Business Magazine 2017

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the magazine for marquette university college of business administration | 2017

This is experiential learning. And it’s more than just another day at the office.

beyond coconuts : alumnus

getting smarter faster with

p. 02

p . 14

mark rampolla aims higher

today ’ s cross - fit master ’ s

giving stem

the business p . 20

dean’s note Dr. Brian D. Till James H. Keyes Dean College of Business Administration

“It is important to me that you have the opportunity ... to learn about all the great work going on that is making a difference for our students, our alumni and the world.”

Telling the stories of the College of Business Administration brings to a wider audience the good work that our faculty, students, staff and alumni do, and it highlights the impact the business school has in the community. That’s why I’m delighted to introduce you to Marquette Business’ new, reimagined magazine. As dean, it is important to me that you — alumni and friends of the College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Management — have the opportunity through the stories told here to learn about all the great work going on that is making a difference for our students, our alumni and the world. Thoughtfully planned, Marquette Biz will be an annual showcase piece for the college, filled with stories about student experiences, faculty excellence and alumni successes. And each issue will bring to life Marquette Business’ three foundational pillars: ethics and values, experiential learning and personal attention. In the coming pages, you will read about alumnus and entrepreneur Mark Rampolla, who flipped conventions and put mission first when he launched and eventually sold ZICO Coconut Water. Certainly, Mark’s story is one of many about alumni who are doing well by doing good. You’ll also learn about a popular and successful experiential learning course in our nationally ranked operations and supply chain management program. Over the past nine semesters, students in Applied Procurement classes have identified $15.3 million in savings opportunities for Wisconsin-based manufacturers such as Kohler, Harley-Davidson and Rockwell. Lastly, take a look at how the personal attention our faculty members provide to our students gives them an unparalleled advantage in tackling some of business’ toughest challenges. In one such course, Dr. Alex Milovic, director of our new sales program, wants his students to know that empathy is the greatest skill a sales professional can have — and he gives students hands-on experiences to realize the importance empathy has in being an effective sales professional. There are many stories for us to tell, and we look forward to sharing them with you each year. We also welcome your story ideas — please send them to us using the email address on the facing page. I hope you enjoy this inaugural issue as much as I do.

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the magazine for marquette university college of business administration



We appreciate your feedback on MARQUETTE BIZ magazine. Please send all comments to the editorial director at stephen.filmanowicz@ Editor Stephen Filmanowicz Art director Sharon Grace Editorial team Sarah Koziol Jennifer Russell Megan Knowles (intern) Photographers Dan Johnson: p.12, 18 Chris Kessler: p. 20-23 Jesse Lee: p. 7,17 (Roush) John Nienhuis: p. 5, 17 (Vicknair), 32 Eric Olson: cover, p. 24-31





not so coconuts

biz briefing

An alumnus’ journey creating ZICO Coconut Water and rethinking the terms of business success.

Super saving procurement students, big impacts on global microbusinesses, the face of banking at Marquette, NFL injury research, AIM’s Manhattan blitz, an Antwerp anniversary, a Marburg lecturer aims at carbon’s costs, a media expert on call, and our biz bookshelf.

20 giving stem the business

Business students join and enhance Marquette’s Hackathon design challenge.



14 cross - fit mast er ’ s

Students build diverse expertise faster through accelerated MBAs and other innovative degree programs.

32 worlds collide

Two professors team up to discuss the intersections of real estate and supply chain management.

appeal of the real

It takes three — student, faculty and business partner — to make these unforgettable businessworld experiences happen.




Rampolla went out on a limb in starting the company that introduced our country to coconut water. Then and now, there’s a mission to his method.




Many entrepreneurs first work hard to build wealth and, if they succeed, only later start to give back and seek deeper meaning in their lives. But Mark Rampolla, Bus Ad ’91, doesn’t subscribe to what he calls the classic “make-give”: Make a lot of money

Rampolla first fell in love with business at Marquette. After a stint in the Peace Corps, he earned advanced business and environmental degrees from Duke University and then spent five years at International Paper, rising to the top ranks of its Latin America and Caribbean operations. Feeling the entrepreneurial itch, Rampolla found himself ready to leave International Paper to launch his own company. At first, he considered starting ventures focused purely on making money. But his wife, Maura, who knew that making a difference was “also part of (his) DNA,” encouraged him to seek something more meaningful, he says. Eventually he decided to create a beverage company based on coconut


“ I think it’s a mistake to think you can draw ... definitive lines between one’s career, one’s physical life and one’s spiritual life.

and then give some of it away. Instead, Rampolla advocates trying — from the very start of a new business — to do good, find spiritual satisfaction and make money. Rampolla followed his own advice creating and growing ZICO Coconut Water. In the process, he helped create a whole new beverage category and became a multimillionaire. “I think it’s a mistake to think you can draw these simple, clear, definitive lines between one’s career, one’s physical life and one’s spiritual life,” he says.

water, which he’d first seen sold on Costa Rican beaches during his Peace Corps years. In addition to sensing a potential market, he liked the idea because it involved a healthy beverage, provided badly needed jobs in developing countries and sustainably used a waste product from coconut processing. Rampolla entered the extremely competitive beverage industry in 2004 with an unfamiliar product, starting in his garage and selling out of his van. His breakthrough was to focus on a few key



In pitching ZICO to investors, Rampolla emphasized its social benefits, helping him stand out and attract investors who shared his social innovation goals.

Read the first chapter of Rampolla’s book:


uses — post-workout recovery for yogis and triathletes. “Once we gave people a reason and occasion to use ZICO, they started to discover and find other ways,” he says. In pitching ZICO to investors, Rampolla emphasized its social benefits, helping him stand out and attract investors who shared his social innovation and business goals. The company’s success led to its sale in 2013 to The Coca-Cola Co. When Coca-Cola fully acquired it, ZICO had an estimated $86.7 million in annual sales. Since selling ZICO, Rampolla co-founded a $42 million venture capital fund, PowerPlant Ventures, investing in plantbased food and beverage businesses focused on health, wellness and social


impact. And he wrote a book, High-Hanging Fruit: Build Something Great by Going Where No One Else Will Go, about his ZICO experiences. Pursuing a passion for purposedriven entrepreneurism that began taking root during his Marquette years, Rampolla now uses lessons from his ZICO experience at his fund, helping 30 socially engaged companies build businesses the way he built his. “The more focused they are on their mission, the truer they are to their objectives, the more they attract capital, talent, customers and business partners,” Rampolla says. “And that’s what it takes to build a successful business that also makes an impact.”


