Saint Xavier University Graham School of Management

Graham School of Management

Spring, Summer 2016 Newsletter

Message from Dean Asghar Sabbaghi (continued)

Our commencement was particularly notable due to the large number of GSM graduates who successfully converted an internship into full-time employment. This further serves as a testament to the first-rate educational experience offered at GSM. This was affirmed by our student commencement speaker Peter London who was a candidate for an internship at a prestigious tax firm, along with graduates from Loyola University, University of Illinois and Notre Dame University:

"I thought, 'How could I compete against students from such major schools?"' London said. "Not only was I the top candidate, but I also received a full-time employment offer from the firm... I attribute my ability to being their top candidate to my training at Saint Xavier's Graham School... Most importantly, I have been given the confidence to succeed in my future. And at the heart of it all that's what SXU and the GSM strive for. They don't just focus on our four years here. No. They focus on our success five years after we graduate. Ten years."

Missed commencement? You can watch the GSM commencement ceremony online.

2016 Banquet Award and Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) Chapter Honorees

On April 24, we held our GSM Banquet Award ceremony where 35 graduate and 31 undergraduate students were inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) International Honor Society. Additionally, 12 other scholarships and discipline honors were awarded, and 40 additional undergraduate students were honored on the dean's list.

As part of this year's ceremony, we honored the Inaugural BGS Chapter Honoree in Business Leadership, Ana Dutra, president and CEO of the Executives' Club of Chicago. Dutra served as the keynote speaker for the GSM commencement ceremony (May 2015) and the GSM mentoring program (fall 2015) and is a member of the GSM Business Advisory Council. Chris Carosella, CEO of Beta Gamma Sigma, joined us in honoring Dutra as well as the other BGS honorees.

During the ceremony, we also recognized our 2016 alumni honorees and BGS inductees: Jim Rybarczyk, Berger/Allied's director of Corporate Business Development, and Jack Love, the CFO at Feralloy Corporation, were recognized for their service contributions to the Graham School and to our executive mentorship program.

Also, Dr. Song Wang was awarded the outstanding professor of the year award and was also inducted into BGS membership.

GSM was so pleased to learn that our chapter photo from our BGS induction ceremony was published in the new global BGS Magazine, HONORS, on page 19.

GSM Ranking

GSM was featured in Newsweek magazine as one of the Best AACSB Accredited Business Schools in the USA for 2016. Check out the full list of featured schools for 2016!

You may also recall that GSM was ranked 15th among the top 50 small college business departments in the nation and as one of the most innovative in terms of types of degree offerings and instructional approaches, by Business Research Guide in 2015. This ranking considered progressive majors and/or course offerings, global business emphasis and "Wow" factor.

Enrollment and Graduate Students Survey

The GSM had another year of enrollment growth in spring 2016 compared to last spring with an approximate 4.5% growth in undergraduate business students and 5.6% growth in graduate credit hours. Thus, the contribution of GSM graduate programs to the University graduate credit hours increased from 35.33% to 40.87%.

In a recent survey of our graduate students (which has 111 student respondents), 78% considered the good reputation of GSM's graduate program as the most important or very important factor in their decision to apply to GSM and 88% considered the AACSB accreditation of GSM's graduate program as the most important or very important factor in their decision. Furthermore, 91.7% of graduate students viewed the specialization of GSM's graduate program as the most important or very important factor in their decision, 83% considered a convenient location for offering courses in their decision, and finally 82.7% viewed many alternatives for course delivery (face-to-face, online, blended, etc.) as the most important or very important factor in their decision.

Experiential Education Initiatives

With Executive-in-Residence Paul Belsky at the helm, the Center for Experiential Education (CEE) is focused on building relationships with the business community and providing more experiential learning and real-world opportunities to our business students, including the integration of internship, service learning, and field project opportunities into the business curriculum.

We established relationships with over 70 organizations (35 publicly traded firms and over 35 independent, well-respected organizations) since July 2015. Among the publicly traded firms, we made sound inroads into the following industries: financial services, hospitality, tourism, logistics, communication/broadcasting and health care services. Among the independent, well-respected organizations, we established relationships with various chambers of commerce, independent insurance organizations, CPA firms (including tax compliance, tax planning, and consulting firms), law firms, printing and distribution organizations and the City Colleges of Chicago.

Since summer 2015, over 51 students assumed internship positions at these organizations. And as always, our alumni continue to make us proud!

GSM Business Advisory Board Meeting Hosted by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME)

Thanks to our Business Advisory Board member, Alex Pollock, who graciously arranged with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group to host our spring Business Advisory Board meeting in their conference room. Pollock is a distinguished senior fellow at R Street Institute with headquarters in Washington D.C., former president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago from 1991 to 2004, and a director of the CME Group.

