Read the latest campus information on coronavirus (COVID-19) here →

MBA students’ globe-trotting education with GNAM

Students participating in the GNAM program concluded their week preparing and sharing traditional Irish food at Ballyknocken Cookery School with owner and chef Catherine Fulvio.
Students participating in the GNAM program in Ireland concluded their week preparing and sharing traditional Irish food at Ballyknocken Cookery School with owner and chef Catherine Fulvio.

On a recent study trip to Ireland, Laura Hassner found herself in a Dublin supermarket chatting with a Slovakian classmate who co-owns 250 bakery outlets about the difference between stores that buy dough from factories versus those that bake from scratch.

For Hassner, EMBA 18, the business strategy conversation was one of many outlining the unique challenges facing small businesses as well as conglomerates during a “The Future of Food” course taught at University College Dublin’s Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. The course, with 30 international students enrolled, is one of many offered through the Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM), an international consortium of 30 business schools that Haas joined three years ago.

Founded by the Yale School of Management in 2012, GNAM allows graduate business students to study at a member school, joining other students from around the world for a week of lectures, discussions, field trips, and immersion in another culture.

Students participating in GNAM select from a range of classes and locations; in the fall of 2018, for instance, students at member schools will choose from 16 classes, including “Leadership Challenges in Latin America,” offered at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile School of Business, and “Service Excellence in the Tourism Industry,” taught at the University of Indonesia Faculty of Economics.

Opening perspectives

While Haas has forged relationships with other business schools in the past, it accepted the invitation to join GNAM to give its students more opportunities in far more countries. Many Haas students have lived or worked internationally, but they haven’t had this kind of learning experience abroad, says Jamie Breen, assistant dean of Haas programs for working professionals, adding that Yale School of Management is the only other U.S. institution in the network.

Studying in a GNAM course “opens up different perspectives for students and makes them think about the assumptions they bring to the table,” Breen says. “They will come to a topic area with a U.S. lens and then suddenly learn the history, government, and regulatory and social framework of the country they’re in,” she said.

For some Haas students, participating in the program helps further interests that are personal as well as professional.

Brian Tajo, EMBA 18, who moved to the U.S. from the Philippines as a child, in June traveled to the Asian Institute of Management in Manila for a class on growth strategies for southeast Asian nations. Tajo, who has family living in the Philippines, says that the course strengthened his understanding of the economies of southeast Asia and will help him ultimately fulfill a personal goal of working in economic development in the Philippines.

<em>L-R:</em> <em>Rocky Lee, associate dean of the Asia Institute of Management, Brian Tajo, EMBA18, and Professor Federico Macaranas. Tajo traveled to the Asian Institute of Management in Manila for a class on growth strategies for southeast Asian nations.<br />
L-R: Rocky Lee, associate dean of the Asia Institute of Management, Brian Tajo, EMBA18, and Professor Federico Macaranas. Tajo traveled to the Asian Institute of Management in Manila for a class on growth strategies for southeast Asian nations.

“That aligned with my life ambition,” says Tajo, currently a senior product manager at software company Salesforce. Given the growth potential of southeast Asia, “I’m fortunate to have a head-start” in learning about the region, he says.

Women in leadership

All Haas students are eligible to participate in GNAM classes and earn two credits for their overseas study. In June, 35 Haas students attended courses at 11 schools, while 33 students from other institutions came to Haas to take the class “Women’s 21st Century Leadership,” taught by Professor Laura Kray.

Among other issues, students discussed gender inequality around the world. “We certainly had some interesting conversations about how some of the pathways for equality that we’ve identified that work in a U.S.-centric environment require further nuance and contemplation in cross-cultural settings,” said Kray.

The class provided the chance to “brainstorm a future that’s appreciative of women’s leadership strengths,” she added.

Students can also take GNAM’s online classes taught by business faculty at member schools. INCAE Business School in Costa Rica, for one, expects to offer a semester-long class in operations management analytics in the fall, while University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business plans to teach a course entitled “Urban Resilience.”

Haas is considering offering online classes in game theory or entrepreneurship.

