Welcome to The Eller Times, sharing highlights of news, events, people, and partners of the Eller College of Management.
This summer, select first-year Eller MBAs will have the opportunity to tackle substantive international projects through two groundbreaking collaborations.
The first collaboration is an international field project aimed at integrating the management information systems (MIS) of Emerson subsidiaries Astec Power and Artesyn Technologies, which recently merged operations. Four MBAs will work onsite at Astec and Artesyn locations in Hong Kong, Manila, Vienna, and Eden Prairie, Minn.
“This MIS integration project is a high priority for the companies, and our students will be working hands-on with top executives at each site,” says Denise Schubert, Eller MBA director of experiential learning. “It’s the kind of project that benefits everyone: the students gain high-profile global experience and the companies leverage the knowledge of top Eller College talent.”
In the second collaboration, six cross-disciplinary teams of Eller MBAs and UA science and engineering students will evaluate more than 30 emerging technologies in optics, physics, design, and electronics for four scientific institutions in Mexico. The teams will each hone in on a promising technology, then complete feasibility studies and recommend a path to commercialization.
“Given our geographic proximity to Mexico, it makes sense to develop collaborations that will ultimately benefit both the U.S. and Mexican economies,” says Bob Rieger, Eller MBA director of career development.
Rieger will manage the summer program, which UA president Robert Shelton and Eller Distinguished Service Professor Ken Smith arranged with four prestigious institutions in Mexico — Centro De Investigaciones En Optica, A.C. in Leon; Centro de Investigacion Cientifica y de Educacion superior de Ensenada in Ensenada; Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Technologia in Mexico City; and Instituto Nacional de Astrofisica, Optica y Electronica in Puebla.
Partnering with these companies and working on cross-disciplinary teams gives Eller MBAs working knowledge of the roles of technology and innovation in today’s emerging global markets, preparing them to succeed in an ever-connected world. Read more about the Eller MBA international curriculum.
This spring, several case competitions gave Eller students a chance to put their classroom learning to the test.
“These cases provide evidence that problems in the real world are messy, and there isn’t always one solution,” says associate professor of management information systems (MIS) Sue Brown. “It’s one of those experiences you can’t recreate in the classroom.”
Brown, MIS department head Mohan Tanniru, and associate professor Alexandra Durcikova helped a team of undergraduate MIS students — Ilamin Bitokai, Josh Hottenstein, and Viet Mai — prepare for CaseIT 2007, an international competition held in Vancouver, Canada. The Eller College was one of only three U.S. schools invited to participate in the competition, and MIS assistant professor Sherry Thatcher traveled with the team.
The student teams were given three hours to analyze and prepare a presentation for an information technology-related business problem. The Salter Technology Management Initiative funded the Eller College team’s participation.
KPMG National Audit Case Competition
The Eller College was also one of only 22 schools invited to participate in the first KPMG National Audit Case Competition, a six-week auditing competition completed through a series of online modules. The four-student team is comprised of senior, junior, and sophomore undergraduate accounting majors and a Master of Accounting student — Joel Vigil, Jessica Baker, Tyler Moynihan, and Janee VanEgmond, respectively.
“Half of the team hasn’t covered auditing in class yet,” says accounting faculty Katie Cordova, who helped coach the team. “So the competition was a chance for the students to get creative in a team environment, and for the second- and third-year students to learn from the experience of the others.”
“The competition also provides exposure to one of our primary recruiters and an opportunity to for the students to apply what they’ve learned in class to a real audit situation.” KPMG will announce five finalist teams at the end of the month.
Venture Capital Investment Competition
At the beginning of the month, MBA students Spencer Jarvis, Matt Stacy, Jake Stephens, and Josh Swenson teamed with finance master's student Stephen Field to participate in the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) at the University of Southern California.
During the competition, the teams reviewed business plans and evaluated pitches from visionary entrepreneurs. Then they chose a venture to fund, created an executive summary, and justified their investment decision to a panel of working venture capitalists.
“It was a great experience,” says Matt Stacy. “It helped validate the great job that professor Chip Ruscher does in providing us with the necessary venture capital knowledge in his class.” In fact, Stacy says, the terms of the deal his team developed turned out to be more complex than the competition required. “During the judges’ feedback portion of the event, one of the venture capitalists asked us if we were lawyers!”
Entrepreneurial companies on the front lines of innovation may reinvent themselves every three years, but for the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, reinvention is a continual process.
“We have three full-time mentors-in-residence, and they work hard to guide student teams through the program and the Idea Path, creating linkages across curriculum, classroom delivery, and individual mentoring,” says McGuire Center director Sherry Hoskinson. “But they also increase our bandwidth as we improve entrepreneurship education and increase entrepreneurial capacity in Southern Arizona.”
We visited with the McGuire Center’s trio of mentors-in-residence for updates on the program’s latest initiatives:
In the wake of successful collaborations with Honeywell and Raytheon, Jim Jindrick is leading a newly established corporate entrepreneurship track for students coming into the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship this fall.
