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DEI platform wins entrepreneurship competition

Photo illustration with members of team real talk and word baloons that say diversification, inclusivity, engagement, representation, comportability, belonging and unique perspectives.

Tareke, Griffiths and Fore. Photo Illustration: Douglas Levere

A platform that promotes diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within institutions by empowering instructors and participants through guided social discussion took first place April 20 at UB’s Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition (Panasci TEC).

Team Real Talk Inc. won $25,000 in startup capital and in-kind services valued at $30,000 for their company. The startup is led by Malkijah Griffiths, BS ’19, MPH/MBA ’22, and two School of Management alumnae: Sonya A. Tareke, BS ’17, MBA ’20, program manager, EforAll; and Janelle Fore, BS ’20, MBA ’21, analyst, Goldman Sachs.

Team Real Talk is a certified B Corporation, and the Real Talk platform gives the online community access to curated information and provides inclusive topics of conversation that relate to many cultures, backgrounds and career fields.

“The Panasci competition helped us solidify how we will contribute to the region’s economic development—providing new jobs and opportunities to upcoming professionals,” says Griffiths. “We plan to continue validating our framework by running more DEI sessions with companies and showcasing the DEI metrics that affect their operational and financial efficiency.”

In-kind awards included business counseling from Atlas Alignment Growth Partners, legal services from Colligan Law LLP, marketing and advertising services from Fifteen, accounting services from Lumsden & McCormick LLP, product design and manufacturing services from Tresca, and co-working space from the UB Office of Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships.

Now in its 22nd year, Panasci TEC was created by the UB School of Management and the UB Office of Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships, and is funded with a $1 million endowment from the late Henry A. Panasci Jr. to facilitate and promote the commercialization of UB-generated technologies.

Read more about the event and the second-place and People’s Choice winners at

MBA climbs 5 spots in ranking

Graphic with text that reads "Top 40 Public MBA" and "Number 16 Recruiter Ranking".

U.S. News & World Report has ranked the UB School of Management No. 72 in its annual ranking of MBA programs, up five places from last year. Among public business schools, the UB MBA is ranked No. 38.

The School of Management is ranked higher than any other business school in the Buffalo Niagara region, and higher than any other business school in the State University of New York (SUNY) system.

Nearly 500 schools were surveyed for the ranking, which focuses on three major areas: quality assessment, placement success and student selectivity.

In the recruiter assessment, the school was ranked No. 16—a ringing endorsement from the organizations that hire MBA graduates from the school.

School takes over the U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index

Economists, policymakers and financial market participants have been using the U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index (JQI) since 2019 to assess job quality in the United States. Now, this acclaimed index has a new home in the School of Management.

The JQI assesses job quality in the U.S. by measuring desirable higher-wage/higher-hour jobs versus lower-wage/lower-hour jobs. Results also may serve as an indicator of the overall health of the nation’s jobs market, because the index enables regular tracking of the direction and degree of change in high-to-low job composition.  

“Regular headline employment data, such as unemployment rate and the total job formation, doesn’t tell the whole story,” says Cristian Tiu, associate professor and chair of finance. “The truth is that a lot of American jobs don’t pay well, and when measured in relative weekly income, have been declining in quality for at least three decades.”

Enter the JQI, which, together with its companion release—the JQInstant™—provides a way of tracking the actual quality of jobs in real time as employment data is released by the U.S government, like a monthly report card on how jobs are really doing.

UB’s JQI team is led by faculty and graduate students from the School of Management, in collaboration with faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Law School, as well as affiliated adjunct faculty.

Visit to learn more.

CLOE Conference 2022 text and photos of keynote presenters.

Keith, Siaw-Asamoah, Lemoine and Taulbert.

Leadership, learning and webinars for you

The school’s Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness hosted a successful annual conference in April, with more than 185 attendees in person and online.

Four keynote addresses and 12 breakout sessions were tied together by a theme of “Leading ethically in the new world of work.”

Below are a few takeaways from the daylong event to help you and your organizations make the most of your talent.

“Leaders should care about the impact their organization has on all of its stakeholders, taking their contributions, needs and interests into account so it will have a strong foundation for the future.”

Kent Keith
Author of Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments

“Many leading philosophers have argued that the definition of wisdom is the ability to hold two contradictory thoughts in your head—for instance, your own opinion, and that of someone who disagrees with you—and to understand how a good and reasonable person might come to either conclusion.”

James Lemoine
Associate Professor of Organization and Human Resources, and Faculty Director, CLOE

“Reflect on your identity, embrace it and remember there is only one of you with your unique strengths.”

Dorothy Siaw-Asamoah
Clinical Associate Professor of Organization and Human Resources, and Faculty Director, Global Programs

“Because they embrace the idea that others matter—as do their dreams and aspirations—servant leaders find joy walking alongside others, growing and becoming together.”

Clifton LeMoure Taulbert
Entrepreneur, Pulitzer nominee, international lecturer and CEO

Recognizing outstanding career partners

The Career Resource Center, an exclusive resource for nearly 4,000 students in the School of Management, recognized the following organizations and individuals at a celebration on May 5 for their considerable impact on student success and career development:

CRC Alumnus of the Year
Mark Tronconi, BS ’82, MBA ’85, Tronconi Segarra & Associates

Recruiting Partner of the Year
Elizabeth Zak, M&T Bank

New Recruiting Organization of the Year
Constellation Brands

Interns and Supervisors of the Year
Jacob Fox, MBA ’22
Nita Bhatia, CrowFly
Jordan Storch, MBA ’21
Peter D’Errico, MidCity Office Furniture

Outstanding Internship Organization
Northwestern Mutual

New Internship Partner
Life Storage

To learn how you and your company can engage with the School of Management’s Career Resource Center, visit

Illustration of businesspeople on a tandem bike.

The power of partnerships

Empowering area entrepreneurs is a key part of the mission of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. The CEL is taking that mission even further, thanks to a number of collaborations with other organizations in the community.

M&T Bank is now the presenting sponsor of the center’s M&T Bank Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs program, which has helped propel more than 360 small businesses to the next stage of development since 2004.

The CEL is also collaborating with the Buffalo Urban League on a new Emerging Entrepreneur Accelerator—a nine-month training program for minority and women entrepreneurs in the pre-launch phase of starting a business. The accelerator is supported by Open4, a partnership of community-based organizations and funders who work together to connect entrepreneurs and small businesses with the resources, support and guidance they need to thrive.

Finally, through the Reimagine initiative, the CEL has teamed up with UB’s Western New York Incubator Network to offer entrepreneurship boot camps and master courses to hundreds of unemployed, laid-off and underemployed workers in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Olean, Jamestown and Dunkirk, as well as virtually, through a two-year grant from Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation.

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