Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wake Forest Family Helping Rebuild MBA's Home

While many Wake Forest University Schools of Business students were off soaking up the sun on Spring Break, Vanessa Hosein (MBA ’13) was weathering a storm that will last for months.
Vanessa, a first-year student in the Saturday MBA program in Charlotte, was home studying for Financial Accounting and Quantitative Analysis tests on March 3 when a tornado broke through the silence, ripping through her home, tearing away walls and destroying everything in its path. Trees snapped off their trunks and shot like missiles into the walls of her home. The intense winds tossed around and swept away furniture, clothing, personal belongings and documents. The force of the twister sucked in the garage door, causing the door to wedge onto her car that was parked inside. The home’s privacy fence is gone – as is any sense of normalcy in Vanessa’s life.
Through it all, she is grateful to be alive and thankful that she sent her beloved dog “Gizmo” off to stay with a friend that night so she could focus on studying.
Focusing on studying in the days and weeks following the tornado is a tremendous challenge. As a student in a working professionals MBA program, Vanessa has a full-time job to maintain as well. “It has been very, very difficult. I had to go back to work part-time after one week and full-time after two weeks. I don’t have someone to financially support me other than myself and insurance does not pay for lost wages,” she said.
Vanessa stayed in a hotel for two weeks before moving into a temporary apartment. Anything she could recover from her home has been hauled off to a storage unit. She still has to pay her mortgage, even though her house is unlivable.
She has gone from running regressions and building financial models, to landing knee deep in insurance paperwork, trying to find a way to rebuild her home. Vanessa has been warned that the process could easily last nine months.
But she is not weathering this storm on her own.
“I have very good friends who are my family. They helped me with everything from moving out of the house, securing the property, finding a hotel or an apartment, and taking care of my dog. I can’t say enough about my friends, they have been wonderful,” she said.
“My coworkers and bosses have been excellent as well as my professors and the Wake Forest family who have helped me get caught up with my missed classes and coursework. WFUSB staff members Kyla Acie and Pasquale Quintero have been so understanding and accommodating.”
In fact, many people have reached out to check in with Vanessa and offer her support. “I could not keep up with all the calls, e-mails and texts that I was getting. My phone was going dead all of the time, and I needed to find a way to pass on information to everyone quickly. I’ve never done a blog but it seemed to be the best way to get the info out.”
You can keep up with Vanessa’s news in her “11707Twister” blog.
Wake Forest students, faculty and staff have asked how to embody the school’s Pro Humanitate motto and help Vanessa. The Wake Forest University Charlotte Center staff is collecting monetary donations to deliver to her. Checks, cash and VISA gift cards may be dropped off at the Wake Forest Charlotte Center in Uptown or mailed to: Wake Forest University Charlotte Center, Attention Vanessa Hosein (MBA ’13), 200 North College Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
To view a slideshow, click here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ethics Team Performs Well in National Competition

The Wake Forest University Ethics team advanced to the Semi-Final round of the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl earlier this month in Cincinnati, taking home a fourth place trophy.

The Ethics Bowl team, in its first year of existence at Wake Forest, won first place in the North Carolina Ethics Bowl and was a finalist in the Southeast Regional Ethics Bowl, earning the honor to compete at the national level.

Undergraduate students Louis Brotherton (Team Captain) (’12), George Bader (’15), Emily Bryant (’15), Kevin Cirronella (’14), Nick Cohen (’12), and Patrick Kelly (’12) advanced through their first four rounds of the Ethics Bowl to compete in the Semi-Finals. The Wake Forest team lost by just one point to the team that went on to win the national championship.

“Our team had a tremendous first year and made me very proud every step of the way,” said Wake Forest Ethics Team faculty advisor, Charles Lankau. “Formed from students across the University, this team represented the best Wake Forest has to offer in intellectual ability, and critical analysis of complex ethical dilemmas, as well as presentation and argumentation skills. These students handled themselves like seasoned debaters and made a real impact in each of the competitions they entered.”

Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl teams receive a set of ethical issues cases in advance to prepare for the tournament. Questions may concern ethical problems on wide ranging topics, such as the classroom (e.g. cheating or plagiarism), personal relationships (e.g. dating or friendship), professional ethics (e.g. engineering, law, medicine), or social and political ethics (e.g. free speech, gun control, etc.)

