2021 News

Group of students


December 14, 2021

West Chester University’s College of Business and Public Management had three of its programs featured on Intelligent.com’s national lists for 2022. Overall, the University was ranked on 17 of Intelligent.com’s national lists, including being in the top 10 on nine of these lists.

The College of Business and Public Management has been recognized with the following rankings:

Best Online Doctorate in Public Administration Programs #1

Best Online MBA Programs #6

Best Criminal Justice Degree Programs #44

Intelligent.com assesses the top programs in the nation based on flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Their methodology ranks each program on a scale from 0 to 100 across five categories: program strength, student readiness, return on investment, cost, and student engagement. Researchers compared 704 programs from 2,900 universities and colleges across the United States.

West Chester was included in the top 10 rankings for:

Best Child Development Degree Programs #2
Best Online Master's in Early Childhood Education Programs #2
Best Online Master's in Special Education Programs #3
Best Online Ph.D. Programs #4
Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania #7
Best Early Childhood Education Degree Programs #8
Best Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degree Programs #10

On its website, Intelligent.com offers hundreds of program rankings and user-friendly guides that include information about financial aid, internships, and even study strategies.


Student group


December 9, 2021

The second annual Supply Chain Management and Business Analytics Case Competition was held Wednesday evening, November 3, 2021. The student team Triple Threat of Desmond Brock, Dominic Cipriano, and Kole Sample won first place. Make it Chain, comprised of students Cole Bono, Owen Rocks, and James Forsythe, came in second place, and Called it, formed by students Mark Dumont, Clay Corcimiglia, and Tyler Yeagy, placed third in the competition.

All three winning groups were invited by the Chief Supply Chain Officer from IKEA to present their case competition solutions at the IKEA Customer Fulfillment Council meeting held December 7.

This year, 10 teams presented on a real-world case from IKEA, and nine industry leaders from JPMorgan Chase & Co., APICS Brandywine Valley Chapter, SAP, Endo Pharmaceuticals, UHS, Bristol Myers Squibb, and IKEA served on the judging panel.


Student handwriting


November 15, 2021

With $5,000 in prize money, WCU’s Social Innovation Competition has inspired entrepreneurs who hope to make positive social advances. The five finalists in this inaugural competition will pitch a panel of judges, Shark Tank style, on Tuesday, November 16, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the West Chester University Alumni and Foundation Center, 202 Carter Drive. This new competition is organized by WCU’s Dr. Edwin Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center. The in-person pitches are free to watch.

The Social Innovation Competition encourages participants from diverse disciplines to develop an entrepreneurial idea that addresses and solves significant social or environmental problems. Ideas must be related to at least one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The competition is open to all West Chester University undergraduate students, graduate students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

On hand to further inspire will be Nick Bayer, CEO of Saxbys, and one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 100 Most Powerful Leaders in Philadelphia. He will keynote the event and discuss Saxbys’ recent designation as a Certified B Corporation. B Corps are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

The competition moderator is Emily Yates, Smart City director for the City of Philadelphia. With her background in urban policy, in 2019 she founded and was principal of Urban Revolution Group, LLC, a sustainability and economic development firm that assists policymakers and practitioners in developing strategies and implementing projects and programs that create resilient and inclusive cities of the future.

The five finalists in WCU’s first Social Innovation Competition are:

  • The Caring App – Tom Elmer (WCU adjunct marketing faculty)
  • Music Service Learning – Marci Major (WCU assistant professor and chair of music education and music therapy), Lauren Ryals (WCU adjunct faculty), Spencer Camacho (WCU alumnus), and Adam Gumble (WCU assistant professor, music education, and director of athletic bands).
  • Roasting Composting – Kylie Trankle (WCU undergraduate)
  • Fischer General Store – Lorraine Fischer (WCU undergraduate)
  • All-In-One-Tactile Urbanism Platform – Alden Ritchey (WCU undergraduate)

Register to attend here.

The West Chester University Social Innovation Competition is sponsored by TD Bank, and is co-hosted by The WCU Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center, The WCU Office of Sustainability, The WCU Center for Civic Engagement & Social Impact, and PRME.

