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Vol. 2, Issue 1 • Spring 2009 • A newsletter for alumni and friends of the Nazareth School of Management For more information on SOM, visit

Dear alumni and friends, We continue to move forward!


This fall, we plan to offer new undergraduate programs in human resource management and marketing. That brings us to nine undergraduate and four graduate degree programs. As you can see, we have been very busy meeting the needs of our students.

azareth College School of Management (SOM) has announced its support for the rapidly growing Rochester Regional Veterans Business Council (RRVBC), as it hosts the group’s meetings on campus.

Visit the SOM home page and examine the council membership. I think you will be impressed with the list of prominent alumni, executives, and entrepreneurs.

“We have quite a few students who are veterans,” says Dean Jerry Zappia, “and we felt that this is a way we could show support for them and the many veterans who are now leaders of area businesses.” Zappia spearheaded the move to support the RRVBC with the group’s president, John Batiste, a retired major general in the U.S. Army who now serves as president of Klein Steel Service.

Also, the SOM now has a presence on Facebook and LinkedIn. Alumni relations is one of my top priorities. These social networking tools provide another great way to stay connected to our alumni and friends.

“Nazareth College offers the perfect venue for our meetings,” says Batiste, “and now there is a direct linkage between the SOM and RRVBC. We very much appreciate our special relationship with the College.”

As always, I am eager to hear from you and look forward to your comments and suggestions.

The RRVBC was formed in October 2006 and is open to all veterans who own or operate businesses in the greater Rochester area. The organization provides a platform for veterans to network and grow their businesses. It also assists in the reintegration of veterans into the civilian workforce, offering significant support to the Rochester Veterans Outreach Center. At present, RRVBC has 73 member businesses in manufacturing, professional services, retail, construction, health care, and more.  

We continue to increase our connection with the business community with the recently established SOM Advisory Council. The Council members will serve as advisors to me and SOM faculty. Their mission is to provide an external perspective on our programs and on how to best educate our students.


Gerard F. Zappia, Dean Nazareth College School of Management


S O M Pa r t n e r s w i t h Rochester Veterans B u s i n e ss G ro u p





Student Profile




Student Spotlight


Alumni Profile



New SOM Programs


Golf Tournament

s t u denT

P r o f i l e

L e a r n i n g Across the Disciplines “My favorite class has been advertising design… It’s really given me a taste of what I’m going to run into if I go to work for an ad agency or a marketing firm.”


or senior Patrick Willome, a business administration major with a concentration in marketing, Nazareth College’s interdisciplinary nature is one of its greatest strengths. A transfer student from SUNY Oswego, Willome knew he wanted to do something related to business. “I was looking for a good business program, and I knew Nazareth had that,” he says. “But I also wanted to try out things like art, music, and theatre.” Willome’s art classes have had a particular impact on shaping his interests. “The art classes have been very important to my major,” he says. “I took a digital imaging class so I could learn all about Adobe Photoshop, which is used a lot in marketing

Learning by


Students like Pat Willome get a great deal out of internships, which have become a critical part of the Nazareth experience. Within the School of Management, internships are only required in a few areas, like information technology, music/ business, and international business, but many more students in all sectors of the College are increasingly looking to them as opportunities they cannot afford to miss.

and advertising. My favorite class has been advertising design, which is in the art department. It’s really given me a taste of what I’m going to run into if I go to work for an ad agency or a marketing firm.” Willome has also gotten a taste of the marketing field through his internships. He has interned at a small marketing production agency as well as in the marketing department of Paetec. The preparation he has

Albert C. Cabral, associate professor of management and internship program director, has firm ideas about what constitutes a valuable internship. “What we hope is that students will learn about themselves on three levels,” he explains. “We want them to attain insights into who they can become as future professionals, identifying values, work styles, and interests. We want them to learn things about their field that they can’t learn in the classroom. And we want them to develop new skills and refine skills that they’ve been learning in their academic courses.” Nazareth is one of the few schools in the area that factors site visits into


received at Nazareth has been invaluable. “I’ve learned that there’s so much more to marketing than just putting up an ad,” he says. “The skills we learn in school — how to do effective research, how to communicate that research in a paper, problem solving — are entirely applicable to the outside world. The emphasis on teamwork in the SOM is another strength. There are a lot of opportunities at Nazareth — it’s really what you make of it.”

the internships. Cabral and other SOM faculty members meet with interns and internship supervisors at least once during the experience. These site visits are just one way that the SOM reinforces its relationships with the Rochester business community, thereby establishing rewarding internship sites for its students. “Alumni are often the best supervisors,” says Cabral. “They’ve been here, they understand the Nazareth experience, and so they’re terrific at designing quality internships. And Rochester is a particularly interesting community in that it’s very supportive of experiential learning.”

Student Spotlight A Visit with Back-to-Schooler Jim Reno ’09 Jim Reno is a manager in software operations for Xerox, where he’s been employed for 38 years. This second act in his college career — graduating from Nazareth with his master’s degree in management in May — has been a long time coming.

W hat ’s you r dre am j ob?