Super Savers

Procurement students have identified millions in efficiencies for major companies — and even saved their way into full-time employment. Not many freshly minted college graduates can stride into a job interview and boast that they’ve found ways for Fortune 500 companies like Kohler, Harley-Davidson or Rockwell Automation to cut their spending on granite, gaskets or greener office lighting. A number of graduates of the College of Business Administration’s operation and supply chain management program have been able to do just that, thanks to an innovative course, Applied Procurement, that places students on-site at dozens of Milwaukee-based companies to wrestle with a real procurement issue.

While a student in Applied Procurement, Michael McQueeny, Bus Ad ’15, achieved a 24.5 percent spending reduction on a single commodity for Milwaukee-based Milsco Manufacturing Co. “They had a special situation with a supplier that had been taking advantage of them over the years, and they’d never been able to address that portion of the ‘spend,’” McQueeny says. “They said, ‘Here you go, go out to market, do what you can with it.’” After the initial steps of developing the strategy, “it’s a lot of negotiation, building relationships and tracking performance.”


Their mission is to find efficiencies, and they’ve been successful, proposing total savings of $15.3 million over the last nine semesters. The spring 2016 class alone — just 12 students working with 11 companies — found a total of $2.8 million in savings opportunities. “Just about every company has more things they need to source than they have the resources to do it,” says Dr. Doug Fisher, assistant professor of practice of management and director of the internationally ranked Center for Supply Chain Management, explaining why organizations have been eager to sign on and sponsor students. Whether they come in mid-project or start a new strategic sourcing initiative as the semester begins, students apply best practices they learn from their adjunct instructor, Pamela Oestreicher, Grad ’16, an executive at Direct Supply. When they’re not in the field, students come together weekly for lectures and to collaborate on each other’s assignments, exposing them to the wide variety of strategies different companies take to slash spending.

Dr. Doug Fisher assistant professor of practice of management; director, Center for Supply Chain Management


Read more about the Center for Supply Chain Management, including recent newsletters:

McQueeny relished the process enough to take on projects outside his assigned scope. One was for a supply chain VP, who worked to get him hired at Milsco’s holding company, Jason, Inc., immediately upon graduation. As a commodity manager there, he was responsible for up to $70 million of annual spend — and presumably, a significant amount of savings as well — all certainly points in his favor in landing a new position at L’Oréal in New York this spring. PAULA WHEELER


BIZ BRIEFING A World of Difference

Inside the global trips where students aim for big impacts with operators of very small businesses. In 2009 a group of Marquette students traveled to Guatemala to help a chicken farmer organize his business. That was the first trip of Applied Global Business Learning, a volunteer organization providing student-led solutions to operators of microenterprises and small businesses in developing nations. Today AGBL runs three trips a year and has visited nearly a dozen countries. As its director, Dr. Heather Kohls, adjunct associate professor of economics, leads the search for each destination. “Every trip has some fluke element to it. Somebody knows somebody that needs help and they invite us. The key is to have legitimacy in the community before we go.” A trip to Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2016, for example, was arranged in cooperation with Dr. Abdur Chowdhury, professor of economics. With bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Dhaka, he used his ties there to connect them with representatives of BRAC, the global development organization responsible for a micro-loan program serving the ultra poor. This January Martin Salvador, a senior majoring in economics and international affairs, traveled to Tanzania as part of a group that helped tiny Nkoaranga Hospital improve its internal communication and efficiency. At the advice of students, the hospital’s management team implemented weekly staff meetings, which established regular communication between certain departments for the first time. “One of the results was that they began to order supplies together and in larger quantities, which saved them a lot of money,” he reports. A visit to a neighboring orphanage left Salvador with a particularly indelible memory.



“We met a local woman who raises money to buy goats for the children. It gives them a sense of pride and some income. We pooled money, bought three goats and presented them to the kids. That experience will stay with me forever,” he says. Zach Wallace, Arts ’16, also chipped in for the goats. He was on that trip as an alumni adviser. Two years earlier — as a student majoring in economics, political science and urban affairs — he was in Bangladesh, preparing reports for BRAC. “We talked to women who had received these $200 loans.

“ One woman used the money to buy a rickshaw for her husband, and the income had completely transformed their lives.” Zach Wallace

One woman told us through tears that she used the money to buy a rickshaw for her husband, and the income had completely transformed their lives,” Wallace says. “These stories need to be told; I am thankful to be part of the telling. I think nothing embodies the mission of Marquette in action better than AGBL.” Kohls is looking to expand AGBL. “We have passionate students who want to make a difference. Unfortunately I have to turn many away. I’d love to find a donor so we could take all of them and, in the future, even offer some scholarships.” GUY FIORITA

Interested in helping to extend the Applied Global Business Learning experience to more students through philanthropic support? Contact the dean’s office at 414.288.7142.

The Purpose-driven Banker Get to know the driving force behind the college’s newest program.

Dr. Kent Belasco’s many years as a highranking executive of First Midwest Bank — 14 of them also spent teaching undergraduate and graduate-level finance courses at Elmhurst College — make him an ideal person to lead the college’s new commercial banking program. They also leave him convinced of

the wide variety of functions that exist in commercial banking. you’ve mentioned the

“accidental banker.”

what do you mean by that?

Many bankers end up in the field by “accident.” This program will educate students on banking in general — the regulations, the jobs, the risks bankers face, how it relates to the economy, etc. We will professionalize the discipline and prepare students to enter it as their chosen direction. It has been said that modern banking has been the single greatest contributor to human progress, putting a serious dent in crushing widespread poverty. That is too important to leave to an accident. bank executive and professor: how do they blend in the classroom?

As a banker, I lived through the economic crisis in a very hands-on way, while also teaching a master’slevel class in corporate finance. There’s a tremendous opportunity to add perspectives while events play out in the news. Education doesn’t get any better than that. why focus on community banking in addition to larger banks?

