Brigitte 1Each fall the Oregon State University hosts a day that encourages faculty and staff to connect with each other and learn about what other departments and colleges are doing. Intended to inspire and motivate employees for the impending academic year, it is also a day to recognize and honor the people and achievements of its employees.

Taking place September 18, 2014, University Day includes awards to approximately 20 faculty and staff members in various categories for their accomplishments and contributions.

College of Business and School of Human Design Instructor, Brigitte Cluver, who also serves as the Program Coordinator for Apparel Design and Merchandising Management, is the recipient of the OSU Faculty Teaching Excellence Award. This award honors unusually significant and meritorious achievement in teaching and scholarship, greatly enhancing instruction for students.

University Day Award Winner Brigitte Cluver with President Ed Ray.
University Day Award Winner Brigitte Cluver with President Ed Ray.

“Brigitte is an extremely dedicated teacher who finds a balance between empathy and stringency. She is uncompromising in her demand for excellence, and provides ample support for students to succeed in their learning,” said Minjeong Kim, Associate Dean for the School of Design and Human Environment.

Cluver, who holds a B.S. from University of California at Davis and two degrees from Oregon State (M.S. and Ph.D. in Human Behavior in the Near Environment) also worked in the textile and apparel industry as a textile laboratory technician.

“As a life-long learner, Brigitte is open to learning new strategies and commits herself to innovative teaching that results in enhanced student learning. Her courses are always evolving with more effective teaching methods.”

Awards were given by President Ed Ray at the OSU Faculty Teaching Award Reception on Wednesday, September 17 and again acknowledged at an all university presentation held at LaSells Stewart Center in Austin Auditorium on University Day.

While Austin Hall has many striking features, the artwork, textures, colors and design elements used throughout  make the building truly unique. Until you have the opportunity to experience it firsthand, enjoy this sneak peek of the art and design.

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The move to Austin Hall has commenced – the finishing touches are being added, boxes are being unpacked and computers are being set up. While waiting to open doors to students and visitors, below find a sneak peek amid the unpacking and finishing work chaos.

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This editorial cartoon from the Barometer in 1981 depicts the growing pains experienced by the College of Business at the time.
This editorial cartoon from the Barometer in 1981 depicts the growing pains experienced by the College of Business at the time.

As the Oregon State College of Business packs to move into Austin Hall, there is reflection on the growth and expansion of the college throughout the years.

Boxes in Bexell Hall await the move to Austin Hall.
Boxes in Bexell Hall await the move to Austin Hall.

Growth of the college is common and according to Barometer articles in the early 1980s, increased enrollment numbers taxed the college’s resources so much that measures were taken to deliberately curtail the number of students entering the business programs at Oregon State.

The original caption for this photo: "On the Outside Looking In: Some students have found themselves unable to get into School of Business classes, and are like those students pictured above."
The original caption for this photo: “On the Outside Looking in: Some students have found themselves unable to get into School of Business classes, and are like those students pictured above.”

At one point, a lack of available teachers resulted in more than 700 business students unable to enroll in necessary courses because the college simply ran out of space.

Despite these challenges, the constraints were eventually lifted, the growing pains subsided and the college continued to innovate and expand for more than 30 years.

The culmination of decades of expansion in programming and enrollment will finally be realized as the College of Business moves into Austin Hall, a building that has the space and technology to support the growth.

As faculty and staff move in next week and students begin the first term in Austin Hall on September 29, the state-of-the-art facility will now reflect and enhance the innovation, entrepreneurship and experiential learning opportunities available to our students and future business leaders.

Oregon State MBA grad Frances Chen
Oregon State MBA grad Frances Chen

Frances Chen completed her MBA from Oregon State in June and is currently working at Seattle-based Henrybuilt, a company that specializes in high-end customized kitchen systems. Chen is overseeing the company’s business development, helping them expand and increase sales by developing new sales and marketing strategies. Read about how Frances successfully transitioned from the Oregon State MBA program into what she describes as a “dream job.”

Did you complete any internships while attending OSU?