W h at m a d e yo u w a n t to c ome to N a z a r e t h f or yo u r m a s t e r ’ s d e gre e ?

I would love to manage the controls division — electronics and software — of an electric car manufacturer.

The idea originated in a conversation I had with a colleague at work. I had been considering further education and my colleague, a Nazareth alum, described the program here in a way that motivated me to investigate the curriculum. I also have a daughter who’s a Nazareth graduate, so I already had a very positive feeling for the school based on her experience.

What’ s the b e st boo k you ’ve re ad in you r fie ld? I’d have to say A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink. Coming from an engineering background, I tend to engage in a lot of left-brain activities. The case Pink makes for the need for right-brain creativity has convinced me that I have to expand my horizons and increase activities that use the right side of my brain. My personal goal is to improve my management skills, and I think excellent managers use their entire brain to be effective.

Wh at m a d e yo u d e c i d e to s t u dy Ma nag e m en t ? As a mid-level manager, I was interested in further management training. The curriculum for the management major covered all of the areas of management I wanted to know more about. The fact that I could augment the core curriculum with electives in human resources (HR) was an advantage since managers must be able to work well with their HR departments and are often called upon to implement HR policies.

If you cou ld t e ach a cou rs e at Nazareth, what wo u ld it be abou t ? Information systems. At heart, I’m still a computer nerd.

Hav e yo u h a d a favor i t e c la ss at N a z a r e t h?

Ove r all, h ow ha s it been inte gratin g t his acade mic e xpe rie n ce in to you r busy lif e?

I’ve truly enjoyed almost all the courses I’ve taken, but if I was forced to pick one I guess it would have to be the Leadership in Action course taught by Jennifer Leigh, Ph.D. Professor Leigh taught us the evolution of the theories leading to our current understanding of leadership best practices. We discussed and analyzed many case studies of today’s leadership and she managed to push us to be introspective and understand our own leadership strengths and weaknesses.

Well, I think I’ve taken this on at a good time. I have five children and eight grandchildren. All but one of my kids has left the house, and even though I’m certainly active in their lives, I’m not at a point where I have to be an active parent. So I had some time to myself. And have yo u r N aza r eth studie s been he lpin g you to do you r j ob be tter?

Do yo u h av e a favori t e p l ac e to s t u dy o n c a mp u s ?

Absolutely. Every course has given me a better understanding of how our business at Xerox works and has provided me with insights as to why we’re organized the way we are and how decisions are made at higher levels. I can honestly say that, in some way, I’ve been able to apply a portion of what I’ve learned in every course I’ve taken to my workplace.

I have been known to go hide at the single desks in the back of the book racks in the library. It is quiet and there are outlets for my laptop.



Alice Witherow’s Three Steadfast Rules for Succeeding as an Adult Learner

3 Do It Now. You’re not getting

any younger, so why put it off? There’s still time to reap the benefits.

Believe In Yourself. There

will be shaky, scary times for sure.

Just remind yourself how competent you’ve been in the workforce and on the home front, and you’ll feel better.

Manage Your Time. You

should be good at that already, if you’ve come this far in life. But if you need a refresher,

think about planners, prioritizing, and other time management skills you can master.

P r o f i l e

Cable and telecommunications executive Alice Witherow ‘01 refuses to let job longevity breed complacency.


lice Witherow has been with Time Warner Cable since 1985. Doing the quick math, that’s 24 years — practically a lifetime in today’s tumultuous job market. She started working there soon after graduating from college, first in the customer service department and then moving on to marketing.

Working for Time Warner Cable in Rochester has been a great experience for Witherow. She particularly relishes the variety and challenges of what she has to do. “I’m fortunate to be in an industry with new products and technology coming at you all the time,” she says. As director of marketing for the Rochester division, Witherow is involved with project management, product launches, acquisition marketing, and more. “Being in Rochester, we’re very fortunate to be in the forefront of developments like the digital phone and the video recorder,” says Witherow. “We were given the opportunity to roll those out.”

For all of her career success, Witherow has never been one to rest on her laurels. She views every day as an opportunity to learn something new, and when the time felt right, she decided to go back to school to get her master’s degree — another ambitious adult learner, like Jim Reno. “I liked the way Nazareth was set up,” Witherow explains. “You didn’t have to re-take basic accounting and economics and courses like that. This was geared for people in their careers. You could just jump in and get going without having to focus on the basics.” Integrating school with work and family commitments took some juggling. “I dedicated one night a week to my classes and Sunday afternoons to schoolwork,” Witherow explains. She thought she had picked the optimal time to return to school, with her children well along in their own school careers, but in the middle of getting her degree she gave birth to her third child. “So I took one class a semester, and it took me three or four years,” she says. It helped that she loved the environment. “When you’re older, you bring a lot of valuable work experience with you,” she says, “and you’re surrounded with people from all different backgrounds — project managers, people from the nonprofit world. There’s a wealth of information and a good mix in every class.”

