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February 2022 Newsletter
Arjang A. Assad Teaching Excellence Award
“During my years at Pitt, I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the brightest minds in the field,” says Assad. “Working together, we were gratified to see Pitt Business reach new heights. I am confident that our school will continue to ascend under a new dean with a fresh perspective.”
Dean Assad has led Pitt Business to develop new programs, exceed admissions goals, achieve sky-high rankings, and attract the best and brightest students from across the world. He’s recruited and retained top faculty here at Pitt Business, which includes 35 faculty hires since 2015.
“Arjang doesn’t just care deeply about teaching—he understands at a fundamental level what it takes to energize a dynamic climate where learning is part of the core mission, and teaching innovation and excellence thrive,” says Professor Frits Pil, who has been teaching at Pitt Business for over 25 years.
Over the years, Dean Assad has helped to develop and advance the careers of our world-class faculty. He also has embraced the help of our University partners, including Cynthia Golden and her team at the Center for Teaching and Learning and Clyde Wilson Pickett and his colleagues at the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Together, they provided faculty with crucial training and resources on instructional tools, curriculum ideation, and teaching technologies.
Pil is very supportive of funding the new Arjang A. Assad Teaching Excellence Award and is encouraging recent graduates who have benefitted from the fantastic faculty Dean Assad has worked to recruit, retain, and reward, to make a gift to the fund on Pitt Day of Giving.
“Our recent alumni are critical partners as we write the next chapter in Pitt Business’ journey,” says Pil.
To help Professor Pil support the future of teaching at Pitt Business, please click here.
Meet our 2022 Pitt Business Alumni Award Recipients
We will celebrate our honorees at a ceremony and reception on Saturday, April 2, 2022.
Help Pitt faculty and enter to win dinner for two!
Calling all alumni! Want to help Pitt Business faculty engage in important research? High-quality research is an important part of what our faculty do at Pitt, and they need help from former students like you. Research like this also helps keep Pitt in the business press (and high in the rankings) as a thought leader in business. Navigate to this link to help complete a research task in 10 minutes or less: https://bit.ly/pittalumni22
Participants who complete the survey will be eligible to enter in a drawing for one of two ($150) gift cards to a restaurant of their choice.
Black History Month, The Pittsburgh Zoo, Los Angeles…
Celebrate our Pitt Business community! View our upcoming events calendar through July.
October 2021 Newsletter
Emerging Ethical Leaders
Every program at the College of Business Administration (CBA) works to support the school’s mission: prepare students to create value through thought leadership and practice. The Emerging Ethical Leaders Program does this by providing meaningful internship experiences for students with corporate partners of the David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership.
Sydney Smith (BSBA ’23), Jack Greenwald (BSBA ’22), and Katie LaBold (BSBA ’23) all completed internships through the Emerging Ethical Leaders Program. Greenwald was able to intern with Day Owl, a division of Thread International while Smith and LaBold interned with Birgo Realty.
The Emerging Ethical Leaders Program, started almost 15 years ago, offers students an opportunity to intern with corporate partners of the David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership. The goal of the program is to help students understand the different issues that organizations face in the area of ethics, social responsibility, and sustainability and provide them with concrete experiences that help develop their personal leadership skills.
This program is made possible by donations to the Berg Center and from partners who are willing to take on student interns. Internships run from May to August, require a 20-hour-per-week commitment, and students receive a stipend directly from the Berg Center.
Corporate partners Thread International and Birgo Realty came to the Berg Center through their CBA alumni Kelsey Halling (BSBA ‘09) and Andrew Reichert (BSBA ‘07), respectively. Both alums were apart of the Certificate Program in Leadership and Ethics (CPLE), which is also a part of the David Berg Center and offers a direct streamline for student internships. Now, as alums of the program themselves, they are doing their part in giving back by bringing on their own student interns.
LaBold, who interned with Birgo Realty, was able to find value in her internship. Over the summer, the junior “focused on compliance research and creating company-wide policies to be implemented” as well as reorganizing and updating the employee handbook.
“My time at Birgo has been very rewarding as I have been able to have hands-on experience in an HR department of a small, but growing company,” says LaBold. “I really feel that I am contributing to the greater good of the company, and I have enjoyed my entire time as an intern.”
LaBold was offered an extension of her internship role and will continue working with Birgo throughout the fall semester.
“My work has now changed from big-picture items to more day-to-day tasks,” says LaBold. “I have been able to post multiple positions and recruit for them all while completing various other tasks.”
Early exposure internships have a big impact on students and their future career success. Ray Jones, Clinical Professor of Business Administration and Director of the Berg Center, makes it a priority each year to ensure his students are getting the most out of their time at Pitt Business.
“Finding financial support is the most important factor in making sure students can go all-in on their internship and making it the focal point of their summer,” says Jones. “I can never say enough about it.”
Interested in sponsoring an internship for the Emerging Ethical Leaders Program? Learn more here.
