Recently in Eberly College of Business and Information Technology Category

Thumbnail image for phikappaph_260pxi.jpgPhi Kappa Phi, the oldest, largest, and most selective all-discipline honor society in the nation, honored its IUP chapter as a "Chapter of Excellence" in November.

Now, IUP junior, senior, and graduate students in the top 10 percent of their classes have the chance to join this most excellent chapter.

The honor society recently sent membership invitations to 430 undergraduate students and 557 graduate students, mailing the invitations to the students' home addresses on record with the university.

The IUP chapter will have two initiation ceremonies: March 28 for undergraduate students and April 3 for graduate students. Both ceremonies will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Blue Room, Sutton Hall.

Students may accept the invitation to join by mailing in a form or completing one on the web and should indicate whether they will attend the ceremony -- for undergraduates, the deadline is March 7; for graduate students, March 13.

"We really hope that all invited students respond to this invitation -- it's a wonderful opportunity for students to be part of a national network of scholars," said Professor Dennis Giever, IUP chapter president.

In addition, he notes that "Phi Kappa Phi has more than $700,000 in scholarships and graduate fellowships for its members nationally, and several IUP students have been selected for these awards since IUP's chapter was chartered in 1993."

He asks that faculty encourage invited students to reply. "We know that students get inundated with information and mailings, but this is something that can be of great benefit to them, especially if they have an interest in scholarships or graduate fellowships."

Check your mail. You are already a winner! 

Looking to Buy a Catholic Indulgence?

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Eberly Connects monksOne of our favorite holiday shopping stops in December? The Stephenson Hall living-learning space.

Here we browsed some truly unique gift options: Catholic indulgences, stocks from the 1920s, even a 1950s bomb shelter.

Or, at least, we were treated to expert sales pitches on these items by first-year students who developed business plans for companies in various eras of modern world history. They presented these plans as their final projects for the linked courses Introduction to Business, taught by William McPherson, and History of the Modern Era, taught by Werner Lippert, in the new Eberly Connections program.

About 90 students, working in 20 teams, created business plans in an amazing range of historic periods spanning the 16th to 20th centuries.They were judged by a panel of faculty and staff members, and the award for best presentation went to the Tea Kettle Tea Company, set in England in 1850.

Their projects "gave students a chance to really know their product and the history embedded in it," said Dot Gracey, assistant dean for Student and Alumni Services in the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology. Gracey created Eberly Connections with help from Michele Norwood, associate dean for Humanities and Social Sciences.

Students gained awareness of the social, political, and business settings during which their product was developed, as well as research skills they might not normally have acquired in their first semester. By dressing for success circa 1550 or 1850, they became more personally connected to the information they learned during the semester.

"This is the type of deep, extended learning we hope for with the living-learning and linked courses concepts," said Gracey. "In this way, students gain knowledge that will stick with them for years to come."

We're sold on that!

Big Opportunities in the Big Apple for Students

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NYC1270_260px.jpgOn December 8 and 9, 2011, 75 IUP students took a bite out of the Big Apple.

For the sixth year, the Office of Alumni Relations and the Career Development Center organized a networking opportunity in New York City for Business Honors students in the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology, students in the Hospitality Management program, and students in Fashion Merchandising.

Students toured businesses where IUP graduates work that are also in the students' chosen career fields. One of the businesses was Jones of New York, where designer Sarah Graby-Boris, a 2003 graduate, met with a group of Fashion Merchandising students and Eun Jin Hwang, associate professor and coordinator of the Fashion Merchandising program.

Students also had the chance to be part of a panel discussion of noteworthy alumni, including the following:

  • Kevin Carrai '86, head of Member and Connectivity Services for Direct Edge, a financial services company
  • Leland Hardy '84, a global marketing advisor for the Hennessee Group. He has served as an advisor to many sports greats, including Venus and Serena Williams and Muhammad Ali.
  • Sarah Hogue '09, a graduate of the Robert E. Cook Honors College and a senior research assistant at Datacorp, a financial services company
  • Stephanie Perry '88, managing director, Deutsche Bank
  • Derek White '82, president of Interative & Media Networks, LodgeNet Interactive, which serves the hospitality industry

Fashion merchandising students in NYC_260px.jpgIn addition to the panel discussion, students also networked at a 150-person reception with many IUP alumni, including Marla Sabo, a 1979 graduate and a Distinguished Alumni Award winner, who has held top positions at Hermes North America and Dior.