Community banking is the “guts” of banking. You can’t get any closer to the economic role that banks play than in a small town bank. There, you learn all aspects of core banking, and there is great opportunity for students to secure excellent careers because many of our community banks need succession. Without this infusion of talent, some banks may be challenged, compelling them to consider selling. the value of professionalizing banking studies as Marquette commits to educating future generations of executives like himself. why now?

Commercial banking controls approximately 25 percent of the nation’s financial assets. Given that economic impact, we need to create bankers the way a law school creates lawyers. Having a banking program enhances the strength that Marquette already has in finance. It epitomizes the discipline of finance across

Dr. Kent Belasco assistant professor of practice of finance; director, commercial banking program

“ Commercial banking controls approximately 25 percent of the nation’s financial assets. Given that economic impact, we need to create bankers the way a law school creates lawyers.”

banking and ethics: can marquette make a difference?

I want the public to see that this university is helping change perceptions of banking because of past negative behaviors. We are looking at ways we can participate in actual credit decision-making for minorities and small businesses. This will create educational opportunities and is also in keeping with Marquette’s principles to provide service to the community.

Read news coverage of the college’s new banking program, launched with a lead gift from BMO Harris Bank and additional support from WaterStone Bank:



BIZ BRIEFING Indirect Impact

An NFL rule change to reduce concussions created new incentives — and new injuries — says a team of Marquette economists. In 2013 the National Football League made the crucial “Crown-of-Helmet” rule change. A way of avoiding concussions — an injury increasingly linked to cases of chronic brain decline — the rule bans a runner or tackler outside the tackle box from initiating contact with another player using the crown of his helmet. How did the new rule affect the actions and safety of players on the field — and did it produce any unintended consequences? Recognizing these questions as economic ones, involving people’s responses to changing conditions, Dr. Andrew Hanson, associate professor of economics, sought answers. Teaming up with colleague Dr. Nicholas Jolly, associate professor of economics, and then graduate student Jeremy Peterson, Grad ’15, the researchers studied data accumulated between 2012 and 2014, finding that while

the policy reduced weekly concussion reports among players in certain defensive positions by 32 percent, it resulted in an increase as high as 34 percent in the weekly reports of lowerextremity injuries for certain offensive players. The unintended effect caught the researchers by surprise. Some critics of pro football have supported the change as a way to tame some of the violence of this high-contact sport. Jolly notes how the rule change is an example of how people respond to incentives. The incentive to not use their helmets increases the likelihood of impact to the lower body. As their study on this subject awaits publication in the Journal of Health Economics, Hanson says the “uptick in knee injuries” should be considered alongside the rule’s benefits.

Read about Dr. Andrew Hanson’s research using economic theory to understand the ups and downs of college football recruits: scarce-recruits.


A Close-up on the EU

Marquette’s Antwerp summer program celebrates a quarter century.

To learn more about the study abroad program for Marquette’s business students, visit study-abroad.

Through a unique partnership with the University of Antwerp, 15–20 undergraduate business students will embark this summer on three weeks of study and exploration in Antwerp, Belgium. Last summer marked the program’s 25th year — a milestone the Belgian partner university marked with a surprise celebration that included remarks by the city’s deputy mayor. In a fast-changing world, the partnership offers students a time-tested opportunity to learn firsthand from Antwerp faculty about the European economy, says the program’s founder and champion, Joseph Terrian, Bus Ad ’82, Grad ’84, assistant dean of



undergraduate programs for the business college. Close to 900 Marquette students have participated in total. Well-suited to students who can’t spend a full semester abroad, the Antwerp trip became a model for summer-study programs led by other Marquette faculty. The Jesuit affiliation of its Belgian partner and proximity to the European Union’s headquarters — 30 minutes away in Brussels — have added to its value and longevity. Expecting an equally positive future, Terrian says, “I think the EU will remain a major trading block, regardless of where our country is going.” ANN CHRISTENSON



















AIM Takes Manhattan


With its real-time portfolio management, the Applied Investment Management program is about as close to Wall Street as an undergraduate can get. Each fall, the program’s Financial Management Association trip takes this immersion philosophy further, taking two dozen students to Manhattan for three days of nearly nonstop contact with alumni at leading investment banks, hedge funds, financial services firms and investment companies.

BIZ BRIEFING A Quest for Carbon’s Costs If you’re a reader of The New York Times, you may know Dr. Michael Greenstone from his lively, smart contributions to the paper’s “Upshot” column. If you follow politics, you may recall the role he played in the Obama White House shaping something called the “Social Cost of Carbon.” Consulting scientific models covering everything from the flooding of coastal cities to the effects of storms and elevated heat on crop outputs and worker productivity, a team co-chaired by Greenstone settled on $38 as the estimated cost of future damages resulting from an additional ton of carbon released into the air. That calculation informed nearly 80 regulations and survived a Federal Appeals Court challenge, although President Donald Trump’s administration has pursued new measures to limit its impact. Now based at the University of Chicago, Greenstone visited Marquette last fall (just two day’s after Trump’s victory) to deliver the college’s annual Marburg Memorial Lecture. Sitting down with Marquette BIZ, Greenstone revealed his drive to connect knowledge from economics’ most-rarefied levels with energy policies that matter in the real world and can be communicated in human terms. Here are some outtakes: on whether the election result changed his approach to his marburg speech:

There is no doubt that the United States has a central role in climate policy. Having said that, I think the most interesting and probably important energy environmental problems are actually taking place in developing countries. That’s where all the growth in energy use and emissions is projected to come in the coming decades. That’s where the environmental problems associated with energy use are the greatest. In some sense, I want to go



Liaoning Province, China

Dr. Michael Greenstone Milton Friedman Professor of Economics, University of Chicago

The burning of fossil fuels generates costs as well as benefits, says Greenstone. It’s the work he’s led to quantify those costs that’s proved both groundbreaking and contentious.

where the problems are biggest. Today’s talk was already prefabricated to talk a lot about those issues. on climate and energy-use calculations in the developing world:

The climate dilemma that the United States faces is actually different than the dilemma that, say, China or India faces. There, people are having sicker and shorter lives today, effectively due to poverty. We don’t have that to anywhere near the same extent. The trade-off about postponing economic growth today — through regulations that raise energy costs and reduce emissions — to get some benefit in the future looks different there than it does here. on urgent pollution concerns in the developing world:

