Message from the Dean
Dear Willamette MBA Community,
Welcome to the 2011-2012 academic year! I hope you all had an enjoyable and restful summer vacation. This edition of ATKINSONews includes a number of exciting announcements as we kick off another successful year. A few highlights to note:
* Forbes magazine has again included the Willamette MBA program on its list of the 75 best business schools in the United States. Willamette's MBA was the only ranked program in Oregon and one of only two in the northwest.
* A total of 99 new students joined the Early Career MBA program this fall, representing 18 states and 13 countries.
* The MBA for Professionals program in both Salem and Portland is finalizing admission decisions for a wonderful group of students who will begin in early September.
* It's a pleasure to welcome three new faculty members to our team, Ashley Nixon (Assistant Professor of Human Resources and Organizational Behavior), Kawika Pierson (Assistant Professor of Accounting and Quantitative Methods) and Tim Johnson (Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Management and Public Policy). Read more about them in the newsletter below.
Connect with us at upcoming events, through our Facebook page or following us on Twitter (@WillametteMBA). Also, you will be receiving a copy of Directions, our new yearly magazine, in the mail soon. It includes information and stories about students, graduates and faculty members making a difference in the business, government and not-for-profit sectors.
Debra J. Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise
AJ Nash '05, MBA'06 and Sheena Renee Gleason were married on August 20, 2011 at Eola Hills Winery in Rickreall Oregon.
On Saturday, August 27th, Sara Barnes '07, MBA'11 and Will Patton '08, MBA'11 were married at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon. The ceremony was attended by 100 close friends and family, including several Willamette MBA alumni. Sara and Will are extremely thankful for all the well wishes, and they are looking forward to beginning married life in the Portland area.
Amy (Crocker) Thomas MBA'04 and Michael Thomas MBA'03 welcomed Jack Henry Thomas, on June 17, 2011 at 3:47 p.m. Jack weighed in at 8 pounds, 1/2 an ounce and was 19 & 3/4 inches long. Jack joins 2 year old big sister Anna who adores her baby brother.
Through a national search of dozens of applicants, Ben Crop '08, MBA'09 was hired as the Technical Director at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) in beautiful Santa Barbara. Ben is the full time Technical Director for the Theatre Arts Department supervising students and all technical staff. "I engineer, budget, and manage all theatrical productions at SBCC," writes Ben. "This is my dream job and I hope to stay in this beautiful place for years to come."
In her role as Applications Development Manager, Angela Mahoney '93, MBA'00 is presenting for the second time at the annual Salesforce.com conference in San Francisco. Salesforce.com invited PECI to showcase some of Angela and her team's work in their session entitled "The New Field Work: Mobile Data Collection and the Force.com." Last year, PECI partnered with Salesforce.com to deliver an innovative mobile data collection solution for a major project for the California Energy Commission, the goal of which is to both train new surveyors to prepare them for jobs in the energy efficiency industry, while at the same time delivering long term energy savings to commercial establishments in the California. "My group delivered a highly customized tool on the iPhone that moves data seamlessly between PECI, our partners at the California Conservation Corp, our partner HVAC contractors and the California Energy Commission."
After 5 years at the entertainment studio Lionsgate in both Santa Monica, CA and Manhattan, Nathan Love '05, MBA'06 left the digital and home entertainment groups and has joined New Video in New York as Senior Manager of Digital Accounts. New Video markets and distributes their content through digital distribution channels. With over 16,000 films and TV episodes under license distributed to more than 30 partners, they are the largest independent aggregator of video content in North America.
Nancy Beaudry MBA'08 is a Financial Advisor with Waddell & Reed in Salem. She specializes in helping people put together a plan for achieving their financial goals like college education for children and retirement. "With such an individualized and comprehensive plan in place one can rest easy knowing how to realize one's goals and having someone there to help every step of the way," writes Nancy. "Give me a call today at 503-371-8958 x 134."
Mary Ann Harty MBA'87 recently completed her first year of service in Peace Corps Armenia. "I live in a remote village (population ca. 2,500) in Lori Marz, near the Georgian border," writes Mary. "Work is scarce here; subsistence agriculture and animal husbandry help most families eat well throughout the year using locally grown organic food and dairy products. I work on a variety of projects for the Mayor's office and am active with the Youth Group teaching English classes and organizing camps." Pictured left is Mary with the Dsegh Youth Group. "We were working on a garden project. The youth won a grant to install benches and waste bins in a small shaded area in the center of the village. They spent hours clearing the ground and preparing it for planting. On this day we were putting touch up paint on the benches with organizers from the agency which funded the project, the Lori Youth Bank."
