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NEWS The DeVille School of Business

April 2014 VOL 7

From Afghanistan to Walsh

Service Beyond the Call Emily and Shane Fletcher in Afghanistan

“Everywhere we turned at Walsh, we were met with understanding, support and determination to help us achieve our degrees.”

for several months before Shane’s deployment a timely fashion, while juggling everything ended and he returned to his base in Tennessee. else in our lives. Everywhere we turned at Walsh, we were met with understanding, The couple kept in touch during their support and determination to help us separation and made plans for their future achieve our degrees.” life together which included the shared goal to earn their bachelor’s degrees. In December 2012, Emily graduated from Walsh, one week before their daughter When Emily’s service ended after her deployment in 2009, she moved back home Madeline was born, with a degree in accounting and a new job waiting for her to Canton and immediately enrolled at in the State Auditor’s Office. Walsh as an accounting major.

“I tried to convince Emily to move to Tennessee, but she wouldn’t leave Walsh,” Shane Fletcher said Shane. “Now that I’m a part of the University, I can understand why.” At times, the transition from military service to civilian life can be difficult for veterans A recipient of the Purple Heart for wounds who are used to the organized, structured he received in Afghanistan, Shane’s service and sometimes dangerous life in the military. in the Army ended in August 2010. That But for Emily ’12 and Shane Fletcher, the same month, he moved to Canton to be camaraderie and support of their military near Emily and enrolled at Walsh as a lives has been mirrored in their experience at marketing major. Walsh University’s DeVille School of Business. Both Emily and Shane attended Walsh Emily Kleinknecht Fletcher always knew through the Yellow Ribbon Program. The she wanted to attend Walsh University. But Yellow Ribbon Program, designed for active members or veterans of the U.S. Armed as a graduate from Central Catholic High Forces, is a partnership between Walsh School in Canton, Ohio, she decided that University and the Veterans’ Administration she “wanted to see the world first.” With the support of her parents and family, Emily to help fund tuition expenses and make a Walsh education more affordable for those joined the Air Force. After basic training who served our country. More than half of in San Antonio, Texas, she was deployed to the 40 Walsh veteran students are currently Kuwait in 2006 for five months. Stationed enrolled in the business program. in Minot, North Dakota, in 2008, Emily, an E-4 Senior Airman, made the generous Two years later, Walsh had become such a offer to take the place of a friend who was being positive presence in their lives that Shane deployed to Afghanistan. It was there that and Emily even decided to get married at she met her future husband, Shane Fletcher. Walsh’s Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel. Growing up in Kansas City, Shane joined the U.S. Army after high school in 2004 and after basic training in Tennessee, he served as an E-5 Sergeant in both Iraq (2005) and Afghanistan in 2008-09. Shane and Emily served together in Afghanistan

“These past couple of years have been chaos! And I can say that with a smile on my face,” said Shane. “Through it all, Walsh has been amazing. Dr. Carole Mount has been my advisor and I credit her for personally helping me get through the program in such

Shane is graduating this May with a degree in marketing. He hopes to continue his service to the United States by working for the U.S. government or possibly the National Security Agency. “Everything happens for a reason,” said Shane. “Emily wasn’t even supposed to go to Afghanistan. She wasn’t even up for deployment. But if she hadn’t volunteered to go to Afghanistan, we would’ve never met and I would never have come to Walsh. I really believe God was directing her decision.”

Emily and Shane Fletcher on their wedding day at Walsh University

The Driving Vision behind Walsh’s MBA Curriculum

Nicknamed The Great One, professional hockey player and head coach Wayne Gretzky became one of the greatest hockey players of all time by following the advice of his father: “skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

professionally as a manager. “That class really made me stop, take a step back and think about how I’ve been managing others. I had to realize that not everyone is motivated by the same things and that a ‘one size fits all mentality’ doesn’t work in today’s environment.”

For Master of Business Administration (MBA) Director Dr. Michael Petrochuk, that famous quote was the basis for the redesign of Walsh’s MBA curriculum in 2012 which includes four specialty tracks in Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Management, and Healthcare Management. It underlies the ongoing commitment to provide relevant, business-based content in all aspects of the program.

Walsh MBA graduate Jonathon Stump believes in the DeVille School of Business mission so strongly that for the past six years he has served as an active member of the Board of Advisors.

“Whether in the classroom or online, that’s our driving vision – to meet each industry where it is going to be,” said Petrochuk. “Our job is to prepare students to anticipate the next big trend and respond to new emerging challenges impacting their specialty area.”

MBA courses such as Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Social Media Marketing and Legal & Policy Aspects of Healthcare reflect today’s ever-evolving and demanding business environment with related coursework. “Our goal is to offer a leading-edge curriculum that prepares students for leadership roles after graduation,” said Petrochuk. For students like Bryan Kokish who are balancing work and family while earning their MBA, relevant class topics also help students to respond to the challenges they are facing in their daily careers as business professionals. As Marketing Manager for University Hospital’s Neurological Institute in Cleveland, Kokish credits courses such as his Organizational Behavior and Communication class for helping to move him to the next level 2


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“I enjoyed the specialties within the MBA program because it gave me a chance to center on what I was most interested in, the varying dynamics and economics of healthcare,” said Stump. “What I really like about the DeVille School of Business is that the professors are actually working in the business community so that classroom instruction is not only about theory, but also reflects current practices in the field.” Stump also credits the MBA colloquia for enhancing his education and providing a unique opportunity to interact with business leaders in the community.