The Dr. Edwin Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center at West Chester University inspires students to engage in entrepreneurial ventures, facilitates regional economic development, and fosters entrepreneurship literacy across WCU, in Chester County, and in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Global Entrepreneurship Week

The Social Innovation Competition occurs during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), an international initiative that acknowledges and promotes entrepreneurship in six continents each November. This week’s programs from the Cottrell Center include:

Wednesday, November 17, 6 to 7 p.m.
WCU College of Business and Public Management Center
Patrick Murray, founder, president, and CEO of STP Investment Services, his vision for a world-class, client-centric operations services and technology provider. STP has grown at a breakneck pace, crossing $330 billion in assets served and capturing industry recognition along the way, including by the Philadelphia Business Journal, and Inc. 5000 growth awards.

Thursday, November 18, 12 to 1:30 p.m.
2 West Market Street, West Chester, PA 19382
The Cottrell Center hosts Chester County entrepreneurs and like-minded professionals who share a common goal of growing their network to help improve others, their businesses, and careers. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. This event is open to Chester County start-ups, professionals, and students.

Alex Cohen headshot


November 3, 2021

Alex Cohen, West Chester University professor of marketing, is making a difference to provide more accessibility to blind people and those with low vision through Accessible Pharmacy, a company he co-founded in May 2020.

Accessible Pharmacy has been featured in both the New York Times and locally on 6ABC.

Elmar Marketing class


November 1, 2021 

The West Chester University Department of Marketing and adjunct professor Tom Elmer’s MKT 425 Marketing Strategy and Planning course students are collaborating for the seventh semester with the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce this fall to provide nine local businesses with marketing assistance from WCU students. The marketing students will be assisting these businesses with marketing plans and strategies.

The local business clients attended class on October 29, 2021 to celebrate the project’s launch and meet the marketing course students. The local businesses participating this semester include: 938 Church, Inspire Lens Media, Exemplary Performance, Eddie Knows West Chester, Chester County Bar Association, West Chester Gift Card, Kraft Bus, Structured Resources, and Stoltzfus RV's & Marine.

Zoom Screenshot
Zoom Screenshot


October 22, 2021 

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Dr. Cassandra L. Reyes and students from the CRJ 325 Animal Cruelty course recently held zoom meetings with Pennsylvania State legislators and members of their staffs during The Humane Society of the United States-Pennsylvania (HSUS-PA) Humane Lobby Week.

Reyes and two students in the Animal Cruelty course met with Pennsylvania State Senator Carolyn Comitta’s Constituent Services Specialist, Julia Loving, on October 4, 2021 to discuss The HSUS-PA’s priority pending legislation and the Pennsylvania State House and Senate’s Animal Protection Caucus.

On October 20, 2021, Reyes and five students from the class met with Pennsylvania State Representative Dianne Herrin to discuss the topics from above and ending wildlife killing contests in Pennsylvania.

These meetings during the fall semester provide students with opportunities to learn about how laws are created through the legislative process. Students then apply what they have learned in the course to real-world settings as they advocate for pending anti-animal cruelty legislation on the Pennsylvania and federal levels by writing letters to their elected officials and creating videos for social media platforms.

Group Award Photo
Group Award photo #2


October 13, 2021

West Chester University’s Nu Zeta Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the International Honor Organization for Financial Information Students and Professionals, hosted the Second Annual Ethics Case Competition on Friday, October 8, 2021. The competition was made possible through a sponsorship by Wipfli, who had its working professionals serve as the judges for the event.

The two winning teams at the Ethics Case Competition were The Accountants, comprised of Maria Coyle, Joseph Harkins, Kathryn Kelly, Lucas Klein, and Isabella Stanziani, and West Chester’s Finest, whose team members were Nick D’Angelo, Nate Frankel, Daniel Gauntlett, and Brendan Keane.

A Kick-Off Event was held on September 28 where the teams, comprising students of all majors and academic years, were presented the case and the teams had until competition day to prepare their presentation and decide whether the case was ethical. Each team gave a 10-minute presentation on the case in front of the judging panel. The teams were then asked questions about their presentation, and based on their performance, two sets of judging panels crowned two first-place winners, along with second- and third-place recipients. In all, the competition included 116 participants making up a total of 29 teams.