Developing countries also have the great challenge of their citizens being exposed to high levels of pollution and associated health costs today, and that has to be traded off against higher energy prices. Increasingly, you’re seeing these countries, especially China, begin to recognize that they would be

Watch Greenstone’s Marburg Memorial Lecture, “The Global Energy Challenge”:

willing to face higher costs today in the name of improving people’s health. on potential efforts to reverse obama-era carbon regulations:

There’s a problem any time you hear a conversation about regulations that just says, “I want to throw out regulations because I want to reduce cost.” That’s an incomplete analysis, because it is tantamount to saying, “I want to throw out the benefits of those regulations we’re deriving.” … When the public hears these single-track conversations about costs, we should always be hearing the phrase, “and let’s throw out the benefits too.” on writing for the new york times:

One of the editors gave me great feedback. I had put tremendous effort in trying to write something in a way that was broadly accessible, and she wrote, “Well this is fine, but I want you to work harder at imagining you’re talking about this in a bar with a friend of yours who does not necessarily share your passion for every minutia of energy and environmental policy.” That’s a great disciplining device for an economist. on how famed free-market advocate milton


EXCELLENCE. A great university needs a great business school, and a gift to the College of Business Administration Strategic Excellence Fund helps to build the needed resources to support faculty research, improve the quality of teaching and enhance co-curricular experiences for students. Learn how you can help advance the College of Business Administration and Be The Difference for Marquette.

friedman would feel about greenstone’s approach to regulation (as friedman professor of economics):

I think people sometimes get confused with respect to Milton Friedman because of this view that he was anti-government. The way I think about it is: He was an economist, and this is like intro-level economics. There are externalities, which means that using fossil fuels, for example, has the unintended by-product of releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and that causes damages. A plain vanilla solution that economists of all political stripes agree on is that people should recognize the consequences of their actions. So be it through carbon pricing or cap-andtrade regulation, there should be something in place so that people recognize that when I’m pouring garbage in your backyard, you’re not going to be so happy about it.

Contact: Kelley McCaskill Managing Director, College Advancement 414.288.1590




Dr. Abdur Chowdhury Professor of Economics

Marquette Business faculty are among the university’s most soughtafter by the media for expert commentary. From major corporate mergers to real estate trends to domestic and global economic events, professors are on hand to provide insight and analysis. THE EXPERT

Read the article featuring Dr. Abdur Chowdhury’s perspective:

In addition to providing expert commentary, Chowdhury is also a regular op-ed contributor. Most recently, he’s written for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Brexit and a Wisconsin prevailing wage law.

DR. ABDUR CHOWDHURY PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS A former chief economist for the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe and current member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s academic advisory council, Chowdhury has made a name for himself as a go-to economist in Wisconsin. A frequent op-ed contributor to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he regularly comments on a host of macroeconomic issues for local and national print and broadcast media.

THE COVERAGE This March, Journal Sentinel Deputy Business Editor James Nelson dug into Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s promise to create a quartermillion jobs. Reporting that Wisconsin had added 185,208 jobs during Walker’s six years in office, based on quarterly census reports, Nelson looked to Chowdhury for his take.

THE INSIGHT Chowdhury said a workforce skills gap has contributed to economic “malaise.” “There are lots of jobs available, but employers are finding it hard to fill those positions. Wisconsin is below average in the percentage of college graduates, ranking 30th, despite being 14th in state and local per capita spending on higher education,” he says. CHRISTOPHER STOLARSKI



Books that have influenced a few prominent figures from the college.

Dick Leinenkugel, Bus Ad ’80

Dr. Cheryl Maranto

Dr. Brian D. Till

President and chief beer merchant, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Chippewa Falls, Wis.

Chair and associate professor of management

James H. Keyes Dean of Business and professor of marketing




Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines by David H. Freedman

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins




The book captures management tenets — and lessons — Leinenkugel learned as a junior officer in the Marine Corps following graduation from Marquette. Among the 30 principles, three stand out to him: organize according to the rule of three (just as a Marine focuses on only three tasks at a time, one should focus on only three business goals at a time); focus on the small team; and manage by end state and intent (in other words, always work toward your end goal). “All three are principles I try to reinforce today as the leader of Leinenkugel,” he says.

First encountering the book during grad school, Maranto says Atwood’s dystopian tale set in a society where women have lost rights and can be conscripted into child-bearing “gave me such a deep and eerie foreboding.” Despite a plot that felt “preposterous,” it spoke to Maranto’s love of books centered around social issues, “books that help readers become engaged in activities that promote greater equality.”

Till values this business blockbuster for its memorable summation of “three key drivers of organizational success: focus, passion for your business, and knowing what drives your profit.” But Till is also a big believer in the practice of reading regularly. “Not everything you read is going to be notable and relevant,” he says, “but reading is a sign of a curious mind, and having a curious mind and an interest in personal development is crucial as one’s career unfolds.”






The Cross-fit Master’s More students today are choosing options that allow them to earn MBAs and other advanced degrees faster and to build expertise jointly in business, STEM, law or other fields. What’s behind this trend? BY ERIK GUNN

Attracted originally to the study of journalism but worried that technological change might upend her job prospects, then-Marquette undergraduate Tyler Vicknair sought harbor in an alternative field of study: corporate communication. “Corporate communication offered a more strategic and functional approach to communication,” she says — a conceptual framework extending beyond, say, advertising or media. It proved to be the fit she was seeking, and after a few years, with graduation in view, she didn’t want to stop. So instead, she hit the fast-forward button. As her classmates from freshman year spent this spring wrapping up their senior years, Vicknair was already hard at work on a master’s degree in corporate communication, thanks to a new accelerated degree program developed collaboratively by the Graduate School of

Management and her undergraduate school, the Diederich College of Communication. Thanks to a few 18-credit semesters instead of the typical 15, she received her bachelor’s a semester early and has a number of graduate-level courses under her belt — including business courses such as International Human Resources and Global Marketing Strategies, where she studies alongside peers studying for their master’s in business administration degrees. Still to come are similar business school courses in accounting, finance and economics. The master’s degree she expects to receive from the Graduate School of Management in December will deepen her expertise in communication and equip her with business knowledge that will make her more adept at navigating corporate landscapes. Her master’s degree, she believes, will enrich her value to her future employer in the business world — and not incidentally, help her press the accelerator again. “I want to move up faster in the organization,” she says. Launched last fall, the B.A.-M.A. in corporate communication program is just the latest in a series of accelerated degree programs offered by the College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Management. Some help students build upon an undergraduate major in a business subject such as applied economics with master’s study in the same field, all in what would formerly have been considered record time. Many other programs involve collaboration across colleges — undergraduate study in a STEM subject combined efficiently with an MBA, for example, or an opportunity to simultaneously earn an MBA and a juris doctor degree from Marquette University Law School. What’s leaving a growing number of students hungry to learn more in less time — and often to cross-prepare in more than one field? Dr. Jeanne


