Axel Gerloff speaks about study-abroad opportunities.
Axel Gerloff speaks about study-abroad opportunities.

Prof. Dr. Axel Gerloff, an economics scholar from Duale Hochschule Baden-Wurttemberg, spoke to students and advisors July 27 about study-abroad opportunities in his home country of Germany.

Gerloff, who is teaching at OSU summer term, told the audience in the Austin Hall Events Room about his university’s two campuses, the main one in Mosbach and a branch campus in Bad Mergentheim. Both cities are in southern Germany and steeped in history; housing the branch campus, for example, is a Renaissance castle.

Gerloff explained that OSU business and engineering students who take part in an exchange would encounter a course schedule that had them focusing on a single subject for one or two weeks, then repeating the process throughout the term with new subjects.

“Our students like just focusing on one topic at a time,” he said. “They don’t have to focus on anything else. But some international students think it’s too intense, that you don’t have time to let it sink in.”

Class size tops out at about 30 students, Gerloff said, which is necessary because of the compressed, accelerated nature of the coursework.

“That works a lot better in smaller classes than larger ones,” he said.

The business program focuses on international business administration, with everything taught in English. Prior to the start of classes, however, is a German-language course geared toward helping international students make their away around the country. Classes feature a mix of students from different nations.

The program is available in one- or two-semester options and is available at both campuses in the spring and at Mosbach in the fall as well.

For more information, drop by the College of Business advising office, 122 Austin Hall, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays or call 541-737-3716.




Majed Abdelrasul.
Majed Abdelrasul.

At the College of Business, we always enjoy hearing, and spreading, the news of our alumni as they take what they learned out into the working world.

So whether it’s via social media, email or an old-fashioned letter or phone call, please do as 2015 finance graduate Majed Abdelrasul did this week and stay in touch with us.

Abdelrasul was pleased to report that he’d accepted an offer to be a financial analyst with Aequitas Capital Management starting Aug. 1. He’ll work in Portland and will, he says, “be supporting consumer financing receivable programs, maintaining and reporting of portfolio management performance, implementing and enhancing financial models, and supporting ad hoc tasks for our team.”

“The COB helped me prepare for success by providing tons of resources,” he said. “Whether that was clubs/organizations, or simply bringing in industry professionals to educate us. There was always help from professors and staff members around the college. At the same time, the college held my peers and me accountable for everything we completed and continued to challenge us throughout our tenure. Everyone was very supportive throughout my time at the college. If I ever had a question, I felt as if I could go to any faculty/staff member and they would be open to helping me out.”

As he prepares to start his career, Abdelrasul offered some advice for those who’ll follow him in the College of Business: “Never give up and always go above and beyond. Even if you have to sacrifice a few hours of your social life or sleeping schedule, it will be worth it in the end. Continue to learn and take on as many responsibilities as you can. Lastly, hold yourself accountable for everything you do, even if no one is watching.”

During the 2014-15 school year, College of Business photographers, as you might imagine, took thousands of pictures.

As with any large collection of photos, only a small percentage of the ones we took worked their way into public view by finding a home in a blog entry, website feature, social media post or print publication.

That leaves a lot of interesting pictures that only the photographer and a few faculty and staff got to see.

To try to remedy that, at least somewhat, this blog post includes a gallery of a handful of the ones that got away. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Sarah Mazur addresses incoming students at a START session July 13.
Sarah Mazur addresses incoming students at a START session July 13.

START sessions aimed at helping new students, both transfers and freshmen, make a smooth transition toward the College of Business in fall 2015 are under way and will continue periodically throughout August, with a final session scheduled for late September.

A group of about 50, students and parents alike, filed into Austin Hall’s Stirek Auditorium for one of the sessions on Monday, July 13. Advisors Daniel Schwab and Sarah Mazur briefed the audience on a wide range of topics ranging from core requirements to academic honesty to the importance of networking – an overview of everything a new student needs to know to be successful in the College of Business.

“This makes me feel more focused, more ready,” said freshman to be Sarah Ryner of Oregon City, who’s interested in entrepreneurship. “I’m excited.”

Ryner was accompanied by her sister Rachael, a junior majoring in microbiology.

“I’m playing the role of parent today,” Rachael joked.

The rest of the START sessions are scheduled for July 21 and 24, Aug. 24 and 26, and Sept. 21. The July 21 and Aug. 24 sessions are aimed at freshmen, the July 24 and Aug. 26 ones are geared for transfer students, and the final one is a catch-all.

