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Alumni Spotlight – Micaiah Liebhober

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Micaiah at Lake Tahoe.

Micaiah is a human resources administrative assistant at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and Denali Center. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in Spanish in 2015.

Why did you choose to attend UAF?
I chose UAF because it is my hometown school and offers a quality education at an affordable price. All of this without having to leave my friends and family was a win-win.  As a first-generation graduate, attending college was not an easy feat for me, but UAF made it possible.

Share a memory of an outstanding teacher or class.
Amy Cooper always comes to mind. I wasn’t even an accounting major and she almost convinced me to switch majors based on her teaching ability and friendliness. Wendy Tisland is a great mentor in the HR field.

What is a favorite SOM memory?
I have a lot of great memories with the UAF Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) student organization, which I helped found and then served as an officer. A few of us participated in the Northwestern Human Resources Management Association HR Case Competition and student conference held in Portland. We had a great time going to Voodoo donuts as a group and networking with other HR students and professionals in the Northwest.

How did SOM prepare you for your professional career?
SOM prepared me for my professional career in a number of ways. It taught me how to balance my personal life with deadlines and how to prioritize. It taught me the value of networking and teamwork. I learned a lot about myself and what sacrifices are necessary to succeed and accomplish a task. Being in a student organization highlighted the importance of making the time to participate in extracurricular activities. I have learned that you will never have the extra time to do such things, you have to make the time.

What does being an alumna mean to you?
Being a UAF alumna gives me a great sense of pride. I am proud to support the university that supported me, got me where I am today, and will take me farther in the future. I have my UAF Alumni sticker on the back window of my car, and I flaunt it shamelessly!

What keeps you enthusiastic about your career?
Continuing education, challenges, and experience keep me excited about my healthcare HR career. I am able to shadow the recruiters I work with and I plan on going into that particular field. I hope to be an HR Consultant or Chief HR Officer, and I am starting the UAF MBA program to help me reach my goal. The unlimited growth potential in the field keeps me very motivated to keep moving forward.

What’s the number one skill or practice that has contributed to your success?
Sheer determination, strong will and consistency helped me succeed. There were many obstacles and challenges along the way and I feel like overcoming them made me better. I haven’t given up when times have gotten hard, and have pushed through instead. I worked two jobs and supported myself through my whole college career. That working experience helps me today, and I know how to balance multiple commitments. It took me five and a half years to complete my Bachelor’s, but I got it done!

What advice would you give to current students?
I would advise students to expand your horizons and not get too overwhelmed. Make time for yourself through working out, a hobby or travel. I also strongly recommend joining a student organization and making professional connections in your chosen field.

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Micaiah participates in the annual American Heart Association Heart Walk with co-workers.

  • What is your favorite breakfast food? Pancakes, although I don’t eat them very often (unless they’re protein pancakes)!
  • Dream vacation destination? Anywhere foreign, exotic or tropical. I like to get out of my comfort zone and see things from a different perspective. I would love to go to Greece or somewhere in the Caribbean.
  • Last music digital download or streaming channel? G-Eazy radio on Pandora. He is coming up to the Alaska state fair this year!
  • What’s the best advice you didn’t take? To start applying for scholarships earlier in my college career. I thought I would not be considered for any, but turns out there is a lot of aid available.
  • When was the last time you sang out loud? Probably yesterday in my shower or in the car. I sing and dance a lot!

 

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Micaiah on a black sand beach.

Faculty Focus – Dr. Joshua Lupinek

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Josh refereeing at a hockey game.

Hailing from East Haddam, Connecticut, Josh’s connection to the sports industry started as a minor league hockey player and turned into sport marketing during graduate school. Josh stays connected to his hockey background as an NCAA referee for the WCHA and Big Ten Conference. You may see him on the ice with the UAF Nanooks. Josh is an assistant professor of business administration.
Educational background:
Ph.D. – University of Minnesota, Sport Management

M.A. – University of Connecticut, Sport Management & Sociology
B.A. – Franklin Pierce University, Business Management & Mathematics

What brought you to Alaska?
The opportunity to work for the School of Management, my colleagues (plus their mutual hockey interests), and a family adventure.

