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Riding the Wave of Success

School of Business Executive Advisory Board Craig Allen ’91 Owner All Star Wine and Spirits Stephanie Bartkowiak ’99 Partner Teal, Becker and Chiaramonte, CPAs, PC Ken Blass ’83 CEO Blass Communications Paul DiCaprio ’81 CEO Specialty Silicone Products Diana Ehrlich ’94 Associate Ostroff, Hiffa and Associates Carol Hausamann ’81 Director Marvin and Company Brennan Parker ’00 Vice President Rose and Kiernan, Inc. Bill Phelan ’78 Co-founder and CEO Bright Hub Scot Salvador ’88 EVP Chief Banking Officer Trustco Mark Woroby ’82 Director of Philanthropy Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast New York Mike Zovistoski ‘84 Managing Director UHY Advisors NY, Inc.

siena business Report Spring 2012

5 Seasoned Faculty Teaching First-Year Students

6 Siena Launches Institute for Leadership Development

7 Student Profiles: Hawaiian Punch 8 Alumni Profile: A Dream and A Focus on Skills and Ideals

10 Double Duty 12 Global Connections

Siena Business Report Spring 2012 Published by Siena College 515 Loudon Road Loudonville, NY 12211-1462 Office of Strategic Communications and Integrated Marketing Delcy Fox, Director Editor Jim Eaton, Associate Director of Communications Contributing Writers Jodi Ackerman Frank Jason Rich ’98 Photographers Deb Kelly Sergio Sericolo Design and Production Five Hive Creative

AYCO VISITS SIENA In March, AYCO CEO Joel Schaller visited with students in the Hickey Financial Technology Center.

A message MESSAGE from FROM the THE dean DEAN a

The Siena ­Difference In my frequent meetings with ­prospective students and their ­ families, employers, alumni and friends of the College, I often talk about how a Siena College business education is different and distinctive. Jeffrey Mello, Ph.D. Dean of the School of Business


Siena’s School of Business is one of the few AACSB-accredited schools contained within an undergraduate liberal arts ­college. This strong liberal arts foundation. emphasized during the first two years of study, allows us to deliver our professional p ­ rograms in business with a high level of rigor. In 2008 the Association of American College and Universities published a groundbreaking report on High-Impact ­Educational Practices, documenting how specific practices have been shown to lead to higher-level learning outcomes. Siena College has embraced these practices as part of the academic excellence component of our strategic plan and the School of Business has integrated these practices throughout our curricula. Siena’s newly-designed college core includes an ­intensive ­First-Year Seminar experience which focuses on c­ ritical ­thinking, frequent oral and written p ­ resentations, ­multidisciplinary ­approaches to social problems and ­collaborative learning. Our internship and study abroad p ­ rograms have rigorous academic requirements which set them apart from programs typical at other institutions. Siena’s c­ ommunity engagement and undergraduate research programs allow students the opportunity to put into practice the v­ alues of our Franciscan heritage and set the stage for continued ­intellectual development and lifelong learning. We do much more, however, than simply deliver these ­distinctive components of the Siena School of Business e­ xperience. Our rigorous assessment program ensures that all of these ­academic initiatives have specific well-defined l­earning outcomes and that data are collected to ensure that these o ­ utcomes are being met, if not exceeded. As evidence of this, employers constantly mention the “added value” of hiring Siena students as interns or employees. Alumni regularly tell me how Siena “changed my life.” In keeping with the theme of our strategic plan, we are proud to truly deliver “the education of a lifetime.”

School of Business Strategic Plan 2011–2014 1. Provide an education that is differentiated, continuously improving and well suited to the dynamic global business environment. 2. Provide all students with ­multiple opportunities to engage in challenging applied learning ­experiences within our academic programs. 3. Better articulate, integrate and apply Siena’s Fransciscan and liberal arts traditions to our teaching, research and service. 4. Enhance the interaction and collaboration among faculty and students. 5. Broaden the involvement of stakeholders with open and ­honest dialogue.

FACULTY PUBLICATIONS JOSEPH G. ALLEGRETTI, “The Client Comes First, Unless He’s Crooked: Legal and Professional Ethics in Raymond C ­ handler’s The Big Sleep” in Creighton Law Review 44 (2011): 581. ELIZABETH A. MARCUCCIO, LEONARD E. STOKES and JOHN ARPEY, “Ethical Intervention During the College Years” in ­Mustang Journal of Business and Ethics 2 (2011): 150-161.

