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The official magazine of the Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University

Vol. I No. 2, 2011/2012

Spears School of Business

Ph.D. in Business for Executives*

Evidence Based

Innovation Driven

Leadership Development

p h d e x e c .o k

Tailored for Executives WORKING EXECUTIVE FORMAT: The program is offered in a format that accommodates the full-time executive’s lifestyle. We require 4 days per month for 10 months per year in residence. Classes are also supplemented by electronic interactions. INDUSTRY DRIVEN & ACADEMICALLY ENHANCED: Applying the learning and the new knowledge from this program to real-world situations is our objective. • COURSEWORK and COLLABORATION: These components of the program have been developed to address the needs of business defined by industry leaders. Eight courses cover macro and micro organizational issues, creativity, innovation, and a broad and comprehensive spectrum of research methods. Multiple concentration courses and applied research practicum are offered. • STRATEGIC DISSERTATION: A key element of the program is the dissertation which includes creating new knowledge through research. Program participants are encouraged to link dissertations to key and major strategic opportunities and/or challenges that would benefit their companies. BALANCED FACULTY: The faculty members who will be engaged in the program have excellent academic credentials. They also have extensive industry related experience, some in management and others in consulting roles. This balance will enable them to fuse the rigors of academia with the impressive practical experience of our cohorts, providing for an extraordinary experience.

Information on the Ph.D. in Business Administration for executives: Jay Boyington Assistant Director of Graduate Programs 405.744.2951

For additional information, please e-mail: or visit our website at:

*The official name of the degree program is Ph.D. in Business Administration: Executive Research Option

Table of contents


a publication of Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business • Vol. I, No. 2, Winter 2011/2012

16 23


Moving to the next level The Spears School will soon begin construction on a new $90 million, four-level, state-of-the-art building to house its growing programs.

Tony Blair impresses on Oklahoma visit The former prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland impressed the crowds during his first Oklahoma trip, which was sponsored by OSU’s Center for Executive and Professional Development.


Success stories in Kenya


Predicting bankruptcy



An exchange program between OSU’s Spears School and Moi University in Kenya develops faculty members and spreads the benefits in east Africa.

OSU finance professors Betty Simpkins’ and Antonio Camara’s model to measure bankruptcy risk is open for all to use — as it should be.

Armed with encyclopedic knowledge


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Spears School professors and students work with the military to develop a web-based, database-driven ammunition encyclopedia that can work with mobile devices.


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engage@spears winter 2011/2012


Table of contents

engage@spears OSU Spears School of Business Dean

Larry Crosby


Associate Dean

Mark Weiser

Spears School Marketing and Communications

Terry Tush Editor

Michael Baker Art Director

Valerie Kisling Contributing Writers

44 47 48 52


An original OSU entrepreneur

Terry Tush Matt Elliott Suzanne Simpson Photography

Phil Shockley Gary Lawson

Associate Editor

OSU business student Johnson Bailey takes on the sharks and finds success as his Original Man Candles — with such odors as bacon, poker room, golf course and football — climb in popularity.

Janet Varnum

Spears School Department Heads

Bud Lacy

School of Accounting

Jim Fain

Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business

ISyTE Academy attracts students

Michael H. Morris

School of Entrepreneurship

John Polonchek

Department of Finance

Ken Eastman

Oklahoma high school students participate in CSI: Stillwater and build computers from a box of parts during the Information Systems Technology Exploration Academy at the Spears School.

Department of Management

Rick L. Wilson

Department of Management Science and Information Systems

Joshua L. Wiener

Department of Marketing

Rewarding travel


Unlikely traveler and Fulbright Award winner Brandon McVey, who holds OSU degrees in finance, accounting and German, finds success overseas.


Kevin Cate

Graphic Designer


Spears School of Business Oklahoma State University 201 Business Building Stillwater, OK 74078-4011 405-744-5064

Moving beyond borders The Spears School offers several study abroad programs for students looking for success on the international scene.

Departments: Dean’s letter



Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. Title IX of the Education Amendments and Oklahoma State University policy prohibit discrimination in the provision of services or benefits offered by the University based on gender. Any person (student, faculty or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based upon gender may discuss their concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with the OSU Title IX Coordinator, Mackenzie Wilfong, J.D., Director of Affirmative Action, 408 Whitehurst, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, (405) 744-5371 or (405) 744-5576 (fax). This publication, issued by Oklahoma State University, as authorized by the dean, Spears School of Business, was printed by Royle Printing at a cost of $10,194.60. 7.8M Job # 4059 12/11

winter 2011/2012 engage@spears


Reserve Your Seat Now Randi Zuckerberg Former Head of Marketing, Facebook Current Founder & CEO, R to Z Media

“Social Change Through Social Media: How the Web is Changing the Way We Live, Vote and Organize”


OklahOma CiTy

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Luncheon: 12:00–1:30 p.m. Hyatt Regency Hotel

Luncheon: 12:00–1:30 p.m. National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Additional Tulsa Business Forums Speaker:

Additional Executive Management Briefings Speaker:

Peter Sheahan Founder and Chief Executive Officer, ChangeLabs™

Jerry Stritzke President and Chief Operating Officer, Coach Thursday, February 9, 2012 • Luncheon: 12:00 –1:30 p.m. Cox Business Convention Center “The Magic & Logic of Going Global”

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 • Luncheon: 12:00 –1:30 p.m. Hyatt Regency Hotel “Fl!p: Counter Intuitive Strategies for Driving Innovation in Your Organization”

Tulsa BusinessForums


and the Executive Management Briefings Sponsors

Presented by the OSU Spears School of Business and the Tulsa Business Forums Sponsors

Make your reservations online:

presented by the Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University

Make your reservations online:

Call for more information: 1.866.678.3933

To Our Distinguished Guests

We Extend a First Class Welcome Professional relationships between external constituents and faculty and administration in the Spears School of Business are important to the school’s mission. The Spears School Speakers Bureau provides our faculty with an opportunity to merge business and academics by hosting distinguished alumni and friends as speakers.

To Sign Up as a Speaker please visit,

S p e a r S

S c h o o l

o f

B u S i n e S S

o k l a h o m a

S tat e

u n i v e r S i t y

letter from the dean Photo/Gary Lawson

Dear Spears School and OSU supporter: How many times have you heard the saying, “If only the walls could talk”? That’s certainly the case for thousands of students and hundreds of professors who have spent hours upon hours inside Oklahoma State University’s Business Building for the past 45 years. The College of Business spent three days in August 1966 moving its home in Morrill Hall into today’s building. “The building was impressive. … At a cost of $1,250,000 and with 75,000 square feet of floor space, it was quite a switch from the cramped quarters of Morrill Hall. With 83 offices, five classrooms, three graduate seminar rooms, three accounting classrooms, two audio learning laboratories, and five case classrooms in a separate tiered, carpeted case study annex, it was almost overwhelming to those who had struggled for so many years in an increasingly inadequate home. It was, indeed, a time to be proud!” William M. Kincaid Jr. wrote in 1987 in his Centennial Histories Series book, A History of the Oklahoma State University College of Business Administration. If only the walls of the four-story building located at the corner of Hester Street and Morrill Avenue could share their memories. Stillwater businessman Stan Clark (Eskimo Joe’s), former U.S. Sen. Don Nickles and former Praxair CEO Dennis H. Reilley were once students in the building, while former accounting professor Wilton T. Anderson and current marketing professor Lee Manzer were longtime favorites. While our current building has served us well for more than 45 years, it’s time to move on to something bigger and better — a new $90 million facility that will enhance the learning experience for future Oklahoma State business students


engage@spears winter fall 20112011/2012

for many years. We are well on our way to raising nearly $60 million in private funds for the construction of the new building, which will replace both the current Business Building and Hanner Hall located directly to the north. The four-level, state-of-the-art structure will become the eastern bookend of the quad in front of Edmon Low Library. Why is a new building necessary? First and foremost, it will enrich the experience for Spears School of Business students. They will meet in classrooms more conducive to learning, and team/breakout rooms and student study spaces will allow them to interact with their peers. Faculty and staff also will benefit as they will be more capable of meeting the needs of the business school’s growing population by using teaching approaches that are more experiential, collaborative and technology-supported. The new facilities also will be conducive to interaction and interdisciplinary work among the faculty. And let’s not discount the value of a modern building in attracting and retaining the best students, faculty and staff. One day in the future, maybe when another author is asked to write about Oklahoma State’s bi-centennial, it will be written, “The building was impressive … It was, indeed, a time to be proud!”

Lawrence “Larry” Crosby, Ph.D. Dean, Spears School of Business


Spears School professor lauded Jeretta Horn Nord earns coveted state and national awards. Jeretta Horn Nord, management science and information systems professor, received two prestigious honors this fall: the Association for Continuing Higher Education Special Recognition Award and The Journal Record’s Woman of the Year – 50 Making a Difference designation. The ACHE Special Recognition Award is granted when the association believes the nominee has clearly and positively impacted higher education or ACHE. Nord received her award at the ACHE annual conference in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 13. The Journal Record’s Woman of the Year – 50 Making a Difference designation is a special tribute to Oklahoma’s leading women. Each year, The Journal Record releases a publication featuring biographical portraits of the 50 honorees. Nord and the other honorees were recognized at a gala award program at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on Oct. 6. Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School, nominated Nord for both awards because of her countless contributions to the world as a professor, editor, author and entrepreneur. “Dr. Nord has achieved an incredible level of success, which inspires students to be leaders in the workplace,” Crosby says. “She is truly deserving of these awards, and she should be commended for her work and commitment to lifelong learning.” Nord has been a professor in the Spears School for more than 25 years, teaching numerous classes in management science and information systems, entrepreneurship and management. She has brought in more than 150 speakers to her classrooms and written multiple journal articles and a textbook. Nord has worked as associate dean for the Spears School, served as a Fulbright Specialists Scholar in Europe, presented papers at international conferences in 19 countries, facilitated the OSU Women’s Business Leadership Conference, and cofounded and co-advised the OSU chapter of the American Association for University Women. Nord is executive editor for The Journal of Computer Information Systems and this fall established the Spears School Speakers Bureau, an initiative to merge business and academics. The established author and publisher recently released MBA Preferred, a book highlighting the top 50 OSU MBA alumni. She is also the creator of A Cup of Cappuccino for the Entrepreneur’s Spirit book series, which features true stories from entrepreneurs written to teach, challenge and inspire readers.

Jeretta Horn Nord

“My passion for my work is what drives me to succeed,” Nord says. “Everyone should find their passion. Your chance of success is much greater if you are passionate about what you are doing.” Crosby says few would dispute Nord’s worthiness for these awards. Students say she devotes a great deal of time and effort into making her classes interesting, and colleagues say she is a genuine inspiration for other professors. “I believe Dr. Nord is a truly deserving individual for her devotion to outreach, for bringing the real world into the classroom and for seeking to provide examples and stories that will have an impact on students once they are seeking jobs,” says Robert Dooley, former associate dean for graduate programs and research in the Spears School. “She is connecting students to leaders in industry and is making a great impact on their futures.” @

winter 2011/2012 engage@spears



Spears School professors honored Seven lauded for teaching, research and outreach excellence. Having an intelligent and engaging faculty base is, without a doubt, one of the most important components for a successful college. The Spears School has many excellent faculty members, several that were recognized at the annual Awards and Honors Banquet and Graduate Awards and Honors Banquet in the spring.

Goutam Chakraborty, marketing professor, was given the Ken and Leitner Greiner Excellence in Teaching Award for graduate instruction and named a 2011 recipient of the Regents Distinguished Teaching Award. Chakraborty is the founder of the SAS and OSU Data Mining Certificate Program. Established in 2004, it has become the largest and most celebrated program of its kind in the world. In the spring, Chakraborty teamed with SAS to create a new certificate program for MBA students, called the SAS and OSU Business Analytics Certificate Program.

He then worked for American Airlines in Tulsa. When he retired in 1999, Gray was American Airline’s director of international telecommunications issues. He joined the business school as a lecturer in 2000. Gray has been a distance learning instructor for seven years, and he teaches students spread across 14 time zones each semester. The majority of his students are employed full time or deployed in the military, so he makes specialized plans to accommodate each student.

Students and faculty members who nominated Chakraborty say he is an inspiration and emphasized the motivation, guidance and support he gives. Chakraborty has received several other awards for his devotion to academia.

Laurie Lucas, assistant professor of legal studies, was presented the Ken and Leitner Greiner Teaching Award for undergraduate instruction, the highest honor the Spears School bestows for teaching excellence. Students and fellow professors nominate each year’s honorees.

Charles Gray, management science and information systems lecturer, received the Best Practices Award for Distance Learning Teaching from the Oklahoma Distance Learning Association. The award is presented to an individual who excels as an instructor within distance learning environments.

Since she joined the Spears School faculty in 2007, Lucas has been lauded for her teaching abilities for both graduate and undergraduate students. Lucas teaches courses on the legal environment of business. Students say she is one of their favorite professors because she makes the material relevant and easy to comprehend.

Prior to his role at OSU, Gray spent 20 years in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. 8

“These professors have made significant additions to their fields of study and have excelled in the classroom,” says Robert Dooley, former associate dean of graduate programs for the Spears School. “Through their demonstrated leadership, they have built a sense of community within each of their programs and have provided support to their students and fellow faculty members.”

engage@spears winter 2011/2012

Goutam Chakraborty

Charles Gray

Laurie Lucas


Debra Nelson, management professor, was awarded the OSU Outreach Faculty Excellence Award. Nelson is an expert in work relationships, organizational behavior and leadership. She has taught countless outreach programs on emotional intelligence, Myers-Briggs leadership and managing organization stress levels. She has written more than 90 journal articles and book chapters. Prior to joining the Spears School, Nelson served as a Southwestern Bell district manager. She has worked as an executive coach for leaders in such organizations as AT&T, Sonic, ONEOK and State Farm Insurance. Jeretta Nord, management information systems professor, was given the Spears School of Business Teaching Excellence Award, which recognizes teaching excellence within the MBA program on the OSU-Stillwater campus. Nord’s students say she devotes a great deal of time and effort to make her classes interesting. They say she easily relates technology to various aspects of business, uses real-world applications to make her lessons relevant and always welcomes student contributions to the classroom discussion. In addition to her 25 years of teaching, Nord is an author, an editor and a successful entrepreneur. Nord has presented papers at international conferences in 19 countries and is the author of a textbook and numerous journal articles.

Josh Wiener, professor and head of the Spears School’s marketing department, received the Chandler-Frates and Reitz Teaching Excellence Award, which recognizes teaching excellence in the MBA program on the OSU-Tulsa campus. Wiener received the award for his conversational teaching style using current events to spark debate and engage his classes in discussion. His students say his “What would you do?” approach develops and enhances their critical thinking skills. Outside the classroom, Wiener has focused his research on improving communities and the lives of individuals. He has a long list of respected published works and has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the Oklahoma Department of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Human Services, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Debra Nelson

Jeretta Nord

Charlotte Wright, accounting professor and Lanny Chasteen Chair of accounting, was selected as one of nine recipients of the Regents Distinguished Research Award for 2011-12. The award winners were honored during the September meeting of the Oklahoma State University/A&M Board of Regents. Recipients are selected on evidence of outstanding and meritorious achievements, a distinguished record of past and continuing excellence in research, and national and international recognition. @

Josh Wiener

Charlotte Wright winter 2011/2012 engage@spears



Professor’s research aids Iowa Supreme Court The Iowa Supreme Court cited research by a Spears School professor when reaching a decision on a sports-injury liability case. In an opinion regarding a high school boy injured during a softball practice, an Iowa justice cited OSU legal studies professor Griffin Pivateau’s work. “I am quite pleased,” Pivateau says. “It certainly reinforces the fact that academic research, the kind we do at Oklahoma State, plays a role in real life.” Benjamin Feld filed the lawsuit after he was injured during slow-pitch softball practice in June 2005. According to the Iowa court’s opinion, Feld, who was playing first base, suffered a severe eye injury when struck by a bat released a split second after right-handed hitter Luke Borkowski hit a high fly ball into foul territory on the third-base side of the field.

