The 3rd Annual Connecting Women Breakfast Forum was held on February 26. More than twenty five professional guests met with students in a round table forum to discuss business opportunities for women. Key in the exchange was a conversation about mentorship and its importance in building and establishing relationships. Kiku Jones, Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems and conference professional guest, noted, “There was great conversation regarding mentorship, particularly at the beginning of your career. The informal conversations you have with your mentor can be just as important, if not more important, than the formal ones.” The breakfast allowed students to interact with professionals through a series of “table talks” that involved discussing work and life balance, how to build on current skill sets, and how to land, achieve, and advance. Female students were able to learn from professionals on how to successfully transition from classroom to career. MBA candidate and conference participant, Alexandra Nardelli stated, “This was a great network event with successful women. It was very motivating in making you want to achieve as much as these women have in their careers.” Dean Matthew O’Connor and Connecting Women Breakfast Forum Chair Sharon Porter kicked off the morning exchange. The event closed with remarks from Prof. Kathleen Simione, accounting, and Prof. Rowena Ortiz-Walters, Chair of management. Grace Peiffer, Director of Employee Relations and a member of the steering committee, stated, ” We are grateful for the Dean’s support of the yearly event focused on helping female students with career guidance.”
Xiaohong He, Professor of International Business, has been hard at work studying entrepreneurial efforts in China. According to Dr. He, “The re-emergence at the grass-root level of entrepreneurial development in villages and towns across China has been the driving force for the state’s economic miracle.” She notes, that “as of March 2013, there are over 13 million domestic firms in China, 11 million of which were private business, amounting to 80% of total economic output. Alongside these numbers are over 40 million individual household businesses (getihu) and 700 thousand farmers’ co-operatives.”
Contrary to popular opinion, the majority of small and medium size businesses (SMEs) in China are private-owned and contribute to 50% of Beijing’s tax revenue, 60% of GDP, 68% of exports, 80% of employment, 65% of patents, 75+% of technological innovations, and 80+% of new product development.
Given this impressive contribution, there are both opportunities and yet also challenges. For the past 30 years, the majority of these start-ups, especially at the village and town level, obtained their financing through an underground banking system with extremely high interest rates. As Dr. He notes, “the financing cost is twice that for larger business firms and has inhibited the growth of SMEs in China. However, the large scale of contribution and entrepreneurial energy brought by this private sector has attracted a lot of attention from government policy makers.” According to Dr. He, “given its increased economic importance, this private sector is too big to ignore and there exists enormous economic potential in the underdeveloped, western region of China.” Both QU’s International Business major and its Entrepreneurship and Strategy major offer courses in studying international business trends, and the Office of Global Education at QU works in conjunction to support not only the research interests of instructors but the study excursion interests of students, as well.
Recently, Dr. Devanthan Sudharshan, who currently holds James and Diane Stuckert BS/MBA Endowed Chair and is a Professor at the Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, presented his research at QU. Dr. Sudharshan was invited to present his research at the School of Business lunch series, which promotes and fosters the exchange of ideas within and across fields of discipline. From 2003-2011, Dr. Sudharshan served as Dean, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky. Prior to his positions at the University of Kentucky he was a Professor of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and also has held the post of Associate Dean, Planning at Illinois. Dr. Sudharshan’s research interests are in the areas of marketing strategy, new good and service development, and marketing technology management; in specific, he is now exploring questions on phase transitions in business related domains.
Dr Sudharshan has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, The Journal of Market Focused Management and Review of Marketing Science. His articles have appeared in various journals including Journal of Service Research, Marketing Science, Management Science, Journal of Marketing, European Journal of Operation Research, Journal of Marketing Research and Strategic Management Journal. Several of his papers published in refereed journals have won awards. He has edited/authored several books on marketing related topics.
Dr Sudharshan has considerable international executive teaching experience in countries such as Poland, Kenya, China, Greece and Austria and has presented seminars in Belgium, Germany, Holland, India, Italy, U.K., Slovakia, and Taiwan. Quinnipiac welcomed the innovative ideas that he brought to the table.
Dr. Anthony Asare, Associate Professor of Marketing in QU’s School of Business, stated, “We were really honored to have someone with such a distinguished career present his research here. The event was well attended and his ideas were very insightful and thought provoking.”
Late January, members of the Quinnipiac Microloan Committee met to hear underwriting results and loan recommendations from the 14 business students that recently returned from Nicaragua. 10 undergraduate and four graduate students from the School of Business spent ten days over winter recess in León, Nicaragua as part of an experiential learning course on the global economy. Dean of the School of Business Matthew O’Conner joined students on the trip, as well as Associate Professor Charles Brooks and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer Diane Ariza. Charles Brooks, who has traveled with students to Nicaragua in the past, notes that in Nicaragua, “Students work as consultants with small business start-ups and there is a collaboration between both.”