During the competition, teams present their solutions to questions presented from the set of dilemmas and teams of three to five students also respond to impromptu questions from the panel of judges.

Rating criteria include: intelligibility, focus on ethically relevant considerations, avoidance of ethical irrelevance, and deliberative thoughtfulness.

A total of 32 teams from around the country competed in the 16th Annual Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl on March 1.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wake Forest Can Do More To Include Evening Students

As a former Working Professional Student at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business, I have to commend David Smitherman and Orthovative Technologies for winning his category at this year’s Elevator Competition. Having gone through the evening program, I can attest that it must have been difficult for David to incorporate participating in the rigorous competition with a schedule that includes night classes, a job, and some semblance of a social life.

Not trying to overshadow the moment, I will say that his accomplishment should be a wake up call to the university to get Working Professionals more actively involved in events such as this. During my two years, I found the program rewarding, classes challenging and networking valuable. There are, however, at least two areas where evening students are missing out.

Working Professionals are not allowed to be on the team for the Marketing Summit, though they are allowed to work the event. I once asked a former team caption about this during the Club Fair and he told me that evening students could not compete because of there is a chance that their employer could end up sponsoring the case. The chances of that happening are slim. Granted, 2012 sponsor BB&T has employees in the evening program. But I could also see a situation where a full-time student on the Marketing Summit team could have a conflict if he/she ever interned at a sponsorship company (or had already accepted a post-MBA job at one).

There is an easy fix ... allow for alternates who can step in if such a rare conflict arises. An alternate could sit in on team meetings and game plan. Sponsors are is announced in advance of the competition, easily giving the team time to adjust.

By adding evening students, you also get team members with many years of real-world work experience and a different view of business. You get people who have historical perspective and strong work ethic. If they are willing to commit the time needed to participate they should be allowed to compete. It will make each team stronger and raise the overall profile of the Marketing Summit.

Working Professionals are not actively recruited for leadership roles such as SGA leadership. Most evening students believe that SGA is only for full timers. Meanwhile, policies were being created by full-time students without evening program participation. The university should do more during evening students’ first year, perhaps during orientation, to encourage them to get involved, schedules permitting, with clubs and government.

The university has made strides to meld the full-time and evening programs - kudos to Stan Mandel and the Elevator Competition for letting working professionals compete. But there is room for more progress. Doing so will create a more-integrated university, a more competitive program and a more communal atmosphere for all. Orthovative Technologies is proof of that.

Wake Forest Idea Wins 2012 Elevator Competition

A company that developed a monitoring device to reduce back pain and promote good posture just received a $10,000 boost for winning the grand prize in the 13th Annual Elevator Competition hosted by the Wake Forest University Schools of Business.

Orthovative Technologies was founded by David Smitherman, a student in the MBA program for working professionals at Wake Forest University Schools of Business, and Tadhg O’Gara, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and assistant professor at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. The OrthoCorrect Patch monitors patient posture and provides auditory and vibratory corrective feedback to strengthen back muscles and eliminate back pain.

“This is one step toward meeting our financing goal. We need to do more research and want to fund a full-time researcher at the Wake Forest Center for Nanotechnology,” Smitherman said. “We have received tremendous support and advice from business professors at Wake Forest University including Stan Mandel, Mike Lord and Len Preslar, and the director of the Nanotechnology Center, Dr. David Carroll.”

In addition to the $10,000, Orthovative Technologies received automatic entry into the Venture Labs Investment Competition and can qualify for up to a $500,000 investment from the Piedmont Angel Network.

Elevator Competition teams made two-minute elevator pitches while riding in an actual elevator at the BB&T Financial Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. Teams who impressed the judges advanced to a boardroom round in which they had 20 minutes to present a more detailed business plan to a panel of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and Elevator Competition sponsors.

FlexLeg, from Brigham Young University, won second place ($2,500) in the Traditional track and Archon Medical Technologies from Johns Hopkins University finished third ($1,500).

