Archive for category Huntsman Post

Race Aims to Open Doors to Master’s Program that Finds Jobs for Every Graduate

This article was originally posted March 2012 by The Huntsman Post.

By Paul Lewis Siddoway

Students stuff marshmallows in their partners' mouths to win points for their team during The Amazing Race.

Students stuff marshmallows in their partners’ mouths to win points for their team during The Amazing Race.

Utah State University students raced all over campus recently, competing for prizes such as two vouchers for free airplane tickets, in an event which was aimed at informing students about a Huntsman master’s program, which places 100 percent of its graduates.

On Feb. 16, more than 75 students participated in the event, modeled after the television show, “The Amazing Race.” The race was put on by the Master of Science in Human Resources program and The Agency, a student-run marketing firm at the Huntsman School. Students traveled from station to station answering questions about the MSHR program and competing in physical contests.

Students hold a balloon between them as they make their way up the stairs up Old Main Hill as part of The Amazing Race.

Students hold a balloon between them as they make their way up the stairs up Old Main Hill as part of The Amazing Race.

Lisa Leishman, the MSHR program administrator, said she hoped the event would get the word out that during the two-year program students would be offered the opportunity to complete an international internship. She also wanted people to know that the MSHR program helps every student who graduates find a job.

“The program places 100 percent of our students in professional positions upon graduation,” Lisa said.

Brad Singer, a junior in The Agency, is the account manager who worked with the MSHR program. He said The Agency advertised the race all over campus and online, specifically targeting other majors, such as psychology and sociology. As good as the participation was, the best part was when Julie Pond, a staff assistant for the MSHR program, and Lisa talked to the students about the program while the judges were compiling the data, he said.

Students compete in a three-legged event during The Amazing Race. Photos by Paul Lewis Siddoway

Students compete in a three-legged event during The Amazing Race. Photos by Paul Lewis Siddoway

“The event was fun and the students were able to enjoy themselves,” Brad said. “But I think after they were sitting down and actually listening to Lisa speaking about the MSHR program was the best part of the event. That was the whole point.”

Lisa and Brad said the race might become an annual event, with more participants and more stations around campus each year. Lisa said she felt like the event was a success.

“We were extremely pleased with the number of students who participated in The Amazing Race and the energy they brought to the event,” Lisa said. “They went away with a better understanding of the incredible MSHR program we have here.”


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Police Shootout Brings Sudden Pressure on Huntsman Graduate

This article was originally posted February 2012 by The Huntsman Post.

By Paul Lewis Siddoway

On Jan. 4, 2012, after six Ogden City police officers were shot, Chris Dallin faced a sudden challenge unlike any he had ever encountered before.

Chris Dallin speaks at a press conference. Photo Courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare

Chris Dallin speaks at a press conference. Photo Courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare

Chris, the director of public and government relations of Intermountain Healthcare’s northern region, graduated from Utah State in ‘97 with a degree in human resource management. He said there are lessons and principles he continues to apply that he learned during his years at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

Around 8 p.m. on Jan. 4, six officers from a Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force and Ogden Police Department were shot while serving warrants. The shooting left one officer dead and put the other five, who are now recovering, in the hospital.

When the police officers were taken to McKay-Dee Hospital, Chris said the police department’s spokesperson told reporters if they wanted updates on the condition of the officers, they would need to contact the hospital. He said he faced a barrage of questions from reporters from major national media outlets such as Time MagazineThe Today Show, and the New York Times. Despite the fact that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) does not allow him to reveal that type of information without patient permission, Chris said he “was constantly receiving requests for updates on the health of the officers” from reporters.

While he had dealt with some tough issues before, he said this was the first time he experienced the type of sudden pressure that came with being in the middle of a major news event. Despite the intensity of the calls, he said he knew he could not release the information, because he had decided years earlier how to act ethically in difficult situations.

He said the way he thinks through these situations always comes back to lessons he learned in the classroom of Caryn Beck-Dudley, who taught law and ethics classes at the Huntsman School and was the dean. He said not one fiscal quarter of the year goes by in which he does not think about, and use, what she taught.

Chris said it is important to recognize the individuals who have helped create your life’s blueprint.

“It is important to understand the parts that make you a person,” Chris said. “USU opened up a lot of opportunities to me.”

Reed Durtschi was another professor who Chris said continues to influence his business decisions. As a member of the senior management team for McKay-Dee Hospital, Chris said he can still hear Durtschi’s voice in his mind.

