In the News: Akande on diversity; Polgar on women in coaching; Smith on social media; Alumni Jun’s film, Stewart on MBA

| August 4, 2014

Recent news media coverage involving Webster University community members includes:

Akande in Diverse Magazine

Benjamin Akande, dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology, has a guest commentary on how colleges can retain diverse students in the July 31 edition of Diverse Magazine [PDF]. In the article, “Moon Goal for Colleges: Retention of Diverse Students,” Akande discusses some of the strategies Webster University has implemented to ensure students from diverse backgrounds achieve their higher education aspirations:

“I believe the colleges that will thrive in the coming years will be those who excel at preparing people of diverse backgrounds for successful careers and who have carefully cultivated a competitive academic advantage that distinguishes them from their competitors. Adopting such a strategy enables universities to be creative in developing academic programs that are relevant to the needs of students and the marketplace.”

Polgar for State Department on Women in College Coaching

An article in the U.S. Department of State’s IIP Digital quotes Webster University chess coach Susan Polgar on the scarcity of women coaches in colleges.

While the majority of women’s sports teams in the U.S. are coached by men, only 3 percent of men’s teams are coached by women, according to Brooklyn College researchers. This disparity doesn’t surprise Susan Polgar, a Hungarian-born American chess grandmaster who coaches Webster University’s chess team — ranked Number 1 in the U.S. She is the only woman collegiate chess coach.

“When I first started out in chess I was asked, ‘How could any woman go on to become a grandmaster?’” said Polgar. “How could a woman coach a Division 1 team?”

The article goes on to profile how Polgar succeeded in a male-dominated sport.

Alumna Praise in Business Journal’s MBA Feature

Recent Webster University graduate Dionne Stewart (MBA ’13) was quoted in the lead of the St. Louis Business Journal’s “How to: Choose an MBA Program” feature.

Stewart, who is a business analyst at managed care provider Centene Corp., cited cultural awareness and diversity and noted how a Webster MBA fit her career needs:

“Make sure the program meets your specialization or interests so that, when you finish your degree, you’re a competitive candidate for your industry,” Stewart said. She’s a 2013 MBA graduate of Webster University.

Seek out a program with “approachable faculty who engage in relevant topics while teaching business theory,” she said. “You want faculty who extend their relationship with students beyond the classroom.”

Film-Making Alum Brian Jun Profiled in Post-Dispatch

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch spoke with Webster University alumnus Brian Jun about his latest film project, being shot locally.

In addition to have his debut film appear in the 2006 Sundance Festival, Jun’s résumé includes a “best new filmmaker” award from the St. Louis International Film Festival and four features with Hollywood stars.

Smith on Impact of Social Media

Julie Smith, adjunct faculty member in the School of Communications, is quoted in the Columbia Tribune about media literacy and the evolution of social media technology in education.

Smith says that contrary to the connotation often presented in the news media, social media platforms like Twitter are a productive force in education.

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Category: Advancement, Alumni, Faculty, Webster in the News

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