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UpFront: Our 10th Anniversary!

Robert F. Scherer, Dean
Robert F. Scherer, Dean

I would like to welcome everyone back to the spring 2009 semester. This year we celebrate our 10th anniversary in Monte Ahuja Hall. In the last three issues we discussed the growth and achievements of the Nance College of Business Administration from its inception in 1964 to today. Now let me tell you about some of the exciting things that will take place this year in celebration of this milestone.

By now you have probably seen the new installation in our lobby. It is called the Business Innovation Continuum. This multi-media learning center  celebrates the rich history of innovation in NEO and provides students, business educators, and entrepreneurs with tools and information that encourage new entrepreneurial ideas, stimulate innovation, and drive economic development. Learn more about this exciting initiative in this issue of Dialogue. And be sure to explore the Business Innovation Continuum.

This month we also published our first issue of Praxis, a publication that translates research for the practice of management. Its aim is to provide business leaders in Northeast Ohio with knowledge that increases their capacity to impact their organizations’ effectiveness. We have already received very positive feedback. You can find a link to Praxis in this issue of Dialogue.

Throughout the year we will be hosting different events to celebrate our anniversary. Working with our alumni association, we will invite our graduates back to Monte Ahuja Hall to see the changes that have taken place and to participate in a special event that make the most of the Nance alumni network. In April we will host a special event honoring the alumni featured in the Business Innovation Continuum. Throughout 2009 we will bring in some of the region's most successful and dynamic entrepreneurs as part of a lecture series on innovation and entrepreneurship specifically designed for our students. More events are still being planned, so stay tuned to Dialogue for more information.

In the past decade we have seen a transformation in our college, made possible in part through this tremendous building we call home. This year is a time to celebrate our achievements and move to the next level in offering new and innovative value-added programs to the Nance community. We invite our alumni, students, faculty, and staff to engage and participate in these events throughout the coming year.

Nance Launches New Publication For Business Leaders

E-commerce award
Click image for download Praxis

This month The Nance College of Business Administration published the first issue of our new publication, Praxis, is a semi-annual publication that translates research conducted by faculty of the Nance College of Business to provide business leaders in Northeast Ohio with knowledge that increases their capacity to impact their organizations’ effectiveness.

 “Praxis” is defined as: practice, as distinguished from theory; the exercise or practice of an art, science, or skill. The information provided in Praxis is insightful, but more importantly, it’s practical.

Twice each year, we will deliver this publication to 5,000 business leaders across many industries in Northeast Ohio, with useful knowledge on various topics or with multi-disciplinary perspectives on a particularly timely topic. Business leaders will get to know our faculty and their areas of expertise, which they have developed through research and professional experience.

Our intention is to encourage the readers of Praxis–CEOs, COOs, CFOs, Marketing Directors, CIOs and other top level executives–to reach out to our faculty experts for collaboration on the business issues they face. These may provide opportunities for students to engage, under the direction of a faculty expert, in real problem-solving for local clients; to leverage their knowledge and develop the skills and abilities necessary to be effective in their field.

Featured Student: Dominic Fedele

featured alumni
Dominic Fedele

Dominic Fedele is currently completing his MBA at the Nance College of Business Administration.  Dominic is a student dedicated to his education, and as a result he has achieved success in both his academic and professional life.   He graduated Summa Cum Laude with University Honors from CSU in May 2008 with his B.A. in Operations and Supply Chain Management.  Dominic feels that the Honors program challenged him to push himself academically and provided opportunities for him to practically apply what he had learned in his classes.

Dominic served as an intern for Flex Force Sales during his undergraduate career.  He recently completed a co-op position at General Electric in Maintenance/Supply Chain for the Tungsten Products Plant. Dominic holds a graduate assistantship as an undergraduate advisor  in the Nance College of Business. Apart from his graduate assistantship, he also serves as a tutor in business statistics for undergraduate students.  Dominic will continue to concentrate in Operations and Supply Chain Management as a graduate student.

Dominic recognizes the value of education that he has received at the Nance College of Business. He said that it was “nice to be in a classroom where professors take the time to get to know their students, it makes you want to go to class and participate.”  Dominic also said that he feels confident in the quality of the education that he has received, and feels prepared to enter the business community after he completes his degree. He said, “Dr. PolOMSky has been instrumental in my academic success, he’s retiring this year and the Nance College of Business Administration will be losing a valuable resource.”

