Tag Archives: mtu

APMP Team Repeats Win in New York City

Cory Sullivan participating in Nasdaq closing
Cory Sullivan participating in Nasdaq closing

March 31, 2015 – It’s been said the only thing more difficult than winning a championship, is repeating. That is exactly what an Applied Portfolio Management Program team from Michigan Technological University has done.

For the second year in a row, the School of Business and Economics’ APMP team won the global investment competition at the Global Asset Management Education (GAME) Forum V, hosted by Quinnipiac University in New York City. The event, held March 19-21, attracted more than 1,200 students from 140 colleges in 40 countries and 39 states.

While in New York, the team participated in the NASDAQ Stock Exchange closing, attended presentations by some of the biggest names in the world of finance and visited with  APMP alums.

Keynote speakers included: Guy Adami, chief market strategist for Private Advisory Group and contributor to CNBC’s Fast Money; Joseph Terranova, chief market strategist for Virtus Investment partners and another “Fast Money” contributor; David M. Darst, former managing director and chief investment strategist for Morgan Stanley Weather Management; Abby Joseph Cohen senior investment strategist and president of the Global Markets Institute at Goldman Sachs; and Tom Keene, editor-at-large at Bloomberg News.

Tech Team

The APMP sent three students to the competition, Cory Sullivan, who participated in the NASDAQ closing ceremony, Heath Johnson and Derek Menard.

The results of the team’s investments were impressive according to Dean Johnson who is the James and Dolores Tretheway Professor in the School of Business and Economics and the APMP’s founding director. He says what sets the competition apart is the fact the students are investing real money–a lot of real money.

“The team manages $1 million through the Michigan Tech Fund,” Johnson explains. “These funds were explicitly donated to be managed by the students.”

He says the APMP team has done well with the fund’s money. Johnson says the team practices the concept of Risk Adjusted Returns, In which an investment’s return is measured by how much risk is involved in producing that return. Even more impressive is the fact the students themselves make all investment decisions. “They have complete control,” Johnson says. “They are hired by the APMP Advisory Board, but the students make each and every decision.

Heath Johnson, the only returning member from last year’s winning  team, says while there was a sense of pressure to repeat, the experience of having done it before was beneficial.

“After experiencing the competition last year I knew that we had to be mindful not only or our returns, but also the risk subjected to our portfolio.” Heath Johnson says.

“Our team really wanted to repeat last year’s impressive performance. Winning two years in a row out of 141 schools was incredibly exciting. We were able to outperform the market through very consistent returns while minimizing risk.”

NASDAQ Closing

Cory Sullivan says the overall experience was impressive on several levels. “From participating in the NASDAQ closing and having my picture appear in Times Square, to receiving advice from the biggest names in the finance industry, I realize the great opportunities APMP provides students,”

Indeed, the students hardly have time to enjoy the repeat victory. Heath Johnson, president of the SBE’s Finance Club and other members of the club traveled to the Chicago the following weekend for their annual trip to visit investment firms. Other members of the APMP traveled to Detroit Thursday and Friday to compete in the ENGAGE Investment Education Symposium and competition, hosted by Wayne State University.

Sullivan says the New York trip is just one of many experiences available to the team.  “We interact with great guest speakers on campus and via video conferencing, but we also get the opportunity to travel to both Chicago and Detroit to interact with investment professionals. “

Professor Johnson echoed that sentiment. “APMP students are gaining the experiences and education to be successful in the finance industry. Indeed, their success is already evident in their investment results.”

This article was written by Mark Wilcox and originally published on Michigan Tech News.


Elliott Family Endowed Scholarships will Enable Business Students to Attend Michigan Tech

Dale and Judy Elliott
Dale and Judy Elliott

Michigan Technological University is something of an Elliott family tradition.  Dale Elliott, his older brother, two brothers-in-law, a sister-in-law as well as a niece and her husband  all went to school there.

Elliott earned an MBA from Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics in 1979 and he has served on both the business school’s national advisory board and the President’s Advancement Council. He is also a Life Trustee of the Michigan Tech Fund.

