Saint Xavier University Graham School of Management

Graham School of Management

Fall 2016/Winter 2017 Newsletter

Message from Dean Asghar Sabbaghi (continued)


We admitted 149 new undergraduate students/transfers at the Graham School of Management (GSM), comprising 16.4 percent of total new students this past fall. The total undergraduate business enrollment of 513 students represents an increase of 0.2 percent compared to fall 2015. In the graduate business programs, we enrolled 384 graduate students in fall 2016, compared to 346 in fall 2015, which corresponds to a growth of 11 percent. Student credit hours at the graduate level amounted to 2,512, which is an increase of over 17.6 percent compared to fall 2015.

Mentoring Programs for Freshmen/Sophomores

We commenced our fall 2016 Freshman/Sophomore Mentoring Program on September 29, with the Honorable Terrence A. Duffy, executive chairman and president of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, who served as the keynote speaker. Duffy presented an insightful speech titled "Perspective from the Corner Office: Finding Success in Today's Business World," followed by a Q&A session.

At the event, more than 100 students networked with mentors/advisors and learned the importance of planning for their education and professional career paths. GSM faculty also had the opportunity to interact with the undergraduates.

In a survey conducted following the program, student responders overwhelmingly agreed that the speaker's message made an impact on their thinking and that mentoring is important to their development as a student. The implementation of such mentoring programs, so as to further assist low-income, first generation and under-represented students during their postsecondary education, is a GSM priority. I am pleased with the potential impact of this particular mentorship program to improve our freshman retention.

mentoring program mentoring program
The Honorable Terrence A. Duffy stands next to a plaque at the GSM in honor of his grandfather, John J. Duffy, along with (l to r) GSM Dean Asghar Sabbaghi, Associate Vice President of University Advancement John Bass and President and CEO of the NWCCU Jose Garcia. Group photo from the event.

BEST Mentoring Program

Following the success of the Business Executives for Student Transformation (BEST) Mentoring Program for juniors/seniors in 2015-2016, we were strongly encouraged to continue the program this year. On November 3, the BEST Mentoring Program welcomed 40 juniors/seniors who were mentored on a one-on-one basis by highly dedicated executive alumni and friends.

I would like to thank all our participating alumni and friends, particularly Laura Shallow, president (BBS 1978, MBA 1986, and M.S. Finance 2003) of the GSM Alumni Advisory Board, and Jack Love (BBA 1981), chair of the GSM BEST Mentoring Committee, for all their hard work and dedication in executing this initiative.

I invite all our talented and successful alumni and friends interested in the BEST Mentoring Program to contact us. This program is truly a great opportunity for you to serve as exemplary models and make a positive impact in the lives of our students and community. All of us at GSM welcome you to join us in mentoring our students.

best best
Mentor Dean Malone, vice president of finance at Midwestern University, and mentee Weronika Ciezczak plan out their meeting schedule for the upcoming academic year and mentoring season. BEST Mentoring Program group photo.

Partnership with Business Community

In partnership with Marquette Bank, GSM organized three well-attended and successful speaker series in 2016:

business partnerships

Student-Managed Credit Union

nwccuA partnership between GSM and Northwest Community Credit Union has resulted in an exciting multidimensional enterprise in experiential education and financial literacy for our business students with the recent inception of a student-managed credit union branch adjacent to GSM. The grand opening of the credit union was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 17, 2016. The branch offers financial services to students, faculty, staff and alumni, including housing a financial literacy center, and is managed and operated by our students as paid interns, with a Student Advisory Board guiding operations.

GSM Dean Asghar Sabbaghi, President Emertia Christine Wiseman, Provost Kathleen Alaimo, President of the GSM Alumni Advisory Board Laura Shallow, President and CEO of the NWCCU Jose Garcia, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Tony Campbell are flanked by students at the grand opening of the Northwest Community Credit Union on October 17, 2016.

Ranking and PRME Signatory

We are delighted that SXU has been ranked as one of the Top 10 Best Business Schools in Chicago for 2016-2017 by College Choice.

As a Catholic institution rooted in the Mercy tradition, we are pleased to be a signatory of the United Nations-sponsored Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), meant to inspire and champion responsible management education, research and thought leadership globally. PRME resonates strongly with GSM's mission to work for the common good and exhibits relevance in all areas of our business education, particularly with our three C's for leadership success: character, competency (knowledge/skill and experience) and commitment.


AACSB International is one of the partners with the United Nations in supporting the mission of PRME and has an active affinity group meeting alongside with AACSB meetings. I am also delighted to report that our school is an active participant in these meetings: I recently served as a panelist at the 2017 AACSB Deans Conference on February 5 in New Orleans. The panel discussion was titled "Transforming Business Schools Toward Enabling Global Prosperity and Global Responsibility : Deans as Agents of Change."

BGS Chapter Recognition

bgsThe GSM Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) chapter received the Highest Honor Award at the annual meeting of the MidAmerican Business Deans Association (MABDA) Conference on October 3, 2016. This achievement further demonstrates our strong belief in the mission of BGS and its principles of honor, wisdom and earnestness in business leadership. As part of this award, we received a Leadership Scholarship and one of our bright accounting students, Shelby Cirualo, received the opportunity to attend the 2016 Global Leadership Summit (GLS) in Dallas, Texas in November.

Center for Experiential Education

In fall 2016, we further developed partnerships with the Chicago business community and cultivated internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in accounting, finance, management, marketing and other areas. We established relationships with 79 publicly traded and independent organizations. Specifically, these organizations consist of: (1) 47 publicly traded firms in industries such as financial services (banking, insurance and financial markets), hospitality and tourism (Walt Disney World) and broadcasting (NBC Universal); and (2) 32 independent firms, such as chambers of commerce (Little Village, Oak Lawn, Traverse City), independent insurance organizations, tax compliance and consulting organizations, law firms, City Colleges of Chicago and health care services organizations.

The following is a list of select organizations where our students have successfully secured internships:

Internships Go National!

Thanks to the collaborative efforts between the Graham School of Management and Professor Matthew Costello, Ph.D., in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Experiential Learning Center recently had the opportunity to send one of our students to our nation's capital to assume an internship position sponsored by the nationally recognized Washington Internship Institute.

Student Alicia Dutkiewicz interned with the Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) in fall 2016. WDCEP is a non-profit that promotes business opportunities throughout Washington D.C. and contributes to business retention and attraction activities. They act as the marketing arm for the district and promote themselves as the first point of contact for doing business in the city.

Dutkiewicz thoroughly enjoyed and learned a great deal from her internship experience:

"As the Communications and Marketing intern, no two work days were ever the same for me and my experience was definitely one-of-a-kind. The range of responsibilities I had and the projects and events I was involved with were very unique and diverse. Through the Washington Internship Institute program, I made important connections and friendships with coworkers and fellow students, traveled around the East Coast, tried a lot of new things and explored almost every inch of the nation's capital. I'm very grateful I had the privilege to step outside of the classroom for a whole semester and get real-life experience."

GSM Fund for Excellence

We continue to make good progress in growing our recently created restricted endowment, the GSM Fund for Excellence. This fund enables us to foster innovative teaching and scholarship, cultivate partnerships with the business community to integrate internship and service learning opportunities into our business curriculum and enhance the impact of our quality business education on our students/alumni engagement and their success. We are grateful to many GSM alumni, friends, corporations, and our business partners for their generous support of our students and programs and their contributions to the GSM Fund for Excellence.

Thank you,

Asghar Sabbaghi, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor