Tag: Michigan Tech

Duo Takes on Resources Policy

With a prestigious new coeditorship, two professors in the School of Business and  Economics will have the opportunity to impact the analysis and public understanding of resources and mineral economics policies around the world.

Gary Campbell and Mark Roberts have been named coeditors of Resources Policy, The International Journal of Minerals Policy and Economics. Established in 1974, the journal is published by Elsevier and is aimed at economists and decision makers in academia, government, and industry. Campbell and Roberts, who are currently acting as associate editors, will take over the position in January 2012 from Philip Maxwell, professor emeritus in mineral economics in the Western Australian School of Mines at Curtin University.

“We are proud to be a part of a strong editorial tradition,” said Campbell. “We’ve been working together for more than twenty-five years, and, as coeditors, we will be able to exchange ideas and dedicate our combined energies to continue Resources Policy’s contributions to the field.”

The coeditorship is an honor that recognizes Campbell and Roberts’ service to the profession and their expertise in minerals policy and economics. Campbell, whose research focuses on metal markets and the urbanization and sustainability of mining, helped establish and now coordinates the master’s program in applied natural resource economics at Michigan Tech and the associated Peace Corps Master’s International program. He is also an adjunct professor with the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences. Roberts, who is also involved in the Master’s International program, analyzes cycles of metal, energy, and commodity prices and studies the environmental issues and impacts of mining. Both maintain full teaching schedules.

Campbell and Roberts have a long history with Resources Policy as regular contributors and reviewers. Roberts was a member of the editorial board for twenty years. As coeditors, Campbell and Roberts will solicit papers, assign reviewers, communicate with authors, and send papers through the editorial system.

The greatest challenge of the position, said Roberts, will be finding qualified reviewers for each piece. “One of the benefits of working together will be the chance to pool our contacts to find reviewers who have expertise in the topic of each article,” he said.

“We are honored to accept the position,” said Roberts, “and we look forward to the challenge.”

Campbell and Roberts’ first coedited issue of Resources Policy will be published in March 2012.


And the Survey Says . . . Or Does It?

MBA student, Tao Guo

As part of our modern culture, people are inundated with questions regarding their personal opinions and experiences. College students, in particular, often experience the brunt of these inquiries. During their college careers, students may fill out countless surveys regarding their personal interests, classes, professors, and even some for their educational institution.

What if the information collected during these surveys isn’t always reliable? Should college students be surveyed in the same manner as non-students?

As a Michigan Tech MBA student, Tao Guo asked these questions while working as a research assistant. This inquiry led to a research project and a refereed paper presentation at the 2010 Marketing Management Association Fall Educators’ Conference in Indianapolis.

The paper, “The Effect of Rating Scales on Systematic Differences Between Students and Nonstudents in Survey Research,” was written with help from Junhong Min, assistant professor of marketing, and the late Bob Mark, professor of practice.

“Tao came to me with a question about using surveys in consumer research that kept leading to more questions. His enthusiasm and dedication to this project led to the honor of presenting at the conference. We’re very pleased with his work,” notes Min.

Guo’s initial research found two divergent views exist about the usefulness of college students as subjects. One stream of research questions the use of student samples, while the other shows no difference between student samples and nonstudent samples. Guo tried to fill this gap by examining when the differences between student samples and nonstudent samples occur.

Tackling a common practice found in consumer research studies that survey college students, Guo took a closer look at the use of scales. When examining data from student assessment surveys, he found that either a five-point scale or a seven-point scale was typically used. Both of these scales are employed to measure how strongly the subject agrees with a survey statement. His results empirically illustrate how the five-point scale is more effective at capturing the differences between student and nonstudent samples. In addition, Guo discovered that behavior-related questions (e.g., frequency, the number of purchases) are more sensitive to differences between students and nonstudents than attitude questions (e.g., willingness to purchase, perceived importance).

“The research suggests to the practitioners that they should interpret their results with caution when student samples are involved,” says Guo.

Guo researched the subject for five months. The opportunity to present his paper was a notable achievement for a student, since most presenters at the conference were professional business educators from universities across the nation.

“The professor hosting my section was very excited about my findings and gave me a lot of suggestions for further research,” he said. “I learned a lot by listening to others’ presentations and established several new connections with MBA students and faculty from other universities.”

Guo is from Zhoukou, a small town in Henan Province in central China. He attended Northeastern University in Shenyang, China, where he majored in English and minored in finance. Before coming to the US, he worked for four years at Northeastern University, including a position as deputy director of the Engineer Training Center.

“I came to realize the value of higher education and overseas experience after I interacted with several very successful scholars and corporate executives,” says Guo. “That’s why I made up my mind to switch my career and pursue an MBA degree in America.”

Support from faculty was important to Guo. “I have really appreciated the broad range and depth of interests of the faculty in the School of Business and Economics. Other than professors Min and Mark, I also worked on an independent study with Assistant Professor Maria Schutte. Every time you feel like you have a question or you want to learn something, you can always find the right professor. And they are all willing to help.”

Because of Guo’s research and his successful student career at Tech, he has been accepted into the PhD program in Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University. “I am very grateful to Michigan Tech for the opportunity to do research as an MBA student and for my educational experience in general. It was an overall great learning experience and will be very beneficial to me in my future endeavors.”

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


Student Perspective: Career Fair

Travis White, former Michigan Tech student, reading over the resume of a potential new hire!

Campus was buzzing last week with over 170 companies seeking employees and interns.  Hear what a few students had to say and view the photos on facebook!

Jacquie Cowling

President of the American Marketing Association

“It was neat to see at the student organization fair the roles of the potential employers and students roles reversed. They were coming to us and introducing themselves to see what are organizations did on campus. It was really cool to see that different type of interaction in preparation for the career fair the next day.”

Ben Christensen

CCI Team/Ops Squad, ITOxygen Enterprise and Vice President, Association of Information Technology Professionals

“The Student Org Information Fair was extremely helpful to both organizations that I am involved in. AITP was able to talk about the different guest speakers we have each week and the other resources we provide to our members that gives them an extra edge in the Information Technology field.

ITOxygen was able to do the same, and also make some important connections for itself for business in the future.

When we asked members about their experience during the career fair, they said that they had multiple recruiters make a comment about the organization that never had mentioned it when they saw it before.”


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.