Saint Xavier University Graham School of Management

Graham School of Management

Fall 2015, Winter 2016 Newsletter

Message from Dean Asghar Sabbaghi (continued)


Signs of positive developments in overall enrollment this current year at SXU provide a great source of encouragement in the midst of our collective challenges. We witnessed the highest enrollment of undergraduates at the Chicago campus since 2009, with 2,998 undergraduates enrolled in fall 2015. Of these students, 87.4% are full-time, which is also the highest percentage of full-time undergraduates in recent SXU history. Furthermore, our undergraduate student body is the most diverse (66.6% female, 44.7% White, 32.2% Hispanic, 13.5% African-American, 9.6% Asian and other ethnicities, and 63.7% first-generation students), and also has the largest freshman class (621) in University history. With a 10% gain in new freshman over the past year, SXU is among a select number of private institutions exhibiting this level of growth. In fact, SXU had the highest gain in freshman enrollment in the Chicago area from 2014-2015. The overall graduate enrollment for SXU in fall 2015 was 1,120 students, a slight decline (0.88%) when compared to the fall 2014 enrollment of 1,130 students.

The Graham School of Management experienced approximately 8% growth in undergraduate business enrollment in fall 2015, and with 26.7% Hispanic students, the Graham School has the second largest percentage of Hispanic students in undergraduate business programs compared with all the private not-for-profit business schools in Illinois. Although our graduate business program's enrollment has been declining since fall 2010, we attained a positive growth of about 22% in the fall 2015 head count (from 370 students in 2014 to 452 students in 2015), which has led to a positive growth of 3.18% in credit hours.

This past year was particularly notable because in October we offered our MBA program and Fast-Track Undergraduate Business program for the first time at our Gilbert, Ariz. location. Although we had a relatively small enrollment in the inaugural year of these programs at Gilbert, the observed inquiries for spring 2016 and the 2016-2017 academic year are promising. After initially providing a slow, deliberate rollout of one or two programs every semester, we are now looking forward to expanding the scope and options of our programs for students in Gilbert.

M.S. in Accounting and Agreement for a Dual JD/MBA Degree

Our M.S. in Accounting has been officially approved this fall by the Higher Learning Commission and will be offered in fall 2016. This program consists of 30 credit hours and is designed for undergraduates who wish to both complete a MS degree in one year and meet the 150 semester credit hours required to sit for the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam. We are delighted to have the program designated as a 4-plus-1 program, as this would allow our fourth-year undergraduates to take graduate credits without losing their undergraduate financial aid. We already received encouraging signs of strong interest in this program.

We also finalized an official agreement with the John Marshall Law School to create a JD/MBA dual-degree program. Students enrolled at John Marshall or SXU may simultaneously pursue a Juris Doctor degree at John Marshall and a Master of Business Administration at SXU. This will enable students to earn advanced degrees in a shorter period of time in fields that provide graduates with versatility and in-depth knowledge in a continually-evolving job market. Effective immediately, degree candidates and prospective students interested in the dual JD/MBA program must apply separately to each school and be accepted by both. Students currently enrolled in the SXU MBA program can apply to John Marshall Law School as a part-time JD student. Accepted students may apply up to 12 John Marshall credits to the GSM MBA program and up to nine credits of GSM coursework to their law degree under this program, which allows them to earn two degrees in substantially less time. We are very excited that our students will have the opportunity to participate in this dual-degree program. The development of this program serves as a prime example of our devotion to prepare our students to meet the 21st century demands of employers.

Ranking and PRME Signatory

A recent ranking by Business Research Guide has named the GSM as one of the Top 15 Most Innovative Small College Business Departments in the United States. This ranking considered progressive majors and/or course offerings, the GSM global business emphasis, the "Wow” factor, as well as its accreditation by the Association to Advance School of Business International (AACSB). The article and a high-resolution award badge can be found at the Business Research Guide website.

