Gator Day Student Panel, “Things We Wish We Knew 4 Years Ago”

Celebrate Gator Day with the CBE Fellows!

All are welcome to enjoy light refreshments and attend a special panel presentation by the CBE Fellows who will offer their experience and tips for taking advantage of the many opportunities Allegheny offers to help students to grow into their interests.

The Fellows will share their experiences of learning where to go and who to connect with to take the best advantage of internship opportunities, study away, Greek life and all of experiences available to students at Allegheny.

There are student presentations in the Quigley Hall lobby after the panel describing various summer internship experiences with students on hand to explain the “how to” of  discovering their ideal experiential learning experience.



Entrepreneurship, Technology and Graduate School

Steve Suchora '10


Steve Suchora ’10

Steve Suchora ‘10 will share how his economics education combined with the practical experience he gained from participating in the Gator Innovation Challenge, now known as the Zingale Big Idea Competition, inspired him to start a business and pursue a Master of Information Systems Management degree at Carnegie Mellon University.

Attend this event to learn how this path led him to his current role as a Software Quality Engineer for Confluence Technologies.

A Really Big Idea: Calc-Tech LLC

Steve created an app designed to help students improve their score on standardized tests. His company, Calc-Tech, helps students to achieve higher scores college entrance exams such as the SAT test in the college admissions process to enable them to get into their school of choice using the SAT Operating System.

How it works

Calc-Tech’s SAT Operating System (SAT_OS) is an SAT calculator program that you can purchase for $14.95 and transfer to your Texas Instruments graphing calculator using your Windows or Mac computer. The program contains a set of math functions that you can use during the SAT test to work the math problems faster and with better accuracy. To date, there are over 20,000 users of the SAT Operating System.

The use of this software is permitted under the The College Board’s official Calculator Policy.

Learn more at



CBE Lunchtime Learning: “What’s Our U.S. Economic Future?”

All are welcome to a special presentation by noted economist, Norman Robertson, titled, What’s Our U.S. Economic Future?  This special CBE Lunchtime Learning will take place on Wednesday, October 3, 12:15 – 1:30 pm in Quigley auditorium.  Come early, enjoy pizza, and take advantage of the opportunity to hear a professional analysis of the U.S. economy.

Norman Robertson

For 20 years, Robertson was the chief economist at Mellon Bank and was a member of its Senior Management Committee. He also served as an economic adviser for Smithfield Trust Company and was a consulting economist and an Adjunct Professor of Economics at Carnegie Mellon University. A native of London, Robertson studied at the London School of Economics and is a graduate of the University of London. His presentations and written commentaries on economic issues have been widely reported in national, regional and local news.

Welcome 2018/2019 Center for Business and Economics Fellows!

2018/2019 CBE Fellows
2018/2019 CBE Fellows, from left: Trevor Day ’20, Carlos Sanchez ’20, Troy Elphinstone ’19, Jack Goodman ’19, Emma Black ’20

This year the Economics Department welcomed our returning Fellow, Troy Elphinstone ’19 and new Fellows Jack Goodman ’19, Trevor Day ’20, Carlos Sanchez ’20 and Emma Black ’20.  These students are already at work bringing their energy and voice to the Center for Business and Economics activities.


Click here to learn more about our Fellows program.

Hot Cash: Why Saving The Planet Is All About Making Money

Jeffrey Ball, "Hot Cash: Why Saving the Planet Is All About Making Money"

The Allegheny Center for Business and Economics in partnership with the Law & Policy Program will present a special Lunchtime Learning event on September 26, from noon until 1:30 pm in the Tillotson Room, Tippie Alumni Center, entitled Hot Cash: Why Saving the Planet Is All About Making Money presented by award-winning writer, Jeffrey Ball.

Mr. Ball will be on the Allegheny campus to team teach a Law & Policy short course entitled, A Comprehensive Approach to the Future of Energy Policy among other appearances, and will take this opportunity to focus on the economics of creating sustainable solutions that benefit both the environment and the economy.  All are welcome to attend this special lunchtime event and learn more about the relationship between monetary policy and sustainability.

Lunch will be provided compliments of the Law and Policy Program.

