The Age of Sustainable Development

This month, Jeffrey D. Sachs joins the long list of Henry George Distinguished Speakers to grace the Schimmel stage.

On Thursday, November 21, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Jeffrey D. Sachs will come to Pace as part of the 13th Annual Henry George Symposium to address The Age of Sustainable Development from an economist’s perspective.

American economist Jeffrey D. Sachs is the director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is also the Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance in addition to being director of the Millennium Villages Project. He has authored three New York Times bestsellers in the last seven years.

Past Henry George symposia have drawn such distinguished–and controversial–economists as Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics and Professor of Economics and Finance at Columbia University; William J. Baumol, noted Professor of Economics at New York University and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University; Robert Engle, Nobel Laureate in Economics and professor in the Management of Financial Services at NYU; and most recent Nobel Laureate of Economics Yale professor Robert Shiller.

For more information, please contact Lubin Professor Eric Kessler at ekessler@pace.edu.

A Pace Dream Team

A BBA/MBA in public accounting student meets a public speaking professor and what it all adds up to is a race for the cure.

Most people dread the required public speaking college course. But for Lubin BBA/MBA in public accounting student Elissa Casa ’14, the class she took her freshman year on the Westchester Campus was the introduction to her mentor, Dyson Professor Ellen Mandel, PhD, and the empowering world of community service.

Mandel, who helped start a breast cancer awareness day in Rockland County and worked with the Rockland County legislative breast cancer task force to bring mobile mammogram services to the Hasidic community, has been involved with Komen for more than 20 years, and was on the board of directors for the NYC chapter of Komen. In 1992, she brought Komen and Pace together for the annual Race for the Cure and has been inspiring the next generation of Ellen Mandels around campus.

Using her public speaking class as one of her many marketing tactics, Mandel has been able to recruit starting right in her classroom.

“Because one in eight women will unfortunately get breast cancer, there is hardly a person who I ask in my class who doesn’t know someone who’s suffered from this, either lost a battle or has been lucky enough to survive,” Mandel says. “Elissa said she’d like to help so I made her an offer she couldn’t refuse.”

For Casa, it wasn’t a personal experience with breast cancer that inspired her to join, but it was the sense of community, teamwork, and mentoring that has kept her involved for the last four years. What started out as creating fliers and sending out recruitment e-mails has expanded into coordinating all of the day-of-event details, getting the 100+ team members together, and acting as co-captain with Mandel.

“It’s people like Elissa, who are the extraordinary,” says Mandel. “She’s an unsung hero.”

And the gushing goes both ways.

“Dr. Mandel is such an incredible person, professor, mentor, and friend,” says Casa. “She’s one of a kind.”

Something she wasn’t necessarily expecting to gain from the race and work with Mandel, Casa says, was a level of confidence, work ethic, and networking skills, which helped her land her dream internship with KPMG. And she even tapped into her experience with Komen, coordinating fundraisers for local libraries with fellow interns. “Employers want to see you engaging,” she adds.

Casa was offered a full-time position with KPMG beginning in October 2014.

“Pace in general has really fostered a lot of work ethic and career opportunities for me that I don’t know if I would have had at other schools. I’m finally starting to see my high school dreams come true. I owe a lot to Dr. Mandel,” she says.

“She’s no longer my student, but she’ll always be my friend. I expect great things from her,” Mandel says.

A group shot from Race for the Cure 2013

This September, their race success continued, as Pace brought together both campuses, including Greek organizations, sports teams, and executive administration, and won the award for largest university team, an honor they’ve achieved every year but one.

“If you’re looking for something that is a true joint effort, this is it. It shows that Pace is not only an academic institution, but it has a big heart collectively and gives back to the community,” says Mandel, who was also awarded NYC Race for the Cure’s Volunteer of the Year.

“For me, it’s a motivator to continue, continue, continue. I’ve had students come up to me and thank me because their mothers or grandmothers are survivors and this gave them feelings of empowerment other than just sitting there and holding their hands. That’s a gift,” she says. “The award is wonderful because everyone loves recognition, but what it means is that we’re moving and doing and hopefully, within the not-too-distant future, we can talk about not having a race at all and finding a cure.”

For Casa, it was emotional to see her mentor recognized. “To see her get up there and hear people say such wonderful things about her, I was so proud for her and it made me feel really happy that I’m able to help her like I can,” she says. “It felt as if something really great happened to someone in my family.”

Casa, who will graduate in 2014, is looking to help find her protégé, but that doesn’t mean she’ll be abandoning the Pace team.

“As a Pace alumna, I will stay loyal to the Pace team,” she says. And as for Dr. Mandel, “I’m stuck with her for life,” she laughs.

Interested in getting involved with next year’s Race for the Cure? E-mail Elissa Casa or Ellen Mandel

Cybercrime in the World Today

Pace University hosts a stimulating discussion about the growing impact of cybercrime on various industries and a review of original research focused on the issue of skimmer fraud.

