Fall Villanova Business Magazine 2020

Page 1

Fall 2020


Our Changing World

SPOTLIGHT / P10 Mark Redmond Calls Upon His VSB Values


The Gmelich Lab for Financial Markets

INSIDE VSB / P18 VU Women in Tech Celebrates Five Years

The Helen and William O’Toole Dean Joyce E. A. Russell, PhD

Assistant Dean, Talent & Staff Development, Community & External Outreach Cathy J. Toner, JD, MJ

12 10


Associate Director of Communication and Editor Shannon M. Wilson

Contributors Becca Gleeson ’20 VSB Ashley Haines ’23 CLAS Lauren Higgins Kate Lowe Ian MacPherson ’20 VSB Stephanie McMinn Amy Swift Meghan Winch ’15 MA Kelsea Wong ’21 VSB

Design and Production


1 FEATURE STORY Our Changing World A Special Update from Dean Russell



Matthew Schmidt Design

Principal Photography Ed Cunicelli

Villanova Business is available online at business.villanova.edu. To update your mailing address, email alumni@villanova.edu. Send comments and questions to: VSBCommunicationsandMarketing @villanova.edu.


Villanova Business 800 Lancaster Avenue Villanova, PA 19085-1678 610-519-5424 business.villanova.edu


Follow us:

12 DONOR PROFILE Victoria and Justin Gmelich ’90 VSB Lab for Financial Markets

Janice Sipior, PhD



@VillanovaBusiness Villanova School of Business Villanova School of Business


Our Changing World

A Special Update from Dean Russell The world has changed in unimaginable ways over the last six months. The COVID-19 pandemic has required VSB to adapt alongside the rest of the world and we’ve been inspired by so many stories of strength and resilience in our community. The early weeks of the pandemic seem like a lifetime ago. In a matter of a few days, VSB faculty, staff and students quickly transitioned to working from home and remote instruction for more than 350 courses. This unprecedented situation obviously presented challenges, but our community overcame these hurdles with grace, determination and the sense of unity that makes Villanova so special. As the duration of the virtual learning experience turned from weeks to months, our faculty and staff worked together to address concerns, demonstrate leadership and support our students. A faculty committee was formed to share best practices for teaching in a virtual environment. VSB partnered with the VU Career Center to advise and mentor students who were facing lost or reduced internships and jobs. Additionally, we expanded the Summer Business Institute to help non-business students who were also facing lost career opportunities. An all-time high of 157 students earned a business minor or certificate in business through SBI online. We know that the Class of 2020 did not have the final few months of classes or the commencement experience they wanted, but they handled a difficult situation with grace, dignity and perseverance.

Please visit business.villanova.edu for continued updates to our DEI initiatives; details of our health and safety plans for the fall semester; and additional stories of our students, faculty and alumni demonstrating leadership and helping others throughout the pandemic.

Our faculty continues to share their world-class expertise on the economic and financial repercussions of COVID-19 with the media. VSB faculty have been featured in several dozen radio and television interviews and have appeared in numerous digital and print communications. This growing collection of stories amplifies our dedication to developing business leaders for a better world. Members of our alumni and student community have been applying our Augustinian Catholic values to help those in need in these challenging times. We continue to be inspired by stories like Madeline Chang ’20 VSB, who made thousands of Villanova-themed masks with help from her family and donated them to frontline workers. Or Michelle Sparrow ’13 EMBA, who rallied former classmates to support her efforts to provide the Navajo Nation with hand sanitizer, personal protective equipment and food for hospital staff. Dante Giraldi ’22 VSB ran a half-marathon to raise funds to provide meals and support for those on the frontline and in his own community. These stories of Caritas are among countless others of our alumni and students doing their part in their local communities and beyond. In a time of uncertainty and distress for so many, contributions like these are what make me so proud to be part of this Villanova community.


We have also been inspired and humbled by efforts these past few months to address racial injustices. When we began working on the VSB Strategic Plan in 2017, we identified diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as integral components, as outlined in the winter 2019 and spring 2020 issues of Villanova Business. We have made progress in these areas, but we recognize, like the University has, that we have more work to do. We are listening to our community and are committed to learning, growing and understanding. Above all, we are committed to providing an environment that is welcoming and inclusive for all students, faculty, staff and alumni. To that end, we have revised our diversity, equity and inclusion plans to include more actionable steps with visible outcomes. We have expanded our VSB Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, led by Terrill Drake, VSB’s Head Diversity Officer and associate dean, Strategic Initiatives. We are creating new training for faculty and staff that actively engages the community in dialogue about DEI topics and issues, and we are working to increase representation of underrepresented racial, ethnic, gender, socio-economic, religious, spiritual and other social identities, backgrounds and cultures across faculty, staff and students. This is important work. As the business world becomes more global, business schools need to mirror the real world.