The GSM has also been approved as one of the signatories of the United Nations-sponsored Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME, in the fall 2015 semester. This information can be viewed here. The mission of PRME is to inspire and champion responsible management education, research and thought leadership globally. PRME has a set of six principles that lay out the foundation for the global platform for responsible management education and also provide an engagement structure for academic institutions to advance social responsibility through the incorporation of universal values into curricula and research. Through those six simple principles, the GSM pledges to support ethical and sustainable management in the classroom and for the global community. PRME is also supported by AACSB International and many other groups.

Mentoring Programs

Our GSM Fall Freshman/Sophomore Mentorship Program kicked off on Thursday, Oct. 8, with Ana Dutra, president and chief executive officer of the Executives' Club of Chicago, as the keynote speaker. Full-time faculty and a number of adjunct faculty interacted with approximately 105 undergraduates during this event. Students were divided into groups with full-time faculty, as they had lunch together, listened to Ana's motivating speech, and talked about their plans and goals. We received a great deal of positive feedback from students and faculty, particularly on seeking advice and on the necessity of persistence for achieving success. In a survey conducted after this program, 98% of student responders agreed that the speaker's message made an impact on their thinking and 98% stated that mentoring is important to their development as a student. We are also pleased with the impact of this faculty mentorship program on freshman retention. A reflection from freshman Madison Lembeck is included in this newsletter.

Many of our alumni, particularly Laura Shallow, president of our GSM Alumni Advisory Board, helped us implement our newly created Business Executives for Student Transformation (BEST) Mentoring Program this past fall. This program took place in the Butler Reception Room on Wednesday, September 9, with approximately 30 executives from our accomplished alumni and business community leaders volunteering to participate.

BEST Mentors and Mentees
BEST Mentors and Mentees


Our junior and senior undergraduates were put into groups and matched on a one-to-one basis with the participating executives. Although mentors are not expected to find jobs or internships for their mentees, their participation will naturally increase students' awareness of professional opportunities and ability to cultivate successful career opportunities. The BEST Mentoring Program will help foster the development of confident graduates with exceptional communication, leadership, critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. Specific goals for this new program include:

We would also like to recognize our talented alumni network who continue to enjoy success in their careers and make a positive impact in our community. We would welcome them to join us in mentoring one another as well as our students and serving as exemplary models.

BGS Chapter Recognition

The GSM Beta Gamma Sigma chapter was recognized as an Honors Chapter for the 2014-2015 academic year. This is a particularly significant achievement for the GSM business program because our chapter was just installed in November 2014! The award was presented at the Omni Chicago Hotel during the 2015 AACSB MidAmerican Business Deans Association (MABDA) Conference. This achievement serves as further proof of our strong belief in the mission of the BGS and its principles of HonorWisdom and Earnestness in business leadership. We should all be sure to recognize our chapter's hard work to make BGS our benchmark for academic excellence and promote its value for our students, faculty, alumni and business community leadership.

Executive-in-Residence and Experiential Education Initiatives

In mid-summer 2015, we created an Executive-in-Residence position and were very pleased to have Paul Belsky join us in this position and lead our Center for Experiential Education. In addition to many years of teaching experience, Belsky is bringing over 20 years of business experience in commercial banking, international banking and global securities trading. He has taken a collaborative approach in working with well-known publicly traded organizations as well as with other University departments and offices to cultivate partnerships and internship opportunities for our students. Specific organizations include the Northern Trust Bank of Chicago, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, JP Morgan Chase Bank, BMO Harris Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. We are currently developing a strategic relationship with the Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau for additional internships, job placement opportunities for our graduates, and potential funding opportunities for future projects, proposals and related efforts. We are also joining 22 colleges and universities in the Illinois Small College Placement Association to partner with widely recognized organizations such as CNA Insurance, Allstate Insurance, Country Financial, and the Hyatt Hotel Chain, among others. This will further help our students secure internships and full-time employment after graduation.

