Welcome to The Eller Times, sharing highlights of news, events, people, and partners of the Eller College of Management.
The Eller College of Management and the College of Engineering have named J. Steven Whisler, chairman and CEO of Phelps Dodge Corporation, The University of Arizona's Technology Executive of the Year.
The title carries top honors at the annual Technology and Management Awards Luncheon (TAMAL) presented jointly by the two Colleges each year.
The awards, first presented in 1999, honor men and women who have led organizations to success by tightly integrating business acumen and technological expertise.
UA president Peter Likins will present awards to five other individuals at the ceremony on Dec. 8 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix:
TAMAL 2005 is sponsored in part by Salter Labs, APS, and Phelps Dodge.
The Eller College was a sea of black suits on Dec. 2 as the entire class of first-semester juniors — more than 400 students — shared the results of a semester-spanning assignment at the College's Core Project Expo.
The Expo showcased outcomes of the Core Curriculum Integration Project (CCIP) implemented by Eller Undergraduate Programs this year. CCIP challenged students to envision a concept for a business — ideas ranged from a light rail connecting Tucson and Phoenix to a multifunctional ATM — and then create a business plan for commercializing that concept by integrating coursework in four core areas: business communication, management and policy, marketing, and accounting.
The initiative was designed to promote interaction among faculty and students and create an integrated learning experience that demonstrates how knowledge from separate academic areas melds and overlaps in real-world business.
One of the top-performing teams showcased their business plan for Pressurized Trash Removal System, a technology that team member Jeremy Chute, management information systems junior, described as "an advanced version of a trash compactor." "When your trash is full, you press a button and your trash is compacted, sealed, and pulled through the connected pipes to your garbage can outside," he explained.
Chute's team, named Effortless Innovations, beat out more than 70 other teams to take top honors in the poster exhibit portion of the competition and earned a runner-up award for presentation in their category.
With social responsibility as a defining element of the College's character, it's no surprise that Eller students, faculty, staff, and friends turned out in droves for the fourth annual Eller College Philanthropy event on Dec. 3.
150 students volunteered for the day, serving 18 local organizations including Our Town Family Center, A Place to Call Home, Casa de los Niños, A Blissful Care Home, and World Care.
Earlier in the year, Eller students and staff were actively engaged in hurricane relief efforts. In September, the Eller College Student Council and the Eller chapter of the American Marketing Association coordinated "Bring a Buck Days," a week-long fundraiser that raised $2,300 from students, faculty, and staff. In October, a Mardi Gras theme defined Eller's 2005 Homecoming activities, reminding alumni of the great need that still exists in New Orleans and areas devastated by the summer's hurricanes.
Innovation in education is increasingly driven by the consumer — in this case, students. Their feedback, solutions, and initiatives shape the "product" they buy to prepare them for future careers.
The annual Student Empowerment Conference captures the essence of student-driven change. Students at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin created the event, which was hosted last month at the Eller College — the first time the conference has traveled beyond UT.
Seventy students and administrators from 15 of the nation's top 20 public undergraduate business programs gathered at Eller Nov. 10 to 12 to explore issues facing business education today and develop solutions to take back to their campuses.
Participants identified building relations between students and faculty as one of the key needs for better business education. They brainstormed a number of solutions, ranging from mixers and out-of-class events (and all the timing/marketing issues that go with them) to competitions integrating faculty and students.
Marketing senior Jordan Miller, who co-chaired the conference committee, lauded participants for their level of involvement. "The students all seemed to genuinely want to make a difference in their schools," Jordan said. "They had real concerns, but also great ideas to improve their colleges. The conference was as successful as it was not only because of the content of the program, but also because the delegates were truly excited to be a part of it."
Terry Lundgren — chairman, CEO, and president of Federated Department Stores and an alumnus of The University of Arizona — brought experience and expertise to the event as the keynote speaker. The conference was sponsored in part by Federated Department Stores, Vanguard, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, GEICO, Cintas, Pepsi, and Starbucks.