A district court judge heard testimony regarding how the bat flew in a different direction from the ball. The defendant and other team members referred to the incident as “a freak accident.” The judge dismissed Feld’s claim, saying the batter was neither reckless nor had he acted intentionally outside of the scope of playing softball. The Iowa Supreme Court reversed the judge’s decision and sent the case back to district court for trial. Pivateau’s article, “Tackling the Competitive Sports Doctrine: A New Proposal for Sports Injuries in Texas,” addresses how much care a participant should take to prevent injury to another player. Pivateau’s analysis was cited in a discussion on the increasing number of sports injuries among children and whether softball qualified as a contact sport. The judges split over whether softball is a contact sport, but agreed to remand the case.

Griffin Pivateau

“Having research cited by courts is an honor and something that happens rarely,” Pivateau says. “Courts generally rely on previous cases to provide guidance on court decisions. Sometimes, however, courts will look to academic research to decide the best resolution of a particular issue.” @

Rick Wilson: Computer Educator of the Year The International Association for Computer Information Systems honored Rick Wilson, head of the management science and information systems department, in October as the Computer Educator of the Year. The award is the highest honor given by the group.

Rick Wilson

Wilson has been a faculty member at the OSU Spears School of Business for more than 20 years. He says he was drawn to the school because he shares the faculty’s belief about the balance of research and academics. Wilson, also the W. Paul Miller Professor of business administration, has published more than 50 journal articles and nearly as many manuscripts.


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“I don’t teach to win awards,” Wilson says. “I enjoy interacting with students. I have a commitment to helping students learn, and each semester I try to improve. I know the way I can make a difference in the world is through the students. My classes have practical use in the work force, and my students can immediately use what we talk about in everyday life.” Wilson says he shouldn’t get all the credit for the award. “Part of this award is in recognition of what we do as a department,” Wilson says. “I’m proud to be associated with such a valuable set of faculty.” Wilson received the award at the 51st Annual IACIS National Conference in October. He is the third OSU professor to win the award, joining recipients Daryl Nord (1992) and Jeretta Nord (1989). @


Spears School professorships and chairs Endowed chairs and professorships are reserved for the most distinguished scholars and teachers. Endowed chairs or professorships provide funds to the holders in support of their teaching, research and service. The following are new appointments for the 2011-12 academic year: Todd Arnold, associate professor of marketing and the current Ph.D. coordinator for the marketing department, was endowed with the Raymond A. Young Chair.

Tim Krehbiel, finance professor, was selected for the Watson Family Chair for financial risk management.

Gary Trennepohl, Regents service professor, was chosen for the ONEOK Chair in finance.

Tom Brown, marketing professor, was endowed with the Noble Chair in marketing strategy.

Bud Lacy, head of the accounting school, was selected for the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Chair.

Craig Wallace, professor of management, was given the William S. Spears Chair in business administration.

Dursun Delen, management sciences and information systems professor, was selected for the William S. Spears Chair in business administration. Jaebeom Kim, associate professor in economics and legal studies, was chosen for the Puterbaugh Foundation Chair.

Jeretta Nord, MSIS professor, was awarded the Jeannine Rhea/Oklahoma International Women’s Forum Professorship.

Rathindra Sarathy, MSIS professor, was chosen for the Ardmore Chair of business administration.

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Goodbye and Thank You During 2011, OSU’s Spears School of Business bid farewell to distinguished faculty who have long supported its mission.

Teaching couple retires After more than three decades with the Spears School of Business, John and Maryanne Mowen retired this summer. The couple moved to Santa Fe, N.M., where they plan to hike and landscape around their home. John Mowen will continue to write and research. Maryanne Mowen will teach online courses.

Mowen was a founder of OSU’s Regents Professor organization, and he was the initial director for the OSU Creativity Initiative. He also assembled the team that conducted the marketpotential analysis to decide the size of the Gallagher-Iba Arena expansion.

“I am excited for Maryanne and John,” colleague Carol Johnson says, “because I know they’re about to embark on a wonderful new episode of their lives that will be a great adventure.”

Mowen was honored with the Richard W. Poole Research Excellence Award, the Regents Distinguished Research Award and OSU’s Eminent Faculty Award.

John Mowen John Mowen, Regents Professor of marketing and Noble Foundation Chair of marketing strategy, retired in June after 33 years with OSU’s Spears School of Business. Mowen taught more than 10,000 students and, with his unique perspective, changed the way the marketing department operated, says marketing professor Lee Manzer. “I have known John for a very long time,” Manzer says. “At a land-grant university, we emphasize three areas: research, teaching and service. Most professors can only do one or two of them well. John can and does all three.” Manzer says Mowen’s greatest contribution to the university was his emphasis on high-quality research. Mowen published more than 100 reference articles and wrote numerous textbooks and trade books, focusing his research on consumer behavior and high-stakes decision-making. The books have been translated into multiple languages. Mowen developed a new theory in the field of motivation and personality. Many colleagues, students and researchers use his “3M Model of Motivation and Personality.” Mowen says the theory helped him with more than 25 research studies examining unique human characteristics such as superstitious beliefs, healthy diet consumption, aggressive driving, gambling, stock investment, cosmetic surgery, tattoos and remote travel. 12

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Mowen was president of the Stillwater United Way and chairman of the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce. He assisted in founding the Mission of Hope Shelter for the Homeless, and he was also member of Leadership Oklahoma. “My career has been incredibly gratifying, and I have enjoyed the friendliness of the OSU community and the ability to engage in scholarly activities of my choice,” Mowen says. “My hope is that I have positively influenced the many students and colleagues with whom I have had the pleasure of working.” Mowen earned a bachelor’s in psychology from the College of William and Mary in 1969. From 1969 to 1973, Mowen served in the Army. He attained the rank of captain and earned a Bronze Star for his actions in Vietnam. In 1977, he received his doctorate in social psychology from Arizona State University. He taught at Arizona State while completing his post-doctoral study in marketing.

Maryanne Mowen Accounting professor Maryanne Mowen retired in July after 33 years at OSU’s Spears School of Business. Mowen taught accounting courses to more than 12,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students. Her courses varied from cost and managerial accounting to behavioral decision-making. She wrote accounting textbooks that were translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Albanian and Indonesian.


Mowen applies her research to real-world problems. Her work is published and cited by researchers across the globe. Mowen currently is collaborating on an environmental accounting project. “Maryanne has been in the office next to me for the past 15 years,” marketing professor Lee Manzer says. “She is very, very kind and incredibly patient with her students. I’m really going to miss her.” Mowen was on the OSU Athletic Council, serving as chair for three years. She served on OSU’s Edmon Low Library board, and she spent three years as director of accreditation and assessment for the Spears School. “What I like about the Spears School is that you’re not just cooped up in one department,” Mowen says. “You get to work with people from all over campus. When you get to learn about them and what they’re doing, it’s just incredible. Our people are really creative, and they’re doing a super job. They really care about the school and the students.” Carol Johnson, accounting professor and master’s coordinator for the accounting school, says Mowen was a great asset. “Maryanne is a wonderful colleague, a voracious reader, a devoted mother to her lovely daughters and a fun-loving individual,” Johnson says. “When I was a naive newbie in the school, she reached out and made me feel welcome and advised me every step of the way. She has continued to do this with other new faculty, and there seems to be no limits to her capacity for embracing others.” Mowen received numerous awards, including the Oklahoma State University President’s Service Award and The Journal Record’s Women in Business Advocate of the Year.

Gary Frankwick After 21 years at OSU, marketing professor Gary Frankwick retired from the Spears School on Aug. 5. Frankwick taught marketing to more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students. He spent most of his time with small classes where he could spend more one-on-one time with his students. “While he was at the Spears School, he did many of the small but important tasks that make an organization thrive,” says Josh Wiener, head of the marketing department. “He’s like the caulking of a boat — it may not be as flashy as other parts, but without it, the boat sinks.” Frankwick created the marketing department’s undergraduate honors program, served as the department’s doctorate coordinator for 10 years and filled in as MBA program interim director for a year. Frankwick published more than 25 journal articles and presented almost 35 papers at conferences, but most of his research focused on helping doctoral students learn how to do research. Last year, Frankwick mentored seven doctoral students, four from OSU’s program and three from Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya. Frankwick received several awards, including the Best Paper in Business-to-Business from the Association of Collegiate Marketing Educators in 2009 and the Malcolm S. Woldenberg Chair Award for Outstanding Empirical Paper in 1993. He also received the Outstanding Reviewer Award six times from the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice. “When something needed to be done, I did it,” Frankwick says. “It’s a very close-knit department, and we actually really like and take care of each other. I think the best part of being here at OSU has been the people, both my colleagues and the students.” continues on next page winter 2011/2012 engage@spears



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Frankwick, who has taught for 38 years, received his undergraduate degree in 1975 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; his master’s degree in marketing and operations management in 1983 from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh; and his doctorate in marketing from Arizona State University in 1991. Frankwick taught at Arizona State, the University of Evansville and the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. He also served in the Peace Corps for several years and still has close ties to the organization. In August, Frankwick started at the University of Texas, El Paso, as associate dean and a marketing professor.

Gary Meek Gary Meek, the Oscar S. Gellein/ Deloitte and Touche Professor of accounting, retired June 1 after nearly 32 years at the Spears School. Meek, a top teacher and international accounting scholar, says teaching the subject was his favorite part of working at OSU. While Meek was at OSU, the university developed a strong worldwide reputation for international accounting. “Dr. Meek is a distinguished teacher at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral level,” says Don Herrmann, former head of OSU’s accounting school and one of Meek’s former doctoral students. “Though accounting classes are considered some of the most difficult courses in the Spears School, Dr. Meek continues to be one of the most highly rated teachers in the college and many students’ favorite teacher in the accounting department. He learns students by name, is extremely organized and really cares about his students.” Meek received numerous awards for his contributions to accounting. In 2006, Meek received the Greiner Undergraduate Teaching Award. He received the Outstanding Service Award from the International Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association in 2009 and 2010. 14

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Meek’s research focused on financial reporting in a multinational context. He wrote textbooks and numerous journal articles on the topic, and his research has been widely cited by scholars. “My time at OSU has been very good,” Meek says. “I had the freedom to teach the courses I wanted to teach, to do the research I wanted to conduct, and to help make a difference in students’ lives. It’s been a wonderful experience.” Meek earned an accounting bachelor’s and an MBA from Texas Christian University. He received his accounting doctorate from the University of Washington. Except for a 1986 sabbatical at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, Meek spent his entire teaching career at OSU. On May 5, 2011, Meek established the Gary K. Meek Scholarship Fund for Spears School accounting majors. “Dr. Meek is a perfect example of a professor who integrates his success in scholarship into the classroom,” Herrmann says. “His love for international accounting is evident to all. He will be missed for his contributions to accounting scholarship, his great teaching ability and his encouraging and supportive role as a colleague in the accounting school at OSU.” @


OSU partners with Iraq’s University of Basrah Photo/Kevin Cate

Oklahoma State University and the Spears School of Business hosted in October three professors from Iraq’s University of Basrah, showing them American customs and introducing them to Western teaching styles and curriculum. The Iraqi faculty members — Abdul-Khaliq Y. Zaier al-Badran of Basrah’s petroleum engineering department, Abdulzahra Khu Raheem Alaliawi of the university’s finance department, and Majid Abdulnabi Alwan al-Tameemi of the school’s computer science department — came to Stillwater as part of a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of State’s university linkage program. “I think this visit has gone extremely well,” says John Polonchek, head of the Spears School’s finance department and co-principal investigator for the grant project. “We are incredibly honored to be a part of this program, and in the next several years we expect additional successful visits by other faculty cohorts.” Over the next three years, numerous Basrah faculty members will work closely with Oklahoma State faculty members in finance, chemical engineering, and electrical and computer engineering to review the Iraqi university’s current curriculum and help it develop more student-centered, interactive teaching methods. In October, the three Iraqi professors spent a great deal of time attending American classes, speaking with professors and learning about how things are done at OSU. They also met with OSU President Burns Hargis, Provost Robert Sternberg and Spears School Dean Larry Crosby, and they participated in several cultural activities, such as a question-and-answer session with students at Stillwater Middle School. “We are looking forward to the cooperation between these two universities,” al-Badran says. “We already have about 25 Iraqi students at OSU, two of whom are from Basrah.” Polonchek says OSU was selected for the grant because the state department wanted to work with a university able to deliver quality information in several areas. “The city of Basra is basically the functional equivalent of Houston, and it’s located in a major oil area,” Polonchek says. “That’s why they were very much interested in petroleum engineering, computer engineering and finance.” The University of Basrah is one of the oldest universities in Iraq. Founded in 1964, it includes 15 colleges and six research centers, and it bestows degrees at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels. The university has about 25,000 students, making it the second-largest university in Iraq behind Baghdad University. Al-Badran, who has taught at Basrah for more than 30 years, says university graduates prefer to work in the public sector because there are few opportunities available in private business.

From left, University of Basrah professors Abdul-Khaliq Y. Zaier al-Badran, Majid Abdulnabi Alwan al-Tameemi and Abdulzahra Khu Raheem Alaliawi enjoy themselves during their first visit to Oklahoma State University and the United States.

“There are numerous complications keeping people from opening their own businesses,” Alaliawi says. “Lots of attempts from other countries, including America, have been made to help develop the private sector and help people open businesses. Recent graduates don’t have the desire to work for the private sector because the rules governing it are very old, so we need to change these rules before we can change the mentalities of these graduates. We need more resources so the young people can feel confident opening their own businesses.” Polonchek says one of his main goals is to identify the resources Basrah needs and help provide them, even if the required resources are as simple as textbooks. “They are living in an environment where their access to the global market is constrained, so we can help them in that department, in terms of trying to figure out how we can get them resources to use in the education process,” Polonchek says. “Though we met with the Iraqis this summer, this is the first time any of these professors have been to America. As the project moves through the next two years, it will be more of a training environment. We’re happy to begin moving forward.” Al-Badran says he is excited about learning from an American university because he believes the U.S. has a long history of development and improvement in higher education and technology. “Our university needs the help of American universities,” alBadran says. “So that’s why we’re here. The Iraqi mind does not lack for anything, but we need help with curriculum and technology to excel.” @ winter 2011/2012 engage@spears


Moving to the The future home of the Spears School of Business

By Suzanne Simpson

Picture a school with identical classrooms, each with a chalkboard, several rows of student desks and a drab metal teacher’s desk. There are indistinguishable professors’ offices with oysterwhite walls, a gray desk, a matching file cabinet and cold tile floors. Posters and fliers aren’t allowed on office doors. The building has no computers or even an overhead projector. It’s a dreary learning place. Such was the 1981 business school when Marilyn Kletke, the master’s coordinator for the Spears School of Business’s management information systems programs, joined the faculty. Since then, OSU and the business school have come a long way. Professors use better equipment to teach students in environments more conducive to learning, and the OSU campus has received some upgrades. Now comes an even bigger upgrade as the Spears School and OSU move to the next level. Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School, announced in early October a 200,000-square-foot building to replace the current facilities, which have housed the school since the early 1960s. The effort is underway to raise $60 million in private support for the $90 million building. “This business building has been here forever,” Kletke says. “For years they’ve talked about building a new one, but we haven’t ever gotten there until now. So this is a really exciting step.” The four-level, state-of-the-art structure, expected to take two to three years to complete once ground is broken, will be on the east side of Hester Street, continues on page 18


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Above: The south entrance of the new Spears School of Business will face Morrill Avenue. The building, which will replace the Business Building and Hanner Hall, will stretch along the east side of Hester Street between Athletic and Morrill avenues. Right: A cutaway of the new building displays its location in relation to the Edmon Low Library, on the left in the rendering. Shown within the building are the 300-person auditorium, the trading room and various gathering places. Preliminary renderings and architectural plans provided by the design firm of Perkins+Will.

