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November 2019

Career Trek: Bigger and Better than Ever

School of Management students at Career Trek

Twenty-nine top-notch companies, more than 140 students, and dozens of alumni: These were the main ingredients that combined to make the sixth annual New York City Career Trek a resounding success.

Held on Oct. 24, the trek started on campus at 6:15 a.m., as students and faculty boarded buses to shuttle them to Metro North, and ultimately into the Big Apple. Upon their arrival, participants broke out into career-specific tracks (such as finance, marketing, human resource management, etc.); each track proceeded to make site visits to several firms, which were chosen based on the career interest. Often arranged by alums employed at each firm, these visits included presentations by and networking with company executives; Amazon, Bloomberg, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, Grant Thornton, Haymarket Media, IBM, JP Morgan, Neuberger Berman, Ogilvy & Mather, PwC, Sony, TIAA, UBS, Viacom, and Voya were among the participating businesses. At the conclusion of the day, most of the participants gathered at the new Marist Executive Center on Fifth Avenue for the annual Career Trek alumni reception.

“The goal of the event is to educate students about the workplace and assist them in making career connections,” said SoM Career Center Director Linda Haas Manley, the main organizer of the trek. The event was successful due to the contributions of the “very dedicated staff, faculty, and students and generous alumni and employers who work together to plan it,” she said.

Trekker Joshua Polgrean ’20 was impressed with the companies he visited. “I liked Cisco because [the presenters] did not hesitate to answer the hard questions about overcoming obstacles in their careers and how they used those experiences to fuel their drive for success,” he said. Jana Brzovski ‘21 noted the uniqueness of the trek format. “I was able to make so many connections with brand-name companies and with alumni who have been more than willing to take time out of their busy day to offer advice and guidance,” she said.

Dean Lawrence Singleton is pleased with the growth of the trek since its inception in 2014. “We began with just a handful of companies, and the event this year featured 29 organizations,” he said. “That growth has allowed many more students to participate and learn from seasoned professionals who can help them navigate their career choices.”


SoM teams debate advertising censorship

School of Management students presented compelling arguments both for and against the role of censorship in advertising during a recent debate.

The head-to-head panel discussion took place on Sept. 25 as part of Banned Books Week, the college library’s yearly examination of written works that, at one time or another, have been the subject of censorship.

The debating students were divided into two four-person teams, led by junior Jana Brzovski and senior Spencer Hogan, respectively. “My team took the stance that adverti School of Management students at advertising debate sing should be censored in order to benefit the greater good,” said Brzovski. “For example, we analyzed [e-cigarette maker] Juul as they had advertisements that promoted smoking to a younger demographic. We argued that advertisements like this should be censored to some degree, since a harmful act is being promoted to American youth.”

Hogan said his team “took the opposite stance: that businesses should not be restrained from advertising, and it is up to the public's discretion to decide what is good and bad. This is a very hands-off approach, referencing the likes of Milton Friedman.” Students from various academic disciplines attended the event and peppered the debaters with questions.

The two team leaders felt the exercise was both useful and fun. “With the rise of social media, advertisements are everywhere, so it was really interesting to delve deeper into censorship in advertising and develop an opinion on the issue,” said Brzovski.

“It was great to be able to engage with students on such a unique issue,” Hogan said. “We enjoyed researching it, and I think it was a conversation worth having.”

IN THE PHOTO (L-R): Spencer Hogan ’20, Nicole Mirsky ’20, Ian Miller ’21 and Jacob Ruthazer ’21

Beta Alpha Psi Convention stresses community service

Current and past Beta Alpha Psi board members Morgan Handel ‘20, Colleen Kelly ’19, MS/PAccy School of Management students at Beta Alpha Psi convention ’19 and Hope Brenkert ’19, MS/PAccy ’19 attended the honor organization’s Centennial Convention in Chicago on August 8-10. Over the course of three days, the women listened to keynote speakers and attended breakout leadership sessions. But they also took part in community service activities as a part of the KPMG-sponsored Beta Alpha Psi International Day of Literacy.