In the Social Entrepreneur track, Matt Edmunson and Jennifer Tsai from New York University Stern School of Business earned first place and a $5,000 prize to invest into their company. Nutraceutical Market Solutions identifies nutrition and health gaps in global populations and develops high-quality, culturally appropriate products to reduce the burden of disease. They will also advance to the final screening round of the Echoing Green Foundation’s business plan competition.

YardSprout, from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, won the second place prize of $1,500 in the Social Entrepreneur Track. Innovostics from Johns Hopkins University was third ($1,000).

FlexLeg from Brigham Young University also took home the $1,000 Fan Favorite prize by garnering the most votes on Throughout the weekend, a core of Wake Forest business students reported on Elevator Competition events by posting blogs, photos and videos to The website had more than 18,000 unique visitors over a 24-hour time period.

The Elevator Competition is a student-run event organized and produced by 2nd MBA year co-chairs Julie Almendral, Andrew Akers, and Daniel Van Der Merwe. They were supported by steering committee members Guy Groff, Ellen Hart, Gabriela Scarritt, Cooper Warren and Jordan Wesley and a team of more than 35 MBA and Master of Arts in Management (MA) student volunteers. The faculty advisor is Elevator Competition co-founder Stan Mandel, Professor of Practice at Wake Forest University Schools of Business and Director of the Angell Center for Entrepreneurship.

During the awards ceremony, Mandel told attendees, “It is absolutely incredible to see the ingenious creativity that goes on in the world. You represent the best that I have seen.”

Sponsors include: Altria, BB&T/BB&T Capital Markets, Bridgetree, Broyhill Family Foundation, Doug Shouse Marketing, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Piedmont Angel Network, Sold Space, Travois, Truliant Federal Credit Union, Vino Del Sol, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC, Wake Forest University Schools of Business Net Impact Chapter, Wake Forest University Entrepreneurship Club and the Wake Forest University Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bruce Springsteen, Wake Alum Partner on Food Drive

When Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band roll into Greensboro Monday, they will also help fill the coffers of a food bank in the city.
"The Boss" is encouraging those attending his "Wrecking Ball" tour stop in Greensboro to bring non-perishable food and monetary donations to help Greensboro Urban Ministry. Isn't that great?
Greensboro Urban Ministry's executive director is Mike Aiken, a 1971 Wake Forest alumnus who recently was among those honored with the university's Distinguished Alumni Award. The honor recognized his efforts to end hunger and homelessness.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wake Forest University Schools of Business MBA among Top 10% in the Nation

Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs offered by Wake Forest University Schools of Business are among the nation’s top 10% in the U.S. News & World Report rankings released March 13.

The Wake Forest University Schools of Business Full-time MBA program moved up three places to #44 overall out of 441 eligible programs. Employment at graduation, starting salary, recruiter assessment, and selectivity were among the categories in which Wake Forest improved in the U.S. News & World Report ranking over last year.

Within three months of graduation, 91% of the Wake Forest University Schools of Business Full-time MBA class of 2011 had accepted jobs, with an average annual salary and starting bonus of $91,504.

“We are committed to developing passionate, ethical business leaders who build meaningful careers that match their interests. Our goal is for every student to have accepted a job before graduation,” said Steve Reinemund, Dean of Wake Forest University Schools of Business. “Our students, faculty, staff and alumni should be commended for continuing to make the Wake Forest MBA a great investment.”

In addition, Wake Forest’s part-time MBA program, offered in Charlotte and Winston-Salem and exclusively designed for working professionals, again ranked #1 in North Carolina and was the only program of its kind in the state ranked in the Top 50. Overall, the Wake Forest MBA program for working professionals is ranked at #32, which also puts it in the top 10% nationally.

The 2013 edition of the U.S. News and World Report Graduate School Compass and Guidebook will be available on April 3. It includes detailed statistical information on more than 1,200 business, law, education, engineering and medicine graduate programs nationwide. For more information about Best Graduate Schools, visit, and to learn more about the methodology and data research, visit

