Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Catholic Relief Services Partners with CUA's Integral Economic Development Programs

In an event held on July 23rd at the CRS headquarters in Baltimore, MD, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Integral Economic Development programs at the CUA School of Business and Economics, launched a direct cooperation between the two institutions.

IEDM students and Dr. Martha Cruz with Dr. Alberto Andretta of CRS.
This cooperation will conduct research on Partnership and Capacity Strengthening. Three masters students of the Integral Economic Development programs at CUA will be working under the mentorship of Dr. Martha Cruz and CRS experts over an extended period of time. This represents a more strategic investment on the part of all stakeholders than previous approaches to internships. The students, Andrea Vasquez, Deborah Zelaya, and Alex Lutz, will conduct research on how effective CRS’s approach to strengthening local institutions is for the overall CRS goal of combating poverty and injustice in developing countries.

CRS is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. It reaches almost 100 million people in 93 countries across five continents, and as such, it is one of the largest U.S. organizations working in international development.

CRS and CUA are excited about this opportunity to collaborate.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

CUA Accounting Society Leads Students to Jobs - Prior to Graduation!

The CUA Accounting Program has grown significantly in the past few years, since the founding of the School of Business and Economics. Recently, the CUA Accounting Society (CUAAS) was created to encourage student achievement and connect deserving students with renowned firms. Prior to the Accounting Society, students had managed to successfully land internships and jobs with the “Big Four” accounting firms, which demonstrates their character and dedication, but students’ ability to land these jobs has increased since the founding of CUAAS.

Prof. Kirst instructs a student during "Accounting Boot Camp" (ACCT 305)
Anne Flanley, a recent 2014 graduate of the CUA Accounting Program is a prime example of the importance of networking, especially within the accounting community. Early in her college career, Anne was asked to be a teaching assistant for an accounting class that she had performed well in the year prior. This opportunity opened the door to the network of CUA faculty and staff. Networking is not simply meeting new people and passing them a business card, it is encouraging new people to take notice of your dedication and work ethic. Anne's hard work was noticed, and in turn she received advice and networking connections from faculty members, such as Professor William Kirst, former Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. This connection eventually landed her an internship and later, her dream job. Anne is an example to all aspiring accounting majors. She understood the importance of her actions and her grades, which led her to a greater network within the CUA Community and ultimately, her job offers. Anne will begin working for Ernest&Young this coming fall.

After the founding of CUA’s Accounting Society, students have had even greater success securing internships and jobs. The most recent class graduated on May 17, 2014. Over 50% of their class had job offers by Christmas, and all but one student (who decided to pursue a career as a Navy SEAL) had jobs secured prior to graduation. This is an outstanding achievement of both the a
ccounting students and the Accounting Program within the School of Business and Economics!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Prof. Widmer Attends Vatican Conference, Presents Book to Pope Francis

School of Business and Economics faculty member, Andreas Widmer, is famous for his time serving as a Swiss Guard for Saint John Paul II. Most business students have read and cherished his book, The Pope and The CEO, which has inspired many students to truly contemplate Catholic Social Teaching within their study of business.

Faculty member, Andreas Widmer, presents his book to Pope Francis in June.
While most fans of Mr. Widmer associate him with Saint John Paul II, he has now expanded his association with the Papacy to Pope Francis as well. In June 2014, just a few short weeks ago, Andreas Widmer was fortunate enough to have an audience with the Holy Father. Mr. Widmer presented the Holy Father with a copy of his book, which shares insights into Catholic Social Teaching for business men and women.

The Papal audience took place as part of a conference that Mr. Widmer attended, hosted by the Vatican. The conference addressed ending poverty while simultaneously making a profit. Presentations were made by several organizations including ELMA Philanthropy Services, USAID, Windhorse International, and many more. The conference was well attended and even included Cardinals Turkson and McCarrick. To learn more about the conference, please watch this video put together by RomeReports.

Friday, July 25, 2014

IEDP Students and Faculty Travel to Nigeria

Two graduate students were accompanied by faculty from the School of Business and Economics to Nigeria in order to make progress on their research projects for the Integral Economic Development Policy (IEDP) program. This hands-on exposure to the field is invaluable for students in this program.

