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Taking Care of Business  

IN THE PHOTO: Students from the Expert Business Solutions team (back row) with the executive review panel. The team analyzed the Beyond Meat company

The culmination of the business administration degree program, the Management Strategy and Policy capstone course requires students to incorporate the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout their four years of study. 

For their end-of-term project, the 56 students in Associate Professor Pamela Harper’s capstone classes researched and analyzed five different companies: Beyond Meat, Colgate-Palmolive, Mondelez International, Moody’s Investors Services, and Cognizant. Teams of five to six students performed an in-depth investigation into one of the firms, analyzing its strengths and weaknesses as well as its financial outlook. 

With this information in hand, the teams then attempted to answer a strategic question regarding the firm’s outlook for the future. They then presented their conclusions to a panel of executive reviewers, composed of members of the Marist faculty and administration (including President Kevin Weinman), as well as Annette Graham, dean of the School of Business and Management Studies at the Culinary Institute of America; Lenny Erlanger of Beyond Meat; and alumni Caitlin Schell ’12, MA ’14 of Mondelez, Marybeth Kunsch ’05 of Cognizant, and SoM Board of Advisors member Michael Marchesano ’78 of ABM/CISD -SIIA.

“It is my sincere hope that this experience will serve as an indelible memory and a source of inspiration for my students as they face challenges along the way to accomplishing great things in life,” says Prof. Harper.

To read about Prof. Helen Rothberg’s capstone program, click here.

*In The Photo: Students from the Expert Business Solutions team (back row) with the executive review panel. The team analyzed the Beyond Meat company

Cleaning Up at Biz Plan Competition 

IN THE PHOTO (from left): Student Stock Up’s Jenna Farley ’22 and Celia Carini ’22

Student Stock Up, a business idea developed by SoM seniors Jenna Farley and Celia Carini, took first place in the “Products and Services” track of the Mid-Hudson Regional Business Plan Competition, which was held on April 1.

As envisioned by the duo, Student Stock Up is a monthly subscription box service that delivers household goods — think garbage bags, paper towels and the like — to groups of college students who share living space. The idea for the service comes from personal experience, says Farley. “Whether you live with your best friends or people you’ve just met, there’s always conflict over buying household necessities,” she says. “You’re always arguing over who bought the toilet paper last week — and when it’s your turn, no one pays you back for it. It’s a big ordeal.”

Organized into quantities suitable for four, six, or eight housemates, each box contains enough toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags, dish soap and sponges to last for one month. The student-friendly price per person is $10 per delivery. “If you're buying a four-person box, it’s $40,” says Carini. “That cost can be split among as many credit cards as you want. So no one has to chase their roommates down for repayment.”

Farley and Carini beat out six other teams to earn the top spot in their division. Requirements for the competition, which was held virtually, included submission of a seven-minute video, a slide deck, an executive summary, and a pro forma financial statement — not to mention a Zoom presentation and Q&A with a panel of judges. “The [judges’] questions prepared us for the state competition,” says Carini. “We scratched our finances and did them all over again. It was really good feedback.” (Unfortunately, Student Stock Up did not advance past the first round at the state level.)

The pair was awarded $750 for their regional win, funds they will use to kick-start the business in the fall. “It will be a trial run to see if it can be as successful as we projected on paper,” says Farley. “A lot of people have shown interest in participating.”

Business majors concentrating in marketing and entrepreneurship, respectively, Farley and Carini both transferred to Marist last year and will graduate in December. Both women feel participating in the competition was valuable. “The connections we made with different professors and applying concepts we learned in class to something we are actually doing, really brought everything full circle,” Farley says. Carini concurs: “I feel like I got the most value out of this compared to all of my other extracurriculars.” 

*In the Photo (from left): Student Stock Up’s Jenna Farley ’22 and Celia Carini ’22


Kudos for CURSCA  

The annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity — known on campus as CURSCA ¬— took place on April 20. Students presented the results of 71 research projects on topics ranging from cancer rates among firefighters to mid-20th century photography. Participants honed their research skills by working one-on-one with a member of the faculty; most of their findings were displayed in poster form, although some were rendered via short films, demonstrations and performance art pieces.

