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College of Business and Economics News and Events

COBE Helps Launch Blue Sky Institute

blue and orange graphic of Boise skyline

The institute will play the role of facilitator, honest broker, researcher and funder for these collaborative efforts, seeking to leverage the wisdom and experience of diverse stakeholders who might otherwise not be inclined to work collectively. The first mandate is an exploration of the relevant population health issues present in our community and a deep dive into those deemed critical to community and campus stakeholders. Additionally, the institute will be home to the first executive in residence jointly appointed by two colleges when former Blue Cross of Idaho CEO Zelda Geyer-Silvia joins BSI later this fall.

As one of its first actions on campus the BSI is also helping to sponsor the HULT Prize at Boise State. This annual undergraduate competition, known as the “Nobel Prize for students” encourages student teams to launch start-up enterprises that tackle grave issues faced by billions of people every day, with the winning team receiving $1 million in seed capital to launch their social change solution.

Efforts are led by HULT Prize at Boise State Campus Director Connor Sheldon, a second year career-track MBA student who competed in the regional HULT competition in Shanghai last spring. Connor is eager for Boise State students to participate in this year’s challenge, which is building a social enterprise that reduces the human cost of involuntary migration. She is reaching across campus to encourage students from all disciplines to collaborate and launch their world-changing idea. Teams will receive support and feedback from campus and community experts, including pitch practice in advance of the pitch competition where a Boise State team is selected to progress to a regional competition.

For more information on the competition, scheduled information sessions, or how students can register their teams, go here.

“The mandate we have for the Blue Sky Institute is simple. We need everyone – faculty, students, community partners – on board to solve entrenched challenges like population health, poverty and climate change,” added Angeli Weller, Director of Boise State’s Responsible Business Initiative and a Blue Sky collaborator. “You actually need an engineer, a philosopher, a teacher, a scientist, a businessperson to all have a seat at the table if we have any hope of moving the dial on the world’s wicked problems.”

Executive MBA Students Work on Projects in Vietnam

Boise State EMBA 2017 cohortExecutive MBA second year students completed their global development business trip to Vietnam in early October. Pictured above are COBE professors Kirk Smith (back row, left) and Nancy Napier (back row, center) along with the 2017 Executive MBA cohort. This picture was taken outside a branch of the US Embassy in Hanoi, which they visited during a break from their business projects.

COBE Living-Learning Community Participated in Talent Show

COBE Living-Learning Commuity dance at talent showEarly in October the COBE Living-Learning Community (LLC) participated in the LLC Talent Show. COBE LLC showed off their talents and had a blast in front of the LLC audience. After practicing for several weeks lead by the talented eye of COBE student Garrett Pedersen, COBE LLC performed a group dance number, and Garrett performed a rap that he wrote himself alongside our beloved RA Amber Hunsaker and another COBE student, Joel Tweddle. Joining in the fun, Faculty in Residence Jon Krutz, and family (Carl and Amy Krutz) sang a beautiful song to the LLC community (with stylings by Amber).

The talent show was a great time for all the Living Learning Communities to come together and share their talents. The night was spectacular and Boise State talent was beautifully showcased.

Nov. 1: Ask Me Anything!

blue and oranges balloons and sign that says "Ask Me Anything"Ask Me Anything! Finance Panel Discussion

4:30 p.m. Tuesday November 1

Imagination Lab, MBEB room 2302


  • Lindsey Brist, Program Manager, KeyBank
  • Jason Kajkowski, VP of Finance, United Dairymen of Idaho
  • Dennis Mikelonis, Private Banker Wealth Management, Idaho Trust
  • Nick Schlekeway, Co-founder, Amherst Madison

Free pizza, drinks and cookies.


