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  • Norwich's Men's Cross Country Coach Michael McGrane named GNAC Coach of the Year after championship season

    Norwich's Men's Cross Country Coach Michael McGrane named GNAC Coach of the Year after championship season

    • Athletics News
  • Applications are open for the June 2023 GenCyber Teacher Training Camp.

    Applications are open for the June 2023 GenCyber Teacher Training Camp.

    • Special Events
  • Norwich University's Dr. Rachele Pojednic featured in Eating Well article on the health benefits of celery.

    Norwich University's Dr. Rachele Pojednic featured in Eating Well article on the health benefits of celery.

    • Norwich In The News
  • Norwich Men's & Women's Basketball host the 25th Ed Hockenbury Classic Dec. 2 - 4 in Andrews Hall.

    Norwich Men's & Women's Basketball host the 25th Ed Hockenbury Classic Dec. 2 - 4 in Andrews Hall.

    • Athletics News
  • The 2022 Journal of Peace and War Studies is published by the Norwich's John and Mary Frances Patton Peace & War Center.

    The 2022 Journal of Peace and War Studies is published by the Norwich's John and Mary Frances Patton Peace & War Center.

    • University Publications
  • 'So Much to be Thankful for'

    'So Much to be Thankful for'

    • President's Message
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Beginning fall 2016 Norwich University will offer a new major, a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. 

The new program adds to the previously announced new Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and is part of an administrative restructure of the College of Science and Mathematics.

The new major will roll out this fall under the leadership of Assistant Professor Thomas Roberge, who also oversees Physical Education. Norwich University pioneered the academic study of physical education when in 1822 it was the first school to incorporate PE into the curriculum. Norwich’s founder, Captain Alden Partridge, was known in the early 19th century for his long distance hiking as described in this article.

Founded two years ago by Ben Fertich '16 and fellow senior AJ Johnson ’16, the Norwich University Student Investment Club (NUIC) steadily expands membership as driven individuals look to join. Although not a requirement, the majority of our six members study business, or have strong business backgrounds.

The idea for the club was first conceived when Ben and AJ were discussing the Norwich University School of Business with professor Alex Chung after a trip to New York City. Chung, who was new to the university then,  noticed the lack of clubs within the business school and spoke highly of finance clubs from his prior university experiences. AJ and Ben took the idea and ran with it, holding our first Investment Club meeting just three months later.

By Associate Professor of Computer Science Jeremy Hansen

In summer of 2016, I took 17 students with me to Berlin, Germany, for a three-week, 3-credit “Maymester” class. In this class, we covered the past, present, and future of surveillance, privacy, and technology in Germany and the United States. We would also eat sausage. And Döner Kebab; lots of Döner Kebab (a Turkish version of a Gyros).

Maymester is a new study abroad option, a three-week summer session that begins immediately after spring semester. Maymester courses are taught overseas by Norwich faculty; the courses taught during Maymester, the faculty teaching them, and the destinations, change year to year and are administered through the International Center.

We arrived in Berlin quite late in the evening on Monday, May 16. We coordinated with Norwich faculty at our international micro-campus, CityLAB: Berlin. Our Berlin Program Coordinator Holger Schwarz met us at the airport and got all of us on taxis to our various apartments and homestays.

With information packets and maps in hand, we were able to navigate the famously reliable Berlin public transportation system and meet at the Bundestag federal parliament building the next morning. There, we climbed to the top of the building where a dome lets visitors look down (and perform their own surveillance) on the German parliament while it’s in session. We did not observe the inner workings of state government that day, though, as the session was recessed at that time. After lunch at the Mall of Berlin, we headed to the CityLAB: Berlin studio space and had a classroom discussion about the Stasi, the notorious East German secret police.