Our GSM Accounting Department has partnered with Ladder Up to offer a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for low-income families, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English-speaking taxpayers preparing their tax returns and filing their Federal and state income tax returns during spring 2016. Ladder Up is a Chicago-based nonprofit that provides free financial services to low-income families through two programs - the Tax Assistance Program (TAP) and Life-Improving Financial Tools (LIFT). Accounting students enrolled in the Individual Income Tax course taught by Professor Don Cyze are trained and IRS-certified to participate in this program. This VITA program directly follows the spirit of our University mission to serve others wisely and compassionately. Talented faculty and students are the best and most valuable resources our University can provide to help serve our community. Furthermore, this VITA program is a valuable learning experience for students and would help them reinforce their learning. We have kicked off our VITA program earlier this year.

Student-run Credit Union Initiative at Saint Xavier University: Experiential Education and Financial Literacy

I have been reaching out to our various business leaders and our alums in the business community to cultivate opportunities for internships, service learning, and field project opportunities. In this process, I have reached out to one of our alums, Jose Garcia, president and CEO of Northwest Community Credit Union, to develop a collaborative opportunity of experiential education and financial literacy for our students. The idea is to have a branch of Northwest Community Credit Union on campus, managed and operated by our students as paid interns, to offer financial services to our students, faculty/staff and alums on our campus. Students will be engaged in all forms of financial services as well as in marketing research and accounting practices and financial analysis of the entire enterprise. We found this as an exciting initiative for combining experiential education and financial literacy for our business students. We have secured approval, created a Student Advisory Board and selected the location for this branch of Northwest Community Credit Union. We are preparing students for this exciting experiential education and financial literacy initiative, and we hope to start the project in the fall of 2016. 

This is an exciting multidimensional enterprise in experiential education and financial literacy for our business students that would have great potential for student success and retention, as well as other benefits for students and alumni. 

GSM Fund for Excellence and Dean's Circle

The achievement of excellence in higher education and the University mission requires funding from both public and private sources. By working closely with our GSM Alumni Advisory Board and the University Advancement, we recently have created a restricted endowment called the GSM Fund for Excellence in Business Education and Student/Alumni success to support our initiatives in curriculum innovation, assurance of learning, faculty development, business partnerships, experiential education and student engagement, and retention and mentoring. We are very grateful to our alumni and friends for their generous support of our programs with their time, talents, and treasure.  We would like to encourage our supporters to designate this fund for their contributions so that we keep track of their support and can accordingly acknowledge their contributions. 

To this end, we have also created a Dean's Circle to highlight alumni and supporters who make certain level of annual contributions to the GSM Fund for Excellence in support of our strategic initiatives. Investments by Dean's Circle members will enable us to seize opportunities to foster innovative teaching and scholarship and cultivate partnerships with the business community to integrate internship and service learning in our business curriculum. This would enhance the impact of our quality business education on our students/alumni's engagement and their success, as well as on business practices and our business community. We plan to recognize members of the annual Dean's Circle as part of the honor roll in the GSM Newsletter and website.

As we continue to march toward our vision of academic excellence, experiential education and our partnerships with business community, we are appreciative for the many contributions of our alumni, friends and corporate and business partners to the success of our students and the Graham School through providing internship and employment opportunities and participating in our mentoring programs and other initiatives.

Thank you,

Asghar Sabbaghi, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor
Graham School of Management

Alumni Advisory Board Members Recognized (continued)

Laura ShallowLaura Shallow

M.S. in Finance, 2003, Saint Xavier University
MBA, 1986, Saint Xavier University
B.A. in Marketing, 1978, Saint Xavier University

Laura Shallow is a three-time alumna at Saint Xavier University. She is the inaugural president of our GSM Alumni Advisory Board and member of our GSM BEST Mentoring Program. Hosting our meeting in her bank has made numerous contributions to our GSM Programs through mentoring, internship, and fundraising. She has been the leading figure among our alumni. She has been active in participation and leadership in various University and GSM events, whether it was golf classic, homecoming game, Scholarship Ball, GSM students mentoring program, GSM retreat, GSM Career Pathfinder Webinar and more.