Mr. Ball is an internationally renowned scholar, journalist, and author on energy and the environment. His work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, Fortune, and The New Republic among many other outlets. He is scholar-in-residence at Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance and lecturer at Stanford Law School. Prior to his post at Stanford, Ball was The Wall Street Journal’s environment editor.  Learn more at

High Impact Interviewing; How to Ace Your Next Interview and Reach Your Career Goals

You went to Resume Doctor and created a rock star resume.
You got your application in on time.
Much to your delight, you were selected for an interview!
How do you prepare?  What happens if they ask a question you can’t answer?

Steve Gavatorta ’85 Speaker, Trainer and Coach
Steve Gavatorta ’85 Speaker, Trainer and Coach

On September 11, Career Education and the Center for Business & Economics will welcome Steve Gavatorta ’85 Speaker, Trainer and Coach at a special Lunchtime Learning where he will help students master the Secrets of High Impact Interviewing based on his experience working with hundreds of major companies from General Electric to Pepsico.

Students of all majors will benefits from Steve’s insights on how major companies select the candidates for internships and entry level jobs and how students can prepare in advance.  Join us in Quigley Auditorium from 12:15 – 1:30 pm on Tuesday, September 11 to learn how to develop a successful strategy to enable you to ace that interview.

About Steve Gavatorta

Steve Gavatorta, 1985 graduate of Allegheny College, is owner of the Steve Gavatorta Group, specializes in empowering individuals and organizations in identifying, developing, and exceeding performance goals. Steve’s had the privilege of coaching and training thousands of high performers in industries including pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, healthcare, consumer packaged goods, finance, media, and advertising. From small businesses on the move to Fortune 500 companies, Steve collaborates with organizations to build foundations, set goals, and eclipse their highest potential.

Steve is also author of the recently published book In Defense of Adversity – Turning Your Toughest Challenges Into Your Greatest Success.  He is a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst (CPBA) and Certified Professional Values Analyst (CPVA), a certified Myers-Briggs practitioner, and accredited to coach and train for Emotional Intelligence (EQ). He enjoys martial arts, practicing Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and yoga, and traveling to new places to recharge his batteries. Steve currently resides in Tampa, Florida.


Allegheny Welcomes New Faculty

From a former resident of nearby Townville to a fantasy football player to a dedicated amateur chef, Allegheny’s new faculty members bring many unique backgrounds and qualities to the teaching table in the fall of 2018. Let’s meet each of them briefly:

Catherine Allgeier
Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics

Catherine AllgeierAs a visiting assistant professor of economics, Catherine Allgeier comes to Allegheny with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

After graduation, she taught at a business college and then worked in the corporate world as a chief financial officer and a human resources director. “I realized that I missed the interaction with students and started teaching part-time in addition to my CFO role. I now have been teaching full-time for eight years (most recently at her alma mater) and use my corporate background to provide real-world accounting examples and experiences to my students,” says Allgeier.

“I am interested in information systems and communication, as they relate to costs and effectiveness in health-care diagnoses, such as using Watson as a diagnostic tool and the implications in not only a more timely diagnosis but also more cost effective,” she says.

She also has a green thumb. “My ‘other’ career would be in landscape and interior design,” says Allgeier. “I quit counting at 40 houseplants.”

Timothy Bianco
Assistant Professor of Economics

Tim BiancoTimothy Bianco joins Allegheny as assistant professor of economics, having taught previously at Bowling Green State University, where he also earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He also obtained a master’s degree and his doctorate from the University of Kentucky. He also has worked as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for five years.

“I enjoy teaching economics and researching cutting-edge financial and monetary economics, focusing on corporate credit,” says Bianco.

Bianco and his wife, Victoria, grew up in northeast Ohio “so moving to northwest Pennsylvania has been a smooth transition. I am a Cleveland sports fanatic and I enjoy traveling to Cleveland to catch a game from time to time.

“An unusual combination is that I have been known to apply cutting-edge econometric techniques to playing fantasy football,” he says.

Paula Burleigh
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History

Paula BurleighPaula Burleigh joins the Allegheny community as visiting assistant professor of art history and director of the Penelec, Bowman, Meghan Art Gallery. She earned her Ph.D. in art history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

She earlier earned a master’s degree at Case Western Reserve University and a bachelor’s degree at Emory University.

“I’ve taught undergraduate courses at City University of New York Baruch College, Bard High School Early College, and at Bard College, and I’ve taught adult education courses at the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where I was a teaching fellow for several years before coming to Allegheny,” says Burleigh.

Burleigh specializes in art history and visual culture of Europe and the United States, from 1945 to the present. Her research interests include visionary architecture, feminism and gender as they relate to art, and utopian/dystopian themes in art and popular visual culture.