“Any time the management team talks about consumer price indexes or is considering any financial decision, I remember everything Reed Durtschi taught me, all summed up into ‘Guns and Butter,’ his phrase describing the basket of goods your company is trying to market,” Chris said.

Two other professors Chris cited as helping him become who he is today are Melissa and David Baucus, who, he said, taught him everything from essential vocabulary to critical thinking skills and analytical rigor. He said he is grateful for the things they taught him whenever he interacts with officials from Hill Air Force Base, the Utah State Legislature, and county council members from Davis, Weber, Box Elder, or Cache counties.

“I have always been taught that you can only think as deeply as your vocabulary will allow,” Chris said.

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Huntsman AIS Chapter Named Best in World

This was originally released to the press Feb. 2, 2012. It was also posted January 2012 by The Huntsman Post.

USU Student Club Recognized as Best by Global Organization
Information Systems Club Recognized

A new student club at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University has been recognized by a global organization as its Best New Student Chapter in 2011.

In the fall of 2010, students at Utah State University founded a student chapter of the Association for Information Systems (AIS), a global professional organization for research, teaching, practice and study of information systems.

Kathy Chudoba, an associate professor in the management information systems department, accepted the award for the best new chapter on behalf of the USU AIS chapter at the International Conference on Information Systems held in Shanghai, China, in December 2011.

Clayton Fielding is a senior in the MIS department and the USU AIS president. He said the chapter submitted a report in the spring of 2011 of its activities for its first academic year, detailing the results of its plans to help students gain knowledge, get connected and get employed. Among other events, the USU AIS chapter has a special Partners In Business session with speakers brought in to talk to MIS students, Fielding said.  That was one reason the chapter was selected for the award.

Tmitri Owens, program director for the global AIS organization, said nine other new student chapters competed with the USU chapter, and the groups were judged on their performance in the areas of fundraising, membership, communication and careers in information systems.

The organization is for all USU undergraduate or graduate students interested in technology, Fielding said. The USU chapter has MIS students, as well as computer science and computer engineering majors. Fielding said their vision is to know about the next best technology and be a resource for students who are trying to stay up-to-date with the newest tools. The chapter meets every Thursday throughout the semester, and chapter membership is $10 each academic year.

He said the chapter has also branched out to other student organizations, such as the Society for Human Resource Management and the Huntsman School’s Business Council.

The Huntsman School of Business emphasizes the importance of entrepreneurial thinking, and Fielding said that many of the club’s activities, such as teaching students how to build their own business websites, have been centered on encouraging entrepreneurs.

Aside from assisting USU students, Fielding said his group is also helping the Brigham Young University chapter plan the global 2012 Leadership Conference and Student Competition, which will be held April 26-28 in Provo. Those interested in the conference may visit for more details.

Those interested in the USU chapter may visit its website at for more information.

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New Company Aims to Cut the Cost of Textbooks

This article was originally posted December 2011 by The Huntsman Post. is Posting Textbooks Online

By Paul Lewis Siddoway

A student at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business has teamed up with three recent Huntsman graduates to lead a company that they hope will eventually bring financial relief to thousands of university students who are now expected to come up with more money each semester for textbooks.

The company,, put up its first textbook in November, and professors in Brazil, Canada, Spain, and the United States have committed to post their textbooks on the site.

(From left to right) Rick Champlin, Erin Buttars, Kaden Comadena, and Brad Gessell lead Photo by Sara Eaton

Rick Champlin graduated in May 2011 in economics and business administration and is the COO of He said while the new website offers just the basic text, an upgrade is available for $20 per student, per semester. The upgrade allows students to enter notes in the digital book, have online discussions with classmates, or take quizzes or surveys and get immediate feedback.

Kaden Comadena, the vice president of global strategy who graduated Dec. 2010 in international business, said additional features also would be available to professors who upgrade to utilize them.

“You can read the textbook on your smart phone, your tablet, your laptop, basically any electronic device. So it’s more convenient for students,” said CEO Erin Buttars, who graduated in May 2011 in human resource management and operations management.

Brad Gessell, the CFO, created BookEducator’s accounting system and coordinated with a local law firm to create contracts for the authors. He is finishing up his undergraduate degree in finance and economics.

The incentive for the authors, Kaden said, is that they get to keep the rights to their book instead of surrendering them to the publishers and receiving royalties.