What do you enjoy about Alaska?
I enjoy the family-friendly community and how much opportunity there is for outdoor family activities. Even walking the dog is a fun adventure, with the wildlife and the numerous trails.

This is your first year with SOM. What were your first impressions?
I enjoy the friendly business school culture. While SOM is very professional and respected within the community, you don’t have to wear a suit to work everyday for someone to know you mean business!

Your specialized field is sports marketing. How does that translate into the classroom?
Sports marketing has endless connections to the classroom as athlete endorsements continue to trend upwards. There is no lack of controversial topics when it comes to professional athletes and how their personal life choices affect the sport industry. Connecting with students on these topics and how they choose to consume sports is something I very much enjoy. People tend to carry a lot more passion in how they choose one sports brand/team over another than for general consumer products like shampoo.

What research or project are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a collaborative project where we are researching the gender differences of fantasy football participation and what motivational differences exist for females with respect to starting and continuing to play fantasy football.

What advice do you have for current students?
My advice for students, especially student-athletes, is to take advantage of the network around you. Everyone at SOM takes pride in helping you get to that next level. I can’t think of too many places in the world that provide as much professional development support and personal interest in your career.

What would you like to tell us about your family?
My wife Tracy and I welcomed our first child, Ava, this past December. We are excited to be raising a family in the Fairbanks, AK community and can’t wait till she is old enough to ride her first snowmachine!

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Josh and his dog.

  • Next TV/movie binge watch in queue? “Ballers” on HBO, but it is on hold until after the Stanley Cup.
  • Book you are currently reading?Winning the customer: Turn consumers into fans and get them to spend more,” by Lou Imbriano & Elizabeth King.
  • Your last music download? “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” by Mike Posner.
  • If you were granted you one wish to change the world what would it be? Stop global warming, so that future generations can enjoy the world as we do.

 

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Josh’s and his wife Tracy’s daughter, Ava.

Order of the Sword and Shield 2016

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HSEM Director Cameron Carlson (left) and SOM Dean Mark Herrmann (right) pose with Order of the Sword and Shield inductees Walter Murrell, James Fergurgur, and Thomas Antal.

On Friday, May 6, 2016, the School of Management held our inaugural induction for three of our Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) students into the Order of the Sword and Shield national honor society.

The Order of the Sword and Shield is a national honor society for academically superior students Homeland Security, Intelligence, Emergency Management and all Protective Security Disciplines. The society just completed its fifth year of operation and includes 32 collegiate chapters, 3 professional chapters, and a National Chapter, and includes students from over 70 schools across the country. More on this honor society can be found at the Order of the Sword and Shield website.

The students inducted to the honor society were Thomas Antal, Jason Fegurgur, and Walter Murrell. HSEM Program Director Cameron Carlson said “I am especially proud of this inaugural group of outstanding academic student leaders, who have helped set a standard for this new chapter in one of the higher rated programs in the nation.”

This stellar accomplishment by our students is yet another example of how this nationally ranked HSEM program continues to grow and excel.

 

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James Fergurgur signs the official record of inductees for the UAF chapter of the Order of the Sword and Shield national honor society.

Beta Gamma Sigma 2016

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On Friday, May 6, 2016, SOM honored our Beta Gamma Sigma inductees for 2016.

Beta Gamma Sigma is a national honor society recognizing the highest scholastic honor a student can achieve in Business Administration at an AACSB-accredited institution. To be eligible for membership in this distinguished organization, a student must rank in the top of their class.

  • Top 10 percent of the Junior class
  • Top 10 percent of the Senior class
  • Top 20 percent of MBA students

Juniors

Elizabeth Allen
Justin Church
Huckleberry Hopper
Sarah Howard
Megan Huerd
Damaris Li
Jay Samuel

Seniors

Irina Brown
Nathaniel DiGloria
Hannah Evans
Michelle Galloway
Kathryn Reichert
Amber Vaska

MBA

Ryan Allen
Michael Kresytn
Jennifer Young

Congratulations Graduates!