Professionally, Shallow is group senior vice president at Standard Bank and Trust since May 2013. She has been in the banking industry since her early career in 1974. She was the vice president of Marketing, Business Development, Retail and Professional Banking at Standard Bank and Trust Company, Evergreen Park/Hickory Hills from May 1974 to September 1993.  Then, from September 1993 to February 2000, she was vice president of Municipal and Small Business Banking at Marquette Bank Chicago. From July 2000 to May 2003, she was senior vice president of Sales, Retail Banking and Branches; senior vice president and All-Bank Sales Manager at Bank Financial, Burr Ridge.

Shallow has actively supported the University by serving on the President's Advisory Council, the GSM Alumni Advisory Board, the Golf Classic Committee, the National Alumni Board, the Estate Planning Advisory Council and as an adjunct faculty member. As a President's Club member and donor for the past decade, Shallow remains an active participant at alumni events and supporter of the University's endeavors. Shallow serves on the Board of Directors at Mother McCauley High School; the Environmental Commission for the Village of Evergreen Park; and is a Eucharistic minister, reader and active member of Saint John Fisher parish.

She is the recipient of our inaugural GSM Alumna of the Year Award, Distinguished Alumni Award, and inaugural GSM Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) Alumna recognition award, an International Honor Society for Business Programs accredited by AACSB International, encouraging and honor academic achievement and personal excellence in the study and practice of business.

Dean P. MaloneDean Malone

MBA, Loyola University
B.A. in Business Administration, 1980, Saint Xavier University

Dean Malone is a member of our GSM Alumni Advisory Board and our BEST Mentoring Program. Malone is the vice president of finance at Midwestern University. He has been with the University since 1981: first as the budget director for one of the hospitals then owned by the University. In 1989, he was promoted to corporate budget director and held that position until 1995. Malone transitioned from the financial operation at the hospitals to the University and was promoted to Controller in 1996. In 1997, Malone was named associate vice president for Business Services, and in July 2000 was promoted to vice president of Finance. Malone oversees the daily financial operations on both campuses. Areas of responsibility include: accounting, audit, payroll, purchasing, grant accounting, annual budgeting, long-range planning, tax returns, oversight of the financial clinical operations and Graduate Medical Education Program, assisting with debt obligations and developing pro formas for new business lines. In his career at Midwestern University, he was part of the strategic team that worked on the development of nine new colleges that include 27 academic programs. He was also part of the financial team that assisted in numerous tax exempt bond obligations totaling more than $500 million.

Malone holds board positions for various entities. Malone sits on the Downers Grove Chamber of Commerce as the current treasurer and has held the position of chairman as well as being a board member. He is an advisory board member of Family Shelter Services and a board member on the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is a member of the Council of Fiscal Officers of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and also served as the chairman of Council of Fiscal Officers.

In addition to receiving his B.A. from GSM, he earned his MBA from Loyola University.

José GarciaJose Garcia

B.A., 1992, Saint Xavier University 
President and CEO of Northwest Community Credit Union

Jose Garcia is a member of our GSM Alumni Advisory Board, Accounting Advisory Board, Finance Advisory Board and our GSM BEST Mentoring Program. He joined Northwest Community Credit Union as president and CEO in December 2012. Garcia has over 27 years of financial experience; 16 of which have been in the credit union industry. He was previously CFO of Advance Financial Federal Credit Union based in Schererville, Ind. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the Illinois Credit Union League in 2015.

A seasoned credit union executive, Garcia has acquired a significant amount of operational acumen with emphasis in finance, technology, investment management and marketing. He has played an integral role assisting the credit unions, at which he served, to prosper during challenging economic times. He is a strong advocate of the credit union movement and is particularly passionate about experientially expanding financial literacy among today's youth.

Born in Brownsville, Texas, and raised in Chicago, Garcia attended Saint Xavier University and graduated with his bachelor's in business administration degree in accounting. He is committed to building upon the continued success of Northwest Community Credit Union by implementing innovative technology, convenient financial solutions and consistent reliable service.

