E MPLOY E E NE W SL E T T E R
A student uses the Bloomberg terminal located in the Smith Building to access financial market data.
Investing in Education THE INVESTMENT BANKING SO CIET Y GIVES BYU-IDAHO STUDENTS HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE IN FINANCE » Ben Burke: Senior, Communication
Though the financial markets seem as fickle as the Rexburg Structured like a normal investment bank, the 60 students weather, there is still a sense things will turn around. It is with this in the society meet together weekly to listen to professionals in resolution that the students in the Investment Banking Society the business and meet in assigned groups to discuss investment manage a $5 million portion of BYU-Idaho’s investment fund. options. Students are organized into small groups by funds with a Created more than a decade ago by the College of Business and fund manager and fund assistant. They then make decisions with Communication, the Investment Banking Society used a relatively the help of the society presidency. small amount of money donated to them by generous benefactors “The way we have the society set up really helps students of all to invest into the market. Today many universities across the experience levels. The older kids who know a lot about investing nation use software that mimics market trends and allows don’t have to worry about dragging the inexperienced ones along students to “play” with imaginary money within the real market, and the younger students don’t have to worry about being left without worrying about losing any capital. However, with the in the dark,” says Kyle Porterfield, president of the Investment high costs of this software, and a lack of benefactors, the faculty Banking Society and a senior majoring in financial economics. thought there could be a creative solution to this problem. At the end of the semester the presidency compiles the data After a proposal facilitated by Kirk Gifford, associate dean of and formally present their recommendation to the Investment the College of Business and Communication, the BYU-Idaho Committee for their feedback. Investment Committee agreed to set aside funds for the society “The quality and professionalism of the students and their so they could have a hands-on experience. During the Winter presentations has been very impressive so far,” says Shane Webster, Semester 2012, $5 million was set aside out of the university’s financial reporting officer for BYU-Idaho who oversees the investment fund and to be overseen and managed by the day-to day-activities for the university’s investment fund. “It is Investment Banking Society. very apparent their learning and understanding goes beyond the Though the students don’t physically handle the money, they classrooms and textbooks.” Once approval is given, the allocated are put in charge of tracking, analyzing, and recommending an $5 million is invested for the next semester in the proposed way. appropriate allocation for investing the sum. To keep things in perspective and give them a goal, the students use the return on other university investments, as (continued on pg. 4)
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New chairs named for two departments Two new department chairs will begin their service August 1. Steve Rigby has accepted the assignment to serve as the new chair of the Department of Computer Information Technology. Rigby replaces Art Ericson. John Zenger has accepted the assignment to serve as the new chair of the Department of Biology. Zenger replaces Sid Palmer. In announcing the changes, academic vice president Fenton Broadhead expressed his appreciation to both of the outgoing chairs for their service to their departments and to the university.
University News Briefs
Q&A canceled for August, new schedule begins in September
Courtesy photo by Russ Dixon/USU
Utah State University to offer MBA at BYU-Idaho Beginning January 2013, Utah State University will offer its Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree on-site at BYU-Idaho as part of a new agreement between the two universities. Faculty members from the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business will teach the MBA courses on campus at BYU-Idaho. The program will offer the same curriculum taught at USU, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship, strategic thinking, decision-making skills, leadership and effective communication. Classes will be taught on selected Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. “BYU-Idaho is pleased to collaborate with Utah State in a way that provides some exciting opportunities,” said Fenton Broadhead, academic vice president at BYU-Idaho. “This new agreement allows for a graduate school experience here in Rexburg for students, employees and the local community.” Konrad Lee, faculty director of the MBA program, said the Huntsman School of Business welcomes the opportunity to offer a master’s degree in Rexburg. “The Huntsman School’s focus on developing ethical and innovative business leaders who understand the global marketplace will mesh well with the direction and momentum of BYU-Idaho,” he said. Current BYU-Idaho students and employees, recent graduates and other interested individuals from local communities are eligible to apply. Tuition for the two-year, 36-credit program is approximately $25,000 and the application deadline for Winter Semester 2013 is Nov. 15, 2012. Admissions decisions will be made by USU under the same standards as for students applying for the Huntsman School’s other professional MBA programs. Those interested in learning more about the program, including admissions requirements, may visit HuntsmanMBA.com or call (435) 797-2360. 2
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The President’s Council Q&A for August has been canceled. Monthly Q&As will resume September 19 with a new schedule. Instead of rotating between 7 a.m., noon, and 5 p.m. start times, all Q&As will now be held during the noon hour in the MC Special Events Room. Submitting questions in advance is no longer required. As always, reminders about Q&A sessions will be included in the Employee Update e-mail.
Electronic wait list created to enhance registration process In response to many requests by students and faculty over the past several years, a new electronic wait list feature is being added to the university’s registration system. This new feature will enable students to add themselves to an electronic wait list when they encounter a section that is full. The registration system will then manage the process of adding students to the section as seats become available. To learn more about this new feature, visit the Student Records & Registration website at www2.byui.edu/ RegistrarsOffice/waitlist.htm.