Erika (Murnieks) Colson, '91, MBA'95 and Scott Colson MBA'94, recently merged their company Autonomix Inc. with another IT consultancy in the Seattle area, Fine Solutions. The Colsons each gained a minority ownership share in the combined company, which continues to operate under the Fine Solutions brand. Fine Solutions (www.fine.com) was just named to the 2011 Inc. 500|5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies.
Forrest Rodgers MM'90 was appointed Executive Director of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (aka "the MAC") in Spokane, Washington, effective August 1, 2011. The MAC features regional history, art and artifacts of the Plateau Indian tribes, and the visual arts; it serves as the Eastern Washington State Historical Society and is a member of the prestigious Smithsonian Affiliates. In addition to serving as an Assistant Dean at the Atkinson School, Rodgers has worked at Pacific, Marylhurst and Oregon State universities, and served as CEO of the High Desert Museum in Bend.
Task Force Gridley, 1249th Engineer Battalion, Oregon Army National Guard Soldier 1st Lt. Maribel Ortega MBA'09 participated in a Satellite Run of the Hood to Coast held on Forward Operating Base Sharana in Paktika Province, Afghanistan on Aug. 27, mirroring the Hood to Coast being held in Oregon. Participating runners in the relay race included National Guard soldiers from Oregon and Nebraska, as well as engineers from the 18th Engineer Brigade and civilian contractors. Teams comprised mainly of Oregon National Guard Soldiers were Teams Warrior and Oregon. One team, comprised mainly of runners who ran the legs of the race in Oregon, had a soldier run as a shadow runner in Afghanistan. There was a live hand-off via satellite phone to the runners in Oregon as the Major finished his legs.
Josh Caldwell MBA'06 joined the ESI Construction team. Josh will be working with a team, broadly focused, on the business development and marketing of the firm across 37 states and throughout multiple and diverse genres including: retail, medical, hospitality, education, government, and high tech. "I'm proud to be a part of ESI Construction, one of the nation's top General Contractors/Construction Managers/Design Builders!" writes Josh.
Courtney Ranstrom MBA'05 was recently appointed the Treasurer of the Salem YWCA Board of Directors. She is very excited to be donating her time and expertise to an organization that provides such valuable services to the community. Courtney is looking for additional members to sit on the YWCA Finance Committee. This is a great opportunity for both students and alumni to learn about the financial operations of a non-profit. If you are interested, please contact Courtney at email@example.com.
Sid Parakh MBA'03, an analyst at McAdams Wright Ragen, was cited in an article by Bloomberg about Microsoft's new tablet software challenging the iPad. Said Sid in the article "It's very important for them to get this right. They can't compete with what's out there today in tablets." Read the full article here.
Class of 2011 Gift "Marks" Atkinson
The Class of 2011 provided a gift of a new sign in front of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, which sits just outside the south entry of the Mudd Building. Says Alina Vaynberg, Class President, "Atkinson has given the Class of 2011 an extraordinary education and a lifetime of friendship. Our class wanted to leave behind a tangible legacy that will reinforce the Atkinson excellence for countless of MBA students for generations to come."
Forbes Ranks Willamette University MBA Among the Nation’s Top Business Schools, Only Program in Oregon
Willamette University's MBA program has been named to Forbes magazine's bi-annual list of the top 75 "Best Business Schools" for 2011. Schools are included and ranked based on the return on investment experienced by graduates, which factors in placement statistics and average starting salaries. Willamette is the only school in Oregon to make Forbes' 2011 list and is one of only two schools in the northwest.
Forbes surveyed over 15,000 recent graduates and calculated their return on investment based on pre- and post-MBA salaries compared to the cost of tuition. Only 16 of the ranked schools are located west of the Mississippi River. Willamette also appeared on Forbes' previous list, in 2009.