Employers have told us that they want students who can work with individuals from different backgrounds and experiences. Above all, creating an environment that is diverse, equitable and inclusive is consistent with our Augustinian Catholic mission and values. I encourage you to visit our website for additional details and continued updates on our DEI initiatives. As we returned to campus this fall, with our facial coverings and safety protocols in place, things looked and felt different. Class sizes were smaller, and some classes were even held outdoors. We will continue to maximize the best online learning tools available to supplement our in-person learning. We are committed to the shared responsibility of keeping the community healthy and safe to ensure a successful semester. This is truly a time like no other, but through it all, Villanovans have proven their strength and resilience. I have never been more honored to serve as your dean. I am confident that we will meet the challenges ahead, seeking truth through caring for one another.

Joyce E. A. Russell, PhD The Helen and William O’Toole Dean Professor of Management Villanova School of Business

V I L L A N O VA N S M A K I N G A D I F F E R E N C E Our faculty continues to share their worldclass expertise on the economic and financial repercussions of COVID-19 with the media.

Madeline Chang ’20 VSB made Villanovathemed masks with help from her family and donated them to frontline workers.

Michelle Sparrow ’13 EMBA provided the Navajo Nation with hand sanitizer, PPE and food for hospital staff.


Villanova Business Fall 2020

Dante Giraldi ’22 VSB ran a half-marathon to raise funds to provide meals and support for those on the frontline.


Faculty and Staff Achievements

VSB boasts world-class faculty and staff members who are both nationally and internationally renowned.

Beth Vallen, PhD

Jessica Taylor

Recognized for Research on Consumers and Food Waste

Invited to Join Board of the American Real Estate Society

Beth Vallen, PhD, associate professor, Marketing & Business Law, and her co-authors received the 2020 Thomas C. Kinnear Award for an outstanding article, “The Squander Sequence: Understanding Food Waste at Each Stage of the Consumer Decision-Making Process” in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. Dr. Vallen and her team focused on waste that “occurs from consumer behaviors prior to purchase, at the point of purchase, and when consuming and disposing of food.” The research aims to understand the psychological background of consumer-level food waste. Dr. Vallen states that “food waste presents a complex global problem that is driven by parties and institutions across the food marketing system...Understanding why consumers waste food is a critical first step in developing solutions to mitigate waste.”

Jessica Taylor, director of the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate, was invited to join the board of the American Real Estate Society (ARES). The society is dedicated to sharing knowledge about real estate decision-making and markets. ARES also focuses on facilitating communication between university faculty and practicing professionals to promote research and education in the field of real estate. Taylor is one of 20 directors currently serving on the ARES board, and the only non-academic member that has ever been elected to represent a university. “I am honored to serve as a leader of this organization—the role will elevate awareness of the many strengths of real estate at Villanova and will allow me to contribute by sharing best practices with fellow real estate thought leaders,” said Taylor on her election to the board.



Two VSB Students Selected as

Poets & Quants 2020 Best & Brightest Business Majors Two Villanova School of Business students—Saachi Bedi ’20 VSB and Julie Snitzer ’20 VSB—were selected as Poets & Quants for Undergrads Best & Brightest Business Majors of 2020. Saachi Bedi ’20 VSB


Saachi Bedi From Princeton Junction, New Jersey, Bedi was a Finance major. She served as a research assistant for the Victoria and Justin Gmelich ’90 Lab for Financial Markets, events committee head and secretary for the Business and Leadership Society, and vice president of Philanthropy for the Alpha Phi Fraternity. Bedi is also a Gold Award recipient and lifetime member of the Girl Scouts. She has interned with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs. After graduation, Bedi returned to Goldman Sachs as an investment banking analyst. Shelly Howton, PhD, chair of the Department of Finance & Real Estate, told Poets & Quants, “Saachi is a very strong advocate of promoting and supporting women in finance and has worked hard during her years in VSB to ensure she is a role model for future women Finance majors. She is a born leader who often leads by example.”

Julie Snitzer ’20 VSB

Poets & Quants chose 100 students from around the nation who use their skills to impact business in creative ways and who are poised to be the future leaders of the business world.


Villanova Business Fall 2020

Julie Snitzer Snitzer, of Arlington Heights, Illinois, was a Marketing major with a minor in Finance. She was actively involved on campus in a variety of roles, including serving as a VSB Ambassador, a local program host for Pennsylvania Special Olympics and a peer mentor for the Villanova Honors Program. She has also studied abroad in London, England, and in Cape Town, South Africa. She has interned with Grove Communication, Air Line Pilots Association and Newell Brands. She will begin working at Mercer as a career consulting analyst. "Julie is an outstanding member of the Class of 2020,” said Cathy Toner, JD, assistant dean, Talent & Staff Development, Community and External Outreach. She continued, “I met Julie when she was a freshman, and she impressed me with her maturity, positive attitude and willingness to learn. One of the things I most appreciate about her is that she actively seeks opportunities to study and learn in different countries and cultures. Julie enhances the Villanova community with her presence and lives the Augustinian ideals of Veritas, Unitas and Caritas every day.”


