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Year in Review

May 2012


Equipping students to build success in a global context–that remains the heart of our mission, and there has been continued progress and excitement in recent months. 

Two of our strategic initiatives focus on fostering transformational learning and development for our students and connecting education with professional practice. Lots of learning has taken place within and beyond the classroom. Here are a few highlights:

In the spirit of continuous improvement, we are exploring new ways to systematically measure student learning and development. This has involved developing rubrics to help us gauge how well our students write and how they are growing in global perspectives. At the undergraduate and MBA levels, a widely-used normed exam is also being piloted this spring and summer to assess our students' content knowledge in key business areas. 

Systematic approaches to measurement of our success is being piloted in our Managerial Studies department. Another innovation was piloted this semester. Two courses - International Business and Business Ethics - were linked together and the students met in individual courses and in a combined format, exploring the business models and ethical challenges facing global organizations. The student presentations and the integration of learning has been impressive.

Student projects in Business and Community Organizations have taken students into several local businesses. Most recently a team has studied the Hilltop Campus Village, providing recommendations for growth and development in a community adjacent to our campus. Students in the Master of Organizational Leadership and MBA programs have also continued to study workplace challenges and work for productive improvements.

Our students in the Communication Department have been engaged with the community in multiple ways. One class created four teams developing PR campaign proposals for the Joint Manufacturing Technology Center (JMTC) on Arsenal Island, while another produced wonderful short video stories about local business and community organizations.

St. Ambrose also has served the community when we helped sponsor the Leadercast Luncheon event in May. More than 200 community members learned from speakers such as leadership expert Dr. John Maxwell; renowned author Patrick Lencioni; and popular researcher and author Marcus Buckingham. Additionally, faculty, graduate students, and alums led an evening session called the China Business Forum which explored the potential and the challenge of doing business in that country of growing global importance.

We have taken time to celebrate and recognize outstanding achievement this semester. The College of Business Student Leadership Award was presented to Jordan Delp at the Student Awards event May 3. Jordan was selected by a group of three faculty. Each applicant had a GPA of at least 3.75, a solid faculty recommendation, and significant leadership service in on-campus and/or off-campus organizations. 

At the award ceremony, the Iowa CPA Outstanding Accounting Student award was presented to Samuel Payne by Lew Marx. The outstanding student in the Masters of Accounting program, Matthew Dunn, was also honored at the hooding ceremony in May. The students honored one our College of Business adjunct faculty members-Mr. Phil Beckman-when he received the Faculty Member of the Year award.   

There was time at the end of the semester to celebrate and honor two colleagues who are leaving St. Ambrose University. After 20 years of full-time service to the College of Business, Craig Shoemaker, PhD, of the Marketing Department, is retiring. He has been a tireless advocate for student learning, internships, and job placements. Elizabeth McBride, PhD, also is leaving St. Ambrose University to pursue other opportunities. She has been a fine faculty member in Accounting. Colleagues and students will miss both of these fine professors.

We also look for ways to build our own community and professional skills among faculty and staff. Joseph Raelin, PhD, of Northeastern University, an accomplished author in work-based learning, engaged faculty and students in five sessions as we explored ways to leverage workplace experiences for meaningful, high-impact learning. 

As we finish this spring semester and head into the summer we look forward to the American Business Experience for a month here on campus and a time of renewal, refreshment, and learning for students and faculty alike.

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