News & Updates

#gatorsintheworkforce: Liam Wilby ’20

ECON major Liam Wilby ’20 (standing, 3rd from the right, blue tie) celebrates with the Right to Play UK staff in London, England at their successful fundraising event, “Right to Play Annual Sports Quiz” where the team earned over £250,000 for the charity. Liam is a summer intern with Right to Play UK, a charity that seeks to protect, educate and empower children to rise above adversity using the power of play.


Dr. Gaia Rancati Joins Allegheny’s Center for Business & Economics

Dr. Gaia Rancati

This year the Allegheny College Center for Business & Economics welcomes Dr. Gaia Rancati to Quigley Hall where she will teach Principles of Marketing and Business & Managerial Economics during the fall semester.

Dr. Rancati is an experienced trainer and coach in both sales and customer experience specializing in retail, sales, team building, and management.  She earned her Ph.D. in Marketing and Neuroeconomics as well as a Bachelor in Marketing from IULM University, and a Master of Leadership and Management from Il Sole 24ORE Business School in Milan, Italy.

Dr. Rancati is a sought-after researcher and speaker in the field of neuromarketing where she applies the science of neuroeconomics for improving customer experience in the retail field with a focus on service encounters, sales transformation and artificial intelligence.

As an integral part of Allegheny’s Business and Business Economics programs, advanced marketing courses will be offered during the second semester.


The Allegheny Wealth Management Club Seeks Students Who Want to Master Personal Finance


Under the guidance of Professor Michael Michaelides, students Rafael Balanquet ’20, Club President, and Trevor Day ’20, Vice President, have organized the department’s first wealth Management Club designed to give students a collaborative environment in which they can openly discuss and learn about topics relating to personal finance. The club will invite guest speakers, use simulations, and perform individual research in order to educate members about personal finance topics and how get a head start on managing their own money.

According to Balanquet, “While the club still is in an infant stage, we would like to insure that it continues to bring in students who are interested in learning about these topics in a rather relaxed environment. For this reason, we would like to have past executives and members alike to invest time into helping later generations of students through both alumni relationships with future employers, along with assistance in the actual club atmosphere itself. This will help develop topics and standards the club should abide by in order to get our aspiring financially conscious students a path in the right direction.”

There are no requirements for students to join the club other than a genuine interest in personal finance.  The students have created an ambitious agenda to attack during the school year.  Here is a small sample:

  • Each student will “adopt a company” in other words, pick a company, in whichever industry they like, and consistently provide up-to-date analysis of their company, such as news, public offerings, stock price changes, different business deals, etc. This will also include the key information on their most recent earnings call for the respective fiscal quarter.
  • “Index Watch” – Students in teams of two look at a certain index and report on the change in trading price and basis points each week.
  • Students can participate in a Mock Stock Market Game on the club website.
  • Students will learn how to perform a technical analysis to determine buy/sell states in securities
  • The group will conduct discussions of recent news stories relating to the economy.
  • The club members will reach out to alumni and external speakers to understand some of the more specific occupations in finance, such as CFP and CFA, and the process of them getting their designation (or pursuing) and their day to day activities and advice for the job market.

More information will be available at the beginning of fall semester, however students and alumni that would like to participate can email for more information.

Economics Students Present Award Winning Senior Projects

2019 Allegheny College Economics students in the Federal Bank of Cleveland Undergraduate Research Poster Competition
2019 Participants in the Federal Bank of Cleveland Undergraduate Research Poster Competition – from left: Jonathan “Jack” Goodman, Professor Russ Ormiston, Griffin Sullivan, David Perez

Seniors Jack Goodman, Griffin Sullivan and David Perez presented their senior comps during an undergraduate research poster competition at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland on May 3, 2019. 

All three students represented Allegheny College and themselves extremely well with work that matched up favorably with the very best posters at the event.  Jack Goodman won second place in the economics division with his senior project entitled, “An Analysis on the Effect of Trade Liberalization on Income Inequality.”

Griffin Sullivan, selected as a Keynote in the Allegheny College 2019 Scholars Symposium presented “The Effect of a Female CEO on Firm Profitability of Fortune 500 Companies,” and David Perez presented “The Effects of Foreclosure on Home Values for Real Estate Throughout the United States of America.”

