School of Management Newsletter

June 2016


Power Surge

Close to 100 business leaders are expected to attend the 2016 Renewable Energy Conference, which takes place on June 28-29 at Marist College. Organized in association with the Business Council of New York State and the Hudson Renewable Energy Institute, the event is considered the premier renewable energy conference on the East Coast. “The majority of attendees are from New York State, with quite a few from the Hudson Valley area,” says Maribeth Riley, the director of conference development for the business council. “But Georgia, Washington, and North Carolina are also represented.”

PowerThe conference will focus on energy policy, both on the state and national level. In 2013, the state Public Service Commission announced its “Reforming the Energy Vision” (or REV) plan, which aims to create a more affordable and efficient energy distribution system by encouraging development of rooftop solar, residential wind, and other renewable energy sources. And the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s “Order 1000” requires (among other things) large-scale regional planning for the transmission of energy. “Historically, transmission was only authorized by FERC if there was a reliability or positive cost benefit,” says Alan R. Page, chairman of the Hudson Renewable Energy Institute and a conference organizer and speaker. “With this order, public policy projects, which were not needed for reliability of the system or to save money, were allowed.”

Keynote speakers at the conference include Robert B. Catell, chairman of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook University; Central Hudson Gas & Electric’s President and CEO Michael Mosher; National Grid of New York President Kenneth Daly; Richard L. Kauffman, chairman of energy and finance for the State of New York; and Eric M. Markell, a former executive with Puget Sound and founder and CEO of Markell and Company, a business advisory service. The full conference agenda and registration information can be found at

“The Marist School of Management is delighted to be hosting our annual Renewable Energy Conference,” says Dean Lawrence Singleton. “We are happy to provide a forum for business executives to learn from and interact with experts on renewable energy initiatives and policy.”

High Flyers 

BGSOn April 24, the college’s chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma — the honor society for students attending AACSB-accredited business schools — welcomed 48 new members at a ceremony held in the Cabaret. More than 100 family members and friends looked on as the 11 graduate students and 37 undergrads were inducted into the society; Tony D’Amelio, a principal of the D’Amelia Network and founder of Stamford Dollars for Scholars, served as keynote speaker and was awarded honorary membership. Of those students invited to join the society, 100 percent were accepted for membership.

IN THE PHOTO: From left to right: Tony D’Amelio, BGS co-vice presidents Samantha Leenas ’17 and Devon McCloskey ’16, and chapter President Dean Lawrence Singleton at the society’s induction ceremony.

 Marist College’s very first induction ceremony for its chapter of Alpha Mu Alpha, the national honor society for marketing students and faculty, took place on May 6.

Senior-year business students with a marketing concentration who maintain a minimum G.P.A. of 3.25 can be nominated for membership. This year's inductees include:

Anthony Vincent Proto ’16                          Ashley Myers ’16

Bianca Cirillo ’16                                           Brian Valvano ’16

Brittany Elizabeth Gach ’16                         Carissa Jane Guglietta ’16

Caroline Gleeson ’16                                    Casey Jean Markowitz ’17

Courtney Erika Magnusson ’16                   Frank Pecorelli ’17

Graham Paton McIntire ’16                         Lauren A Hilaire ’16

Mariel Porfido ’16                                         Matthew B. Belitz ’16

Mina Chen ’16                                               Nina Gamgort ’16

Taylor O'Brien ’16                                        Kourtney E. Bucklin ’16

Enactus in Action

EnactusEnactus brings together students, teachers, and business leaders to create and implement community-based entrepreneurial projects. After the competition, “we received exciting news that six of our students — Sam Greene, Morgan Imossi ’17, Michael Arnold, Samantha Lauro ’18, Michael Mataras ’17, and James Barry ’17 — have been accepted into the Enactus Fellows Program,” reports Prof. Weisberg. Organized with BNY Mellon, this pilot program will help participants develop workforce skills and earn certification in project management. “They are already in training and working with the Hudson Valley Start-Up Fund,” Prof. Weisberg says.

IN THE PHOTO: Enactus faculty advisor Prof. Melinda Weisberg (second from right) with Marist Team Enactus members Michael Arnold ’17, Sam Greene ’17, and Amy Majkrzak ’17 at the international organization’s March 29 regional competition in Washington, D.C. 

Business skills on display

In early April, close to 200 middle- and high school students from seven states took part in the first-ever Marist Splash. During this daylong campus event, the seventh- through 12th-graders took classes — all taught by undergraduate students — in a wide variety of subjects ranging from origami to Chinese dynasties to electronic dance music.

