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Huskies Place First, Second in THEProject Competition

by Roger Woods, College of Business

Students in OSM4350 Advanced Project Management, led by Roger Woods (COB), participated in the 12th annual Western Michigan Project Management Institute (WMPMI) collegiate project management competition — known as THEProject — where they took home first and second place.

The teams gave their final presentations Monday (April 8) in Hudsonville, Michigan.

The Project, Team Name:  Anchor Management
Photo credit: THEProject
Team Name: Anchor Management
Photo Left to Right: Travis Puesel, WMPMI THEProject Director with MTU Students: Easton Armstrong, Meredith Raaslo, Jacob Maurer, Blake Lewis, William Zinser, Alexander Bos

Students on the winning teams include:

  • First-Place Team — Anchor Management:
    Jacob Maurer (team lead), Blake Lewis, Easton Armstrong, Alex Bos, Will Zinser and Meredith Raasio
  • Second-Place Team — Lake Superior Salute:
    Gregory Lapetina (team lead), Connor Zavislak, Ethan Kennedy, Maggie Gallup, Ashley Haen and Simon Karnoe
THEProject Team Lake Superior Salute
Photo credit: THEProject
Team: Lake Superior Salute

MTU Researchers Complete Economic Impact Analysis of Menominee Harbor Deepening Project

Menominee River

by College of Business

Assistant Professors Laura Connolly and Jenny Apriesnig (both COB) and Research Engineer Travis White (GLRC) have completed an analysis of the economic impacts associated with the City of Menominee’s project to deepen the Menominee Harbor.

The economic impact analysis was part of a feasibility study conducted by the city in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The city contracted with the MTU team to complete the analysis, which was delivered to Menominee officials March 15.

In their final economic evaluation, Connolly, Apriesnig and White provided a brief overview of the Menominee Harbor and the local economic context, then estimated the economic impacts associated with the deepening project for both the Upper Peninsula and northeast Wisconsin, focusing on employment, output and tax revenue.

Across the scenarios considered, the trio found that the majority of the project’s economic impacts are concentrated in northeast Wisconsin, with more modest impacts in the U.P. They highlighted the potential economic gains in the local area if the Menominee Harbor is deepened and the “significant potential losses if the status quo is maintained.”

“The COB faculty have developed a reputation for economic impact studies,” said Dean Johnson, dean of the College of Business. “One of the COB’s goals is making a positive societal impact via our thought leadership.  In the last two years, our faculty research expertise has supported the regional economy across the mining, transportation, entrepreneurship and educational sectors.”

Prior to this project, COB faculty completed an economic impact analysis of the Eagle Mine in the U.P. Lundin Mining, the operator of the only primary nickel mine in the U.S., sought out the unique combination of COB faculty expertise in economics, mining, econometrics, data analytics and information systems to establish best practices in mining in relation to regional economic health.

A Kalamazoo Success Story for MTU’s DECA Chapter 

by Dylan Dunneback

Earlier this month, 11 members of the Michigan Tech Collegiate DECA chapter attended the State Career Development Conference in Kalamazoo, MI, to compete in three different types of events: individual, team, and prepared business plans. In addition to the competitions, the MTU DECA Chapter also made tie blankets for charity. 

DECA students holding awards.

Below are the students who participated, as well as the events in which they placed: 

  • Jaylen Body (Marketing & Management): Finalist, Hotel & Lodging
  • Veronica Frystak (Marketing & OSM): 2nd place, Fashion Merchandising and Marketing
  • Dylan Dunneback (Marketing): 1st place, Restaurant and Food Service Management
  • Allyana Grochowski (General Business): Finalist, Human Resources Management
  • Zach Hooper (MIS & Engineering Management): Finalist, Entrepreneurship Operations
  • Sammy Perrone (Marketing): Finalist, Fashion Merchandising Marketing
  • Ethan Semenchuks (Engineering Management): 3rd place, Sales Management and Leadership
  • Gavin Walters (Engineering Management): Finalist, Marketing Management
  • Joe Anthony (Electrical Engineering)
  • Wilson Yax (Finance)
  • Isaac Pilgrim (Finance)

The following teams also placed:

  • Joe Anthony and Gavin Waters placed 3rd in their team event, Business to Business Marketing
  • Dylan Dunneback and Allyana Grochowski placed 2nd in their prepared business plan event, Digital Marketing Strategies
  • Jaylen Body and Veronica Frystak placed 2nd in their team event, Entertainment Marketing
  • Zach Hooper and Sammy Perrone placed 3rd in their team event, Marketing Communications.

Jaylen, Veronica, Dylan, Allyana, Zach, Sammy, Ethan, Gavi, and Joe all qualified for the International Career Development Conference in April 2024 in Texas. 

