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A Nance Benchmark Primer, Part III

Robert F. Scherer, Dean

For the past several months in UpFront, I have been reviewing the figures that characterize and describe the Nance College of Business. We highlighted our enrollment success and the growth of our extended campuses. This month, I want to focus on the grants and contracts that the Nance College has received in recent years that have contributed to this recent success. With these funds, sound financial stability is achieved to help ensure that our students are experiencing the highest quality education. External support is very important to our growth and advancement as a college and as a university. Here are some important numbers, which highlight the most significant recent grants and contracts.

U.S. Department of Education Title VI-B grants are grants received for our international business programs and outreach initiatives. Since 2003 they totaled approximately $750,000. Grant funded initiatives have included:

  • A portfolio of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in global business
  • International business internships
  • Global E-commerce Certificate program
  • Nance Global Innovation Lab at the Beachwood Business Development Center (BBDC)

Additional federal, state and local grants for more than $500,000 have included:

  • USAID: Building a Sustainable Center of Excellence for Computer Science and Engineering at the Copperbelt University in Zambia
  • Cleveland Foundation grant for the High Performance Building initiative
  • Cuyahoga Innovation Zone grant to further the economic development activities of the BBDC
  • Key Foundation grant to establish the Student Managed Investment Fund, allowing students to gain experience in investments and portfolio management using real money
  • Cleveland Foundation grant to examine the commercial opportunities for hydrogen technology in Northeast Ohio

Industry-based contracts for special programs, applied research and consulting totaled over $500,000 over the past four years. Outcomes have included:

  • Establishment of the GlobalTarget flagship program to help regional businesses expand their global markets
  • Becoming the lead provider in Northeast Ohio for the SHRM Learning System
  • Providing on-site, customized preparation course for the Certified Management Accountant exam
  • Facilitating the Corporate Roundtable, a group comprised of 40 key business leaders who meet monthly for peer learning and to share best practices in corporate and community sustainability.

These are just a few of the many areas for which grants and contracts have been received over the past several years. It is because of our outstanding faculty and staff that the Nance College has been able to receive these funds from year to year. These funds then ensure that our Nance faculty has access to the resources and support needed for effective fulfillment of our mission.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish each of you a wonderful holiday season and a 2010 filled with happiness, good health, peace, and contentment.

Featured Alumni: Janet Kramer

Janet Kramer, MBA '83

Janet Kramer, President of The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Ohio Buckeye Chapter, is this month's featured alumni. Kramer graduated with her MBA in marketing in 1983.

Kramer originally chose Cleveland State University because of the affordable cost. "It was affordable at a time when I could not afford to go to some of the neighboring schools," she said, "plus, the curriculum was excellent and the professors were great." Kramer enjoyed all of her classes at Nance College but enjoyed her management and marketing classes the most.

Kramer's education at CSU opened up many doors for her. Before Kramer received her degree, she was offered a part-time position in the insurance field. After graduation, this position turned into a full-time position. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to work in numerous fields such as human resources, facility management, marketing support, sales, advertising and management.

Kramer's most rewarding professional experience to date is her current position with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, where she has been for sixteen years. The nonprofit world has allowed her to use many of the skills she acquired at CSU and at her previous positions. "I am so lucky to have a career I enjoy and I also have the satisfaction of helping those who live with multiple sclerosis on a daily basis."

Kramer is also very active in her community. She formerly served as Board President of the CSU Alumni Association and is currently serving on the CSU Planned Giving Advisory Committee. She serves on the Board of Directors of both Cleveland Play House and The Musical Theater Project. She is also serving as Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and the Finance & Budget Committee at Church of the Redeemer United Church of Christ.

In addition to her love of theater and music, she also enjoys traveling and reading. Kramer's late husband, Robert N. Trombly served as an Executive in Residence in the Nance College of Business from 2003-2005.

Featured Student: Courtney Szocs

Courtney Szocs

Courtney Szocs, current MBA student and Graduate Assistant for Executive Graduate Programs, is this month's featured student. Courtney currently holds a 3.95 GPA and plans on graduating in the spring with a concentration in marketing.

