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Bradley Hilltopics

Fall 2009 • Volume 15, Issue 4  

Notebook

 

Dr. Rita Newton

Professor’s legacy helps women

By GAYLE ERWIN McDOWELL ’77

Newton scholarships

Some say Dr. Rita Newton, professor of industrial engineering at BU from 1969 to 2000, was ahead of her time. As the first female engineering professor at Bradley, she served as a role model. Now, female students can also benefit from Newton scholarships. Contact Jerry Heller, executive director of gift planning, at 309-677-3661 or jdheller@bradley.edu to discuss a planned gift to benefit Bradley.

When Dr. Rita Newton traveled from New York to interview at Bradley in 1969, it was a lunch with students that sold her on the job. ”She sensed that Bradley was going to be a very good teaching environment,“ recalls Dr. Joe Emanuel, her colleague and friend of four decades.

Bradley’s first female engineering professor hit the ground running. In 1973, she won the Putnam Award for Excellence in Teaching. ”She was a very good teacher — one who tried to get beyond the ‘how-to’ and into the ‘why’,“ says Emanuel, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering.

Newton died on June 23, but she will continue to impact the lives of women interested in engineering. The Rita Newton Scholarship for Women in Engineering was first awarded in 2007. Preference for the scholarships is given to women majoring in industrial engineering, according to Emanuel, who also serves as associate dean of the College of Engineering and Technology. With Newton’s gift of more than $1 million, she became part of Bradley’s Renaissance Circle Society last year.

An engineer and numerical analyst at Bell Aerospace from 1953 to 1966, Newton’s group was responsible for developing the path traversed on the moon by the first lunar rover. ”Knowing that she had worked in industry for many years made Rita a role model for female students,“ says Emanuel.

”When I came to Bradley and began to consider a career in engineering, knowing there was a strong and caring woman on the faculty who had paved the way was inspiring,“ says DIANE PARKE-POTTER ’76, Eastman Kodak’s worldwide packaging director. Her friend, DEBBIE BONTZ ANDREADIS ’76, agrees, ”Dr. Newton not only took a sincere interest in all of us becoming good engineers, but also in knowing us personally.“

 

Paper earns award — 37 years later

By Nancy Ridgeway

Dr. James GoodnowA research paper co-authored in 1972 by Dr. James Goodnow, Bradley professor emeritus of international business, has received the Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS) Decade Award. In honor of its 40th anniversary, the publication selected winning papers for each year from 1970 to 1985. The frequency of citations and the number of leading journals in which papers had been cited were considered when selecting winning articles.

Goodnow and Dr. James Hansz were assistant professors of marketing at Eastern Michigan University when they wrote, ”Environmental Determinants of Overseas Market Entry Strategies.“ Of the JIBS articles published in 1972, theirs was the most cited over the following decade.

They used a new cluster analysis program to test a theory that when companies decide how they will enter into international markets, they are influenced by external factors such as the economic situation, political situation, and geo-cultural distance (geographic distance from the U.S. coupled with how different the local culture is from the U.S.). Based on responses from 222 companies, Goodnow says they found the theory to be true. Companies were more likely to make a direct investment, such as building a plant, in countries similar to the U.S., whereas they tended to avoid or only export to dissimilar countries. Companies were inclined to use another strategy, such as licensing or a joint venture, in emerging markets.

Goodnow says factors that go into companies’ decisions to enter foreign markets are still among ”the top four or five topics international business scholars look at today, so we were kind of pioneers.“

Founder of Bradley’s international business major, Goodnow taught from 1987 to 2007. Now retired, he and his wife Tonya live in Denton, Texas.