Michael Badey ’22 VSB

Ryan DiLeva ’22 VSB

Aileen Manion ’22 VSB

Sam Saferstein ’22 VSB

Andrew Brown ’22 VSB


Jose Campos ’22 VSB

Katherine Long ’22 VSB

Hayley Snyder ’22 VSB

Ian Waggoner ’22 VSB

Bridget Ryan ’20 CLAS

Bryan Kent ’22 VSB

Padraig Loftus ’22 VSB

Sean Oates ’22 VSB

Stephanie Frank ’23 VSB

Steven Guachichullca ’22 VSB

Ian MacPherson ’20 VSB

Patrick Connors ’22 VSB

Matthew LaSorsa ’20 CLAS, ’21 VSB

Sophie Matthews ’21 VSB

Keegan Skinner ’22 VSB

VSB students are well-informed, highly motivated individuals who excel in the classroom and beyond. Students come from more than 40 states and more than 30 countries, bringing with them diverse backgrounds and experiences. Colette Termaat ’22 VSB

Michael Zuschlag ’22 VSB

Read about their accomplishments on pages 6–7.



Bartley BriefCASE Challenge Each academic year, VSB juniors team up to design solutions to real-life business problems in the bi-annual Bartley briefCASE Challenge. The case challenge is part of the Backpack to Briefcase professional development program, designed to holistically prepare students for success and leadership in business throughout their four-year VSB experience. The teams’ solutions are evaluated by judging panels comprised of VSB faculty and business executives. In the fall 2019 semester, students studied the company Hot Chicken Takeover (HCT), a fast-casual Nashville-style fried chicken restaurant based in Columbus, Ohio. Teams were tasked with developing an expansion plan for the restaurant, including marketing campaigns, financing plans and long-term growth plans. In the spring 2020 semester, teams studied Facebook, Inc. Students were tasked with advising the board on how to handle advertising on both quantitative and qualitative fronts while considering questions of privacy, regulation and ethical responsibility.

Mulroy Real Estate Challenge The DiLella Center hosted its 11th annual Mulroy Real Estate Challenge. This year, 28 teams from the top undergraduate real estate programs in the nation competed virtually on a development project case that incorporated all aspects from financing to design. The students presented to senior executives from top firms from all areas of the commercial real estate industry.

Fr. John Farrell

Fr. Farrell Undergraduate Research Award

Bartley BriefCASE Winners


Villanova Business Fall 2020

FALL 2019


Michael Badey Ryan DiLeva Aileen Manion Sam Saferstein

Andrew Brown Jose Campos Katherine Long Hayley Snyder Ian Waggoner

Congratulations to Bridget Ryan ’20 CLAS, the inaugural winner of the Fr. Farrell Undergraduate Research Award. Ryan’s research studied the female labor force participation rate and international market volatility utilizing Stata, R and Bloomberg data. Named in honor of the late Fr. John Farrell, who taught economics at Villanova for two decades, and initiated by a donation from Scott Steel ’01 VSB, this award is dedicated to supporting undergraduate research projects in economics.


VSB Wins Elon Case Competition From February 21–22, the Center for Business Analytics sponsored a team of VSB students to compete in the Champion® Analytics Case Competition (CACC) at Elon University. The case competition was hosted by the Elon Center for Organizational Analytics with HanesBrands. The case competition allows students the opportunity to build and demonstrate their data analytics and visualization skills to professionals in the data analytics community. There were 12 teams selected to attend from schools including Auburn University, Wake Forest University, and William & Mary. Teams were made up of graduate or undergraduate students in various fields, including data science, computer science, math, statistics, business and media analytics.

The VSB team: Bryan Kent ’22 VSB Padraig Loftus ’22 VSB Sean Oates ’22 VSB The team was tasked with creating a solution based on a case in the apparel industry.

Teams were presented with Champion sales data and were tasked with projecting sales patterns and estimating project demand for 20 different products. David Anderson, assistant professor of Management & Operations, helped the team prepare for the case competition.

VSB Students Recognized in Blockchain Hackathon VU hosted an “idea hackathon” from November 15–17, bringing together nine interdisciplinary teams of students from across the University’s schools and colleges to examine poverty as a global epidemic. Teams developed solutions for promoting economic growth by leveraging blockchain technology. Ian MacPherson ’20 VSB and his team took second place. They used blockchain with a mobile app to track a government aid program and monitor cash flows to eliminate corruption and inefficiency. Their goal was to create transparent, quantifiable and sustainable policies to lift the economy and reduce poverty. Stephanie Frank ’23 VSB and Steven Guachichullca ’22 VSB won honorable mention for creating a coin that placed a value on a meal prepared by a college dining service. Unused meals can be donated by students to a nonprofit that can then distribute the unused food to those in poverty using a blockchain transaction record system.

