newsId: C582C743-5056-AF26-BE1FB556BF410A51
Title: Searching for a New Job? New Study Says Talking to Friends and Family Boosts Chances of Success
Author: AJ Springer
Subtitle:
Abstract: New research co-authored by a Kogod School of Business professor finds job seekers who discuss their search with friends and family are more active job seekers than those who don't.
Topic: Announcement
Publication Date: 01/10/2018
Content: If you're a job seeker driving your friends and family crazy with job search conversations, a new study finds you're doing something right.

New research co-authored by Serge da Motta Veiga, an assistant professor of management in the American University Kogod School of Business, found that people who talk about their job search with family and friends were more likely to stick to it.

"Should we talk? Co-rumination and conversation avoidance in job search," co-authored with Missouri State professors Dana L. Haggard and Melody W. LaPreze, and published in Career Development International, surveyed 196 graduating students preparing to enter the labor market. The researchers found that job seekers who engaged in repeated and excessive talk about job search issues with friends and family were more likely to engage in job search activities including revising resumes, applying for jobs and seeking job leads from their network.

Survey participants who avoided talking about their job searches were more likely to procrastinate.

"Our findings suggest that some positive behaviors might result from an increased amount of sharing and talking about one's job search," the researchers write. "It might be that any sense of urgency created by the repetitive discussions is overridden by the focus on understanding all about the job search and, as a result, potentially generating new ideas about the types of job search activities to be executed."

For da Motta Veiga, the findings illustrate that talking about a job search with close friends and family has a way of keeping the job seeker accountable.

"It is important to understand that searching for a job, albeit an individual process, can benefit from some level of experience sharing with one another," he said. "Indeed, simply talking about one's job search experiences seems to help maintain a level of intensity in job search activities."

He also recommends career counselors take notice of the study to help job seekers reach career goals.

"Career centers, at universities and elsewhere, could put together some job search mentoring or peer group programs to help job seekers navigate the ups and downs that come with the territory of searching for a job."  
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Title: Science, Business and Meaningful Change
Author: Jamie McCrary
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Abstract: Nicole Condon, MSSM ’15, came to Kogod for impact. She wanted to use her training in science to affect change in business—an ambition she now lives every day.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 12/15/2017
Content:

Nicole Condon, MSSM ’15, came to Kogod for impact. She wanted to use her training in science to affect change in business—an ambition she now lives every day.

“I thought I could have a bigger impact from outside of science than I could within it,” she says. “I wanted to raise awareness [of sustainable practices] in the private sector.”

Condon, a former marine biologist and oceanographer, is currently a senior program officer in global seafood markets at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). She works with businesses on their seafood supply chain, ensuring they’re purchasing responsibly and driving conservation in the marketplace.

She believes Kogod helped turn her aspirations into outcomes through its interdisciplinary approach. The sustainability management program blends environmental and social science, public policy and business, offering a multi-faceted curriculum centered on the global environment.

“It gave me a tool set I didn’t have before. I can now take my expertise in government, science, and policy, and frame it in a corporate mindset,” Condon says.

As she continues her work with WWF, she hopes to find new ways to create meaningful change. She wants to find new approaches that can increase impact—one business at a time.

Read more about Nicole and her ambitions below.

Kogod School of Business: Tell us some more about your background.

Nicole Condon: I went to school for marine biology and got a master’s in oceanography. I consistently saw a disconnect between science and public policy, as well as a public understanding of why this work was being done. I wanted to take a step back and figure out how to make an impact on the “other side of the fence,” which led me to the MSSM program.

I eventually got an internship at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The role I’ve come into at WWF is really the perfect combination of every degree that I have, which has been fantastic. Now I’m working with major businesses on their seafood supply chain to make sure that not only are they purchasing responsibly, but that they’re leveraging their purchasing power to drive conservation impact on the ground. It’s really driven by the science.

KSB: What inspired you to pursue business education in the first place?

NC: When I transitioned out of the marine science/oceanography realm, I really dug into the jobs that were available in the market. Every single job that was on the path I wanted required a business degree. Kogod’s sustainability management program was really the only one that took a comprehensive approach to both environmental policy and the private sector. It allowed me to promote sustainability within private companies, which is what I wanted.

KSB: Could you talk about your oceanography days?

NC: I studied sharks and rays and a lot of topics around their ecology. It was really exciting work, but I kind felt like I was sacrificing fish for the sake of science. I wasn’t really sure what kind of impact it was going to have. That’s why I wanted to shift—I thought I could have a bigger impact in the marine world from outside of science than I could within it. I wanted to raise awareness in the private sector of the impact sustainable seafood has around the world.

KSB: In what ways does your background in the sciences complement what you’re doing now? How does it contrast your current work?

NC: You know, I actually don’t see any big contrasts. Everything I learned as a scientist directly correlates to the work I’m doing now with businesses. Because I have the understanding and background, it gave me the credibility to have challenging conversations with other scientists, government officials and companies. So now I have a spectrum of people that I can have very detailed conversations with, from varied technical details around fisheries and farms, up to what it means for a global organization.

KSB: What led you to the World Wildlife Fund?

