News & Updates

Ryan Clydesdale ’20 Wins the Prestigious Cornerstones Summer Analyst position

Ryan Clydesdale ’20 Wins the Prestigious Cornerstones Summer Analyst positionMathematics major with a double minor in Economics and Chemistry, Ryan Clydesdale ’20, was awarded the prestigious Cornerstone Research summer internship experience.  According to Clydesdale, “and I had a great ten weeks as a Summer Analyst at Cornerstone Research. From gaining an understanding of the daily workflow of economic and litigation consulting, to acquiring some of the skills that come along with the job, and developing as a professional in general, I benefited immensely from this experience. I am now comfortable with coding in multiple programming languages, using Microsoft Office at a more sophisticated level, and collaborating with others to function as a productive member of a project team.”

Navigating the Application Process

To apply for this position, Ryan submitted his resume, transcript, and a cover letter to Cornerstone through Allegheny’s Career Education office. He was then called back for a phone interview, where he further discussed his interest and qualifications. The next step was a Skype interview, where he took part in two mock case studies. During the latter he was given background information on mock cases and the interviewers asked questions about his approach to investigation and analysis. As part of the process, Ryan was interviewed by multiple Cornerstone employees at various levels of management.

Cornerstone Research

Cornerstone Research is a leading economic and financial consulting firm specializing in the analysis of complex economic, financial, accounting, and marketing issues that arise in the context of various kinds of litigation. Cornerstone Research has 700 staff and offices in Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Washington.

Cornerstone Research values the professional growth of its summer analysts and recognizes their contributions to clients and the firm. Consequently, many summer analysts choose to join Cornerstone Research full-time upon graduation. The analytical depth of assignments, the breadth of industry exposure, and experience working in case teams offer outstanding preparation for analysts applying to top graduate programs in business, economics, and law, and for ensuing careers in consulting, finance industry, and academia.

Allegheny College is grateful for the many opportunities extended to our students by Cornerstone Research and their continued support of undergraduate experiential learning. The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business & Economics works in partnership with  Allegheny Career Education to mentor students on how to locate and apply for internships, secure housing and apply for funding sources to defray costs.

Tech Intern Jerfenson Cerda Mejia ’20 Excels at Startup

Jerfenson Cerda Mejia
Jerfenson Cerda Mejia (third from the left) standing with Arin CEO, VP and Lead Software developer

Jerfenson Cerda Mejia ’20 Computer Science Major, Economics minor interned this summer at Arin, a technology startup in Pittsburgh that builds solutions for industry 4.0 by providing location awareness capabilities to vast networks of sensor, machines and workers.

What is it like to work in a technology startup?

Accord to Mejia, “I was a business and marketing associate intern. The overall experience was amazing. Since it was a startup, there were many things to do. I helped generate leads to help the company find potential distributors to sell their product. From the leads I generated, the startup is currently in talks with 5 of them to sign on as distributors. I redesigned and reworked their websites and worked on search engine optimization. I created a marketing plan and gathered content to post on their social networks. The internship was a great experience because the work I was doing was really helping the company.”

Benefits of Student Internships at a Startup

According to Forbes, “If you’re a particularly entrepreneurial student—you like to problem solve, ask questions, and work in a more flexible environment—then an internship at a startup may be of real benefit to you. Any student with entrepreneurial interest should seriously consider working at a startup for a summer during college. You’ll have more flexibility than you would in a large company. It will also move faster, and you’ll have more exposure to real problems.”

Entrepreneurship @Allegheny College

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics offers beginning and advanced studies in microeconomics and entrepreneurship.  Students are inspired to experience entrepreneurship by participating in the Zingale Big Idea Competition in April, a funding request presentation contest where student teams propose business models for profit, non-profit or social venture companies. The contest emulates the experiences seen on the popular CNBC broadcast, Shark Tank. Unlike Shark Tank, the Zingale Big Idea distinguished panel of judges do more than evaluate the student team’s business models – they offer constructive feedback, coach and encourage students. Students are welcome to take classes, workshops and discuss ideas with Entrepreneur in Residence, Chris Allison ’83.


Meet Dr. Kathryn Bender, Professor of Environmental Economics

Dr. Kathryn Bender, Professor of Environmental EconomicsThe field of Economics is filled with a wide variety of sub-disciplines, one of the most fascinating is Environmental Economics – the area of economics dealing with the relationship between the economy and the environment. Dr. Bender joins the Allegheny College Center for Business and Economics this fall to help students discover the economics of natural resources.

Dr. Bender commented, “I’m excited to start at Allegheny this fall! I’m involved in several projects on consumer food waste behavior and hopes to find new avenues to explore at Allegheny around this topic.”

Dr. Bender earned a Ph.D. in Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics from The Ohio State University. Dr. Bender’s research interests are in the area of agricultural, environmental, and development economics. Dr. Bender’s dissertation, “Date Labels and Food Waste: A study of the effect of label characteristics on food waste in the United States,” studies the confluence of environmental science, economics, and marketing in the food distribution ecosystem in the United States. She is also interested in exploring the effect of feminine hygiene programs in developing countries on the environment along with women’s empowerment, health, and education.

