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College of Business and Economics News

COBE Process Improvement Initiative Confers Green Belt Credentials to Campus Staff

Health Sciences staff that earned certificates in process improvementCOBE supply chain management faculty have created a university Process Improvement Initiative. They provide Lean and Six Sigma based problem-solving training and project facilitation to other members of the university community.

The Process Improvement Initiative team recently awarded green belts in process improvement to ten employees of the College of Health Sciences. The award recipients worked on two projects.

The first was redesigning the health insurance billing process in the University Health Services Clinic (Susan Debaugh, John Griffiths, Ron Schmaltz).

The second project team created a subject matter expert directory within COHS (Leslie Black, Angela Garcia, Dori Hulme, Vi Maccarillo, Sherepta McLeod, Alexis Rowland, and Li Sperl).

If you would like to receive training and improve a process in your area, contact the initiative director, Tom Gattiker at

Tracie Lee Is the Site Editor for Operations Management Educational Resource Blog

tracie leeTracie Lee, a lecturer in the Department of Information Technology and Supply Chain Management, is the site editor for OM in the News (, a faculty blog sponsored by McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

OM in the News is an educational resource created by faculty for faculty. It features a newsletter and blog posts about current and relevant articles on operations management topics. Each post includes critical thinking questions for use in class discussions and group projects.

The blog launched in January, to McGraw-Hill’s worldwide distribution list of operations management and supply chain faculty.

Accounting Students Volunteer to Help Taxpayers Prepare Their Tax Returns

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

In the center is Kathy Hurley, accounting instructor, with a 2017 student volunteer and a client.

Accounting students have volunteered to help community members prepare their federal and state tax returns. The program, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or VITA, is a free service sponsored by the IRS for those with an annual income of $66,000 or less. Participating students have been trained and certified by the IRS.

The VITA site is in the Hayes Auditorium on the first floor of the Boise main library on Capitol Blvd. and River Street. Help sessions are:

12:15-4 p.m. on Wednesdays

  • February 7, 14, 21, 28
  • March 7, 14, 21
  • April 4, 11

This will be the 5th year that Boise State students have run the VITA program.

Taxpayers must bring their prior year tax return, social security number, income forms (W-2s, 1099s), other income or expense forms such as 1095-A, voided check (if direct deposit is requested), and photo ID.

Don’t need assistance? Anyone making $66,000 or less can use

If you have questions regarding VITA, please contact Kathy Hurley in the Department of Accountancy at Boise State at or call, 208-426-1271.

Professor Tom Gattiker Leads Students in Service-learning Project for Happy Family

tom gattikerTom Gattiker, professor of supply chain management provided a unique, global perspective to his students this past fall semester through an experiential learning project with Happy Family, an organic baby food company. Happy Family is guided by the values of innovation, social and environmental responsibility, with a mission to change the trajectory of children’s health through nutrition. Gattiker responded to a request by Happy Family to assess the environmental and social sustainability of their supply chain. Gattiker scoped the project and integrated it into a small independent studies course as a service-learning project.

“It has been a phenomenal experience for the students,” Gattiker said. “The students learned that defining what is sustainable and not sustainable and then figuring out how to measure it is a challenging task. The team exceeded my expectations, and the company is really pleased.”

The students identified and prioritized factors that make supply chains more sustainable than others–factors ranging from mono-cropping and workers rights. They then assessed a variety of countries and ingredients on these dimensions. They presented their results to the company in January 2018. The students on the team were Alexa (Bell) Tippets, Logan Parker, Adebola Aderogba and Jack Shull. Faculty members Matt Castel, Phil Fry and Brian Greber provided essential expertise.

Gattiker stretched the traditional concept service-learning when he partnered with a for-profit company, rather than with a nonprofit organization. The Service-Learning Program embraced the project because it met the service-learning criteria of addressing a community issue, involving students with an organization with a strong social mission, and taking on a project that promotes the public good. Gattiker’s project provides a new model for integrating service-learning into business courses. Service-Learning with for-profit companies taps current students’ interest in social entrepreneurship, addresses a community issue, and provides students with a service-learning transcript distinction.


Award Received and Papers Published by Professor Shikhar Sarin

Shikhar SarinShikhar Sarin, a professor in the Department of Marketing, with co-authors Stacey Malek, David Gotteland and Christophe Haon won the Best Paper Award in the Innovation and New Product Development Track at the American Marketing Association Educator’s Conference in San Francisco, Calif. in 2017.

The paper “Extrinsic Rewards, Intrinsic Motivation and New Product Development Performance,” examines the effect of various forms of extrinsic rewards on the intrinsic motivation, innovation and product quality.

Previous research and anecdotal evidence suggests that reward structures can have a significant impact on the performance of innovation and new product development teams. However, their effect is complicated and little understood.  Drawing upon Self Determination Theory, this study employs a mixed method approach. Based on multiple rounds of data collected from 246 members of 64 new product teams in the high-tech industry the authors distinguish between various forms of extrinsic rewards (i.e., financial, recognition, and social).