“The students will complete coursework similar to the traditional track, but they will develop a business plan for a corporate sponsor,” says Jindrick. In some cases, the corporate sponsor may have a project for a McGuire team to pursue, and in others, a student may already have an idea that can be matched up with an appropriate company.
The corporate projects will explore ways companies can leverage existing technologies in new markets, predominantly in bio-medical and other 21st century technologies. And unlike traditional entrepreneurial ventures which seek resources after developing a business plan, these intrapreneurial projects start with base resources in place.
“Over the course of 14 months, the students can potentially develop a career path into a sponsor company through the development of a venture with real launch potential,” says Jindrick.
In his capacity as executive director of investor group Desert Angels, Robert Morrison is part of a team preparing to launch Desert Tech, a $600,000 fund for new technology ventures jointly conceived by for-profit company Desert Technologies, the UA Office of Technology Transfer (OTT), and the Kansas City-based Kauffman Foundation.
“The underlying idea is to find technology projects with commercial value that need financial assistance to take that next step,” he explains. “The step might be covering legal costs to perfect the intellectual property, funding related research, or overcoming other financial barriers to development.”
The Desert Tech investors will determine how to disperse the funds, and joint OTT/McGuire Center representative Matt Mars will coordinate between the different entities, helping to guide projects to the next step in the process.
Morrison says that the initiative will also include technology-related workshops and seminars. Desert Tech is expected to officially launch in the next few months.
Since 1999, the Dorrance Family Foundation has provided full scholarships to Arizona’s first-generation college students to attend in-state universities. In July, Dorrance scholars from all three Arizona universities will attend a three-credit summer course at the McGuire Center designed to give them a social entrepreneurship experience.
“We created an entire program for them from scratch,” explains Don Piper. “For the first half of the program, we’ll give them the tools and real-life experience they need, then they will complete a feasibility analysis for a real venture and deliver a final presentation.”
The students will also visit organizations such as the El Ojito Springs Center for Creativity, which has struggled to gain traction in Tucson, and the White Elephant in Green Valley, a nonprofit thrift store that recently purchased 10 police vehicles for a volunteer security force.
“This is an opportunity for students to see which projects work and which don’t and why,” says Piper. “Sometimes hard work and good intentions aren’t enough for something to take off, and an entrepreneurial approach can really make the difference.”
On March 5, Eller College dean Paul Portney turned the tables on Gwen Ifill, managing editor and moderator of Washington Week, hosting a live chat with the journalist at UA’s Crowder Hall.
Ifill appeared as part of the Eller College Distinguished Speaker Series, which invites noted leaders to share their experience with students. Portney led the informal Q & A session with Ifill, which included several questions submitted by the packed crowd of students and community members.
Ifill drew laughter and applause as she discussed her media career, which began in newspapers. She was working for The New York Times when Tim Russert of NBC urged her to give television a try. Now she is a correspondent for NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and Washington Week on PBS. Ifill also moderated the 2004 Vice Presidential debate, and talked about the challenges in framing questions that would prompt off-the-cuff responses from the candidates.
Photos taken with Gwen Ifill are available at www.photoreflect.com: U of A Business Interview, 03/05/07. Photos are available through June 5, 2007.
Portney’s live chat with Gwen Ifill is available online:
Nancy Funk Doss and Sidney Funk — sister and daughter respectively of Bradley J. Funk — established an endowed scholarship fund in his memory earlier this year.
Funk graduated from the UA in 1957 with a BSBA in Marketing. “He joined the family corporation — Funk’s Greyhound Racing Circuit — as the advertising director,” says James D. Trow, director and treasurer of the family’s foundation. “At that time, the company owned all the greyhound tracks in Arizona.”
Trow has worked with the family since 1968. After he graduated from the UA with a Master of Accounting, he went to work for Arthur Andersen in Phoenix. The Funk family was an audit client, and in 1971, Trow accepted a financial officer position with the family’s race track company.
“They sold their interest in the company in 1980, and Brad opened an antique store in Scottsdale with his sister Nancy,” Trow explains. By then, Trow had opened his own accounting practice, and continued to work with the family.
Bradley Funk died of a heart attack at age 57 in 1989. “The family and I have always had a soft spot in our hearts for The University of Arizona,” says Trow. “The year before last, we donated all of our available funds to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, but this year we wanted to reestablish our contributions to the University. Nancy suggested we set up a scholarship in Brad’s name, so we did.”
The Bradley J. Funk Memorial Scholarship will fund full-time MBA students beginning in fall 2008.
Russell Cropanzano, professor of management and organizations, has been honored with the 2007 UA Graduate College Graduate and Professional Education Teaching and Mentoring Award. In April, he will be recognized at an award ceremony.
Cropanzano was nominated by Jordan H. Stein, a doctoral student in management and organizations.
