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College of Business and Economics News

Zeynep Hansen, COBE’s New Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Scholarship

Zeynep Hansen

Zeynep Hansen has accepted the position of associate dean for academic programs and scholarship for the College of Business and Economics.

“Zeynep has been a very effective and successful leader in the Department of Economics, in COBE, across our campus, in our community and in the academy for years,” said Dean Ken Petersen. “I am so pleased that she will now be leading our college-wide efforts in the critically important areas of academic programs and scholarship.”

Hansen officially started her new role on June 1, 2017. She joined Boise State University faculty in 2007 as an associate professor, was promoted to professor in 2010 and served as chair of the Department of Economics from August 2013 – May, 2017. Previously, she served on the faculty of Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. She received her PhD in economics from the University of Arizona, and is a graduate of Boise State University.

Hansen is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), Development of the American Economy Group. She has published articles in journals such as the Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Law, Economics and Organization and Journal of Economic History. Most of her research focuses on agricultural policy in the development of the American economy. Her other research interests are in the health policy, strategic biotechnology-pharmaceutical alliances and education economics. Her current research focuses on the water infrastructure and historical water use in the western United States. She teaches courses in health economics, history of economic thought and U.S. economic history.

Chris Loucks New Chair of the Department of Economics

Christine LoucksChris Loucks has been selected as the new chair of the Department of Economics. “I am very pleased that Chris is willing to serve in this important capacity.” Said Ken Petersen in an email announcement.

Loucks joined the Department of Economics at Boise State University in 1989. She teaches principles and intermediate macroeconomics, economic growth, and money and banking. Her areas of interest in research are banking regulation, the influence of political action committees on the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate and education.

She has a long history of service to the College of Business and Economics, the University, and the community including time spent on committees such as the Volunteer Services Advisory Board, the Service-Learning Advisory Board, the Faculty Senate, the Women’s Center Advisory Board, the Distinguished Lecture Series Committee, the Intercollegiate Advisory Committee, and the College of Business and Economics Scholarship Committee. She currently serves on the advisory boards for Idaho Voices for Children, the Idaho Fiscal Policy Center and Life’s Kitchen.


Professor Susan Park Accepts Position on American Business Law Journal Board

Susan ParkSusan Park, associate professor and chair of the Department of Management, has been asked to join the American Business Law Journal Board. Board members serve a six year-term, moving from articles editor up to editor-in-chief. Before joining the board, Park was a staff editor for the American Business Law Journal for several years.

The American Business Law Journal, the premier peer-reviewed journal in business law, is a quarterly law review published on behalf of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business. The journal explores the whole range of topics related to business and corporate law and is an essential resource for students, professors and all professionals in the field.

John Bernardo, COBE executive in residence, Featured in IBR Article on Sustainability

John Bernardo, an executive in residence at the College of Business and Economics (COBE), was featured in an article in the Idaho Business Review about how more companies are embracing sustainability.

Bernardo works with COBE’s Responsible Business Initiative and as a sustainability strategist at Idaho Power.

Bernardo describes sustainability as a three-legged stool where the business, and its profits, are the seat. The legs – all the same length – are financial, environmental and social considerations.

Read the entire article “Idaho companies are starting to climb aboard the sustainability bandwagon.”

Garrett McBrayer Selected as an Accomplished Under 40 Honoree

Garrett McBrayer, COBE, Finance

Garrett McBrayer

Garrett McBrayer, assistant professor in the Department of Finance was selected as an honoree for the Idaho Business Review’s Accomplished Under 40 Awards. More than 100 people were nominated and applied for one of this year’s 40 spots. Applicants were judged by review committees formed from past honorees. Each applicant was rated from 1-5 in four categories: leadership, professional accomplishments, community support and vision/meeting goals.

After an eight-year career in finance, McBrayer received his PhD from the University of Arkansas in 2015 and moved to Boise to join the finance faculty in the fall of 2015. He has made important contributions to the university and the Boise community.

At the university, he serves as the faculty advisor for the student chapter of the Financial Management Association and is a member of the COBE Culture Leadership Team. He led a group of students on a trip to New York City to learn more about the world of finance. The students saw first-hand how finance is practiced when they visited Bloomberg, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, and others. McBrayer also helped plan and organize “Careers You Can Bank On,” a panel discussion and networking event for students and banking and finance executives.

“Garrett is the type of professor who really connects with students and who strives to nurture and inspire them,” said Department of Finance Chair Troy Hyatt. “As evidence, Garrett has been chosen as the honored faculty by the finance department’s outstanding student graduate in three out of his four semesters at Boise State. That is truly a remarkable accomplishment.”

Garrett has provided service to the community through his work with Junior Achievement of Idaho. In 2016, he served as an educational volunteer and taught personal finance to local high school students. He also helped at their “Inspire to Hire” event as the official representative from the College of Business and Economics.

