Dear friends,

With the nation under a state of emergency from the COVID-19 virus, it might seem like unusual timing to release an eDividend issue promoting the benefits of studying abroad.

But at the Carson College of Business, we remain deeply committed to ensuring our graduates have the competitive edge that an international business perspective will give them. We know the circumstances created by the virus will change at some point, allowing study abroad programs for students to safely resume.

If anything, the coronavirus reinforced how interconnected our world is. This is particularly true for business in Washington state, where one-third of all employment has direct ties to international commerce. Whether they go to work for a large, multinational company or a small business, our graduates are likely to work in jobs with international connections.

Yet many of our students arrive at WSU without a passport. They’ve never traveled outside of the United States, and some have had limited exposure to other cultures. As part of our land-grant mission at WSU, the Carson College recognizes that the Pacific Northwest’s economy relies on workers who can spot opportunities in an increasingly interconnected world.

Our aspirations are reflected in The Next Carson Coug curriculum. By the time our students graduate, we want them to appreciate the global context of business and to have an awareness and respect for cultural differences. We’re helping students achieve this through our International Business Institute’s rich menu of programs and scholarships, as illustrated in Cooper Greenfield’s study abroad experience in Switzerland.

In this issue of eDividend, you’ll also learn how a semester abroad put alumnus Justin O’Brien (’04 Mgmt. Op, Honors) on the path to a career in global sales at Boeing. And you’ll find testimonials from supporters of the Carson College about why they find an international business perspective essential for our students such as Whitney Starks, who recently studied in Finland and Estonia through the Online MBA program.

We’re also proud to shine the spotlight on our students’ performance in the International Student Case Competition and to highlight how an Executive MBA student in Albania is applying his studies as he grows an international consulting company.

Taking the pulse of the regional economy, this issue features the college’s 2020 Business in the Northwest report, providing a look ahead for the coming year. The international scope of our faculty’s research is showcased in a story about Professor Jeff Joireman’s research on donor choice for philanthropy projects in developing countries and in a feature on doctoral graduate Susan He, whose work examines how national culture influences risk taking in the insurance industry.

Wherever you are in the world—Seattle or Singapore, Pullman or Prague—we are glad to count you among the alumni, friends, and supporters of the Carson College, which is making a global impact through the education of business students in the Pacific Northwest.

Go Cougs!

Chip Hunter, Dean