In her free time, Dr. Bender enjoys playing soccer, riding horses, and hanging out with her two dogs, Huck and Nala.

Experiencing Ethiopia’s Encounters with Globalization, Sustainability, and Empowerment

Dr. Onyeiwu with students visiting the African Union. The imposing and magnificent building in the background was donated by the Chinese government to the African Union.
Dr. Onyeiwu with students visiting the African Union. The imposing and magnificent building in the background was donated by the Chinese government to the African Union.


Globalization, Sustainability, and Empowerment:
A Case Study of Ethiopia

From May 14 to June 1 this summer, Professor Steve Onyeiwu, Economics Department Chair and Lucinda Morgan, the Director of International Education, led a group of Allegheny students to Ethiopia in eastern Africa.

This EL experience, entitled “Globalization, Sustainability, and Empowerment: A Case Study of Ethiopia,” was an exploration of how Ethiopia has developed from a state-controlled economy in the 1980s and 1990s to impressive economic growth rates in the past decade. Regarded as one of Africa’s success stories, Ethiopia has done so on the basis of an agricultural development strategy, rather than on reliance on minerals.

The pre-departure sessions and site visits in Ethiopia enabled students to observe and consider the impact of economic growth. What did the group discover?  Professor Onyeiwu shared these reflections:

Has economic growth been inclusive and poverty-alleviating? “We were shocked to observe how inequitable Ethiopia’s spectacular economic growth has been. The capital city, Addis Ababa, has many exquisite hotels, restaurants, and mansions. The roads in the city are replete with expensive imported cars. But driving about 30 miles outside of the city, one is confronted with abject poverty, and a lack of basic amenities (decent housing, schools, health centers, clean water, etc.).

Has growth empowered women and youth?  “Women and youths are the most marginalized groups in Ethiopia. Women have limited access to education, and their roles are seen as primarily focused on child-bearing and work in the agricultural sector. Ethiopian youths lack employment opportunities. We met some youths with college degrees who were having difficulties finding jobs. Many youths with education have resorted to doing menial jobs that are unsuited to their skills and training.”

 Is Ethiopia’s economic performance sustainable? “Ethiopia has done well with the development of agro-processing firms, from wineries to meat processing, cut flowers, leather products and handcrafts. Environmental students in our group also observed evidence of significant loss of biodiversity in Ethiopia. Thus, the sustainability of Ethiopia’s economic growth is very contentious.”

Experiential Learning Seminars (ELs) are short-term, faculty-led courses conducted in partnership with the International Education Office in the Allegheny Gateway to help students gain real-world experiences to achieve their ultimate career and life goals.


Summer Research Project Supports Local Community

Altay Baskan, sitting in the center with the Cambridge Springs, PA Borough Board Members after the July 15th presentation.
Altay Baskan, sitting in the center with the Cambridge Springs, PA Borough Council Members after the July 15th presentation.

This summer, Allegheny business student Altay Baskan ’20 participated in the Gateway Network program as a student researcher working on behalf of the Mayor’s office of the Borough of Cambridge Springs, PA to support and research possible methods that can be utilized by the Borough to increase and expand business development in the community. Baskan presented  a five point strategy for the borough to achieve their goals and begin to build a Master Plan for each step of the journey at their July 15, 2019 Board meeting.

Cambridge Springs Mayor Randy Gorske commented, “As Mayor of the Borough of Cambridge Springs, working with Allegheny College has provided me with a youthful sounding board dedicated to assisting in the plan to revitalize the community. The research generated ideas crucial to the creation of a master plan for the borough.”

The Gateway Network organizes summer project opportunities for student-faculty partnerships with local organizations. This program serves supports students working on research projects requested by community partners. Faculty and students selected for the program benefit from all summer URSCA programming, including the ACRoSS lunch series and the Reach ACRoSS professional development workshops.

Special thanks to Mayor Gorske, Sandy Pude, Borough Manager, and the entire Borough Council along with the Office of Civic Engagement in the Allegheny College Gateway. Beth Ryan, Program Coordinator for the Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics, served as staff liaison for the Cambridge Springs project.

Gator Intern Trio Trevor Day ’20, Brendon Urso ’20 and Taylor Renk ’20 @Hefren-Tillotson

Hefren-Tillotson 2019 Summer InternsThis summer three Economics students are working for Hefren-Tillotson in their summer internship program.  Trevor Day ’20, Brendon Urso ’20 and Taylor Renk ’20 are among the student group attending a presentation by the Investment Advisory Team where they learned about the different ways the company looks at investment opportunities.

According to CBE Fellow Trevor Day, “Hefren-Tillotson is a great place to intern for a summer because they encourage you to find projects that interest you. Hefren-Tillotson always encourages you to find a learning opportunity.”

Hefren-Tillotson is home to many Allegheny College alumni, and actively supports Allegheny students and programs.  Today, with over $12 billion in client assets, Hefren-Tillotson is one of the oldest and largest full-service wealth management firms headquartered in Western Pennsylvania. They were recently named among the “Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania” by the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Our special thanks to Kim Tillotson Fleming, Chairman and CEO of Hefren-Tillotson, 2017 Executive in Residence, and Don Belt ’93 Hefren-Tillotson President, for their continued service and support of Allegheny students.


