Posts Tagged research

Huntsman School to Become Home for Business Education Journal

This article was originally published in the Spring 2012 edition of the Huntsman Alumni Magazine.

A journal on innovation in business education is coming to the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

Vijay Kannan, professor of operations management and executive director of international programs, was selected in January as the editor of the Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education. The journal is published quarterly, and features articles on teaching innovation, and research on contemporary issues in business education with an emphasis on the decision sciences, quantitative and behavioral approaches to decision-making. The journal is sponsored by the Decision Sciences Institute (DSI), a global organization of academics and business professionals in a variety of business disciplines.

Professor Kannan said he was selected based on his prior involvement in DSI, his research record, and his experience as an associate editor for another DSI journal, Decision Sciences, and for the Institute for Supply Management’s Journal of Supply Chain Management.


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The Antics research and presentation

In autumn of 2011, as a part of a privately contracted team of three, I did research for The Antics and presented our findings in a meeting with one of the Co-Managers. What follows is 1) a pdf of our initial situational analysis, objectives, publics, messages, strategies and tactics, action plan and evaluation plan, and 2) the power point presentation, with the text re-written below each slide.

The Antics Comedy Improv Troupe

The Antics

Comedy Improv Troupe


Became independent from USU Improv July 2010

Perform every Friday

  • 10 pm
  • $5
  • Logan Arthouse and Cinema, 795 N Main

13 performers

2 co-managers

Average monthly attendance: 307


Other comedy improv troupes:

  • Out of the Blue Entertainment, Fire House Pizzeria, Friday nights at 9:30 pm
  • Logan Out Loud, Logan Arthouse and Cinema, Saturday nights at 9:30 pm

Other entertainment options:

  • Movies
  • Campus Activities
  • Sports

Current Business Goal:

Increase average weekly attendance to 100

SWOT Analysis – Strengths

  • “PG” improv comedy
  • Less expensive than other improv comedy acts
  • Employ more experienced improvisers
  • Consistent in their schedule of shows
  • Little competition in Cache Valley
  • Easy name recognition
  • Affiliated with USU improv
  • Wide diversity in their actors
  • More diverse games
  • Variety of discounts (punchcards, fliers, etc)

SWOT Analysis – Weaknesses

  • Late show
  • Lack of marketing
  • The Arthouse has limited parking
  • The Arthouse is out of the way
  • Lack of social media presence
  • Lack of awareness or understanding among target audiences

SWOT Analysis – Opportunities

Media relations with all local news outlets, especially the Herald Journal’s extra arts magazine

Marketing on campus

Targeting other markets besides college students

Team up with other businesses to create special offers

Social media campaigns

Stronger involvement with Utah State, through housing, Greeks, clubs

Community centers, i.e. retirement centers (no tretirement homes)

Flash mob


  • T-shirts
  • Stickers

SWOT Analysis – Threats

  • Logan Arthouse shutting down
  • Summers and holiday weekends
  • The Arthouse will not kick performers out who have shows before the Antics, even if they are going longer than scheduled

Communications Objectives – Informational

  • Increase awareness. This can be measured by polling. An increase of 50% would be considered effective.
  • Increase understanding of differences between improv and stand-up. This can be measured by surveying. An increase of 25% would be considered effective.

Communications Objectives – Attitudinal

  • Persuade Cache Valley residents 10:30 is not too late to go to an improv comedy show. This can be measured by surveying. An increase of 30% would be considered effective.

Communications Objectives – Behavioral

  • Increase retention of attendees. This can be measured by the amount of filled out punch cards returned. Currently, the weekly average is 2.5 turned in every week. Doubling that number by the end of April is an achievable goal.

Key Audiences

College students

High School students


  • Young marrieds
  • With children under 12
  • With teenage children
  • Elderly, with grandchildren

Burgeoning improv performers

Key Messages

“Improv: It’s more fun and less expensive than a movie”

A great and different date night

“Best bang for your buck”

“The funniest five dollars you’ll ever spend”

It’s not like watching stand-up: Improv is never the same thing twice

It’s not like watching stand-up: You can be part of the show in improv

  • Why watch late night TV, when you can be part of improv comedy?

Fill a punch-card: Come to six shows, you and a friend get in for free

It’s not too late! You’re still awake. Come have fun.