Simmons, Bus Ad ’88, Grad ’90, ’97, associate dean of the Graduate School of Management, says the accelerated interdisciplinary programs meet a need that prospective professionals from many fields have to enrich their discipline with a deeper knowledge of business theory and practice. “Interdisciplinary study has been very important of late,” says Simmons. One indicator is the

Combining an undergraduate or professional degree with an MBA actually goes back nearly three decades, to the combined MBA-J.D. program that Marquette’s College of Business Administration and Law School launched in 1986. A subsequent program allowed law students to combine their degree with a master’s in human resources. In each case, students save themselves a year of course work by applying courses from

“ What most of these students find out is that

they are in a business. They may be very good at the technical skills they are using in their current position, but they need the business skills to really advance into strategic leadership positions.” Dr. Jeanne Simmons

number of people who enter the college’s executive MBA program from other fields, often the sciences. “What most of these students find out is that they are in a business,” Simmons says. “They may be very good at the technical skills they are using in their current position, but they need the business skills to really advance into strategic leadership positions. They say they wish they had gained these skills earlier in their careers rather than later in life.” The accelerated degree programs seek to provide exactly those skills at the front end.



one degree to meet requirements of the other, and vice versa. Lately accelerated degree programs involving undergraduates have become more plentiful, too. All enable qualified students in specific fields to enroll in their senior year in graduate-level courses that simultaneously fulfill undergraduate requirements and give them graduatelevel credits. Then they can complete the master’s program — an MBA or one of a few other allied master’s degrees — as soon as one year after earning their bachelor’s degree.


Simmons expects the traditional standalone MBA to remain the dominant paradigm for most Marquette GSM students; most forecasts are for the accelerated approach to remain boutique options. But the trend expands opportunities, while the availability of part-time schedules in all the programs “adds a little flexibility” for people who work full time, says Simmons. Craig Roush, Grad ’12, Law ’14, had been working for several years for a consumer goods manufacturer when he was assigned to the company’s regulatory affairs department, charged with ensuring his employer’s products met federal regulations from the Food and Drug Administration and other agencies. Intrigued by the details of regulatory law, he decided to go to law school and was immediately interested in Marquette’s joint MBA-J.D. program. While he assumed he would graduate and put his two degrees to work in a company, he wound up instead at the law firm Foley & Lardner in Milwaukee. Now a third-year associate, Roush, 34, works in mergers and acquisitions as well as in securities law. Having the two degrees — along with his experience in business before law school — helps him view transactions simultaneously through a business client’s eyes as well as the filter provided by his legal training. Plus, says Roush, he finds the training fulfills an objective he had from the start when he decided to go to law school: It helps him “distill complex legal principles into easy-todigest information” that suits busy, efficiencyminded business people. Graduates of other accelerated programs reap similar benefits from their abilities to bridge multiple worlds. Students with business majors round out their business

education with high-level corporate communication courses, says Dr. Sarah Bonewits Feldner, associate dean for graduate studies and research at the Diederich College, a key partner in developing the new master’s program. Similarly, communication students expect that higherlevel business courses would better position them in the job market, including for financial communication functions not covered in undergraduate programs. “It’s critical for people in corporate communication roles to be able to engage with investors,” she says. The upper-level degree also has an analytical focus typical of graduate education, she adds, which is increasingly important as the discipline takes on greater responsibility in executive roles such as chief communication officers or CCOs. Prepared for such responsibilities as never before, Vicknair expects to return next year to her native Los Angeles to put her new master’s degree to use in the corporate ranks. (Her graduate-level courses even opened up another business interest — in human resources.) One thing the accelerated degree program doesn’t do, she says, is skimp. In the face of a few acquaintances who assume her program “must not require that many classes” because she’ll be through it so quickly, Vicknair quickly sets them straight. “You’re taking a lot of classes,” she says. “And you’re doing it nonstop.”

Tyler Vicknair (above) and Craig Roush (left)


Built for Business How the college’s latest degree offerings and other changes reflect feedback from business world partners. Introduced in fall 2015, the STEM-MBA gives graduates an edge in today’s hightech workforce — while saving them time and money by streamlining a bachelor’s degree and MBA into a five-year program. The student advantage is clear; yet the offering is also part of a broader trend of the college and its Graduate School of

“ We’re always strategic-thinking skills. “We revamped our curriculum to meet these needs,” she says. “We were able to streamline the program by integrating topics in key areas.” The interdisciplinary graduate degrees, such as the STEM-MBA, also address industry concerns, helping students layer their technical skills with management

looking for ways to respond to employers’ needs. ... We also keep close ties with those in industry to gather their insights.”

Learn more about all of the college’s accelerated degree programs:

Management working to meet the future needs of the industries it serves. “We’re always looking for ways to respond to employers’ needs,” says Dr. Jeanne Simmons, associate dean of the Graduate School of Management. “Our faculty are doing research in a variety of areas, and they consistently bring new ideas to the curricula. We also keep close ties with those in industry to gather their insights, and we have a very active alumni board, which is a great resource for us.” This cumulative insight led the school to “dramatically” adapt its MBA curriculum, according to Simmons. Concerns from executives and other business leaders revealed that organizations needed graduates to have more leadership and 18


skills. Simmons notes it is early to make assessments, but she anticipates the joint, accelerated graduate business degrees to grow in popularity. There is currently about 35–40 undergraduates expressing interest in the STEM-MBA program, with a few students already enrolled in the master’s portion. “This program is more applicable to what students will see in their organizations,” adds Simmons. “Since fewer employers are funding their employees’ graduate studies, it makes sense to help these students get the degree earlier and faster, so they can take those relevant skills into the job market.” SARAH KOZIOL

Dr. Jeanne Simmons associate dean of the Graduate School of Management



undergraduate/graduate degrees

dual graduate degrees

Launched: 1999


Undergraduates in human resources, corporate communication or psychology take this accelerated path to a master’s in human resources.

