Tag: SBE

THE Project: SBE works to make higher education more affordable in MI

rsz_1the_project_2015_2For the 4th year in a row, Michigan Tech placed second in THE Project’s 2015 competition on April 13. The event was held at the Pinnacle Center in Grand Rapids, MI and included 15 teams from the State of Michigan. The competing students were asked to prepare a variety of deliverables to reduce the cost of higher education in the state of Michigan.

Michigan Tech had 2 teams both receiving recognition and awards. Michigan Tech’s Team A received the highest presentation score in their division. The students of Team A consist of:

  • Helen Richards, majoring in Engineering Management
  • Arissara (Kwang) Suthijindawong, double major in MIS and OSM
  • Cody Waffle, majoring in Engineering Management

Michigan Tech Team B placed second overall and received the highest score in their division. The students of Team B consist of:

  • Taylor Auguston, majoring in Management with a concentration in Supply ChainTHE Project 2015
  • Kareem Fayssa, majoring in Operations Systems and Management
  • Frances Kallio, majoring in Operations Systems and Management
  • Dylan Whittaker, majoring in Operations systems and Management

Both teams worked over the course of the two semesters to prepare for their deliverables and final presentations. With guidance from Dr. Dana Johnson the students all received valuable knowledge and project management skills that can be utilized as they move forward with their careers. Kallio expressed “It was the greatest experience of my college career. Not only did my presentation and public speaking improve, but my team work, leadership and communication skills grew beyond belief.”

Members of both teams improved their understanding of project management concepts along with gaining confidence in their ability to apply them to a real world experience. Fayssa noted that he now intends to pursue a career in project management and will often reflect on his experience with THE Project 2015.

This article was written by Frances Kallio.


22 Inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma

Beta Gamma Sigma Inductees - 2015
Beta Gamma Sigma Inductees – 2015

On April 13, Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics inducted 22 members into Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society serving business programs accredited by AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest recognition a business student can receive in a business program accredited by AACSB International.

The 2014-15 recipients are:

  • MBA:  Brian Hutzler and Charles Ouellette
  • MS in Accounting:  Duan Ximeng, Judy Isaacson and Ji Zhou
  • Seniors:  Yinan Chen, Yi Chen, Fangliu Huang, Heath Johnson, Yudan Lurong, Arissara (Kwang) Suthijindawong, Kayleigh White, Dylan Whittaker, Yingxin Wu, Wenyu Xu and Chang Zhang
  • Juniors:  Abbey Halonen, Nora Pennala, Kaila Pietila, Yuxin Shao, James Sturos and Kendall Ward

Beta Gamma Sigma’s mission is to encourage and honor academic achievement in the study of business and to foster personal and professional excellence and to advance the values of Society.  It is an international honor society and only selects the upper 10% of undergraduates and graduate students.

This article was originally posted in Tech Today on April 22, 2015.


APMP Members ENGAGE in Investment Symposium

April 1, 2015 – With a GDP of over $17 trillion dollars, the U.S. is the largest economy in the world. Despite the 2008 financial meltdown, the US dollar has, and continues to be most trusted currency throughout the globe; helping to make the US financial markets the place where investors turn to for security. As APMP students look to enter the world’s largest and most trusted financialsystem it’s important to venture outside the classroom and learn from professionals first hand. This past week APMP seniors Joel Florek, Yi Yuan, and Yinan Chen when to Detroit, MI for Engage 2015 to do just that.

APMP JoelENGAGE is a two day international investment education symposium. The goal at Engage is to help provide a level of insight into our financial system that students can’t learn from sitting in classrooms. To accomplish this goal Engage brought in some of the top financial professionals in the industry to host Q&A discussions.

For example, Dennis P. Lockhart, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and a 2015 voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee spoke on the Fed’s economic policy decisions from the depths of the 2008 economic meltdown to today. Chaired by Janet Yellen, the FOMC decisions significantly impact not just the US economy, but the global economy. Ultimately Mr. Lockhart made the argument that the actions of the FOMC will be seen as vital to turning around the US economy. He added that within the next 6 to 12 months the FOMC will begin to ease out of its current actions which have been taken to prop up the US financial system. One unique comment from Mr. Lockhart was his cautioning of high US government debt. Due to low interest rates the US has had the ability to borrow high quantities of short term debt requiring small interest payments. As these debts mature, the US will be forced to refinance at higher interest rates hindering its ability to pay off debts.

Additional keynote speakers include Jeffrey Kleintop, the Chief Global Strategist for Charles Schwab and Co., Fred Tomczyk, the President and CEO of TD Ameritrade, and Scott Powers the President and CEO of State Street Global Advisors, which oversees $2.4 trillion in traded funds. Students learned their trading strategies, ideas on the direction of the economy, and career advice to help direct students into the right career paths.

The second day of conference allowed students to break up into smaller sessions that provided more Q&A opportunity. For example, students were able to learn about the CAN SLIM trading strategy, venture capital, hedge funds and received targeted career advice. Thinking back on the Engage experience, Joel Florek said he realized the field of finance is constantly evolving and there is no clear definition as to what one will be doing as a finance professional. Florek said “there is significant room to constantly be learning and changing within the profession. Ultimately, as a finance student ready to go into industry the Engage conference helped to make the lessons learned in the classroom more real, and gain exposure to the flexible ideology that exists amongst professionals.”

This article was written by APMP members Yinan Chen, Joel Florek, and Yinan Chen.


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.


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!