According to Professor Ormiston, “Our students and those from Case Western and Washington & Jefferson were generally among the best in show in the economics division. Very good company to keep. ”

The following is the complete Economics Senior Projects Honors list for the 2018/2019 school year:

  • Colten Buzard, “Network-Based Operating Structures: Capturing Competitive Advantage through Business Model Innovation.”
  • Maria DiDonato,   “Factors Influencing Access to HIV Medication in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
  • Jonathan Goodman, “An Analysis on the Effect of Trade Liberalization on Income Inequality.”
  • Johnathan Miller, “Innovation in the Indian Pharmaceutical Market Post-2005.”
  • Patrick Palad, “ Impact of Minimum Wage Policy on Employment: An Agent Based Approach”
  • Nicholas Rumzie, “Cost Benefit Analysis of Zebra and Quagga Mussels in The Lower Colorado Region.”
  • Erblin Shehu, “Unit-Based Pricing Waste System to Increase Recycling and Reduce Waste.”
  • Jonathan Sion, “Competitive Balance in the Top European Soccer Leagues with an Emphasis on the English Premier League.”
  • Griffin Sullivan, “The Effect of a Female CEO on Firm Profitability of Fortune 500 Companies.”
  • Meghan Uht, “Do adverse childhood experiences affect risky decision-making in young adults?

Two Teams Tie for First Place in Annual Zingale Big Idea Competition

2019 Zingale Big Idea Competition winners
2019 Zingale Big Competition Winners (from left) Christopher Miller, Natalia Buczek, and Christian Walker with Entrepreneur in Residence and Center for Business and Economics Co-director Chris Allison

Two teams of Allegheny College students tied for first place at the Annual Zingale Big Idea Competition, a funding presentation contest sponsored by the college’s Center for Business and Economics. On April 26–27, student teams from Allegheny, Grove City College, James Madison University and Westminster College presented concepts in three areas: for-profit business, non-profit business and hybrid social venture.

This year’s winners are:

First Place (Tie)
$6,000 for each team

Natalia Buczek and Christopher Miller (Allegheny College)
Aid Memoir, a communication app and website for patients with verbal and memory impairments and their caregivers.

Christian Walker (Allegheny College)
animatr, a streetwear company that changes the negative narrative surrounding fans of Japanese art/animation.

Second Place

Daniella Clarke (Allegheny College)
Fit Me, a food truck and home delivery service dedicated to providing healthier meal options.

Third Place

Mark Sotomayor and Ethan Harvey (Grove City College)
Acceptum, an app that automatically collects and stores receipts in a digital database to alleviate the need for paper receipts.

Honorable Mentions

Abraham Duncan (Allegheny College)
Never Go Hungry, created to bring awareness the glaring issue of hungry kids living on college campuses as well as promote individual achievements and helping the community as a whole.

Doug Salah
MSH, a brand/lifestyle that celebrates each person’s individuality.

Read more about this year’s Zingale Big Idea Competition in this Meadville Tribune article, App, clothing proposals win Big Idea Competition.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny Senior Values Lifelong Skills and Friendships She Developed at College

Meghan Uht arrived at Allegheny College four years ago with her sights set on developing solid friendships and honing her athletic abilities and academic skills so that they would serve her well for the rest of her life. She believes she has met those objectives and then some.

Uht, a graduating senior from Erie, Pennsylvania, will be moving to Pittsburgh soon after the May 11 Commencement and will begin work at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).

“I’ll be part of the Finance Management Rotational Program, which is a three-year leadership-development program, and each year I will rotate to another area of finance or accounting,” Uht proudly says.

Uht will graduate as an economics and neuroscience double major. “Neuroscience and economics may seem like an extreme unusual combination, but they’re more connected than you would think,” she says. “I’m lucky I found a job that involves finance, so I can use my science knowledge to help fill the gap between health care and business at UPMC.”

Uht is a member of Alpha Chi Omega, serving on the executive board for two years. She is a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the economics honor society, and Chi Alpha Sigma, the student-athlete honor society. She played volleyball for four years and served as the captain in her senior year.

The volleyball team went through several coaching changes during Uht’s playing career, including the passing of longtime coach Bridget Sheehan in 2017. “I learned how to be a leader while supporting my teammates through some challenging times,” she said.

Community service also has played a role in Uht’s development. “Being able to work with the incredible people at Women’s Services in Meadville has been so rewarding,” she says. “Getting to do hands-on work at the shelter such as gardening, wrapping presents and organizing fund-raising events on campus has been awesome.”

The highlight of her Allegheny experience, Uht says, is the friends she has made. “I’ve made lifelong friends through my sorority, the athletic community, and in my classes. Along with friendships I’ve made, the professional relationships I’ve made with professors and alumni have been incredible.”

