Monday, December 18, 2017

2017 Fall Commencement: Congratulations, Bobcats!

After years of challenging and rewarding work, 495 St. Thomas University students earned their degree on Saturday, Dec. 16, during the fall commencement ceremony. Family, friends, students, faculty and staff gathered at the Fernandez Family Center to celebrate this important milestone.

Also in attendance celebrating graduates was the newly appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Miami and St. Thomas alumnus, Bishop Enrique Delgado, who was the commencement speaker. His speech urged graduates to persevere and to look to the future with optimism.

The degrees included 110 baccalaureate degrees; 327 graduate degrees; 42 law-related degrees; and 16 doctorate degrees.
For more photos from commencement, click here.

Friday, December 15, 2017

St. Thomas University Announces Appointment of New Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

St. Thomas University President Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale announced the appointment of Anita D. Britt as its chief financial and administrative officer effective Jan. 1, 2018.

The appointment reflects the University’s transformative mission in becoming the leading Catholic University in the Southeast. Britt has served on the St. Thomas Board of Trustees and as the co-chair for the Gus Machado School of Business advisory board over the last five years. She brings more than 30 years of global business experience from companies including Perry Ellis International and Jones Group. She began her career as a CPA at Coopers and Lybrand. 

"Ms. Britt has been a terrific contributor to St. Thomas University as a trustee, and she brings a strong understanding of the University’s forward path as it builds on its core competencies in law, business, sports management, and nursing among other programs,” said Monsignor Casale. “She brings a strong skill set, which will complement and enhance the University’s future while also understanding its Catholic intellectual tradition.”

John Dooner, chairman of the Board of Trustees, added, “Anita brings a passion for the University, which coupled with her financial sensibility will support the forward vision for St. Thomas on its road to becoming the leading Catholic University in the Southeast. I, along with my fellow trustees, am thrilled to have her experience and skill set driving the University into the future.”

Britt succeeds Terrence “Terry” O’Connor, who has served as St. Thomas’ CFO for the past 11 years. O’Connor will assist the University in an advisory capacity until his retirement date of March 31, 2018.

“We are especially grateful to Terry for his contributions and service to St. Thomas over the years,” said Monsignor Casale. “He has been my right hand for over a decade, and his contributions have led St. Thomas to solid positioning.”

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Business graduates take third place in global investment challenge

Five STU graduate students at the Gus Machado School of Business came out in the top three at the Peeptrade University Challenge, an investment competition that pitted them against graduates from around the world including top-tier business schools like Princeton, MIT, John Hopkins University, London Business School, University of South California, and several others.

From Oct. 2 to Dec. 2, STU students Fabian Heinrich, Tony Mamodaly, Elaine Pons, Luis Martin, and Garrick Amedee successfully managed a $1 million virtual money portfolio, and presented their investment methodology to a panel of judges at the University of Chicago.

St. Thomas finished with a 12.24 percent return, and ranked third in the world, and was the top performing school in the United States. Vlerick Business School in Belgium came in first place with a 13.33 percent return; and Nanyang Technological University came in second place with a 8.55 percent return. The winners were judged on several factors in addition to the return on investment.

Peeptrade formed the challenge with the objective of giving students hands-on experience in the financial markets. 

“Competitions like this are a more realistic, yet fun experience than any classroom or textbook exercise could have given them,” said Somnath Bhattacharya, dean of the Gus Machado School of Business. “This has been a fantastic opportunity for our students that simulated a real world investment environment.”

Friday, December 1, 2017

STU business graduates go head-to-head with Ivy Leagues

A group of graduate students at St. Thomas University—Fabian Heinrich, Tony Mamodaly, Elaine Pons, Luis Martin, and Garrick Amedee—is currently participating in the Peeptrade University Challenge, an investment competition, which began Oct. 2, 2017. STU students are among other distinguished universities, such as Princeton, the University of Chicago, MIT, the London School of Business, and the University of Miami, showcasing their investment selection and risk management skills.

As of Nov. 30, STU is in second place. During the first seven weeks of the competition, STU’s portfolio has returned 10.49 percent compared to 2.83 percent for its benchmark, the S&P 500 index. The Top 5 teams, which includes STU, will be presenting their portfolio strategy to a professional panel of judges at the University of Chicago on Dec. 2, 2017.

By creating an investment portfolio and competing against top universities across the globe, this challenge provides real-life experience in the investment management profession. The objective of the competition is not simply the highest return, but rather a broad array of performance metrics including strategy execution, risk-adjusted return, and adherence with the portfolio’s investment policy statement. This process provides STU’s students with valuable training for their future careers.

The competing students are also members of the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) at STU. The SMIF has both undergraduate and graduate students managing a real-money portfolio under the guidance of faculty advisers Dr. Leslee Higgins, Associate Dean Lloyd Mitchell, and Professor Kevin Brady, the latter of which has offered guidance to the Peeptrade competitors through his experience as an equity trader.

The investment competition and the SMIF highlight two ways the students that attend the Gus Machado School of Business enhance opportunities to add value to their classroom training.