"Many of the students that attended this event are ones who want to work in urban areas and, in particular, in New York City," Mary Jo Lyttle, executive director of Alumni Relations, said. "So not only did this event offer them the opportunity to meet with IUP graduates who have been successful in New York City companies, but it also exposed them to life in the city."

Happy Anniversary, Management Services Group

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ECOB 63011PF05_260px.jpgHappy anniversary wishes are in order for IUP's Management Services Group.

The MSG is an umbrella organization for outreach programs of IUP's Eberly College of Business and Information Technology. The goal of the MSG is to make a significant contribution to the economic vitality of the region by providing services to ongoing and startup businesses, both profit and nonprofit.

Without question, it has met that goal.

The MSG provides specialty business services through the Center for Family Business, Excellence in Entrepreneurial Leadership Center, Government Contracting Assistance Program, Small Business Development Center, Small Business Incubator, and Small Business Institute.

All of these programs not only serve the Indiana County region and regional businesses, but the Management Services Group also offers both undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity for real-life experiences and to make connections with businesses and agencies that help lead to internships and employment.

For example, the Small Business Institute serves businesses by creating teams of students to answer the specific needs of the business. The SBI has worked with Cherry Hill Manufacturing, Chestnut Ridge Golf Resort and Conference Center, Four Footed Friends, Gorell Enterprises, Indiana Regional Medical Center, Lockheed Martin, Renda Broadcasting, and the United Way of Indiana County, to name just a few of the clients. The work it has done has resulted in six national awards for excellence.

All the programs involve students and faculty members, working closely together, in one way or another. It's just another example of how IUP takes learning outside the classroom, to benefit students AND our community. 

Here's to twenty more years of excellence...and more!

Accreditation Distinguishes IUP Programs

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NAYSC_Early_Childhood_Accreditation_11711D69_260px.jpgThe good news keeps coming in terms of continued accreditations for IUP's departments and programs, and for those affiliated with IUP.

Most recently, the Indiana County Child Day Care Program, which serves as the laboratory for students in IUP's Child Development and Family Relations Program, was re-accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Earlier this month, the dietetics track in the Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition program in the Department of Food and Nutrition was recognized with full, continued accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education.

In September, the IUP Counseling Center was notified of its reaccreditation by the International Association of Counseling Services Inc., an organization of American, Canadian, and Australian counseling agencies.

In August, the Computer Science Department's degree program in Computer Science/Languages and Systems Track was recognized with accreditation by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.

In April, the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology was notified of its continued accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

And, IUP as an institution holds accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Truly, the list goes on and on, with some fifty programs on the list compiled by the Division of Academic Affairs.

So, what does this mean to the faculty, students, and parents? That IUP programs are not stagnant, for one thing. Departments must continue to be accountable for standards and outcomes, or they are at risk of losing their accreditation.

Second, that the university's programs are designed to meet standards to help students be competitive when they graduate, as programs with accreditation are expected to measure how well students are learning. 

And finally, accreditation means that a university has passed the test of independent reviewers. It's great to see that IUP and its programs are "A" students.

Accreditation. Don't go to a university without it!

Good News "for a Change"

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What They Said screen shot

I truly do enjoy my job, and I am very appreciative of the folks who go out of their way to tell me that they are happy with the media coverage I've arranged. One of my favorite things is when folks e-mail me or stop me out walking around campus with story ideas. Alumni, especially, are very loyal to IUP, and they like to see their university represented fairly for the accomplishments of its students, faculty, and graduates. So, I try not to take it personally when I hear, "Let's get some good news out there about IUP for a change." I know they care deeply about IUP and its reputation and are just trying to help.

For the past several years, I've been maintaining a log of media hits on the What They Said web page. I think it's a nice record of IUP in the news, and I hope that people (hint, hint: This means YOU, blog reader) visit it often.