Seasoned Faculty Teaching First-Year Students


rofessor Jim ­Nolan ’75, former dean of Siena’s

School of Business, teaches operations management and statistics. He also teaches a course called Local History National and/or Worldwide Impact. The class is part of Siena’s new First-Year Seminar program in which faculty from all three schools serve as scholars and mentors to enhance the academic and campus life experience of first-year students. “The focus of the First-Year S­ eminar is to prepare all first-year students for the intellectual life of a liberal arts ­college,” Nolan said. “We teach them how to read critically, a­ rticulate ap ­ osition on ideas or an issue, write ­clearly and effectively and make ­connections between and among ­readings and subjects they are studying.” The program is based on a “teacherpassion” model, which allows seminar faculty the opportunity to teach a subject they do not have a chance to

i­ncorporate in their general field of study. Students, therefore, have myriad themes from which they can choose, ranging from the relationship between science and religion to local h ­ istory. Each class also incorporates four Franciscan core values: heritage, natural world, diversity and social ­justice. ­Classes are held in seminar rooms that allow students to engage in group ­discussion. Michael Kelly ’15, who is deciding on a business major, said the class has helped enhance his critical-thinking skills. “I have learned to think more in depth about what I am reading and have also learned how to write better,” he said. Max Morse ’15, an accounting major who also is taking Nolan’s class, ­explained how the course has benefited him personally. “It’s fun to learn about the people and companies from local areas that have impacted the world,” said Morse, who got the chance to see the Erie Canal on a recent field trip organized by Nolan. “It

shows that no matter where we’re from, we can all make a difference.” He also said the class has helped him adjust to campus life. “It has helped me to be more outgoing because we discuss and debate in every class instead of mostly taking notes,” he added. Nolan said that the First-Year Seminar has also benefitted him as a professor. “It is a great opportunity for me as a faculty member from the School of ­Business to teach a course that intersects with my professional academic interests and the study of liberal arts,” he said. “Overall, this class has been a positive experience that has given me valuable tools to use at Siena and later in my life,” Kelly said.

KATHERINE J. SILVESTER, “Coffee Anyone? An Unstructured Capital Budgeting Project to Encourage Critical Thinking Skills in ­Accounting Students” in Journal of Business Case Studies 8 (2012): 223-236. IRWIN W. MORGAN and JAMES P. MURTAGH, “An Analysis of Global Credit Risk Spreads During Crises” in Managerial Finance 38 (2012): 341-358.


Siena ­Launches Institute for Leadership ­Development As a way to d ­ evelop and a­ dminister cost-effective leadership t­ raining ­programs for business and ­nonprofit leaders in the Capital Region and ­beyond, Siena College has launched the Institute for Leadership ­Development (ILD).


“Employers today are facing ­unprecedented challenges related to an unstable economic environment, ­changing customer demands and new technologies. To address these ­issues, leaders need to develop new ­competencies, refine existing ­practices and create cultures that foster c­ ontinuous improvement, all at ­affordable costs,” said Charles Seifert, Ph.D., professor of management who will serve as ILD executive director. ILD, which will operate under the School of Business, will develop ­customized leadership programs ­designed to enhance the effectiveness of leaders at all levels in an ­organization. Examples of program offerings include team building, leading change, ­ethical and legal responsibility, financial literacy, building trust, designing and

delivering diversity initiatives and 360 degree feedback programs. The training s­ essions will be led largely by Siena ­faculty members. ILD also plans to offer an executive coaching ­program, which will provide one-onone ­coaching for executives looking to enhance a specific area of personal or professional development. “The ILD will provide a ­collaborative partnership with area organizations to enhance their effectiveness through programs customized for their current needs and future plans,” said Jeff Mello, dean of the School of Business. “Faculty will also gain professional development opportunities, which will further inform their practice-centered teaching.” The concept of the ILD evolved in part from a partnership between Saratoga Hospital and Siena that began in

2008. Called the Saratoga Hospital Siena ­College Leadership Institute, the ­program offers certification in each of three tracks that are progressive in nature. “The goal has been to integrate the latest leadership theories with solid, evidence-based healthcare practices to nurture, shape and equip current and emerging healthcare leaders to be fully engaged in the leadership role,” Seifert said. “Our partnership with Siena College for leadership development has brought a higher level of thinking as it relates to how our leaders function, how they commit to their own development and how they work to advance the strategic priorities of our organization,” said Marcy Dreimiller, director of human resources at Saratoga Hospital.

