Whitman Voices


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Luke Pesane head shot

Blazing a Trail, Leaving a Legacy

By Kerri Howell | July 25, 2019

Luke Pesane was the first in his family to go to college. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1949, after earning a marketing and psychology degree from the School of Business. Now, at 101, he recalled how groundbreaking it was for him to earn an advanced degree. “My parents were Italian immigrants,” he said. “My mother didn’t even speak English!…

alison kessler

Alison Kessler Appointed Director of Alumni Engagement

By Kerri Howell | July 24, 2019

The Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University recently announced the appointment of Alison Kessler to the position of director of alumni engagement. Kessler has worked for the Whitman School since 2012, first serving as a communications specialist for the School’s marketing and communications team. Most recently she served as interim executive director of alumni and corporate relations…

Professor Fran Tucker headshot

Fran Tucker Seeks to Teach Students that Learning is an Iterative Process, not a Memorize and Repeat Game

By Bill Conallen | July 18, 2019

Fran Tucker, associate professor of marketing and supply chain and co-chair of the Salzberg Memorial Program at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, spent her childhood moving every three years with father’s job at General Electric. “Pittsfield, Cleveland, back to Pittsfield, Cincinnati, Pittsfield, Cleveland then Syracuse, as long as my bike was the last thing on the moving…

perri vimadalal head shot

#WhitmanWatch: Perri Vimadalal ’20

By Julia Fiedler | July 15, 2019

Name: Perri Vimadalal Graduation Year: 2020 Majors: Finance and Marketing Management Minor: Political Science Hometown: Weston, Massachusetts Perri Vimadalal ’20, like many university students, came into the Whitman School of Management unsure of what to pursue and what the future would entail. Throughout her several experiences at Syracuse University, however, this has changed tremendously as Vimadalal became embedded in the…

Featured Entrepreneur

Featured Alumni Entrepreneur: Margaret (Jones) Gay ’13

By Margaret Jones Gay | July 15, 2019

After receiving a box brand tea bag in a cup of hot water (that cost me $3) and looking over at my husband’s delicious latte, I realized there was a huge gap in the cafe space for the tea drinker in my region (New Hampshire/New England). Coffee drinkers get the luxury of espresso, lattes, cold brew, and nitro cold brew,…

Class Notes

July Class Notes

By Alison Kessler | July 14, 2019

We welcome announcements of new jobs, promotions, board positions, marriages and family additions. Please visit our online submission form to share your news. You can also use this form to request your copy of the Whitman biannual magazine via email rather than in print. To update your address or contact details, please visit https://securealumni.syr.edu. NEW POSITIONS AND PROMOTIONS: Lewis Cornell ’76: Real Estate, Urban Development Vincenzo Cangioli ’86: President,…

Fatma Sonmez-Leopold headshot

Fatma Sonmez-Leopold Seeks to Inspire a Belief that Knowledge is Power

By Julia Fiedler | July 12, 2019

Throughout her academic and professional career, Fatma Sonmez-Leopold, assistant teaching professor of finance in Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, has displayed an aptitude and passion for education. Sonmez-Leopold is of Turkish origin and lived in Canada for several years before coming to Whitman. She studied mathematics as an undergraduate and pursued two master’s degrees in mathematics and…

Spring Break Sustainability Lessons in Mexico

By Kerri Howell | July 10, 2019

During Syracuse University’s spring break in March, seven students elected to take a trip to Mexico not for sun and fun, but rather to learn all about sustainability. Led by Todd Moss, associate professor for entrepreneurship and faculty director of the Sustainability Enterprise Partnership, the trip was an experiential learning initiative to help two Mexican companies with marketing and supply…

Recreational Cannabis Legalization A Substitute for Alcohol, Not Tobacco

By Bill Conallen | July 9, 2019

A new study forthcoming in Marketing Science indicates although recreational cannabis legalization (RCL) significantly increases cannabis online search volume, the increase comes from adults only, not the younger demographic. RCL also influences the alcohol and tobacco industries asymmetrically: it reduces search volume and advertising effectiveness for alcohol, but increases those for tobacco. “There are legitimate concerns being expressed in connection…

