Spring 2016 Black School of Business Marketing Newsletter

Spring 2016 Black School of Business Marketing Newsletter

Spring 2016 Marketing Newsletter
Penn State Behrend, Black School of Business


In This Issue


Faculty Spotlight

Dave CausgroveDave Causgrove, lecturer in marketing, believes that marketing gives students ample skills and opportunities to succeed not only in the business world, but in life. Causgrove is from Wesleyville and a graduate of Cathedral Prep High School in Erie. He earned a degree in psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He then earned his Master's in Business Administration from Suffolk University in Boston. He has run two separate businesses in Erie – F&E Business Equipment, a forms handling company, and Causco Stamping Company, which he ran for eight years. Causgrove says some of the most influential people in his life include his father, William Causgrove, Father Robert W. Cohan of St. James Parish, and Norman Slater, who was his professor at Suffolk University and also was part of the original management team for Dunkin’ Donuts. Causgrove said he enjoys how the engineering and business students at Behrend work on several different projects together because it is a very unique experience that students at other universities do not get. He also thinks that Behrend does a great job encouraging students to become innovative and entrepreneurial. Causgrove enjoys hands-on teaching. He teaches five classes at Behrend, including the first year seminar PSU 007 , Marketing 301, Marketing 410, Management 431, and Management 432. “I want to create a fairly relaxed environment, so my students feel comfortable expressing their ideas in class,” Causgrove said. Speaking of expressing ideas, Causgrove is the curator for the upcoming TEDxPSUERIE event on April 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Burke 180. The website for TEDx describes it as program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. The committee is currently accepting submissions for speakers and performers at tedxpsuerie.com.“Our goal is to have eight speakers and two performers participate in this event,” Causgrove said. We want those who join us to feel inspired and walk away knowing something that they wouldn’t have thought about otherwise,” Causgrove says. Causgrove advises students to take advantage of opportunities throughout the Black School of Business.


Message from the Department Chair Ray Venkataraman

The Marketing program is continuing to grow with more than seventy students in the major! We're sad to announce that two of our marketing faculty members, Dr. Phylis Mansfield and Dr. Pelin Becin, will be leaving us. Mansfield is retiring and moving to Florida and Bicen is moving to Boston to teach at Suffolk University. We are thankful for their invaluable contributions to the Black School of Business and to the Marketing program. We wish them well in their future endeavors.


Alumni and Friends

Sarah Weismiller ‘13Coffee in the Park

Sarah Weismiller is the owner of a little, cozy coffee shop in Lawrence Park called Coffee in the Park, located at 4007 Main Street. Weismiller, who graduated from Penn State Behrend with a Marketing degree and minors in Management and History, says that she was the last person people thought would stay in Erie.

The idea to open up her very own coffee shop began with a mission trip to Guatemala two years ago. “I was able to experience the entire coffee-making process, from picking out the seed, to roasting it, and then finally drinking it,” Weismiller says. She said she's learned that there are obstacles to overcome every day and there is no guide that explains how to run a business.

Overcoming obstacles, however, brings great rewards. Weismiller says that business has been good and people have traveled from as far as Buffalo for a cup of her organic, handpicked coffee. “You meet so many people, I feel like a therapist sometimes, but it’s always so much fun.” Weismiller's advice for anyone who wants to start their own business is to never give up. “You have those days where you want to get a real job that’s easy, but that’s not as satisfying as owning your own business. If it’s your passion, go for it!”


Cassie CristeaCassie Cristea
Marketing major with Communications minor

What is your position? Marketing Intern for OmegaNotes.

What do you do? I am in charge of creating awareness and branding OmegaNotes. I utilize social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to reach our target audience. I write a weekly blog that relates to note sharing while being relatable to students. I come up with campaigns that will help the OmegaNotes name out there and establish a presence among students. Some campaigns we've worked on include pairing up with Marketing Club and Delta Sigma Pi to host events on campus, and creating competitions with incentives for students who upload the most notes.