New this spring will be individualized capstone projects tailored for each specialty area. “The capstone projects will utilize each specialty’s entire curriculum into a culminating experience. For example, the Marketing capstone project will blend and leverage skills in social media marketing, marketing research and marketing communications into one capstone project, providing a dynamic, stimulating learning experience that is relevant and timely.”

inmate medical care to institutions such as the Stark County Correctional Facility and specializes in the development of policies and procedures related to correctional health care. Most recently, Stump was asked by the Ohio Department of Corrections to rewrite the standards for inmate care in all Ohio State correctional facilities in which mental health policies were introduced for the first-time.

Owner and CEO of the Correctional Health Care Group, Jonathon Stump

Owner and CEO of the Correctional Health Care Group, Stump earned his associate degree in nursing in 1986 and his MBA in Healthcare Management in 2010, both from Walsh University. His company, Correctional Health Care Group, provides

“I think that the MBA colloquium is a unique aspect of the MBA program,” said Stump. “The dynamic speakers and industry experts discuss business trends in a manner that is extremely relatable to what students are learning in the classroom. The whole experience really opened my eyes to other aspects of the business world. You can’t get that kind of education just from a text book.”

M B A A l u m n i G at h e r i n g The Office of Alumni Relations and the Deville School of Business invite you and a guest to an evening of career networking, great conversation, and delicious dinner. Catch up with your fellow MBA alums and professors, as well as share your experiences and insights with current students in the program.

Tuesday, May 20 th , 2014 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Hoover Park Dance Hall & Patio on the Walsh University campus • $10 per person Price includes a buffet, soft drinks, beer, and a specialty drink RSVP by Tuesday, May 13, to:

Sarah (Richards) Trescott ’09 & ‘13 Office of Alumni Relations 330-244-4943 |

Student-Led Financial Trading has Begun S t ud e n t I n v e s t m e n t T e a m M a n a g e s $ 1 0 0 K o f D o n at e d Fu n di n g fruits of their research in real dollars ,” said Assistant Professor of Business Chase Senk, ’07. Open to all Walsh University undergraduate or graduate level students, the program was announced in the summer of 2013. To apply, students completed an application and attended an introductory meeting. Those who joined attended many specialized tutorial sessions. “We were expecting maybe 10-20 students from business majors, but, were very happy to have over 50 from a great variety of majors attend the introductory meeting. We now have 35 very dedicated

Adjunct Professor of Business and former licensed NASD Series 7 Representative and Financial Advisor, Michael May, MBA/BSChE

The subject line of the email was the proverbial ‘starting bell.’ It read, “Spring Break is over - team leaders can begin investing/trading now!” With that message, five teams of excited undergraduate students begin hands-on trading in the world financial markets using $100,000 of funds donated for that specific purpose. The students in the Student Managed Investment Portfolio (SMIP) program have spent a semester and a half preparing to make real trades under the supervision of Adjunct Professor of Business and former licensed NASD Series 7 representative and financial advisor, Michael May, MBA/BSChE. May is instructing the 35 students who have been preparing for their responsibilities through a series of 30 tutorial sessions, each designed for their varying levels of financial and investing competence. Said mathematics major Taylor Dye, “I sought out this opportunity as I have been participating with the financial markets since I was 13 with my own brokerage account. I wanted

this opportunity to sharpen my skills. This will help make me a better financier.” Former board member Ed Klekota, ’71, and current board member Jeff Rossi donated the funds to seed the investment team. “We want these students to be confident in their analysis and investment abilities. We can make better ethical investors of our own students who can then take those skills to other people, or use them to be more financially secure. This will geometrically increase as our students touch other lives. Ultimately, many people will get a better financial education because of what is happening in the DeVille School of Business,” said Klekota.

students in the program from freshman to seniors, including students from Venezuela, Canada and Nicaragua” said May. The five actual trading teams are comprised of five members each who research strategies and must vote on every trade. Teams have a leader and a recorder who must keep records of research and trades. The ten other team members are observers. Eventually as upper level students graduate, the observers will replenish team openings and new students will be recruited.