Although her home is not far from Allegheny, she said she was sold on the College immediately. “Allegheny was the only campus I could picture myself at,” Uht says. “I wanted to be involved in as much as I could in college, and Allegheny is where I knew I could do that.

“I would tell first-year students to take advantage of all of the opportunities that Allegheny gives you,” says Uht. “Also, take classes out of your comfort zone. You’ll leave Allegheny a well-rounded person because of it.”

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny College Center for Business and Economics To Host Annual Zingale Big Idea Competition

The Center for Business and Economics at Allegheny College will hold its Annual Zingale Big Idea Competition April 26–27 in Quigley Hall on the Allegheny campus. The funding-request presentation contest emulates the experiences seen on the popular ABC and CNBC broadcast “Shark Tank.” The public is invited to attend the final round of presentations on Saturday, April 27, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by the final award ceremony at 2:30 p.m.

Students will present entrepreneurial concepts with the chance to receive funding through cash prizes. The ideas must fit into one of four areas: For-profit Business, Not-for-profit Social Venture, Research Project, or Community Engagement Initiative. Students work in teams and design 20-minute presentations for their ideas, which they present at the competition.

The first-place team will receive a $5,000 cash prize. In total, $10,000 in prizes and trophies will be awarded, with the first-, second- and third-place teams receiving trophies, monetary prizes and honorable mentions.

Some Allegheny students have repurposed their Junior Seminar or Senior Comp projects, or have taken the Economics of Entrepreneurship II class, to prepare for this competition. This year, there are 26 teams of one to three students each. Nineteen of the teams are from Allegheny, and teams from Grove City College, James Madison University and Westminster College also plan to participate.

Chris Allison, Natalia Buczek and Lance Zingale at the 2018 Zingale Big Idea Competition, where Buczek won a $1,000 “Next Big Idea” award.

Allegheny senior Natalia Buczek is returning to the competition this year after winning a $1,000 “Next Big Idea” award last year for the proposal showing the most promise for further development. Buczek’s big idea is Aid Memoir, a smartphone app to assist people with memory loss or verbal impairments.

Buczek said that Chris Allison, entrepreneur in residence in the Allegheny Economics Department, advised students preparing for the competition to think of ideas that would help ease the daily struggles of people. Buczek thought of the challenges faced by her father, who was diagnosed with a form of dementia, and how he often would write in a notepad to help remember information.

Buczek initially sought to make that notetaking process easier but soon expanded her vision. The app will not only allow individuals to record important information but also help caregivers by providing instructions, such as their clients’ preferences and schedules.

“For me, this doesn’t just stop at the competition,” Buczek said. “I see this becoming a useful app in the medical world.”

A studio art major and psychology minor, Buczek said she didn’t have any background in business prior to last year’s Zingale Big Idea Competition. “The whole experience has really taught me how passionate I am about the business world,” she said.

Buczek added that she is looking forward to showing the judges the progress she has made during the past year. She is working with Chris Miller, a fellow Allegheny student, to develop the app. Allison also has helped Buczek arrange meetings with medical professionals who have provided valuable feedback on her plans.

Allison and Sarah Holt are co-coordinators of the Zingale Big Idea Competition, which was renamed in 2017 in honor of 1977 Allegheny graduate Lance Zingale and his wife, Karen. The Zingales made a gift to establish a $500,000 endowed fund supporting the Center for Business and Economics. Lance Zingale has served as a judge at the competition for the last five years and is a member of the center’s Board of Visitors.

This year’s competition will be judged by a panel of 14 accomplished professionals, 10 of whom are Allegheny alumni. For more information about the Zingale Big Idea Competition, visit the Center for Business and Economics website.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Board of Visitors Mini Conference & 18th Executive Roundtable

The Allegheny Community and students of all interests are invited to attend two special events hosted by the Center for Business and Economics:

Board of Visitors Mini – Conference
April 8, 2019 | 9:00 am – noon
Quigley, 2nd floor, various classrooms

The Board of Visitors is an advisory body for the Center for Business and Economics.  The Board of Visitors advisory group is a powerful asset for students and faculty alike.  This year’s event includes the following sessions, followed by refreshments and networking opportunities with our visiting executives.

All three sessions run concurrently with session #1 from 9:00 – 9:50 am, and session #2 from 10:00 am – 10:50 am. Beginning at 11:00 am, there will be refreshments & networking with the visiting Board of Visitors members until noon.

