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School rolls out 2 LeaderCORE micro-credentials and others

Foundations of LeaderCORE badge.
MBA LeaderCORE badge.

Since 2010, LeaderCORE™ has helped UB MBA students develop critical performance and leadership skills—during the program and beyond. In April, the School of Management certified 47 full-time MBAs from the class of 2020 who completed their two-year journey and were the first to receive the new MBA LeaderCORE micro-credential. 

Smaller than a minor or certificate, a micro-credential provides students opportunities to gain relevant workforce skills, without the financial and time commitments of a degree. Some micro-credentials, like LeaderCORE, are credit-bearing, while others are not. Students can earn stackable skills that differentiate them academically and professionally. Upon completion, they receive digital badges—clickable images that house information validating their newly acquired skills. These dynamic credentials can be shared on social media, digital résumés and e-portfolios.

In addition to the MBA LeaderCORE micro-credential, and building upon the award-winning success of the MBA LeaderCORE experience, the school has launched a micro-credential for graduate students across UB called Foundations of LeaderCORE. 

The School of Management also is developing other micro-credentials, such as a Finance Academy micro-credential for Master of Science in Finance students, and a portfolio of non-credit micro-credentials for the general public covering such topics as social media strategy, data analytics, data modeling and more.

EMBA alumni are now eligible for lifelong learning opportunities, such as discounted admission to the CLOE conference: Pictured: Ted Childs, retired IBM VP, at the 2019 conference on inclusive leadership. Photo: Tom Wolf.

Introducing Alumni Advantage for EMBAs

Education doesn’t end with graduation. It is an ongoing, ever-evolving process, and individuals who wish to remain sharp and competitive consistently seek new ways to hone their skills. As a committed partner in that journey, the School of Management has rolled out a new lifelong learning initiative for Executive MBA graduates: Alumni Advantage. The program offers access to a comprehensive collection of professional development opportunities at no cost or at significantly discounted pricing. 

Through Alumni Advantage, EMBA grads can:

  • Take advantage of five free hours of leadership coaching through the Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness (CLOE) 
  • Access significant scholarships to the school’s open enrollment and Leadership Accelerator programs
  • Enjoy deep discount admission to the CLOE annual leadership conference
  • Attend Leaders on Leadership talks 
  • Participate in UB Innovation Sprints to help solve organizational or industry challenges
  • Gain priority access to customized programs for your organization in such topics as leadership development, team effectiveness, organizational change and innovation
  • Connect to a wealth of educational, networking and funding opportunities for entrepreneurial-minded alumni through the UB Innovation Hub
  • Join Leadership Connections, two-hour facilitated monthly sessions with like-minded peers
  • Attend select events, speeches and presentations by faculty and guest speakers

The Alumni Advantage pilot program is funded by the EMBA Class Gift. The school hopes to expand the initiative to all alumni in the future. 

“Our alumni—nearly 44,000 strong in 90 countries—are our most valuable resource,” says Paul Tesluk, dean of the School of Management. “And this program is just one of the ways we can demonstrate our commitment to their ongoing professional development and personal growth.”

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UB MBA climbs 6 spots to highest place ever in U.S. News ranking

U.S. News logo in a grad cap stacked on top of books.

The School of Management was ranked in its highest position ever—No. 60—by U.S. News & World Report in its annual ranking of MBA programs.

Up six spots from last year, the school has risen 21 places over the past four years. Among public business schools, the School of Management is ranked No. 32.

“Our steady rise in this ranking is a strong reflection of the quality of our students and the caliber of our faculty,” says Paul Tesluk, professor and dean of the School of Management. “It’s also a ringing endorsement from the employers who hire our graduates and highlights how our strong academic programs and innovative learning experiences prepare our graduates for success in the workplace.”

The ranking is based on recruiter assessments, peer rankings from other B-schools, placement success and selectivity. The UB School of Management is the only business school in the Buffalo Niagara region to be included in the U.S. News rankings.

Piggybank with graduation cap and pencil standing on notebooks.

Learning money skills virtually

With experts warning that this spring’s staggering unemployment may lead to recession, financial literacy is more important than ever. 

That’s why the School of Management and M&T Bank have partnered—since 2006—to help local high school students develop critical personal finance skills through the free MoneySKILL® program and the annual MoneySKILL Mania competition. 

“From choosing a university to establishing a credit profile, these students are at a critical point in their  lives,” says Cynthia Shore, senior assistant dean and director of alumni engagement and external relations. “This year, as teachers shifted to remote instruction, we wanted to support their efforts to teach personal finance—and help students have some fun—by taking MoneySKILL Mania virtual.”

Mania tests students’ proficiency with concepts they’ve learned through the MoneySKILL program, offered by the American Financial Services Association (AFSA) Education Foundation. The late Lewis Mandell, former School of Management professor, wrote the online curriculum, which has reached more than 1 million students across all 50 states and 40 countries.

For some teachers, MoneySKILL complements their existing curriculum; for others, it helps add new topics to their class. 

Locally, the School of Management and M&T Bank sponsor MoneySKILL Mania and a series of undergraduate honors student projects at local nonprofits. 

“Personal finance skills are especially important for young people so they are prepared to make responsible decisions,” says Emily Frishholz, one teacher who hosted Mania remotely this year. “MoneySKILL exposes students to real-life situations and requires them to think critically and use reasoning.”

At Buffalo’s Hutchinson Central Technical High School, retired 1st Sgt. Stephen Frazier uses MoneySKILL every year with his Junior ROTC cadets. With Mania going virtual, he went even bigger—hosting the competition for cadets across five states. 

Meanwhile, Cassandra Bold played Mania with her Olean High School students via videoconference. 

“My students enjoy doing the MoneySKILL modules,” she says. “They normally do well on them, and they help boost their grades. I mean, what student doesn’t love a grade boost?”

Andrea Doyle, Mitchel Victor, Alex Bosko and Kelsey Battaglia pitch their business plan for food waste composting company Regrowth Compost Solutions.

Sustainably profitable

MBA course helps students see sustainability as a business strategy

What’s the environmental impact of a cup of coffee? 

That’s the kind of question students set out to find answers to—and business opportunities for—in the School of Management’s first “Sustainability as a Business Strategy” course last winter.

They learned companies shouldn’t just invest in the environment because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes smart business sense.

“We’re seeing a radical market shift from what consumers are demanding, led by Gen Z,” says Ryan McPherson, chief sustainability officer for UB. “If today’s companies aren’t paying attention to climate change and sustainability, they’re doing so at their own peril.”   

McPherson co-taught the course with his wife, Alexandra, principal at Niagara Share, an organization that works to build sustainable entrepreneurial opportunities and regenerative economies. They tasked students in the school’s Professional MBA program with developing an idea or company to advance one of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, and creating a concept paper, short video pitch and a longer live pitch to sell their idea to a panel of judges. 

The group investigating coffee discovered the product has a big impact on global warming and developed a line of skin care products from used grounds from Buffalo coffee shops. Other ideas included a proposal to reuse decommissioned commercial equipment for workforce development, an app to help companies engage in sustainable development goals and a ridesharing service that rewards drivers with lower emissions.

Visit to learn how the School of Management is integrating sustainability throughout our courses, programs, research and partnerships.

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