15 Jul

DeSales MBA Adds New Concentration

It’s official!  DeSales University has added a new concentration to its MBA program. Due to increased requests, a team of MBA faculty and staff developed and proposed a new Human Resource Management concentration for the MBA program.  We are now quite pleased to announce the approval of the Human Resource (HR) Management concentration.  

“As the US and local economies emerge from the current extended slump, we believe that the demand for HR professionals will increase significantly,” says Dr. David Gilfoil, director of the MBA program. “DeSales is now poised to offer a degree that will address that demand in a meaningful way.”  

Why add HR Management to DeSales’ MBA offerings?  “The HR Management concentration will provide our students with a solid background in accounting, finance, marketing, strategy, and other core MBA areas,” says Gilfoil. “At the same time, it will provide focused training and critical thinking skills required of HR specialists who deal with human capital issues, challenges, and opportunities on a daily basis.”

The addition of HR Management to the MBA program expands the available concentration areas to nine.  Other concentrations include:  Accounting, Computer Information Systems, Finance, Healthcare Systems Management, Management, Marketing, Project Management, and Self-Design.  Each of the concentration areas consists of seven required MBA core courses, four concentration/elective courses, and one capstone integrating course.

Interested in more information?  Visit www.desales.edu/mba or call 610-282-1100, ext. 1450.

8 Jul

The MBA Entrepreneur – Fat Boys House of BBQ

So much goes into starting your own business, but DeSales’ MBA program gave alumni, Crystal Calla, the tools and confidence to do just that!  Her original reason for obtaining her MBA was to give herself the leverage necessary to advance in her company and further her career in finance. 

Having recently completed her undergraduate degree, Crystal wanted to stay in the “school groove” and began her MBA classes at DeSales immediately.  During school and after graduation, Crystal helped her husband pursue his love of barbequing. 

Crystal and her husband started catering for family and friends events occasionally; the guests loved their barbeque and referrals started pouring in.  Seeing an entrepreneurial opportunity, Crystal urged her husband to give it a try.  Armed with a broad range of knowledge obtained and networks created during her experience in the DeSales MBA program, Crystal was confident she could build the business-side of their venture from scratch.  The Callas bought and converted a UPS truck, and Fat Boys House of BBQ was born.

As a result, the combination of Crystal’s business expertise and her husband’s culinary skills make the perfect ingredients for an awesome partnership to grow a successful business.  Customers line up to taste their barbeque; they even return the next day just to tell the Callas how much they enjoyed it!

Recently, Fat Boys House of BBQ participated in the “Blues, Brews and BBQ” fourth annual event in Allentown, PA.  They were sold out of 500 pounds of meat by mid-day, and their “Loaded Baked Potato Salad” won 1st place in the “Best Salad” category! 

Our congratulations go out to Crystal Calla and her husband on their win and the success of their business venture.  Though Crystal didn’t start out pursuing her MBA to become an entrepreneur, she put it this way, “Everything happens for a reason!”

7 Jul

DeSales MBA – New Lansdale Location

Check out the photos of our new campus in Lansdale!  We will be moving in August.  Fall classes will be in the new location on the corner of Broad Street and Sumneytown Pike across from Merck & Co, Inc.  Stay tuned for more information and photos in the upcoming weeks! [slickr-flickr tag=”new location”]

1 Jul

A Visit From Our Global MBA Partners

DeSales University’s MBA program recently had the pleasure of hosting a second group of healthcare students from Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC) in Lima, Peru, for a week-long study tour.  This visit provided our Peruvian guests, all doctors and dentists, with an overview and insight into pertinent issues and workings of the U.S. healthcare system.  Industry presentations were given by Dr. Patrick Kenny from the DeSales University Nursing Department, Ms. Barbara Childers from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Medicare/Medicaid office, Mr. Michael Garbutt from Independence Blue Cross of Philadelphia, Ms. Jennifer Sprankle from St. Luke’s Hospital, and Dr. Christine Bruce of the DeSales University Physician’s Assistant Program.

To enrich their experience and view actual operations in progress, the students also toured Oral Dynamics dental practice, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Lehigh Valley Hospital and OAA Orthopedic Specialists.  The DeSales University MBA program looks forward to hosting another group of healthcare students next year.  Read more about their unique experience in the Express Times .    

