Archive for May, 2012

MBA grads go whole hog into new venture

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

The local food movement is gaining popularity among foodies nationwide. In Louisiana, it seems like old hat. Whether they are eating fresh-caught shrimp, creole tomatoes or Ponchatoula strawberries, Louisianians feel that locally originated food is better. Two 2012 Freeman School MBA grads are hoping they can bring Louisiana meat into that number.

Freeman grads Seth Hamstead and Simone Reggie are the founders of Cleaver & Co., a locally sourced, whole animal butcher shop.

This summer, Simone Reggie and Seth Hamstead are opening Cleaver & Co. in New Orleans, a locally sourced, whole-animal butcher shop. The idea is to buy whole cows, pigs, chickens and ducks from South Louisiana farms.

“Our rule of thumb is 200 miles, whenever possible,” Hamstead says. “We know that sometimes we may have to go a little bit farther, but we want to make sure that we can tell the consumer exactly where it’s from.”

Hamstead calls the practice of buying whole animals and butchering them here “a more sustainable business practice” that benefits both the supplier and the consumer.

“We’re making sure the farmers are getting as much as they can out of that animal,” Hamstead says. “We’re also able to choose the farmers who are doing things in the way we think is right. The animals aren’t coming from confined feedlots; they’re not being raised in industrial conditions.”

The result, say Hamstead and Reggie, is a better-tasting product — something residents of food-obsessed New Orleans should appreciate.

While both admit that beef doesn’t usually come to mind when people think of what Louisiana does best, they say there is a long tradition of cattle ranching here that has been “pushed aside by the industrial food system.” They hope they can take New Orleanians’ zeal for local seafood and translate that into a desire for local, “land-based protein.”

“There’s such a market for local seafood,” Reggie says. “You see the signs for Louisiana seafood everywhere, and that’s great. We’re looking to make a movement for Louisiana meat as well.”

For more information about the business, visit Cleaver & Co.

Freeman’s 2012 graduate diploma ceremony spans traditions

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

The Freeman School’s 2012 graduate diploma ceremony was Ira Solomon’s first as dean of the business school, but in a number of ways the event harkened back to traditions of the past.

Dean Ira Solomon presided over the largest graduation ceremony in school history.

For the first time in three years, a band—the Po Boys Brass Band—was on hand to lead students into McAlister Auditorium at the beginning of the ceremony and out of the auditorium at its conclusion, lending an appropriately festive spirit to the proceedings.

For the first time in more than 10 years, the ceremony featured a distinguished guest speaker. Staley Motta (BBA ’67), chairman of Copa Holdings, the parent company of Panama’s Copa Airlines and Colombia’s Copa Colombia Airlines, delivered a humorous, heartfelt charge to the graduates.

And for the first time in more than 20 years, the ceremony featured the tradition known as “graduation bingo,” a game inaugurated by the late Irving LaValle, school marshal and professor of decision theory, in which students are given bingo cards featuring random words and phrases from the ceremony. The first student to get five words or phrases in a row—and shout “Bingo!” at the top of his or her lungs—wins a prize, which this year was a special second-line umbrella and the right to lead the graduating classes out of the auditorium.

Stanley Motta (BBA ’67), chairman of Copa Holdings, delivered this year’s charge to graduates.

Maggie Hopkins (MBA/MD ’12) won that honor, and she embraced the role with enthusiasm, leading a graduate second line out of the auditorium.

What was definitely not a return to the past was the size of the event. The Freeman School awarded diplomas to 857 graduates this year, the most in the school’s 95 year history of conferring business degrees.

At the graduate diploma ceremony, Dean Solomon presented diplomas to 63 Master of Accounting degree recipients, 279 Master of Business Administration degree recipients, 85 Master of Finance degree recipients, 35 Master of Global Management degree recipients, 85 Master of Management degree recipients, seven Master of Risk Management degree recipients, and 10 Doctor of Philosophy degree recipients.

Earlier in the afternoon, at the Newcomb-Tulane College Undergraduate Diploma Ceremony at the Superdome, Dean Solomon awarded diplomas to 343 Bachelor of Science in Management degree recipients.

Graduation bingo winner Maggie Hopkins (MBA/JD ’12) led a graduate second line out of the auditorium at the end of the ceremony.

