School of Economics & Business News

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Scholarships and fellowship awards: $68,000

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5-year increase in degrees awarded: 93% (through 2018)

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35 Credit-bearing internships in 2018-19

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Diverse faculty:
10 countries of national origin


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5-year enrollment growth: 10% (through 2018)

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Number of students: 707

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Students completing an internship of any kind by graduation: 46%


The Student Advisory Council teamed with College Advancement and the School of Economics and Business to host several speakers in the Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series throughout the year.

Lisa Ferrero ’85

Lisa Ferrero ’85

Lisa Ferrero ’85, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Corning, Inc ., toured the campus. During her visit she spent time with students talking about the importance of international experience, she gave a presentation to students in the School of Economics and Business about her career journey into the Fortune 500 .

James Ajello ’75

James Ajello ’75

Alumnus James Ajello with the Ajello Internship Fellows

James Ajello ’75, former Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Hawaiian Electric Industries, visited campus to meet with and provide mentoring for 17 interns who received awards from the James ’75 and Mary Susan Ajello Internship Fellowship Fund. This fund provides internship support for majors studying political science or business. He also met with students from the SEB’s Student Advisory Council. He presented a lecture to students in the SEB about the internal and external factors affecting corporations and their strategic planning.

Scott Salmirs '84

Scott Salmirs ’84

Scott Salmirs ’84, President and CEO of ABM Industries, visited the college to accept the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Achievement Award. During his visit, he made presentations to students about leveraging skills in the workplace and making a positive impact on society.

Tom Kane '83

Tom Kane '83

Tom Kane speaking in September

Tom Kane ’83, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Constellation Brands, returned to campus to speak with SEB students about his perspectives on building a career. His advice included encouraging the audience to take risks, build a network and be career-oriented rather than career-anxious.


Students sit around red table.

Students from the Portfolio Management class review their investment proposals with Dr. Chen

A gift from Kent Newhart '77 to the School of Economics and Business provides students in Dr. Kai Chen’s Portfolio Management class with the opportunity to apply what they have learned by managing a small account of the SUNY College at Oneonta Foundation’s assets. The project concept inspired College Foundation Finance Committee member Stan Nosek ‘69 to make a gift to further supplement the funds under management by the students.

Since 2006, as part of a simulation exercise, students have evaluated the performance of mutual funds held by the College Foundation and made recommendations about buying, selling or holding these assets. The creation of the student-managed portfolio reaches a new level of engagement, motivation and learning for the students. The SEB’s Bloomberg Terminals will see increased applied use by the students as they collect data, analyze, and track investments.

Three teams of students from the Portfolio Management class researched and proposed portfolios to the College Foundation’s Investment Subcommittee. The committee approved investments in the proposed portfolio that it judged to be the best.

Participating students were Jared Ciccarelli, Nicole Lapinski, Kiran Narsipur, Joseph D’Orazio, Aaron Amato, Tyler Bates, Francesca Giannetta, Phil Gajdorus, Brian Primm, Edward Cosgrove, Odalis Galeano and Seamus McHugh. The team of Brian Primm, Edward Cosgrove, Odalis Galeano and Seamus McHugh submitted the winning portfolio.

The student-managed funds follow the existing investment policies, approval process and transaction processes of the College Foundation. The investment returns of the student-managed portfolio are proposed to be retained in the portfolio or expended for purposes that are consistent with the Newhart Fund.


Bloomberg Partner LogoThe School of Economics and Business established providing access to Bloomberg terminals and equipping students with a recognized certification as educational priorities. Early last year, the SEB established a two-fold goal: 100 students would complete the Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) certifications and the SEB would meet the requirements for acceptance as a Bloomberg Experiential Learning Partner (ELP). Our aspirations were greatly exceeded when an impressive total of 188 students completed the Bloomberg certification in 2018. This ranks SUNY Oneonta at number 92 globally among Bloomberg's 950 educational clients. Most importantly, our graduates will embark on their post-graduation plans for employment or continuing their education with skills that confer a distinct advantage.