VSB Advances to National Finals in Deloitte Audit Innovation Campus Challenge Last fall, a team of VSB Accounting majors traveled to compete in the annual Deloitte Audit Innovation Campus Challenge. The challenge awards students for ideas that revolutionize the audit, and the mission statement for 2020 was to incorporate artificial intelligence into the assurance process in some new way. The team from Villanova included Patrick Connors ’22 VSB; Matthew LaSorsa ’20 CLAS, ’21 VSB; Sophie Matthews ’21 VSB; Keegan Skinner ’22 VSB; Colette Termaat ’22 VSB; and Michael Zuschlag ’22 VSB. The team was accompanied by local Deloitte Philadelphia partner Scott King ’92 VSB and faculty advisor Associate Professor Patricia Dorris-Crenny ’82 VSB. The team was preparing to compete in April against the other regional finalists at Deloitte University in Texas for the national finals when the competition was canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis. Deloitte presented all the members of the regional finalist teams and their universities with cash awards.


Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate A Class Unto Herself

A nonprofit leader and a poet with an entrepreneurial mindset, Trapeta B. Mayson ’15 EMBA masterfully blends her experiences to pursue her life’s mission.

“I want to leave the world better than I found it.”


In December 2019, the Free Library of Philadelphia selected Mayson as the city’s next poet laureate. Although she may be the first MBA ever to hold this cultural position, Mayson says her experiences in the Villanova Executive MBA program have enabled her to contribute more to her community and her craft.

Focused on Community Mayson has spent her career in the nonprofit world, mainly at organizations supporting mental health, intellectual disabilities and substance abuse, as well as working with the arts at the Please Touch Museum. Today she serves as the chief program officer for COMHAR, Inc., where she develops programming for 11,000 individuals with mental health challenges and intellectual disabilities in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. “My work is my mission. It’s about helping people live the lives they want to live.” It’s a calling, much like her other career as a poet.

An Excerpt from “On Sunday They Will Come”

Immigration Raid Likely Starting Sunday Will it be before or after Mass she wonders Should they avoid the market Should they play checkers first Should mommy cook all of the week’s meal Like her usual routine Or leave it Since they are coming on Sunday –Trapeta B. Mayson ’15 EMBA

Mayson started writing in the fifth grade but became serious about it in high school. In her 20s, she knew she wanted to pursue writing but didn’t call herself a poet until her 30s, when she found her voice and discovered the importance of making writing accessible. “For me, writing and poetry is about truth telling,” Mayson shared. “It helps me process what I see in the world and then I try to turn it into a more universal experience.”

Fulfilling Her Purpose Some in Mayson’s circles questioned how an MBA could support her nonprofit work or her poetry, but Mayson saw the Villanova EMBA as the means to contribute more to both. “I’ve always thought like an entrepreneur,” Mayson explained. “Artists are always looking for ways to make a living and sustain themselves. A solid foundation in business and leadership has allowed me to contribute more.” Even before becoming the poet laureate, Mayson was well regarded as a teaching artist in the Philadelphia literary community. She created programs for children in schools and juvenile detention centers, as well as people in shelters or correctional institutions, using poetry as a way to explore their stories and their choices. Now, Mayson will grow her reach further. During her term as the city’s poet laureate, she plans to focus on mental health and young people, using poetry as part of the healing process. She also wants to bring together poets and visual artists to create exhibits in libraries throughout the city. Another project will focus on culture, food and poetry in partnership with the Reading Terminal Market. Plus, she plans to pay tribute to the legendary Toni Morrison. All this, plus her day job, in the next two years. Mayson isn’t letting time quell her ambition at all. “Art has a way of calling you to make it happen,” she concluded.



Mark Redmond calls upon his VSB values and education to help thousands of at-risk teens “It all started at Villanova,” said Mark Redmond ’79 VSB. He’s reflecting on his career path, which began, traditionally enough, with a business degree from VSB and a management trainee position in New York City. Today, Redmond is the executive director of Spectrum Youth and Family Services, working with at-risk youth in Burlington, Vermont.

"Covenant House recognized the need and got the ball rolling. I was very impressed with their work and figured I could volunteer for a couple of hours a week," Redmond said. "Instead, the director offered me a full-time volunteer position to live there and work with the kids 40 hours a week; the position came with a weekly stipend of $12.”

“During senior year, I read a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer about a guy named Edward Fischer walking home to Philadelphia from Guatemala to raise money,” Redmond said. “It made an impression on me. Then, I attended Mass at the Villanova chapel, and there is Edward speaking about that journey; I was transfixed. I really wanted to talk to him, but I didn’t have the courage then.”

Remembering Mr. Fischer’s lessons, Redmond heard the offer as his call to service and worked up the courage to answer. He gave up his management position and his apartment and started working and living at Covenant House. Through his work there, Redmond discovered why “God put me on earth” and, nearly 40 years later, he is still hard at work helping kids.

That spring, he completed his degree, accepted a job with an insurance firm and moved to New York. He was all set for a comfortable life in corporate leadership, helping the firm increase assets and market share. “One day I was in a meeting where a senior VP was explaining how we could all help meet the company’s goal for the next decade of increasing their assets by $1 billion. I realized this was not my life’s goal.”

Before joining Spectrum in 2003, Redmond worked with youth organizations in the Bronx and a charter school in Connecticut. He’s drawn to working with at-risk youth because the teen years are tough for everyone. Providing a safe place and the life skills necessary to navigate the world gives the kids he works with hope to turn their lives around.

