Panel looks at workplace diversity

Panelist Tim Hall addresses the audience while moderator Audrey Iffert-Saleem, left, and panelists Monica Baez, Lawrence Houston III and Angela Batista listen.
Panelist Tim Hall addresses the audience while moderator Audrey Iffert-Saleem, left, and panelists Monica Baez, Lawrence Houston III and Angela Batista listen.

Workplace diversity can bring inner conflict to an organization, but that’s a good thing as long as it’s managed in such a way that the diverse individuals, their team and the entire organization can use it as a tool for growth.

That was just one of many points made by Lawrence Houston III, assistant professor of management at the College of Business, during a May 20 panel discussion at Austin Hall’s Stirek Auditorium: “Diversity in the Workplace: What leaders need to know.”

Joining Houston on the panel were Angela Batista, Oregon State’s interim chief diversity officer, and two Oregon State alumni: Tim Hall, class of 1978, chairman of the President’s Board of Visitors for Community and Diversity at OSU, and Monica Baez, class of 1987, a State Farm agent and the owner of the Monica Baez Insurance Agency, Inc., in Corvallis.

Audrey Iffert-Saleem, executive director of strategic initiatives at the College of Business, moderated the 75-minute discussion, during which each panelist shared a range of personal and professional perspectives.

Hall, who’s had a long career in public relations/public affairs, noted that when he was enrolled at Oregon State, he was one of just a couple dozen black students on campus. Batista described a background that included arriving in New York as a child-immigrant from the Caribbean who spoke no English, and Baez recounted being told how she was likely to get certain jobs solely on the basis of being a female minority.

“How do you think that makes you feel?” she asked, referring to having her abilities deemed not as important as her gender or ethnicity.

Houston, who studies workplace diversity, said organizations need to make a point to explain the purpose of minority-focused programs, both to minorities and non-minorities. Understanding why programs are in place helps everyone accept them, and use them. Houston recalled how as a graduate student at Penn State, he purposely avoided minority-focused programs – he is black – because he was offended by what he perceived as the implication he couldn’t succeed without them.

Had the programs’ purpose been stated clearly, he said, Houston realized later that he likely would’ve taken advantage of some of them.

In the workplace, simply having people of different nationalities, ethnic groups, religions, etc. doesn’t by itself complete the diversity puzzle, he said.

“Inclusivity means people feel that they’re valued as well feeling like they belong,” Houston said.

Both Houston and Hall touched on effective hiring.

“Human resources departments do need to discriminate – that’s what they do,” he said. “It doesn’t do anyone any good for someone to be hired who can’t succeed. Organizations need to hire people who can do the job and then put them in positions where they can succeed and be promoted.”

Hall said experience has taught him that pretty much all people, regardless of their status or non-status as a minority, can handle not getting hired as long as they’ve gotten a real chance to compete for the job.

“The hiring process must be fair, equitable and honest,” he said. “Productivity suffers when workers see leaders embrace cronyism.”

What leaders need to do, Houston said, after following the type of hiring process Hall says is critical, is “create an environment where it’s OK to disagree” and then manage that disagreement in ways that foster growth.

Two honored by Greek life group

Two College of Business faculty members have been honored this term by the Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life after having been a Greek organization’s nominee for faculty/professor of the term.

Alpha Chi Omega nominated Kathy Mullet, an associate professor of apparel design, and Chi Theta Phi nominated Sarah Mazur, a College of Business advisor.

Every quarter, each Greek organization on campus can nominate one faculty member for recognition, and also one student as scholar of the term.

Mullet and Mazur each received a framed certificate.

“Each chapter has their own way of deciding which professor they choose, but it is always a professor who they feel like is outstanding, leaves a positive impact on their members, and helps them succeed academically,” said Chloe Villagomez, the Panhellenic Executive Council’s vice president of scholarship.


A quick look back at 2015’s top stories

Welcome to 2016 at the College of Business, and we wish all of you the greatest successes in the year ahead.