Breen sees future opportunities for collaboration among Haas and other schools in the network. Possibilities include holding joint alumni events and opening Haas’s annual Global Social Venture Competition to students at network schools, with a goal of forming teams comprised of students from both Haas and member schools.

Participating in GNAM, Breen says, “has been enormously successful for us.”

Faith in an MBA: A priest comes to Berkeley Haas

John Gribowich, EMBA 19, outside of Chou Hall at Haas.
John Gribowich, EMBA 19, outside of Chou Hall at Haas.

With his horn-rimmed glasses, wool sweater, and goatee, John Gribowich blends in with many of the buttoned-down professionals in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program (EMBA) at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

But Gribowich, 39, is equally comfortable in a robe — as a priest who often leads Mass at St. Joseph the Worker Church after beginning his day serving breakfast at dawn to the homeless in downtown Berkeley.

“I never take my priest hat off,” says Gribowich, who has chosen to live at St. Joseph’s throughout the 19-month EMBA program, which typically draws a cohort of about 70 professionals from around the world to learn leadership, strategy, entrepreneurship, and finance. “I am always conscious of it. As a priest, you are always connected to ministry. I say Mass at church here, and I haven’t ceased doing priestly ministry. I am just not full-time in a parish.”

<em>Father John Gribowich and lead cook Robert Bradshaw clean up after community breakfast they helped serve at the Dorothy Day House
Father John Gribowich and lead cook Robert Bradshaw clean up after community breakfast they helped serve at the Dorothy Day House in Berkeley. (UC Berkeley photo by Brittany Hosea-Small)

Last April, Gribowich was released from his parish duties in Brooklyn, New York, where he served as an assistant pastor, to work at DeSales Media Group, the communications arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn. At the time, DeSales, which publishes and broadcasts news from a Catholic point of view, had plans to launch a big tech project to connect and modernize the systems shared by all of the diocese’s local parishes.

Gribowich was chosen to be a consultant for the project, but needed the technology project management skills required to do it. “My bishop said, ‘You need the right schooling,’” he says. “I said, ‘An MBA makes sense for everything I need to do.’ I set my sights to the west, where there’s a great creative and progressive vibe.”

After one visit to UC Berkeley, he decided the campus was a perfect fit for him because of its culture, commitment to public service and social justice, and location as a tech hub. “Who I am as a Catholic, who I am as a priest, who I am as a person, just syncs perfectly with Berkeley’s mission,” he said. “It’s seamless.”

Taking a gamble, Gribowich applied only to Berkeley Haas. It paid off, and he headed to California, joining a diverse EMBA cohort that this year includes an artificial intelligence expert in the Pentagon, four doctors, an expert on rare wine and an Italian woman who commutes to class from her solar power startup job in China. One student speaks seven languages, while another helped rescue 11 hostages in a military operation.

Gribowich is the only student priest in the history of the EMBA program, says Susan Petty, the program’s director of admissions.

Father John Gribowich prepares to celebrate a weekday mass at the St. Joseph the Worker church in Berkeley. (UC Berkeley photo by Brittany Hosea-Small)</em>
Father John Gribowich prepares to celebrate a weekday mass at the St. Joseph the Worker church in Berkeley. (UC Berkeley photo by Brittany Hosea-Small)

Growing up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, just north of Philadelphia, Gribowich says he felt pulled to the priesthood as early as first grade. While initially drawn to the priest’s external actions, the intellectual and spiritual sides of the vocation had become more intriguing and attractive to him by high school.

Ordained in June 2015, Gribowich was assigned as parochial vicar at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Roman Catholic Church in Jamaica, Queens. His days were busy. “Some people mistakenly think being a priest is just working Sundays,” he says. “But you’re meeting with people, attending to sick calls, going to hospitals. It’s a very demanding and full schedule. No two days are ever the same!”

As a priest, he says he’s aligned with a long tradition of Catholic creativity that he feels has waned in recent years and that he would like to help revive. “There is something about being Catholic that should intrinsically stir innovation, because you are constantly searching for that which is real and true in the world,” he says. Gribowich adds that his creativity is inspired by everything from playing guitar to listening to Bob Dylan to studying a Caravaggio painting.

