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Willamette | MBA | Atkinson Graduate School of Management

September 2012
administrative news
Message from the Dean

Dear Willamette MBA Community,

Welcome to a new academic year! We are delighted to welcome outstanding new students to our Early Career and Career Change MBA program and MBA for Professionals program.

This diverse group brings outstanding academic credentials, global perspectives and a wide range of past experiences.

  • Early Career and Career Change MBA – 105 new students representing 20 countries and 13 states.
  • MBA for Professionals – two strong cohorts in Salem and Portland representing business, government and not-for-profit organizations from across western Oregon and southwest Washington.

We are also pleased to welcome three new faculty members to our team:

Madhu Rao - Senior Associate Dean
Madhu previously served as Interim Dean at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and has a background in operations management and industrial engineering.  He will assist in managing the day-to-day operations of the school, developing curriculum plans with faculty members, and overseeing the accreditation process.  Madhu's office is in the Mudd Building in Salem.
Read more about Madhu.

Gary Knight - Helen Simpson Jackson Chair in Global Management
Gary previously served as professor of global business at Florida State University and has traveled and worked extensively internationally.  He brings experience as both a researcher, teacher and practitioner in international business.  Gary's office is in the Atkinson Annex in Salem.
Read more about Gary.

Robert Walker - Associate Professor of Quantitative Analysis
Robert previously served at Rice University and Washington University in St. Louis teaching courses in statistics, research methods and politics.  He is a regular instructor on longitudinal data analysis at the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis in the United Kingdom.  Robert's office is in the Mudd Building in Salem.
Read more about Robert.

Read on for more information on exciting new developments at our school this year.  As always, I appreciate your continued support of our students and programs.

Best Wishes,


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


alumni news
Jesse Schumacher MBA'08 asked his Fiance Amanda Schafer to marry him on his 29th Birthday in Seattle Washington. She accepted, and currently they are planning the wedding to occur sometime in or around winter of 2014. Jesse Schumacher
Kristy Bolsinger MBA'09, began working at Ant's Eye View, a small social business management consultancy headquartered in Seattle, WA, nearly two years ago as a Consultant. Recently, the company has been acquired by PricewaterhouseCoopers as noted in this announcement. Kristy will be joining the PwC team as a Senior Associate as the deal finalizes in late September.
Robert Foster '72, MAD'76 joined the California State Military Reserve CSMR, assigned to the 146th Air Wing Support Unit, with the C130 wing at Channel Island Air Guard Station, at Point Mugu. "Qualified as Military Emergency Management Specialist, via a string of FEMA classes and exercises in Incident Management, Robert Foster
I augment the Emergency Mgt flight (CBRNE) of the Civil Engineering Sqdn and recently completed training to augment the Security Sqdn," writes Robert. "I must be about the world's oldest E4 (roughly, Corporal). Though working with Air Guard, I am officially in the "Green" team and wear an Army uniform. The CSMR is an organization of volunteers in over 30 units, under the State Military Department, who support the National Guard through a wide array of functions, from legal to OpFor and small arms trainers. California is one of about 23 states including Oregon & Washington, with such organizations."
Taryn Lust MBA'11 has taken a new position as Wellness Director at Stafford Hills Club. "My passion in life has always been in preventing obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes," writes Taryn, "so when it came time in my MBA to design my integrative project, I knew it had to be a wellness center. I began collaborating with a local company called Stafford Hills and created a business plan for medically based wellness programs that would reach children and adults in the community. Now almost 2 years after the completion of my integrative project, Stafford Hills Club is building the Wellness Center and has made me the Director of the Center. Stafford Hills Club Wellness Center will provide a wide array of medically based wellness programs to help members and the community lead healthy and balanced lifestyles, addressing the six aspects of personal wellness: social, occupational, spiritual, physical, intellectual and emotional. It is expected to open late November, 2012."

The August 19th episode of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition featured Jarvez Hall MBA'07 and followed his journey to ultimately losing 281 pounds. Read more and watch the episode here.

Jarvez Hall


atkinson news
Look for “Directions” in Your Mailbox Soon
You'll soon receive a copy of the yearly Willamette University MBA magazine, "Directions," in your mailbox. This year's issue includes feature stories on innovative alumni, a snapshot of career management's mentor program, stories of our Peace Corps-turned-MBA students and much more. We welcome your feedback at mba-media@willamette.edu or via our Facebook page.

