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Dividend The official online magazine of the Carson College of Business

A Message from Interim Dean Debbie Compeau – August 2023

Dear friends,

I’m excited to contribute my first eDividend message since transitioning to the role of interim dean in July. Our former dean Chip Hunter, who led the Carson College for nearly nine years, has been appointed dean of Temple University’s Fox School of Business in Pennsylvania. We wish Chip well in his new role, and I look forward to building on the foundation he set during his tenure.

In this issue of eDividend, I’m pleased to showcase the many dimensions of innovation in the Carson College of Business. Our students continue to impress us with their innovative ideas and talents. As our recent 2023 Gen Z Spotlight Report shows, making money is not this generation’s sole focus for successful lives and careers; they are eager to do something that gives them a sense of purpose. You’ll see this mentality reflected in our feature highlighting some award-winning concepts our students presented in this year’s Business Plan Competition. Their web platforms and mobile apps improving campus safety, foster care resources, and non-emergency transportation businesses demonstrate a strong commitment toward using technology for social good.

Our feature on undergraduate Felicia Adesope also aligns with this theme. She’s researching how social media and technology correlate to an increase in mass shootings. Her work aims to provide social media and technology companies with best practices to help law enforcement detect threats of mass shootings before attacks occur.

As a college, we continually explore the value of technological innovation in our teaching and research efforts. Our WSU Entrepreneurship Skills and Knowledge Accelerator (WESKA) feature emphasizes the growth of this program designed to help graduate students from nonbusiness disciplines grow their knowledge of core entrepreneurial concepts. Many of their entrepreneurial ideas relate to technology for social good, as you’ll see in the WESKA feature referencing program participants who launched BioNutra, a successful nutrition business in Tanzania.

Our faculty research feature examines how inventors can affect a company’s innovation following a product failure. Amrita Lahiri found that inventors with more collaborative strength and a long tenure within a company are likely to reduce the propensity of drug innovation following failure, whereas those with low tenure increase it. This is but one example of how faculty are creating new knowledge about processes of innovation in organizations.

We remain focused on equipping graduates with marketable skills that bring value to businesses and communities in Washington state and the world. Our feature on alumna Carter (Marks) Wiggins highlights how our quality programming helped her build a career in Napa Valley’s wine industry. Executive MBA alumnus Jason Hostetter’s story illustrates the leadership and innovation he brings to the Pennsylvania’s electric and power industry.

I look forward to working with you to ensure our programs are highly sought after and continue to prepare our students for the increasingly complex and evolving world of business.

Go Cougs!

Debbie Compeau, Interim Dean

Business Plan Competition: Innovation for Social Good

This year’s Business Plan Competition was the largest and most diverse in WSU’s history. Unique teams represented a wide variety of academic majors and programs of study as well as genders, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds. “This growth is building a future workforce from our region that will be prepared to bring innovative solutions for social good,” says Marie Mayes, director, WSU Center for Entrepreneurship.

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Felicia Adesope Stands Against Mass Shootings

Despite the horror of the 2022 Uvalde shooting, Felicia Adesope, a student double majoring in accounting and management information systems, was inspired to investigate links between technology and mass shootings for her WSU McNair Scholar’s project. Her research aims to provide social media and technology companies with best practices for collaborating with law enforcement agencies so threats can be discovered before attacks occur.

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Internship Launches Carter Marks Wiggins’s Wine Career

The summer after her junior year, alumna Carter Marks Wiggins began an internship in Napa Valley with Boyd Family Vineyards, a small, family-owned operation owned by alumnus Stan Boyd. Every day, she learned something new—from working in the winery and experiencing the bottling process—to sitting in on tastings and meeting loyal club members and new guests. The experience launched her career as the wine and hospitality club manager at Boyd Family Vineyards.

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Executive MBA Empowers Jason Hostetter’s Career

Jason Hostetter had already found success in the power and utilities industry when he began considering going back to school for his MBA. As senior vice president of field operations at TRC Companies, he was involved in setting strategy for the organization and tackling tough industry issues. With new technologies, cyber security risks, workforce development issues, and other challenges facing the industry, as well as encouragement from leadership within TRC Companies, it seemed like the right time. He says his WSU EMBA training was a game changer in how he uses data to make decisions.

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Carson Professional Programs Update

After a five-year investment of curricular and programmatic revision, Carson professional programs are poised for a bright future. To adapt to new technologies and streamline processes in a highly regulated environment, Cheryl Oliver, associate dean, has strategically positioned team members where they can best manage processes and guide our working professional students and executives in their academic pursuits and leadership development. Meet Matt Beer, new director of Carson master’s programs.

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WESKA Entrepreneurship Program Credited for Successful Tanzanian Business Launch

WSU’s weeklong entrepreneurial bootcamp, known as WESKA, continues to grow and create deep bonds among global participants. The 2023 cohort was the largest to date and included new participants from the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NMAIST) in Tanzania, a Carson College’s partner school. Former WESKA participants and married couple Jofrey Raymond and Christina Charles credit the program as the foundation of their successful venture into business in Arusha, Tanzania.

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Amrita Lahiri Investigates Company Response to Failure

WSU researchers are studying the role of “prolific inventors,” also known as star scientists with a lot of experience and success in creating new products. These people are often seen as experts in their field and can hold influence within their company and in the wider business community. A new paper by Assistant Professor Amrita Lahiri examines how these inventors affect a company’s innovation following a product development failure.

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