Get to know the improv craft at the professional level

It’s good clean fun

Action Plan

  • Aggie Radio
  • Ads on buses
  • Sidewalk Chalk
  • Electronic Media
  • Fliers
  • Posters
  • Newspaper stories and ads

Evaluation Plan

General Survey to establish a base line

  • survey after each academic semester to gauge success
  • survey can be handed out at shows
  • completed surveys can be traded in for candy at the door

Attendance and revenue will also be used

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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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SAAVI Focus Group

Utah State University’s Sexual Assault and Anti Violence Information (SAAVI) office hired TrueBlue Communication to do research on visibility around campus and subsequently make suggestions on how to improve, ultimately allowing more students to feel comfortable coming forward and talking to the counselors at the office. As the account manager, I organized two focus groups (one for men and another for women) and was the main point-of-contact between TrueBlue and SAAVI. What follows is 1) a transcript of the focus groups, 2) the PR plan put together for SAAVI and 3) the slide show summarizing the PR plan.

SAAVI Focus Group

A note: the formatting between the two records is not the same. I transcribed the men’s focus group, but having not been present in the women’s focus group, I felt unable to edit their responses.



SAAVI Communications Plan

TrueBlue Communications


SAAVI: Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information center

The Utah State University (USU) office of Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information (SAAVI) provides support, advocacy and information to anyone at USU (women, men; students, faculty and staff) who is a survivor of sexual assault, rape, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, hate crimes, hazing, etc.

SAAVI offers educational presentations related to creating healthy relationships and violence-free environments for the well-being of all students, faculty and staff. SAAVI’s goal is for everyone to be physically and emotionally safe at USU.



  • Increase awareness/understanding of SAAVI’s role and services among the general campus population
  • Encourage victims of interpersonal violence to use SAAVI’s services
  • Increase awareness/understanding of interpersonal violence issues around the general campus population
  • Persuade everyone (especially men) to be better partners and more effective bystanders to others facing unhealthy relationships


Key Audiences

  • Survivors
  • Bystanders
  • Current victims
  • Faculty and staff
  • Offenders, or potential offenders
  • Cache valley community
  • USU students, including
    • Greeks
    • Athletes
    • Clubs
    • Grad students
    • Transfer students
    • Freshmen


Current and Potential Partners

SAAVI does not compete with any other organizations

  • USU Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)
  • Health and Wellness Center at USU
  • Campus Police
  • Logan Police


Key Dates and Activities

TBA: Clothesline Project

February 14 – Healthy Relationship Week

April 12 – Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

September 6 – Red Zone (TSC patio)

September 22 – RAINN Day (TSC patio)

Sept. – Homecoming Parade

Oct. – “We Believe in Safe Families” (Cache Co. Courthouse)


Focus Group Method

November 8, 2011

15 men and 30 women

The sexes were divided for the focus group

Notes and audio transcriptions

    comprehensive report

Key findings extracted


Findings: Common

  1. Majority did not know where SAAVI was located
  2. SAAVI is a good resource for someone who: wants outside third-party advice, and someone who is qualified to deal with deeper emotional issues; otherwise focus group participants would go to friends, family or religious leaders
  3. Continue to promote in the same ways; also approach religious leaders and more PSAs, posters, etc.
  4. Show healthy relationships in ads
    • Is this you? It could be.
    • Choose the right person for a healthy happy relationship


Findings: Women

    1. Majority of women would talk to their parents first
    2. Managers/bosses needs more knowledge of SAAVI
    3. Consistent education about SAAVI

    • Educate elementary and middle schools
    4. More awareness through the Resident Assistants
    5. Counselors who can empathize because they have experienced it


Findings: Women Cont’d

    6. There needs to be a clearer division between what is right and wrong

    • If it is in a joking manner, it is okay
    7. A lot of girls are fixers
    8. More awareness and education on other violence (ie. emotional)
    9. List qualities of a good, healthy relationship


Findings: Men

  1. The line between right and wrong depends on the situation
  2. Men, as victims, would rather go to religious authority than SAAVI


Proposed Communications Objectives

  • Increase awareness and understanding of SAAVI’s role and services among the general campus population
  • Increase awareness and understanding among victims of interpersonal violence of SAAVI services
  • Increase awareness and understanding of interpersonal violence issues around the general campus population
  • Persuade men to be better partners, and more effective bystanders to others facing unhealthy relationship situations



We have not been updated with SAAVI’s budget. This information will be helpful for future planning.



  • Website
  • Continue updating Facebook, and increase engagement and “likes”
  • Create a Twitter account
  • Re-do marketing materials
  • Build relationships with USU students
    • Counselors must become public figures
  • Make more SAAVI appearances at events around Cache Valley
  • Revisit recommendations: launch a new campaign based on results between evaluations to increase campus awareness


Key Messages

  • SAAVI is a safe, confidential place
  • No means No
  • You are not in the wrong if you have been sexually assaulted
  • SAAVI offers counseling support
  • Calls are anonymous and confidential
  • SAAVI is taking a stand against sexual assault

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Professor Wins Fulbright Scholar Grant

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

Fulbright Scholarship Funds Hungary Academic Experience

By Paul Lewis Siddoway

An associate professor in the management information systems department of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach in Budapest.