“I love to cook, and I didn’t let a decade of tiny New York City kitchen life stop me from elaborate culinary experiments — some failed, many succeeded, all were eaten at least an hour later than I intended,” she says.

Kimberly Caldwell
Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

Kimberly CaldwellKimberly Caldwell joins the college as a visiting assistant professor of psychology. She earned her Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience at the University at Buffalo, “so my background is a blend of psychology and neuroscience.”

She has taught introductory psychology and biopsychology, “and I am excited to be teaching a new course this semester that I developed called ‘Ingestive Behavior,’ which will explore the neuroscience behind eating and drinking. My research interests are broadly focused on how the brain controls eating and drinking, thus the inspiration for my new class. I am particularly interested in a peptide system called ghrelin that is capable of influencing both behaviors.

“Along with behavioral neuroscience, I have always enjoyed the arts and took several art classes through high school and even a couple here at Allegheny as a member of the Gifted Program — I don’t know if they still call it that, it’s been a while since I was in high school — at Maplewood,” she says.

“This brings me to my fun fact, I grew up locally in nearby Townville and took classes at Allegheny in art and dance while in high school.”

Michael Michaelides
Assistant Professor of Economics

Michael MichaelidesMichael Michaelides joins the Economics Department as an assistant professor. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from the University of Essex, a master’s degree in accounting and finance from the London School of Economics, a master’s degree in economics from Virginia Tech, and a doctorate in economics from Virginia Tech.

Prior to attending Allegheny, Michaelides spent one year as a visiting assistant professor at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. His research interests include: Financial econometrics, empirical asset pricing, time series econometrics, applied econometrics, behavioral finance, volatility modeling, and financial risk forecasting.

“My research has focused on exploring the behavioral biases of investing through the quantitative application of statistical and mathematical models. Yet, my research has been so strongly influenced by the philosophy of science literature,” says Michaelides.

When not in the classroom or on a research mission, Michaelides is a Liverpool Football Club supporter.

Matthew Mitchell
Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Matthew MitchellRight out of college, Matthew Mitchell traveled to Japan and taught English as a foreign language for six years. He had earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies, with a minor in chemistry, from Illinois Wesleyan University. As an undergraduate, he also found time to sing in the university choir and teach rock climbing.

Mitchell later completed an M.A. in Asian religions from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Ph.D. from Duke University’s Graduate Program in Religion. “I spent a lot more time in my office writing than on the beach,” he said of his two years in Hawaii.

Mitchell’s teaching experience includes posts at the University of Hawaii, Duke University, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Creighton University. And he worked at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, helping to bring Chinese students and scholars to the institution for short-term and degree programs.

Mitchell’s research interests include Asian religions — especially Japanese Buddhism, social history, and women and gender in religion. This year in the Religious Studies Department, he will be teaching a number of courses across traditions from Asian religions to Islam. He is currently studying the social, financial and legal activities of a group of Buddhist nuns in Japan’s 17th–20th centuries. “One of the biggest surprises people have is the diversity of the nuns’ activities,” he says. “Most people tend to think of nuns as cloistered, not active, and certainly not involved in gambling or lawsuits.”

Along with Japan’s importance to Mitchell’s research, the nation holds other special meaning for him: it’s where he met his wife and it’s the birthplace of his oldest daughter.

Pamela Runestad
Assistant Professor of Global Health Studies

Pamela RunestadPamela Runestad likes to know how things work.

“I found I could fold all of my interests — infectious disease, nutrition, culture, Japan, writing and narrative, and film — together through becoming a medical anthropologist,” she says. “These combinations will be at the heart of my courses in global health studies here at Allegheny.”

Runestad holds a B.A. in biology and English — with a minor in psychology — from Augustana College (now University) in South Dakota and an M.A. in Japanese language and society from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. She also earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in medical anthropology with a focus on Japan at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu.

Her doctoral research focused on socio-cultural responses to HIV/AIDS in Japan and how those have an impact on health. Her current research project explores institutional food for pregnant and postpartum mothers in Japan.

Runestad’s life and work experiences outside of the continental U.S. give her unique perspective. “I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and I lived in Nagano, Japan, for 10 years,” she says. “So at this point, I’ve only lived about one-quarter of my life in the ‘lower 48’ — Alaska-speak — or the ‘mainland’ — Hawaii-speak. That time was spent in South Dakota, Nebraska and North Carolina.”

