Friday News Roundup – Fox Alum Promotes Financial Literacy, Haas Hosts Conference on African Business, and More

Fox Promoting

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories from this week, including Temple Fox promoting new financial literacy initiatives.

Fox Alumnus Offers Affordable Financial Literacy Programs to Philly’s Small Businesses – Fox School News

A Temple University Fox School of Business MBA alumnus has made it his goal to promote financial literacy through a new non-profit startup.

Thomas McDevitt, MBA ’02, formed Philly Financial Planning to offer underserved communities the tools  to make informed financial decisions – tools which have not been available to these communities in the past. Philly Financial will seek to partner with various organizations to promote their cause and to implement programs.

McDevitt said, “Philanthropists, faith-based organizations, local government officials, community and neighborhood leaders, … corporations, learning institutions, and financial [institutions] can all play a meaningful role in helping us to achieve our long-term strategic goals of closing Philadelphia’s wealth gap”. In conjunction with Philly Financial, McDevitt hopes to form ‘The Eagle’s Nest’, a Shark Tank style competition series geared toward inner city entrepreneurs.

Education on financial matters has been McDevitt’s focus since his time at Fox. He formed McDevitt & Kline, LLC, with another Fox alum, Dr. Bill Kline, to offer continuing education to attorneys and CPAs.

Programs like his are necessary, because, as he says, “The financial literacy programs that exist in Philadelphia today are definitely not addressing the root causes of generational poverty.”

Africa Business Forum to Focus on Opportunity, Innovation in a Growing EconomyHaas Newsroom

The University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business will host the 5th Annual Africa Business Forum, entitled “Africa on the Move: Enabling Homegrown Innovation,” on April 6, 2019.

The factors at work in Africa such as rapid growth and a youthful population make it appealing for existing companies and startups alike, as well as for investors.


Cheikhou Diaw, MBA 19, co-chair of the event, says, “There are billions of opportunities[in Africa]. Making people aware of those opportunities is something I’ve been trying to do since I joined Haas … It’s really important for us to make sure that people in the Berkeley community and the Bay Area understand that Africa is more than a place with safaris or a place full of poverty and disease.”

Of utmost importance to the chairs of the conference was focusing upon ways in which policymakers and leaders of business can support the growth of economies in the most beneficial and responsible ways. The conference will be comprised of panel discussions, keynote talks, and a hackathon on public policy innovation. Among the forum’s guests will be Andile Ngcaba, founder and chairman of the investment group Convergence Partners; Benjamin Fernandes, founder of fintech company NALA; and Nichole Yembra, founder and managing director of The Chrysalis Company.

Rutgers MBA in Supply Chain Management Leads to Opportunities to Work in CanadaInsights & News

Rutgers University Business School and the Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA) have joined forces to grant MBAs assistance in receiving their Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) designation.

This partnership will benefit MBAs seeking opportunities in Canada, as the SCMP designation is frequently required by Canadian companies  as they search for qualified supply chain professionals. Christian Buhagiar, President and CEO of SCMA, says:

“Rutgers is the first U.S. university with which we’ve partnered to develop advanced standing pathways into our SCMP designation. Immigration is a key economic driver for Canada, supported by the Government of Canada, and creating international pathways to Canada’s most sought-after supply chain designation will open opportunities for those wishing to emigrate to work in Canadian supply chain management.”

Under the agreement, MBAs from Rutgers’ program receive exemption from certain SCMA workshops and educational modules as they pursue a SCMP designation. Andy Gogates, Manager of Corporate Relations at Rutgers Business School, was a major player in forming the partnership. He says, “It’s a testament to the strength of Rutgers supply chain management curriculum to so closely match the requirements for the SCMP designation … This is a real advantage for Rutgers MBA graduates looking for career opportunities in Canada.”

Harvard Business School Joins Farm Forward’s Leadership CircleHarvard Business School Newsroom

Harvard Business School recently joined the Leadership Circle of sustainable agriculture non-profit Farm Forward.

Farm Forward works to promote awareness and access to food options that support humane treatment of animals and responsible farming practices. HBS joins Villanova University, UC Berkeley, and 12 other organizations as an institutional partner.

Leadership Circle members, according to Farm Forward Executive Director Andrew DiCoriolis, “practice the kind of values-based food purchasing that all institutions should strive for. Through thoughtful procurement policies, institutions like Harvard Business School meet growing consumer demands for more ethical and sustainable food by decreasing their carbon footprint and improving the welfare of farmed animals.”

The relationship with Farm Forward is part of a growing effort by HBS to implement sustainable practices across campus. Its alignment with Farm Forward will result in procurement of food products that are from certified organizations, along with the introduction of more plant based foods on the menus of the campus’ dining halls. Both dining halls are certified by the Green Restaurant Association, and leftover food is donated to Food for Free, which donates to shelters or to others in need.

The University of Texas McCombs School of Business and Moody College of Communication Join Forces with Blue Cross Blue Shield of TexasNewswire

The University of Texas McCombs School of Business and Moody College of Communication will partner with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas to conduct research on administration of adult vaccines in two Texas counties.

The $500,000 grant will help advance research on issues that result in the ever rising cost of healthcare. The study, “Improving Adult Vaccine Delivery by Optimizing Clinical and Health IT Processes in Austin/Travis County, Texas” will be led by Dr. Leanne Field, a clinical professor at the College of Natural Sciences and director for Digital Health Care Innovation at McCombs.

Dr. Vince Fonseca, a physician specializing in public health and community based medicine, will also be part of the team. He says, “Vaccines are some of the most cost-effective, high-value health services available, yet adult vaccine coverage is suboptimal in the United States.”

The research team hopes to implement their findings to improve access to vaccines and other interventions at a lower cost to the consumers who most need them.

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About the Author

Maggie Boccella

Maggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city's annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.

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