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Congratulations to all the 2015-16 SOM Graduates!

On Sunday, May 8, 2016 they celebrated the culmination of hours of studying, numerous papers and presentations, and stressful exams. Combine all that with juggling work, family, and out-of-classroom activities necessary to prep for careers, and these students should feel proud that they are ready to lead into the future.
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See more photos on Flickr

School of Management students place highly in competition

Johanna Bocklet, Laken Bordner, Jamie Boyle and Sara McBride recently took fourth place in a Society for Human Resource Management student competition in Utah.

Johanna Bocklet, Laken Bordner, Jamie Boyle and Sara McBride recently took fourth place in a Society for Human Resource Management student competition in Utah. Photo courtesy of Kris Racina.

A team of School of Management students took fourth place in the Society for Human Resource Management’s Student Case Competition and Career Summit Division II.

The students — Johanna Bocklet, Laken Bordner, Jamie Boyle and Sara McBride — competed April 29-30 at the Regional Conference West in Salt Lake City, Utah. Fourteen teams entered the division contest this year.

The team received the case directly from SHRM, and faculty advisors were not allowed to know about the case or to help the students in any way.

Former SOM faculty member and SHRM advisor Wendy Tisland prepared the students well for this competition in her Introductory Human Resource Management class (BA 307).

The students are proud to have placed higher than many other larger schools with concentrated human resources degree programs.

“Attending the SHRM Case Competition and Career Summit was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me during my education,” said Jamie Boyle, UAF SHRM president. “During both days of the summit, students were able to network with over 40 HR professionals, getting help on resumes, interviews, or just making connections for future opportunities. I made connections with a number of professionals that will help move my career forward. I am very pleased that after the conference, I have at least five solid follow-up conversations and interviews to help jump-start my future career in HR.”

The SHRM Student Case Competition and Career Summit provides opportunities for students and human resources professionals to connect, while also exposing students to the types of real-world problems they may one day encounter when they enter the workforce. To excel in the competition as these UAF students have done, they must demonstrate strategic thinking, ethical decision-making, and strong leadership and presentation skills.

Charla Brown, far left, and Kris Racina, far right, join UAF students at the Society for Human Resource Management event in April. Brown chairs the business administration program and is assistant professor of human resource management at the University of Alaska Southeast. Racina is a business administration instructor at the UAF School of Management. Students, from left, are Laken Bordner, Johanna Bocklet, Jamie Boyle and Sara McBride.

Charla Brown, far left, and Kris Racina, far right, join UAF students at the Society for Human Resource Management event in April. Brown chairs the business administration program and is assistant professor of human resource management at the University of Alaska Southeast. Racina is a business administration instructor at the UAF School of Management. Students, from left, are Laken Bordner, Johanna Bocklet, Jamie Boyle and Sara McBride. Photo courtesy of Kris Racina.

The UAF chapter of SHRM plans to attend the competition again next year, and the student organization is actively recruiting new students for the upcoming academic year. Any interested students who would like to learn more about this student group and the chance to participate in next year’s case competition in Portland, Oregon, should contact Kris Racina at khracina@alaska.edu or 907-474-6532 or Wendy Tisland at wrtisland@alaska.edu.

Laken Bordner, Sara McBride, Johanna Bocklet and Jamie Boyle celebrate their fourth-place finish at a Society of Human Resource Management student competition. Photo courtesy of Jamie Boyle.

Laken Bordner, Sara McBride, Johanna Bocklet and Jamie Boyle celebrate their fourth-place finish at a Society of Human Resource Management student competition. Photo courtesy of Jamie Boyle.