In addition to the Best Paper Award, Sarin has had several papers accepted for publication in the last few months which are forthcoming in 2018.

Published in the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, “Sales Management Controls Systems: Review, Synthesis, and Directions for Future Exploration” was co-authored by Sarin, Stacey Malek and Bernard Jaworski. Sales Management Control Systems (SMCS) are designed to align salespeople’s activities and actions with organizational objectives. This article reviews and synthesizes over fifty SMCS articles published in sales, marketing and management journals over the last thirty years. It develops a comprehensive conceptual framework to classify prior research into digestible categories.

Sarin, Christophe Haon and Mustapha Belkhouja co-authored the article “A Bibliometric Analysis of the Knowledge Exchange Patterns between Major Technology and Innovation Management Journals (1999 – 2013),” It was published in the Journal of Product Innovation Management. Based on an analysis of bibliometric data of 29,776 citations from 4,171 articles published in the top six technology and innovation management journals, this essay takes a longitudinal look at the citation flows patterns between the top dedicated TIM journals from 1999-2013.

Anthony DiBenedetto, Sarin, Belkhouja and Haon worked together on the “Patterns of Knowledge Outflow from Industrial Marketing Management to Major Marketing and Specialized Journals (1999-2013): A Citation Analysis,” published in the journal Industrial Marketing Management. This study examines the impact of Industrial Marketing Management (IMM) on major marketing journals, and journals focusing on industrial/business-to-business marketing from 1993-2013, based on an analysis of 436,943 citations from 8767 articles published during this period.

COBE Student Experience High Finance in New York City

Boise State students in New York CityA group of 12 College of Business and Economics students recently traveled to New York City to immerse themselves in the world of high finance. The trip exposed students to the investment banking and asset management industries as they visited Bank of America Merill Lynch, Barclays, Bloomberg, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan.

Garrett McBrayer, assistant professor in the Department of Finance, led the group. This is his second expedition to New York with students.

“The trip was fantastic! The students were exposed to and learned a ton. The scope of Wall Street is unmatched here in Boise. It is important to me to provide students experiences outside the classroom to help solidify their studies in a tangible way.”

Student, Roxy Herron took full advantage of the trip.

“Traveling to New York with FMA will definitely be one of the highlights of my collegiate career,” Herron said. “I never dreamed I’d have the opportunity to travel across the country to learn from and network with professionals working in the finance and business world. Any student that is able to capitalize on these kinds of opportunities should use it to their full advantage and know that they are not only developing professionally but also personally, which is one of the reasons I loved this trip the most.”

Laura Chiuppi, COBE Career Services director, also accompanied the group.

“As Boise State and COBE grow, more students seek to leave the valley and explore cities. Because of contacts I made on the trip, I now can offer students a variety of opportunities and connections with employers in NYC.” Chiuppi reports.

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. Find FMA on Boise State OrgSync (link opens in new window) or email McBrayer at

FMA students raised funds for the trip through PonyUp Boise State. Thanks to all FMA donors who helped make this the New York experience happen.

COBE Online MBA Program Rises in US News Rankings

Karolin Marakool, banner Marshall at Boise State commencement

Boise State Online MBA Program graduate and banner marshal Karolin Marakool.

Our Online Master of Business Administration program jumped in the US News Best Online MBA Programs rankings (link opens in new window). It ranks 51st out of 267 schools, rising from 72nd place in 2017.

Boise State also shared the 25th spot (out of 57) with Louisiana State University in the US News rankings of Best Online MBA programs for Veterans (link opens in new window).

“As a veteran myself, I’m thrilled that our Online MBA ranks in the top 25 Online Programs for Veterans,” said Ken Petersen, dean of the College of Business and Economics. “Boise State University is committed to supporting veterans and active duty service members. Our Online MBA program is one example of how a well-designed program and dedicated campus resources can create an exceptional experience for our veterans.”

Petersen served around the world for 17 years while in the United States Navy and Navy Reserve.

Boise State launched its online MBA in the fall of 2013 with the goal of helping mid-career working professionals earn a degree in a format that fit their needs. The current curriculum emphasizes a focus on customers, innovation and integrated decision making to prepare graduates to help their organizations advance.

Highlights of Boise State’s program include completion in as little as 12 months, six start dates per year (August, October, January, March, May, and June), a flexible course schedule that allows for time off, collaboration with experienced working professionals, courses taught by best-in-class Boise State faculty, tuition that includes all textbooks and materials (electronic access), and four scholarships available for students with notable work experience, military affiliation, Boise State alumni association membership or a corporate partnership agreement.

As of fall 2017, more than 160 students (including students from 36 states) were enrolled in courses. Students have an average of 8.75 years of work experience. The program has over 100 alumni across the U.S.