He said the team is taking what they learned during their time at the Huntsman School and applying it to their experience running the company.

“It’s different when you are on campus, hear about start-ups, and analyze business cases,” he said, “but it’s really fun and unique to be in that position right now ourselves.”

The company was founded in Provo in the spring, but has since moved its headquarters to Logan. The idea for the site came from Chad Albrecht, assistant professor in the management department, and his brother Conan, who is now teaching at BYU. Kaden said the two brothers, who are also the main financial investors of the enterprise, placing their trust in four young executives is “a ringing endorsement for the Huntsman School of Business.”

“We laugh and kid sometimes, but we also take our jobs seriously,” he said. “We’ve been entrusted with a pretty big responsibility. I don’t think they’re doing it because we’re good kids. I think they know the education we got from the Huntsman School of Business is a quality education that truly prepares students for leadership roles.”

The new company leaders said they piloted their book at the ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, and are now reaching out to other schools accredited by the International Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Kaden said the toughest part is getting professors to start using the site.

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Students Expected to Raise Nearly $200,000 for Entreprenuers in Developing Countries

This article was originally posted November 2011 by The Huntsman Post.

Students Put Skills Into Practice by Raising Money for Worthy Causes

By Paul Lewis Siddoway

It may be hard to see, at first, how a shotgun-shooting contest could help an entrepreneur in Peru. And most probably wouldn’t think that dropping a professor into a cold dunk tank in front of the George S. Eccles Business Building might help someone in Africa start a new business.

Dave Herrmann is only dry for a split second after someone scores a hit on the dunk tank.

It is easier, however, for students at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business to make that connection, especially those in marketing classes taught by David Herrmann and Ron Welker.

Students in management 3110 spend each semester executing service projects; many of them with a goal to raise money for the Small Enterprise Education and Development program, or SEED. Other teams chose to work on other projects for other non-profits or a worthy cause of their choice.

All of the teams are under the same obligation to demonstrate they have learned something in class. Mr. Hermann, executive-in-residence in the Huntsman School’s management department, said the assignment is designed to help develop leadership, and harness the power of teamwork as the students plan, organize, execute, and report on their projects. To give them a goal, he said the revenue from their projects could be used to help fund the SEED program, which started in 2007.

This semester, he said he expects the total amount of money raised by Huntsman students for the SEED program will be between $180,000 and $190,000.

The SEED program, Mr. Herrmann said, is designed to give students hands-on learning as students mentor and teach aspiring entrepreneurs in developing economies, adding that some graduate and undergraduate students spend a semester doing internships as “permanent players” in Ghana, Peru, or Uganda.

At least two student interns are on-location year-round, teaching local entrepreneurs about basic business principles, he said. Study abroad students then come for a week and help filter through business plans written up by those who have completed the course taught by the Huntsman student interns.

Dave Herrmann plunges into the cold waters of a dunk tank knowing it was for a good cause. The dunk tank was part of one of the many fund-raisers his students conducted to raise money for would-be entrepreneurs in developing countries.

The money raised by students at the Huntsman School, which Mr. Herrmann said is kept separate from university funds, will then be loaned to qualifying entrepreneurs as micro- or small-enterprise loans. Of the sixteen business plans submitted in Peru last summer, he said half were approved and given loans.

“We don’t want to set anyone up for failure,” he said. “If it’s not going to work, we don’t fund it.”

Once the loans are given out, Mr. Herrmann said student interns check up with the entrepreneurs on a weekly basis and continue to mentor them, teaching them such things as how to make monthly financial statements.

Chelsey Funk, a senior studying economics, said her time with SEED in Abomosu, Ghana, was the most rewarding experience of her college career. Along with the other Huntsman students, she said they were able to help 31 individuals start or expand small businesses.

As the businesses grow, the loans increase as well, Mr. Hermann said, adding that he is taking MBA students to Africa in November to analyze a potential medium enterprise loan for a cocoa processing plant.

The SEED program provides students with opportunities in all four of the Huntsman School’s areas of emphasis as student work in a foreign culture, analyze business plans, and mentor local entrepreneurs. Melody Jensen said her three months in Africa helped “drive home” the importance of having an entrepreneurial spirit.

“In the eastern region there aren’t a lot of options for employment,” she said, “so people have to make things happen on their own. I definitely gained a greater understanding of what it takes to start and sustain a business.”

