Gordon Burtch (Ph.D., 2013), Assistant Professor of Information and Decision Sciences and Lawrence Fellow, University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management received the 2017 Association for Information Systems – AIS Early Career Award. Gord is one of five recipients worldwide. He also received the 2017 Information Systems Society Sandra A. Slaughter Early Career Award of The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). Gord is a Temple MIS alum who was advised by Dr. Sunil Wattal.
The Master of Science in IT Auditing and Cyber-Security (MS-ITACS) program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business provides students with the latest practices in the field with the help of an advisory council composed of industry leaders.
The Fox School strengthened that mission with its recent appointment of Kapish Vanvaria, management consultant with Ernst & Young LLP, as the program’s advisory council chair. A Temple alumnus who studied Accounting and Management Information Systems at the Fox School, Vanvaria first established a commitment to the program when he became a member of the ITACS advisory council two years ago. In accepting the chair position, Vanvaria’s role will include leading the program’s strategic growth and curriculum development, and ensuring a strong student placement within the technology and cyber industry.
I’m passionate about education. It’s one of the few things in life that has no expiration or devaluation, and therefore is one of the best self-investments,” said Vanvaria. “With a strong agenda and vision, we can make ITACS a global program that will elevate the Fox School’s brand and allow others to see Temple as a talent factory for technology and cyber security resources for many of the leading organizations of the world.”
ITACS program director David Lanter, an Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems at the Fox School, sought an advisory council chair with significant industry background who would be able to draw from his or her personal networks and utilize corporate resources. Lanter found that in Vanvaria.
“Kapish has been an enthusiastic and valued contributor to the start of the ITACS program (in 2011) and a key player in the current successes,” said Lanter. “We are optimistic he will do as much and even more to help guide the future evolution and success of the program.”
In addition to ensuring that Fox School students have a seat at the table in the development of the program, Vanvaria said he hopes to reach out to different organizations for insight on what they are looking for in future employees.
I want to go to these companies and governmental organizations and ask, ‘Does our curriculum match what you’re looking for, and if not, what can we do?’” he said. “We already do that within the advisory council because we have good representation of startup through Fortune 50 companies, but I know we can do more. I’m looking forward to that.”
In light of all the excitement around his appointment, Vanvaria said he wants to make one thing clear: the success of the council boils down to collaboration. “In becoming the chair, this is not going to change our advisory council from the standpoint of it truly being a team sport,” he said. “The program’s success is dependent on all of us joining together to consistently elevate the brand. Two years from now, I want to look back and say, ‘We made a difference.’
Lauren Moreno’s undergraduate education spanned fine arts, journalism, and art history. In search of a graduate program that would enhance her sales and marketing career, Moreno chose Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
In February, Moreno earned a Master of Science degree in Digital Innovation in Marketing (DIM), as part of the online program’s first graduating class. “I wanted a graduate program that offered the business school background that I didn’t get from my undergraduate degree, while complimenting my work experience,” said the 31-year-old Moreno. “I decided the DIM program was what I was really passionate about and thought that should be where I’d put my energy.”
Moreno co-founded Team 624 Communications, a digital branding, social media, and content marketing firm for which she serves as creative director. The Digital Innovation in Marketing program, which can be completed in 16 months, enables students like Moreno to flourish in a collaborative environment that fosters an understanding of the digital marketing industry.
It’s always changing,” said Moreno. “As professionals, we need to keep learning and challenge the practices we’re using. If you’re not paying attention to where your engagement is coming from and what type of content is working, it won’t take long before marketing efforts are diminished.”
With the help of an advisory council comprised of digital innovators who are currently in the industry, students in the DIM program are offered a curriculum that coincides with what is part of the professional landscape.
The overall mission of our program is to create the next generation of digital marketers,” said Amy Lavin, director of the Digital Innovation in Marketing program. “In today’s digital economy, it’s not enough to just be a marketer. It’s not enough to just be technical on the marketing side. We give the students in our program the ability to understand both sides.”
The MS in Digital Innovation in Marketing is offered jointly by the Fox School’s Management Information Systems (MIS) and Marketing and Supply Chain Management departments. In January, the MIS department’s graduate programs earned a No. 16 ranking in the country from U.S. News & World Report — a feat that Lavin said validated what the program has to offer.
