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College of Business and Economics News

MBA Candidate, Connor Sheldon Presented Three-Minute Thesis

Connor Sheldon, MBA student presenting 3-min. thesis

Connor Sheldon, MBA candidate in the Career Track program, competed today in the Three Minute Thesis presented by the Graduate College.  Fourteen Boise State graduate students participated in the competition held at the Clearwater Building, home to Boise State’s computer science department. Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition was developed by the University of Queensland and celebrates the exciting research conducted by graduate students. Participants have just three minutes and one slide to present a compelling oration on their thesis or dissertation topic and its significance.

Connor’s thesis is on the shifting demographics of future leaders now that Millenials are the largest generation in the workforce.

“This change,” says Connor, “will be seen in the boardrooms of companies, nonprofits and universities. There is a great opportunity for these entities to make room for the young, diverse voices of Millennials.”

Competitors were judged on communication style, comprehension and engagement.  Judges were Diane Beven, president and CEO of Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; David Bieter, Boise mayor; and Mark Durcan, Micron Technology advisor and former CEO. Winners will be announced at a later date.



Two COBE Students Selected as University Top Ten Scholars

The 2018 Top Ten Scholars have been announced and on the list are two students from the College of Business and Economics. Presented by the Boise State Alumni Association and Boise State Honors College, the Top Ten Scholar Award is the highest academic honor granted to a Boise State University undergraduate student. Congratulations to Makenzie and Jessica.

Makenize Peake


Degree: Bachelor of arts in quantitative economics and a minor in applied mathematics
Future Plans: Work as a research associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and later enter a Ph.D. program in economics.
Honored Faculty: Christine Loucks, Ph.D., department chair and professor, Department of Economics

Read more about Makenzie

During her undergraduate career at Boise State, Peake has garnered a fair amount of academic and leadership skills through her participation in the Boise State Honors College as a peer mentor and academic assistant. She has been heavily involved with the College of Business and Economics, in particular as a mentor in the Department of Economics, and president and treasurer of the Boise State Economics Association.

From Boise, Idaho, Peake serves the Boise community as a youth leader at Foothills Christian Church, as a volunteer in bilingual classrooms at Whittier Elementary School and in assisting local refugees with transportation needs. Last July, Peake began employment as a research associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Throughout her academic career, Peake has sought out research opportunities, being employed as a research assistant by three professors in the department of economics investigating the effects of student performance in online versus face-to-face classes. She also served as a research assistant for a project investigating the economic feasibility of building a nursing home in Council, Idaho. Another valuable research experience came from Peake’s internship with ECONorthwest, the largest consulting company in the Northwest.

Jessica Rohm


Degree: Bachelor of business administration with an emphasis in international business and a bachelor of arts in Spanish
Future Plans: Work in international market development utilizing her second language, Spanish, as well as focus on continuing education.
Honored Faculty: John Bieter, Ph.D., professor, Department of History

Read more about Jessica

From Phoenix, Arizona, Rohm has found great passion in business, culture and language over the course of her four years at Boise State. This passion first started when she studied abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica in the spring of 2016 where she lived with a host family and worked at a local elementary school teaching English.

Since returning from Costa Rica, she has been working in the Center for Global Education where she is able to share her passion for studying abroad. During her last semester at Boise State, she was a Spanish conversation lab assistant in the World Language Resource Center facilitating language labs for lower-division Spanish students. She also focused on applying her coursework to real-life situations during her internship in San Sebastian, Spain in the economics and marketing departments of the city’s Department of Culture.

Rohm’s dedication to her coursework reflects in the honors she has received, including a College of Business and Economics Signature Student, a College of Arts and Sciences Peer Ambassador and a Dean’s List honoree for multiple semesters with highest honors.

Rohm has been involved on campus as the membership vice president for Alpha Xi Delta in 2017, attended the Alpha Xi Delta National Convention in Boston in 2015 and attended a recruitment training workshop in College Park, Maryland while at Boise State.

Recipients will be recognized, along with their honored faculty, at the annual Top Ten Scholars Award Ceremony on April 16. Learn more and RSVP to attend the ceremony here.

Economics Graduate Makenzie Peake Received Research Position at the Federal Reserve

Makenize PeakeMakenzie Peake, a soon to be graduate of economics with quantitative emphasis, has accepted a research associate position at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. She will start in summer 2018. Makenzie is the Department of Economics’s third placement at the Fed. She follows Landon Stroebel (BA in economics and math 2005) and George Fenton (BA economics 2012), both of whom were research assistants at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Stoebel was at the Board of Governors for three years and then joined the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. After his time on the Commission, Stroebel worked for an investment company, then opened his own investment company and joined the National Guard.

Fenton was at the Board of Governors for two years and then entered the doctoral program in economics at the University of Michigan where he is currently in his third year.

Peake will use her opportunity at the Fed as a stepping-stone to her doctorate.

“This opportunity at the Federal Reserve St. Louis bank marks another step towards my goal of becoming a professional economist,” says Peake. “After a two-year stint as a research associate, I plan to enter a Ph.D. program in economics. I sincerely thank Boise State University, the Department of Economics and the Honors College for the immense support and encouragement I have received throughout my educational experience. My career would not have been possible without that support. It is an honor and a privilege to graduate from Boise State, something that I will work hard to repay in the future.”

