Welcome to The Eller Times, sharing highlights of news, events, people, and partners of the Eller College of Management.
Students from 15 public and private Pima County high schools converged on the Eller College of Management in May for an ethics forum sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers. It’s the second year that the Eller Board of Honor and Integrity has organized the outreach event; and attendance — 50 sophomores and juniors — doubled.
“Personal ethics is a topic that has been pushed to the forefront in recent years,” says Paul Melendez, director of the ethics program and public policy lecturer at the Eller College. Melendez cites corporate flameouts like WorldCom and, most recently, Bear Stearns executives who were charged with securities fraud. “It’s critical that people begin grappling with personal and professional ethics during their formative years. This will hopefully lead to a more socially responsible population of young adults and professionals.”
The students were challenged to think about issues from many angles using three cases designed to raise awareness of the importance of social responsibility. The in-depth discussions tackled case studies written by Melendez on ethical issues surrounding violent video games, economic feasibility of equipping school buses with seat belts, and gender discrimination in the workplace. After participating in the roundtable talks, the student groups presented ethical, responsible, and logical solutions for each case.
Undergraduate student and Eller Board of Honor and Integrity chair Abby Sprachman co-coordinated the event. “I was really impressed with the students,” she says. “They had great points when they discussed the cases, and they really seemed to understand that it’s not always as simple as legal/not legal — something can be legal but not ethical.”
This year Edella Schlager, associate professor in the School of Public Administration and Policy, received the Kalt Prize for Doctoral Placement for the second time. This second award honored her mentorship of Xavier Basurto, a 2007 graduate who will begin his appointment at Duke University this fall.
Basurto was born in Mexico, and has lived, worked, and conducted social and biological field work in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and Costa Rica. His dissertation focused on understanding Costa Rica's 20-year-old experiment on the decentralization of biodiversity conservation.
Schlager is an expert on water rights and natural resources, and served as Basurto’s dissertation advisor.The Kalt Prize was established by former Eller College dean Mark Zupan in honor of his mentor, Joseph Kalt, a professor of political economy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government who also teaches economics of regulated industries at Eller each spring.
Sometimes life tends to get in the way of keeping in touch — or you find yourself in touch with classmates just during big life changes.
“My feeling is that if I do not stay involved with fellow alumni, I am essentially throwing a major component of the Eller MBA experience away,” says Charles Everett, Eller MBA ‘02 and manager for IT governance with Raytheon Missile Systems.
Everett, along with classmates Carolyn Krause (MBA ’04) and Howard Kong (MBA ’02), are working with Cynthi Knight of the Eller MBA Office of Career Development to create a series of Tucson-based events to help MBA alumni stay in touch.
“The Eller MBA office reached out to local alums with the intent of taking a grassroots approach to strengthening the alumni community,” Everett says. “I was more than willing to assist by generating and hosting some of these events, as well as acting as a portal to my network — making fellow alums aware of upcoming activities and bringing their feedback to Eller.”
“We’re starting with a monthly happy hour,” Knight says. “As we get feedback from attendees, we’ll add other types of events, like family picnics, alumni panel discussions, or breakfasts with faculty presenters. We think that variety is really important.”
“Business education is only one piece of the benefit of attending Eller,” Everett adds. “The friendships and professional networks that develop amplify the overall value that each of us gains from the program. Being accessible and available to the network is one piece, but participating and reaching out completes the puzzle.”
Eller MBAs in Tucson are encouraged to save the dates for the first happy hour events:
RSVP to the Eller MBA Office of Career Development, Cynthi Knight, at 520.626.7883 or email@example.com.
If you are interested in hosting an Eller alumni event in your area, contact Cynthi.
The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship has always attracted students from many disciplines to its year-long program, especially those in science and technology. Now the center is launching a new course designed to help any UA student add an entrepreneurial dimension to his or her academic experience.
Undergraduate and graduate students from colleges including optical sciences, music, biology, higher education, and management have already registered for the fall 2008 class, Principles of Entrepreneurship, led by entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer specialist Matthew Mars.
“The class will provide an entry point into entrepreneurship for non-business students who recognize the value of the field but don’t have room in their schedule for the full program,” explains Mars. “It is also a good exploratory step for business students who are considering the full program.”
Principles of Entrepreneurship will introduce students to the theories and practices that underpin successful ventures, as well as the scientific aspects of the field, such as identifying a true market problem, developing a hypothesis, and testing it for growth and sustainability.
