WINTER 2014 Council News | School News | Corporate News | Member Web | Student Web
Cornell University
Kennesaw State University
University of Wisconsin
HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management
Northwestern University
Stockholm School of Economics
BI Norwegian Business School
Penn State University
Saint Mary’s College
SDA Bocconi School of Management
Suffolk University
University of Pennsylvania
Fordham University
EMLYON Business School
Saïd Business School
University of San Francisco
Virginia Tech
International Study Programs
Legacy Ventures
WorldStrides Capstone


Cornell University
EMBA students at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University are tapping into the largest alumni network in the Ivy League with 240,000 members and securing new jobs with higher salaries.

Michelle Reid, MBA ’15, learned the power of making connections with alumni during her first week in the Cornell EMBA Program in New York, New York. A former technology solutions executive at IBM, Reid was working for a health care startup but wanted to return to IBM. During a class break, she met Bheemsen Athanikar, MBA ’14, base accounts growth executive in IBM's public sector, who mentioned an opening at the company that matched her qualifications. By the end of classes that day, Athanikar interviewed Reid and three months later she was hired as an account manager for application managed services at IBM.

 “There’s a lot of potential and you just really have to put yourself out there, introduce yourself, and find out what people do,” Reid says.

Ellen Sanderson, MBA ’14, learned about an opening in her field — consulting — after it was posted on the Johnson Talent System by Paul Weintraub, MBA ’14, principal in Healthcare Transformation Services at Philips Healthcare. After interviewing with Weintraub, Philips hired Sanderson as a senior manager for its Clinical and Business Performance Improvement Global Solutions group last October.

“The more you can connect with people who are doing different things and come from diverse backgrounds, the more you stand to gain both professionally and personally,” says Sanderson. “The Cornell network is limitless, and I know that it will continue to expose me to the rest of the world long after I've graduated.”

Other EMBA students are taking advantage of the Cornell-Queen’s EMBA Program, which makes use of cutting-edge technology to deliver EMBA education throughout the world.

Gabriel M. Elizondo had worked for 16 years at his family’s 104-year-old business, Forestal la Reforma in Monterrey, Mexico, when he decided to pursue an executive MBA education. He wanted a truly world-class program that offered a diverse and international network with peers from many different backgrounds and cultures, a faculty that enriches the learning experience in many ways, and an international degree from one of the most prestigious schools worldwide.

That’s why he chose to enroll in the Cornell-Queen’s Executive MBA Program, delivered via a real-time broadcast – a “live and connected classroom” – in Monterrey and 21 other major cities. The program’s innovative technological platform greatly enhances course work by allowing for highly interactive learning.

Elizondo interacted face-to-face with his peers in a well-appointed boardroom, easily posing questions to his professor who was broadcasting from a state-of-the-art studio on the Cornell or Queen’s campuses.

“While the professor or my classmates are commenting on any particular issue, we can discuss within our boardroom [in Monterrey] different points of view or scenarios without interfering with the learning process of the students in other boardrooms, so we can later interact with more enriched participation,” Elizondo says. “The end result is a much better learning experience.”

The experience is also helping Elizondo with two critical aspects of leadership: ensuring that personal family issues do not interfere with the business, and making sure that corporate strategy, managerial decision making, and effective policies and procedures are in place to support the growth of Forestal, an environmentally sustainable supplier of wood products.

“The program has given me great tools to do this,” he adds. “I was looking for a school with the reputation that would allow me to advance my career and help me take the ventures I had started to the next level,” says Elizondo, whose pursuits include founding and running an art gallery — the GE Galeria — and leading the Partido Revolucionario Institucional political party for Monterrey.

“Some of the things that attracted me to the program were the ability to get an MBA without having to quit my job, and the fact that I could actually have 40 percent of my classes during the residential sessions in Ithaca and Kingston,” says Elizondo. Another big boon is interacting with classmates from more than 20 cities throughout the Americas, he adds. 

To learn more about the Johnson EMBA Program, visit http://www.johnson.cornell.edu/Cornell-Executive-MBA.aspx. A dual degree program, the Cornell-Queen’s program is offered in partnership with Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. To learn more, visit: http://www.johnson.cornell.edu/Cornell-Queens-Executive-MBA.aspx.

