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College of Business and Economics News

COBE Ranked Ninth in Nation for Online MBA Programs

Karolin Marakool, banner Marshall at Boise State commencement

Karolin Marakool, Online MBA graduate and banner marshall at winter 2017 commencement.

The College of Business and Economics (COBE) at Boise State University received national accolades in the latest report. In its 2019 Choice Online MBA Programs list, the publication ranked COBE’s online MBA program ninth in the nation and the number one program in the West.

The Boise State program stands out among more than 300 online programs that were submitted and rated.

“Congratulations COBE colleagues,” said Tony Roark, Boise State interim provost. “This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of you and your fellow team members.”

The report analyzed a variety of factors when determining final rankings, such as cost, accreditation and acceptance rate, as well as student support and engagement. Along with their research, a survey was distributed to 100 current, future and past business students and professionals over several months. Results from the survey provided compelling feedback and data, pinpointing what criteria was the most important when choosing an online MBA program. Many of the participants were already enrolled in an online program when completing the survey.

Laura Chiuppi, Boise Young Professional Leadership Team At-Large Member

Laura ChiuppiBoise Young Professionals recently interviewed COBE Career Services Director Laura Chiuppi.  Laura is on the leadership team at BYP. Here is an excerpt from the interview.

“Grown-ups always ask kids what they want to do when they grow up. It’s my job to ask that question of college students, ” said Chiuppi. “Knowing the right career and how to get there can be fairly challenging, especially as a college student. I get to work with upbeat, smart college kids to help them identify their strengths, choose a field that is tune with their skills and interests, and empower them to meet their career goals. Further, I get to interact with our business community and assist with identifying talent and enriching Boise’s workforce. It’s truly a fulfilling job, and I am one of those people who loves coming to work every day.”

When Laura is not helping map out futures, she can likely be found running on Boise’s trails with her best friend, Mabelle, a 50-pound Labradoodle.

Federal Reserve Bank President Advises: ‘Bring Your Whole Self to Decisions You Make’

mary daly with Boise state studentsOn November 13, San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Mary Daly visited the College of Business and Economics (COBE) at Boise State University. During her visit, Daly participated in two events, the collection of data for a podcast and a public talk to an overflow audience. A team from the PBS NewsHour accompanied Daly.

Daly started a project at the Fed called “Zip Code Economies.” The purpose of the project is to share the stories of people living in different communities in the United States—their lives, their aspirations and their challenges—with others outside their communities. Daly met with a group of students (pictured), primarily majors in finance and economics, to hear their stories. Daly asked questions about students’ fears for the future and whether they believe they will achieve the same standard of living as their parents. Daly concluded by asking students to describe Boise in one word. Some of the words used were enthusiasm, opportunity, balanced, growth, safe, energetic, ideal and home.

The San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank will create a podcast from the students’ conversations with Daly. That podcast will be available at a future date here:

After Daly left to prepare for her presentation, Paul Solman, a PBS correspondent, continued the conversation with the students. Solman asked the students why the labor force participation rate is declining among the millennial generation. To hear their answers and see other footage from Solman’s first trip to Idaho, tune into Solman’s broadcast on the PBS NewsHour December 13 at 7 p.m. MST.

Mary Daly speaking at boise stateDaly has a surprising background for a Federal Reserve Bank president. She grew up in a low socioeconomic group household, is a high school dropout and a first-generation college student. During her public talk, she shared the story of how she got from her hometown in rural Missouri to the San Francisco Fed. Daly emphasized three important characteristics in her life journey that enabled her personal and professional success: curiosity, confidence and humbleness. Those traits, she said, aid her in making policy decisions.

Chris Loucks, chair of the Department of Economics and very involved in the preparations for the events, summarized one of Daly’s lessons.

“The most important advice she gave the students and faculty was to ‘bring your whole self’ to any decision you make, to realize that your decision is influenced by your past experiences as well as current circumstances in your life and to always listen to alternative opinions. As President Daly stated, the best decisions she has made are decisions that others have challenged. Those challenges have forced her to reexamine what she believes and why she believes it. In our current political climate, that is a good lesson for all of us to absorb,”  said Loucks.

Zeynep Hasen, COBE associate dean, introduced Daly and, along with staff, was responsible for much of the day’s events.

Mary Daly speaking at boise state“We were honored to host Mary Daly at the College of Business and Economics. We thank her for her inspiring remarks and for choosing to come to Boise State University,” said Hansen. “President Daly spoke about making policy in today’s environment—striking the right balance to sustain growth. She connected with our students both as a policymaker and on a personal level. President Daly allowed for extra time to talk with a diverse group of students about their aspirations, fears and expectations for the future. President Daly and her team told me that they hope to return. They have an open invitation from us!”


MBA Candidate, Steve Silva and his Company, Bow Tie Hustle, Featured in KTVB Story

steve silvaSteve Silva, an MBA candidate, was featured in KTVB Idaho Life video. Silva started a side-hustle apparel business — Bow Tie Hustle. Silva is in his second and last year of the Career track MBA program.