Mars says that entrepreneurship is much more complicated than just starting a business. “This is a really simple example,” he says, “but what if you spill coffee on yourself one morning going into work and decide that’s a problem you could solve? If it turns out you’re the one person who’s not using the cup holder, your solution — your business — won’t go far.”The course will also provide a framework for understanding how entrepreneurial principles can work for ventures of any type. “I believe you can apply entrepreneurship strategies in any environment,” Mars says. “These are principles that don’t change, whether they’re applied to a social project or a business.”
“FireGuard Industries developed when an inventor approached the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program with a new and improved fire nozzle design,” says team member Jessica Helmers. “We were interested in this product as a potential business and hired an engineering senior from The University of Arizona to make significant improvements to the design.”
The result of the engineering student's work, the Vulcan Fire Nozzle, is an aerator that fits between a fire hose and nozzle. It offers firefighters the ability to put out fires 40 percent faster with 50 percent less water, and also significantly reduces recoil, a major cause of firefighter injury.
“We submitted a provisional patent application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the Vulcan Fire Nozzle in spring 2008,” Helmers says. “The provisional patent gives us one year to further develop the product and submit a utility patent for the design.”
The team, which also includes Tanner Phillips, Justin Rediger, and Billy Smith, placed among the top three venture teams at the CB Richard Ellis / McGuire Spring Venture Showcase.
“We’re enthusiastic about this opportunity and are currently in the process of creating a functional prototype to be tested at local fire departments,” Helmers says. “FireGuard Industries is awaiting results from this field test as well as feedback from firefighters before launching the company. We expect to have these results within the next few months.”
Helmers will graduate in December 2008 with degrees in business economics, entrepreneurship, and Spanish. This summer, she’s working as a park ranger in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. “After graduation, I plan to work in Latin America doing small business development either with the Peace Corps or with a private microfinance organization,” she says.
Bill Quiroga (Eller MBA and Entrepreneurship ’98) knows how tough it can be for entrepreneurs to launch and sustain new ventures. For the past ten years, he’s served as president and CEO of the company he developed in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program, Native American Botanics.
Now Quiroga is planning to use that experience to implement The University of Arizona’s new Rural Entrepreneurship Initiatives, part of governor Janet Napolitano’s Innovation Frontier Arizona (IFA) economic development program. In June, the McGuire Center announced Quiroga’s appointment as director of the initiatives.
“Southern Arizona has a high-tech economy centered on border interests ― border management, homeland security, aerospace, military, and defense industries,” explains Quiroga. “The problem we have now is that employers have to go outside the region to find qualified employees. The long-range vision is to grow the needed employees locally; building a workforce that can identify and act on opportunities to stimulate entrepreneurial growth which will in turn provide healthier communities and economies.”
Quiroga is a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe. He is actively involved in the Native American community, and has served in organizations including the San Ignacio Yaqui Council of Old Pascua Village, the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Housing Authority, and the Tucson Indian Center, where he was executive director from 1990 to 1996.Since launching Native American Botanics, he has earned several awards including induction into The University of Arizona’s McGuire Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame for Outstanding Development of a Socially Aware Business, and the Eller College of Management’s Alumni Achievement Award. In 2003, he also received the Southern Arizona Small Business Development Council’s Enterprise Development Award for Manufacturing Firm of the Year.
Eller Undergraduate Programs closed another academic year with the annual A Night with the Stars event recognizing students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
The following were named outstanding seniors:
Top honors for graduating seniors went to:
Two students from each of the freshman, sophomore, and junior classes were also recognized with the Philip Morris Values in Action Award based on their exceptional motivation and leadership:
Director of professional development programs Pam Fick and honors program coordinator Dave Wietecha were honored as Undergraduate Programs Team Members of the Year. Accounting lecturer Katie Cordova was recognized as the Don Wells Outstanding Faculty Mentor, and finance lecturer Arvind Singh was honored as the Tom Moses Outstanding Student Organization Advisor.
The Eller Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award recipients are management information systems lecturer Roberto Mejias (Large Class Category) and business communication lecturer Randy Accetta (Small Class Category).
Anthony Wingate (BSBA Marketing and Business Management ’04) was recognized with the Distinguished Undergraduate Alumni Award, and Nancy Meech (BSBA Accounting ’80) was presented the Eller College Associate of the Year Award.
Congratulations to all of the outstanding students, faculty, and staff of Undergraduate Programs!
When Roni Woolston (BSBA ’69) returned to Tucson in 2005 with her husband Clark, the couple found themselves considering their estate.
“After you’ve worked really hard over the years for every dollar you’ve earned, you want those efforts to go to a good cause,” she says. The Woolstons spent their professional careers in California, with Roni expanding her family’s successful women’s specialty shops and Clark building a career in financial advising. Over their careers, they observed with concern the growing number of students struggling to succeed in school. “In order for our country to succeed in the future, we feel strongly that it’s vitally important to support education,” Roni says.