Alumni Spotlight: Hollie Vugrinovich
How has your degree from CBA influenced your career?
I was a first-generation college student so I would say CBA had a big influence on my career. I wanted to go to business school and really wanted to study French. At Pitt, I was able to do both. On the practical side, the opportunities I had at CBA through advisors and faculty transformed my experience. Audrey Murrell, Ray Jones, and Jo Olson’s professional perspectives, the opportunities they afforded, and the time they spent with us as students really helped position me to think critically about entering the workforce and what mattered to me in my career.
Tell us about your job?
After 12 years at a large healthcare company, I transitioned to a Silicon Valley health tech start-up called Notable as the Head of Partnerships. In this role, I manage the sales function and customer success by working with hospitals and health systems to transform their patient experience via intelligence automation. I’ve found that Notable is really challenging the inertia in healthcare by reevaluating legacy systems and processes that create terrible patient experiences and an unsustainable healthcare environment for healthcare technicians and caregivers
What is your favorite memory of being a student at CBA?
Bob Gilbert’s Projects in Marketing class! I worked with the CIA, which at the time was struggling with recruitment. The assumption was that all of their jobs were clandestine and they in fact needed linguists, analysts, and many other skillsets. Bob’s class was my first real-world experience at problem-solving.
What advice would you give to alumni in navigating their careers?
Don’t be afraid of a career in sales. – It is the lifeblood of every company and a significant portion of the business field that touches all aspects of an organization. You cannot survive if you do not grow, form meaningful partnerships, and learn through the complexity of an organization. I started my career on the account management side of the house and after five or six years moved into sales, and I would not have it any other way. Figuring out how to pitch, how to take something to market, how to have a strategic conversation around the needs and outcomes you need to drive… there is nothing more challenging or rewarding. When you get into large complex enterprise sales with massive elements of change management – those are big jobs with big outcomes.
Why do you give back to CBA?
I give back heavily to Pitt Business and Alpha Delta Pi because I would not be where I am without the school. I was fortunate enough to have a good portion of my tuition covered by scholarships. Without that, I would not have been able to get the education I did. I feel very strongly about paying it forward and giving those opportunities and resources to other students.
Tell us something interesting about you!
I was on track to visit 40 countries by 40 before the pandemic. Now my hope is to achieve 45 by 45!
College of Business Administration Career Fair Connects 900 Students, 70 Companies
On September 9-10, the College of Business Administration held its Annual Career Development Conference in a hybrid format, hosting both in-person at The Petersen Events Center and virtually via Handshake.
This conference is the undergraduate program’s most attended event of the year with nearly 70 companies recruiting more than 900 students. The conference brings a phenomenal line-up of companies from numerous industries including Aldi, BKD, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Enterprise, Grant Thornton, Insight Global, Level Agency, and UPMC.
“Overall, students were highly satisfied with this hybrid approach,” says Lawrence Feick, Interim Associate Dean of the College of Business Administration. “100% said they would return for a hybrid fair next year and 96% said they would recommend to a friend. Both are the highest satisfaction ratings ever.”
Want to get involved? We continually hear from students that their professional interactions with our alumni are the most valuable career development tool that we offer. To learn more, check out the career development section of our website at www.cba.pitt.edu/careers
Happy 25th Anniversary!
In honor of the College of Business Administration’s 25th Anniversary, we are honoring 25 of our incredible alumni, faculty, staff, and students who have made an enormous impact on the school and in their careers. Watch this Pitt Business web page and social media accounts in the weeks ahead to read about the honorees, their careers, and what CBA means to them personally and professionally. Honoree Liz Adams, who is director of the CBA Academic Advising and a staff member since the start in 1995, said: “I love helping Pitt Business students on their journey through college.”
August 2021 Newsletter
Introducing the Katz Executive Doctor of Business Administration
For any professional with an MBA looking to differentiate themselves from other leaders, the University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business has established a new Executive Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree.
Applications are now being accepted for the January 2022 semester, appealing primarily to experienced management professionals looking to advance their analytical and problem-solving skills in corporations, consulting firms, government agencies, and other roles. The program would also be beneficial as a terminal degree for those who wish to pursue a teaching-oriented faculty position.
“Knowledge is power,” says J. Jeffrey Inman, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty at Pitt Business. “This program will help executives to analyze current data sets to solve complex organizational business problems.”
Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Katz delivers well-established executive MBA programs that are ranked among the best by Financial Times and Forbes. The school has also been ranked among the nation’s best online MBA programs.
The Katz Executive DBA program follows the “Hyflex” model, which provides face-to-face classes that are also placed online in both synchronous and asynchronous modes simultaneously.
“This model was extremely successful at the University of Pittsburgh and we intend to make it the only Executive DBA program accessible to students world-wide regardless of travel and/or visa restrictions,” says Inman.