Bloomberg terminals are a standard for research and data analysis in the financial industry and in other disciplines. The Bloomberg ELP is designed to recognize academic institutions that are leaders in experiential learning through the integration of Bloomberg terminal exercises into their curricula. Through the ELP program, Bloomberg looks to build a community of colleges and universities that “provide students with innovative courses to build their financial market awareness and career readiness.” To be considered for membership, institutions must fulfill certain eligibility criteria (in terms of teaching, courses and the number and use of Bloomberg terminals). Professors Dona Siregar, Kai Chen, Robert Biolsi, Michael McAvoy, Lisa Flynn and Charlene Foley-Deno were instrumental in reaching this significant accomplishment for the School of Economics and Business.



Two SUNY Oneonta students, Thanh Nguyen (Economics and Philosophy) and Melissa Voyer (Business Economics), received awards recently in the undergraduate student paper competition sponsored by the New York State Economics Association (NYSEA ).

Participating students from around the state submit their papers to a panel of judges and then present their research at the NYSEA Annual Meeting. This year’s conference was held at St. John Fisher College in Rochester on October 6 and 7.

Mr. Nguyen placed first in the competition with his paper, The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Cancer Screening, and Ms. Voyer placed third with her paper, Total Capacity Utilization and Inflation: Is There a Relationship? Dr. Kpoti Kitissou, assistant professor of economics, advised Mr. Nguyen. Dr. Christine Storrie, assistant professor of economics, advised Ms. Voyer.


The dean and the faculty of the SEB selected students to receive this year’s outstanding senior awards. The outstanding student in the school, as well as in each department and major, were recognized in a ceremony on May 10.

School of Economics and Business (SEB): Alan Wynne
Department of Economics, Finance, and Accounting (EFA): Nicholas Giordano
Department of Management, Marketing and Information Systems (MMI): Morgan Blau
Business Economics Major: Karen Duffy
Professional Accounting Major: Heather Van Zile
Economics Major: Anthony Messina
Robert B. Carson Award: Nicholas Giordano

Additionally, this year’s Academic Achievement Award winners include Nicholas Giordano and Heather Van Zile (EFA); Morgan Blau, Karen Duffy and Takoda Sitar (MMI).


The Southern Tier Chapter of the New York State Society of CPAs gave the following awards in April during their annual Educators' Night:

Outstanding Student in Accounting: Heather Van Zile

Outstanding Student in Auditing: Rachel Menoutis

Outstanding Student in Taxation: Samantha Croce


SUNY Oneonta’s chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Business Honor Society, has earned the Highest Honors Chapter designation for 2017-2018. A letter from the organization’s Board of Governors applauded our chapter for its “outstanding distinction” and “diligent work.” This is the third consecutive year the honor society has recognized our chapter as one of the best among the nearly 600 chapters worldwide.


Beta Gamma Sigma Business Achievement Award winner Scott Salmirs

Chapter Honoree Kent Newhart (front, second from left) with 2019 Beta Gamma Sigma Inductees

The SUNY Oneonta Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) invited 23 of its top business students and 2 faculty members to join “The Best in Business,” an expanding network of 830,000 students and alumni worldwide. Only the students who rank in the top 10 percent of the baccalaureate programs and top 20 percent of graduate programs at schools accredited by AACSB International are eligible for this invitation. Our chapter now has 199 members since 2012.

