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Drexel Libraries Welcomed Michelle Lowry as Fall 2019 ScholarSip Speaker

December 17, 2019

Drexel LeBow College of Business and TD Bank Professor Michelle Lowry recently described what happens when academics and industry collaborate to a crowd of 30 University faculty and professional staff.  

The Drexel University Libraries hosted Lowry in the Sky View Lounge on Monday, Dec. 9 as the fall 2019 ScholarSip “food for thought” speaker. This year’s ScholarSip series focuses on the benefits and challenges of conducting and disseminating research when academics collaborate with industry. Lowry—who is also the Academic Director of the Raj & Kamla Gupta Governance Institute—was the perfect candidate to kick off the 2019/2020 event series.  

“As the Academic Director for the Gupta Governance Institute, I spend a lot of time interacting and collaborating with people in industry. I’m a big believer in those interactions,” said Lowry to begin the session. “I believe very passionately that we, as academics, have an obligation to share information with industry. At the same time, we as academics also need to remember how much we can learn from industry. It’s a two-way communication street.”

For Lowry, that two-way communication is the core of her research. Her work, she explained, is not a single paper with one author from academia and one from the private sector. Rather, the end product—a published journal article for example—is the result of a lot of conversations between academics and industry professionals.

Communicating the “value-add” is also imperative, she said.

“If there’s going to be a partnership, both sides have to gain. We have to ask, ‘what does industry have that we as academics don’t?’ and vice versa. Industry people have stories and anecdotal evidence. Academics have the ability to provide systematic evidence to understand something, and hopefully we have less of a bias to increase our credibility... We think about the why and then we go back to industry and share that insight through papers published in the popular press, panel presentations and networking events.”

She ended the discussion with a short question and answer session and by sharing examples of her work to investigate issues like who provides financing to private companies; who provides financing to new public companies; and are investors paying attention to their portfolio companies?

Missed the event? Watch the complete recording of the session on the Drexel YouTube page.

The Libraries’ winter ScholarSip event featuring Banu Onaral, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems, will be held on Monday, March 16 from 4 pm – 6pm in the Sky View Lounge. For more information, visit our events page.