The next morning, we had an epoch tour of the German Historical Museum, where our tour guide took about an hour to walk us through the history of West and East Germany from World War II through reunification in 1990. This tour set the stage and provided the context for most of the historical references we read about in the class, and helped the students to start to understand what a surveillance state looks like. That afternoon, we watched the relevant German movie “The Lives of Others,” which demonstrates through fiction how pervasively and cruelly the Stasi operated in East Germany. The next day, our coverage of the Stasi was brought to a conclusion by a visit to the Stasi Prison Memorial in northeastern Berlin. Our tour guide there showed us the cells and interrogation rooms, which we all found disturbing and fascinating. He also pointed out some of the parallels between the Stasi and modern systems of surveillance and intelligence gathering. The whole experience really stuck with me, and all the students reported that the prison visit was one of the most important parts of the trip.

We continued to work in the classroom over the next few days, talking about the effects of modern surveillance, the history of privacy, and legal privacy protections in Germany.

Our class topic shifted somewhat to the current political environment in Germany, which led us to learn about the German Pirate Party, a group of legislators dedicated to issues of surveillance and privacy, which has 12 elected members in the Berlin Parliament. The Pirates have been vocal opponents of government and corporate surveillance, and generally support uncensored, unrestricted, and private internet usage. Later that evening, we met with two elected Pirates, Dr. Simon Weiss and Alexander Morlang, in the Abgeordnetenhaus Berlin, the city-state’s House of Representatives building. They discussed their history, current legislative efforts, and the future of their party and then answered some of our questions. We returned the next day to take a formal tour of the building and saw the Berlin Parliament in session.

Further class topics included a history of communications and cryptography, surveillance technology, email encryption, and America’s privacy laws. After everyone had absorbed all of that material by the third week of the trip, we visited one of the first independent hackerspaces in the world, called c-base. Monic Meisel, one of the founders of the very successful Freifunk (free radio) project, met us when we arrived and explained her project to us. The project’s aim is to create free non-commercial infrastructure for wireless networks that anyone can contribute to or use. In particular, she explained how the laws of Germany were shifting somewhat to make the project easier for people to join, and described how Freifunk volunteers were providing Internet access to new refugees in Germany. After Meisel’s presentation, we were given a guided tour through all of the hackerspace’s rooms and equipment. This experience inspired all of us to duplicate the idea at home on the Norwich campus: to create a social space where students could collaborate on projects and have easy access to equipment like 3D printers, a wood shop, an electronics lab, networking gear, and computers.

We spent the last few days of the trip discussing what should be next to remedy the sad state of privacy in the United States. The students expressed an interest in continuing on two different fronts. The first idea is to develop an interactive lesson for middle school students to demonstrate how privacy can be violated by all the different activities we might engage in online. The second idea is to advocate for legal changes, particularly by providing individuals with reports about what personal information is kept and how it is used. Students plan to draft some model legislation and offer it to the Vermont and New Hampshire legislatures over the course of the next year.

In addition to those academic highlights in Berlin, we also had a “scavenger hunt” with more than 70 places, foods, and activities that students could do to compete against one another while in Berlin. Among those scavenger hunt items, students enjoyed German soccer matches (and have the BVB jerseys to prove it!), went to the zoo, visited the airport-turned-public-park at Tempelhof, saw some actors wearing American uniforms improperly at Checkpoint Charlie, ate blood sausage, sampled real Bavarian pretzels, and ate German pork hocks. It was also asparagus season and spears were on sale everywhere, but the students were surprised that the asparagus was white and as big around as your thumb.

By Bill Jolley | Associate Professor, School of Business and Management

At graduation this past spring, I sat with the family of a senior management student who had just completed the required capstone course in strategic management. The student’s father said to me at the luncheon table, “I wish I had had a course like this when I went to college. It is very realistic.” Coming from a business executive who has turned around many failing companies in his business career, I took that as a great compliment. The course he spoke of has at its core an online computer simulation of a global athletic footwear industry where twelve company-teams compete against each other.

Co-managers, or Executive Leadership Teams (ELTs) as I prefer to call them, are evaluated based on their company’s performance over 10 years on three key financial measures – Earnings Per Share, Return On Average Equity, and Stock Price – along with their company’s credit rating based on several debt ratios and their corporate image based on ethical practices, CSR, and product quality. These measures are then weighted equally to derive an overall score index.