Kennesaw State University
Maria Lawson’s EMBA experience helped her launch a venture near and dear to her heart.

“I started baking with my mother and grandmother when I was young,” says Lawson, an EMBA alumna of Kennesaw State University. “My first job in high school was in a bakery and I had no experience other than cooking at home. I learned how to make pastries, bread, all kinds of desserts, and the details, like cake decorating.”

While she enjoyed her bakery job, she didn’t attend culinary school but instead received bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and started working in the telecommunications industry for AT&T.

As her AT&T management role progressed throughout the years, Lawson became increasingly involved in budgets and planning, prompting her to pursue her MBA through the Coles College of Business Executive MBA Program.

When the program’s final project was assigned, she reached back to her passion for baking.  Capitalizing on her baking and business experience, Lawson’s team created a business plan for a cupcake shop and received the highest mark in the program.

After graduation, armed with the business plan and new degree, Lawson opened her first cupcake shop, Minis by Maria, in an Atlanta-area mall at the peak of the 2013 Christmas season. 

“It was great foot traffic, but it was just my husband and myself,” she says. “We were cranking out cupcakes and as soon as we finished them they were gone.”

Lawson’s husband, Scott, is currently running the shop and works as the head baker along with four cupcake associates. Lawson plans to hire more employees who will be trained in baking and decorating as the business grows.

“The business aspect is very exciting,” says Lawson, who is keeping her full-time AT&T job. “We set this up so it can be a future for our family, a successful business that doesn’t consume all of our time.”

University of Wisconsin
For Andrea Pasqualetto, it all started with an idea. 

Her idea took root in the Executive MBA Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s (UWM) Lubar School of Business.  It began with a simple assignment to develop a new business idea for her marketing strategy class.

The director of business development at Landmark Healthcare Facilities, a firm specializing in the development, ownership, and management of healthcare outpatient facilities, Pasqualetto (’14) also is an avid collector of coupons. She thought: “How can I turn couponing into a business venture?”

Today, she has transformed what was once a hobby into a promising early-stage venture, founding sale coupžair. The app combines information about bargains at local supermarkets with digital coupons, saving shoppers time and maximizing their savings.

Pasqualetto and sale coupžair have earned some notable accolades.  She received the People’s Choice Award at the Wisconsin Technology Council’s Elevator Pitch Olympics, besting 16 other ideas pitched to an audience of investors and business owners. 

She also won the UWM Student Startup Challenge, a campus-wide new venture competition that connected her to the university’s “app brewery” and other resources to advance her business plan. 

The EMBA Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Lubar School of Business helps make possible such successes by featuring a thematically structured curriculum and integrative applied team project that spans the 17-month program.


FDC offers the program, Learning Journeys in Brazil, to help MBA or EMBA students from schools throughout the world learn firsthand about the economic, political, cultural, and other aspects of the Brazilian day-to-day businesses.

MBA and EMBA students travel to FDC to take part in the weeklong study trip, which includes classes from FDC professors on themes such as innovation in Brazil, infrastructure in Brazil, or financial markets in Brazil, as well as lectures and roundtables from top executives and company visits.

This past year, FDC added various cultural visits to the four-year-old program that may include a family visit day and travel to favelas. As part of a family visit day, students first learn about the consumer market and behavior in Brazil, and then, accompanied by an anthropologist, they visit families from various social classes to hear from them about their habits and way of living. In some cases, students visit favelas to learn from those who have ascended from class D to C, a huge consumer market in Brazil.

These experiences help enhance the learning, stimulate a global mindset, and support what has been described as a remarkable experience.

IE Business School recently established Welcome Back, a system integrated within the Executive MBA+ and Global MBA+ part-time programs.

These part-time programs consist of a core MBA period that covers the fundamentals of business management, followed by a specialized +Module. Welcome Back invites IE alumni to participate in any of the specialization +Modules.

