contacts and a base of knowledge. 

And because so many of these high-growth businesses are technology-based, another top barrier is actually having a corridor to high technology for their business, such as knowing how to build block-chain based systems.

KSB: In 2017, the Women President's Organization identified the top three fastest-growing women-led businesses as Orangetheory Fitness in Boca Raton, FL; Pinnacle Group in Dallas, TX; and Technology Concepts Group International in Somerset, NJ. Are you familiar with any of these organizations?

ST: Not specifically, but I will say that it's not surprising they are located in those states, because these states tend to do more than others to protect their entrepreneur's economic freedom. They have some of the most business-friendly regulations.

It's also interesting the types of industry these businesses are in. Traditionally, women-owned businesses were in the retail industry; none of these three businesses are. It shows that women are branching out, and that they can certainly compete in multiple industries.

KSB: Is there any advice, based on your research, that you'd give these women running these businesses?

ST: Businesses today are so mobile. If you don't find if your success in a geographic location, then you can always relocate to a more business-friendly state or city! That's always something to keep in mind. And then building the labor pipeline: being able to attract and retain employees and grow them.

KSB: What implications does all of this have for public policy?

ST: I would argue for fewer regulations. Certainly there's a need for regulation of some sectors, but there's also a tendency to over-regulate. I also think there needs to be more follow-up on current policies. It's important to check if the regulation led to the desired effect--that almost never happens. 

You also have to consider the part of the country you're in. Certain regions will be more focused on certain industries than others. The DC area is a big technology hub, so if you're looking there, you'd want to look into policies surrounding that particular industry.

And, of course, making sure there are policies in place that ensure women and men can access the money they need to start their businesses.

KSB: Finally, where do you see the future of women entrepreneurship headed?

ST: Traditionally we've seen more women starting businesses from age 35 and up. I think with the proliferation of entrepreneurship education in universities, and with new public and private programs that connect potential entrepreneurs to funding sources, we're going to see women starting businesses when they're a little younger. I also think we'll continue to see the proliferation of different sectors, so women won't just start businesses in retail as they have traditionally.

Siri TerjesenDr. Siri Terjesen is Dean's Research Fellow in Entrepreneurship at American University's Kogod School of Business and Director of the AU Center for Innovation. Concurrently she is a Professor .2 at the Norwegian School of Economics. Siri received her undergraduate education at the University of Richmond (1997), her Masters at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration in Bergen, Norway (2002) as a Fulbright Scholar, and PhD at Cranfield University in the UK (2006). She was a post-doctoral fellow at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia (2006-7). Her research on entrepreneurship, corporate governance, and strategy has been published in leading journals such as Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management, Journal of Operations Management, Business Ethics Quarterly, Journal of Business Ethics, Academy of Management Learning & Education, and Strategic Management Journal, and featured in leading media including Bloomberg, US News & World Report, the Times, Huffington Post, and CNBC. Read more about her background and experience here.

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Title: Sunday's Oscars: A Repeated Mishap?
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: As the nation ramps up for the 90th annual Academy Awards this Sunday, March 4, one can't help but wonder if we'll see a similar mishap as last year.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 03/02/2018
Content:

As the nation ramps up for the 90th annual Academy Awards this Sunday, March 4, one can't help but wonder if we'll see a similar mishap as last year. Is PricewaterhouseCoopers still in charge of preparing the announcement envelope? Will the presenters announce correct winners? How is the Academy handling this process differently than last year?

These concerns echo last year's historic mix-up, where presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway incorrectly announced the best picture winner. While they took the initial heat for the mistake, true responsibility fell on PwC. Two of the accounting firm's partners were charged with guarding the winners' envelopes; and, as history shows, they lacked a crucial attention to detail in the moment.

The mistake's implications were much deeper than just disappointment and embarrassment. PwC has a long-standing relationship with the Academy (83 years!), where, in addition to assisting with the awards, they prepare their taxes and financial documents, and oversee their annual board elections. If the firm could make a mistake of this magnitude, what type of error could they make in their other work?

According to Casey Evans, former director of Kogod's MS in accounting program and newly appointed assistant dean of undergraduate programs, PwC's saving grace was in how they handled the situation. Following last year's Oscars, the firm acknowledged their mistake, apologized for the oversight and assured the Academy-and the public-that it would never happen again.

"When mishaps such as these occur, how it is handled is key," Evans says. "PwC minimized the overall damage to its reputation and relationship with the Academy because they quickly accepted responsibility for the mishap and were transparent about what occurred."

So, what is PwC doing this year to uphold to its promises?

Last year's employees are not returning (though they are still proud partners at PwC). Instead, PwC is sending longtime partner Rick Rosas, who previously manned the Award post for 14 years, as well as the firm's chairman and a senior firm partner.

