Stepping Up...Celebrating those who make a difference to the School of Management
Bringing the Real World to Campus
Bringing "real-world" learning to students is one of the most significant elements of an education at the UB School of Management. The generosity of some key individuals and companies has helped make many of these opportunities possible.
Helen and Oscar Sufrin Endowed Lectureship
Dr. Gerald Sufrin
Established in 2006, the Helen and Oscar Sufrin Endowed Lectureship in Accounting brings distinguished business professionals to campus to discuss pertinent issues in accounting. The lectureship was made possible by a gift of $50,000 from brothers Leslie Sufrin, CPA, and Gerald Sufrin, MD, a longtime UB professor, and is named in honor of the Sufrins' late parents.
In January, Lisa D. Filomia, on-call practice leader at Ernst & Young, spoke on "International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS): The U.S. Landscape." Previous speakers have included Thomas J. Linsmeier, a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), who spoke on financial reporting issues, and Mary M. Sjoquist, of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and Sarbanes-Oxley expert, who spoke on PCAOB regulation in a challenging global environment.
Gerald Sufrin, professor of urology and chair of the Department of Urology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences since 1982, said he wanted to establish the lectureship to enhance the scholarly and educational atmosphere at the School of Management. He had enrolled in some finance, investment and accounting classes at the school when he served as treasurer of the American Urological Association.
"I was impressed by the faculty," he says. "They are supportive of students, dedicated and knowledgeable. I wanted to give something back." He persuaded his brother, Leslie, who is a certified public accountant in New York City, to join him in making the gift.
Gerald S. Lippes Speaker Series
(Photo courtesy of UB Law Forum)
The Gerald S. Lippes Speaker Series was launched in 2006 through a gift to both the Law School and the School of Management by Gerald S. Lippes, a 1964 graduate of the Law School and founder and managing partner of the Buffalo law firm Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman. The series focuses on current issues and topics related to business and finance, as part of a larger effort to foster an integrated understanding of the worlds of business and law.
Lippes says that business and law are central to the activities of both businessmen and business lawyers. "Lawyers who work as counsel and the business people they serve need to learn to work effectively together. They both need to understand the expertise each brings to the process," he says.
The most recent Lippes event focused on the timely issue of health care reform. More than 200 guests gained insights from a panel of experts who discussed "U.S. Health Care: In Search of a Cure." The panel featured Michael W. Cropp, MD, president and CEO of Independent Health; Ann F. Monroe, president of the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York; and Nancy H. Nielsen, MD, PhD, senior associate dean for medical education and clinical professor in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and immediate past president of the American Medical Association (AMA).
In previous years, the Lippes Speaker Series has hosted discussions on the U.S. financial crisis, "compassionate capitalism" and world trade.
Steven C. Verney MBA Case Competition
The Steven C. Verney MBA Case Competition was established in 2007 for first-year MBA students. The competition is made possible thanks to a generous donation by Steven C. Verney '80, MBA '81, a vice president of Allstate Insurance Company in Chicago.
All first-year MBAs take part in the competition, which requires them to read and analyze a Harvard business case and write a report recommending solutions for the company in the study. The top teams present their findings to a panel of judges. This year's judges included Verney, Arjang Assad, dean of the School of Management, and Kenneth Fick '98, director of forensic and litigation consulting at FTI Consulting in Washington, D.C.
"I truly am grateful for the world-class preparation for the business world I received at UB," Verney says. "It is gratifying to be able to join other alumni in helping today's students prepare to make a difference in Western New York, the country and the world."
In addition to generous individuals, the School of Management's partnerships with corporate sponsors have benefited students and the community.
The School of Management and M&T Bank have partnered to bring MoneySKILL®, an innovative personal finance curriculum, into area high schools. Last year, 116 high school teachers used MoneySKILL at 48 high schools in Western New York. MoneySKILL is a free, interactive, Internet-based program designed to educate students to make informed financial decisions on a variety of personal finance issues, including income, money management, spending, credit, saving and investing. M&T also sponsors MoneySKILL Mania, an annual financial literacy competition held at UB. Nineteen high schools registered for the event this year and more than 90 students participated.
Retail giant Target has sponsored an undergraduate case competition since 2007 that uses actual business issues at Target as the case studies. This year, 47 students presented ideas on how Target can improve its merchandise and sales in home-industry products, as that category has faced declining revenues for the last decade. Management professionals from Target serve as judges for the competition.
In addition, Target awarded a $10,000 grant to the School of Management in March to fund a scholarship program for students in the Management Volunteer Program (MVP), which seeks to connect classroom learning with real-world experiences. Each MVP participant is required to complete 50 hours of volunteer work with one local organization over the course of a semester. The students enrolled in the program compete for individual scholarships of $1,000 based on their volunteer hours and a series of writing assignments about their experiences. This year, 21 MVP students completed more than 1,000 hours of community service at organizations such as the Gloria Parks Community Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, Northeast Family YMCA, American Red Cross and Buffalo ReUse.