 Yes, I was working as one of the interns in the OSU Advantage Accelerator from June 2013 to June 2014. I helped clients define their target markets, then helped establish a plan to deliver their products to the market. The experience prepared me for a career in business and defined what I really want to do after college.

What was the best part of your MBA experience at Oregon State?

 The internship was a great experience for me. I was very lucky to meet lots of helpful faculty and staff members there who helped me through the MBA program and become who I am today. Bob Mayes, Jeewon Cho, Shirley Chow and John Turner all provided a nurturing environment for me to overcome challenges and apply what I learned to work and life.

What is the most significant project from completing your degree that you think will benefit you in your early career?

I think the MBA Integrated Business Plan project really helped me learn how to work as a team. In fact, in my current job, I’m responsible for organizing meetings and generating info from all departments to come up with the best possible strategy to help the entire company provide what our clients need. Also, the MBA program overall was a great opportunity and journey to reveal who I really am instead of beating around the bush, not having a goal or not knowing how to pursue my passion.

What advice would you give current and future College of Business students about how to be successful in their program and in seeking a job?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you won’t get it when you are out of college.

Don’t be afraid to slow down and think about what you really want to do.

Don’t be afraid to make decisions on your own. You’ll learn from your mistakes and failures.

Chen presents an award at the 2014 Celebration of Excellence awards banquet.
Chen presents an award at the 2014 Celebration of Excellence awards banquet.

What is your favorite thing about Corvallis?

I love the summer and fall in Corvallis, it’s so lively. Since I am in a big city now, I really miss the warm and small community feeling Corvallis offers.

What’s your favorite thing about OSU/OSU’s campus?

There’s no favorite thing. I love everything about the OSU campus! Especially the people there.

If you knew you were leaving Corvallis for good, where would you go for your last meal here? What would you order?

It’s a great question. I would definitely go to Downward Dog for their happy hour.

Do you have any “secret” talents or hobbies?

I play the piano well, but not for just anyone. I only play for close friends and family.

What are you most looking forward to in your career?

Right now, I have a perfect opportunity to tackle challenges by doing what I love — marketing and sales and learning to be a leader.  am hoping that someday very soon I can start my own business to help people/students get to where they want to be.

Connor Deeks
Connor Deeks, a graduate from the class of 2014, donated 200 copies of the book “Lean In for Graduates” to inspire his fellow graduates to fight for gender equality in the workplace

Connor Deeks wants both men and women to become “change agents” throughout their careers in the fight against gender inequality in the workplace. That’s why Deeks, a 2014 graduate with degrees in Accounting and Spanish, donated  200 copies of Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In for Graduates” to be given away to College of Business students.

“Many people think that the struggle for workplace equality is over,” said Deeks. “But our female colleagues are not yet experiencing equality. There’s a divide between how women and men are ‘supposed’ to move through their careers and how women are perceived when they demonstrate leadership qualities that would otherwise be considered ideal for men,” he said.

Lean In for Graduates
Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In for Graduates”

Sandberg’s “Lean In” is based on the premise that many women are held back from leadership positions by their body language, speaking voice and a tendency to shy away from speaking out due to a lack of self-confidence.

“Most of my mentors in high school were women, so I’ve always perceived women as strong, capable leaders,” said Deeks.

Deeks first became aware of “Lean In” through his employer, accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Deeks is currently an Experienced Associate at the firm’s Portland office.  The company was an early adopter of the book, posting “PwC is Leaning In” on the news section of their homepage.

“Seeing that on their homepage really grabbed my attention and made me curious to learn more,” said Deeks. “I read it right away and instantly felt compelled to try and get the book into the hands of as many of my fellow Oregon State grads as possible,” he said.

A member of the Dean’s Student Leadership Circle (DSLC) for two years and an officer/events coordinator in the Oregon State chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, a national scholastic and professional accounting organization, Deeks approached Dean Kleinsorge with the idea of giving away copies to College of Business graduates.

Deeks decided to donate $1,000 of his own money for the project and took advantage of PwC’s matching donation funds program, effectively doubling the impact. After negotiating with the publisher to get the price down on a bulk purchase, Deeks and PwC were able to purchase about 200 copies of the book.

