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Two CareerTrack MBA Teams Will Compete in Hult Prize Regional Final

Eight Boise State Career Track MBA students received notification early last week that they have been selected to participate in the 8th Annual Hult Prize Regional Final in London and Shanghai. These teams were selected from a record breaking pool of 50,000+ applications received from over 100 countries. The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student competition to solve the world’s toughest challenges. The Hult Prize platform allows entrepreneurs to present business ideas that create social change. The 2017 theme is “RefugeesReawakening Human Potential,” and the challenge is to create a business that will restore basic human rights to the more than 10 million refugees worldwide.

Dream Team Hult Prize Boise State

Dream Team: Steven Gabrielsen, Ethan Lopez, Ashleigh Anderson, Jessica Bottelberghe

Ashleigh Anderson, Jessica Bottelberghe, Steven Gabrielsen and Ethan Lopez make up Dream Team. Their business idea is an online platform called “A Story to Be Told.”

Anderson shared her team’s vision.

“Our mission is to allow refugees to share their stories in order to connect them with the rest of the world. Through our research, we learned that a large majority of refugees have a mobile phone and access to the internet, no matter what stage of the refugee life cycle they are in. This inspired us to give them an opportunity to escape isolation and let their voice be heard.”

The second phase of “A Story to Be Told” will be to publish a book and produce other merchandise and events. They plan to partner with non-profits that are currently working to better refugee camps and give them a proportion of profits so they can continue their work.

Team Project Recover comprises Alexandria Allen, Becky Davis, Cody Huckvale and Austin Legg. Their business idea aims to restore basic human rights of food, water, shelter and security by providing income to refugees.

Hult Prize Team Project Recover Boise State University

Team Project Recover: Becky Davis, Alexandria Allen, Cody Huckvale and Austin Legg

Project Recover builds on the skills and talents refugees have to create products that represent their culture. Project Recover provides the work-space, supplies and materials and buys the product from the maker and sells it via  an online store. Every product sold will come with a picture and description of the person who hand-crafted the product.

“The business model is repeatable and sustainable and can transfer anywhere in the world to help at any refugee crisis. It is important to help refugees express themselves through their native culture and use skills they already possess,” said Legg. “Our model gives people all over the world the opportunity to help.”

Team Cultivate Hult Prize Boise State

Team Cultivate: Luke Yeates, Brandon Sams, Janice Witherspoon and Steve Silva.

In all, three Boise State teams will compete in Hult Prize Regional Finals. Dream Team and Team Project Recover join Team Cultivate that won the @boisestate local Hult Prize competition Nov. 10. Team Cultivate business idea is the P.O.T.T (portable one-time toilet). The P.O.T.T. promotes safety and privacy for individuals using the restroom, removes build-up of sewage that pollutes water, and can even help generate food.

The teams head to Hult Prize regional finals in March 2017. Dream Team is going to London, Team Project Recover to Shanghai and Team Cultivate will compete in Dubai.

Career Track MBA Student Hannah Coad Wins DMI Student Essay Competition

Boise State MBA student, Hannah CoadHannah Coad, MBA candidate in the Career Track program, won the Design Management Institute’s (DMI) 2016 Student Essay Competition under COBE professor of design thinking, Christy Suciu.

In her essay, Coad highlighted the importance of implementing more design thinking within higher education specifically in business schools. She sited an example of the Hult Prize social enterprise competition in Shanghai, China, where Coad and her team implemented design thinking to come up with a solution to aid developing urban communities. Design thinking was a key factor in their team’s success.

“Putting creativity to work in business requires a number of skills, all of which are vital to design thinking. Having a degree in biochemistry, I liken design thinking to the scientific method, which utilizes a number of the same processes. Research, discovery, testing, collaboration, prototype building and evaluation are key to the cycle of success. Throughout idea evolution one must show openness to new systems, methods, and processes,” wrote Coad.

Also covered in her essay was the importance of design thinking in today’s markets.

“Training rising business professionals the skills of design thinking implementation is critical not only to their own well-being but to the success of our economy and the global marketplace. In an age of changing tactics, technology, and markets it is the design thinking process that will help keep our society progressing. Creatively solving the toughest business issues is intelligence at its best— intelligence having fun.”

As a winner, Coad will receive complimentary registration to the 2016 DMI Leadership Conference in Boston, Massachusetts and passes to the innovation workshop and DMI’s Innovation Walk, an award value of more than $2,000.

Coad looks forward to attending the Boston conference in late September.

“This is an incredible opportunity to be emerged in the design thinking environment with some of the top experts in the world. In my role as a graduate research assistant for the Department of Management, I have had some experience working on projects utilizing design thinking and found it advantageous to accelerating the business plan process” Coad said.


