In the News: Akande on Nigerian Kidnappings; Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational Featured; Rishe on LeBron James

| July 14, 2014

Recent news media coverage involving Webster University community members includes:

Akande on Impact of Nigerian Kidnappings

Benjamin Akande, dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology, has been following the situation in his native country of Nigeria, where over 200 schoolgirls and women have been abducted and have yet to be located. He appeared on NPR affiliate St. Louis Public Radio’s “St. Louis on the Air” segment to discuss how it is affecting Nigerians, and why St. Louisans should care.

“It’s off the front page of the media newspapers, but the reality is that it is still in the hearts and minds and the reality for many Nigerians,” says Akande. He says that many girls are being kept home from school because parents are afraid their children will be killed or abducted if they go to school.

Akande says St. Louisans should care about what is happening in Nigeria not only from a humanitarian point of view, but from an economic one as well, as the terrorists conducting the kidnappings could threaten the south of the country where oil exports are generated.

“I believe that from a humanitarian perspective, the people of St. Louis have been remarkable in addressing [humanitarian issues] … St. Louis cares,” said Akande. “I’m an optimist. I believe that the girls will return, and when they return they will tell a story. And it will be a story of how they were able to overcome.”

Read about and/or listen to the full segment here.

11th Annual Girls' Invitational

Webster University chess coach and SPICE founder Susan Polgar is interviewed by KSDK-TV.

Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational in TV, Chess Coverage

The 11th Annual Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational kicked off over the weekend, drawing coverage in a variety of outlets. Watch a segment on NBC affiliate KSDK-TV at the top of this post or at this direct link. A sample:

“In my day a lot of events were restricted to boys or men only,” said Polgar. “Traditionally and culturally chess has been perceived as a men’s game and we’re trying to change that.”

“It’s good to come to an all-girls tournament and make lots of new friends and see there are girls in chess.” said Louisianan state champion Anna Wyzywany.

She and other participants say their success in chess has boosted their self-confidence and helped them excel in other areas of life.

“I feel really good about myself. I should be here, and I deserve to play,” said Wyzywany who is considering attending Webster University next year, an option she says she would not have considered if not for the University’s reputation in competitive chess.

The KSDK segment also includes an interview with Natasha Morales Santos, the 2014 Puerto Rico champion who is also legally blind.

Another story, “Webster University Nurtures the Future of Women’s Chess,” is online at, the site of the World Chess Federation, where people from 185 nations turn for chess news.

See more photos from the week at Webster’s Facebook and in this Google album.

Rishe on LeBron James’ Return to Cleveland

The news of basketball’s biggest star LeBron James returning home isn’t just big for the sport, it’s big economic news for the two markets involved. In his column on the business of sports at Forbes online, Walker School professor of economics Patrick Rishe discussed how Friday’s big news affects the revenues and franchise values of the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Separately, Rishe has learned his paper, “How Event Significance, Team Quality and School Proximity Impact Secondary Market Behavior at March Madness,” will be published by Sport Marketing Quarterly, which is rated as the third-best journal within the Sport Management/Marketing genre.

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Category: Employee News, Faculty, Webster in the News

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