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SOM Speaks: Hear Us Roar – Hayden Nilson

Hayden Nilson is a UAF alumnus who graduated in the spring of 2016 with a double major in finance and accounting. Hayden was very involved with the GAAP (Great Alaskan Accounting People) student organization during his time at UAF, participating in events like the Alaska Native Corporations Seminar and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. After graduation, Hayden took a position with Robinson & Ward, PC in Fairbanks. Hayden understands the importance of staying involved with UAF after graduation and gives current students advice about how to get more involved at SOM.





Marketing class helps businesses showcase tasty bites and beverages


Local coffee roasters and cafés showed off their specialty items Friday, Nov. 18, at the 2016 Roast and Boast, an event organized by students in a University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Management marketing class.

For the fifth year, the School of Management partnered with Northrim Bank to host this community event, which featured music, baked goods, fresh pressed juices and plenty of hot beverages.

Students in the Principles of Marketing class helped organize and market the event, gaining organizational management, budgeting, team building and event-planning experience.

Aaron Cottle is a senior majoring in business administration and part of the student team who worked on the class project. “I am really grateful to have this opportunity to work on a solid community event,” said Cottle. “It is an ideal way for students to learn outside the classroom while networking and working with local businesses.”

Five businesses showcased their wares at the event: Go Wild Superfood Café and Juicery, Great Harvest Bread Co., Little Owl Café, North Pole Coffee Roasting Co. and Sipping Streams Tea Co. All participants donated homemade baked goods or gift certificates for the door prizes. The grand prize was a Viper remote start system from Street Sounds.

See more photos from Roast and Boast 2016.




GAAP Organizes 4th Annual Alaska Native Corporations Seminar


Panelists Miranda Wright of Doyon Limited, Lia Patton of BDO, Jim Hasle of BDO, and Garry Hutchison of Kohler, Schmitt, and Hutchison applaud Julie Stricker at the opening of the seminar

On February 2, 2016, the Great Alaskan Accounting People (GAAP) student organization hosted the 4th Annual Alaska Native Corporations Seminar. Panelists spoke to about 55 students, accounting professionals, and Fairbanks community members about Alaska’s native regional corporations, 8(a) contract issues, settlement trust, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANSCA), and the future of the corporations.

This year’s speakers were:
• Jim Hasle, Assurance Office Managing Partner, BDO
• Garry Hutchison, Partner, Kohler, Schmitt & Hutchison, PC
• Lia Patton, Assurance Office Partner, BDO
• Miranda Wright, Board of Directors Treasurer, Doyon Limited
Julie Stricker served as Master of Ceremony for this year’s seminar.

Hayden Nilson, accounting student and GAAP officer, organized this event; Hayden and several fellow accounting students and faculty answered the following questions.

This is the fourth year GAAP has hosted the Alaska Native Corporations Seminar.
Why do you think this is an important event for students and the community?
The Native regional corporations are a vital part of the Alaskan economy, and it is important for more people to understand their history and their role in our state. Heidi Pichler, GAAP member and accounting student, noted that this event gives students and the community greater insight into the impact these corporations have on the Alaskan economy. From an accounting perspective, it allows students to learn about the diversity in careers that an accounting degree can provide. What a many people don’t recognize is that in some form or another, whether in the areas of public or private accounting, there is a very high likelihood of working with or for a native corporation. And when there is a chance to learn more about such a crucial part of our economy, everyone should take advantage of the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of this topic.

What do you think students took away from this seminar?
One of the key things we heard from students over and over following this seminar was that they were amazed at the diversity offered by accounting degree. Most people think of accountants simply as the person you take your tax documents to each year. For students like Victoria Adams, GAAP member and accounting student, this event helped demonstrate the many potential options a degree in accounting can offer. This seminar played a pivotal role in showing that there is a whole lot more to accounting than the annual April 15th tax deadline.


Jim Hasle and Garry Hutchison join Candace Crews, former GAAP member and seminar originator, during the social hour before the seminar

What was the most important or enlightening thing you learned at this seminar?
This year’s seminar covered many topics. Our speakers’ extensive background and experience with Alaska native regional corporations provided those in attendance with a better understanding of the impact and importance these entities have on Alaska. A few of the topics of most interest to GAAP students included; Land in Trust, ANSCA Tax Provisions, and 8(a) contracts. I personally learned a great deal while organizing this event, because I had to research the topics in order to understand the basics and work with our seminar panelists to decide what they would discuss. I can’t stress enough how useful and important all of their discussions were for the students, professionals, and community members in attendance.

