Ever wondered how the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau, Zappos world headquarters, Hoover Dam, Ethel M Chocolate Factory and other successful business in the Vegas area stay afloat? The answers may be found in an upcoming study trip to Las Vegas which will count as 1 credit toward a College of Business seminar and the equivalent for a course in the Arts and Sciences with hopes to attract students from all majors. Professor Robert Bergman will lead the study trip during spring break in order to provide real-life lessons in Business, Science, Technology, Sports and Entertainment through observations, examinations and interactions of casino basics, statistical reality of why “Vegas wasn’t built on winners” and how Vegas attracts convention business from around the world. Students will also learn how Zappos became a multi-billion dollar online retailer while having the opportunity to work on research projects that may end up published. Based on all the exciting entertainment created from all the hard work through business, art, science, math and technology, it’s no wonder why people travel from all over the world to the “city that never sleeps”.
Dr. Frank Rose, Professor of Finance and Mr. Iyad Rock, Graduate Assistant to the College of Business presented “A Tale of Two Walls” along with Dr. Jennifer Buntin, Assistant Professor of Sociology. The presentation was on Thursday, September 11th in the Academic Building. Mr. Rock’s presentation raised awareness about the wall that divides Israel and Palestine, while Dr. Buntin’s presentation raised awareness about the border wall between the United States and Mexico. Mr. Rock explained that the wall is all around the west bank. Depending on where you stand, some call it separation barrier while others call it security fence. The international community condemned the practice of building the wall by the Israeli government. Barrier supporters state that it protects Israel from terrorist attacks and opponents argue that it creates new borders, disrupts lives, and restricts commerce and economic development. The presentation was part of Lewis University’s Peace Teach-In, “Responding to Violent Times”, which draws attention to injustice in the world.
COB faculty members Robert Bergman and Patrick Griffin were nominated to participate in the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise awareness and money for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, patients in the later stages may become paralyzed. The ALS Foundation utilized social media with the help of everyday people challenging their friends and family through videotaping the act of pouring ice water over themselves to generate ALS awareness. The video of these assistant professors participating can be seen on Mr. Bergman’s Facebook page or through the YouTube link at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6VjyXmx9MU.
Dr. Frank Rose of the finance department recently led a group of students on a trip to CME Group to speak with alumni who are now working in the financial sector and learn more about what career opportunities it holds. In total twelve students were able to visit and learn about the trading of commodities and the behind the scenes operations of the financial sector. They met with alumni Shane Burke, Lead GCC Analyst at the CME Group; and Dan Lewis, trader at the Transmarket Group. One of the students in attendance Mike Trizna said “I had an absolute blast. It’s also great to see Lewis students achieving success in the world of Finance with such a competitive job market.”
Two teams of students from the College of Business recently competed in the CME Group’s annual Commodity Trading Challenge. There were a total of 392 teams in the competition, which is an annual event in which teams of undergraduate and graduate students compete by trading futures contracts in a simulated environment on the CME Group’s electronic trading platform. Students perform trades of futures contracts on products such as corn, soybeans, natural gas, and Euro futures in an attempt to maintain the highest overall portfolio value. The top teams with the most highly valued portfolios receive cash prizes and the honor of being crowned champions. Lewis University’s two teams performed quite well, although neither was able to take home one of the coveted prizes. The graduate team Lewis University Flyers comprised Carolann Thompson, and Mark Duris; and the undergraduate team Lewis University flyers 2 consisted of Andrew Knapik, Alessandro Mazza, and Jake Dopler.
Brian Pichman, Director of Strategic Innovation at the Evolve Project and graduate student here in the College of Business is on a quest to change how libraries service their communities via the Evolve Project. He believes that as the demands and desires of a community change, that community’s library must seek to adapt and evolve to meet these needs. The Evolve Project is based on the belief that “The more innovative a library becomes, the more important a library is.” After all libraries are a valuable resource, but some people characterize libraries as dated or even pointless as a result of today’s technology driven society. In order to overcome this hurdle, libraries must innovate and seek to provide not only a safe and comfortable environment in which to find information, but something more valuable and exciting that people may not have access to elsewhere.
One way some libraries have already begun to reassert themselves is by creating maker spaces for local entrepreneurs and artists. A maker space is essentially a locally operated work area containing important resources in which people of common interests can collaborate, socialize, and work. These often hold expensive resources that entrepreneurs and artists can’t find elsewhere such as 3d printers, and are a great place to find people to partner or socialize with. Through the Evolve Project, Brian and his partner Dave Hesse plan to help libraries revisit their real purpose and how they can be of value to the community. “The Evolve Project will bring institutions into the future, through innovative and interactive technologies and designs; inspiring exploration and collaboration to push people beyond the digital age.” (The Evolve Project, 2014)
To learn more about the Evolve Project, visit their blog at www.evolveproject.org
Dr. Manu Vora, adjunct professor for the College of Business and international authority on organizational change recently gave a lecture at the Indian Institute of Technology on Sustainable Change Management for Excellence. The lecture was aimed at helping students understand what Change Management for Excellence is, why it is important for a business to change with its environment, and how to best utilize the key aspects of change management tools to successfully manage change and achieve excellence in organizations. This lecture was a great opportunity for students to learn about how the operational landscape of businesses changes day to day, how to sustainably change within an organization, and why it is important to turn market change into a competitive advantage. Dr. Vora teaches Risk Management in the Masters of Science in Project Management Program here at Lewis University.
A study coauthored by Drs. Robert Atra and Yuntaek Pae was recently published in The Journal of Financial Planning. The study about the “benefits of choosing the HIFO method for tracking shares when liquidating portfolio assets” is an analysis of how an investor can improve their net worth by choosing the proper accounting methods to manage their investments. By selling off high basis assets first, an investor can increase their total wealth at the point of retirement by between .5% and 1.0%. If an investment scenario also involves “above average tax rates and or greater returns”, then the potential for increasing one’s wealth by utilizing HIFO accounting practices is even greater. Part of this is explained as a result of the time value of money making it more valuable to an investor to “receive tax benefits sooner rather than later”. They go on to emphasize the fact that many mutual funds and other investment vehicles have a default option that is typically either FIFO or Average Cost, and that it may benefit individuals to look into how their investments are setup.
The study debuted in the January 2014 issue of The Journal of Financial Planning. As described on The Financial Planning Association’s website, the journal is a peer reviewed publication meant to “expand the body of knowledge of the financial planning profession.” It is distributed monthly to over 53,000 financial planning professionals and other interested parties.