See the Bow Tie Hustle news video here.

Nearly 600 Gathered to Hear Economist William Luther Speak on “Is Bitcoin a Bubble?”

William Luther speaking at Boise StateThe 13th annual Brandt Foundation Lecture was held Monday evening, November 12 in the Jordan Ballroom of the SUB. Nearly 600 students and community members gathered to hear economist William Luther from Florida Atlantic University speak on “Is Bitcoin a Bubble?” Among the students were guests from Northwest Nazarene University and concurrent enrollment high school students from Bishop Kelly and Renaissance.

The lecture was preceded by a reception for VIP guests of COBE and the Brandt Foundation in the Lookout Room of the SUB, hosted by Dean Mark Bannister, friends of Boise State Kenny and Suz Bolton, Allen Dalton, Sandy Dalton, and Debbie Riedel, along with representatives from the Brandt Foundation, Bob Rathbone and Don Anderson.

Luther’s talk highlighted how Bitcoin is built upon the Blockchain public ledger that relies on verification by members of a distributed network. He noted that since Bitcoin is neither backed by a government requiring it to be used for legal tender nor redeemable into a useful commodity (such as gold or silver), Bitcoin’s value derives solely from its expected usefulness as a medium of exchange with other potential users. The greater the number of users (people in the Bitcoin network) the more likely it will be accepted in exchange, and the fewer users the less likely it will be accepted in exchange. Two problems exist for the widespread adoption of Bitcoin as a major currency. First, the distributed network nature of Bitcoin means only 3 – 7 transactions can be completed per second. In contrast, Visa handles an average of 1667 transactions per second. Second, existing government policies around the world, or changes in those policies, influence the number of users and Bitcoin’s value. In Bangladesh, for example, use of Bitcoin carries a penalty of 12 years in prison, effectively outlawing Bitcoin as a medium of exchange and reducing the size of the network. Threats by Russia to bar Bitcoin have reduced its potential network size, and reduce its value. On the other hand, Venezuela’s hyper-inflation increased the use of Bitcoin by Venezuelans and increased its value.

Find additional information on Bitcoin on William Luther’s website.

The Brandt Lecture is produced and coordinated by Allen Dalton, an adjunct instructor in the Department of Economics.

The Brandt Lecture is funded by the Brandt Foundation. John Brandt and his wife Orah were community leaders in Nampa throughout their lives, actively supporting private and public education and other community endeavors with both financial contributions and commitment of their time. Both John and Orah had an abiding belief in the value and virtue of free enterprise, and they established the John H. and Orah I. Brandt Foundation to support those values in perpetuity.

For additional information on the Brandt Lecture series and previous speakers, visit

Ward and Joe Parkinson Tell the Story of Starting Micron

mark bannister, joe parkinson, ward parkinson

COBE Dean Mark Bannister and Micron founders Joe and Ward Parkinson

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 marked the inaugural lecture of the College of Business and Economics’ new Entrepreneur Connect Speaker Series. A standing room only crowd welcomed Micron cofounders Ward and Joe Parkinson to Skaggs Hall in the aptly named Micron Business and Economics building. The twin brothers took turns recounting the early days of founding one of Boise’s biggest success stories. Ward, the engineer of the duo, had never before spoken publicly about the company making it truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the students, faculty and community members in attendance. There were lots of laughs and lessons as the duo shared experiences. They talked of the ups and down — times they nearly lost the company and times when they worked with a team of Boise’s best to keep things going.

joe and ward parkinson with small group of students

For more than an hour, Ward and Joe Parkinson answered questions from a small group of students.

Many from Micron came to hear the lecture and Ward and Joe called out the names of several as stories of Micron’s early days involved them. COBE entrepreneurship faculty Jeff Sugheir and Timothy Dunne kicked off the question and answer period and several student questions followed. After the lecture in the Executive Education Classroom, a small group of MBA students was treated to the unique opportunity of having their questions answered by Ward and Joe.

The Entrepreneur Connect Speaker Series seeks to connect successful entrepreneurs with students and the community to share stories and advice in a casual, open setting. Entrepreneur Connect celebrates fresh perspectives, taking risks and bringing new ideas to life. COBE will announce the next speaker for the spring Entrepreneur Connect lecture shortly. Stay tuned.

Economics Faculty Completed Economic Impact Study for Mountain Home

Guido Giuntini

Guido Giuntini

Don Holley

Don Holley

Anne Walker

Anne Walker

Economics faculty Guido Giuntini, Don Holley and Anne Walker, and graduate student Steve Hall recently completed an economic impact study for the city of Mountain Home’s Economic Development Office in collaboration with the Idaho Policy Institute. Mountain Home is looking to revitalize its downtown by beautifying and rendering the two main downtown streets more walking and bicycling friendly. The study looked at potential employment and economic effects of the proposed changes.

The study was very well received. Courtney Lewis from the Mountain Home Economic Development Office commented, “You helped us find data that we were struggling to identify. This had been a challenging project and having you and your team on board has been such a great resource and support.”