In This Issue
- New Things Going On with the Major
- Faculty Spotlight
- Alumni Spotlights
- Student Spotlight
- Club Updates and More
New Things Going On with the Major
Spring is almost upon us! The past year has been tough for all of us at school, in our families, and in our communities. But despite dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, our faculty and students are passionate about moving forward. As such, we are experiencing a flurry of activity in the Behrend Marketing major. There are several additions to our program in 2021. First, we are delighted to welcome one of our own alumni, Jeff Stempka, as an Executive in Residence this year. Jeff earned his M.B.A. and B.A. in marketing and international business from the Black School. He comes to us from Campbell Soup Company. Next, it is our pleasure to bring Dr. EJ Han on board as a faculty member and colleague in our department. She brings a wealth of knowledge, work experience, and expertise to our students. Third, Dr. Phylis Mansfield came back from retirement this academic year to cover several courses due to faculty shortages. Finally, you will see throughout the spotlights in our newsletter many exemplary students and our AMA at Behrend Collegiate Chapter. Kudos to our Behrend Marketing family.
Always remember the quote by Robert Collier: "Success is the sum of small efforts–repeated day in and day out."
Keep putting one foot ahead of the other–and moving forward!
Mary Beth Pinto, Ph.D., Discipline Lead, Marketing Major
Ray Venkataraman, Ph.D., Department Chair, Marketing Major
Dr. Eunjoo (EJ) Han, Associate Professor in Marketing
Dr. EJ Han is the new assistant professor of marketing. She studies sustainable consumption, prosocial behavior and charitable giving, and consumer goals and motivation. Before her academic career, Dr. Han had industry experience with Accenture as a business analyst; Johnson and Johnson Medical, Asia-Pacific as a market researcher; and Samsung Electronics as a global marketing intern.
What do you most want marketing students to learn?
This is a great question. I want my students to understand marketing success isn't just made of 100 percent luck. It is mostly based on researchers' and practitioners' hard work trying to understand human psychology and behavior.
What is an interesting research project you have worked on?
One of my ongoing research projects is in collaboration with my friend and colleague Joon at Tulane University. In this research, we investigate the effects of cobranding on brand performances in the context of crossover story plots in American TV shows. We have adopted six TV shows that are interconnected in the media franchise "Arrowverse," (i.e., Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, and Batwoman) -- and look at the long-term effects of introducing crossover episodes between TV shows on viewership. We found that crossover story plots do increase viewership and improve persistency (i.e., lead people to stick to the show for longer), but how to structure crossover plots seems to matter a lot, too. We are unraveling how to organize crossover events and structure episodes to maximize benefits for all brands (i.e., shows) involved. This research offers a lot of new, insightful information that practitioners in TV networks and movie industries would love to know!
Jeff Stempka, B.A. ’07 and M.B.A. ’09
Jeff Stempka is a senior associate brand manager at the Campbell Soup Company. Jeff currently manages the Well Yes! brand, which involves complete P&L ownership of the brand. Jeff holds a master’s degree in market research and consumer behavior from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain, as well as an M.B.A. and bachelor’s degrees in marketing and international business from Penn State Behrend’s Black School of Business. Jeff is currently an Executive in Residence for the Black School of Business and has presented and organized many opportunities for Behrend students to learn more about the field and network with professionals.
What do you miss most about being a Behrend student?
I miss that my "job" was to learn and explore my own mind. I wish I could go back and start over. I would still be a Marketing/International Business major, but I would probably take a lot of different classes—maybe more philosophy, anthropology, and psychology classes. I would cherish each moment and every interaction. I always feel like the "now" is the best time in my life, but I feel a heavy sense of nostalgia when I think about all of the incredible things I learned and all of the incredible people I got to spend time with. Four years seem like an eternity when you are just starting your studies, but it goes by in a flash. It was a wonderful flash.
There are now 25 hours in a day! How do you spend your extra hour?
