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Willamette | MBA | Atkinson Graduate School of Management Willamette University Willamette MBA (Atkinson School)

November 2008

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldDear Willamette MBA Community,

Happy Holidays! With Thanksgiving fast approaching, our faculty, staff and students are busy preparing for the end of the semester.

Even with finals week fast approaching, there are a number of exciting events and activities going on around the Atkinson School.

This past week we celebrated International Education week with a series of events and activities hosted by our International Graduate Student Association. On Wednesday the Atkinson community was treated to a global breakfast featuring food from around the world and informational videos and posters from a sample of our Early Career MBA students' home countries. It was a wonderful celebration of the diverse culture that exists at our school.

In responding to current economic trends, Michael Dothan, Guy F. Atkinson Professor of Economics and Finance, has delivered two presentations on market conditions for the Willamette MBA community. Michael's events are timely and demonstrate the relevance and applicability of our teaching in today's dynamic environment. His third and final presentation of the semester, "The Ecstasy and Agony of Finance: Hedge Funds and Other New Developments," will be presented on December 4th at the Atkinson Graduate School in Salem [details online].

We are thankful for all that you do to support the Atkinson School. The generosity of our alumni and friends contributes directly to the operations of the Willamette MBA and the continued success of our programs. Contact the Office of Development at 503.808.9921 to make a tax deductible donation by December 31, 2008.

Best Wishes,


Debra Debra J. Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise



Alumni News



CallahanDenise Crawford '95, MBA '00 and John Callahan '92 were married in Cone Chapel on October 12, 2008 by Willamette Chaplain Charlie Wallace. A number of Willamette alumni, faculty and staff were in attendance for the celebration. Denise is the Senior Director of Alumni Relations and John is the Director of Network Services at Willamette.


Dan OlsonDan Olson MBA'06 and Madeleine Hudgins were married on October 11th in Moraga, CA. "We will be packing up this week to move to Sydney, Australia," writes Dan, "where I have accepted an internal position at our Australian city center as head consulting specialist. It is an exciting time and exciting adventures to come."

In Memorium

John M. Jesse MM'97 of Watertown, passed away July 29, 2007 at 47 years of age. Survived by mom Carol Jesse, Ixonia, sisters Karen Taylor, Watertown and Sue Hinshaw, Denton, TX, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Cremation took place at Range Funeral Home in Hurley, WI. A celebration of life service was held at St Martin's Church, Cross Plains on August 12. Donations to National Kidney Foundation in John's name are appreciated.


Joshua Caldwell MBA'06 business development manager for S.D. Deacon Corp. of Oregon was selected as a finalist for the 2008 Rainmaker awards. "The awards go beyond simply recognizing people who excel at drumming up new clients and projects for the companies for which they work," states the September 26 article in the Daily Journal of Commerce. "They also honor professionals who make outstanding efforts to share their skill at – and understanding of – rainmaking with others." The finalists were honored during an Oct. 29 lunch event.

In June of 2008, Jon Lazarus MM'98 was elected as the President of the Willamette Valley PMI (Project Management Institute), Salem Branch. PMIWV ( has been working closely with Atkinson Graduate School to bring best practices of project management to students, so they are able to incorporate better project management skills into their assignments. Jon hopes to make the AGSM program more recognizable with PMI involvement and give the students a better, more competitive edge in the job market. Jon is also going to be hosting a study group for interested students to obtain their CAPM or PMP certification this coming January.

Mac Rinehart '96, MBA'08 recently joined The Regence Group on July 30, 2008 as a Systems Analyst IV specializing in data analysis and data warehousing solutions.

G. Harvey Gail MM'88, President of VanNatta Public Relations (VPR), spoke at the National Leadership Conference of Financial Planning Association (FPA). The conference was held in Denver, CO. on November 8. As part of his role at VPR, he has served as the Executive Director of the FPA of Oregon and SW Washington since 2006. Gail spoke on best practices of association management and on the relationship between executive directors and board leadership to newly-elected FPA chapter presidents. During his presentation he emphasized that association management is a discipline and that organizations can benefit from professional administration, advice and consultation.