Terry A. Duffy, CME executive chairman and president, presented welcoming remarks to the board and shared his own professional career story as well as his ties to both the South Side of Chicago, Saint Xavier University and Graham School. Later, he kindly agreed to serve as the keynote speaker at our fall mentoring event for GSM freshmen and sophomores.

Three GSM students shared their internship experiences and how it helped shape their career aspirations:

Fernando Garcia, a sophomore triple-majoring in finance, marketing and Spanish, interned at CME in the IT Compliance Department. Garcia said he learned how to determine bond and stock valuations, present values of projects, the ROI of a marketing campaign and the macro and micro sides of companies and economies. He credits his in-depth knowledge from the GSM curriculum for preparing him for the internship opportunity.

Kim Kosak, a senior who just completed her internship at Academy Mortgage Company, spoke about how her invaluable internship reinforced her education. She was immediately offered a full-time position with the company that begins with a two-month special training program, of which she'll receive a stipend and residency accommodations at their headquarters in Utah.

Chris Draper, a recent alum and an analyst at A&G Realty Partners, interned at Scottrade and William Blair & Company in Chicago, where he worked with over 2,000 people at their headquarters. He served as an intern in their Operations Department, reporting to multiple managers doing a multitude of tasks. This was a much different experience than working at a small branch like Scottrade. Draper appreciates how Saint Xavier sets its students up for success and gives them many opportunities, including internships, to put them on path toward their future career.

Mentoring Undergraduate Students

We kicked off our spring Freshman-Sophomore Mentoring event with one of our Business Advisory Council members, Dorri McWhorter, CEO of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, as the keynote speaker on February 4 in the Butler Reception Room on Saint Xavier's Chicago campus.

Students were divided into groups with a full-time faculty member serving as the group mentor. The groups had lunch together, while students talked about their future plans and goals. We received positive feedback from students and faculty, particularly in regards to their sharing of ideas, seeking advice and on the necessity of persistence for achieving success. This mentoring event contributed to our faculty and student engagement and fostered stronger connections among our mentors and their mentees, which we believe will help improve student retention and completion rates.

BEST Mentoring Program

We completed an academic year of the Business Executive for Student Transformation (BEST) Mentoring Program for juniors and seniors this spring. We kicked off the program in fall 2015 to foster the development of competent graduates with exceptional communication, leadership, critical thinking, ethical decision-making and intrapersonal and interpersonal skills.

Approximately 30 executives among our accomplished alumni and business community leaders volunteered to mentor 30 junior and senior undergraduate students on a one-to-one basis based on their professional career and the mentee's concentration.

Three of our mentees (Fernando Garcia, Ron Luce and Shanice Howard) organized a breakfast banquet on April 6, inviting all of the mentors and mentees, to recognize the contributions of three executive mentors: Paul Duggan, president of Jackson Capital Management, LLC; Marvery Griffin, assistant vice chancellor for Academic Affairs Finance and Project Management at Purdue University Calumet; and Gregory Parr, Jr., administrative director at Frontier Construction, Inc.

We sincerely thank Dr. Laura Shallow, president of our GSM Alumni Advisory Board, and Jack Love, chair of the BEST Mentoring Committee, for all their efforts that ensured the success of this exciting program. The GSM community enthusiastically looks forward to the second launch of this program in the fall.

We invite you to check out our new webpage to learn how you can become a mentor for fall 2016!

Economic Summit and Other Business Partnerships

We had another successful Economic Summit, which was hosted in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on February 26 at the Metropolitan Club in Willis Tower.

The event, in its second year, included panel members William A. Strauss, senior economist and economic advisor in the Economic Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and faculty members Dr. Indranil Ghosh and Dr. Song Wang. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Monzurul Hoque.

As an outgrowth of our Economic Summit, we developed a partnership with Marquette Bank to organize three breakfast speaker series. Marquette Bank graciously sponsored the Economic Outlook (March 15, Double Tree Hotel), Small Business and Succession Planning (June 8, Board Room) and Health Care Management (mid-September, Orland Park) breakfast speaker series. We have had two very successful events so far, and we are looking forward to the third event in the fall!

Thirty-year Anniversary of GSM

This year marks GSM's 30-year anniversary, which gives us an opportunity to reflect on our history and envision the future of GSM through a number of strategic initiatives.

In celebration of the anniversary, we have constructed a task force co-chaired by Dr. Faisal Rahman, the Graham School's founding dean, and Dr. Laura Shallow, president of our GSM Alumni Advisory Board, to plan for a number of educational and social events and speaker series throughout the coming academic year. One celebratory initiative we hope to pursue is the promotion of financial literacy in our community. This may include an undergraduate financial literacy course, research into financial literacy, expert panels speaking on campus, the launch of a student-managed hedge fund and credit union (as part of experiential education and financial literacy), collaborations with high schools and our finance students to co-teach financial literacy to high school students and our year-long Investment Challenge.