McBrayer and the other Accomplished Under 40 honorees will be celebrated at an event at the Idaho Botanical Gardens June 15.

See the Idaho Business Review AU40 announcement article here.

Student Group Receives Prestigious Award from World’s Largest HR Association

The Boise State University chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has received a Merit Award designation for providing superior growth and development opportunities to its student chapter members during April 2016- March 2017. The chapter will be recognized for their outstanding achievements at the SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition in New Orleans in June 2017.

Of the 327 student chapters from across the United States, Boise State University was one of 149 winners.

Officers for the Boise State chapter are Jillian Lumbert, president; Jeff Scaggs, vice president; Gabrielle Baird, treasurer and Jahna Briggs, merit award director (for other directors see the COBE HRA site). Faculty advisors are James Wanek and Gundars Kaupins.

The SHRM student chapter merit award program, which began in 1972, was created to encourage student chapters to require ongoing excellence in the following areas: student chapter requirements, chapter operations, chapter programming and professional development of members, support of the human resource profession and SHRM engagement.

“These chapters truly represent the future of the HR profession,” said Susan Post, SHRM-SCP, East Divisional director at SHRM and the lead for SHRM’s Student Programs. “Their achievements go above and beyond their everyday academic and work commitments and we applaud the positive impact their efforts have on their schools, their local communities and beyond.”

Learn more about Boise State SHRM here.


Service-learning Gets Down to Business

Boise State student, Professor Kathy Hurley and a tax return client

Boise State student, Professor Kathy Hurley and a tax return client

The Service-Learning program connects classrooms with the community to enhance student learning, address critical community issues and encourage students to be active citizens in their local, national and global communities. In the 2016-17 school year, 251 students participated in 10 service learning classes working on projects such as helping with tax returns, creating marketing campaigns to raise money for Interfaith Sanctuary and organizing an open house gala for Meridian Canine Rescue.

Instructor Kathy Hurley and accounting students have helped to prepare tax returns for low-income individuals and households in the community. This is the fifth year the accounting department has offered the program which integrates service-learning methodology. Throughout tax season, students firm up their basic knowledge of federal tax rules and regulations, learn to interview taxpayers to obtain critical information, and practice using tax preparation software.  Students develop professional skills through client interaction and practice ethical behavior.

“Students also gain leadership and logistical skills as they have an active role in weekly site setup, operations management and planning for continuous improvement,” Hurley said. “By working with a culturally and economically diverse population, students become aware of the benefits and rewards of civic engagement, and providing valuable services to their community.”

Associate Professor Brian McNatt utilized service-learning as the key element of the Leadership and Personal Development management course. Management students worked on teams on a variety of projects.

One team made eight short video clips for the Women’s & Children’s Alliance to raise awareness and educate regarding safe dating and healthy relationships. Student work included script writing, casting, location scouting, filming and editing.

girl with dog Several teams did projects for the Meridian Canine Rescue, a no-kill organization that recently moved to a larger location. Students sought organizational sponsorships and other donations and aided with the organization, set-up, and staffing of the open house gala for the rescue’s new location.

Boise Bicycle Project benefited from students helping with renovations at their site, conducting a donation drive for used bicycles and contacting companies to encourage them to become official bicycle friendly workplaces.

Another team organized and conducted a tour of Boise State University for elementary school students whose primary language isn’t English. The tour included presentations from and interactions with Boise State international students, hands-on activities and lunch. These elementary school students are part of a demographic with low college attendance rates. The team’s aim was to target kids at a young age, create excitement and encourage them to pursue college.

“Service-learning is a major win-win,” said McNatt. “The students are able to practice the concepts learned in class and expand their skill. The students are beaming during their presentations at the end of the semester as they explain the awesome things they did for someone else, and as they realize how much they grew in the process.”

Allison Miller presenting marketing planStudents in the Marketing Communications course split into teams and created marketing plans to increase recurring donations for Interfaith Sanctuary. The instructor, Leslie Koppenhafer commented on the project.

“I do service-learning in my class because it is important for students to understand that there are many ways to give back to the communities they live in and that they have an obligation to try to make the communities they live in better places. Interfaith Sanctuary is doing incredibly important work serving some of the most marginalized people in our community. IFS had to make an incredibly tough decision to forgo federal funding in order to stay true to their organizational mission. I was fully confident that my students had the capacity and talent to design and deliver a creative marketing campaign for them focused on increasing their number of recurring donors. It was a pleasure to work with such a mission-driven organization run by passionate people,” Koppenhafer said.

Marketing students reported they learned to utilize education to improve the quality of life of others and to keep in mind someone’s business is on the line. Students agreed it is nice to work with a real organization that truly cares about your thoughts and ideas.

One marketing student summed it up this way, “I figured out that it was not just a good grade I was after. I learned how to think differently. My learning style changed, my writing changed, my research methods became more thorough, and the way I approached ideas and problems changed. The way I take on a project has changed and been enhanced because of this service-learning.”