School of Management faculty members assisted 11 undergraduates with their research; these students are listed below, along with the titles of their projects and the names of their mentors. 

Jocelyn Antonio '23, JoAnna Valdez '23 and Julie Janecek '23 — An Exploration of the Characteristics of Social Media Influencers in the Health and Wellness Industry and the Impact of COVID-19  
Faculty mentor: Prof. Pamela Harper

Alexis Colucci MSPA '22 — Not Out of the Woods Yet: The Impacts of Internal and External Audit on the Extent and Accuracy of ESG Disclosures
Faculty mentor: Prof. Joanne Gavin

Isabella Gusmano '22 — Strategic Alliance for Sea-to-Land Fertilizer in Mexico 
Faculty mentor: Prof. Caroline Rider 

Grace Sander '23, Jessica Kasnia '23 and Jayden Hamilton '22 — Comparing Adult Female Sex Trafficking Victims in the United States and the Philippines: Strategic Implications
Faculty mentor: Prof. Vernon Murray 

Ashlyn Smith '22 — Sex and Labor Trafficking in the U.S. and Moldova 
Faculty mentor: Prof. Vernon Murray 

Catie Stiffler '22 — Opportunity for a U.S./Singapore Non-Equity Strategic Alliance 
Faculty mentor: Prof. Caroline Rider 

Robert Romano '23 — An Examination of Corporate Social Responsibility, Self-Expectations and Purchase Intent from the Perspective of European Consumers
Faculty mentor: Prof. Pamela Harper 

Congratulations to the students and their mentors.

*In the Photo: Students present their CURSCA research projects


Red Fox Spotlight: Elizabeth Mackey   image of Elizabeth Mackey

If just the mention of NFTs, DeFi and HODL makes your head swim, have a chat with Elizabeth (Liz) Mackey; this soon-to-be Marist alumna’s honors thesis was entitled “Cryptocurrency in 10 Minutes or Less.” 

“I felt like cryptocurrency is this secret language that no one really understands,” says the Cheshire, Connecticut senior. “I wanted to get to the bottom of it. And it was really fascinating.”

Fascinating – and accomplished – are two adjectives that can be applied to Mackey herself. A business major with a concentration in finance and a minor in accounting, her name has appeared on the Dean’s List consistently since her first semester as a Red Fox. She has received multiple awards, including the Johnson & Johnson Business Leadership Scholarship and the Prenting Family Research and Assistantship Award. She has served as an officer in the Marist Women in Business club, worked as a Bloomberg Terminal advisor and on the college’s IT Help Desk, and — in her off hours — volunteered at local elementary schools. Anything else? “Oh, and the volleyball intramural championship,” Liz says. “I always like to include that.”

One of four siblings, Mackey got her first taste of Marist when she tagged along with her older sister during a college tour. “It was a rainy day and I just remember falling in love with the campus,” she says. “I thought it was beautiful.” She applied to the college two years later and received a merit scholarship. “That was a really big thing for me and my parents, knowing that the school wanted me to come as much as I wanted to come. I drove back for Admitted Students’ Weekend on a gorgeous, sunny day and I thought, ‘this is my school.’ ”

Initially, Mackey’s career aspirations were a bit unusual. “After graduating from college, my mom lived in New York City with her girlfriends,” she recalls. “I’ve heard her tell stories about that since I was eight years old. As I got older, I imagined myself walking down the street in a pair of high heels and a business suit. I didn’t know where I would be working, but I knew I wanted to be a businesswoman in the city.” Mom was also instrumental in Mackey’s chosen career path. “I thought I would go into fashion design,” she says. “But from the get-go my mom thought I’d be good at finance. Apparently from a young age, I had no problem hanging with the boys and asserting myself. So that’s how I got started on this track.”

In 2021, Mackey worked as a summer analyst at Goldman Sachs in Manhattan. Come July, she will begin her career in earnest, working in the prestigious financial services firm’s controller division. “It’s the same team I interned with last summer. It’s a fantastic company and they’re really great people.” 