The Minnesota State Bar Association’s (MSBA) General Practice, Solo, & Small Firm Section recently elected Adam W. Heaton JD/MBA'02 as Chair of the Section’s Council. In this role Adam will facilitate and guide the Council’s efforts to shape the goals and objectives of the Section in the coming year. In his short time as Chair, Adam has successfully led the effort to sponsor continuing legal education programs and events uniquely benefitting attorneys practicing in small firms or as solo practitioners; such as, a seminar covering basic skills, tricks, and tips on using one of the most popular accounting software applications used by small business owners. Additionally, in early November of this year Adam’s law firm was featured in the Minnesota Lawyers newspaper as the only “virtual,” multiple-attorney law firm operating within Minnesota, as well as providing legal services within Oregon and Washington. As an MSBA Board Certified Real Property Law Specialist, Adam has also been busy co-producing and writing articles for the Community Living journal of the Minnesota Chapter of the Community Association Institute, the oldest, largest, and most established organization in the community association (homeowners’ association) industry.


Atkinson News


Willamette MBA Alumnus James W. Myers Appointed as Associate Dean

Jim MyersJim Myers MM'99 acceptance of the position concludes Willamette's national search of candidates conducted by Debra Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise.

Myers currently serves as a contributing associate professor and brings with him twenty years of operations leadership experience focusing on customer service, product delivery and process development. His background includes maintenance, materials, and manufacturing management, continuous improvement, and enterprise planning in capital equipment and aerospace/defense sectors. He is also the founder of Praxis Analytics Incorporated, a business consultancy focusing on enterprise optimization and process improvement.

"We're delighted to welcome James Myers to the administrative team at the Atkinson School," said Debra Ringold. "As a graduate of the program and an innovator in operational and project management, Jim will work to streamline processes that support our faculty and staff in serving the needs of our students."

“Our Willamette MBA” Video Contest – Submit Your Registration Form by December 5

Are you interested in telling your Willamette MBA story?  It could be worth a grand prize of $1000 (and two runners up will receive $500 each).  Now is the time to send in your registration for the second annual “Our Willamette MBA” video contest.

Videos are not due until January 26, 2009 – however, please turn in your name and your intention to submit a video to Russell Yost, Director of Marketing ( by December 5.

Contest entries will be judged at the March “First Thursday” event in Portland and winners will be announced.  The contest is open to all Willamette MBA students, staff, faculty and alumni.

Willamette University MBA Represented at National Public Relations Conference

Russell YostRussell Yost, Willamette MBA Director of Marketing, and Kristy Bolsinger, second year MBA student, represented the Willamette MBA program at the 2008 Public Relations Student Society of America Conference in Detroit, MI.  The event is the largest gathering of PR students and professionals in the world, drawing over 3,500 attendees.  The Willamette MBA was a title sponsor of the student conference and hosted a dinner for PRSSA Chapter Presidents as part of student recruitment efforts.  The conference marked the Willamette MBA’s second year as a sponsor.





Upcoming Events


Ecstasy and Agony of Finance: Hedge Funds and Other New Developments

Special event sponsored by the Atkinson Finance Association

• Why Hank Paulson is scared of hedge funds
• How to be a successful hedge fund manager without knowing anything about investing
• How to measure risk – it is not what you think
• What might be the best way to regulate hedge funds
• What hedge fund managers say – we asked only those who are paid more than $1 billion a year

Thursday, December 4 , 2008
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Willamette University Campus, Atkinson Graduate School of Management
RSVP Online:

Michael Dothan is Guy F. Atkinson Professor of Economics and Finance at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University.  Michael teaches courses in investments, finance and strategy, and financial derivatives.  Michael's teaching awards include United Methodist Exemplary Teacher Award (2001) and Excellence in Teaching Award (2007).

Michael's research has appeared in the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Business, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Financial Research, and other journals.  His most recent research is in the areas of corporate finance, financial markets, public finance, and company valuation.