Courtney graduated Magna Cumme Laude from The Ohio State University in 2006. She majored in corporate and apparel merchandising and minored in business. She was on the Dean's List every quarter and was a member of Golden Key International Honor Society. After graduation, Courtney began a career in the fashion world, taking a job at H & M in Chicago, designing stores. She was then transferred back to her hometown of Cleveland and soon became interested in setting up the displays and seeing the customers react to them.

Courtney wanted to study these marketing trends in more depth and decided to go back to school to pursue her MBA. She was originally going to attend Ohio State for her MBA, but after meeting with Ken Dippong, an advisor in the College of Business, she chose the Nance MBA program at Cleveland State University. "Ken was an amazing help," Courtney said. "At CSU, the student/teacher ratio is better than Ohio State, the professors are great and are more than willing to go out of their way to help."

While at CSU, Courtney has completed a short-term study abroad in London and worked on a consulting project for American Innovative Products, both with Dr. Tom Whipple. Because of her graduate assistantship, she has also had a chance to work closely with Dr. Elad Granot. "Dr. Granot has been a huge help to me in finding out where I want to get my Ph.D. I am very thankful to have had the chance to work with him."

When not at CSU, Courtney spends time volunteering. She is currently evaluating schools for her PhD with the help of Dr. Granot and Dr. Sreedhar Madhavaram. She plans on beginning a Ph.D. program in Fall of 2010.

Advancing Sustainable Business Practices

Artist's rendering of the hydrogen bus outside the fueling station at the Great Lakes Science Center

If the next generation of business leaders is to excel at managing enterprises for greater competitiveness, it will need the knowledge and skills to tackle not only the financial but also the social and environmental challenges faced by today's corporations. There are a growing number of universities that have begun to incorporate social and environmental content into core business courses and a few universities that have even elevated the study of social and environmental management from separate disciplines into an interdisciplinary area of study. Those universities that are able to fill this gap are being recognized for their cutting edge programs and are playing an instrumental role in developing individuals who can effectively manage the interrelationship of financial, social and environmental factors inherent in our global marketplace.

The Nance College of Business is committed to addressing this gap over the next three years and will continue to develop and provide practitioner-based research, education and outreach focused on sustainable business practices and models for mainstream business through its Center for Sustainable Business Practices. Recent and ongoing efforts include:

  • Obtained $233,000 from the Cleveland Foundation for the High Performance Building Technology Initiative. The intent of the initiative is to capitalize on the national push towards high performance building by supporting a developing market demand within Northeast Ohio.
  • Partnered with Sustainable Cleveland to establish the Corporate Round Table on Sustainability. The Corporate Roundtable is a forum for major companies in Northeast Ohio to discuss sustainable business models and practices that affect their competitive advantage.
  • Established a Net Impact Student Chapter, which is a global membership organization for students and professionals committed to using business to improve the world.
  • Member of Corporate Sustainability Network, a group focused on promoting economic development by helping to integrate sustainable business practices and innovation in Northeast Ohio's 150 largest corporate citizens.
  • Developed a product innovation initiative with Lubrizol Corporation to drive product development ideas to market through integrated teams of CSU faculty, students and Lubrizol staff. The initiative will stage gate product ideas through interactive course work designed to provide students with "real world" product innovation and launch experience. The process will allow students to take into account the "triple bottom line" measuring the economic, social and environmental impact of the product ideas they research.
  • Create a "Hydrogen Energy Roadmap" that will help to establish a better understanding of the potential use of hydrogen as an economic driver in Northeast Ohio. To this end, the Nance College of Business will work in tandem with the development of the renewably-generated-hydrogen fueling station to begin to assess and define the supporting and inhibiting factors that will frame and shape the future of a hydrogen economy in Northeast Ohio.
  • Commit to engage and incorporate United Nations Global Compact Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) into and across the academic activities and curricula in the Nance College of Business to provide our students with the skills to positively affect a firm's bottom line and the society in which it operates.
  • Working within the PRME framework, the Nance College of Business will develop a graduate level concentration in Global Sustainable Management in partnership with Groupe ESC Clermont Graduate School of Management located in France. A team of faculty is currently working on the curriculum for the program, which will include a practicum or international study component.