Arielle K. Drucker (BSM ’12) received the BSM Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes the graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Management program with the highest cumulative grade point average. Robert W. Lynch (MBA’12) received the Marta and Peter Bordeaux Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes the graduate of the Master of Business Administration program with the highest cumulative grade point average.

“This year’s graduates, like those who came before and those who will come after, have completed rigorous, state-of-the-art courses of study,” Dean Solomon said in his remarks to graduates, their families and guest. “This year’s graduates have been challenged to make a positive impact on society using their knowledge and skills learned and honed here at Freeman. I have no doubt that they will be successful, making all of us proud to recognize them over the coming years as members of the Freeman and Tulane families.”

To see more photos from the 2012 Graduate Diploma Ceremony, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr page.

2012 Student Award Winners

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Dean Ira Solomon presented the following student awards at the Freeman School’s 2012 undergraduate and graduate-level diploma ceremonies.


BSM Scholastic Achievement Award
Established in 1997, the BSM Scholastic Achievement Award recognizes excellence in academics and is presented to the graduate of the BSM program with the highest cumulative grade-point average.

  • Arielle K. Drucker


Marta and Peter Bordeaux Scholastic Achievement Award
Established in 1987 by Marta and Peter Bordeaux to recognize excellence in academics, this award is presented to the graduate of the Master of Business Administration program with the highest cumulative grade point average.

  • Robert Warren Lynch


Roger L. Cornelius Award
Established in 1967 by the Tulane School of Business in honor of Roger L. Cornelius, a 1961 West Point graduate and a 1965 MBA who died shortly after graduation, this award commemorates Mr. Cornelius’ dedication to the highest standards of business scholarship and leadership. This award is based on a vote by the MBA students, and it is presented to the graduating student in the Master of Business Administration program who best exemplifies these qualities.

  • Richard John Gray Jr.


Evelyn and William Burkenroad Award
This award is presented each year to an outstanding member of the graduating class in honor of Evelyn and William Burkenroad. The recipient is chosen by the senior class on the basis of scholarship, integrity, amiability, and contributions to the professional, social, and academic quality of the business program.

  • Stephen G. Denis


Dean’s Service Award
Established in 1991, this award recognizes those graduating students who, in the opinion of the administrative staff and dean, have added dimension to the school through outstanding contributions of time and effort.

  • Dylan P. LeCorgne (BSM)
  • Shiv Thukral (MBA)
  • Richard John Gray Jr. (MBA)
  • Lindsey Ann Varney (MBA)
  • Wendy Viviana Salas Villalobos (MBA)


Tulane Association of Business Alumni Award
Established to recognize outstanding graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Management, the Master of Business Administration and the Master of Finance programs, this award is presented to students who rank in the top 10 percent of their classes and, in the opinion of the dean, the associate dean, department heads, and the officers of the Tulane Association of Business Alumni, have displayed exceptional intellectual ability, leadership, self-motivation and a sense of responsibility to peers, the school and the community.

  • Christine M. Ouder (BSM)
  • Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Matviienko (MFIN – New Orleans)
  • Felix Chit-Ming Tse (MFIN – Houston)
  • Megan Renee Peck (MBA)


TABA Community Service Award
Established in 1993 by the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship and conducted in partnership with the Tulane Association of Business Alumni, this award recognizes those graduates who, under the auspices of the institute and mentored by TABA members, have completed at least 25 hours of pro bono service with a disadvantaged business or a not-for-profit organization in the New Orleans area.

Bachelor of Science in Management:

  • Myles Hill

Master of Accounting:

  • Zoë Louise Manzy-Coates

Master of Business Administration:

  • Douglas Royster Alexander
  • Anthony Jim Bodin
  • Thomas Matthew Connor
  • Alyssa Davidian
  • Amy Louise Dye
  • Eric Egan Gallagher
  • Meghan Helen Greeley
  • Seth Arden Hamstead
  • Maggie Louisa Hopkins
  • William Laird
  • David Jonathan Marsh
  • Clifford Strauss Mintz
  • Megan Renee Peck
  • Simone Emilia Reggie
  • Emily LaRene Roberts
  • Courtney Baine Robinson
  • Jeffrey Bradford Rohr
  • Joshua Dion Rupert
  • Kimberly Lynn Thompson
  • Lindsey Ann Varney

2012 Faculty Award Winners

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Dean Ira Solomon presented the following faculty awards at the Freeman School’s 2012 graduate diploma ceremony.


Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award
Established in 2012, this award recognizes professors in undergraduate and graduate business programs for excellence and advancement of the highest standards for teaching.

  • Eric Hamerman (Undergraduate Courses)
  • Russell P. Robins (Graduate Courses)


Irving H. Lavalle Research Award
Established in 1996, this award recognizes professors for excellence and advancement of the highest standards in research and for contributions to the faculty members’ academic fields of interest.

  • Carmen Weigelt


James T. Murphy Teaching Excellence Award
Established in 1994 in recognition of Professor Murphy’s more than 30 years of service to Tulane’s business school, this award recognizes professors who exhibit the highest standards of instructional improvement and development and who help students beyond the formal role of teacher.

  • Michael T. Yest


Outstanding Young Researcher Award
This award was established to recognize outstanding research by junior faculty members.

  • Jaideep Shenoy


Erich Sternberg Award
Established in 1987 by the Erich Sternberg family, this award is given to a member of the Freeman School faculty in recognition of current contributions to that faculty member’s academic field of interest.

  • Geoffrey G. Parker


The Howard W. Wissner Award
Presented each year to outstanding faculty members to recognize excellence in teaching, this award was established in honor of Howard W. Wissner, an exceptional professor who won the admiration and respect of all those with whom he came into contact with.

  • Ekundayo Shittu, Undergraduate Courses
  • William A. Reese Jr., Graduate Courses


A bicycle built for business

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Rob Lynch (MBA ’12) didn’t just start a new business in New Orleans. He helped start a new industry.

Rob Lynch (MBA ’12), owner of Bike Taxi Unlimited, spent a year and a half working with city officials to draft an ordinance legalizing pedicabs in New Orleans. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

Lynch is the founder of Bike Taxi Unlimited, which last year became one of three companies awarded the right to begin operating pedicabs in New Orleans.

“We get people from A to B with kind of an interesting look at the city,” Lynch says of his pedal-powered rickshaws. “It’s all about showing people a different side of New Orleans.”

A graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans, Lynch worked as a financial analyst in St. Louis for four years, but he eventually grew tired of the corporate grind. When his brother told him about the thriving pedicab business in Charleston, S.C., Lynch, an avid cyclist, realized the tourist-friendly mode of transport would be a perfect match for New Orleans.

He spent two years living in a friend’s basement and subsisting on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to save money for the venture, and then another year and a half working with city officials to draft an ordinance legalizing pedicabs.

“The New Orleans ordinance on pedicabs is one of — if not the — most comprehensive in the nation, and that has a lot to do with local officials here wanting to do it right,” says Lynch. “I brought other pedicab ordinances from across the country to their attention and worked with them to form something that would keep everybody safe and let the industry survive.”

Lynch’s hard worked paid off. Bike Taxi Unlimited carried its first passenger in September 2011, and since then the company’s distinctive yellow pedicabs have become a familiar sight around town and at events like Jazz Fest and the French Quarter Festival.

Lynch recouped his initial investment in December, sooner than he had projected, and he says the business has done so well he plans to expand into two additional cities as well as start a new venture designing and selling pedicabs to operators across the country. Regardless of how much the company grows, however, Lynch says he’s committed to New Orleans.

“New Orleans is going to be the home base of where I do everything,” Lynch says. “I love the city. I’ve loved it ever since I came to college here, and I want to stay here.”

Freeman to launch new master’s programs with Xiamen University

Monday, May 14th, 2012

The Freeman School has signed an agreement with China’s Xiamen University to begin offering two new dual education master’s programs for Chinese students.

Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School, and Xiaohui Qu, dean of the Institute for Financial and Accounting Studies at Xiamen University, at January’s signing ceremony in Xiamen, China.

Beginning this year, students at the university will be able to earn a Master of Accounting or a Master of Finance degree from the Freeman School along with a graduate certificate from Xiamen’s Institute for Financial and Accounting Studies. The agreement calls for Freeman to admit up to 30 students per year into each of the two master’s programs, with the students beginning their studies in China and then completing the degree requirements during a nine-month residency at the Freeman School. The first cohort of students is scheduled to arrive from Xiamen in August 2012.