Sponsored by the Willamette University MBA and the Atkinson Finance Association.


First thursday Empowerment in Action

“New Year, New You” – Preparing Yourself Professionally for the New Year and the New Economy

December 4 , 2008

In the midst of the Holiday season and among all the press about the economy, how should you position yourself, your family and your business for 2009? Join us for a discussion with a panel of coaches and experts as they offer tips and trends to prepare for the New Year.

Peter Wallmark – Career Coach
Greg Kimura, Financial Planner, Frazier-Hunnicutt Financial
Dawn Foster, Fast Wonder Consulting

Location: Living Room Theaters - SW 10th and Stark - Portland, Oregon
Networking at 5:30p.m., presentation and discussion at 6:00p.m.
Details and online RSVP at

POWER Lunch SERIES: Learn. Interact. Connect.

Join Willamette University MBA faculty, staff, students and alumni for an interactive conversation with one of our distinguished Power Lunch presenters.

Time: 12:00p.m. - 1:00p.m.
Location: Alumni Lounge, University Center
Willamette University Campus Salem, Oregon

Map and Directions (Alumni Lounge is in Building #34)

arrow RSVP for these events Online

Tuesday, Feb. 10th

Michael Woolfolk
Bank of New York

Tuesday, March 10th

Jim Albaugh, President & CEO
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems

Learn more and RSVP online:



Nov 27-28 Thanksgiving Holiday - Offices Closed
Nov 30 Emeritus Faculty Steve Archer's 80th Birthday!
Dec 4 First Thursday Empowerment in Action Series
Dec 4 Ecstasy and Agony of Finance Presentation
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 22-Jan 4 Winter Break - Offices Closed
Jan 2 Certificate in Public Management - First Day of Class
Jan 5 MBA for Professionals - First Day of Class
Jan 12 Early Action Application Deadline for Full-time MBA Programs
Jan 12 Budget & Accreditation Analyst Susan Chiapella's Birthday
Jan 16 Mock Recruiting Event
Jan 17 MBA for Professionals Commencement
Jan 19 Full-time MBA - First Day of Class
Feb 10 Power Lunch
Feb 16 Professor of Management Practice Larry Ettner's Birthday
[ alumni events calendar ]


Career Services


Update from Director of Career Services: Beth Ursin & Shelby Gould

Shelby GouldBeth Ursin

Despite the hiring freezes and the status of our economy, Atkinson students are still securing jobs and internships. They are working hard to perfect their resumes, cover letters, and interviewing skills. Atkinson students are developing strong, foundational professional skills with support from mentors in the Mentorship Program, Peer Career Advisors, and faculty & staff. With help from Peer Career Advisors we have developed recruiting teams for mock jobs; which includes each step of the hiring process: review of the application, phone screenings, and mock interviews with hiring professionals. Students are being challenged to practice their skills with informational interviews and networking sessions.

Atkinson Events: We have had a vast increase of recruiters come on campus this year than in the past. Recruiters such as Microsoft, AKT, Oregon Secretary of State Audits Division, State Farm, Intel, City of Woodburn, REALNetworks, and more have come to share information on the culture and recruiting process within their organization. Not only is Career Services bringing companies to campus, but we are visiting companies as well. Last week, a group of students had the opportunity to visit the Hewlett-Packard Company campus in Corvallis. We experienced the HP HALO Collaboration Studio and discussed HP’s sustainability movement with representatives in Roseville, CA and Boise, ID.

The past couple of weeks have been busy with the Mentorship Workshop and Dress for Success. The Mentorship Workshop was an interactive coaching session presented by Judy Clark of HR Answers. The following week we had Dress for Success; which was a how-to-dress professionally in the business world including panelists, models, and a fashion show. Our own fashion experts, Russ Yost, Salina Karia, and Cathy Rae Smith were our panelists who discussed what is/is not appropriate and how to shop with a budget.

