School of Management Newsletter

October 2014

Announcing the Eugene Melan Scholarship recipient


Congratulations to School of Management senior Jenna Snyder, who has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Eugene Melan Scholarship in Business Leadership.

Named for former Marist College faculty member Eugene Melan, the scholarship honors his work as an internationally renowned scholar in the areas of systems thinking and quality control. Melan taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the School of Management for 18 years. He was also instrumental in raising the status of Marist College’s internship program by placing students with numerous Fortune 500 companies. Prior to joining Marist College, Melan had an illustrious career with IBM, where he had responsibilities for operations in England, France, and Germany and later in the Mid-Hudson Region.  He also served in the United States Navy. When he retired from Marist in 2006 he was recognized as Professor Emeritus of Business. Professor Emeritus Melan passed away in 2011 at the age of 84.

Jenna, whose hometown is Reading, Pennsylvania, is pursuing a double major (Economics and Business Administration with a concentration in Finance), and a Math minor.  Jenna’s selection was based on her many academic achievements during her time at Marist, as well as her potential to be a leader in the business world. She will have an opportunity to shadow business leaders in the field and will be able to pursue an independent study in the spring semester. She is also the recipient of a $5,000 award.

  Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter Earns Premier Status


The Marist School of Management chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma was recognized this semester by the national organization as a Premier Chapter.  This designation rewards chapters that diligently recognize academic excellence of undergraduate juniors, seniors and MBAs by achieving at least an 85% membership acceptance rate during the last academic year.

Beta Gamma Sigma is the honor society serving business programs accredited by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest recognition a business student can receive in a business program accredited by AACSB International.

Dr. James Melitski Appointed to Seoul Club

On September 22, Dr. James Melitski, Associate Professor of Public Administration and Chair of the Department Public and Nonprofit Administration, was appointed to the Seoul Club of New York City.  This honor was bestowed by Seoul, South Korea Mayor Park Won-soon in recognition of Dr. Melitski’s work in digital government.  Also honored was Dr. Marc Holzer, Dean of the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University.  Dr. Melitski and Dr. Holzer were recognized for their work with the e-Governance Institute, where since 1998 they have been researching the impact of technology on the effectiveness of public and nonprofit organizations.

According to Melitski, the e-Governance Institute evaluates each city’s website in their native language, and Seoul has ranked number one in its e-government rankings since the program’s inception in 2003.  

Seoul Club360

 “Initially, we looked at the top 100 cities around the world,” said Melitski, “Cities were selected using the United Nations ITU database to identify the most wired countries around the world.  From there, we studied the largest cities within those countries.  By examining websites in a country’s native language, the evaluation can take place through the eyes of its citizens.  This allows the survey to get a complete picture of the site’s effectiveness.”

The Seoul Club was founded in 1904 and prides itself on bridging cross-cultural understanding and fostering international relations. It is active in cities around the world, including Manila, Beijing, Berlin and New York City. 



School of Management Alumni Talk To Undergraduate Students


Two recent Marist graduates returned to campus on October 10th to speak with students in BUS 426 – Student Managed Investment Practicum I – Equities. Vincent Raia ’14 and Chris McMahon ‘14, both of whom are now employed at Moody's, talked about the function of a rating agency, their roles in the structured finance and public finance groups at Moody’s, and how they obtained their current positions.

Both pointed out that, while not an Ivy League institution, the Marist School of Management prepares students to compete successfully in the work force. Vincent recommended that students with an interest in structured finance take BUS 427, the fixed income class, which gives students a competitive advantage relative to students from other institutions who typically are not exposed to the bond markets.  Chris advised students not to settle for the first opportunity that comes along, but to make sure that the job they accept is one that they will enjoy.

First-Year Student Faculty Dinner

On September 23, School of Management First Year students had an opportunity to socialize with faculty over dinner as part of the Faculty Supper Series.  With 47 students and 11 faculty members participating, the event was touted as being one of the most successful dinners in recent years, according to event organizer Kait Smith of the Marist Office of First Year Programs and Leadership Development.  School of Management faculty members on hand to share their thoughts with the students included Professors Ken Coletti, Ismay Czarniecki, Brian Haughey, John Finnigan, David Gavin, Philip LaRocco, Vernon Murray, Elizabeth Purinton-Johnson, and Melinda Weisberg.  Assistant Dean Joanne Gavin and Associate Dean Geri Wildenberg were also in attendance.

