Category: Alumni Spotlight

Economics Graduate Accepted into top 100 Law School

Coleman Segal to attend McGeorge School of Law.

The School of Business and Economics wants to congratulate Coleman Segal for his acceptance into the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. We’re so proud!

Despite being accepted to UC Berkeley out of high school, Segal chose to pursue his undergraduate degree at Michigan Tech.  After visiting his Aunt and Uncle in the Houghton as a child, he has always loved the area. The wild, beautiful surroundings, the opportunity to participate in the vibrant folk music scene, and the impressive academic reputation were all factors in his decision to come to Tech.

After researching universities, he learned of the Economics program at Michigan Tech.  Economics interested Segal in high school because it can be applied to so many different aspects of life.  Segal said, “The study of economics is in large part an effort to understand the mechanics of a functioning society, and so it relates to many different fields. It also provides a good background for law school, which I have planned to attend since high school.” 

Segal is a California native and will soon return to his home state to pursue his law degree from one of the top 100 Law Schools in the nation.   Applying and being accepted to five law schools –Marquette University in Milwaukee, University of San Francisco, Santa Clara University, and Albany Law School– Segal selected the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and will begin classes next fall. In addition to their impressive reputation, Segal said he chose McGeorge School of Law based on their location in Sacramento, California.  He finds the area interesting as a center of government, with multiple courthouses at different levels in the immediate area. 

Crediting his experiences with extracurricular activities such as the iOMe Challenge and the Pavlis Institute for advancing his goals of attending law school, Segal noted that Michigan Tech prepared him well for continuing his education.  Mastering skills such as writing and researching papers, in many different subjects, have been instrumental for the pursuit of his law degree.


Annual APMP Scholarships Awarded

APMP students hard at work.

The School of Business and Economics awards annual scholarships to students who participate in the Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP).  The scholarships are made possible by generous donors who have setup funds to recognize specific skill sets and characteristics in the recipients.  Each scholarship is awarded in the Spring of the academic year. We are very grateful to the generous donors that provide excellent opportunities to stand-out APMP students at Michigan Tech.

2012 Scholarship Recipients

Clarence Fisher APMP Scholarship – Jessie Patrick

Chester Reault APMP Scholarship – Todd Storm

Norb Verville APMP Scholarship – Mike Harri

Joe Dancy LSGI Scholarship – Dan Eskola

Hugh Makens APMP Scholarship – Pat Carroll

Jeff Call Memorial APMP Scholarship – Rachael Ristau

Scholarship Descriptions

The Clarence Fisher, Chester Rheault, and Norb Verville APMP scholarships recognize the impact these three former Advisory Board members had in founding APMP.  Recipients of these scholarships this year were: Jesse Patrick, Todd Storm, and Mike Harri, respectively.

As an APMP Board member from origination through today, the Hugh Makens APMP scholarship honors Hugh’s continual support of the students and the program.  Pat Carroll is the 2012 recipient.

Dan Eskola was the recipient of the LSGI Fund Scholarship, also known as the Joe Dancy LSGI Scholarship.  This scholarship is awarded to the student who displays excellent academic achievement, expresses an interest in finance or applied mathematics, and demonstrates high moral and ethical characteristics.  The LSGI Fund is a hedge fund managed by Joe Dancy, a Michigan Tech alumnus from Dallas, TX.

Finally, the Jeff Call Memorial Scholarship was given to Rachael Ristau.  Jeff Call, a 2002 graduate of the School and the APMP, passed away unexpectedly in 2006.  To honor Jeff’s contributions to the School and the APMP Advisory Board, together with Jeff’s parents, the groups established the Jeff Call Memorial Scholarship.  It is awarded annually to the senior who demonstrates the highest degree of commitment to APMP—a commitment Jeff displayed every day during his time at Michigan Tech.


Michigan Tech Students Break for Silicon Valley

While many college students spent their spring break on sandy beaches, Michigan Tech students escaped 130 inches of snow (a mild winter) to tour high-tech companies in Silicon Valley.