In addition, as of September 2013, MBA graduates from prestigious universities that are accredited by AMBA, AACSB, or EQUIS – three key international associations of accreditation – also are able to enroll in these +Modules. The opportunities for networking are tripled: +Module classes consist of current IE students, IE alumni, and now alumni of accredited schools that have been rigorously selected, transforming the experience into something unique.

The +Modules begin in January and September of each year and include the following:

+Corporate Finance
+Information Technology

To learn more about IE Business School’s innovative project, visit www.welcomeback.ie.edu.

HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management
The two intakes of the Global EMBA,a joint initiative of the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and EADA Business School, came together at HHL for a week in December 2013.

There, the “experienced” group from the 2012 intake met the “new” group from 2013 for the first time.  While the class of “GEMBA2” was very busy with academic course work and topics like logistics and accounting, GEMBA1 focused on innovation management, including discussions about the new electric and electrifying BMW3i. Re-unified at the Leipzig Christmas Market in the evening, both groups exchanged their experiences and enjoyed not only tasting delicious mulled wine, but also visiting one of the largest and most beautiful Christmas Markets in Germany with more than 250 twinkling stalls located on the city’s historical market square.

Both groups highlight the program’s customized approach that makes use of the research knowledge of professors, as well as the shared experiences of fellow classmates. During the week, participants in both groups were challenged to define visions and to prepare strategies.

“The residential week in Leipzig provided me the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of basic business topics like business planning, financial accounting, operations, and logistics along with quantitative analysis,” says Eva Gattnar, GEMBA2 student who works at Siemens AG.

“Additionally, we had the great possibility to visit Porsche in Leipzig and to get a really realistic impression in which way innovative logistics is implemented in the automotive industry. I'm really looking forward to attending the next residential weeks!”

Northwestern University
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University, one of the top academic institutions in China, recently joined forces to launch a new EMBA Program.

Kellogg Dean Sally Blount and Guanghua Dean Hongbin Cai announced the new EMBA Program on Feb. 17 in Beijing.  The Guanghua-Kellogg program will be fully integrated into Kellogg’s Executive MBA Global Network, whose partnerships include Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong), Tel Aviv University (Israel), WHU (Germany), and York University (Canada), as well as Kellogg’s programs in Chicago and Miami.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the Guanghua School of Management to provide executive level management education in China,” says Blount. “Through our unique global EMBA network, which will now include Guanghua, we offer students a distinctive learning experience, preparing them to lead in the complex global economy.”

Based in Beijing, the program will bring together the best of Guanghua with the best of Kellogg, educating executives on the nuances of the Chinese business environment and equipping them with the tools to excel as global business leaders. The 22-month program will be offered in weeklong segments at campuses across the EMBA network. 

“This partnership is the culmination of a long-standing collaboration between Guanghua and Kellogg,” says Guanghua Dean Hongbin Cai. “The Guanghua-Kellogg EMBA joint degree stands for an education that is prestigious, relevant, and fundamentally international. Our new program pays tribute to Guanghua’s mission of developing truly global modern business leaders.”

Taught primarily by Guanghua and Kellogg faculty, the curriculum will align with the following themes:

  • Megatrends and opportunities
  • Analytical skills and decision-making
  • Strategic leadership
  • Globalization
  • Stakeholder understanding

Students will come together with other students from Kellogg’s global EMBA network in face-to-face class settings at multiple points throughout the program.

Stockholm School of Economics
The Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) MBA has started a collaboration on ethics and sustainable business with the following partners: Financial Times, Technische Universität München in Germany, Foreign Trade University in Vietnam, African School of Economics in Benin, and the Darden School of Business in the United States.

The collaboration involves discussing current news articles from the Financial Times in real-time with students in Stockholm, München, Hanoi, Akassato, and Charlottesville on the SSE MBA Island in the virtual life platform Second Life.

“This in an exciting new way to bring voices together on global sustainable business issues across the world and to further improve on our learning and education,” says Lin Lerpold, associate dean, Stockholm School of Economics.  “Without physically traveling, we will be able to meet and discuss major events pertaining to business and sustainability with business students around the world, thus supporting our students better and preparing them for their future careers in a more complex and globalized world.”


In October 2013, the Institute for Business Administration (ASEBUSS) launched an MBA Program for entrepreneurs. Accredited by National Ministry of Education, it represents the only program in Romania that focuses on the management of small- and medium-sized companies.