The event was held in the Marist Dining Hall, where students were able to dine in small groups with one or two faculty members at each table.  Students were interested in discussing a wide range of topics, including entrepreneurship, concentrations, choosing a major and minor, as well as how to conduct informational interviews.  Students also wanted to learn more about the accounting program, the Financial Literacy course, the Greystone Equity and Fixed Income Funds, the Investment Center, and the Bloomberg terminals. Most of those attending are currently enrolled in BUS 100 - Introduction to Business, and all enthusiastically agreed that the Business Plan Competition, in which groups compete across all sections of the course, is both fun and challenging.  This sparked follow-on questions about other competitive business opportunities in the School of Management, such as the Target, IBM and Johnson & Johnson competitions.

Students and faculty talked openly about campus life, homesickness, and the adjustment to college.  Student clubs and other campus activities were also lively topics of interest, with faculty members giving strong endorsements to Toastmasters and the Comedy Club.  They also suggested many other ways to overcome shyness and improve one’s public speaking abilities.  Honor societies were discussed as well, as the school has active chapters of both Beta Alpha Psi (the international honor organization for financial information students and professionals) and Beta Gamma Sigma (the premier honor society recognizing business excellence).

Many students come to Marist hoping to be able to study abroad, and faculty members were happy to provide advice and guidance as to how to do this while staying on track to graduation. The faculty shared their travel experiences in Greece and China and talked about upcoming trips.

Career guidance was also provided, with faculty offering advice regarding class and concentration selection and internship opportunities. The faculty was very impressed with the students and their focus, and everyone agreed it was a very worthwhile event.


Marist College Ethics Week October 20th-24th

David Hanley, President of First Step HR Associates, was this year’s featured speaker for the 2014 Ethics Week hosted by the School of Management in conjunction with the Marist Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma.  Hanley addressed students and faculty, sharing his experience and guidance on Creating and Managing an Ethical Workplace.  School of Management faculty also ran several events throughout the week, including interactive discussions, presentations, movies, and exercises.

Dr. Melinda Weisberg, Visiting Assistant Professor of Management, facilitated an interactive lecture that went to the heart of instances of workplace discrimination and unethical behavior recently in the news. She noted that the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and Silicon Valley are only a few of the sectors populating social and traditional media with stories that have caused all of us to shake our heads and cry – “Hey! Don’t you know you can’t do that!” Dr. Weisberg guided students through an exploration of the answer to an important question of our time: can legislation play a part in affecting true cultural change?  During this interactive lecture, attendees flashed back in time to mining and OSHA legislation, and then fast forwarded to today to take a look at the more recent news in the sports and the gaming industry.

Dr. Bill Brown, Assistant Professor of Management, presented the movie “All My Sons,” which is the story of Joe Keller, a self-made successful manufacturing entrepreneur shortly after World War II. During the war Keller and his partner were convicted of knowingly shipping faulty fighter engine parts that caused the crash and death of over 20 pilots.

“Cut the Cake” a thought provoking experiment proposed by Deborah Stone in her book, Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making, was the subject of an exercise led by Dr. Anne Zahradnik, Assistant Professor of Public Administration. Dr. Zahradnik first guided students in her class through a discussion of the terms equity and equality and how those factors play an important part in making ethical decisions. Students were then challenged to develop a way to divide up a sheet cake in a way that most people in the room would find equitable. Ideas were generated, vigorous debate ensued, a few civil disobedience demonstrations broke out, but a solution was arrived at. Everyone celebrated by, what else, eating the cake!

Other events included these interesting and lively discussions:  “Why Ethics First?” led by Dr. Jianing (Jade) Fang, Associate Professor of Accounting, “I’ll Never Smoke Weed With Willy Again”, led by Steven Rossi, Adjunct Professor of Finance, and “Ethics Under Pressure” led by Dr. Pamela Harper, Assistant Professor of Marketing.  

 Ethics HanleyEthics Weisberg

School of Management Mentor Program Launches

The School of Management is pleased to announce the launch of the School of Management Mentor Program, which complements the school’s mission by offering current students the opportunity to work with mentors in their specific area of emphasis. The Mentor Program is intended to augment internships and other career services programs at the College. Selected mentees will be able to meet with their assigned mentors to discuss their employment and career goals and have the opportunity to shadow a professional employed in their field of choice.