What are the most challenging parts and rewarding parts? I think the most challenging part of this entire process is that this is a startup company, so we are really working from the bottom. From a marketing standpoint, I realize that it is my job to create the name recognition that the company deserves. It is my responsibility to be the voice of OmegaNotes.

The most rewarding part is that I am getting to do something I love in such a hands-on way. I've had internships before, but this experience is entirely unique. I am able to come up with my own ideas and implement them. I am working with a target market I know very well because I am a college student. Marketing was the best choice for me.

How are you using your marketing skills in this internship? I'm helping identify our target market and reaching them in ways I've learned in class. I am able to analyze the wants and needs of the consumer and then convey that through our advertisements and promotions. I'm analyzing trends and using this for the company's advantage. I'm learning how to use social media effectively while working towards my social media certificate. I am also learning event planning and public relations skills as I come up with more campaigns for the company. This internship has allowed me to apply the critical thinking skills that are taught in the classroom.


Dr. Pelin Bicen
Associate Professor of Marketing

How was your experience at Behrend?

I joined Behrend in 2009 just after my graduation from Texas Tech University. It was my first job after earning my Ph.D. A number of faculty members warmly welcomed me to the department. I cannot emphasize enough the positive spirit they have demonstrated and the positive impact they had on me. The culture was encouraging and nurturing and I felt lucky to be here. My feelings toward Behrend only got stronger during my seven years here. I have enjoyed the partnership, generous support, and constructive environment of both the Black School of Business and the college.

What will you miss about Behrend?

Friendship and a supportive environment. These two qualities are not easy to find in a workplace culture. Academia is where knowledge is produced with intense research efforts and passionately shared with the community and a new generation of students year after year. Research is a creative, rigorous, and intense effort. It takes time and it can be frustrating and stressful. You need a workplace that understands that type of growth and supports you along the process. It's not easy to achieve. Culture takes time to develop. When I came to Behrend, that supportive culture was already in place. I was grateful, and I still am. I grew a lot here. I am very grateful that I met the nicest people who I will truly miss.

What events have impacted you most and what are your plans for the future?

I was born in Izmir, Turkey, a beautiful city at the Aegean Sea, which I loved. It was one of the most popular metropolitan areas of Turkey. But, at the age of twelve, I wanted to go to a boarding school in a different city. I wanted to experience a different environment, different people, a different setting. Basically, I wanted a challenge. My parents were concerned that I was not old enough to join a boarding school, yet I insisted. Finally, they approved my decision and helped me join a boarding school. At the age of fifteen, I switched to another boarding school in a different city. At the age of eighteen, I went to Istanbul for college and stayed there almost a decade. Istanbul is a mysterious city. It is vibrant, resourceful, and full of life. I joined the advertising world after graduation and thought I would stay in Istanbul. But, I fell in love with marketing and I wanted to learn what it actually was. So I came to the U.S. to learn about marketing from the best. This was one of the best decisions that I made in my life. I have been in the U.S. for about twelve years and it never ceases to surprise me. What does the future bring? Well, excitement and thrill! There is so much to do. I like learning new things, meeting new people, watching trends, and improving myself. When an opportunity comes, I want to be ready. The future comes very fast especially in the era that we live in. My motto is, “Always be ready.” This is why I value traveling, networking, reading, and learning new things, such as a new programming language, marketing research technique, foreign language or statistical methods. Over the years, my interest towards technology and technology startups intensified. I like disruptive technologies, and I am very interested in understanding cultures that provide the ecosystem for high-tech startups and companies in general.

Most of the disruptive technologies come from Silicon Valley today. The presence of Silicon Valley, however, has also inspired other cities in the world, including Boston, Denver, Austin, Portland, Seattle, Berlin, Singapore, and Hong Kong. My research and personal interests lie in this area now.

The anticipation of possibilities in the future keeps me very optimistic, excited, and agile. The future looks really good from where I stand. Every day is a new day with a new opportunity.

