susan steward

Susan

April marks a few beginnings for Maryland this year. House legislation increasing the minimum wage passed, Noah was set adrift from the top of the box office by Captain America, the weather hasn’t been negative twenty degrees, and baseball returns to Camden Yards. Of course, to get into the mood for the season, I like to pull out my collection of baseball movies. This would include the following:

 

 

  • Major League (if you ask, you don’t get it),
  • 42,
  • The Sandlot,
  • A League of Their Own, and
  • Moneyball.

The last one in the list is a new addition to the collection for a variety of reasons. At first glance, most understand the first three films. The last two, however, are always the head scratchers. If you were to categorize my favorite baseball films, there’s humor (Major League), drama (42), childhood (The Sandlot), and economics (A League of Their Own and Moneyball). You may ask, do economics really feature in A League of Their Own and Moneyball? Well, it’s pretty evident in Moneyball, but A League of Their Own?

 

At the core, baseball is a business. In A League of Their Own, the women’s team starts because owners are losing money as men are being enlisted for WWII. Moneyball reflects on the challenges faced by managers with restricted budgets trying to make money and increase their teams’ standings. Baseball franchises pay employees (players) a salary for performing a job (scoring runs).  As a business, the goal is to get the most from players and therefore make a profit.

 

There are a number of factors that go into making baseball profitable. One can be location of the team. If there are two teams within a state, then for every one mile closer the teams are, there will be a 0.07 percent decline in the original, existing team’s attendance. A locational advantage limits the competition of places people can go to see baseball games. Another factor is having a competitive team with a come-from-behind season, because everyone loves an underdog.  Let’s take a look at the current American League East (AL East) standings as of April 14.

 

Rank Team

Wins

Losses

1 NY Yankees

7

6

1 Tampa Bay Rays

7

6

1 Toronto Blue Jays

7

6

2 Baltimore Orioles

5

7

3 Boston Red Sox

5

8

Source: MLB.com

 

In the table above, Forbes marks the Yankees as the most valuable team, followed by the Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, and the Rays. However, when looking at the money on the field since the beginning of the 2014 season, here are the rankings from lowest to highest.

 

Rank Team

Total Salaries of Players on Field

1 Tampa Bay Rays

$36.457 million

2 Boston Red Sox

$65.416 million

3 Baltimore Orioles

$66.446 million

4 Toronto Blue Jays

$70.773 million

5 New York Yankees

$112.467 million

Source: Sporttrac.com

 

The team spending the least amount of money, Tampa Bay, is tied with the team spending the most amount of money, New York, in the AL East rankings. Is it possible to make a winning team on a smaller budget? Well, if the current standings suggest anything, then the answer is yes. Additionally, Boston has been applying a Moneyball type of framework for several years. Apparently, this strategy seems to be functioning just fine for the 2013 World Series Champs.

 

Does a team need to spend like the Yankees to be contenders? At the current standings, Tampa Bay spends nearly half of what the Orioles and Red Sox spend. At the time of this blog, with the roster the Tampa Bay has, the team has recorded 44 scoring runs and 95 times on base, scoring 46 percent of the time they get on base, proving efficiency has its merits on the field. Where does that leave our Orioles?

 

The Orioles’ efficiency for scoring is around 43 percent, above that of Boston and New York (the big spenders). However, competitors like Toronto, which has a 52 percent scoring ratio, and Tampa Bay are spending less and scoring more frequently when on base. If the Orioles can hone in on stopping people from getting on base (especially their AL rivals), and in turn position themselves on base more frequently, then they could have a shot. Additionally, rooting for the home team could help. Ticket sales indicated nearly 2.3 million visitors to Camden Yards last year, an attendance that is closer to the team’s 2003 annual attendance. If supporting the home team can increase runs, then Baltimore rooting for the home team just might yield some positive results this year.


Sharyn

Sharyn

Whether you are managing your first design project, or it’s old hat to you, there are three very simple steps you should always follow to successfully manage your project.

 

1. Hold a Kick-Off Meeting

Sure, you may have outlined the scope of work in your agreement, or maybe you talked about it over the phone, but it’s ALWAYS a good idea to meet in person to set expectations – yours and the clients. In your kick-off meeting you should go over (at a minimum) the project timeline and associated deadlines, what you need from the client (receivables), and what the final deliverables will include. The kick-off meeting is also a good time for the client to share samples of similar or comparable projects to get a clearer idea of their style.

presentation

 

calendar2. Determine a Reporting Schedule

There may be points in your project where you talk to the client daily, but there will be times, where communication is less regular. In your kick-off meeting, determine a reporting schedule that is agreeable with you and the client. Reporting – weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly – provides a venue for you to let the client know what deadlines have been met, what work is upcoming in the short and long-term, as well as any project obstacles that might cause for the design team to not meet a deadline.

