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Dividend The official online magazine of the Carson College of Business

Message from the Dean – August 2018

Dear friends,

We have a unique opportunity and an important role—preparing students for the real world and providing them with skills and grit that come not only from the classroom, but from practical experiences and unique learning opportunities that equip them for their lives and careers.

In keeping with our land-grant mission, we are focused on providing a well-rounded education that sets students up to become the future leaders the business community needs to remain competitive. But this isn’t enough on its own. To be successful in their overall development, students need skills—an understanding of creative discovery, a global mindset, and financial literacy—that will support them both personally and professionally.

In this issue you will read several stories on students’ entrepreneurial efforts that will likely amaze you as you realize the potential value their innovations could bring to Washington state and beyond. A standout example is the feature on BeeToxx, a team of students who competed in the WSU Business Plan Competition and have gone on to secure high placings and awards at regional competitions. Their winning innovation, a bee food additive that protects bees against the harmful effects of encountering pesticides during pollination, could improve beekeeping practices worldwide by helping to prevent colony collapse.

A follow up feature on team Kulé’s progress with a digital thermometer that improves milk pasteurization practices among the Maasai will transport you to rural Africa, where the team’s efforts are one step closer to saving lives. The team coached the Maasai on properly using the thermometer, storing milk, and cleaning containers to reduce dangerous pathogen and bacteria transmission.

Fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and mindset across campus is the focus of the article on WESKA, a new, immersive entrepreneurship program designed for WSU graduate students from scientific, nonbusiness disciplines, and WSU partners interested in learning about entrepreneurship and developing their own ventures. This new program is in lock step with our goals of providing business education across the University, being recognized as a regular contributor of influential research to academic disciplines, and being recognized by business and policy communities as the leading source of research-based insights and critical thinking about business.

Additionally, as part of this issue’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, I hope you enjoy the feature on Assistant Professor Alex Kier’s research that measures the value of imaginativeness in entrepreneurial success.

In our Stay Connected section, a feature on Marla Meyer, our newly hired Moss Adams accounting career advisor, demonstrates how industry support can make a difference in the quality of education we are able to provide our students. Similarly, the feature on David Kurz illustrates the impact of scholarship support on a student’s ability to achieve academic and entrepreneurial goals.

As we kick off fall semester, we are looking forward to seeing you at some of the Carson College events you’ll see listed on the Stay Connected calendar, such as the Power Breakfast on September 27, Celebrate Carson College! on October 25, and Homecoming on September 28-29.

Go Cougs!

Chip Hunter, Dean

WESKA Entrepreneurship Conference

In June the college launched the inaugural WSU Entrepreneurship Skills and Knowledge Accelerator (WESKA), a boot camp designed for graduate students from scientific, non-business disciplines. A variety of tools including readings, discussions, role-playing, guest presentations, software applications and simulations, among others, aimed to help students grow their knowledge of core entrepreneurial concepts. » More ...

Ph.D Corner – Director’s Message

As this issue of eDividend is focusing on entrepreneurship, I am reminded how the career of a Ph.D. student and ultimately, a faculty member, becomes very entrepreneurial in nature. A professor’s opportunities are often only limited by imagination and creativity. We have tremendous flexibility in our courses regarding what we teach, how we present the information, and how we engage and assess students. We typically choose our own research topics, which allows us to explore our passions in great depth. Coinciding with all of this freedom and flexibility is the responsibility to treat our students well, achieve our research goals, and act professionally and ethically. Very much like a successful entrepreneur, the student who decides to pursue a Ph.D. represents a rare breed of individual that has enough self-discipline to work on unstructured projects and achieve goals without being managed.

Entrepreneurship itself is a theoretical subfield within the broader academic discipline of management. Several of our Ph.D. students have either focused on or minored in the entrepreneurship area. We have several faculty who specialize in this area, and several of our students have assisted the WSU Center for Entrepreneurial Studies with the WSU Business Plan Competition and other events. WSU and other quality schools offer entrepreneurship majors at the undergraduate level, and several of our Ph.D. students have pursued faculty positions at those schools.

Finally, I’d like to mention that I had the pleasure of participating in this summer’s WESKA program led by Arvin Sahaym, coordinator for the Ph.D. Program in management. We taught business concepts to graduate students from non-business fields, with the goal of helping them learn how to commercialize their ideas and inventions. This was a wonderful outreach opportunity for the Carson College to work with graduate students from other disciplines. And, who knows?—perhaps some joint research projects will percolate from this effort.

Go Cougs!

Chuck Munson,

Ph.D. Program Director