Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates for faculty and staff at Mendoza College of Business

From the Dean's Desk

Guest column: Chris Fruehwirth

Martijn Cremers Picture

Martijn Cremers

Monday, 21 September 2020
The changing IT world
This past year has been a blessing and maybe a curse for IT. The blessing is that the technologies we provide have been more utilized than ever before (which is exciting for us). The curse is that demand for our services is at an all-time high.
The pandemic has caused our College and the world to rapidly adapt to a pace of constant change and embrace technology. For many of us, this started with the March transition to online teaching and resumed in August, where we were utilizing the dual delivery technology in the classrooms. Mendoza IT and I have learned that Mendoza College and the Notre Dame community have many very resilient faculty, staff and students in these turbulent times. My team has witnessed this resiliency in many situations since the start of this online journey. We know that technology plays a vital role in navigating these challenging times, but none of us forgets that people matter the most.
When looking back at this past year, there are a few IT items to highlight. In March, moving online involved Mendoza IT ensuring technology readiness of faculty, staff and students. The move was composed of technology training sessions around Zoom and Panopto presented by Nick Page, an individual technology equipment readiness review and the creation of support documentation on the Mendoza Exchange website. Some of our front line IT support staff who answered numerous calls and emails and who provided consultations for our faculty, staff and students included Ryan Krasyk, Ryan Hudson, Hank Gettinger, Jerry Kickul, David Hardman and David Yeh.
Moving into preparation for the fall academic year, Mendoza IT (and our colleagues at OIT) had numerous classroom preparations to accomplish in a reasonably short amount of time. Delays in the IT supply chains for critical AV equipment such as microphones and cameras almost hindered classrooms from being ready. The Mendoza IT members of Jim Spencer, Jeremy May, Frank Mark, Nick Page and our new part-time hire Kyle Way spent long hours making sure that our classrooms provided the optimal dual delivery experience for our faculty and students. Shortly before the classrooms were released back into our faculty’s hands, M&O chair Craig Crossland facilitated and led a very informative dual delivery classroom demo for all of the College, which contributed to our faculty readiness for the upcoming academic year.
All the while, another essential effort for the College was going on, which was the construction of the B003 classroom in Stayer. This classroom was completed in a tight timeframe to ensure that the residential MSBA program had highly functional classroom space for its new students. This project wouldn’t have been possible without our faculty partnerships, including Scott Nestler, Fred Nwanganga, Sharif Nijim and Rob Easley. Our two project managers, Zara Osterman and Diego Wang, were another vital component for this IT project. These two made sure the vendor kept to the tight timeline and delivered a fully ready classroom for the first day of class.
Finally, there are two last efforts I would like to mention. First, Mendoza IT recently accomplished launching the Virtual Municipal Finance Workshop 2020, working with our very own Professor Paul Gao. From Mendoza IT, both Minhee Myung and David Yeh were critical in getting the technology components of this effort off the ground. Tami Springer from Faculty Support also stepped out of her typical role and spent time working with Mendoza IT cleaning up our customer relationship management system (Salesforce) that supports a variety of MCOB business processes.
In closing, I would like to thank all the faculty and staff for their patience, support and understanding during these last few months. As I have highlighted many different people throughout this column, I will leave you with the following quote:
“It's not a faith in technology. It's faith in people."
Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple.
With gratitude,
Chris Fruehwirth
Director of Mendoza IT

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MCOB Updates

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Just a reminder that we have changed up the content plans for our internal newsletters. Mendoza Exchange will present "official" news and announcements while Morning Brew will focus on "people" news. Please keep sending the submissions for any kind of updates — personal or professional! Also, we hope you'll take the opportunity to recognize a colleague or team for their contributions through the new "Shout Out" feature. (LINK to submit news)

September 7, 2020

Suggested Reading

From the Stanford Social Innovation Review, How Academia Can Do More to Advance Sustainable Finance  explores the shortcomings of the philosophical underpinnings of mainstream finance education in addressing critical economic inequalities and presents five ideas for connecting the role of finance to achieving social and environmental goals. 

September 7, 2020

Online Teaching … Again  – Quizzes, Exams and More
As we move into our first full week of online teaching, I have heard from faculty concerns about quizzes and exams and administering them using Sakai. A great place to start is with the Assessment Planning page within the Resilient Teaching website.

If you are somewhat new to using Sakai Test & Quizzes here is a general overview link. Last semester I switched my final exam to a Sakai test. I gave the students the 2-hour block to complete a battery of Excel problems and then had them answer questions within the Sakai test. The Sakai test was based on what they calculated using Excel and was mostly fill-in-the-blank questions with some multiple choice. The great thing about this was Sakai did all the grading, and it immediately was added to the Sakai Gradebook. 

iRubric is a rubric tool within Sakai that allows for easy itemized grading and feedback. I have used iRubric for several years now, and although it takes a bit to get started, once it is in place it makes grading assignments much easier and helps with consistency. Here is an overview link and a quick start guide. Some of these tips and tricks may take a bit of time to get right, but in the end, it streamlines the grading process.
August 24, 2020