The ASEBUSS MBA Program is dedicated to those who want to establish their own business – start up entrepreneurs, dealers, resellers, small manufacturers, or franchisors. The MBA participants must be university graduates with at least two years of professional experience.

Taught in English, the new MBA program has attracted participants from various fields such as banking, information technology, insurance, and energy, among others.

ASEBUSS faculty members were trained at American universities, such as Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and others, to teach MBA programs based on case study and have extensive experience in the real business environment as consultants or executives in Romanian or multinational companies.

The oldest business school in Romania with more than 20 years of activity, ASEBUSS also offers an Executive MBA Program in partnership with Kennesaw State University in Atlanta.

The Institute for Business Administration – ASEBUSS is the first and only private school in Romania accredited by the Ministry of Education to offer two master programs in business administration – an Executive MBA Program and an MBA for entrepreneurs.

BI Norwegian Business School
The Executive MBA Program at BI Norwegian Business School has started its first blended learning course. As part of online real-time teaching, students from different geographical spaces present and interact with each other and the professor.

The program chose the leadership course with Associate Professor Ragnhild Kvålshaugen, also the associate dean of the program, for its first blended learning course. Eight of the 32 teaching hours for the course, which takes place in two semesters, were transformed into two online sessions.

In February 2014, the first online session covered the topic of self-leadership. The face-to-face equivalent of four hours, the session was divided into three activities:

Asynchronous group discussion
Discussions in groups of six students took place during five days through private forums in the learning platform. The professor posted questions, and students discussed what could be learned about self-leadership from a leader they admired.

Synchronous one-hour live conference
The professor presented theory on self-leadership to students in Norway and other countries like Singapore, Canada, and Portugal, among others, through Adobe Connect.

Synchronous two-hour live conference
Group representatives completed their presentations and received their comments from fellow students and the professor through Adobe Connect.

Based on positive feedback from the experience, BI Norwegian Business School plans to discuss with EMBA faculty ways to continue increasing blended learning in different EMBA Program courses. The technology helps keep the entire class connected between modules and also reduces the time away from home and work for participants.

“This is a new way of learning,” says one student. “It is not ‘cheap’ learning; it’s good content, good interaction – people are more honest than in face-to-face classes.”

In April students will complete the remaining online session on the topic of team leadership, and in June the course will finish with more face-to-face classes at BI.

In other news, the school now has achieved the AMBA Accreditation of its BI-Fudan MBA Program in Shanghai. The program is offered in partnership by BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo, Norway, and the School of Management, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

The World Bank and China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) recently launched a Centre for Inclusive Finance.

The project brings together all stakeholders who are involved in providing affordable financial services to sections of the Chinese society that need it most to optimize their efforts. It will span Asian countries and CEIBS will be integrally involved in providing both research and training. The CEIBS-World Bank China Centre for Inclusive Finance is the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific.

The center aims to generate, articulate, and disseminate cutting-edge knowledge, innovative solutions, and policy suggestions, as well as coordinate and align the efforts of the government, practitioners, academic institutions, and international companies that already are involved in inclusive finance (IF) activities in China. It consists of three main components: the Data Bank, the Advisory & Consultancy Unit, and the Inclusive Finance Academy. The Data Bank will collect, maintain, and publish relevant data for China and the region. Meanwhile the academy will deliver executive education, training, accreditation, and certification.

IF has long been recognized as one method of facilitating the creation, growth, and sustainability of entrepreneurs and small enterprises, and in 2013, the Chinese government identified IF as one of its areas of focus.

Organizers hope that the center eventually will be recognized as China’s foremost think tank on financial inclusion and, with further growth will extend its activities to other countries, becoming a world-renowned institution.

Penn State University
The Penn State Smeal College of Business Executive MBA Program in Philadelphia has named Kara Keenan as its new managing director. She began her role on Jan. 13. 

Keenan previously served as associate director of both the Chief Learning Officer Program and the Medical Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. She has held leadership roles at INSEAD and the Columbia Business School.

