The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business mourns the loss of a beloved professor and leader, Richard T. Redmond, D.B.A., who served the school for more than thirty years.
After earning his bachelor’s degree from Shippensburg University and his doctor of business administration in decision science from Kent State University, Redmond joined the school in 1983 as a faculty member in the Informations Systems department. From the beginning, his gentle manner, humor and ability to inspire the best in others earned him the gratitude and respect of students and colleagues alike.
He served as chair of the Department of Information Systems from 2001-2012. He proved to be an able leader with a kind heart and earned a reputation as “the best guy you’ll ever work for.” Under Redmond’s leadership, the VCU School of Business became the first business school in the country to achieve accreditation by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET for the undergraduate program in information systems.
Redmond could not have been prouder when in 2005, a student team garnered national attention by winning the Microsoft Imagine Cup, and he made sure that the company executives in Redmond, Wa., took note and started recruiting at VCU. That same year, Redmond led the department to launch the very successful Executive MS in Information Systems program, which is known for its effectiveness in preparing students to take on top leadership roles.
Redmond was a valued mentor to the doctoral students following in his footsteps. Chandrashekar “Shekar” Dutt Challa, Ph.D. recalled, “He was not just a friend but also my big brother, philosopher and guide. I spent two years of weekends with him at his house working on my dissertation. It is a devastating loss to his family, his friends at the school and to the universe.”
Prior to his recent retirement, Redmond served as interim senior associate dean of the School of Business. Working closely with Dean Ed Grier, Redmond effectively engaged faculty, staff, administration, alumni, students and community in developing an exciting new vision and strategic plan, EPIC, which will guide and inspire the school’s progress for years to come.
Upon learning of his late stage cancer diagnosis, the VCU Business community responded with an outpouring of support. Longtime colleague Jean Gasen, Ph.D., set up a CaringBridge website for people to share their words of appreciation and remembrances. Daniel P. Salandro, Ph.D, chair of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, and Lemuria Carter, Ph.D, current chair of Information Systems established a scholarship fund in his honor, and contributions started coming in quickly.
On CaringBridge, Gasen spoke for many when she wrote, “I owe him so much and am forever grateful for the impact he has had on my life, and on the lives of so many others. He spent most of his life helping others and was cut way short of the time he so deserved to spend on himself.”
Like many, Carol Scotese, Ph.D, chair of Economics, recognized the example Redmond set, “Your selfless contributions and caring leadership style gave me an aspirational goal – for this, I will be forever grateful.”
“We will miss the presence of a truly kind and giving person,” said Dean Ed Grier in an April 15 email notifying faculty and staff of the passing of “our great friend and spectacular colleague” earlier that morning.
Redmond was preceded in death by his mother, Roseann; his first wife Jean; his brother John P. Redmond and a sister, Rosemarie Redmond. He is survived by his wife, Connie; six children, Marc Redmond (Joseph Whitfield), Brian Redmond (Ashley), Laura Ramirez (John), Gregory Redmond (Amber), Steven Fish (Madison Sternberg) and Jamie Nash (Gage); seven grandchildren, Tristan, Oliver, Grant, Hattie, Grady, Lacey and Hazel; father, Dr. John P. “Jack” Redmond; three sisters, Regina McCarren, Cecile Logsdail (David) and Marybeth Redmond (Greg Beckmann); and many nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Bliley’s – Central, 3801 Augusta Avenue, on Tuesday, 6:00 pm, April 19, 2016.
Memorial donations may be made to the Rich Redmond Fund (select “other” and designate Rich Redmond Fund.) Make checks payable to the VCU School of Business Foundation, 301 W. Main Street, Richmond, Va. 23284-4000. VCU employees may also give by payroll deduction. If you have questions regarding the fund, please contact Joey Broussard, director of development, at 804-827-7408.
September – October 2014 has been a busy month for Executive MS-IS (FTEMS) alumni. Highlights of our alumni professional accomplishments include: CIO of the MidAmerica division for HCA Associate CIO at VCU Health Systems Chief Nursing Informatics Officer at Baylor University All Saints Medical Center Assistant Vice President – Core Network Operations Center at Bank of America Merrill Lynch IT Audit Technical Consultant with Federal Reserve Bank Richmond Manager of Application Support for HCA CISSP
To view the complete and extremely impressive list of alumni accomplishments visit http://business.vcu.edu/ftems/alumninewsandevents.html.