As a Catholic, Gribowich follows the teachings of the late Dorothy Day, a political radical who was central to the pacifist Catholic Worker Movement, which combines aid for the poor and homeless with nonviolent direct action professed by Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi. Five years ago, Gribowich’s love of Dorothy Day led him to help found a Catholic Worker farm in Harvey’s Lake, Pennsylvania, where workers and students visit to connect with the land. The farm, run by two of his former undergraduate professors from DeSales University, a private Catholic university, donates its produce to local food pantries.

<em>Gribowich gives communion to worshippers during a weekday mass at the St. Joseph the Worker church. (UC Berkeley photo by Brittany Hosea-Small)</em>
Gribowich gives communion to worshippers during a weekday mass at the St. Joseph the Worker church. (UC Berkeley photo by Brittany Hosea-Small)

At UC Berkeley, Gribowich finds that the classroom is another opportunity for creative connections and discussions. So far, he’s found the MBA coursework — accounting, data analytics, microeconomics — challenging as well. (His master’s degree is in art history from Pratt Institute, which never required subjects like calculus, he says.) Gribowich says he’s surprised at how supportive his classmates have been as study partners and friends. “There’s a genuine openness,” he says. “I can see these people being friends for life.”

Carol Shumate, one of Gribowich’s EMBA classmates, says students were curious about him from day one, when they all introduced themselves. “They were like: ‘What’s a priest going to do with an MBA in the church?’” she recalls. That first day, she says, Gribowich drew the biggest laugh of all when he described his love of Bob Dylan, whom he has seen perform more than 40 times. “He put his hand up and said, ‘This is how much I love God.’ And then he put the other hand just beneath it and said, ‘This is how much I love Bob Dylan,’ ” Shumate says.

Shumate, who calls Gribowich “one of the most fascinating people I have met in the recent past,“ says she’s always surprised when he talks about history and art, sometimes breaking out in song. One day, he crooned Neil Sedaka’s “Oh! Carol” to her, a song she’d never heard but which he explained to her in detail.

Sometimes Gribowich’s theological background emerges in class, where he likes to strike up conversations and doesn’t shy away from controversy, says classmate Adam Rosenzweig. “He knows a lot and thinks a lot and has been trained about how people relate to God and religion,” he says. “We all bring various expertise to the program, but nobody forgets what (Gribowich) does.”

Professor Lucas Davis, who teaches statistics, says Gribowich’s unique perspective comes through “even in a class as a class as dry as statistics,” where Gribowich, rather than answering a question, might question Davis’s thought process in asking the question.

After Gribowich graduates, he plans to return to Brooklyn and his job at DeSales, where he will navigate the process of providing local parishes and nonprofits with tech tools to manage everything from data — such as historical information found in the church’s marriage and baptism documents — to the church’s financial records.

But for now, he’s enjoying UC Berkeley and the academic experience in his EMBA class, which will head to Santa Cruz this month to explore leadership communications in one of the program’s five week-long experiential field immersions. Other immersions include trips to Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., as well as overseas.

“I love it here,” he says. “I’m surrounded by so many creative people. It puts me in awe.”

In new book, Prof. Vogel explores why California has a green streak

California was founded on the most environmentally destructive industry of the era: hydraulic gold mining. Meanwhile, loggers sought their own gold by harvesting the state’s ancient redwoods and sequoias. And oil companies struck black gold in rich on- and off-shore drilling sites.

Yet despite these powerful economic incentives to plunder the Golden State’s resources, California became the nation’s environmental leader—going out ahead to protect vast swaths of wilderness and coastline, adopt stringent emissions and energy efficiency standards, and enact the country’s most ambitious climate change regulation. It also became the richest state in the union.

“Things could just as easily have not turned out so well: the state could have been a paradise lost,” says Berkeley Haas Prof. Emeritus David Vogel.

In his new book, California Greenin’: How the Golden State Became an Environmental Leader, released this month by Princeton University Press, Vogel set out to answer a key question: “Why California? What is it about this state in particular that made it such an important regulatory innovator over so many years, in so many areas?”

