When you think of undergraduate research you tend to think of geoscience, chemistry or biology. At UAF, the resource for undergraduate students to engage in research is URSA (Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Activity). School of Management student Esul “Pomi” Chafin recently embarked on a research project all without a microscope, lasers or counting any animals.
Pomi is a business administration major who graduated in May 2017. She learned about the URSA opportunity through Professor Josh Lupinek’s Entertainment & Sports Event Management course. “I competed against other students for the opportunity,” Pomi said. “But due to my data analysis and research experience from working at UA Statewide, I was chosen for the project.”
Pomi’s summer 2016 research project applied the 80/20 rule to the National Hockey League (NHL) to determine whether the top 20% of players, in terms of salaries, actually produced the highest performance levels – equal to 80% of the scoring in games. Overall, she found that the top players only score about 50% of the goals. She also concluded that hockey is more of a team sport and goals are spread out among all the players.
Taking her project to the next level, Pomi requested, and received, additional funding from URSA to present her completed project, “The 80/20 Experience: An analysis of NHL salaries and why ice hockey is the ultimate team game,” at the 2017 Global Sport Business Association (GSBA) conference in Cozumel, Mexico. “I did the research to get more data analysis experience but I got so much more,” Pomi said. “I gained professional development, I learned about deadlines, which is a big part of data analysis, and I improved my public speaking skills.”
Pomi also presented her research at the URSA Research Day in April 2017 (which is required for all students who receive URSA funding) and won the School of Management Dean’s Choice award of $500 for her poster. “This experience took me out of my comfort zone. It really improved my speaking and communication skills, and helped me develop professionally,” Pomi said. “I would tell current SOM students to try research because it’s not just for science students. Research is a very important part of business and it’s a great addition to your resume.”
Pomi plans to publish her work through the GSBA journal in fall 2017. She will also be entering the School of Management MBA program in the fall.
On Friday, April 28th, the School of Management held our second annual induction for our Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) students into the Order of the Sword & Shield National Honor Society. These students met the rigorous academic requirements for induction into the only honor society tailored to students in the homeland security and emergency management fields.
The new inductees were welcomed into the society by previous inductees, Thomas Antal, Jason Fegurgur and Wally Murrell. This stellar accomplishment by our students is yet another example of how this nationally ranked HSEM program continues to grow and excel.
Floyd Wright Jr.
This letter from SOM Dean Mark Herrmann was printed in the SOM Spring Newsletter, published in June, 2016.
At the UAF School of Management, we are committed to offering programs that serve the needs of today’s students in tomorrow’s economy. We are equally dedicated to preparing them for leadership roles in society. To meet our commitments, SOM focuses on excellence in and out of the classroom, and provides our students with frequent opportunities to interact with the business community. This partnership between SOM and the business community is what ensures our students a state-of-the-art education.
As you are well aware, the university system is facing significant fiscal challenges that threaten its financial stability and the quality of its students’ educational experiences. Both UAF and UAA strongly believe their business schools are essential to the communities in which they exist. I am working closely with Dr. Rashmi Prasad, Dean of the UAA College of Business and Public Policy, towards a collaborative plan for both schools. We’re working together to determine how to best serve Alaska with business education under a unified university and the new Strategic Pathways model proposed by UA President Jim Johnsen.
Schools with accreditation from AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – are considered the best business schools in the world. Their degree programs have passed rigorous standards for quality. AACSB accredited schools have the best programs, the highest quality faculty and the most prepared students. More employers recruit from these schools and their graduates receive higher salaries. AACSB accreditation is an important achievement for both UAF and UAA, which further underscores the need to ensure that both of these excellent business schools remain strong.
With UAA in the Anchorage bowl area and UAF in Interior Alaska, each business school features a specialized, community-based focus. SOM is as strong as it’s ever been, and we want to continue building on that strength. This academic year, we had a record number of enrolled students and a record number of graduates. We have been internationally recognized for our community outreach. Be confident SOM is poised to continue to offer the type of active learning opportunities you have come to expect and that employers desire.
No doubt there’s some uncertainty about the future. Dean Prasad and I are collaborating with President Johnsen and expect to have a much better grasp of the situation and a clearer direction by the end of this calendar year. We are working with the information we are given and unfortunately it changes frequently. I am committed to keeping you informed of potential changes and other updates as soon as the information is available.
To Donors and Alumni
I am optimistic that SOM is going to remain in Fairbanks. We have received signals from President Johnsen that our school is of critical importance to the community and to UA as a whole. We may look somewhat different in the future, but we are working diligently to maintain our core strengths. Philanthropic gifts will continue to benefit your areas of support, just as they always have. With your help, our students will continue to have extra-curricular experiences as they receive the high-quality education that they, you, and I have all come to expect.
How you can support SOM
Your commitment and support over the next few months are even more important than ever. This support may take the form of writing letters to the Legislature, testifying to the Board of Regents or the President, and sharing your stories about the positive impacts our school and our students make on the community.
If you would like to share your thoughts about the future of the UAF School of Management, please visit the Strategic Pathways website and voice your opinion via the feedback email or online form.
Dean, School of Management
Download a PDF of this letter.
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.
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.
Tracy Reeves, Alec Hajdukovich, Kim McGinnis, Jamie Boyle, Hayden Nilson, Stefan Hajdukovich and Lacey Cruikshank pose with the Wall Street Bull.