DMI President, Carole Bilson (Center)

DMI President, Carole Bilson (Center)



Student Essay Winners

Student Essay Winners

Career Track MBA Students take 3rd Place at SHRM Student Case Competition

Boise State students at SHRM case competition in April 2016

Members of the Boise State chapter of the Human Resources Association (HRA) participated in the 2016 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Student Case Competition and Career Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, in April.

Career Start students Lisa Whitwell, Anushree Khandelwal, Meghan Perkins and Jeff Dee took 3rd place in the graduate division. Including Boise State, there were 14 schools competing in that division. These four students received there master’s degrees in May.

Other Boise State participants in the SHRM competition were Amy Taylor and Jillian Lumbert.

In this “realistic job preview” competition team members leverage knowledge acquired through their studies and apply it to a realistic HR situation likely to be encountered in the work world. This competition requires integrated HR thinking, ethical decision-making, and strong communication and presentation skills.

As part of the competition’s virtual preparation, teams analyzed and solved a business case, and prepared both a written executive summary and 15-minute oral presentation. Teams competed by delivering their 15-minute oral presentation to a panel of judges and answering additional questions from the judges.

The 2016 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Student Case Competition and Career Summit is the premier student HR conference in the United States. SHRM provides world-class opportunities for students, student chapter advisors, faculty members and HR professionals to connect through events held in multiple locations across the country.

Anushree Khandelwal Named Outstanding Graduate for MBA Program

Outstanding Graduates are selected by the faculty and staff of our departments and degree programs and selection is based on academic achievement and outstanding leadership. The Outstanding Graduate award is the highest honor given to student by the College of Business and Economics.

Anushree Khandelwal, Career Track MBA

Anushree Khandelwai, Outstanding Graduate COBE Boise StateI moved to the United States in 2014 and decided to enroll in the Career Track MBA program. My educational background includes business degrees from India. I have also been a cohort member at the Venture College, where I won the runner-up position for the best business pitch and proposal at the VC Innovation Challenge. Apart from maintaining an outstanding academic record, I have worked globally in diverse fields which provided me an exposure to a mélange of cultures, teams and functional fields. Upon graduation, I will be putting this experience to use as a category manager at HP Inc. I love Boise and all that it has to offer. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, running, reading fiction, solving crosswords and DIYs related to upcycling.

For a list of all of the COBE Outstanding Graduates see

Boise State Career Track MBA Student, Connor Sheldon, Awarded Fulbright Grant

Continuing Boise State’s tradition of being a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, two Boise State alumnae have been awarded Fulbright grants this year.

Kimberly Ruesch, (BA, English, ‘15) was awarded an English teaching assistant grant in Colombia and Connor Sheldon (BS, health science studies, ‘14) was awarded an English teaching assistant grant in Malaysia. Sheldon also is currently pursuing an MBA through the career track program in the College of Business and Economics.

Photo of Connor Sheldon.

Connor Sheldon

Sheldon will head to Malaysia in January 2017 and said her experiences as a tutor, workshop and summer camp facilitator, and youth running coach have prepared her for the unique requirements of the position in Malaysia.

“Through my educational background in health and current focus on sustainability I want to live and learn in a community confronting water pollution problems such as those Malaysia is experiencing in order to develop tangible solutions to address some of the world’s most pressing issues,” she said.

Photo of Kimberly Ruesch.

Kimberly Ruesch

Ruesch will leave for Columbia in July of this year where she will teach English at the University of Cordoba in Monteria and will be volunteering with a Colombian activist organization that works to protect the rights of indigenous cultures.

“I will be working on a project to reach out to some of Colombia’s many indigenous communities and create connections within the broader community through classes to share their culture and traditions with Colombian society more broadly,” Ruesch said.

Pei-Lin Yu, assistant professor of anthropology, also was awarded a Fulbright award this year. She will travel to Taiwan in December to study indigenous agricultural crops and techniques. You can read about Yu’s Fulbright award here.

Career Track MBA Students Win Financial Competition – Second Year in a Row

Ashleigh Andereson, Jessica Bottelberghe, Nam Do, Steven Gabrielsen, and Erin Ward.

Ashleigh Anderson, Erin Ward, Jessica Bottelberghe, Nam Do and Steven Gabrielsen

For the third year in a row Boise State students won the regional competition of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute’s Global Investment Research Challenge (GIRC). The GIRC is an annual competition that provides university students with an opportunity to perform a comprehensive financial analysis and valuation of a publicly traded company. The students present their research to a panel of CFA judges. The Boise State team worked on Micron Technology. The team members were Ashleigh Anderson, Erin Ward, Jessica Bottelberghe, Nam Do and Steven Gabrielsen. The annual competition includes teams from BYU-Idaho, Idaho State University, College of Idaho and Northwest Nazarene University.