Pete Earley Keynotes Mental Illness Awareness Week Events


If you or someone you know is in a mental health emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

September 30, 2021

What happens to mentally ill people who break a law?

Pete Earley knows – and will share what he has witnessed when he speaks on Tuesday, October 5, as the keynote of West Chester University’s Mental Illness Awareness Week events. His 6 p.m. speech and Q&A in Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall is free and open to the public.

Earley’s nonfiction book CRAZY: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness was one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize. He emphasizes that he uses the word “CRAZY” in the book title to refer to the mental health care system.

His book chronicles his struggle to help his adult son after he develops a severe mental illness and is arrested. His son’s arrest prompted Earley, a former Washington Post reporter, to spend 10 months inside the Miami Dade County jail as a reporter where he followed prisoners with mental disorders through the criminal justice system to see what actually happened to them. CRAZY has won awards from the American Psychiatric Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America, and prompted CNN to name him one of the nation’s top “Mental Wellness Warriors.”

“I feel more passionately about this book than any I have ever written,” says Earley, who has authored 11 nonfiction books and 10 novels. “Our nation’s jails and prisons have become our new mental asylums. I wrote this book as a wake-up call to expose how persons with mental illness are ending up behind bars when what they need is help, not punishment.”

WCU students in the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) On Campus organization were instrumental in coordinating Earley’s visit and in organizing other campus activities for Mental Illness Awareness Week October 3–9.

NAMI On Campus President Hannah Crespy, a psychology major, said that she and her club’s board members “believed that it would be important to bring in a speaker who could tie in the complexities of mental illnesses and relate it to a real-world problem such as the intersectionality of mental health and the justice system. We believe that it is crucial for NAMI On Campus to provide education and ‘real people’ experiences to campus in hopes of reducing stigma.”

Crespy also emphasized how important it for students to understand that they are not alone in their struggles with mental health. That resonates with Jose F. Tena, a criminal justice major who is president of the criminal justice honor society Nu Beta (Alpha Phi Sigma): “I wanted to help NAMI On Campus, knowing how important it is to speak up about mental illness and seek help.”

The event is free but registration is required. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mental-illness-awareness-pete-earley-tickets-154835931439?aff=ebdssbdestsearch.

Pete Earley’s presentation is sponsored by the WCU Office of the President and the Office of Educational Accessibility as well as the academic departments Criminal Justice, Health, Psychology, and Public Policy & Administration. Off-campus sponsors are Brandywine Valley Counseling & Neurofeedback Center, Chester County MH/100, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on Campus, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Main Line, PA.

For more information, contact Dr. Michele P. Bratina, Department of Criminal Justice: mbratina@wcupa.edu.

Also During Mental Illness Awareness Week

In addition to Earley’s presentation, a free panel presentation on the Stepping Up Initiative will take place Wednesday, Oct. 6, in Sykes Student Union Theater from 3 to 4:30 p.m. This event is open to the public and anyone can attend virtually.

The Stepping Up Initiative is a national movement to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails. Stepping Up asks communities to come together to develop an action plan that can be used to achieve measurable impact in local criminal justice systems of all sizes across the country. For Chester County, Susanne Fink, Mental Health Diversion Specialist, is coordinator for CIT and the Stepping Up Initiative. In addition to Fink, the other panelists are from the Council of State Governments and Justice Center: Gretchen Frank, Senior Policy Analyst, Behavioral Health and Kati Habert, Senior Policy Analyst.

Campus mental health services include the WCU Counseling Center (610-436-2301) and the WCU Community Mental Health Clinic (610-436-2510; cmhs@wcupa.edu). Or call the Chester County Mental Health Crisis Intervention Hotline at 1-877-918-2100.


Photo of Business & Public Management Building


July 20, 2021

Four West Chester University students, Morgan Culbreath, Zachary Davis, Nicole Leventhal, and Mallika Tarigopula, were recently awarded scholarships by the Pennsylvania CPA Foundation.

Davis was the recipient of a $4,500 Academic Merit Scholarship, and Leventhal received a $4,000 Academic Merit Scholarship. Culbreath was the recipient of a $3,000 Minority Scholarship, while Tarigopula was the recipient of a $2,000 Minority Scholarship.