New for 2019! The Financial Literacy Challenge Inaugural Event

The Financial Literacy Challenge Inaugural Event will be held on Saturday, December 7

The Financial Literacy Challenge, hosted by the Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business & Economics, will be an intercollegiate competition in which students develop and present a personal financial budget and investing plan appropriate for a recent college graduate. There will be $5,000 in prizes and trophies awarded to student winners.

How it works

The competition will be open to all Allegheny students, however participation in the challenge will be a mandatory assignment for students taking ECON 010 – Financial Literacy.  Each student or student team will give a 15 minute presentation which will contain:

  • A personal budget that addresses a likely salary that will include tax withholding and monthly and annual living expenses for a recent college graduate,
  • The impact of the rate of inflation,
  • An investment strategy that shows an understanding of the return characteristics of different asset classes,
  • An asset allocation that fits the student’s age as well as investment objectives,
  • A rationale of why the students chose their specific investments,
  • A growth profile that shows expected asset growth in 5, 10, 15 & 20 years.

A panel of six judges consisting of Allegheny alumni and local investment professionals experienced in wealth management will be assembled to serve as judges.

Students can look forward to more information when they return in the fall, alumni and friends of the college can feel free to email

#gatorsintheworkforce: Emma Black ’20

Emma Black '20
Emma Black ’20

Emma Black ’20 is on the job in Pittsburgh with UPMC in their Finance Summer Associates program.  Emma is an Economics major and German minor, a CBE Fellow, chief executive officer of the Mu chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta and an Alden Scholar. 

The Summer Associate position is a fantastic opportunity for Allegheny students to live and work in Pittsburgh – We think the view from Emma’s office is amazing! 

The UPMC Summer Associates program is designed for junior and senior undergraduate students offering a variety of programs in divisions such as Corporate, Insurance, Health Services, and UPMC Enterprises.

Emma’s view of Pittsburgh from her office window

The UPMC Summer Associates Program is a unique opportunity for students to gain practical experience in their respective fields of interest and provides exposure to real-world business opportunities. The program emphasizes professional development, networking, and community service.

Allegheny College welcomes UPMC to campus annually where students learn first-hand about internship and job opportunities.  Support for safe housing for students living away from home is offered through the Allegheny Gateway Career Services and the Economics Department.

#gatorsintheworkforce, #womenineconomics #summerinternship

Allegheny Graduate Tackles Marketing, Medical Assignments

Recent Allegheny College graduate Natalia Buczek finds herself taking her first career steps with one foot in the marketing world and the other foot in the medical field.

Buczek, an Erie native who graduated in May 2019, has started her full-time job as a project coordinator handling client concerns and overseeing marketing tasks at the Pipitone Group in Pittsburgh.

Natalia Buczek, a 2019 Allegheny graduate, is working in marketing and developing an app for patients with verbal and memory impairments.

“In my free time, however, I will be continuing with my research and development for my communications app called Aid Memoir with professionals from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center,” Buczek says. “I cannot wait to be working with both teams to further my knowledge in marketing for my job as well as the medical world for my app.”

Buczek was on the co-winning team in Allegheny’s 2019 Zingale Big Idea Competition for her app, Aid Memoir, a communication app and website for patients with verbal and memory impairments and their caregivers. Her partner in the co-winning project, fellow graduate Christopher Miller, provided technical expertise for the application, she says.

“Starting this project was difficult because it was inspired by my father’s disease, Frontotemporal Degeneration (a form of dementia), but my passion to help him and millions of others with similar conditions is what made me strive to achieve it,” says Buczek.

“Natalia’s experiences epitomize the liberal arts experience when it works well, which it does so often at Allegheny,” said Chris Allison, entrepreneur in residence in the College’s Economics Department. “Here you have a studio art major, who as a result of taking elective courses, created a software application that is close to marketability. She channeled the design sensibilities that she learned through her art major and commercialized them using what she learned in her entrepreneurship classes. Then she explained what she learned to a prospective employer and secured a job in one of the most creative marketing firms in the country. Pretty brilliant.”

Buczek, who also was a psychology minor, says she spent three valuable years as an art gallery assistant for the Art Department. “I cannot express just how rewarding the experience was for me. From helping curate exhibitions to meeting the visiting artists, it helped shape me professionally as well as show me a passion for curating that I didn’t know I had,” she says.

Buczek credits Ian F. Thomas, assistant professor of ceramics and sculpture, with helping her bridge the gap between her art and developing a computer application. “He opened my eyes to not only the technical possibilities in my work but also encouraged the confidence in myself as an artist,” she says.

Buczek also was a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, spending some time as its director of standards and ethics and helping to raise awareness and support for Ronald McDonald House Charities. She also volunteered at the Meadville Soup Kitchen. “I wanted to be able to use my time outside of academics to help others,” she says.

“From my experience at Allegheny, I learned to always follow your passions even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone,” says Buczek. “You are not a number at this school, you are a member of the family. Embrace that.”

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

#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.