Roger Woods Selected for Deans’ Teaching Showcase

by Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning

Dean Johnson, College of Business dean, has selected Roger Woods, teaching professor in operations management and engineering management and affiliated faculty with the construction management program, for the Deans’ Teaching Showcase. Woods will be recognized at an end-of-term event with other showcase members and is a candidate for the CTL Instructional Award Series.

Woods has taught 10 different classes with an emphasis on getting students to “Think!”, not just repeat information from lectures. As the primary faculty for BUS2300 Quantitative Problem Solving, Woods teaches business and nonbusiness majors that Excel is not just a calculator, but a communication tool. His emphasis on formatting details sends students off to be critical of other spreadsheets that don’t follow his “Cardinal Rules for Spreadsheet Modeling.” And, Woods’ infamous take-home exam challenges students to incorporate all the concepts, techniques and models in the context of an actual business. In addition to the exam’s 20 versions, each iteration has unique values based on random number generation. As any College of Business alum will note, completing the exam is a badge of honor.

Roger Woods

“Students don’t always appreciate his teaching until they have been out in industry — then they get it,” said Jodie Filpus-Paakola, coordinator of academic services.

Woods’ high expectations carry on to other upper-division courses. His hands-off approach to Advanced Project Management allows students to grapple with the question of which methods are appropriate to the presented scenario, instead of just applying all of the tools they have available. Woods also uses a combination of lecture, discussion, in-class exercises and quizzes to engage students in his Six Sigma class, which includes a variety of nonbusiness majors. From Woods’ “Question of the Day” to his useful/useless piece of knowledge, students engage in discussions and class activities. With all of his classes, he uses a variety of markers (black, blue and red) to create points of emphasis, which students appreciate.

“I truly want to thank you for your passion and how much you care about your students,” an alum wrote to Woods. ”Your excitement about the topics you teach fuels our fire and willingness to learn. I would also like to thank you for caring about your students far beyond what your job requires, it really makes all of the difference.”

Mari Buche, associate dean of the College of Business, said Woods plays a critical teaching role in the College: “For the majority of incoming business students, their journey to earning a tech-savvy business degree starts with Roger’s course. For students graduating with a supply chain/operations management degree or engineering management degree, their journey to a successful career is launched by his hands-on upper-division curriculum.”

Johnson emphasized Woods’ rigor combined with his dedication to student-centered experiential education: “While his Quantitative Problem Solving take-home final exam is legendary, students continually rave about his teaching ability and his dedication to the individual student. His Advanced Project Management class has consistently placed well in project management competitions, including first and second place awards this last year. His commitment to student-centered learning and experiential education directly support the College of Business’s mission and reputation.”

Incoming Husky Wins Parade of Nations Essay Contest

Incoming Michigan Tech College of Business student, Aidan Holley

Aidan Holley, 18, has won the Parade of Nations essay contest on multiculturalism. He will receive a $1,000 scholarship to Michigan Tech, where he will study engineering management starting this fall.

Multiculturalism is a fact of life for Holley, who lives in Baraga, Michigan. “I have lived in the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community most of my life,” Holley explains. “Half of my graduating class at Baraga High School was tribal.”

The Parade of Nations essay contest was open to high school seniors who plan to go to Michigan Tech. It asked two questions:

  • What does multiculturalism mean to you?
  • Why does it matter to you, to your community, to our country, to the world?

In his essay, Holley writes: “In my community, Baraga County, this concept is especially important to understand. The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community lies within the area, and Baraga’s culture can be divided mainly into two different groups: Yoopers with Finland in their blood and Native Americans who have been on this land for centuries. For the most part, we get along well together. But there are times that it can get problematic, because multiculturalism is a mostly unknown and foreign concept for much of our populations. If both groups put multiculturalism into effect for Baraga, it would create a more welcoming environment for either group to be more open to each other, spreading even more culture to each other without the worries of being slandered.”

As for the importance of multiculturalism to the country and the world, Holley says: “My definition of multiculturalism is to have a better understanding of the people who surround us in our world. To me, it is really important to be able to harness this major ability, as it helps connect people from multiple different regions of the globe. For example, in a workplace, having workers who are American, Italian, Kenyan, Russian, Japanese, and/or Brazilian in the same area helps create diversity, which helps each culture to understand the other. Using this example all over the world would create an alliance of hundreds of different backgrounds and traditions and unite them together into one large hub that anyone can learn from.”

Aidan goes on to say: “Our country is another good example of why multiculturalism is important to understand. It does happen in some areas of the United States, but only on certain occasions and in certain areas of the country. If it happened all over our society, it would create a much more accepting environment to be able to share whatever culture someone belongs to with a different culture.”

The valedictorian of his class at Baraga High, Holley has won more than 20 scholarships. He was inducted into the National Honor Society in 10th grade. He also served on the student council.

Both Parade of Nations contest winners this year were from Baraga. Chiara Rapacci, an exchange student from Italy, won the logo design contest. Holley is not surprised. “It reflects on the teachers at Baraga High School,” he says. “I can’t say enough good about the teachers there.”