Dear friends,

The beginning of a new academic year is an exciting time for students. The coming months hold so much potential for learning, exploring, and development.

This year, we’ll experience students’ excitement from a distance. Our fall semester will look different as we continue remote learning, doing our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff.

The Carson College of Business’s commitment to providing a first-class business education remains the same as we draw on our experience and historical strengths in delivering online education. While most students’ first choice would be to come to campus, we will continue the exceptional learning experience our college is known for while helping students connect with their professors, peers, and the greater Coug community.

The Coug experience of coming together and learning from each other could not be more important at this time in our nation’s history. Higher education plays an essential role in creating a just and equitable society. In the Carson College, we will come together to ensure all our graduates understand how to recognize social injustice and work for positive change.

In this issue of eDividend, we’re releasing our third annual Business in the Northwest report, which sheds light on business leaders’ thoughts about the regional economy and its recovery.

I’m also proud to share some of the outstanding work done by Carson College students, faculty, and alumni during the pandemic. Our graduates are known for being adaptable, enthusiastic, dedicated, and pioneering. You’ll see those traits on display in stories about how Carson Cougs seized opportunities for learning and service during COVID-19.

Megan Kono drew on her MBA course work to create Farm to Car, a drive-thru farmers market that allows Hawaiian growers to sell produce during pandemic shutdowns. EMBA alumna Raquel Bono came out of military retirement to serve as Washington’s COVID-19 hospital czar. A marketing class partnered with Visit Tri-Cities to develop strategies for bringing tourists back to the area.

Doctoral student Julia Stachofsky received a fellowship to research public perceptions of electronic voting. Research by Kunter Gunasti, assistant professor of marketing, explores how crowd sourced apps are using techniques from the gaming industry to influence reviews of businesses. And, our alumni are stepping up to encourage and mentor new grads entering a challenging job market.

In my role as dean, I am privileged to witness the dedication and creativity of our faculty, staff, and students. Never have these qualities been so clear as in the past six months. I’m as optimistic about the future as ever. We’ve welcomed more than 900 new business majors to our undergraduate program over the past academic year, and I’m excited to share all we have to offer.

With the help of our alumni, friends, and supporters, no matter the challenges of the day, the Carson College will continue to provide the business education that will create the future we want for ourselves and for others.

Go Cougs!

Chip Hunter, Dean