In addition to switching out employees, PwC and the Academy have instituted a more detailed process for managing the announcement envelope. All three will attend dress rehearsals, and they've instituted a new backstage process in which a partner will also be stationed with the show's producers in a control booth.

"PwC has removed the partners in charge from the engagement and changed the internal controls around the ballots to ensure it won't happen again," explains Evans. "Again, because of how they've handled this, I'd say the negative impact on their reputation has been short-lived."

Tune into the 90th annual Academy awards this Sunday, March 4, at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

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Title: How College Basketball (and a Kogod Education) Prepared Nick Hendra for the Business World
Author: Seth Shapiro
Subtitle: Reflecting on the 10-Year Anniversary of AU’s First Men’s Basketball Patriot League Championship
Abstract: Nick Hendra, KSB ’11, a member of the AU men’s basketball team in 2007-08, still remembers highlights from that season.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 03/01/2018
Content:

Nick Hendra, KSB '11, a freshman member of the AU men's basketball team in 2007-08, can still remember the highlights from that season.

"What was really special for us…was the locker room time and the time spent on bus trips and airplane rides," Hendra says.

The team also happened to win the Patriot League that year, the very first time AU men's basketball ever won a conference championship. He recalls the bonding moments with his teammates the most fondly, though.

Hendra attributes the team's on-court success to the "special relationships we had…the camaraderie." He suspects they may never have reached a championship-caliber level of play without opportunities to cultivate a tight-knit team away from basketball.

As a freshman learning to balance the rigors of playing Division I college basketball and a full academic course load, Hendra relied heavily on his teammates to develop the discipline needed to excel at both. Bus rides to and from games involved a lot of studying, particularly with his fellow Kogod students, including Garrison Carr; Brian Gilmore; Travis Lay; Steve Luptak; Jordan Nichols; Romone Penny; and Matthew Wilson.

"What makes me most happy…is when I see people…come together and elevate [their work to] a level … that is beyond what anyone could possibly have imagined individually," Hendra says. "That's what made [our team special]."

This is one of the key lessons he took away from his time at Kogod--and also what he's seeking in his professional career.

Finding a new team in the business world

Hendra currently serves as the director of brand partnerships at JWALK, a full-service creative agency in New York City that supports a diversity of companies. In addition to catering to Hendra's wide-ranging passions for finance, business, technology, and marketing, JWALK has also met his need for finding a team that he can work with.

"One thing I really try to emulate in business is camaraderie, bringing people together," Hendra says. By coalescing internally as a unit, JWALK has been able to pursue innovative and creative methods to working with clients.

JWALK has adopted a novel business model, where they accept equity in exchange for services, rather than traditional payments, for many of their engagements. This co-ownership approach brings JWALK and its clients closer together, as well, which leads to better campaigns that benefit the businesses they serve.

If the creative campaigns that JWALK produces are successful, then the brand grows-and so does JWALK's compensation. Hendra said that JWALK also selectively chooses many of the brands the company works with, identifying companies that align well with JWALK's interest and mission.

"I want people to feel like they are working for a higher purpose," Hendra says.

Creativity was the key to basketball-and it's critical for business, too

By working at a company that "boldly goes against the grain," as JWALK claims in its mission statement, Hendra understands that creativity is imperative in everything he does. He credits his ability to innovate to a combination of his upbringing, basketball, and Kogod.

Hendra says he gets his creative genes from his parents. His father has worked as an author, satirist, actor, and more. His mother serves as the global chairman for one of the largest advertising agencies in the country. Both of them encouraged Hendra to think creatively and accept the creativity of others.

On the basketball court, Hendra says the game is "almost entirely creative … everything is artistic." From creating opportunities for himself or his teammates, success in basketball is contingent on one's ability to see a way to succeed that might not be obvious.

But his professional originality, Hendra says, was solidified by his education. Kogod showed him "how your creativity can be applied to business," Hendra says. "Kogod helped me figure out where my creativity could be applied and how I was going to succeed at it."

Making a difference depends on a diligent routine and a selfless attitude

Hendra is proud of what he accomplished on AU's basketball court and what he's managed to achieve at JWALK, but he recognizes that his "wins" obscure the hard work he's put in.

"All that people see at the end of the day is the finished product," Hendra says. "They don't see the diligence that went into the process."

What he has achieved in business, and what he hopes he will be able to accomplish in his career, he sees as being built on the foundations of what he learned as an undergraduate. Those 18-hour days at AU included 5 a.m. workouts, 8 a.m. classes, basketball practices, study halls, and more. And Hendra knows he never would have gotten through all that without the support of his teammates.

 

Learn more about American University's Kogod School of Business.

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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
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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
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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: 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
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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.

Tags: Alumni,Kogod School of Business,School of Public Affairs
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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.”

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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
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
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