For now, the books are available to students who are members of the DSLC or are active and engaged in other student organizations on campus. Deeks is hoping to double or triple the donation in subsequent years, eventually getting the book into the hands of every single College of Business graduate. Deeks also hopes to eventually expand the program to include College of Engineering graduates as well, since close to 40 percent of women with engineering degrees either leave the profession or never enter the field.

Patch Leishman
SDHE grad Patch Leishman is now a designer at Portland design studio Ideaville.

Recent College of Business grad Patch Leishman is now happily working for a design studio in downtown Portland. Read all about how his experience at Oregon State helped prepare him for a fast-paced and varied career in the design industry with this week’s Q and A.

What did you study here at Oregon State? I majored in graphic design, as well as minor in new media communications and I loved both programs. While the design program taught me essential fundamentals of design, the new media program gave me insight into the realm of cognitive science and communications, which was great for me since I tend to focus on digital interfaces and user experience.

What are you doing now that you’ve completed your degree?

After graduation, Jeremy Ehn (owner of Ideaville) graciously offered me a position at Ideaville, a design studio in Downtown Portland, OR. Alongside two other Oregon State alum designers, Brenden Schild and Dana Beaty,  I am the third graphic designer to join the team. We also have a web developer, Ryan Niswonger, who absolutely kills it on the code front. As far as responsibilities go, Ideaville wasn’t afraid to start giving me a lot of projects to work on. In any given day I can find myself designing print flyers for Regence, mocking up web designs in Photoshop, designing wine labels, editing content in the WordPress platform, or coming up with rich and engaging SEO content. Really the sky’s the limit as far as the type of work I get to do, which was one of the reasons I was so attracted to the job.

How did you find out about your current job?

I actually found out about Ideaville through Dana Beaty. She was my TA in my intro graphic design class and I made an effort to connect early on in the design program. Come senior year, I invited her and her coworkers to the senior show. Brenden Schild showed up and was impressed with my thesis work on design in the health care industry and connected me with Ideaville’s owner, Jeremy Ehn­,who is one of the nicest people I’ve ever worked for.

Did you complete any internships while attending Oregon State?

I did have a few internships. From working in the basement of Milner computer lab, interning as a designer for KidSpirit, working in Portland for Outlier Solutions during my junior year, to the most recent position as a designer and exhibition coordinator at the Special Collections and Archives Research Center at the Valley Library. I’d say each job taught me a lot about responsibility and helping other people, which as a designer, is something that really excites me. Service design, design that harmoniously focuses on all aspects of a person’s experience is something that I strive to pursue, and all the internships I completed while at Oregon State helped me form fundamental skills that make me a better user-centered, service-driven thinker.

What was the best part of your experience at Oregon State?

The best part of my experience was starting the AIGA OSU student group (American Institute of Graphic Arts) and being president for a year. It was so great to see designer students ranging from freshmen to seniors come together and get involved. I think that no matter what your grade classification, we all have something to learn from one another.

What is the most significant takeaway from completing your degree that you think will benefit you early on in your career?

I think the most significant thing I took away from the program was the ability to think conceptually about communicating messages in an original yet level-headed away. I think consumers and society in general are becoming smarter and savvier, and as a designer I’ll always need to be able to create fresh yet concrete solutions to any design challenge, whether that be tomorrow or 10 years from now.

What are you most looking forward to in your career?

The thing I’m looking forward to most is being a part of this crazy fast paced world of change we live in. Technology is getting more advanced and smarter everyday, and I’m so glad I get to be the part of that. To be able to merge design and function into our everyday experiences is so thrilling.

What advice would you give current and future College of Business students about how to be successful in their program and in seeking a job?

Network. I know it’s so cliché because people say it all the time, but honestly in the design program, it couldn’t be more true. Start networking early. Try not to be too pushy, but just be honest about your intentions. Be driven. Always pursue more knowledge and keep trying. I think I applied to over 30 places from here to Austin, Texas. One of the offers I got was indeed from my immediate network, so it does pay to make connections.