Below are the final standings (in order of placement):

West Division

  1. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  2. University of Texas at Tyler
  3. Boise State University
  4. University of Alaska Fairbanks
  5. Florida International University, College of Business
  6. University of Nevada, Reno
  7. University of Phoenix
  8. San Diego State University
  9. University of Michigan-Dearborn
  10. Utah State University
  11. San Jose State University
  12. California State University Bakersfield
  13. Portland State University
  14. Western Oregon University

The Nanooks of Wall Street

Photo by Phil Younker University of Alaska Fairbanks students Lacey Cruikshank, Alec Hajdukovich, Hayden Nilson, and Jamie Boyle enjoy the streets of New York City during a Student Investment Fund class trip.

University of Alaska Fairbanks students Lacey Cruikshank, Alec Hajdukovich, Hayden Nilson, and Jamie Boyle enjoy the streets of New York City during a Student Investment Fund class trip.

Six University of Alaska Fairbanks students taking a course in real-life investing recently enjoyed a visit to New York City’s financial district.

Jamie Boyle, Lacey Cruikshank, Alec Hajdukovich, Stefan Hajdukovich, Hayden Nilson and Tracy Reeves earned the trip with their hard work in the UAF School of Management’s Student Investment Fund course.

“Getting to meet finance professionals and talk to them about what they do every day really helped to cement what we’d been learning in the Student Investment Fund course,” said senior business administration student Stefan Hajdukovich. “It got me excited to start my own career in finance after graduation.”

Students toured the New York Stock Exchange during the opening bell and observed an editorial meeting at Fortune magazine. They received practical advice from Bloomberg employees on how to continue their financial education. They met with professionals in investment banking, private equity, alternative investments, equity research and asset management.

The professionals offered interview advice and perspectives on “a day in the life” of a banker or asset manager. Some of the advice was more tactical. At Lazard, for example, one asset manager spoke to students about how he screened investments and evaluated comparable companies to select the most attractive in the industry he covered.

The trip also involved some sightseeing, and, of course, students went out of their way to make it to a hockey game — because you can take Alaskans out of Alaska, but you can’t take the Alaska out of them.

Photo by Phil Younker Hayden Nilson, Jamie Boyle, Stefan Hajdukovich, Kim McGinnis, Alec Hajdukovich, Lacey Cruikshank and Tracy Reeves visit the offices of Time Inc.

Hayden Nilson, Jamie Boyle, Stefan Hajdukovich, Kim McGinnis, Alec Hajdukovich, Lacey Cruikshank and Tracy Reeves visit the offices of Time Inc.

The SIF course (BA 454) is offered for upper-level bachelor’s or master’s degree students in business administration each year during fall and spring semesters. Students gain hands-on experience developing investment strategies and analyzing stocks. Students make all investment decisions for the fund, which is currently valued at nearly $1 million. The small class size allows for increased student participation, as well as a high level of mentorship and accountability. The course is appropriate for all business majors, not just students pursuing a finance degree, and involvement can lead to internships and career opportunities. The fund generates money for need-based scholarships each year, meaning these students are helping to fund the academic careers of their fellow UAF students.

The SIF students were accompanied by School of Management faculty members Phil Younker and Kim McGinnis, who went to great efforts to make arrangements after the Pavlov Volcano eruption in March suspended air flights and delayed the trip. SOM Business Advisory Council member and Clarion Capital Partners Managing Director David Ragins worked diligently on the New York side to set up meetings for the students and make their trip a success.

The businesses and organizations visited by the students included Bank of America, Bloomberg L.P., Clarion Capital, Fortune Magazine, Jefferies, JP Morgan, Lazard Asset Management, the New York Stock Exchange, and WM Capital Partners.

This student trip was funded by a generous gift from Northrim Bank. McKinley Capital Management, First National Bank Alaska, the Association of General Contractors and several individual donors provide additional support for the SIF program.

Photos by Phil Younker.

 

Photo by Phil Younker Tracy Reeves, Alec Hajdukovich, Kim McGinnis, Jamie Boyle, Hayden Nilson, Stefan Hajdukovich and Lacey Cruikshank pose with the Wall Street Bull.