Around that same time, Redmond had been recruited by a friend to volunteer at Covenant House in Times Square, which, during the 1980s, was marked by poverty, drug use, and other symptoms of hopelessness and despair. “Back then, no one was working with homeless and drug addicted at-risk youth," Redmond said.

Redmond has also experienced heartbreak in his work. “Not all the kids make it. We’ve had suicides; a staff member was stabbed and killed. I’ve had 12 stitches in my face. But I am an optimist by nature, I have a very supportive family, and I spend the first hour of my day in meditation and prayer. I focus on how we can succeed.”

When you become the executive director of a nonprofit organization, it is imperative that you have a working knowledge of finance, marketing, human resources and strategic planning. I took courses in those areas at VSB, and that’s a big part of why I believe I have succeeded in this role.” –Mark Redmond ’79 VSB


Villanova Business Fall 2020

Photos: ©2020 James Buck

Impressive Results When Redmond first joined Spectrum, it was in debt. Today, they provide services to more than 1,500 teens and young adults each year, including a drop-in center, supportive housing, counseling, training and more. Initiatives include Detail Works, a for-profit auto detailing shop created to teach necessary skills to find and hold a job—or to complete school— including showing up on time and working with a supervisor and customers. Fundraising efforts include Sleep Out events, winter outdoor sleeping experiences for businesspeople and students where participants experience what it’s like living on the streets for one night. “Telling our story and giving people a chance to connect on an emotional level with the realities of what these kids experience every day contributes to our fundraising success,” Redmond said. He noted that many Villanovans have supported Spectrum over the years. “Villanova is unique in the spirituality and values that are the foundation of the education you receive."

"You learn that you can follow God’s will in many ways.”


2 1

The Gmelich Lab for Financial Markets Innovation and Technology for the Next Generation of Business Leaders Now, more than ever, technology is an essential part of our lives and the University experience. Recent events have made this abundantly clear, as remote learning and working became the new normal. The Villanova School of Business has had a long-standing commitment to advancing technology and providing experiential learning, which are critical components of VSB’s Strategic Plan. This dedication is epitomized in the new Victoria and Justin Gmelich ’90 VSB Lab for Financial Markets. The lab was made possible by a generous $3 million endowment from Justin and Victoria Gmelich. Justin Gmelich served as the chief operating officer of Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities at the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. prior to his retirement in March 2019. He currently serves as Partner and Global Head of Markets at King Street Capital.


Villanova Business Fall 2020

“Sponsoring a state-of-the-art finance lab provides a platform for educating the next generation of finance leaders while supporting Villanova University and its nationally recognized business school.”

He has been a member of Villanova’s Board of Trustees and a member of the University’s Investment Committee since 2011. In 2017 he became the vice chair of the Board of Trustees. The commitment from the Gmelichs represents one of the largest named individual gifts for a financial markets lab in the country. “As two former bond traders, Victoria and I experienced first-hand the importance of technology in capital markets and the growing need for students to be conversant in coding,” explained Justin Gmelich.

As VSB continues its mission of Developing Leaders for a Better World®, it recognizes that the business landscape is rapidly changing, and employers are looking for students with real-world expertise. Among the strategic imperatives outlined in VSB’s Strategic Plan are the development of competencies in technology, data and analytics. The Gmelich Lab for Financial Markets will ensure that today’s students are equipped with the tools they need to develop these competencies. David Ratigan, PhD, ’07 CLAS serves as the director of the Gmelich Lab for Financial Markets. Using his deep knowledge of capital markets and passion for technology, Dr. Ratigan works with faculty to incorporate the lab into their curricula.


Much More than a Computer Lab


Located next to the Nydick Family Commons, the exterior of the lab features monitors displaying financial data and stock market performance, as well as a video screen for recruiting information from prospective employers.

Inside the lab is a large classroom featuring:



28 workstations


Seating capacity for 56


Wall Street trading desks


N ine 75" LED screens

The LED screens can display financial data and can be used for high-tech video conferencing with alumni, business leaders and employers, enhancing the experiential learning process for students.

As emerging technology continues to transform finance, real estate, analytics, management information systems and other disciplines, the Gmelich Lab for Financial Markets creates even more opportunities for VSB students to enter the professional world at a competitive advantage.”

–Joyce E. A. Russell, PhD The Helen and William O’Toole Dean

A view of the Gmelich Lab from the Bartley Atrium.

Using collaborative software, remote instructors, students and alumni can join lab activities from their browser or smartphone. Adjacent to the larger classroom is a smaller lab with 13 workstations that is ideal for group projects and research. Both the main lab and the research lab are available to students when not in use for classroom instruction.

