Category: Faculty Spotlight

Welcome to Michigan Tech: New Faculty


The School of Business and Economics extends a warm welcome to our new faculty for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Michele Loughead, MBA

Michele Loughead, MBA
Michele Loughead accepts a position as lecturer in the School of Business and Economics. Loughead has been an instructor at Michigan Tech since 2011.

Loughead received her MBA from Seattle University and her BBA from the University of Michigan. She is also a certified public accountant.

Loughead is an innovation consultant at Michele Loughead Consulting and served as the vice president of trading at Imperium Renewables, Inc. for two years. She has also been director of finance at VMC Consulting and Black Ram Engineering.

Russ Louks, MS

Russell Louks, MS
Russell Louks joins the School of Business and Economics as professor of practice. Louks comes to Michigan Tech from the Ford Motor Company, where he serves as manager of the University Sourcing Office in Houghton.

Louks received an MS in Technology from Purdue University and a BS in Mathematics with a secondary education certificate from Michigan Tech. He is also a certified information systems security professional.

He has worked for Ford Motor Company since 1985 as a plant floor systems manager, the Mazda business integration liaison and the supervisor of the manufacturing systems office. He was also a reliability engineer at General Dynamics for two years.

Tang Wang, PhD

Tang Wang, PhD
Tang Wang joins the School of Business and Economics as an assistant professor. He comes to Michigan Tech from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Wang holds a PhD in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, an MS in Pattern Recognition Intelligent System from the University of Science and Technology of China and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

He has taught entrepreneurship, strategy and innovation management and has published in journals such as the Journal of Business Venturing and the Journal of Product Innovation Management. His research interests include technology and innovation, venture capital and initial public offering, and organizational learning, capability and knowledge.


On the Road: Marketing Faculty presents in Vancouver, BC

Assistant Professor of Marketing Soonkwan Hong

In early October Assistant Professor of Marketing, Soonkwan Hong, presented two research papers at the Association for Consumer Research conference held in Vancouver, Canada.

The presentations were titled, “Mythologized Glocalization of Popular Culture: A Postcolonial Perspective,” and “Cruising the Unadulterated Terrain of Consumption: Rural Snowmobilers’ Interpellation through Collective Simplicity.”

More about the Presentations

Mythologized Glocalization of Popular Culture: A Postcolonial Perspective
Soonkwan Hong, Michigan Technological University, USA
Chang-Ho Kim, Nam-Seoul University, South Korea
This netnographic research reveals that the glocalization process of Korean popular culture cannot be reduced to a uni-discursive thesis that immortalizes the themes of cultural imperialism. Globalization of popular culture necessitates hybridity that uses the same traditional ingredients, but transforms into a new taste based on a new cultural recipe.

Cruising the Unadulterated Terrain of Consumption: Rural Snowmobilers’ Interpellation through Collective Simplicity
The reflexive interpellation process unveiled by rural snowmobilers helps explicate how poor rural consumers maintain ontological security. The received view of inherited and institutionalized cultural and symbolic capital is inapplicable to the context where upward sociocultural mobility is collectively achieved through agentic appropriation of highly stylized and politicized consumer movements.


Natural Resource Economics Plays a Key Role in Michigan Innovation

Associate Professor of Natural Resource Economics

Matt Rousch who publishes the Great Lakes Innovation and Technology Report for CBS Detroit visited the Copper Country last week and caught up with Associate Professor of Natural Resource Economics, Bill Breffle, for a discussion on environmental economic impacts.

Excerpt taken from Matt Rousch on the 2012 Fall Tech Tour as part of the Great Lakes Innovation and Technology Report.

———————————————

After lunch it was time for a fascinating socio-political discussion with William Breffle, associate professor of natural resource economics in Tech’s School of Business and Economics.

Breffle described himself as a conservative free marketeer when it comes to economic issues. Yet he acknowledged that there are places where the market fails, such as accounting for pollution let into the environment by private companies and the military — and that’s where he comes in, studying how so-called “externalities” can be eliminated for the benefit of the public through economic evaluation of environmental “disamenities.”