The couple established a planned gift with The University of Arizona Foundation, which will support scholarships, a named professorship in economics, and the dean’s discretionary fund.
“We want young people to have opportunities to succeed, and the University needs more support from the community to achieve its goals,” explains Roni.
The Eller College offers many ways to customize planned estate gifts, such as gift annuities, which can provide fixed, secure payments to the donor or a loved one for life, as well as tax deductions, tax-free payments, and the satisfaction of supporting the College in the long term.
For more information about gift annuities or planned giving, contact the Eller College at 520.621.9954 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Eller MBA alum Howard Kong of CB Richard Ellis and current Eller student and entrepreneur Joel Minteu, who were both named 2008 Up and Comers by Inside Tucson Business magazine.
A new book edited by Thomas R. Brown Chair in Technology and Management Amar Gupta is now available online. View information about Outsourcing and Offshoring of Professional Services: Business Optimization in a Global Economy.
In April, 39 Ph.D. students were recognized by Eller College dean Paul Portney for excellence in research, teaching, and service. The University of Arizona Foundation also recognized James R. Carver, marketing doctoral student, and Matt Pearsall, management and organizations doctoral student, with Outstanding GTA Awards.
The Eller MBA program also recognized outstanding faculty and students in May. Lecturer Robert Unterberger, a retired Xerox and IBM executive, was named the faculty member of the year by Executive MBA students, and SRP Professor and Eller vice dean Stan Reynolds was presented the Faculty Leadership Award. Courtney Martin (MBA'08) was presented with the Ray H. Johnson Leadership Award, which was established by Johnson and his colleagues at PricewaterhouseCoopers to recognize individuals whose personal and professional leadership have made a substantial difference at the College. Lee Ann Christianson (MBA '08) was presented with the Rogers Service Award for volunteerism, and Greg Goodman (MBA '08) was given the Student Commitment Award for his work on the Eller MBA Academic Code of Conduct Committee.The Consumer Culture Theory conference will recognize the best dissertation in the field each year with an award created and named to honor Coca-Cola Distinguished Professor of Marketing Sidney Levy.
Assistant professor of management and organizations Nathan Podsakoff came to
Arizona a year ago from the University of Florida, where he also earned his Ph.D. Podsakoff’s research centers around four areas: employee stress, leadership, research methods, and the creation and distribution of academic knowledge.
“We were interested in identifying scholars and universities that have had the most significant impact in the field of management over the past 25 years,” he says. “We focused on articles published in 30 core management journals from 1981 to 2004 by 25,000 researchers from 1,600 universities.”
Podsakoff says that they considered the number of publications authors and universities contributed, as well as the number of citations each paper garnered. “Citations are what we as academics use as currency to measure how impactful our work is,” he explains. “So the number of published papers is a measure of productivity, whereas citations are a measure of quality. We looked at both areas on the individual level and the institutional level.”
Podsakoff found that a small proportion of universities have a disproportionately large effect on the field. “I was surprised at the magnitude of the results,” he says. “The top five percent of institutions account for 70 percent of citations and 60 percent of publications. So one-twentieth of universities are responsible for the vast majority of the papers and citations in our field.”
The University of Arizona's Department of Management & Organizations is among that group of management departments that have historically had a significant impact on the field. “I began this paper while I was still at the University of Florida,” Podsakoff says. “So I was excited to come to a place which has had such a solid record of impact in the field through the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.”
The paper also explored factors that contributed to the top universities’ success. “We found three critical organizational factors,” he says. “First is the number of Ph.D.s awarded annually; second, research expenditures; and third, the size of the university’s endowment.”
The last two are intuitive; universities with significant funding are better able to attract and retain top faculty, as well as offer summer support, reduced teaching loads, and funding for supplies such as software and equipment, plus research assistant wages. But Podsakoff says that the most significant factor for scholarly impact was the number of Ph.D. students a university graduated each year.
“A strong Ph.D. program is reflective of the commitment a department has to research,” he says. “Doctoral students are trained to believe that publications lead to jobs; they’re very motivated to publish. But this wasn’t a result we expected would be so strong, even when we controlled for university size.”
Though the paper offers a positive view of UA’s impact on the field of management, Podsakoff says it also sheds light on some of the challenges his department is likely to face in the coming years. “If we want to maintain and improve our status, it’s clear that we will need to attract more quality Ph.D. students,” he says. “Secondly, as a public institution, we’re dependent on state funding, and as that funding shrinks, we need to challenge ourselves to find non-government resources, such as alumni support, grants, and private entities.”