Trish and Jon Hill are Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business alumni multiple times over. Both were double majors in Accounting and Information Services (B.S. ’85), earned their MBAs from VCU (Trish in ’92, Jon in ’99,) and in 2012, Jon completed a master’s degree in Information Systems. Today, Trish is a senior lead analyst with Altria. Jon is a full-time accounting teacher at VCU, treasurer for VCU Alumni and faculty advisor for both Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) and the Executive MBA program.
Long-time supporters of the VCU School of Business Annual Fund, the two recently made a $25,000 pledge designated for the BAP Excellence Fund to be paid over five years. Half of their pledge is made possible by Trish’s employer, Altria, through a matching gift program.
Why do you give?
We both went to VCU on the G.I. Bill. VCU offered us a profession and a career. We are appreciative of that. Nobody truly does anything on their own, and we remember, with gratitude, the many teachers and mentors who helped us along the way. It’s an honor to be included with many alumni that give back and to know we are helping someone else achieve their dreams.
We also give to encourage others to give. VCU is the heart beat of Richmond. We’ve seen firsthand how the decrease in state funding has affected the school and we really believe that alumni are best suited to fill that gap.
Why did you designate your gift for the BAP Excellence Fund?
The fund financially supports VCU Accounting students to give them a leg up and a view into the profession. With the BAP Excellence Fund, we’re trying to create a sustainable endowment so students don’t have to raise the money needed to develop their professional and technical skills.
For example, this summer we accompanied some of our accounting students to the BAP annual meeting in Atlanta. There were more than 1,000 students at this convention hearing from world-class speakers, learning best practices and networking with students from around the world. Conferences like those give students exposure to career possibilities that exist. We went into our careers blind. If we’d attended a conference like this, we might have gone into something a bit different, like forensic accounting; it’s fascinating.
One thing that sets VCU students apart is that so many of our students work while attending school. Employers love their work ethic. Many are first-generation Americans or first-generation college students. They’re busting their tails, and that’s why the BAP Excellence Fund is so important. It supplements them by improving their professional skills and connecting them to future employers.
What’s the benefit to giving?
The President of VCU Alumni, Baxter Perkinson, says all the time, “We don’t know where VCU ends and we begin.” A lot of our social life is built around VCU – basketball games and alumni events. There are so many wonderful people and so many fun things to do. Being involved with VCU keeps us young. We love it. It’s so rewarding to see our students achieve success.
The Executive M.S. in Information Systems – IT Management program recently traveled to Austria for their international trip. While in Austria, the students visited BRZ (Austria Federal Computing Center).
During the international trip lead by Professor Heinz Roland Weistroffer, they visited Bratislava, Budapest and Vienna visiting various universities and IT organizations. Click here to read more about their trip.
For more information on the Executive M.S. in Information Systems – IT Management program, click here.
Last week, The VCU School of Business Foundation hosted a dinner for the school’s Investors Circle at the Jefferson Hotel. Invited to Tuesday night’s dinner was Coach Shaka Smart, who participated in a Q-and-A session with moderator Dr. Jean B. Gasen, Executive Director of the School of Business Center for Corporate Education.
The theme for Tuesday night’s discussion, “Instilling Leadership On and Off The Court,” had Dr. Gasen ask Smart questions regarding the basketball team, Smart’s impression of the student athletes he’s mentored, his coaching philosophies and core values on and off the court.
Having graduated magna cum laude from Kenyon University and earned his master’s in Social Science from California University of Pennsylvania, Smart developed a love for quotes from historical figures. Playing off his well-known admiration of poetry, history and motivational speaking, many of Dr. Gasen’s questions were preluded with quotes from writers and historians such as Sun Tzu and Robert Frost.
Dinner guests had an opportunity to see and hear Smart in a much more intimate setting with the coach answering questions with personal vignettes, recalling stories about being an assistant-coach at Florida University and Clemson and learning to become a leader and mentor for his student-athletes.