The 2016 spring semester was the sixth year the course has been taught and each year we have companies that rank among the top 100 in the world competing against some 450 universities in 40 countries.  Our ranking gets even better when compared to US college teams participating in the simulation of which there were 318 this year. This year, however, was a particularly exceptional year.

The Executive Leadership Team of Evan Conner, Valerie McGuire, and Feliks Abrahamyan of Dashing Designs (Company D) earned a Global Top 100 ranking on their EPS – the 31st best EPS performance, worldwide!

Against other teams from the U.S., Dashing Designs earned the highest overall score index, tied other teams on their corporate image and credit rating, and mid-way through the 10-year simulation had already surpassed the record set by other teams by the end of the competition on ROE and stock price.

Their accomplishment was celebrated with all students and professors participating in the simulation through a “press release” from the authors complimenting the university on a performance that reflects commendably on the caliber of instruction that students are receiving in the course.

So what was their secret? First, their team exhibited strong visionary leadership. Second, they ran their company with unyielding execution of a single-minded business strategy. Third, they backed their decisions with critical thinking and thorough analysis of the data. Yet the most distinguishing characteristic of the high performing teams was their exceptional passion and enthusiasm generated by a competitive spirit. The rivalry among teams – in and out of class – was what drove many of them to put in the extra time and effort to win. Needless to say, Dashing Designs was the team to beat.

In recent years, School of Business & Management majors have taken field trips to better understand the connections between classroom readings and corporate practices. In 2013, Professors Mehdi Mohaghegh and Alex Chung coordinated with Board of Fellows member Robert Bleimeister on a visit to the New York Federal Reserve Bank. In 2014, students visited the global clothing company LaCoste in Montreal, where alumna Donna Lisk described how she improved inventory management by applying textbook practices.

But this year brought a change in the routine, when seniors Jeremy Guavin ’16 and Ben Kindregan ’16 took the initiative to arrange corporate visits in the Boston financial and business sectors for their peers.

Guavin made the connection for a deep dive in finance at Pioneer Investments through his father Robert Guavin, who serves as senior vice president of U.S. trading. Meanwhile, Kindregan scheduled a manufacturing facility floor tour with a quick phone call to his father, John F. Kindregan, CEO and president of Neptune Garment Co.

By sharing their unique access to these learning opportunities for the benefit of their peers, both students exemplified the qualities of leadership and service embedded in the School of Business & Management ’s academic mission.

At Pioneer Investments, students experienced an intensive workshop in a conference room setting with an agenda that covered eight financial and portfolio practice areas. Pioneer’s chief investment officer, Kenneth Taubes, welcomed the group. Top executives shared information on portfolio management, quantitative analytics, operational risk, and legal and compliance issues. From the start, student engagement drove the workshop beyond the scheduled agenda. Pioneer Investment executives responded positively to the students' enthusiasm, offering even deeper levels of knowledge and expertise.

Amy Larson, senior manager in operational risk management, inspired rigorous dialogue and planted a seed among faculty for the possibility of a new course in this subject area. Theory merged with practice in a discussion with Vice President and Portfolio Manager Howard Weiss on the subject of equal versus value-weighted portfolios—two different ways to manage an index fund.

“I was surprised he talked about this,” Jeremy Guavin said.  “We were just learning about weighted portfolios in class.”

When asked what other coursework came to mind while visiting Pioneer, Guavin cited Princeton economist Burton Malkiel’s book “A Random Walk Down Wall Street.”

“In Finance 412, we talk about concepts like firm foundations, castles-in-the-air theory, and the madness of crowds—how prices are valued in different ways and what methods are used to apply trading theory.”

Guavin also mused on the opportunity to meet a real-life human being who creates trading algorithms.

“There was this ‘whoa!’ moment when we listened to Ace Salva, Pioneer’s quantitative analytics portfolio manager,” Guavin said.

Salva has designed over 50 quantitative analytical models used in several Pioneer funds.

“You always hear about quantitative analytics, but you never seem to meet the person who’s behind it," Guavin said. "So, here’s this guy who stands up and says, ‘My models are helping manage funds.’ It was really cool.”