The Academic Merit Scholarship is awarded to full-time accounting students attending a Pennsylvania college or university, completed intermediate accounting, and has earned 45 credits and a minimum GPA of 3.4.

The Minority Scholarship is awarded to full-time accounting students attending a Pennsylvania college or university, who is an ethnic minority, and has earned 30 credits and a minimum GPA of 3.0.

The Pennsylvania CPA Foundation awarded more than $213,000 in scholarships and awards in 2021 to help future CPAs reach their goals. Read more about all the scholarship recipients. 

Badge for Best Online Doctoral Programs in Public Administration in 2021


July 2, 2021

West Chester University’s online DPA program is ranked at #4 in the Best Online Doctoral Programs in Public Administration in 2021 by Best Value Schools released on July 1.

Best Value Schools evaluates programs using a point-based system in which schools are awarded points in two categories: value as it relates to tuition and relative class enrollment size.

Photo of Dr. Michele Bratina


June 30, 2021

Dr. Michele Bratina, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, was recently honored as the recipient of the 2021 Northeast Association of Criminal Justice Sciences (NEACJS) Founders Award during its annual meeting in June.

Established in 1997, the Founders Award in presented annually in recognition of outstanding service to the NEACJS. To be eligible for this award, an individual must have been an active member in good standing of the NEACJS for four consecutive years, and has to have made substantial and significant contributions in service to the Association.


June 25, 2021


Six WCU graduates, founders of NazBi


June 8, 2021

Small businesses suffered during the pandemic but a new local online platform — staffed by recent WCU grads and students — is now available to help small artisan businesses in the greater Philadelphia region market their products virtually.

NazBi launched in late May. It’s the brainchild of Komeil Nasrollahi, business engagement manager for the Chester County Economic Development Council, who teaches in WCU’s College of Business and Public Management.

“During my time as a WCU faculty member, I’ve met a handful of students who truly exceeded my expectations of young adults,” he notes. He recruited them to help launch NazBi.

Danielle King said Nasrollahi called her in January. She’s NazBi’s social media manager. “To be able to stay in West Chester after college, to live and work here and enjoy this amazing community is a dream come true. But what is even better is that I get to be part of a team whose sole purpose is to bring value to our local community and to support the shops and the town that we all know and love,” she says.

King earned her bachelor of science in international business with a minor in Spanish in May 2020 and has been working full time since November for West Chester-based healthcare company Global Doctors US as their VP of operations, marketing, and pharmaceuticals.

All the positions at NazBi are volunteer. “This company was established to help others and to help the positive growth of our community,” she explains. “We like to say that NazBi was made local, for local, and it could not be more true. Our mission is to make #shopsmall more than just a hashtag, to make it a true community initiative.” The company’s slogan: Go Buy Where You Go By!

“NazBi is a great opportunity for me to give back to the community I grew up in,” says Joey Wikol, who earned his bachelor’s this year in professional studies with minors in international business, applied statistics, and psychology. “I am in charge of outreach so I have conversations with Chester County’s small business owners about how NazBi can promote selling their products locally. It’s inspiring and energizing.”

Nasrollahi reports that approximately 35 local artisan businesses have become partners so far. All are small and local, some are home-based, and many are women-owned businesses.

The marketing team provides all the e-commerce support for partners, creates their personalized web page including photography and videography, and positions their products and brands on NazBi’s website and social media. NazBi is designed to be easy to use, convenient, and efficient for all parties, charging 7.5% on transactions. Unlike other platforms such as Etsy, there are no hidden fees for retailers or buyers.

“These are stories about our creative neighbors,” says Nasrollahi. He envisioned NazBi as a place for the region’s artisans to connect easily with their neighbors and for buyers to conveniently support their favorite neighborhood small businesses.

Braedon Swindler ensures that user-friendliness as online platform operations manager while working full time as a digital marketing division lead at IT Edge, a local tech consulting company. His own efforts in working to bring a business idea from concept to company, using the resources of the University’s Edwin Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center, brought him into digital marketing, including website development, analytics tracking, and omnichannel customer journey development. He says he “thought that it was slightly ironic that my first business venture was driven to a halt due to not having a tech guy, but now, here I am, working as a tech guy!”