Yee Mon Thu
Assistant Professor of Biology

Yee Mon ThuYee Mon Thu describes herself as “a scientist who likes to learn how the natural world works — and an amateur artist who likes to use imagination.”

Before arriving at Allegheny, Thu taught biology at her undergraduate alma mater, Grinnell College. She earned a B.A. in biology with a concentration in global development studies there before completing a Ph.D. in cancer biology at Vanderbilt University.

“I am interested in how cells maintain genome stability in the face of intrinsic and extrinsic factors that can cause DNA damage,” Thu says of her research. “I am also fascinated by the involvement of these pathways in cancer.”

When away from the classroom and laboratory, Thu enjoys visiting national parks.

Birgit Weyhe
Max Kade Writer in Residence

Birgit WehyeAs a graphic novelist, Birgit Weyhe uses both her writing and drawing to explore historical and political incidents. She’s primarily interested in migration and the definition of home and identity. In addition to authoring several books, Weyhe has a monthly page in a Berlin newspaper where she draws the “lifeline” of a person who has changed places of residence often.

Weyhe was raised in Uganda and Kenya and came back to Germany at the age of 19. “I consider all three countries as my home,” she says. After returning to Germany, she earned a master’s degree in German literature and history from the University of Hamburg and a Diplom in illustration from the University of Applied Sciences, also in Hamburg.

Since 2012, Weyhe has taught at the Universities of Hamburg, Kiel and Düsseldorf in Germany and at the National Art School in Maputo, Mozambique. She also has led workshops at the German Cultural Center (Goethe Institut) in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Finland, France and Canada.

Wehye said that she is a passionate reader. On a three-month trip to Patagonia last year, she and her husband read 15 novels to each other. “We praised the invention of eBooks,” she says. “Otherwise our backpacks would have been very heavy.”

Tarah Williams
Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science

tarah williamsTarah Williams uses survey and experimental methods to understand how social identities —partisan identities, racial identities and many more — shape individual political behavior, for better or worse. Her current research explores whether and when individuals will confront prejudice and discrimination in their daily lives.

“As a shy person, I often struggled to speak up as a student,” she says. “My job now requires me to help students find ways to participate in class, and because I needed to work to find my voice, I have become committed to helping others find theirs. Similarly, my research is concerned with how we can encourage people to speak up to confront prejudice.”

Williams earned her B.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois. Before pursuing graduate school, she worked in state government as a researcher for the Illinois Legislature. She has taught courses in politics and policy at Washington University in St. Louis, Miami University in Ohio and the University of Illinois.

Along with her teaching and research, Williams enjoys walking, cooking, musical theatre and — since arriving at Allegheny — exploring Meadville.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Careers in Financial Planning

CFP ProStudents of all majors are invited to a special CBE Lunchtime Learning presentation on Careers in Financial Planning.  According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual wage for financial planners or advisers was $90,640 in May 2017.  Employment of personal financial planners/advisers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2025, much faster than average for all occupations.

Attend this event to learn more about the pathways to careers in financial planning and the potential opportunities for Allegheny students with distinguished alumni presenters Stuart Armstrong ’81 and Blaine Aikin ’76.  Stuart will share his improbable journey as an Allegheny graduate with a degree in biology from the laboratory to his career transition to financial planner where he pursues his passion for helping his clients to chart their course to financial independence.  Blaine Aikin, CFP®, CFA, AIFA® served on the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards from 2013 until 2017, and as Chair of CFP Board in 2017. Blaine will enlighten us about the benefits for students who wish to add this prestigious certification to their Allegheny degree.

We will be serving free pizza for as long as it lasts – so mark your calendar for Thursday, September 6 for this special lunch hour event.  Students will have to opportunity to speak with Stuart and Blaine during office hours following this presentation.  Please contact Beth Ryan to schedule your appointment by stopping in at Quigley #224, email or calling 332-2385.

Stuart ArmstrongStuart Armstrong II
CFP®, CLU®, CLTC, ADPA®, AIF® Financial Planner

Since 1986, clients have chosen Stuart Armstrong as their lead advisor because he is able to help them chart their course to financial independence with patience, integrity and wisdom. Stuart graduated from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Stuart has obtained various industry designations, including: CFP® (Certified Financial Planner®), ChFC® (Chartered Financial Consultant®), CLU® (Charted Life Underwriter®), CLTC (Certified in Long Term Care), ADPA® (Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor®), and AIF® (Accredited Investment Fiduciary®).