DeSales has been in partnership with UPC for the past three years.   This partnership affords our universities the unique opportunity to offer reciprocal cross cultural study tours.  Plans for an MBA study tour from DeSales to Peru are in process. [slickr-flickr tag=”peru study tour”]

17 Jun

DeSales MBA – Making Lasting Connections

Our students are encouraged to use their time here in the MBA program to build connections with their fellow students.  These relationships can present an excellent opportunity to network on a deeper level; providing the chance to get to know people outside your industry or expertise.  You never know where these connections will lead.  That’s exactly what a few of our MBA students, Mary Joy Kaiser, Jessica Baker and Paul Rafalowski, found out when they happened to find themselves taking CR507 Executive Skills together.

On the first night of their 12 week Executive Skills class, the instructor suggested using the time in class to get to know the other students and network.  The format of the Executive Skills class gives each student the opportunity to present their experience and expertise.  This allows all of the students the unique chance to let their talents shine in front of their peers.  Mary Joy Kaiser has been the Executive Director for Via of the Lehigh Valley, Inc., a not-for profit human service agency, for the last year.  Her organization was looking for some specific talent, a production manager and sales training/marketing advisor.  Her networking in class lead her to Paul Rafalowski, who has an extensive sales and marketing background and Jessica Baker, who’s expertise lies in production management.  The link was made.  Paul Rafalowski came to work with Via of the Lehigh Valley part-time and developed an exceptional marketing program for them.  Jessica Baker came aboard as Via’s Thrift Production Manager, according to Mary Joy, “transforming our production operations with a very lean attitude.”

Each of these students left CR507 Executive Skills with something they didn’t come into class with – a lasting connection with other industry professionals who they may not have met otherwise.  Mary Joy’s words sum it up the best.  “I am more than grateful for my graduate student venture with DeSales University and the opportunity to meet these two colleagues.  Listening to my peers,  hearing their experiences, and understanding their dreams…. for twelve weeks ….was a simply awesome way to engage dedicated individuals and leaders to build a company that provides significant care to those most in need.”

1 Jun

Our MBA Faculty – The Bloodline of Our Program

Here in the MBA program we try to recognize and further develop the talent of our outstanding faculty members.  Each one of these individuals brings his/her unique industry knowledge and expertise to their classroom providing a richer experience for students.  Both full time and adjunct faculty growth is essential to our program’s strength.  Twice each academic year, the MBA program hosts a faculty development session to facilitate this growth.  Faculty come together to celebrate the success of the program, recognize achievements, identify areas needing improvement, and share experiences with each other.

At each of our faculty development sessions, Dr. David Gilfoil, director of the MBA program, provides a current assessment of our program – what we’re doing well and where we can improve.   Important feedback is obtained from surveys completed by students and graduates and Dr. Gilfoil challenges instructors to understand this data and improve their performance in priority areas.  Sometimes different guest presenters share the latest in technology and how to best apply it to the classroom environment.  At other times, attendees break out by concentration area to address issues, streamline general processes, discuss texts being used and share their views about the delivery of material.   The goal for these sessions is to standardize course materials while preserving the uniqueness of each faculty member’s style. 

There is much to be excited about as our MBA program continues to grow.  Our process of screening, hiring and training adjuncts continues to improve.  This year we are pleased to welcome fourteen new adjunct instructors – Dr. Mark Allyn, Mr. W. Hall Barker, Mr. Jack Burns, Dr. Alok Chakrabarti, Mr. Joshua Ehrig, Mr. Craig Hunt, Dr. William Hutton, Atty. Deirdre Kamber, Mrs. Bena Long, Mr. Anthony Manganiello, Mr. Gagan Mathur, Mr. Donald Ortner, Mr. Donald Scanlon and Mr. David Smith.   We look forward to the contributions that each of these individuals will bring to the program.

Our faculty are also very engaged in preparing new concentrations for approval.   Most recently, Mr. Richard Cipoletti, Dr. Robert Lovelace and Dr. Bill MacGregor were instrumental in developing our newest concentration – Human Resource Management.  We are pleased to announce that this was officially launched for the Spring MBA session. 

Further, several of our current faculty have been teaching our MBA program on Immaculata University’s campus.  This newly-formed partnership with Immaculata was launched last Fall and continues to grow. 

As we look forward to 2011-2012, the future remains bright.  With nine concentrations, and the depth of industry experience our instructors have, we are poised to capture the opportunities that lie ahead.  Our commitment to our students remains the same – provide the most comprehensive, quality education possible at a competitive price.

