Women’s Summit® to celebrate 20 years of inspiration, empowerment & advancement

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – On Friday, March 17, 2017 Bryant University’s Women’s Summit® will celebrate “20 Years of Inspiring, Empowering, and Advancing Women!” The event will welcome three powerful keynote speakers known for excellence in their professions and for their commitment to helping women achieve their potential. In order of appearance, they are: Leadership expert and former Navy Commander Mary Kelly, Nobel Prize Recipient Leymah Gbowee, and Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis.

One of the most popular conferences held in New England, the Women’s Summit® has welcomed a sold-out crowd every year. More than 1,000 women and men are expected to attend. Registration opens Thursday, Jan. 19 at wsummit.bryant.edu.

When Women’s Summit® founding director Kati Machtley, a former nursing educator, came to Bryant in 1996, she was impressed that the institution has always recognized the importance of educating women. With her background in higher education and her experience educating and mentoring women, she enlisted some like-minded colleagues to create the first Women’s Summit®, which was held in 1997. Kati attributes the success of the event 20 years later to perseverance and to her dedicated Bryant University team, noting that her husband Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley is one of the event’s strongest advocates.

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PwC Challenge tests students’ analytical thinking, decision making, collaboration

At Bryant, case competitions like the PwC Challenge, held on campus Oct. 26, require students to apply analytical thinking, fact-based decision making, and collaboration to actual business scenarios.

This year’s case competition, held on campus Oct. 26, concerned the illegal dumping of hazardous materials by a corporation and ways to restore the company’s public image after the news of environmental harm went public.

As part of the challenge, team members were required to work independently to review the business case, develop a solution, and create a presentation. Each team delivered a solution to a panel of high-level PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) professionals, who offered feedback after each presentation. Team success was measured using three criteria: critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills.

“Students gained valuable insight into our profession, our firm, and the issues faced by global business leaders,” says PwC Tax Partner and Bryant Trustee Bob Calabro ’88, who served as one of the judges.

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First-year students pitch business ideas that solve global social problems

Malnutrition. Water-borne illness. Cardiovascular disease. These issues and more were top of mind this semester for a group of first-year International Business majors challenged by their professors – Associate Professor of Management Diya Das, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor of Management Elzotbek Rustambekov, Ph.D. – to develop a business that would address a global social problem.

The assignment was part of Global Foundations of Organizations and Business, a three-credit component of Bryant’s nationally recognized First-Year Gateway.

On Nov. 2 – not even eight weeks into their collegiate careers – 10 student teams pitched their proposals to a panel of judges that included the director of strategic initiatives from software company Dassault Systemes and the director of operations for Swarovski.

The teams and their innovative solutions reflected extensive research and critical thinking about the scope of the problems they had identified, and the cultural mores and practices that would affect their business. In learning how to nurture their ideas into international businesses, they developed skills in design thinking, rapid prototyping, leadership, communication, negotiation and time management. They also grew in their understanding of the triple bottom line – the social, economic, and environmental dimensions their proposed businesses would have.

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Annual Ethics Event helps students navigate real-world situations

The Ronald K. and Kati C. Machtley Interfaith Center’s sixth annual Ethics Event provides students with the opportunity to reflect on their own values and practice a process for solving ethical dilemmas and reaching decisions that take their values, other value systems, and the impact of their decisions on others into account.

This year’s Ethics Event features two distinct programs. “Helping When Help Is Needed: Sexual Violence and Bystander Intervention” is part of the University’s First-Year Gateway Experience. Required for all first-year students, the session, to be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, is a case study workshop and panel discussion. Students will meet in small groups for the case study workshops to prepare for the panel discussion at 3 in the MAC.

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