Watch the recap of the 2018 Summer Accelerator
It’s a steamy Friday afternoon in early June, and the window air conditioner in the third-floor conference room in Bartlett Hall is working furiously to provide relief to the handful of students gathered around a large meeting table. The setting is unmistakably a university classroom in summer, but once Birton Cowden begins to speak, it becomes immediately clear that this is anything but a typical college course. “This is a no-B.S. space,” begins Cowden, the former* Berthiaume Center Director of New Ventures. “If something is sh*tty, we want to talk about it.”
Meet the new star of UMass Amherst’s campus, and the result of finding the answers to those questions, the Business Innovation Hub. Designed by the Boston architectural firm Goody Clancy and the Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) of New York and Copenhagen, the circular building’s most striking design feature is the series of three-story-tall, copper-clad fins that create a vertical lattice for the glass outer wall. Along with their dynamic look, the slats function as a way to allow natural light in without overheating the building.
Distracted driving is decisively the leading cause of auto accidents among teens, emphasize Isenberg marketing students Emma Townsend ’18 and Kyle Pandiscio ’18. In June, the Isenberg duo placed first in a national competition to design a billboard that discourages texting while driving. Now in its 7th year, the Project Yellow Light scholarship competition offers anti-texting design contests in three categories—TV, radio, and billboard public service announcements. “'You beat out 1,600 designs,' a contest official told us,” recalls Kyle, whose billboard with Emma depicts a sky-view grid of three unoccupied parking spaces, and a fourth occupied by a car-sized cell phone.
“I don’t have the stories that Jeff has,” remarked EY partner and New England recruitment leader Jason Janoff ’93. “I may be fun to listen to, but Jason is more important to you,” countered Jason’s former classmate and special agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago office, Jeff Sallet ’93. With the aplomb and timing of a seasoned Saturday Night Live comedy duo, the former Isenberg classmates made an incontestable case for accounting as a professional destination. The venue was Cathy Lowry’s Introduction to Accounting class, and the students couldn’t get enough of Sallet and Janoff’s positive message.
In April, a team of five Isenberg undergraduates won first place in the annual International Business Ethics Case (IBECC) competition’s main undergraduate event. This year’s three-day competition, at the Marriott Copley Place Hotel in Boston, attracted 28 undergraduate teams from five countries. (Graduate programs also vied in their own division. An Isenberg MBA team placed second in a 90-second competition in that division.) For the main undergraduate event, each team devised its own case topic for legal, financial, and ethical dissection.
The 2018 Isenberg graduation celebrations were held on May 12th at the Mullins Center before an audience of 1,200 graduating seniors and their 6,500 family members and friends. Dean Fuller gave his farewell address at the event which was MC'ed by William Brown, the new undergraduate dean. One day prior, on May 11th, 630 Isenberg graduate candidates received degrees in a campus-wide commencement ceremony for graduate students.
The McCormack Department of Sport Management’ hosted a three-member panel discussion called "Every Yard Counts; A Conversation on Football Analytics" The panel, organized by the student group, the Association of Diversity in Sport, and moderated by Sydney Robinson '19, featured Dean Oliver, Diane Bloodworth, and McCormack alumnus Dan Hatman ’11 who discussed the transformative power of data analytics in sports.
Department News, Students, Speakers, Sport Management, Student Organizations (+)
Department News, Students, Speakers, Sport Management, Student Organizations, Alumni
McCormack Sport Management has launched the Initiative for Underrepresented Students which pairs Sport Management graduates mentors with the department’s current McCormack students—all from minority backgrounds. Melcolm Ruffin '13 partnered with Nefertiti Walker, Sport Management Professor/ Director of Diversity & Inclusion; Nicole Melton, Sport Management professor; and Molly McGuigan, Communications, Events/Alumni Relations Coordinator in this first-step toward a longer-term initiative, which will take on recruitment, scholarships, and career development dimensions.
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Three student-led teams won top honors at the final of the 2017-18 Innovation Challenge at the annual cross-campus entrepreneurship competition run by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship at the Isenberg School of Management. The start-ups, eBiologics, Phytos Therapeutics, and Kinase, Inc., were awarded seed money of $30,000, $20,000, and $15,000, respectively, by a seven-judge panel of area business leaders.
“It isn’t working hard that gets you recognized. It’s working smart,” emphasized Victoria Vega ’88, keynote speaker at the 5th annual Women of Isenberg Annual Conference. Vega’s remarks formed the basis of a prevailing theme throughout the day-long conference, which stressed a changing landscape for women in the workplace and the importance of finding one’s own way even in challenging circumstances.
Isenberg News, Students, Speakers, Student Organizations, MBA (+)
Hosted by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, the four-part Innovation Challenge continued with The Semifinal on Wednesday, February 28. In front of a panel of four judges, 12 student-led teams gave five-minute pitches describing their ventures and participated in a 10-minute Q&A session. The judges selected seven teams to advance to Innovation Challenge
After he graduates, Anthony Vitale ’18 will be working with IBM. His time as president of UMass Student Government Association and as a student at Isenberg School of Management helped make it happen. Watch Anthony discuss his drive to get involved in this video.
I interned as the the Head JV Boys’ Soccer Coach for Amherst Regional High School. The experience gained during my spell at ARHS is nothing like what I have experienced before. Coaching intensively for a 2 month season while juggling a full load of courses was extremely tough as my job required a lot of travelling and work during the off-hours.
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Road-tested advice for women contemplating financial careers and networking opportunities with their peers and Boston area employers were highlights at Isenberg’s first Women in Finance Luncheon. Presented by State Street and coordinated by Isenberg’s MBA program and the school’s (undergraduate) Women in Business student group, the event at the UMass Club in downtown Boston attracted 51 students from Isenberg and five other area universities: Boston College, Brandeis, Northeastern, Suffolk, and Worcester Polytech.
“In loaning money to a prospective buyer of property, I’m not giving advice; I’m negotiating,” emphasized PeoplesBank CEO Tom Senecal ’88 in a visit to HTM professor Bob Wilson’s course, Real Estate Finance, Analysis, and Investments. “I’m not in the business of owning property; I’m in the business of loaning money,” added Senecal, whose network of community-focused banks rule as the largest mutual bank business in western Massachusetts. The Isenberg accounting graduate revealed a banker’s perspective that shed light on a case study recently tackled by the students.