The students will benchmark their work against the S&P 500, the returns accrued by the money managers of the Walsh University’s endowment, and against one of the donors who has a Vanguard fund. “This is an incredible opportunity for students to access “I think it is great that they have such faith real funds and invest them to contribute in us. I think to be trading with real money to endowment growth. We know they take puts more pressure on us to do our research this very seriously and will be able to see the and succeed unlike simulations. This will have a lasting impact on all the students at Walsh by setting the foundation for the investment team,” said global business major Juan Amaya. “These are real world risks and rewards and we know we are investing money trusted to us,” said Howie O’Neill, a finance major. Former Board Member Ed Klekota, ’71

“This will geometrically increase as our students touch other lives. Ultimately, many people will get a better financial education because of what is happening in the DeVille School of Business,”

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Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Library Services Dan Suvak made sure that the students have access to exceptional business and financial databases. “These are incredibly powerful tools. They can look up any publicly traded company and in a few clicks see years’ worth of financial and historical data as well as market and competitor information,” said Suvak.

“These students will have the confidence to know they can do the kind of insightful analysis that will allow them to make good recommendations. They will be able to find the growth rate so they can forecast by using the skills they have been taught in class. They can use these skills in their eventual career or simply to be a wise personal

Enhancing Entrepreneurial Skills with Experiential Learning Projects

“I wasn’t just sitting inside an office and crunching numbers, but going out in the field, into the community, and working with real people with real needs,” Senior Ben Clossin

When it comes to preparing future business leaders and entrepreneurs, faculty and administration from the DeVille School of Business understand that not all lessons can be taught in a classroom. With that in mind, courses such as Management and Organizational Behavior require students to complete an experiential learning project. Each project is designed to enrich academic instruction with an opportunity to work with seasoned business professionals so that students may apply their classroom knowledge to actual business situations. For senior Benjamin Clossin, the experience was life altering. As a business management student, Clossin’s experiential learning project combined his interest in banking with his desire to help others. For two days in November, Clossin volunteered with the 4


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Fifth Third Bank eBus, a 40-foot self-contained resource center that includes ten on-board computer workstations and full internet connectivity. The eBus partners with government and non-profit agencies to bring information and resources about homeownership, financial literacy and job resources to communities that have the greatest need. A former Fifth Third Bank intern, Clossin worked with employee volunteers to provide job training resources and credit counseling to those in need at two Adult Education Centers in downtown Detroit. “It was a great opportunity for me to experience a different aspect of banking. I wasn’t just sitting inside an office and crunching numbers, but going out in the field, into the community, and working with real people with real needs,” said Clossin. “I was also able to learn more about Fifth Third Bank in general, especially about the culture of the company and what it values as an organization.” Seniors Jennifer Epling and Elizabeth Conn’s experiential learning project with the Cuyahoga County Correctional Facility also provided an opportunity to engage in service. For Epling, the experience was a continuation of the work of her sister and Walsh graduate, Lindsey Epling ’13.

investor who can avoid paying huge money management fees,” said May. If you would like to donate to the Student Managed Investment Portfolio Program, please contact Dean Carole Mount at or 330.490.7048.

We decided to take her project over but shifted the focus toward inmates transitioning back into society after their prison terms,” said Jennifer Epling. “Working with several probation officers, we were able to create a class schedule that included training on basic interview skills. We modeled our program after a university career center with resources specific to the needs of inmates.” The experience gave Elizabeth Conn an opportunity to combine her major in sociology and minor in marketing into one project. “Basically we were teaching inmates how to market themselves and prepare for life outside of prison,” said Conn. “We had to come up with an idea for a project and then make it happen utilizing our own creativity combined with networking and organizational skills. The bonus is that it is an opportunity to learn, while also giving something back to benefit the community.” Experiential learning projects have also helped to solidify the career and entrepreneurial goals for senior accounting major John Macabobby. After volunteering to prepare tax returns during the VITA Tax Clinic, Macabobby realized he had a passion for tax law, something he plans to pursue through law school.

“For students like Macabobby in the DeVille School of Business, the lessons learned inside and outside of the classroom will prove invaluable to their future entrepreneurial dreams. “I always knew I wanted to open my own business someday,” said Macabob“My sister was doing a similar project for by. “But if it wasn’t for experiences like this, class last spring that focused on the financial I wouldn’t even know where to begin. But aspects of running private and public prisons. now, I can’t wait to get started.”

Fith Thrid eBus

some very strong bonds and close friendships that continue today. We have even made it a priority to get together, somewhere in the world, every three to four years for our own mini-reunions.”

Milan Dayalal:

An Entrepreneur’s Life of Curiosity

His father had always encouraged him to read the newspaper for 20 minutes a day. But on a quiet Sunday afternoon in Sri Lanka, something other than a news story caught the eye of Milan Dayalal ’89, and more importantly, piqued his curiosity. It was a half-page ad offering assistance to students interested in attending college in the United States. That ad, and a healthy dose of curiosity, eventually led Dayalal far from home, to the campus of Walsh University as a management/finance student in 1986. The experiences and people he’s met along the way have helped to shape his successful career as an entrepreneur, marketing professional, humanitarian and industry expert for Dakota Software in Cleveland, Ohio. As a student at Walsh, Dayalal was active on campus playing soccer, basketball and tennis. He also served as the President of the International Club and even helped to organize one of the first International Dinners, a Walsh annual tradition that has continued for 25 years. “Education is one thing, but I believe that real learning comes from interacting with people. There is a significant value in the personal investment of relationships,” said Dayalal. “We were a small campus back then with about 1,250 students. But there were probably about 125 of us that were international students. The small campus environment gave us the opportunity to be curious and learn about other countries, cultures and people. As a result, I fostered

and marketing, consulting services and customer support.

