2018-19 Recap: The Portland MBA spotlights

As we reflect on the past academic year, we can’t help but to be proud of all that The Portland MBA has accomplished. Tichelle Sorensen, academic director for The Portland MBA said, “This has been a remarkable year. We are so proud of our students, alumni and faculty and all they achieved. This year we have been able to publicly celebrate those achievements, and to build paths to deeper engagement for our community moving forward.” Let’s revisit some of these successes:

MBA 50th anniversary celebration welcomed back alumni of the program to The Karl Miller Center

The Portland MBA celebrated its 50th anniversary

MBA alumni were invited to celebrate PSU’s rich history of business leadership, innovation and impact with fellow alumni, faculty and staff from around the globe, working in diverse industries and spanning five decades. The event offered mini MBA classes and inspirational guest speakers, and gave alumni pointers on how to stay involved with the program.

Students were highly impactful in spreading the B Corp movement

Student coordinators for B Impact PSU, Rachel Mattenberger and Jacob Tatty paired 11 client organizations with a total of 24 student consultants, most of whom were MBA candidates. B Corp is a certification that for-profit businesses can earn through environmentally conscious and social equity-driven  business practices. It is often said that B Corp is to business as LEED is to buildings.

Amanda Winn named a Best 40 Under 40 MBA professor by Poets & Quants

Amanda Winn, School of Business faculty, has been named a Best 40 Under 40 MBA professor by Poets & Quants. Winn was one of 2,643 nominees for this honor, which recognizes excellence in teaching and research. Professor Winn received almost 80 individual nominations.

Students took their business idea to the Oregon New Venture Championship

Graduate business students Sky Curtis (MIM), Matthew Mellinger (MBA), Qiwu Zhu (MSF/MBA) and Tracy Burridge (MBA) took their business idea, HeatBuddy — a vent attachment to create your own personal hotspot — to theOregon New Venture Championship (NVC). The NVC is an annual six-round graduate student business competition held in Eugene, Oregon. The NVC has a mission to educate, inspire and empower future entrepreneurs. You can read the full Oregon New Venture Championship story.

MBA Alumni, Anita Ramachandran received PBJ’s 2019 Women of Influence award

Each year, The Portland Business Journal honors business women across the region who are making an impact, cultivating change and bringing the community together. Anita Ramachandran, executive director of Mercy Corps’s MicroMentoring program and MBA alum was honored as a leader in her field at the 2019 Women of Influence event.

Students won Propeller’s Case Hack Day

Jason Bruderlin, Jesse Harding and Kaitlyn Rich won Propeller’s Case Hack Day. For the past two years, management consulting firm, Propeller Consulting has hosted a Case Hack Day — one in their San Francisco office and one here in Portland. At this event, graduate students from around the state work in teams to create an innovative solution to a business case. You can read the full Propeller Case Hack Day story.

Students pitched at the 2019 PSU Cleantech Challenge

Cecilia Baldiviezo, Natalie Watterson and Meng Xu pitched their idea at the 2019 PSU Cleantech Challenge and later showed off their prototype at Techfest NW. The team noticed that current helmets in the market — which have remained relatively unchanged over the past few decades — have extremely poor biodegradable properties. Additionally, they can be bulky  and difficult to carry around, which is an increasing problem with the growing use of bike- and scooter-sharing programs. So they came up with a solution: a recyclable head protection device for the urban commuter. You can read more about this recyclable helmet for urban commuters.

Students won the PSU Kickstart Weekend Business Accelerator pitch competition

Angelique Brown, Jon Duncan, Andy Chase, Kaitlyn Rich and Emma Stager worked alongside undergraduate business students to develop the concept for a B Corp vending machine called BODEGA. The machine provides healthy food for hungry people in a hurry, making BODEGA the Green Zebra of vending machines. Brown, Duncan and Rich have expanded upon this idea in their Pioneering Innovation Course and hope to take the idea to market in the future.

This past academic year was a big one for The Portland MBA. We credit the success of the program to our faculty, staff, students, alumni and community. We are excited for what the future has in store for The Portland MBA.

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