Tracy Reeves, Alec Hajdukovich, Kim McGinnis, Jamie Boyle, Hayden Nilson, Stefan Hajdukovich and Lacey Cruikshank pose with the Wall Street Bull.

40th Annual Business Leader of the Year

On April 23, 2016, School of Management celebrated 40 years of outstanding leadership as we honored Bob Hajdukovich, CEO of Ravn Air Group, Inc., as the 2016 Business Leader of the Year award.

The UAF Business Leader of the Year award is given to a deserving recipient based on leadership in the Fairbanks business community, business achievements, community service, and educational support.
The event sold out for the seventh year in a row. Many SOM students worked hard to make the night a success, volunteering their time in order to earn a ticket to the event. They sold tickets, ironed hundreds of  chair sashes, worked with vendors, and decorated the venue.

Funds raised through the Business Leader of the Year event support student organizations at SOM. The audience, made up of the Interior community and business leaders, demonstrated enthusiastic support for our students, collectively raising over $40,000 – all of which will go back to the future business leaders of Alaska: UAF School of Management students.

See more more photos from the event on Flickr.

Watch the student-produced video, “Flying into the Future.”

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Bob’s wife, Leslie, looks on as he accepts the award

 

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Student Committee members helped make the event a success

 

2016 Annual Accounting Awards

On April 22, 2016, student organization the Great Alaskan Accounting People (GAAP) hosted the 17th annual Accounting Awards.

This lunchtime event held at the Raven Landing Community Center was an opportunity to recognize the many outstanding accounting students at the School of Management. The event was emceed by Accounting Program Director Dr. Charlie Sparks and it was sponsored this year by BDO. In addition to a number of accounting awards and GAAP-specific awards, the winners of five accounting scholarships were also recognized.

GAAP 2015-16 Officers

GAAP 2015-16 Officers

 

GAAP 2016-17 Officers-Elect

GAAP 2016-17 Officers-Elect

 



 

2016 GAAP Awards Program-1

 

2016 GAAP Awards Program-2

 

2016 GAAP Awards Program-3

 

Alumni Giving – Heather Rauenhorst

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Heather and her son, Leo

Tradition of Excellence
Heather Rauenhorst

My name is Heather Rauenhorst (formerly Lesko), and I am the current chair of the SOM Business Advisory Council. I received my MBA from SOM in 2003, and it was a life-changing experience. It enabled me to achieve my personal goals and also prepared me for opportunities I never imagined. Not a day goes by that I don’t apply the knowledge and skills I gained through the MBA program in my leadership position at the school district. I hear far too many people say they don’t feel their college experience adequately prepared them for their careers. I had a different experience, and am thrilled I didn’t have to leave my hometown to do so. How lucky are we as Interior residents to have such a high caliber school in our own backyard?

I found my MBA classes challenging and relevant. Then, as now, there were brilliant faculty members who truly cared their students learned. And I can say without any bias, my classmates at SOM were the very best and brightest in all of UAF. Actually, one classmate in particular was a bit unique. My dad returned to school later in life, and the last year of his bachelor’s degree was my first year in the MBA program. We took a marketing class together, which was a memorable experience for both of us!

SOM also offers incredible opportunities outside the classroom. I signed up for an internship course when the program was just beginning, and it allowed me to experience a completely different type of business than any of my previous jobs. I believe so much in the value of these experiential learning activities, and in the potential benefits for both the student and the host business, that I created an internship position in my own small department. I’ve had two terrific SOM interns so far, and my coworkers have been very impressed with the caliber of the students and the quality of the work they’ve done.

So that was then, but what about now? In my opinion, the school has only gotten better. Today, SOM boasts even more engagement with local businesses, more student organizations and activities providing practical experiences, and more opportunities for students to make meaningful connections in the community.

I am thrilled to be an SOM alumna, and grateful for the time invested in me by the faculty and staff. I ask you to join me as I give back and enable SOM to continue its tradition of excellence, so today’s students have the opportunities they need to develop into tomorrow’s leaders.

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