Category: Announcements

Michigan Tech College of Business Earns Accreditation Renewal, Continues 20-Year Tradition of Quality

The Michigan Technological University College of Business (COB) has been approved for an accreditation extension to 2026 by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). 

AACSB is the longest-serving global association dedicated to advancing management education. The association is synonymous with the highest standards in business education and its accreditation has been earned by only 5% of the world’s schools offering business degrees at the bachelor’s level or higher. 

Dean Johnson, dean of the Michigan Tech College of Business, says the renewal is an affirmation of the job the College is doing.

“It’s a reflection of our ability to fulfill AACSB’s mission with our uniquely tech-focused curriculum and premiere faculty research and teaching ability,” he said.

To maintain accreditation, a school is put through a rigorous review every five years, demonstrating quality standards relating to faculty qualifications, strategic use of resources, faculty and student interaction and a commitment to continuous improvement and achievement of learning goals in degree programs. 

Why Accreditation Matters

Johnson explains why AACSB accreditation is vital. “The AACSB has strict standards for curriculum development and faculty qualifications, research and teaching. Accreditation also documents that our program innovatively responds to the ever-changing demands of the business world. The output of this excellence is seen in our students.”

Measured against peers, Michigan Tech accounting students earn the second-highest CPA pass rates in the nation and achieve the highest average score. AACSB is an internationally recognized seal employers know and trust. “Our students land paid internships after their very first semester. Top firms and corporations need our skilled thinkers who are highly adaptable and ready for any challenge,” Johnson added. 

Advancing the Future of Business

In their peer review, AACSB’s Continuous Improvement Review Committee commended COB’s Husky Investment Tournament designed for high school business classrooms. The stock-trading simulation takes pre-college students through a semester-long hands-on stock trading experience while infusing principles of the business world and introducing students to the people and opportunities in business at Michigan Tech. The outreach program provides high school business educators with easily implementable tools and resources, including video modules created by MTU students and faculty. 

In return for their participation, high school students receive a scholarship to Michigan Tech. Since its inception, the Husky Investment Tournament has reached more than 1,000 students from nine states and two countries. 

Additionally in their report, COB was lauded for its demonstrated commitment to developing curriculum centered on technology and analytics. At the undergraduate level, new offerings include a concentration in data analytics in accounting, a minor in business and the state’s first minor in financial technology (FinTech). At the graduate level, updates include a master’s degree in engineering management and graduate certificates in accounting analytics and forensic accounting. 

About the College of Business
The Michigan Tech College of Business offers undergraduate majors in accounting, construction management, economics, engineering management, finance, management, management information systems, and marketing, as well as a general business option. Graduate degrees include the TechMBA®, a Master of  Engineering Management, a Master of Science in Accounting, and a Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics.

Appleton Senior Awarded Michigan Tech Impact Scholarship

Michigan Technological University’s College of Business announces Rachel Weyenberg of Appleton, Wisconsin, as the 2021-22 Impact Scholarship recipient.

Weyenberg is the daughter of Amy and Kevin Weyenberg and is a senior at Appleton East High School. She is active as the vice president of competitive excellence in DECA, an association of high school business students who participate in career development, social events, community service activities, and competitions. She credits DECA for helping her discover a passion for business and leading her to Michigan Tech. 

photo of Rachel Weyenberg

On campus in Houghton, Weyenberg plans to pursue construction management, become active in Enterprise, and land an internship. Supported by both the College of Business and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the interdisciplinary construction management major was recently named the best construction management program in the state by Universities.com.

“I fell in love with Michigan Tech and all the unique opportunities offered by the University. What made me decide to attend MTU was how amazing the College of Business is. When I toured campus I met with both Associate Dean Buche and Dean Johnson. They made me feel welcomed and at home. I love the one-on-one attention each student receives and the hands-on approach.” Weyenberg says.

The Impact Scholarship, organized by Admissions, Financial Aid, and the College of Business, is an annual competitive award recognizing Michigan Tech business majors. Held virtually this year, 41 high school senior finalists from seven states were invited to participate in leadership activities via Zoom and received renewable awards ranging from $1,000 to full in-state tuition.

“Evaluators were struck by Rachel’s communication skills including public speaking experience as well as her outgoing and positive approach,” says Shannon Rinkinen, director in the College of Business and chair of the Impact Scholarship committee.

Weyenberg is also active in student council, National Honors Society, link crew, pep club, and varsity soccer. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching movies, and going on road trips.

“I am extremely grateful for the Impact Scholarship. This opportunity will allow me to further my education without the stress of out-of-state tuition. I know that I was meant to be a Husky.”

