Seeking Success in the Face of Crisis - Miami Herbert: A Year in Review

June 09, 2020

On June 3rd, Dean John Quelch addressed faculty and staff, students, alumni, parents and community members during the webinar, “Seeking Success in the Face of Crisis,” featuring the leaders and scholars of the newly named Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School. He, along with the Vice Deans of the school, reflected on the accomplishments and adversities faced by the Miami Herbert Business School community during this time of crisis.

The dean’s opening remarks conveyed his confidence and pride in the way that faculty members and students have been able to adapt and persevere. “We have had an amazing year at Miami Herbert despite all of the difficulties and challenges that we are all facing at the moment. We at Miami Herbert remain confident about the future of our school and I wanted to make sure that we have a chance to celebrate together as a community.”

The business school was determined to make the transition to virtual learning as smooth as possible for its students. Vice Dean of Graduate Business Programs and Executive Education, Henrik Cronqvist, expanded on how the school made sure faculty and students had everything they needed to be successful. From faculty Zoom calls to special guest presentations, Vice Dean Cronqvist explained how the semester progressed and how students and faculty kept their spirits high during the uncertainty surrounding them.
Vice Dean of Undergraduate Business Education, Ann Olazabal, shared the way they celebrated their graduating seniors virtually with the Celebration of Excellence. An outpouring of support and positive feedback came from the students, some saying they were able to share this joyous occasion with family members who would not have been able to travel to an in-person event.

Vice Dean Olazabal introduced two Miami Herbert scholars to the webinar to share their personal experience. Daniela Negri, BBA’22, is a business technology major who appreciated that classes were recorded. She felt that her business professors and mentor continued to support her classwork and the launch of her app, Erueka Match, while social distancing. Brian Galea, MBA’21, spoke on his experience as a graduate business student. Brian agreed with Daniela, stating that he felt supported by his professors with online learning and flexible office hours. As part of the ‘Canes Angel Network headed by Jeff Camp, Brian felt continually encouraged by faculty, staff and alumni during his work with the student program.
DJ Nanda, Vice Dean of Faculty and Faculty Research, stressed the importance of continued research by the faculty members. Vice Dean Nanda reported that the Department of Accounting started their own weekly webinars to create a thought series to reach out to alumni asking, “How are you dealing with this crisis and can you share your thoughts about what new frontier of business we need to consider?” Along with the webinar series, faculty members have been sharing their thoughts virtually with the community on Miami Herbert’s website. On the site, Dr. Steven Ullmann addresses the challenges that healthcare institutions face during the COVID-19 pandemic and Dr. Andrea Heuson shares her insights on the pandemic’s effect on the real estate market.

Before answering questions from participants, Dean Quelch shared examples of how Miami Herbert alumni supported the community during this crisis. Per’la Specialty Roaster owners Chris Nolte, BBA ‘05 and Paul Massard, BBA ’05, created a coffee blend and donated proceeds to Miami Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. Matt Friedman, BBA ’09, Kris Kimball, BBA ’09 and Jason Spiegel, BBA ’09, owners of Freebee, provided free, no-contact food deliveries during the COVID-19 lockdown. Eli Tako, MBA ’91, owner of Pinecrest Wayside Market, made sure his community had access to essential items like toilet paper, paper towels, bleach and masks. Miami Herbert current scholars are also stepping up, such as Kate Adler, BBA ’23, who spoke to Dean Quelch about how she and her twin brother raised $100,000 for Feed America.

Dean John Quelch ended the webinar with a strong call to action. “We have a “‘Canes care for ‘Canes” philosophy,” the dean stated. “We have students looking out for each other.” He asked that the community take action to support their ‘Canes Family. Whether it is supporting students, providing internships, guiding graduates and fellow alumni in job searches or promoting Miami Herbert initiatives on social media, the Miami Herbert community will come together during this time to embrace the school’s mission and continue to develop leaders that will make a positive global impact.

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