Kudos, Published and Presented

ITAO's Sharif Nijim was featured in the "Fix This," a bi-weekly podcast of bite-sized stories about how tech makes the world a better place produced by Amazon Web Service (AWS).  In the episode "Back to School," Sharif discussed lessons to be gained from the recent period of rapid digital transformation as schools including Notre Dame switched to online teaching last spring.
September 9, 2020

A paper by ITAO's Ahmed Abbasi entitled "Deep Learning for Adverse Event Detection from Web Search" was published in IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering.
September 9, 2020

M&O's Dean Shepherd's paper "Entrepreneurship responding to adversity: Equilibrating adverse events and disequilibrating persistent adversity," was accepted for publication at Organization Theory.
September 9, 2020

Finance's Huaizhi Chen gave a virtual presentation on "Don’t Take Their Word For It: The Misclassification of Bond Mutual Funds" at the European Finance Association's conference last month. 
September 9, 2020

Two articles by Finance's Jeff Bergstrand are among the most cited papers in The Review of Economics and Statistics from 1919-2017. Jeff's first academic journal publication, "The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence" published in 1985, was No. 8 on the list of all-time most cited works and No. 1 on the list of papers cited from the decade of the 1980s. His 1989 paper, "The Generalized Gravity Equation, Monopolistic Competition, and the Factor-Proportions Theory in International Trade," was the third-most cited paper from the 1980s. The journal is published by Harvard University's Department of Economics and is among the most prestigious general interest journals in economics (spanning 20 subfields) and one of the oldest in the world.

August 31, 2020


In-Person Group Fitness Classes 
In-person fitness classes start this week and are open to any Notre Dame student, faculty, staff, retiree or spouse. All ages and skill levels are welcome. Click here to see the full schedule.
September 21, 2020

Kaneb Center Classes

Upcoming fall classes offered through Notre Dame Learning's Kaneb Center include:
Sept. 29: Introduction to Backward Course Design
Oct. 13: Self-Reflection as a Pathway to Improved Teaching
Oct. 21: Difficult Conversations in the Classroom
Nov. 9: Assessing Preparation, Participation, and Attendance
Nov. 11: Increasing Student Engagement in Large Enrollment Courses
For more information and to register, click here.

September 21, 2020

Staff Grief Support Group
If you are a staff member who has experienced the death of a loved one, you are invited to join this support group. Staff of all faith backgrounds are welcome.  You may drop in at each session as you are able. The group meets once per month from noon-1 p.m. This semester the group will meet by Zoom. If you would like the Zoom link, please contact Fr. Jim Bracke (

Meeting dates are Sept. 22, Oct. 14, Nov. 11 and Dec. 9.
September 21, 2020

Community Impact Grants
The Notre Dame Center for Social Concerns seeks to advance its mission by awarding Community Impact Grants to Notre Dame faculty, students, staff, and community partners for community-engaged research, teaching, and learning that enact the values of Catholic social tradition. Successful grant proposals show collaboration among campus and community partners and advance academic community engagement with an aim toward social justice impact.

The center highly encourages projects that align with its special interests for the 2020–21 academic year, all of which can address issues related to or impact by COVID-19 as well:
  • Economic equity/poverty/just wage
  • Racial justice
  • Environmental justice
  • Public health (especially mental health and homelessness)
Connections to our 2020–21 Catholic social tradition theme, “Justice in the World," are also prioritized.

Due to COVID challenges, there will be only one proposal timeline and proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. Oct. 26. Applicants may request grants up to $15,000.

For more information or to apply go here.
September 21, 2020

Professional Development
We hope you join us for one of our upcoming professional development opportunities in September. These include:
  • Thinking Inside the Box
  • Capitalizing on Your Work & Relationships with the Predictive Index
  • Multicultural Competencies and Hiring Game Changers at ND
As a reminder, all Notre Dame employees have unlimited access to Skillport to achieve personal and professional goals. With over 30,000 professional, high-quality videos, books and courses, you can learn the latest in a wide range of topics. You may access Skillport from any web-connected device at
September 14, 2020

Around Campus

Notre Dame Development debuted its "Here Come the Irish Football Show" for donors last Thursday. The show airs at 12:11 PM ET because, Development's Jim Small writes, we've "won 11 national titles and we're going after #12 this season!" You can watch the first episode here.

September 14, 2020

Virtual Faculty Town Hall
On August 31, 2020, Provost Marie Lynn Miranda joined Pat Flynn, chair of the Department Chair Advisory Group, and Tom Stober, chair of the Faculty Senate, for a virtual faculty town hall. You can view the video here. (You will be asked to log in)

For those who can't spare 90 minutes, the following segments might be of interest:

17:00 – Has there been any classroom transmission?

21:15 – How PCR testing works

01:02:10 – How should faculty handle student protests?

01:07:55 – Concerns about student mental health

01:13:00 -- Student activities (watch thru 1:14:45 – serious four square -- "we'll take you out")
September 7, 2020

Staff Prayer Line

Fr. Jim Bracke, C.S.C., Staff Chaplain, has initiated a prayer line to support staff working on and off-campus. With COVID-19 and a society looking at racial justice, many are uncertain, fearful, and anxious. Prayer can be a path to finding peace, courage, and strength. All prayer requests are confidential and only accessible to Fr. Jim. Submit your prayer requests here.