Applied Quantitative Finance Program The Gmelich Lab for Financial Markets is an important element of the Applied Quantitative Finance Program. The AQF concentration was created in 2017 to better prepare students for the growing field of quantitative finance, an area that combines STEM skills with finance. The goal is to train students who are strong in math, finance and coding and possess knowledge of the markets, strong communication skills and the ability to interpret data. The program is designed to be small (20 to 30 students for each graduating class) with rigorous admissions criteria and coursework. “Technology has disrupted every major industry group and the financial markets are no exception. The goal of the Gmelich Lab for Financial Markets is to not only teach VSB students new technology, but also to bring it into the classroom and apply it,” said Stephen Padovano ’89 VSB, executive-in-residence and director of the Applied Quantitative Finance Program. According to Padovano, the AQF program is resonating with employers as students are landing desirable internships and full-time employment opportunities in sales and trading, investment banking, and private equity.



VSB earned top-10 ranks in the annual U.S. News & World Report Best Online Graduate Business Programs and the Best Online MBA rankings, earning the No. 3 and No. 9 spots respectively.

VSB Online MBA and Graduate Business Programs U.S. News and World Report Since the ranking’s inception in 2014, VSB has consistently placed highly in the Best Graduate Online Business Programs for its Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) and Master of Science in Church Management (MSCM) programs. Both programs were built from the ground up with input from industry experts for a fully tailored and application-based experience. The Villanova Online MBA also ranked highly, further validating the School’s ability to deliver a high-quality learning experience for students regardless of the delivery mode. The Online MBA offers the same curriculum, expert faculty and NovaNation network as our top-ranked campus program. The Villanova Online MBA was also ranked No. 5 for Best Online Programs for Veterans, a distinction the School is especially proud of. VSB online graduate business programs also performed well in the Student Excellence and Student Engagement categories across the suite of graduate online program offerings. The Student Excellence score measures how selective a school is in admitting highly qualified applicants, and the Student Engagement score measures student satisfaction and instructor responsiveness.

New Certificate in Catholic School Management Beginning this fall, the Center for Church Management (CCM) will offer a Certificate in Catholic School Management for K-12 Catholic school administrators. The program is designed to provide school leaders with the critical business skills and knowledge necessary to successfully manage their schools in a Catholic context. The certificate is being offered in partnership with the Ambassador’s Fund for Catholic Education (formerly Archdiocesan Educational Fund) and the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA). While CCM has traditionally worked with church leaders at the parish and diocesan levels, this is the first program specifically designed for Catholic school leaders. The non-credit program will consist of 12 online modules that participants will complete in a flexible, self-paced format over the course of a year. The modules will cover topics unique to Catholic school leaders such as budgeting and financing for mission; data-driven decision-making; advancement, stewardship and donor relations; enrollment, recruitment and tuition management; contract negotiations and vendor relations; and spirituality of administration. “NCEA is excited to partner with Villanova to provide highquality training in finance and school management. We know this resource will be of great value to Catholic school leaders and will better enable them to achieve the mission of their school and deepen the spirit of leadership,” said NCEA Interim President/CEO Kathy Mears. Daniel Guertin ’15 MA, associate director, CCM said “Despite having advanced educational degrees, many administrators lack the business acumen for leading schools. Our program will help these leaders effectively manage a changing Catholic school landscape.” For more information visit www.villanovachurchmanagement.com.


Villanova Business Fall 2020


Church Management for Every Diocese in Ghana Joseph V. Topper Jr. ’77 VSB, chair of Villanova’s Board of Trustees, and Brian Shea P ’10, ’12, ’17, ’21 and a member of the Parents Executive Committee, were in Rome last year for a meeting of the International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. There, they met with several bishops from Ghana who were discussing their need for help with church management challenges. The bishops shared how they did not have the necessary infrastructure to support the growth of the Church in Ghana, and Topper and Shea soon contacted Matthew Manion ’11 MS, faculty director, Center for Church Management. CCM collaborated with Mario Enzler of Catholic University and Colin Howell of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross Foundation to create a four-day intensive workshop. The program provided training in budgeting, financial controls, auditing, fraud prevention and detection, leadership, and governance, all rooted in the biblical foundations of prudent and responsible stewardship. According to the Rev. Lazarus Anondee, secretary general of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, “The need for such a program arose from the call for better governance of the temporal goods of the Church in Ghana and [a desire] to increase transparency and accountability. The program was very enriching as it helped us to identify our weaknesses and also practically proffered solutions to loopholes in church management.”

The vision of the Center for Church Management is to be a global resource for church management knowledge. We knew this would be an amazing opportunity for Villanova to work with the growing Church in Ghana and we were happy to help.” –Matthew Manion ’11 MS, faculty director, CCM

“Church management is an ongoing challenge facing the Church,” said Topper. “With fewer priests available, providing education on management and delegation of responsibilities between priests and lay people will be critical.” Villanova is uniquely suited to meet this need, according to Manion. “Being part of a business school, we are able to provide leaders with world-class business content that is fully immersed in a way that church leaders can process and use it. Ghana was a great opportunity for us to be of service."

All 19 dioceses in Ghana sent at least three representatives to the workshop: their chief financial officer, a respected pastor, and at least one team member.