But before we all get too immersed in the coming 12 months, here’s a quick look back at the top 10 highlights the college experienced in 2015. In no particular order (we’ll leave the rankings to you), here they are:

— Guest speaker lineup that includes design-thinking guru Barry Kudrowicz, international business CEO and ethicist Joe Lobbato and Israeli diplomat Ido Aharoni entertains and enlightens Austin Hall audiences.

— Online/Portland hybrid MBA program produces first class of graduates.

— Seaweed that tastes like bacon, the subject of an MBA student group’s integrated business plan, takes the nation by social media storm (the celebrated plant is known as dulse).

— Business Expo packs every floor of Austin with potential employers.

— Change in leadership atop the college as Mitzi Montoya takes over as dean following Ilene Kleinsorge’s retirement.

— COB students organize, stage TEDxOregonStateU, which packs the LaSells Stewart Center for a night of “Disruption.”

— OSU students dominate Duck counterparts in Civil War Shark Tank.

— Celebration of Excellence crowns new Hall of Famer (Stephen Bailey) while honoring college’s best and brightest.

— Oregon State Investment Group contingent meets “King of Private Equity” Stephen Schwarzman during annual trip to New York.

— Marketing professor Jim McAlexander receives KEDGE Business School’s “20 Years On” research prize for his 1995 ethnography on Harley-Davidson consumers. The prize recognizes research that has “paved the way for significant development within a field or a scientific approach.”

Best of the rest: COB alum Jaymes Winters serves as the kickoff speaker at the opening of the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center; OSU Advantage Accelerator continues work with entrepreneurs, startups; employers fill loge level at Reser Stadium to network with students.

REAL People: Sam Yul Cho

Sam Yul Cho

Our REAL People of the College of Business series continues with Dr. Sam Yul Cho, assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship.

Cho has been at Oregon State since fall 2014, arriving after four years of doctoral study at Washington State University in Pullman. In the small town in the Palouse Hills, Cho worked under his current OSU colleague, Jonathan Arthurs, then reconnected with Arthurs in Corvallis to be part of the launch of the College of Business’ first Ph.D. program.

Here’s more about Cho, in his own words:

“I’m from Seoul. I lived in Seoul for about 20 years and also lived in Tokyo for about nine years. I grew up in Tokyo for three years when I was in elementary school, and then I went back to Seoul for high school and university, then back to Tokyo to get my master’s degree, and after that I joined Suisse Bank and worked there for about three years. Then I went back to Seoul and joined LG Electronics for about three years, then I came to the U.S. to get my MBA.

“I went to the University of Rochester – in Rochester, it snows a lot. I had a finance background, and the University of Rochester is kind of a finance school. Basically they have great finance academics; their publications are phenomenal. It was very cold and it snowed a lot, but I think it was a good investment; it opened the door for me to join the Ph.D. program at Washington State. I spent four years there; I majored in strategy and minored in entrepreneurship.

“Pullman is a very small town. It’s cold and windy – actually there’s nothing there. The good thing is you can concentrate on your studies – the only thing you can do is study. It’s good to be there because once you get out, wherever you go, it’s better.

“We’re starting a new Ph.D. program (at OSU), and that’s a great opportunity. You can actually build up your own legacy, so to speak. If an organization is growing, you can grow too. And Oregon, location-wise, it’s awesome. I started hiking. When I came here I found a few small mountains, and when the weather is good, I go hiking. It’s so beautiful to see the city of Corvallis when you’re up there.”

Sam Yul Cho



Meet the new COB faculty

Now that they’ve had a few weeks to settle in, allow us to introduce the seven tenure-track faculty members new to the College of Business this fall.

Joining the COB are assistant professors Jay Hardy, management; Manuela Hoehn-Weiss, strategy and entrepreneurship; Lawrence Houston III, management; Jonathan Kalodimos, finance; Ted Paterson, management; Jun Bum Shin, graphic design; and Jason Stornelli, marketing.