Smart also talked about his own family and being a father to his two-year old daughter Zora as well as being heavily influenced by his mother who raised him and his five siblings as a single parent.
When asked by a dinner guest what the greatest feeling Smart has felt as Head Coach, Smart replied that it hasn’t been winning and earning accolades, but instead seeing the student-athletes he watched grow and develop make something of themselves.
“Last week when we were recruiting in California, me and the team were watching Troy Daniels with the Houston Rockets on TV in the playoffs,” Smart said. “I don’t think I had ever been more proud watching him play.”
During Game 3 of the Houston Rockets playoff series with the Portland Blazers, VCU alumnus and A-10 record holder for the most three point field goals in a game, Troy Daniels hit a game winning three-pointer with 11.0 seconds left on the clock.
“I know Troy is going to succeed – in basketball or whatever he does – because he’s a hard worker and knows how to follow directions,” Smart said. “I know it sounds simple, but it makes a world of difference.”
For members of the Investors Circle, events and dinners such as these provide social and recreational outings for the network comprised of local businesses, charities and VCU alumni.
“It was fantastic. I completely enjoyed it,” said Davenport & Co. Senior Vice President and Head of Business Development Clay Hilbert. “We were founded in 1863 here in Richmond. We’ve been here a long time and we’re happy to be a part of the growth here in Richmond. I think VCU has done a phenomenal job in helping improve the city. We’re big supporters of the School of Business.”
While some members of the Investors Circle are individual donors, many local companies and businesses, such as Davenport & Co. donate to the school and offer invitations to Investor Circle events throughout the year to their employees.
“It was a great event and so well put together. I really enjoyed it,” Hey said. “He [Shaka] was a very good speaker. I liked how he applied his coaching staff, the outside work force and the students into his answers.”
Individual memberships costs for the Investors Circle begin at $1,000 and Corporate at
$2,500. For more information, please visit go.vcu.edu/InvestorsCircle or contact Katy Beishem at 804.827.0075 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To read the event coverage from the Richmond Times Dispatch, click here.
-Article by Chris Suarez, student journalist
Much like in the business world, Professional and collegiate-level sports teams use data to improve their game and gain an edge on the competition.
For the VCU Rams’ Men’s Basketball team, players and coaches utilize the same concepts taught in data-centric business classes to succeed on the court. Dissemination of data from practice and games help our student-athletes compete at a high-caliber level.
Earlier this month, The School of Business held an event at the Tommy West Club in the Siegel Center for professionals interested in enrolling in the brand new Executive M.S. in Business with a Concentration in Decision Analytics program.
The program offers professionals and executives an opportunity to obtain their Masters Degree over the course of 15 months while continuing their respective careers.
“Analytic work is taking large amounts of data and gaining insights on information out of that data so strategic and tactical decisions can be made,” said Stephen Custer, a VCU professor who will be teaching the class. “It’s a combination of data processing, being able to handle and manipulate the data, making sure it’s valid, and statistical analysis, the process of getting insight from that data.”
Custer says there is a demand for people with deep analytical skills in the professional world. According to McKinsey, that demand is expected to reach 60 percent by 2018.
The demand is also needed on a more local level, especially in Richmond. In the previous year, an advisory board of members from the local business community also expressed a need for workers with data analysis skills.
Custer says the advisory board was instrumental in bringing the executive program to VCU. With input from local businesses and experience in running other weekend format Professional Track programs, the School of Business will graduate professionals while not interrupting prospective student’s ongoing careers.
Sam Sparks, a contractor with the Department of Defense, applied to the program a few weeks after enrollment opened. Having graduated from VCU in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Sparks says he was initially interested in coming back to enroll in the Executive MBA program, but was referenced to the Decision Analytics Executive Program by faculty in the School of Business.
“I’m hoping it will get me into deeper analytics,” said Sparks. “I’ve been doing analytics for awhile, but to get into the upper echelons of analytics you need a Masters Degree. I’m trying to learn a couple more techniques to do consulting or work in an analytics department of a company.”