For more information, visit the advising office, 122 Austin Hall, or call 541-737-3716.


The OSU contingent on its visit to Squeeze Jeans.
The OSU contingent on its visit to Squeeze Jeans.

Nine students majoring in either apparel design or merchandising management spent six days in New York last month, earning two senior-level credits apiece while touring and analyzing various locales in the hub of the fashion world.

“The trip was incredible,” said advisor Allison Ramsing, who accompanied the students. “I went on a study tour in ’08 as a student, so to go on the instructor side was incredible. The city has changed a ton; there are always new things happening in the fashion industry.”

The students – Lu Lu, Ruochen Huang, Duncan Miller, Monica Nguyen, Yin Hung, Shelby Dodrill, Gabrielle Palazuelos, Marie Recine and Meagan Amos – went on “educational shopping trips” to the flagship stores of three retailers: Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Brooks Brothers.

“They’d go into the store and see how many markdowns there were, how much product there was, what was the fitting room like, how long the line was,” Ramsing said, ticking off just a few of the more than three dozen study questions the students had to answer as part of their store-experience analyses.

Other parts of the coursework included keeping a reflective journal, doing a portfolio page, and following up with and writing thank-yous to each company the students interacted with – Tiger J, Kleinfeld Bridal, Ross Stores, JPMA Global, Wanderlust Girls, Tuleste Market, CHF Industries, Fashion Snoops, Maran Inc./Squeeze Jeans, Mood Designer Fabrics, Macy’s, Kenneth D. King and Tibi, in addition to the three stores previously mentioned.

The group trip to New York has been an “every other summer” offering for apparel design and merchandising management students “for quite a few years,” Ramsing said.

The advisor shared some of her favorite student comments from the trip in a presentation to her colleagues after returning home:

  • “Just knowing that there are possibilities in New York City has expanded my thoughts on what I am able to do in the future.”
  • “So thankful for all of the people I’ve met, and the bonds I made with the people on this trip will last a lifetime.”
  • “Overall this experience has been eye-opening for a lot of jobs in the industry.”

    And at Wanderlust Girls.
    And at Wanderlust Girls.

The final Celebration of Achievement of the Ilene Kleinsorge era took place June 4 at Reser Stadium and included a collection of her colleagues paying a David Letterman-style tribute to the retiring dean: “Ten things we’ve always wanted to say to Ilene.”

The one-liners included a dig at Kleinsorge’s trademark running shoes, and an admission by one professor that she’d bumped into Kleinsorge at an airport not during a research term, as Kleinsorge had thought (and had found irksome enough), but during a teaching term.

“I had my classes covered,” the professor said to a din of laughter.

During the awards presentation part of the night, the following honors were bestowed:

  • College Service Outreach Award – Jonathan Arthurs;
  • Byron L. Newton Award – Excellence in Teaching – Anthony Klotz;
  • Outstanding Professional Faculty & Staff Service Award – Laura Scott;
  • Excellence in Scholarship Award – Pauline Schilpzand;
  • Experiential Learning Award – Christine Gallagher;
  • College Service Award – Jared Moore;
  • Betty and Forrest Simmons Excellence in Graduate Teaching Fellowship – Aimee Huff;
  • Newcomb Fellowships – Jenn Casey, Pam Knowles and VT Raja
Jeremy Banka affixes lettering to the wall of the display area at the Autzen House.
Jeremy Banka affixes lettering to the wall of the display area at the Autzen House.

Sometime this summer, drop by the Autzen House, home of the OSU Center for the Humanities, and check out the collection of Occupy Movement posters from around the world put together by Andrea Marks, a graphic design professor, and one of her students, freshman Jeremy Banka.

Inside the exhibit room at the Autzen House, 811 S.W. Jefferson Ave., are 30 posters selected by Marks and Banka; the works on display are a small part of the Occuprint collection viewable at

“The posters were chosen for their visual variety and cleverness in communication,” Marks said.

Banka designed the typeface, which he named Ergata, used on the various pieces of text that accompany the posters.

“There is no better visual artifact to record history than the poster,” the professor said. “Protest posters give the viewer a snapshot into a country’s political and social history.”

The poster project stems from a Center for Humanities Grant that Marks received in 2012. The posters will be on display through mid-September; viewing is free.


2014 my success

Ilene Kleinsorge’s final day as dean of the College of Business was June 30.