  • Managing a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace, Room 215
  • Graduate School — When, Where and How, Room 217
  • Leveraging your Comp & Extracurricular Activities to get your First Job, Room 220

The 2019 visiting Board Members in attendance for both conference topics and networking include:

  • Jennifer Daurora ’99, Trustee, former Chief of Operations, McGinnis Sisters Specialty Foods
  • Mark Hanson ’83, Senior Vice President, Freddie Mac Securitization Division
  • Terry Hartford ’81, Trustee, Vice President, ATI Defense
  • Sean Mathis ’65, Founding Partner, New Centuropm Capital Partners
  • Devone McLeod ’13, Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Reby Advisors
  • Samuel Moss, Doctor of Letters, Allegheny College, Senior Director of Finance, CF Foundation
  • Evelyn Pendleton ’87, Vice President, PA Market Chief Financial Officer & Coach of the Mid-Atlantic Territory for Aetna, a CVS Company
  • Roger Tufts ’76, Director, Policy Analysis Division, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, U. S. Treasury
  • Don Belt ’93, President, Hefren-Tillotson
  • Jim Spaulding ’80, Sr. Vice President and General Counsel (retired), Vanguard Health Systems, Inc.
  • Kyle O’Connor ’03, Sr. Vice President of Corporate Development at TriState Capital

Business Culture and the #MeToo Movement
April 8, 2019 | 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Ford Memorial Chapel, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA

The Center for Business and Economics proudly presents the 18th Executive Roundtable on a critical topic of national interest.  Our goal is to provide our local community with a thoughtful, balanced inquiry into the important questions of our time.

What started as a simple phrase of support for survivors of sexual assault in 2006 has evolved into the viral #MeToo movement that has shone a spotlight on the culture of sexual harassment in some American workplaces. Sexist comments, unwanted sexual advances, and demands for sexual favors have contributed to a culture in which both women and men report lost work opportunities, reductions in income, demotions, and other forms of career impairment. In this roundtable, a group of experts will discuss the #MeToo movement and its impacts on the future of business, jobs, and careers.

This year’s panel of business leaders include:

Jennifer Daurora ’99 (Moderator) is an experienced executive leader, community builder and entrepreneur. As the former Chief of Operations of McGinnis Sisters Special Foods Stores, Ms. Daurora has deep experience in executive leadership, entrepreneurship, strategic planning, open book management, nonprofit management and governance, relationship management, data analysis, employee and community engagement. Ms. Daurora earned her BA in Economics at Allegheny College.

Sarah (Webster) Quinn, Attorney, Steptoe-Johnson focuses her practice in the area of energy (coal, oil and gas) and transactions throughout the Appalachian Basin. Mrs. Quinn also counsels higher education clients regarding workplace harassment, mental health issues, overtime regulations, transgender issues and Title IX. In addition, she helps institutions of higher education develop solutions for novel challenges both on and off campus. Ms. Quinn earned her BA in International Politics and Political Science at Westminster College and her JD at Ohio Northern University.

Mark Hanson ’83 is the Senior Vice President of Freddie Mac’s Securitization Division. In this role, he oversees Freddie Mac’s mortgage securitization efforts, including pass-thru, REMIC and strip issuance. He currently serves as the Executive Sponsor of Freddie Mac’s Women’s Network. Mr. Hanson earned his BS in Economics at Allegheny College and his MBA from the University of Rochester.

Karen Ubelhart ’77 is a senior analyst at Bloomberg. Ms. Ubelhart has covered the industrial sector for more than 30 years. Her time in the industry includes roles as the Managing Director at Lehman Brothers, a sector portfolio manager and analyst at Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, and an analyst at Oppenheimer. During her tenure Ms. Ubelhart has been ranked by both Institutional Investor and Greenwich Associates polls and has been a winner of Wall Street Journal’s Stock Picking Award. Ms. Ubelhart earned her BS in Economics at Allegheny College and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Learn more at

The Board of Visitors and Executive Roundtable programs are supported by the Earl W. Adams, Jr. Endowment, established by Allegheny College Trustee William H. Brown, Jr., Allegheny Class of 1980, in honor of Professor Emeritus Earl William Adams, Jr.  – teacher, mentor and friend.

#OneYearOut with Kyle O’Connell ’18

This interview is one of a series of interviews conducted by the Center for Business and Economics Fellows with recent Business & Economics graduates about life after graduation.