August 31, 2020

Laetare Medal Nominations
Each year at this time, the Laetare Medal Committee convenes to propose recommendations for the President's consideration. In my role as Vice President for Mission Engagement and Church Affairs, and on behalf of the Laetare Committee, I invite you to submit recommendations for this prestigious award. You may do so by visiting the 2021 Laetare Medal nomination website.
Established in 1883 by Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., the Laetare Medal has been awarded annually at Notre Dame to a Catholic “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity.” In awarding it, the University strives to recognize the diversity of fields in which United States Catholics make contributions to society and the diversity of the United States Catholic community itself.
The recipient of the Laetare Medal will be a citizen of the United States whose Catholic faith deeply informs his or her life and actions. The Medalist will also have made significant contributions to society through sustained and illustrious accomplishments within his or her chosen field. Previous recipients of the Laetare Medal include novelist Walker Percy, jazz composer Dave Brubeck, Franciscan scholar Sr. Thea Bowman, actor Martin Sheen, labor activist George G. Higgins, Catholic Worker foundress Dorothy Day, and President John F. Kennedy. If you would like to learn more about the Laetare Medal or view past recipients, please visit
With all of this in mind, any names you wish to submit for consideration will be very much appreciated. You may do so using the nomination form provided above, also available at The deadline for submission of names is Monday, September 7, 2020 at 5:00 PM EST. 
August 24, 2020

With a Side of Knowledge

Notre Dame’s new provost, Marie Lynn Miranda appeared on With a Side of Knowledge, a weekly podcast hosted by Ted Fox. Like so many here and elsewhere, a lot of Marie Lynn’s time these days continues to be devoted to how to best meet these challenges presented by COVID-19. But as she noted in the course of the podcast, she doesn’t want the demands of the moment to keep Notre Dame from also attending to its broader mission as a university. Listen to the podcast here.

August 17, 2020

Mendoza in the News

WNDU covered former women’s head basketball coach Muffet McGraw's transition to professor in Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.
September 9, 2020

Economist and Finance Professor Jason Reed was quoted by U.S. News & World Report, saying, "We're well past talking about a V-shaped recovery."
September 9, 2020

Finance's Jason Reed was interviewed by WSBT 22 about store closings in malls due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
September 9, 2020

Poets & Quants gave an overview of the MBA Class of 2022 and featured Mendoza MBA student Aric Stahly.
August 31, 2020


  • 16
    Oct. 2020
    11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Tom Mendoza presents: A conversation with Carl Eschenbach

    SAVE THE DATE! Tom Mendoza presents: A conversation with Carl Eschenbach: Oct. 16, 2020; 11 a.m. - noon, online.

    Join Tom Mendoza for a discussion with Carl Eschenbach, a 30-year veteran in the high-tech industry, as they talk about career success and insights to forging great companies. See what advice these experienced tech executives have for students and professionals building their careers. Visit for more information.

Mendoza IT

Tech Tips

Google Scholar

Citation analysis is being monitored more in the academic profession as a measure of impact. By creating a Google Scholar Profile (leave it public, which is the default) you can increase the accessibility of your research and have immediate access to h-statistics and other impact metrics.

February 3, 2020

ND Google Shortcuts

Did you know there are shortcuts to log in to your ND Gmail and other Google services? If you visit you are taken directly to Google Drive, or to the login page if you are not already logged in. You can also skip logging in to insideND or visiting by going directly to for Gmail. You can also go directly to Google Calendar by visiting

February 3, 2020

Manage When Participants Join Zoom

If you enable Waiting Room in your Zoom settings, you can manage when new attendees are able to join a meeting from the list of Participants. When these tools are enabled, the option to allow attendees to join the meeting before the host arrives is automatically disabled.

February 3, 2020

Window Snapping

In Windows, you can drag a window to the left or right edge of your screen to make it fill one half of the screen, or drag to the top of the screen to maximize the window. View two windows side by side quickly and easily. You can also press the Windows key + left or right arrow to make the active window fill the left or right side of the screen.

Minimize All Windows

Sometimes you have a bunch of applications running, and you want it all to go away so you can get to the desktop. Simply pressing Windows key + D will minimize everything you have up, which will save you some time pressing the minimize button for each window. To bring everything back, press the Windows key + D again to restore your windows. 

Speak-Up Culture

As the College adapts and innovates in the face of change, your voice matters more than ever, and the ND Voice Engagement Committee wants to help you use it. Each week we will highlight a resource to inspire you, challenge you, and help you speak up and/or listen up more effectively.

This week: 

Diversity & Inclusion

"As a community and as individuals," Dean Cremers wrote in June 2020, "we must do better in addressing issues of racial justice, diversity and inclusion, based on the universal and inviolable human principle of the inherent dignity of every person." Mendoza will curate and share resources to help guide our work here.

This week:

A full list of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion resources is available here.