Peake has been selected as the 2018 Outstanding Graduate in the Department of Economics and as a Boise State Top Ten Scholar.

MBA Students Qualified for Hult Prize Regionals for Sixth Year in a Row

Two teams represented Boise State University at the 2018 Hult Prize regionals.

Eldar Sakebaev, Jessica Carolina, Ali Sharifi Shalmani

Eldar Sakebaev, Jessica Carolina, Ali Sharifi Shalmani

Northstar Energy team competed in San Francisco, California, in early March. Team members are Jessica Carolina, Eldar Sakebaev and Ali Sharifi Shalmani.

“We do want to change the world by following our dreams and passions in social entrepreneurship,” said Sakebaev. “We are a skillful and diverse team with the goal of delivering innovative, reliable and affordable energy storage solutions and transforming the lives of 10 million people by 2025.”

Advancing to regional competition in Melbourne, Australia, were Lynn Catlin, Danielle Hittle, Rhett Suciu and Stuart Wetzel.

Lynn Catlin, Stuart Wetzel, Rhett Suciu, Danielle Hittle

Lynn Catlin, Stuart Wetzel, Rhett Suciu, Danielle Hittle

“Our team is composed of an engineer, soldier, sociologist and a scientist,” explains Suciu. “We are diverse in our backgrounds, but similar in our pursuit of an MBA as well as our desire to change and help the world. We know that transformational change requires transformational partnerships. We will share our idea in Melbourne in hopes to secure $1M in seed money to change millions of lives.” 

The Hult Prize is an international competition which brings together the best and brightest students in colleges and universities to solve world issues. The 2018 challenge is to build a scalable, sustainable social enterprise that harnesses the power of energy to transform the lives of 10 million people by 2025.

This is the sixth year in a row that Boise State has had a team(s) advance to the Hult Prize regional finals.

Karl Knapp Joining COBE as Professor of the Practice

Karl KnappKarl Knapp, a Boise State alumnus, will come back to campus as a Professor of the Practice. Knapp is a partner at PJT Partners, a global investment bank, based in New York. Knapp has nearly 30 years of experience working in the financial services sector. He will join the College of Business and Economics and the Honors College beginning this August.

“Karl has had a long and successful career in the investment banking industry and is an excellent role model for our students in the Department of Finance,” said Ken Petersen, dean of the College of Business and Economics. “Karl brings a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience to campus that is highly valuable for our faculty and students. We are fortunate to have him joining us as a Professor of the Practice.”

Andrew Finstuen, dean of the Honors College echoed those sentiments adding that he’s thrilled Knapp has been named a professor of the practice.

“For several years, Karl has been mentoring Honors students from afar and served as a counselor to the college as it has grown. I am so pleased to see that his wonderful track record of sharing his expertise with Boise State will be further recognized by this well-deserved appointment,” said Finstuen.

Knapp graduated magna cum laude from Boise State in 1981 with a bachelor of arts degree. While at Boise State, Knapp was named as the University’s second Rhodes Scholar and went on to receive a master’s degree with honours from Oxford University. Knapp is also a graduate of Harvard Business School, receiving a Masters of Business Administration in 1988. Knapp lives in New York City with his wife, Luisa, and has four children.

Students Had One-on-one Networking at Annual CFOs Exposed Event

COBE StudentsApproximately 250 students registered for the 8th annual CFOs Exposed event on March 7 in the Stueckle Sky Center. The event was co-hosted by the Beta Alpha Psi student organization and the Treasure Valley CFO Forum.

The event was kicked off with a keynote speech from J.T. Jones, a TVCFO Forum member. His speech highlighted his nontraditional work path that landed him his current CFO position. “Risk taking and doing the hard work can get you where you want to be,” said Jones.

After Jones’ address, students had structured networking rotations followed by open networking where students could to speak with CFOs of their choice. Students had access to approximately 40 CFOs.

Closing remarks were provided by the current TVCFO Forum President Bachchi Omar. Many students and CFOs lingered afterward to continue engaging conversations. The event was a great success with a significant increase in participants from previous years.

The College of Business and Economics faculty, staff and students thank the Treasure Valley CFO Forum members for their time and commitment to this fantastic networking opportunity for students. We are looking forward to continuing this tradition and keeping registration strong in upcoming years.

Department of Economics Faculty Published Parks and Rec Study

Idaho State Parks Idaho's best investment graphic

The Department of Economics and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation conducted a study of the economic impact of snowmobiles, power boating and state parks. Faculty that worked on this study are Geoffrey Black, Michail Fragkias, Zeynep Hansen, Don Holley and Scott Lowe.

The study found that Idaho’s state parks are a big source of income for the Gem State. Five and a half million people visited an Idaho state park in 2016 and pumped $184 million into the state’s economy. The 30 parks in the system comprise some 60,000 acres of the Gem State.

See a story on the Idaho State Parks study on the Boise State Public Radio website.

Learn more about the Idaho State Parks study on Idaho Parks and Recreation site.