Mackey draws a straight line between her college experience and her fledgling career. Her four years at Marist “went beyond my expectations,” she says. “The faculty played a big role in the kind of success that I was able to create for myself. I’ve done a ton of projects and taken many classes with Prof. Brian Haughey [associate professor of finance and director of the Investment Center]. Through him, I was able to meet other students who are on the same path as I am. 

“This community showed me what I needed to do to live out the dream of being the girl in the high-heel shoes and business suit, walking in New York.”

*In the Photo: Elizabeth Mackey

IN THE PHOTO (from left): Beta Gamma Sigma inductee and MBA candidate Tamika Barrett with Dwayne Hibbert

Honor Societies Hold Induction Ceremonies  

The River View Rooms in the Murray Student Center were the site of the Beta Gamma Sigma induction ceremonies on April 22. Thirty-four undergraduate students and seven MBA candidates were welcomed into the international honor society for business. Founded in 1913, the society is active exclusively in colleges and universities that are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Membership is by invitation only; it is considered the most prestigious recognition for students of business.

Congratulations to these 2022 Beta Gamma Sigma inductees:

Tamika Barrett, MBA   
Lauren Byrne ’23
Edward Capone ’23
John Cardillo ’23
Alexis Colucci ’22
Edward Crean, MBA  
Rocco Cremonini ’23
Moritz Daxboeck ’23
Eric Dilg, MBA 
Britney Ellman ’22
Julianna Engel ’23
Catherine Feddeck ’23
Megan Fergus, MBA
Kyleigh Fitzgerald ’23
Sarah Harven ’23
Kimberly Hendricks, MBA
Patricia Jacobsen ’23
Lance Koenig ’23
Ana Kriku ’23
Riley Lee ’23
Luke Mahon ’23
Christine Mancuso ’23
Savannah Marks ’22
Dominic Mastromatteo ’23
Erin Mcelwain ’23
Haley Merrill ’23
Clay Morrow ’22
Thomas Muller ’23
Ana Sofia Najarian ’23
Marina Olson ’23 
Adam Porter MBA
Christopher Rosetti ’22
Gina Ruotolo ’23
Diana Salazar ’23
Liam Salmon ’23
Calin Stagg ’23
Emily Stanton, MBA
Camryn Stoner ’23
Joseph Thomas ’23
Andrea von Ahn ’23
Gregory Warnokowski ’23

The Marist chapter of Alpha Mu Alpha, the American Marketing Association’s honor society, held its annual induction ceremony on April 30 in the Lowell Thomas Screening Room. 

Established in 1981, the society — which includes undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students as well as marketing faculty — recognizes and rewards academic excellence in the discipline and science of marketing. Inductees were nominated by members of the faculty.

Congratulations to the following students – all members of the class of 2022 – who were inducted during the ceremony:

Hailey Antunes 
Meghan Ebeling
Jenna Farley 
Lauren McCaffrey
Victor Michael Allegretti 
Madison Archer 
Elise DeMaria
Caroline Marie DeVico 
Chiara Di Palma 
Sebastian Haddad
Maggie Elizabeth Johnson
Ryan Kuttel 
Gianna Labriola 
Antonia Larizza 
Catherine Murphy Moniz 
Abigail O’Connel
Kathryn Ann Popp 
Sarah Zaino 

*In the Photo (from left): Beta Gamma Sigma inductee and MBA candidate Tamika Barrett with Dwayne Hibbert 

Noted Scholar Discusses Russia/Ukraine War   IN THE PHOTO (from left): Professors Alan Cafruny, Michael O’Sullivan and David WoolnerIN THE PHOTO (from left): Professors Alan Cafruny, Michael O’Sullivan and David Woolner

The School of Management hosted “The War in Ukraine: Escalation or Negotiation?,” a lecture presented by Alan Cafruny, the Henry Platt Bristol Professor of International Relations at Hamilton College, on April 8.

A highly regarded scholar of international relations and political economy, Dr. Cafruny has authored more than 40 articles as well as nine books, the most recent being 2017’s “The European Union and Global Capitalism: Origins, Development, Crisis” (coauthored with J. Magnus Ryner).