Kelly and Brenkert’s community service duties consisted of “freeze dancing” (a riff on musical chairs) with primary school students in an underserved city school district; afterward, they distributed books to each student, many of whom had never owned one before. At the same time, Handel participated in the Pack Shack Funnel Party, where she helped to package 100,000 meals in a single day for distribution to local food pantries -- a job that she says was accomplished in surprisingly short order.

Earlier this year, Marist’s BAP chapter was designated as “distinguished” by Beta Alpha Psi; similarly, the college’s chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma was awarded “highest honors” by that honor organization for business students. “Everything learned at the convention will be implemented into our [Beta Alpha Psi] chapter in order to ensure that it remains up-to-date and relevant to accounting, finance and information systems students,” Handel said. “We hope to make BAP an increasingly more valuable asset to students in order to ensure their success in these fields and to further empower the Marist College name within these industries.”


No rest for the weary: SoM activities keep students busy

Students have been taking advantage of a variety of business-related special events both on- and off-campus.

Upwards of 100 Marist students, alumni, and friends made their way to the Poughkeepsie Galleria on Sept. 19 for the JCPenney Suit-Up event. Students and alumni who live locally stocked up on suits, ties, blouses, skirts, and other business-appropriate clothing and accessories, which were offered at discounts of from 60 to 85 percent off regular prices. Along with JCPenney, the evening was jointly sponsored by the Marist Center for Career Services, the School of Management Career Center and Beta Alpha Psi.




IN THE PHOTO (back row, L-R):

Photo of School of Management students Marist alumni and EY employees William Copeland ’04; James Boylan ’12, MBA ’13; Regan Sweeney ’17; and Shane Steinman ’17 join Jose L. Garcia, the company’s Northeast Region campus recruiter, for a visit with Beta Alpha Psi members on Oct. 9.

Participating students included (front row, L-R) Emily Ecklund ’20, Amanda Young ’20, Megan LeVasseur ’20, Olivia Jennings ’21, Rachel Gonzales ’20, and Morgan Handel ’20


Photo of School of Management Dean, Faculty, and student at Marist Executive Center The Marist Executive Center in Manhattan was the site of a conversation with Alan S. Murray, President and CEO of Fortune magazine, on Oct. 10. Murray’s presentation centered on his career – along with serving as the magazine’s top editor for five-plus years, he was a deputy managing editor at the Wall Street Journal -- and the current state of journalism, among other topics. School of Management Board of Advisors member Thomas Murray '02 participated in the program.

IN THE PHOTO (L-R): School of Management Dean Lawrence Singleton, Jana Brzovski ’21, Alan Murray, and Board of Advisors member Thomas Murray ’02





Board of Advisors golf outing raises $30,000 for scholarships

Forty-six Marist alumni and friends took to the links for the inaugural School of Management Board of Advisors Scholarship Golf Outing on Sept. 5.

Photo of Dean Singleton at Golf outing

Organized by board member Greg Garville ’74 and Stephen Gnojewski, the SoM’s newly appointed development officer, the event featured an outdoor barbecue lunch, 18 holes of golf, and a cocktail reception.

Along with Garville, a number of other Board of Advisors members took part in the day’s activities, including James Daly ’72, Kevin Hogan ’02, Tim Keneally ’69, Thomas Murray ’02, Paul Stento ’90 and Kim Viggiano ’02. At the reception, Dean Lawrence Singleton updated the group on goings-on at the college and the school. Another highlight was Director of Athletics Tim Murray’s presentation of awards to winners Shane Kelly (closest to the pin, third hole); Steve Ruoff (closest to the pin, 12th hole); Paul Stento (closest to the pin, second shot); and Denis O’Kane (longest drive and longest putt).

More than $30,000 in scholarship funding was raised through the event, which will be distributed to six qualifying SoM students to help offset their student loan debt.

