Archive for November, 2012

Accounting institute connects students with the profession

Friday, November 30th, 2012

In 2012, ManpowerGroup ranked accounting at No. 5 on its list of the 10 hardest jobs to fill. That talent shortage is expected to continue through 2020 as more and more accounting professionals reach retirement age.

The inaugural Accounting Leadership Institute featured presentations from 27 accounting professionals, representing 14 different organizations.

Those numbers aren’t lost on the staff of the Freeman School’s Career Management Center. To help meet the nation’s growing demand for accounting professionals, the CMC recently organized a two-day program for prospective accountants as part of this year’s Freeman Days Chicago.

The Accounting Leadership Institute was a professional education and networking event designed to introduce students to the variety of career options available in accounting. Held at the Hampton Inn and Suites Chicago Downtown, the institute featured a day of educational sessions on career management and workplace skills led by Chicago-area accounting professionals followed by a day of information sessions with employers.

“Our primary goals were to educate students on accounting career options, to enhance their professionalism and to help them expand their networks in a major market with a large alumni base,” says Margie Cartwright, career consultant at the CMC and organizer of the institute. “Most of the organizations we partnered with for the institute hadn’t previously worked with the Freeman School, and they all expressed enthusiasm for staying connected with us.”

In all, students heard from 27 accounting professionals, representing 14 organizations from the public, private and non-profit sectors.

“We’re a big fan of anything that draws more students to the accounting profession, so I applaud Tulane for doing this,” says Casey Herman (BSM ’86), a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago, who led a session on Big Four career paths. “It was a great way to help students think about the different dimensions of the accounting profession, whether it’s corporate accounting, internal audit or public accounting.”

The Career Management Center hopes to make the Accounting Leadership Institute an annual part of Freeman Days Chicago.

Students gave the info sessions and workshops high marks, but many said the best part of the institute was the chance for one-on-one interaction with professionals in a wide range of accounting positions.

“The opportunity to ask questions was invaluable,” says Jess Dallager (BSM/MACCT ’13). “We got candid responses that I think were eye opening for a lot of us. You can’t get those insights from a textbook.”

While this year’s event was just a pilot program, Cartwright says she’s hopeful the institute will become an annual part of Freeman Days Chicago.

“The evaluations we received were all very positive,” Cartwright says. “Going forward, we think the institute will be a great way to help expand our alumni base in Chicago and introduce students to a wider network of employers.”


Bloomberg: Wildcatter Moffett’s Davy Jones Well Bet Tests Investors

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

From, Nov. 27, 2012:

In New Orleans, an oil-friendly town where Moffett once headed a local business council and gives generously to the Boy Scouts, he is considered something of a folk hero — and Davy Jones really is a celebrity. “In New Orleans, I think everybody with two nickels to rub together owns a little McMoRan” stock, said Peter Ricchiuti, a finance professor at Tulane University who has followed Moffett’s career. “You like the Saints and you got a little McMoRan for your kids.”

To read the entire article, visit


Beta Gamma Sigma inducts newest members

Monday, November 26th, 2012

The Tulane chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society recognizing business excellence, welcomed its newest members at an induction ceremony in Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II on Nov. 14, 2012.

BSG Fall 2012

Left to right, Shamsher Khan (MBA ’13), Anastasia Petri (MBA ’13) and Pallav Mishra (MBA ’13) were among the Freeman School students recently inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society of business students.

Beta Gamma Sigma is recognized by the educational and corporate communities as the highest recognition a business student can receive in a program accredited by AACSB International (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business).

Celebrating its centennial anniversary in 2013, Beta Gamma Sigma has inducted more than 690,000 members from 513 collegiate chapters and 27 alumni chapters. Members currently reside in all 50 states and more than 160 countries throughout the world. Tulane’s chapter was established in 1924.