“Building a strong network of global alumni is one of our priorities,” says Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon, who traveled to China in January to finalize the agreement. “This new agreement connects us with a population of outstanding students designed to be among China’s next leaders in business, government and professional organizations, so we’re delighted to have Xiamen University as a strategic partner.”

Xiamen is widely considered to be among the top universities in China. According to University Undergraduates Teaching Assessment and Chinese Universities Evaluation Standings, Xiamen is ranked 11th in China, and a recent study by Brigham Young University ranked Xiamen No. 1 in China for accounting research.

“This will be a great program for Tulane University,” adds Solomon. “I’m looking forward to working closely with the administration and faculty at Xiamen and the Institute for Financial and Accounting Studies to develop additional opportunities for partnership and collaboration.”


Graduate alumni celebrate reunion in City Park

Friday, May 11th, 2012

More than 150 alums spanning 45 years of the Freeman School turned out on Friday (May 4) for Freeman’s second annual Graduate Alumni Reunion Party.

More than 150 alumni from the classes of ’67 through ’07 attended this year’s Graduate Alumni Reunion Party.

The party was a chance for the Freeman School to recognize alumni of graduate programs (MBA, MFIN and MACCT) celebrating milestone graduation anniversaries. This year’s reunion honored graduates from the years ’07, ’02, ’97, ’92, ’87, ’82, ’77, ’72, ’67 and ’62.

The classes of ’82 and ’72 was the best represented with 20 alumni each in attendance, but even classes that only had a few members present were thrilled to see old friends and renew old friendships. In addition to alumni, a number of Freeman School faculty attended the reunion, including Dean Ira Solomon, John Elstrott, Frank Jaster, Jim Murphy, Eric Smith (MBA ’67), Kel Riess, Paul Spindt, Robin Desman Spindt (MBA ’97), Greg Thurnher (E  ’02, MBA ’07) and Linda Baynham (MBA ’02).

While the party was decidedly casual and unstructured—it was scheduled to coincide with Jazz Fest after all—Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon delivered a few remarks, updating alumni on the school and recognizing the reunion chairs who helped plan the event. Dean Solomon also introduced Richie Gray (MBA ’12, MGM ’12), who provided alums with a student’s perspective on Freeman’s newest programs and initiatives.

After Dean Solomon spoke, Hardee Kilgore (MBA ’67), chair of the reunion committee for the 1967 class, took the floor and presented Dean Solomon with a check for $207,597, representing the collective gifts all of this year’s reunion classes.

Planning for next year’s graduate reunion is already underway, so if you have a graduate degree from Freeman in ’08, ’03, ’98, ’93, ’88, ’83, ’78, ’73, ’68, ’63 or beyond, keep an eye out for news on the 2013 reunion party. If you’d like to be involved with planning next year’s reunion, please contact Rhonda A. Brown, director of constituent services and initiatives, at 504-862-8470 or for info.

From left to right, Class of ’82 graduates Patricia Stern, Mo Dunne, Janet Lyman, Deborah Lamensdorf Jacobs, Barbara Frausto Davey and Robin Peppe Sterneck.

From left to right, Tim Walker (MBA ’92), Jeanne Salassi Walker (MBA ’91), Chris Gleason (MBA ’92) and husband Mark Gleason

From left to right, class of ’07 grads Jamal Brown, Morial Vallot (standing), Ricardo De la Puente, Enrico Toro, Nash Pjevac, Jo-Ann Grande-Pjevac and Monique Brown.

From left to right, Curtis Pollet, Tara Byrd (MBA ’97), Mike Atwater (MBA ’97) and Jennifer Fortier (MBA ’97).

From left to right, Class of ’67 grads Bill Gibbons, George Adams, Eric Smith, John Davis and Hardee Kilgore.

To see more photos from the reunion, visit And if you haven’t yet made a class gift yet, there’s still time contribute by visiting



The science behind consumer psychology

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

On a recent Friday morning, about a dozen undergraduate students gathered in a computer lab in the business school where they were directed to a website and asked to make various choices—everything from what to order for dessert to whether to go to a restaurant advertising a special to which NFL replica jersey to buy.

Assistant professor of marketing Eric Hamerman oversees the Freeman School’s Behavioral Lab.

