Amber Long ’11

amberlong

I am deeply saddened to announce the death of alumna Amber Long ’11, who was murdered Sunday night during a robbery. Philadelphia University is a close-knit community where strong relationships thrive. It makes the intensity of our grief over Amber’s death even greater, our concern for her family profound. Amber was my intern during her senior year at PhilaU, making this even more personal and more painful for me.

Amber was a talented architect, working in a field she loved in the city she has come to love. She loved connecting beautiful design with practical needs. She told me many times, “I like designing beautiful buildings that people want to use.” She also was a talented artist. I commissioned Amber to paint “The Reichlin House,” an iconic building on our campus. This lovely painting hangs in the dining room of the President’s House, where I live.

Amber Long was part of the student team that won the grand prize for overall excellence in the 2009 Delaware Valley Green Building Council student design competition. Her winning design for a sustainable, co-operative food market was selected from more than 90 entries from an impressive roster of international schools. She further developed her artistic and architectural talents by spending a semester abroad in Rome.

Beyond the sadness and pain I feel over Amber’s senseless death, I am angry — and struggling with how to make my anger useful. I don’t believe the answers are easy or simplistic. But I know our society has to redouble efforts to find solutions to the violence that threatens our freedom, our lives and our humanity.

Funeral services for Amber Long are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 25, at Durst Funeral Home, 57 Frost Ave., Frostburg, Maryland 21532. Services will be held early afternoon, but the time can be confirmed later in the week by calling Durst Funeral Home at 301-689-8833.

Amber Long’s family has requested that donations be made to the Amber Long ’11 Scholarship at Philadelphia University for architecture students. Donations can be made online at http://www.PhilaU.edu/giving or sent to the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, 4201 Henry Ave., Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, PA 19144.

As a campus, we mourn the loss of Amber Long, and our thoughts are with her family during this difficult time.

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The Glorious Disruptors

dis•rupt
transitive verb \dis-ˈrəpt\
to cause (something) to be unable to continue in the normal way : to interrupt the normal progress or activity of (something)

Philadelphia University professors and supporters wrote a new new book, Disrupt Together: How Teams Consistently Innovate, published by Pearson.  Disrupt has been an Amazon’s Top 10 Hot New Releases of Business textbook since its December 10 publication.  It currently stands at #2 under the Business & Finance – Entrepreneurship list.  The book’s message of encouraging innovation for opportunity recognition in business and higher education is a universal one.

The book is a reflection of our curriculum and confidently asserts that transdisciplinary teams achieve innovative goals. Disrupt Together’s success is a testament to the excitement Philadelphia University is creating in education and industry. It is the hard work of seventeen different authors, each of whom are both experts in their fields and in the power of teams. The people who collaborated on this project are consistently disrupting “the normal way.”

Steve Blank disrupts entrepreneurship through innovative methodology. He founded the popular Customer Relationship Management scientific methodology, in which entrepreneurs use technology to better understand the relationship between the development of a product and a customer. CRM was a foundational principle in Eric Ries’ Lean Startup methodology. Steve is a consulting associate professor of entrepreneurship at Stanford, thanks to his many years of experience as an entrepreneur.
Blog, Twitter

Geoffrey Cromarty, Ed.D. disrupts higher education at Philadelphia University by consistently working to advance new strategies to encourage innovation and improve quality, inspiring other institutions of higher education to follow his example. In a traditional institution that had never developed a strategic plan, he led the development of such a plan, as well as led the efforts in creating a master plan and capital plans that have helped PhilaU expand in remarkable ways.
LinkedIn, Twitter

Heather McGowan disrupts higher education by consulting for colleges and universities in entrepreneurial strategy in order to innovate their core value propositions and curricula. She was instrumental in creating the curriculum for Philadelphia University’s award-winning Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, and she is currently working with Massachusetts College to help it earn university status by 2020. Outside of higher education, Heather also works in the corporate sector with start-up companies.
LinkedIn, Twitter, Amazon author page

Ellen di Resta disrupts traditional organizational structure by helping companies reinvent themselves in order to compete in new and emerging markets with new products and services. She encourages innovation not in a top-down manner in an organization but from within, with senior management not seeking to control but guide innovation projects. On Ellen’s biography page on the Synaptics Group website is the quote, “Slaying sacred cows makes great steaks” (Dick Nicolose).
Blog, LinkedIn, Twitter

Sara Beckman, Ph.D. disrupts the traditional business model by emphasizing the positive impact that design and design thinking can have in the business sector and the benefits of collaboration in innovation. Her current research in innovation management focuses on the role of design thinking in business and operations strategy. Sara has taught UC Berkeley MBA students skills necessary for successful innovation, such as framing problems.
LinkedIn, Twitter

Sarah Singer-Nourie disrupts the traditional learning process by innovating the way leaders of schools, communities, and companies learn about themselves and their colleagues. She teaches others how to more efficiently and effectively motivate themselves and collaborate with each other in order to improve personal performance as well as the performance of their teams. Sarah’s method focuses on moving past the comfort zone of personal boundaries into self-awareness.
Website, LinkedIn, Twitter

Sarah Rottenberg disrupts product design by applying design processes and methods to research analysis in a unique transdisciplinary combination of design, business, and engineering. She trains teams in how to use design research methodologies in business design and strategic product sessions. As a result, teams and organizations can maximize their impact by creating new and better experiences for their customers. Sarah helps teams address the question, “Is the product or experience desirable, meaningful, feasible, and viable?”
LinkedIn, Twitter

Tod Corlett disrupts design by heading the Philadelphia University Industrial Design program’s research in innovation and technology initiatives, consistently motivating students to achieve new and innovative goals. He supports the M.S. in Industrial Design’s purpose of embodying design, engineering, and business learning that will be applicable in the real world.
LinkedIn, Twitter