All are welcome to join us at McClelland Hall from 5:30 to 7 p.m. as these accomplished professionals share their personal insights and experiences.
For information, contact Tammy Farris: email@example.com.
Feb. 23: Fathauer Lecture in Political Economy
Economist and author Robert Frank of Cornell University will speak at 5 p.m. in McClelland Hall with a reception to follow. Frank has written a number of books linking economic principals and human behavior, including one of The New York Times 1995 Notable Books of the Year, The Winner-Take-All Society, co-authored with Philip J. Cook. Reservations are required for this free event: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not since 1992 had the Arizona Wildcats trounced a team as highly ranked as the UCLA Bruins. The 52-14 thrashing made for a perfect conclusion to November's Homecoming 2005.
Alumnus Keith McKenzie, '73 M.S. Marketing and Finance, understands the value of education and what a difference some financial help can make. After serving in the Vietnam War, he started college on the G.I. Bill. Not wanting to borrow money from his parents, he worked to make ends meet — a tough row to hoe, as anyone who has worked her/his way through college knows.
That education played an important role in McKenzie's success, bringing him to a point where he can help today's hard-working students. Since 2000, McKenzie has awarded a $1,000 scholarship each year to an outstanding upper-division finance student at the Eller College. In October 2005, he endowed that scholarship — the Logan Keaton McKenzie Scholarship, named for his son, who graduated from Eller with a B.S.B.A. in finance in 2000 — and starting in 2006, McKenzie will increase the award to $2,000 a year.
McKenzie said his gift is intended, in part, to model the importance of giving back for his children. Its main purpose, of course, is to support quality education. "Education is about problem solving," he explained. "People can forget almost anything they learn, but most of life and work is about solving problems. A good education gives you the tools you need to do that."
McKenzie has also established scholarships at other schools and two additional scholarships at the UA named for other family alumni — one in the name of his daughter, Regan, who studied education, and one named for his former wife, Carolyn, now deceased, who earned a UA doctorate in pharmacy.
Logan McKenzie is currently pursuing an MBA at Arizona State University after having worked for Morgan Stanley for four years.
With year-end approaching, remember that gifts intended to yield tax benefits for 2005 must be completed by December 31.
Remember also that the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 (KETRA) creates special tax circumstances for people donating to qualified charities.
For example, KETRA allows donors to make tax-deductible contributions up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross incomes (normally, the maximum deduction is 50 percent of one’s adjusted gross income) if the gifts are made in cash prior to December 31, 2005.
For details, consult your tax advisor or review the full explanation of the Act prepared by the Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation.
Supporting education is an excellent way to fuel progress at its source while securing personal tax benefits. Gifts to the Eller College or The University of Arizona may be made by cash or check, but may also be assets, including insurance, stock and securities, and real property.
And to everyone who supports the Eller College with time, energy, or charitable gifts, thank you!
Management Information Systems Ph.D. candidate Ling Zhu recently returned to the Eller College, having spent ten weeks in Washington, D.C., as a Policy Fellow with the National Academy of Sciences.
Zhu was one of 15 students chosen for the Academy's Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellowship Program, which selects less than 10 percent of applicants each year. Alongside Ph.D. candidates from Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, and other top universities, Zhu worked on a research project initiated by the U.S. Congress and conducted by the National Research Council — a study on global competitiveness and U.S. workforce needs. Much of his work focused on examining innovation as preparation for a major conference exploring and comparing the innovation capacities of China, India, and the United States.
The experience will be a key contributor to Zhu's own research, which explores interactions between institutions and information technologies. "I'm particularly interested in how IT-related policies and the development of IT in the private sector impact each other," Zhu explained. "My experience at the National Academy gave me first-hand experience with the making of science and technology policy in the U.S. and gave me practical experience for my doctoral research."
During Zhu's stay in D.C., the National Academy also recommended him as a participant for the Young Global Leaders Summit at American University. Summit organizers planned the 2005 event, Think Outside the Bomb, to inspire "today's most promising young leaders to view nonproliferation/disarmament as a mission of their generation."