Congratulations! Devin J. and Kerry R. Gotham Sport Management Scholarship Jon Randall ’08 McGowan Scholarship Given by the McGowan Charitable Foundation. Emily Payne ’10 Robert C. Miller Entrepreneurial Scholarship Pamela Severin ’09 Jessica Seefried ’09 Jenna Battaglia ’09


Each year, SOM students are recognized with a variety of awards, scholarships, and commendations. We would like to congratulate the latest group of SOM award winners.

Rotenberg Scholarship Awarded to an accounting major, and includes an internship at Rotenberg & Company, an accounting firm in Rochester. Papina LaDelfa ’09 SBC Scholarship Presented by the Small Business Council. Juliette Brind’Amour ’09 Amy Floeser ’10 Outstanding Student Teacher in Business Education Mark Dennis ’08


Excellence in Graduate Management Education Patrick Seche ’08G Excellence in Graduate Human Resource Management Cyndy Windhauser ’08G Excellence in Business and Marketing Education Sarah E. Francis ’08G

SOM L a u nc h i n g

New Joint B.S./M.S. Degree Program i n Acc o u n t i n g

In Memoriam Associate Professor of Accounting


Dan Strong

ollowing are excerpts from the eulogy given by SOM Dean Jerry Zappia at a memorial service for Dan Strong, associate professor of accounting, who passed away unexpectedly on January 19, 2009. He is greatly missed by his many friends and colleagues at Nazareth and throughout the greater community.


he School of Management has announced that a new joint B.S./M.S. degree in accounting will be available to entering freshmen as of fall 2009. Completion of the degree will satisfy the 150 credit hours required to sit for the New York State Certified Public Accounting exam.

In part, the impetus for establishing this program was related to preparing students to meet stringent new requirements for the CPA exam that go into effect on August 1, 2009. This new program is intended to enhance students’ knowledge of business and management. It also aims to improve oral and written communication skills, as well as skills in analysis, critical thinking, and teamwork. Students emerging from this program will be qualified to serve as leaders in the fields of public, private, and nonprofit accounting. “The program has been designed in accordance with recommendations from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and with input from our Accounting Advisory Committee,” says Phyllis Bloom, associate professor and director of the accounting program. The Accounting Curriculum Advisory Committee is composed of regional business leaders, including Nazareth College alumni, who ensure that Nazareth’s accounting program represents the best current practices of the profession. “This new program will prepare students for their competitive and challenging field and provide them with the tools to be leaders,” says Advisory Committee member Louise McAfee ’00, a CPA with Davie Kaplan. “It not only meets the need for additional coursework required before a student can take the CPA exam, it will allow graduates from the program to hit the ground running when they graduate and enter the workforce,” adds fellow Advisory Committee member Laurie Leo ’89, who now serves as controller for Klein Steel.


Several terms could describe Dan: unique, irreverent, earthy, spontaneous, loud, fun, opinionated, passionate, relaxed, uninhibited, conservative, liberal, eccentric, self-effacing, smart, loyal, and kind. However, two words that could never be used to describe Dan are “pretentious” and “fake.” Anyone who met Dan knew that what you saw was what you got.  And it was this honest and open demeanor that allowed him to be so successful in the classroom for 28 years. He never tried to impress people with his expertise in accounting and finance. In fact, he spent a lifetime trying to simplify and bring clarity to these complicated subjects. I often speak with our business alumni and the first person they ask about is Professor Strong. That type of affection is reserved only for those who have done something right. But it is not hard to figure out why students cared for Dan. He loved his students and he loved conversation. Before and after class, you would find Dan speaking with students about topics like the economy, politics, cars, computers, business, relationships, and a lot of other things.  In this day of instant messaging and immediate gratification, Dan was willing to converse with anyone about anything. He firmly believed the liberal arts should be the foundation of a professional education and did not hesitate to share this view with colleagues and students. We all loved Dan. And his loving and wild spirit can never be replaced.  

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Strokes for Scholarships Strokes for Scholarships

You Are Invited To…

Our Second Annual School of Management Alumni Golf Tournament Last year’s first SOM Alumni Golf Tournament was such a success that it immediately qualified as a Nazareth tradition. Here’s your chance to reconnect with classmates while you raise funds for the Michael Dianetti ’83, ’86G Scholarship at Nazareth College, named in honor of the fondly-remembered coach and educator who touched thousands of lives before his death in 2007. It’s a wonderful way to help deserving students while enjoying the links at Penfield’s Shadow Pines Golf Club, a challenging 18-hole championship course covering 6,775 yards of rolling hills and picturesque woods. Join us on Friday, May 29. Registration and breakfast at 9:00 a.m. Shotgun Start at 10 a.m. Lunch at the turn at noon. Awards, prizes, snacks, and networking at 3:30 p.m. For more information or to register for the Tournament,

call 585-389-2569.


The Se cond Schoo A nn u a l of M l ana g e A l u mni me Golf T o u r nam n t May ent 29, 2 009

Nazareth College School of Management Newsletter Spring 2009  

Spring 2009 newsletter for alumni and friends of the Nazareth College School of Management.

Nazareth College School of Management Newsletter Spring 2009  

Spring 2009 newsletter for alumni and friends of the Nazareth College School of Management.