Read More: http://www.willamette.edu/mba/forum/forbes2011
Willamette MBA Welcomes Four Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows in its Inaugural Year
Four Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) and Coverdell Fellows have joined Willamette's Early Career/Career Change MBA program this fall in the school's first year of hosting the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program. As announced in the September 2010 edition of ATKINSONews, Willamette MBA was welcomed as a Peace Corps Fellows/USA Program (now called the Coverdell Program). The four Coverdell scholars served their Peace Corps experience in Turkmenistan, Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador. Coverdell Fellows pictured left (l to r): Anne Fraser, Casey Morgan, Katie Skaar and Collin Thibodeaux reflect on their decision to pursue an MBA post-Peace Corps:
Coverdell Fellow, Collin Thibodeaux said about his choice to pursue an MBA at Willamette: "The comprehensive nature of the MBA Program really interested me. Several of my friends are pursuing more 'traditional' MBAs, and they have a good deal of theoretical work, but little to no experiential knowledge. I feel that the life lessons I took from Peace Corps coupled with the knowledge and experience I will take from Atkinson will give me a unique advantage over other MBAs upon graduation."
Casey Morgan, a Coverdell Fellow who served in Nicaragua, reflected on his decision, "I couldn't decide if I wanted to continue with government work, focus on non-profits, or go in a whole different direction and study business. That is when I found the MBA program at Willamette University. With a Masters in Business Administration that is accredited for both business and public administration, I didn't have to decide, I could study all three."
Additionally, Katie Skaar, a fellow that joined Atkinson from Washington, DC, said "After meeting with a fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who was a Willamette Alumni, I was introduced to a school whose values and curriculum responded nicely to my own desires. It was Atkinson's 'MBA's for the non-MBA' style that I was looking for – a program that put into practice what it preached without excessive proclamations."
Fellow Anne Fraser, who also worked as a recruiter for the Peace Corps after her time of service, said about her graduate school search, "Willamette was a great match because the MBA curriculum is unique and focuses on management not only in the for-profit sector, but also in the public and not-for-profit sector. The program integrates experiential learning into the coursework providing students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by serving local community businesses."
“Like” the New Willamette University MBA Page on Facebook
Keep up-to-speed on the latest news, events, photos and activities in the Willamette MBA program by connecting with us on Facebook! "Like" our new page by clicking this link: http://www.facebook.com/WillametteMBA
Willamette MBA Hosting Recruiting & Alumni Events Around the World
Recruiters for Willamette's MBA programs will be traveling around the US and internationally representing the institution at fairs, conferences and events. From New York to Rio, Willamette MBA continues to build on its strong Northwest reputation and expand its recognition around the world. Check the Fall Recruitment Schedule to see if Willamette MBA will be in a city near you this fall: http://www.willamette.edu/agsm/full-time/admission/meet.htm. If you are interested in helping at an event by speaking to prospective students about your MBA experience, please contact Director of Recruitment, Aimee Akimoff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to recruiting events, we will also be hosting alumni events in several of the same cities. The following alumni events are planned for New York and Washington, DC, with more events to come:
Willamette MBA Alumni Gathering: New York City
Wednesday, September 14
6:00 - 8:00 PM
101 Rivington Street New York, NY 10002
RSVP by email to Aimee Akimoff.
Willamette MBA Alumni Gathering: Washington, DC
Hosted by Dean Debra Ringold
Thursday, September 22
6:00 - 8:00 PM
RFD Washington DC
810 7th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20001
RSVP by email to Aimee Akimoff.
MBA for Professionals hosts gmat strategy sessions
Back by popular demand, the MBA for Professionals is pleased to host GMAT strategies sessions for professionals preparing and taking the GMAT. This 3-Session Series will provide you with an overview of the GMAT test itself and touch on the three sections of the GMAT: quantitative, verbal and written. You are welcome to attend one, two or all three sessions. Seats are limited therefore your registration is required.
The presentation includes an overview of the GMAT, strategies for
preparing for and taking the GMAT, sample questions and time for Q&A
with the instructor.
6:00 to 7:30pm: GMAT Strategies Presentation
7:30 to 8:00pm: Join current MBA for Professional Students for dinner
Register here: http://www.willamette.edu/mba/getarealmba/gmat/
*Thursday, September 22 - GMAT Test overview
*Thursday, September 29 - Quantitative Review
* Thursday, October 6 - Written and Verbal Review
Willamette University Portland Center
1120 NW Couch, Suite 450
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.
Nov 2 - Steven F. Boedigheimer MBA'80, Deputy Director of Division of State and Local Readiness
Time: 11:45p.m. - 12:45p.m.
Location: Willamette University Campus Salem, Oregon
Atkinson Graduate School of Management Room 204
Additional Upcoming Power Lunch Dates:
Nov 30 - Phil Welker, PECI
Time: 11:45p.m. - 12:45p.m.