Podsakoff applauds College alumni such as Stephen Robbins, who established two fellowships to fund Ph.D. students. To maintain and improve the University’s standing in management research, however, more support will be needed to attract top doctoral students and retain the best faculty.
“So much of life is just walking down a corridor and seeing what doors open,” says Jonathan Jaffrey (BSBA Finance ’88). “I had a passion for investing, and coming out of the UA, I had the opportunity to get involved in an family investment firm — and that led to 12 years with the W.M. Keck Foundation.”
Originally from New York, Jaffrey planned to return after earning his undergraduate degree, but the stock market was not performing well, and he found himself in California instead. He spent 17 years working with ultra-high net worth families as the president of one of the largest family investment firms on the West Coast, including the W.M. Keck Foundation, a $1.4 billion family foundation that he led as chief operating officer and chief financial officer. Along the way, he earned his MBA at USC. But last year Jaffrey found himself thinking about the next phase of his life.
“Working for the Keck Foundation allowed me to see both sides of the aisle — the for-profit side and the not-for-profit side,” he explains. “As I took stock of the things I enjoyed, I realized that I wanted to continue doing something I felt good about; I love working with families and philanthropic organizations and enjoy bringing a business background to both.”
Things were lining up — Jaffrey has been a serial entrepreneur from a young age, starting his first business when he was eight. The lure of launching his own company proved irresistible. On June 1, 2007, he launched Springbanc Philanthropy Advisors on “a little more than faith and an unwavering desire to make it work.”
The company offers foundations of all sizes a level of management and analysis traditionally reserved only for the most prominent philanthropic organizations. Jaffrey and his partners chose to found the company out-of-pocket so they could control the direction, but says that the first six months were tough. “This isn’t taking a 'glass' and making it better, making it a new way, or expanding its distribution,” he says. Now a year in, Jaffrey says that the investment is starting to pay off.
In addition to serving on the boards of various philanthropic organizations in Los Angeles, where Springbanc is based, Jaffrey is an advocate for raising socially responsible youth and helping individuals and families find ways to support causes that they are passionate about.
“One of my messages is always to take the first step, just to do something,” he says. “It’s like the old adage, 'A thousand-mile journey begins with one step.' Giving back is not about getting to a magic number. It’s never too late, and it’s never too little. This is an area where there’s no right or wrong — it’s all about following your individual passions.”
The pieces that would come together for Christie Fleming’s career were there from the beginning — even if she wasn’t always sure what they would add up to.
“I grew up on a farm in rural Iowa, so the world of marketing was unknown to me,” she explains. “I knew two things: I loved traveling and I loved what I called at the time psychology.” Her vision was a career in international business, but after completing undergraduate degrees in marketing and Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa — including a year abroad in Spain — she took a marketing internship with Frontier Herbs that solidified her interest in the field.
“My love of psychology has stayed with me,” she says. “For me, marketing is understanding how people think about things and meeting unmet consumer needs. As marketers, we need to deliver against those needs.”
Fleming enrolled in the Eller MBA program, which led to an internship with Dial in brand management. “It was really exciting for me, and the brand management experience helped me get my foot in the door with Procter and Gamble,” she says. She relocated to Cincinnati for a position in the feminine protection division. “That’s a great conversation starter,” she says with a laugh. She moved up through the company, eventually being promoted to brand manager of Always, one of the firm’s billion-dollar products.
From there, Fleming was ready for new challenges; specifically, a position that offered a broad business approach, as opposed to the marketing-specific projects she had worked on. “I began evaluating companies, and Del Monte was at the top of the list,” she says. Over the past seven years, she’s worked her way up through the consumer division, and recently took on a leading role in the pet business, in which she is overseeing the relocation of the division’s headquarters from Pittsburgh to San Francisco.
“Del Monte has been good to me,” she says. “Seven years is a long time for a marketing person to be with a firm, but it has given me new challenges every time I get restless.” Life is challenging on the home front, too — Fleming is the mother of two young children, ages two and five. Now, she says, travel means Disneyland instead of Spain, but, for the most part, “balancing family and career has worked out well. Putting me in this role shows me that Del Monte really values me and support a work/life balance. I like being an example to other women; you can make it all work.”
“I love my role right now,” she continues. “All the pieces in my life have led to this. I wouldn’t have gotten Del Monte without Procter and Gamble, I wouldn’t have gotten Proctor and Gamble without the Dial internship, I wouldn’t have gotten Dial without Eller.”
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