Graham School News

New PDC Instructors

Conscious Leadership and Team Management

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Samantha Coleman

Dr. Samantha Coleman is an award-winning visionary leader, educator, and trained clinician. She began her career working in mental health facilities, psychiatric hospitals, crisis programs, and private practices. Samantha’s endeavor as a socially responsible entrepreneur brought her into the landscape of both public and higher education, as well as corporate coaching and consulting. This unique opportunity to delve into an industry outside of mental health has allowed her to engage clients, staff, faculty, school administrators, teachers, students, businesses, and the community at large. Her ability to both lead and manage enables her to visualize the large picture and the minute details that are necessary for true impact within an organization and its program delivery.

Dr. Coleman is currently the director of student experience and academic advising at Adler University. She is also core faculty in the Applied Psychology Department where she teaches in both the doctoral and masters of industrial/organizational psychology programs as well as nonprofit management. She has lectured for the University of Chicago around leadership, management, team effectiveness, and career transitioning since 2017, has been closely involved in the design of the Conscious Leadership and Team Management certificate, and will be teaching both of the certificate’s courses. In addition, she is an adjunct executive coach for the Center for Creative Leadership, where she provides leadership development feedback from assessment tools such as the DISC, the Conflict Dynamics Profile Inventory (CDPI), the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), FIRO-B, FIRO-Business, and Work Place Big 5 assessments. Dr. Coleman is the owner and principal of a consulting company that focuses on personal and professional mastery via leadership, business, and peer-based coaching. As a skilled group facilitator, her ability to design, coordinate, and implement seminars, webinars, and conferences make her a sought after thought leader in her field.

Dr. Coleman is a graduate of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (PhD in organizational leadership), Concordia University (MA in community counseling) and The University of Illinois at Chicago (BA in psychology). Her research interests revolve around work engagement and psychological capital (PsyCap) which consists of hope, efficacy, resilience, and optimism. She also has interests around developmental readiness and motivation. She is a member of the Organizational Development Network. Her community roots keep her heavily involved in issues that are important to her, such as equitable education, comprehensive sex education, and leadership development for young girls and women.


Data Analytics for Business Professionals

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Medy Agami

Medy S.A. Agami is the vice-chairman of Ben-Roz & Associates. He is an expert in strategy, data analytics and decision sciences, risk management and governance, defense, and public policy. Medy was previously a co-founder and managing director of Opimas. At Opimas, he led the firm's risk management and public policy practice. Prior to founding Opimas, Medy was the head of governance at Northern Trust within risk control. Medy has also worked in strategic advisory, as well as in finance and risk advisory at Oliver Wyman. Prior to Oliver Wyman, he worked at FSCM as a strategist, head of strategy and quantitative research, and chief risk officer.

Medy has worked with many of the world's leading companies and their boards on a variety of issues including strategy, analytics, and innovation and helped launch several market-shaping innovations. He has also worked with business leaders in diverse sectors on risk management and governance, defense, public policy, business transformation, opportunities in technology, and other global trends.

Medy has pioneered new ways of organizational strategic planning and execution, analytic innovation, risk management, and public policy design through the development of various initiatives that are currently implemented at the world's leading asset managers, banks, insurers, energy companies, think-tanks, NGOs, central banks, and public utilities. He has spoken at several CEO, economics, and policy-maker forums around the world and regularly publishes position papers. Moreover, he has published over 20 thought-leadership articles and technical papers in trade journals, industry publications, and with leading research firms, which are referred to extensively and that cover a series of topics across strategy, analytics, risk management, economics, and governance.

He studied financial engineering and quantitative analytics for his master’s in mathematical finance at IIT. He also received an executive master’s in business administration from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.


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Sumit Kumar

Sumit joined the University of Chicago’s Graham School as a full-time, international student in the autumn 2017 cohort. He is currently a software development engineer 2 at Amazon's headquarters in Seattle. He has seven years of experience in software engineering and research and has worked extensively with major programming languages including C, C++, JavaScript, Java, MATLAB, R, and Python.

After earning his bachelor's degree in computer science, he started his career at Aricent Group as a software developer where he worked on different telecom projects, writing software for simulating radio network controllers that were used by Nokia-Siemens Networks. In 2012, Sumit joined Samsung R&D in Noida, India and developed the L3 software protocol stack used today in Samsung's smartphone modems. He has worked on various telecom projects in Canada, Australia, South Korea, and India, where he developed features and algorithms compliant with 3GPP standard for WCDMA/LTE wireless communication. During this period, he also collaborated with various telecom vendors across the world and was instrumental in success of many critical projects.

