The Montana State University (MSU) Alumni Association and the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce recognized forty top MSU seniors and their faculty or staff mentors at the 28th annual Awards for Excellence banquet. The awards ceremony took place on Tuesday, February 16. Student winners were nominated by faculty in their college or department and chosen by an award selection committee. Honorees maintained a minimum 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale and demonstrated campus leadership and community service.
The College of Business students and mentors who were honored at the banquet were:
Kyle Blessinger, accounting / Bonita Peterson Kramer
Morgan Legerski, marketing and finance / Frank Kerins
Rachel McGinnis, accounting / Christie Johnson
Jann Spizziri, management / Gary Bishop
Come to the free Business Energy Panel sponsored by the Finance and HR Management Clubs and gain a better understanding of how business and energy interact with each other. The panel will take place on February 24, from 5:10-5:50 pm in Reid 108. Food will be provided.
The panelists are Penny McElroy, Northwestern Energy, and J. David Lankutis, Black Hills Corp. They will give background information about their companies and discuss with the audience the challenges and opportunities in the energy market. They will also talk about job and internship opportunities in this sector and how the aging workforce is impacting the energy business.
Penny McElroy is the Human Resources Manager for Northwestern Energy and has been a generalist in HR for the past 30 years. Her primary areas of expertise are employment, employee relations, apprenticeship, affirmative action and some organizational development. McElroy serves on a number of local boards and committees including the hospital audit committee, Civic Center Board of Directors, Continental Divide Chapter of the Society of Human Resources Board of Directors, Exchange Club Board of Directors, Montana Tech Advisory Committee and the Ethics and Policy Advisory Committee. She is a graduate of MSU and currently lives and works in Butte.
J. David Lankutis is the Manager of Planning and Reliability for Black Hills Electric Utility Group, which serves 200,000 customers in South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Colorado. He has 38 years of diverse experience in the electric utility industry and has worked as an employee of and consultant to investor-owned, cooperative and municipal utilities in the U.S. and overseas. Also a graduate of MSU, Lankutis is a registered Professional Engineer and is headquartered in Rapid City, South Dakota.
For more information about this event, please contact Linda Ward at The Bracken Center, firstname.lastname@example.org or 406.994.1995.
Accounting students at Montana State University will be providing FREE income tax help through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. These help sessions will be held on the MSU campus in Reid Hall 302, a computer lab. No appointment is necessary. The sessions are from 5:30-7:00 p.m. on the following Tuesday and Thursday nights: February 9, 16, 23; March 2, 4, 9, 23, 30; April 1 and 6.
Taxpayers whose income is $55,000 or less are eligible for the assistance. Those interested in free help should bring their 2009 W-2 forms, other tax documents, social security cards and copies of their 2008 tax returns (if available). International students should also bring their passports and visas. Tax assistance for international scholars begins February 23.
VITA was established by the Internal Revenue Service to assist people who may find it difficult to pay for tax preparation services. The program also provides accounting students an experiential learning opportunity as they work with people in actual income tax situations.
Students will be available to prepare federal and state tax returns and answer tax questions. Free electronic filing will be available for most 1040 forms. They have completed one or more semester-long comprehensive tax courses, received specific training related to common tax issues, have access to a variety of federal and state reference materials and have passed an IRS exam prior to preparing tax returns. The students are supervised by CoB accounting professor, Anne Christensen.
Some Montana State University (MSU) students in finance and economics have started to pursue their Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification. On January 27, the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute announced the results for the December 2009 CFA exam, with three out of four MSU graduates who took the test passing it. College of Business (CoB) students Eric Bertelsen, Cairn Clark and Austin Owens were all notified of their success. Chase Basta, a 2008 graduate, took and passed the exam last June.
Approximately 50,000 people around the world took the exam the first Saturday in December. Only 34% of them passed. A BusinessWeek article stated that applicants for the CFA exam hope it will lead to better jobs and higher salaries, as well as a deeper understanding of finance, but the trade off is a recommended 300 hours of study for each of the three six-hour tests. The 34% pass rate is the lowest percentage of passing candidates in four years. Tom Robinson, the institute’s managing director of education, believes that the pass rate may have declined because the test-takers were less serious than previous groups.
That is not the case with MSU’s students. The CoB students passing the exam are testaments to the high quality of education they’ve received in the CoB, at MSU, and the hands-on nature of the faculty.
Clark had this to say about the CoB and the preparation for the exam.
“While other schools boast name recognition, we had access to something different. We had five finance professors that were willing to develop personal relationships with their students outside of the classroom and simultaneously create an excitement and passion for finance. There is no better motivator than knowing you have a great set of mentors behind you every step of the way, especially when you are devoting a large chunk of your life to studying for exams that many people consider ‘life ruining.’ I’m hoping that the obsession with finance that I picked up on the fourth floor of Reid will take me a lot farther in my career than having an Ivy League stamp on my resume.”
This first exam tested topics ranged from ethical standards and securities valuation to financial statement analysis and portfolio management. Owens said the key components to doing well on the test were diligence in study habits and a solid foundation gained through the finance program. He described sacrifices ranging from reduced sleep patterns and lack of social interaction to having the bulk of his daily caloric intake come from coffee.
Owens is pleased with the outcome of the first exam but he is already looking to the next test and is up to his neck in textbooks and study materials. “The finance faculty’s dedication and excellence in instruction more than adequately prepared us for the Level I exam and will continue to guide us in our studies throughout the next two rounds,” says Owens. We wish them all the best of luck.
The International Business student club has paired up with the MSU Office of International Programs and the Montana Center for International Visitors to kickoff the first ever International Film Festival. It will run every Wednesday starting February 10 and running through March 10 with each film focusing on a different part of the world. Each film has been selected for its ability to describe the human spirit in challenging time - different cultures, different dilemmas; but same human emotions and reactions.
The film lineup is as follows:
- February 10 - Habana Blues (Cuba)
- February 24 - Kebab Connection (Germany)
- March 3 - Still Life (China)
- March 10 - Bamako (Mali)
Each film viewing will be held on the Montana State University campus in Linfield 125. Films start at 7:00p.m. with a discussion to follow for those who would like to stay and participate. Light snacks will be provided, compliments of World Market and MSU’s student international clubs.
For more information please contact the Montana Center for International Visitors’ office at 406.994.4887 or at email@example.com.