BYU track star attributes his success to participation in Activities Program at BYU-Idaho As a key aspect of the BYU-Idaho experience, the Activities Program offers numerous benefits to students, such as learning teamwork, leadership, and participating in physical activity. Most importantly, it helps unlock a student’s potential. That’s what James Ghormley, a former BYU-Idaho student, would say after he won his first ever NCAA Division I track meet. Ghormley attended BYU-Idaho in 2006 and studied engineering. Noticing Ghormley’s athleticism, his roommate invited him to play on his Rec Sports team. Although the team was good, what was most notable was Ghormley’s speed. He had no formal practice or training in track and field, but seeing how fast he was, Ghormley’s team encouraged him to try out for a competitive track team. “I joined the team and I wanted to get good at running, so I would watch YouTube videos of how to start in the starting blocks and how to use correct form. Then I would record myself and compare the two,” Ghormley said. He was so fast that he broke the school record for the 100-meter sprint. The next week he broke the school record again. The following semester, Ghormley transferred to BYU to continue his degree and specialize in manufacturing. Still wanting to run but not sure how to go about it, he walked into the men’s track office and asked if they held tryouts. “They looked at me funny but let me come workout with the team. After showing some promise the coach let me on the team and it was kind of a leap of faith for both of us,” said Ghormley. For his first NCAA Division I track meet Ghormley traveled with his team to UC Irvine. Warming up and getting prepped for the 100-meter, he said he felt a little intimidated. “All the other sprinters looked like a bunch of gazelles because they’d been doing this their whole life,” he recalled. Undaunted, he got into the starting blocks. With a shot they were off and Ghormley won with a 10.73 time. “My coach saw my results and gave me a look as if saying ‘Where did that come from?’ So I felt pretty good,” Ghormley said. “We were very surprised but pleased with his results,” said Mark Robinson, BYU men’s track head coach. Track isn’t the only sport Ghormley has been involved in recently. One of the nation’s two bobsled tracks is located in Park City, Utah. Hearing about tryouts for the U.S. men’s bobsled team, Ghormley decided to try out. “I made their B-team and whenever we race domestically I go with them, but because of school, work, track, and family I can’t go with them when they go abroad,” Ghormley said. As a senior finishing up his manufacturing engineering degree, Ghormley is now married and planning on slowing down a little. “I’m still keeping the options open for the bobsled team, so you never know, you might see me in the Olympics one day,” he said. But there is one thing he knows for sure. “If it wasn’t for intramural sports at BYU-Idaho, I would never have known what potential I had, nor had any of these opportunities open to me.”
RECENT BYU-IDAHO GRAD TAKES FOURTH PLACE AT NATIONAL AUTO COMPETITION A recent BYU-Idaho graduate has taken fourth place at the national SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City, Mo. Brian Firth, who graduated in April with a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Technology Management, won at the regional and state level in order to compete against the top automotive students this summer. As many as 20,000 collegiate automotive students compete in their local areas, with the hope of going on to state and national competitions. In total, 38 states were represented at the national competition. “I came into the program having no prior experience and I was able to go all the way to the national competition,” says Firth. This is the fourth time BYU-Idaho has competed at SkillsUSA, having taken fifth place at the previous competition. The SkillsUSA national competition invites top performing students from high schools and colleges with disciplines ranging from automotive repair to paint and body work, masonry, and even cosmetology. Companies in the industry donate money and tools for the competition as well as prizes for the top three students. “It’s a rigorous competition,” says Troy Spratling, a faculty member in the Department of Automotive Technology who traveled with Firth. “They have to know the complete workings of a car from crankshaft repair to electrical. They even take a written exam.” The competition involved 8 hours of 20-minute stations, with only a 20-minute break for lunch. Each station required a diagnosis of a particular system and some required actual repair. “We are proud of Brian and what he has done,” says Spratling. “His performance at this competition not only helps him in his career––it also helps our students compete in the future and increases the quality of our program here at BYU-Idaho.”
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When a child is stillborn, life stops. The pain is agonizing. But somehow, Darin Eckton and his family waded through the difficulty of the stillborn birth of their second child. Eckton says it was hard in the moment, but the event also blessed their lives. “Resurrection suddenly takes on a deeper personal meaning,” Eckton says. “We are able to help and bless others going through a similar situation.” In addition to serving as director of student mentoring at Utah Valley University, Eckton is an online adjunct faculty member for BYU-Idaho teaching interpersonal theory and practice. “The
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Investing in Education (cont. from pg. 1) controlled by BYU-Idaho Financial Management and the Investment Committee, as the benchmark for their own work. While it is too early to know results of their research, Webster says, “initial indications of their investment are good. We should get a better idea of their return by early 2013.” To better help these students succeed they have a few tools in their arsenal. Kimball Galbraith, a faculty member of the Department of Business who teaches finance, has worked on Wall Street and takes a hands-on approach as he advises and deliberates with the students. Another tool is the new Bloomberg terminal in the Smith Building. According to The New York Times, Bloomberg makes up one-third of the financial data market. The unique two-screen monitor terminal is the students’ main source of information for the market. Students sign up to use the
terminal in small groups. “We love the terminal,” Porterfield says. “Most of what we do and research wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t have it.” For the students this opportunity is twofold. The experience of looking at data and investing is versatile knowledge and many businesses look favorably upon resumes that mention the applicant is “Bloomberg Certified,” meaning they know how to use the terminal. The most beneficial aspect of the Investment Banking Society is its ability to give students graduate level experience right now and allow them to network. “In many of my interviews with employers they see the $5 million and the tone of the discussion changes from prospective employee to peer-to-peer. Students now have something they can talk with professionals with instead of asking generic questions,” says Porterfield.
My entire family would like to thank the administration, faculty, and staff for the many kindnesses extended to us with the passing of my son, Joshua. The flowers, emails, notes, letters and the many people who came to the viewing and funeral comforted and reminded me why this is more than just a great place to work. Thank you for making this difficult time easier. Greg and Lourdes Cameron We are all blessed through your kindness. Then came the flowers from the administrators, faculty, staff, and the Academic Technology employees. Family of Grant Jardine
News & Notes A monthly publication of University Communications
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The July 2012 edition of News & Notes.