Launched: 1986


Undergraduate economics majors from Marquette or select other universities earn an applied economics master’s a year after completing their undergraduate studies. After taking approved courses at their home institutions, the students from other institutions conclude their master’s course work at Marquette.



Launched: 2002

Undergraduates in accounting can complete their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years and be ready to sit for the CPA exam, which requires at least 150 credit hours.



Students apply up to nine business school credits toward the 90 required for their juris doctor, while counting nine credits of law course work toward their MBA, allowing them to complete both degrees in just four years (if going full time).

M.S. IN HUMAN RESOURCES-J.D. STEM-MBA Launched: 2014 Launched: 2015

Launched: 2016

Communication undergraduates take graduatelevel business school courses in their senior year and complete their master’s in the Graduate School of Management the following year.

Undergraduates in science, health sciences and engineering add graduate business courses toward an MBA in their senior year and spend a year after graduation completing their MBA.

Like the MBAJ.D., except business school credits and some credits from law school course work apply toward the master’s in human resources. degree.





Giving STEM the

business How business students are enriching the landscape of Marquette’s annual Hackathon design challenge.


“You get a crack today at changing people’s lives,” Direct Supply Founder and Chief Executive Officer Bob Hillis, Bus Ad ’70, Law ’71, tells 160 anxious students gathered at 9 a.m. one Saturday this winter for Marquette’s third annual Hackathon. As co-hosts of the event with Marquette’s Opus College of Engineering, Hillis and partners at Direct Supply will ask the students to spend the day working to solve real-life problems, specifically the kind of real-life challenges the Direct Supply team tackles as a leading international supplier of equipment and services to senior health facilities.

Business student Sebastien Feren (left) with his teammates


igning up in teams, the students competed this year in one of two categories — those in the Take Cost Out of Health Care Challenge category pursue innovations and efficiencies worthy of a start-up company, while counterparts in the Big Data Challenge use high-performance computing tools to transform raw data into solutions to improve the lives of seniors. Winners compete for prizes ranging from $500–1,500 per team. And in the past, executives from Direct Supply have even hired Marquette students part time after the event to explore how a winning idea might complement the company’s offerings. The Hackathon began as a “design challenge” aimed solely at engineers. But since teams began adding non-engineers, business students have become a regular part of the Hackathon landscape. This year

of business students and their STEM teammates gel and complement each other, let’s peer over the shoulders of members of two teams. As his teammates huddle around a classroom white board frantically scrawling calculations and rudimentary product drawings, Sebastien Feren scours the internet on his laptop. Feren, a sophomore majoring in economics, joined four engineering students to form the team ADAPT! “I bring less of a technical and more of a strategic and big-vision view of how to sell a product and bring it to market,” Feren explains of his business-related role. At one point in the morning, Feren engages in an intense discussion with Hasan Barakat, a junior biocomputing student, about the target market for their product, a toilet

“ Engineers need to appreciate the market

decisions and the working capital ramifications of their decisions — that there are trade-offs involving quality and costs.” Dr. Doug Fisher

30 students from the College of Business Administration competed, and crosscollege rosters proved to be a defining advantage of most top-placing teams. Not surprised was one of this year’s judges, Dr. Doug Fisher, assistant professor of practice of management and director of the Center for Supply Chain Management in the College of Business Administration. “Engineers need to appreciate the market decisions and the working capital ramifications of their decisions — that there are trade-offs involving quality and costs,” Fisher says. “And it’s really helpful when business majors understand enough of an engineer’s considerations to be credible.” To get a feeling for how the contributions



seat lift. Barakat assumes its use will be limited to assisted living facilities, but Feren suggests it could meet a need in the home health care market as well. That suggestion makes it in their final presentation. In a nearby lab, teammates Jenelle Lee, an electrical engineering junior, and bioelectrical engineering juniors Megan Socha and Efrain Torres, create a model of a gripping device designed for kitchen use to assist people with arthritis. Since a business student on their team had to pull out due to illness, teammates had to make do without his expertise on everything from marketplace competition to distribution channels. Says Torres, “I was so focused on the details of getting the product to work, that I didn’t even think about how to sell it.”


Cross-college rosters are proving to be a defining advantage of most top-placing teams. Read a BizTimes op-ed on Hackathon collaboration by Marquette’s deans of business and engineering:

A s students in the Hackathon plan and design their solutions, they collaborate across college boundaries — and benefit from contact with industry experts from Direct Supply.




Appeal Of The Real Behind every student from the college tackling unforgettable real-world challenges is a professor committed to making those experiences count. BY ALLISON DIKANOVIC

Charlie Murphy (left)

Academics weren’t usually the go-to topic of conversation for Charlie Murphy when he got home from a long day of classes — as they aren’t for many college seniors — but Dr. Felicia Miller’s branding course changed all of that. Called far off campus to help design a rebranding campaign for an inner-ring Milwaukee suburb, he found himself not only wanting to talk about the work he was doing, but also seeing with new clarity the impact he hoped to have with his career. “I would leave class and brag about the work I was doing,” Murphy remembers. “I was really excited about it.” Miller, chair and associate professor of marketing, often assigns her classes projects that give them opportunities to engage at length with real-world clients. And based on the reputation these projects have developed for delivering real value, nonprofit, community and business leaders have started coming to her with their marketing challenges, as they did in this case.

More meaningful and memorable learning experiences are the result. “It’s so different when you connect what you’re learning to a memory,” Murphy explains. “You’re not remembering what your teacher said about slide 54, you’re remembering a conversation that was life-changing.” This is experiential learning, and it is something the college is serious about integrating into its curriculum, so much so that James H. Keyes Dean Brian D. Till is offering experiential learning grants to faculty members who restructure their classes in a way that encourages their students to learn by doing. “Experiential learning deepens the extent of the students’ knowledge of the concepts,” Till says. “It’s fundamental to the overall direction of the college.” Fortunately, many faculty members are already big believers in this kind of learning — and already seriously invested in building thoughtful partnerships that yield true opportunities for their students to apply what they’re learning. Read on to see this commitment in action.