NC: Our MSSM cohort is really close; we all helped each other get jobs. A friend in my year e-mailed me and said, “Oh, I saw this internship and I think you’d be great for it!” I applied for it, and got it two days later. It’s one of those things where keeping an eye on my network really helped.

Since starting as an intern I’ve been promoted once a year. All of my roles have been in the same vein, just increasingly more strategic. It has felt like a natural progression in terms of expanding my role.

KSB: What was Kogod’s master of science in sustainability management program like for you?

NC: Everyone came from a different background—energy, environmental science, policy—so you had people looking at problems from diverse lenses. This was really exciting, because you got to explore different opportunities while building a unique network. This diversity was true of the professors, as well. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this program, which is great.

KSB: In what ways did Kogod help you to pursue your passions?

NC: It gave me a tool set I didn’t have before. I can now take my expertise in government, science, and policy, and frame it in a corporate mindset. I can create easily digestible information that drives impact around sustainability.

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

NC: I think most MSSM students are looking to make a global impact—whether it’s in seafood, or climate and energy. For me, it’s really driving conservation on the ground in fisheries and farms around the world, and doing so through the lens of major corporations.

KSB: What next career steps do you aspire to?

NC: As I move forward, I want to find a unique lens that hasn’t been explored yet. Unique approaches that haven’t been tapped into yet that could increase impact, and scale the work that we’re trying to do.

Learn more about Kogod’s master of science in sustainability management program.

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Title: Managing Cyber Risks: Three Misconceptions
Author: Ayman Omar
Subtitle:
Abstract: How do business leaders manage cybercrime? Ayman Omar's preliminary research reveals alarming trends in how businesses approach cyber risk.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 12/13/2017
Content:

The threat of cybercrime is a risk that has increased substantially over the past several years. According to an industry risk analysis report by Allianz, in 2016, cyber risks ranked third out of the top business risks, compared to a rank of 15 in 2013. Even more alarming is that, according to the McAfee Center for Strategic and International Studies, cybercrime costs the world economy about $445 billion annually.

As our dependence on electronic shared data increases (e.g. online shopping, cloud technology), so does our exposure to cyber risks. Despite such alarming trends, many organizations are approaching this risk with little to no strategy, which makes them that much more vulnerable.

I am currently working on a report on cyber risk with a university in Austria. We’ve interviewed executives in over 50 organizations in the United States and Europe, and our preliminary findings reveal some startling patterns of decision-making when dealing with cyber risks.

According to our research thus far, these patterns revolve around three misconceptions that managers embrace.

Misconception #1: Cyber Risk is an IT Issue (vs. a Cross Functional Problem)

Many organizations assign the task of dealing with cyber threats to their IT department. A successful cyber attack can have an organization-wide impact on the operations, marketing, or logistics departments, as well as other functional areas within the organization. It can lead to a disruption in production, delays in shipments resulting in stock outs, or possible negative effects on the brand equity of the firm or its products. In order to fully understand this risk with its potential impact across the organization, there has to be a concerted effort by top management to deal with this risk using an enterprise-wide approach. Isolating this task in the IT department alone will not provide a comprehensive risk management strategy that can effectively deals with such risks.

Misconception #2: Organizational Focus (vs. Supply Chain Focus)

The second pattern that emerged revealed a focus of addressing cyber risks as they relate to that specific organization, without taking the entire supply chain network into account. Cyber attacks can be directed at the company itself, but in many cases, are also directed at another supply chain member who which is connected to the same network. There are many cases where companies were breached due to a breach at their third party service provider. Organizations like Target, Home Depot, Fiat Chrysler, T-Mobile USA, IRS, CVS, Costco, Sam’s Club, Boston Medical Center, and others have all suffered cyber attacks because their third party providers were compromised.

Another issue that is present in supply chains, and that could result in higher risks of cybercrime, is bad outsourcing decisions. Such decisions are believed to cause 63% of the data breaches that take place in different supply chains. Reducing a company’s risks from cybersecurity threats can no longer be viewed in isolation; rather, this should be addressed as a network-wide problem. Organizations can outsource activities through a third party, but they can no longer outsource the risk. A successful attack at a supply chain member affects all other organizations in that network. Working with critical supply chain partners is key to understanding the source of the risk and setting effective plans to manage those risks.

Misconception #3: Assessing Cyber Risks Qualitatively (vs. Quantitatively)

Many organizations use a qualitative approach to assess and quantify risks. Examples include color-coded systems, or a standard 2x2 matrix displaying occurrence vs. potential impact on a qualitative scale. The problem with such approaches is that they do not reveal any useful information that could be used by managers for decision-making.

This is even more problematic when trying to address something as complex and evolving as cyber risks. A risk that is considered as “high” may be interpreted differently across various units of the organization, or across different countries if the organization has a global presence. A quantitative approach would assign a numeric figure representing a probability. Potential impact would be assigned a range for potential costs. This can be easily simulated using different methods, such as the Monte Carlo simulation. ________________________________________________________________________

Cyber risks are a clear and present danger to all organizations - a threat that will continue to rise. Managers should re-think how they address this kind of risk by designing a risk management plan with the involvement of key personnel from different areas within the organization, not just from the IT department. This plan should also focus on addressing the risk from a system-wide or supply chain perspective. Finally, a more quantitative approach should be utilized to accurately assess the potential risks. ________________________________________________________________________

Ayman Omar is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Business and a Research Fellow at the Kogod Cybersecurity Governance Center (KCGC). His research interests focus on global supply chain management, specifically targeting areas such as supply chain integration and responsiveness, cyber risks in global supply chains, and sustainability in global supply chains. Prior to receiving his Ph.D., Prof Omar worked in the oil industry and conducted several consulting projects for a wide range of corporations including many Fortune 100 companies as well as small privately owned firms.

