Category: Announcements

Inventor Dr. James Conley Visits SBE


Dr. James Conley, Professor of Technology at the Kellogg School of Management, in Evanston, Illinois, was a guest presenter in the School of Business and Economics on November 2, 2007. Dr. Conley was an advisor to one the SBE’s new business law faculty, Assistant Professor David Orozco.

While on campus he visited with faculty, talked with students in the classroom, and gave a campus presentation. His presentation was titled “Innovation & Invention: the emerging role of engineers and technologists in wealth creation.” His talk described how the US intellectual property system is designed to reward the innovator engineer, scientist, artist and inventor. He described why knowledge of property rights is critical to obtaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace and why ignorance ensures that the commercial benefits of innovation will be enjoyed by others.

Dr. Conley serves on the faculty of both the Kellogg School of Management and the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University. He is a faculty contributor in the Kellogg Center for Research in Technology & Innovation and the Institute for Design Engineering and Application (IDEA).

Before joining Northwestern in 1994, he spent seven years at the Ryobi Limited Group in Japan. At Ryobi, he co-invented the first hand-held 26.2 cc, OHV 4-cycle engine for the lawn care markets with MTU Alum Ronald Hoffman.

Michigan Tech MBA Program Ranks in Top 100 Worldwide

During its first year of existence, Michigan Tech’s Master of Business Administration program ranked in the top 100 MBA programs around the world for its emphasis on sustainability and social/environmental issues.

The Aspen Institute’s 2007-08 edition of “Beyond Grey Pinstripes,” released on October 11, ranks Michigan Tech’s new MBA program 94th on a list of Global Top 100 Schools. More than 600 business schools were invited to participate in the biennial survey and alternative ranking conducted by the Aspen Institute’s Center for Business Education.

Christa Walck, dean of the School of Business and Economics, is thrilled with the results. “We are now on the map for sustainability in business education,” she said. “’Beyond Grey Pinstripes’ is the ranking for sustainability in business programs, and sustainability is a major strategic emphasis for Michigan Tech.

“This indicates that even a brand new and small program like ours can be recognized if we are doing the right things,” Walck went on to say. “To get this recognition from a well-recognized program like ‘Beyond Grey Pinstripes’ says we are on the right track.”

The dean said the ranking will help Michigan Tech attract faculty and students who are interested in sustainable business. “Businesses are becoming much more aware of how important it is for their processes and products to be sustainable ecologically as well as economically, so I have been encouraging School of Business and Economics faculty to incorporate sustainability concepts into their courses,” said Walck.

Provost Lesley Lovett-Doust noted, “This comes at a perfect time, when we have just announced our new Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative, with the theme this year of sustainability. We envision strong applicants for our three endowed chairs—the Robbins Chairs in sustainability—and the seven faculty positions. This recognition should help us attract some excellent candidates for these positions, including faculty in the area of sustainable business and economics of sustainability.”

A small but growing number of business schools are leading the trend to incorporate social and environmental issues into their core curricula, the Aspen Institute reported. Society and the environment are becoming significant issues on campus, but in many schools of business, they are still confined mostly to discussions of nonprofit management, social entrepreneurship and ethics, said Rich Leimsider, director of the Aspen Institute Center for Business Education.

In “Beyond Grey Pinstripes,” success is measured by how well prepared graduates are to guide a company through the complex relationship of business and society, the environment and the well-being of communities, countries and the world. “Our National Advisory Board members have commented on the value of our students’ knowledge and experience in sustainable business practice,” Walck noted.

In the latest Aspen Institute report, as in 2005-06, Stanford University ranked first. The University of Michigan ranked second, and York University in Canada was third.

SBE Hosts Grand Opening for Sam Tidwell Student Center

On Thursday, September 13th, the School of Business & Economics is hosting a grand opening for the Sam Tidwell Student Center. The student center was finished in fall 2006, and is now being dedicated and celebrated for its resources.