Next Level

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continued from page 16

between Athletic Avenue and Morrill Avenue. It will eventually replace the current Business Building and Hanner Hall.

Kletke agrees, saying that “without a shadow of a doubt” the new building will help students achieve more at OSU.

“The Spears School of Business is well respected, and these amenities will take it to another level by creating a learning space that gives our students more advantages in the business world,” OSU President Burns Hargis says.

“What I think this new building will do is take a group of wonderful faculty, staff, administration and programs and put them into a building commensurate with their level of excellence,” Kletke says. “The Spears School will then look like it’s fantastic, as well as being fantastic.”

One of the best ways to appeal to prospective students and faculty is by having up-to-date and attractive facilities. Hargis says the new business building has been designed to enhance the school’s attractiveness, in addition to improving the educational opportunities, technological resources and overall learning experiences of the school’s students and faculty. “I think this building will be the new vehicle that enables us to move to the next level,” Crosby says.

“What I think this new building will do is take a group of wonderful faculty, staff, administration and programs and put them into a building commensurate with their level of excellence.” — Meg Kletke “Consider football as an example,” he says. “What happens on the playing field, the team’s win-loss record, is ultimately what matters. Even so, the athletic facility influences what actually happens on the field. With a better facility, you can attract better players, better coaches and better trainers, and you can supply better equipment for training. I think the building is really going to enable us to improve our record, to use that analogy.” Crosby says he also believes the new business building will be a way to bring alumni back to the Spears School. “A building gives a sense of pride for the alumni that connects them back to the school,” Crosby says. “Even for those who have already graduated and been out for a while, the new building will give them a reason to come back and see its prominent location. “I also think there is a qualitative effect of being in a facility that exudes professionalism. I think people rise up and perform at a higher level when they are surrounded by that kind of atmosphere, and I think there are many ways this new building will enhance the students’ experience and provide them with a richer education.” 18

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The design team devised a building that will allow students to learn in a friendlier, more inviting manner. The preliminary concept design shows a dynamic business school of the future that welcomes corporate visitors and reinforces the rich character of OSU’s campus Georgian architecture. “I’ve seen three or four renditions of plans for the business building, but I just didn’t feel very excited about any of them until the most recent one,” Kletke says. “It’s just smashing. The foresight, the vision and the plan for it are wonderful, and it will revolutionize the look of the campus. We will be the east portal of campus.” The new building will anchor the eastern edge of the existing library green, fostering a key campus planning connection between Old Central and the campus core. The four-level building — three floors will be above ground — will match the scale, exterior finishing and landscaping of adjacent buildings. Preliminary plans show the building’s top floor with faculty offices, the dean’s suite and the executive boardroom. An outdoor terrace will be accessible from this floor. Crosby says the new faculty offices will encourage professors to interact more with students and each other. “One of the challenges you run into when you have an inadequate building with inadequate offices is that people tend to work more at home,” Crosby says. “It’s not a place you want to spend your work day. So you come in, you teach your classes, you pull office hours as you’re required to do, but you’ll probably be better going home and working in your basement office. “Having a place that’s a professional spot for the faculty will be an immense help. I expect they’ll want to be here for larger blocks of the day, which increases their opportunities for interaction with other faculty and students.” The building will have other features that will pique the faculty and students’ interest. “We will be able to deliver a better classroom experience by virtue of having seating arrangements more conducive to participation,” Crosby says. “We’ll also have technology that will allow students and professors to tape lectures and communicate continues on page 20

Floor by floor from the top Preliminary architectual plans of the four floors of the new Spears School show the location of classrooms, offices, gathering places and other amenities.

Third Level: Dean’s suite, offices and meeting rooms.

Second Level: Classrooms, meeting locations, labs and lounges.

Ground Level: Atrium, cafe, Student Success Center, trading room, and outreach offices.

Lower Level: Auditorium, lecture hall, classrooms and hall of fame.

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continued from page 18

to people in other countries, and we’ll be able to have speakers and professors who cannot be there physically piped into the classroom virtually.” Rooms with these capabilities will primarily be located on the lower level and second floor. The levels also will house experiential classrooms, case study rooms and large lecture halls. A 300-seat auditorium is planned for the lower level. Team breakout rooms and student study spaces will be located on all levels, Crosby says. There will be a large, multi-level atrium that will hold a capacity of 250 attendees for events like formal dinners, business presentations or campus award ceremonies. “Right now, our school doesn’t have anywhere nice to have a congregation of our own,” Kletke says. “It will be great to have that kind of a space so that we can gather and be a part of a group, a real entity. I think it’s way past time for us to get that ability.” The ground level of the building will feature a common gathering area for students, a trading lab and a café. Crosby says one of the most exciting highlights of the whole building will be housed on the ground level: the Chesapeake Energy Student Success Center. The world-renowned energy company has donated $5 million for the construction of the new facility. Throughout her years at OSU, Kletke has had a hand in developing leaders. One of the most important

Top: The 50-seat classroom will be the premier learning environment within the new Spears School of Business Building. These classrooms will be built to accommodate a variety of teaching methodologies and technology scenarios. They will use web-streaming, distance-learning and lecture-capture technologies. Middle: The concourse on the lower level outside of the auditorium will have 300 seats. Bottom: Inside the auditorium, students can listen to lectures or participate in more formal business discussions and forums.


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characteristics of success, she says, is the ability to accept change, something OSU does very well.

the learning process and more excited about their future careers in business.

“We’ve had countless improvements since I’ve been here, in every way imaginable,” Kletke says. “It’s constant change. OSU keeps changing, but it keeps getting better and better.

“In my mind, it’s going to really affect the student experience,” Crosby says. “Consistent with our statement of purpose, the students, faculty, alumni and donors are really going to be more engaged as a result of the facility. It will increase the opportunities for their interaction with each other.

“The current business building has seen an awful lot of people and an awful lot of change. They’ve worked really hard to update this building, and it’s nicer by far than it used to be. But after a point, you just can’t do much more to it. It’s had its life, but everything comes to an end. It’s the way we live, and a building is no different. This new building will bring us up to date, and I can hardly wait to see it.”

“I imagine that in this new building the students are going to come and stay the better part of the day. It’s going to be a place where they’ll want to go and hang around, and I think it will increase their immersion into business as a result. This will really become their home.” @

Crosby says he believes the new building will be a place where students will become more engaged in

Help build business excellence

View of the new business building looking north along Hester Street.

Help bring the new building into reality and strengthen the education for OSU students. Join with donors leading the way by making a gift to the building fund. All gifts will count toward the Branding Success campaign. You can give online at

By designating your gift for the Spears School of Business new building, you will be a partner in shaping the future of business education at Oklahoma State. If you prefer to make your gift in person or have questions regarding the project, contact Diane Crane or David Spafford at the OSU Foundation at 405-385-5106.

winter 2011/2012 engage@spears


The Chesapeake Energy Student Success Center will streamline the process for enrollment, career guidance and overall involvement in the school.

Major gift funds Chesapeake Energy Student Success Center The Chesapeake Energy Corporation is donating $5 million to build a 4,200-square-foot student success center when the Spears School of Business moves to a new building. The Chesapeake Energy Student Success Center will support students’ pursuit of academic excellence by streamlining the process for enrollment, career guidance and overall involvement in the school. “We have always been supporters of Oklahoma State University and its many excellent programs and knew this was another opportunity to make a difference,” says Jennifer Grigsby, a senior vice president and the treasurer at Chesapeake. “It’s extremely exciting for us to be able to participate in the growth of the Spears School of Business, and we look forward to the Chesapeake Energy Student Success Center playing a vital role in the enhancement of the academic experience of students for many years to come,” she says. “We believe the future of Oklahoma is in good hands and we are honored to play a part in the development of the leaders of tomorrow.” Four departments will be housed in the center. Student Services will offer academic advising for undergraduates. Career Services will provide career 22

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development opportunities, programs, internships and opportunities to network with corporate recruiters. Professional Success Passport will identify and encourage participation in activities offered by the school’s 20 student organizations. The Business Writing Lab will provide assistance on assignments, résumés and other projects. “Chesapeake is one of the largest employers of OSU graduates, and their investment in the university benefits both their company and our institution,” says Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School of Business. “We are deeply appreciative of the company’s commitment to the state and giving back to the citizens of Oklahoma in a very significant way.” Crosby believes Chesapeake’s gift will make a difference in the lives of OSU’s business students. “The Chesapeake Energy Student Success Center and the quality of that will have a big impact on student retention,” he says. “Students will want to seek out guidance and they’ll be more likely to see the resources that are available to them, which will help keep them on track to graduate. We’re counting on the center to help create an incremental boost in our retention and graduation rates.” @


tony blair impresses on oklahoma visit By Terry Tush

Tony Blair, former prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, presents Remarks by Tony Blair during his trip to Oklahoma on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. continues on next page

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Sharing the stage with Blair are Spears School of Business Dean Larry Crosby and Schuyler Pracht, chair of the Student Government Association Speakers Board.

continued from previou page

The look on his face was one of excitement and joy. It’s an expression of a child who wakes Christmas morning to find a bicycle beside the tree. While nearly speechless, the child can’t wait to tell everyone of the good fortune. The same expression was on the man’s face as he walked out of the Oklahoma City Civic Center after hearing Tony Blair speak at an engagement sponsored by OSU’s Spears School of Business. “May I share something with you?” he asked a Spears School official. “I’ve been coming to this event every year since Margaret Thatcher (in 1993), and I can honestly say that even though every speaker has been informative, this was the best one ever. Mr. Blair was outstanding.” More than 1,200 people heard the United Kingdom’s former prime minister and Labour Party leader speak in Oklahoma City on Nov. 1. It was his third and final speech during a two-day Oklahoma tour coordinated by OSU’s Center for Executive and Professional Development. Earlier in the day, the 58-year-old Blair spoke to 1,300 people attending the Tulsa Business Forums at the Mabee Center. The day before, he presented Remarks by Tony Blair to nearly 3,500 people, including students, faculty and staff, at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater. “Students, faculty, staff, alumni, business leaders and government officials have conveyed to me how impressed they were by Mr. Blair’s agile mind, keen insights regarding world affairs, great sense of humor and down-to-earth style,” says Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School of Business. “His different talks spanned topics ranging from African governance to the Palestine-Israel issue, religious understanding, sports and climate change.” Hours after visiting with President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., Blair arrived in Stillwater, where he displayed his OSU knowledge by congratulating head coach Mike Gundy on his football team’s victory over Baylor a few days earlier, commenting 24

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on how he liked the school’s orange and black colors and recognizing the Cowgirl soccer team for being the nation’s No. 2-ranked team. Blair spoke on a number of topics during his visit, but focused many of his remarks on the challenges for the U.S. and U.K. in a world of shifting political and economic power. “I don’t think there ever has been a tougher time to be a leader than now,” Blair said. “The toughest thing about being prime minister was trying to find the right answer, to find the right path.” Finding that right path is not always easy, he added. Blair remains active in politics as the Quartet representative for the United States, United Nations, Russia and European Union in the Middle East. He has made 72 trips to the Middle East since leaving office four years ago, and he hopes to bring Israeli and Palestinian leaders back to the negotiating table. Blair said the issues facing today’s leaders — economy, democracy and diversity — are not cause for doom and gloom. “We actually become defeatist about our position,” he said. “We begin to think that with all of this power shifting, maybe there is a fundamental problem. We begin to say, ‘The 20th century belonged to us. Will the 21st century belong to someone else?’ The answer is not to lose faith in who we are and what we believe in, but actually to regain it and apply those values and way of life to the changed world around us.” The former prime minister said he didn’t consider entering politics until he was a 20-year-old college student. Now, he is recognized as one of the most influential political leaders in the last 50 years. Blair’s memoir, A Journey: My Political Life, made The New York Times Best Sellers list within a week of its September 2010 release. While introducing Blair in Oklahoma City, OSU President Burns Hargis joked it may be easier to attempt to solve the IsraeliPalestinian conflict in the Middle East than Big 12 Conference realignment issues.

“I would be happy to debate you about whether or not the Big 12 is a tougher topic than the conflict in the Middle East,” Blair said when he reached the podium, “except for the fact that I have no idea what a Big 12 is.”

A student’s view

The former prime minister also had a message for Oklahomans.

foot on Oklahoma State’s campus during my academic career.

“People used to ask me when I was prime minister how well I knew the United States,” Blair said. “I said I know it well. I’ve been to Washington, D.C., and New York City many times. Well, now I know the real America is here.”

As the Student Government Association Speakers Board members finished

After spending two days with Blair, Crosby says it’s evident what you see is what you get.

I am honored I had the opportunity to spend time with Mr. Blair during his visit

“In his remarks were many lessons of leadership, including the idea that to lead is to decide, and to decide is to inevitably divide,” Crosby says. “As he spoke about faith and the importance of being true to one’s values, you could hear a pin drop. It was like a sermon from a famous preacher.

as vice president of the OSU student body

“Having sat next to Mr. Blair for several meals, I can assure you there are no airs about the man, and it’s like talking to your neighbor next door. If it wasn’t for that accent, you might think he was from Oklahoma.” @

More speakers The remaining lineup for the 2011-2012 speakers series:

Executive Management Briefings in Oklahoma City

by Kyle Buthod The lights dimmed in preparation for the most prestigious speaker to set

preparations in Gallagher-Iba Arena for honored guest Tony Blair, former prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, there was a buzz of excitement. Lines formed and quickly grew in anticipation of his talk. to Oklahoma State. I was asked to join Blair for dinner because of my roles and president of the Spears School’s Business Student Council. Getting to meet Blair was a dream come true. My first interaction with him was during a photo session. He is very personable and humble. We momentarily visited before he had to take other pictures. Later, I was able to briefly visit with him and his staff in the room adjacent to the dinner while guests were being seated. During a question-and-answer session with those at dinner, I sat with Blair’s executive assistant as well as his private security team, four men from Scotland Yard. These four men

Tony Blair, left, former

know Blair as well as his family, as they stay as

prime minister of the U.K.,

Feb. 9 — Jerry Stritzke, president and chief operating officer of Coach, noon-1:30 p.m., Cox Convention Center

close to him as his own shadow.

poses with Kyle Buthod.

March 16 — Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of R to Z Media and former marketing head for Facebook, noon-1:30 p.m., National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

talking with students. He is very quirky and funny while maintaining great

*For more information or to learn about how you can participate as a sponsor, email Gaye Trivitt at

Tulsa Business Forums March 15 — Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of R to Z Media and former marketing head for Facebook, noon-1:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Hotel

I noticed the former prime minister enjoys poise and prestige. When we visited, I asked him about his most memorable moment. He said he was unsure if there was just one. He then proceeded to tell me some funny stories from his experiences. The main thing I took away from my visit with Blair is to pursue one’s passions and dreams and to pursue them fully until the task is complete. “I didn’t come into politics to change the Labour Party,” Blair says. “I came into politics to change the country.” During his 10-year term, he did exactly that. His vision and global insight are truly incredible.