Next year’s Michigan Tech Impact Scholarship application will open in summer 2021.

Houghton Gremlins Win Husky Investment Tournament

The Husky Investment Tournament hosted this fall by the College of Business (COB) at Michigan Technological University drew more than 130 high school business students from as far away as Maryland and Florida to compete for a cash prize and scholarships toward a Michigan Tech education. 

The competition utilized a virtual stock-trading tool and College faculty-led video modules to help high school educators lead engaging conversations and lessons of their own. Teams of three to four students received $1,000,000 in virtual US dollars to build a portfolio. The group with the highest-valued portfolio earned $1,000 in prize money and all students who actively participated were awarded a scholarship to attend Michigan Tech.

“With how high schools have shifted curriculum due to COVID-19, teachers and students alike tell us that the Husky Investment Tournament has been a welcome enhancement to their virtual education,” said Dean Johnson, dean of the Michigan Tech College of Business.

Students from Houghton High School in Houghton, Michigan, came in first place at the conclusion of trading on November 16. Despite the stock market only returning five percent during the competition, the team of Milo Schaefer, Kazimir McCloskey, Matthew Ryynanen, and Trent Bukovich earned a positive 11-percent return. The winners were surprised at the outcome, with one student saying, “Going into it, we never thought we’d have a chance, but we made a few investments that really took off.”

Their teacher, Jennifer Rubin, added, “I love the opportunity that the Husky Investment Tournament provides for my personal finance students. It helps them dive into investing and really see how stocks fluctuate over a period of time—with no consequences.”

Prior to the competition, most students were unfamiliar with stock basics. 

The Husky Investment Tournament is embedded in high school economics, business, and personal finance classes. Since its launch in September 2019, 830 students across Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Maryland, Florida, and Illinois have participated. High school educators or administrators wishing to sign teams up for the spring 2021 competition, which begins March 1, should visit mtu.edu/business-tournament.

Elham Asgari Named Michigan Tech College of Business Gates Professor

The Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship in the College of Business is the 2020-21 Gates Professor.

The Gates Family Foundation partners with communities to address long-term quality-of-life challenges and opportunities. At Michigan Technological University, the position will support student engagement in entrepreneurial activities and contribute to the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Elham (Ellie) Asgari joined the faculty of the Michigan Tech College of Business after earning her PhD in business management from Virginia Tech. Her research is at the intersection between entrepreneurship and innovation, and primarily focuses on the impact of upper echelons, star employees, and human resources on technological innovation. She has presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meetings and Strategic Management Society conference, among many others, and is published in top-tier journals such as Journal of Management, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, and Expert Systems with Applications.



Her most recent paper titled, “Red Giants or Black Holes? The Antecedent Conditions and Multi-Level Impacts of Star Performers” was accepted for publication in the Academy of Management Annals in fall 2020.

Prior to entering her doctoral program, Asgari worked in industry, specializing in human resource management. She holds an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

“With her advanced business and technical background, Dr. Asgari is well-matched for Michigan Tech. The College of Business looks forward to Dr. Asgari leveraging her Gates Professor role in support of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Michigan Tech, the Keweenaw Peninsula, and across Michigan,” says Dean Johnson, dean of the Michigan Tech College of Business.

In particular, Asgari will promote two of Michigan Tech’s flagship student-based entrepreneurial activities, the immersive Silicon Valley Experience, and the Bob Mark Business Model Competition, in addition to supporting faculty and research in the entrepreneurial area. 

Of the appointment, Asgari says: “I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to using the capacity of the position to enhance the entrepreneurship program at MTU.”

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The Michigan Tech College of Business is large enough to lead and small enough to care. Our faculty are active in research, yet build close relationships with students. Professors understand Huskies’ career goals and provide them with the knowledge, tools, and experiences to create the future. 

Business Students Place Third in Annual Marketing Conference

Three student members of the Michigan Tech chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA)—Ryan Calkins (Management), Emily Kughn (Marketing), and Jaxon Verhoff (Marketing)—recently demonstrated their marketing strategy competence at the 2020 AMA regional conference hosted virtually by the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater.



The students were selected as top-10 finalists at the online conference where more than 800 students from 64 universities participated. They went on to place third on October 9, winning a cash award of $250.

In addition to this achievement, Michigan Tech was represented in the AcuRite Digital Marketing Strategy Competition and Gartner Sales Competition, where managers from the sponsoring companies served as judges.

Although COVID-19 disrupted the learning environment, Associate Professor of Marketing, Jun Min, who advises the marketing organization on campus, states, “I am continually impressed with our students’ willingness to try something new.”