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Title: Where Future Financial Analysts Are Made
Author: Seth Shapiro
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Abstract: “I think [the FSIT Lab] is one of the best things that Kogod has to offer,” Dasha Savchenko, BSF ’17, says.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 12/05/2017
Content:

When Dasha Savchenko, BSF ’17, graduates next month, her diploma will say that she has earned a bachelor’s degree in finance. But thanks to the Financial Services and Information Technology (FSIT) Lab, that won’t be the only accreditation she receives from Kogod—she’ll also have a certification in Excel, PowerPoint and the Bloomberg Terminal.

“I think [the FSIT Lab] is one of the best things that Kogod has to offer,” Savchenko says. “When talking to prospective employers, one of the things they look for is technical skills, and the lab is the one place you can get them.”

In addition to helping students bolster their resumes, Octavian Ionici, Director of the FSIT Lab, explains how the lab enables students to bridge the gap between theory and real application. Students leave having “created a deeper understanding of the interactions between business and government,” Ionici says.

A Space to Put Learning into Practice

Savchenko found herself in the FSIT Lab virtually every day at certain points during her undergraduate studies. She took numerous classes in the lab, including financial modeling. She has been working as a lab assistant since her sophomore year. And she spent countless hours in the lab working on group projects and conducting individual research.

“It’s a great place to work because of the functionality of it,” Savchenko says.

The lab has a total of 38 computers, each outfitted with the latest financial modeling technologies: Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, Capital IQ, Fitch and more. During classes and workshops, students don’t just take notes and follow along—they create their own models in real-time at their computer stations.

“It’s a lot easier than walking through a textbook or screenshots of the process,” Savchenko says.

Ahead of Its Time—and Still Cutting Edge

Ionici helped create the lab at AU in 2009, when there were only 45 universities around the world with similar facilities (now there are 345 in the United States and Canada alone).

“The FSIT Lab’s power, compared to other universities’ trading rooms, is its integration into the core business curriculum,” Ionici says. “Students need to have the skills to start working from day one effectively.”

Since the lab was founded, the computers have been continuously upgraded to ensure students have access to the latest technologies. Ionici has also made sure to offer more workshops and courses including investment banking, the tools of financial markets and real estate financial modeling. These offerings provide more than 1,600 students with the opportunity to hone the skills they need once they enter the job market.

How Kogod Students Distinguish Themselves from the Competition

Savchenko credits the lab for helping her stand out in her previous internships and in her ongoing job search—not only from her peers, but from the staff members as well.

“As an intern [for a real estate valuation company] I was more prepared than even people who were there full-time,” Savchenko says. Even staff who work at the company didn’t have the same experience using financial technologies to access and analyze companies’ financial information.

“This is the differentiating factor,” Ionici says. “After they graduate they don’t leave Kogod with just a degree. They have a better understanding of the business and the profession because they also have the exposure to the company management.”

Learn more about Kogod’s FSIT Lab and its offerings.

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Title: The Business of Balancing Both
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle: Cody Louis Cohen, this December’s undergraduate commencement speaker, is an aspiring TV producer and business professional
Abstract: Cody Louis Cohen, BSBA '17 with a concentration in television production, is bi-lingual--but not as one might think.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 11/29/2017
Content:

Cody Louis Cohen, BSBA '17 with a concentration in television production, is bi-lingual—but not as one might think. Cohen's a pro at TV production AND business, balancing a skill set that's strategically matched. "I came to Kogod so I could understand both languages," Cohen says. "I knew I couldn't be successful [in television] without strong business skills."

Last summer, he put his business acumen to the test. Cohen worked as a production management intern at EPIX in New York City, where he generated source material for the network's creative services team. Key responsibilities included working with movie studios and attending meetings with the director of creative services-tasks that required a keen professional skill set.

"Kogod really taught me how to stand out," he says.

Back at school this Fall, Cohen achieved another professional milestone. He was nominated to apply, and was accepted, as this December's undergraduate commencement speaker-a dream he's had for years.

"I remember saying [to my mom], 'wouldn't it be cool to be commencement speaker and share my story?' And now it's coming true," Cohen says.

Cohen has two goals with his speech: to make it relatable and uplifting. He wants it to showcase everything AU has to offer-a topic he hopes his classmates will connect to, and feel good about.

He's structuring it like a script. Cohen's included characters, different scenes, and, of course, a plot twist. In short, it's a metaphor for life. "I hope everyone can see themselves in it because we all have our own 'scripts.' If one is ending, a new one begins," he says.

Cohen, while very successful at Kogod, has also experienced his share of hardship. About halfway through his degree program, Cohen fell critically ill and took a leave of absence from school. He went back to his Woodbury, New York, home for treatment and put his degree on hold for a semester.