Angela McClurkinAngela McClurkin

MBA, 2011, Saint Xavier University

Angela McClurkin is a graduate of SXU Graham School of Management with a focus on profit/not-for-profit organizational management. Upon graduating from SXU in 2011, McClurkin joined the Vibrantek team of webmasters and began a career as a brand specialist with emphasis on social media networking, marketing and web design.

In 2012, McClurkin branched out and started her own business, A McClurkin Legacy, LLC, as a social media consultant and began working with various profit and not-for-profit organizations, including The Danielle Ashley Group's First Ladies Health Initiative and Russell Simmons' HSAN (Hip Hop Summit Action Network), along with their CEO Lynn Richardson.

In 2014, McClurkin opened a storefront business in Mokena, called In the Spirit Network & Marketing Services, which assists small businesses with their marketing and promotional needs. As a promotional specialist, I*T*S* has worked with specialty suppliers and vendors to offer products that are used to promote and brand businesses, churches, organizations and schools. I*T*S* also offers shared office space and an open venue for a discounted fee to small business, allowing them to host meetings, gatherings and B2B network events.

McClurkin has a spirit of service and giving back to the community; she has spent over 29 years serving as a Board member of the Blue Island health care Foundation (formerly St. Francis health care Foundation) in Blue Island as a fundraiser, web designer and health care advocate providing funding to over 40 not-for-profit organizations in the Illinois area, including scholarships for Saint Xavier's School of Nursing. 

McClurkin is married to Dr. Clark McClurkin (28 years) and has two adult children -- Cyniah, an RN at Metro South Hospital and Clark, III, a senior at SIUE.

Jack LoveJack Love

B.A., 1981, Saint Xavier University

Jack Love is a member of our GSM Alumni Advisory Board, the chair of our BEST Mentoring Committee and a member of our Accounting Advisory Board. He is the chief financial officer (CFO) of Feralloy Corporation, a $600 million steel processing company headquartered in Chicago, Ill. 

As CFO, Love oversees all financial aspects of Feralloy Corporation, which has five operating Divisions and five joint ventures located in the United States and Mexico.

Prior to joining Feralloy, Love was chief financial officer (1991-2000) of Bohler-Uddeholm Corporation, a specialty steel distribution company headquartered in Vienna, Austria, with the North America headquarters in Chicago.

Also, Love was employed by PriceWaterhouse Coopers (FNA-Coopers & Lybrand, 1984-1991), where he planned and conducted financial audits as well as engaged in management consulting roles involving mergers and acquisitions and strategic planning.

During a career spanning over 30 years, Love has had a wide range of experience. While serving on corporate boards, he has offered practical insight into the role organizational leaders play towards achieving corporate goals and objectives. Love has provided vision and leadership to the organizations that he has served.

Love holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Keller Graduate School of Management and a B.A. in business administration/accounting from Saint Xavier University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and is a member of the American Institute of CPA's. (AICPA)

Love has been involved in various charitable and religious organizational activities. Jack served six years as a school board member, eight years as a church finance committee member and many years as wrestling coach at the grammar school level. Love served in a leadership role for Christ Renews, his parish at St. Barnabas. He is currently a member of the St. Barnabas Finance Committee, member of the Saint Xavier President's Advisory Council and a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Business Advisory Council Members Recognized (continued)

Alex J. PollockAlex Pollock

Alex Pollock is one of the major contributors to our GSM Business Advisory Council since joining us more than a year ago. He was one the speakers in our Speaker series last fall, nominated our commencement keynote speaker, reviewed our Council bylaws very diligently and made numerous constructive suggestions, and is hosting 2016 meeting of our Business Advisory Council at Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group, Executive Conference Center, on April 25. 

Pollock has recently become the Distinguished Senior Fellow and director of Financial Systems Studies at the R Street Institute, Washington, DC. He has been a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Before joining AEI, he was president and chief executive officer of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago from 1991 to 2004. Pollock focuses on financial policy issues, including financial cycles, government-sponsored enterprises, housing finance, banking, central banking, uncertainty and risk, retirement finance, corporate governance and financial crises with their ensuing political responses. He is the author of "Boom and Bust: Financial Cycles and Human Prosperity," as well as numerous articles and Congressional testimony.