“We help large industrial companies stay compliant with environmental, health and safety regulations globally,” said Dayalal. “Maybe it goes back to that habit of reading Dayalal graduated from Walsh in 1989 with the newspaper and staying current on issues, his bachelor’s degree in management/finance. but I believe that when you go into a business, During his time as a student, Dayalal also regardless of what it is, you should try to made it a priority to get to know his professors become a student of the ‘space you are in’ by and developed strong personal ties that reading and researching your industry.” form a professional network that he relies But it was his fourth entrepreneurial venture on today. that resulted in some of his most notable “My advice to students would be to take and important work to date. While it may advantage of all the opportunities as they have been curiosity that made him first leave present themselves. That is especially Sri Lanka as a teenager, it was compassion important in college when you are surrounded that brought him back home. by people who are experts in your field of On December 26, 2004, an Indian Ocean interest. Don’t be afraid to create a strong mega-earthquake resulted in a deadly tsunami bond with your professors, even if you have that devastated everything in its path. By to initiate that first step. Today, when I’m the end of the day, it was estimated that confronted with a challenge at work, I can more than 150,000 people had perished pick up the phone and have an open discussion and millions were left homeless in eleven with some of my former instructors to ask countries, including Dayalal’s home country their advice.” of Sri Lanka.

“Education is one thing, but I believe that real learning comes from interacting with people. There is a significant value in the personal investment of relationships,”

Milan Dayalal

That same sense of curiosity and the courage to try something new also helped to fuel his entrepreneurial dreams when he started his first new business, Onyxx Marketing, in 1990. Three years later, Dayalal sold the business and returned to his home country of Sri Lanka. It was there that he launched his second entrepreneurial venture with a small consulting company that is still in business today. But after only two years, Dayalal decided it was time to return to the United States. “Civil war had broken out in our country. After years of living comfortably in a peaceful country like the United States, I knew I wanted to return,” said Dayalal. “So I began to chart my way back to the Midwest by working for a German software company.” Dayalal returned to Cleveland in 1995. In 2006, he joined Dakota Software in his current position as vice president of sales

“I had high school friends who had left children behind. It was all very personal to me,” said Dayalal. “So I created a non-profit organization, the Sri Lanka Tsunami Victim’s Relief Fund, in early 2005 to help fund aid for the 5,000 to 6,000 orphaned children left behind.” Serving as President of the Relief Fund, Dayalal also visited Sri Lanka three times between 2005 and 2006 with a team of Cleveland doctors and nurses to provide medical care directly to the children living in orphanages. The team also helped to build temporary housing. “I have a soft spot for children because most of what happens to them, is not by their choice. They are too often helpless victims. While we were in Sri Lanka, we saw about 1,500 children with each visit and provided medical care and assistance where needed. It was an experience I will never forget and pray will never be needed again.” Dayalal lives in Brecksville, Ohio, with his wife Rupal.

“My advice to students would be to take advantage of all the opportunities as they present themselves.” Milan Dayalal

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Entrepreneurship Week Reflects the Creative Spirit of All Students Entrepreneur Expo Connections Matter at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The Expo is the largest of its kind in the area, with more than 110 start-up companies exhibiting to attendees of investors, media, resource providers and community leaders.

Pitch Competition

It began as most new ventures do, as a simple idea. To host an entrepreneurial skill-building event that would appeal to all students, from every major. In a true reflection of the innovative spirit and collaborative momentum happening on the Walsh University campus, the DeVille School of Business hosted its first annual Entrepreneurship Week from April 7 to 11, with events open to all Walsh students. This year’s inaugural event provided students with the opportunity to engage with members of the local business community, compete for $1,000 in prizes through “Shark Tank” style games and acquire new skills to develop and launch their own business plans. “We saw that new entrepreneurial ideas were emerging from all over campus, not only in the DeVille School of Business,” said Assistant Professor of Business Dr. Philip Kim. “The idea was that students from every major should have the opportunity to interact with local entrepreneurs who were once in their shoes. So we decided to create an event that would not only support the development of our entrepreneurship curriculum, but also provide a resource for students in other majors to explore their own creativity and engage in the process of enterprise.” The week’s events kicked-off with a student bus trip to attend the Northeast Ohio

“You can never tell, the next big idea like Building on the same theme of connections Facebook or YouTube may come from matter, guest speakers and local entrepreneurs met with students on Walsh’s campus during Walsh. It could be one of our business the day-long Idea Lab held on Tuesday, April students, or maybe someone in our Nursing 8. The Lab afforded students an opportunity or Education programs,” said Kim. “Through to hear first-hand from seasoned profession- events like Entrepreneurship Week, the als on what it takes to be successful. impetus of creativity and enterprise can, and should, be shared across campus. It only On Wednesday, April 9, students competed takes one idea, that one spark, to start the for the first of two opportunities to win a fire. It’s our job to provide the resources to $500 first-place prize in the fast-paced 90 help turn that great idea into a reality.” second business pitch competition. To participate, students entered the competition by submitting a short paragraph that outlined their new startup business idea.