Now he and his family have pledged $1.1 million in scholarship funding to help deserving business students—particularly first-generation college students—benefit from a Michigan Tech education.

“In today’s world, there are some very deserving young people who just need a helping hand,” he explains.

“A business person who understands technology, and a technology person who understands business is a skill set in great demand,” Elliott continued, “and Tech’s School of Business and Economics is doing an outstanding job of preparing students to benefit from that.”

Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz thanked Elliott for his gift, saying:  “Dale is a perfect example of someone who used his Michigan Tech education as a springboard to success and now wants to give back, to help deserving students prepare for their own future success.”

Elliott, who was the midyear Commencement speaker last December, currently is CEO of  FCM Advisory Group, a consulting business he established.  Prior to that he was President of the Global Bath & Kitchen Business for American Standard Companies and Chairman, President and CEO of Snap-on Tools for many years.

At Michigan Tech’s Dec. 20, 2014 Commencement, he was awarded an honorary doctorate.

About three years ago, Elliott, his wife and daughters established the Elliott Family Annual Scholarship, which helps pay for a business school student’s education.“ We made a modest start and now we’ve decided to expand the program and make it more permanent,“ Elliott said about the new Elliott Family Endowed Scholarships.  “It reflects our ongoing commitment to supporting the educational opportunities that Michigan Tech offers.”

Elliott’s wife, Judy said she is very proud of her husband’s accomplishments. “He was taught a strong work ethic early on and has applied that throughout his career. But even with hard work, to succeed, you have to start with a good education,” she said. “He is so grateful for the education he got at Michigan Tech that he wants to give others that same opportunity, someone who might not be able to afford it otherwise. We both feel really passionate about that.”

The Elliotts’ daughter, Nicole Peace, pointed out that their family has generations of history with Michigan Tech and the City of Houghton.  “It is a source of tremendous pride that our father has demonstrated the significant value an advanced education can provide. By continuing his support of Tech students through this scholarship at the School of Business and Economics, more opportunities can be given to future graduates, who will learn and grow in the great setting Houghton and the Tech community has to offer.”

Jennifer Elliott, the couple’s other daughter, said “We are proud to be a part of this scholarship, which will enable first-generation college students to gain access to an advanced education at Tech and realize their potential for lifelong achievement. It is an honor to reinvest in the university community that has shaped our family for generations.”

Gene Klippel, dean of the School of Business and Economics said that the Elliotts’ gift could not come at a more opportune time. “The number of applications to the School of Business and Economics is up 23 percent from last year.  A substantial portion of those applicants are Michigan residents, with the majority being from the Upper Peninsula.“

 “Thanks to Dale Elliott and his family, we are now able to provide two incoming undergraduate students a renewable scholarship worth $2,500.  Each year, two additional undergraduates will be selected to receive an Elliott Family Annual Scholarship.”

“The School of Business and Economics’ faculty, staff and current students greatly appreciate the generosity and support of the Elliott family,”  Klippel went on to say.  “They have been long- time friends and supporters of the School.  So, we wish to thank the Elliott family for providing this opportunity to our future business students as they work to achieve their potential and place in the world of business.”

This article was originally published by Jennifer Donovan, student writing intern for Michigan Tech News.


Breffle Recognized for Outstanding Teaching

Dr. William Breffle, Associate Professor of Economics within Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics (SBE), has been selected as a finalist for the Distinguished Teaching Award, a notable recognition from the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.

Based on 50,000 student ratings, five finalists were chosen for the 2015 award. The selection committee will be basing its ultimate decision on class surveying, and on recommendations from the Tech community. Staff, faculty, and all current and former students of Dr. William Breffle are strongly encouraged to submit a recommendation by Friday, April 3.

