Stevens Alumni Featured During 2023 MAACBA Conference
Industry leaders address business faculty and administrators from around the region.
The panoramic view of the New York City skyline was not the only thing about Stevens to leave a lasting impression on the 2023 Mid-Atlantic Association of Colleges of Business Administration (MAACBA) Conference attendees.
Held on campus from October 1-3, the theme of this year’s meeting, “The Next Industrial Revolution: How Technology is Disrupting the Future of Work,” was not only an appropriate topic to showcase the University’s mission but also the influential work of two alumni.
Paul Magnone ’88 M.S. ’93, head of global strategic alliances for Google Cloud and Matthew Ketschke ’95 M.S. ’98, the president of Con Edison of New York, delivered keynote addresses focused on the effects of digital transformation in their respective industries and what challenges and opportunities await the next generation of business leaders.
Paul’s work at Google focuses on partnerships to discover new business value through cloud, artificial intelligence and related technologies. He holds four patents, co-authored two books— Decisions Over Decimals (Wiley, Oct 2022) and Drinking From The Fire Hose (Portfolio/Penguin 2011)—and is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and Stevens. He earned two degrees from Stevens, a bachelor’s in electrical engineering and a master’s in technology management.
His remarks explored how AI and other technologies automate tasks, create jobs, reveal industry opportunities, and provide a path to improved quality of life. He addressed the need for both education in new disruptive technology and a return to the fundamentals of value, empathy and ethics. In addition to the technical savvy current students will need for success, he emphasized interpersonal traits like collaboration and teamwork.
“Workers will need to be able to work effectively with others to achieve common goals,” he said. “It sounds pretty basic, but I refer to this as quantitative intuition. When we talk about a team structure that brings together the analytic mindset with human judgment,, there are four collaborative team members with different roles: the data scientist who drives the overall solution and framework, the data engineer who ensures all the data is flowing, the data analyst who is the translator and connector with the business units, the stakeholder, and the data artist who provides compelling visualizations. If you don't have all four, you're starting with a deficiency.”
In his role at ConEd, Matthew is tasked with the safety, construction, planning, design and reliability of an energy system serving more than nine million New Yorkers with electricity, natural gas and steam. He serves on the board of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and is a Rockefeller Fellow. Matthew earned his master’s in management and bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Stevens.
He spoke about the profound effect the technology revolution has on the electric and gas utility industry, including how transformative technology enhances efficiency, reliability and sustainability. He also noted the increased emphasis from customers on the adoption of cleaner energy and the infrastructure needs that accompany them. As the utility industry evolves, the type of skills required from industry professionals is also evolving.
“We are recruiting at your schools every single day,” he said. “We have 14,000 employees and are hiring 1,000 new ones this year. I need businesspeople because none of these are single-discipline solutions. These are all cross-functional solutions. They are public policy solutions, they are business solutions, they are finance solutions, they are managerial solutions, they are technical solutions. So my ask to you as you think about your programs for schools and what you can help deliver to us going forward is continuing to have those multi-disciplinary programs that teach people not only about the important things that they're learning in their specialty, but to understand the other things that touch problems, to be able to work together in teams.”
Both speakers were well-received by the faculty and administrators from business schools across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
“I was blown away by both keynote speakers,” Dr. Sharon Lydon, the associate dean of alumni and corporate engagement at the Rutgers Business School said. “Paul Magnone provided a strategic overview of the disruptions in technology and led to a great session on how professors are utilizing AI in the classroom and the business curriculum. Matt Ketschke’s presentation was enlightening. Matt’s in-depth knowledge on energy gave us first-hand knowledge of the challenges our world faces to prepare our students for jobs that do not even exist today.”