This interview was conducted during the Fall 2018 semester by CBE Fellow, Troy Elphinstone ’19 with recent graduate, Kyle O’Connell  ’18.

Troy: Where are you’re currently employed— How did you hear about this position?

Kyle O'Connell
Kyle O’Connell ’18

Kyle: Currently, I am employed at Highmark Health where I am part of the Leadership Acceleration Program. I heard about the position after speaking with Highmark at the West Pacs career fair.

Troy:  What do you do on a day to day basis?

Kyle: For the Leadership Acceleration Program, I rotate through four different areas of the company every six months, so my day to day will change. In my current rotation, I work on the Highmark Health Innovation Team where I’m tasked with both creating and implementing innovative ideas. These ideas typically address an existing problem within our organization/health care or attempt to revolutionize the industry in the future.

I’m currently leading a few major projects as well as a couple minor ones, so my days tend to vary. As an example, one day I might spend 4 hours out at one of our hospitals meeting with patients and clinicians followed by a 2 hour meeting to consolidate the information we found. On a different day, I might present the results or findings of a project to one of our senior leaders in the morning, meet with my team and other leaders around lunch, and then finish the afternoon with more heads down/individual work.
To summarize it briefly…No two days are the same.

Troy:  How did Allegheny help prepare you for your current job?

Kyle: In my experience, people tend to question the value of an Economics/liberal arts degree due to its lack of specificity. While I’m yet to draw a MC curve (or any curve at that), Allegheny taught me more advanced skills that have allowed me to adapt in unfamiliar territory. I would say the “big two” I learned are critical thinking and business mindedness. I’m able to tackle projects and think through business processes that address some of the greatest challenges in healthcare—a skill people with more concentrated backgrounds seem to lack. There’s that saying out there about giving a man a fish versus teaching a man to fish—Allegheny provides you with the right tools to succeed even with limited experience.

Troy: What advice would you give to current Allegheny students?

Kyle: Find the thing or experience that separates yourself from others and use that as a major selling point. Put things in real terms—tell people what they need to hear and not what they want to hear. Constantly evaluate yourself and your work to determine if value is actually being created. Don’t be afraid to question ‘why’ because the status quo isn’t always the right way to do things.

#OneYearOut with Joe Wesolowski ’18

This interview is one of a series conducted by the Center for Business and Economics Fellows with recent Business & Economics graduates about life after graduation.

Joe Wesolowski '18
Joe Wesolowski ’18

This interview was conducted during the Spring 2019 semester by CBE Fellow, Troy Elphinstone ’19 with recent graduate, Joe Wesolowski ’18.

Troy:   Where are you currently employed? — How did you hear about this position?

Joe: I am currently employed by Crown Castle International. Crown Castle is a management, consulting, real estate, infrastructure, and technology company specifically for firms in the wireless communication and emerging technologies space. I interned for Crown in the summer of 2017 and had the opportunity to come back for a full time position. I found Crown Castle through some mutual connections formed at Allegheny and some general networking prior to the internship.

Troy:  What do you do on a day to day basis?

Joe: I work on the Area Finance team for the Mid-West Area of the company. Each Area Financial Analyst is responsible for a certain line of business within the company (ie. Real Estate, Operations, etc). The goal is to support that line of business within each major city/office hub for the area by preparing beginning and end of quarter/year budgets, projections, forecasts, and any other financial planning for the group. Managers or Team/Project leads will come to the team for advisement on their big data projects or recurring issues/situations that may arise during the work day. We offer up assistance and provide feedback for their various projects/issues.

Troy: How did Allegheny help prepare you for your current job?

Joe: Allegheny does an outstanding job establishing their student’s theoretical foundations, but the greatest tool Allegheny drills into their student’s repertoire is communication and problem solving skills. Post grad Allegheny students will find out quickly that they are very well equipped to be an adaptable employee for any company they go and work for. Allegheny provides the refinement of skills that a lot of other young post grads do not have. Allegheny also provides a vast network of alumni and connections that want to help and see students succeed, so it can give you a leg up in an organization building those connections.

Troy: What advice would you give to current Allegheny students?

Joe: My advice for current Allegheny students is to absorb every opportunity that can help you grow as a person and a young professional. Do not take the small events for granted. If the department puts on a career talk or a skills building event, go to it. Also, do not be afraid to put yourself out there during your job search process. Utilize the department and the career education office, but do not be afraid to send out emails to alumni yourself. Put yourself out there and build your network as much as you can during your four years at Allegheny.