The concentration in Global Sustainable Management will serve as a working model for the Nance College of Business to learn from and further develop curriculum in global sustainable business development and practices.

For more information on the Center for Sustainable Business Practices, contact Collette Hart at

EMBA Students Attend City Club Address

EMBA Students at theCity Club

The Executive MBA cohort of 2010/2011 had a chance to hear Dr. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, the Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, speak at the City Club of Cleveland. Associate Dean Dr. Benoy Joseph, EMBA program director Dr. Elad Granot and EMBA faculty member Dr. Oya Tukel accompanied the students to the event that took place as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series sponsored by the EMBA program. Special speakers periodically come to the Nance College of Business to share with the EMBA students different thoughts and trends in the business world. It helps to keep the students engaged and informed and also keeps them involved in the community.

Professor Kanter spoke about leadership and how "good companies with good leadership are the companies surviving today." Leadership is one of the many qualities stressed in the EMBA program. There were 40 total students who were able to take part in the event. "Professor Kanter proved a very engaging and entertaining speaker, who gave some very insightful views on what constitutes 21st century leadership," said Stephan Uijtewaal, an EMBA student. Stephan also enjoyed the chance to spend some time outside of the classroom with his fellow EMBA students. "Listening to their experiences in the program to date was a great stimulus for me."

Professor Kanter holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, where she specializes in strategy, innovation and leadership for change. A former Editor of Harvard Business Review, she has been named to list of the "50 most powerful women in the world" by the Times of London and the list of "50 most influential business thinkers in the world" by Accenture and Thinkers 50 Research.

The City Club of Cleveland is the oldest continuous free speech forum in the United States. Cleveland State University is a proud member of the club, which is considered one of the top three speaking forums in America. Over the years it has played host to many sitting Presidents and Vice-Presidents as well as some of the most notable citizens of the United States.

Take Advantage of the Nance Social Network

Social networking is sweeping the nation. From Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn, people are staying connected more than ever. Social networking is defined by as "the use of a website to connect with people who share personal or professional interests, place of origin or education at a particular school." At the Nance College of Business, students and alumni are making the most of their Nance network by connecting with each other through various sites. We encourage you to stay connected. Here are the current sites where you can visit and join:

Nance College of Business: Facebook fan page
MBA Alumni Association: Facebook Group and Linked-In Group
Marketing Department: Facebook Group and Facebook Group for England Study abroad program Executive MBA program: LinkedIn Group

Net Impact Chapter Launched at the Nance College

The Nance College of Business' student chapter of Net Impact hosted its first event on November 2. The event was a panel discussion on Why Sustainability – How Cleveland Businesses are Addressing Environmental Concerns. Dave Nash, from the Corporate Sustainability Network moderated the event and Margie Flynn from Brown Flynn, Tom Morley from Lube Stop and Monica Alston from Eaton served as the guest panelists.

The Net Impact chapter is a new student organization on campus, which is partially funded by our recent Title VI-B grant. The chapter focuses on the importance of sustainability in the business world today and the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. Their primary target is business students but all majors are welcome. The first membership meeting was held on November 10, but they are still looking to fill more leadership positions.

Upcoming Net Impact Events:

  • Holiday Blanket Drive – They will be collecting blanket donations for the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. You can bring blanket donations to BU 327 until December 18.
  • Next Monthly Meeting – They will be hosting a speaker series for monthly meetings. The next meeting will be January 26 with speaker Anthony Adeleke from CSU Career Services.
  • Local Food and Supply Chain Management Event – still in the planning stages, this event will be held at Great Lakes Brewery in February.
  • Networking Event – They are planning on teaming with student chapters of Net Impact at Case and Kent State to host a large networking event with the Corporate Sustainability Network in late April. They are hoping to draw 30-50 businesses and potential employers to the event.
For more information on how to become involved in Net Impact, contact Julia Ferguson at (216) 687-4750 or email at

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