In addition to maintaining a 3.8 GPA and working as a graduate assistant and tutor, Dominic tries to stay active in APICS, (American Production and Inventory Control Society).  In his spare time he enjoys playing the guitar and piano and reading articles online in order to stay current in his field and to develop general knowledge on related topics. Dominic was recognized with the Senior Excellence Award from the Rotary Club of Cleveland in 2008. After he completes his MBA, Dominic plans on joining the local business community or pursuing a law degree.

Students Design and Develop Innovative Consumer Products

OSM Class
Class participants with Beachwood Mayor Merle Gordon (far left) and Dean Scherer (far right).

In the Fall Semester of 2008 the Nance College of Business partnered with the Fenn College of Engineering to offer a new and innovative course on the design and development of green consumer products taught by Dr. Oya Tukel, from College of Business, and Dr. Majid Rashidi, from College of Engineering. The course involved forming an innovation incubator at the Nance Global Business Innovation Lab at the Beachwood Business Development Center.

Design teams were formed consisting of MBA and mechanical engineering students. The teams followed an operational roadmap and developed functional prototypes. Students were fully responsible for every stage of the product development. Working in cross disciplinary teams using the TRIZ process, students identified the problem to be solved, the ideal final result, and the ideality equation of costs and benefits.

Among the products they prototyped are a mop with a continuous feed mop, a ticketing kiosk for Toys R Us, hot rollers that can be adjusted to any size, and a dustpan that can pick up the smallest dust possible. All the prototypes are developed with the intention of minimal use of material and energy. During the class, students visited Smartshape, a local design company and consulted with attorneys regarding intellectual property to evaluate the soundness of their designs and explore the possibility of seeking patent protections.Once completed, the working prototypes were presented at a breakfast meeting at Beachwood High School, where the mayor of Beachwood was in attendance. This turned out to be a fun learning experience for all and Dr. Tukel is hoping to continue offering similar courses with the involvement of Fenn College.

Participating Engineering students included: Bakaraju, Bhamidipati, Depietro, Ghodeswar, Kalapala, Kaustubh, Omkareshwarrao, Phanikrishna, Prassanna, Thomas

Participating MBA students included: Drake, Elizabeth, Feldkamp, Herbison, Mazzola, Michael, Russell, Timothy, Tokarz.

MBA student Mike Drake who participated in the class said, “Thanks again for creating such a cool and fresh class. I truly enjoyed the experience and gained a lot of knowledge about the innovation, design and patenting of a product.”

Noon@Nance: A Conversation

James D'Orazio
James D'Orazio

James D’Orazio (known to his colleagues as "Jimmy"), Marketing Instructor and developer of the Noon@Nance Lecture Series, sits down to answer questions about the program that has received a lot of positive feedback and in Jimmy’s own words, learn why students, faculty, and members of the local business community have found the Noon@Nance Lecture Series to both an exciting and informative experience.

 Interviewer: Jimmy, why did you start the Noon@Nance Lecture Series?           

Jimmy: Three reasons.  First, coming from the business community into teaching it was obvious to me that industry was not aware of the quality of many CSU students and faculty, and the good work being done on campus. Also the students weren’t aware of the strength and creativity in the business community and felt they had to relocate to find career opportunities. It seems like a good idea to bring them together to discuss relevant business issues so they could get to know each other. Second, as a thought leader, I thought it was important for us to create a forum to discuss current trends and best practices in marketing. It’s a remarkably dynamic industry and there should be opportunities to discuss how the best companies in Northeast Ohio are reacting to change and adopting new practices. Finally, I thought more people need to get on the CSU campus. There are new facilities and a new attitude that need to be shared with the business community.

 Interviewer: What is it, in your opinion that makes Noon@Nance worthwhile?

Jimmy: The quality of the panelists. This year alone we’ll have panelists from American Greetings, Things Remembered, The Cleveland Indians, Heinen’s, Key Bank, The Cleveland Clinic and Ambiance. More importantly they have all been very open and honest about the opportunities and challenges their organizations face. I find this insightful, honest analysis of how these companies respond to current trends very worthwhile.

Interviewer: Every series has a theme. How do you select a theme for the year?

Jimmy: I pay attention to issues discussed in the marketplace, in the literature and by my clients and students. Invariably, there are one or two topics that merit deeper discussion. This year’s “Creating a 'WOW' Customer Experience” and last year’s “Sustainability for Competitive Advantage” were obviously hot issues that generated a lot of interest.

Interviewer: What kind of audience normally attends Noon@Nance?

Jimmy: We usually have a good mix of students, local business professionals and faculty.  Attendance is usually around 50-60 people although we have had as many 100 attend. When the Cleveland Indians were here Slider showed up!