The experience was difficult, he says, but also empowering. "I faced a situation where I had no choice but to be strong. It really taught me how to handle things in a way I didn't think I could," he says.

Cohen's illness also offered clarity for his future. While he was sick, he watched a lot of television-not just for fun, but for inspiration. Following people's stories and analyzing the structure of each show kept him connected to his communications work at AU.

When he returned to school, he did so with a set passion: television production. He knew now which career path to pursue. "I always wanted to be part of that bigger picture. Being a part of something that grand was exciting to me," Cohen says.

Cohen worked hard to catch up at school, but is quick to admit that he couldn't have done it alone. He says his friends, professors, and the Kogod staff supported him in his recovery 100%. "Their goal was to get me back on track, and they worked really hard to make that happen," he says.

It's the people at Kogod that really defined his experience, he says. The community-whom he calls "interdisciplinary and diverse"-helped him get the most out of his time, during and after his recovery. "I've experienced everything the school and Washington, DC, has to offer because of the people that I've met," Cohen says. "And, because the community is so diverse, I've learned many different ways of looking at life."

After graduation, Cohen plans to move back to New York City to work in the television industry as a production assistant or coordinator. He hopes to work for a show and inch his way up "through the rankings"-or, eventually pursue his passions in Los Angeles.

Long-term, he wants to be a television producer that creates multiple shows or leads a network. "I want to be the one to tell the stories and create living content for everyone to enjoy," Cohen says.

Whatever path he takes, it is certain he will keep speaking the language of business and entertainment. It's a fusion that's served him well so far, from his EPIX internship to his upcoming graduation speech. He's excited to continue navigating the television world with the business skills gained at AU, now as a Kogod alumnus.

"The options are unlimited, which is what I love about this industry," Cohen says. "It's overwhelming, but so exciting."

Learn more about Kogod's BSBA program and its specialization options.

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Title: A Morning with Entrepreneur Daymond John
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: Read about our conversation with Daymond John, where he offers rich insight into his own journey—what motivates him, what impassions him, and how he got to where he is today.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 11/21/2017
Content:

When Daymond John, CEO of FUBU and Shark Tank investor, took the floor at American University the morning of Thursday, November 16, you could hear a pin drop. The crowd sat in quiet anticipation, waiting for John to share his entrepreneurship wisdom—and maybe a few secrets, too.

John started at the beginning, talking about his days as a teenager working shifts at Red Lobster while launching what would become FUBU, the "For Us, By Us," clothing company. The business, which he started in his mother's Queens, New York home, quickly became iconic in the hip-hop world, eventually growing into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

John's talk kicked off HSN's inaugural American Dreams Academy, hosted by AU's Center for Innovation. The summit brought together approximately 100 budding entrepreneurs from across the country for two days of entrepreneurship lectures and workshops. All participants received full scholarships to cover their cost of attendance.

John has seen his success over the years, but he's also experienced his let-downs. He admitted that he's almost "lost it all" several times due to risky choices and what he calls "poor financial intelligence." Everything is a learning experience, though, he says-an approach that's propelled him forward throughout his career.

"Failure needs to be taken in bits and pieces. True entrepreneurs take things step-by-step. They know that one person's failure may be another's victory," John says.

I was lucky enough to sit down one-on-one with John after his talk. During our conversation, he offered rich insight into his own journey-what motivates him, what impassions him, and how he got to where he is today.

"I think we're all born thinking like entrepreneurs, then someone convinces us that we're not. [We all have it in us]."

Read more from my conversation with John below.

Kogod School of Business: What continues to motivate you as an entrepreneur?

Daymond John: I ask myself that question often. It's my staff, first of all. There are a lot of great people who work for me and dedicate their time to me. I also feel like I worked so hard to get to where I am in life, why would I just stop? I'm proud of where I am. I hope I can make others better by encouraging them to pursue their passions, too.

KSB: What's one thing you know now that you wish you knew before you become an entrepreneur?

DJ: I needed financial intelligence, desperately. I almost lost everything three or four times. I didn't go to college, and a lot of young adults ask me if they should. I say absolutely because it gives you an understanding of numbers. It doesn't matter if you're running apple, or you're balancing a checkbook at home, financial intelligence is key.

KSB: In what ways has your upbringing and experiences outside of work informed your entrepreneurial spirit?

DJ: I grew up in a town where a lot of the community got destroyed by drugs. I found a way to escape through hip-hop. I saw an exit-something I loved. Later on, I ended up creating a way to dress for hip-hop artists. It created who I am today.

KSB: You've made a lot of investments on Shark Tank. Are there any you wish you had made?

DJ: No. The reason is that you can't have it all. There will be some ventures other sharks invest in that I didn't that will become successful. If I was the person investing in it, it may not have worked. You can't wonder about what got away. People who think like that, especially when they're entrepreneurs, [won't be successful]. Keep learning, keep doing what you're doing, and be passionate about it. Don't ever do something you're not passionate about.

KSB: Finally, what advice would you give to an entrepreneur-here at Kogod, or out in the world?

DJ: Understand that you're going to hear "no" forever. I hear no all the time. Mark Zuckerberg still hears no. Love what you do. Surround yourself with like-minded people. Be prepared for a lot of mistakes. And take affordable steps.