“My work focuses on sustainability and carrying capacity,” Breffle said. “I want to start people thinking about the fact that the economy from a natural resource standpoint is an open system, and we’re going to have to startt treating our waste stream as a necessary but negative side effect of production if we’re going to have long term sustainability of economic services that benefit people.”

Simply put, he said, “It seems as though we don’t care about future generations when it comes to our debt and climate modification. And it becomes a moral issue because the people aren’t even here yet to express their preferences for a clean environment. They aren’t here to vote, and federal and state governments enact regulations and conduct policy in ways that are too myopic to benefit the future as much as they should.”

He said he wants to help a Great Lakes-wide study of pollution problems to deal with the negative combination of numerous ongoing and related problems throughout the broader watershed. He said we can all enjoy a comfortable lifestyle through better technology and education.

“The market works most places most of the time,” Breffle said. “I look at places where it doesn’t and that’s where my career is centered.”

Breffle also said Tech’s business school is healthy and growing, led by programs like an Applied Portfolio Management Program that has tech students managing $1.2 million in reach assets, and a regular 10-second elevator pitch competition. Tech also offers a unique economics program, a master’s of applied natural resource economics.

Read the full article.


Boots to Briefcases: Veterans as Entrepreneurs

School of Business and Economics researcher hopes to help vets become entrepreneurs.

As one million veterans return to the American workforce, some will venture into entrepreneurial employment, either as leaders or team members. One Michigan Technological University professor wants to find out if there is a difference between their initial interest and overall success compared to the general population; then he wants to give them a hand.

Saurav Pathak, Rick and Jo Berquist assistant professor of innovation and entrepreneurship in the School of Business and Economics, seeks to create a data set that will tell him how many returning veterans are going the entrepreneur route.

He’s aiming high, too.

President Barack Obama sent an encouraging response to his email request for support. No money came with it, but Pathak will continue to try to secure federal funds, especially given the administration’s Joining Forces initiative that seeks to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013.

“I’ll first look at the skill set the veterans bring back with them,” he says. “There is some thought that the Air Force veterans have more technical background, for example, than Army or Navy veterans.”

Part of his research project, which is currently sponsored by the Michigan Tech Research Excellence Fund (REF), seeks to build more awareness and future connections between the Veteran’s Affairs Office, the University (including ROTC programs) and veterans themselves.

“These [REF] projects are funded as seed grants to help new faculty get their research programs underway,” says Dave Reed, vice president for research. “Typically, they are early stage or preliminary. Saurav’s work is a great example of these projects, and our faculty do a wonderful job of using results from these projects to leverage further funding.”

Pathak’s focus is on what hinders the veterans from beginning or succeeding as entrepreneurs.

“In Michigan alone, there are some 700,000 veterans,” he says. “And on campus there are about 90 veteran students and another 90 faculty and staff, mostly staff. If we can harness just a small percentage of them in a University center for entrepreneurship, we can help them succeed and propel Michigan Tech and the community into prominence at the same time.”

Pathak’s research grant expires in July 2013, so he wants to have the additional funding and a more defined project ready to launch by then.

“ROTC has shown great interest,” he says, “and we will be traveling to the Ishpeming, Marquette and Calumet Armories to talk about my work and see how much interest there really is.”

That’s one important component: actual data on numbers of veterans interested in entrepreneurship in the first place.

“I went to a veterans convention in Detroit, and there were 6,000 veterans there,” says Pathak. “We know that a lack of available resources hinders them, and we also think that there is difference between disabled veterans and those who are not.”

Disabled veterans are more likely to be working alone, he says. And many of the veterans seem to have been unaware of all the resources that are available to them.

“I don’t have the data set to completely verify this, but talking to veterans in Detroit, senior military people seem to be not as averse to taking risks,” Pathak observes. “Where junior officers are so used to taking orders that it might hinder them. Again, I need to do more research to verify these statements.”

Veterans’ well-being could affect their choices between necessity-based and opportunity-based entrepreneurship too, he says.

There has been previous research on entrepreneurship—for example, a Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics at the University of Michigan. But there is no study currently focusing on veterans in terms of entrepreneurship.

With or without help from the White House, Pathak seeks to understand veterans’ unique needs as they attempt to become entrepreneurs. Then, he hopes to help them succeed.

Learn more about Saurav Pathak.

Originally published on Michigan Tech News.