Alumna recognized for early achievements
This summer, Dr. Chuck Brown, associate director of the Black School of Business and associate professor of accounting, presented Amy Chapman ’09, above, with the Black School of Business 2018 Early Career Award. Chapman, an Accounting graduate, is the retirement planning and administration manager at Erie Insurance Group. She began her career at BKD CPAs and Advisors in Erie and is a certified public accountant and president of the Erie chapter of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
ERIE conference draws leaders
The Economic Research Institute of Erie, an applied research center of the Black School of Business, held its annual ERIE Conference this summer to facilitate an in-depth, data-driven discussion of the region’s economic needs.
The event drew more than one hundred area leaders, including Erie Mayor Joe Schember, Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, and Pennsylvania Senator Dan Laughlin, all of whom addressed conference participants.
Relying on economic analysis by Dr. Ken Louie, director of ERIE and associate professor of economics, and Dr. Val Vlad, assistant professor of economics, attendees explored the economic challenges facing Erie.
MBA students score big
Students in the MBA program of the Black School of Business scored in the top 9 percent in the nation on the most recent Educational Testing Service (ETS) Master of Business Administration Major Field Test, a comprehensive assessment for program evaluation.
The fifty-eight Behrend students who took the field test scored an average of 260 out of 300 possible points on the exam, which is administered by the same company that creates the SAT and GRE exams. That placed them in the 91st percentile.
Major Field Tests measure students’ mastery of particular areas of study. The MBA field test includes 124 multiple-choice questions that require knowledge of marketing, management, finance and managerial accounting, or a combination of those skills.
“Our students’ exceptional performance on this test reflects our MBA program’s emphasis on a holistic understanding of business, which is achieved through integrated content, teamwork and applied learning,” said Dr. Al Warner, associate professor of management and academic chair of the MBA program. “Our MBA faculty members have significant experience in both the business and academic worlds and are committed to sharing their expertise with students from a wide range of fields, including management, banking, insurance, nursing, and the sciences.”
Penn State Behrend’s MBA program is delivered in a hybrid format—a blend of online learning and traditional class sessions, offered at Behrend or at the Regional Learning Alliance in Cranberry Township. For more information, visit behrend.psu.edu/mba.
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International has extended its accreditation of the Black School of Business through 2023. Accreditation by AACSB is the highest standard of achievement in business education. Just 5 percent of the world’s undergraduate degree programs earn the distinction.
The Black School of Business is the only program in northwestern Pennsylvania to meet the standards of AACSB. The school was first accredited in 2003.
“AACSB accreditation is widely recognized as the hallmark of excellence in business education,” said Dr. Greg Filbeck, director of the school. “The decision by the association to extend our accreditation affirms the commitment of our faculty, staff, and corporate partners to providing the highest-quality undergraduate and graduate business programs.”
AACSB-accredited schools must demonstrate continuous improvement in order to maintain accreditation. Accreditors visit schools every five years to assess academic standards, the professional experience and intellectual contributions of faculty members, and the academic and career advising offered to students. AASCB also surveys companies that hire Behrend graduates, asking how prepared those graduates are for their work.
Two More Executives- in-Residence Welcomed
Ann Scott, community outreach manager for Erie Insurance Group, and George Emanuele, senior director at BNY Mellon Wealth Management and president of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Chartered Financial Analyst Society, have been named Executives in Residence (EIR) in the Black School of Business.
Appointed to renewable one-year terms, executives in residence bring enthusiasm and industry perspective to the classroom environment, research projects, and learning-by-doing opportunities. Activities that EIRs EXTENDEDmay be involved in include speaking engagements, guest lecturing, leading workshops, serving on advisory boards, judging business competition entries, sponsoring class projects, and mentoring students.
Scott ’82, ’99 M.B.A. and Emanuele ’98 join Justin Bloyd ’05, president of RB Sigma, and Mark Nachman, Sprint’s regional president for Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, as current EIRs in the Black School of Business.
In addition to her role as EIR, Scott was recently named vice chair of the board of directors of the Penn State Behrend Council of Fellows. She also serves on the advisory boards for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Black School of Business. Scott and her husband, Thad, recently established an Open Doors scholarship to help Penn State students in financial need.
Emanuele has more than twenty years of investment experience in the wealth management field. He previously worked at PNC Wealth Management as a senior investment adviser.
Watering the desert
Alumna and Erie lawyer collaborate to open year-round farmer’s market in an Erie ‘food desert’
Black School of Business faculty members often invite guest speakers from the business community to Behrend to share their experiences with students. Sometimes those contacts lead to greater things down the road.
Faith Kindig ’16 was a student majoring in Project and Supply Chain Management when Erie attorney and TEDxErie organizer Jonathan D’Silva was a guest speaker in a class taught by David Causgrove, then a lecturer in marketing. Causgrove, who was mentoring Kindig on her business venture, Erie Sproutz, a planned community garden, marketplace, and hydroponics site, mentioned her work to D’Silva.
D’Silva was impressed with Kindig’s efforts to improve access to fresh food in Erie’s urban areas.
The two teamed up and this summer announced plans to open the Oasis Market in downtown Erie. They have leased a 5,600-square-foot space on State Street that sits within one of seven Erie food deserts—areas where at least a third of all residents live more than a mile from the closest grocery store.
“The people who live near here don’t have many options when they shop for food,” Kindig said. “Some have to walk, so they go to Dollar General, or to Rite Aid. They can’t buy produce at those stores, so their diet is almost entirely canned goods.”
The Oasis Market will offer healthy alternatives sold directly from the farmers who grew them. Additional space will be rented to local crafters.
Professional affiliation adds up for finance students
In a number of financial fields, having the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is beneficial, and in some, such as investment analysis, it is imperative.
Earning CFA credentials is an investment of both time and money. It requires as much as 300 hours of study for each of the three levels of the CFA exam, and the cost for the level I exam alone is $1,000-$1,500, depending on when a candidate registers to take it.
But many Finance students at Penn State Behrend pay as little as $350 thanks to the Black School of Business’ participation in the CFA Institute’s University Affiliation Program, which makes sixteen exam scholarships available to CFA candidates.
“Our Finance curriculum is mapped to the CFA program, which makes us unique,” said Dr. Greg Filbeck, director of the school and professor of finance.
This year, thirteen students have received scholarships to defray costs of enrollment in the CFA program and the level I exam. In addition, scholarship recipients receive deep discounts from Kaplan Schweser, a study-prep provider, which saves students 75 percent of the cost of CFA exam prep materials.
Melissa Lichtinger ’13, who graduated with degrees in Marketing and International Business, took her skills and knowledge halfway around the globe. She is currently a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English and American culture to residents of a small village in Indonesia. Lichtinger stopped by the Black School on a recent break. If you’re interested in the Peace Corps, you can email her at [email protected].
Accounting kicks past finance
All work and no play is no fun, so two student clubs—the Financial Management Association and the Accounting Club—came up with a great idea to pit faculty members and seniors in their programs against one another for a friendly game of kickball. The first annual Accounting vs. Finance kickball game was held under the lights on the college’s new soccer field this fall. Accounting earned bragging rights after they came up on top with a final score of 17-4.