Branding Diversity Senior Charlie Murphy walked into the first day of his branding course with Miller expecting to receive his course syllabus, hear a little bit about the class and be on his merry way. Instead, he watched a clip of his professor on the local news explaining what the class’ project would be for the semester: partnering with the Village of Brown Deer, a northern suburb of Milwaukee, to develop a new brand identity to help the community attract new residents. “With these projects in general, I want my students to get an appreciation for the world outside the Marquette bubble, or whatever bubble they were living in before that,” Miller says. “I try to push them regardless of race, creed or color, to get outside of whatever that bubble is and see the rest of the world.” Right from the start in this case, Miller could tell her students realized their work in her class was going to really count for something. “I thought, ‘They’re going to use what we’re doing here to actually change up this community,’” Murphy adds. “And I thought that was awesome.” The class analyzed findings from focus groups previously conducted by the village, census figures, state of Wisconsin crime data, and other primary and secondary sources to conduct a brand audit and marketing plan. They identified that the village — one of the few suburbs in Milwaukee with a true melting pot of races and ethnic groups — needed to fully embrace its diversity in order to have the most accurate and inclusive brand identity.


The student team offered suggestions for how to go about making it happen. “They gave us free reign,” Murphy says. “[Brown Deer] is a great place to live, and that’s supported by facts and what we wanted to show people.” The students presented their findings and suggestions to the city planner and village manager, and Miller compiled their work into one 35-page document that she then presented to the Village of Brown Deer Board of Trustees. As he approaches graduation, Murphy credits Miller’s class with helping him realize that he hopes to build a career where he can see tangible impacts of the work he does, ideally in ways that improve people’s lives. “It wasn’t just for the grade,” Murphy says. “We did the project for the community and that just made more sense. I wanted to do well for the people in Brown Deer.”


Dr. Felicia Miller chair and associate professor of marketing


“ It wasn’t just for the grade. We

did the project for the community and that just made more sense. I wanted to do well for the people in Brown Deer.” Charlie Murphy


Going the Distance For some other group projects he’s tackled during his four years at Marquette, Mason Howard says he could text his classmates at 9:30 p.m. and within minutes they’d “meet up and knock something out in the library.” Such spontaneity was not possible for the project the senior business student worked on in Dr. Monica Adya’s project management class. Casual meet-ups at Raynor Memorial Library were out of the question because the other members of his group were six hours ahead of him, living in Scotland. Any time they wanted to work together, they’d start looking days in advance for a feasible time — say, morning in Milwaukee and late afternoon in Glasgow. Then they’d wind up chatting over Skype. If this all sounds like the default setting for today’s international work teams, that’s by design. Knowing that her students’ educations would be incomplete if project management was limited to individual workplaces, or even individual continents, Adya, chair and professor of management, insists on giving her students a global experience. In this case, months ahead of time, she circulated a partnership request on an international Listserv. Faculty members at Glasgow Caledonian University were most eager to set up initial contacts by phone and Skype and quickest with follow-up information — “generally good indicators of a collaborator who will continue to engage deeply,” she says. Thanks to these early steps, Howard and fellow Marquette business students in information technology spent the semester partnering with engineering students in Glasgow, collaboratively conceptualizing, designing and planning to market an eco-friendly product. With their differing

approaches and areas of expertise, the engineering students aimed for process perfection and exceptional product quality, while the business students worked to make the product marketable and produced efficiently enough to allow for competitive pricing. The tension was just another element to manage long distance. “With collaboration comes conflict,” says Adya. “There is a lot of uncertainty in the real world, and [students] need to learn to react to situations thoughtfully,” even when collaboration extends across an ocean. As someone who had never been abroad and never interacted meaningfully with residents of another country, Howard had much to learn from working with his Scottish peers. “Instead of going into a meeting with my own predetermined ideas, I’m now more open-minded and ready to adapt and learn from different people and their experiences,” Howard says. “The Scottish students brought a lot to the table that I would not have considered.” Another key to his team’s success was Adya, whom Howard describes as a “firefighter,” always there to help the students address and extinguish any communication problems or other issues that arose. Though she could have had a graduate assistant manage the team’s crossAtlantic video-conference sessions and the reflections that followed them, she committed to being there herself. “In a project like this, things can always fall apart — technology, team assignments, calendar coordination. We never engaged in a blame game … and focused on what needed to change going forward,” she explains. “We maintained a good sense of humor even when we had fiascoes, as we did.”

Dr. Monica Adya (above) chair and professor of management, and student Mason Howard, Bus Ad ’17.

Read coverage in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel of the Marquette-Glasgow Caledonian collaboration:


Selling Empathy The door of Dr. Alexander Milovic’s office flings open as he announces to anyone in earshot, “She just got a job!” pointing to a girl standing behind his shoulder. These kinds of informal career-planning meetings — celebratory or not —are a regular occurrence for the director of Marquette’s sales program and assistant professor of practice of marketing, someone students describe as an advocate for their interests, futures and general wellbeing. “He likes to see everyone succeed,” says Thomas Madaras, a junior in the College of Business Administration. “That’s his main point.” When he arrived at Marquette in 2014 to develop the college’s sales program, Milovic set out to show that sales is more than the stereotype of the pushy salesperson working a used-car lot. “I want my students to learn that selling is helping others,” Milovic says. “Empathy is becoming the first word that people associate with sales.” Companies are begging for college graduates to fill high-paying sales positions, he adds. “Not only is (sales) lucrative; it’s really fun,” Madaras chirps with enthusiasm. He says that Milovic has served as his mentor and exposed him to a whole new side of sales that made him want to pursue it as a career. Milovic introduced Madaras to the field by getting him a job. As part of their course work for his second-level sales course, Milovic’s students get paid to participate in an eight-week sales internship, selling


tickets for the Milwaukee Bucks or Marquette Basketball, or coffee for Buena Vida Coffee. “You can’t learn how to sell by reading a book,” Milovic says. “You’ve got to do it.” The students go to work in the evenings making cold calls to potential customers and use the seminar-style class time that Milovic describes as a “therapy session” to discuss any challenges they encounter on the job and get reminders on best practices. “There’s a lot of learning on your feet,” Madaras says. “You need to be confident in yourself and trust that you know what to do.” The stakes are higher since the students’ performance affects a local company, but that pressure “makes the experience more meaningful,” says Madaras. After his experience in Milovic’s class, Madaras landed himself a sales internship for this summer. And as expected, Milovic was the first one there to congratulate him.