3-D Printer

Steven Katz, Arts in Stark

Selected contestants competed against each other by delivering a 90 second elevator pitch selling their unique business idea to a panel of judges. The Innovation Challenge hosted by Assistant Professor of Business Dr. Steven Edelson on Thursday, April 10, provided another opportunity for inspired students to win $500 for their on-the-spot creativity. The week concluded on Friday, April 11,

“We saw that new entrepreneurial ideas were emerging from all over campus, not only in the DeVille School of Business,” Assistant Professor of Business Dr. Philip Kim



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with the 48th Annual Business Club Scholarship Luncheon featuring Keynote Speaker Leila Janah, CEO of Samasource. This event also provided students with the opportunity to network and meet with local and regional business professionals and entrepreneurs.


Social Entrepreneurship and Technology Spotlighted at the 48th Annual Business Club Luncheon The DeVille School of Business welcomed social entrepreneur, humanitarian and CEO/Founder of Samasource, Leila Janah, as the Keynote Speaker of the 48th Annual Business and Communication Club Scholarship Luncheon. A record setting 380 guests attended this year’s luncheon, with all proceeds benefitting Walsh University business scholarships. Named by Entrepreneur magazine as one of seven women innovators to watch in 2014, Janah’s keynote address, “A Story of Entrepreneurship: Using Technology and Lean Business Methods to Promote Social and Economic Justice,” highlighted the humanitarian efforts of her award-winning business that connects women and youth living in poverty to digital jobs that build skills and generate income. Since 2008, Samasource has financially impacted more than 18,000 workers world-wide and spun out a domestic program, SamaUSA. In 2011, Janah also co-founded Samahope, a crowd-funding site for medical treatments in developing countries.

Business Club students with Leila Janah

and faculty dedicated to using scholarship and service to address major global issues. Each incoming class of Scholars chooses a common global theme that they will study and research during their time at Walsh University. Past topics have included hunger and sustainable agriculture, global health, and conflict and reconciliation. The sold-out Business Club Luncheon was the concluding event of the DeVille School of Business’ Entrepreneurship Week. All proceeds benefit Walsh University business scholarships.

Roger DeVille, Leila Janah, and Alfonso Revollo

Inspired by Leila Janah’s use of technology to promote social and economic change, the 2015 freshman class of the Brother Francis Blouin Global Scholars program will choose the theme of Technology and Opportunity in the Developing World. The Blouin Scholars Program, an initiative of the Office of Global Learning, provides students with a unique opportunity to become part of a community of students

Business Club Students

“Pope Francis said last year ‘just as the commandment though shall not kill sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say though shall not to an economy of exclusion and inequality.’ Money must serve not rule. His words remind us that technology and business can be great levelers but only if we choose to wield them well. So we have to make a commitment to deploy technology as a powerful force. Not just for social networks but also for social justice….and to call upon our community to put technology to its highest and best use, which is as an engine for human empathy.” Leila Janah, CEO and Founder of Samasource

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Values and Ventures Team Unveils ‘Synergy’ at National Competition in Texas “Synergy is the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It is teamwork, open-mindedness…it’s a process, and through that process, people bring all their personal experience and expertise to the table. Together, they can produce far better results that they could individually.” – Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People You might say it was synergy that brought the Values and Ventures Business Plan Competition team together.

Garner. It was the group’s international make-up that became the inspiration and foundation for Synergy’s business concept.

The team of Walsh University students first met when they attended the October 2013 Synergy Job and Networking Fair hosted by the Cleveland Hopkins Airport. But, it was a different kind of synergy that resulted from their collective efforts -- the creation of a new online social media platform for college students, aptly called Synergy. The team presented their business plan this April as one of only 34 schools in the country invited to compete at the 2014 Values and Ventures Business Plan Competition at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas.

Each student on the team was responsible for generating membership and resource connections in their home countries. Team members were also able to enhance the site with information tailored to their personal interests, career goals or expertise. As a member of the Walsh track team majoring

Values and Ventures is an annual undergraduate competition for students to present business plans for a for-profit enterprise that will also impact society in a meaningful way. Presented by the TCU Neeley Entrepreneurship Center, plans must demonstrate a societal or environmental need to be filled, as well as the profitability of the business.

American professors. Team member Tanisha Lawler, in partnership with Rotary International, concentrated on resources and assistance available for young women of color who are interested in health care careers. Business management senior Reggie Garner helped to develop an application within Synergy that would allow members to speak face-to-face with each other through their mobile phone or computer. It was fulfilling for all of us to know that we had this idea called Synergy and actually took the proper steps to have that idea developed.”