This semester’s inductees, comprising students from the MACCT, MBA, MFIN, MGM and PMBA programs, included the following:




  • Jack Blanding
  • Aaron Burch
  • Natalia Castañeda Ramos
  • Hasibul Chowdhury
  • Kubilay Cirik
  • Meredith Denson
  • Wandrille de Thomassin de Montbel
  • Alison Eisenberg
  • Melanie Feehan
  • Renate Flaskamp
  • Luz Gomez
  • Clifford Harlan
  • Martin Hofbauer
  • Paige Hoffman
  • Rafael Hurtado
  • Ashley Hymel
  • Dwi Kartikasari
  • Shamsher Khan
  • Frederick Kramer
  • Dilip Kumar
  • Prassanth Lakshminarasimhan
  • Alfonso Lecaros Eyzaguirre
  • Chana Lewis
  • Wenlu Liu
  • John McCammon
  • Pallav Mishra
  • Yu Pei
  • Anastasia Petri
  • Thomas Poe
  • Yan Ren
  • Avijit Sarkar
  • Xi Shi
  • Kathryn Shrout
  • Ishita Singh
  • Damon Slater
  • Tiancheng Sun
  • Cheng Yuan
  • Meng Zhao

In addition, Brittany Rosen, who was previously inducted as an undergraduate, received second recognition at the graduate level.

BSG Fall 2012

Left to right, Beta Gama Sigma inductees Chris Kramer (PMBA ’13), Chana Lewis (PMBA ’13), Damon Slater (MGM/PMBA ’13), Aaron Burch (PMBA ’13), Meredith Denson (PMBA ’13) and C.T. Harlan (PMBA ’13)


















Social entrepreneurs seek the perfect pitch at PitchNOLA

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Ten teams of social entrepreneurs visited Tulane’s uptown campus last week to pitch ideas to solve a host of environmental and social problems, but in the end, it was a program to help the formerly incarcerated transition back into society that came out on top at the fourth annual PitchNOLA.

PitchNOLA 2012

Latona Giwa delivers her pitch for Birthmark Doula Collective, which earned second place honors and the Audience Favorite Prize at this year’s PitchNOLA competition. (Photos by Cheryl Gerber)

The competition, an “elevator pitch” contest for local social entrepreneurs, is an annual presentation of the A. B. Freeman School of Business, Tulane Social Entrepreneurship Initiatives and Propeller, a local nonprofit that supports social innovation ventures. More than 200 people packed Freeman Auditorium last Wednesday (Nov. 14) to watch the socially minded entrepreneurs deliver three-minute pitches for their ventures to a panel of judges, with a $5,000 cash prize on the line.

The Justice & Accountability Center of Louisiana, this year’s grand prize winner, provides legal assistance to help the state’s large population of nonviolent ex-offenders expunge their criminal records, which can be a major obstacle for them to gain employment and break the cycle of incarceration.

“The potential scale of impact in proportion to the social issue was huge,” said Leslie Jacobs, who served as one of this year’s judges. “It’s innovative, there’s tremendous need, and we felt the speakers had a high level of credibility with their experience. Our one question was the potential to really go to scale, but it was worth the gamble.”

Ameca Reali, executive director of the Justice & Accountability Center, said the prize money will enable the organization to greatly expand its outreach efforts.

“With these extra funds, we can go into more communities and take in more clients, and everywhere we go, we take in clients every single time,” said Reali “We can double the number of clients we serve.”


Of the 10 ventures chosen as finalists for this year’s PitchNOLA competition, seven were started by Tulane students or alumni.

This year’s competition also had some drama. While the grand prize was the only cash award announced, a last-minute gift from an anonymous donor enabled organizers to award a $4,000 prize to second-place winner Birthmark Doula Collective, which seeks to improve birth outcomes in New Orleans, and a $3,000 prize to third-place finisher the New Orleans Fruit Tree Project, which harvests fruit from the trees of private owners to fight hunger in New Orleans. An anonymous donor also provided a $5,000 gift to Smiles2Geaux, an initiative to establish mobile dental clinics low-income schoolchildren and seniors.

This year’s PitchNOLA attracted 60 applications, the most in the four-year history of the event, and seven of the 10 finalists had Tulane connections, including Birthmark Doula Collective, which was co-founded by Freeman School Professional MBA student Dana Keren, and the New Orleans Fruit Tree Project, which was founded by School of Public Health alumna Megan Nuismer.

“I’m really proud of all the Tulane participants and finalists,” said Lina Alfieri Stern, director of the Freeman School’s Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship. “We’re committed to fostering and supporting social entrepreneurship across the university, so it’s really exciting to see more and more students using the knowledge and skills they’re learning in the classroom to make an impact in the local community.”