Learn more about Daymond John.

Learn more about AU's Center for Innovation.

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Title: Kogod Ramps Up for Small Business Saturday
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Abstract: Ever heard of small business Saturday? If you’re a local business-lover like us, it’s definitely a day worth celebrating.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 11/20/2017
Content:

We’d wager that most of you know about the shopping mega-day Black Friday. There’s also Cyber Monday…and, if you’re in the fundraising world, Giving Tuesday. Ever heard of small business Saturday, though? If you’re a local business-lover like us, it’s definitely a day worth celebrating.

Small Business Saturday, held this year on Saturday, November 25, “celebrates and supports small businesses and all they do for their communities,” according to the Small Business Association. It was founded by American Express in 2010 to encourage consumers to shop small during the holiday season—and to give retailers the chance to gain valuable exposure in their local marketplaces.

In 2016, American Express estimated that small business owners generated $15.4 billion dollars. Approximately 112 million people participated, shopping at 6,700 different stores in all 50 states. Those are no small numbers—or slight economic impact.

“Small businesses are, and will continue to be, the heartbeat of America. As the overall retail industry continues a major transformation, those entrepreneurs who offer specialized and unique products will be clear winners,” says Tommy White, Executive-in-Residence at the Kogod School of Business. “Small Business Saturday is a great way to recognize the spirit and diversity of these amazing entrepreneurs who provide a critical anchor to all our local communities.”

The Washington, DC, local business community has some exciting plans for Small Business Saturday, 2017. Stores are featuring special sales, give-aways and fun events throughout the day to celebrate. To give you a taste of what’s in store (no pun intended), we’ve done a bit of research…

…Here’s five neighborhoods in the DMV we’d recommend visiting on the 25th – some with killer deals, others with special events– but all in support of local business.

Georgetown

There are more than 300 small businesses in Georgetown—from doughnut shops to olive oil stores. Read about their special deals and promotions to help you plan your day. Georgetown BID is also sponsoring a neighborhood-wide promotion: shoppers receive a Small Business Saturday bag with purchase of any participating store. Ten of the bags will include a golden ticket, redeemable for a $100 AMEX gift card.

Alexandria

Alexandria boasts more than 50 independently owned boutiques, all with special activities planned. There’s live music, shopping and activities at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, surprise giveaways, and a Santa Stroll planned for 11 a.m.! Read more about what Alexandria’s got planned.

Shaw

On November 25, Shaw will cut ribbons at a dozen new Shaw businesses, expanding it’s already thriving local business scene. They’ll be holiday craft-making and entertainment, and free hot chocolate and cider. To cap off the day, watch the tree lighting at City Market at O. A full schedule and list of participating businesses will be posted as the event approaches.

Petworth

Don’t miss the Small Business Saturday Shopping Crawl! Upshur Street Books; Annie's Ace Hardware; Fido and Kitty's World; Fias Fab Finds; and Lulabelle's Sweet Shop are all participants. Every participant will receive a free tote bag, and has the opportunity to collect gifts and prizes at each location. Yoga lovers: be sure to attend Lighthouse Yoga Center’s free 60-minute Hatha class at 2 p.m. to relieve holiday stress!

Monroe Street

If you’re an arts lover, stop by Monroe Street to support its nearly 30 local artists on the Arts Walk. Small Businesses at the Market include The Bike Rack, Brookland Pint, Busboys & Poets, Fox Loves Taco, and Wardman Wines. More details here.

Learn more about Small Business Saturday and its economic value.

Kogod School of Business wishes you a happy Thanksgiving holiday!

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Title: The Princeton Review Ranks Kogod Greatest Opportunities for Minorities, Women
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Abstract: This Fall, The Princeton Review ranked Kogod #3 for greatest opportunities for minorities, and #4 for greatest opportunities for women.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 11/17/2017
Content:

Washington, DC, November 17, 2017 – American University’s Kogod School of Business is an outstanding business school, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company profiles the school in its 2018 annual business school rankings at www.princetonreview.com/business-school-rankings/best-business-schools

The 2018 Best Business Schools list ranks on-campus MBA programs, on-campus MBA programs by category, and best online MBA programs. The on-campus MBA cohort includes 267 business schools which were selected using a combination of factors, including institutional and student survey data. According to Robert Franek, Princeton Review Senior VP-Publisher, "We recommend Kogod as one of the best to earn an MBA.”

The Princeton Review's on-campus MBA survey interviewed 23,000 students attending the 267 featured schools about their business school's academics, student body, and campus life, as well as about themselves and their career plans. The student surveys that were used were completed online at http://survey.review.com and conducted in the 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 academic years.

Kogod received two outstanding On-campus MBA by Category rankings. The school was ranked #3 for greatest opportunities for minorities, and #4 for greatest opportunities for women. These are based on MBA student ratings of the resources available for minority students and women, in addition to institutional data. Diversity in the student body, how supportive the campus culture is of minority students, and whether case study materials reflect women in business were also factors in selection.

“I am especially delighted by these rankings because they affirm our ability to practice our core value of diversity and inclusion, and because they confirm our dedication to furthering it in the future,” says John T. Delaney, Dean of the Kogod School of Business.