Pollock is a director of CME Group, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation, and the Great Books Foundation, where he was chairman of the Board 2006-2014, and a past-president of the International Union for Housing Finance. He is a graduate of Williams College, the University of Chicago and Princeton University.

Dorri McWhorterDorri McWhorter

Dorri McWhorter, CPA, has recently joined our GSM Business Advisory Council and was the keynote speaker in our spring 2016 mentoring event held on Feb. 4. She became the CEO of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago in March 2013. She has embarked upon a journey to transform the 138-year-old social service agency to a 21st century social enterprise. McWhorter is moving the agency into the digital age by re-launching the TechGYRLS program, which focuses on developing STEM awareness for girls ages nine through 14 and introducing Creating IL Talent, which provides web and mobile application development training to adult women. The YWCA launched its own e-commerce site in spring 2015, called the YShop, which provides carefully curated goods and services from businesses that support the mission of the YWCA.

McWhorter is active in a number of boards and organizations, and has received numerous recognition and awards for her outstanding contributions. As an engaged community leader, McWhorter is a member of the Mayor's Commission on a Safer Chicago. She received her Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Master in Business Administration from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

Jim RybarczykJim Rybarczyk

Jim Rybarczyk is a GSM alumnus, MBA 2009, and is serving as the chair of our GSM Advisory Business Council and an executive mentor in our BEST Mentoring Program. He is the director of Corporate Business Development with Berger/Allied He has been with Berger/Allied since 2002 and has been in the relocation industry since 1991. In his current role, Rybarczyk is responsible for leading Berger's Business Development Team. He was responsible for centralizing Berger's Corporate Account Customer Service Team.

Prior to joining Berger/Allied, Rybarczyk spent 11 years at the corporate office of Allied Van Lines working as the manager of quality and supervisor of relocation services, among other roles. He has been an active member and former board member of the Corporate Relocation Council of Chicago. He is also a member of the Human Resource Management Association of Chicago, Society of Human Resource Management and the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council. Rybarczyk is an active volunteer at The Cara Program in Chicago and is part of their Corporate Relations and Engagement Committee.

William O'ConnorWilliam O'Connor

William O'Connor is the vice-chair of our GSM Business Advisory Council. He has made numerous contributions by cultivating internship opportunities for our business students, reviewing our draft of the Council bylaws diligently and making many constructive suggestions and looking to provide current Federal Reserve contacts for various needs and expertise. He is a retired officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. O'Connor attended Loyola University of Chicago, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in mathematics. After which, he attended Prochnow Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. He has been awarded a number of awards, including the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) recognition as a speaker at its Payments System Risk Conferences (1990s), and the Financial Services Volunteer Corporation (FSVC) recognition for program development of its Seminars on Risk Reduction in Payments, Clearance, and Settlement Systems and related speaking engagements in Chisinau, Moldova; Budapest, Hungary; Tirana, Albania, and; Warsaw, Poland (late 1990s). Also, O'Connor received recognition from the Chicago FIRST for many significant contributions to fostering the resilience of the Chicago financial community during crises (2008).

Jim HeddermanJim Hedderman

Jim Hedderman is a GSM alumnus and member of our GSM Business Advisory Council, GSM Alumni Advisory Board, Accounting Advisory Board, and GSM BEST Mentoring Program. He is a managing director in True Partners Consulting's Chicago office. He has over 14 years of federal taxation experience both in the public and corporate arena. Before joining True Partners Consulting, Hedderman was a senior tax analyst at USG Corporation, where he focused on the income tax provision, tax return compliance, responding to IRS audit requests and Sarbanes-Oxley control processes. Prior to that, he was a senior tax consultant at Deloitte and Arthur Andersen where he focused in the areas of large corporate consolidated returns, S corporation returns and partnership returns.
Hedderman received his Master of Science in taxation from DePaul University and his Bachelor of Science in accounting from Saint Xavier University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Federal Co-Chair of the Chicago Tax Club and Executive Counsel Member of The Cara Program.