Willamette MBA Joined Trade Mission to South America

An admissions representative from Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management traveled to South America to meet with prospective international students and education centers. The trip was part of a special education trade mission – the largest to date – organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Aimee Akimoff MBA'11, the Director of Recruitment for Willamette’s Early Career and Career Change MBA program, spent two weeks in South America, traveling to Bogota, Colombia and three cities in Brazil – Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Read the complete story online


Around the World and in your Neighborhood this Fall

The admission and recruitment team for the Early Career and Career Change MBA program has started its annual fall travel schedule.  We’re visiting prospective students at events across the U.S., Canada and around the world this fall.

Review upcoming travel dates.

Willamette MBA Students Represents at Young Professionals' Great Salem Race

A team representing Willamette's Early Career and Career Change MBA and the MBA for Professionals competed in the Young Professional's Great Salem Race in late August.

Great Salem Race Photo

The team (from left to right): Anne Fraser, Anthony Tham, Winnie Nie and Dionne Ritter, had to race to solve clues, overcome obstacles, find hidden Salem experiences, and complete challenges in this ultimate scavenger hunt.



Upcoming Events

Upcoming Alumni Gatherings

Join Atkinson staff and fellow alumni at one of the upcoming alumni gatherings happening around the U.S. and around the world:

DC-Area Alumni Brunch
Saturday, October 6, 2012
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
The Cosmos Club - Washington, DC
RSVP by email to aakimoff@willamette.edu

Mumbai, India Alumni Gathering
Thursday, November 1, 2012
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
ITC Grand Central Hotel - Mumbai, India
RSVP by email to aakimoff@willamette.edu

Early Career and Career Change MBA Virtual Session – October 17

If you know prospective students interested in the full-time Early Career and Career Change MBA program, encourage them to mark their calendars for our first virtual information session.

Wednesday, October 17, 12:00-1:00pm (PST)

RSVP Online
MBA for Professionals – Dean’s Lunches and GMAT Preparation Session Dates Announced

If someone you know is interested in pursuing the MBA for Professionals program, encourage them to attend a Dean’s Luncheon with Debra Ringold in the Portland area.  The Dean’s lunches are unique opportunities for alumni and prospective students to meet with Dean Ringold and connect about the MBA for Professionals program.

Dean's Lunches:
September 27
October 24

GMAT Strategy sessions are opportunities to discuss useful strategies to prepare for the GMAT.  All sessions will be held at the Willamette University Portland Center.
October 6
November 3

RSVP for upcoming dates online:  http://willamette.edu/mba/events/index.html

Sep 21
Willamette Alumni Weekend
Sep 27
Dean's Lunch
Oct 6
GMAT Strategy Session
Oct 12
Students: Resume Workshop and Trek
Oct 17
Early Career and Career Change MBA Virtual Session
Oct 24
Dean's Lunch
alumni events calendar
atkinson events calendar

career management
Update from the Career Management Team: Beth Ursin & Shelby Gould

With the goal of engaging new and returning students early in the career process, the Career Management Team focused on a few key items:  

Early Access to Career Management: Students this year are actively engaged in Career Management early, and that’s by design. Over the summer incoming students completed an interest inventory designed for MBA’s, called Career Leader. After students reviewed their assessments, they turned in their reflections along with their resume to the Career Office and scheduled an Early Access Appointment. Director Beth Ursin met with 57 students just during the month of August and both Beth and Shelby have appointments scheduled through the end of September.

Internship Focus during Compass Week: Chief Strategist for D.A. Davidson, Fred Dickson, was a keynote speaker during Compass Week. He talked about the markets and shared his view on what jobs should be growing in the next two years. Students also attended a choice of career focused panels with alumni and returning students talking about jobs and careers. Participating alumni included: James Furlo '06, MBA'07, Mikki Trowbridge '06, MBA'08, Mike Martinez '00, MBA'11, Kris Gonier '98, MBA'99, Sumit Sabharwal MBA'10Nathan Beil MBA'09Aaron Reber MBA'11, Matt Alex '08, MBA'12, Keith Grimm MBA'12, Quinn Burke MBA'11, Lisa Hylton MBA'04, Chris Magana MBA'03, JD'04, Sid Arora MBA'12, and Courtney Ranstrom MBA'05.

Starting the Career GPS Earlier:  Students were assigned the first three steps of the Career GPS (The MBA Career Roadmap) during their first week of school. This included doing five informationals with second year students to ask about internship . Not surprisingly, the conversations with second year students led the first year students to start thinking about their next summer early.

Big Recruiting Event – September 7: This year our big recruiting event of the fall, our Career Close-Up, was moved early to accommodate consulting, accounting and big company hiring timelines. The event took place at the World Trade Center and welcomed over 100 students and 38 employers from 24 different organizations. The list includes private sector employers such as Adidas and Intel; Government organizations such as the FBI and Bonneville Power Administration; Not-for-profits such as Mercy Corps International and Kaiser Permanente, among many other both big and small organizations.  