Associate Professor Breffle is consistently one of the SBE’s most beloved professors. In the 33 courses he has taught, Breffle maintains an average rating of 4.6 on student evaluations. He has an overall quality rating of 4.3 on Rate My Professors, being cited as inspirational and known to give amazing lectures. One student of EC3100: International Economics wrote in December 2014,

“In seven years of academia, Dr. Breffle is BY FAR the best professor I’ve ever had. Extremely passionate about his topic and wants students to learn. He uses real world examples to simplify the subject and is a fair grader. Took another class from him because he’s THAT good!”

Breffle is also an active researcher, having published over 20 peer-reviewed articles, including very recent papers in top journals such as Contemporary Economic Policy, Environmental and Resource Economics, and  Ecological Economics, among many others. His strong research record helps to keep his classroom curriculum on the cutting edge and directly related to real-world policy. His current research interests lay within environmental economics, non-market valuation, discrete choice modeling, benefit-cost analysis, restoration program planning, and health economics.

Breffle’s impressive resume also boasts numerous presentations at  institutions nationwide, including Colorado State University and Cornell University. He currently serves as article reviewer for 19 top journals in environmental economics and policy, and he remains a member of Mensa, Phi Beta Kappa, the American Economics Association, and the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, among others.  A new father, Breffle has found a perfect balance between life with a newborn and his love for teaching economics.

Please submit a comment in favor of his award recognition by clicking here so that we can show Dr. Breffle how much we appreciate his hard work and dedication to Michigan Tech!



Alumni Spotlight: Kate Hogberg

Kate Hogberg
Kate Hogberg earned her BS in Business Administration in 2002

Kate (Harkins) Hogberg conveys architectural principles in her job as Communications Specialist with HDR, Inc. She also is learning a fair amount about building blocks.

Kate, a Michigan Tech SBE graduate, is helping with Duplo instead of Lego sets at home—her child is two years old, and she and her husband are expecting another in June—but communicating about architecture, engineering, and construction is something she does every day.

“My typical day consists of communicating with engineers and scientists to tell stories of successful projects around the world,” says Kate. She leads the production, writing, and editing of internal and external publications, as well as developing the storylines, content, and production for internal and external videos. “Communication happens by email, phone, text, video conference, and in-person, and usually involves me asking a lot of questions to get to the bigger meaning of our work. The technical minds get focused on the technical aspects of their work, and it’s my job to extract how that work was new and innovative, used the latest technology, and made an impact on a community.”

Kate’s work tells the story of science and technology in the world. “I do a lot of writing and editing, work that communicates internal messages and goals and tells the story of our work and its impact,” she says. “Reshaping technical information into straightforward marketing materials takes an ability to collaborate with engineers, something business students at Tech are comfortable taking on.”

In fact, studying business at Tech prepared Kate to step into a technical world and make a difference by telling its story. “Working in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry (AEC) was a natural fit given my education at Tech,” she says. “I was instantly comfortable working with engineers, architects, and scientists, and understood the quirks of communicating with many of them.”

“At Tech, the usual question was ‘What are you?’ What kind of engineer, in other words. That mentality has been a huge advantage for me in the business world.”

Looking back out that window to the mountains, Kate thinks of what her work means in the big picture. “Engineering and science are the foundation of our communities,” she says, gazing at the grid of structures and transportation all the way to the base of those mountains, the ones in the distance barely more than tiny building blocks. “The minds that drive the technical fields have the ability to make a huge difference in our futures. These people solve complex infrastructure challenges and develop scientific breakthroughs.”

Away from the office, Kate’s ability to plan and manage is just as important for leisure as it is for cranking out information on a building project. “Being able to manage your time well is huge,” she says. “I always know what’s coming so I can plan my days accordingly and still have time to spend enjoying the outdoors with my family.”

She pauses again, turning back from the window “I think it’s important to balance work and fun, and finding a company and position that value that as well is critical.”

And what advice for students leaving school and heading into the working world? “It’s exciting to start a career when you graduate, and I think that’s the time to make a name for yourself.” She thinks back on her path from a biomedical engineering firm to a construction company, and now to her home in Denver and career with HDR. “Bring your fresh ideas, show your enthusiasm and put in the time it takes to be great at what you’re doing.”

This profile appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Impact Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 2