Boise State’s victory will see the team travel to the Americas competition to be held in Chicago during April. Indicative of the prestige of the program, CFA Institute will pay airfare, three nights in the Hilton Chicago Hotel in downtown Chicago, food and all ancillary expenses for the teams and their faculty mentors.

Boise State Career Track Hult Prize Team Competes in Shanghai, China

Boise State University’s College of Business and Economics 2016 Hult Prize Team: Hannah Coad, Connor Sheldon, Haley Shaffer, and Taylor Reed (left to right) at the Hult Prize Competition in Shanghai, China.

Boise State University’s College of Business and Economics 2016 Hult Prize Team: Hannah Coad, Connor Sheldon, Haley Shaffer, and Taylor Reed (left to right) at the Hult Prize Competition in Shanghai, China.

The Boise State 2016 Hult Prize team recently arrived back from competing on the international stage in Shanghai China for a prize of 1 million US Dollars. The Hult Prize Competition, in collaboration with the Clinton Foundation, is the world’s largest social enterprise business plan competition. The annual, year-long competition begins on university campuses around the world and winners advance to one of the five regional Hult Business School locations. These locations include Shanghai, Dubai, and London with two locations in the U.S. Approximately 50 to 60 teams compete at each of the regionals with the winners advancing to the global competition in New York City after a summer-long incubator designed to cultivate their comprehensive business plan.

After holding a university-wide competition, this year Boise State University’s College of Business and Economics sent four MBA Career Tract students to compete for the Hult Prize: Haley Shaffer, Taylor Reed, Connor Sheldon, and Hannah Coad. These students, coming from diverse educational backgrounds of education, international affairs, health science, and biochemistry, respectively, harnessed their unique skills, ambition, and creativity to solve one of the toughest problems the world currently faces. This year’s theme, chosen by Bill Clinton states, “Can we build sustainable, scalable, and fast-growing social enterprises that double the income of 10 million people residing in crowded urban spaces, by better connecting people, goods, and serves and capital?”

The Boise State Team presented last month to an international panel of judges in Shanghai, China. The team pitched the idea of the Start Cart—a vehicle for change. The cart could be pulled by hand or by bicycle and could be utilized for business or personal use. Micro entrepreneurs could adapt this locally sourced cart for a variety of purposes such as a laundry service, food delivery, or mobile barber; the possibilities of such a cart are endless.

The team looks forward to utilizing the invaluable skills learned through this experience as they advance in their education and business careers.

Below the four team members share the impact of the Hult Prize experience:

“The Hult Prize was an incredible experience all around. However, the aspect of the experience I will always remember was the opportunity to meet and learn from my peers from every corner of the globe, all with a common goal. Everyone at the Hult Prize was downright passionate about making the world a better place using business as the catalyst.

It was truly inspiring to be in a room full of people with such diverse cultures and backgrounds. The difference of perspectives among our competitors was vast and the collaboration between cultures was powerful. The Hult Prize reminded me how big the world is and revealed that there is a generation of highly motivated social entrepreneurs on the rise.” –Haley Shaffer

“In Boise, the air is clean, the traffic isn’t too bad, and after a 15 minute bike ride I’m in the foothills where the sounds of sirens and cars are nonexistent. Competing in the Hult Prize pushed our team of four out of Boise’s bliss into the world of crowded urban spaces where hundreds of millions of people live each day without clean water, electricity, access to basic health care, and food. Digging into these messy intricate problems reminded me just how big the world is, and while Boise is one of my favorite places on earth, we must not become complaisant.” –Taylor Reed

“Competing in the Hult Prize was the best educational opportunity I have ever encountered. I was able to utilize the skills I have learned through the Career Track MBA program to create and present a solution that had the potential to solve one of the world’s most pressing issues.

Further, the support from COBE and the Boise community was phenomenal and I feel very blessed to have created great connections with local business leaders. Additionally, while competing in Shanghai, I was able to connect with students from around the world to learn about best business practices.

I highly recommend students take advantage of this opportunity.” –Connor Sheldon

“The Hult Prize opened my eyes to a world of social problems not far beyond our reach. Indeed, many of the issues people face living in crowded urban spaces face are prevalent within the United States. People around the world struggle to meet daily needs including food, water, sanitation, education and safety. Through the Hult Prize it was inspiring getting to meet many arising young business leaders who are utilizing the leverage of social enterprise to solve some of the world’s toughest issues. Through each of their innovative solutions was passion, creativity, and a deeply rooted motivation to change the world.”—Hannah Coad

Article written by Hannah Joy Coad

Career Track MBA Student on Winning Team for Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge

Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge

Fourteen teams of intrepid student entrepreneurs took home $100,000 in seed funding to bolster their businesses at the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge awards presentation April 1 at Trailhead in Boise.