May 1 — Peter Sheahan, best-selling author and founder of Change Labs, noon-1:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Hotel

He also mentioned the Tony Blair Faith Foundation on numerous occasions. I

*For more information or to learn about how you can participate as a sponsor, email Karen Ward at

I was given the opportunity to meet one of the most renowned global leaders

Individual registration is $100 for the luncheon presentations. Visit for more information.

think it is phenomenal he not only has the power to make a difference, but also takes his time, energy and money to benefit people around the globe. of my lifetime, and I am so grateful. It’s an experience that I won’t soon forget. Buthod is a senior from Lee’s Summit, Mo., and an international business major with an emphasis in Mandarin Chinese. @

winter 2011/2012 engage@spears



Executives advise OSU students at 9th annual Spears School CEO Day Photo/Gary Lawson

OSU students got first-hand business advice from three successful executives at the ninth annual CEO Day in April. CEO Day was first held in 2003 for students to interact with successful business people, discover challenges and issues CEOs face, understand how CEOs chart their career paths and learn characteristics they seek in employees. This year’s event included the forum “Strengthening Your Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century” and featured Paul Cornell, president and deputy CEO of SpiritBank; Jerry King, founder and chairman of King Aerospace Inc.; and Tucker Link, chairman of Knightsbridge Investments Ltd. “It was a really enjoyable experience,” Cornell says. “It’s great exposure for students to actually hear from people in the workforce who have been in their shoes and are now in the business sector.” The executives spoke about skills they wish they had learned in school or gave advice based on their experiences in the business world. “Be prepared for what’s coming,” Link says. “Whatever your discipline is now, you’ll likely have many different career opportunities in the future. Enjoy what you’re doing, get a good education, and get ready for the ride. Times are different today than they were when I was at OSU. The world is much smaller now, but students have the same fears and apprehensions as we did when we were graduating. Just be prepared.” Even with all the preparation school can offer, students may still be surprised where life takes them, King says. Above all, King says he believes students should be passionate. “My message to the students was about passion,” King says. “I actually didn’t


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From left are Tucker Link, chairman of Knightsbridge Investments; Jerry King, founder and chairman of King Aerospace; and Paul Cornell, president and deputy CEO of SpiritBank. The three executives spoke with students during CEO Day.

have any aspirations to become an executive. I just wanted to get a good job and feed myself. But by working hard and persevering, I was led to the path to become an executive. To get here, you need those life values, those skills to go along with classroom work. Life is about passion, commitment, tenacity and perseverance. These things will help differentiate you from the average student.” Robert Dooley, former associate dean for graduate programs at the Spears School and now dean of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga College of Business, says CEO Day truly did show students how to stand out from the norm. “We were very excited to have Mr. Cornell, Mr. King and Mr. Link taking the time and energy to spend the day with our students,” Dooley says. “This was a tremendous opportunity for students to engage outstanding leaders and learn first hand about the opportunities and challenges facing businesses today.” @


Women entrepreneurs find inspiration Hundreds of women entrepreneurs gathered for the entrepreneurial revolution at the second Women Entrepreneurs Inspire Conference in Oklahoma City. Hosted by the Spears School of Business’ Riata Center for Entrepreneurship, the event attracted 21 exhibitors and more than 625 Oklahoma businesswomen to the Cox Convention Center. “Entrepreneurship is the key to revitalizing Oklahoma’s economy, and women are leading the charge,” says Nola Miyasaki, Norman C. Stevenson Chair and director for the Riata Center. “Today, an estimated 50 percent of small businesses are owned by women, and for the past two decades women-owned firms have grown at twice the rate of all other firms. The energy and the networking that went on at this event were truly amazing.”

This year’s conference included an introduction by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and 30 presentations from leading women entrepreneurs, including Maria de Lourdes Sobrino, founder and CEO of Lulu’s Dessert; Catherine M. Ann, founder and CEO of Consumer Connections; and Jennifer Prosek, founder of CJP Communications.

Miyasaki hopes the motivating event will help Oklahoma businesswomen find the courage to create goals and pursue their dreams. “Courage is in many ways the foundation of entrepreneurial success,” Miyasaki says. “It enables us to take a leap of faith, to believe in ourselves and to keep going when times are tough.” @

The conference also featured sessions on technology and social entrepreneurship and hands-on breakout sessions on a range of practical issues to enable women to act on their ambitions, Miyasaki says. The Riata Center worked with numerous corporate sponsors to finance the event, including the Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, Stillwater National Bank, Jordan Advertising and the law office of Day, Edwards, Propester and Christensen.


Women’s Business Leadership Conference Attending the 20th Annual Women’s Business Leadership Conference in 2011 are, from left, management professor Sara Freedman; Lou Kerr, president and chair of the Kerr Foundation; Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin; and Larry Crosby, dean of OSU’s Spears School of Business. The International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation, the Oklahoma International Women’s Forum and the Spears School’s Center for Executive and Professional Development presented the event held in Tulsa in March.

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Spears School assists disabled veteran entrepreneurs Photo by Gary Lawson

says Michael H. Morris, head of the entrepreneurship school. “As a country, we must do more to help those who have paid such a price for our freedom.” Participants complete an online self-study session, an intense eight-day session at OSU and a 10-month mentoring period. “Like a military boot camp, this program is intense, rigorous and challenging,” says Morris, a veteran. “Building upon key elements of OSU’s comprehensive entrepreneurship curriculum, the program consists of training modules designed to assist veterans in creating a business that can be profitable.”

Veterans and other participants listen to a lecture on aggregating, filtering and storing information during the 2011 Veterans Entrepreneurship Program.

Like many brave men and women, Joe Collins faithfully served his country as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves. He was part of the first wave deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. When he returned home, Collins suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It was extremely difficult for him because of the degree and severity of his illness, but he said it was one of the most awesome and unbelievable programs he has ever attended,” Collins-Clark says. “I attended his graduation night, and it was one of the most honoring events I have ever been to for veterans.” The program is an intensive entrepreneurial boot camp aimed at empowering disabled U.S. veterans. Sponsored by the Spears School’s Riata Center for Entrepreneurship, the annual program seeks to equip veterans with the resources they need to turn their business ideas into workable models. “The evidence makes it clear that disabled veterans statistically have more difficulty in accessing resources and networks when they start businesses, which creates higher barriers to success,”


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At the closing graduation ceremony, retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston addressed the participants and their families. Ralston served as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe for NATO, commander for the U.S. European Command and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The OSU program provided free transportation, accommodation, books, food and instruction. OSU alumni and supporters donated thousands of dollars to help make it possible. “I believe we owe it to these veterans who have paid such a high price to serve our country,” Morris says. “The whole idea is to empower veterans and to show them a path forward that centers on entrepreneurship.” @


Cynde Collins-Clark says her son’s illness was so severe he barely left his bed for three years. Collins eventually visited a treatment facility and saw a counselor. He is working hard to begin his life anew. To help him reach his goals, Collins attended the Spears School’s Veterans Entrepreneurship Program.

Forty-two veterans came to OSU’s Stillwater campus Jan. 29 through Feb. 5. The participants were exposed to all aspects of venture creation from successful entrepreneurs and faculty from OSU’s entrepreneurship school and other schools across the country.


Former General Electric CEO speaks at Tulsa Business Forums Photo/Courtesy

Former GE CEO Jack Welch, right, emphasizes a point while answering a question posed by OSU Spears School of Business Dean Larry Crosby.

Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric Co., was one of several speakers who enthralled the audience during the 25th anniversary of the Spears School of Business’s Tulsa Business Forums. Welch spoke at the Mabee Center in Tulsa in February. “We are pleased to attract business leaders such as Jack Welch to participate in our series,” says Spears School of Business Dean Larry Crosby, who interviewed Welch. “General Electric has been an organization known for its innovation, and we enjoyed hearing Mr. Welch’s views on organizations and how leadership can affect a company’s position in the marketplace.” Welch is the author of Winning, a No. 1 Wall Street Journal and international best seller. Welch began his career with GE in 1960. In 1981 he became the company’s eighth chairman and CEO. During his more than 20-year

tenure as CEO, the company’s market capitalization rose from $13 billion to $400 billion. In 2000, Fortune magazine named Welch Manager of the Century. Welch is currently the head of Jack Welch LLC, where he serves as a special partner with the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, and is a consultant to Interactive Corp. In addition to Welch, the 25th Tulsa Business Forums series welcomed Ben Sasse, a former U.S. assistant secretary of health and human services; Robert Kennedy Jr., an environmental business leader and advocate; and Boone Pickens, an energy executive and entrepreneur. Since 1987, more than 80 people have spoken at the forums, including 14 world leaders, 35 government and business experts, 16 finance and economics authorities and 13 media and communications specialists. OSU’s Center for Executive and Professional Development coordinates the series. @

winter 2011/2012 engage@spears



First Sustainable Conference Hits Big Boone Pickens and Robert Kennedy Jr. highlight Spears School event.

Boone Pickens and Robert Kennedy Jr. are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Pickens, the billionaire energy magnate who graduated from Oklahoma A&M in 1951, and Kennedy, a member of a New England political dynasty, put aside their differences during the first Sustainable Enterprise Conference in Tulsa this April. Pickens and Kennedy were the keynote speakers for the program and participated in a Q-and-A session with OSU President Burns Hargis during the conference sponsored by the Spears School of Business. Pickens delivered his address, “Sustainability and the Pickens Plan,” in the form of a Q-and-A with Hargis in a morning session. Kennedy delivered a post-luncheon address, “Green Gold Rush: A Vision for Energy Independence, Jobs and National Wealth.” Hargis then joined the two for a joint Q-and-A session. “The first Sustainable Enterprise Conference was a huge success. It was a great event thanks to Boone Pickens and Robert Kennedy Jr., both of whom were

excellent keynote speakers and then captivated the audience during their question and answer time with President Hargis,” says Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School. Pickens and Kennedy found common ground during their discussion about the nation’s continued reliance on coal. Kennedy endorses the Pickens Plan, which calls for the U.S. to convert vehicles to compressed natural gas and therefore cut down on the need for imported oil. More than 200 Congress members endorse the plan to convert 8 million 18-wheel trucks from diesel fuel to natural gas. It would cut the use of an estimated 2.5 million barrels of oil a day, or nearly half of U.S. imports. “If we don’t capitalize on natural gas, I promise you we’re going to go down as the dumbest group that ever came into town,” Pickens said. “We don’t agree on everything, but we agree on America. I want it clean, you want it clean.” Kennedy is an attorney specializing in environmental law. He and Pickens disagree on several issues, including cap-and-trade economics and whether hydraulic fracturing pollutes groundwater. But they agree that the nation has an energy issue that needs to be resolved soon. Kennedy said creating a cleaner environment for wildlife and their habitats is necessary for safer and higher paying jobs in the future.

Speakers at the Sustainable Enterprise Conference include, from left, OSU President Burns Hargis, Spears School of Business Dean Larry Crosby, attorney Robert Kennedy Jr. and OSU alumnus Boone Pickens. engage@spears winter 2011/2012




Going Green for a Brighter Orange video earns top honor Three OSU students learned about the Johnson Controls Campus Green Scene Video Contest at the last minute. They hurriedly Photo/Courtesy

composed a video showcasing the sustainability efforts in the Student Union renovation in the spring. Justin Langston, Brittney Melton and Drew Stone took two days to shoot and edit Going Green for a Brighter Orange. The trio won the grand prize for Four-Year Public Institutions in the Campus Green Scene contest. The Spears School of Business Sustainable Enterprise Institute received $5,000 from Johnson Controls. The three students split several prizes, including an iPad and iTunes cards. “Provost (Robert) Sternberg has stated that our job at OSU is ‘to prepare students to be the creative, practical, wise and ethical leaders of the future.’ When I look at Drew, Brittney and Justin,

Boone Pickens, left, listens as Robert Kennedy Jr., middle, discusses plans for

I see three very different kinds of people who came together to

responsible energy consumption with OSU President Burns Hargis at the Sustainable

collaborate for a common cause,” says Jane Talkington, sustainable

Enterprise Conference.

enterprise instructor. “I am encouraged about the future when I see the kind of leaders

“We have got to start protecting our environmental infrastructure: the air we breathe, the water we drink, the wildlife, the fisheries, the public land,” Kennedy said. “Those are assets that are not up for private auction, they are assets for the entire community.

these students choose to be when given the opportunity. I am so

“The mantra by polluters is that we have to choose between prosperity and the environment. That’s a false choice. It loads the cost of our national prosperity on the backs of our children,” he said.

“The video submitted by Drew Stone was absolutely wonderful,”

Sponsors of the conference were AEP-PSO; Doerner, Sanders, Daniel & Anderson LLP; i2E; OG&E; and OSU Research. @

While Langston and Melton explained how the Student Union’s renovation was adhering to strict sustainability principles, Stone was behind the camera. according to the contest judges. “We all love and have the tagline ‘Going Green for a Brighter Orange’ stuck in our heads.” The students filmed the video during a 48-hour period. “It was a flurry of editing overnight,” Stone says. “We had to rush to put it together. If we decide to do it this year, it would be a good thing to start early.” @ Photo/Kevin Cate

The Sustainable Enterprise Conference was a daylong event that included speakers and panel forums. Other speakers were Tim Gratto, vice president of sustainability for Dr Pepper Snapple; Keith McGlamery, founder of the McGlamery Law firm; Dennis Welch, executive vice president of environment, safety & health, and facilities for American Electric Power; Susan Savage, former Oklahoma Secretary of State; Phil Wright, senior vice president for corporate development for Williams Cos.; Jay Pruett, director of conservation for the Oklahoma Chapter of Nature Conservancy; Corey Williams, executive director of Sustainable Tulsa; and Jane Talkington, sustainability scholar in residence for the Spears School of Business.

proud of each of them.”

Video contest winners for their Going Green for a Brighter Orange campaign are, from left, Drew Stone, Brittney Melton and Justin Langston. winter 2011/2012 engage@spears



Spears School leaves its mark on AMA/Sheth Foundation Consortium By Suzanne Simpson

The Spears School of Business received rave reviews after hosting the 46th American Marketing Association/Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium, the nation’s premier gathering of up-and-coming marketing stars. The June 15-18 event hosted 101 marketing faculty and 118 doctoral students from top marketing programs. It offered presentations and workshops at the forefront of marketing scholarship, as well as numerous opportunities for consortium faculty and fellows to interact. “Only the very best scholars are invited to serve as consortium faculty, and schools send only their very best doctoral students,” says Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School and a former Sheth fellow. “At this year’s event, it was our goal to deliver a doctoral consortium that was challenging and motivating to both the promising young scholars as well as esteemed faculty in attendance.” The Spears School certainly achieved the goal Crosby espoused. “The event was simply fantastic,” says Beth Walker, the president of AMA’s Academic Council and an Arizona State University professor. “Everyone I met raved about it. The attention to the smallest detail and the effort to tend to every individual request and need as they emerged throughout the four days was obvious and very much appreciated by all. This will be a consortium that we’ll always remember.” Georgia Institute of Technology’s Ajay Kohli agrees. “The Spears School has set a standard that will be hard to match, let alone beat,” Kohli says. “I can only try to imagine the countless hours that must have gone into planning and executing the event. Thank you for all your efforts; the marketing community owes you big time.” Tom Brown, a consortium co-chairman and marketing professor in the Spears School, says the event challenged and motivated young scholars. “The main purpose of the doctoral consortium is to serve as a launching pad for the cream of the next generation’s crop of marketing scholars,” says Brown, who was a consortium fellow in 1991. “The consortium provided an excellent

opportunity for doctoral students to interact with many of the leading researchers in our field. We also used this as a chance to emphasize to consortium faculty and fellows alike the importance of doing quality work that can make a real difference to the theory and practice of marketing.” Brown says “conducting work that matters” was a recurring topic at the consortium. The in-depth sessions addressed qualitative and quantitative research, personal selling and management, strategy and innovation, consumer behavior, policy and corporate social responsibility, services marketing, customer and brand management, social networking, and pricing and promotion. In addition to the presentations and workshops, the participants visited the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, White Barn Estates, Eskimo Joe’s and Boone Pickens Stadium. They also participated in several fun and unique events, such as speed dating, line dancing lessons and bumper boats. The consortium concluded with a formal banquet at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. “Faculty and fellows were able to see Oklahoma State University at its finest,” says Josh Weiner, head of the Spears School’s marketing department and consortium co-chairman. “The feedback we have received from participants has been phenomenal. They speak to how lovely our campus is, how impressed they are by Oklahoma, how well the staff of the Center for Executive and Professional Development managed the event, and how important it was to have the finest academic scholars in the world talking about the importance of doing work, which can improve both business practice and the society we live in.” Crosby says this consortium was one of the most memorable moments of his time as Spears School dean. “The consortium was a memorable life-changing event for me when I was a fellow,” Crosby says. “This is a worthwhile program that has and will continue to positively impact the lives of all faculty and fellows to come.” The University of Washington in Seattle will host the 2012 AMA/Sheth Consortium next summer. @

marketing professor Valarie Zeithaml and Harvard Business School marketing professor Rohit Deshpandé were part of a teaching effectiveness panel during the AMA/Sheth Consortium held at OSU.


engage@spears winter 2011/2012


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Spears school Helps build By Matt Elliott

An OSU exchange program has helped triple the number of faculty members with doctoral degrees in the business school at Kenya’s largest university. Since 2009, Moi University faculty members have participated in a program with the Spears School of Business that lets them learn from OSU faculty members, learn modern research methods and advance their careers in a part of the world where sustainable business development is sorely needed. In fall 2010, OSU helped six doctoral students graduate. One more is expected during 2011, and another group is on track to earn doctorates in 2012. “Everybody is excited about the program,” says Julius Bitok, a Moi University accounting professor. “Everyone wants to go. Everyone wants to be associated with this success. This is a success story, not just in Kenya, but outside its borders.”