It may sound like an online shopping session, but in fact the students were participating in behavioral experiments designed to help researchers at the Freeman School better understand the complexities of consumer decision-making processes.

The Freeman School’s Behavioral Lab hosts dozens of such experiments each semester. Located on the first floor of Goldring/Woldenberg Hall, the lab features 24 specially configured computer terminals that enable business school faculty to administer surveys, conduct experiments and collect the kind behavioral research data that eventually ends up in peer-reviewed journals. In a very real sense, the Behavioral Lab is where the science of consumer psychology begins.

“This lab is very similar to what you have in psychology departments in the sense that there are professors who do behavioral experimentation,” says Eric Hamerman, assistant professor of marketing, who administers the lab for the Freeman School’s marketing faculty.

Recent topics investigated in the lab include social media and its effect on purchase behavior, the effect of mood on consumer variety-seeking, alliteration in advertising, multitasking and purchase behavior, and the impact of the moral behavior of celebrities on product endorsements.

More than 300 students in TIDES and core marketing courses participate in studies each semester in exchange for class credit. While students may not be right for every study, Hamerman says they’re generally ideal for consumer behavior research.

“Are Tulane students representative of everybody in the country? Probably not. But are they consumers? Absolutely. If you’re studying human behavior and making choices, they’re a fine population.”


Cystic fibrosis is special cause for one Freeman student

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Coby Kramer-Golinkoff (BSM ’13) isn’t your typical college student. In addition to handling his course load in business management and international development, the Freeman School junior is fundraising for the fight against cystic fibrosis. He hopes to save the life of someone very dear to him: his sister.

Coby Kramer-Golinkoff

Coby Kramer-Golinkoff (BSM ’13), center, has helped raise almost $200,000 for cystic fibrosis research.

“My sister Emily has cystic fibrosis (CF), a life-threatening disease that affects her respiratory and digestive systems,” Kramer-Golinkoff says. “Emily works incredibly hard everyday to stay healthy and live as normal a life as possible, but over time CF diminishes her lung function. Her lungs now only work at a third of the normal lung function. My sister truly embodies strength, perseverance and optimism.”

A few months ago, Kramer-Golinkoff and his family, who are from Philadelphia, launched Emily’s Entourage to raise money and awareness for cystic fibrosis research. This semester, armed with some of the the skills he learned in professor of practice Ashley Keller-Nelson’s class on social media communications, he brought that effort to New Orleans.

“In December, I created a video that has been the core of our fundraising efforts,” Kramer-Golinkoff says. “We distributed our video solely through social media and encouraged people to not only donate but to spread the message.”

More than 500 students attended a fundraiser in April, purchasing more than 1,000 Emily’s Entourage tank tops and generating proceeds of more than $13,000. In addition, Tulane students Kendall and Libby Glazer, who started a line of jewelry called Stoney Clover Lane, are now selling a bracelet to benefit Emily’s Entourage. To date, the campaign has raised almost $200,000, with all proceeds going to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

“It has been unbelievable the way students have supported Emily’s Entourage and embraced our efforts,” Kramer-Golinkoff says. “I am so grateful to see such a huge portion of the student body come together and really make a difference. It shows the power that we have when we come together for a united cause.”

For more information about Emily’s Entourage, visit or

Freeman tops the nation in MBA employment

Friday, May 4th, 2012

The A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University is the top school in the nation for MBA employment according to the latest U.S. News & World Report survey of business schools. The job placement data were published in March as part of the magazine’s annual report on America’s best graduate schools.

In 2011, 98.1 percent of the Freeman School’s full-time MBA class who were seeking employment were employed three months after graduation. That percentage was the best of the 135 business schools that reported employment data to U.S. News and had at least 20 graduates seeking jobs.

Since 2008, the Freeman School has invested significant resources in its career services area, hiring additional corporate outreach personnel and rolling out a host of new initiatives to connect and engage with more recruiters and hiring managers.

“Placement is just one measure of an MBA program’s success, but I’m delighted to see that the hard work of our students is being rewarded,” said Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. “Our Career Management Center does an outstanding job connecting students with employment opportunities, and it’s important to note that many of those opportunities have come, either directly or indirectly, from our alumni. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this exceptional level of success without their tremendous involvement and support.”

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