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College of Business and Economics News

May 4: Idaho Gives

Boise State College of Business & Economics – Idaho Gives

Idaho Gives Flier

Idaho Gives, an Idaho Nonprofit Center program, is May 4, 2017. Use hashtag #IdahoGives.

Idaho Gives is a 24 hour day of giving and we hope you put a reminder on your calendar to visit on May 4th and donate to one of over 600 nonprofits, many of them located right here in our own community!

A 24 hour event
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Online at

Careers You Can Bank On Event Big Success

three people at Careers You Can Bank On eveny at Boise State

Judi Walker, panelist from Washington Trust Bank with other bank representatives at the networking reception.

Careers You Can Bank On, a panel discussion and networking event sponsored by the Idaho Chapter of the Risk Management Association (RMA), on February 9 exposed COBE students to the career opportunities within banking.

The panel discussion portion was held in the Skaggs Hall of Learning. Panelists were Greg Blake, chief information officer at the Idaho Housing and Finance Association; Joel Hickman, chief banking officer at Idaho Trust Bank; Toni Nielsen, region president for Zions First National Bank; Russ Porter, CEO of Mountain West Bank; and Judi Walker, senior HR generalist for Washington Trust Bank. Panelists related personal career experiences and answered questions for the more than 70 students in attendance.

Joel Hickman, Toni Nielsen, Russ Porter, Greg Blake and Judy Walker - panelist at Careers You Can Bank On event at Boise State

Panelists Joel Hickman, Toni Nielsen, Russ Porter, Greg Blake and Judi Walker.

At the networking reception, panelists and approximately 20 additional banking executives from the Treasure Valley discussed with students the myriad of opportunities within the banking sector. Students received individual attention and were able to talk with people that hold many different positions in banking and finance.

Assistant professor in the Department of Finance, Garrett McBrayer, helped organize the event.

“The initial feedback from students was very positive. Several students indicated that they both increased their awareness of the variety of career options within banking and that they appreciated ‘the genuine’ (a direct student quote) opportunity to network,” said McBrayer. “We are grateful for the banking professionals that engaged with our students and helped promote banking careers.”

Co-organizer and COBE Career Services Director Laura Chiuppi was pleased with the student turnout and the support of faculty and staff.

“Having a robust COBE presence at the event surely indicates to our students that we as a college strive to ensure their success beyond the walls of the classroom,” said Chiuppi.

After the event, the incoming president of RMA, Jeff Warr from Givens Pursley, indicated that their organization would like to begin planning for a follow up event next year.


COBE Faculty and Affiliated Staff Met with India’s Consul General

group of business leaders with India's Consul General Venkatesan Ashok

From left: Will Fowler, Idaho SBDC Accelerator; Sibylle Gorla, Trailhead; Rick Ritter, New Ventures Lab; Steve Hatten, TechHelp; Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok; Karen Parnell, Idaho Stae Dept. of Commerce; Katie Sewell, Idaho SBDC; Jay Larsen, Idaho Technology Council; Jack Marr, College of Business and Economics at Boise State University

Members of Boise’s economic development community met with the Consul General of India, Venkatesan Ashok, at the SBDC Accelerator in Boise on Wednesday, February 1. Based in the Silicon Valley of San Francisco, the Consul General was on his first visit to Idaho’s Treasure Valley. He was accompanied by Karen Parnell of the Idaho State Department of Commerce. The stop in Boise was part of a four-day trip designed to introduce the Ambassador to Idaho. The Indian Consulate in San Francisco serves the States of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and Territory of Guam.

The Consul General discussed India’s focus on and need for infrastructure development in India’s 700,000 villages spread across 29 states. Industries of interest include renewable energy, water and waste management, farm technologies, agriculture and agro-processing, bio technology, and pharmaceuticals.

The Indian economy has been growing at an average rate of about nine percent over the last three years. The Indian government gives a high priority to the development of infrastructure in highways, ports, railways, airports, power, and telecom. In 2015, India had a positive goods trade balance of $23 billion with the United States. Main exports to India from the US include agricultural products, aircraft, and machinery. Main imports to the U.S. from India include precious metals and stones, textiles and pharmaceuticals.