The Princeton Review also features Kogod in its business school profiles, which has sections on academics, student life, admissions information and graduates’ employment data. American University and Kogod are described as places where “students learn from leaders in their fields, are engaged in active citizenship, and strive to make a difference in the world.” Current students describe the school as having a distinct "emphasis on cooperation rather than competition.” Kogod has "lots of good clubs" and is "very active;” it is also "small and easy to get around.”

There are 18 MBA by Category rankings on the 2018 Best Business Schools list. Other categories include Best Green MBA; Most Family Friendly; Best Professors; Best Career Prospects; and Best Administered, among others. Kogod is one of 71 schools included in Best Business Schools 2018 (27% of the 267 profiled) that appear on one or more of the project’s 18 ranking lists.

Kogod is honored to be recognized by the Princeton Review for its investment in minority populations and women. The school looks forward to continuing serving these groups, as well as all students in their MBA program.

About the Princeton Review

The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The company is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information, visit www.PrincetonReview.com. Follow the company on Twitter @ThePrincetonRev

Learn more about Kogod’s MBA program.

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newsId: 8812D49C-5056-AF26-BEB40E31840B09F8
Title: Inspiring Change, Making a Difference
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle: Kogod Senior Genever Oppong becomes an ELC Scholar in pursuit of business excellence
Abstract: Genever Oppong, BSA minoring in finance, ’18, is a change-maker. It’s why she pursued business education in the first place.
Topic: Business
Publication Date: 11/15/2017
Content:

Genever Oppong, BSA minoring in finance, ’18, is a change-maker. It’s why she pursued business education in the first place.

“I looked at my environment and asked, with my passions and my skillset, how can I make a difference?” she says. “I wanted to speak for people whose struggles weren’t [acknowledged].”

From the Beginning

Oppong, the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants, grew up in a high-crime area in Newark, New Jersey. She witnessed the challenges of poverty matched with a broken education system—an experience that ultimately informed her passion for business.

Oppong realized becoming a business professional could help her invoke change. Through business, she could develop the tools needed to foster a strong community voice. It was a pathway towards meaningful impact.

In 2014, Oppong enrolled at Kogod and her journey began.

She hit the ground running. Oppong interned at the Trust for the National Mall her freshman year, was a Teen Ambassador Program Mentor for the Smithsonian Museum of African Art her sophomore year, and worked two internships with Goldman Sachs in Jersey City. “There was a lot I wanted to do,” Oppong laughs.

In 2016, she pursued another life-altering opportunity—one that’s become a major landmark in her business career. Oppong applied to the Executive Leadership Council’s scholarship program, which offers a generous monetary award, extensive networking opportunities and professional development. She was unsure about her chances to win, but thought she’d give it a shot.

Oppong’s doubt quickly dissipated. Not only did she receive an award, but she won first place in her category, Excellence in Business Commentary.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she says. “I felt excited, surprised and incredibly blessed.”

The Start of Something Big

The Executive Leadership Council (ELC), a non-profit membership organization based in Alexandria, VA, aims to build a pipeline of African-American talent in the business world by supporting talented black students. Their scholarship program, open to both undergraduate and graduate students, includes five separate categories, with the Excellence in Business Commentary essay competition as the primary undergraduate award for students attending non-HBCUs.

The Honors Symposium is the highlight of the program. Scholarship recipients attend a weeklong convention held in New York City and Maryland meeting leading corporate executives, going on site visits and attending networking events. This year’s Symposium, held the last week of October, left Oppong “in awe of everything. It motivated me to work even harder so I can achieve my aspirations,” she says.

Oppong didn’t just attend the symposium, though. She was an active participant in its operation.

As a first-place winner, Oppong was invited to moderate a panel discussion featuring top Coca-Cola executives, the company who sponsored her scholarship. Oppong admits it was intimidating, but she tried to approach it as a learning experience: an opportunity to foster an engaging, candid conversation.

The most important outcome was added value, says Oppong. She aimed to bridge the gap between what executives (employers) and scholars (employees) wanted in the workplace, crafting her questions to consider both parties’ interests.

“An authentic, genuine conversation where you’re really involved in learning about each other was my goal,” she says.

A Dream, Realized

For Oppong, the most impactful part of the Symposium wasn’t moderating the panel. It was meeting the executives in attendance—many of whom she considers her heroes.

Historically, there have been five notable African American CEOs of US Fortune 500 companies. A majority of the cohort, whom Oppong idolized long before starting her own business career, was at the Symposium. Kenneth Chenault of American Express; Arnold Donald of Carnival; and Kenneth Frazier, of Merck & Co, were all present.

“I couldn’t believe I had the chance to meet these incredible people. Before I even joined Kogod, I had them as the screensaver on my computer,” Oppong laughs.

The group was part of her inspiration for pursuing business. Their leadership showed the disparity of African-Americans in corporate America—especially black women. Oppong wanted to be part of changing this inequality.

“When I realized how few Black leaders there were—and that only one of them, Ursula Burns, was a woman—I made a resolution. I want to become the second African-American female CEO of a fortune 500 company,” Oppong says.