 

woman3. Gather Feedback through Design Reviews

If you have not caught on yet, communication is key in any project, but extremely important in design projects since aesthetics are subjective.  Be sure to allow time for design reviews in your timeline. A design review could be held in person in the format of a presentation or informally with an allocated time frame set for the client to review and gather their feedback. It’s extremely important as a designer to have an open mind about provided feedback. You may have slaved away for weeks on a deliverable so much that it starts to feel like your baby. Keep in mind that the client will have feedback, it might not be what you want to hear, but you have the power to incorporate the feedback and take the project the direction that the client feels complements their organization best.


Nicole

Nicole

Towson University and Presidential Scholar, Dr. Nancy Grasmick, are excited to welcome to campus education historian and best-selling author Diane Ravitch as she discusses her new book Reign of Error. Join us on April 22nd in the West Village Commons ballrooms from 4-6 p.m. for her talk and book-signing.

 

In her book, Diane examines the flaws with the current education reform direction being driven by the U.S. Department of Education including curriculum changes, common core standards, teacher evaluation, assessment, vouchers, online education, merit pay, and perhaps most importantly the involvement and leadership from the private sector.

 

978-0-385-35088-4-2-e1378255963852Excerpts from Reign of Error:

  • Our urban public schools are in trouble because of concentrated poverty and racial segregation.
  • If we don’t act to remedy the social and economic conditions that cause disadvantage, we are unlikely to see any large-scale changes in the achievement gaps.
  • The issue for the future is whether a small number of very wealthy entrepreneurs, corporations, and individuals will be able to purchase education policy in this nation, either by funding candidates for local and state school boards, for state legislatures, for governor and for Congress or by using foundation ‘gifts’ to advance the privatization of public education

 

Regardless of what side of the debate you are on, Diane will discuss some of the biggest challenges facing public education today.

 

This talk is a part of the Towson University Signature Forum speaker series. The Forums focus on providing Maryland’s education leaders, parents, teachers, and policy makers with access to the newest information and research on current and pertinent education topics. This Signature Forums event will offer an exciting platform for intellectual discussion and debate.


Laura

Laura

The Towson University Center for Student Diversity and Center for Professional Studies (CPS) partnered to create and deliver a weekend-long Entrepreneurship Boot Camp. The event was held March 14th – 16th at the Towson University Marriot.

 

Who Attended?

The program was open to all TU students; with preference given to women and students of color. During the application process students were asked to describe their entrepreneurial ambition. All of the attendees arrived at the boot camp with either an idea, or a business they had already started. Their business concepts ranged from henna design, health services, fashion design, and project management services.

 

What Did They Learn?

Working with Jess Gartner, founder of Allovue, CPS developed a curriculum that included interactive modules and sessions on topics ranging from problem definition to financial projections. Attendees did not spend the weekend passively listening, they hit the ground running doing actual market research, developing budgets, and planning for the future. All the hard work resulted in an 8-minute pitch to investors.  On the final morning of the boot camp, attendees made their pitch based on the work they had done throughout the weekend.

 

Guest Speakers

In addition to the experience and expertise Jess Gartner brought to the event, attendees learned from several guest speakers. Keynote speaker Kelly Keenan Trumpbour, founder at See Jane Invest, shared with attendees how she entered the world of Entrepreneurship, and how she works to help women entrepreneurs.  Peter Davis, a brand performance expert, energized participants by pushing them to develop a 30-second pitch. Finally, Loleta Robinson, M.D., M.B.A, president and CEO at Sanusek, rounded out the weekend providing her personal entrepreneur insights and experiences.

 

Wrapping Up

At the end of the weekend, participants received a six month membership to the TowsonGlobal Business Incubator, as a means to say informed about opportunities related to entrepreneurship and stay connected to a network of entrepreneurs.
 

 
CPS videographer Mikey Mullens created this video that really captured the outcome and impact of the weekend.  To end, I think this comment from a student evaluation, really sums up the success of the event:

“Overall, I loved the program. I think it’s very valuable to TU students who are serious about starting a business. I appreciated that the students who were selected took it very seriously and tried to soak up as much as possible to get started on their business. I think that setting up a platform for all of us to connect would be great because it would help to know that we can go to others who are on the same path and bounce ideas, frustrations and support from one another. Also, I am very grateful that the TU Incubator has given us 6 months of membership and full access with a mentor. That is extremely valuable and it should help us get much further along as long as we take advantage of it. Thanks again!”