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Huntsman Professor shares $600,000 grant, stresses out computer characters

This article was originally posted November 2011 by The Huntsman Post.

Three Utah State University Colleges Share $600,000 Grant

By Paul Lewis Siddoway

Dozens of computer characters are about to become very stressed out thanks to the research of a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

The characters will be reacting to emergency situations such as explosions and fires as researchers try to find out ways to better help disabled people during emergency situations and building evacuations.

Yong Seog Kim, an associate professor in the management information systems (MIS) department at the Huntsman School, is one of four principal lead researchers from three Utah State University colleges and three university research centers which have been awarded a $600,000 grant to conduct the study.

USU’s colleges of agriculture and engineering, as well as the Center for Persons with Disabilities, Center for Self-Organizing and Intelligent Systems, and the Utah Transportation Center are also involved in the project.

Dr. Kim is developing the software used to program the agents or individuals in the computer simulations. The agents will be able to respond to emergency situations based on information gathered from real simulations and human behavior, which he said are anything but straightforward.

“It’s not just simple evacuation of people without disability,” Dr. Kim said. “We would like to see how people without disabilities would react to the people with disabilities. So we are looking at the psychological impact.”

John D. Johnson, department head of MIS at the Huntsman School, said Dr. Kim is an integral part of the simulation portion of the research.

“He develops software that can mimic human characteristics and demonstrate what people would do in a real emergency,” Dr. Johnson said. “Computer agents in a simulation can react to an emergency just as real people would, giving researchers vital information they need in order to draw informed conclusions and make valid recommendations.”

Agent-based simulation has been Dr. Kim’s research specialty since his MIS Ph.D. program at the University of Iowa in 2001, and he said one challenge is predicting human behavior when programming the agents.

Another worry is the sheer amount of experiments, Dr. Kim said, due to all the architectural and human variables.

“Since we need to have very complete data, we are looking at many different experiments,” he said. “When you look at all the different combinations, we found out we need about 100 experiments.”

Dr. Kim said he is very excited for this opportunity and ties this project into the Huntsman School’s “analytical rigor” pillar of education. Graduate students will help extract information from the raw data, analyze it, and build the models, Dr. Kim said, adding that the first phase of the project, which is primarily data collection, is planned to conclude in 2013.

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USU students expect win over BYU

This was originally released to the press Sept. 14, 2011. It was also posted September 2011 by The Huntsman Post.

USU Business Students Invite Community To Watch USU-BYU Game In Logan
Business Week at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business to feature speakers, a golf tourney, relay race and football party

Students from the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business are hoping that football history will repeat itself Friday, Sept. 30, at the Nelson Fieldhouse at Utah State University.

The students, organizers of Business Week, are inviting everyone to come to the Fieldhouse at 6 p.m. to watch the USU vs. BYU football game and they are promising “food, fun and football” and hoping for a USU victory. The festivities will be the last event of the Huntsman School’s annual Business Week that starts on Sept. 23.

Eric Schulz, the co-director of strategic marketing at the Huntsman School of Business, said this year’s Business Week activities are designed to engage the students and help them interact and network with alumni and business professionals.

“The whole week will be fun and exciting for all the students, alumni, faculty and friends who choose to get involved,” said Schulz. “And we’re planning on wrapping up the week’s events with a repeat of last year’s big win over BYU.”

Business Week 2011 kicks off Friday, Sept. 23, at 10 a.m., with the Huntsman School Charity Golf Tournament at the Logan River Golf Course, giving students and alumni the opportunity to network on the course or at lunch, plus the chance to win prizes.

The Last Dash Relay takes place Tuesday, Sept. 27, with a start time of 5:30 p.m. Proceeds from the Business Week golf tournament and race will go to fund cancer research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Online registration is now open for both events.

The Dean’s office hosts “Dogs with the Dean’s” at noon Tuesday, Sept. 27. Dean Douglas D. Anderson and associate deans Ken Snyder and Jef Doyle will be serving students and alumni hot dogs, chips and drinks on the patio outside the George S. Eccles Business Building.

The Dean’s Convocation, held in the George S. Eccles Business Building Wednesday, Sept. 28, will feature Dell Loy and Lynette Hansen, the owners of Wasatch Property Management.

Alumni interested in attending the Student/Alumni Networking Dinner the evening of Sept. 28 may contact Dave Patel.

For a complete schedule of the week’s events, please visit the Business Week page of the Huntsman School of Business.

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