School of Management Newsletter

June 2017


The end of the academic year is a busy time on campus; from honor society inductions and research presentations to volunteering for good causes, SoM students are involved in a multitude of activities, just a handful of which are summarized below.

G.A.M.E. Forum

GAMEFrom March 30 through April 1, SoM seniors Brianna Lamadore, Rhianna Ross, Nicholas Arnold and John Giuffre attended the seventh G.A.M.E. Forum in New York City. Organized by Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University, the G.A.M.E. Forum (the acronym stands for “global asset management education”) offers attendees the opportunity to learn best practices in investment management. “We heard from industry experts who spoke in depth on an array of topics,” said Lamadore, a business finance major. “Some of the topics were a macro view of the whole economy, a discussion about high-yield bonds, and the current state of the market. The next day we attended breakout sessions, in which we were able to take a deeper dive into specifics. We also connected with alumni from Marist after the conference. It was beneficial to hear them speak about their current jobs and receive some advice from them.”

IN THE PHOTO (from left): Seniors Brianna Lamadore, John Giuffre, Nicholas Arnold and Rhianna Ross

Beta Gamma Sigma induction

BGSOn April 30, the Marist College chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, the business education honor society, held its annual induction ceremony. More than 40 graduate and undergraduate students were welcomed into the organization by (from left) chapter vice presidents  — and 2017 graduates — Samantha Leenas and James Barry; Dean’s Board of Advisers member and occasional SoM Executive-in-Residence Tim Keneally ’69; and Dean Lawrence Singleton. 

CME Group’s Trading Challenge

More than 2,300 students from 35 countries took part in the CME Group’s Trading Challenge. The four-week competition invites student teams to trade futures in real time using an electronic trading platform.

Samantha Leenas ’17 competed in the challenge with teammates and fellow seniors Dana Klarer, Nicholas Arnold, Mike Mataras and John Giuffre. “Our team name was ‘Back to the Futures,’ a pun on the futures contracts we traded,” she said.

While the team did not finish on top, “this was a great learning experience,” Leenas said. “We had access to the CQG Integrated Client trading platform, which is used by real traders on Wall Street. Learning how to use this platform as a student was invaluable. In addition, working with a team to make investment decisions together was a great learning opportunity.”

Beta Alpha Psi induction

BAPOn April 23, 14 graduating seniors were inducted into Beta Alpha Psi. This international honor organization for financial information students and professionals has more than 300 chapters on college and university campuses. At the induction ceremony, the new SoM members received the BAP red chord, which signifies their membership in the organization and can be worn with their graduation regalia. 




Alpha Mu Alpha induction


A total of 39 students were inducted into the Marist chapter of Alpha Mu Alpha, the national marketing honor society, in a ceremony on May 5. Seniors with a marketing concentration who maintain a minimum G.P.A. of 3.25 are eligible for membership in the society, which was established by the American Marketing Association in 1981 to help foster excellence in the field.





CURSCACURSCA — the college’s annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity — took place on April 19. Poster presentations were made by four SoM seniors, reports Prof. Caroline Rider.  Amy Majkrzak’s project was entitled “Small Manufacturing Enterprise, Non-Equity Strategic Alliance: Poland.” “Agua Viva: Guatemala” was presented by Joscelyne Figueroa. Ayeizoukumo "Divine" Moses offered a project he called "MosDivine Enterprises and NearByte Technology." And Anthony Sarra’s “Evolution de la Mode X Optical Innovations: Mode 2.0 Fashion Reinvented” dovetailed with the remarks made by CURSCA’s keynote speaker. “Sarra told me afterwards that his presentation fit perfectly with keynote speaker Rickey Ruff's talk, ‘Love Letters to the Impossible as Approaches to Pursuits Beyond,’ ” Rider said. “Ruff graduated from Marist [in 2010] and works on Ralph Lauren’s Runway Collection.”

IN THE PHOTO: Amy Majkrzak ’17 shows off her CURSCA poster

Margaret Grussing ’17 wins accounting award

GrussingIn April, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants’ Mid-Hudson chapter presented Marist accounting major Margaret Grussing ’17 with its accounting student award. This award recognizes top accounting students from area colleges; honorees are chosen based on scholarship, leadership and community service. A member of Beta Alpha Psi and Beta Gamma Sigma, Grussing has worked as a volunteer with the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, the Dutchess County SPCA, and Habitat for Humanity. Currently employed as a summer intern at EY in Boston, Grussing will enter the MS in taxation degree program at Bentley University in Massachusetts come fall.

IN THE PHOTO (from left): Rebecca Hasbrouck, president of the Mid-Hudson chapter of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants; Margaret Grussing ’17; A. Rief Kanan, NYSSCPA member and an accounting professor at SUNY New Paltz

Students tour IBM facility

IBM tourStudents in Prof. Terry Ciccaglione’s Operations Management class toured IBM’s warehousing and manufacturing facility in Poughkeepsie on April 21. Host Andy Tokash first led the group through the warehouse, where employees receive parts from suppliers, reconcile receipts, and place the parts in warehousing racks for use in the manufacturing line — which was the second stop on the tour. In this area, students observed the different workstations used to put together a computer, including subassembly of the processor books and initial build of the server. The last leg of the tour consisted of the final test of the server, inspection of the frame and packaging for shipment.

“For the most part, this was the first time these students had toured a manufacturing facility,” said Prof. Ciccaglione. “The tour was used to create a connection between the concepts presented in Operations Management and a real-world example.”