Sparks attended the interest session for applicants to the Executive Program earlier this month and won a raffle for tickets to the VCU and St. Bonaventure game that was held on March 8.
In addition to interested professionals invited to the event, businesses such as Suntrust bank and other financial institutions took part in the event to raise awareness for the program. Coaches and staff from the VCU Athletic Department also attended the event, with members of the coaching staff speaking about the importance of data analysis in sports.
“Our coaching staff breaks down a ton of video footage, but myself and some of the men’s basketball graduate assistants break down a lot of the statistical information on a high level from points per possession to the production of certain lineups and combinations,” said Scott Day, Athletic Director for Athletic Communications. “I hand the coaching staff a packet of about 40 pages of stats after every game.”
Regular admission applicants are expected to finish their applications by mid-April. Director of Graduate Recruitment William Miller says the first cohort of the Executive Program will be made up of about 20 to 30 students.
Aside from traditional advertising, Miller says the program is generating interest from professionals in organizations such as the American Management Association and Virginia Premier Health Plan.
“It’s a marriage of two things we’re already doing well,” said Miller. “Answering a community need and delivering it in a weekend format.”
Those interested in the program can attend the last two information sessions before the deadline for applications. The online sessions will be held on Thursday, March 27 and Tuesday, April 1 at 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.
For immediate questions, please contact Stephen Custer at email@example.com
For more information on the program, please click here.
Article by Chris Suarez, student journalist
The Fast Track Executive M.S. in Information Systems Management class started last week, bringing a conglomerate of new and experienced professionals seeking to bolster their education.
The class is designed to give students a Master’s Degree in Information Systems in 14 months. The class begins every Spring semester and expects to graduate its students by the May of the following year.
Alumni from the program have gone on to a number of reputable positions in a variety of businesses. Since the program began, alumni have gone on to become Directors of Technology, IT Security Managers, Chief Information Officers and Executive Board Members.
Students from this year’s class will become the ninth cohort in the program, which graduated its first class in 2006.
Steve Harris, VCU Class of ’94, is one of the new students in the FTEMS program. Harris originally graduated from VCU hoping to work in law enforcement. Because of external factors, Harris instead found a career in IT and has been involved in the field for the last 20 years. Harris says he decided to enroll in the FTEMS program after a friend completed the program and recommended it to him.
“The class will help make me marketable in not just Richmond, but everywhere else,” Harris said. “I’d like to meet some new challenges and hopefully find international work.”
In addition to disciplines of Information Technology being taught, most classes in the Fast Track program include guest speakers who are IT leaders in business. Over the course of the 14-month program, the FTEMS Program Director Maureen Carley says students can expect to meet upwards to 50 business executives during class meetings.
“The technology business leadership of the Richmond community has been unbelievably generous in sharing their time and experiences with the students in this program,” Carley said. “It’s what sets this program apart from any other program that’s remotely like it.”
The first class of the semester included guest speaker Josh Mohrer, an IT executive from Uber NYC. Acting as the General Manager for Uber, Mohrer’s skills helps manage the company’s mobile app-focused business.
Uber serves as a ride-sharing and driver service where customers use the app to find drivers in their area and are given a quote based on their destination. The company was founded in 2009 and operates in over 70 cities. Menlo, Goldman Sachs, and Google Ventures are some of the companies’ largest investors.
The invitation of such guests provides a chance for students in the program to not just learn from community leaders, but gives them a chance to network with the professionals who are their classmates in the program.
“One of my favorite stories from the program is about a student, from the class of 2011, who had a nice position already,” said Carley. “Now he’s working for HCA – Capital Division. In less than three years of completing the class, he found that position and hired four of his classmates from the program. That shows the power of the network.”
Nancy Kuppich, a graduate of the 2013-2014 FTEMS class, was invited to the first session of the 2014-2015 class. Kuppich says she loved the class and immediately made time in her schedule to attend after receiving her invitation.
“Taking the class, I was exposed to things I never really thought of before,” Kuppich said. “It made me a much more rounded technology person.”
Kuppich currently works for a software consulting firm named Customer Effective. She says businesses like Uber are often mentioned in her offices, heralding Uber’s customer-relations management. Because the business model of Uber is grounded in using a mobile application, Kuppich says invited speakers from business like Uber provide insight to the business of IT Management.