Featured Student Interview

Jessica BalsamJessica Balsam, Sustainability Intern for the Director of the Department of Administrative Services at the State of Oregon and Willamette MBA Candidate 2009

Interviewed by Kelly Intile, Willamette MBA Candidate 2010

What were the most effective steps you took toward getting your internship?  The most effective step I took to get this internship is I maintained contacts and relationships I had with those I knew before attending Atkinson.  I think it's also important to remember that you're always being evaluated by potential employers - whether you know it or not.  Your classmates, professors, friends, and friends of friends could all potentially have the ability to offer you a job. 

What was your timeline (when did you start looking, when did you start applying, etc.)?  I started looking and networking with people in October.  I got serious about finding something in February but I would recommend you move faster than I did.

What is the most important piece of advice you would give to first year MBA students?  Network, network, network.  If you have to choose between classwork and a networking opportunity, in most cases I would advise someone to attend the networking event.  Clearly, academics are important, but if you don't have an internship or job at the end, what's the point?  And remember that every person you meet may one day be in the position to offer you a job.


Executive Development Center


OTPI: Oregon Transportation Policy Institute

December 8 and January 14
The Oregon Transportation Policy Institute (OTPI) is established to provide state legislators and other public officials an educational program on transportation. It is designed to furnish a common understanding of the concepts, challenges and trade-offs associated with transportation policies and funding. Supplying a framework to evaluate transportation issues and investments, it communicates information necessary to making transportation policy decisions. Transportation has been identified as a top agenda item for the next legislative session that convenes in January.

The sessions will include short lectures with significant time for questions and answers, opportunities for the audience to give perspective on the direction of the course and an interactive exercise. The presenters are expected to include former officials, consultants, college professors, and others, mostly from Oregon but also allowing for some national perspective. See website for more information:

Preceding the OTPI session on January 14, there will be Senate Leadership Institute day on the 13th of January.  25 members of the Oregon Senate are expected to participate in a session to develop skills and techniques in creating conversations that create value and move things forward.  The challenges with the state budget in 2009 will create a challenging environment for legislators to work together to make tough decisions.  The Leadership Institute will provide information and development to help with this process.

Certificate in Public Management – Register Now for Cohort 9
(January 2009)

The Willamette Executive Development Center is now accepting applications for the remaining spots of the ninth cohort of the Certificate in Public Management (CPM) program. The CPM prepares public managers at all levels to take on more managerial responsibility, gain the latest tools and expand their ability to serve the public. The CPM is delivered in a convenient format to meet the needs of working professionals at the federal, state and local levels. Sample course descriptions and application materials are available online at You can also request additional information on the CPM by writing to or calling 503.370.6115.




Staff News


Aimee Akimoff, Director of Recruitment, presented at the NAFSA Region I and XII Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, which gathered over 500 international educators. As the Past Chair of Study Oregon, a consortium of 21 institutions, Aimee was asked to present the following sessions, titled "Study Oregon/Study Hawaii: Working Collaboratively to Recruit International Students" and "Tapping the Resources of the U.S. Government: Promoting and Marketing Your Institution and Programs Abroad." The third session, titled "Millennials and Beyond: Understanding and Working with a New Generation of Students" utilized Aimee's knowledge and experience recruiting early career MBA students.


MarathonSeveral members of the Willamette MBA community finished Portland's Run Like Hell Half-Marathon last month. Pictured from left to right: Kody Betonte, Shelby Gould, Beth Ursin and Aimee Akimoff. Not pictured: Courtney McClain, Danielle Hathaway and Nicole Thibodeau.





Student News

Willamette MBA Students Awarded Two Sustainability Grants

Several Willamette MBA students were awarded two sustainability grants by the Willamette University Sustainability Council during this year's competition.

Full-time MBA student, Joshua Beatty was awarded a grant for his proposal, "Additional Bicycle Parking on the South Side of Winter Street."

