President Skorton visits Johnson
Innovation, cross-functional collaboration, performance learning, and Cornell Tech play key roles in exchanges with Johnson students, faculty, and leadership
Cornell University president David Skorton came to Sage Hall on the afternoon of April 8 to meet and visit with Johnson’s Management Committee
members and selected students, faculty, and staff. At a series of roundtable introductions and discussions with each group, Skorton listened as these groups spoke of Johnson’s many performance-learning programs, recent accomplishments and innovations, and of Johnson’s leaders’ vision for the future, including its role at Cornell NYC Tech.
Johnson students shared stories of their hands-on engagement and experiences as consultants, investors, leaders, and entrepreneurs — opportunities gained through curriculum such as the immersions and treks, BR Venture Fund, MBA Stock Pick Challenge, Executive Coaching, the Cayuga Fund, Johnson Board Fellows, and more. Every student spoke articulately and passionately about his or her pursuits and myriad ways in which being a Johnson student has opened possibilities for them. Emerging Markets Institute Fellow Derick Appia-Kubi, MBA ’13, recounted the recent trek to Ghana
that he organized and led. Lindsay Petrovic ’07, MBA ’13 (A), MILR ’14, president of the Human Capital Association
, a joint club for MBA and MILR students, was instrumental in producing this year’s Human Capital Symposium. Former Peace Corps volunteer Patrick Starr, MBA ’14, who is interested in the cross-section of finance and developing economies, spoke of how the Sustainable Global Enterprise Immersion
courses, combined with asset management and investing courses, are preparing him for a career in impact investing. Nick Nickitas, MBA ’14, CEO and co-founder of Rosie
, a predictive shopping mobile app, started his company here at Cornell and took first place at Startup Labs Syracuse
accelerator program, winning $200,000 in cash and prizes.
Faculty members who met with Skorton spoke of their research and of opportunities for cross-functional collaboration with other entities at Cornell, including Cornell Tech, as they work on new ideas in Johnson’s curriculum. Several also referred to international research and pursuits they are involved in.
In his responses, Skorton was very supportive of faculty members’ cross-fertilization pursuits and applauded them for their research, noting its high relevance in addressing the concerns of the world today, and that the “quality of research at Johnson is legendary.” He also acknowledged the exciting opportunities that Cornell Tech opens up for Johnson, saying that Dean Soumitra Dutta is “making strides” in terms of necessary funding and connections, and that Johnson’s faculty and leadership are primed to “make it happen.” Skorton also gave an update on the progress of the program, now housed at Google, and the demolition and construction work for the Roosevelt Island campus, scheduled to begin in January 2014.