Making an impact The exchange program is the biggest project OSU has undertaken in Africa since its work in Ethiopia through the Point Four program from 1952 to 1968. More than half a century later, OSU’s project in Kenya is expected to have an energizing effect on Kenyan students. At a moment when central Africa is seen as the next development frontier, it’s important for OSU to help Kenyan universities access the latest in everything from research tools


engage@spears winter 2011/2012

to free market ideas to modern corporate governance, says OSU management professor Federico Aime. Helping students get such an education in their own country is important for Kenya, which, like many African nations, suffers from a huge brain drain, Aime says. He says this makes it difficult to solve problems such as the AIDS epidemic and a lack of economic development. Aime believes the OSU and Moi partnership is a model for other regional universities working with American institutions to help their faculty members further their education. “Together, OSU and Moi University will lead Kenya into a new age and help the entire continent by helping our world-class faculty prepare the next generation of African leaders and entrepreneurs who will reshape our nation and the region,” says Moi University Deputy Vice Chancellor Bob Wishitemi. “The impact of this exchange program has been great for Moi University. It has already changed our view of research, theory and management practice,” says Charles Lagat, a lecturer in Moi’s business school and a candidate in the doctoral program.

How it started In 2008, Richard Mibey, Moi University’s vice chancellor and an OSU alumnus, wanted to spark connections between his alma mater and his current employer. He invited thenassociate dean Robert Dooley and Aime to campus.

A group of Moi University students and faculty join Federico Aime, fifth from right, and Robert Dooley, fourth from right. The group includes the late professor Henry Maritim, in the green coat next to Aime; Charles Lagat, far left; and Michael Korir, center in traditional clothing. Photos provided

success stories in kenya

Dooley and Aime traveled to the main campus in Eldoret, Kenya, in 2009. The two spent several days in the city, toured the campus and met with professors, government figures, university officials and students. Moi had just a few faculty members with doctoral degrees in its business school at the time. The college also had poor Internet access. Dooley and Aime decided they could help, and a partnership with OSU could produce faculty members with doctoral degrees and backgrounds in modern research and teaching methods. Those professors would then pass on their knowledge and modern techniques to hundreds of students. “It has had a dramatic multiplicative effect,” Aime says. “When you develop the educators, the whole system benefits, and you can affect the future of thousands of students at different educational levels.” Their plan to enhance central African university education focuses on no-nonsense, big-impact projects. “We saw this big opportunity for the development of capabilities,” Aime says. “They told us, ‘We need to generate quality research to understand the problems of our region.’ We said, ‘We have a plan that can help your faculty get international-level training, earn their Ph.D.’s and turn all that quickly into quality research, quality theory and quality

teaching.’ That was the core thing we saw, and it trickles down. Improvements do too.” Dooley and Aime pitched a program based on short courses, dissertation advising and collaborative research. OSU faculty members would go to Kenya, and Moi professors would come to Stillwater. Moi University funded transportation and lodging for their faculty during the exchange. “When we started talking about the proposal, then-Dean Henry Maritim of Moi’s business and economics school told us that he loved the idea but that there had been many talks about development ideas with people from other international universities in the past and people then did not follow through,” Aime says. “We felt challenged by those words, and we now feel that the program is a success and would have surely made (the late) professor Maritim, who was a main force at the beginning of the talks, very proud. “Now, we support our faculty going there. It’s all volunteer work. We just pay for the trips. And our faculty is doing a great job. Everyone involved in the program has had a dramatic impact on our Ph.D. candidates from Kenya,” Aime says. “Basically, it’s all volunteer work that has created this program.” continues on next page winter 2011/2012 engage@spears


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“Our faculty members are going to reach out, not only to the universities in Kenya, but even to the universities in the region,” he says. “After we have trained all our faculty here, then we can go to the neighboring countries and the next country and the next country.”

Aime says the support of Spears School Dean Larry Crosby, who has consistently funded the initiative and met and motivated the Kenyan doctoral candidates, is indispensable. The program succeeds because of the support of those coordinating the program at Moi such as Charles Lagat, a doctoral candidate with the program, who was an enormous driving force essential to bringing the program into existence, Aime says.

His business school’s graduates can go on to start their own businesses, employ their countrymen, or work in government to help bring more development to a nation struggling with an economy where much of the commerce is done unofficially.

Aime also wants to recognize Michael Korir, head of Moi’s management and marketing department, who has always been an asset to the program; Moi business school Dean Mary Kipsat; and Richard Mibey, the university’s vice chancellor and an OSU alumnus who initiated the relationship.

The program wouldn’t be where it is today without OSU professors volunteering their time and effort. Aime, Carter, Margaret White and Gary Frankwick have advised doctoral students with their dissertations. Aime, Dooley, White, Frankwick and Mwarumba Mwavita have taught in Eldoret. Kevin Voss, Ramesh Rao, Ken Eastman, Mike Morris, Robert Baron and Craig Wallace have opened their doctoral seminars to the Kenyan students.

Benefits spread The first students arrived in 2009. They took classes, met with professors and worked independently on campus. They found Spears School advisers and have worked on their dissertations and research ever since. Julius Bitok, an accounting and finance professor at Moi, was one of those doctoral candidates. Many of Moi’s professors are like him. He grew up farming in the area. Wanting to get his education and help improve his community, he obtained his bachelor’s degree from Moi, his MBA from the University of Nairobi and his first doctorate from Moi. Also a gubernatorial candidate for the region, he says the biggest help OSU provided him was access to resources.

In addition, Dooley, Aime, Aaron Hill and Jason Ridge started collaborative research between the institutions, and progress is being made with an initiative to develop the Kenyan business college’s teaching methods. Top: A tree near Moi University. Bottom: Federico Aime, left, and Robert Dooley at Rivatex, a Moi University run textile producer that

He also lived among students from all over the world at OSU. In the graduate student housing apartments north of campus, he met students from China, India, South Korea, Russia, Mali, South Africa, Nigeria and South American nations. Bitok says what he learned will help him teach hundreds of business students in Eldoret for years to come. He says he uses the same notes he took when he was an OSU student. His fellow faculty members do the same. “They’re getting applications now of students from countries like Botswana and Tanzania,” Aime says. “We’re hoping this is going to create development in education all over the region.”


engage@spears winter 2011/2012

The impromptu evening classes were a welcome opportunity for Mwavita, also a Kenya native, who empathized with his students over their technological issues that limit the work they can perform.

doubles as a learning laboratory

Bitok was energized by the support he received from OSU faculty. His adviser, Dave Carter, allowed him to tailor his work to unique situations in Kenya. Bitok’s dissertation was on how firms choose to finance their assets in economies moving from government control to free market status such as Kenya’s.

Bitok shares this hope.

Mwavita, a statistics instructor in OSU’s education college, volunteered to teach the first six doctoral students modern research methods and has continued to do so.

“Once they have the theory, they need the things that are hands on,” he says. It means a great deal to Mwavita to help, he says. He enjoys speaking Swahili with students during class and making them feel welcome. “To me, it’s a dream come true because everyone always wants to get a higher education in Kenya,” Mwavita says. “We invest so much in higher education. The fact that I came here and got my education, and am working here — there’s a lot of brain drain in Africa. Once in a while I have some guilt that I left. Sometimes I wonder if I am doing the right thing by working here, wondering if I should be there … but training the instructors who go out and train the students has a multiplied effect. So I know that I’m making a difference.” @

Get Connected

If you’re not following OSU’s Spears School of Business through social media, you must feel lost. In addition to providing content via its website (, the Spears School can be followed via its Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts. To find the school’s Facebook page, go to, sign in and type “Spears School of Business” in the search box. We hope you will choose to “like” us and receive news, videos and other information from the school in your news feed. To follow the SSB on Twitter, sign up for an account at, and then search for “SpearsSchoolOSU.” The Spears School also has a YouTube account and recently began interviewing guest speakers on campus to ask about their impressions of business students at OSU, what advice they would give students preparing to enter the business world, and much more. To find us, go to, sign in and type “SpearsSchoolOSU” in the search box. Don’t forget to check out these other OSU entities: Facebook Oklahoma State University OSU Cowboys Athletics OSU-Tulsa OSU Foundation Twitter Okstatenews OKStateAlumni HireOSUGrads OSUAthletics OSUFoundation

Photo/Gary Lawson

Betty Simkins

Predicting Bankruptcy By MATT ELLIOTT

Finance professors Betty Simkins and Antonio Camara develop a model to measure bankruptcy risk. Markets don’t lie. Probably. That’s part of the Efficient-Market Hypothesis. No matter what manner of shenanigans, skullduggery or tomfoolery corporations engage in, the market knows and sees all. Prices reflect that knowledge. Stock prices. Option prices. Et cetera. Theoretically. Realizing that, two OSU finance professors, Betty Simkins and Antonio Camara, have taken a popular way to price options — the positions people take when they buy stocks — and tweaked it to measure bankruptcy risk. They compared their results against cases of big bankruptcies during 2007 and 2008 financial crises and found their system was as accurate as 38

engage@spears winter 2011/2012

Moody’s KMV, the biggest Wall Street credit rating system, and sometimes beat the popular rating method, Simkins says. Also, in every case it was more accurate than methods used by credit rating agencies. They published their results in a 2011 issue of the Journal of Banking and Finance. “Ours certainly won’t replace the others, but it will be useful if anyone wants another measure — a forward-looking measure of bankruptcy risk,” Simkins says.

Developing the Model Camara and Simkins began working together on the model after he was hired at OSU in 2006. Their initial focus was on historic bankruptcies.

“We were curious if we might be able to find early evidence with Enron or other companies,” Simkins says. They started with the Black-Scholes model used to set option prices, the value of stock bought and sold on the market. Option prices rise and fall according to how the market views companies’ viability. If certain kinds of options go up, that indicates the market expects companies to do well.


Simkins and Camara figured those prices would detect things credit rating systems wouldn’t. That’s because most rating systems test companies using historical information such as accounting data that looks only at what previously happened.

A derivative is a contract whose value depends on the

However, a key drawback to the Black-Scholes model is it makes a few unrealistic assumptions. Chief among those is it assumes there’s no bankruptcy risk with the company behind the option in question. Simkins and Camara found a way to make the equation account for that. Enron was one of their big tests.

are typically used to hedge risk.

Test Cases Before WorldCom went under in 2002, no bankruptcy was bigger than Enron when it collapsed in 2001. It vaporized employee 401(k) accounts and shook the economy to its core while raising questions about deregulation. The OSU model found Enron’s bankruptcy likelihood shot up in February and March 2000. Funny thing is, Enron’s credit rating was still “investment grade” just a year before its collapse. “Were the option prices picking it up earlier than other measures? There is some evidence of that,” Simkins says. In other cases, the group looked at companies that were simply sick and not committing fraud, such as Dana Corp. More than six months before Dana Corp. failed in 2006, the OSU model found the company’s bankruptcy chances had skyrocketed to around 30 percent. But just because the risk shot up, their model didn’t always predict bankruptcy. That’s because option prices can reflect a market’s volatility, or a sudden bout of skittishness toward risk, as it reacts to breaking news. As scandals and the like become old news, the market moves its prices toward their true levels. A key example of that was Tyco International, the alarm and fire protection company. CEO Dennis Kozlowski and CFO Mark Swartz were convicted in 2005 of grand larceny and securities fraud. The company didn’t go bankrupt, but the OSU group’s model showed increased chances of bankruptcy — the market’s immediate, gut-level reaction to developing news of the scandal. Years after the scandal, Tyco remains a viable company.

values of other underlying assets. In recent years, derivative securities have become very important in the field of finance. Common derivatives include call and put options on stocks, futures contracts, forward contracts, and swaps. Derivatives

Options A type of derivative contract sold by an option writer to the option holder giving the buyer the option to buy or sell the underlying asset at a set price within a set length of time. The best-known options are on common stock. Depending on whether they’re put or call options, they are like bets (or hedges) the buyers place on whether the value of the asset climbs (call options) or falls (put options).

Moody’s KMV Model Named for the company started in 1983 by economist Stephen Kealhofer, former banker John McQuown and mathematician Oldrich Vasicek, the KMV model calculates expected default frequency based on the firm’s capital structure, the volatility of the assets’ returns and the current asset value. This model best applies to publicly traded companies whose equity value is market determined.

The Black-Scholes Model Black-Scholes is a price variation model for financial instruments over time. It can determine the value of different kinds of options and assumes the price follows a specific pattern, such as constant price variation, in addition to the option’s expiration date. It also assumes no bankruptcy risk, which is one of its limitations. @

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Subprime Crisis The paper was headed to print in 2008. It won the best paper award from the Financial Management Association. However, a reviewer with the Journal of Banking and Finance asked Simkins and Camara to instead look at the subprime mortgage crisis that began in 2007.

holds the Williams Companies Professorship of Business and has been at OSU since 1997. She is coeditor of the Journal of Applied

Low interest rates, rare regulation, toxic mortgages, easy credit and a financial industry saddled with $36 trillion in debt conspired with excessive borrowing, risky investments, lack of derivatives transparency, failed corporate governance and falling lending standards to cause the biggest recession in more than 80 years. American households lost at least $11 trillion in wealth. The recession it triggered continues to harass economies all over the world.

Finance and editor of FMA Online,

That’s according to the federal government’s Financial Crisis Inquiry Report released in January.

Risk Management: Today’s Leading

“It’s kind of sad,” Simkins says, “but our timing was perfect.”

Antonio Camara was a former

Simkins’ group, joined in 2008 by Texas State’s Ivilina Popova, studied the crisis for another two years. Their results were the same. They found a much higher bankruptcy risk of companies studied.

beginning his academic career in

Also, just as in the earlier bankruptcy study, Simkins, Camara and Popova predicted bankruptcies with greater accuracy than credit rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s. They also replicated Moody’s system (as much as they could since part of the method is kept secret), calibrated it to account for derivatives and improved its accuracy.

also received the Richard W. Poole

“Over-the-counter derivatives” were part of a “shadow banking system” full of short-term debt that was nearly as large as the traditional banking system, the


Finance professor Betty Simkins

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the online journal for the Financial Management Association. Before she obtained her doctoral degree from Case Western Reserve University, Simkins worked for Williams and ConocoPhillips in corporate financial planning, research and development, and process engineering. She is coeditor of a popular textbook published in 2010 called Enterprise Research and Best Practices for Tomorrow’s Executives. business reporter in Portugal before Lisbon at Universidade Tecnica de Lisboa. His research has appeared in The Journal of Finance and The Journal of Banking and Finance. He Research Excellence Award, which honors faculty members published in leading research journals, and the Best Paper in Risk Management Award from the Financial Management Association, the award he shared with Simkins for their bankruptcy study. He died in 2010.

government reported. Regulations built to prevent panics that caused banking mayhem since the 19th century couldn’t regulate derivatives, a multitrilliondollar repo lending market and other things not shown on companies’ balance sheets. The government partly blamed the derivatives market for the crisis, as well as actions of huge financial institutions such as failed investment banks Lehman Bros. and Bear Stearns. Simkins, Camara and Popova compiled companies’ derivatives exposure by combing footnotes to annual reports, Securities and Exchange Commission’s 10-K reports and other areas. Simkins and the others had to piece together companies’ derivatives exposure to get a more-or-less complete view of their bankruptcy risk. Tragically, Camara died from lung cancer before the article was published, leaving behind a wife and two children. Simkins, lamenting her friend and colleague didn’t live to see the work finished, says it’s possible their model could help rating agencies better predict bankruptcies. It works with all kinds of companies, including financial firms not rated by systems such as the Altman Z-score. Simkins knows other folks in academia are using it in research. She’s not so sure about industry because the work was published in detail. Any reader could replicate the approach and use it. “That’s the purpose of academic research. We tell them how to do it all because we’re not trying to sell it or do anything other than communicate there’s another measure of credit risk. I definitely think it makes an important contribution.” @



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Armed with Encyclopedic Knowledge By MATT ELLIOTT

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Spears School professors and students develop one-of-a-kind electronic ammunition encyclopedia.