Class Notes

June Class Notes

By Alison Kessler | June 18, 2019

We welcome announcements of new jobs, promotions, board positions, marriages and family additions. Please visit our online submission form to share your news. You can also use this form to request your copy of the Whitman biannual magazine via email rather than in print. To update your address or contact details, please visit https://securealumni.syr.edu. NEW POSITIONS AND PROMOTIONS: Alan Frent ‘73: Florida Regional Director, American Friends…

katie franc headshot

#WhitmanWatch: Katie Franc

By Bill Conallen | June 11, 2019

Name: Katie Franc Graduation Year: 2019 Major(s): Marketing Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania   In April of her senior year of college, Katie Franc ’19 jumped on a plane and flew across the country to Los Angeles to pursue her hopeful future in the entertainment business. The trip was a calculated-gamble: she had four job interviews scheduled and twice that number of informational meetings…

Orange Accounting News 2019 Cover

Orange Accounting News 2018-19

By Joe Comprix | June 7, 2019

Orange Accounting News 2018-19 As I write this letter we are wrapping up the 2018-19 academic year, another year of tremendous growth and success for the Joseph I. Lubin School of Accounting. The number of declared accounting majors is at its highest percentage ever at the Whitman School, due in part to a new program MaryAnn Monforte has instituted called…

Tracy Halpin Collage

Remembering Tracy Halpin

By Kerri Howell | June 7, 2019

Aug. 26, 1984 – Jan. 21, 2006 It’s often said that life can change in an instant. This is all too true for Tracy Halpin. One moment she was walking back to her apartment and the next she had collapsed. Her family and friends would later learn the then Whitman School senior had suffered a pulmonary embolism, resulting from a…

Beta Alpha Psi photo collage

Beta Alpha Psi to Revamp Recruitment and More

By Delaney Wehn | June 6, 2019

Like many members of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), Ryan Houck ’19 first heard about the organization during his first year accounting course. Upon hearing that BAP is an international honor society for students studying accounting, finance and information systems, his interest was sparked. However, it was shortly after, when Professor Christie Novak reiterated the immense potential BAP had to help…

Matt Keller

Matt Keller ’18, ’19 M.S.

By Kenneth Mintz | June 6, 2019

When Matt Keller ’19 isn’t crunching numbers, he spends his free time at the Ensley Athletic Center working on his snaps in preparation for a life where he can balance his knack for accounting and passion for football. Keller is a long snapper on the Syracuse Orange football team, and one of 13 players who participated in the March 18…

Danielle Matfess

Danielle Matfess ’13, ’14 M.S.

By Arielle Spears | June 6, 2019

Degrees: B.S. majoring in finance and accounting; M.S. in professional accounting Hometown: Grew up in Topsfield, Massachusetts, currently resides in New York City Exposure can play a key role in college and career decisions. This was the case for Danielle Matfess ’13, ’14 M.S., an alumna of the Whitman School and tax senior accountant at EY, who as a child…

Beta Alpha Psi Banquet

Annual Beta Alpha Psi Banquet Recognizes Students’ Academic Achievements

By Kerri Howell | June 6, 2019

The Joseph I. Lubin School of Accounting was pleased to recognize these students at its annual spring banquet in April. Student Recognition Institute of Internal Auditors Award Lauren Dishman ’18, ’19 M.S. NY State Society of CPAs Career Preparation Award Undergraduate: Maria Bussone ’19 Graduate: Yuxi Wang ’18, ’19 M.S. NY State Society of CPAs Academic Achievement Award Undergraduate: Zachary Plutchok ’18…

Don Harter teaching in a classroom

Don Harter Helps Students Understand Data

By Arielle Spears | June 6, 2019

Don Harter, associate professor of management information system, was employed at BDM International, a global consulting firm and Carlyle Group company for 18 years before entering academia. During his time with the firm, he worked his way up from an entry-level position to senior vice president & general manager of an analytics group. According to Harter, he enjoyed the management…

Manyann Monforte and former students

In Search of Accounting Stars

By Kerri Howell | June 6, 2019

“Keep calm and love accounting.” That’s the mantra hanging on Professor of Accounting Practice MaryAnn Monforte’s office door. She believes accounting is fun, despite how challenging it can be to undergraduates exposed to its principles for the first time. Monforte teaches the Introduction to Accounting course that all Whitman School majors and accounting/finance minors are required to take. “My role…

Dan Strauss

#WhitmanWatch: Daniel Strauss

By Delaney Wehn | June 5, 2019

Name: Daniel Strauss Graduation Year: 2019 Major(s): Finance Hometown: Hillsborough, New Jersey If you’ve been to Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, you’ve most likely had the pleasure of seeing Daniel Strauss ’19 in action. In his four-year tenure as a Whitman ambassador, Strauss has given hundreds of tours of the building to thousands of prospective students and their families.…