Welcome to The Eller Times, sharing highlights of news, events, people, and partners of the Eller College of Management.
The Eller College of Management has launched a new way to reconnect with alumni and stay engaged in your alma mater — the Eller College Alumni Community.
A part of the UA Alumni Association's Wildcat Corner, the College-centered alumni community — www.EllerCommunity.com — is a free online resource that gives you access to:
Career Advisory Network
Events Calendar and Registration
Permanent Email Address
To register, simply visit www.EllerCommunity.com and follow the New Users link.
On April 13, sophomores and juniors from eleven Southern Arizona high schools grappled with personal ethical dilemmas during the Eller College High School Ethics Forum — a first-of-its-kind event made possible through support by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
"Ethical dilemmas are a frequent occurrence in business today; however, the ability to quickly identify and resolve such issues is typically learned on the job,” says Reed Mittelstaedt, a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Phoenix and a member of the Eller College National Board of Advisors.
“The Eller College of Management prides itself in producing business leaders who think critically and ethically,” says Paul Melendez, ethics program director and public policy lecturer at the Eller College of Management. Melendez — who also heads Eller’s International Ethics Case Competition — developed the concept for the high school program, which was hosted by the Eller Scholars and the Eller Board of Honor and Integrity.
Eller Scholars president Julie McCollom helped organize the event for her honors thesis.
“The subject of business ethics has always been a strong area of interest to me, one that takes particular priority within the accounting industry,” says McCollom (BSBA Accounting ’07). “Looking back to high school, I was never given an opportunity like this. As I compiled research, I started to wonder why students have to wait until sophomore year of college to be educated on the fundamentals of integrity and ethics, when high school is the time when we can have the greatest impact on their lives. My thesis inspired me to take action and make a difference in a nontraditional way.”
During the event, Eller College undergraduates facilitated high school student team discussions of two personal ethics cases. The teams developed ethical, responsible, and logical solutions for each case, then shared their conclusions with the entire group.
“We received amazing feedback from all the schools,” says McCollom. “Advisors and students alike seemed to really see the value in an event like the High School Ethics Forum.”
“Often, when students confront ethical issues for the first time, they see things in black and white,” says Melendez. “But in the real world, ethical decisions occur in the gray area. What’s important is to approach these issues critically and offer a reasoned process to making a final decision.”
MBA and undergraduate winners of the annual Think Forward awards presented by the Eller College marketing department were connected with high-level executives for exceptional shadowing experiences.
Adela Pedroza (MBA ’07) spent several days this month in Tokyo with Jay Geldmacher, group president of Emerson’s Embedded Power Division. “It was a highly rewarding experience,” she says. “I learned lessons that will serve me for years to come.”
Pedroza sat in on several key meetings, including an annual business unit meeting. “It was eye-opening to see what a president’s daily schedule includes,” she says. “I was amazed by the level of detail he is responsible for knowing in order to make key decisions. It was also fascinating to see his take-aways from meetings with managers.”
“He’s like an athletic team coach,” she adds, “and he works hard to get what he needs out of each player.”
After her shadowing experience, Pedroza was able to squeeze some sightseeing into her trip. She connected with Eller alum Katsuya Kaburaki (MBA ’06), now with Citibank, who acted as an unofficial guide. “The culture is so different from the West,” she says. “Japan has been overshadowed by China’s economic boom. But it’s still open for a lot of opportunities.”
“It’s one thing to learn about business development in Japan in an academic setting,” Pedroza says. “It’s another thing to experience it first-hand.”
The Think Forward Awards recognize outstanding undergraduate and MBA students, and include a $500 cash prize plus the opportunity to shadow a senior marketing executive, president, or CEO. This year’s winners are:
Elyse Flynn, BSBA Marketing ’07
Gabrielle Pavelko, BSBA Marketing ’07
Adela Pedroza, MBA ’07
Keith Queen, MBA ’07
Austin Sams, BSBA Marketing ’07
The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship continues to advance in key rankings — adding to a list of achievements capped with a #1 ranking by Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review.
Earlier this year, the Financial Times ranked the McGuire Center #6 in the world, and U.S. News & World Report named the Center #6 among public graduate programs in the country.
Each of these rankings applies different criteria to graduate entrepreneurship programs, and the Center continues its upward progress every year.
These successes — plus the annual championship round of the business plans competition — were celebrated April 20 at an annual year-end event. Complete coverage will follow in May.
The collaboration between the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship and the UA Office of Technology Transfer just got stronger: the entities have jointly hired an entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer specialist.
Matt Mars has returned to Eller in this new capacity, where he will maximize intersections between entrepreneurship and tech transfer. He previously worked in the Eller undergraduate programs office until 2004, when he left to earn his Ph.D. in higher education with an emphasis in university entrepreneurship.
“The relationship is already there, so it’s really about strengthening those ties through enhanced communication, helping students connect with the right people at the right time, and finding more conducive ways to expose them to technologies that are available as entrepreneurial learning and potential commercial opportunities,” says Mars.