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It’s an age-old problem. How do you get up-to-date information to people scattered across the globe? With wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, no one deals with that problem more than the U.S. armed forces. Partnering with the Army’s Defense Ammunition Center, Spears School professors and students developed an electronic ammunition encyclopedia putting the latest information at everyone’s fingertips. Using virtual-reality technology, their products are part of a reach-back system that works on desktop computers to iPods, iPads and iPhones. The encyclopedia is a secure site giving users — largely people who handle, inspect and ship explosives and ammo — details on everything from the smallest bullet to the largest artillery shell. “Compiling all this into one thing is of significant value,” says Ramesh Sharda, director of the OSU Institute for Research in Information Systems. It’s the only program of its kind in the American military. The encyclopedia is a support tool for personnel inspecting munitions. It’s also used for refresher training. Companies and other organizations spend billions of dollars each year on knowledge management software like OSU has developed. The goal is to update as many employees as possible on procedures, new products or other changes cheaply and efficiently. In the corporate world, a good knowledge management system can lower costs and fatten bottom lines. In the Army, it can mean the difference between life and death. No one knows that better than Upton Shimp, associate director of operations and training at the Defense Ammunition Center in McAlester, Okla. He was working on his doctorate at OSU when he came across Joyce Lucca’s dissertation on a virtual-

reality system using 3-D technology to educate employees more effectively than traditional ways. He spoke with Sharda, who was already working on a project for the Army, a virtual-reality system to capture organizational memory, the priceless know-how employees’ gather only through hard-won experience. And Lucca, the dissertation’s author and a postdoctoral fellow, was one of Sharda’s graduate students. “They asked if it could be adapted for training ammunition personnel at a distance,” Sharda says. “I said, ‘That’s a terrific application for that idea.’” In 2008, he put together a team: Lucca, a slew of talented students and two retired U.S. Air Force officers turned OSU researchers, Lt. Col. David Biros and Maj. Andy Clower. Working on a more than $1.1 million contract over three years, the group focused on creating the website and server to deliver and house the data. They developed the concept, tested its capabilities and connected it to a Defense Department network. By December 2008, they had a demo with 10 example munitions ready to show the Defense Ammunition Center, which liked what they saw and green-lighted the program. They wanted 180 items online in two years. During the summer of 2010, OSU had a little surprise in addition to the demo. Sharda had hired computer science senior and all-around whiz kid Derek Webb to develop a new pitch for the Army: mobile apps for Apple products.

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continued from previous page Photo/Phil Shockley

Clower calls Webb a “wunderkind.” If Webb is any example of the kind of students OSU produces, then OSU is surely one of the world’s top universities, Clower says. Webb is more self-effacing. “This project totally blew my mind and rocked my world,” Webb says. The self-described programming addict learned a new computer language, Objective-C, to develop the applications. He also had to design an interface, an example of which would be the desktop of a computer or the home screen of a smartphone. Everything had to be simple enough for anyone to use in any situation or location. It had to be smooth, reliable and resemble the site his teammates had developed. It also had to be designed without knowing the Army’s security specifications still in development.

Ramesh Sharda, director of the OSU Institute for Research in Information Systems

“It made our development tricky,” he says. All that added up to thousands of lines of code and a lot of late nights. Sharda wanted his demo in two months, well before it was ready to be shown to the Army. “I ended up working very late nights in my apartment in the dark as my girlfriend was trying to sleep, getting mad at me,” Webb says. “I got to see the sunrise a lot.” He remembers being surprised he was allowed to work on such a project. He only had two years of programming experience at the time. He doesn’t think he could find such work if he weren’t in school. Webb and a coworker, Fone Pengnate, went through three interface designs before they settled on one. Throughout the development, Sharda made suggestions and requests to make the app more user friendly. They also worked in a feature that let soldiers erase the device remotely if lost. Eventually, Sharda and Lucca tested the new app and approved it, although it continued to evolve until they showed the Army in the summer of 2010.

“A lot of my background meshed nicely with this project,” Clower says. Clower and Lucca made 27 trips to McAlester and one trip to Anniston, Ala., to gather data. They took 38,000 photos – more than 100 for each item. They took the photos back to Stillwater, edited them as necessary, such as to show what a damaged item might look like, and put them in the encyclopedia. Clower and Lucca filled out electronic data sheets on the items and developed audio files detailing what users had to inspect. As of August, they had information on 327 items. Once Defense Ammunition Center users had access, word began spreading among the workers, instructors and students in McAlester.

The Army was so impressed it requested another 100 items, with everything to be available on desktop computer and Apple mobile platforms. Meanwhile, Webb continued working on what bugs remained and updated the applications as more content became available.

“We’ve done a pretty good job of covering most of the items that are used by the troops or the ones used in training,” Clower says. “The word on this is spreading. The guys who’ve been through the training the last few years see it, like it and they know it’s there. They’ve started telling the other folks.”

Sharda says getting the content was the most challenging part. The OSU team had to track down much of the content on its own. It assembled information and technical data on hundreds of items, taking photos to show damaged and intact items. That was Clower’s and Lucca’s job.

The group is adding more content to the encyclopedia and hoping one day to release the mobile version to soldiers. Sharda says the Defense Department is developing the security guidelines and sorting out how to distribute the program.

The two were well suited for the job. Lucca has a doctorate in management science information systems and a master’s in telecommunications management. Clower is a former intercontinental ballistic missile launch control officer who


spent 24 years in the Air Force, much of that time in an underground bunker with 500 feet of concrete and dirt over his head. He is a grant manager in the school’s management science and information systems department.

engage@spears winter 2011/2012

In the knowledge management world it’s a rare project — a web-based database-driven system that works seamlessly with mobile devices — and once it becomes more available, it could revolutionize how organizations train their employees. @

April 4 2012 wednesday

8:30 a.m.– 5:00 p.m. Cox Convention Center Oklahoma City, OK

Women Changing the World, One Venture at a Time • A one-day event for established and aspiring women entrepreneurs • Get inspired by successful women entrepreneurs from across the country • Learn tools to start and grow a business • Discover ways to do business better • Network with entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs

Register Now! $50.00 Regular registration until March 20, 2012 Imagine >Believe >Create

An Original OSU Entrepreneur Business student Johnson Bailey finds candle-maker stardom — and profit — after facing the television sharks. By Terry Tush

Johnson Bailey finds it hard to believe how much his life changed in 2011.

everywhere — in airports, restaurants and it’s all over the country.

He went from a struggling entrepreneur who was nearly forced to shut down production of his newfound company to not being able to walk through Los Angeles International Airport without being recognized.

“People call me the fart candle guy, but I remind them that we have 20 other varieties,” Bailey says. A store in New York put his autographed picture up beside photos of Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera.

That’s what happens when you create the Original Man Candles and you then beat out approximately 160,000 other aspiring entrepreneurs to appear on ABC-TV’s Shark Tank.

None of this would have been possible if not for a decision to return to college after a nearly seven-year absence. In January 2009, Bailey enrolled for the spring semester at OSU-Tulsa. Little did he know the impact an entrepreneurship class would have on his future.

Bailey, an OSU business student scheduled to earn his marketing degree in May, has become a cult figure since appearing on the television show. The Broken Arrow, Okla., resident was in Los Angeles this summer as a host of a celebrity gift suite for the MTV Music Awards when a young boy recognized him as he was strolling through LAX. He travels across the United States — Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, Las Vegas and New York City — while promoting his made-for-men candles The OSU senior has become the American Idol of candle-makers. “I’ve become an accidental celebrity in that industry, which is so funny because I don’t see myself like that at all,” Bailey says. “All of the buyers, all the store owners, the managers, everybody, watches Shark Tank, so when they see somebody who’s been on the show, they treat you like a celebrity. They want their picture taken with you, and they want your autograph. I get noticed

“I can honestly say that the Introduction to Entrepreneurship class was a defining moment in my life. If I had not taken that class, I guarantee I would not be here right now,” says Bailey, named the 2010 Student Entrepreneur of the Year by OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship. One major project in the class was writing a business plan. “I really wanted to do something simple and fun, and I had kicked around the Man Candle idea for a couple of years with some friends,” he says. Photo/ABC

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Bailey and his wife, Summer, dreamt big and started pouring the candles in a spare bedroom in their house. The couple planned to purchase a recreational vehicle and travel across the country selling their candles at state fairs, home and garden shows and other events. The first attempt was in Broken Arrow during the May 2009 Rooster Days Festival. Lines of people waited to smell the candles. Several varieties sold out, and two vendors approached the Baileys about selling the Man Candles in their downtown Broken Arrow stores. A few weeks later, Bailey took a vacation day from his full-time job with a Tulsa mortgage company to see what reaction he would receive from retail outlets. His first sales pitch was disastrous. “They were pretty rude to me in front of some customers,” he says. He then drove six miles to a Hallmark store in south Tulsa.

Johnson Bailey makes his pitch on Shark Tank.


Bailey says no one else had attempted to manufacture candles for men. He went to several stores only to learn they did not have candles with scents appealing to men. He created two prototype candles, pot roast and coffee, and passed them around to his classmates. The positive reaction surprised Bailey. After receiving good feedback from friends and family, he decided it was time to see if the idea could make money.

Photo/Rip Stell

Johnson Bailey with a display of his Original Man Candles at a Hallmark store in the Tulsa area.

“If I had a thin skin, it would have been easy to have turned into my neighborhood. I had taken the day off work, and I could have felt sorry for myself but I just had that gut feeling that I had something. I didn’t want to let my family down. At that point my mom and dad had both helped us (financially), and I had refinanced my house. So I had a financial interest in this thing already, and I wasn’t about to let it go.” The aspiring businessman walked into the Hallmark store with his garage- and football-scented candles. The sales pitch went much better. Two days later, Bailey and his dad stood with a box of candles in front of the store’s buyer. By the time they left the office, the buyer had ordered Original Man Candles for 10 Hallmark stores.

“That was a day of celebration. At that point, we really felt we had something because if a very reputable company like Hallmark decides to buy it … that was an exciting day,” Bailey says. The Original Man Candles, available in nearly 20 varieties — such as road kill, hunter’s refuge, poker room, baseball, football, golf course, French fry and pizza — went from being available in two stores to three, to 12, then to 50, and eventually 100 in a few short months. Bailey quit his job to devote all of his energies to his new endeavor. It didn’t come easy, though. Bailey took a part-time job as a janitor at the same mortgage company where he wore a suit and tie months earlier. Pleasing his customers was not always as easy as it seemed, like the time a shipment of oils

was delayed and Bailey was not going to fulfill an order as promised. Eight fishing dock candles short but intent on getting it delivered on time, Bailey, who didn’t want to be recognized, drove his sister to Hallmark stores in the Tulsa area where she bought enough to complete the order. “I sold them at wholesale, I bought them at retail, and turned around and sold them at wholesale again. I was building credibility, and that’s what set me apart and helped me grow so fast because I did those type of things,” Bailey says. “I say that’s one of the smartest, dumbest things I ever did,” he says with a laugh. Another smart decision was applying to appear on Shark Tank in 2009. continues on next page winter 2011/2012 engage@spears


continued from previous page

Almost a year later, while selling his Original Man Candles at the Tulsa State Fair, Bailey received a telephone call from a casting coordinator. Of the 160,000 applicants, Bailey was one of 80 finalists flown to Los Angeles. Only 35 of those 80 would appear on television during the show’s second season. Bailey learned he would be the first person of the day to meet with the sharks, the five wealthy entrepreneurs who consider and have an opportunity to negotiate investment deals with the individuals pitching their products. He showed up two hours prior to his taping to prepare his pitch to the sharks, including billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. “Knowing that I was the first one and knowing what was on the line made it pretty nerve wracking. But it was fun,” says Bailey, whose taping was edited from an hour to the five minutes shown on television. “The sharks don’t know about the product. They have no back history about you at all. It’s all real. There are no retakes. You get one shot. The camera starts and you begin your negotiations.”

Photo/Rip Stell

The OSU student was unable to reach an agreement with the sharks. But that did not disappoint him. When he submitted his original proposal to appear on the show he was asking for an investment of $50,000 for a 25-percent share of his company. At the time, the candles were in 40 or 50 stores and the business had not begun turning a profit.

was the best McDouble I ever had,” Bailey says.

By the time he appeared on the show, the candles were in many more stores. “I really didn’t want to give up any portion of the company because we were already in 500 stores,” he says.

“I had to focus on the immediate and we scaled things way back in November, December and January,” says Bailey, who went from shipping about 1,000 candles a week to just shipping a couple hundred a month during his dad’s illness.

What Bailey gained from being shown on May 6, 2011, and the repeat showings in July and later that summer, was worth more than any deal he could have agreed to with the sharks. He received more than 3,000 emails following the first show, and his website crashed because of too much traffic following the July showing. “If they don’t make you a deal, so what? You have star power now, and millions of people have seen your product so you need to capitalize on that,” he says. “It’s a fad product, and I know that. In three to five years, nobody is going to care about the Man Candle anymore,” Bailey says. “Knowing that sets me apart from a lot of other people in my situation who feel like they’re going to create a legacy. I tell this to people: if you want to create a legacy you shouldn’t do it with a product, you should do it with relationships. That’s what I’m doing right now.” Bailey always had a close relationship with his dad, Dan, who inspired his son’s entrepreneurial spirit. Bailey was pleased to experience the satisfaction of making that first sale to Hallmark with his dad. The two celebrated by stopping at McDonald’s while driving home to Broken Arrow from Midwest City. “That

Dan Bailey soon was diagnosed with leukemia, and his health deteriorated rapidly before he died on Jan. 28, 2011. While his dad was sick, Bailey was forced to move the candle making back into his garage from the larger, more productive manufacturing shop.