Dawn

Dawn

One of the Division of Innovation and Applied Research’s strengths is its highly skilled staff. Another strength is its ability to call upon Towson University’s multitude of talented and knowledgeable faculty. Our latest project involved working with the Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood Development (DECD) and Dr. Nhung T. Nguyen, an Associate Professor in the College of Business and Economics.

 

DECD contacted the Division of Innovation and Applied Research with regard to a compensation and classification project. Bill Hansman took on the role of both analyst and project manager, and then reached out to the University for a subject matter expert to be part of the project team. Dr. Nguyen, who earned her PhD in Management from the Virginia Commonwealth University, was a perfect fit since compensation management is one of her areas of expertise.

 

The team decided to use in-person interviews, and surveys, to meet the projects goal of analyzing the job duties at DECD. The team accomplished this by:

  • Analyzing current job descriptions, which included reviewing the State’s MS-22 language and comparing that language with information that was received from the interviews and surveys.
  • Comparing each employee’s resume with the knowledge and skills needed for his/her current position, and determining if the resume indicated if he/she was over or under qualified for that position.
  • Reviewing the internal job structure from the data received, which allowed the team to make recommendations about the DECD positions as they currently exist, and to revise current position descriptions to reflect the work actually being done, as well as to draft new position descriptions. These actions are needed to fill current vacancies within DECD.

Bill and Dr. Nguyen accomplished the project’s goal of analyzing the job duties in terms of scope of responsibility and its distribution across the DECD’s organization units. All of the work the team performed lead to recommending areas for possible changes that would optimize DEDC’s efficiency and effectiveness.

 

This was a rewarding project for the Division and client and also a great opportunity to develop a new collaborative relationship with one of Towson University’s expert faculty members.


susan steward

Susan

The debate over changing Maryland’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 has been ongoing since late 2013. The Maryland Minimum Wage Act of 2014 (H.B. 0295) passed in Maryland’s House in February, but concerns regarding community health workers have stalled its progress within the Senate.

 

To date, several studies have analyzed the minimum wage. However, no clear, concise conclusion has emerged from the vast empirical knowledge base. Researchers such as Card, Krueger, Hoffman, and Neumark are some of the bigger names cited when economists discuss the potential impacts associated with changes to the minimum wage. Recent studies of Maryland’s current minimum wage proposal include that of Dr. Stephen Fuller from George Mason University.

 

Dr. Fuller’s team used a version of REMI’s PI+ model to determine the potential impacts associated with changes in Maryland’s minimum wage. However, their analysis looked at the effects of the minimum wage change occurring all at once. The last minimum wage change in Maryland occurred in a series of three-year increments, rising by $0.70 each time until finally reaching $7.25 in 2009. RESI had a brainstorm: “What would happen if they repeated the same technique between 2015 and 2017 to raise the wage from $7.25 to $10.10?”

 

That brainstorm is how this blog post began. RESI used estimates from Dr. Fuller’s report (more specifically, Table 1), data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine industry breakdowns of minimum wage earners, and some good, old-fashioned mathematics.

 

RESI first determined that the increase in wage rates would not be effective until 2015, allowing for changes in the bill before it passes. The second assumption that RESI made: the amount that the minimum wage would increase each year would be $0.95, or the difference between $10.10 and $7.25 spread equally over a three-year period. Third, tipped workers would continue to be paid at 50 percent of the rate of minimum wage. Fourth, full-time employment is 30 hours per week (per IRS definition for the Affordable Healthcare Act). Finally, RESI made some tough decisions about the weights applied for each sector in the model based on annual employment. RESI decided to run the model for an increase in production costs with a simultaneous increase in wages to offset both sides of the economy, producers and consumers.

 

RESI’s analysis suggests that impacts on Maryland’s economy are less negligible compared to Dr. Fuller’s analysis. RESI looked at the changes in the forecast given the policy change from the baseline scenario using full time equivalents. Under the baseline scenario, Maryland’s initial workforce including both full-time and part-time workers in 2020 is about 3.45 million. Under RESI’s analysis, the workforce by 2020 would be 3.44 million if RESI’s assumptions hold true. When comparing full-time (as the data was calculated) to full-time, RESI found that the total overall change is -0.3 percent in potential employment growth for Maryland by 2020.  When looking at the full-time equivalency loss of employment from 2014 through 2020, RESI found that the jobs not realized by 2020 would be 2,900.