Looking Ahead

Her aspiration is high, yes, but many believe Oppong has what it takes to achieve it. Bill Bellows, Kogod professor of entrepreneurship and longtime mentor to Oppong, recalls when they first met. “I asked my students why they wanted to study business, and Genever looked me in the eye and told me her dream, without hesitation,” he says. “There was something about the way she said it that make me think, ‘this is somebody with a clear goal, courage and real passion.”

Oppong admits she couldn’t be successful today—or realize her future dreams—without her mentors at Kogod. She says the school has supported her academically, professionally, and financially—from mentorship at the KCCD to one-on-ones with professors like Bellows. “Without this community helping me become the best version of myself, I wouldn’t be where I am,” she says.

Oppong has many aspirations for the future. She hopes to become a member of the Executive Leadership Council herself. She wants to act as a mentor to other students and co-workers to “help people in any way possible.” And she’s certainly continuing to work towards her ultimate goal of becoming a CEO.

Most of all, though, Oppong wants to make a difference. It’s what underlies everything she does—whether she’s leading a panel discussion with Coca-Cola executives, or completing a project for Kogod. She wants to let her own voice shine, while empowering others to share theirs.

“It’s why I’m in business. I want to be the voice for my community and give back,” Oppong says. “I hope I can inspire great change along the way.”

Learn more about the Executive Leadership Council and their scholarship program.

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newsId: B6178586-5056-AF26-BEFBCF7186DB3458
Title: Stories of Valor: AU Plans Several Veterans Day Events
Author: Gregg Sangillo
Subtitle:
Abstract: In advance of the occasion, four vets and servicemembers are featured.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 11/06/2017
Content:

To honor this year’s Veterans Day, American University is holding several events in the coming week.

AU’s 2nd Annual Veterans Day Ceremony will take place on Friday, November 10. It will be held on the Quad, from 9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m. The ceremony will feature a Presentation of Colors by ROTC, recognition of student vets who are graduating, and remarks from AU community members. Sponsors include the AU Student Veterans Association, ROTC, the Veterans Liaison Network, the Veterans Alumni Network, AU Staff Council, and the Kay Spiritual Life Center.

On Tuesday, November 14, at 12:00 p.m., American University Washington College of Law will host a special Veterans Day Flag Dedication and Reception at the Yuma Entrance Flag Pole. On Wednesday, November 15, from 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. in Kerwin 2 (the old Ward Circle Building) University College is holding a speaker event with Justin Eggen, a Marine Corps veteran whose new book of poetry and short stories is based on his military experiences.

According to figures from veteran services in AU Central, 421 AU students are currently using AU VA education benefits. 283 of those students are either veteran, active duty, reserve, or National Guard, and the remainder are dependents and spouses. In advance of AU’s Veterans Day events, University Communications is featuring four members of the AU community who have served their country—a senior administrator, a faculty member, a law student, and an undergraduate. Here are their stories:

Billy Walker, Director of Athletics and Recreation

While discussing his 30 years of Air Force service, American University athletic director Billy Walker vividly recalls his green beginnings. As he left home to attend the United States Air Force Academy, it was the first time he’d ever been on an airplane.


“I’m thinking, ‘I’m going to eventually become a pilot, and I don’t even know if flying is going to scare me. I hope I’m making the right call here,’” he says now.

Yet coming from a large, working-class Wisconsin family, going to the Air Force Academy was a golden opportunity worth seizing. He turned out just fine on that commercial flight, and he’d eventually become a command pilot with nearly 3,000 hours of helicopter flight time.

Walker’s helicopter flying brought him to Andrews Air Force Base for a job transporting high-ranking government officials and conducting classified missions. After his first assignment there, he’d later return as the commander of the 1st Helicopter Squadron. Over the years, they’d transport Vice Presidents Dick Cheney and Al Gore, as well as cabinet secretaries, foreign leaders, and other dignitaries. He occasionally carried a Civil War almanac in his pocket, showing aerial views of famous battlefields to some passengers.

Aside from the VIP interactions, Walker especially appreciated leading young men and women in this squadron. “Being entrusted with America’s youth, as a commander, was one of my greatest honors,” he says. And he feels the same gratitude for other veterans he’s served alongside. “It was great just seeing the sacrifice, and the intense loyalty and devotion. To be around that for 30 years was really special.”

Walker had a rewarding experience as commander of a small squadron in the Cheyenne, Wyoming, area. This makes for difficult flying, as helicopters have less power in these high-altitude regions. In two years, they got 82 rescue calls, saving many lives and providing assists to people in perilous situations.

Along the way, Walker earned his doctorate in physical education and sports administration at the University of Northern Colorado. He was an assistant wrestling coach at the Air Force Academy and ultimately became deputy director of athletics there. In 2013, he started as AU’s athletic director. If this position looks like a dramatic departure, he sees some positive similarities.

“A lot of our students here are service-oriented. They’re obviously focused on their academics. There are tough, hard-working student athletes,” he notes. “You have so many people going into the Peace Corps or the Foreign Service. You get the same kind of mindset.”

Michael Carberry, Executive in Residence at the Kogod School of Business

There’s an oft-repeated notion about the Vietnam War. College students avoided fighting, while working-class kids without degrees were shipped off to war. College attendance certainly led to many draft deferments, but the generalization is belied by people like Mike Carberry. He volunteered for a Marine program while attending Manhattan College, and he headed to Vietnam after graduating.