Bol invested as inaugural holder of PwC Professorship

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Jasmijn Bol’s research focuses on the subjective side of compensation contracting, exploring how managerial discretion influences performance assessment, contract design and promotion decisions. Now, as the inaugural holder of the PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Professorship in Accounting at the A. B. Freeman School of Business, Bol hopes to build on that research with support from the world’s largest professional services firm.

PwC Professorship

Dean Ira Solomon, left, presents Jasmijn Bol with a plaque recognizing her investiture as the inaugural holder of the PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Professorship in Accounting.

“It’s an honor to be associated with such a prestigious organization and I’m appreciative of the confidence they feel in me and my research,” says Bol, associate professor of accounting. “Hopefully, my research can benefit them and provide insights that will be helpful.”

Bol was formally invested as the initial holder of the PwC Professorship in a ceremony held at the business school last Thursday (Nov. 15). Dean Ira Solomon of the Freeman School introduced Bol and presented her with a plaque recognizing her new title, and Dana Mcilwain (BSM ’84), vice chairman and leader of PwC’s U.S. advisory services practice, spoke on behalf of the company, which was also represented by Kathy Nieland, managing partner of the firm’s New Orleans office. The ceremony concluded with remarks from Jerry Greenbaum (BBA ’62), chairman of CentraArchy, who spoke on behalf of the Business School Council, the Freeman School’s advisory board.

Dana McIlwain

Dana Mcilwain (BSM ’84) represented PwC at Thursday’s ceremony to invest the PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Professorship in Accounting.

The professorship was funded with donations from Tulane alumni and friends at PricewaterhouseCoopers along with matching gifts from the PwC Foundation. Partner Casey Herman (BSM ’86), who serves as PwC’s firm relationship partner with Tulane and who led fundraising effort within the firm, says the gift strengthens what was already a close relationship between the Freeman School and PwC, which in the last three years has hired more Freeman graduates than any other company.

“I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve been able to grow Tulane and Freeman as a great source of talent for PwC over the last 10 years,” Herman says. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that the value of a Tulane education comes from the faculty, so we were happy to contribute to that effort, and after having met Jasmijn, I was even more committed. It’s just a great opportunity for the school to hire a teacher and scholar of her caliber.”

Bol earned her PhD in management in 2007 from Spain’s IESE Business School and joined the Freeman School in July 2012 after spending five years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, widely regarded for one of the nation’s top accounting programs. In August, Bol received the American Institute of CPAs Best Early Career Researcher Award in recognition of her scholarly work in the first five years of her career.


Former students team up to honor Trapani with professorship

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Friends, colleagues and former students of John M. Trapani came together on Thursday (Nov. 1) to honor the longtime A. B. Freeman School of Business faculty member with the establishment of an endowed professorship in his name.

Trapani Professorship

John M. Trapani III, left, watches as Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon announces the establishment of an endowed professorship in his name.

Spearheaded by Stacey M. Berger (A&S ’76, MBA ’78) and David A. Sislen (A&S ’76), two of Trapani’s former students, the John M. Trapani III Professorship in Business Administration will support the teaching and scholarship of an outstanding early-career faculty member.

In announcing the professorship, Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon praised Trapani, the Streiffer Chair of International Finance and executive director of the Goldring Institute of International Business, for a career that has combined outstanding teaching with institutional leadership, most significantly partnering with universities around the world to expand the Freeman name and develop innovative new programs.

“As much as anybody—and maybe more than anybody—John has been an institution builder over the time he has been here at the Freeman School,” said Solomon. “I’ve traveled with John to South America, Central America and Asia, and I’ve had people tell me first hand. John has played a vivid role in the lifeblood of many individuals and institutions around the globe.”

Berger and Sislen helped raise more than $100,000 to fund the professorship, but the former classmates said that was a small price to pay to honor the man whose teaching and mentorship played such a significant role in their lives.

“I was not necessarily the most motivated student when I came here to Tulane,” said Sislen, president and managing director of Bristol Capital Corp. in Bethesda, Md. “Until I found John’s class and discovered an interest that sparked something I cared about—something that explained the world to me—I would have continued to be an undistinguished student. It was not only finding a topic that was exciting to me but also a guy, someone who could get me through the bizarre elements of economic theory, that really changed my direction in life and gave me that motivation.”