Dr. Alexander Milovic assistant professor of practice of marketing; director, sales program

Read rave reviews of Dr. Alexander Milovic’s teaching from students:

“ There’s a lot of learning on your

feet. You need to be confident in yourself and trust that you know what to do.” Thomas Madaras






Accounting Detectives Alyssa Stokx, an accounting master’s student, remembers long nights that blurred into early mornings spent hunting for signs of fraud in a Milwaukee nonprofit organization’s files and ledgers. After hours of searching and speculating, she emailed her mentor, professional fraud investigator Tracy Coenen, Arts ’93, Grad ’96. “Could it be A or B?” Stokx asked, only to receive a brief reply: “I don’t know.” As part of Stokx’s participation in the Department of Accounting’s Justice for Fraud Victims Project, that struggle was part of a guided effort encouraging students to figure out clues on their own. Based on a program started at Gonzaga University and established at Marquette by Dr. Jodi Gissel, assistant professor of accounting, the project partners with the Milwaukee Police Department and the District Attorney’s office to provide fraud examination services to small, local businesses and nonprofit organizations. With students at the helm and mentors such as Coenen providing the right amount of guidance and assistance, these active fraud investigations not only become valuable learning experiences; they frequently yield answers for the leaders of the organizations, and even prosecution of perpetrators of the fraud. Though the process can be intimidating, it’s the open-ended nature and built-in complexity of these cases that make them so instructive. “It’s a natural phenomenon,” Gissel says of the need to “cope your way through complexity” in a profession that is part accounting and part detective work. “Not everything is going to be structured nicely for you.”

Gissel, Grad ’05, is passionate about the ways students can use skills and know-how acquired in the college to live out the Jesuit value of being men and women for and with others. The organizations that become project partners are too small to be able to afford a private fraud investigation, and MPD often has limited resources to provide the in-depth investigation of financial records necessary for the cases. Their investigation complete, Stokx and her project partner presented their findings to representatives of the organization and law enforcement, along with recommended steps to help the organization prevent similar situations in the future. This time, those recommendations amounted to a crash course in segregation of duties — the best practices relating to who manages different aspects of an organization’s finances. The students’ findings were also turned over to the DA’s office, which is investigating further to determine whether to pursue prosecution. “There was more of a sense of responsibility on us. If we didn’t do what we needed to, that would affect the organization as well,” Stokx says. “We had to step up.”

Dr. Jodi Gissel assistant professor of accounting; faculty adviser, Justice for Fraud Victims Project

Watch Marquette President Michael R. Lovell describe a student fraud investigation success:

“ There was more of a sense of

responsibility on us. ... We had to step up.” Alyssa Stokx


Worlds collide

When professors Doug Fisher and Mark Eppli meet up, their interconnected fields of study get very interesting very quickly.




On the future of malls and big-box stores: Stores need to provide a shopping experience. So it’s more about the experience you have when you go there — the food experience, the environments. In looking at replacing Sears and Sports Authority at the local mall, they’re going to redesign that completely and provide more of a shopping experience that includes a whole series of things. eppli:

fisher: The

The supply chain management and commercial real estate industries are inextricably linked. So it’s no wonder the directors of Marquette Business’ respective centers are good friends, often having long conversations about how their worlds converge. What follows are choice excerpts from one of their chats — Drs. Doug Fisher and Mark Eppli on retail’s “Amazon effect,” parking structures and driverless vehicles.


Dr. Doug Fisher (left) assistant professor of practice of management; director, Center for Supply Chain Management, ranked 12th nationally by U.S. News & World Report. Dr. Mark Eppli (right) Robert B. Bell Chair in Real Estate; professor; director, Center for Real Estate, ranked ninth among undergraduate real estate programs by U.S. News & World Report.

On how brick-and-mortar can compete with online: fisher: What

does Walmart have to do to compete with Amazon? Amazon has 120-plus warehouses in North America. Interestingly enough, they’re adding 20 every quarter. They’re trying to get as close to the customer as they possibly can. Walmart, as an example, has, what, 1,800 stores in the United States? Those are warehouses, but their whole model is built on filling shelves, not responding to someone who clicked to buy — and now I have to send someone to find that piece of merchandise on a shelf, come back, put it in a box, and get it to UPS and shipped out to you. So, a handful of good retailers failed last year. Kohl’s struggled. Macy’s is closing 100 stores. Sears just sold their Craftsman line — the core of all core assets for Sears. So they’re trying to find their ground level. Can they afford to keep inventory at a place where people will come and purchase it? In the end, I believe there will be a necessity along the whole continuum, and still some of that brick-and-mortar real estate. But I could easily see more and more retail outlets being showrooms rather than inventory-carrying outlets, whereby you would have one of each size and one of each color and type to allow everybody to have a great selection of things — but nobody leaves the store with any goods. On the way out, you tap your phone, and it’ll be at your door before you get there. eppli:

other side of the big-box story is some of these Walmarts, Targets, etc. are changing their layouts to be mini distribution centers. So, I now have the potential of 1,800 Walmart mini distribution centers. That’s huge. I’ve got a store reconfiguration, I’ve got a change in operation, but I already have the location. And I can Uber the shipment. “You’re going home? Take this box to your neighbor.” On what happens to all the parking structures as ride-hailing services proliferate: The need for two cars or even one car per family really should go away. Why not share that, especially given the wild inefficiencies we have with the usage of our automobiles? And now, we’ve got parking structures. How do we start to adaptively reuse our parking structures? How can they maybe start figuring into this supply chain? eppli:

Amazon would love access to those parking structures. fisher:

A final thought — on driverless vehicles: Right now, trucks moving 80 percent of the commerce in the United States are limited by federal regulations on driver time. They can only drive eight hours a day with certain rest periods. Then they have to park — the truck parks too. With autonomous vehicles, I’ve got 24/7 asset utilization. I have now tripled the capacity of a trucking fleet. fisher:

I had a cab this morning in Cleveland. Why not have that cab be driverless and take me from the hotel to the airport? That driver didn’t engage with me anyway. I think those kinds of things are going to happen, and redeploying people into different and more interesting jobs will be really quite helpful for our economy overall.” eppli:


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