FACULTY PUBLICATIONS CHERYL L. BUFF, “Learning and Mission in Action: Implementing Problem-Based Service Learning in the ­Consumer Behavior Classroom” in International Journal of Business Research 11 (2011): 123-130. ADAM NGUYEN and WESLEY CRAGG, “Interorganizational Favor Exchange and the Relationship between Doing Well and Doing Good” in Journal of Business Ethics 105 (2012): 53-68.

Student PROFILE S Despite being a long way from home, Taylor Akana ‘14 (left) and Lesli Akeo ‘14 (below) have excelled on court and in the classroom. They will likely graduate as two of the best volleyball players to wear the green and gold.

Hawaiian Punch


esli Akeo ’14 and Taylor Akana ’14 attended high school together on ­Hawaii’s island of Oahu, a fact not lost on their ­classmates.

“They’re always surprised,” Akeo says. “The first question is usually: ‘Why?’ They think we live in big beach houses and go to the beach every day. It isn’t like that. We go to school, work, just like everyone else.” Well, maybe not just like everyone else. Akana admits she can hold her own on a surfboard. Akeo can speak ­Hawaiian and has danced the hula since she was three. In April she performed

the dance with Siena’s Polynesian ­Culture Club, a group she helped form as a freshman. Most are also surprised to learn the 5’3” Akeo, and not-quite 5’7” Akana, are two of the best volleyball players ever to come through Siena’s storied program. Akeo will likely graduate as the p ­ rogram’s all-time leader in digs, and Akana was the 2011 MAAC Player of the Year after leading the ­conference in kills. The chance to play for a s­ uccessful ­Division I volleyball program was a ­major reason both students d ­ ecided to make the 4,956 mile voyage to ­Loudonville, N.Y., but it was equally critical the College have an excellent business school. Each has taken full advantage of both opportunities.

Akeo carries a 3.7 grade point average in management and Akana, a marketing major, posted a perfect 4.0 in the fall, raising her GPA to 3.9. They describe their Siena education as a transformative experience. “Siena has really helped me analyze market techniques and think of issues more analytically and intellectually,” Akana said. “The class lessons relate to the real world. I really enjoy earning that way.” Akeo’s development has been more personal. “Siena’s made me much more independent. I know I’m managing my life now, and I’ve grown to trust people more.” Both see a career in business on the horizon, but they’re in no rush to get there. Akeo would like to travel the world and Akana might be able to play beach ­volleyball professionally. “We’re on Hawaiian time,” Akeo jokes. “That was the biggest adjustment coming here. Everyone is in such a hurry. People are always racing by us on the way to class. We walk really slowly.” Success is a journey, not a ­destination.

MICHAEL S. PEPE, RUSSELL ABRATT and PAUL DION, “Competitive Advantage, Private Label Brands and Category Profitability” in Journal of Marketing Management 28 (2012): 154-172. MICHAEL S. PEPE, “Customer Lifetime Value: A Vital Marketing/Financial Concept for Businesses” in Journal of Business and ­Economics Research 10 (2012): 1-10.



FACULTY PUBLICATIONS JEFFREY W. LIPPITT and ERIC E. LEWIS, “Industry Cycles and Firm Value.” International Business and Economics Conference (2012). JAMES P. MURTAGH, “G7 Equity Index Reaction to the 2008 Financial Crisis.” Allied Academies International Conference (2011).