Class of 2016 SoM students Megan Callanan, Samantha Villacampa, Alexis Wagner, and Brianna Ferrentino arranged the event. “Organizing Splash proved to be a very valuable learning experience for them,” says Splash faculty advisor Prof. Brian Haughey. “They had to focus on business management skills such as logistics, planning, recruitment, marketing, accounting, etc.; and collaborating both with representatives of Splash at other universities as well as with other Marist constituencies. They were, in effect, learning how to run a not-for-profit business.”

Taxing duties

TaxIn association with the AARP Foundation’s Tax Aide program, student members of the college’s Beta Alpha Psi chapter participated in the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (or VITA). After completing an IRS VITA training course, students were certified to prepare individual tax returns for the 2016 season. The program provided the dual benefit of offering free tax help to local residents and practical income-tax preparation experience to students.

IN THE PHOTO: BAP members and tax-return preparers Arman Saadat ’16, Margaret Grussing ’17, Sam Greene ’17, Brendan Preis ’16, Kristin Chauvin ’17, Dawn Bruzzese ’17, Toriann Monaco ’18, and Liliya Yerassilova ’17

Marketing Magic

GauntletThe “Survival Watch” was the winning product in this semester’s Gauntlet Competition, held on May 6. Modeled after TV’s popular Shark Tank, the contest requires teams of students in the Marketing Principles classes to design an original product, develop a marketing plan for it, and pitch the idea to a panel of would-be “investors” (aka Kevin Caccomo, College Unit Director at Northwestern Mutual; Marist professors Mary Winby and Prema Nakra; and Ryan Cooke ’17, the newly elected president of the Marist chapter of the American Marketing Association).

IN THE PHOTO: From left to right:Kevin Caccomo; “Survival Watch” team members Matthew Yuen ’18, Claudia Porras ’17, Bradley Hunt ’18, and Matthew Longobardo ’18; Prof. Pamela Harper; and Ryan Cooke ’17. Not pictured are winning team members Mary Espino ’17 and Collin Anderson ’17.

Trading Up

CMEIN THE PHOTO: A quartet of SoM seniors — Owen Dingelstedt, Scott Hanley, Mark Pustorino, and Glenn Heller — took part in the CME Group Trading Challenge, a real-time commodities trading competition. The four students used a simulated electronic platform to trade futures contracts in various commodities — such as gold, corn, soybeans, and oil. The foursome placed in the top 10 percent of teams worldwide in the two-week preliminary round, which won them the right to compete in the finals (they placed 18th overall out of the 500 teams that took part). It also entitled them to attend CME Group’s “Day of Market Education” at the company’s Chicago headquarters. 

“This competition enabled us to expand our knowledge in the commodities market and the economy as a whole,” the students wrote in an email to Prof. Brian Haughey, the faculty adviser for the team. “We have also been able to share this knowledge with our peers and hope that our experience will help Marist teams in the future.”

Research Roundup

CURSCACURSCA — the Celebration of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity — is a campus-wide event that offers students, faculty, staff, and others the chance “to see the very high-quality research being done by students from all over the college,” Prof. Caroline Rider says. Seven of Rider’s International Trade Management students — Cameron Christoffel ’16, Morgan DeBaise ’16, Brian Gabuzda ’16, Grace Kollar ’16, Colby LaCouture ’16, Felipe Siebrecht ’16, and Mario Vukadinovic ’17 — took part in the April 20 celebration by creating posters that explained their research. SoM student Alison Boyle ’17 also presented her research on “ethics under pressure,” which she conducted with Prof. Pamela Harper.

Prof. Rider sees tremendous benefit in having students participate in CURSCA. “You have to learn how to present a great deal of technical information clearly and quickly.  You have to make your poster visually attractive, and you have to make the information ‘flow,’ so that in about two minutes the viewer has grasped all the major concepts.  In today's world, the more kinds of presentation skills one has mastered, the better.”

IN THE PHOTO: Colby LaCouture ’16 with his CURSCA research project

Helping Hands

DressOn April 20, a group of students from Pine Bush High School in nearby Orange County visited campus for a morning of programs on how to succeed in college and the business world. The students attend the high school’s Academy of Finance, where they take accounting and other business courses along with the usual secondary school curriculum.

The day’s activities included “mock” job interviews of the high-schoolers conducted by SoM students Tyler Lonergan ’18, Jaclyn Clark ’20, Gregory Dooney ’18, James O’Brien ’19, Madeline Heusted ’17, and Sam Greene ’17. SoM ambassadors Greene and Nick Arnold ’18 discussed student life; Arnold escorted the group through the Investment Center and explained how Marist students utilize it in their studies. Prof. Ismay Czarniecki gave a presentation on how to "Dress For Success," and Dr. Vernon Murray offered what Prof. Philip LaRocco — organizer of the event — calls “ ‘Life Tips,’ both as a student and in the future.”