“For more than a decade, the Smeal Executive MBA Program has represented the strength of the Penn State name in Philadelphia, and I’m looking forward to growing the program’s potential even further in the coming years,” says Keenan.

As managing director of the Smeal Executive MBA, Keenan will lead recruitment and admission efforts, work with students, faculty, and staff to ensure excellence in program delivery, and continue to build and strengthen the network of EMBA alumni with each other and to the wider Penn State alumni network.

“We’re very excited to welcome Kara to the Smeal College of Business community,” says Charles H. Whiteman, John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal. “She has a deep appreciation for the unique dimensions of the executive MBA format and how it can serve high-potential students and their organizations. Kara will play a critical leadership role as we look to grow the Smeal EMBA in the Philadelphia region.”

Keenan received her master’s degree in higher education administration from Columbia Business School and her undergraduate degrees in English and political science from Trinity College.

Saint Mary’s College
In January 2014, the School of Economics and Business Administration (SEBA) at Saint Mary’s College achieved an important historical milestone when it received accreditation from AACSB – International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

“This is a watershed moment for our college,” says James A. Donahue, Saint Mary’s president. “This accreditation confirms what we have long known—SEBA is a top-caliber business school that is among the best in the world.”

Challenging post-secondary educators to pursue excellence and continuous improvement through their business programs, AACSB provides internationally recognized, specialized accreditation for business and accounting programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral level. Less than 5 percent of the world’s business programs have earned AACSB accreditation.

“Saint Mary’s College has a long tradition of offering quality undergraduate and graduate business programs—including the Bay Area’s first and largest Executive MBA Program,” says SEBA Dean Zhan Li. “Earning AACSB accreditation was an essential next step in our ongoing efforts to become an internationally recognized business school for developing individuals who think globally and lead responsibly.

“Undertaking the AACSB accreditation process is often long and challenging,” says Li. “However, the process has strengthened our ability to offer our students the best education possible, and has positioned us well for future success. I look forward to working with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and local communities to further advance our school, as we continue to build upon this monumental success.”

SEBA’s accreditation represents a culmination of more than 15 years of work at the college. To become AACSB-accredited, an institution must satisfy the eligibility requirements and meet the organization’s rigorous accreditation standards. The application and assessment process spans a long period of mentorship, self-assessment, re-alignment, and evaluation.

“Reaching our goal of accreditation was a team effort that required the full commitment and dedication of our faculty and staff, as well as the wider Saint Mary’s community,” says Larisa Genin, associate dean of accreditation and undergraduate programs. “The AACSB accreditation process helped us design and implement a robust framework for proactively identifying and strengthening our processes for sustaining growth.”

Pursuit of the AACSB accreditation has transformed and strengthened SEBA in many ways during the past several years, including shaping the school’s vision, mission, and strategic planning; bolstering the strength of its faculty; elevating attention to student support, experience, and success; instituting new levels of assessment processes; increasing the school’s engagement with business communities and alumni; and creating a culture of excellence.

“The enhancements SEBA has made as a result of the AACSB process will benefit our students well into the future,” says Beth Dobkin, Saint Mary’s College provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This outstanding achievement by SEBA faculty and staff truly demonstrates Saint Mary’s commitment to academic excellence.”

SDA Bocconi School of Management
SDA Bocconi School of Management recently named Giovanni Tomasi as the new director of the Executive MBA and Enzo Baglieri director of the Executive MBA Serale. Both programs are designed for the domestic market and are taught in Italian. Maurizio Poli is the director of Global Executive MBA.

Suffolk University
Suffolk University Sawyer Business School named Tammy MacLean, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship, as the new director of the Center for Executive Education and academic director of the EMBA Program. MacLean succeeds Michael Barretti, who retired in June 2013. 

“We looked for that unique catalyst of academic credentials and commercial-sector savvy, which we found in Tammy who will be responsible to drive several new initiatives in EMBA curriculum, corporate partnerships, and open enrollment courses,” according to Michael Behnam, dean of graduate programs and academic affairs in the Sawyer Business School. A member of the management faculty for 10 years, MacLean received her Ph.D. in organization studies at Boston College and her MBA from Bentley University.