21 Apr

And so begins your MBA journey…

From the moment your MBA advisor calls saying “you’re accepted”, your journey towards attaining your MBA begins.  For most of you, this marks a return to the frontlines of school after a period of a couple of years or longer.  This time, however,  you are armed with extra responsibilities of work, family, etc.  The first few weeks of your very first class/classes can be daunting at best.  That’s why this post is for you.  We’ve asked a couple of MBA students who have just completed their first class/classes in the Winter 2011 session to share their  experiences and advise those of you who are just starting on your MBA journey.

Listen to what new students, Paul Keeler and Jennifer Jones, had to say:

                “My biggest challenge was getting back into the swing of things and finding the appropriate work ethic required when taking a class.  My first class had a lot of reading and writing, which takes longer when you’re out of practice. My first class was a success, so I will try to continue doing most of the same things.  However, all classes are different so it’s never a situation where you can “lather, rinse and repeat.”   In my first class I tried to read ahead when I had the time, which I found helpful and is something I plan on continuing.   (To new students) Have a lot of extra time built into your schedule to make it easier to blend in your coursework.  It’s easier to add other activities and commitments if you find you have the time, rather than having a full schedule and becoming overwhelmed.” – Paul Keeler

Paul is pursuing an MBA with a concentration in Finance.  He took his first class at our Center Valley campus. 

“My biggest challenge as a new student was taking on an entirely different realm of learning and confronting my weaker academic areas at a graduate level.  For my next class, I will need to find the delicate balance between my career and school that will allow enough time for studying the new material.  I would advise a new student to take full advantage of the DeSales staff and their willingness to communicate and resolve issues, or answer even the smallest question. I have been very impressed with their commitment to my (our) success!” – Jennifer Jones

Jennifer is pursuing a concentration in Management.  She took her first class at our Easton campus.

Now stop for a moment – and congratulate yourself on the decision to pursue your MBA!  This choice will change the rest of your life.  Next, take a deep breath – you’re in this for the duration, whether it takes you 2 or 6 years!  Most importantly, try to make lasting connections in addition to learning the material.  The people you meet along your MBA journey may end up being the doorway to your next career or even becoming lifelong friends!

Not connected?  Don’t wait, join our community on Facebook , the DeSales MBA group on LinkedIn or the conversation on Twitter!  Check out what your fellow students, MBA alumni and MBA Association are doing!

4 Apr

Management vs. Leadership in Today’s Ever-changing Environment

Networking and enjoying refreshments

Networking and enjoying refreshments

 “Where Management is about coping with complexity; Leadership, by contrast, is about coping with change.  Each system of action involves deciding what needs to be done, creating networks of people and relationships that can accomplish an agenda, and then trying to ensure those people actually do the job, but they are accomplished in entirely different ways.  Management deals with process, Leadership requires inspiring and empowering people.  More change always demands more leadership” (Kotter, 1999).

While most of us are familiar with Kotter’s concepts and ideas regarding management and leadership; we, the MBA Association, had the unique opportunity to listen to firsthand accounts from individuals on the “frontline” of business.  The three panelists came from distinctively different types of businesses covering the spectrum from smaller scale privately owned to non-profit to large publicly traded global enterprise.  As professionals in positions of authority within their individual companies, each of the panelists have experienced the struggle their companies have in creating a culture that embraces a balance of management and leadership.

Questions were posed by a moderator and each panelist was given the opportunity to respond with their thoughts.  First the idea of management and leadership as a contrast or complement was explored.  Dr. Michael Rossi talked about the fact that the difference lies in management having subordinates while leaders have followers. 

Ms. Christine Rinaldi, Dr. Michael Rossi, and Mr. Gagan Mathur

Mr. Gagan Mathur mentioned how management keeps an organization running like a well oiled machine and leadership is what keeps it “breathing”.  The questions went on to discuss what role organizational culture plays in the success of an enterprise.  Ms. Christine Rinaldi brought up her experience with management restructuring and how her company had to completely overhaul the management/leadership teams to develop a fresh environment from one that had stagnated.  Finally the concept of intercultural competence and globalization and the challenges they create were addressed.  Mr. Mathur mentioned an experience with keeping project management teams running on schedule and budget while having the team in India take a half day for a cricket tournament.  Ms. Rinaldi spoke to the fact that honesty and integrity is a universal language and developing relationships is a very big part of success in the global market place.