Bailey gradually increased production in the spring and geared up for the Shark Tank showing in May. The first day after the show aired, more than 1,000 Original Man Candles were sold. In August, Bailey said they were shipping approximately 2,000 candles a day to retail outlets, including several major chains across the nation, and have begun selling them in Canada and Australia. “Our goal in 2012 is to dominate the United States market, and in 2013 we want to hit the international market,” he says. Bailey now finds it hard to walk through airports without being recognized. “I like to think I am an inspiration,” he says. “I would like to be, not because of vanity reasons, but because I’ve been in their situations and I know how it feels when you know in your heart that’s what you want to do. If I can go out and create a fart-scented candle and actually sell it, and people want to buy it, and make a living off of it, then you can do it with anything.” @

Johnson Bailey reacts to a pungent odor from an Original Man Candle.


engage@spears winter 2011/2012

ISyTE Academy attracts high school students Photo/Gary Lawson

High school students from across Oklahoma learned how to build a functioning computer from start to finish, used forensics technology to track down an imaginary criminal and more during the third annual Information Systems Technology Exploration Academy at the Spears School of Business. Hosted by the Spears School’s Department of Management Science and Information Systems in June, this one-of-a-kind program allowed participants to interact with current OSU students and faculty and information technology professionals to learn about industry practices and career opportunities. “The kids had a great time, and they were offered a wide variety of exposure to technology and the opportunities that are available,” says Rick Wilson, head of the Spears School’s MSIS department. “Although they’re 14 to 17 years of age, we want them to begin thinking about the Spears School, and we also want them to think specifically about MIS (management information systems) as a degree. MIS is the perfect degree for somebody who wants to blend technology and business.” The 26 high school students participated in several modules throughout the week. In CSI: Stillwater, they took part in a mock investigation where they used digital evidence to catch an imaginary criminal. In other modules, they wrote a computer software program for online chats, learned how to create strong passwords that are difficult for hackers to crack and built a computer from scratch using a box of components, tools and software. Support from the Kerr Foundation and ConocoPhillips allowed students to attend the program for free. Scholarships covered lodging in OSU dorms, fees and meals. Wilson says the department plans to take this generosity even further.

High school students build computers from a kit during the 2010 ISyTE Academy.

“Because we’re so committed to what this does for the state of Oklahoma, we’ll award a scholarship to any ISyTE graduate who comes to OSU and chooses MIS as his or her degree,” Wilson says. With so many benefits, ISyTE continues to attract applicants from across the state. More than 70 students applied for this year’s program, but only 26 were accepted because of space limitations. Students hailed from Ardmore, Bethany, Blanchard, Broken Arrow, Chickasha, Edmond, Grove, Lone Wolf, Madill, Morrison, Norman, Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Skiatook, Sparks, Stillwater, Texhoma, Tryon, Tulsa and Vinita. The OSU Department of Management Science and Information Systems in the Spears School of Business, The Kerr Foundation Inc., ConocoPhillips and the OSU Center for Executive and Professional Development sponsor the OSU ISyTE Academy. @ ISyTE group: Attendees of the week-long 2011 Information Systems Technology Exploration Academy participate in several management information systems modules, including a mock forensics investigation, computer software writing and building a computer from scratch.


winter 2011/2012 engage@spears


Rewarding Travel

Business student Brandon McVey wins Fulbright Award to study abroad. By Terry Tush

Fulbright scholars stand on a bridge in Bruges, Belgium. OSU student Brandon McVey is fourth from the left wearing his Oklahoma State sweatshirt. McVey’s first time on an airplane was on an OSU study abroad trip. Now the Fulbright Award winner has opportunities all over the globe.



engage@spears winter 2011/2012

Brandon McVey stands in front of the European Court of Auditors based in Luxembourg.

In some ways, Brandon McVey was one of the most unlikely Oklahoma State University students to earn a Fulbright Award. In other ways, he was destined to receive one of the most prestigious honors presented to some of the nation’s brightest young people. McVey is the first person on his dad’s side of the family to attend college. The furthest he’d traveled while growing up was from his hometown of Tulsa, Okla., to Ohio. He’d never been on an airplane until he boarded the American Airlines jet for his flight to Switzerland as part of an OSU study abroad program in 2009. But it was no surprise to those who taught him at Oklahoma State that McVey was one of three OSU students selected to be a Fulbright recipient in 2010. “He was one of our best, by far,” says Steve Hallgren, OSU’s Fulbright program adviser. McVey, 23, received three degrees during his four years at OSU. He graduated with an Honors College degree in finance, a bachelor’s in accounting and a bachelor’s in German. Finance professor Ramesh Rao remembers McVey from the honors

section of his Financial Management Principles class. “One of the things I was most struck by was his knack to relate classroom discussions to events happening in the real world,” Rao says. “It was not uncommon for him to relate a particular finance topic we were covering in class to what was happening on Wall Street. I expect this of my MBA students but not of undergraduate students, who for the most part tend to be narrowly focused on what is in the textbook and mastering it,” Rao says. “Brandon kept abreast of what was happening out there in the real world, but more importantly used his knowledge to better understand the real world.” Recently retired finance professor Janice Jadlow was equally impressed when McVey enrolled in her International Financial Management course. “His most impressive accomplishment in class was his submission for the class project,” she says. “His analysis of the foreign exchange risk of a multinational corporation and recommendation for management of that risk was excellent. … No student ever attained the same level of excellence.”

It was that type of interaction that led McVey’s professors to give him a nudge as he contemplated whether to apply for a Fulbright Award. Hallgren often has to be more of a hands-on copilot than a navigator while assisting applicants. That wasn’t the case with McVey. “It’s a lot of work putting an application together,” Hallgren says. “They have to find a location in Germany, they have to find a university to work at, they have to describe a study and research program, and they have to find an affiliation in that country. He didn’t need a lot of help.” McVey was thrilled when he learned he was the recipient of a University Student and Research in Economics Award. His emphasis is to study why there was a long delay in Europe’s monetary policy responses to the economic crisis and whether that contributed to the predicament’s severity. Although still finalizing the results, McVey found a “correlation between the interest rate spread in Europe and the U.S., and the volatility in the capital markets and exchange rates,” he says. “That means that there appears to be a connection between the different continues on next page winter 2011/2012 engage@spears


McVey says his OSU education, specifically the knowledge he gained from professors like Rao, Jadlow and others in the Spears School of Business, prepared him to succeed in the Fulbright program. “Although my background is in finance and accounting and my Fulbright research is in economics, I definitely feel that the Spears School prepared me to succeed,” says McVey, mentioning Rao, Jadlow and Michael Applegate, who supervised his honors thesis, which he eventually developed into the proposal submitted to the Fulbright Commission.

Brandon McVey wears his OSU cap while he stands on the Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic.

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monetary policy decisions and the large swings in the stock market and the value of the currencies,” says McVey, who studied at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. “This isn’t anything novel and is predicted in theory, but it’s always good to see theory realized in empirical data.”

“I think sometimes in the United States we view the Europeans as lacking initiative, but that can’t be further from the case in my experience,” McVey says. “I’m always impressed by the level of motivation in my colleagues here. Regarding the Brussels Forum Award, I was actually approached by this German colleague and asked to partner with him.” 50

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“I tried to strike a balance in my education at OSU with business courses and the humanities. I may focus on financial literature and economic journals during the day, but at night I read Goethe and Sophocles,” McVey says. “I loved my time at OSU and I look forward to the day when I will be able to give back in gratitude of all the help I’ve received.”

“If I would stay overseas, it would be because of the strength of the current job markets in countries like Germany, Switzerland and Sweden,” he says. “The dream job would be to work as an economic research assistant for a few years at a Federal Reserve Bank before starting an economics Ph.D., which is required to become an economist at a central bank. A lot can happen in the meantime, so I try to stay open to the opportunities I find.” Wherever McVey ends up, he’s going to be an asset the Spears School of Business will proudly call its own. “Armed with this experience and the knowledge gained in his formal training in Germany and at OSU, Brandon can look forward to pursuing some exciting opportunities in the future, be it in academics, government or private industry,” Rao says. “One thing I am sure of is that Brandon’s achievements will make us proud here at OSU.” @

McVey once drove to Ohio for a national Business Professionals of America conference while in high school, but he did not travel internationally until he received an OSU scholarship from the Bailey Family Memorial Trust for Study Abroad to be an exchange student at the University of Basel in Switzerland in 2009. “Without the support of the scholarship, I would not have been able to study abroad. A lack of experience abroad would have put me at a significant disadvantage in applying for the Fulbright grant, so I owe the Bailey family a heartfelt debt of gratitude,” says McVey, who used the opportunity to travel throughout Europe, including Belgium, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic.

Photo/Jamie Edford

His Fulbright funding expired in July, but before returning to the U.S. the 2010 OSU graduate joined a German colleague to author a submission to the Brussels Forum Young Writers Award. Teams must consist of a North American and a European citizen who submit a paper on the topic “The future of the transatlantic relationship: How can the next generation of leaders address 21st century challenges?” The winners will be honored in March at the Brussels Forum 2012.

“The Spears School was definitely my home at OSU, but I would also like to credit the Department of Foreign Languages in the College of Arts and Sciences, specifically Drs. John te Velde and Karin Schestokat in the German department, and Dr. Paul Epstein in classics,” he says.

McVey is open to finding employment in Europe, but he’d like to return to the United States to work in the banking industry.

Brandon McVey

What is the

Center for Executive and Professional Development ? (CEPD)

Offers multi-day public programs that serve the needs of executives in the region, including the Executive Education Partnership Program and the Governor’s Executive Development Program.

Offers more than 50 public professional development programs annually to executives, managers, and professionals on topics reflecting the departments in the Spears School of Business. Also, has played the lead role in hosting flagship speaker series—Tulsa Business Forums and Executive Management Briefings—since 1988.

Offers 270 distance learning courses annually that reflect ability to complete an undergraduate business degree in general business or management. Other graduate degrees and certificates available through distance learning are: Master of Business Administration (MBA), M.S. in Entrepreneurship, M.S. in Management Information Systems, M.S. in Telecommunications Management, Graduate Certificates in Business Data Mining, SAS Business Analytics (for MBA students) and Information Assurance. Assists with conferences and planning of curriculum and provides certifications for organizations and associations in the state of Oklahoma: Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Conference and Institute, Oklahoma Municipal Court Clerks Association Conference, and Leadership Oklahoma (session hosted by Stillwater).

Offers on-site programs at corporations and organizations to help with professional development in topics such as Leadership, Influence Skills, Leading Change, Team Building, Emotional Intelligence, and Conflict Resolution.

Offers annual conferences on current emerging business topics such as Accounting and Financial Reporting, Women’s Business Leadership, Health and Wellness, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Enterprise, and Energy.

Offers 12 short-term study abroad and travel programs with Spears School faculty to gain 3 or 6 hours credit in Costa Rica, Eastern Europe, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, London, South Africa, Spain, as well as U.S. cities like Chicago, Phoenix and New York City.

Contact us at 1.866.678.3933 or 405.744.5208 or to see how we can help you and your organization.

Moving Beyond By Suzanne simpson

Business school study abroad programs allow students to flourish on the international scene.

Imagine a dream place to visit. Maybe it’s a rugged castle in Ireland. Perhaps it’s the ruins of the Acropolis of Athens, Greece. Or, it could be the Tower of London. No matter which one, the Spears School of Business has the perfect study abroad trip. Each year, the school offers a variety of short-term study abroad and travel programs to its students, who have the opportunity to move beyond Oklahoma’s borders, see the world and earn college credit.


her study abroad trip helped her attain that expertise. Study abroad programs also help participants learn valuable life skills, build résumés, improve communications skills and increase knowledge of diverse cultures. Students who study abroad can demonstrate to future employers that they are willing to accept challenges and change.

“I had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy, and it opened my eyes to the world around me,” says Emily Cole, a May 2011 graduate with a bachelor’s in management and entrepreneurship. “It gave me a much more comprehensive view of how people around the world conduct business.”

Misty Stutsman, a master’s student in entrepreneurship, took two trips to South Africa. She says she learned skills she could apply to real life and her future career and practiced her new skills on the spot. During each six-week course, she and the other participants consulted with entrepreneurs in disadvantaged townships around Cape Town to help them improve their businesses.

Cole, selected as an OSU Outstanding Senior and a Spears School Outstanding Senior, says the ability to conduct business in other countries is absolutely invaluable in today’s market. She says

“This trip is a complete cultural immersion in a country that is rich in beauty and history,” Stutsman says. “This is a trip that you not only walk away from with knowledge but you

engage@spears winter 2011/2012

know how to apply that knowledge in real-world situations. It gives you the feeling that if I can accomplish this task in South Africa I can do it anywhere. It is the most life changing six hours of credit that I — and I think most of the students agree — have ever experienced, and I would recommend this trip to anyone.” Kyle Buthod, an international business major, agrees, saying his experiences in study abroad courses set him on the path toward a promising and exciting future. “I chose to major in international business after a study abroad program that I helped develop for my high school,” Buthod says. “I had no idea it would change my life. This experience helped me to see my passion for travel and for international exposure.” Since coming to the Spears School, Buthod has had many opportunities to study abroad, including a sevenmonth sojourn in southern Australia that helped him earn positions as the


Oklahoma Ambassador for the Embassy of Australia in Washington, D.C., and the North American Ambassador for the University of South Australia. “Before my trip, I was very nervous about leaving behind my family, my friends and my university,” Buthod says. “Once I took that leap of faith, though, it became something that has shaped my college career and my life.” Buthod took classes at the University of South Australia but also had time for adventure. He went backpacking along the Australian coast, camped in the Outback, dived at the Great Barrier Reef, swam in shark-infested waters, raced across sand dunes, jumped off cliffs and parasailed over New Zealand. “Words cannot even begin to describe my awesome experience,” Buthod says. “I was lucky enough to be able to travel before, during and after my time in South Australia. But this trip was special. I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to study and travel in such a great country.”

Buthod says many students erroneously believe four myths about studying abroad: It is too expensive, will not fit into a specific degree program, takes too much time or it requires learning a language.

Photo provided

“I would encourage any student who is even considering studying abroad to go visit with our study abroad office to get more information on how to make it possible for them,” he says. The OSU Study Abroad Office and the Spears School’s Center for Executive and Professional Development study abroad specialists can help locate the perfect opportunity.

Kyle Buthod, an international business major, visits Australia as part of a business school study abroad program.

“Studying abroad is more than just going to school in another country – it’s about submerging yourself in another culture and learning from the people and their traditions,” Buthod says. “Students often do not realize that you have to actively seek out these opportunities. They are available and waiting for you, but you have to be prepared to take the leap.” @ winter 2011/2012 engage@spears


2012 Spears School Study Abroad Opportunities The Spears School will offer a dozen study abroad programs in 2012. For more information, visit the school’s Center for Executive and Professional Development in Room 208S, Business Building; call 888-678-3933 or 405-744-5208; email cepd@okstate. edu; or go online to

Costa Rica

Eastern Europe – Czech Republic, Germany and Poland

Travel: Dec. 28-Jan. 6 Enrollment deadline: Nov. 11 Coursework begins: Nov. 11

Travel: May 9-20 Enrollment deadline: March 1 Coursework begins: March 26


Travel: March 16-24 Enrollment deadline: Jan. 24 Coursework begins: Jan. 24

Greece – Athens

Travel: May 9-22 Enrollment deadline: March 26 Coursework begins: March 26


Travel: March 17-25 Enrollment deadline: Jan. 23 Coursework begins: Jan. 23


Travel: May 13-19 Enrollment deadline: April 15 Coursework begins: May 7


Travel: March 18-24 Enrollment deadline: Feb. 21 Coursework begins: Feb. 21

France – Dijon and Paris

New York City

Travel: May 16-June 9 Enrollment deadline: April 14 Coursework begins: May 16

Ireland and Italy

Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in South Africa

Travel: May 6-12 Enrollment deadline: April 9 Coursework begins: April 9

Travel: June 9-July 21 Enrollment deadline: March 1 Coursework begins: March 1

Travel: May 6-16 Enrollment deadline: April 18 Coursework begins: April 18

England – London

Travel: June 14-July 7 Enrollment deadline: April 14 Coursework begins: June 14

Study Abroad Scholarships The OSU Study Abroad Office offers

The Spears School also offers scholarships

$500 scholarships to graduate and

ranging from $100 to $500 for winter,

undergraduate students. To be considered

spring or summer travel. Applicants must

for the scholarship, students must be

have at least a 3.0 GPA, be enrolled in a

enrolled at OSU, submit a completed

Spears School study abroad program and

scholarship application found online at

have applied for the Study Abroad Office, provide a copy of their

scholarship. Applications are online at

application for a study abroad program or in

and submit a statement of intent to

Room 201, Business Building on the

engage in a service activity that will

OSU campus. @

contribute to the internationalization of the university once they return from their trips.


engage@spears winter 2011/2012


Photos provided

Left photo: Behfar Jahanshahi, center, founder and president of Interworks, Inc., a full-service information technology-consulting firm, accepts the award as the Large Business of the Year at the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce banquet. Jahanshahi was presented the award by Chamber board chair Gregg Bradshaw, left, and Stan Clark, right. Johanshahi received his bachelor’s degree in management information systems from the Spears School of Business in 1998 and earned his master’s in telecommunications management from OSU in 2000. Photo Courtesy of Stillwater Chamber of Commerce; Right photo: Jahanshahi works at home with his child.