Stuart was honored to serve a three-year term from 2013 through 2015 on the National Board of Directors for the Financial Planning Association (FPA), the largest membership of financial planners in the United States. He is currently a member of the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning Advisory Council and also serves on the Mass Audubon Advisory Council.

In his spare time, Stuart is active in volunteering for various Boston area non-profit groups. Stuart can often be seen skiing, off to the movies and plays or out in his growing garden. Stuart has lived in the Boston area for over thirty years and he currently resides in Milton with his partner, Mike, and their cat Geo.

Blaine AikenBlaine Aikin
Executive Chairman Fi360

Blaine is executive chairman of Fi360 and a recognized thought-leader in the field of financial advice and fiduciary responsibility. He joined Fi360 in 2005 as chief knowledge officer, became chief executive officer in 2007, and was named executive chairman in 2015. He led the rise to prominence of the company’s professional development capabilities, investment management platform for advisors, and business research and practice management services that help advisors and financial institutions profitably gather, grow and protect investor assets. His rich experience includes having been a financial planning practitioner, chief investment officer and corporate executive responsible for the design, delivery and management of investment products.

Blaine is a well-known speaker and author of numerous articles on the subjects of fiduciary responsibility and investment management. He is the author of the monthly Fiduciary Corner column in Investment News magazine.  He has been named to Investment Advisor magazine’s IA25 list of the most influential people in the investment advisory community and one of the 10 most influential individuals in the 401(k) industry by RIABiz. He is currently chair of the Board of Directors for the CFP Board of Standards.

Blaine received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from Allegheny College and his Master of Public Management and Policy degree from the Heinz School of Carnegie-Mellon University. Upon graduation from CMU, he was selected for the prestigious Presidential Management Intern Program. He is a Certified Financial Planner®  (CFP® ) professional, Chartered Financial Analyst®  (CFA® ) charter holder and Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst®  (AIFA® ) designee.

An avid outdoorsman, Blaine serves on the leadership council of the Pennsylvania Center for Private Forests and is active in the Pennsylvania Forest Stewards program.

Congratulations to Professor Tomas Nonnenmacher

Congratulations to Professor Tomas Nonnenmacher and co-authors Eric Alston, Lee J. Alston and Bernardo Mueller on the publication of their book, “Institutional and Organizational Analysis: Concepts and Applications; New Approaches to Economic and Social History.”

This book discusses how “Institutional and organizational analysis becomes the basis to show why the economic and political performance of countries worldwide have not converged, and reveals the lessons to be learned from it for business, law, and public policy.”  (quotation from Amazon introduction)

The book will be available at Amazon beginning September 30, 2018.

Tom Nonnenmacher is the Patricia Bush Tippie Chair of Economics and the Co-Director of the Center for Business and Economics (CBE) at Allegheny College. He teaches classes in Microeconomics, Industrial Organization, and Economic History. As Co-Director of the CBE, he works with a team to expose students to real-world business and economics experiences. He recently co-authored Institutional and Organizational Analysis: Concepts and Applications, published by Cambridge University Press. His other research projects include the organization and regulation of the telegraph industry in the United States and labor contracting on henequen plantations in Yucatan, Mexico.

Students Lobby Pennsylvania Legislators to Preserve Financial Aid

Allegheny students Carlos Sanchez (left) and Jesse Tomkiwiecz (right) with Pennsylvania State Senator Michele Brooks on Student Aid Advocacy Day.

Allegheny College students Carlos Sanchez and Jesse Tomkiewicz joined scores of college students from across Pennsylvania for Student Aid Advocacy Day, sponsored by the Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) in Harrisburg in April.

The annual event gives students from AICUP-member institutions a chance to meet legislators and encourage them to support private colleges and universities. Allegheny has been sending student representatives for at least the past six years, and Sanchez and Tomkiewicz have participated for two consecutive years. Sanchez is an economics major from Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Tomkiewicz is a philosophy and political science major from Freeport, Pennsylvania.

This year’s Student Aid Advocacy Day focused primarily on opposing a proposed $705 reduction to the maximum grant from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). On May 24, the agency’s board agreed to increase its contribution to the Student Grant Program in 2018–19 from its originally proposed $50 million to $100 million. The decision eliminated the need for any cuts in grant awards for the 2018–19 school year.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research