Walsh University Values and Ventures Team

“It’s fulfilling for all of us to know that we had this idea called Synergy and then we actually took the proper steps to have that idea developed.”

As one of the smallest schools competing, the DeVille School of Business team may have also been the most internationally diverse, with students representing Chad, Saudi Arabia, Panama, Nicaragua and the United States. Walsh team members included Aaron Banko, Faisal Alotaibi, Naimbai Njerakey, Maria Mejia, Johanna Lacayo, Tanisha Lawler and Reggie

Synergy memberships will be available to full-time students between the ages of 18 and 30. All proceeds will be donated to the Northeast Ohio Rotary organization to help fund international service projects that include furnishing mosquito nets to villages in Africa to help prevent the spread of malaria and the purchase of school supplies for students in Central and Latin America.

Walsh junior Tanisha Lawler is participating in the Values and Ventures Competition for the second consecutive Business Management Senior Reggie Garner year. As a nursing student in international relations, Naimbai Njerakey with entrepreneurial goals, the competition has provided an opportunity to build her focused on international students who are networking and business skills to suppleseeking university athletic scholarships in ment her nursing experience. “The entire the United States. Another component of Synergy created by Faisal Alotaibi from Saudi experience is something I considered to be once in a lifetime. I’m so grateful for the Arabia concentrated on the transition of opportunity to compete again,” said Lawler. students from the Middle East with a “Not only is it an amazing event overall, but helpful overview of the teaching skills of

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Leaning In Learning Leading from

Values and Ventures Team

I’m also making connections with people who are entrepreneurs in the healthcare industry and picking up new business skills that will benefit me in my career.” With support from Cleveland’s Director of Esperanza’s Victor Ruiz, President of the Cleveland American Middle East Organization Pierre Bejanni, and local community leaders such as Ohio Business Law Attorney Ben Calkin and CPA Dr. Dave Hostelley, the

“Not only is it an amazing event overall, but I’m also making connections with people who are entrepreneurs in the healthcare industry and picking up new business skills that will benefit me in my career.”

In its second semester, the DeVille School of Business’s Lean In series, designed to encourage women to pursue their aspirations and guided in part by the book Lean In, Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, is building a steady audience base and having a positive effect on students.

“I think this has been a great way to get students exposed to women leaders and the small group breakouts encouraged everyone to participate.”

Senior Accounting Major Sarah Feeney

January’s event focused on the topic of negotiations and featured General Manager of Organizational Communications at The Timken Company, Elaine Reolfi and Walsh University Assistant Professor of Business Michael Reolfi, J.D. The husband and wife team discussed how women can be better negotiators in a modern corporate world. “I think this has been a great way to get students exposed to women leaders and the

small group breakouts encouraged everyone to participate,” said senior accounting major Sarah Feeney. “If we can increase the confidence women have in the classroom then we can increase their confidence in the workforce.” Faculty of the DeVille School of Business including Karen Stock, Julie Szendrey, Beth Vazzano, Mary Ann Sponseller, and Coordinator of Advancement and Assessment Stacy Hilterbrand, along with students Calli Johns, a junior marketing major, and Sarah Feeney, created the series and set the goals and the direction for the programs. Reflecting on the series Johns said, “This has been a great way to put theory into practice. We discussed and pondered and we are able to have a better understanding of how to act in certain situations that would have intimidated us before.”

“If we can increase the confidence women have in the classroom then we can increase their confidence in the workforce.”

Senior Accounting Major Sarah Feeney

Walsh Junior Tanisha Lawler

students also received business advice from Cleveland entrepreneur and BOLD Guidance CEO and creator, Nichelle McCall. BOLD Guidance was voted Best Mobile App at the DigitalUndivided Focus 100 Tech Conference in New York and is a mobile and computer app that simplifies the application process to college. McCall is also President of Community Strategies Consulting, which partners with nonprofits and schools to develop, implement and assess practices and policies that best support students to attend and graduate from college.

Elaine Reolfi,The Timken Company

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Defining Success through the

DeVille School of Business SPS Program Plush will graduate this May with her bachelor’s degree in business management. But she is leaving Walsh’s SPS program with more than just her degree. Through her Walsh experience and the recommendation of a fellow classmate, Plush is now a customer service representative with The Timken Company in Canton, Ohio; and she even met her best friend and Sunday study-partner, Kim Weese, through the program. “If it wasn’t for the past five years at Walsh, I wouldn’t have met lifelong friends like Kim or secured the job I have now with The Timken Company. Because of Walsh’s program and the network I’ve developed

Rebecca Plush Jeremy and Angie Veppert

Success isn’t always measured by grades or a new diploma. In the DeVille School of Business accelerated degree completion program offered through the School for Professional Studies (SPS), success is also defined by the courage to tackle fresh challenges, the drive to develop new skills and the desire for professional and personal development. For SPS students like Rebecca Plush and Jeremy and Angie Veppert, success has also been found in the support and encouragement they have received from their SPS advisors, instructors and classmates as they juggled life, work and the unexpected on the path to earning their degrees.

in similar life-situations as me – working full time, taking care of their families and trying to better themselves at work. I knew that the School for Professional Studies was going to be a good fit for me.” But almost immediately, Plush encountered some unforeseen challenges in her personal life that altered her goals and more importantly, her priorities. With the support of her instructors and classmates, she resolved to continue on her chosen academic career path.