The grand opening will offer faculty, staff, and students the opportunity to enjoy some light refreshments, mingle amongst themselves, and learn what the center has to offer them. On the garden level of the Academic Offices Building, students can use the student center as a place to study or meet with tutors for various business and economics classes, meet with groups to work on projects at one of the two computer stations, or search the bulletin board for job postings. Also located on the garden level are two conference rooms for student groups or organizations to hold meetings, as well as Brad Wagner’s office, the Advisor for the School of Business & Economics, and Andrea Barry’s office, the Outreach Coordinator for the SBE. The student center is named after Professor Emeritus Sam B. Tidwell, originally from Mississippi, who came to Michigan Tech in 1956 as an associate professor in the School of Business. He also started the Red Tie tradition in 1956, through which each student who passed the CPA exam would send Professor Tidwell a red tie. Various red ties can be seen throughout the School of Business & Economics.

Speaker Series: Jessica Gonzalez Kaiser, Owens Corning, Operations Support Leader


SBE distinguished alumna, Jessica Gonzalez Kaiser will be on campus to discuss the important topic of Leadership and Careers. The presentation will take place on Wednesday, April 18, at 11 AM in ChemSci 101. Students are encouraged to attend this lecture about this dynamic leader and ask questions you may have about leadership, careers and balancing careers with life.

Jessica graduated with a BSBA with a concentration in Operations Management in 1988, and has had a very successful career working in large and small organizations as well as her own consulting firm.

Kaiser has an extensive background in Quality Management and has led several organizations to successful ISO/QS registrations. She owned and operated her own consulting firm and has extensive managerial experience including Plant Manager, Regional General Manager and Marketing Manager, and Operations Support Leader.

Speaking Topic:

Which Behaviors Lead to Success?
Today’s corporate cultures demand leadership, peak performance and continuous improvement. With continuous improvement a requirement for peak performance, the bar is raised every year—yesterday’s peak performance for leaders is today’s norm for everyone. The key to succeeding in today’s business environment is to recognize that you need to focus not only on outcomes, but also on behaviors. What behaviors define you as a leader? What behaviors define your career path? You are in charge of your career and where you want to take it.

In addition to this lecture, she will be meeting with Bob Mark’s BA1700 class at 2 pm and Victoria James’ BA4770 HR class at 3:30 pm on the topic of work-life balance.

IBM gives virtual tour of Experience lab Seminar Wednesday, Feb. 7 4 p.m., EERC 103

Visiting us will be David Barnes, Program Director of the IBM Solutions Experience Lab in Austin Texas and Ann Strosaker of IBM’s Software group. The Solutions Experience Lab is an innovation incubator comprised of a kitchen, living room, cafe, hospital room, loading dock (including a vehicle in the building), and a complete house, all automated with the latest technologies from IBM and their partners. Via Web cam David will take us on a virtual tour of this innovative lab, discuss the emerging technologies on display, and give hints on how to prepare ourselves for a career in this fast moving Web enabled world.

During his IBM career David has held a variety of positions in hardware engineering, software engineering and marketing. In 1987, under the auspices of Senior Product Manager, David began traveling to customer locations around the world, briefing them on IBM’s software strategy and relaying their requirements back to IBM’s software development labs. After 15 years on the road David adopted a more appropriate title — Lead Technology Evangelist. David has been involved with internet technologies since the early years of the Web’s adoption, including keynoting the first Internet Superhighway Summit in 1995.

After leading the evangelism efforts for IBM’s WebSphere software offerings and SOA, David went on to manage the IBM Extreme Blue innovation laboratory in Austin Texas, and then worked as the Program Director of the IBM Solutions Experience Lab, managing and developing a one-of-a-kind showcase for IBM and IBM Business Partner Solutions. Today David is leading IBM’s evangelist efforts around Web 2.0 technology and standards, while feeding customer requirements back into IBM’s research and development teams.

Ann has 10 years of business and technology experience in new technology evaluation, developer relations and IT systems management. Currently she manages demonstration strategy and enablement for IBM’s Software group. Previously, Ann was Manager of the Extreme Blue program in Austin, TX and Europe as well IBM’s University Talent Programs in the central region of the US, including IBM’s university presence and talent recruiting in this area.

In past roles, Ann has led IBM developer outreach programs, working to educate user groups around the world about IBM’s leadership in Java, XML and Linux and the product offerings around those technologies. Ann also spent several years with IBM Global Services in Strategic Outsourcing, working on major infrastructure projects for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

Ann received her Master of Science in Science and Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas (Austin) and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio).

A video of IBM’s Extreme Blue Austin Energy Project can be viewed at

This seminar is sponsored by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies as part of the Pavlis Institute’s seminar series.