Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Monday, October 20, 2014


Dictionaries define stud variously as:

1) A male breeding animal – as in stud horse;

2) A young, virile, man;

3) An earring consisting of a small, button-like ornament mounted on a metal post designed to pass through a pierced ear lobe;

4) Any of a large number of small projecting lugs embedded in an automobile tire (studded tire) to improve traction on snowy or icy roads;

5) A knob, nailhead, or other protuberance projecting from a surface or part, especially as an ornament.

None of these are relevant to this blog. Just interesting. The definition I want is:

6) Any of a number of slender, upright members of wood, steel, etc., forming the frame of a wall or partition and covered with plasterwork, siding, glass, etc.

Construction workers mounting studs that will support the sheet glass walls on the exterior of Huntsman Hall
Have you seen the studs going up on the side of Huntsman Hall this past week? These things are huge! Some of the studs are as long as 50’ long. It takes three men to carry these studs. They are special-made for Huntsman Hall. The remarkable thing is how quickly they are attached to the building. Matter of fact, they are going up so fast that we should soon see sheet glass walls hanging on these studs!
Ken Snyder

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Professor Chris Fawson Recipient of Student Advocacy & Support Award

Student Advocate VP, Casey Saxton, with Dr. Chris Fawson
On Tuesday night Dr. Chris Fawson was presented with the inaugural Excellence in Student Advocacy & Support Award. Dr. Fawson was the first recipient of the new award, which has the goal of recognizing outstanding faculty and staff who go above and beyond for students.

“It was both an unexpected surprise and an extraordinary honor to be recognized by USUAS as the inaugural recipient of the Student Advocacy & Support Award,” Dr. Fawson said. “Our students deserve the best we have to offer as faculty and staff—and I hope to live up to that expectation by doing all I can to increase the set of opportunities available to the USU students who I have the honor of meeting and knowing.”

Dr. Fawson was nominated by Scott Laneri, this year’s Huntsman School senator.

“Through his efforts, Dr. Fawson has helped countless students make connections with future employers and academic mentors,” Laneri said. “I have so much respect for Dr. Fawson's dedication to improving the student experience both at USU and beyond.”

“I have great respect for Scott, and his leadership team, and share his passion for creating extraordinary opportunities for all of our students—but especially those students who might be struggling to find a purposeful pathway to success,” Fawson said.

The Excellence in Student Advocacy & Support Award was created in fall 2014 by the Utah State University Student Association (USUSA) to recognize outstanding faculty and staff at USU who go above and beyond for students in any area of student life. Student leaders recognized that many exceptional faculty and staff often aren’t recognized for their service and this award will be one avenue to recognize those faculty and staff members for helping students. Any USU student may nominate a staff or faculty member at

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

HMA: The Long March: Why it Take 10 Years to Sell a Space Telescope

By Seth Merrill

On Thursday, Jim Marshall, Director of Business Development for the Space Dynamics Laboratory, spoke to a group of 30 students and professors from the Huntsman Marketing Association during a presentation titled, “The Long March: Why it Take 10 Years to Sell a Space Telescope.”
Jim Marshall presenting to the HMA club

Marshall’s work involves qualifying, pursuing and capturing the hundreds of multi-million dollar research projects the SDL undertakes each year. These projects include building telescopes that record deep-space image data, cameras for reconnaissance airplanes, meteor-detecting satellites and more.

Because the laboratory is one of only 14 Department of Defense-designated university affiliated research centers across the nation, 95 percent of the SDL’s revenue comes from the government. Last year the SDL received more than $75 million in external research funding.

“We don’t really have a product line, and there’s not a lot of pricing strategy,” Marshall said. “We sell unique solutions to one-of-a-kind problems and solve specialized projects. We are only as good as our last project. We eat what we kill.”

Marshall emphasized how marketing strategy was more manifest in the process of writing proposals for projects. He said because the SDL works so closely with the government, the purchasing process is often complex, unpredictable and political.

“You can’t be out there trying to do open-field tackles,” he said. ”If you aren’t projecting and analyzing potential projects years before the request for proposal is released, you are already too late. You need to be following personnel changes and constantly building a soft network.”

In such a competitive industry, with numerous research foundations bidding on multi-million dollar projects, Marshall said you have to stay sharp.

“Business development is not an orderly, turn-based game,” he said. “It’s more like a sword fight on a pirate ship. You are never in complete possession of information on what competitors are doing. It’s never fair. Everyone’s making moves at same time and not revealing what they’re doing.”

Julian Brown, a senior studying marketing, attended the lecture and was struck by how complex this particular non-profit field is.

“It’s nothing like I’ve learned in any of my classes,” Brown said. “It’s a higher level of years of strategic planning that may take years to close a deal. That diligent, persistent effort is really a skill set, and sometimes it takes making connections and building relationships to accomplish that goal.”