Proposal Description: We hope to expand the capacity of Willamette to support alternative commuting to and from AGSM and Law. Although a problem that exists throughout the Willamette campus, the bicycle racks at AGSM and Law are extremely limited and demand far exceeds capacity. This is partly due to the fact that a majority of the students in both schools live off campus, and therefore most students commute. There is a strong movement among students at both schools to commute by bicycle, as can be seen by the fact that the bike racks are full year-round. This is especially true for the bicycle racks next to AGSM which are both covered; the demand for these in the winter is even higher. We plan to add a new bike rack and if funds permit, replace the existing old bike rack which does not offer as much security.

Students from the MBA for Professionals program, Tori Gustaveson, Noah Grodzin, Chris Ashley, Janna Honegger, and Khen Tan were awarded a grant for their proposal, "A Call to Action: Sustainability in Your Life."

Proposal Description: Nearly everyone can talk about the idea of sustainability, but how do you practice sustainability in your life? The idea of sustainability is vague, complex and diverse in application. Once you understand how sustainability can take form in your own life, can you implement it? And once you implement it, how can you quantify or measure your impact? How do you know if you’re really making a difference? We will host a workshop at Willamette’s Portland campus to answer these questions and to issue a call to action for participants to commit to making sustainable changes in their lives.

Two MBA Students in Football Playoffs

Two full-time MBA students are representing the Bearcats Football Team in the NCAA playoffs: Grant Leslie and Neil Bergquist. Grant Leslie also earned First Team All-Northwest Conference, as he led the Northwest Conference with a 161.68 passing efficiency rating and completed 86 of 149 passes (57.7%). His completions resulted in 1,381 yards and 13 touchdowns. He threw for a career-high 285 yards and five touchdowns on just seven completions against the University of Puget Sound on Nov. 8. During the season, he threw just two interceptions and was sacked only seven times. Go Bearcats!

PumpkinMBA for Professionals students celebrate Halloween "Willamette-style!"

Pictured: MBA for Professional student Kathleen Kellay






This email newsletter was sent to members of the Willamette/Atkinson community and subscribers from the Atkinson Graduate School. If you wish to unsubscribe to ATKINSONews, simply reply or email with your request.

ATKINSONews is a monthly newsletter from the Atkinson Graduate School of Management of Willamette University, Salem, Oregon. It is distributed to the current Atkinson community, subscribed alumni and University administrators via email each month during the academic year.

Mission: As an effort to foster one of Atkinson’s significant purposes — to establish a close community — ATKINSONews’s mission is to provide an accurate and timely forum for disseminating current news and events involving the school and its current and former community members.

Acknowledgements: I thank the following contributors for this month’s issue: Russell Yost, Debra Ringold, Beth Ursin, Shelby Gould, Denise Crawford-Callahan, Dan Olson, Janet Jobes, Josh Caldwell, Jon Lazarus, Mac Rinhart, Harvey Gail, Adam Heaton, Kelly Intile, Judy Hampe, Tina Alexander and Anne Allen Murray.

Subscriptions: Recipients wishing to unsubscribe — excluding current community members — must do so by submitting your request to unsubscribe. Current Atkinson community members (faculty, staff and students) cannot unsubscribe but can instruct their email software to purge or block the newsletter via Message Filters (Netscape) or Message Rules (Microsoft) applications. And last, please update your email address with us when your email address changes.

Comments/Corrections/Suggestions: I encourage and appreciate that you send your thoughts, comments, criticisms, corrections or suggestions about ATKINSONews to Corrections will be addressed in the following issue and all your comments or suggestions will be thoughtfully considered.

Correction from October 2008 Issue: The MBA for Professionals Commencement date was incorrect in the October issue. The correct date of Commencement is January 17, 2009.

Submissions: You may submit any news item pertaining to your academic life or significant personal milestones including (but not limited to) promotions, awards, accolades, engagements, marriages and babies. Also, if you know of a near future event you think might be of interest to the Atkinson community, submit that item as well. I will try to include all appropriate submissions as time and space allow. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday noon, the day before publication (see below). Please send your submissions electronically to ATKINSONews.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of the Atkinson Graduate School Administration or Willamette University.

Newsletter Archives: Past editions of ATKINSONews are located online.

Thanks for reading. Aimee Akimoff, Compiler/Editor