Dear friends,

This time of year, gifts are on our minds. And as I’ve gotten to know our community, I’ve learned about the gifts that WSU and our Carson College of Business give to our students and to the world. We provide students with skills and knowledge in our classrooms, and we shape practical experiences that develop students’ abilities to solve problems and lead others. We are also working to make sure students learn from setbacks as well as successes—developing that tenacity and resilience that characterize Carson Cougs. And our mission charges us to offer gifts of insight, too—knowledge from our research, from the creativity of our faculty—to the Pacific Northwest policy and business communities. And in turn, our graduates and our communities pay those gifts forward by creating still more opportunity.

Our collection of features in this issue demonstrates the unique kinds of gifts that result from a quality business education or from the innate leadership qualities that attract students to our college. One of the most heart-warming is that of the heroism of our business and economics alumnus S.Sgt. Ronald Shurer II (’01), who recently received the Medal of Honor—the highest military award for valor—from the White House. With quick thinking and incredible bravery, S.Sgt. Shurer saved many lives while assigned to a special operations taskforce in Afghanistan. This momentous occasion is a timely reminder for our college and our nation of the men and women who protect us all.

Featured research by Leah Sheppard, assistant professor of management, offers insights on producing leaders. Her findings help us understand how and why women may perceive their leadership abilities as being lower than those of men. In today’s world, talented leaders are in high demand. In the Carson College our charge is to make sure every one of our students and alumni can reach their full potential. We can’t afford to have anyone left behind, and so work like Dr. Sheppard’s is invaluable. We can also give students and our community the gift of seeing the range of paths to success. In our feature detailing the Power Breakfast and Business Technology Symposium, you see examples of successful women leading in the world around us.

In addition to our public panels and symposia, you’ll discover how we are supporting retailers in the Pacific Northwest by thinking about the gift season itself. Our annual survey provides critical data on consumer shopping habits during some of the biggest shopping days of the year—Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday.

Opportunities go both ways. When things work right we provide an amazing pipeline of prospective interns and employees to the business world, strengthening our industries. I encourage you to watch the video on Boeing intern Ashley Palmer! In turn, the business community rewards us by supporting our students with the gift of opportunity, as you will read about in the industry scholarship features on Andrew Hecker and Spencer Fee.

The gift of an education is precious and has long lasting impact that becomes clear only over a lifetime. I invite you to join me in supporting excellence in Carson College of Business offerings and relationships in 2019 so that opportunities to serve our students, and communities never go unrealized.

Go Cougs!

Chip Hunter, Dean