All 22 colleges and universities in the Gem State were invited to participate in the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge, a statewide venture competition that aims to stimulate entrepreneurship. Of the 75 competitors from around the state, 23 teams were selected as finalists. The program is directed by Boise State University’s College of Innovation and Design and College of Business and Economics, and sponsored by Zions Bank.

Teams earned seed funding in the categories of Health, Technology, Agriculture Technology and Social Impact. Each of the four first-place teams earned $13,000 for their innovations.

In the Health category, first place was awarded to Safeguard Equipment for their product AC-Sentry, a patentable wristband that alerts personnel working near high-voltage electricity of nearby energized surfaces and conductors. Team members are University of Idaho students Brandon Bledsoe and Tim Ledford.

Shaw Mountain Technology earned first place in the Technology category for its micropump for the pharmaceutical market. The Boise State University team includes Career Track MBA student, Joe Runyan, and other team members Aaron R. Smith and Andrew Armstrong.

Hurd Tracking earned first place in the Agriculture Technology category for their innovation that helps ranchers protect their livelihood by providing them knowledge of where their cattle are, when they need to know it most. The Boise State University team includes Sheena Coles, Joshua Whitworth, Kenneth Lock-Smith and Jared Cooke.

First-place honors were presented to Revival Outlet in the Social Impact category. The business collects used bicycle tires from bike shops and turns them into fashionable belts. Revival Outlet is led by BYU-Idaho students Emerson Hammer and Mitchell Taylor.

“We were enormously impressed by all of our competitors this year, and we look forward to watching the winning businesses grow and thrive with the help of the seed funding provided by the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge,” said Mike Winder, director of Entrepreneurship Programs for Zions Bank. “Zions Bank is committed to enhancing Idaho’s entrepreneurial ecosystem because small businesses create jobs, strengthen our communities and make enormous contributions to the local economy.”

“With 75 ventures participating statewide, the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge is proof that the entrepreneurial culture is alive and well at Idaho’s universities,” said Gordon Jones, dean of Boise State’s College of Innovation and Design. “These students are using their skills, insights, and drive to solve problems of local, state and global importance. I can’t wait to see the positive impact they have on Idaho and beyond.”

Following is a full list of the awards presented:


  • 1st place: Safeguard Equipment, University of Idaho, $13,000
  • 2nd place: GuardLock, University of Idaho, $7,500
  • 3rd place: Vandal Ultraspeed, University of Idaho, $3,000


  • 1st place: Shaw Mountain Technology, Boise State University, $13,000
  • 2nd place: HydroGrip, University of Idaho, $7,500
  • 3rd place: Talent Cloud, BYU-Idaho, $2,000
  • 3rd place: Defkon Technology, Boise State University, $2,000

Agriculture Technology:

  • 1st place: Hurd Tracking, Boise State University, $13,000
  • 2nd place: The Feller Pump, University of Idaho, $7,500
  • 3rd place: Agritak, University of Idaho, $3,000

Mary Olson, Career Track MBA Instructor, Receives Golden Apple Award

mary olsonMary Olson, lecturer in business communication, has been honored with a Golden Apple award. Each year students from across campus nominate outstanding professors for this award sponsored by the Associated Students. Nominees have shown exceptional dedication to their students inside and outside the classroom. More than 380 student nominations were received for more than 70 faculty members.

Congratulations, Mary.

Career Track MBA students win a bid to change the world by competing in the 2016 Hult Prize

Congratulations to TEAM STOCKDALE!! The winner of the first Hult Prize @ Boise State event and the future 2016 Hult Prize $1MM GLOBAL CHAMPIONS AND CHANGEMAKERS! Team Captain Haley Schaefer with teammates Connor Sheldon, Hannah Coad, and Taylor Reed.

The competition aims to create and launch compelling social business ideas—start-up enterprises that tackle grave issues faced by billions of people. This year’s challenge is to build a sustainable, scalable and fast-growing social enterprise that doubles the income of 10 million people residing in crowded urban spaces, by better connecting people goods, services and capital. Winners receive one million dollars in seed capital, as well as mentorship and advice from the international business community.

Follow Team Stockdale’s progress on RBI’s website as they move towards the final competition hosted in Shanghai in March 2016. This is the fifth Career Track MBA team in four years to make it to the prestigious Hult Prize finals.

The team was able to practice their pitch during an event held at the  at Boise’s innovative start-up hub, TRAILHEAD. Over 100 community members came to listen to the teams pitch their ideas before they head to the 2016 Hult Prize Regional Final events in Shanghai and San Francisco.

Hult prize 16 kustra

Celebration lunch with Boise State’s President, Bob Kustra