The seven have studied at institutions around the globe and bring a wide range of academic and other types of professional experience and expertise to the college.

If you see them in Austin Hall or elsewhere on campus, please greet and welcome them and let them know they made the right choice in seeking to be a part of Oregon State and the College of Business.

COB wins big at University Day

University Day 2015 had a decidedly College of Business flavor as COB members collected two of Oregon State’s highest honors during the awards presentation part of an all-day program Sept. 21 at the LaSells Stewart Center, Reser Stadium and the CH2M HILL Alumni Center.

Sandy Neubaum, Dale McCauley, Lauren Caruso and Vaerine Bauder accepted the Student Learning and Success Teamwork Award on behalf of the college’s Austin Entrepreneurship Program.

And Malcolm LeMay picked up the OSU Professional Faculty Excellence Award.

Neubaum is the AEP director, while McCauley serves as program manager, Caruso is civic engagement coordinator, and Bauder is an office specialist. Headquartered in the Weatherford Residential College, where roughly 400 budding entrepreneurs live each year, the AEP’s multifaceted mission includes outreach in the form of financial literacy education and social entrepreneurship, including a summer 2015 student trip to Uganda.

LeMay becomes the 22nd winner of a Professional Faculty award that dates to 1992. The COB’s director of operations, LeMay oversees both long-range administrative projects in the dean’s office and the college’s day-to-day operations. A former Marine Corps aviator, he was instrumental in organizing the college’s move from Bexell Hall to Austin Hall – which opened exactly one year prior to the day he received his award.

The honors for LeMay and the AEP were part of a full day of recognition and addresses, including remarks by OSU President Ed Ray, to kick off the 2015-16 school year.

Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education, delivered the keynote address, titled “Aiming Higher Education at Great Jobs and Great Lives.”

Busteed noted how surveys of academic officers indicate a strong belief that universities are producing graduates ready for the work force, but similar surveys of employers and the general public show something entirely different. He also talked about how university mission statements, of which he has read more than 1,000 – “It’s a terrible hobby to have,” he joked – love to talk about goals such as instilling critical-thinking skills but uniformly avoid wording related to trying to place graduates in terrific jobs.

Busteed also focused on the topic of well-being and its impact on everything from on-the-job productivity to the need for medical care (the more well-being you have, the more productive you are and the less health care you need, research has shown). Given those sorts of factors, Busteed pointed out, well-being isn’t just something that’s nice for employees to experience, it’s economically vital.

Gallup uses survey methodology that breaks well-being into five types: Purpose, social, financial, community and physical. Especially with what’s at stake beyond simply happiness, society is best served when higher education and employers team up to help each person attain well-being in as many of those five as possible.

university day
OSU Faculty Senate President Mike Bailey, onstage with a sign interpreter, introduces keynote speaker Brandon Busteed of Gallup Education.

New face at Advantage Accelerator

Karl Mundorff.
Karl Mundorff.
Karl Mundorff.

Karl Mundorff, an entrepreneur and business development expert, has been named senior program manager for the Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator/RAIN Corvallis.

“The Accelerator is key to creating an innovation culture at Oregon State and creating impact in the local economy and beyond,” said Mitzi Montoya, dean of the College of Business. “The college’s and university’s investment in creating this culture, and in assuring a pipeline for startups, is an important part of the pipeline we have for student and faculty to contribute to the entrepreneurship community.”

Mundorff most recently was the director of research programs for Oregon BEST, a state signature research center focused on developing the Cleantech economy, in which he worked with university and national laboratory technologies. He helped secure an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership designation from the Economic Development Administration, which created an opportunity for the Pacific Northwest Manufacturing Partnership to compete for more than $1billion in new federal agency grant opportunities.