Later in September we will launch of the 2012 Mentorship Program and the National Asian MBA conference in Santa Clara, CA which the Director will attend with several students.


executive development center
Willamette MBA Alumni Book Club Launches
The Willamette University Executive Development Center is excited to launch the Willamette MBA Alumni Book club, an opportunity to review current management books and connect through a virtual session with the authors.

Based on an overwhelming response from alumni, we will start with
Kill the Company by Lisa Bodell. In her new book, Lisa argues that if you want to be more innovative, innovation can't be your starting point. First, you have to kill your company - the entrenched behaviors, cultures, and processes that deflate the innovative spirit.

The session will take place Friday, September 28 at 9:00am, Pacific Daylight Time. (Convert PDT to your time zone:  http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html).

Since the sessions are only open to the first 50 who sign up, please register only if you are certain you can attend the call.

Register online!
Career Management and Coaching Dates Announced for 2012-13

The Career Management and Coaching Certificate is designed for professionals ready to explore opportunities and challenges critical to achieving career and organizational success. Participants will energize and reinvent themselves through a process of reflection and personal development.

2012-13 Dates:

September 14, 2012 - Effective Critical Conversations
October 5, 2012 - Discovering Your Career "True North"
October 26, 2012 - Maximizing Mentoring and Coaching Relationships
November 16, 2012 - Navigating Organizational Culture
December 7, 2012 - Effective Executive Presentations
January 18, 2013 - Performance Coaching
February 1, 2013 - Creating a Career Action Plan
March 1, 2013 - Coaching Forum

For more information, visit the website.
Discounts available for Willamette alumni.


faculty news
Professor Larry Ettner Becomes Chair of Mercy Corps Northwest
Larry Ettner, Professor of Management Practice at the Atkinson School, has been named chair of the Mercy Corps Northwest Board of Directors. An offshoot of the international non-profit Mercy Corps, the local affiliate focuses on economic development and aid to low income populations in Oregon and Washington. The organization provides microloans, micro-business grants and small business consulting services to entrepreneurs.
Professor Lisbeth Claus a Finalist for EMMA Award
Lisbeth Claus, Professor of Global HR, has been nominated for an EMMA Award for her benchmarking study on Global Duty of Care. The EMMA awards are part of the Forum for Expatriate Management and recognize outstanding professionals in global mobility. Claus’ paper, which is nominated in the Thought Leadership – Best Survey or Research Study of the Year category, has been published in three languages and presented to managers around the world.



student news
Current Student Involved in Video Game Startup

Todd Silverstein (MBA Candidate) is involved with Gamesmith, LLC, a small independent game publisher based in Salem. They have just recently launched their company website which can be found at www.thegamesmith.com and are eager to get feedback from anyone who is willing to provide it. They intend to publish four games over the next few months, with the first being showcased on Kickstarter right now. If you like playing board or card games, you should definitely check them out. Feel free to contact Todd directly with feedback, or if you are located in or near Salem and are interested in playing a prototype of any game on the website. What follows is a description of one of the four games they intend on publishing:

"Pirate's Den is a bluffing game for three to five players, which plays in approximately 20 to 30 minutes, and can be played equally well at home, on the beach, or in a pub. (In the game,) You and your mates are pirates who have the happy problem of needing to divide-up the treasure from your recent conquests. You are all provided with the same set of options to choose from, in order to help the others with divvying up the treasure. Unfortunately, well, your mates are pirates and, as such, can’t quite be trusted not to “help” you by stealing your portion (of the loot). Can you read your fellow pirates well enough to choose a winning strategy?" Source: http://www.thegamesmith.com/games.

Students Create Case Proposal for National Association of Asian MBAs

Three MBA candidates, Anthony Tham, Jillian Toda and Hussain Al Haddad, created an executive summary case proposal for the National Association of Asian MBAs national conference. The students were asked to answer the question "How Can Social Media Be Used to Empower Marginalized Communities?" Read their summary on the Willamette MBA blog.


"No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come."
Victor Hugo

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 aakimoff@willamette.edu 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, Jesse Schumacher, Kristy Bolsinger, Robert Foster, Taryn Lust, Anthony Tham and Beth Ursin.

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 aakimoff@willamette.edu. Corrections will be addressed in the following issue and all your comments or suggestions will be thoughtfully considered.

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 week before publication. 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

Willamette UniversityWillamette MBA (Atkinson School)