But I've not really done an "official" count of media hits for several years, so, last year, I was asked to  count and measure the number of "good news" stories about IUP out there with circulation information. Here's what we found:

There were 435 positive stories about IUP from January 2010 to January 2011 in 46 different media outlets locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

This does NOT include the hundreds of stories featured on our local radio station OR any stories on athletics. ... I imagine the number would probably triple if I counted sports reports and features.

Anyway, these media hits ranged from places like Religion Dispatch (with a circulation of 2.3 million), the New York Times (circulation 740,007), and the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune (circulation 534,750) to 29 hits in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (circulation 393,071), 22 hits in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (circulation 319,987), and 310 stories in the Indiana Gazette (circulation 16,000). Using what researchers call the "industry multiplier" (how many people actually read or hear news reports), this means that good news at IUP "for a change" reached 76,474,622 people. Yes, 76.5 million people.

Of course, we don't catch every media hit, so this is just what I've been able to document. I think it's a pretty impressive number.

That's the good news. But be assured, I'm working to get that 76.5 million up past 100 million for 2011-2012,...so story tips and ideas are always welcome!

When Students Meet Alumni

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alumni_connections.jpgSome say who you know is as important as what you know. If that's true, what do you do when you don't know someone? My colleagues in the Alumni Relations Office are working with the staff of the Career Development Center and IUP's academic areas to make sure our students make connections in the working world.

Next week, students from Eberly College of Business and the Computer Science Department will travel to Pittsburgh to attend a reception the Alumni Relations staff has planned with employees of PNC Bank. The idea is to give students the chance to make contacts with alumni within the company; those contacts could in turn lead to internships, cooperative experiences, inside knowledge, and, maybe a job after graduation. Mary Jo Lyttle, director of Alumni Relations, asked me to acknowledge the alumni from PNC who have volunteered to serve as the event's host committee: Davie Huddleston '69, David Williams '79, Brady Wise '95, Joanna Ender DiCiurcio '02, Gary Greenwood '06, Jennifer Butter '07, and Benjamin Pollock '09.

Alumni Relations and others in University Relations are working on a similar event in New York City in December for students studying business, Fashion Merchandising, and Hospitality Management. More on that later.

Pride in Place

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I'm not an IUP alumna, but I truly consider myself a part of the IUP family. IUP pride is absolutely contagious.

Of course, I'm completely in the thick of how IUP makes a difference in the lives of current students. And because so much of my work is focused on faculty research and student achievements, I don't always think about the bigger picture--that there are also hundreds of stories about how IUP made a difference in the lives of past students, our 100,000 living alumni.

Then, IUP gets a $1-million gift from 1961 graduate Terry Serafini, and it just reinforces how deeply IUP alumni care about their university.

Mr. Serafini, a successful Pittsburgh entrepreneur, graduated with a degree in education but has been a longtime friend of the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology (in fact, he was honored in 1996 as the Eberly Entrepreneur of the Year).

He's earmarked his gift to Eberly for renovation of the building's atrium, which will be renamed the Serafini Atrium, and to establish the Serafini Outstanding Scholars Program to provide scholarship support to students in the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology and in math education in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Construction just started on the atrium renovation in August.

Eberly-Construction-500px.jpg

This 1,200-square-foot new space will complement the adjacent Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex, allowing access to the university through this expanded area. The renovation is expected to take about four months to complete.

No question, the size of this generous gift is news. But I was also impressed with Mr. Serafini's personal story. He began his business career in 1964 as a computer systems marketing representative for the IBM Corporation. In 1970, he cofounded Computerpeople, Inc., working there for twenty-seven years. During his leadership, the company grew to employ more than 1,300 computer professionals. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, the company also maintained offices in Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati; Sacramento, Calif.; and Portland, Ore., providing systems expertise in all disciplines to major corporations throughout the United States.

Mr. Serafini also cofounded Compucom, Inc., a digital-imaging and microfilm-solutions company in Pittsburgh, and formerly served on its board of directors. Before starting his business career, he served as an officer in the United States Army.

There's a saying that a person is judged by the company he or she keeps. If we extend that maxim to how to judge a university, I think IUP is in pretty outstanding company with alumni like Terry Serafini.

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