Trapani Professorship

Trapani, center, with former students Stacey Berger, left, and Dave Sislen, who led an effort to raise more than $100,000 for a professorship in Trapani’s honor.

“John was an extraordinary professor and we really enjoyed the experience and the feel in his class and what he taught us beyond economics,” added Berger, executive vice president of PNC Real Estate – Midland Loan Services in Washington D.C. “It’s an honor and privilege for us to be able to give John the tribute that he deserves for what he contributed to Dave and I personally and what he’s contributed to the Freeman School and Tulane University.”

In acknowledging the professorship, Trapani shared some humorous recollections of Berger and Sislen and reflected on the meaning of being honored by former students.

“There are many accolades we get in academia, but to be recognized by your former students in my mind is really the highest accolade of all,” Trapani said. “It’s my hope that the Trapani professorship will be used to nurture education as a personalized sharing relationship between students and faculty in the same way that I’ve had the fortune to experience here at Tulane.”



Research Notes: Prof. Kris Hoang

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Kris Hoang’s paper “How Do Regulatory Reforms to Enhance Auditor Independence Work in Practice?” has been accepted for publication in Contemporary Accounting Research. Hoang, an assistant professor of accounting at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business, co-authored the paper with Krista Fiolleau, assistant professor of accounting at the University of Waterloo; Karim Jamal, professor of accounting at the University of Alberta; and Shyam Sunder, professor of economics at Yale University.

To see more Freeman School research, visit the Faculty Publications page.

Research Notes: Prof. Robert S. Hansen

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Robert S. Hansen’s paper “Are Analysts’ forecasts Informative to the General Public?” has been accepted for publication in Management Science. Hansen, Francis Martin Chair in Business and professor of finance at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business, co-authored the paper with Vadim Balashov, adjunct lecturer and doctoral student  at the Freeman School, and Oya Altınkılıç, assistant professor of finance at George Washington University.

To see more Freeman School research, visit the Faculty Publications page.

New program aims to produce global scholars

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

“The world is flat,” proclaimed New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in the title of his 2005 best-seller on how technology is leveling the global playing field, but that newly level playing field brings with it a new set of problems.

Myke Yest, left, and Casey Love are co-directors of the new Altman International Studies Program.

This fall, Tulane University launched a new interdisciplinary program aimed at preparing students to take on the unique challenges of an increasingly interconnected world.

The Jeffrey A. Altman International Studies Program in Business and Liberal Arts is a four-year undergraduate program that combines advanced language training with business and liberal arts education. Made possible through an $8.3 million gift from the Jeffrey A. Altman Foundation, the philanthropic organization founded by Altman (BSM ’88), the program targets a select number of students who seek a more integrated understanding of the economic, political and social issues that define the contemporary world.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for students to gain technical business savvy and also the global thinking that comes with a liberal arts degree,” says Myke Yest, professor of practice at the Freeman School, who co-directs the program with Casey Love, senior professor of practice in political science.

Students completing the program will earn both a Bachelor of Science in Management and a Bachelor of Arts in a chosen liberal arts discipline, such as political economy, economics or history, but according to Yest, the program is more than simply a dual-degree offering. Each semester the Altman Scholars will take one course as a group, enabling the students to pull together their experiences in business and liberal arts as they explore global issues.

“Our goal is to make sure that the two areas reinforce each other and are being intertwined throughout the program,” says Yest. “It’s the meshing of these worlds and the constant reflection of one back to the other that’s going to lead to a more robust experience.”

The Altman Scholars will also devote at least two years to foreign language study and spend their junior year abroad in a foreign-language-speaking country. This summer, they’ll get their first taste of international travel with a trip to Costa Rica to take part in a month-long program combining service learning with a course in cross-cultural communication and business.

According to Yest, graduates of the program will be qualified for careers in international business, government, the non-profit world and non-governmental organizations.

“Our hope is that after completing the program, Altman Scholars will be able to think in a much more global way,” says Yest. “Not only will they have strong technical proficiency in business, a language and a liberal arts discipline, they’ll have the ability to weave all these areas together and that’s really what this program is all about.”


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