In Brief

Four officials stand near the new sign for the Samuel P. Black III and Sumi James-Black Knowledge Center

Knowledge Center at Penn State Behrend has been renamed the Samuel P. Black III and Sumi James-Black Knowledge Center. The Sept. 9 announcement was celebrated by Amy Bridger, senior director of corporate strategy and external engagement at Penn State Behrend; Sumi James-Black, interim CEO of Erie Management Group; Samuel P. “Pat” Black III, founder of Erie Management Group; and Ralph Ford, chancellor of Penn State Behrend. 

Credit: Penn State Behrend

Black Family Gift Expands Knowledge Park Reach

A $3 million gift from Erie businessman Samuel P. “Pat” Black III and his daughter, Sumi James-Black, will amplify the role of Penn State Behrend’s Knowledge Park as an engine for economic growth in northwestern Pennsylvania.

A one-to-one University match will double the gift, generating a $6 million investment in Knowledge Park. The match was provided through Penn State’s Economic Development Matching Program, which leverages University funds for select initiatives that will drive job and business creation in Pennsylvania.

At the announcement of the gift, on September 9, Knowledge Center, a shared facility utilized by the twenty-two tenant companies in the park, was renamed the Samuel P. Black III and Sumi James-Black Knowledge Center.

“The Black family’s quiet but consistent support of fledgling businesses and forward-thinking entrepreneurs is an investment in the future of Erie,” Chancellor Ralph Ford said. “We are fortunate that their vision aligns with the mission of Knowledge Park, the region’s premier research environment and a fundamental component of the college’s Open Lab model of innovation.”

The Knowledge Park gift is the latest in the Black family’s support of Behrend. The Black School of Business is named in honor of Pat Black’s late father and mother, Sam and Irene, who endowed the school with a $20 million estate gift.


Interdisciplinary Science and Business Major Now Offered

The Black School of Business, in collaboration with Penn State Behrend's School of Science, has a new major–a bachelor of science in Interdisciplinary Science and Business (ISB).

Students pursuing the ISB degree will have a choice of three business modules—accounting and finance; technical sales; or operations and supply chain management—and three science modules—quantitative science, including courses in statistics, mathematics, visualization, and databases; laboratory science, covering biology and chemistry; and human health, emphasizing studies of the health care industry.

Completion of the ISB degree will prepare students to work on the business side of science-based companies and organizations.


Faculty News

New Faculty



  • Dr. Ozgun Demirag, professor of operations and supply chain management, was awarded the Penn State Behrend Council of Fellows Excellence in Research Award.
  • Dr. Matt Swinarski, associate professor of management information systems, is part of a team of researchers comprising faculty members from the Black School of Business and the School of Engineering that was awarded a three-year, $300,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Education grant to develop a “system view” of manufacturing education.

Filbeck Elected To a Top CFA Leadership Post

Dr. Greg Filbeck recently began a two-year term as a member of the Presidents Council Representatives for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute. He is one of just twelve elected members who are responsible for oversight of the world’s largest such professional organization that has more than 300,000 members from 160 countries. Filbeck oversees the CFA societies for the eastern United States, including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.


The Intrieri Family Student-Managed Fund has grown to more than $1 million!

The Intrieri Family Student-Managed Fund has grown to more than $1 million!

Credit: Penn State Behrend

Student-Managed Fund Surpasses $1 Million

The Intrieri Family Student-Managed Fund, which began in 2012 with a $100,000 gift from alumnus Vincent Intrieri ’84 and his wife, Joanne, has grown to more than $1 million. At the end of September, the value stood at $1,128,000.

Reaching the million-dollar milestone means funds gained beyond that mark will help fund student scholarships.

“The original plan was to start offering scholarships in two years to allow us to build up a cushion,” said Dr. Timothy Krause, associate professor of finance and co-director of the fund with Phil Stuczynski, lecturer in business and finance. “However, the market has done so well that we are looking at offering some scholarships in 2022.”

While the scholarships are a nice bonus, the underlying value of the student-managed fund is evident for upper-level Finance students who have the opportunity to actively manage it. Many business alumni say their experience with the fund has contributed directly to their career trajectory.


Professionals Expand Educational Opportunities

Six business leaders with experience in management, finance, and product innovation are serving as Executives in Residence in the Black School of Business this academic year. They are:

  • Steven D. Bugajski, chief information officer, U.S. Steel.
  • Matthew MacBeth, chief innovation officer, The Brookfield Group.
  • Eugene Natali, CEO and founder, Troutwood.
  • Jeremy O’Mard, managing consultant, IBM Global Business Services.
  • Ann Scott, community outreach manager, Erie Insurance Group.
  • Jeff Stempka, senior associate marketing manager, Campbell Soup Company.

Executives in Residence lead workshops, sponsor class projects, judge business competitions, and provide career advising to students. Each brings industry expertise to the classroom, student research, and student networking.

“The program is a major asset for our students and faculty,” said Dr. Greg Filbeck, director of the Black School. “Students gain hands-on, portfolio-building opportunities and begin to develop their professional networks. The guidance, mentoring, and firsthand experience these executives provide is invaluable.”

Events led by the Executives in Residence this fall included:

  • Marketing-Palooza with Jeff Stempka, who spoke to marketing classes, held appointments with students, and organized a panel for students to learn from and network with industry professionals.
  • A Day in the Life of a Cybersecurity Professional at IBM with Jeremy O’Mard and David Chapin, North American privacy lead at IBM, who gave students a glimpse into the day-to-day life of cybersecurity professionals, offered tips on applying for internships and jobs, and highlighted continuing education after college through certification programs.
  • The C3W Mentoring Program, created by Ann Scott, which kicked off its third year with a mentor training session taught by staff members of the college’s Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Community Outreach, Research and Evaluation (CORE). The C3W Program is designed to engage and develop female students in the areas of connectedness, capability, and confidence.