IN THE PHOTO (L-R): Dean Lawrence Singleton, Greg Garville ’74, and Marist VP for College Advancement Christopher DelGiorno

Faculty (and staff and student) Focus

School of Management faculty and students The college’s inaugural Explorations in Social Justice Conference took place on Sept. 13. Students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and community members examined the topic of social justice, both on campus and in the Mid-Hudson Valley generally, in hopes of promoting a more inclusive community. Assistant Professor of Marketing Vernon Murray, along with seniors Holly Shea and Julia Solin, presented a poster entitled "Can Boycotts of Nations' Goods Force Compensation to the Women of Government-Sponsored Human Trafficking?" The trio has made presentations on human trafficking topics at two previous Marist conferences.

IN THE PHOTO (L-R): Prof. Vernon Murray, Holly Shea ’20 and Julia Solin ’20 with their poster presentation

IN THE PHOTOS: Assistant Professor of Management William S. Brown (on right, with President Dennis Murray) and SoM Advising Center staffer Patricia Locker were honored for their 20 years of service to Marist at the 40th Annual Founders Day Luncheon, which was held in the Cabaret on Sept. 18. The luncheon celebrates the contributions of faculty, administration and staff members who have worked at the college for 20 years or more; a group of about 20 SoMers came to the luncheon to congratulate their colleagues.



Marist alum achieves NYPD milestone

Last summer, Marist alumna Terri Tobin ’83 became a two-star assistant chief of the New York City Terri Tobin Police Department. She is the fourth female of that rank currently on the job, according to a July 28, 2019 article in the New York Post.

A native of the borough of Queens, Tobin said that her father – a 28-year veteran of the NYPD – inspired her, as well as three of her four siblings, to join the force. “Always smiling” when he left for work, “he was probably the best advertisement for this job,” she said.

Tobin was a lieutenant for the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information on September 11, 2001. She and her coworkers rushed to the scene when they learned that a plane had crashed into the Twin Towers; when the south tower collapsed, she was thrown across the street. Her experiences that day “made my commitment that much stronger to the NYPD,” she said. “I don’t think that there’s any other place that I would have wanted to be than exactly where I was, doing what I was doing.”

Congratulations to Tobin on her impressive achievement.


Getting to Know… Faezeh Amirkamali

Faezeh (Mehrfarid) Amirkamali (known to family, friends and colleagues as Mehr) comes to Marist via the University of Texas at Arlington College of Business. After earning her undergraduate and MBA degrees, “I worked for a couple of months, then decided to pursue my Ph.D.,” she says. “I really wanted to be in academia. I had a friend in Texas who suggested applying to UT Arlington, which I did (along with some other schools). I was admitted on a full scholarship.” Amirkamali began her studies in the Lone Star state in 2014 and earned her doctorate four years later; along the way, she spent time as a teaching assistant and then as a lecturer.

A resident of Fishkill, Amirkamali took on the role of assistant professor of management in August last year. “During my last year [at UTA], I was applying for teaching positions,” she said. “There were professors there who knew about Marist; they told me it was a very good school in a very good area. I applied for the position, and when I visited, I fell in love -- first with the campus and then with the people.”

This semester, Amirkamali is teaching two courses: Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management; she specialized in both of those areas at UTA. She says her research interests “center around how people balance their work and personal life and how our personal values affect that balance.” She offers the following illustration: “If I’m a person who is very achievement-oriented and competitive and I work 12 hours a day, I won’t feel I have no balance, because my perception is different. For a family-oriented person, balance has a different meaning; any intervention from work while they’re at home is a conflict.” Meeting with her Ph.D. professors sparked Amirkamali’s interest in this topic. “I noticed how some of them had pictures of their families and pets in their offices, and they would sometimes talk about them. Others had no photos and would just talk about work. It impressed me how different they were.”

An enthusiastic flutist and cyclist, Amirkamali is thrilled to live in a region of the country that experiences all four seasons. And she is equally enthusiastic about Marist. “People here are super-friendly,” she says. “I love the area and the campus, and I really like the students and the interactions I have with them.

“Last December, I went back to Texas for my commencement; when I returned, there was a surprise party for me for my graduation. I feel not just like a colleague here, but like a member of the family.”