RESI_MinimumWage

The above chart shows that, under RESI’s phase-in between 2015 and 2020 (where the final minimum wage change occurs in 2017), private payrolls would be unrealized from their initial forecast by 2,900 full-time equivalent jobs. The sectors falling short of reaching 2020’s current forecasted employment due to the minimum wage change include Retail Trade, Hospitality, and Personal Services. The change is marginal at best, and losses reflected in RESI’s analysis are changes in the current baseline forecast.


Nancy

Nancy

Cisco’s Virtual Academy Conference 2014:  Educating the Architects of the Internet of Everything leverages powerful new tools to support collaboration and interactivity. What follows is the “diary” of my attendance at the first day of the two-day virtual conference on March 18.

 

 

 

 

10:00 AM 

Packing for and traveling to this conference was easy:  slip into my fuzzy slippers, brew up a pot of coffee, walk downstairs to my PC, and log in.  Bad hair day?  No problem.  I created my profile, uploaded a picture, no badge required.

 

After hanging out in the virtual Lobby, I decided to try my luck at some of the Games.  Trivia and Memory Match were a snap, putting me in the top quarter of the Leaderboards for both.  Things went downhill from there; Puzzle Putt took me into the rough right away.  Perhaps that game was for attendees under the age of fifty.

 

Wandering over to the Meeting Rooms, I explored each of the Conference Sponsors’ virtual booths.  CompTIA, NDG, Citrix and other industry partners provided loads of giveaways and other resources, which I saved into my virtual Conference Briefcase for downloading later.  About the only thing missing was free pens…

 

Were my friends at the conference?  A walk into the virtual Lounge plopped me down in a chat session, and identified all the participants present.  Several of us decided that Puzzle Putt was rigged.  Then I realized  I’d better hurry, or I will miss the first live session!  Fortunately, I didn’t have to run across the building to get there.

nancyimage

11:00 AM 

Attended the initial live session, “Educating the Architects of IoE for Social Benefit”, presented by Harbrinder Kang, VP Corporate Affairs.  Live sessions include a running Q and A, where attendees comment on the presentation as well as ask questions or post tweets.  Mr. Kang’s description of the “next industrial revolution,” where over 50 billion things will be connected to the Internet, sparked many questions about bandwidth and access from attendees living in places like Peru and Ghana.  Following the session, participants could stay in the Auditorium and engage in a live chat with Mr. Kang and other attendees.

nancychat

12:00 PM

During what other conference can one do a load of laundry and wash the dishes on a break?  Just wish that laundry was virtual…At 12:55, a chime coming from my PC reminded me that the next live session was about to start.

 

1:00 PM

Farsheed Tari, Gary Coman, Omar Shaban and Mary de Wysocki discussed “Networking Academy Today and Tomorrow,” with an emphasis on preparing students for success in emerging careers.

 

Mary explained Cisco’s growing partnership with Healthcare Without Harm, a global ecosystem of care providers and public policy developers interested in making healthcare more “green.”  This collaboration could eventually provide opportunities for Cisco Academy students in the healthcare field.

 

Omar described initiatives supporting student employability and employment, including job resources and collaborative opportunities for Academy alumni.

I am sitting in this virtual Auditorium, next to instructors from Australia, Ethiopia, Peru and Cameroon—and all of us have front row seats!

 

1:30 PM

Joined in the post-session chat, talking with an international group of instructors about ways to implement the Health Information Networking course.  Translations happen in real time through a Google app.  Fifteen minutes of chat flew past!

 

2:00 PM

My virtual Briefcase (so much easier on one’s back than the real thing) is stuffed full of resources at this point.  Conference sessions and breakouts are available as on-demand video playbacks through Cisco WebEx or as downloadable resource files.  Colleagues from all over the world share their best practices and provide training on technical topics, and if attendance sparks interest in contacting the presenter, the Communications Center provides email, chat, and social media connections.

nancy3

4:00 PM

Day One of the conference has now ended for me; however, if I want to check back in and gather more resources, chat with attendees from other time zones, or post a blog, the virtual doors are open all night long—and available on demand through mid-May.