Swindler earned both his bachelor’s in international business (2020) and his master’s degrees (2021) in just four years at WCU by accelerating both programs.

Giana Reno, a 2021 WCU graduate with her bachelor’s in communications and media, interned with NazBi this spring during the final semester of her senior year and is now its content creation manager. The concept, the team, and its company values convinced her to stay with NazBi post-grad “watching more and more people get excited about what we're doing.”

Rising senior media and culture major Kylie Hayward joined NazBi in April as a social media and content creation intern. In that short time, she has recognized how the team’s passion and NazBi’s goals benefit small businesses in West Chester and beyond: “I hope we can help everyone recognize how important it is to shop local and what it means for our community.”

Eventually, Nasrollahi expects to launch NazBi platforms in other cities across the country.

For more information, email customerservice@nazbi.com.

WCUPA 1871 Award


April 9, 2021

Seven students who are part of the College of Business and Public Management will be recognized with this year’s West Chester University 1871 Award in a live virtual presentation on YouTube on Thursday, April 15, at 6:30 p.m.

In all, 40 outstanding students across the University were selected for this award, which recognizes juniors and seniors who excel in the academic and co-curricular realms.

The 1871 Award Class of 2021 is comprised of the following students with connections to the College of Business and Public Management: Tanya Adkins, Joseph Bevilacqua, Amondo Clayton, Sydney Fritz, Erin Kaliszak, Shreya Sukur, and Amber Young.

The 1871 Award was established in 2018 and represents the year in which West Chester University was founded. This year’s awards are unique as the University celebrates its sesquicentennial – 150th – anniversary in 2021.

Each year, a selection committee comprising faculty, staff, and one student, reviews applications and then selects up to 71 students for the 1871 Awards which rewards their outstanding accomplishments related to academics, leadership, community engagement, and career readiness.

Recipients of the 1871 Award will be honored by the academic dean of their respective colleges, in alphabetical order. Other speakers are WCU President Chris Fiorentino, Vice President for Student Affairs Zebulun Davenport, and Assistant Vice President for Student Development in the Division of Student Affairs Judy Kawamoto.

Visit the 1871 Award website for additional information.

WCU Business Idea Competition Zoom meeting


April 7, 2021 

Anyone who wants to start a business should watch budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas in the annual Business Idea Competition hosted by West Chester University’s Dr. Edwin Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center. These finalists will compete virtually on Wednesday, April 14, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in a live event before a panel of judges that consists of business angel investors, entrepreneurs, and business advisors. See what makes a winning business proposal by registering and attending the free online event.

Sponsored by the Cottrell Center, the Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic, and the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, the WCU Business Idea Competition promotes creativity and idea generation by recognizing innovative ideas for new products, services, and technology.

Now in its ninth year, this competition draws entries in four categories: WCU undergraduates; WCU graduate students, faculty/staff, and alumni; Chester County high school students; and Chester County startups. The top six ideas from each track submitted a two-minute video in a virtual fast pitch competition on March 25. This year’s panel of judges selected the following to advance to the finals:

WCU Undergraduate Track

Jake Henry: LECTRA, combines kinesiology tape with electric muscle stimulation

Nate Gittleman: Fog Frogs, an attachment for eyeglasses to prevent fogging, particularly helpful when wearing a mask

WCU Graduate, Alumni, Faculty & Staff

Talonda Rogers and Gina Torrie: LISTEN App provides healthcare and coaching to women during pregnancy

Robert Lowrie: Smart Route, an application for sales people to help them map their route and keep accurate notes

Chester County High School Students

Arparna Vagvala, Downingtown STEM High School: Healthy Habits – The Ruko Ring, a Smart Ring worn on a finger to alert the wearer when you are touching your face.

Kathryn Palmer and Jake Coombe, West Chester East High School: Safe Away, an insulated locked box to protect packages that are delivered to your home

Chester County Startups

Gene Williams: Athletes Untapped, a web service that matches young athletes with private coaches

John Scott: MDSB Innovations, a multi-dimensional sports bet application

The presenting sponsor for this year’s Business Idea Competition is Meridian Bank. Univest Financial is the gold sponsor.