What is your favorite thing about Corvallis?

One of the things I miss most about Corvallis is walking into Interzone on a rainy day and getting a hot cup of their River Mud coffee. Lucky for me though I have Stumptown nearby!

What’s your favorite thing about Oregon State?

My favorite thing is how friendly and beautiful the campus is. At no time did I ever feel threatened or insecure about my learning experiences, which I think helped push me to keep trying new things while I was there.

If you knew you were leaving Corvallis for good, where would you go for your last meal here? What would you order?

My last meal would have to be the French toast at Gathering Together Farms. It’s not normal French toast. It’s magical farm French toast.

Do you have any “secret” talents or hobbies?

Not many people know that I play the guitar but it’s one of my hobbies I enjoy doing when I get time.

What do you watch when you just need to laugh?

When I need to laugh I watch failed cat jumping videos. Be careful though, once you’ve entered the funny cat video domain, hours will have passed before you realize it.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

I love the direction the graphic design program is taking at OSU. I think it was so smart for SDHE to transition to the College of Business, and both Dean Klinsorge and Associate Dean Minjeong Kim have done a great job in the transition. I think there are so many opportunities for design students within the College of Business. Lots of amazing things are happening, and I’m so lucky to have seen a small part of it. As one of my professors Andrea Marks always said, “Onward!”

In honor of Throwback Thursday, take a look back at an article from 1980 that highlighted the College of Business’ most cutting-edge technological acquisition at the time.

A professor works on the College of Business' new Apple II computer in 1980.
A professor works on the College of Business’ lone computer in 1980, an Apple II which in today’s dollars would cost more than $14,000

From the Oct. 17, 1980 edition of the Daily Barometer:

Computer allows realtors to appraise land

In the future, realtors will be able to evaluate property values at the push of a button thanks to two OSU business professors. Arthur Stonehill and Wilbur Widicus, finance professors, have developed programs for an Apple II computer that allows realtors to appraise real estate by comparing a variety of assumptions. The Apple II is a small personal computer system, retailing for approximately $5,000.

Stonehill and Widicus worked with Bill Olsen of Real Estate Microcomputer Systems, Inc. in Corvallis this summer on the project. According to Stonehill, the program is not a new idea.

“We have been teaching the analysis techniques in finance classes for years. You could do everything on a calculator,” he said.

Widicus explained the program as an adaptation of other programs on larger computers.

“Nearly every university has a program of this type on their large computer,” he said. “We have one like it on the OSU computer, but it costs money to run it (the program) every time.”

Adjusted for inflation, a computer that cost $5,000 in 1980 would today sell for $14,462.56 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). The fact that the College of Business had just the one Apple II computer (while the university had only one main computer) at the time is pretty shocking when compared to the 400-plus computers that the College of Business owns and operates today.

The work of professors Stonehill and Widicus certainly embodies the innovative spirit of the College of Business, as the concept has evolved to current-day websites such as Trulia and Zillow (which just merged for $3.5 billion) that can provide property values to anyone at the touch of a button, not just realtors.

Just two months later in 1980, the Barometer published an article about a $20,000 grant the College of Business received  to purchase micro-processor computers. In the article, College of Business Dean Earl Goddard accurately predicted how computers could someday shape the future landscape of business, saying, “There may be a day when a micro-computer will sit at a business desk desk much like a calculator or typewriter.”

In 1980, the College was only able to purchase a few computers with the $20,000 grant. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $57,850.24 in today’s dollars, which would buy a whole truckload of computers. It really is amazing to take a look back into the not-too-distant past and realize how much technology has changed the way we do business, and how much it impacts our daily lives.

Finance alumna Sara Stillwell poses with Benny the Beaver
Finance alumna Sara Stillwell poses with Benny the Beaver

Finance  alumna Sara Stillwell just graduated from Oregon State University’s College of Business in June, but has already transitioned into her career as a financial adviser with Pacific Capital Resource Group in Lake Oswego (in the Portland metro area), Stillwell shares her experiences and advice with current and future business students on how they can make the most of their time at Oregon State.

Did you complete an internship while attending OSU?