You can complete any kind of Google search right now, and you know this market is hot,” said Lavin. “In this program, we’ll give students the skills they need in order to be successful. As the marketplace opens up and people realize that they need this skill set, we’re going to continue to grow our MS in Digital Innovation in Marketing.”
Currently, Moreno remains focused on utilizing the tools she has taken from the program to grow Team 624, alongside her business partner, Kaitlin Cleary. “We want to meet our next goals by identifying potential revenue streams,” Moreno said. “We’re looking at offering trainings, workshops, online courses, and like we learned in the program, really using technology to our advantage to reach more people.”
Niraj Patel, BBA ’85, President, ISGN, Partner, Witmer LLC, and Managing Director, Musser Consulting Group has been appointed “Executive in Residence” at the Fox School’s Management Information Systems (MIS) department and the Institute for Business and Information Technology for the 2011 year.
Mr. Patel was selected as Executive in Residence because of his stature in the field and his continued support for the Fox School. As part of the appointment, Mr. Patel will be spending several days through the year interacting with Fox School MIS students and faculty. Patel will be visiting Fox in March 2011 to start the program. “We are fortunate to have Niraj Patel, one of our most successful, entrepreneurial, and innovative alums as our Executive in Residence” said Munir Mandviwalla, associate professor and chair of the management information systems department at the Fox School of Business.
“As a proud Temple alum, I am very much looking forward to engaging with Fox School MIS faculty and students” Patel said. “The MIS faculty and students at Temple have an entrepreneurial spirit and focus on innovation that is closely aligned with my interests.”
Partner, Witmer LLC and Managing Director, Musser Consulting Group
Niraj Patel is a senior business executive with a successful track record of uncovering a corporation’s hidden value and opportunities to create long-term strategic and innovative solutions to increase profitability and performance. His plans have included strategies to address organic growth, in-organic growth through acquisitions, investments, technology solutions and exit strategies. Patel has a passion for distinguishing where possibility does or does not exist in a business endeavor. His business expertise represents the culmination of 15 years focusing on growth strategies through innovation. His business acumen coupled with utilizing some of the most forward thinking business minds, enables him to assist international organizations with value innovation, calculated risk and exponential growth.
Patel currently serves as President of ISGN, a Partner of Witmer LLC and Managing Director for the Musser Consulting Group. As a multi-national/cross border expert, he has a strong client base in India and has completed large scale projects bridging nations. Patel works closely with his diverse clients including single product firms, medium size firms targeting rapid growth and international conglomerates. It’s their potential that drives Patel to engage their leaders to conceptualize and generate innovative ideas, analyze business strategies, and develop effective solutions, processes and procedures to produce streamlined profitable operations. His approach assists organizations accelerate growth and realize their fullest potential.
Patel is one of the founders of ISGN. ISGN has grown from 100 employees to 1,800 worldwide and customer base has increased to over 1,100. Previously Patel served as a founding member and Executive Vice President/CIO for GMAC Commercial Mortgage. As a member of the Executive Committee, he was a key contributor to the organization’s international growth by consistently delivering double-digit net income growth reaching as high as $341.6 million annually, increasing loan originations from $2 to $29.9 billion, building loan servicing from $5 to $276 billion.
Recognized as an award winning innovator and viewed as one of the leading technologists of his generation, Patel serves on numerous boards and panels, speaks at industry conferences and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal and numerous commercial real estate, finance and technology publications. Patel’s community and professional memberships have included the Microsoft Executive Circle; Eastern Technology Council; the Board of Advisors of the Management Information Systems department at the Temple University Fox School of Business; the NPower CIO Advisory Council. and His executive board experience includes: the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) Board of Directors, EnableUS and MortgageRamp.
He has a BBA in Finance and MIS from Temple University and resides in suburban Philadelphia with his family.
About the Fox School’s Management Information Systems (MIS) department and Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT)
The Fox School’s MIS department offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in information systems and includes more than 600 majors and minors and 12 faculty members. Ranked number 1 in the world for research in 2010 by the Association for Information Systems, and in the top 10 by The Chronicle of Higher Education and TechRepublic in 2008/2009, the MIS department is one of the youngest and most successful IT oriented departments in the U.S. The associated Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT) connects students and faculty with industry leaders through a membership structure, and provides project and professional development opportunities. For more information, visit community.mis.temple.edu or ibit.temple.edu