Team excels at cyber challenge A Spears School team placed fourth in the 2011 Southwest

information systems. Teams acted as network managers for a

Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Challenge.

simulated business by protecting their server against expert hackers and other external threats. They were scored on how long

It was the second year for a Spears School team to participate

they could keep operating while responding to normal

in the competition, designed to test how information assurance

service requests.

students operate against hackers and Internet crimes. This year’s team was Andrew Fagan, Tahsin Rahmah, Kyle Beverly, Tyler Bell,

The competition took three, 12-hour days to complete. Prior to the

Jared Bryngelson, Logan Lynn, Nathan Elendt and Robb Wise.

competition, the students had no knowledge of the network they had to protect, nor could they bring external software into

“This is an intense, hard-core competition, and the students really

the competition.

stepped up and took the initiative this year,” says Jim Burkman, visiting assistant professor of management science and

“This was one of the coolest things I’ve done,” Elendt says. “The Photo provided

competition consisted of a lot of ups and downs, from the initial rush of getting access to our servers and the calm of having everything working to the entirely different sort of rush of finding an intrusion and trying to sort it out.” The team practiced every week for months, Burkman says. “The team’s successful showing is made all the more impressive because some schools offer courses specifically to prepare for this competition, whereas our students planned and executed their training on their own time and initiative.” The Department of Management Science and Information Systems, the Information Security and Assurance Club and the

A team of OSU information assurance students finishes fourth in the 2011 Southwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Challenge at College Station, Texas, in March.

Center for Telecommunications and Network Security sponsored the team. @ winter 2011/2012 engage@spears



Students lauded The Spears School’s 58th Annual Honors and Awards Banquet in March commended students, faculty and student organizations for their outstanding achievements in academic and extracurricular activities.


“The college has a large number of outstanding individuals who are key to the Spears School reputation for excellence in business programs,” Dean Larry Crosby says. “I am very proud of the accomplishments of our students and faculty members, and the annual banquet is our way of thanking them for all their work this past year.” Amalia Deines received the 2011 Raymond D. Thomas Award, given to the school’s top senior who excels at leadership and citizenship. The honoree, selected by a faculty committee, receives a $750 lifetime membership to the OSU Alumni Association. Winners of the Spears School Outstanding Senior Award are Emily Cole, Amalia Deines, Katie Fuchs, Samantha Garrison, Sarah Johnson, Chelsey Johnston, Krystal Krug, Allison Lyons, Mark McClure, David McKellips and Elizabeth Pitcock. The banquet also honored 10 students the OSU Alumni Association selected as Seniors of Significance. They are Emily Cole, Haley Cosner, Amalia Deines, Jessica DeLong, Katie Fuchs, Andrew Henry, Blair Kirkpatrick, Allison Lyons, David McKellips and Devin Stanfield. The OSU Alumni Association also selected Emily Cole, Amalia Deines and Devin Stanfield as Outstanding Seniors.

Amalia Deines and Dean Larry Crosby

Andrea Byrd, Anna Davis, Katie Fuchs, Chelsey Johnston and Logan McAlister received the Gold Key Award for graduating with 4.0 grade-point averages. Beta Gamma Sigma honor society inducted John Bristol, Steven Carlile, Ryan Corrigan, Darcy Cramer, Blaine Culver, Charles Cutler, Jillian Davis, Taylor Degraffenreid, Fash Fadaei, Hannah Flynt, Kinsey Freeman, Shane Gibson, Matthew Griffin, Stephen Higginbotham, James Holland, Meaghan Hoose, Stephen Hurlbut, Michelle Ingold, Katelyn Ingram and James Inskeep. Also inducted were Caroline Kirschner, Viktoriya Kotkova, Jacob Lopez, Elizabeth Madden, Lauren Martin, Brittania Meche, Kathryn Moore, Tyler Nicholas, Hillary Nolan, Jordan Pace, Andrew Parrack, Kayla Rochelle, Stacy Schauvliege, Peter Shipley, Cory Sloan, Margaret Sokolosky, Emily Strickler, Jeffery Veteto and Liying Zeng. Membership in the society is considered the highest national recognition for a business student. One member from each business student organization was recognized as the organization’s outstanding member. Honorees included Thai Armstrong (African American Business Association), Rachel Dunlap (Association of 56

engage@spears winter 2011/2012

Dean Larry Crosby, far left, stands with Seniors of Significance, from left, Emily Cole, Amalia Deines, Katie Fuchs, Jessica DeLong, Blair Kirkpatrick, David McKellips, Allison Lyons and Devin Stanfield. Seniors of Significance not pictured are Andrew Henry and Haley Cosner.


Information Technology Professionals), Elizabeth Pitcock (Beta Alpha Psi), Kyle Buthod (Business Student Council), Chris Lillja (Economics Society), Fash Fadaei (Entrepreneurship Club), Katie Fielding (Financial Management Association), Shaw Minor (Human Resources Management Association), Whitney Manning (Marketing Club), Mark Fiegener (Spears School Ambassadors) and Jeremiah Cole (Students in Free Enterprise). The Spears School of Business was recognized as homecoming’s most spirited college for the second year in a row, and the Spears School Ambassadors were presented with the Outstanding Business Organization Award. @

Dean Larry Crosby, far right, stands with Outstanding Seniors, from left, David McKellips, Elizabeth Pitcock, Chelsey Johnston, Emily Cole, Sarah Johnson, Samantha Garrison, Mark McClure, Katie Fuchs, Amalia Deines, Allison Lyons and Krystal Krug.

Photo provided

Phi Beta Lambda club excels at national conference Three representatives of the Spears School of Business demonstrated their excellence at the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla., in June 2011. Phi Beta Lambda is the largest business student organization in the world. Thousands of students attend the annual conference, which is considered an excellent opportunity to network, listen to motivational speakers and take part in workshops and competitions. Kyle Buthod, an international business and Asian studies major, and Mark Fiegener, an accounting major, placed second with their Integrated Marketing Team campaign. Their proposal, the Oklahoma State University Japan Relief Effort, was a fundraiser created to support victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011.

Receiving recognition during the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference last year are, from left, Kyle Buthod, an international business major; Sarah Chabinak, OSU’s Phi Beta Lambda advisor; and accounting major Mark Fiegener.

Buthod and Fiegener conducted market research and analyzed OSU students and the Stillwater community and developed numerous ideas for fundraising events and advertisements. Many OSU student associations and Stillwater businesses gave time and

money to the successful campaign, which donated its proceeds to the Red Cross. “Watching Kyle and Mark cross the stage before an audience of thousands was wonderful and very rewarding in itself,” says Sarah Chabinak, senior academic counselor at the Spears School and adviser to OSU’s Phi Beta Lambda chapter. “Even though OSU is a small chapter by number of members, our students continually perform well each year in their competitions and present a professional image as they represent OSU.” Buthod and Fiegener were not the only attendees from the Spears School acknowledged for their efforts. Chabinak was recognized as the Oklahoma Outstanding Local Chapter Adviser. “I find working with this organization rewarding because it allows students to utilize what they are learning in the classroom through both competitions and leadership opportunities,” Chabinak says. “I feel privileged to be able to work with the incredibly talented students the Spears School is educating.” @

winter 2011/2012 engage@spears



OSU team places second at national marketing challenge Four Spears School of Business students received a top honor at the 2011 Direct Marketing Educational Foundation’s Collegiate ECHO Direct/Interactive Marketing Challenge.

Photo provided

Chase Blackstock, Jared Eichler, Jeremy French and Rachel Hoelscher were presented the second-place Silver Award in the undergraduate division. Students from around the globe participated in the challenge, which was conducted during the fall 2010 and spring 2011 semesters. The Spears School team split a cash prize of $1,000. A $2,500 scholarship will be awarded to the OSU marketing department. “I am very proud of these outstanding, talented marketing students for their achievement in the DMEF competition,” says Marlys Mason, associate professor of marketing. “Not only did they tackle this challenge with enthusiasm and professionalism, but also with a true desire to make a positive difference in the world. “Their success will brighten the lives of some future OSU marketing students through their winning scholarship funds.” The competition has provided college students with real-world experience since 1986. The challenge for all of the participating students this year was to create a marketing campaign for the non-profit organization charity: water, whose mission is to bring safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

DMEF competition Silver Award winners are, from left, Chase Blackstock, Rachel Hoelscher and Jeremey French.

Working with a theoretical budget of $10,000, each team was challenged to increase brand awareness and engagement with the college student demographic. Teams were encouraged to use direct and interactive media channels, especially in social media and digital arenas.

Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va., received the Gold Award in the undergraduate competition, and Indiana University, South Bend, won bronze. Top teams in the undergraduate and graduate competition were recognized at the International ECHO Awards on Oct. 4 in Boston. @

Students win big at Walmart Analytics Expo Two Spears School graduate students won first place in the poster competition at the Walmart Annual Analytics Expo in Bentonville, Ark., in June.

comments from Twitter can be captured and analyzed to track consumers’ feelings about Walmart. I am very proud of their work.”

Satish Garla and Zubair Shaik each received awards valued at $2,500.

Garla and Shaik are pursuing master’s degrees in management information systems.

“Social media is a growing field, and it is very challenging for companies such as Walmart to keep track of consumers’ sentiments expressed in social media such as Twitter,” says marketing professor Goutam Chakraborty. “In their poster presentation, Satish and Zubair showed how free-form textual 58

engage@spears winter 2011/2012

Photo provided

Their poster, “Application of GetTweet Macro and Cluster Analysis to Analyze Sentiments Expressed about Walmart and Sam’s Club in Tweets,” explored ways to use text mining and sentiment analysis on tweets.

“We are happy to see that the judges from Walmart and SAS recognized our project as helpful to Walmart,” Garla says. “We feel Dr. Chakraborty’s guidance on how to present our work was very beneficial. Above all, winning against students from other universities boosts our competitive spirit.” @

From left are Spears School marketing professor Goutam Chakraborty, Walmart senior manager of analytic services Megan Coldfelter, Satish Garla and Zubair Shaik.


Alumna in top 10 Jessie Wagner wins honor for top-10 CPA exam score. The accounting school’s outstanding reputation was reinforced in January when Spears School alumna Jessie Wagner received the Elijah Watt Sells Award from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The award is given to CPA candidates who obtain the 10 highest scores on all sections of the Uniform CPA Examination. “In 2009, more than 93,000 individuals took the exam,” says Bud Lacy, head of the accounting school and Wagner’s former teacher. “Getting one of the 10 highest scores is a really big deal! It’s amazing to have a student earn such an honor.” Lacy says the CPA exam is brutal, lasting 14 hours and covering four broad topics: auditing and attestation, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting, and regulation. The national average pass rate for first-time undergraduate candidates completing all four parts of the exam is about 10 percent, while the average pass rate for any one part is 30 percent, Lacy says.

It is impressive to complete all four parts of the exam on the first attempt, he says. Wagner earned a 93 percent on one section and a 99 percent on the other three. “I’m very honored to receive this award,” says Wagner, of Jenks, Okla., the first Oklahoman to receive this award. “It reflects positively on both me and OSU. I would definitely say my education in the Spears School was the foundation for my success.” Wagner says one course in particular helped her succeed on the CPA exam: the CPA exam review for master’s students. Since the course began in 2008, the pass rate per part attempted for the students in the course has averaged almost 90 percent. Ten Spears School students have earned gold or silver medals from the Oklahoma Accountancy Board for their scores on the CPA exam since the review course began. The OAB medals are given to candidates who earn the highest cumulative scores and take all four parts of the test during a certain timeframe.

Jessie Wagner

Last year, two Spears School students, Lauren Gorman and Anne-Marie Lelkes, earned gold medals, while Spears School students Dawn Kruckeberg and Julie Toben received silver medals. “I think the whole thing is really exciting,” Lacy says. “Our students have become so successful. They’ve exceeded even our wildest dreams, and we are thrilled.” @

winter 2011/2012 engage@spears



School of Entrepreneurship Breaks into Top 25 OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship is one of the best in the U.S., according to rankings released in September by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine.

for outstanding research productivity. More recently, a poll by ranked OSU’s student-led E-Club ninth among the top 20 university entrepreneurship clubs.

OSU ranks 24th in undergraduate and 23rd in graduate entrepreneurship programs of the more than 2,000 top programs reviewed.

“Our curriculum is the most comprehensive in the country,” Morris says. “We are the only school with an undergraduate minor and major, a master’s degree, an MBA concentration and a Ph.D. in entrepreneurship.

“It is indeed wonderful news that our School of Entrepreneurship and the accompanying programs of the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship achieved these top 25 rankings,” says Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School of Business. “The timing couldn’t have been more auspicious, considering that the rankings were released during the week of our annual Experiential Classroom, which brings together scholars from around the country and even the world to learn the best classroom practices of entrepreneurship.” The OSU entrepreneurship school entered the top 25 for the first time and was one of three newcomers to the undergraduate and graduate rankings. “We are grateful for the recognition, particularly for such a young program,” says Michael Morris, head of the entrepreneurship school. “This ranking is reinforcing for all the hard work so many people have invested over the past three years.” The entrepreneurship program started in 2008 and has quickly made a name for itself. The M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University recognized OSU’s program earlier this year as the 10th-best entrepreneurship school in the world 60

engage@spears winter 2011/2012

“But what really distinguishes us is our extensive emphasis on experiential learning. This occurs in all of our courses and through our two student business incubators, our entrepreneurship dormitory, the campus-wide business-plan competition and the extensive community outreach in which we are engaged.” The department is staffed with successful entrepreneurs as instructors who provide excellent mentorship and entrepreneurial opportunities outside the classroom. The entrepreneurship school engages disciplines across the OSU campus and is redefining how universities approach entrepreneurship education, Morris says. The school boasts 18 initiatives connecting entrepreneurship to faculty in everything from architecture and agriculture to journalism, geology and the arts. “I can’t say enough about the success that Dr. Mike Morris, head of the school, and Nola Miyasaki, head of the Riata Center, have achieved in their three short years here at OSU,” Crosby says. “As you can tell, we are very proud of our entrepreneurship program at the Spears School.” @


Spears School of Business

Among Best in the U.S.

Rankings Spears School Top 15.5%





60 50 40 30


OSU Management Information Master of Science program as a Best Buy

20 10



2011 U.S. News and World Report’s Business School Rankings

Spears School MBA Top 22.2% 100 90

Percent ranking

Oklahoma State’s MBA program is in the top 22.2 percent in the U.S. News and World Report rankings, listed at No. 97 of the 437 programs surveyed in 2011.


OSU Online MBA program as a Best Buy


Percent ranking

Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business is in the top 15.5 percent of business schools in the United States, according to the 2011 rankings by U.S. News and World Report. The Spears School is ranked one of the top 101 schools out of the 651 business schools accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).





OSU Entrepreneurship Club (


70 60 50 40

10 0

2011 U.S. News and World Report’s MBA Program Rankings


OSU School of Entrepreneurship Research Productivity (M.J. Neeley School of Business at TCU)

30 20




OSU Uniform CPA Exams passing rate of first-time candidates with and without advanced degrees (NASBA’s Candidate Performance on the Uniform CPA Examination-2010 Edition) winter 2011/2012 engage@spears


Spears School of Business 201 Business Building, Stillwater, OK 74078-4011

Non-Profit U.S. Postage PAID Stillwater, OK Permit #191

engage@spears Magazine Dec. 2011  

The official magazine of the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University.

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