“We (Customer Effective) tell the Uber story as part of what we do with customer-relationship management,” Kuppich said. “The importance of apps and responsiveness to your customers’ requests and needs is related exactly to what we are doing.”
Carley believes the academics of the program provide great insight into the evolving nature of IT. “Not only are the academics held to a high standard, but the network the program opens up to its students is unrivaled,” according to Carley.
“The ability to network with not just your peers, but these high-level executives with one-on-one mentoring is unheard of,” Carley said. “The coaching and development is an epic piece of it. I have seen unbelievable success stories and it’s been so rewarding.”
For more information on the Fast Track Executive M.S. in Information Systems Management program, click here,
-Article by Chris Suarez, student journalist
The School of Business hosted its 2014 Spring Career Fair last week, featuring the largest number of visiting recruiters to date.
Despite being held on a make-up day due to the season’s ever-changing weather, the event drew nearly 90 businesses looking to hire VCU students and alumni.
This semester’s career fair was held in Snead Hall and the Qimonda Atriums. The wing of the Engineering School was used by the fair for the first time in order to accommodate all recruiting business’s exhibits.
With a 23 percent increase in companies attending from previous fairs, students had an opportunity to solicit information about jobs, internships and other opportunities with businesses looking for budding young professionals.
According to the School of Business Career Services, nearly 700 students attended the career fair.
“There was great participation by employers and students,” said VCU School of Business Career Services Director Mike Eisenman. “The employers were extremely complimentary of not just the volume of participation, but also the quality.”
Eisenman says at least one student was hired immediately after speaking and turning in a resume with one business. Twelve companies had already scheduled interviews with VCU students prior to the career fair as well, according to Eisenman.
“There are a lot of qualified individuals,” said Elizabeth Cane, a Regional Property Manager with Dodson Property Management. “We’ve gotten a lot of excellent questions. Everyone seems serious about this job fair and students are taking advantage of a great thing here.”
Joe Dodd, VCU Class of ’12, attended the fair as a recruiter with Geico. Dodd currently works for Geico as a Management Development Associate in Auto Sales and said he was happy to help recruit from his alma mater.
“I attended all of the career fairs while I was at VCU and I made a lot of good connections,” Dodd said. “If you see a name you recognize or something you’re interested in, my advice is to go up and just introduce yourself.”
Abhishek Sabbe, a sophomore double majoring in Information Systems and Computer Science, said he attended the fair in order to find an internship for this upcoming summer.
“The Career Fair has been amazing because it has given me an opportunity to learn more about different companies I had never heard of,” Sabbe said. “It’s let me put my name out there and provides real job opportunities.”
New to this semester’s career fair were more businesses in developing fields such as Supply Chain and Analytics. Eisenman says professors like Wayne Slough were instrumental in attracting companies to recruit at the fair.
Eisenman says the Career Fair is mutually beneficial for both students and businesses, creating opportunities for both parties to be successful.
“Employment is good right now.It’s a good time to be looking for a job if a student is taking advantage of the resources available,” Eisenman said. “They need talent. That’s the reason they come and we have that talent here.”
For information on upcoming Career Fairs and career building workshops offered by the School of Business Career Services, click here.
Article by Chris Suarez, student journalist
Embracing the TEDx mantra of spreading ideas, the VCU School of Business is introducing TedTalks Time-Out!
Every Wednesday this semester, the School of Business will be screening TedTalks, the world renowned conference seminar series that covers a breadth of topics from all types of industries presented by speakers at the top of their fields and disciplines.
The idea of screening TEDTalks began in the Office of Student and Alumni Engagement. Claire Calise, a VCU graduate student and Ram to Ram Coordinator says the office learned about TEDx from conversations with local business leaders and in-office chit-chat.
“We thought it’d be a great idea to give students a peaceful place they can come in the middle of the day and hear something they’ve never heard before, think about something they never considered and learn something for fun.” Calise said.
TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, began in the 80’s as an annual conference in Monterey, Ca. that looked to merge the three fields and showcase innovation among the disciplines.