Working in teams of two, students conducted in-depth interviews with one or two small business owners in the process of starting or expanding their businesses. With the help of translators from partner organization Alianza Americana, the students were able to develop comprehensive business plans and recommendations for the microloans requested by their clients.
“It was such a great experience,” said Stephanie Simone, an economics major and member of the 3+1 BS/MBA program. “It was enlightening to see how eager the business owners were to learn, and their determination to make their businesses the best they could be. Experiencing a different work culture was an aspect of the trip that I really appreciated.”
While working in León, students stayed with host families in the nearby community of La Villa. Immersed in an entirely new culture and language, students gained insights about life in Nicaragua that far surpassed expectation.
“Being able to see depth of this culture and how people are essentially the same in Nicaragua is a great comfort and an eye-opening bit of knowledge,” shared Colby Putnam, another member of the 3+1 program. “Because of this trip, I feel less likely to delineate between ‘us’ and ‘them,’ viewing humanity more as a whole now than ever before.”
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the University’s partnership with Alianza Americana. For the last decade, Alianza has collaborated with the University to offer students from all backgrounds with unique opportunities to apply their knowledge and skill sets in special projects in Nicaragua.
Alumnus Nicole Therrien, BA MBA-HCM, was recently appointed as the new Executive Director of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly, Boston. LBFE is an international, volunteer-based nonprofit dedicated to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly. There are many local programs that address the physical and nutritional needs of the elderly, however Little Brothers focuses on the social and emotional needs. Volunteers participate in programs including Inter-generational Matching, Social Events, Holiday Visiting, Medical Escorts and Emergency Food Pantry. Therrien is a graduate of the 5 year Gerontology and Health Care Management program.
Every piece of my experience at Quinnipiac has led me to Little Brothers, and I am extremely grateful for Professors Angela Mattie, Ronald Rozett, and David Ives for the mentorship and support throughout my journey. When I started college, Quinnipiac was one of the few universities offering a degree in Gerontology. Dr. Rozett met with me to talk about the new 5 year program with an MBA in Health Care Management. Through that program I became passionate about quality of life issues with the elderly, and also gained management and leadership training to put me in a position to do something about it. In addition to this program, I had the pleasure of working with David Ives and the Albert Schweitzer club which led me to Peace Corps in Ethiopia. Quinnipiac gave me the spirit of volunteerism, and the gerontology/management background to lead me to Little Brothers.
Alumnus Joseph M. Turner, MS, MBA, CHC, was recently named Compliance and Business Integrity Officer for the VACT Healthcare System in West Haven, CT. Turner is a graduate of the MBA program within the Health Care Management track.
“My education at Quinnipiac University School of Business provided me the foundation that I needed to be knowledgeable in the Healthcare Compliance arena,” says Joseph. “It is what made me a competitive candidate for a Compliance Officer position.”
Joseph also holds a certificate in Health Care Compliance, a qualification he earned during his graduate studies at Quinnipiac. Joseph says that he is grateful for the training and mentorship of faculty members Associate Professor Angela Mattie, Chair of Health Care Management and Organizational Leadership, and Associate Professor Jennifer Herbst, Associate Professor of Law and Medical Sciences.
Through a program jointly developed by the School of Business and Engineering and the School of Law, the Health Care Compliance Certificate program is certified by the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) to offer the first university-based program in the country to train health care compliance officers. This program provides students with a sound academic foundation and the skills necessary to successfully implement the administrative and management principles required to function as competent and knowledgeable health care compliance professionals. It also qualifies them to sit the HCCA national certifying examination.
This semester the Computer Information Systems Society (CISS) and Information Services co-hosted The Women in Technology Panel Discussion, an event designed to bring attention to gender representation in the field of technology. Members of the 6-person panel shared their views and experiences as women in technology, and they suggested practical ways that women are able to advance in the workplace.
Featured panel members from the Quinnipiac community included Diane Ariza, Associate VP for Academic Affairs & Chief Diversity Officer, as well as Elizabeth Brown, an Instructional Technologist from Academic Technology.
“Dr. Ariza was first to speak,” said Marissa Maturo, VP of Career Development for CISS. “She discussed the University’s IMAGINE strategic plan and diversity initiatives, which of course, are pertinent in a discussion on gender.”
Next, panel member Elizabeth Brown shared a video of Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of the book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Published in 2013, the book explores why so few women occupy top leadership roles in the workplace, and what it will take to ensure more women reach the top – especially in the technology industry.
After the speakers had completed their presentations, a Q&A portion followed. “Questions to the panelists ranged from why women aren’t encouraged to pursue academic or professional careers in technology, and what challenges exist for women in the field today,” said Marissa.
The event closed with a brief reception and networking event, where audience members were able to speak individually with the panelists and gain more from their experiences as women, and as technology professionals.