The school also hired Kevin Richard as the new associate director, corporate partnerships and recruiting. An adjunct professor in the management department for the past four years and an alumnus of Suffolk’s EMBA Program (’91), Richard brings 20 years of education management and high-tech industry experience with specializations in business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing and strategic alliances.

Priscilla Rosati, a 10-year staple of the Center for Executive Education, has the new title of associate director, as she continues to lead operations for the EMBA, Global Seminars, and Summer Residency programs. Another recent staff addition to the Center for Executive Education, Mia Levitt, program manager, joins the center from Suffolk University’s regular MBA Program.

Suzanne Carter was named new executive director of the EMBA Program at Texas Christian University (TCU) following the retirement of Nancy Nix in December 2013.

A key member of the EMBA faculty, Carter received the EMBA Faculty Award for Outstanding Leadership Development in both 2012 and 2013. She teaches Strategic Vision and Analysis and Strategy in a Dynamic Environment, and leads the EMBA study-abroad program.

“I see an opportunity to further differentiate the TCU EMBA program from others in the region with our outstanding and dedicated faculty, staff, alumni, and community leaders playing key roles,” says Carter. “I look forward to working with these stakeholders to further establish our reputation as a premier program of choice.”

Carter joined TCU in 2009 after serving as assistant professor in strategy at the University of Notre Dame and assistant instructor at the University of Texas. She previously was a CPA and internal auditor for Browning-Ferris Industries and received her MBA and Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Austin.

“We are excited to work closely with Suzanne as we continue building a top-tier Executive MBA Program,” says Homer Erekson, dean. “I also want to thank Nancy Nix for the outstanding leadership she has provided the EMBA Program.”

In other staff news, Linda LaCoste was promoted to director, EMBA student affairs and operations, effective Jan. 1, 2014. She joined the Neeley EMBA staff in July 2012 as the associate director of student affairs and operations.

University of Pennsylvania
Wharton is pleased to introduce Eric Borgelt, the newest member of the MBA for Executives team.  Eric joins us in a newly created position, marketing manager, to lead the marketing and outreach efforts for the program in Philadelphia and San Francisco. Most recently, Borgelt was at Cornell University where he led marketing strategy and operations for eCornell.  As such, he has a deep knowledge of the higher education industry and digital marketing.  He also brings experience with traditional corporate marketing and international audiences as he spent seven years in sales and marketing for Nike Sweden.



Fordham University
In recognition of February as American Heart Health Awareness Month, Fordham's Executive MBA Program recently invited Leticia Castillo Kontak, M.D., a highly regarded cardiologist at New York University Langone Medical Center, to present, Love Your Heart: Preventing Heart Disease at Any Age.  His talk was part of Fordham's Executive MBA Program Lunch and Learn Wellness Series.

EMLYON Business School
Bill Gates may have started in his parents’ garage, but a business school in France is proving that, with the right approach, an EMBA/MBA can offer a great option for those looking to develop their entrepreneurial ambitions.

EMLYON Business School has been recognized as one of the top MBA programs for entrepreneurs. One of the main architects of the applied entrepreneurship program at EMLYON, Professor Rickie Moore dedicates the majority of his teaching to creating the entrepreneurial mindset among the students, then asking them to apply it in several projects and domains.

“It is not a walk in the park,” he says. “Students have to embrace uncertainty from the outset. They have to learn to venture and take decisions in unfamiliar situations. And some students struggle with the pedagogy – when compared to a typical MBA experience where they are in the consumer seat and being served, they find themselves in the driver seat and taking initiative for the development of their learning and projects.”
Moore challenges his students to “connect the dots” and “redesign businesses and processes.”  Students who might excel in the more finite disciplines where there is always or mostly a right answer, will have to learn how to “scope out” an entrepreneurial opportunity for their team and their project.

“If a student wants to be successful as an entrepreneur, they have to get their hands dirty – to experiment and to embrace ambiguity, all the while developing your own approach – the same as all entrepreneurs!’