The floor was then opened up to questions from the audience.  One person questioned whether a reserved person has what it takes to be a leader.  Many times when we think of leaders, people like Martin Luther King Jr. or JFK pop into our minds.   Mr. Mathur was quick to point out that leaders do not have to be vocal or out in front of the crowd.  A leader needs to have strategy, vision, innovation; they can be “quiet” even while leading.  A number of other questions were asked and the panel discussion came to a close.  Dr. Rossi ended the night with the statement, “You recruit for talent and train for skill.”  A very good thought to keep in our minds as we develop our own management and leadership abilities within our individual organizations.

Don’t miss anymore of these events!  To join the MBA Association, request a membership form from Christina Hicks at christina.hicks@desales.edu.  Get connected, get involved!

7 Mar

Congratulations to Our Emerging Leaders

For the past ten years, the Hal Dolenga Emerging Leader Award has been given to recognize an exceptional student in the healthcare systems management concentration of the DeSales MBA program.  The Dr. Hal Dolenga Emerging Leader Award is named in honor of Dr. Hal Dolenga, who helped establish the MBA program in 1990, and was the first director of the MBA program at DeSales.  The award is presented by the Lehigh Valley chapter of the American College of Health Care Executives, The Eastern Pennsylvania Health Executive Network (EPAHEN).

Three finalists were interviewed for this year’s award:  Jeanne Connelly, Ashli Rusmisel and Catherine Chrapacz.  Ms.Connelly is the Vice President of Clinical Operations at OAA Orthopedic Specialists in Allentown, PA.  She has had over 20 years in the medical industry, encompassing hospital residency programs and community based practices in various fields of medicine.  Jeanne has advanced her achievements by attaining a professional certification with the American College of Medical Practice Executives while working as a full time corporate executive, a full time mother and a part time MBA student.

Ms. Rusmisel is a Radiation Therapist at St. Luke’s Cancer Center in Fountain Hill, PA.  She has done an outstanding job serving on committees and advisory groups at St. Luke’s as well as coordinating the Joint Commission reaccreditation effort.  Ashli received her Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences from the University of Charlestown, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and is described by her MBA professors as a leader who is willing to help her fellow students. 

Ms. Chrapacz is an Executive Sales Consultant for Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation in East Hanover, NJ.  She began as a sales representative and, over the last ten years, worked her way up the ladder to her current position.  Catherine works closely with PCP’s and specialists regarding treatment advances for Hypertension.  She won the Sales Leadership award for her outstanding leadership skills and is very active as a volunteer for various organizations. 

All three finalists were described as exceptional and competent healthcare professionals by their associates and peers.  To say the least, the EPAHEN committee had a tough choice.  In the end, Ashli was chosen as the 2011 Dr. Hal Dolenga Emerging Leader Award recipient.  She was presented the award by Theresa Koller of St. Luke’s.  Ashli described being chosen as the recipient as, “Not only an honor and a confirmation of my potential, but an incredible opportunity for me as a rising healthcare leader.” 

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to all three nominees and a special congratulation to the winner, Ashli Rusmisel!

29 Oct

A little wine with your wisdom?

On Thursday, October 28th, the MBA association held an event called Wisdom and Wine: A lesson in Entrepreneurship from Amore Winery.   The Amore winery can be found nestled in the hills of Bethlehem off of Rt. 512.  It is a beautiful winery housed in a restored barn on the Amore property run by Gregg Amore and his family. 

It was a small intimate group of about 15 Association members who came for the event.  Gregg Amore, the winery owner gave a short tour of the winery, including the upstairs addition that is in the process of being refurbished.  The conversations were great; centering around the benefits and challenges of entrepreneurship as it relates to the Amore Winery and what Gregg’s learned through the process.  All of this was washed down with tasty wine and refreshments.  Of course, at the end of the night who could leave without a lovely souvenir of wine to bring home?! 

It was unfortunate that many members were unable to make it to this event.  But do not despair, there are more upcoming events in November!  Check these events out on Facebook, two happy hour events, one in Lansdale and one in Easton and a breakfast event in Center Valley, “Ethics in Hiring Decisions in the Digital Age”.  The board will be meeting the beginning of the year to plan future events as well.  If you are interested in becoming involved please email Kelly Skrapits at skrappy12@verizon.net


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