I feel I have been most fortunate to combine my love of travel, teaching and research. I look forward to bringing more experiences back into the classroom and encouraging my students to travel to gain a global perspective.” –Janice Sipior, PhD


Internationally Renowned Research Leads to International Speaking Opportunities Janice Sipior, PhD, professor of Management Information Systems (MIS) in the Accounting & Information Systems Department, is passionate about new places, cultures and people around the world—and found the perfect way to pair that passion with her MIS research.

When asked what, exactly, an information system is, Dr. Sipior notes that it is not only all the places where information is stored—electronic databases, books, manuals, as well as the knowledge in people’s heads—but also how these components are connected and interact with each other.

“With MIS, there is always something new— it’s really kept pace with the ever-evolving solutions to the way we connect through and interact with technology.” For instance, take travel," Dr. Sipior continued. "Years ago, we worked with a travel agent and paper tickets were mailed to us. Then, we could book our own tickets and print our own boarding passes. Now, we can get the passes on our mobile devices or even use facial recognition and fingerprint scanning!” This explosion in technology, while prompting a revolution in everyday conveniences for all of us, has also come with countless concerns. “When I was starting out in my career in the early 90s, tech was really taking off and I was concerned about email privacy,” said Dr. Sipior. At the time, her paper on the topic had trouble getting published because the journal editor did not yet understand how email privacy was threatened. Later, as businesses became increasingly tech-savvy, she investigated threats for industrial espionage via employees’ mobile devices. Dr. Sipior’s research interests in the ethical and legal aspects of information technology, privacy and system development strategies have led to more than 100 refereed publications in journals, conference proceedings and books, including the seminal article on email privacy which she co-authored with her husband, Burke Ward, a tax attorney and Villanova professor emeritus.

She is currently collaborating with VSB colleague Danielle Lombardi, PhD, associate professor, Accounting & Information Systems, to look at the potential for bias within artificial intelligence (AI) systems used for auditing. “AI includes pattern matching. If the training set has bias, then the AI will be biased, too,” said Dr. Sipior. In addition to teaching and consulting, Dr. Sipior has combined research with her travel interests. She has presented her research from New York to Paris to Cairo to Beijing, and many places in between. She has been invited as the keynote speaker at the International Information Systems Conference in Muscat, Oman; the International Conference on Business Innovation and Information Technology in Dublin, Ireland; and the International Conference on Business Information Systems in Klagenfurt, Austria. Her career has taken her to over 50 countries, including visiting positions at the University of Warsaw, Poland, and Moscow State Linguistic University, Russia, as well as consulting to the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut, Lebanon. Earlier this year, Dr. Sipior represented “Nova Nation” at Ahlia University in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain. Invited by her colleague Dr. Wafi Al-Karaghouli, Brunel University London, she was a keynote speaker at the University’s 11th Annual PhD without Residence Doctoral Symposium, which assists doctoral students in developing the skills needed to propose, conduct and publish research that meets international standards. In addition, Sipior conducted a faculty workshop on selecting the right publication outlet and promoting one’s research. Her insights on this topic come from her role as editor-in-chief of the Information Systems Management journal and her editorial positions at numerous other journals. Upon reflection of her 30-year career at VSB, Dr. Sipior said, “I feel I have been most fortunate to combine my love of travel, teaching and research. I look forward to bringing more experiences back into the classroom and encouraging my students to travel to gain a global perspective.”



VU Women in Tech Conference Celebrates Five Years

Sue Metzger, professor of the practice in Information Systems and faculty director of VU Women in Tech, began coding in high school and had a career in software development and deployment before coming to Villanova in 2003. About five years ago, she was offered tickets to attend and take students to the Philadelphia Women in Tech Summit and was skeptical. “I’d been to many tech conferences before, but never a woman-focused event.”

By the end of the day, Metzger was clear what the value was. “When the presenters and the audience are predominately women, the vibe is different. The conference helped to build a community that together loved sharing what they knew with each other.” Coming home from that tech summit, she and the students were inspired. The students wanted to form a campus group focused on women and tech. “We joined forces with other campus women’s groups and hosted an event at Villanova— the Philadelphia Summit was sold out, so I knew there would be interest at Villanova,” said Metzger. Research shows that while girls in middle school express interest in and do well in STEM courses, that interest drops off in high school, and by the time girls enter college, they select different majors. At the same time, there is growing evidence that suggests gender plays a role in team collaboration and performance, with the number of women in a group linked to effectiveness solving difficult problems.