On April 26, Dean Wade Thomas, along with BGS chapter advisors Professor Lisa Flynn and faculty officers Professors Barbara Durkin and Simona Giura, invited the following members to join this prestigious organization:

Juniors: Kelly Clarke, Jason Cropsey, Michael Dunne, Vincent Flood, Emma Gleason, Justin Heller, Daniel Ioos, Kevin Mackin, James McCormack, Jason Opela, Benjamin Rosenstein, Gillian Stieglitz, and Bekka Struble

Seniors: Serina Aridi, Morgan Blau, Phil Gajdorus, Michael George, Meaghan Kincaid, Nicole Lapinski, Michael Mullins, Allison Nolan, Brian Primm and Hagino Sato

Faculty: College President Dr. Barbara Jean Morris and Dr. Philip Sirianni, associate professor of economics

Kent Newhart ’77, President of the ATA Financial Group, was formally recognized as the chapter honoree at the induction ceremony for his leadership and support of the School of Economics and Business. His establishment of the Newhart Fund provides an opportunity for students to manage a small account of SUNY Oneonta College Foundation assets.

The president of the SUNY Oneonta chapter this year was Kevin Yue. He was joined on the leadership team by Vice Presidents Joseph Del Pozzo and Rachel Menoutis.


On May 10, the Alpha Lambda of New York Chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE) held its induction ceremony. Chapter advisor, Dr. Michael McAvoy, and chapter officers Kevin Stearns, Peter Small and Robert Cannizzo welcomed 13 students and 1 faculty member. To qualify for ODE, a student must major in Economics or have a Finance concentration, junior standing or higher, completed 18 hours in Economics courses, and earned overall and Economics GPAs of 3.0 or better.

The following members were inducted:

Fall 2018 semester: Nicholas Dillman, Nicholas Giordano, Yasmine Guidi, Thomas McNamee, and Nicholas Sousie

Spring 2019 semester: Serina Aridi, Christian Dunphy, Sam Feinman, Matthew Gornbein, Paiyam Kardgar, Therese Lyons, Akanni Seale, and Stephen Wilson Faculty: Dr. Babatunde Aiyemo, assistant professor of economics

The officers of the chapter this year included Alan Wynne, Justin Whitney, Thomas McNamee, Anthony Messina and Brittany Williams.

Members participated in the SEB Study Day tutoring event, campus walk event and a cleanup event. During the fall semester, faculty participated in a roundtable with a focus on faculty-student research. Students, Thanh Nguyen and Melissa Voyer, discussed the research projects they presented at the NYSEA Undergraduate Paper Competition. During the spring semester, the faculty roundtable emphasized planning for graduate study. Dr. Babatunde Aiyemo and Dr. Kpoti Kitissou reviewed their current research with the chapter members.


The School of Economics and Business welcomed Jasmine Chong, Jared Ciccarelli, Peter DeLillis, Francesca Giannetta, Emma Gleason, Paiyam Kardgar, Patrick Ryan, Tydian Sylla, and Karlo Vlahek to the Student Advisory Council for the 2018-2019 academic year.


Thirteen students participated in a health policy workshop on Medicaid, Medicare, and the political debate on Universal Healthcare. The scheduled trip was part of the special topics course on Health Economics taught by Dr. Kpoti Kitissou. John Kaelin ’77, Senior Advisor to the Centene Corporation, coordinated the workshop. The students had discussion sessions with members of Congress as well as various healthcare constituents. The trip culminated with presentations from students on a research question on health economics or policy topic each developed over the week. An alumni event was held March 7, 2019, to complement the learning experience and provide networking opportunities for the participants.


The 2019 SUNY Oneonta VITA program volunteers

Rear left to right: John Wolfert, Sam Feinman, Nicole Viola Front left to right: Zach Loesel, Erit Perez, Michael Capasso, Nicole Bull

The SUNY Oneonta Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, under the leadership of Mr. Jeff Weinell, Faculty Advisor, continues to offer free tax assistance to qualifying households in the greater Oneonta area. Together with a coalition of not-for-profit agencies and government agencies, students from the School of Economics and Business completed 196 tax returns. During the current academic year, eleven students completed the certification training and five students received internship credit for their experience. Sam Feinman and Nicole Viola were the Student Coordinators.