 

As I leave the virtual conference environment, I wonder – what expectations do we usually have for conferences?  Does a virtual conference actually meet or exceed those expectations?  Interesting and informative speakers – check.  Loads of giveaways – check.  Time to chat with old and new friends -  check. The freedom to explore a wide range of relevant resources – check. Who needs a badge, anyway?


Bobbie Laur

Bobbie

We’re gearing up for the Division’s 7th annual Showcase event on April 16th. The Showcase is the best opportunity for attendees to see how Towson University’s faculty, staff, and students, are working to support Maryland’s businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. This year we’ll have keynote remarks from the new Baltimore County Director of Economic & Workforce Development, Will Anderson, on the vision for Towson and how partnerships will play a role in making Baltimore County a great place to live, work, play, and LEARN!

 

Showcase 2013 audience

 

Showcase exhibitors will be presenting a variety of projects and initiatives, including:

  • Cybersecurity Programs & Initiatives
  • Economic Forecasting Services for Business & Government
  • Cook Library “White Gloves” Community Sessions
  • 3D Printing Object Lab
  • Internship Partnerships
  • And many more

Attend the Showcase and learn how Towson University can help you!

The event is FREE and includes lunch.  Register here

 

Showcase 2014 branding


Kelsey

Kelsey

The Edward V. Badolato Homeland Security Speaker Series is holding its next FREE event on Friday, April 11th, from 1:30-5 pm. The event will be held in the College of Liberal Arts Building, Room 4110, and will feature a networking reception and the keynote presentation.

 

We are very excited about the speaker for this spring. Daniel Linskey, Superintendent-in-Chief of the Boston Police Department, will be giving the keynote address.

 

On April 15, 2013, Dan Linskey was on foot patrol along the Boston Marathon route when two bombs were detonated near the finish line. As the Superintendent-in-Chief of the Boston Police Department, Dan was thrust into managing one of the largest law enforcement operations in New England’s history. Dan oversaw the arrest and capture if the terrorists after a fierce gun battle, which included bombs being thrown at officers, an unprecedented shutdown of the city, and one of the largest and most challenging tactical responses in the history of civilian law enforcement. During this session, Dan will provide participants with an in-depth overview of the response, and the leadership challenges he faced during the crisis.

 

This event is especially timely, as it is happening four days before the one-year anniversary of the bombing. It also coincides with Operation STAT, a large-scale mass casualty drill that is happening at Towson University on the morning of April 11. The scenario for Operation STAT this year will be a plane crash.

Daniel Linskey Headshotblog

Daniel Linskey

 

Agenda

1:30-4:30 – Keynote Address

4:30-5:00 – Networking Reception

 

Visit the website to learn more and register for this exciting event!


Stephanie

Stephanie

This year’s Business Plan Competition attracted nearly 30 entries from innovative startups around the area. Fashion apparel, virtual biotechnology, and cloud-based management for university students were areas represented in the 2014 competition. With help from our judges, five finalists emerged from the competition to advance to round 2.

  • All Real Concepts- New line of winter apparel utilizing NASA developed technology to deliver improved performance in frigid temperatures.
  • Random Repairs- Self-service garage providing tools, machines, and lifts for customer use.
  • Rehabtics- Maryland-based startup company developing a software system for physical rehabilitation using motion-controlled video games for use both in institutions and at home.
  • Tutela Bedside Technologies, LLC.- Early stage medical device company dedicated to the development of interactive patient engagement software to help hospitals engage remote caregivers in the patients care.
  • Zero Gravity Creations, LLC.- Custom glass and metal fusion shop specializing in Magmabond technology.

BPC_2014

These five finalists represent the talent and innovation that is living within our community. Learning more about these startups is inspiring, and I can’t help but wonder about all the other hidden talent I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet. The student talent we’ve been introduced to through this year’s competition and previous years’ has been especially meaningful to me. As a Towson University alumna, I enjoy meeting passionate students who possess entrepreneurial qualities, have business ideas, and do not want to wait till after graduation to pursue their ventures. It is exciting how entrepreneurship is changing and growing at Towson. During my 4 years at Towson, I can recall one person who was actively pursuing her business idea; the rest of us were perhaps more focused on finding employment rather than creating it for ourselves and others. There’s no right or wrong, but I applaud those who are ready and willing to take risks, work tirelessly, and embrace entrepreneurship.

 

On May 1, 2014, we will be announcing the winner of this year’s competition at a public forum held at Towson University. In the meantime, we’ll be offering our support services and mentoring to these companies, and I look forward to watching them continue making strides and bringing their business ideas to fruition.