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Mario J. Gabelli School of Business

RWU Professor's Study Finds More Risk than Reward in Brand Activism

February 22, 2017

BRISTOL, R.I. ­– In preparing for the Super Bowl, companies such as Airbnb and Audi, Anheuser-Busch and 84 Lumber decided to run ads that tackled societal and political issues such as equal pay for women and a mammoth border wall.

Perhaps those decisions are unsurprising at a time when political passions are running high, people are marching in protests and many corporations are concluding it’s time to take a stand. But aside from whether executives think such ads are the right call to make (regardless of the consequences), the question remains: is brand activism a win or a loss for a company’s bottom line?

A newly published study in the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice finds that linking political or social positions with brands offers no clear benefit, even when viewers agree with a stance, but it does pose the potential for significant damage to the brand’s interests, when consumers do not agree with that position.

RWU Announces Spring Semester Events in Year-Long "Quest for Refuge" Series

January 23, 2017

BRISTOL, R.I. ­­– Roger Williams University will continue its year-long “Quest for Refuge” series during the spring semester, examining the political and cultural impact of the global refugee crisis and celebrating stories of survival as staggering numbers of displaced people seek refuge around the world.

“As a private university that serves the public good, Roger Williams is committed to bringing to our students and the outside community topics and speakers of great relevance to the issues that beset our world today,” RWU President Donald J. Farish said. “To date, the speakers and films in our ‘Quest for Refuge’ series have been outstanding, and I’m confident the same will hold true for the spring semester. There is no admission charge to any part of this series.  Please come, listen, learn and discuss the Quest for Refuge.”

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Amid Election Season Clashes, RWU Students Chose Civil Discourse

January 13, 2017

BRISTOL, R.I. – As fiercely emotional political showdowns took place on campuses across the nation this past election cycle, a group of conservative and liberal Roger Williams University students showed how it’s possible to engage in civil discourse despite sharp political differences.

The Emmy Award-winning MTV documentary series “True Life” captured the conflict and the reconciliation as students had frank discussions about campus tensions and then joined in organizing a student forum that produced a wide-ranging political discussion.

MTV plans to broadcast the RWU segment as part of an episode about conflict stemming from the Nov. 8 presidential election. The “True Life” episode is expected to air prior to Inauguration Day on Friday, Jan. 20.

Following the election, students raised concerns about the policy consequences and about the need for justice in the classroom. So on Nov. 30, RWU President Donald J. Farish hosted a “fireside chat” on campus, saying his immediate concern was for members of the LGBTQ community, international students, Muslims and students of color generally.

Year in Review: The Top Stories at Roger Williams University in 2016

December 27, 2016

BRISTOL, R.I. – There’s no doubt that 2016 was a very big year for Roger Williams University, with the opening of a new campus in the heart of downtown Providence at the same time the University welcomed its largest class ever with the Class of 2020. From sending off more than 1,000 graduates into the world with Commencement 2016 to the launching of a student-led Conservation Corps, the construction management program earning a top-five national ranking, the creation of a real-time financial trading room, students landing prestigious honors and faculty experts making a difference with their work, celebrate RWU’s many successes with a look back at the most read stories on PDQ@RWU.

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Connecting Passion and Purpose: Q&A with Changemaker Fellow Amanda Calderon ’18

November 2, 2016

BRISTOL, R.I. – If you recently bought a Boston Celtics ticket on the secondary market there is a good chance that you purchased it via student entrepreneur Amanda Calderon. In less than a year the junior marketing major has built a profitable business in the booming secondary ticket industry with her site Courtside Broker.

One might think it beginner’s luck, but the native of Morris Plains, N.J., has been churning out her own small businesses from an early age, making enough bucks with the recent endeavor to forgo further work-study assistance (she worked the Annual Fund Phonathon one year) or the typical college-student job.

RWU Announces $500,000 Gift to Establish Hassenfeld Projects

September 6, 2016

BRISTOL, R.I. – Roger Williams University has received a $500,000 gift from Hassenfeld Family Initiatives LLC to establish the Hassenfeld Projects -- an intensive, three-year initiative to expand and enhance its innovative work in experiential education.

The grant builds on RWU’s growing cadre of experiential programs that prepare students to meet the demands of today’s employers while building skill sets in areas such as economic development, sustainability and social justice.  

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Roger Williams University Recognizes Alumni Achievements at Annual Awards Ceremony

June 15, 2016

BRISTOL, R.I. – In what has become an annual tradition to celebrate the professional and personal achievements of its alumni, Roger Williams University recognized three graduates whose contributions to society and the University community advance the common good and inspire others to address society’s challenges with insight and creativity.

Students Capture Third Place in Student Advertising Competition

April 19, 2016

BOSTON, M.A. – For a fourth time in recent years, Roger Williams University students continued to build on their success in a competitive student advertising competition with a third-place win this month.

This year, an interdisciplinary team of 22 students – comprised of majors in marketing, graphic design, web development and media communication – competed in the regional round of the 2016 National Student Advertising Competition, earning the top-three finish against nine other colleges and universities from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

In the annual competition, the National Student Advertising Campaign, sponsored by the American Advertising Federation, enlists a corporate sponsor to provide a case study that identifies a real-world problem, as well as associated campaign objectives and a campaign budget. The challenge this year was to generate greater brand engagement for Snapple and appeal to consumers beyond the beverage company’s traditional stronghold in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.

RWU Dean Susan McTiernan Wins Distinguished Woman in Business Education Award

May 23, 2017

BRISTOL, R.I. ­­– Susan McTiernan, dean of the Mario J. Gabelli School of Business at Roger Williams University, has won the Patricia M. Flynn Distinguished Woman in Business Education Award from the Women Administrators in Management Education Affinity Group.

The group established the award in 2016 to recognize female thought leaders whose leadership, research and educational initiatives have a significant impact on women through business education.

“Dr. Susan McTiernan, the recipient of the 2017 award, has been a pioneer and an instrumental influence on women in business and business education, and her work in this area has had an impact on many of us,” said Rama Yelkur, dean of the St. John Fisher College School of Business, who chaired the WAME Affinity Group in 2016–17 and led the committee that chose McTiernan for the award.

Commencement 2017: Celebration, Reflection and a Call to Action

May 20, 2017

BRISTOL, R.I. – Bearing colorful caps with stories of where their journey takes them next, the processional of 1,075 members of the Roger Williams University Class of 2017 joined thousands of attendees under the tent on Saturday, May 20, to culminate their college careers at the University’s annual Commencement exercises.

In addition to awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to the candidates, University President Donald J. Farish conferred honorary doctorates to two local leaders: NBC 10 anchor Patrice Wood and Dr. Pablo Rodriguez, chair of the Women & Infants Health Care Alliance, president and CEO of Women’s Care, former medical director of Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island, and a clinical associate professor at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School.

They were selected, Farish said, because their life work and their commitment to making Rhode Island a better place embodies the university's institutional mission of strengthening society through teaching and learning.

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