Michael Carberry, far right, in Vietnam.

“I grew up in the Bronx in New York, and most of my friends went into the military, voluntarily, when they got of age,” he recalls. “I wanted excitement, adventure, action. So, this was something I was looking to do.”

Between 1964–1966, Carberry did two tours in Vietnam. These days, he keeps a reminder of his service near his desk in Kogod. It’s a New York Daily News clip about a mission he participated in south of Saigon. When two Daily News journalists showed up at his parents’ house looking for a photo for the article, his mother became extremely upset.

“She thought I had been killed. That’s why she thought they wanted the picture,” he says now. At the time, Carberry hadn’t told her he was on the ground in Vietnam. “I would send her notes saying, ‘Oh, things are fine. We’re in the Philippines, or we’re offshore,’” he explains. “I didn’t want her to worry. I knew she worried all the time.”

Carberry returned to the United States and earned his MBA at Columbia University, an anti-war hotbed. He was there in 1968, the same year protests led to a university-wide shut down. As polarizing as the war became—and five decades later, the societal wounds are still open—Carberry remains grateful he had the chance to serve. “I was proud of being in Vietnam, and I’m just proud of being a Marine.”

He went on to have a successful career in advertising and public relations. He was an adjunct professor over the years before joining AU full-time in 2010. Now he’s an executive in residence in Kogod’s Marketing Department, and he’s a faculty adviser to AU student vets.

“I love it. I’m 75 years old now. I don’t have to work anymore, but I like to, because I just don’t want to be bored.”

Jen Goss, student at American University Washington College of Law

Growing up in small-town New Hampshire, Jen Goss never thought much about attending the United States Naval Academy. When a guidance counselor proposed Annapolis in a meeting with Goss and her mother, they laughed at the idea. Yet her grandfather had graduated from the Naval Academy, and after meeting with members of the Naval Academy women’s sailing team, she visited the school and had a change of heart. The rest is history. Or, for Goss, likely just the beginning.

“I love the Navy. I would not change anything about my experiences all the way through. Even the experiences that were not so great, those things make me better at what I’m doing now, and they make me stronger,” says Goss, now a second-year student at AUWCL.

After earning her undergraduate degree in English from the Naval Academy, she completed five years of Naval service. On the USS Kearsarge, she was deployed to the Middle East and served as a deck and auxiliaries division officer. She oversaw refrigeration and air conditioning, which was important in such a hot climate. On the USS Antietam in Japan, she was a force protection officer dealing with security of the ship.

Goss had supervisory roles over many sailors, and captains frequently conferred with her about challenges she might face. “They’d give me this talk about being able to talk to people and stand up in front of a room. I think they see this petite-looking person and think, ‘Are you able to really do this?’” she recalls. “It’s funny because every single time, after I’ve been there for a few months, they always end up pulling me aside again and saying, ‘I don’t know why I ever worried about you.’”

Getting that seasoning proved beneficial to her in workplace environments and at AUWCL. “I’m pretty confident that if I walked into a room right now, and I was told that I need to take charge of this group of people, I’d be able to do it,” she says.

Now a Navy reservist, she’s still interested in pursuing a military career. Next semester, she’ll do a JAG Corps internship at the Washington Navy Yard.

Kevin Frazier, undergraduate student in the Kogod School of Business

After five years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Kevin Frazier feels like a different person. Before enlisting, he was taking community college classes, yet he felt like he was treading water. The Marines Corps’ mix of discipline and camaraderie helped him in numerous ways.

“It’s very cliché, but it really did shape me into a better man,” he says. “I got a great work ethic. I gained a lot of leadership skills and following skills.”

A Napa, California, native, he went through schooling and training before moving to Washington to do security work at the Marine Barracks, as part of the White House Communications Agency. He then spent a year and a half at the huge Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in the San Diego area.

Even the most grueling aspects of Marine Corps duty had an upside, he found. “I think the bonds you formed could be directly correlated to the miserable conditions. The more miserable it is, the tighter you get with people,” he says.

“The best part of service was meeting all the people and being in really tight-knit groups. The worst part was having to leave those groups, when you get re-stationed somewhere. Or the hiking. Hiking sucks,” he jokingly adds.

Frazier is new to AU, transferring in 2017 for the spring semester. At the Kogod School of Business, he’s majoring in business administration with a specialization in information technology and systems. He’s still adapting to college life as a slightly older, nontraditional student. But he’s now involved with the Student Veterans Association, and he’s helping with the November 10 Veterans Day ceremony on the Quad.

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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.


 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Title: Social Innovation with a Global Focus: How Tighe Wall makes an impact
Author: Nina Cooperman, SPA/MPA '15
Subtitle:
Abstract: Tighe Wall, Kogod/MBA ’11 shares his thoughts on his time at AU and how his experience at Kogod helped him find a career with a truly global reach in social and digital strategy.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 11/05/2014
Content:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Admissions,Alumni,Alumni Board,Entrepreneurship,Kogod School of Business
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Title: 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.”

Tags: Donor,Giving,Kogod School of Business,School of Communication
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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.

Tags: Alumni,Kogod School of Business,Law
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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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