Mundorff was also president and chief executive officer of BioReaction Industries, an air pollution control technology firm, and has created and taught master’s level courses in business model generation and commercialization at Portland State University and Concordia University. He is a graduate of the OSU College of Business and holds an MBA from Concordia.

The OSU Advantage Accelerator/RAIN Corvallis, recently designated an I-Corp site, is an integral component of the Oregon Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, or Oregon RAIN, which is a collaboration of OSU, the University of Oregon, local governments, communities and economic development agencies.

Since its launch more than two years ago, the OSU Advantage Accelerator/RAIN Corvallis has admitted 30 business startups into the program. The companies that graduated from the program have generated over $6.6 million in revenue and grants and the creation of more than 40 jobs.


COB welcomes dean, starts new chapter

Mitzi Montoya.
Mitzi Montoya.

Six dozen faculty and staff from the College of Business got together on the fourth floor of Austin Hall on Aug. 31 for an hour-long reception for the college’s new Sarah Hart Kimball Dean, Mitzi Montoya.

Montoya, who comes to Oregon State from Arizona State University, officially began her role at OSU just a few hours before the welcome event, which took place outside the dean’s suite.

Grateful for the comparatively cool weather that greeted her arrival in Corvallis, while also noting that she’s aware much chillier, and wetter days, are just around the corner, Montoya was all smiles as she visited with new colleagues from throughout the college.

At Arizona State, Montoya was vice president and university dean of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Before going to ASU, she worked for 15 years at North Carolina State University, where she held the Zeinak Chair in Marketing and Innovation in the Poole College of Management. She also founded and led the Innovation Lab, a collaborative effort between different NC State colleges and private industry.

Montoya replaces Ilene Kleinsorge, who retired in June, as the College of Business dean.

Montoya took time to visit with seemingly everyone in attendance.
Montoya took time to visit with seemingly everyone in attendance.

White, Soto named Rettig scholars

Scholarship recipients Brittany Soto and Charles White with retired management professor Jack Rettig, for whom the scholarship is named.
Scholarship recipients Brittany Soto and Charles White with retired management professor Jack Rettig, for whom the scholarship is named.
Scholarship recipients Brittany Soto and Charles White with retired management professor Jack Rettig, for whom the scholarship is named.

Management majors Charles White and Brittany Soto have been selected as the inaugural recipients of the Jack Rettig Scholarship, named for longtime College of Business management professor Jack Rettig and established by one of Rettig’s first and most grateful students at OSU.

White and Soto recently met at Austin Hall with Rettig, who retired in 1986, and his son, Richard.

“I am so honored to be a recipient of the Jack Rettig Scholarship,” Soto said. “It all made sense when meeting Jack why this scholarship is in his name. He is passionate about the College of Business and the success of the students. He recognizes the hardships students have to endure in order to graduate from the university and admires efforts to make it happen. I am truly thankful.”

The scholarship was created by William Allen Sizer, a 1965 College of Business graduate who died in 2012. Sizer, who worked two jobs to put himself through college, went on to a successful career in the life insurance/financial planning industry and never forgot the impact Rettig had on him, particularly in understanding his economic challenges.

“It was a unique experience to have met Jack Rettig,” White said. “He was a person who understood the difficulties that students had and felt particularly inclined to help support their success. Mr. Rettig made a dramatic impact on his student’s life so much so that Mr. Rettig was honored with the opportunity through this scholarship to continue to impact the success of students long into the future. I hope that someday I can have that kind of impact on the people whose lives I touch.”

White and Soto each received $1,500 toward next year’s tuition, having been selected by a College of Business committee. Plans call for two winners this first year and one each year thereafter.

“It was a real honor to receive this scholarship,” White added. “Not only did it validate the hard work that I have put in throughout my time spent at OSU but really made me feel a part of the community even more so than before. Even better was the fact that I got the chance to share the honor with a friend and peer, Miss Soto, who I feel is an excellent student, and it was good to be aligned with a person who has such intelligence and talent.”

COB pictures that got away

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.