From the Dean – Kogod Now
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Kogod Now / Fall 2011  / From the Dean
Dean Michael Ginzberg outside of Kogod on quad

From the Dean

While all academic exploration seeks to expand understanding and enhance dialogue, only a limited subset holds the possibility of fundamentally altering our society. Transformative research is an ambitious and risky undertaking, but the potential payoff is monumental.

The research undertaken by our faculty and their colleagues on targeted marketing efforts to vulnerable populations—and the regulatory vacuum in which they occur—holds that promise.

Combating the global childhood obesity epidemic is not the sole responsibility of health-care professionals and parents. Business experts are vital partners who can contribute to the analysis of the problem and the development of a response to improving the health and well-being of our youth, and of society at large.

Associate Professor Sonya Grier has spent the past four years evaluating African Americans’ perceptions of marketing and how public health campaigns could influence their food choices, as part of a grant from the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network. In tandem, Assistant Professor Wendy Boland has pursued the effect of sales promotions and point-of-sale advertising on children, as the demographic gains more and more spending power and becomes a highly sought-after consumer segment.

Food labels, from front-of-package heart-healthy icons on cereal boxes to the FDA-mandated Nutrition Facts panel, can be confusing to all types of consumers, and especially to vulnerable populations. Professors Manoj Hastak and Anusree Mitra have examined ways to improve these consumer disclosures. Their research results have directly contributed to federal regulatory discussions.

From grocery store aisles to hospital intensive care units, the work of Kogod faculty is influencing our collective health. Professor Edward Wasil’s research on reducing the transfer of infectious diseases within hospitals, as well as on optimizing surgical scheduling, should have a direct impact on the quality of care patients receive both here in Washington and across the country.

Coordinating care is supply-chain management at its core. Alumnus Malek Sbih, MBA ’05, shares how he led the effort to deliver medicines and supplies to the tens of thousands of individuals affected by the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Merck chairman and alumnus Richard Clark, MBA ’71, considers the importance of corporate social responsibility in the pharmaceutical industry.

Beyond our physical health, Executive-in-Residence Daniel Jacobs and renowned restaurateur Barton Seaver examine Earth’s health through sustainable business practices and the opportunities that lie ahead for individuals and organizations to have a greener impact on the planet.

Assistant Professor Robert Edgell explores the hidden value of workplace conflict in encouraging greater creativity and innovation in management, and Associate Professor Gwanhoo Lee provides a roadmap for how government agencies can achieve President Obama’s pledge for greater transparency in government.

Across the Kogod School of Business, members of our faculty are taking full advantage of their presence in Washington, DC, with access to influencers, policymakers, and the public and private sectors. Communication and collaboration across departments is at the heart of business innovation.

I am tremendously excited to join Kogod at a moment that is so full of opportunities to make this dynamic school even greater. We are investing in faculty research that indeed has the potential to transform our society.

This latest issue of Kogod Now demonstrates that the vibrancy of our faculty, students, and alumni reaches across industries and borders. This is where research meets practice.

Michael J. Ginzberg
Dean, Kogod School of Business
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