The next stop brought students from the corner of State and Congress streets to Boston’s SoWa (south of Washington) district in the South End, where the Neptune Garment Co. has manufactured uniforms since the early 1900s. The floor tour featured a success story involving capital risk and entrepreneurship, coupled with a deep sense of personal and professional integrity. John F. Kindregan rescued the languishing company in 1992, taking out a $180,000 loan at 16.9 percent interest with a commitment to restore trust with the company’s customers, suppliers, and employees.

“It would have been easier to start a new company,” Kindregan said. “The company was losing money. It had only 15 employees, and the business was falling apart. Operations management was brutal. Bills weren’t being paid and orders weren’t being delivered on time. Managers were there just to collect a paycheck. The company’s reputation was so bad, it had been blackballed by longstanding clients: the U.S. Army, the Navy, the military schools.”

How did Kindregan turn around the fortunes of the country’s oldest garment company?

His son Ben points to the curriculum as if it were written by his father.

“All of the things we learn throughout this program apply to my father’s experience," he said. "Operations management, marketing, accounting, entrepreneurship, leadership—all of it is relevant to Neptune Garment Co.”

John’s telling of the story is gritty, humble, and down-to-earth.

“It was hard. Old customers would hang up on me when I called. The textile mills required 50 percent payment up front,” Kindregan said. “It helped that I had served in the Navy. I went to the Navy and they gave me an order. But I had to restore trust. I had to deliver a high-quality product. I had to put the business on firm financial footing. I had to lead by example, working twice as hard as my employees to show them what we needed to accomplish.”

By 1996, Kindregan transformed Neptune Garment from a languishing company of 15 employees losing $400,000 per year to a reputable service provider staffing 147 and generating $1.7 million in profit.

Kindregan left the students with a three-part message: “Be honest. Work hard. Find a niche.” He values his son’s education at Norwich.

“I learned from the school of hard knocks," Kindregan said. "I want Ben to take everything he’s learned from my experience and apply that with the education he’s getting now. He doesn’t have to become a cutthroat businessman. He can be successful and happy.”

Back in Dewey Hall, home of the School of Business & Management, Associate Director Stephen Pomeroy reflected on the value of the visit to Pioneer Investments and Neptune Garment Co. “Real-world experience reinforces what students learn in class, and this is especially important in finance, economics, and business management.”

School of Business & Management Director Najiba Benebess reflects on the trip to Boston more broadly, in context to the university’s connections and academic leadership.

“This is the type of experiential and theory-to-practice education learning we like to emphasize,” she said. “The School of Business & Management welcomes and encourages our alumni, our friends, and our extended families to help students become successful by sharing their knowledge and expertise.”

Norwich News

  • All
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  • Norwich In The News
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  • President's Message
  • Service
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  • Student Life
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  • University Publications
  • Default
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  • Norwich's Men's Cross Country Coach Michael McGrane named GNAC Coach of the Year after championship season

    Norwich's Men's Cross Country Coach Michael McGrane named GNAC Coach of the Year after championship season

    • Athletics News
  • Applications are open for the June 2023 GenCyber Teacher Training Camp.

    Applications are open for the June 2023 GenCyber Teacher Training Camp.

    • Special Events
  • Norwich University's Dr. Rachele Pojednic featured in Eating Well article on the health benefits of celery.

    Norwich University's Dr. Rachele Pojednic featured in Eating Well article on the health benefits of celery.

    • Norwich In The News
  • Norwich Men's & Women's Basketball host the 25th Ed Hockenbury Classic Dec. 2 - 4 in Andrews Hall.

    Norwich Men's & Women's Basketball host the 25th Ed Hockenbury Classic Dec. 2 - 4 in Andrews Hall.

    • Athletics News
  • The 2022 Journal of Peace and War Studies is published by the Norwich's John and Mary Frances Patton Peace & War Center.

    The 2022 Journal of Peace and War Studies is published by the Norwich's John and Mary Frances Patton Peace & War Center.

    • University Publications
  • 'So Much to be Thankful for'

    'So Much to be Thankful for'

    • President's Message
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