In one project to that end, he has begun a series of science workshops that help incoming entrepreneurship students understand the implications of UA technologies available for commercialization, including discussion of the significant and distinguishing attributes of the technologies and how they might be maximized. Three workshops held over the past two weeks have shed light on 19 technologies in the areas of biotechnology, biomedicine, and engineering, optics, and information technology, with presenters from the Arizona Cancer Center, BIO5 Institute, and the College of Optical Sciences.
In addition to his work with the McGuire Center and the UA Office of Technology Transfer, Mars sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, which will publish one of his papers later this year. Next year, the Association fo the Study of Higher Education will publish a monograph on contemporary domains of entrepreneurship in the U.S. and Canada by Mars and a co-author from the University of British Columbia.
Undergraduate Student Business Plan Wins City of Tucson Support for Innovative Waste Management Venture
In March, two Eller College seniors went before the Tucson City Council and Mayor Bob Walkup to present the business venture they developed in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program.
Waste2Energy makes use of a patented organic fusion process to reform solid waste and sewage into useable end-products including oils, gases, elemental solids, and gray water. The team behind Waste2Energy — Melvin Cooper, Justin Cummins, Andrew Nicholas, and Martin Reed — plans to contract with municipalities to provide an environmentally sound waste management solution with a positive net energy output — at an estimated savings of 20%.
“The meeting with the City went really well,” says Cummins. “Originally, they just wanted to congratulate us on the work we did, but the mayor said, ‘There’s something here, let’s look into this.’”
The Council established an exploratory committee, and the team also had an informal introductory meeting with the Department of Environmental Quality(DEQ) this month at the behest of Pima County administrator Chuck Huckleberry. The team plans to work with DEQ going forward.
All four team members will graduate into leadership positions at Waste2Energy in May. They will work toward an official launch in Tucson.
Earlier this month, Eller College students connected with the 2007 UA Executive of the Year, John W. Rowe — the chairman, president, and CEO of Exelon Corporation, one of the largest energy companies in the U.S.
“The thing that was most surprising about his discussion was his view on leadership, and how that plays a huge role within the organization,” says senior marketing major Vidya Chellappan, president of the Eller College Student Council. “Although people have different leadership styles, he said that women are always perceived to be less aggressive then men when addressing certain issues among a boardroom of executives. He encouraged young women like myself to take the initiative and speak out about what matters most.”
This year, Exelon was recognized as the corporation of the year by the Chicago Minority Business Development Council. Rowe has long been recognized for his commitment to diversity, an integral part of the Exelon vision statement that he shared in his UA address.
“We serve Chicago and Philadelphia, two of the more diverse cities in the country,” he said. “Minorities are thus a large part of our customer base, a growing segment of our workforce, and an ever more powerful political force. We meet the challenge of diversity through hiring, promotion, minority contracting, and intense commitments to community groups. In the process, we align the expectations of our customers, employees, and the communities we serve, while at the same time advancing our business objective.”
“John Rowe's discussion about leadership, which is usually perceived to be a male-dominated role, helped me realize that young women have the opportunity to make a difference,” adds Chellappan. “As I begin my career at JCPenney Corporate, I hope to encourage others to speak up, take a chance, and create an open atmosphere.”
Under Rowe’s leadership, Forbes magazine ranked Exelon as the number one utility company on its 2005 list of “The Best Managed Companies in America.”
On May 10, the UA Foundation will host Charitable Planning Strategies – Giving from the Heart, a workshop focused on charitable estate planning.
“Planned gifts can be simple agreements or complex trust arrangements,” says Jane Prescott-Smith, Eller College senior director of development. “This workshop will give participants a great overview of the latest giving options to bring to a financial planner or attorney for consideration in estate planning.”
In addition to supporting to initiatives including scholarships, professorships, and academic departments, planned gifts provide income tax and estate tax benefits to the donor.
This free workshop is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on May 10 at the UA Campus – Phoenix in the College of Medicine auditorium. Lunch will be provided. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 4.
Earlier this month, Roger Hartley, assistant professor in the School of Public Administration and Policy, was honored with a 2007 Outstanding Mentor of Graduate/Professional Students award from the Graduate and Professional Student Council.
“In all areas of my development as a scholar-in-training, Dr. Hartley has been a consistent champion and supporter,” says Ph.D. student Salmon A. Shomade, who headed a group of nominators that included several master of public administration students. “He encouraged me to start thinking about my dissertation topic immediately after I began my coursework so that I could pursue publishing early portions of my dissertation. His encouragement has led me to co-author a paper with him that is currently being considered by respected journals in my academic field.”
“I love working with graduate and undergraduate students, and Salmon is my first Ph.D. student,” says Hartley. “I’m just trying to do for him what my mentor did for me. When you’re mentoring a Ph.D. student, your decisions have a real impact on his or her future career.”
Hartley says he has tried to give Shomade a well-rounded experience, including grant administration, research, conference presentations, and teaching.
“Dr. Hartley introduced me to the public law specialty area,” says Shomade. “As a result of his mentorship in this area — which fits very well with my previous academic background — I have been exposed to potential academic opportunities I will pursue upon completion of my studies.”