The first student, Kevin Kamto, traveled with Dr. Sophia Aguirre to Nigeria to work on a research project. They were there for initial data collection (surveys), in what was the second trip for this project. He was able to comment on his remarkable seven-day experience in Nigeria:
“Despite numerous hurdles, we achieved most of what we were there for. The first two days were devoted to training and certifying the different members of the local team. The rest of the week consisted of administering surveys in various schools. As expected, the process did not go smoothly; we faced problems ranging from uncooperative school administrators to ill-prepared team members. A lot of these problems were unforeseen which prompted us to improvise and roll with the punches.  It was, however, a great and valuable experience: it gave me the opportunity to develop interviewing and data collection skills. Most importantly, visiting the schools and observing the teachers and students in their natural environments provided us with valuable information and revealed problems that we could later address in the second phase of data collection.”
The second student in the IEDP program, Nasim Mahmoud, is also participating in this project. She traveled to Nigeria for three weeks with Dr. Cruz in May 2014. Nasim and Dr. Cruz were the third trip to Nigeria for this project and they focused on the second phase of the data collection for this initiative – experiments. Nasim was also able to comment on her time spent in Nigeria:
“The infrastructural development of Lagos – from its paved highways, high rise buildings, luxury villas, shopping malls, and numerous banks – surpasses the majority of the countries in Africa. Growing up, I resided in and traveled to several developing countries, and one of the re-occurring themes among these countries was the excessive number of beggars in the streets.  To my surprise, this was not the case in Lagos. I was amazed by the hard work of the people of Lagos. While sitting in traffic during rush-hour under the scorching sun, I watched masses of hawkers walk meticulously in between cars selling merchandise such as water bottles, perishables, clothes, and even electronics to drivers. I witnessed the challenges and limitations that teachers and students face in developing countries: teacher absenteeism, overcrowded classrooms, lack of chairs and desks, and improper toilet facilities. Despite the contrasting differences (like any other city of a developing African country), poverty is prevalent in Lagos, but what I personally think sets Lagos apart from other cities is its people’s optimistic attitudes and determination to strive for the better.”
We welcome you to watch this video created after the IEDP students' trips to Nigeria.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Tracking Sheets Created for Business Students

The School of Business and Economics has announced several curriculum changes over the past year. As students know, half of the courses they take at CUA are spent studying business and economics, and half of their courses are purposefully reserved for the liberal arts. The school has been proud to promote the importance of the liberal arts given the number of employers who have indicated they want future employees who know more than just finance or marketing - they want employees who can think critically and write clearly. Given the demand, the importance of the liberal arts is emphasized by requiring students to study particular liberal arts courses.

Other curriculum changes have included the reworking of the Economics degrees, to include a new option for honors students. The degree in International Economics and Finance is now only open to students who meet the honors criteria, which has been very popular among students thus far.

Given the many changes that have occurred, the School of Business and Economics now has several different Tracking Sheets (found in Cardinal Station) for students to follow, depending on what year they began studying their major. All incoming freshmen (expected graduation: 2018) should follow the tracking sheet which begins with their major and ends in 2014-2018. For example, "Marketing: 2014-2018".

Students who began studying business last academic year (expected graduation: 2017), should follow the tracking sheet which begins with their major and ends in 2013-2017. For example, "Marketing: 2013-2017".

All other students should follow the original tracking sheet which is simply labeled with the name of their major. For example: "Marketing."

If you have any questions regarding tracking sheets, please email either Peggy Rendely or Alyce Ann Bergkamp, staff members of the School of Business and Economics.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Business School is "In Pursuit of Caring Capitalism"

Dean Abela was featured in a July publication of The Tablet, with his article titled, "In Pursuit of Caring Capitalism." In the article, Dean Abela states:
"As the only university owned directly by the Church in the United States, we have an important responsibility to incorporate the fullness of Church teaching about economic life in all of our work. We are, in a sense, the Pope’s business school in the US.

Pope Francis’ teachings have highlighted two major concerns about the global economy. The first is an “economy of exclusion”, the growth in inequality arising from so many people being unable, for various reasons, to participate in economic life – to make their own contributions and enjoy the resulting benefits. The second is a “throwaway culture”, which wastes the lives of babies through abortion, wastes the potential of youth through unemployment, and wastes food and other goods through consumerism."
We welcome you to read the full article here.