|Ithaca College Hosts Annual NEALSB Conference|
|Ithaca College's School of Business hosted the annual North East Academy of Legal Studies (NEALSB) conference from April 30 to May 2, 2010.|
Ithaca College's School of Business hosted the annual North East Academy of Legal Studies (NEALSB) conference from April 30 to May 2, 2010. NEALSB is a division of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business (ASLB), a national association of teachers and scholars in the fields of business law, legal environment, and law-related courses outside of professional law schools. IC has held a presence in the organization for over 20 years with faculty presenting papers at conferences, publishing in the annual double-blind refereed journal, and holding spots on the group's central board. The three-day conference in Ithaca attracted over 35 business law educators from across the northeast and other areas of the United States.
Participants stayed at nearby LaTourelle Resort and Spa, but this year's affair was unique in that it marked the first time the conference's academic sessions were hosted on a college campus, and the first time it was held in central New York. "In the past, conferences have been held at resorts and other conference centers," says Marlene Barken, associate professor of legal studies at Ithaca College, and program chair and president-elect of NEALSB. "We have received an overwhelmingly positive response to this year's change of location and we hope to have set a model for future events."
Mark Cordano, interim dean of the School of Business, welcomed attendees at dinner Friday night, and Saturday's program included a tour of Ithaca College, led by School of Business freshman Jake Tenenbaum. Jake, who is also a member of the Deans' Hosts and Peer Advisor groups, focused attention on the Dorothy D. and Roy H. Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise, one of the first 100 buildings in the world to receive platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. "The opportunity to highlight the business school as well as the College's efforts toward sustainability was invaluable," says Barken. "IC has a long-standing relationship with NEALSB, and participants were impressed by our facilities and initiatives."
Attendees enjoyed sustainable meals and snacks using compostable wares, all provided by IC's Conference and Events Services. Program folders and paper products were made from recycled materials, and registrants received a gift of an Ithaca College biodegradable mug. "Overall, there was an effort to move the conference toward greener practices which reflects much of what is going on in the business world and beyond," say Barken.
The conference's focus was on current legal issues and teaching legal studies to undergraduate students. Session topics included legal practice, tax, employment discrimination, benefits for military personnel, first amendment, property, contracts, and internet law. School of Business faculty members led numerous sessions. Eileen Kelly and Susan Rosenthal of the Management Department presented a paper on "Legal Insights on Mandatory Flu Vaccinations." Alka Bramhandkar (Finance and International Business Department), with Marlene Barken and Gwen Seaquist (Marketing and Law Department) presented a paper on "Credit Ratings and the First Amendment." Tyler Rauber, a senior Finance major and Barken's teaching and research assistant, provided research support for the paper and attended the conference. Barken was particularly pleased to involve Tyler in the presentation. In addition, Barken and Seaquist led a panel discussion about "Innovation in the Classroom," one of the conference's key topics this year. Seaquist is a past president of NEALSB.
Barken, who has been on the faculty of Ithaca College since 1984, earned an undergraduate degree in history from Cornell University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She teaches the Introduction to the Legal Environment of Business I and II foundation courses as well as multiple upper-level seminars in the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies, including Environmental Law and Policy, Marketplace Regulation and Consumer Protection, and the Senior Capstone course for Legal Studies majors. She currently serves as chair of the business school's Sustainability Committee and is a member of the College's Climate Action Plan Education Implementation Committee. Barken summed up the event as "an excellent opportunity to bring together scholarly professionals and to involve students in a prestigious academic program. Ithaca College's new School of Business facilities provide a terrific conference venue, and I'm sure we will attract many more such programs."