AI in the Classroom
Moderated by Sharon Lydon, Ph.D., Associate Professor & Associate Dean, Rutgers Business School
Mohammad Tajvarpour, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, SUNY Oswego
Randy Weinstein, Ph.D., Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning, Villanova School of Business
Hussein Issa, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Rutgers Business School
“We need to teach our students to do it manually, to learn the process and develop their thinking skills. Then they can use these systems to do their jobs more efficiently much faster.” — Dr. Mohammad Tajvarpour
Mental Health of Students and Employees
Moderated by Joyce Russell, Ph.D., Dean Emeritus, Villanova School of Business
Joshua Perry, J.D., M.T.S., Executive Associate Dean, Indiana University Kelley School of Business
Joan Whitney, Ph.D. Director Emerita, Villanova University Counseling Center
Amy Kotulski, Executive Director Boston Consulting Group
“Our main message is, ‘We need to tell them that you care.’ The word ‘care’ means a lot to students. That’s not probing where you’re not welcome It’s saying, ‘I really do care about you. I want to be helpful. How are you doing?’” — Dr. Joan Whitney
DEI from Distinct Perspectives
Moderated by Pete Dominick, Ph.D., Professor, Stevens School of Business
Morris Kalliny, Ph.D., Professor & Interim Dean, Rowan University Rohrer College of Business
Lauren Maradie, AACSB Representative
Wei Zheng, Ph.D., Endowed Richard R. Roscitt Chair in Leadership, Stevens School of Business
“A lot of industry practices started in business schools. For example, some financial accounting, reporting practices and strategic planning tools were developed in business schools, and then were adopted in the industry. I think we can be this thought leader with ideas, frameworks and practices to lead industry. We can do the same with DEI. There is an assortment of DEI practices in industry, but as academic institutions with new students, we produce new knowledge, and we can use this to position our strengths to lead industry in DEI practices.”— Dr. Wei Zheng
Skills in the Digital Era
Moderated by Gregory Prastacos, Ph.D., Dean, Stevens School of Business
Tom Begley, Ph.D., Professor and Former Dean, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute lally School of Management
Paul Sheward, Partner, PwC
Michael zur Muehlen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Stevens School of Business
“We heard a lot from practitioners that our students are really good with algorithms, they're really good with the technology, but they're really poor when it comes to being able to tell a story about what it means and why. Why is this important and why did I choose this particular data set? We need to give them the ability to explain their reasoning, give them the ability to have interpersonal empathy when we are working in a distributed environment not face-to-face as much as we used to be five years ago.” — Dr. Michael zur Muehlen
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT MAACBA 2023
“From the very moment I arrived at the conference venue, it was abundantly clear that tremendous effort and meticulous planning went into making this event an unforgettable experience. The organization was impeccable, with seamless registration, efficient scheduling and an attention to detail that left no room for error. It was evident that the commitment to excellence was at the forefront of every decision made, ensuring that attendees felt welcomed, informed, and engaged throughout. The presentations, discussions, and research shared by the diverse group of scholars and professionals, were both enlightening and thought-provoking.” — Dr. Raj Devasagayam, Dean, Leon Hess Business School, Monmouth University
“Dean Gregory Prastacos and his team, particularly Brian Rothschild, did an outstanding job making everyone feel welcomed at the Stevens School of Business. An impressive program put on by an amazing school. We are so grateful for your hard work and we learned so much at MAACBA 2023.” — Dr. Joyce Russell, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Management, Villanova School of Business
“The entire experience was excellent from start to finish. Great topics and speakers, beautiful spaces and views, and the timing and quality of everything was impeccable.” — Jennifer Maden, Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies, Rohrer College of Business, Rowan University
“My colleagues and I benefitted from the timely panel discussions and keynote speakers. We appreciate the wonderful hospitality and attention to detail on the part of everyone at Stevens. Thank you for hosting MAACBA 2023!” — Dr. Susan L. Holak, Founding Dean, School of Business at the College of Staten Island
“This was an excellent conference with strong presentations I really learned from.” — Dr. Donald Gibson, Dean, O’Malley School of Business, Manhattan College