One of my favorite quotes from one my favorite people, Steve Jobs, is, “You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

What’s one of your favorite memories?

My first semester at Behrend, I was assigned to teach Principles of Marketing. Though I taught this course before, I was nervous before my very first class in my very first semester at Behrend. So I decided to dedicate the first session solely to getting to know each other rather than talking about marketing because we will hang out three times every week for fifteen weeks. Once we have a level of comfort and trust that we are among friends, we can talk about anything. Marketing is at the intersection of art and science. It is not easy to bring the creative side to sunlight. It can be scary and opening ourselves and sharing wild ideas makes us vulnerable. But, once you know that the environment has a safety net, you know that even if you fall the net will catch you. My aim was to create a safety net. I made myself vulnerable in the first class. I told them where I came from, why I came to the U.S., how I chose marketing, my failures, and why I believe that every day is a new opportunity.

I connected with them and had the loveliest time. They were the most creative group of people I ever met. Every class was full of discussion, openness, and fun. One day, I walked into the class and the students were super silent. I thought something was wrong. Just before I was about to say something, they all stood up and started singing happy birthday. That day was my birthday and they found out, thanks to Facebook. I am not much of an emotional person but that moment brought tears to my eyes. I brought chocolates that day to share my birthday with them, but I didn't expect them to already know it was my birthday. Maybe I was the teacher and they were the students in that course but we were a group of people who liked each other and created a nurturing environment. I am still in touch with them, and I am proud to say they are all competent business professionals now. Being a professor can be frustrating sometimes. But, seeing your students connecting with you and with each other, seeing them taking initiatives, and nurturing each other, makes all that hard work worth it.

I love what I do. I am thankful and grateful to my students and my colleagues at Behrend.

Omega notes launch party


Event Spotlight: OmegaNotes Launch Party

On Thursday, February 11, the Marketing Club teamed up with Delta Sigma Pi, the business fraternity, for a launch party for OmegaNotes. The event was held in the Clarke Cafe from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Students received a free T-shirt if they created an account on the website, omeganotes.com. Drew Lang, far left in photo below, an MBA student and founder of OmegaNotes, was there, as well as several members from the Marketing Club and Delta Sigma Pi. The event was a great way to spread awareness for the startup. The clubs are planning to host another event in March!


Mark Your Calendars…

Phylis MansfieldThe Marketing Department Says Goodbye To Long-Time Professor

Dr. Phylis Mansfield, associate professor of marketing, believes that it is important to create an atmosphere in the classroom where all can participate freely and feel comfortable doing so. This has been her teaching philosophy at Penn State Behrend for more than fifteen years. Mansfield has a passion for the subject matter as well as her students. Additionally, Mansfield has researched many topics during her years at Behrend, including consumer complain behavior, marketing ethics, and sustainability. She said that Behrend is an incredible college to work for and that she is very thankful for the opportunity she has had to grow as a professor and as a person. Her advice to students who are about to graduate is to learn from every position and every job and to never be afraid to follow what you love.

We wish Dr. Mansfield the very best in her retirement!


Marketing Club The Marketing Club meets every Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in Burke 270. Join us!

Penn State Behrend Black School of Business Jack Burke Research and Economic Development Center 4701 College Drive Erie, PA 16563 Phone: 814-898-6107

Get Involved

Students: Attending just one (or ten) club event(s) per semester can change your course and perceptions for a lifetime. Previous event attendees have used the knowledge they gained from one conversation to earn their first interview, get their first job, change their concept of a specific job, or open their eyes to a world of possibilities. Take a deep breath, and walk through the door. You are welcome here.

Alumni and Friends: Your time, experiences, insights, and perspectives are valuable—perhaps more valuable that you know. We want to know what impacted your career, your perspectives, and your life. Tell us through the Black School of Business Facebook page, the newly-created (and growing) Black School of Business LinkedIn group, or by emailing Ariana Gloeckner, newsletter coordinator.