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CBPP Showcase Brings UAA and Community Together in Celebration of Business Education

October 23, 2023
The ribbon is cut and the First National Bank Alaska Finance Lab is officially opened. The ribbon is cut and the First National Bank Alaska Finance Lab is officially opened.

The second annual CBPP Showcase brought more than 425 faculty, staff, alumni, students and community members together on the evening of October 13 to celebrate the College of Business and Public Policy’s 50 years of quality education, along with a ribbon cutting for the new First National Bank Alaska Finance Lab.

The event captured the momentum of the 2023 Showcase, and added live music, a dedicated networking space, and a pop-up museum of CBPP historical artifacts.

More than 75 volunteers and presenters helped tell the story of the College, focusing on current programs and the importance of connecting with the broader business community.

“The Showcase is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate all things CBPP,” said Kathleen McCardle, President/CEO of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and two-time attendee. “Exposure such as this converts new champions for new UAA programs, and creates cohorts of lifelong learners.”

“I was honored to be included in the ribbon cutting for the new Finance Lab sponsored by First National Bank Alaska, which will be a key in preparing the workforce of tomorrow with financial acumen. Skills such as these are transferable to so many types of businesses, and will empower students to envision a prosperous future for our community.”

Chancellor Parnel explores the First National Bank Alaska Finance Lab. Chancellor Parnel explores the First National Bank Alaska Finance Lab.

Dr. John Nofsinger, Dean of the College, noted that the Finance Lab is part of a larger initiative to position CBPP as a finance hub, along with the Seawolf Investment Fund and Seawolf Stock Ticker. “We’re so grateful to our business sponsors, who understand the importance of putting modern and relevant tools at the fingertips of our students, so they leave here not only with a degree, but with a current understanding of the tools necessary to succeed in today’s business world.”

Dr. Terry Nelson, Associate Dean, leads the charge for putting on the Showcase, which is designed to highlight all of the programs CBPP offers. “For too long we’ve been a well-kept secret. We offer an exceptional business education that is among just 6% of schools worldwide accredited by AACSB. The Showcase is a way to spread that message far and wide.”

Nelson explained that as the Showcase Committee gathered information to celebrate the college’s 50-year history, they unearthed a marketing video from 1996. “The video was a great find. Most of the reasons CBPP was a good choice nearly 30 years ago remain true today: CBPP is still a good value, has national accreditation, a broad selection of courses, internships, good campus life, and small class sizes. Students can work part time while attending classes, network with Alaska business executives, and get good jobs with good wages after graduation.”

There are some differences since that video was made, said Nelson. “Our computers are definitely smaller. Our internet speed is certainly faster. And our dedication and commitment to a quality education is stronger than ever.”

ADSAIL lab Virtual Reality in the ADSAIL.

“It has been years since I've been in Rasmuson Hall,” said Esther Goodstein, NFP Division Manager for Sockeye and a 2010 CBPP graduate in accounting. “After walking in and seeing all the great things CBPP is doing, I was incredibly impressed by the growth and change of both the building and programs being offered since I graduated. I also thought it was great having the student involvement at the Showcase, with the Jazz Band playing and food presented by the culinary school.”

Erin Toohey served as a volunteer and also attended sessions at the CBPP Showcase. In December she will finish a bachelor's degree in Business Management with a concentration in Property Management and Real Estate. “My overall impression of the event and sessions were truly inspiring,” she said. “From a student perspective, it was great to see the professors and administrative bodies coming together to showcase what they do, why they teach, and what their goals are for the CBPP.”

“Obtaining a college degree is no easy task,” Toohey added. “I have been pursuing my bachelor's degree for almost ten years and have gone through many trials and tribulations to get to the point where I will finally be able to walk the stage and receive my diploma. As someone who has pushed through many challenges to get to where I am today, it was eye-opening and greatly appreciated to see the passion that the CBPP holds for its programs and the university. It was a fantastic evening to be part of and I look forward to the years to come and to be involved in future showcases.”

The 2023 Showcase ticket sales, donations, and silent auction also raised more than $15,500 for student programs and scholarships.

Planning for CBPP Showcase 2024 is already underway. CBPP has led the charge on UAA’s campus to focus on Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics. It offers graduate and occupational endorsement certificates on those topics, co-hosts (with the College of Engineering) the Alaska Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (ADSAIL) in Rasmuson Hall, and has a series of webinars highlighting the ways AI impacts all industries. CBPP’s sessions on artificial intelligence have been some of the most popular during the Showcase.

“Next year, our Showcase theme will be Artificial Intelligence,” said Nelson. “We know it’s incredibly important for our students to be up to speed, but also to partner with and learn from the business community about how AI has been transforming the way they do business. We can’t wait for next year!”

Will AI help plan CBPP Showcase 2024? “If AI can help us tell the story of our quality education and the impact our students make as leaders in a rapidly changing world…then absolutely!” said Dean Nofsinger.

Partners and silent auction donors for the 2023 Showcase included:

Premiere Partner

First National Bank Alaska


Anchorage Economic Development Corporation Alaska CHARR AT&T The Bridge Co. Restaurant CIRI KPMG MedPhysicals Plus Northrim Bank Peak Trust Company Rasmuson Foundation R&M Consultants, Inc. Superman Moving Thomas, Head & Greisen, PC

Silent Auction Donors

Alaska Airlines, Alaska Economic Development Corporation, Municipality of Anchorage Port of Alaska (Steve Ribuffo), Alaska Railroad (Bill O’Leary), Heather and Christopher Mahlberg, Chancellor Sean Parnell, The Bridge Seafood Company (Skye Nevada), Teri Lindseth, John Nofsinger, Andrea and Josiah Jones, Terry Nelson, Kori Callison, Sharon Lind, and Julie Wrigley, and , these UAA Departments/Programs: Aviation Technology, Bookstore/Seawolf Store, CTC Culinary, Parking & Transportation, Planetarium, and Seawolf Athletics.

Showcase Support

College of Arts and Sciences Jazz Ensemble, CTC Culinary Arts Students, Professor Emeritus Frank Jeffries (Emcee), Mariah Oxford, Harrison Sturm, Tom Case Leadership Fellows, and UAA Alumni Relations.