“I never would’ve gotten here without all of the wonderful people from Walsh who have helped me along the way.”

Rebecca Plush made the decision to finish her degree at the urging of her supervisor at Allstate Insurance. With his encouragement, she began to look into completing her bachelor’s degree and enrolled through Walsh University’s School for Professional Studies. “From the beginning, I loved the fact that I was in a classroom with my peers who were 10


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Rebecca Plush

over the years, I’ve not only gained knowledge, I’ve also grown both personally and professionally. I never would’ve gotten here without all of the wonderful people from Walsh who have helped me along the way.”

For Jeremy and Angie Veppert, encouragement “Looking back, I can has also been the hallmark of their experience say that it has been an with the DeVille School of Business SPS amazing experience but Program. Like many working adults, their not without struggle. My Rebecca Plush personal reservations were the most mother was diagnosed challenging obstacles standing in the way with cancer just as I was beginning my of achieving their shared goal to earn a education at Walsh and I wasn’t sure I could bachelor’s degree. handle it all. It was very important for me to be there and take care of her,” said Plush. “We were both a little apprehensive about going back to school after so many years,” “It was the encouragement and compassion said Angie Veppert. “You worry if your I received from everyone at Walsh that kept skills have diminished and if you’ll be able me going. My SPS classes were one of the to keep up. But from our first meeting with most positive ‘constants’ in my life as I dealt Walsh, we just felt an ease about starting with my mother’s illness and the challenges in my career. I couldn’t have done it without the SPS program. I’d even say that the experience has given me back some of the all of the support I received from everyone confidence that I’ve lost over the years.” in the program.”

After earning her associate degree years ago, Angie put school on hold to work full-time but always planned to pursue her bachelor’s degree one day. As a property manager in Barberton, Ohio, Jeremy realized that he needed to go back to school in order to secure future job opportunities. Together, they are both pursuing their bachelor’s degrees in business management because it fit their career goals. As a credentialing specialist with Akron General Hospital, Angie was already familiar with Walsh’s academic program and reputation. What surprised her was the accessibility of the faculty and staff. “My favorite part of the program has been the interaction between our fellow students and instructors. The instructors understand the difficult balance between home life, work and school. They certainly don’t take it easy on you because of it, but their encouragement comes from experience.” Married for 14 years, the Vepperts have found that their competitive nature has actually helped them to strive harder in their classwork while bringing them closer together as a couple. But most importantly, their personal reservations are gone and they look forward to each class with enthusiasm and confidence.

Mentoring Programs Grow in the DeVille School of Business Now in their second successful year, the that although she is giving of her time and peer mentoring programs continue to help knowledge to her mentee, she also gets students make better connections between satisfaction from helping. Goebel agrees, their chosen professions and what they “Being a mentor is beneficial for me too learn in the classroom. The peer mentoring because I not only got to meet new people program pairs upper-level students with who I would not have had in class, but it freshman, and the professional mentoring improved my communication skills.” program connects juniors and seniors, about to enter the workforce, with business professionals. “Our mentoring programs, unlike formal internships, are flexible and student driven,” said Dean of the DeVille School of Business Carole Mount, Ph.D. Mentors and mentees decide how and when to meet and what goals or issues to address. Although there are some mentoring events set up by the DeVille School of Business, participants decide what to engage in. Activities include business visits, one-on-one goal setting and coaching, resume reviews and whatever other activities the pair decides are most helpful for the mentee. Peer mentoring Peer mentor Marissa Goebel, an accounting and mathematics major, was eager to join the program. “You may not think you need a mentor, but it is so beneficial to have an upper-class friend that can answer any questions you have about life at college, academics, or to even suggest what co-curricular activities to join. I know I have shared tips and advice about the business program and just ‘life at Walsh’ with my mentee.”

“I’m not sure if either of us would’ve been able to do it in a traditional setting,” said Jeremy Veppert. “There are so many positive aspects of the accelerated program, especially the schedule of classes offered all year round. We were able to take the courses we needed throughout the summer without missing a beat. What impressed me the most though Gen Ybarra, a marketing major, is a peer was how the faculty and staff treat us like mentor working with her second mentee. peers in a professional manner. In terms of “It’s nice to help someone navigate that first support and guidance, Walsh has certainly year and to help them become more outgoing,” offered us everything we needed to succeed.” Ybarra said. Morgan Lightner, an accounting Students like Rebecca Plush and Jeremy major said, “I think a lot of incoming freshmen don’t realize how significantly and Angie Veppert are able to achieve their different college is from the high school. I academic dreams because of the Walsh know that I would have loved to have had a support network of instructors and advisors mentor as a freshman. It would have made who get to know them and actually care about their goals. It’s that personal attention my transition even more smooth.” She added that has been the foundation for so many SPS individual success stories. “I’ve learned that the real challenge is to imagine beyond what you think you are capable of,” said Angie Veppert. “If you allow yourself to be tested and step outside of your comfort level to go after your goals, it’s all obtainable.”