Comprised of 72 credits, the program includes practicum research project coursework, enabling time that students spend in the program to contribute to their firm; and an immersive residency, enabling student-to-student and faculty interactions.
“In response to the demand for a rigorous executive doctoral program in business administration targeted to practitioners, Katz has stepped up to ensure our students receive the most cutting-edge education and opportunities,” says Dennis Galletta, Professor of Business Administration and Director of the PhD program. “The establishment of our Executive DBA program echoes Katz’s vision of reinventing itself to keep professionals ahead of the evolving business world.”
A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Pitt ranks in the top cluster of U.S. public research universities. This expertise combined with the program’s flexible scheduling and highly accomplished faculty distinguish Katz from other DBA programs.
“If you compare our program to others, many programs do not focus on research or have the experience in research that our faculty members teaching the program possess,” says Inman.
Every year, Katz faculty earn prestigious awards and recognition for research and leadership of institutes and other organizations in their field of expertise. The Executive DBA program courses include Quantitative Research Methods, Organizational Science, Strategic Research, and Applied Economics.
“I am pleased to add the Executive Doctor of Business Administration degree to our portfolio of executive programs at Katz,” says Arjang A. Assad, Henry E. Haller Jr. Dean. “Our faculty members are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, with our students’ needs and future trends at the forefront.”
Professionals with eight years of management experience and currently holding a middle-to-top management position, along with other credentials, can apply today to join the January 2022 cohort.
For more information about the Katz Executive Doctor of Business Administration program, please click here.
Victor and Ana Donaduzzi: Executive MBAs and a Brazilian Biopark
Prior to the pandemic, Ana and Victor Donaduzzi (EMBA’18) were set to relocate to Tampa, Florida for their roles within Prati-Donaduzzi, a leading generic prescription drug producer in Brazil.
However, a past idea from Victor’s father emerged to the couple. They decided to scratch their plans and build on an idea called “Biopark.”
Biopark is a technological park 100% privately owned in Brazil designed for the education, research and business development of biosciences. Additionally, Biopark Education was created, which is an educational department comprised of 250 students and includes courses in pharmacy administration and data analytics.
Located in Toledo, Parana in Brazil, the small town needed to develop specialized labor force to sustain the bioscience start-ups attracted to Biopark. Just five years ago, the site of Biopark was fields of soybeans and corn.
How did your Executive MBA from Katz influence your career?
Ana: “Prior to joining the Biopark Education, I was working for Prati-Donaduzzi Pharmaceuticals in the regulatory affairs department responsible for preparing the documentation of the drug manufacturers at their vendor’s sites in China and India.” Ana has a Bachelor in Pharmacy and a Master in Pharmacology. The transfer of skills came when she became responsible for building a Higher Education Institution within Biopark offering graduate degrees. “I used what I learned in the Katz Executive MBA program as my basis.”
Victor: “Katz taught me the soft skills I needed, especially resilience—the cultures of Brazilians and Americans are quite different.”
What is your favorite memory about being a student at Katz?
Ana: “We had really great professors. I remember a specific time that Professor Bob Atkin really went out of his way to help me through his class when he learned I was struggling with the material.”
Victor: “I remember the high caliber and quality of our classmates. Everyone wanted to be at the top—which made it competitive and allowed for our professional growth. There are a lot of memories but the best ones I cannot share!”
What is one piece of advice you would share with your fellow alumni?
Ana: “Experience and enjoy the exchange of other cultures. The diversity of the Executive MBA program made us open our minds to see forward. If I had given up in the beginning because of the difficulty of the program, I don’t know what my professional career would be like now.”
What is something interesting about you that people may not know?
Victor: “The Executive MBA was just one step towards my ultimate success. Next, I’ll begin to take a course on preparing myself to be a counselor on the board (of Biopark).”
Ana: “I am trying to convince Victor to live abroad next year, perhaps in the United States or Europe, to improve our capacity at the Biopark and to propose new ways to continuing learning and improving.”
Be sure to keep in touch with your fellow alumni and our alumni office by clicking here.
Congratulations Retired Faculty!
With over 250 combined years of service to Pitt Business, these faculty members have significantly impacted the school through their exemplary leadership, research, teaching, and student engagement. While their presence at Pitt Business will be missed, we’d like to recognize the following retiring faculty members:
- J. “Jerry” Zoffer, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Business Administration;
- Kenneth Lehn, Samuel A. McCullough Professor of Finance;
- Jerrold May, Professor of Business Administration;
- Robert Atkin, Clinical Professor of Business Administration;
- Robert Gilbert, Clinical Associate Professor of Business Administration;
- Richard Patton, Clinical Associate Professor of Business Administration;
- Diane Denis, Terrence Laughlin Chair in Finance;
- John “Harry” Evans, Katz Alumni Professor of Accounting; and
- Laurie Kirsch, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, Development, and Diversity and Professor of Business Administration.
Join us in wishing them many happy, healthy, and fulfilling years of retirement.