- 15 minutes playing guitar
- 15 minutes reading for pleasure
- 15 minutes talking to my girlfriend/friends/family
- 15 minutes volunteering for a cause I care about
How did your study abroad experience help you in your career?
It helped open my eyes to how other people view the world, themselves, and people from the United States—there's a huge world of people out there, and each of them brings something unique to the table. It made me more empathetic, and it allowed me to build more pride in myself by accomplishing something that was so important to me (traveling to other countries). Plus, I got into the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry from networking with people I met while studying abroad.
Katie Mlodzienski ’20
Katie Mlodzienski had a virtual internship with Metalicious Jewelry. She graduated in fall 2020 and has continued to work at Metalicious post-graduation.
What was one of the most interesting/unique aspects of your internship?
The most unique aspect of my internship was how free-range it was. When I began my internship with Metalicious, it was solely to develop social media content. However, I had just gotten my search engine optimization (SEO) and Google Analytics certificates and asked if I would be able to utilize those, as well. Every week I get to try something new! Last week it was reaching out to publications to pitch our products to them. This week it's researching micro-influencers and developing Pinterest ad campaigns with A/B testing.
Why did you choose marketing? What attracted you to it?
I first became interested in marketing when I joined my high school robotics team. They had a marketing sub-team that I decided to join, and by my sophomore year, I was the student lead for it. I ended up loving it, and when I began deciding what I wanted to do in college and in life, it hit me that marketing was what I wanted to do. I want to help others. I want to be the one that helps someone find that thing that improves their life. Knowledge is power and, as a marketer, it is my job to deliver that power into the hands of the people so that they can make the best decision for themselves and for their life.
Angelica Timm Castro ’21
Angelica Timm Castro is active in several clubs at Behrend: the National Society of Leadership and Success, the Organization of Latin American Students, and the American Marketing Association Collegiate Chapter at Behrend.
What is one of the most interesting/unique aspects of your internship?
The internship I participated in during the summer of 2020 took place in my hometown in Puerto Rico at the marketing division of a local insurance company, Triple-S, that offers a wide range of products and services.
What was your biggest take-away from your internship?
The internship allowed me to explore areas of interest in the marketing discipline, apply academic knowledge while developing support networks in the industry, and gain professional experience in a real work environment.
Why did you choose Marketing? What attracted you to it?
The versatile, diverse, and creative nature of marketing made me want to choose it as a major.
Club Updates and More
The American Marketing Association at Penn State Behrend (AMA at Behrend) has had a busy year bringing in speakers to provide students with opportunities to connect and network with professionals in the industry.
A fall highlight was the networking event in November 2020. Marketing professional attendees included: Justin Wheeler, senior quantitative analytics and model development analyst at PNC; Jeff Stempka, senior associate brand manager for Well Yes! RTS Brand at Campbell Soup Company; Marisa Smith, vice president, finance and technology at Whirley-DrinkWorks; and Stephanie Maslow-Blackman, fine jewelry entrepreneur, online marketing expert, and founder/creative director at Metalicious Jewelry.
The Marketing Professionals Panel in February 2021 was a highlight event in the spring semester that featured: Jaime Schember, social media lead at Google; Scott Gosselin, senior associate brand manager at Swanson, Campbell Soup Company; Abby Badach Doyle, marketing communications consultant at Erie Insurance; and Jeff Stempka, senior associate brand manager for Well Yes! RTS Brand at Campbell Soup Company.
The semester concludes with an internship panel in April, co-hosted with the Project and Supply Chain Management Club. The panelists for this event include students, advisers, and faculty who will answer questions about the importance of internship experience and provide advice for getting an internship.
With four student leaders graduating this spring, AMA will be holding elections to fill several open positions. Graduating seniors are President Denana Ivankovic, President-Elect Amanda Paul, Vice President of Communication Megan Kirk, and Vice President of Promotions and Advertising Angelica Timm Castro.
For more AMA updates, please visit the AMA Behrend Sync page and follow AMA on Instagram at @ama.behrend.