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Economy Has Not Stopped Gifts of GivingAs donor relations manager for the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, Mechelle (Rogers) Tovar Olórtegui ’98, ’01 M.B.A. has good news. When the organization announced the results of its annual campaign during its November 2008 Victory Celebration, total proceeds were $28.1 million.It may have been a bit shy of their $28.4 million goal (higher than the prior year’s) but with high unemployment and the rising costs of oil, food and other necessities, it is a sign of hope that people are still willing to help others that are worse off.“Our job this year is even harder — more requests for help, more families in need of support, and more children counting on us,” Tovar Olórtegui says. “We are proud that people gave even with tremendous uncertainty, fear and terrible economic times. People do realize that even though they may struggle a bit, there are others that are worse off and depend on help from United Way and local charities for basic needs,” she adds.Tovar Olórtegui has worked almost entirely in the nonprofit sector since graduation, except for three years in property management. Five months ago, “I woke up and told my husband, ‘I’ve had it. That’s it — I’m going back to what I like to do.’” She loves her job at United Way. “I get to see these organizations and meet the people that receive funding. I see how they are so thankful for basic little things that we all take for granted.” email > firstname.lastname@example.org
Educational Collaboration Reaches Across Atlantic Students in JWU’s Alan Shawn Feinstein Graduate School are working with international business students from the University of Cooperative Education, in Ravensburg, Germany as part of Professor Lisa Sisco, Ph.D.’s Strategic Communications class. With Intel Corp. as a client, students are researching methods and venues various companies use to communicate corporate social responsibility. Groups at the two campuses videotape their findings and video conference and post data online about their conclusions and presentations.The collaboration between Sisco and Professor Karin Reinhard, her counterpart in Germany, began a few years ago when thetwo “exchanged lectures,” traveling between Providence and Ravensburg and twice presenting to each other’s classes. “[Reinhard’s] area of expertise is multinational marketing and she works very closely with a lot of industry people. Mine is communications, so I have a more theoretical approach,” says Sisco of the partnership. “We work really well together.”JWU graduate student, Russell Hryzan, said the groups discovered that a major factor in how companies communicate responsibility is by nature of the industry. Pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer, answer to federal Food and Drug Administration regulations. Though philanthropically generous, that message is only announced in its annual report. Unregulated Intel can tout its social responsibility in emails, blogs, and marketing, relying more heavily on outside media.Taking a global approach to learning has broadened education on both sides of the Atlantic. “This is a great partnership between JWU and Ravensburg,” says Reinhard. She will combine research from the two classes and present it to her contacts at Intel. email > email@example.comProfessors Karin Reinhard, left, and Lisa Sisco join forces across the Atlantic.