Albers School of Business and Economics
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Dean’s Blog

  • Graduation 2013

    Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on 6/17/2013 08:11:14 AM

    Commencement took place at Key Arena on Sunday, June 16th - Father's Day!  Albers graduated 307 undergraduate students and 240 graduate students, who were among 1800 SU students graduating this year.  The undergraduate ceremony took place in the morning.  The graduate ceremony took place in the afternoon.

     

    On Saturday afternoon, June 15th, Albers hosted a graduation reception for students and their families and friends.  Over 650 students, family members, friends, faculty, and staff were in attendance to recognize our graduates.

     

    A few highlights for Albers on graduation day included Ha Nguyen receiving the Provost's Award as one of two undergraduate transfer students (tied) with the top GPA.  Ha is a finance major who transferred from South Seattle Community College and is from Vietnam. 

     

    MBA graduate Susan Weiss was the student speaker in the graduate ceremony.  She works at Boeing and grew up in California and received her undergraduate degree at Cal Poly.

     

    Kalison Shilvock received the Paul A. Volpe Award for the undergraduate business student graduating with the highest GPA.  Kalison is a marketing and economics major.  Thomas Smith received the Jerry A. Viscione Award, which goes to the graduating graduate student with the highest GPA.  Thomas is a MBA student.

     

    It is always bitter sweet for faculty and staff to see our students graduate.  We have enjoyed working with them so much and will miss them when they are no longer on campus.  On the other hand, we know they have to get out there and make the world a better place!

     

    Congratulations and best wishes to our 2013 graduates!  We expect big things from them and we know they will make us proud with their future contributions to the common good!

     

    Diane Lockwood

    Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on 6/7/2013 08:48:06 AM

    Diane Lockwood is retiring from SU after being a member of our faculty since 1981!  Diane came to Albers to teach organizational behavior, but for most of her time here she has been teaching information systems.  What happened??  Well, I learned what happened at a dinner we had last night in her honor.

     

    In the early 1980's our accrediting body, AACSB, mandated that business schools begin including information systems in the curriculum.  But Albers had no faculty trained in this area, and Albers was not alone.  Other schools faced a similar situation, so AACSB put on a series of training sessions to retool faculty.  When the call went out at Albers for volunteers to participate in the AACSB training, Diane stepped forward.  The rest is history, but it shows that (1) Diane is willing to take risks, and (2) Diane is a team player and willing to do what it takes to make our program successful!

     

    Therefore, we are very grateful for Diane's more than three decades of service to SU and we will surely miss her!  That was the theme last night at the dinner as colleagues recounted how supportive she has been of them.

     

    I recall that when I first joined SU in 2001, coming from Creighton University in Omaha, it was so comforting to discover that Diane was born and raised in Nebraska!  Here was someone I could trust to tell me exactly what she thought with no "Seattle Nice" to muddy things up.  It has definitely worked that way, right Diane?! :}

     

    Over three decades, you get to teach a lot of students, and so in that regard Diane is leaving a very impressive legacy.  Jeff Greenaway is one of Diane's former students who attended the dinner.  He made the observation that Diane had not only had a profound impact on him, but also on many other people that she has never met.  Why??  Because many of the things Diane taught Jeff, Jeff used in his work over the years.  One example he cited was one of Diane's maxims - "In God we trust, everyone else bring data." :}

     

    It turns out there was another former student at the dinner, namely her current colleague and co-author, Professor Terry Foster!  Terry earned his MBA at SU and so was also a student of Diane's!

     

    In her time on our faculty, Diane published more than 30 journal articles, which averages about one article per year.  That is a great level of output to sustain over three decades at an institution such as Seattle U., one that stresses both good teaching and scholarship!  Diane also received two teaching awards during her time at SU, and served as Department Chair and on numerous committees at the school and university level.  Her excellence as a faculty member was recognized when she was named to hold the Robert O'Brien Endowed Chair in Business.  We estimate she taught 15 different classes over the course of her career, which is a high number of course preparations for a faculty member.  (Her former department chair, Pat Fleenor, claimed it was 14 more than he ever he did! :})

     

    Diane is known for her passion for fishing, especially salmon fishing.  A few of her colleagues alluded to this and we look forward to her tall tales now that she will have more time to pursue them!

     

    Diane will be recognized as an emeritus professor at the upcoming graduation ceremonies on June 16th.  Thank you, Diane, for your many contributions to Seattle University over the course of your career!!

     

     

     

    Economics is Number One!

    Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on 6/5/2013 02:44:03 PM

    Economics is Number One! On June 3rd, Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranked Albers number one in the nation among undergraduate business programs in the specialty area of macroeconomics!!  What a great honor for our economics faculty!  The ranking is based on student survey responses asking them to rank specialty areas on a scale from A to F. A few weeks ago, Albers was ranked #3 in the nation in the area of sustainability in the same survey.

    What are some of the special things that characterize our macroeconomics courses?  We offer a rigorous macroeconomics curriculum that focuses on both theory and its application.  Our upper level elective courses apply macro models to economic growth, business forecasting, and financial market topics. Students are able to attend regional and national forecasting presentations and conferences such as meetings of the Seattle Economics Club featuring a variety of presenters, monetary policy simulations hosted by the Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference, and presentations by Federal Reserve representatives from the San Francisco branch. Albers economics students also have numerous networking and mentoring opportunities with professionals in the field by interacting with the Department of Economics Advisory Board.

    Student members of the Omicron Delta Epsilon, the Economics Honor Society, help organize and attend panel discussions on campus related to current economic events, such as the Great Recession, regional transportation policy, economic forecasting, and, most recently, the debt crisis.

    In other words, there is a lot that contributes to student satisfaction with our teaching of macroeconomics, not the least of which is the faculty who teach our macro classes - such as Dean Peterson, Meena Rishi, Quan Le, Vladimir Bejan, and Erin Vernon.

    What needs to be mentioned is that some of the students in the survey took their Introduction to Macroeconomics course from me, yet the department was able to overcome my poor performance and lead the nation!  Very impressive! :}

    One advantage we have over other business schools is that economics is housed in the business school.  On many campuses, economics is in the College of Arts and Sciences.  Having economics in the business school encourages the economics faculty to relate macroeconomic topics very specifically to business issues.  That is surely something that students appreciate.

    Our Number One ranking is not a flash in the pan, by the way.  In 2012, the same survey ranked us fifth in macro and in 2011 we were ranked 25th.  This is out of the more than 500 AACSB accredited business schools in the US.  The same for sustainability - in 2012 we were fourth in the nation and in 2011 we were ranked 17th.  In both 2011 and 2012 we were ranked seventh in business ethics, but did not crack the Top Ten in that category in 2013.

    In a previous blog, of spoken of the struggles we have to reconcile the rankings.  On the one hand, our students, alumni, and friends in the business community get very excited about a ranking such as this.  When we put out the announcement, we received a lot of congratulations from others.  On the other hand, can you really figure out who is #1??  Someone has to be, and we are glad it was us in 2013!

    To read the Bloomberg BusinessWeek story on our macroeconomics ranking, you can go to: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-06-03/the-best-undergraduate-b-schools-for-economics

    To read the Bloomberg BusinessWeek story on our sustainability ranking, you can go to:

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-29/the-best-undergraduate-b-schools-for-sustainability.