A remarkable success story

His detailed account of the forces and feuds that shaped California’s environmental history is the first comprehensive look at California’s environmental leadership. It is, on balance, a remarkable success story. “California has often been on the verge of ecological, as well as economic, catastrophe, but it’s been resilient,” says Vogel. “Its environmental performance has been uneven and there are gaps, but California proves that you can combine environmental protection and economic growth.”

Prof. Emeritus David Vogel
Prof. Emeritus David Vogel

Vogel, an expert in international environmental regulation who has held a joint appointment at the Political Science Department and Haas, coined the term “the California effect” more than two decades ago to contrast with the regulatory race-to-the-bottom known as “the Delaware effect.” Vogel had noticed that other states and even countries had upped their environmental standards to meet trading partners’ requirements. For example, Germany had strengthened its auto emissions rules so that it could continue to export cars to California—its most important U.S. market.

Surprising business support

Though he had written extensively about the state’s regulatory history, Vogel said he was in for some surprises when he began delving more deeply into the reasons behind California’s green streak. Environmental wins are often cast as a triumph of citizens and regulators over business interests. But while grassroots and government forces have played a huge part in pushing for regulatory breakthroughs in the state, business support has been critical, he found.

“One of the things that was most striking to me was the importance of a politically divided business community, and how often some influential businesses found that they could benefit by protecting the state’s environmental quality,” says Vogel, the Soloman P. Lee Professor Emeritus of Business Ethics. “Without business backing, California regulatory laws would, without a doubt, be much weaker.”

In fact, one of the first victories for the state’s environment was the result of the rising power of the agricultural industry, rather than environmental activism. Hydraulic gold miners had choked the major waterways flowing from the Sierra with billions of cubic yards of debris. (At one point the Yuba River flowed 60 feet higher than in its pre-Gold Rush days, Vogel notes.) Sacramento Valley farmers, plagued by recurring flooding, sued the mining companies and ultimately won an 1884 ban on hydraulic mining—the first important environmental ruling issued by a federal court.

Wilderness allies

Half Dome_California Greenin' by David Vogel

Yosemite and the Sierra’s sequoias also had powerful business allies, Vogel points out. The Southern Pacific Railway and the Central American Steamship Transit Company recognized their value as tourist attractions. Thanks to the support of the steamship firms, Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove became the country’s first federally protected wilderness in 1864, while lobbyists for the Southern Pacific played a critical role in persuading the federal government to expand the size of national parks in the Sierras.

Another example: As its infamous smog threatened to obscure Los Angeles’ glamour, the real estate community helped lead the fight for pollution controls. From the 1940s to the 1960s, L.A. led the nation in its research and enforcement against air pollution; in 1964, California passed the world’s first emissions standards for motor vehicle pollutants.

That led to the most influential example of the “California effect”. In a 1967 victory supported by an array of business interests, California won out over the Detroit auto industry and gained the right to enact its own automotive emission regulations, stricter than the federal government’s.  After other states were given the option of adopting either EPA standards or California standards, thirteen states, plus the District of Columbia, followed California’s lead, representing one-third of the U.S. car market. Nine other states later followed California’s zero emissions rules. In 2012, California’s tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions rules became the basis for the Obama Administration’s new national rules—rules that are now under attack by the Trump administration.

Creating new markets

Vogel devotes chapters to efforts to protect the land, the coast, water resources, and air quality, as well as improve energy efficiency and fight climate change. He also details the extent to which regulation has benefited business, even opening up entirely new industries. As he noted in a recent op-ed, “How California turned green into gold,” more than 200 individual firms and business associations backed the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act, including Silicon Valley venture capitalists who had invested $2 billion in clean technology.

California is now the nation’s leader in solar energy, with half the country’s rooftop installations and a quarter of its jobs, and in electric vehicle adoption, with 200,000 EVs on the road‚ not to mention Tesla headquarters and other manufacturing facilities. Energy efficiency standards for homes and appliances have kept per-person energy use nearly flat in the state over the past 30 years, while it’s risen nearly 75 percent nationwide.

