Guest Speakers Bring Industry Experience to Classes


Guest Speakers Bring Industry Experience to Classes

The Whitman School is fortunate enough to have a robust, engaged network of alumni and professionals willing to share their knowledge and expertise with current students. Classroom experiences are often enriched with visits from accomplished professionals from various industries who discuss career development as well as current business news and trends. Over the past few months, the EEE department faculty has welcomed many such visitors to their classes to speak with current students.

Quinton Mathis ’21 MBA, director of factory management engineering at Microsoft, visited his alma mater and spoke with a EEE class, discussing sustainability efforts at Microsoft. He also described his current role at the company, in which he leads an organization within Microsoft that has a global footprint with presences in China, Europe and Mexico.

John Lyons ’76, president and CEO of NACR, a ConvergeOne company, spoke to a EEE class in April 2021. Lyons attended Whitman as an undergraduate, earning a degree in marketing management. He began his career at IBM where he worked for 20 years before transitioning to a more entrepreneurial role. Since then, he has been at the executive level in multiple firms. The guest of Alexandra Kostakis, professor of entrepreneurial practice, Lyons spoke with students about private equity and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).

Ryan Novak ’11, owner of Chocolate Pizza Company, visited a EEE class taught by Ken Walsleben ’83 (MAX) in the spring. The former Syracuse University football player began working at the company in 2006 and bought it in 2010 when he was only 21. Since then, he has led the company to success; it has been featured on national outlets like Food Network, NBC, People Magazine, and Forbes.

Scott Greenberg ’17, co-founder and CEO of StarStock Inc., visited in the spring and spoke to a Whitman class. Greenberg studied finance and EEE during his time at Whitman, and in 2019 founded StarStock, an online marketplace for sports enthusiasts to buy, sell and invest in athletes. Users can trade cards across sports, including baseball, basketball, football and hockey.

Mark Shashoua, chief executive of Hyve Group, spoke with a EEE class in the spring. Since studying at SU in 1992, Shashoua has had extensive experience with entrepreneurship, and now leads a large, publicly traded company based in London. Hyve Group emphasizes the importance of worldwide connection and creates networking and event opportunities for people around the world.

Nicole Watts, founder of Hopeprint, and Nicolas Diaz Amigo, chief innovation and data officer for the City of Syracuse innovation team, visited a combined undergraduate and graduate course titled Social Entrepreneurship in Action. Hopeprint, a nonprofit based in Syracuse, works with resettled refugees and aims to unify neighborhoods consisting of many diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Diaz reports directly to Mayor Ben Walsh. The innovation team’s work mainly consists of finding innovative, data-supported solutions to current issues facing the city.

Mallory Carlson
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