Calise said the School of Business is aware many professors at VCU use TEDTalks in their respective classes for lectures, citing its value as a tool to teach and entertain students.
“They make you question what you know,” Calise said.
Although the program is just beginning, students who are even remotely familiar with TEDx are coming to learn more.
“I think TEDTalk videos are really inspiring,” said Britney, a Marketing major who was in attendance at last week’s screening. “They make me want to go out and do something after watching them.”
The popularity of TEDx has permeated throughout all of Richmond in the last year. In 2009, TEDx was founded, leasing the TED name for local events, so anyone, anywhere could apply to organize their own TEDx presentation.
Last year, TEDxRVA held its first conference and featured a large number of presentations, including researchers from VCU, a performance by modern pop-pianist ELEW and Zoe Romano and a local Richmonder who became the first woman to run across the country without a support vehicle in 2011.
TEDxVCU is currently being planned by a student-led team under the direction of junior, Elliot Roth.
“What’s really sad at VCU sometimes is student voices aren’t heard, they get lost in our huge university,” Roth said. “This event is our opportunity to have a student voice and have ideas expressed.”
Roth said the diverse culture of VCU would be more than fitting for a TEDx event, giving students an opportunity to showcase the different ideas and cultures that exists right on-campus.
TEDxVCU held its first open meeting last week and is currently looking for a location and talent. The organization has open-mic nights planned in the near future to scout potential speakers and spread even more awareness of the program.
Roth and Calise said TEDTalks Time-Out! bring more attention to local TED events, and in turn educate students more about Richmond.
“I love this city and I think VCU students should be proud that they’re here,” Calise said. “Sometimes students don’t seem to get off campus much, and it’s unfortunate. We should learn more about the city we live in.”
While both TEDxRVA and TEDTalks Time-Out are being rolled out almost simultaneously, the associations had no previous contact. Roth admits it’s a happy coincidence, being mutually beneficial.
The TEDTalks Time-Out! screenings will take place in Snead Hall, room B1114 every Wednesday this semester at 3pm.
Each month will have a different focus; January on Leadership, February on Collaboration and Non-Profits, March on Sustainability and April will feature presentations from last year’s TEDxRVA. Students, faculty and staff from all all over VCU are invited to attend the weekly TEDTalks Time-out event.
If you have an questions or comments for TEDTalks Time-Out! please contact Calire Calise at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 828-2035.
If you’re interested in participating with TEDxVCU, please contact Elliot Roth at email@example.com or (703) 232-6241.
For the complete TEDTalks Time-out! schedule, visit go.vcu.edu/timeout
-Article by Chris Suarez, Student Journalist
The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business will host a stop on the “Share the Knowledge Tour,” a bike tour presented by SAP and the Interaction Design Foundation (IDF) to spread knowledge about free educational resources to improve technology design and help create a more sustainable world, on Monday, June 10, at 2 p.m.
In mid-May in Orlando, IDF’s biker, Max Peer, began a four-year around the world bike and canoe journey. Max will visit universities across North America to share his story with professors, students, and local communities. Mile by mile, city by city, university by university Max is sharing IDF’s message about accessibility and improving the design process to be more human-centered, simple and sustainable. View this video preview and check out the bike tour website and info on the green technology powering his tour.
At 2 p.m. welcome Max as he rides up to the Cary Street side of Snead Hall. Snap photos and enjoy the chance to check out Max’s bike-canoe, networking, and free IDF registration. The event will then move inside Snead Hall to hear Max’s story and a few words from SAP executive and VCU alumnus John Purcell.
VCU is a member of SAP University Alliances (UA), which helps students gain a leading edge in connecting concepts with practice. UA provides links between students, customers, partners, and SAP experts. Students learn best practices and prepare for working in companies that use SAP software.
Headquartered in Arhus, Denmark, the primary goals of Interaction-Design.org are to:
1. Create and publish free and open educational materials for industry, academia and individual technology designers — materials written and produced by leading designers, professors, futurists and bestselling authors from around the globe.
2. Enhance the design, function and usability of technology by helping to educate the next generation of user interface designers, user experience managers and product designers.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.