The National Academy of Social Insurance this month presented Eller Alumnus Sam Allen, '04 Ph.D. Economics, the 2005 Heinz Award for the Best Dissertation on Social Insurance.
Competition for the award spans disciplines and professions, with entries commonly coming from actuarial science, economics, health policy, history, philosophy, political science, social work, and sociology. Allen's winning dissertation examines the evolution of workers' compensation insurance and influences on state and federal statutes related to workers' compensation.
Allen is now a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Davis, teaching economic history courses and continuing to partner on New Deal-related projects with Eller economics professor Price Fishback and Eller economics Ph.D. candidate Todd Sorensen.
It's one thing to do great research. It's quite another to do a great job of sharing what you learn. The Economic and Business Research (EBR) Center at the Eller College has mastered both.
The Association for University Business and Economic Research (AUBER) recently honored the Center's Arizona's Economy newsletter with its 2005 Award of Excellence in the Newsletters, Brochures, and Other Printed Promotional Materials category. AUBER membership includes some 100-plus university-based applied research centers around the country.
This is the second time in ten years that Arizona’s Economy has been recognized with this award. In 2003, EBR earned the AUBER Award in the Statistical Abstracts and Other Data Publications category for its 700+ page Arizona Statistical Abstract 2003. AUBER has also recognized excellence in the Center's website, and its annual Economic Outlook publication.
Dean Paul Portney, EBR director Marshall Vest, and Thomas R. Brown Professor in Economic Education Gerald Swanson will present the forecast for the state and national economies at the annual 2006-2007 Economic Outlook Luncheon on Dec. 9 at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson.
Getting good information can be tricky, especially when the issue in question is something hotly contended.
Consider cigarette marketing for example. Health organizations have their agenda: Smoking kills and the more limited the marketing, the better. Cigarette makers have their agenda: Adults are free to choose whether or not to buy cigarettes, and like any product, sales require marketing.
Both sides can support their agenda. Both are likely to spin facts in their favor as they duke it out. Enter academic research — one of the most important functions of a strong doctoral program.
Outside the ring, academic research fills the gap between agendas. It surfaces unbiased, reliable information, like that found by researchers in the Eller College Department of Marketing and recently published in the international journal Addiction.
Alumnus Dan Freeman, '01 Ph.D. Marketing, and marketing professors Merrie Brucks and Melanie Wallendorf conducted research to explore children's beliefs, attitudes, and lifestyle associations surrounding smoking. While most research in this area has focused on youth 12 and older, Freeman, Brucks, and Wallendorf worked with 241 second- and fifth-grade students.
The Arizona Disease Control Research Commission — an organization funded in part by taxes on the state's cigarette sales — funded the study. The Eller team used a variety of research methods, including showing the children people in photographs and interviewing them to see which ones they believed would "like to smoke" the most, the least, and why.
The research produced several significant findings:
The findings raise important questions. Will thoughts about specific positive effects of smoking erode general negative attitudes as children age and those benefits (e.g. alleviating stress or staying thin) become more relevant? Why don't children have strong lifestyle associations around not smoking? And then there's the underlying question: Where do children's beliefs about smoking come from?
Wallendorf makes it clear that this research doesn't answer that question at the heart of the debate about marketing cigarettes. "We research issues with immense public importance, but we're not out to prove a point," she explains. "Our job, as good scholars, is to do careful research." In other words, their job is to fill the gap.
Nine Tucsonans, individuals "whose accomplishments are awe-inspiring" and who will likely "accomplish a great deal more in the years to come" were recently recognized by Inside Tucson Business (ITB), a weekly newspaper focused on the economy and business of the Tucson community.
This month, we share three of those ITB stories — and a bit more — to spotlight Eller alumni counted among those movers and shakers: Britton Dornquast, Rodney Glassman, and John Majok.
"Do what you love and everything else will take care of itself."