In 2015, Sumit was promoted to lead engineer and started working in the advanced R&D division at Samsung. He mentored engineers in addition to his independent research work. Sumit developed various novel solutions and algorithms during his research at Samsung and is the inventor and co-author for seven algorithms filed for patents by Samsung. Apart from his research work, he also created tools to automate many manual processes at Samsung. He did an extensive amount of machine-learning based research in audio DSP domain to solve problems such as Blind Source Separation (Cocktail Party Problem) and Audio Directionality and Speaker Diarization. During this time, he also volunteered as a teacher in Samsung's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mission to help under-funded schools.

During his time as a student at the Graham School, Sumit also worked as a research assistant at the Research Computing Center (RCC), UChicago. There he worked on web development projects, based on Django frameworks in Python, to help researchers from different universities connect with each other and share large volumes of data. He was the International Student Representative for the Master of Science in Analytics (MScA) program at Graham School to enhance international students' experience and engagement and was also a member of the UChicago cricket team.


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Rebeca Pop

Rebeca Pop, MA, believes in the power of storytelling with data. Technology and tools cannot replace the human ability to draw insights and communicate effectively with data. Rather, thoughtful data visualization inspires action, and that is what Rebeca aspires to teach her students.

As a media analytics professional, Rebeca has provided insights to large clients in the CPG and automotive space, such as Audi, VW, BMW, Unilever, and Samsung. Rebeca is an analytics and data visualization subject matter expert, course writer, and instructor. She holds a MA from the University of Oklahoma and a BA from the University of Bucharest, Romania. Rebeca has presented her research and won several top paper awards at national and international conferences, and her scholarly work has been published in the Encyclopedia of Public Relations.


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Sridhar Ramaswamy

Sridhar Ramaswamy, PhD, is an analytics researcher, problem solver, and mentor. He has over twenty-five years of experience in advanced analytics in defining and building analytical solutions, as well as training teams across industry verticals.

He is an expert in machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing and cognitive computing, and has application experience in data governance, insurance, customer insights, supply chain, brand, marketing, and finance.

Sridhar received his PhD in statistics from Indian Statistical Institute, India, with a postgraduate diploma in statistical quality control and optimization. He completed his post doctorate education in data science fields from the University of Toronto, University of New Brunswick, Canada.


Digital Marketing and Integrated Communications

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Michael Bloom

Michael Bloom is currently a director of product management for Teletrac Navman—a global SaaS telematics leader in location-based technologies and insight. Michael brings twenty-three years of progressive marketing and product management experience to his professional endeavors. He began his career in marketing at some of the best B2B full service marketing agencies in Chicago. He eventually became a partner at Slack and Company where he helped clients define their brand and drive demand while finding, developing, and retaining top talent and future marketing leaders. After almost twelve years at agencies, Michael moved client-side to lead its marketing efforts for North America, where he helped establish their brand, drive demand, develop new products, and exit a successful acquisition.

Today, Michael uses the core principles of product marketing and design thinking to discover a market’s unmet needs, define solutions, develop products, positioning, and product launch strategies to successfully commercialize and monetize innovation.

Michael’s education began with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and sociology from Albion College. Later, he matriculated through the Marketing certificate at the University of Chicago’s Graham School. Michael has his master’s degree in product design and development from Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering.


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Philippe Geyskens

In his role as global analytics lead, Philippe developed the go-to-market strategy and business plan to expand Ebiquity’s analytics capabilities in the US, while leading business development initiatives with, e.g., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Emory Healthcare. Prior to Ebiquity, as EVP managing director, data and analytics at Starcom, Philippe led a fifty-person team in harnessing "big data", extracting insights that drove profitable change for his clients.

A digital expert, Philippe brings over twenty years of experience leading analytic teams across quantitative marketing consulting projects for Fortune 500 companies, including American Express, Allstate, General Motors, Dunkin Donuts, and T.J.Maxx, just to name a few. He received his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and holds a PhD in civil engineering from the K.U.Leuven in Belgium. He was awarded the Belgian Government Medal for the Performing Arts.


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Corey Richardson

Corey has worked at a range of agencies including Burrell, Leo Burnett, Sanders\Wingo, Starcom, and Mindshare. Corey brings almost two decades of advertising experience, a wealth of strategic planning know-how, and a wide-eyed curiosity to the table to help him understand consumers and build brands. This has helped him in creating unique and forward-thinking strategies to reshape, reinvigorate, and rethink their messaging.