“My decision to attend The University of Arizona’s doctoral program in management and organizations was in large part based on my desire to work with Dr. Cropanzano,” says Stein, who holds a master’s degree in human resources and industrial relations and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In her letter of nomination, Stein said that Cropanzano has more than lived up to the expectations she had going into the program. “He makes time for his doctoral students even while holding the editorial position at the Journal of Management and teaching extensively in both the MBA and Executive MBA programs,” she says.
“Dr. Cropanzano excels at mentoring, teaching, and research,” she continues. “His dedication to ALL elements of his job is what makes him stand out as an exceptional professor, but more importantly, as an extraordinary role model.”
The rising cost of healthcare is already a topic of debate as the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign season ramps up. Now Amar Gupta — Thomas R. Brown Professor of Management and Technology at the Eller College — has introduced a new healthcare paradigm that leverages advances in information technology to streamline services and reduce costs.
In the paper “Outsourcing in the Healthcare Industry: Information Technology, Intellectual Property, and Allied Aspects,” Gupta partnered with three co-authors — UA College of Medicine dean Keith A. Joiner and professors Raj A. Goyal and Sanjay Saini of Harvard Medical School — to lay out a portfolio approach that the authors claim will gradually replace the traditional model of direct contact between medical personnel and patients for a growing number of applications.
“Sixty years ago, the doctor came to the patient,” says Gupta. “Now the patient comes to the doctor, and this will gradually be replaced by a three-faceted model for a growing number of healthcare applications.”
In this model, some of the attending personnel will be onsite, other personnel will be offsite, and evolving computer technologies will offer support that is beyond the capabilities of the best medical personnel available anywhere in the world.
The paper applies these three components to five different healthcare scenarios — for example, mammography. A technician performs the mammogram, and then the scans are transmitted to a radiologist in another location for review, while a computer simultaneously analyzes the results using data mining techniques. “This three-pronged approach will lead to better services, at the most cost-economic rates, for a growing spectrum of healthcare applications,” says Gupta.
The paper acknowledges significant intellectual property and legal barriers to collaborative medical practice across state and national boundaries, and proposes ways to surmount them.
“The ultimate solution may be an international regulatory system that maintains offices in large cities around the world,” says Gupta. “This organization could deal with several evolving issues related to performing healthcare work across national boundaries, including ones related to credentialing, registration, medical malpractice, medical accounting, and reimbursement.”
|Panayiotis Panayides, MBA and MS MIS '05|
Panayiotis Panayides says he’s always been flexible about where he ends up — born in Cyprus, he lived there and in Oman before coming to the U.S. for school. Now, he works out of the U.K. and India, and says he would like to work in East Asia at some point during his career.
Panayides spent three years in the army before earning his undergraduate degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan, then applied and was accepted into the Eller MBA program. “I chose Eller because of the great reputation of the MIS program, which allowed me to keep an eye on the technical aspect of my career,” he says. Panayides concurrently earned an MBA and a Master of Science in MIS.
“I applied to Accenture while I was still working on my master’s degree,” he says. “I knew I wanted to be an IT consultant, and Accenture and IBM were my top picks.” A professor suggested that Panayides connect with Susan Butler, a member of the Eller College National Board of Advisors who became the first female partner of Accenture in 1979.
“Susan became a mentor to me throughout the interview preparations for Accenture and my time at the Eller College,” says Panayides. “We have kept in touch, and she’s the person I talk to when I need advice about my career.”
Panayides flew to London to interview with Accenture in November 2005 — then got the job. His first assignment was working on business requirements, functional design, and test models for the London Stock Exchange. In August 2006, he flew to Bangalore, India, for testing and implementation of the trading platform enhancements. Coincidentally, Butler was in Bangalore at the same time.
“He turned out to be staying in the same hotel as I was,” says Butler. “So we had many conversations over breakfast and dinner about his experiences and the exciting things he was learning. I’ve been mentoring him from afar, and what he’s doing with his career is really phenomenal — he’s really positioning himself for the future.”
|Andrea Barrett-Casertano, BSBA '94|
Andrea Barrett-Casertano always planned to own her own business.
She moved to Tucson from Wisconsin to attend The University of Arizona, and after graduating with degrees in marketing and entrepreneurship, she launched her first business, a restaurant based on the business plan she developed in the entrepreneurship program.
Then Barrett-Casertano transitioned to a career in radio and billboard advertising, which proved to be the perfect training ground for her current venture. “My brother owns a magazine franchise in Chicago,” Barrett-Casertano explains. “I looked into a franchise here and purchased it in 2003.”
Barrett-Casertano publishes Homes and Land of Tucson and Southern Arizona, a real estate guide that she subsequently expanded from 60 pages to 164 pages. “I did advertising sales before, so this was a perfect fit,” she says. In February, she launched a companion magazine, Estates and Homes, with luxury real estate listings in Southern Arizona.
“From finance to management to operations — the Eller College experience really prepared me to own my own business,” she says.
Barrett-Casertano has been in Tucson for 20 years, and lives with her husband — who owns the downtown restaurant Barrio — and their three dogs.