Rabia Razzaq G’23, a multidisciplinary designer and graduate student in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, won the 2022 Intelligence++ Showcase Competition, held in the Whitman School of Management on April 26. The interdisciplinary competition—which encourages design and business…
A $1.25 Million Gift Ensures Whitman Students Stand Ready to IMPRESS in the Business World
Kenneth “Kenny” Goodman ’70 knows what it takes to be successful in the business world and he has committed himself to ensuring that Syracuse University graduates are a step ahead and better prepared to compete in a fast-changing world. That’s why the retired director, president and chief operating officer of the international pharmaceutical giant Forest Laboratories has committed an additional $1.25 million to the Forever Orange Campaign and the Whitman School of Management to significantly expand its Goodman IMPRESS program, a professional and personal development program he helped launch in 2014.
“When we launched IMPRESS, we targeted first-year students who had dreams of pursuing careers in business,” says Goodman. “I knew they would acquire important skills in the classroom—but not all the skills they would need for success. I had seen a lot of really smart people come into the business world who were not successful. They had all the academic skills but they didn’t have the right means of connecting to people within an organization that would make them successful.”
Lindsay Quilty, Whitman School assistant dean for undergraduate programs, says that IMPRESS has achieved notable results—it is a magnet that attracts prospective students to Syracuse University. In addition, it has contributed to better job placement rates in higher paying positions for graduates of the program. “IMPRESS is giving our students an edge,” says Quilty. “It’s a co-curricular program that offers the soft skills necessary for career success—how to work within teams, develop better listening skills, have difficult conversations in the workplace, read someone’s body language, even greet someone during a job interview.”
IMPRESS stands for Initiating Meaningful Partnerships and Responsibilities to Encourage Student Success. “This program is helping our students be prepared for an ever-changing future by enhancing professional and personal skills,” says Alex McKelvie, Whitman School associate dean for undergraduate and master’s education and professor of entrepreneurship. “The new Goodman gift essentially creates IMPRESS 2.0. Just as we are preparing our students to be adaptable to rapidly changing circumstances in our world, we are adapting and customizing the program to make it more accessible to more students and for a digital work environment.”
Every new student admitted to Whitman becomes part of one of four IMPRESS houses. Each house is led by a faculty “house mentor” who guides students through their first business course and helps them engage in extracurricular activities for which they are rewarded with points. These activities include community engagement, the exploration of career possibilities and certifications. Through their involvement in these activities, students collect points toward a personal point total and a group point total–with the gamification acting as an additional motivator to get involved. Each year, the group with the greatest number of points is awarded the Goodman Cup at a celebratory event. The points accumulated and the experiences pursued are reflected on student co-curricular transcripts.
The enhanced IMPRESS program will have components that are personalized for upper division students with a focus on leadership development, says Goodman. “We want to create a leadership development plan for those students who demonstrate capabilities,” he says. “We know we can positively impact their futures.” Goodman says the plan to expand IMPRESS includes increased access to experiential learning opportunities, soft-skills training and certifications, and an emphasis on diversity, inclusion and equity. “I know that a lot of students figure things out on their own, but it is my sense that we could do a much better job helping develop the next generation of leaders. If we ensure our students are better trained in the non-academic side of things, more of them will be hired into great jobs at better pay, improving the university’s overall ranking and reputation.”
Goodman, who serves on the Whitman Advisory Council, was formerly vice chair of the University Board of Trustees and is now a Life Trustee. Though he started his academic pursuits at Syracuse University in engineering, he switched to accounting. Graduating in 1970, he quickly recognized that a career in public accounting would not satisfy his spirit to innovate, create and drive new products to market. He decided to “take a risk” and join a start-up that grew to become an international leader in pharmaceutical manufacturing and marketing.
“When you end up managing many thousands of people, you realize that it takes much more than an education to make a real difference in business,” says Goodman. With his continued generosity and support of IMPRESS, Goodman is ensuring Whitman graduates are well-prepared to make that difference.
About Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University
Orange isn’t just our color. It’s our promise to leave the world better than we found it. Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University is poised to do just that. Fueled by 150 years of fearless firsts, together we can enhance academic excellence, transform the student experience and expand unique opportunities for learning and growth. Forever Orange endeavors to raise $1.5 billion in philanthropic support, inspire 125,000 individual donors to participate in the campaign, and actively engage one in five alumni in the life of the University. Now is the time to show the world what Orange can do. Visit foreverorange.syr.edu to learn more.