How has your experience with the Great Alaskan Accounting People (GAAP) helped you as an accounting student at UAF?
GAAP is a great organization. It has a clear mission – to prepare accounting students for their careers – and I believe it does just that. The majority of our members receive internship offers before they graduate, and often continue on with the firm as full time associates. Students can be involved in GAAP in many different ways. Beau McClain has been a GAAP officer for two years, and will be starting his career as an accountant at the KPMG Anchorage office next fall. Beau credits GAAP for his accomplishments and his success as a student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, saying “I can honestly say that no other student organization comes close to the professionalism and dedication of GAAP in preparing students for their future career.” The more speakers GAAP can share with students through their weekly meetings and special events like the Alaska Native Corporations Seminar, the brighter UAF students will shine when they enter the professional world.


Additional photos from this event can be found on the GAAP Facebook page

Are you interested in being a guest speaker for an upcoming GAAP meeting?
Would you like a copy of the recording of the seminar? Contact Hayden Nilson or GAAP advisor Amy Cooper

More information about this student organization can be found on the GAAP website

Local Businesses Show Off at Northrim Roast and Boast 2015

SOM Principles of Marketing students Pat Lassell, Chelsea Roehl, Lyz Allen, and Jake Mooty at Roast and Boast 2015

SOM Principles of Marketing students Pat Lassell, Chelsea Roehl, Lyz Allen, and Jake Mooty at Roast and Boast 2015. Photo by Sarah Sackett.

Local coffee roasters and cafés showcased their specialty items at the 2015 Roast and Boast in November. For the fourth year, the School of Management partnered with Northrim Bank to host this community event. Over 150 people came out to enjoy the music, food, door prizes, and abundance of hot beverages and homemade baked goods.

Students in the UAF Principles of Marketing class helped organize and market the event, gaining organizational management, budgeting, team building, and event-planning experience.

“Usually you don’t get to put on an event of this caliber unless you are working for a company. When an employer looks at your resume and sees you’ve done something like this, it shows involvement beyond the classroom,” said business administration student Pat Lassell. “All in all, stress and homework aside, I had a blast and a great experience.”

This year’s event featured specialties from Great Harvest Bread Co., McCafferty’s Coffee House, North Pole Roasting Co, Take 5 Bakery and Café, and The Fudge Pot.


View more photos from the event!

Roast and Boast keeps it local

Team RNB 2014

Dean Herrmann, instructor Tammy Tragis-McCook and SOM students Ana Rodriquez, Travis Cortez, Jordan Ferland and Alex Springer working at the event.

Northrim Bank and a SOM student team hosted a crowd of more than 200 for the 3rd annual Roast and Boast in November. Conducted as a marketing class project, the event allows the students to learn how to plan and manage a cross-promotional event, while supporting local businesses by featuring Fairbanks’ favorite coffee roasters.

The event was a fun experience for all, with music, food, plenty of hot beverages, and door prizes. In addition to the roasters boasting about their wares, SOM Dean Mark Herrmann highlighted the active engagement between SOM, Northrim, and the Fairbanks community, beyond the bank’s monetary contributions to the school.

Although the Roast and Boast offers great publicity for both Northrim and the roasters, the real benefit is for the students, as it offers a unique opportunity not available in the classroom. In addition to learning the basic concepts of marketing, these students gain experience conducting weekly business meetings, staying within budget, making marketing decisions, and working with the roasters and vendors. Potential employers covet these types of skills.

“I know my marketing and public relations skills have improved due to the experience,” said senior Business Administration student Travis Cortez. “Many who attended the event were overjoyed with the UAF student involvement. I could honestly feel the community’s pride in the event.”

In addition to being the “client” with real world requests and feedback, Northrim’s Marketing and Communications Director Jay Blury also acted as a mentor, leading the students through the entire process.   He encouraged them to capitalize on their creativity while still making sound business decisions.

“UAF School of Management is thankful to Northrim Bank for offering this unique opportunity to our students,” said Tammy Tragis-McCook, SOM’s Director of Development and Outreach. “Together we are preparing future leaders of Alaska.”

Story courtesy of Northrim Bank.


See more photos from Northrim Roast and Boast 2014.

Peeking into the Future

The School of Management (SOM) was invited to participate in Lathrop High School’s Career Fair held in early December. Accounting faculty Amy Cooper and Charlie Sparks hosted the SOM table, along with current accounting and MBA students: Satya Partyka, Brendon Allen, and Kristen Rowland. It was a great experience for everyone, getting to meet local high school students and to talk about the programs and career opportunities that the UAF School of Management offers. The SOM table was one of the more frequently visited stations, perhaps due to the cool SOM swag and snacks.

SOM is already looking forward to participating in this event again next year. It was a personal event for Charlie Sparks, having grown up in Fairbanks. He attended Lathrop and this was the first time he’d been back in its hallways since graduating in 1977.

Lathrop Career Fair-2014

SOM Accounting faculty Amy Cooper and Charlie Sparks at the SOM info table