Thanks to Brocade, which sponsored the trip, the Michigan Tech students immersed themselves in all things tech as they toured several leading companies. A Michigan Tech alumnus, Dave House, is on the board of directors at Brocade. The students arrived Monday and began with a tour of Kyocera and Autodesk.

“The trip has been eye-opening for the types of industries that are really booming,” said Kelsey Waugh, a materials science and engineering major. “It’s giving us a picture of where corporate America is heading.

Eli Karttunen, an economics major, agreed. “We saw a diverse array of successful companies with different management styles. It showed us what is possible for our future career opportunities.”

Touring google with Michigan Tech alumnae, Danielle VanDyke.

Cisco Systems and Plug and Play were toured before a meeting with another alum, Danielle VanDyke ’06 at Google and a visit to Brocade in San Jose, finishing the high-tech portion of their whirlwind tour.

“Seeing the different atmospheres and productivity showed me what companies do to support creative, productive engineers and employees in their working environment,” said electrical engineering major Josh Lehman. “This trip gave us the opportunity to see and network with west coast companies.

As the trip’s exclusive sponsor, Brocade wrapped up the students’ week-long Silicon Valley Spring Break Experience with an executive panel discussion, data center tour, and hosted a networking social where students were able to interact with Brocade employees, including reps from human resources, some with immediate opportunities for these top students.

The students also toured the Computer History Museum in Mountain View before flying back to the snow banks of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on a redeye at midnight Friday, to continue preparing to make a little high-tech history of their own some day.

Their California adventure wasn’t all tech-related—another Michigan Tech alumnus, Tom Porter, arranged a tour of his Porter Creek Vineyard led by his son, Tim, in the Napa Valley, Cal. area. The 17,000 square foot underground wine cave is unusually sophisticated with an environment completely controllable by iPad. Tim Porter toured the students through the technological complex and hosted a social gathering in the cave itself.

At Porter Family Vineyards, owned by Tom Porter a Michigan Tech alumnus.

The late Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics Professor Bob Mark started the Silicon Valley trip last year. The 2012 trip was organized by the School of Business and Economics and the Office of Innovation and Industry Engagement. View more photos from the trip on Facebook.


Marty Richardson ’79 – Marketing Maverick and Sailing Enthusiast

Marty Richardson '79

Anchors aweigh, steady as she goes, and full speed ahead! These have been the hallmarks of Martha (Marty) Kresnak Richardson’s career. An expert in marketing and a sailing enthusiast, Richardson’s connection with Michigan Tech came about in a less traditional way.“I was actually the first professional that Michigan Tech ever hired to serve in a marketing capacity,” recalls Richardson, who first arrived at Tech in 1976 with a bachelor’s in communication arts from Michigan State. Her commitment to Tech remains strong, now as chair of the Board of Control.

While employed by Tech, Richardson pursued a master’s degree in the School of Business and Economics with a specialty in marketing. “Most of the students were engineers wanting to get more of a business acumen. So, I was a bit different from the usual student at that time. I worked full time and still managed a pretty heavy course load.” After graduating, Richardson found that women with a master’s in business were rare commodities. She was offered a number of great opportunities and chose to work for the international accounting and consulting firm Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) in the Detroit area.

This began a ten-year career with a variety of positions of ever-increasing responsibility. From marketing supervisor to marketing manager to marketing director, Richardson saw many different facets of the company. “I traveled across the country, working with top management for their ninety-eight offices. I really learned a lot—certainly a big expansion of my master’s education.”

While enjoying her work with Coopers & Lybrand, Richardson dreamed of starting her own business. The best advice she received was from another woman entrepreneur in New York where Richardson had an office at the time. Richardson recalls, “She said, ‘Are you sure you want to do this? This is going to be the most difficult thing you’ve ever done.’ And she was right. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. But, I’m proud of it and really wouldn’t change a thing.”

