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Brown School of Business and Leadership

Keyword: future leaders

The Accounting Dept at the Brown School of Business and Leadership held a Pizza with Professionals event on September 27. Students were able to meet and talk with Alum Christie Stravino and Scott Guenther from Cohen & Co. to discuss their stories and careers.

Congratulations to Kayla Bias, class of 2019, who was selected to be this year’s recipient of the Maryland CIO Roundtable Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded annually to a BIS or CIS student who possesses leadership qualities and a desire to work in the field of IT management upon graduation.

Kayla is a senior in our Computer Information Systems program, in the Software Design track. She is also a BS/MS student, pursuing the MS in Business and Technology Management. Active on campus, she is a cross country and track athlete, Philanthropy Chair of the Student United Way Club, and a member of the BSU Gospel Choir. She is also a student tech in Stevenson’s Office of Information Technology.

Founded by Dave Hartman of Hartman Executive Advisors, the Maryland CIO Roundtable is dedicated to helping senior IT leaders increase their executive presence and find ways to add strategic business value to their organizations. Meeting monthly on the Stevenson campus, the Roundtable serves as a peer advisory forum where IT leaders meet monthly to openly discuss their unique challenges, and seek feedback and recommended solutions.

Kayla was introduced to the Roundtable at their monthly meeting on September 26.

Above is Kayla with members (from left to right) Ryan O’Donnell, Syed Faisal, and Wade Barnes of Hartman Executive Advisors, Kayla Bias, Dave Hartman, President & Co-Founder of Hartman, and Dave DeCillis of Cowan Systems.

On April 13th the Stevenson University Business Administration team placed second in the Weinman Cup Regional Competition held at Towson University. The Stevenson team,  Operations Management students Jackson Gibb, Amanda Madrigale, Annaliese Rutishauser, and Iliyan Slavov were advised by Dr. Mark Arvisais.

The Weinman Cup is a rigorous competition open to select undergrad business schools and requires teams to solve a difficult and complex supply chain problem. The competition was created with the help of the Toby and Melvin Weinman Foundation, Inc., to provide students the opportunity to practice their business skills and interact with local business leaders. The three judges for this year’s competition were from McCormick and Company, Samuel Shapiro and Company, and Black and Decker.

Dr. Mark Arvisais has been the faculty advisor for the Brown School of Business team for the last two years. Participation on the team is strictly voluntary and there is no reward for student participation. The competition case problem is distributed over spring break which is when the team of four first began meeting weekly to work on their solution.

According to the competition rules, Dr. Arvisais could advise and guide the students but was not allowed to perform any of the calculations required to reach their solution. This year’s case involved a complex supply chain problem for a manufacturer of paint and brushes involving multiple possible routes, modes of transportation, various fees, surcharges, tariffs, and other factors that required consideration.

“The team” says Arvisais “took full responsibility for conducting research, completing the complex calculations, and developing the solution. In fact, I sometimes wondered if they needed me at all!”Weinman Competition

The team presented their solution to the judges, who gave immediate feedback, and asked further questions. “We diagrammed the company's supply chain model in the simplest of terms” said team member Annaliese Rutishauser “and from there tried to pick out where in each part of the supply chain, the company could be improved.” Team member Iliyan Slavov, also winner of this year’s Sam Dell Scholarship, said “We concluded with steps that the company needed to take and a P.E.S.T. (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological) analysis. Overall it was a great experience to work with such incredible people on this interesting case scenario. If I had to choose whether to do it again or not, I would definitely do it!

“When they gave their presentation and were presented their plaque” says Arvisais “I was so amazed and just beaming with pride at how hard they worked and how well they presented to the judges”. Dr. Arvisais says he is looking forward to the competition next year and has already been contacted by business administration students interested in being on the team in 2019.

Here is the video of the Stevenson University Team's presentation:


On March 28th Stevenson University held a Leadership Storytelling Workshop at Rockland Center on the Owings Mills campus. The event was a collaboration between Business and Leadership Professor Anna Kayes, and Program Coordinator of Theatre and Media Performance, Ryan Clark. The workshop consisted of a simulation in which business students pitched their leadership stories to theatre students who played the role of Amazon executives.

“In today’s highly competitive business environment, it is imperative for leaders to be able to articulate who they are and what they stand for,” said Kayes whose Organizational Leadership students participated in the workshop.

Dr. Kayes was inspired by an interview in Forbes with Paul Smith, Director of Consumer and Communications Research at Proctor & Gamble. In the interview, Smith gives examples of how senior executives at large companies use storytelling almost exclusively to motivate, teach, and lead their teams. Smith states that Proctor & Gamble hires movie directors, and Motorola hires theatre groups to teach storytelling skills to top management.

Dr. Kayes reached out to Ryan Clark from the theatre program, and together they developed the workshop details and itinerary. During the networking portion of the workshop, theatre students used their improvisational skills to play the roles of Amazon executives from various departments such as fashion and technology, and interact with the business students aiming to impress them with true personal stories of how they excelled in a leadership role in the past.

SU Leadership Storytelling Workshop  

Following the networking segment, the students engaged in a debriefing session where theatre students provided feedback to the business students on their storytelling skills, and offered tips on how they could improve. Students commented that it was a great experience to build confidence in their leadership skills. Others noted that they realized that they each have a story to tell, and working with theater students pushed them out of their comfort zone.

“This was a powerful experience for both theatre and business students. For theatre students, it provided them the opportunity to develop a realistic character—an executive at Amazon.” said Clark. “Performance opportunities beyond the stage and screen are plentiful for actors in health care simulations, public speaking workshops and executive communication seminars. What makes Stevenson University so unique is our ability to create these types of cross-curricular extraordinary experiences for our students. This collaboration represents the best a liberal arts education has to offer." 

Kayes and Clark plan to continue the collaboration between the two departments and hold Leadership Storytelling Workshops during the fall 2018 semester and beyond.

Twenty-five members of Stevenson Enactus, and faculty advisor Dr. Jim Kucher, spent winter break in downtown Baltimore at The Impact Hub working with three non-profit organizations. The students used the knowledge and skills they learned from their Stevenson business classes to help the organizations with their missions, marketing, financials, future goals and more. 

Business Administration major Harry Snider talks about the experience in the video below. For more info on Stevenson Enactus, contact Dr. Jim Kucher,  443-352-4339,

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