I did an internship with Oregon State’s Printing and Mailing Services as a marketing intern where I ran social media campaigns and promotions for the business during my sophomore year and over the summer. It was good learning experience in that it helped me determine that I did not want to pursue marketing as a career after that.

What advice would you give current and future College of Business students about how to be successful in their program and in seeking a job?

Join a club to get more information about the industry you are considering. There are many more jobs out there than people realize, especially younger students who are just getting familiar with their career options. Also, take advantage of joining a club if you choose to do so. Club officers are usually very interested in getting ideas from members and are a good resource if anyone has questions about classes to take and things to do to be successful. They’re also a great resource for networking, as they have multiple contacts within the college.

Did you utilize the services at the Career Success Center?  How did they help you prepare to enter the job market?

I definitely utilized the CSC, and I’d recommend them and their services to everyone. Getting your résumé checked out is too easy not to just go and do! Also, connecting with Brandi Fuhrman, Pam Knowles and Tamara Mitchell has helped me network with so many professionals and members of the College of Business and have been a great resource and a huge help.

Did you participate in the #MySuccessIs campaign?

Yes, I was the president of the Finance Club, and we participated in a competition among the clubs. I am also a member of the Dean’s Student Leadership Council (DSLC) where we also did some brainstorming about the campaign.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

I’d want to have a photographic memory.

How would you have used your superpower while getting your degree?

It would have been amazing to only have to read slides and textbooks once while studying.

What is your favorite thing about Corvallis?

I love the closeness of everything and the ability to walk to class.

What’s your favorite thing about Oregon State?

My overall experience with the College of Business — the professors and faculty, the opportunities I had, and getting to know and collaborate with my peers — was amazing.  Also, football games are my favorite things about OSU!

If you knew you were leaving Corvallis for good, where would you go for your last meal here? What would you order?

I would go to The Laughing Planet downtown and would order the Zapatista Salad.  It’s my favorite!


Young Entrepreneurs Business Week at Oregon State University
A team of high school students take part in the Young Entrepreneurs Business Week at Oregon State University

Last week, 108 high school students representing 48 different high schools from Oregon, Washington, Texas and Canada visited the Oregon State campus and the College of Business for the annual Young Entrepreneurs Business Week program for a week of hands-on learning experiences.

Program participants spent their week being exposed to a curriculum designed to teach students that business can be fun and exciting.  During the program, each student is placed in a student-led company comprised of 8-10 students. The YEBW organizers say that they take the students’ geography, educational background, age, and other factors into account to create intentionally diverse teams of students, which are then guided by real executives from the business community who share their knowledge and expertise with the students throughout the week.

Once the students are placed with their teams and mentors, they create management teams, develop a mission statement, invent a product, and conduct actual operation of their own business by competing in business simulations.  However, the instruction goes far beyond the business curriculum.  Designed to broaden the practical skill sets of each student, YEBW incorporates professional speakers and other interactive learning exercises such as mock interviews, a professional etiquette dinner, networking events and plenty of social activities along the way. The goal of the curriculum is to provide students with the financial literacy, business fundamentals and confidence that they need to be self-sufficient and successful, priming the pipeline for the next generation of business and community leaders.

West Linn High School Junior Nathan Bergstrom, whose grandfather and father are both OSU alumni, said that although the curriculum is demanding, it’s more than worthwhile.

“This week has been intense, but also a lot of fun,” said Bergstrom. “Coming in, I don’t know that we necessarily understood what all goes into owning a successful business. The amount of planning it takes just to get started is a little surprising, but it’s also really rewarding and gives you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment,” he said.

Young Entrepreneurs Business Week’s mission is to “build the next generation of business leaders” and was created because of increasing concern that Oregon’s youth of all educational and economic backgrounds were coming out of high school with no practical business knowledge, thus hindering their ability to innovate, create and produce the kinds of goods and services key to every community’s growth and success.  The YEBW organization was born in 2006 when a small group of entrepreneurs decided to fill the gap by drawing together curriculum developers, business professionals, educators and successful youth-focused program leaders to launch their educational program.