IN THE PHOTO (from left): Prof. Terry Ciccaglione, IBM’s Andy Tokash, students Michael Kornfeld ’18, Brendan Wilson ’18, Francis D’Angelo ’18, Joseph Nappi ’18, Barrett Couden ’18, James Ball ’18, Jason Knight ’18, Lucy Herrera ’20 and Aidan Little ’18


SPLASHThe second edition of Marist SPLASH was held on April 1. Organized by SoM student Samantha Leenas ’17 as part of her senior honors thesis, the daylong campus event offered local middle- and high schoolers (150 in all) the chance to take mini-courses taught by Red Fox students. Close to 200 student instructors and volunteers presented 80 different classes — from screenwriting to working with big data, yoga basics to the history of rap music — to the seventh through 12th graders. MICRO Splash, a smaller, finance-focused event that was also organized by Leenas, took place last fall.

Like last spring’s version, the 2017 SPLASH was a resounding success. “We received positive emails from attendees, parents, and guidance counselors thanking us for a great day,” said Leenas. “One student was excited to tell us about how much he enjoyed SPLASH, the friends he made, and that he cannot wait to attend again next year.”

SoM students, faculty advise high schoolers

Pine BushOn April 19, students from nearby Pine Bush High School visited the School of Management for advice on how to succeed in college and beyond. The students are part of the high school’s Academy of Finance: They take business courses along with the traditional secondary school curriculum. Organized by Prof. Phil LaRocco, the campus event involves both students and faculty members, who conduct mock job interviews, lead tours of the Investment Center, and discuss helpful tips about how best to navigate life in college and the business world.


Beta Gamma Sigma clothing drive


Dutchess County Dress for Success Director Robin Blue-Brown (left) thanks Beta Gamma Sigma officers Vice President Samantha Leenas ’17, Vice President James Barry ’17, and faculty advisor Prof. Elizabeth Purinton-Johnson for the “interview appropriate” women’s clothing collected for her organization during the honor society’s March clothing drive.





Careers in Focus

Grad EventThe School of Management’s spring Graduate Student and Alumni Event took place on April 22 in the college’s Murray Student Center. A group of about 60 MBA and MPA students, alumni, faculty and staff attended the daylong get-together, which featured guest speakers, workshop sessions, individualized career coaching meetings, and networking opportunities.

The event’s keynote speaker was Leslie Richards-Yellen, director of inclusion for the Americas at the law firm of Hogan Lovells and president of the National Association of Women Lawyers; Richards-Yellen is also the wife of Marist President David Yellen. Her lunchtime presentation focused on workplace diversity issues. The diversity theme carried over into the two afternoon workshop sessions, which dealt with strategies to improve cross-cultural communication and organizational performance.

Rachel Jacob, who graduated from the MPA program last month, attended the program “to meet my professors in person, since I did the online track.” A staff development specialist at ARC of Ulster-Greene, she was eager to be a part of the MPA workshop on diversity.  “I lead a credentialing program that deals with baby boomers, Millennials, and everyone in between,” she said. “So diversity is very important to me, and I want to see what the workshop has to offer.”

Daniel Buschel is one-third of the way through the online MBA program. He works in business management at Jabil Circuit, a contract manufacturer that makes circuit boards used in IBM servers. An engineer by trade, he is seeking his MBA in order to improve his skills. “I have no formal background in business," he said. “I understand the basics, but not the strategic elements, like long-term planning.” He came to the program looking for “advice about where I can go with my MBA and my specific background in manufacturing and engineering; how I can combine those two elements into a new career and a new future.”

Like Buschel, MPA alumnus Ted Fisch ’16 was also seeking career advice at the event. “I want to do some networking and meet with my old professors,” he said. “I’m hoping to pursue either my Ph.D. or J.D., so I’m looking for options.” Fisch is employed with New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services. He completed the hybrid MPA program, which he called “excellent,” in two-and-a-half years. “Many of the classes — public budgeting, strategic planning, human resource management — gave us the academic foundation for what we do in public administration every day.”

IN THE PHOTO (from left): Leslie Richards-Yellen, Associate Dean James Phillips, and Dean Lawrence Singleton

Powerful Possibilities

On June 27-28, the School of Management will host the 2017 edition of the Renewable Energy Conference, the premier energy conference on the East Coast. Organized in partnership with the New York State Business Council and the Hudson Renewable Energy Institute, this leadership forum on energy policy will focus on the transformative changes taking place in federal and state energy markets and the impact these changes could have on renewable supply.

Speakers at the event include Melanie Littlejohn, vice president of community and customer management for National Grid New York, who will give the opening keynote address; Raymond B. Wuslich, a partner in the D.C. law firm of Winston and Strawn and a leading energy attorney, who will discuss the Trump administration’s probable impact on national renewable energy policy; and Paul Haering, senior vice president of engineering at Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corp., who will talk about his company’s grid modernization and its implications for renewable generation. Paul F. Curran, founder and managing partner of BQ Energy, and a member of the Dean's Board of Advisors, will participate in a panel focusing on the Changing Regulatory Structure in the Energy Space.

For further information on the conference, including registration and sponsorship details, click here.

Strong Stuff

Perfect MixLongtime School of Management professor Dr. Helen Rothberg launches her new book, “The Perfect Mix,” at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Newburgh, NY on Sunday, June 25 at 2 p.m. Subtitled “Everything I Know About Leadership I Learned as a Bartender,” the 176-page tome is a “fun and practical guide to bringing out the best in people,” says Lois P. Frankel, author of “See Jane Lead” and “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office.” Available in hardcover as well as in electronic form, “The Perfect Mix” is published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. 

Click here for the full press release.