Dear friends,

We have an important role in preparing students for their first jobs and their careers. We help them build their skills, and we foster the diligence and tenacity our Carson Cougs are known for. The best preparation comes not only from the classroom, but from practical experiences that position students and graduates to solve problems and to lead in this region’s business community and beyond.

The Carson advantage is what our students will have when they graduate with career preparedness, professional polish, global experience, and a network of business peers and professionals.

This issue features a wide range of learning experiences made possible by alumni and friends dedicated to student success. Many of you have visited our classrooms and helped our students experience the business world beyond our walls. We portray traditional, annual opportunities such as the Power Breakfast, the Business Technology Symposium, the Walton Lecture, Insurance and Finance Professionals Night panels, as well as new ones such as the Carson College Business Student Leadership Conference and our Dell and Disney Days—both featuring business professionals who gave students critical advice about seeking internships and employment.

We recognize that students need to become critical thinkers with the technical skills, as well as the soft skills, that will lead to success. The Business Technology Symposium feature makes this theme real by showcasing three industry experts with high levels of responsibility who have driven value within their companies by developing skills in communication and collaboration, learning from mistakes, and successfully navigating the emotional side of technology.

Alumni are also staying connected by supporting programming for veterans. In our recent print issue of Dividend magazine, you read about a new program, Backpacks to Rucksacks to Boardroom, that supports veterans and military personnel while they earn an online Executive MBA from WSU. In this issue, you will meet Tom and Lisa Thompson, whose generous support helped make this program possible. Our programs are flourishing with the support of industry partners as well, such as Umpqua Bank, who supports the Business Growth MAP program at WSU Vancouver, and our partnership with the Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation that will grant thousands of hospitality professionals across the state access to a more affordable online MBA degree.

We continually offer a wide-range of opportunities for students to learn, earn credit, and gain experience at the same time. One way we accomplish this is through our undergraduate international business programs that currently rank in the top 15 nationally. I hope you are inspired by the Ryan Fick’s feature that details how scholarship support allowed him to take advantage of a special WSU invitation to study abroad in China. This learning and networking experience will help him reach his goal of obtaining a management position within a business that works on a global scale.

New to eDividend is the “PhD Corner” section that provides insights into our doctoral program and the accomplishments of our outstanding graduate students. As the new director of the PhD program, Professor Chuck Munson shares with you examples of the real-world education applications of our doctoral program. Our students not only leave the college prepared for a fast-paced world, but are ready to teach and pursue independent research programs in top tier universities—achievements that spread our influence and are great for our reputation.

I hope you enjoy in this issue of eDividend. The stories illustrate our commitment to offer a compelling learning environment that meets today’s students where they are—across our campuses, online, and as they step into the world outside of campus, across our state, and beyond.

Have the best of holiday seasons, and Go Cougs!

Chip Hunter, Dean