Richardson’s business, founded in 1989, was Services Marketing Specialists (SMS), a consulting firm providing full-service marketing and communications support to professional service firms and business-to-business organizations. Ironically, her first client was Coopers & Lybrand. Her portfolio grew into several hundred clients across the US and Canada, including those specializing in accounting, architecture, engineering, law, and health care.

However, another dream was waiting in the wings, or rather at the dock, for Richardson and her husband, Jerry, a former engineering manager for General Motors. Since leaving Detroit in September 2007, the Richard sons have logged nearly 12,000 nautical miles on a fifty-two foot trawler they named Monarch. They have traveled up and down the Atlantic Coast, to the Florida Keys, and the Bahamas. “We named our boat Monarch because she goes from Ontario and northern Michigan all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico just like the monarch butterfly,” says Richardson.

According to Richardson, after college it is important to find the right job, save prudently, and never give up on your dreams. “It’s surprising we’ve become so successful with such simple advice. Although not always easy, you just have to keep your eye on your vision and persevere. I can look back and say, ‘If it hadn’t been for my company and the good salaries our employees made, where they would be now?’ It feels good to know we made a difference.”

Making a difference continues to be a part of Richardson’s life. She has been a board member or officer of numerous professional and community organizations, including the Greater Detroit Foreign Trade Zone, Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, Women’s Economic Club of Detroit, International Institute of Detroit, Leadership Detroit, and the National Association of Women Business Owners. In 2002, she was named to the Crain’s Detroit “Most Influential Women” list.

Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed her to the Michigan Tech Board of Control in 2005. In July 2010, she took over the leadership of the Board.

“It was a real honor to be appointed to the Board of Control, and serving on it is a wonderful experience,” says Richardson. “The board is populated by extraordinarily intelligent and savvy people. They are all so competent in their areas and have such a deep love for the University and commitment to its interests.”

Richardson is also enthusiastic about the new MBA programs, especially the Tech MBA Online. “Who among our alums would not want an MBA from Tech? And if you can do it online around your schedule, it’s a real draw. It’s great knowing you can take the program at a set cost that you can budget for. And the quality—well, that just can’t be beat!”

Richardson is positive about the current goals for Tech. “Having a University-wide strategic plan is key. And, the School of Business and Economics plays an important part in the accomplishment of a number of University goals. The Board and administration are always focusing on how we can provide a world view for the students. Not only how to invent the technology but how to apply it to bettering mankind. The business school provides the critical link between technology and real-world applications.”

This article was originally published in Impact, the Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics magazine.


The sun is shining on a new Upper Peninsula business

Dustin Denkins ('10) and Matt Miotke of Suburb Solar, Cooks, MI (Photo credit: Shawn Malone)

Alum Dustin Denkins and his wife Jill are growing their advanced technology business right here in the Upper Peninsula.  Suburb Solar, which was founded in 2009 during Dustin’s graduate work here at Michigan Tech, was formally incorporated in early 2011. Sam Eggleston of Upper Pennisula’s Second Wave, an online magazine devoted to reporting trends in technology, business, and growth in Michigan’s UP, featured the story in their January 2012 edition.

Suburb Solar builds portable solar generators, making it simple for anyone to use it in everyday applications. “Basically, when I decided to make this, I wanted to make something so easy that my grandmother could use it,” says Dustin Denkins of the EasySun Solar Generator.

While an MBA student at Michigan Tech, Denkins won first place in the first annual Business Plan Competition (founded by the late Bob Mark), and walked away with $4,100 in prize money and consulting services to help get the company off the ground. The Business Plan Competition, now the New Venture Competition, has partnered with Central Michigan University to offer a top prize of $30,000 on March 31st down in Mt. Pleasant. Michigan Tech expects to be well represented, learn more about the competition.

The solar generator–built right here in the Upper Peninsula and with many components constructed here as well–is portable, sporting two heavy-duty wheels that allows the 125-pound device to be transported wherever it needs to go.

The School of Business and Economics wishes Superb Solar future success and thanks Dustin for being a great inspiration to other students.

See full story here.