The Official Newsletter of the Leon Hess Business School’s (LHBS) Business Council
More than 65 Business Council members, Leon Hess Business School’s (LHBS) faculty, student leaders, and guests attended the Business Council’s quarterly meeting on February 24 at the Varsity Club in Monmouth’s OceanFirst Bank Center. The agenda involved a series of updates on several Business Council initiatives, a briefing on the strategy behind Monmouth’s transition to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), a breakdown of Career Development’s new programming, and the induction of three new members.
Since Fall 2022, the LHBS and Business Council have been collaborating to pursue different continuous improvement initiatives. During last month’s meeting, Dean Raj Devasagayam and Chair Deb Clay shed light on the council’s progress, specifically noting curricular advancement, student success, and faculty development.
Curricular Advancement: The curriculum review process began this past summer, requiring close collaboration among department chairs, faculty, administrators, and the Business Council Academic Support Committee. This review focused on business curriculum innovation and modernization to reflect the competency needs of the current business landscape. Subsequently, the team developed recommendations centered around restructuring the core business curriculum to include heightened business acumen, a stronger focus on data analytics, and a new minor in Business Administration Foundations. All proposals were approved by both business faculty and the University Undergraduate Studies Committee. Dean Raj expressed gratitude to the Business Council Academic Support Committee for their efforts; Deb Clay, Natasha Maximoff Chandler, Bill MacDonald, Glenn Bellomy, Sheldon Horowitz, and Nicole Puccio.
Student Success: The Business Council’s Awards & Scholarships Committee has enhanced its 2023 Program by adding four new student awards, which recognize student leadership, community service, innovation & entrepreneurship, and resilience & resourcefulness, respectively. Additionally, the Business Council is creating a new annual scholarship and will fund a $25,000 endowed scholarship. (Business Council Awards & Scholarships Committee: Joe Rice (Chair), Michael Troy, Sheldon Horowitz, John Paolella, Ryan Lanier, and Christine Schaeffer)
Faculty Development: Recognizing the importance of research in faculty’s continued development, the Business Council has secured funding for the 2023 Faculty Summer Grant Program. The Faculty Support Committee will aim to provide opportunities that align closely with the curriculum advancement initiative. Faculty proposals seeking Business Council summer grant funding are due by March 31, 2023. (Business Council Faculty Support Committee: Natasha Maximoff Chandler (Chair), Gloria Nilson, John DiNapoli, Jonathan Leifer)
Both Dean Devasagayam and Chair Clay expressed their gratitude for the collaborative effort across the Business Council, faculty, and administration, all of whom are responsible for these meaningful accomplishments.
Provost & Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Pamela Scott-Johnson and Director of Athletics Jeffrey Stapleton teamed up to present the University’s transition to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), explaining how it supports the overall Monmouth University strategic plan. They informed the Business Council of several key drivers for this change, which support both the athletic program and curricular agenda.
Stapleton provided some background about the CAA; it consists of 13 private and public universities from Maine to South Carolina. The league is Division 1 and considered a “mid-major” sports conference. He also described the new conference as more competitive than the previous conference as the universities involved are of a more similar profile to Monmouth University. Although Monmouth is the second smallest by enrollment, our conviction to “punch above our weight” is brought to fruition in this conference. Likewise, joining the CAA allowed the sports programs to consolidate 23 of the 24 sports offered into one conference.
Both Stapleton and Dr. Scott-Johnson emphasized the strategic value of this conference. According to their presentation, the CAA was founded under five primary commitments: Academic Excellence, Competing at a Championship Level, Inclusive Excellence, Sustainability, and Well-Being.
This alliance brings Monmouth into the fold of a consortium of universities that collaborates to achieve mutually beneficial goals. It is governed by the provosts of each university, and they meet on a periodic basis to exchange information and discuss the relevant issues facing their respective universities. The program closed with a great discussion led by questions from Business Council members, during which time Dr. Scott-Johnson made it clear that Monmouth University does not only want to compete at a higher level; they want to WIN!
Monmouth University’s Career Development team updated the Business Council on how they are preparing students for successful transitions into careers of their choice. Executive Director Beth Ricca, Director of Employer Engagement Jeff Mass, and Outreach Coordinator Julia Angeliadis emphasized the importance of internships in employer recruiting.
Citing the National Association of Colleges & Employers Job Outlook 2023, 70% of interns are offered full-time positions at the company at which they interned. The team laid out their plans to make this statistic a larger reality at Monmouth, which involves the pilot of two new, employer-student programs.
Connecting Students to Employers: Career Development has engaged in a holistic effort to bring together students and employers. This includes Virtual Industry Fairs, Employer Information Sessions, and the 2023 Career & Internship Fair (October 4, 2023) which give students the opportunity to network directly with hiring teams and learn about opportunities across multiple industries. “Hawk Career Treks” and “Intern For A Day” are examples of Career Development’s new programming, allowing students to work directly with professionals to better understand potential career paths, positions, and company culture.
Business Council Assistance: As an organization of nearly 40 regional professionals representing multiple prominent industries, Business Council members are positioned to provide support to students through these Career Development-led initiatives. If you are interested in contributing to Hawk Career Treks, Intern For A Day, the 2023 Career & Internship Fair or the Employer Information Sessions, contact Jeff Mass, Director of Employer Engagement, via email@example.com.
Richard Ricciardi, Chair of the Membership Committee, had the privilege of inducting three new members to the Business
Council: Pooja Shah, Contact Accountant, Spotify; Ryan Wetzel, District Marketing Manager, Federated Insurance; and Jay Whalen, Chief Accounting Officer, Commvault. Their respective industries represent streaming platforms, commercial insurance, and data management software, thus further diversifying the Council’s industry depth.
Both Shah and Wetzel are proud graduates of the Leon Hess Business School. Shah received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting in 2019; Wetzel received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a dual concentration in Economics and Finance in 2018. Since graduating Monmouth, both Shah and Wetzel have represented their alma mater with distinction. We are proud to welcome them back to the Leon Hess Business School!
Shah is already serving as a mentor in the Student Enrichment & Engagement thru Mentoring Activities (SEEMA) Executive Mentoring program. Wetzel and Whalen will ensure the continuation of university-to-business relationships we have with Federated Insurance and Commvault, providing greater access to summer internships and full-time positions.
Whalen embodies the collaboration between Monmouth University and Commvault, a company that has been responsible for creating over 75 summer internships/full-time positions over the years. We look forward to Whalen’s continued guidance in creating many more opportunities for our students.
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