On April 5 at the Spring meeting of the Eller College National Board of Advisors, dean Paul Portney and the National Board of Advisors recognized three professors for undergraduate teaching excellence, and another three with course grants to create innovative learning experiences for undergraduate students.
Dean's Award for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence
Mike Sechrest, Management Communication
Leslie Cohen and Nancy Rochman, Financial Accounting
Dean’s Undergraduate Course Grants
Tamar Kugler, Management and Organizations
Renee McConnell, Business Communications
Bill Neumann, Management Information Systems
“The recognition is for a corpus of research on linking islands of data,” she explains. “Corporations rely on this data for decision-making, but it’s often spread across different databases.”
Ram has developed enterprise data management models to link these different silos of data so companies can make informed decisions and trace a product through its entire lifecycle.
“What came out of that is a concept I’ve developed called provenance,” she says. “If you buy an antique or an expensive painting such as a Rembrandt, you want to know where it came from and if it’s genuine — this is called provenance. It’s the same thing with data — for the data to be useful, you need to know where it came from, how it was created, who entered it, how it was transformed by different users.”
Ram developed a standardized definition of provenance, called the W7 Provenance Model. It combines seven elements — who, what, when, where, which, why, and how – and connects them to form a traceability map that companies can use to manage business processes including product recalls, counterfeit detection, and fraud prevention.
“It’s becoming more and more important for companies to be able to track products during their lifecycles,” she says. “When situations affect human life, like the spinach and peanut butter recalls, it’s essential for companies to identify where the cycle broke down — which manufacturing batch, which shipment — to correct the problem.”
Incentive for Success
|Roberto Guerrieri, MBA '86.|
Roberto Guerrieri came away with more than an MBA when he attended The University of Arizona. He also found his wife.
“Between the first and second years of my MBA, I worked as a graduate advisor to help undergraduate students figure out what they needed to do for grad school,” he says. “My wife Alicia was an undergraduate in math at the time, and she was interested in getting a business education.”
Guerrieri says she would come by regularly to talk to the dean about her next steps, and the dean kept telling her that Guerrieri would help her out. “I was working there part-time, and she always came around when I was gone,” he says. “She was like, ‘I don’t think this guy exists!’”
They finally connected on the first day of Alicia’s MBA classes. “She said to me, ‘You haven’t been any help at all!’” They both completed the program, and Guerrieri took a financial analyst position with Ford Motor Company’s Aerospace Division in Southern California.
Two years later, Guerrieri relocated to the Bay area when he accepted a position with Apple. “At that point, I moved from finance into product marketing,” he says. “I was part of the team that took the Macintosh into home computing. There were 35 of us, and in two years, we grew it to a billion-dollar business.”
Eight years later, Guerrieri was lured away by Hewlett-Packard to head up a team to launch the Pavilion line of home machines worldwide. In the late 90s, Guerrieri and his family realized that they missed Arizona, and moved back to the Phoenix area to be close to family.
“My wife was selling for a company that produced printed corporate incentive catalogs,” he says. “It gave me an idea — what if we could automate the entire business gifting process, and make it quick and fun for corporations to offer incentives to their customers and employees.”
Guerrieri co-founded Incentive Logic, which designs and delivers incentive programs for business including gifts, point programs for sales incentives, employee recognition, customer loyalty, and more. The options are delivered via a web-based catalog so recipients can browse an online catalog and choose rewards.
“Incentives are supposed to be motivating and fun,” he says. “So I can’t think of a better industry to be in.”
Guerrieri has stayed connected with the Eller College by supporting the new alumni community through Incentive Logic. He and his wife, Alicia Coleman Guerrieri (BS Math '85) live in Scottsdale with their daughter, Leah, 17, and son, Nicolas, 11.
|Rebecca Hughes, BSBA Finance and Marketing '03.|
Rebecca Hughes was always interested in retail, and she seized the opportunity to get a professional start down that path while she was still at Eller.
“I interned for JCPenney in the procurement department between my junior and senior years,” she says. “Then, mid-way through my senior year, I accepted an offer from them.”
Hughes relocated to the company’s Plano, Texas, home office, where she has worked since summer 2003.
“In procurement, we purchase everything for the company that’s not for re-sale — office supplies, janitorial services, flooring for the stores,” she explains. Hughes supports JCP.com, contracting everything from web design to online advertising.
The job is a great fit, she says. “I have always been passionate about retail — I worked for Mervyn’s for five years — and so this was a great opportunity.” JCPenney recently announced its Long Range Plan for 2007-2011 and one of the company’s key initiatives is to become the preferred choice for a retail career.
Hughes continues to stay involved with the Eller College. Last year, she attended the Eller College Career Showcase with the JCPenney college relations team, and was able to extend her visit so that she could also interview students during Professional Admission.
In May, Hughes will return to Arizona for an Association of National Advertisers conference in Phoenix, where she will participate in a panel discussion about innovations in agency compensation.