Showcase Celebrates CBPP Programs, Seawolf Stock TickerAugust 22, 2022
Cool. Delightful. Amazing. Incredible.
These are just a few of the words guests used to describe the first-ever College of Business and Public Policy Showcase on August 18. CBPP welcomed more than 300 guests to attend informative sessions about its programs and to help celebrate the dedication of the new Seawolf Stock Ticker, a new digital display that wraps around three sides of the second floor overhang in Rasmuson Hall.
John Nofsinger, Dean of the College, kicked off the event with a welcome and a countdown to the official opening of the Seawolf Stock Ticker, which was generously funded by First National Bank Alaska. “As we celebrate our Centennial anniversary at First National Bank Alaska this year, we’re proud to make the UAA Seawolf Stock Ticker a reality, continuing our century of investing in the success of Alaskans,” announced Betsy Lawer, First National’s Board Chair, President and CEO.
Standing on the second floor above the ticker, Lawer and UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell rang a New York Stock Exchange style bell to the cheers of the crowd and a celebratory confetti shower, harkening back to the days of ticker tape parades.
During the rest of the evening, guests chose from 14 educational presentations led by CBPP faculty and collaborators. The sessions were short and engaging, and were punctuated with opportunities to network and enjoy wine tastings, hors d’oeuvres, and live music. Guests also had an opportunity to bid on several select auction item. The entire Showcase generated more than $10,000 toward CBPP programs and student scholarships.
Nofsinger said the Showcase is an opportunity to connect with the broader community to highlight what the College is doing to prepare leaders for a rapidly changing world. “They say it’s best to ‘show, don’t tell’, and that’s what our Showcase aimed to do. Partnering with the business community and understanding their workforce needs is essential to what we do. This was a great opportunity to update our supporters and alumni on what’s new at the College, and to make new connections.”
“The Showcase is absolutely amazing,” said Joe Zimmermann, Chair of the CBPP Advisory Board and event donor. “It’s a wonderful integration of the College of Business and Public Policy and the outside world of business and public policy. It’s wonderful pulling everyone together. We need to do more of it.”
Kathy and Norm Wilder provided a matching donation for one of the evening’s most popular silent auction items: a dinner with Chancellor Parnell and his wife hosted at the Wilder’s home. After attending her third session to hear about research and public policy, Kathy reflected on the entire evening: “The Showcase was delightful. Tonight we really saw the excitement of the instructors, the excitement of the new programs, and the excitement moving on and changing to fit the needs of the community.”
Showcase sessions were well attended and offered a variety of topics. Evelyn Jacome, adjunct faculty member, volunteered to host Professor Helena Wisniewski’s session on how CBPP supports developing entrepreneurs. “The fact that the room was packed shows that people in our community are really interested in entrepreneurship and being innovative.”
Bob Doehl, Senior Fellow at the Rasmuson Foundation and member of the CBPP Advisory Board, attended a session describing the Justice for Fraud Victims Project. This program gives accounting students a chance to help out community businesses by investigating potential fraud cases. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for students to do something that is of great value to the community,” Doehl said. “At the same time, it’s an incredible hands-on experience to give students real-world experience dealing with the challenges of real-world witnesses.”
Nick Whitmore attended a session on CBPP’s new Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Alaska Native Business Management, which provides essential knowledge on working with Alaska Native Corporations. Whitmore is a CBPP alumnus and Senior Tax Manager at KPMG, an event partner. “I wish this certificate had been available when I was here 10 years ago. It's super practical information and will translate immediately in the workplace.”
Kirsten Dolan is a UAA student who has been taking classes online. She attended the CBPP Showcase through her role as Operations and Marketing Director with Alaska CHARR, an event partner. “The best thing I’ve experienced from being here is seeing what you’ve done with the building and how accessible everything is. It does make me want to come and take classes here in person.”
Another student, Magnus Noroey, didn’t expect the event to be so big. He arrived from Norway in 2019 to study and ski at UAA. Since much of his time here coincided with the COVID pandemic and more remote class offerings, Noroey had never seen so many people in Rasmuson Hall. “It makes me excited to come back again this year.”
Noroey is both a real estate and finance student and volunteered as a session host for the Showcase. Making connections was an added benefit for him. “I got a chance to meet Gary Klopfer, the UAA alum who gave the $1 million donation to start the Seawolf Investment Fund,” he said. “I’ve been in the finance club and working with that fund, so it was super cool to get to talk to him.”
Student Ross Spencer volunteered to help out with the Showcase as part of his role as a Tom Case Leadership Fellow. “As a volunteer, it was a fun atmosphere to work and be part of and it was great to see everyone enjoy themselves,” he said. “As a student, it felt like the event breathed life into the building, and it was encouraging to see how many people from the community invest in the quality of my education by supporting CBPP.”
Vlad Finko is also a student and Tom Case Leadership Fellow. "As a volunteer, it was my greatest pleasure to assist the faculty in showcasing everything CBPP has to offer to students and the community," he said. "As a speaker, I was extremely honored to share my personal stories and experiences as a CBPP student. I have always prided myself in being a UAA alum and now I'm a graduate student. I hope that the attendees had a chance to see that during the event."
"I am excited the community was able to come together and learn about the amazing opportunities available in UAA's College of Business and Public Policy," said UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell. "Thanks to generous donations and the hard work of our faculty, staff and community partners, UAA has emerged as a leader in business and public policy for Alaska and all of the Arctic. CBPP's commitment to excellence is demonstrated by the quality of UAA's business and public policy programs and the competent, qualified graduates who go on to become leaders in our state and beyond."
Terry Nelson, Associate Dean of the College, organized the Showcase in part to highlight CBPP’s societal impact: a quality education. CBPP is accredited by the Association to Advance Colleges and Schools of Business (AACSB). This is the highest accreditation possible for business schools and CBPP is among just 5% of business programs worldwide that hold this distinction. “Maintaining our accreditation requires continuous improvement and demonstration of how we engage with the community and how we impact society,” Nelson said. “We are appreciative that so many people came in person to learn what we are doing to provide the next generation of Alaska’s business leaders with a quality education.”
“We also couldn’t have pulled this off without tremendous support from our event partners, Advisory Board, faculty, staff, volunteers and friends of the College,” Nelson said. Corporate partners and individual donors included Alaska CHARR Education Fund, AT&T, First National Bank Alaska, Chevron/Denali Express, KPMG, McKinley Management, Northrim Bank, R&M Consultants, Thomas, Head and Greisen, PC, Anchorage International Rotary, MedPhysicals Plus, Republic National Distributing Company, Value Liquor, Ryan Buchholdt, Bruce Bustamante, Frank Jeffries, Harry Need, William Parker, and Joe Zimmermann.
Beverage donors included Republic National Distributing Company and Value Liquor.
Silent auction donors included Alaska Airlines, Alaska Economic Development Corporation (Bill Popp), Municipality of Anchorage Port of Alaska (Steve Ribuffo), Chancellor Sean Parnell, Norm and Kathy Wilder, Teri Lindseth, John Nofsinger, and these UAA Departments/Programs: Aviation Technology, Bookstore/Seawolf Store, Culinary & Hospitality, Parking & Transportation, Planetarium, Seawolf Athletics, Student Engagement.