In 2015, exports from Idaho to India ranked 18th with a value of $28 million. Imports to Idaho from India ranked 21st with a value of $14 million. A large portion of Idaho’s exports to India are semiconductors and industrial products.

Garrett McBrayer Leads Students on Trip to Visit the World of High Finance.

Garrett McBrayer, COBE, Finance

Garrett McBrayer

A group of 12 College of Business and Economics students, led by Garrett McBrayer, assistant professor in the Department of Finance, recently traveled to New York City to visit the world of high finance. The trip gave students a chance to gain exposure to the investment banking and asset management industries and to develop relationships with some of the world’s premier firms in their relative sectors. Among the firms visited were Bloomberg, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte Corporate Finance, J.P. Morgan Chase, Millennium Management and the FBI’s White-Collar Crime Division.

Students Mark Beck and Jake Hagen said the experience provided a fantastic opportunity to get to see the practice of finance from the inside and that it helped to solidify their studies in a very tangible sense.

The trip was organized by the Financial Management Association (FMA) which aims to provide opportunities on a more frequent and local basis to Boise State students through speaker series, workshops, mentorship programs and networking events. Students interested in receiving more information about FMA or who are interested in joining the group should visit or email McBrayer at

Dave McEwen has joined the Idaho Small Business Development Center

Dave McEwen, Idaho Small Business Development Center, Dave McEwen has joined the Idaho Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program manager, with the mandate to help Idaho small businesses successfully find and secure federal research grants and contracts. Through these grants, local companies can bring millions of dollars of federal investment to the state, encouraging growth of the startup and small business ecosystem in Idaho.

The State and Southwest Idaho offices of Idaho SBDC are housed in the Micron Business and Economics Building, suite 2132.

Read the Update article about Dave McEwen and the  Small Business Innovation Research program here.


The Idaho Small Business Development Center empowers business success through no-cost, confidential consulting and affordable trainings to small businesses throughout Idaho. With local offices in six different regions across the state, the Idaho SBDC’s mission is to enhance the success of Idaho small businesses by providing high-quality consulting and training, and leveraging the resources of Idaho’s colleges and universities. To learn more about the Idaho SBDC and the services that they provide, visit, or call (208) 426-1640.

If you have a small business and would like to learn more about the SBIR program, Idaho small businesses that would like personalized assistance, counseling or training may contact McEwen at (208) 426-3510 or email

Josh Filzen (Accounting), Garrett McBrayer (Finance) and Kyle Shannon (Research Computing)

Based on a current working paper, Josh Filzen, Department of Accountancy; Garrett McBrayer, Department of Finance; and Kyle Shannon,  OIT-Research Computing, were invited to write a piece for the Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog, titled “Do Investors Understand Quarterly Risk Factor Reports?”

Read “Do Investors Understand Quarterly Risk Factor Reports?” here.

Joshua Filzen, Accountancy COBE Boise State Uiversity

Joshua Filzen

Garrett McBrayer, COBE, Finance

Garrett McBrayer

Kyle Shannon, OIT Boise State

Kyle Shannon

Ruth Jebe and Shelle Poole Received Funding for an Experiential Teaching Framework

Ruth Jebe and Shelle Poole, assistant professor Dept. of Management Boise State

Ruth Jebe and Shelle Poole

Ruth Jebe and Shelle Poole, assistant professors in the Department of Management, are working to create a framework for teaching in a deeply experiential way.

“We know that adults learn by doing and we want to have our classrooms be laboratories for real business immersion, a safe space where students work within a constructed business environment.” Poole explains.

Jebe and Poole have both used immersive use cases in their classrooms that are based on real-world experience and they want take it further —  a whole semester of immersion where from day one, students are coming to work for organization X. Instead of a syllabus, they will receive an employee manual and on-boarding into the new organization. From there, course content would be taught through one experience after another.

“We plan to pilot the framework in a strategy class and a law class,” says Jebe, “but one of our goals for the project is to create a framework that can be used in teaching any functional area, from finance to IT to human resource management.”

The project name they are considering is Business: Total immersion.

Funding is coming from the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and the Provost Office.

“This is something I’m very excited about,” says Susan Shadle, director of CTL. “We know that active, engaged teaching is good for student learning and I look forward to the results of this work.”