“It’s nice to help someone navigate that first year and to help them become more outgoing.”

Gen Ybarra

Professional Mentoring The professional mentoring program currently has 82 students and 65 mentors. Students can enter the program in their junior year and work with their mentors until they graduate. “We are proud to say that 100 percent of the students coming out of the program in its first year were employed and had an average starting salary of $42,000.” said Pat Berry, DeVille School of Business’ Executive in Residence and the Director of the program. Senior Vice President and Commercial Region Manager at Huntington Bank Lou Poppovich is in his second year as a professional mentor. “I think the value for Continued on page 12

“We are proud to say that 100 percent of the students coming out of the program in its first year were employed and had an average starting salary of $42,000.”

Pat Berry, DeVille School of Business’ Executive in Residence and the Coordinator of the Program

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Associate Professor of Business Julie Szendrey

Recognized as a Walsh Woman of Distinction DeVille School of Business Associate Professor Julie Szendrey, D.B.A., PCM, was awarded the Walsh University Excellence in Academic Leadership (Faculty) Award for 2014. This award recognizes a female faculty member for her unique contributions to the Walsh community. “Dr. Szendrey’s dedication to the tenants of service leadership in the classroom, in the DeVille School of Business and in the university, as well as her leadership to professional and North Canton communities makes her a true Walsh Woman of Distinction. We are happy that the university community sees the great value in her contributions,” said Dean of the DeVille School of Business Carole Mount.

President of DeVille Developments, Roger DeVille

Walsh University’s DeVille School of Business Hosts Sigma Beta Delta Business Honor Society Induction Roger DeVille is inducted as an Honorary Member The Walsh University DeVille School of Business held its annual ceremony for students inducted into the Sigma Beta Delta Business Honor Society on Friday, March 28, 2014. Thirty-six students were inducted and Roger DeVille ‘65 was named an honorary member in the society. The Sigma Beta Delta Business Honor Society was created in 1994 to provide an opportunity for schools of business to recognize students who have demonstrated scholastic excellence in their business studies. Acceptance into Sigma Beta Delta is by invitation only and extended to students ranking in the upper 20 percent of their class. Honorary inductee Roger DeVille has been President of DeVille Developments, a commercial and commercial real estate developer in Northeastern Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and Northern Kentucky since 1968. DeVille holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from Walsh University and currently serves on the Walsh University Board of Directors.



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students is that professors can teach them the technical part of their education, but, we can show them how we cultivate ethical relationships, how to relate to coworkers, navigate corporate culture, and we model ethical character; that’s what I can bring to the table.” Poppovich mentored Rick Leach and although Leach graduated in spring 2013, they still keep in touch. When at Walsh, Leach would meet Poppovich every two weeks. “Lou shared his personal story with me of his education and how he got to where he was. He had given me lots of great advice about what is near to his heart – his values, it’s been really inspiring,” said Leach. Poppovich also had Leach shadow some of his team at Huntington so that Leach could get a feel for a corporate culture and

ask people closer to his own age about their experiences. He also helped him network with other business professions. “He really went out of his way to help me. He let me know you can’t prepare for post-graduation life after you graduate. You must have a plan and a mentor like Lou was a big part of my current success,” said Leach. Both peer and professional mentors are always in demand. For more information on peer mentoring contact Coordinator of Advancement and Assessment Stacy Hilterbrand and or 330.490.7386. To volunteer as a professional mentor please contact Executive in Residence Pat Berry at or 330.490.7418.

Walsh Recognized as a Top 50 ‘Best Buy’ Online MBA by Get Educated

The DeVille School of Business’ online Master of Business Administration program (MBA) has been recognized as a Best Buy for students seeking a high quality, low-cost online MBA degree by the national consumer group Walsh’s online MBA ranked No. 42 among all competing options nationwide and is the only university in Northeast Ohio on the list that highlights the 60 most affordable online degrees in the field. “Walsh University’s objective rating as a Best Buy MBA marks the school as a nationally ranked leader in the field of online learning. Its MBA program, which offers

high-quality higher education to the public through the innovative use of educational technology, represents a model for how private universities of the future will combine instructional quality with technology to better serve America’s business professionals,” said Vicky Phillips, founder of

According to Get Educated’s comprehensive national survey, the average cost of a regionally accredited online MBA is $24,663. To appear on a Get Educated Best Buy list, the online degree profiled must objectively cost less than the average of all the online degrees reviewed in the comprehensive national data set.

The DeVille School of Business News VOL. 7  

The Walsh University DeVille School of Business Newsletter. April 2014.

The DeVille School of Business News VOL. 7  

The Walsh University DeVille School of Business Newsletter. April 2014.