Ask Me Anything! event at Boise StateAsk Me Anything! event at Boise State

Nov. 14: Brandt Lecture Series – Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley will speak at Boise State Nov. 14, 2016Matt Ridley

“How Prosperity Evolves”

7 p.m. Monday, November 14, 2016

Jordan Ballroom, Student Union Building

Ridley is an award-winning author whose books have sold over a million copies, been translated into 30 languages and won numerous awards.

Ridley’s most recent book is “The Evolution of Everything: How New ideas Emerge.” His TED talk titled “When Ideas Have Sex” has been viewed more than 2 million times. He writes a weekly column in The Times and writes regularly for the Wall Street Journal.

The Brandt Foundation Lectures are made possible by the generosity of the John H. and Orah I. Brandt Foundation. The purpose of the Brandt Foundation Lectures is to bring noted speakers to campus who have made important contributions to public understanding of individual liberty, free markets, limited government and the Constitution. Beginning with the 2004 inaugural lecture by Nobel Laureate James M. Buchanan, the Brandt Foundation Lectures have attracted large audiences and contributed significantly to Boise State and the community at large.

The annual lectures are free and open to the public and no tickets are required. Free parking will be provided in the Lincoln Avenue Parking Garage next to the Student Union Building on the night of the event.

More about Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley’s books have sold over a million copies, been translated into 30 languages and won several awards. His TED talk “When Ideas Have Sex” has been viewed more than two million times.

His books have been short-listed or won several prizes. His book The Agile Gene: How Nature Turns on Nurture won the 2004 National Academies of Sciences Best Book Award. Other notable works are Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters, Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature, and The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation. His 2010 book, The Rational Optimist, won the Hayek Prize in 2011.

Ridley’s most recent book is The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge, published by HarperCollins.

He won the Julian Simon award in 2012 and the Free Enterprise Award from the Institute of Economic Affairs in 2014.

As Viscount Ridley, he was elected to the House of Lords in February 2013. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is honorary president of the International Centre for Life in Newcastle.

He is married to the neuroscientist Professor Anya Hurlbert. They have two children and live at Blagdon in Northumberland in the north of England.


Oct. 20: Ask Me Anything! Marketing Professionals

blue and oranges balloons and sign that says "Ask Me Anything"Ask Me Anything! Marketing Panel

4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016

Imagination Lab, Room 2302

Micron Business and Economics Building

Discussion with Boise’s Business and Community Leaders

  • Chris Becker, art director, SOVRN
  • Matt Bishop, founder, Café Mulé Coffee
  • Tobe Brockner, founder/creative director, V-Squared Creative
  • Whitney Hansen, founder, Whitney Hansen Coaching
  • Lana Odintsova, director of marketing, Zasio Enterprises, Inc.

Free pizza, drinks and cookies.


Oct. 20: Florina Salaghe Presents Research on Slot Machine Gamblers

Florina Salaghe speaking at Boise State Oct. 20, 2016 MBEBThe Department of Economic Presents:

PhD Candidate in Economics

Florina Salaghe

An Empirical Investigation of Wagering Behavior in a Large Sample of Slot Machine Gamblers

4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016
Room 4001

Micron Business and Economics Building

Florina Salaghe is a PhD. candidate in economics at University of Nevada, Reno and a research assistant at the University Center for Economic Development at University of Nevada, Reno. Her research interests lie in the area of behavioral and experimental economics, decision making, spatial and urban economics. Her current research focuses on gambling behavior of slot machine players, vaccination behavior of cattle ranchers, and firm relocation and expansion decisions.

Florina teaches undergraduate courses at University of Nevada, Reno and has taught 6 courses over the last two years. In addition, she taught graduate topics while organizing math camp for the incoming graduate students. She presented papers and posters at eight academic conferences and was nominated as the College of Business PhD student of the academic year 2015-2016.

Florina completed her undergraduate degree at Babes Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca, Romania. Cluj is a beautiful city in the heart of Transylvania, an hour and a half drive from Tirgu-Mures, her home town. She majored in finance and banking and briefly worked as a financial consultant before moving to the United States.