Corey has helped clients including McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Toyota, Samsung, State Farm, and Kraft engage in conversations with their consumers to glean meaningful and market-moving insights.

He currently works at fluent360, an agency that specializes in multicultural consumers and messaging, as the director of strategy and planning and cultural anthropologist. Their clients include Nissan, Infiniti, Denny’s, and State Farm.

Corey is a graduate of Morehouse College, fan of all DC sports teams, a Liverpool supporter, and possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of hip-hop. 


Editing

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Kelli Christiansen

Kelli Christiansen has spent more than two decades in publishing, as a bookseller, editor, literary agent, and writer. She began her career with B. Dalton Bookseller (a division of Barnes & Noble) before becoming a journalist for a chain of suburban newspapers. She then served as an acquisitions editor with Publications International, Ltd./Consumer Guide, where she edited books and magazines. Later, she served as a senior editor with McGraw-Hill and executive editor with ABA Publishing. In 2007, Kelli launched bibliobibuli, working with a variety of authors and publishers to help make publishing dreams come true. Over the years, Kelli has acquired, developed, edited, or ghosted literally hundreds of books, working with such publishers as Amacom, American Library Association/ALA Editions, Berrett-Koehler, Bloomberg Press, Osprey Publishing, Sourcebooks, Wiley, and Workman. A number of her books have been well reviewed, earning recognition from such publications as Barron’s, Booklist, BusinessWeek, Library Journal, The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and The Wall Street Journal. A writer herself, Kelli’s work has appeared in such media as Book Business Magazine; Carol Stream Press; Chicago Book Review; Chicago Life; Chicago Literati; Collections & Credit Risk Magazine; Faith, Hope & Fiction; Midwest Book Review; Midwestern Gothic; and San Francisco Book Review.


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Jill Welsh

Jill Welsh is a freelance manuscript editor and writing coach. She specializes in manuscript evaluations, developmental editing, and copy editing for both fiction and nonfiction manuscripts. Jill has a marketing background, an editing certificate from the University of Chicago Graham School, and a background in traditional publishing. She owns JWelsh Editorial and is the past president, VP, and marketing director of Chicago Women in Publishing (CWIP), as well as a long-standing member of the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA).

 


Financial Management and Decision-Making

 

Medy Agami

Please see Bio under Data Analytics for Business Professionals

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Paul Phillips

Paul Phillips is the founder of the Better Man Than Me Foundation, which was launched in April 2011, and the founder of DOMINATE Productions, which was launched in 2017. His organization has served almost 6,000 young men in the Chicagoland area and approximately 500 young ladies during various mentoring sessions throughout the city and suburbs. As of August 2017, the foundation has awarded eight scholarships.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA with concentration in both management and management information systems. He also holds a doctorate in divinity from the Hope Seminary and Bible Institute. He is a certified information systems auditor and a certified information security manager. He has worked in corporate America in various capacities for thirty-two years. He has also worked as a part-time professor for several universities and other various institutions of higher learning for sixteen years.


 

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Pam Schilling

Pam has more than twenty-five years of professional experience, immersed in complex and disruptive business environments. She held leadership roles in the technology industry and as a strategy consultant. Throughout her career, she advanced strategic priorities and tackled critical business issues, advising senior leaders on scenarios, prioritization, and decision-making. Pam also always had a passion for training and mentoring, and teaching. Combining these emphases in her business career, Pam founded Arch Career Partners to focus on advising and professional development, serving as a thought partner, strategist, and advisor for those pursuing ambitious goals and addressing complex career challenges. Pam’s clients include individuals, organizations, and educational institutions (with expertise in MBA programs) around the globe.

Pam holds a BSB in accounting and business administration from the University of Kansas, an MBA from Chicago Booth, and will complete her DBA at DePaul University in June 2019. Pam has worked in academia for ten years, creating innovative learning experiences, teaching courses in accounting, finance, strategy, management, and her favorite topic, business history.


Medical Writing and Editing

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Rachel Wedeward

Rachel Wedeward, MLIS, is a research information specialist at the American Hospital Association (AHA) Resource Center in Chicago. She has been a professional librarian working in libraries of various settings for five years. Rachel received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology and politics and government from Ripon College in 2014 and a master’s in library and information science from Dominican University in 2016. Rachel has previously worked at the American Library Association as a researcher and Skokie Public Library as a library practicum intern.

In her current and previous roles, Rachel’s primary responsibilities have been to conduct research, provide reference services, and teach patrons about library resources.

 

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