New M.S. in Accounting

This fall, we're excited to launch another new master's degree program! Our M.S. in Accounting Program represents a great opportunity for students to advance in an accounting career.

GSM Fund for Excellence Update

I am pleased to report that our GSM Fund for Excellence and Dean's Circle membership are both growing. We are extremely grateful to our GSM alumni and friends for their generous support of our programs with their time, talent and gifts. We encourage our friends to designate this fund for their contributions, as we plan for a number of exciting initiatives. The GSM Fund for Excellence will support strategic initiatives of the school and will enable the continued advancement of the school as one of the nation's top Catholic business institutions. In this issue, we provide a list of individuals and corporate contributions/grants made between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.

As always, we thank our alumni, friends and corporate and business partners for their continued support of our programs, our students and the GSM through their providing of internship and employment opportunities, participation in our mentoring programs and support of our GSM Fund for Excellence and other initiatives.

Thank you,

Asghar Sabbaghi
Dean and Professor

Honor Roll of Donors/Grants (continued)

The Saint Xavier University GSM Fund for Excellence will support the strategic initiatives of the school. An annual contribution to the fund will allow the school to continue advancing as one of the nation's top business institutions. We are very appreciative of the support of the friends of GSM and our donors.

This following list includes individual and corporate contributions/grants to GSM between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2016. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, if we have inadvertently erred, please notify Dean Asghar Sabbaghi at

$50,000 - $99,000

CME Group Foundation

$25,000 - $49,999

No contributions for this level.

$10,000 - $24,999

Mr. John E. Eber, Ed.D. and Mrs. Fran Eber '03

$5,000 - $9,999


IMA Research Foundation

$2,500 - $4,999

Faisal M. Rahman, Ph.D.

$1,000 - $2,499

Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Hallenbeck

Mr. and Mrs. William O'Connor

Mr. Gary M. Watland '05 and Mrs. Kathleen Watland, Ed.D.

Sister Sharon Kerrigan, R.S.M. '63

Mr. John D. Love, C.P.A. '81 and Mrs. Margaret Love

Alex J. Pollock

Asghar Sabbaghi, Ph.D.

Laura Shallow '78, '86, '03

Mr. and Mrs. Neil Younkin, Ph.D.

$500 - $999

David M. Parker

Joyce A. Hunter, D.B.A.

$250 - $499

Brenda J. Harris

Brenda Holmes

Gloria Perrin

William B. Watts

Arturo Lamas '06

Cheryl Luczak

James M. Minard

Twinet Parmer

Mr. & Mrs. Richard M. Schwer

Mireya Wirtz '91, '95

$100 - $249

Esperanza Moreno Degnan '12

Diana Blaino

Gladys F. Cage

Dr. Joan Crawford

Dr. Shirley Payne

Donna L. Clay

Jacqueline Harmon

Mr. James A. Morris & Mrs. Patricia A. Morris, Ph.D. '83

Ekundayo Akinlade

Judy Carter

Merle Cohen

Laura Anne Earner '88

Crispin Elliott

Monica Gavino, Ph.D.

Peter Hilton, Ph.D. & Mrs. Susan Hilton

Jason R. Lambert

Linda E. Martin

June Mustiful

Kathleen J. Roberts

Janette S. Roy

Frances A. Skinner, C. F. A., C.P.A. '86

The Linx Group

Janice Tyson Smith

Maybeth L. White

Lee Ann Murphy

Darlene Stokes-Washington

Lois White

Joseph Cherian, Ph.D.

Paul J. Belsky

William L. Bush

Jose Daniel

Angela Durante, Ph.D.

Indranil Ghosh, Ph.D.

Sister Margaret Mary Hinz, R.S.M. '71

Monzurul Hoque, Ph.D.

Nicholas J. Mancari

Regina McNally

Kenneth C. Rakow, Ph.D.

Naurice Roberts

Earl E. Thomas, Ed.D.

Diane L. Todd

Barbara Wooden

Shelita Young

$99 and under

Rachael Jean Marusarz '07

Cyndi M. Raine Dentinger

Song Wang

Mr. Bruce D. Lipman '85, '01 and Ms. Sharon Lipman

Hamidreza Mohammadi, Ph.D.

Sister Susan M. Sanders, R.S.M., Ph.D.

Roberta D. Steele

Jill M. Synoga '98, '05

Mr. Thomas F. Wogan '83 & Mrs. Mary Maureen Wogan '94

Kaitlyn M. Shannon

Erika S. Foster

Melissa M. Janicki

Ashley M. Prentice

Christina G. Szocka

Ashley S. Willis

Sina Ehsani

Dr. James C. Hagen '03 and Dr. Colleen A. Hagen

Joshua Novak '03

Reza Varjavand, Ph.D.

Dawnmarie Saunoras '94