On Thursday, February 28, join Pace University and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) USA as they come together for Cybercrime in the World Today, a symposium with a focus on skimmer fraud. The day’s participants come from a variety of backgrounds and include Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau and Investigative Division David Szuchman, and Kelly Bissell, principal, Information and Technology Risk Management and Global Incident Response at Deloitte & Touche.

The term “cybercrime” often conjures up the image of a rogue hacker, hiding away behind a computer screen, attempting to crack the digital code that protects the Fort Knox of databases. But, the truth is we expose ourselves to the hazards of cybercrime each time we open our wallets.

Skimmer fraud, a crime responsible for billions of dollars in lost revenue and is one of the major crimes being fought by federal and local law enforcement agencies, typically occurs during legitimate transactions. “Gone are the days when a bank robber needed to point a gun at a teller to steal money,” says Seidenberg Computer Information Systems Chair and computer forensics expert Darren Hayes, DPS, “Now the thieves can bilk millions from financial institutions using simple skimming devices.”

Theft of personal information happens through the copying of information on a credit card, the illegal installation of a “skimming” device, or “parasite” on a point-of-sale machine at stores or gas stations, or theft of bank information from overlay skimming devices at ATMs.

“We’re working on a survey of corporations, distributed through accounting firms, to make an assessment of companies that have been victims of skimmer fraud,” Hayes says, “Our goal is to quantify how big the problem is and ultimately provide guidance on how organizations can seek to mitigate these risks.”

Many agencies, says Hayes, talk about the issue of cybercrime, but they don’t break out the skimmer fraud piece and how important that is for overall evaluation. Hayes is collaborating with other researchers from Seidenberg and Lubin, who have partnered together to study skimmer fraud as part of the broad spectrum of cybercrime. Hayes and those involved with the upcoming symposium hope to provide advice to large companies who are seeking to re-evaluate their future business practices, as well as the individual credit or debit card user on how to mitigate the risks of skimmer fraud.

For more information about the day’s participants and to RSVP for Cybercrime and the World Today, please click here.

Don’t Buy Into It

Pace’s marketing gurus Larry Chiagouris and Paul Kurnit get down to business when it comes to holiday shopping, consumer trends, and the best time to shop.

“Savvy shoppers understand that full-price spending is for suckers,” says Paul Kurnit, Lubin clinical professor of marketing, “or at least for the very rich.”

As the gift-giving season continues to gain momentum after Black Friday, shoppers are looking for the best bang for their buck. Marketing and consumer behavior experts like Kurnit and Lubin Professor Larry Chiagouris, PhD, are here to offer their sound advice and observations about this year’s shopping trends.

“Black Friday had a very, very healthy growth this year over last, to the tune of about 24 percent. Part of the reason for this is because last year, for the first time, stores opened late on Thanksgiving Day. This year, even more stores opened after dinner,” explains Kurnit. “First comes the feeding, then the feeding frenzy.”

Professor Paul Kurnit

With more and more retailers offering across the board discounts of 30 percent off all inventory, shoppers are beginning to take notice of the overall mark-up on items at the store level. A 30 percent discount barely makes a dent in stores’ overall profits.

“Things are going virtual and smaller scale,” says Chiagouris. “Things that are less than 10 dollars are going to be very appealing to consumers. Making that purchase won’t make them feel put-out.”

Chiagouris, who is also an expert on interactive marketing and technology, adds that Facebook’s Gift App, a recent attempt at mobile monetization, may prove to be a great revenue generator for the company. The app allows users to buy physical gifts virtually and now post-Sandy, make charitable donations in lieu of more traditional gifts. Another trend Chiagouris is quick to point out is the use of database marketing and management.

“Harry and David Gourmet Gifts, as well as Omaha Steaks, are beginning to prompt consumers to repeat a purchase they’ve made in the past,” he says. “If you sent steaks to someone last year, then this year you’ll probably receive a personalized message asking if you’d like to send steaks to that person again this year.”

Kurnit believes that it’s these sorts of online marketing tactics that are creating the best in-store deals. “What retailers understand more than ever before is that aside from the state of the economy and sluggish consumer spending, the biggest competition they have is from online—hence, Cyber Monday.”

Professor Larry Chiagouris

Retailers are combating the online sales boom with special in-store promotions, better deals, and longer store hours. A recent development of in-store shopping is the week-long coupon book, which offers different promotions and deals during a specific week. It ensures loyal customers come inside the store, not just once, but many times during the week.

So now that we’ve identified some of the ways retailers are vying for your hard earned cash, when is the best time to actually spend it?

“There’s a bit of mythos surrounding Black Friday,” says Kurnit, “but it’s actually not the best day for deals.”

“Don’t wait until the holiday season to start shopping,” Chiagouris urges. “For the people who really matter, you should be shopping all year long, not putting yourself under stress to get that perfect gift.”

“My advice would be to not wait until the last minute,” Kurnit says. “Stores are going to have less variety and fewer options and you may not be able to get what you want.”

But, if you’re the type that waits until the last minute, fear not:

“There are going to be some fantastic bargains on December 23 and 24,” says Chiagouris, “Trust me.”