Natalie Nixon, Ph.D. disrupts traditional fashion industry engagement by teaching Philadelphia University students how to create opportunity through a fusion of analytical and creative design and business thinking. Her experience in fashion merchandising, fashion design, and strategic design gives her a unique perspective in thinking in a transdisciplinary manner. Natalie is accomplished at applying fashion industry strategies to a range of sectors. She created the Strategic Design MBA program at PhilaU.
LinkedIn, Twitter

D. R. Widder disrupts traditional business education by supporting Philadelphia University’s Kanbar College of Design, Engineering, and Commerce. He encourages students to engage with industry partners in order to gain real-world experience. As Vice President for Innovation and the Steve Blank Term Chair for Innovation, he will continue find new ways to deliver education that reflects the entrepreneurial spirit of the business world.
LinkedIn, Twitter

Nabil Harfoush, Ph.D. disrupts the technology world by synthesizing his many years of experience as a technology strategist and engineer with knowledge of sustainable business practices, particularly sustainable business models. As a professor in Philadelphia University’s Strategic Design MBA program, he teaches students about sustainable business models and helps coordinate transdisciplinary workshops, supporting the mission of the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. He also helped design the curriculum.
LinkedIn, Twitter

David Charron disrupts technology entrepreneurship by creating and managing opportunities for entrepreneurial and innovative ventures to thrive within sustainable systems, focusing on technology commercialization. He teaches students in Entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, sharing his knowledge of converting entrepreneurship theory to practice. He also consults and invests in the Silicon Valley.
LinkedIn, Twitter

Yvonne Lin disrupts the traditional consumer market by analyzing consumer problems with gender in mind, particularly through the lens of the female customer, and designing compelling products as a result. She values a woman’s values and priorities as she designs, since she knows, as it says on the Femme Den website, that “women don’t just buy products – they buy into them.” She recently co-founded 4B, an innovation consulting firm for women.
Website, LinkedIn

James E. Stahl, M.D., C.M., M.P.H. disrupts healthcare by using a transdisciplinary approach when engaging in simulation modeling and conducting outcomes research. He synthesizes operations and outcomes research, decision science, game theory, market design, and industrial design when problem-solving for the healthcare market, particularly healthcare system redesign. He is currently researching interdisciplinary collaboration and technology implementation.
Website, LinkedIn

Brandy Fowler disrupts the product design field by promoting the importance of design research. Design research is relatively recent and vital; it reduces the emphasis on traditional internal product brainstorming within a company and instead focuses on user research, which tells companies what to make and how to make it. She is the Associate Director of Insights and Strategy at Smart Design, whose website states, “Design is all about people, instead of things.”
Website, LinkedIn

Maryann Finiw disrupts marketing strategy and product development by stimulating innovation through marrying business and design, creativity and strategy, and interdisciplinary teams, resulting in consumer-focused ideas and products. As a result, consumers are able to enjoy better relationships with their products, and Maryann has created brand loyalty for her clients.
Website

You can obtain Disrupt Together from the following vendors:

Amazon
Pearson
Target
Walmart
Safari Books Online
InformIT

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Disrupt Together: How Teams Consistently Innovate

Book Cover Front JPG

The PhilaU story is captured in Disrupt Together: How Teams Consistently Innovate, a book that explains how innovation can and should be taught. Disrupt Together expresses the knowledge of sixteen different authors who are experts in fields focused on innovation, and the authors provide insights and processes for business entrepreneurs, business executives, and those in higher education to aid them in identifying problems and deliver high value solutions. It emphasizes the importance of creating interdisciplinary teams to achieve the loftiest goals: Disrupt Together, an elegantly assembled team of authors from a variety of fields, is a testament to the success of this method. The authors use case studies from higher education, healthcare, product design, and more to demonstrate how the team-based approach of opportunity recognition produces the greatest results. By showing the success of this creative, consumer-driven model, Disrupt Together memorializes Philadelphia University as the institution where innovation is happening best.

Philadelphia University purposefully created a curriculum and teaching methods to intersect collaborating academic disciplines. Our mission is to prepare our graduates for careers in the evolving global marketplace. PhilaU combines active, collaborative, real-world learning with an infusion of the liberal arts in a brand of education we call Nexus Learning. Nexus Learning is a higher education model that revolutionizes the way students learn and become leaders in their professions.

Our award-winning DEC curriculum in the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering, and Commerce embodies this model. Design thinking is necessarily consumer-focused, defined by an understanding of the complex environment and how human need interacts with the environment. In the context of innovation, design thinking involves working in teams to match people’s needs with a technologically viable and marketable solution. In PhilaU’s DEC curriculum, students learn how to engage in this process in an active way. They collaborate with members of all disciplines — design, engineering, and business — thus enjoying a multidimensional educational experience that prepares them to think critically about the world and their place in it as a professional. Student think deeply about problems and embed their learning by identifying and addressing value-creating solutions. PhilaU students focus on understanding human need, answering the necessary questions: “Is this solution desirable, feasible, and valuable?”

PhilaU’s model of teaching innovation shows how the entrepreneurial process is stronger when based on a foundation of design thinking. By using design thinking in innovative entrepreneurship, PhilaU shows that having a finely-honed lens on the nature of an opportunity is the best way to create a business model for addressing that opportunity in a way that is creative, effective, and efficient. The result of this team-based, transdisciplinary model is that bigger and better ventures solve more problems with fewer failures. By embodying this ideal, PhilaU proves that it is the model for professional education in the 21st century.

You can read about all the authors on the Disrupt Together website here.

Disrupt Together is released today. You can purchase it from the following vendors:

Pearson
Amazon
Target
Walmart
Safari Books Online
InformIT