As she begins her retirement, please join us in thanking her for her many contributions, and we hope you enjoy this collection of photographs from Kleinsorge’s time as the college’s leader.

MBA candidates take their seats before the graduation ceremony in Stirek Auditorium.
MBA candidates take their seats before the graduation ceremony in Stirek Auditorium.

Eighty-eight students representing eight nations were recognized June 13 for having completed their MBA studies during the 2014-15 school year. The Oregon State MBA program features eight different tracks, and the graduation ceremony honored students from all eight: research thesis, commercialization, business analytics, marketing, accountancy, wealth management, global operations and executive leadership.

Prior to the ceremony, six MBA graduates one other College of Business student were inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, an international honor society serving schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The inductees were Sinae Cho, Casey Miller, Yuriy Mikitchenko,  Gary Phibbs, Kevin Russell, Halley Todd, and Phil Walter.

Erick Frack, president of Katapult Partners, LLC, and a 1981 College of Business graduate, delivered the keynote address at the MBA graduation ceremony. Frack’s talk centered around leadership, which he believes centers around caring about other people and listening to them.

“Your ability to show yourself as a good leader will help you more than anything,” Frack said.

Three of the MBA graduates also addressed the audience: Perren Baker (business analytics), Feng Qiu (research thesis) and Lauren West (commercialization). Baker urged his cohort to strive for a work/life balance, Feng talked about the challenges of being an international student while thanking his major professor, Keith Leavitt, for changing his life, and West told her fellow graduates, “When opportunity comes knocking, always say yes.”

The ceremony also recognized Grace Berczel, Casey Miller, Thomas Nguyen, Sara Kelley and Dan McCain for completing their combined doctor of pharmacy/MBA degree.

Following the 75-minute program, graduates and their guests repaired to Austin Hall’s third floor for a reception.

It was the second celebratory event of the day at Austin Hall, which in the afternoon hosted an outdoor reception for the College of Business’ newest bachelor’s degree recipients and their families and friends. Each of the 753 graduating seniors who stopped by received a COB business card holder as a gift from the college, and the event also included a photo booth and a group picture of all of the graduates on hand.

Associate dean Jim Coakley, right, congratulates MBA graduate Ryan Perry.
Associate dean Jim Coakley, right, congratulates MBA graduate Ryan Perry.



Benny Beaver was among retiring professor Erik Larson's well-wishers.
Benny Beaver was among retiring professor Erik Larson’s well-wishers.

Fittingly, as management professor, Neil Young devotee and renowned good guy Erik Larson took the podium at his retirement celebration May 15, Young’s tour de force “Heart of Gold” poured forth from the sound system in the Robert Family Events Room.

“I want to live; I want to give,” Young sang. “I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold.”

That’s exactly what the College of Business collected back in 1980 when it lured a young scholar west from SUNY-Buffalo, the pairing working so well that Larson became something of a rarity: a professor whose entire career took place at one university.

“I’m proud to have worked at Oregon State and in this college,” Larson said. “And I’m really glad to have gotten to spend my last year here, in the house that Ilene built.”

A colleague of Dean Ilene Kleinsorge for nearly three decades, Larson chose for his final year at the university a corner, fourth-floor office at brand-new Austin Hall as an exclamation point after spending 34 years in the college’s former home, Bexell Hall.

“It’s up to you guys to make (Austin Hall) a home,” he told the dozens of faculty and staff who turned out to wish him a well – a crowd whose size surprised the unassuming project-management legend.

“I told my wife as we were driving over here, ‘I wonder if anybody will show up; it’s a Friday afternoon,’’ Larson said.

Fellow management professor Keith Leavitt emceed the event (and arranged for the Young soundtrack). Leavitt said Larson was defined by genuine concern for others exemplified by how he shielded young faculty from things they didn’t need to worry about and spoke with candor about the issues they did need to be concerned with.

“Erik will tell you exactly what’s on his mind,” Leavitt said. “And he embodies the culture of the College of Business: Performance should never sacrifice people. He’ll always remind you not to take yourself too seriously.”

In retirement, Larson plans to follow Young’s advice to keep on rockin’ in the free world – with an emphasis on the world part of that. He’s been to 45 countries and wants to visit another 45, likely teaching part time wherever his travels find him and his wife, Ann – whom he thanked from the podium for “putting up with me.”

“I don’t know how she does it,” Larson said, training his eyes on her in the crowd. “I love you.”