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SXU's Graham School of Management Teaches Practical Strategies in Face of COVID-19


Despite constraints from the COVID-19 pandemic, Saint Xavier University's (SXU) Graham School of Management (GSM) found success by adapting new learning strategies and outcomes to respond to the pandemic. Faculty and students used innovative ways to apply business implications from COVID-19 into course work and projects.

"The onslaught of COVID-19 was quick and detrimental to service industries that relied on face-to-face contact, and they now must develop new strategies to remain viable. GSM recognized the severity of impacts on business and acted quickly to adjust educational curriculum to address contemporary business challenges," said Mark Rosenbaum, Ph.D., dean of GSM.  

Undergraduate classes quickly adapted to the remote transition with new learning approaches through high-impact learning activities, like scenario-based, situational analyses. In her management courses, Suzanne Cromlish, Ph.D., GSM professor, held weekly Zoom meetings that correlated with government updates on practical business strategies, like keeping a remote workforce engaged. In courses with a Human Resources focus, Roseann Bautista, GSM professor, discussed essential skills, like professional development from a remote atmosphere and how to address rising issues within HR departments that are related to COVID-19.

GSM graduate students also quickly adapted to new course work with realistic research and projects that gave them new opportunities for creative thinking and problem-solving for real-life business scenarios. Stanley Klatka, Ph.D., had students complete a community-based learning project in his marketing management course. Students focused on providing marketing consulting and helping local businesses prepare for recovery from COVID-19, especially those that may experience detrimental impacts as the economy rebounds and the public regains security.

"As part of a collaborative class project, our group developed a marketing plan for a local restaurant, Horse Thief Hollow, with recommendations to adapt and sustain its business during and even after COVID-19," said Alicia Roberson, a marketing graduate student.

"While we were aware that Horse Thief Hollow primarily serves the Beverly, Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood neighborhoods and are currently using their servers to make food deliveries to people's houses to keep them working, we suggested as a group that by partnering with a food delivery company, such as Grubhub, Uber Eats or DoorDash and sending out a postcard mailer with a coupon to Evergreen Park and Oak Lawn households, Horse Thief Hollow has the opportunity to bring brand awareness to their establishment among new customers, even outside their primary service area," continued Roberson.

Stephen Simms, an MBA student, found the project stimulating. "I really enjoyed the project. We got to use the concepts we learned in class while tackling and applying strategies to a real-life scenario, making the project relatable and functional for real-world work. We had to think outside the box for ways to drive sales in these uncertain times, and it was really enlightening," said Simms.

SXU is incredibly proud of GSM faculty and students for their ability to adapt to and excel in their course plans and new ways of learning, and we look forward to watching them continue to produce outstanding work.