A Dream and a Focus on Skills and Ideals


While working at a U-Haul store in an entry-­level position, Jeff Connelly ’79 focused on his college studies with the prospect that he would someday lead a major enterprise. Today he leads GE’s global water purification business of 3,000 employees as Vice President of Engineered Systems. “I liked the feel of running and g­ rowing a business and Siena helped to reaffirm that the business world is where I wanted to be,” said ­Connelly, a Schenectady, N.Y. native who g­ raduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management. Eventually, after his promotion at U ­ -Haul as a company manager, ­Connelly accepted a job at E ­ mery Air Freight, which specialized in d ­ elivering heavy freight, such as turbine and g­ enerator components. GE was his biggest client. Knowing by then that he wanted a career with a global ­opportunity to grow, he began to n ­ etwork with GE executives and was hired as part of a team for GE’s Power Systems ­Sourcing Management Program in 1989. Connelly, whose career ­catapulted from there, has held numerous l­eadership roles since then both in S­ chenectady and Greenville, S.C., primarily in the m ­ anufacturing and sourcing operations in GE’s Energy Products Division. In 2006, he was ­promoted to his current position in Burlington, Mass., near Boston. The advice that Connelly typically gives interns and new employees, as well as to Siena students when he comes to campus as a speaker, is the importance of 21st century leadership skills that business executives and recruiters look for in the hiring process, such as the ability to be a team player and being open to new ideas. He also explains that it is not critical to have a career mapped out perfectly in the beginning. “The reality is that the world changes more rapidly than we think,” said C ­ onnelly, who also is a member of ­Siena’s Board of Associate Trustees. “But, you will go a long way if you know what energizes and motivates you.” “For me, I knew that building teams and operating a business were ideals I wanted to pursue,” he added. “Having that knowledge early on was shaped by my ­experiences at Siena, and that helped me evaluate every decision along the way.”

Jeff Connelly ’79, vice president of engineered systems in GE’s water purification business, discusses operational efficiency tactics with 14 Chinese companies in Shanghai. The Siena marketing and management alum offers his expertise to educate clients on team building at the first Crotonville-sponsored Leadership, Innovation and Strategy program.


Double Duty When she is working as a marketing a­ ssistant at Madison Handbags, a company in Troy that makes custom handbags and purses, ­Jenna ­Kanterman ’12 assists with the monthly ­newsletter, creates ­promotional flyers and helps with photo shoots and the company catalog. But, that is only half of what she is required to do to for her college internship course.


The other half is in the classroom, where, among other things, she learns how to write a professional resume, build a portfolio, search for and evaluate job offers and present a good interview. She and her classmates also have to submit weekly journals, write a research paper, keep up with current events and ­attend business and career center events. ­Students even get a dose of business ­dining etiquette. “Everything I learn in this class has helped to prepare me not only for my internship, but also for a career after ­college,” Kanterman said. The Internship Program in the School of Business has always been ­rigorous, but Kanterman is one of the first s­ tudents partaking in the ­enhanced ­version that adds additional elements and is taken for a grade rather than pass/ fail.

“The focus of every aspect of this internship course is to position s­ tudents for success in their internship and in their search for a job after they g­ raduate,” said Ken Williams, director of the Internship Program who teaches the course. “Our internship program has the most rigorous academic component of any I’ve seen,” said Jeff Mello, dean of School of Business. “We also work to ensure that the job responsibilities ­associated with the internship both ­challenge students and allow them to apply their classroom learning.”

Connecting Students with the Business World Students can choose from more than 65 business-related internships with f­ or-profit organizations, such as the financial firm AYCO and KPMG,

a ­tax-service firm, as well as startup ­companies working with Siena’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “We see the relationship between Ayco and the Siena interns as a win-win,” said Joel Schaller, Ayco’s ­president and CEO. “The interns get valuable, real-world employment ­experience in the financial industry, while Ayco benefits from the hard work of students who are bright, ­focused, ­energetic and well-rounded — the same attributes we seek in an Ayco ­associate.” Students can also intern for ­nonprofit organizations, such as Interfaith ­Partnership for the Homeless and ­Wildwood (a center that serves children with disabilities) as well as ­governmental entities, such as the New York State Department of Health.

MARGARET GARNSEY and ANDREA HOTALING. (2012, January). Investigating Transaction Data: Using Queries to Answer Business Questions. American Accounting Association Information Systems Section, Scottsdale, Arizona. ERIC E. LEWIS and KENNETH E. WILLIAMS. (2012, January). Return Differentials on Cyclical and Counter-Cyclical Capital Investments. International Business and Economics Conference, Orlando, Florida.

“We are very fortunate to have such a strong relationship with alumni and the general business community, which has meant that we have been able to ensure an ample supply of internship choices for students,” Williams said.

Hands On, Real World First and foremost, an internship ­ rovides students with experiential p learning. “I can give them a good foundation in class, but the real world is where the learning sticks,” said Williams, a veteran businessman and entrepreneur who has launched and helped launch a number of businesses including a technology inventory management company and a financial services company.

Marketing major Dan Vincent ’12 agrees. “In the classroom, students only get a cookie-cutter image of how ­businesses run,” Vincent said. “In a real office s­ etting, you learn that there are both i­nefficient and efficient processes, ­conflicts, fun, excitement and tedious work — almost anything you can ­imagine.” Vincent, who is interning with ­Horizon Bradco, a commercial food equipment distributor in Schenectady, N.Y., says his responsibilities runs the gamut, from securing new customers and developing marketing strategies to updating customer databases and ­monitoring online presence. Still, Vincent says he also benefits from his coursework.

“Professor Williams provides a good overview of a business environment, and that’s helpful,” Vincent said. “He also gives us many tips on how to be ­successful in life in general. We even learn about personal financial planning.” “Students learn critical life and career-building skills from all elements of the internship course experience,” Williams says. “Being on time, meeting deadlines, communicating effectively and managing resources are just some of the c­ ompetencies that students develop through work both on the academic side and on the real-world side. They can learn something in class in the morning and use what they learned during their internship on the same day.”

FACULTY PRESENTATIONS DONALD J. RAUX (2011, October). State of the Art Course Management Systems: Great for Student Learning and for Course Assessment. International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning, San Diego, California. KATHERINE J. SILVESTER (2012, January). Capital Budgeting Project for Accounting Students: A New Business Analysis; Presentation DW12-424. International Business and Economics Conference, Orlando, Florida.



515 Loudon Road Loudonville, NY 12211-1462 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS When ­Katelyn Aziz ’12 ­traveled to Italy last May for the first time, she ­experienced a bit of ­culture shock. She was ­immersed in a language she couldn’t speak and had to learn about currency e ­ xchange. “I was a little intimidated at first by how different the culture was in relation to ours, but the trip made everything I was taught in class so much more real,” said the psychology major who has taken several business courses. The 12-day study tour in which Aziz joined 23 other students showcases the increased importance that the School of Business has placed on connecting students to the global economy. The trip

culminated from the coordination of an intensive international business course and a classics class. “The classes and resulting trip were all about providing students with a global perspective, teaching them about ­individual cultures and about how ­countries influence one another in the business world,” said Deborah Kelly, associate professor of management. She chaperoned the trip along with Michael Sham, professor of modern languages and classics. Before the trip, students took Global Connection, a three-credit international business course taught by Kelly that ­focused on international business ­principles, practices and ­communication skills. They also focused heavily on ­international current events at a time when the Arab Spring revolution was unfolding. ­Students were required to write research

papers, conduct oral ­presentations and write a post-trip ­reflection paper. The students also took a three-credit ­classics course, developed and taught by Sham, that focused on Italian history, art, ­religion, architecture and language. Aside from visiting centuries-old towns, ancient ruins, churches, museums and learning the subway system, students got a firsthand look at the present day leather, jewelry and glassblowing industries. “Without international tourists, many areas of the country would ­probably become ghost towns,” noted Vincent ­Traversa ’12, a math major with a concentration in economics who said he learned much about Italy’s tourism industry. “Students get so much out of the study tours, having the opportunity to see ­firsthand what they’ve learned in class,” Kelly said.

FACULTY PRESENTATIONS AARON PACITTI and W. SCOTT TREES (2011, October). A Minimum Wage Classroom Experiment for a Principles of Economics Course. New York State Sociological Association, Loudonville, New York. THOMAS KOPP and JAMES MURTAGH (2011, September). Student Capstone Performance: Is Prior Performance A Predictor? Academy of Business Education Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida. THOMAS KOPP and FANG (JENNY) ZHAO (2011, September). The Impact of Problem Based Service Learning on Student Performance and Satisfaction. Academy of Business Education Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida. MANIMOY PAUL and LEANNE GELISH (2011, October). College Students’ Texting Habit and Their GPA. Allied Academics International Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada.

School of Business Report Spring 2012  

Featuring: Seasoned Faculty Teaching First-YearStudents Siena Launches Institute for LeadershipDevelopment Student Profiles: Hawaiian Punch...