“ We are now seeing former students coming back for the Conference as alums, and speakers returning as attendees.” –Sue Metzger



Villanova Business Fall 2020


Women in Tech Conference through the years Conference Theme

Keynote Speakers


Lead, Innovate and Inspire

Karen Mazer Principal, Technology Strategy and Architecture Deloitte Consulting LLP



Tech for Social Impact

Dr. Marisa Weiss Chief Medical Officer and Founder Breastcancer.org






Pivot: Tech as Your Turning Point

Driving Progress, Pushing Limits

# Attendees

Karin Risi ’94 VSB, ’99 MBA Managing Director Vanguard Bettina Warburg Co-Founder and Managing Partner Animal Ventures Eloise N. Young SVP of Strategic Planning and Information Systems Philadelphia Gas Works



Sabina Nawaz Chief Executive Officer Executive Coach Nance Dicciani, PhD ’69 COE Founder and Chief Executive Officer RTM Vital Signs, LLC



Virginia Eubanks, PhD Author Automating Inequality




To meet the interest of these young women, Metzger received support from Dean Russell along with Villanova’s Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship Institute, and connected with Alicia Strandberg, PhD, associate professor of Management & Operations, to bring the idea to life. The result has been VU Women in Tech, a collaborative effort that brings students, faculty and alumnae together across disciplines, and provides a platform for all to share experiences, highlight opportunities for women in technology and motivate those who hesitate. “We intentionally defined tech broadly to encourage participation,” said Dr. Strandberg. “We know women don’t necessarily choose a STEM career path, but it’s never too late to get into tech.” “We want women to be confident tackling tech-related problems,” said Metzger. “Tech is where the jobs and money are. We all need to know technology. You can learn it and understand how it works.”

Over these five years, VU Women In Tech has sponsored movie nights; Cookies, Cupcakes and Coding sessions; and its annual full-day VU Women in Tech conference, which brings in over 200 people from business and technology fields as well as students and academics to discuss a variety of tech-related topics. Topics recently covered include blockchain, FinTech, machine learning, virtual reality and how to leverage tech using core competencies. “We are now seeing former students coming back for the Conference as alums, and speakers returning as attendees,” said Metzger. And the conference’s popularity highlights the growing interest and opportunity for women in this field. “Tech offers tremendous opportunities for creative thinkers who will help develop the next creative applications. It’s a great time for women to get into tech,” said Dr. Strandberg. \v/

VSB is proud to celebrate five years of VU Women in Tech



Villanova Business Fall 2020


VSB Dean’s Advisory Council (DAC) The DAC provides advice and guidance to the dean of VSB on important strategic initiatives under consideration. Christopher Gheysens ’93 VSB; Past Chair President and CEO Wawa, Inc.

Michele Etzel ’87 VSB; Chair CFO and Executive Vice President National Graphics, Inc.

Christine Dorfler ’97 VSB; Vice Chair CFO NBC Sports Group, NBCUniversal

Greg Wilson ’95 VSB; Vice Chair Managing Director Goldman Sachs

Madeleine Barber Esq. ’85 VSB, ’88 CWSL, ’92 CWSL

Peter Cieszko ’82 VSB, P ’20

Robert J. “Rob” McNeill Jr. ’88 VSB

Head of Strategic Development American Century Investments

Managing Partner, Greater Philadelphia Deloitte LLP

Justin DiGaetano ’02 VSB

Christopher E. Morris ’84 VSB

Founding Partner and Principal Fidato Partners

Vice Chairman, Investment Banking Wells Fargo

Charles P. Dougherty ’93 MBA

Michael “Mike” Petrane ’93 VSB

President and Chief Executive Officer Hardinge Inc.

Partner, Assurance Services EY

Kevin Felix P ’20

Karin A. Risi ’94 VSB, ’99 MBA

Corporate Board Member and Advisor Scotia Capital (USA) Inc., Scotiabank

Managing Director, Head Retail Investor Group Vanguard

Peter J. Hofbauer ’84 VSB Chief Operating Officer Concord International Investments Group

Senior Vice President and Chief Tax Officer CBRE

Martin “Marty” Hughes ’79 VSB

Jennifer Barbetta ’95 VSB

John D. Leahy ’75 VSB

Chief Operating Officer and Senior Managing Director Starwood Capital Group

President, Retired KIND Healthy Snacks

Eileen Barker ’93 VSB Former General Manager IT Cosmetics

Head of European Research and Portfolio Manager Nuveen Investments

Kenneth “Ken” Bodmer ’87 VSB

Bill R. McDermott

CFO and Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration Wellpartner

Chief Executive Officer SAP SE

Susan Ciccarone ’95

Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer Atairos

Partner Further Global Capital Management L.P.

Retired CEO and Director Redwood Trust

Greg Mancini ’95

Clare McGrory ’97 VSB, ’08 EMBA

Michael Russomano ’79 VSB Retired President and Chief Executive Officer, Global Business Head Nestlé

John Shamsey ’91 VSB President Evoke Navience

Celestine “Tina” Simmons ’89 VSB Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Central Division Comcast Corporation

Stephen “Steve” Spaeder ’88 VSB, ’92 MBA SVP, Acquisitions and Development Equus Capital Partners, Ltd.

Lorraine “Lori” Waldron Esq. ’90 VSB, ’93 CWSL, ’93 MBA Partner Sills Cummis & Gross P.C.

Valerie Wieman ’92 VSB Assurance Partner PwC

Did you know?

VSB turns 100 in 2022! Celebrate with us by sharing your favorite photos, memories and outcomes from your VSB days. Please send to






800 Lancaster Avenue Villanova, PA 19085-1678