For more information, please contact Professor Ken Coletti at

School of Management Ambassador Program Announced

The Ambassador Program is made up of students from the School of Management (SOM) chosen to represent the SOM in a variety of ways. Providing a bridge between the School, its undergraduate students, and those outside of Marist, ambassador duties focus on representing the student body in special events and venues.  Ambassadors may be called upon to conduct campus tours when the SOM hosts prospective faculty, guest speakers, alumni, or other special visitors. Ambassadors will also be playing an important role in the upcoming New York Career Trek on October 29, 2014 by leading the three industry-focused tracks.

SOM Ambassadors for the 2014-2015 academic year are:

  • Stas Brown ’15
  • Corinne Bruckenthal ‘15
  • Samantha DeVito ‘15
  • Benjamin Delgiorno ’16
  • Madeline Kachou ‘15
  • Brian Luciani ‘15
  • Matt Parmett ‘17
  • Arthur Revellese ‘15
  • Andrew Rokoszak ‘15
  • Jenna Snyder ’15
  • Alexa Steinman ’15

To be considered for membership in the School of Management Ambassador Program you must be nominated by a SOM faculty member.

Getting to Know:  Dr. Tia Sherèe Gaynor

Tia Gaynor

This month’s profile focuses on Dr. Tia Sherèe Gaynor, Assistant Professor of Public Administration.  The 2014-2015 academic year marks Dr. Gaynor’s fourth year at Marist College, where she teaches Human Resources in the Department of Public and Nonprofit Administration.  She has also taught sections of Introduction to Public Administration, Managing Public and Non Profit Organizations, Politics and Policy, and Global Issues in Public Administration.

Dr. Gaynor completed her undergraduate studies at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.  She earned her MPA and Ph.D. degrees at the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers-Newark.

She is very proud of her home state. “New Jersey is the home of Queen Latifah, Count Basie, Justice Samuel Alito, Bruce Springsteen, Victor Cruz, Bon Jovi, and me!”

“I research issues that relate to citizen engagement, social justice, and social equity,” said Dr. Gaynor. “I am interested in the varying aspects that promote - or hinder - residents from become primary decision makers in political issues that impact their communities.  I have, thankfully, been able to do this through studying television and other initiatives that may serve as national models.”  Dr. Gaynor’s favorite movies include “Do the Right Thing,” “Pulp Fiction,” “iRobot,” “School Daze,” as well as anything else made by Spike Lee.


Her affinity for media has served her students well.  The Honorable Kurt Schmoke, former Mayor of Baltimore and current Vice President and General Counsel of Howard University, has appeared as a guest lecturer in her class via Skype. Mr. Schmoke discussed his political life and shared his insights on difficulties that he faced as mayor of a major American city. The HBO drama series The Wire was also used as a reference, as it is based within the City of Baltimore, granting the series relevance to the discussion. Mayor Schmoke described how he attempted to address the gravest issues in Baltimore while also elaborating on improvements he was able to make during his tenure as mayor, some of which are depicted in The Wire.  

The Wire240

 Earlier this year, Dr. Gaynor was the driving force behind actor Michael Kenneth Williams’ visit to Marist.  She invited Williams, who portrayed Omar Little on the The Wire, to speak about roles he has played that touch on issues of social justice.  “As a huge fan of The Wire, I taught a first-year seminar that used the show as the main text and drew parallels to students regarding issues of social justice.  Williams' talk on campus served as the culmination of the various issues of social justice, which my students and I explored in class.

”When asked about her favorite aspect about teaching, she replied, “I enjoy receiving as much knowledge from my students as I hope to impart to them.”

Marketing Principles Guest Speaker Series

Each year, Dr. Pamela Harper, Assistant Professor of Marketing, invites guest speakers to her BUS340 Marketing Principles class. This fall’s series began with a visit by Matthew Hendry, who spoke on the topic of Corporate Sponsorship and Corporate Social Responsibility.  Mr. Hendry has operations, logistics, and marketing experience with Toyota Racing and Caterpillar.  He currently works in the area of technology-enabled solutions marketing. 

These special presentations in Dr. Harper’s classes are open to all Marist students, faculty and alumni.  For additional information, please contact Dr. Harper at