Zsolt Ugray is one of only 1,100 faculty and professionals in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and athletics from the United States who is traveling abroad through the Fulbright Program this school year. He is teaching classes in Corvinus University’s MIS program and is continuing his international research on the use and development of information systems and business intelligence tools while in his native Hungary.

Dr. Ugray received his doctorate from the University of Texas in 2011. He was selected based on academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership, according to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

The Fulbright Program is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, operating in more than 155 countries around the world, designed to increase international understanding by studying, teaching, conducting research, exchanging ideas, and contributing to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Corvinus University reported 17,879 students enrolled last school year, compared to Utah State’s 25,767. Dr. Ugray said the university, which is noted for its programs in economics and business management, was looking for a scholar with teaching and research experience in MIS in a global context, which goes hand in hand with his interests and the Huntsman School’s vision.

“This kind of program is in strong alignment with the Huntsman School’s efforts into global academic endeavors,” he said. “It complements the School’s existing efforts and supplements it with a focus on faculty’s research into international issues related to their field and gives more opportunities to develop relationships, contacts, future visiting possibilities for students and academics both to and from Hungary.”

Corvinus University is interested in building cooperative research projects in the MIS area, Dr. Ugray said, and specifically in his ability to teach several courses in their English language undergraduate and graduate MIS programs. He said the application process was not easy and took more than a year of planning.

“I started the process in the summer of 2010,” he said. “I wrote a research plan and described the types of courses I can offer to teach. I secured three endorsements, one from my department head, and two more that related to my scholarly and academic skills and achievements.”

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Huntsman student featured on the cover of a national research journal

This article was originally a Huntsman Brief sent out Sept. 1, 2011.

A student from the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business appeared on the cover of the fall issue of the Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly, a periodical devoted to undergraduate research.

Lindsey McBride, a junior studying business and English, is working as an undergraduate research fellow on a project about the literature of Irish Jews.

Ms. McBride’s role focuses on the historical background, using microfilm to access primary sources that discuss Irish politics, the IRA, and Irish government activities during the 1930s and 1940s. She says plans
on continuing on to law school.

Ms. McBride is doing the research with Christie Fox, the director of the Honors Program at Utah State University. Dr. Fox, the research mentor for Ms. McBride, said she is delighted to have the opportunity to work with undergraduates, and said Ms. McBride’s contributions to the research have been invaluable.

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American West Heritage Center

Because of the public nature of the internet, I have edited out some potentially sensitive information.

As part of TrueBlue Communications, on a team of five in the spring of 2011, I did industry and stakeholder analysis for the American West Heritage Center. I was also part of a separate team of five who presented the findings of the research, along with the resulting recommendations, to the board of directors for the Center. What follows is 1) a .pdf of our analysis and 2) the power point presentation, with the text re-written below each slide.

Industry and Stakeholder Analysis


American West Heritage Center

Experience it!


Methodology Summary

  • Internal PR Audit
  • Industry and Stakeholder Analysis
  • Focus Group
  • Surveys
  • Data Analysis


Recommendation 1:

Define Target Market

Target market for individual events

Demographics: age, family situation, location

  • Focus on current customers

Cater to target market’s needs

  • Communication
  • Events
  • Pricing


Recommendation 2:

Internal Communication

  • Identifying roles
  • Money for focus group
  • Delegate
  • Crisis management plan
  • Utilize resources


Recommendation 3:

Discounts and Package Deals

Lower prices

  • Decrease adult ticket pricing
  • Most people are willing to pay between $2 – 6

Package deals

  • Group discounts (10+ people, get $1 off/person)
  • Offer discounts in Big Blue Coupon Book or Valpacks (limited to college students and Valpack recipients)
  • Family discounts


Recommendation 4:

Date of Baby Animal Days & Crisis Management

Move Baby Animal days to a later date in April

  • Decrease the chances of conflict with unpredictable/winter weather

Extend Baby Animal Days to two weekends in a row

  • Increase attendance from word of mouth
  • decrease the traffic flow and shorten lines

Plan for inclement weather

  • mitigate muddy paths using wood chips
  • stroller wash off station
  • alternate staging plan: inside/outside


Recommendation 5:

Utilize Free Advertising Techniques

  • USU calendar
  • ASUSU partnership
  • Facebook page
  • Coupon organizations


Recommendation 6:

Crowd Control

Responses to the question: What were the negatives about Baby Animal Days?

  • Weather
  • Lines
  • Mud
  • No Response
  • Other


Recommendation 7:

Date Night

The main reasons why people visit the AWHC

  • Other
  • Friends
  • Family Time
  • Date Night
  • Baby Animal Days

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