Pattie Diggin, director of the Cottrell Center, reported that all the ideas submitted this year were promising. Her message to those not making it to the finals: “I encourage you to continue to work on your business idea and to connect with the Cottrell Center for potential support that we might provide.”

Diggin also noted that the Cottrell Center will launch its first Social Innovation Competition this fall. Qualifying business ideas will demonstrate some benefit for social or environmental issues. She said the Cottrell Center team has been gauging the growth of this entrepreneurial field in recent years. “This past year has put a focus on it. We have seen … acceleration due to COVID.”

The Dr. Edwin Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center fosters entrepreneurship across West Chester University and throughout Chester County by preparing students to contribute to the entrepreneurship ecosystem, providing access to a rich network of entrepreneurship resources and enhancing the startup and growth of new ventures to develop a strong WCU entrepreneurship culture and a vibrant Chester County entrepreneurship ecosystem.


State System Startup Challenge

In addition, Diggin noted, WCU students have done well in this year’s Startup Challenge hosted by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. She will moderate the virtual competition on Wednesday, April 21, at 7 p.m.

Two WCU students have advanced to the final round: Connor Wagner with The D.A.R.T., a product to help with defensive lineman drills in football; and Emma Wagner with Wear To Go, a clothing service that provides information on what to where when traveling.

Plus, three student teams have advanced to the semi-final round:

Grace McDonough and Dylan Martin: Rent U, a web-based application to support off-campus housing for West Chester University students;

Emma Wagner: Ever Décor, a rental service for home accessories and seasonal decorations; and

Matthew Zwilgmeyer: Auto Saddle, a DYI car roof rack.

The Cottrell Center and West Chester University are sponsoring the PASSHE State System Startup Challenge this year and the University is sponsoring the fourth place prize of $1,500.

Charity Alinda Headshot


March 23, 2021

A self-professed proponent of international education, Charity Alinda M’15 will have the opportunity to “walk the talk” on a higher education program in Taiwan in 2022. He is one of the 12 U.S. higher education officials chosen for Fulbright’s International Educators Administrators (IEA) seminar.

Ugandan-born Alinda is assistant director of international programs in the University’s Global Engagement Office (GEO), where he had been the graduate assistant while he earned his MPA. After earning his bachelor’s degree in Uganda in 2009, he came to the United States as an international fellow with a New Jersey non-profit. He is currently completing WCU’s Doctor of Public Administration program.

Alinda considers his personal and professional mission to be “building intercultural bridges” and he has advanced that mission in his role with CIP, working with students from more than 40 countries each year. “I work closely with WCU students, faculty, and staff to support internationalization initiatives. The advising I provide for all WCU F-1 and J-1 visa students includes immigration, cultural adjustment, campus integration, and visa status benefits. I am also responsible for the development, coordination, and implementation of programs and services to enhance and enrich the educational and cultural experience of students and scholars at WCU.”

To that end, he established the University’s annual International Education Week, now in its fifth year. He designed CIP’s Global Ambassador Program through which former WCU study abroad participants serve as peer advisors. He advises both the undergraduate and graduate WCU International Student Associations. Alinda also serves on WCU’s Council on Diversity, Inclusion and Academic Excellence.

“This work has afforded me the ability to better understand the value of intercultural competence,” he notes.

Alinda says he has no prior experience with Taiwan or its culture save for the few Taiwanese students with whom he has worked. “Ever since high school, Taiwan has always fascinated me — not only because of its rather rapid economic growth, but also its higher standing in global education,” he says. “This program is a great opportunity for me as an international administrator to expand my personal and professional experience in this part of the world.”

While he makes professional connections and studies Taiwan’s higher education system, Alinda will also share “my knowledge and expertise in student and scholar immigration advising. I will be able to share how prospective students and/or visiting scholars from Taiwan would navigate the rather complex immigration system of the United States.

“In 2019, the University completed a self-study through the framework of the ACE Internationalization Lab through which WCU developed goals that would set the institution on a clear path to more comprehensive internationalization. My participation in the IEA Taiwan program will contribute to WCU’s intentional cultivation of global diversity and awareness.”

Once he completes the seminar in Taiwan, Alinda expects to share what he learned “and will be able to better support efforts to accomplish the goals established by the ACE self-study. What I will gain will contribute to the internationalization initiatives of the University and will bring WCU closer to its goal to become more comprehensively globally engaged.”