Vogel, who has lived in California since 1973 and dedicates the book to his twin native Californian grandsons, says the research was a personal eye-opener. “I wasn’t aware of the extent to which so much of what we now take for granted as California’s natural beauty is only here for us to enjoy because of those who backed stronger environmental regulations. We owe those firms and activists an enormous debt.”

Continued threats

He ultimately concludes that in addition to its geography, it was these repeated and high-profile threats to its beauty that set California on its path of environmental leadership. “A lot of other places in the world have beautiful and fragile environments, but few places were threatened so continuously by resource extraction and rapid economic and population growth—which would have destroyed all the things people loved about it,” he says.

Big challenges remain, he acknowledges, especially in transportation and water efficiency. Yet as the Trump administration roles back federal environmental regulations, California is more important than ever as a model for how states can lead the way on protecting their natural resources, he says.

David Vogel will discuss “California Greenin’” at 7pm, May 10, at Books Inc., 1491 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley. 


How success breeds success in the sciences

Matthew effect_Mattijs De Vaan


A small number of scientists stand at the top of their fields, commanding the lion’s share of research funding, awards, citations, and prestigious academic appointments. But are they better and smarter than their peers? Or is this a classic example of success breeding success—a phenomenon known as the “Matthew effect”?

Berkeley Haas Asst. Prof. Mathijs De Vaan studied the "Matthew effect"
Asst. Prof. Mathijs De Vaan

Mathijs De Vaan, an assistant professor in the Haas Management of Organizations Group, believes it’s clearly the latter. In a paper published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “The Matthew Effect in Science Funding,” De Vaan presents the results of a study of Dutch research grants that shows precisely how much of an advantage early achievement confers, and identifies the reasons behind the boost. De Vaan, who came to Haas in 2015 after earning a PhD in sociology from Columbia University, co-authored the paper with Thijs Bol of the University of Amsterdam and Arnout van de Rijt of Utrecht University.

“To those who have, more will be given”

The term “Matthew effect” was coined by sociologist Robert Merton in the 1960s to describe how eminent scientists get more recognition for their work than less-well-known researchers—the reference is to the New Testament parable that, to those who have, more will be given. Previous attempts to study this phenomenon have yielded inconclusive results, in part because it is hard to prove that differences in achievement don’t reflect differences in work quality.

To get around the quality question, De Vaan and his co-authors took advantage of special features of the main science funding organization in the Netherlands, IRIS, which awards grants based on a point system. Everyone whose application scores above the point threshold gets money, while everyone below is left out. The authors zeroed in on researchers who came in just above and just below the funding threshold, assuming that, for practical purposes, their applications were equal in quality.

First off, they found the benefits of winning an early-career grant were enormous. Recent PhDs who scored just above the funding threshold later received more than twice as much research money as their counterparts who scored immediately below the threshold. The winners also had a 47 percent greater chance of eventually landing a full professorship. “Even though the differences between individuals were virtually zero, over time a giant gap in success became evident,” De Vaan notes.

Status and participation

De Vaan says that two main mechanisms may explain the Matthew effect in science funding. First, winners achieve status that can tilt the playing field in their direction when it comes to funding, awards, and job opportunities. The second is participation, meaning that successful applicants continue seeking grant money, while unsuccessful applicants often give up, withdrawing from future competition.

De Vaan and his coauthors argue that the Matthew effect erodes the quality of scientific research because projects tend to get funded based on an applicant’s status, not merit. Groundbreaking work may not get done because the researchers are unknown or too discouraged to compete for funds. They recommend several reforms to the funding process, including limiting information grant application reviewers have about previous awards. They also suggest that rejected applicants learn their scores, which might encourage those just below the threshold to try again.

These findings may apply in many areas beyond science. For example, the Matthew effect may also widen a gulf between winning and losing entrepreneurs in the race for venture capital. Even the Academy Awards may favor big movie industry names over lesser-known talent. “There are a lot of social settings with large amounts of inequality, which could be ripe for the study of the Matthew effect,” De Vaan stresses.