Williams-Boone, Spring 2018 Student Commencement Speaker

For Jaylyn Williams-Boone, his Michigan Tech experience was a series of calculated risks and exceeding expectations. Jaylyn’s drive was evident to former Michigan Tech football coach Tom Kearly who told him at their first meeting, “You look like you have something to play for.”
And indeed he did. For much of his high school career, football was an afterthought, as Williams-Boone was a highly recruited wrestler out of Flint’s Carman-Ainsworth High School. As a high school senior, he was challenged by a coach who told him he wasn’t fit to play college football. From that day forward he dedicated himself to doing just that.
A stellar senior season led to a Michigan Tech scholarship, which he says was already against the odds. “Where I come from, death and violence aren’t foreign concepts. Statistically, coming from the north side of Flint, Michigan, the odds of being incarcerated or killed are greater than going to college.”
As a redshirt freshman, he received his team’s Freshman of the Year honor and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All Academic Excellence Award in his debut season. Driven by adversity, he has twice fought back from injury and graduated with a bachelor's in finance after four years.
Priding himself on truly being a student athlete, Williams-Boone has appeared on the Dean’s List six out of his eight semesters at Michigan Tech, and was the SBE’s Outstanding Man in Business in 2017. He was also involved in campus organizations such as APMP, Black Students Association, and the Undergraduate Student Government.
When asked about his view on life, Jaylyn says it is a journey rather than a destination. As a man of intense faith, he is humbled by his successes and cites his mother as a source of inspiration. “She’s my everything,” he says. “She has sacrificed so much to give me the life I have today. Everything I’ve accomplished I owe to her.”
With his football and college days over, Williams-Boone is working as an Associate Account Manager at Inteva Products at their headquarters in Troy, MI. He is now closer to his hometown, which he remains dedicated to. “No matter how far I go, I’ll never forget where I’m from. My desire is to give hope and inspire others to chase their dreams beyond the confines of the life they are currently exposed to.”


Captain Amanda Nerg

Captain Nerg '10 Receives Michigan Tech's Outstanding Young Alumni Award

The Outstanding Young Alumni award is presented each year to alumni under the age of 35 who have distinguished themselves in their careers. The award recognizes the achievement of a position or some distinction noteworthy for one so recently graduated. The 2018 recipient is Captain Amanda (Taylor) Nerg '10.

Nerg received a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 2010. In 2014 she earned her master of business administration at the Naval Postgraduate School. She is currently the Chief of Contracting Office at Moron Air Base in Spain, where she supports multiple Air Force, Marine, and NATO missions.

Nerg attributes the training she received at Michigan Tech as preparing her for a career in the Air Force. In her first assignment she served as a contract administrator at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota where she managed a $7.6 million architect-engineer service.

Six Sigma Yellow Belts Achieved

Spring Michigan Tech students affiliated with the American Society for Quality (ASQ) successfully completed the Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt (CSSYB) examination. Though not a requirement, eight students challenged themselves and took the exam, resulting in 100-percent successful completion. This accomplishment is attributed to Michigan Tech’s "crazy smart" students and SBE's response to industry's ever changing needs. One way SBE responded was the revamping of the Six Sigma Fundamentals course, integrating more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) content while focusing on behavioral and technical dimensions of quality management, a skill in demand by employers.

Michigan Tech has 17 student-members of ASQ and became an official student branch this spring.

Congratulations to the students that completed CSSYB Certification.
Shan Amarmani       Engineering Management
Timothy Bart            Engineering Management
Bruce Brunson Jr.    Biomedical Engineering
Hailey Huyser           Engineering Management
Kyle Huyser              Engineering Management
Ryan Larson             Engineering Management
Gabriela Mayorga    Engineering Management
Keaton Thames        Engineering Management


MTU students

Engineering Management and MIS Double Major Lands Internship at Lear

Lear Corporation, based in Detroit, is a leading automotive supplier that hosts an annual challenge to build connections with the state's universities and tap new resources of innovative ideas. This year's Lear Challenge had 57 participants from six  universities: Michigan Tech, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan-Dearborn and the University of Detroit-Mercy. The Lear Open Innovation Challenge presents a problem to interdisciplinary teams of university students. Last year, the challenge involved increasing vehicle occupant safety. Two weeks later, the teams meet in Detroit to present their solutions.

Five Michigan Tech students (pictured above) completed the challenge and four received awards. One member of the team, Shawn Badanjek (pictured far left), won the grand prize. A senior in engineering and management information systems, he received an internship with Lear for the summer, where he worked with his team to develop a prototype of their idea. He also received a $250 cash prize, a Haworth Fern chair (customized personally for him), and a set of Detroit Tigers tickets. Badanjek has high praise for the competition mentors. "I believe the guidance and mentoring I received from these people was priceless," he says. "I learned more about high-level team building and interaction in two weeks than in any semester-long class I have ever taken."

Coleton Kotecki

Freshman Marketing Student Qualifies for BPA Nationals

Coleton Kotecki, a freshman marketing student and Impact Scholar, qualified to compete on a national level with BPA (Business Professionals of America) during his senior year with Menominee High School. "I'm honored to be able to represent Menominee, the U.P. and Michigan because I'm only the school's second national qualifier in the past six years." he said.