Interviewer: How can our readers become involved?

Jimmy: Attend a discussion! I know getting downtown at lunch isn’t always easy but I think you’ll find the discussion worth the effort. Plus, you ca bring your lunch. We are launching a Noon@Nance blog where people can share their ideas about current trends and best practices in marketing. Or people can feel free to recommend a topic or speaker for next year’s series.

Interviewer: When is the next Noon@Nance lecture?

Jimmy: On February 19th we host American Greetings and Things Remembered. The topic is "The Online Customer Experience". These two companies are leaders in this area. It should be a great event. ( Register here )

Student Shadie Andraos wins Key Bank Case Competition

Shadie Andraos
Shadie Andraos

Shadie Andraos, a student of the Nance College of Business Administration, was selected as the top student from the The Key Bank Undergraduate National Leadership Seminar, held from October 30th through November 2nd at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.  

The event featured faculty and guest speakers as part of a symposium focused on graduate level business topics, especially creativity and innovation. Over 30 minority students from 16 universities across the U.S. participated in the symposium. At the end of the conference, the students formed 4 teams and competed in a case competition, focusing on product development for Key Bank with the goal of increasing savings within a target demographic. Students had 3 hours to prepare for the case, followed by timed presentations.  
The top 5 students from the weekend who exemplified the ideals of the symposium and excelled in target areas of leadership, volunteerism, and creativity were selected to receive $1000 scholarships.  
Shadie Andraos, from Cleveland State University, received the first of the 5 scholarships distributed. His team developed a product referred to as Budget Analysis Tool (BAT) targeted to individuals in their 20’s. This software package can be integrated with current products offered by the bank, such as online banking and tracking spending. The product is designed to help encourage them to save by identifying big ticket items that they are likely to purchase. The concept had a technological edge that differentiate it from many consumer banking promotions that use monetary or interest rate based incentives. The team targeted this demographic because of its willingness to adopt new technologies, as well as its placement within the family; these individuals can serve as an example for younger generations, while possibly sharing their knowledge and insight with parents, coworkers, and their peers.  

Greetings from Dr. Santosh Misra at Copperbelt University, Zambia

featured student
Dr. Santosh Misra

We arrived in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, on August 28, 2008 where we were met by Ms. Chilufya Chilangwa from the public affairs office of the American Embassy. After the necessary security briefing at the US Embassy, we were transported by my eventual employer to Kitwe. My association with the Copperbelt University began on September 1. I have been placed in the Computer Science Department, which is in the School of Technology. The college is headed by Dr. Hastings Libati as the Dean, and the Department Chair is Mr. Edward Nkonde. 

The Copperbelt University, one of the two public Universities in Zambia, was established in December 1987 and started its operation with two schools: the School of Business, and the School of Built Environment. The University later incorporated the Zambia Institute of Technology, located in Kitwe, to form the School of Technology. The School of Technology is home to several departments including Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Mining Engineering. The University’s student population has grown from 514 to more than 5100 during  its 21 years. Core functions of the University are traditional: teaching and learning; research and consultancy; and public service.

featured student
" The Nance Tea Club "

There are 18 full-time faculty members in the Department of Computer Science. The department’s faculty comes from multiple disciplines: mathematics, management, communication, and computer science. My colleagues are very helpful as needed and have assisted me in many ways. They even have a tea club just like back home at Nance. Both Copperbelt and the University of Zambia at Lusaka offer bachelor’s degree programs in computer science. None of these institutions currently support a master’s or doctoral program in computer science, information technology, or computer engineering.

The department offers a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a two-year diploma program in information technology. The diploma program  will soon become a full 4-year bachelor’s degree program.  The department faces a number of challenges including the availability of qualified faculty, textbooks, and computing facility.

The objective of my Fulbright assignment was to develop a master’s program in computer science. In addition, I was requested to review the existing Bachelor’s program and suggest changes if necessary. A draft master’s program has been developed and been accepted by the department faculty. The proposal will go for further approval when the University reopens in March after the summer break. The challenge of faculty availability and text books will make the implementation of the Master’s program quite difficult. Please let me know if anyone is interested in helping with textbooks for the Master’s program.

On a personal note, we live in a house provided by the university, about 1.5 Kilometers from the campus. We were tremendously helped by Stanley Siwale and his wife Rebecca. Stanley is a faculty member of the School of Technology and is currently completing his doctoral studies in the Fenn College of Engineering at Cleveland State. Rebecca is also studying for her MBA at CSU. We have had some wonderful sightseeing trips.  Some of the sightseeing pictures can be found at

Class Notes

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