With Moore’s approach, students from the school have produced results: One student came up with a radical new way to transport surfboards by cutting them into pieces for transit (http://jocee-divisible-board.com). Another team developed pioneering solutions for improved surgical suturing  (http://www.anastomsurgical.com/), and a combined business /engineering school partnership led to a promising online marketing platform (http://www.doz.com/).

“It’s clear that the business school environment can be perfect for ambitious students in EMBA, MBA, and other specialized master’s programs to come up with - and execute - exciting new projects,” says Moore.

Saïd Business School
The Saïd Business School at Oxford University has launched a unique online platform to involve Executive MBA students in a debate about some of the most complex issues facing businesses and society. 

Global Opportunities and Threats Oxford (GOTO) allows students, alumni, and faculty to connect via the platform and discuss ideas that impact global issues.  The platform is also linked to an Executive MBA module, which is taught through traditional small-group Oxford tutorials and based on interdisciplinary content that is posted on the GOTO platform and goes beyond the traditional MBA curriculum. Content on the platform ranges from videos and infographics to academic articles, student presentations, and discussion forums.  
All EMBA students at Oxford must study the GOTO module, which focuses this year on Big Data.  Class members post essays, interviews, and presentations on how Big Data will affect their companies and any GOTO community member – from full-time MBA students to alumni or tutors at the school – can comment. The module culminates in a 5,000-word project on how Big Data will affect business.  

GOTO helps create a problem-solving community that reaches across the University’s research institutes, enhances critical thinking, and builds the capacity to make difficult decisions. 

To learn more about the GOTO initiative, visit http://goto.sbs.ox.ac.uk/.

University of San Francisco
The University of San Francisco’s (USF) School of Management recently launched its Executive MBA Thought Leaders Lecture Series in February.

Alumni, faculty and current and prospective students gathered on Feb. 26, 2014, to hear Assistant Professor Neil Walshe speak on the topic of understanding the mechanism of emotion in organizational performance as it pertains to compassion in organizations.

USF plans to offer lectures that feature national and local experts speaking on various issues relevant to current domestic and global economies three times a year. The lecture series offers a platform to academically evaluate current business practices and their global impacts, as well as opportunities for open and engaging discourse.

In April lecture, Assistant Professor Jennifer Walske will explore the role of business in society and the ways that current trends are likely to change during the next decade.

Virginia Tech
During the Feb. 7 session of the EMBA Lunch and Learn Series at Virginia Tech, Jennifer Dingell, senior manager, Information Systems at General Dynamics Information Technology and a current student in Virginia Tech’s EMBA Program, proudly introduced her father, Congressman John Dingell, as a legislator who has helped shape policy in almost every aspect of American life during his continuous 58 years of service in the House of Representatives. She cited just a few of the important areas where his voice and contributions to legislation have been influential – civil rights, health care, defense, clean air and water, and conservation.

Dingell, one of two World War II veterans still serving in Congress, represents Michigan's 12th congressional district. He is the longest-serving member of Congress; the longest ever to serve exclusively in the House; longest-serving dean of the U.S. House of Representatives; the dean of the Michigan congressional delegation; and a long-time member and former chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Michael Kender, professor of practice in the finance department of the Pamplin College of Business, Blacksburg, moderated, A Conversation with Congressman John Dingell, at the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington. In addition to EMBA students, members of the Virginia Tech community, alumni, and corporate friends attended the event.

The discussion included a number of business/government related topics, including the financial meltdown and TARP; health care and the Affordable Care Act; the auto industry bailout and its impact on Detroit; and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Throughout the hour-long discussion, Dingell stressed the importance of patience and time to avoid mistakes of the past. He also talked about the value of working together in a bipartisan way to move ahead and of not giving up on U.S. industry because, despite problems, “we are still doing better than anywhere else in the world.” Dingell also offered a major reason why the auto industry is worth saving: There is only one state that is not in some way connected to it.

“We were honored to host Congressman Dingell and are so pleased that Jennifer invited him to participate in our EMBA Lunch and Learn Series,” says Maureen Hall, executive director of the EMBA Program. “He willingly shared his views on a number of issues that impact both the work and vision of our students. This kind of opportunity outside of the classroom is invaluable for them and exactly what we were trying to provide when we inaugurated the series last year.”

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