Such lovely weather and such lovely things, as observed by a commuter from the suburbs

I can see green grass everywhere now – with some yellow and brown leaves in between and pink and white flowers on the side – and it makes me smile, wide. The once cold and dry ride from Rockville, MD to Tenleytown, DC has inconspicuously turned into a beautiful escape I look forward to everyday. I think there’s nothing quite like the nature of nature – ever changing, abrupt, lovely yet dangerous, and the DC metro area roads definitely have one of the most scenic botanical topography for the suburban commuter. For any AU prospective student or anyone looking to move next year, I highly recommend exploring the greater metro area, especially if you drive. My recent relocation to a new place has been nothing short of great.

With AU’s great geographic and meteorological position, I was thrilled to learn about the launch of the new Master’s Degree in Sustainability Management. I truly believe that the risks and rewards resulted from the environment will dictate the financial future of our generation. Mother Nature giveth, Mother Nature taketh. We’ve been brutally hit by natural disasters one after another in the past few years, as the depletion of natural resources continues at an accelerated rate. A friend laughed hard when I recently told her I am a “parks and mountains” type of person. But, I can’t help but think about the impact of my energy consumption every time I reluctantly pay for the bolting gas price to fill up my economical 2001 Corolla after I hit the I-270, I-495 or my favorite route MD 355.

The onset of the lovely weather has also stimulated my social life in the past month. It’s amazing how weather impacts my mood. I confess I have been somewhat anti-social during the first three months of the semester, primarily due to the cold weather (it is a good 20-30 minute drive to DC), work, and relocation (may I add HW?). The impact of de-socializing has been so significant for a social butterfly like me. I miss the stories I had intended to collect in between the intersections of Kogod hallways as I mentioned in my last blog. I felt a large vacuum in a very important part of my life.

In the past month, I signed up as an Admission Ambassador for the MSA program and I am already listening to a whole new set of stories from the incoming students. I attended a “Dish with the Dean” event where I got to meet Dean Durand personally for the first time. The interaction with my fellow students and Dean Durand elated my student experience at Kogod to another level.

I taught myself to not head straight to the Katzen parking lot after class. Instead, I have learned to look up events taking place on campus in the evening. Separating from the MBA crowd has definitely compelled me to re-think my socialization strategy.

Attending Graduate Business Association events in the evenings has also helped me reconnect with my peers. I am also making a conscious effort to change and re-adjust as a commuter from the suburbs and it has worked out perfectly. Completely unplanned, the semester is winding down on a beautiful note (so far).

As all of us are wrapping up the semester, I hope the summer brings in gentle waves of luck for each one of us as we embark on our internships or jobs; and joy for our lazy summer days with lots of lager beer around a pool; or whatever else we may find interesting.

Signing off, Sudipa


Friday’s Feast

First-years looking full and happy

Last Friday the Graduate Business Association hosted the school’s first International Potluck Celebration.  Students brought food from their home countries to share with classmates.

I have planned many social and educational programming events in undergrad and now with Kogod.  This event was by far the least expensive and overall, pretty easy to put together.  Although so simple, Friday’s dinner provided insurmountable value to students.  I speak for all of my US classmates when I say that it was a privilege to honor Kogod’s international students.

One of our favorite professors, Ajay Adhikari, with students

The potluck dinner showcased cuisines from China, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Ecuador, and various regions of the United States (just to name a few).    International students are deserving of everyone’s admiration.  Not only have they moved from opposite ends of the globe to study at Kogod, but they bring valuable knowledge that spans beyond the classroom.  I love learning about their home life, previous work experiences, travel adventures, or even beer recommendations.

The butter chicken from India and lamb chops from Bangladesh placed second to the camaraderie in the room Friday night.  I can’t wait for another International Potluck Celebration next semester!

Kogod Women in Business: Red Dress Fundraiser for American Heart Association

The 2010 Board of Kogod Women in Business: Jamie Steinberg, Oge Ezeokoli, Suzie Jang, Meredith Rodgers, Kristen Owen, Amanda Cardinale, Alexis Fabrikant

This month I am turning over my blogging to share the work of my colleagues from Kogod Women in Business. This month on February 4th, KWIB hosted a benefit for the American Heart Association with a Red Dress cocktail party. It was an incredible night, and hugely inspiring.



By: Liuba Sivokhina and Suzie Jang


The Red Dress Benefit, a charitable event co-organized by the American Heart Association and the Kogod Women in Business (KWIB), drew a large crowd last Friday, February 4th. Attended by Kogod MBA students and friends, Red Dress was by far one of the most successful and well-attended events KWIB hosted in recent months.

It’s not just the good cause – raising funds for women’s heart health – that made Red Dress Benefit special. Red dress attire, light hors d’oeuvres, and soft jazz music playing in the background all created a lively and relaxed atmosphere, making it a perfect DC socialite event.

The Red Dress Benefit took place at the Marriott Courtyard at Dupont Circle. The centrally-located venue was kindly donated by Marc Duber, an AU alumnus and Managing Director of Consortium Capital.

Event Speakers

The event included notable speakers –Patty MacEwan, Vice President of corporate relations for the American Heart Association and China Terrell, 33-year-old corporate attorney and a heart disease survivor.

MacEwan introduced the American Heart Association and stressed the importance of heart disease awareness among young women in her speech. China, a passionate and charismatic speaker, shared a personal story of struggle and then triumph over cardiovascular disease. China’s struggle showed that heart disease can affect anyone regardless of age and gender. She also stressed that cardiovascular disease affects women differently from men and that it’s imperative young women stay informed and get regular medical check-ups to stay “heart healthy”.

Door Prizes

Attendees enjoyed some great door prizes provided by the Washington RedSkins, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Frosting A Cupcakery, and The Tasting Room, Maryland’s premier wine bar and restaurant. One of the special prizes included a cap autographed by DeAngelo Hall, a celebrity cornerback for the Washington RedSkins.

The Event is Likely to Become an Annual Tradition

Given the success of the Red Dress Benefit, KWIB hopes to host more of these events. “We are hoping to make it an annual event”, says Kristen Owen, a first-year MBA student and Vice President of Finance at KWIB in an interview. “Next year we’ll definitely work on scale”, says Owen. “To really make it the size for years to come…” According to Owen, next year KWIB will work with a consortium of universities in Washington DC to make it happen.

Kogod graduate students start blogging

“It’s in the blog.”

My hope is that these 4 words start to become a lot more popular around Kogod in the coming months. As a first year MBA, honing my accounting, marketing and business economics knowledge, I expect that this blog will not only allow me  to journal  my graduate school experience but also help people outside Kogod to learn more about the great things that are happening at American University.

I approached my friend Julie Jones about the idea to start a graduate student blog in September. We met during lunch on the first day of orientation and in early September were both running for positions in the Graduate Business Association. We played with the idea for days and then thought for a while about how best to approach a new blog. Once elected to the GBA, we talked to Olivia King and things really got moving. Support from our peers and the school’s administration came instantly and helped to propel the budding Kogod Grad Insider even further.

Actually blogging? That has taken us a little longer to get going. Working out logistics, talking to blog contributors and choosing a name slowed us down for a while. In the end, we really wanted the blog to be collaborative and to include as many people as possible. As we develop this blog, we would really appreciate all feedback and suggestions. If there is something that you would like to hear more about, let us know. With finals  behind us and winter break rapidly coming to an end, we’re just getting posting.