RSVP to email@example.com
Location: Willamette University Campus Salem, Oregon
||Alumni Gathering in New York City
||Dir of Recruitment Aimee Akimoff's Birthday
||Mentorship Kick-Off, Salem Campus
||Alumni Gathering in Washington, DC
||Career Close-up: Portland Trek
||Professor Polly Rizova's Birthday
||Director, MBA for Professionals Tina Alexander's Birthday
||Career Close-up: Personalized Career Fair, Portland
||Director of Career Management Beth Ursin's Birthday
||EDC Director Anne Murray Allen's Birthday
||Director of Marketing Russell Yost's Birthday
||Professor Fred Thompson's Birthday
||Power Lunch, Salem
||Recorder Karen Arthur's Birthday
||Professor Rob Wiltbank's Birthday
||Alumni Gathering, Portland, Bridgeport Brewery
||Career Close-up: Mock Interviews
||Professor Nicole Thibodeau's Birthday
||Thanksgiving (University closed)
||Professor Steve Maser's Birthday
||Power Lunch, Salem
alumni events calendar
atkinson events calendar
Update from the Career Management Team: Beth Ursin & Shelby Gould
The Career Management Program for the incoming students kicked off this year during Compass Week. We had a series of functional panels of alumni and second year students introducing the new students to areas of interest such as finance and accounting, marketing, human resources, operations and project management as well as strategy, sustainability and entrepreneurship. Participating alumni included: Mike Martinez '00, MBA'11 of Natural Plant Products, James Furlo '06, MBA'07 of Hewlett Packard Company, Raution Jaiswal MBA'09 of the State of Oregon, Denise Hoover MBA'04 of Salem Hospital, Nathan Beil MBA'09 of Radha Consulting, Nancy Garcia '08, MBA'10 of Edelman, and Trevor Gamache '09, MBA'11 of Deloitte. The panels were followed by our Keynote speaker, Fred Dickson, Chief Strategist at DA Davidson who gave the students a high level view of the financial markets and tips from his years of experience. Sixty two of the incoming 100 students have already met with the Career Director to talk about their career objectives and debrief an interest inventory they did over the summer. Clearly, members of the class of 2013 are focused on their career.
On Friday, September 2nd, we hosted a Fall Recruiting Kickoff event for returning students in the class of 2012. This event featured resume reviews, mock interviews, 'your story' practice and an opportunity for students to learn from alumni and employers about what to expect at the national career fairs and in the application processes they'll be going through. Our guests included alumni, James Furlo '06, MBA'07 and Dave Parry MBA'05 from Hewlett Packard Company, Sheila McLaren MBA'92 of Microsoft, Andrew Clark '09, MBA'10, Rocky Johnson '70 retired from Bank of America, as well as community members, Britt Woessner (Program Coordinator for our Career Management and Coaching Certificate), Pamela Stroebel Valencia (Contributing Faculty from the Oregon Secretary of State's office), Barbara Cecil of MaPS Credit Union and Marianne Bradshaw formerly from Procter and Gamble. This year, we have students attending all of the major national Career Fairs including, National Asian MBA in New York, National Women's MBA in Dallas, National Black MBA in Atlanta, National Society for Hispanic MBA in Los Angeles, Reaching Out LGBT MBA in Dallas, and Net Impact in Portland.
Get Involved: We'd love to have you join us in helping prepare our students for their careers either by serving as a mentor (Sept – April) or by participating in one of our monthly Career Close-up Events or volunteering as a speaker, mock interviewer, resume reviewer or being available for informational interviews. More information on our upcoming events are located on our new website at: http://www.willamette.edu/agsm/career-management/employers.htm. Please email Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information in getting involved or to let us know about jobs and internships at your organization.
Executive Development Center
Career Management and Coaching Sessions – Join Us in Portland
The Career Management and Coaching Certificate is designed for the professional ready to explore opportunities and challenges critical to achieving career and organizational success. You will energize and reinvent yourself through a process of reflection and personal development. Your organization will immediately benefit from your ability to successfully impact performance by expertly managing yourself and applying these lessons to managing others.