“The event was designed to analyze the causes of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the implications for the U.S. and for Europe,” says Ann Davis, associate professor of economics and organizer of the presentation. “There was some discussion about whether the invasion was provoked by NATO expansion or merely by Russian aggression and nationalism.”

School of Liberal Arts history professors David Woolner and Michael O’Sullivan provided discussion and counterpoint on the topic, says Davis. “Our intention was to stimulate dialogue. Several of [the three speakers] have studied in Russia, so there was mutual respect among them — even if there was some disagreement on certain points.”

Davis feels the current conflict will have far-reaching consequences. “In my view, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a world-changing event, challenging the leadership role of the U.S. in global alliances, leading to inflation in energy and food prices, threats to the rule of law and national sovereignty, and resort to violence and brutality.”  

A video of the presentation will be available for future classroom use.

*In The Photo (from left): Professors Alan Cafruny, Michael O’Sullivan and David Woolner


Meeting Halfway   IN THE PHOTO (from left): Prof. Jennifer Lupo, Sophia Mailhos ’22, Morgan Wertlieb ’22, Jared Jackson ’22, and Prof. Thomas Madden at the mediation tournament

The New York State Bar Association held its annual Mediation Tournament in Manhattan in March. Hosted by the law firm Davis Polk, the competition pits teams of law students — 60 in all, representing more than 10 law schools — against each other as they hone their skills in mediation and client advocacy.

Marist Assistant Professor of Business Law Thomas Madden served as scoring director for the event. He was ably assisted by three seniors — Sophia Mailhos, Morgan Wertlieb, and Jared Jackson — all of whom are studying to complete the Marist Paralegal Certification program. Madden and SoM Adjunct Prof. Jennifer Lupo also served on the judging panel.

“We worked to compile and tabulate the judges’ scores across multiple rounds,” explains Jackson of students’ duties at the tournament. “It was interesting to see what factors allowed specific teams to come out on top. We learned a lot about the processes of mediation and client advocacy and talked with many practicing attorneys and judges.”

“The [scoring] opportunity offers unique exposure to increasingly ubiquitous mediation,” Madden says. “With presumptive ADR [Alternate Dispute Resolution] established in New York and elsewhere, it will involve many businesspeople in the future. The Marist students’ role in the tournament also drew on business-related skills in scoring and computation, complete with ethical dimensions.”

*In The Photo (from left): Prof. Jennifer Lupo, Sophia Mailhos ’22, Morgan Wertlieb ’22, Jared Jackson ’22, and Prof. Thomas Madden at the mediation tournament


Ethics Week Topics Run the Gamut   IN THE PHOTO (from left): Prof. Kenneth Sloan, Dr. Timothy Harper, School of Management Interim Dean James Snyder, and Prof. Vernon Murray

The School of Management’s Ethics Week took place from March 21-24. This semiannual event features programs that explore how ethical considerations can influence business decisions of all types.

“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – An Opportunity for Business to Lead” was the topic of Dr. Timothy Harper’s keynote presentation. An associate professor in the Department of Management and Business at Skidmore College, Harper earned both his BS and MBA degrees at Bowling Green State University in Ohio; he completed his doctorate in organizational studies at the State University of New York at Albany.  

Programs presented by SoM faculty included “The Business of Healthcare: Ethics of Resource Allocation Decisions” (Prof. Anne Zahradnik), “Research on Behavioral Ethics of Employees” (Prof. Pamela Harper and Prof. John Cary), and “I’ll Never Smoke Weed with Willie Again” (Prof. Steve Rossi). Professor of History David Woolner expounded on “Ethics and the U.S. Role in the World.”

In a reprise of the fall semester, students also made presentations. Members of the executive board of the college’s chapter of the American Marketing Association spoke on “The Critical Role of Ethics in Marketing.” And seniors Nikolai Mazut and Matthew Morello offered their take on “The Business Students’ Perspective on Ethics in Business.”

*In The Photo (from left): Prof. Kenneth Sloan, Dr. Timothy Harper, School of Management Interim Dean James Snyder, and Prof. Vernon Murray