Campus & Community

Going Viral: Coronavirus Leadership Series a Hit with Students, Businesses

Course of Action Series Draws Eyeballs as Leaders Seek an Edge in Pandemic

The Babbio Center, on the Stevens campus, looking up at twilight.
A virtual leadership series designed to help students and alumni manage through COVID-19 has so far been a hit. Pictured is the Babbio Center, home to the School of Business at Stevens.

The School of Business at Stevens Institute of Technology is only halfway through its coronavirus thought leadership series, but it’s already clear this set of virtual talks is a hit.

The videos in the series have already been watched well over 1,000 times, and have covered a variety of topics that are geared toward helping students and professionals think differently about what it means to lead effectively in a crisis. 

“There is so much hunger for thought leadership that truly helps businesses think their way through this pandemic, which is hitting them in so many places — customer relationships, supply chains, finance, motivating and leading teams, and so on,” said Dr. Gregory Prastacos, dean of the School of Business. “I am gratified that so many people — business leaders, students, prospective students and alumni — have watched and found value in this series.” 

Talks in the series become available each Wednesday at 3 p.m. on YouTube, at which point they can be watched anytime. Past talks can still be watched by registering at courseofaction.tech

So far, talks have covered the following topics: 

  • Leading Through Outbreak. Dr. Peter Dominick talked about how to develop the kind of resilience leaders need amid great uncertainty, as well as how to enable resilience among other members of your team. 
  • Curing Chaos. Dr. Donald Lombardi is a healthcare and hospital systems expert who’s seen dire challenges of battling a crisis up close. He shared his perspectives on how hospital leaders activate their top performers and motivate their “steadies” to meet great challenges, while showing how those insights apply for leaders in other disciplines. 
  • Infecting the Financial Markets. Dr. George Calhoun explained the role of volatility in the financial markets, especially since the 2008 crisis, and why the markets crashed before COVID-19 cases started to rise in the United States.
  • Collectivism in Crisis. Dr. Joelle Saad-Lessler shared her research work into social safety nets and how they are being tested in COVID-19. Her research points to the value collectivism has in making up the difference when Americans’ savings fall short. 

Four more weekly talks are planned for the rest of the series, including the next talk, with Dr. Ted Lappas, a researcher whose work on reputation systems and social data mining will inform a talk about who you can trust online and on social media during a crisis. The rest of the lineup includes: 

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