September 16, 2011 - Getting Results Through Productive Conversation
October 7, 2011 - Discovering Your Career "True North"
October 28, 2011 - Maximizing Mentoring and Coaching Relationships
November 4, 2011 - Effective Executive Presentations
December 2, 2011 - Navigating Organizational Culture
January 6, 2012 - Performance Coaching
January 20, 2012 - Creating a Career Action Plan
February 3, 2012 - Coaching Forum
Learn more online and register at http://willamette.edu/agsm/executive/career_management/
Sustainable Enterprise Certificate 2012 - Now Accepting Applications
Sustainability, in its simplest form, is the capacity to endure. This is predicated on communities and businesses - enterprises of all sizes - to operate not at the expense of the future, but in favor of the future. With a Sustainable Enterprise Certificate (SEC) from Atkinson Graduate School of Management, you'll help guide the 'sustainability conversation' from theory toward action and meaningful collaboration
Session One: February 15-17, 2012 in class + webinars - System Dynamics
Session Two: March 14-16, 2012 in class + webinars - Natural and Social Systems
Session Three: April 11-13, 2012 in class + webinars - Moving Into Action Choosing a Framework for Action and Measures for Success
Willamette University Portland Center, 1120 NW Couch Street, Suite, 450 Portland
Learn more online and register at http://www.willamette.edu/agsm/executive/sustainable_enterprise/schedule.htm
Three New Faculty Members Join the Willamette MBA
Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Management and Public Policy
Ph.D., Stanford University
Tim Johnson joined the Atkinson faculty as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Management and Public Policy in 2011. Tim teaches students about the non-market interactions between businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and governments. As well, Tim offers courses that teach students how to analyze public policies using contemporary social science research tools.
Assistant Professor of Human Resources and Organizational Behavior
Ph.D., University of South Florida
Ashley Nixon is an Assistant Professor of Human Resources and Organizational Behavior at Atkinson Graduate School of Management. She teaches courses in human resources and organizational dynamics, HR principles and practices, training and development, and compensation and rewards.
Assistant Professor of Accounting and Quantitative Methods
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Kawika Pierson is an Assistant Professor of Accounting and Quantitative Methods at Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management. He graduated from MIT's Sloan School in 2011 with a PhD in Management, focusing on System Dynamics and Accounting. His thesis, entitled "Profit Cycle Dynamics," consists of three essays examining the existence and causes of profit cycles in the airline industry, the insurance industry, and across sectors in the economy.
Professor Lisbeth Claus presented the key findings of her Duty of Care Global Benchmarking Study with specific recommendations for non-governmental organizations (at the Inside NGO conference in Washington DC, June 6), for international governmental organizations (at the National Foreign Trade Council conference in New York, July 14), and for corporations (at the SHRM Georgia State Council in Savannah, August 28). Her full research report entitled, "Duty of Care and Travel Risk Management: Global Benchmarking Study," commissioned by International SOS was published by AEA International Pte. Ltd in London this summer.
Larry Ettner presented at the CIO Corner sponsored by Radha Consulting, Leadership Performance: Emotional and Social Intelligence. Attending the session was Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown. Additionally, the book, 'Effectively Integrating Ethical Dimensions in Business Education', Ed. C Wankel and A. Stachowicz-Stanusch, was released by the publisher, in which Mark Ahn and Larry Ettner provided a chapter, 'Using the Humanities to Teach Values-Based Leadership.'
Professors Robert Couch and Wei Wu published "Financing Development Stage Biotechnology Companies: Reverse Mergers vs. Initial Public Offerings" in the Journal of Health Care Finance (Volume 38, Issue 1, Page 32-54), along with former professor Mark Ahn.
Willamette MBA Staff at Summer Retreat
Willamette MBA staff spent a half day on a Salem-area ropes course building team work and problem-solving skills. After a busy summer, the retreat was a great way to reenergize before the new academic year!
Lisa Ehlers, joins the Willamette MBA team as the Career Management and Admissions Office Coordinator. Lisa Ehlers brings many years of experience to the position. Lisa graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver with a B.A. in Political Science and worked for over seven years as a Congressional Assistant in Colorado. She followed this with a stint as a Child Support Enforcement technician for Social Services. Most recently, Lisa earned a certification in Paralegal Studies while working as a Legal Assistant for Willamette University's College of Law and the Oregon Law Commission.
Early Career MBA and MBA for Career Change Welcomes Diverse Class
An excited group of incoming students were welcomed into the Early Career MBA and MBA for Career during Compass Week this August 2011. Students come from countries, such as Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Japan, Lebanon, Palestine, China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Canada, Denmark, France, India and states, such as Alaska, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, New Mexico, Washington and more. A student profile of the incoming class is provided below.
2011 Entering Class Profile - Early Career MBA and MBA for Career Change
Number of new students: 99
Number of exchange students: 7
Average age: 25
U.S. Multicultural: 16%
Undergraduate Majors Represented:
Engineering, Math, Science: 8%
Humanities and Social Sciences: 51%
"Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring about right results."