Monday, March 12, 2012

Wake Forest Students Help Habitat for Humanity

Business students are exemplifying the Wake Forest University Pro Humanitate motto by applying skills they are learning in their “Dynamics in Organizations” class to support a local nonprofit agency.
On Sat., March 3, members of the class invested sweat equity into construction projects for Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County. They worked on a home site in the Smith Farm neighborhood of Winston-Salem and completed a “wall build” at the ReStore warehouse.
The students created an organization to serve Habitat for Humanity as part of an action learning project in their “Dynamics in Organizations” class. The students developed their mission statement, created a leadership structure, and designed roles for each of the 23 class members. They managed communication with their client and within their teams, and applied lessons from their class to inspire intrinsic motivation and goal attainment.
“The overarching motto of Pro Humanitate caused us to think about what it really means to be "for humanity" in our personal, academic and business endeavors,” said Skyller Jordan, a senior business major and external communication officer for the organization.
"It was extremely refreshing to branch outside of the Wake Forest campus and help out the greater community in such a powerful way," said John Kirkpatrick, a senior business major and chief financial officer for the organization.
One of the class goals is to raise more than $2,000 for Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County. Students have hosted bake sales, initiated “dorm storm” fundraising drives and negotiated with some local restaurants to donate a percent of a day’s proceeds to the cause.
“Partnering with Habitat for Humanity through this class has been one of the most rewarding parts of my Wake Forest academic experience,” said Jackie Swoyer, a senior business major and leader of the on-campus donations team. “With a class full of smart, talented and driven students, we have been able to accomplish amazing things. Within a matter of four weeks, we have raised more than $2,500 through a variety of ventures, and we have pushed ourselves through the process.”
The students also presented a donation check to Habitat for Humanity on their last day of class, which was Tuesday, March 6.

“This class has enthusiastically embraced this learning opportunity. I set the bar high for them, and they have raised it even higher,” said Professor Julie Wayne. “I have been impressed by their desire to lead, serve, and learn through this class project. They represent the best of Wake Forest’s ideals in action, and I’m glad to have been their partner in this project.”

Thursday, March 1, 2012

MA Students Honor Class Leaders

Two Master of Arts in Management students have earned scholarship awards for their academic performance and leadership at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business. The awards were given out in a ceremony on Feb. 7.

“This is a special moment for the Master of Arts in Management program,” said Matt Merrick, senior associate dean of students. “We usually give scholarships based on what you have done before you got here. We have never given an award for what you do here academically and as a leader in the program.”

Steele Windle (MA ’12) won the Dean’s MA Leadership Scholarship and Denmore McDermott (MA ‘12) won the Duke Energy MA Leadership Scholarship. Each received a check for $10,000.

“I like that these awards were based on nominations and essays, and were voted on by the class,” said Derrick Boone, academic director of the Master of Arts in Management Program. He told the winners, “I am proud of the growth you have displayed over your time here.”

“I appreciate this honor, and as far as I’m concerned, this check could have been divvied up among everybody for their contributions to our class," Windle said.

Michael Lepore, video coordinator for Wake Forest Basketball, announced the Duke Energy Scholarship for former Wake Forest Basketball walk-on player McDermott. Lepore said McDermott was an encouraging leader on and off of the basketball court. “From day one, he showed his amazing work ethic and gave 100% all of the time. There is no quit in him,” Lepore said.

“I have been blessed to be around great groups, whether in basketball or in choir, I wouldn’t trade them for the world," McDermott said. "But, I think one of the best groups I have ever been a part of in my life is this MA in Management class.”

Steve Reinemund, the dean of the Wake Forest University Schools of Business, congratulated the award winners. “I am really impressed with the leadership of this class. Thank you for what you contribute. It not only helps the students here, it helps us learn how to get better for students in our future classes.”

“This whole idea was to be driven by the students,” said Hansford Johnson, Master of Arts in Management Program Manager and director of student affairs. "Congratulations, your peers think of you with high regard.”

Video: Hanesbrands CEO Richard Noll

Hanesbrands CEO Richard Noll recently shared advice to business school students preparing to work in the global marketplace during keynote address at the 22nd Annual Wake Forest Schools of Business Marketing Summit on Feb. 17. Noll recommends developing a personal brand by building a distinction in some functional area early in a career and broadening experiences from there. He told students that communication is the most important skill to refine, and challenged everyone to earn a “well-worn passport.”

2012 Marketing Summit Keynote Address: Richard Noll, CEO of Hanesbrands from WFU Schools of Business on Vimeo.