In addition, he noted that since WCU is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, other institutions in the system could also benefit from his participation.

Fulbright’s International Education Administrators (IEA) awards are seminars designed to help U.S. international education professionals and senior higher education officials create empowering connections with their counterparts and higher education systems of other countries. Selected applicants have the opportunity to learn about the host country’s education system as well as establish networks of U.S. and international colleagues over the course of an intensive two-week grant duration. Awardees return with enhanced ability to serve and encourage international students and prospective study-abroad students.



Congratulations to the 11 undergraduate and graduate students from the College of Business and Public Management who were part of the inaugural class into West Chester University’s chapter of Alpha Alpha Alpha. WCU has established a new chapter of an honor society for first-generation college students: Alpha Alpha Alpha (Tri-Alpha). The inaugural group of 56 inductees were honored on Wednesday, Feb. 3, with a Zoom virtual ceremony.

WCU’s undergraduate inductees from the College of Business and Public Management, their majors, and hometowns are:
Kara Bethas, Accounting, Spring Grove, PA
Rebecca L Eck-Olsen, Marketing and Business Management, Trondheim, Norway
Kaitlyn Juhasz, Marketing and Finance, Lake Ariel, PA
Kelsey Schwalm, Marketing, Hegins, PA

WCU’s College of Business and Public Management graduate inductees are:
Tamerra Bailey, Doctor of Public Administration, Bronx, NY
Hector Febo, Master of Public Administration, Mount Pocono, PA
Sarah Foster, Doctor of Public Administration, Ruston, LA
Michelle Gherardi, Doctor of Public Administration, Lancaster, PA
Amanda Kennedy, Doctor of Public Administration, New Braunfels, Texas
Rhonda Parham, Master of Public Administration, Philadelphia
Melissa Rowedder, Master of Human Resource Management, Horsham, PA

First-generation college students are the first in their families to go to college. Neither of the student’s parents, nor step-parents, nor legal guardians, completed a bachelor’s degree.

Students qualify for induction into Tri-Alpha by earning at least 30 credit hours toward a baccalaureate degree and achieving an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.2. First-generation graduate students must have completed the equivalent of at least one term (9 or more graduate credits) and have a GPA in their graduate program of at least 3.5.

CBPM Photo


January 26, 2021

The University’s online Master of Business Administration has achieved a solid ranking on the newly released 2021 U.S. News Online MBA Programs list, coming in at #51 nationally. More than 320 eligible institutions are on the list.

U.S. News also released the list of the top Online MBA Programs for Veterans, placing WCU at #32, tied with William & Mary and the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. Only 78 institutions are ranked on this list.

MBA Coordinator Brian J. Halsey, WCU professor of business law, said he was pleased with the ranking. “We’ve generally maintained our status in a fiercely competitive environment.”

WCU shares the #51 spot with Hofstra University and six other institutions. “The schools that ranked at #45 scored just one point more than us on the scale, and the schools that ranked at #40 scored just two points more. It is a very competitive environment where one point means large moves in the rankings,” noted Halsey. U.S. News lists the tied universities alphabetically.

Tuition for WCU’s online MBA has been frozen since 2019. The program has been online for more than 10 years and is offered in an asynchronous format with respected faculty, many of whom have taught online for more than 20 years.

For the 2021 rankings, U.S. News evaluated institutions using five categories: engagement (30%), expert opinion (25%), faculty credentials and training (15%), student excellence (15%), and student services and technologies (15%).

U.S. News surveys schools annually to collect the data necessary for its rankings.

In addition, for the second consecutive year, U.S. News administered a separate peer assessment survey directly to deans of business schools with online MBA programs and top distance-learning officials at those institutions. To increase the number of ratings for a better representation of schools for the “expert opinion” category, U.S. News aggregated the peer assessment data collected in 2020 with data collected in 2019 and 2018. Their methodology states: “A survey of high-ranking academic officials at MBA programs helps account for intangible factors affecting program quality that statistics do not capture.”

The complete rankings are available online from U.S. News.

In September 2020, U.S. News ranked WCU a Top 10 Public and Top 50 Regional University.