This is the credo Britton Dornquast lives by. He describes his past self as "one of those college kids who needs a U-Haul to move his stereo gear and can fit everything else he owns into three duffle bags."
That passion for music led Britton to found an entertainment company that booked music and DJs for events. He ran the company with a degree from the school of hard knocks (his words), self-taught from countless hours in libraries and mistakes along the way.
But coincidence led him to another school, the Eller College of Management. Britton was at a video rental store when some students asked him for a short interview as market research for their entrepreneurship project. After the students had interviewed him, Britton turned the tables to learn more about the McGuire Program.
Thrilled with what he heard, Britton took two years of business courses at Eller and applied to the McGuire Program. A year later he took first place in the Program's Business Plans Competition, thanks in part to what he describes as "one of the best educations in the country," and launched Hear's Music with funding from the Business Development Finance Corporation.
Fourteen years later, Hear's Music is still going strong, having outlived thousands of independent music sellers, which are now few and far between. To survive, Britton has relied on innovation and flexibility, evolving his business model to keep pace with changes in the industry. He introduced online sales, which grew from five percent of his business to about 45 percent today. He expanded his market and now relies on international sales for about five percent of his business. And he's "aged" his inventory along the way, targeting the tastes of baby boomers who, unlike younger, download-oriented consumers, still want music as a product they can hold in their hands.
At the same time, Britton has immersed himself in championing small business, the backbone of a community's economy. He organized a business coalition in the proximity of Hear's Music and brought some $1 million of improvements to the area. He's served on the county and city Small Business Commissions. He has worked with private and municipal task forces for small business development and was named the 2005 Tucson Chamber of Commerce Small Business Leader of the Year.
Therein lies the passion that will lead Britton to his next professional incarnation. With arrangements in place to sell Hear's Music, he plans to eventually make working in small business development the focus of his career, either working with an existing organization or, like a true entrepreneur, founding one of his own.
In addition to the ITB profile below, you can read a recent profile of alumnus Rodney Glassman in the Spring '05 Eller MBA e-News.
Rodney Glassman’s passion for improving the lives and opportunities for the children of Tucson is his number one priority. To turn his mission into a reality, he started the Glassman Foundation in 2002 to raise money for non-profit organizations in Tucson that provide services for children. With other partners from Southern Arizona, the foundation is involved in several fund-raising events each year.... The foundation also puts on an annual youth expo to make young people aware of programs available in the community.
But in his experience John found purpose. "Given the fact that I have suffered so much because of injustice, I have a passion for law," he explains. "Law is a means to an end — to justice and fairness."
To reach his goals, John has applied to the UA Rogers College of Law and ultimately sees himself working in international diplomacy to further peace efforts and help to establish and ensure human rights globally.
"I love to give back," he says, "and I want to give back in whatever way possible." That includes sharing his story and wisdom with others, especially children.
For students a little older, say Eller College age, John offers three pieces of advice:
First, he says, have a vision of what you want to do, a vision that is the natural result of who you are. "Focus on what you want to do, your inner values, and your own experience," he advises. "Don't focus on the job market. The job is secondary."
Second on the list is hard work. "Develop a habit of getting things done and create your own strategies for accomplishing this. It takes determination. From determination comes character, which in turn determines your destiny."
Last, John offers a simple, practical tip: Find an internship related to what you want to do. That's exactly what he did last summer when he earned a real-world taste of political work as a congressional intern with Rep. Jim Kolbe from Arizona, drafting correspondence, responding to inquiries, conducting research, attending hearings, and generally taking in the full scope of congressional activity.
The level of engagement surprised him. "[Congressmen] are overloaded," John says based on his experience on Capitol Hill. "They don’t ever sleep, the ones who do a good job for their constituents. Kolbe was one of those who took his job very seriously and served his constituents very well."
No doubt, John, in turn, served Rep. Kolbe well. Competition for congressional internships is steep — they go only to the best and brightest. But John never doubted he would secure the position. "I believe in my abilities and don't fear challenge or competition," he says. "When I apply for something, I do it really believing I will win."