Kotecki competed in the category of extemporaneous (extemp) speech. "BPA's extemp category is very similar to impromptu speaking." he said. "First, I go to the prep room, I have eight cards lying face down with business-related topics on the other side.  I choose two of them, not knowing what the topics are. Once I see the topics, I have to choose one of the two to give my speech on. I am provided with three index cards. I'm not allowed to use any references besides my brain.  I have 10 minutes to prepare my speech. Once my time is up, I must deliver a two-to-four minute speech relating to my topic to a panel of two to three judges.

After competing at the state level in Grand Rapids, MI, where Kotecki placed in the top three out of 40 students, he then went on to nationals in Dallas, TX. "It was a great experience." he says, "I was able to further develop my public speaking skills and I placed 11th, which put me on stage with the top 12 competitors." SBE is excited to see what Coleton will accomplish while at MTU.

SBE Launches Professional Blueprint Program

A new program launched with the Fall 2018 incoming class. High-paying, high-tech jobs begin with a polished resume, business etiquette, and a professional demeanor and the School of Business and Economics charges itself with providing all business students with the blueprint for professional success. In the Professional Blueprint program, Huskies are recognized for:

  • Participating in career-advancing activities
  • Networking with business professionals
  • Getting involved in the campus and community
  • Broadening their perspective through internships and study abroad programs
  • Stand at Commencement with an honor cord distinction, recognizing dedication to personal career development.

Gina Roose

Roose Wins Student Leadership Award

Last spring at the Annual Leadership Awards, Gina Roose (Spring 2018 graduate with B.S. in Accounting with Finance), now a student in the M.S. in Accounting program, received the Vice President for Student Affairs and Advancement Award for Service. This award is designed to recognize students demonstrating leadership, engagement in community, and a commitment to service. As an undergraduate student, Gina was an SBE Ambassador, RA and Community Coordinator for Residential Life, Peer Mentor for the Wahtera Center for Student Success, and active in numerous student organizations and activities on campus.

When asked how she remains active on campus yet excels in the classroom Roose says, "While I've poured a great deal of myself into my jobs and activities, I have also maintained a focus on school. I love my studies and have done very well in my classes. I have a passion for education, and balancing education and work allows me to combine what I learn in and out of the classroom."

SBE Welcomes three New Student Organizations

Student organizations are a cornerstone for experiential learning opportunities. They are avenues for students to gain critical leadership skills and provide access to professional networking. SBE strives to provide every student in the school and throughout the campus with opportunities for involvement. Learning outside of the classroom provides students with rich educational experiences, including professional development and networking.

This past year SBE welcomed three new student organizations, two with national professional affiliations:

American Marketing Association team

American Marketing Association (AMA)

AMA of Michigan Tech (American Marketing Association) is a collegiate marketing chapter owned by the passionate students who aim to develop their business careers in the field of marking. New AMA members are expected to build marketing experience and a professional career network by working with existing AMA members, AMA alumni, marketing professors, and industry experts.

American Society for Quality team

American Society for Quality (ASQ)

 The American Society for Quality (ASQ), an international organization promoting quality management and continuous improvement, has approved a student chapter at Michigan Tech. The Chapter's objectives are to promote professional certification, foster a culture of lifelong learning and to connect students with chapters across the country as they transition from student life to their chosen careers.

Economics Club

Economics Club

The Economics Club aims to bring together students of all academic interests to discuss, analyze, and interpret economic data and policy in our local community, the state, the nation, and the world. Through speakers and events, it is the purpose of the Economics Club to reach the student body at Michigan Tech to inform them of the importance and relevance of economics.

Merz Returns to Teaching and Buche Joins Administration

Tom Merz

After serving SBE for nine years, Dr. Tom Merz steps down from his appointment as associate dean of the School of Business and Economics. Serving under four deans during his tenure as associate, the students, staff, and faculty appreciate Merz and all of his work and dedication, including twice helping the SBE retain accreditation through the AACSB. This Fall Merz returns to the faculty, teaching courses in economics.

Mari Buche

The SBE's new associate dean is Dr. Mari Buche. Buche, Associate Professor of management information systems and affiliate associate professor of data science, has been at Michigan Tech for 15 years. During those years, she has won SBE's Teacher of the Year award three times ('05, '12, and '14) and has served on numerous University-wide committees including University Senate.

Welcome New Hires

Jenny Apriesnig

Jenny Apriesnig
Assistant Professor of Economics

PhD Agriculture and Resource Economics
Colorado State University

Laura Connolly

Laura Connolly
Assistant Professor of Economics

PhD Economics
University of Alabama

Ellen Horsch

Ellen Horsch
Professor of Practice of Management

MA Economics
Central Michigan University

Shannon Rinkinen

Shannon Rinkinen
Director of Marketing and Outreach

BA Liberal Studies with concentrations in English and Marketing
Finlandia University

Laura Shawhan

Laura Shawhan
Director of Administration

BS Paralegal Studies
Northern Michigan University

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.