Being patient has its rewards!

Meet Ryan, an Animal Caretaker at Animal Kingdom Lodge, who grew up in Illinois and attended SIU-Carbondale. He was my tour guide for a backstage experience at the Lodge. I learned his story and he agreed I could share it here.

Ryan always loved animals and studied Biology in college. He applied for the Disney College internship program and was excited to be placed in Animal Kingdom. That is, until he discovered that he was assigned to sell t-shirts (wearing what looked a lot like a skirt). Still, to get his foot in the door, he worked there for 8 months doing all he could to learn and succeed.

After graduation, Ryan used the internship to secure a full-time role. Again, it wasn’t his first choice. He worked in the nutrition department and helped a team of six prepare 5000 meals a day for animals in his department. Again, however, this job didn’t involve interacting with animals. He knew the work mattered, though, and that he was one step closer to his goal.

Only after showing how dedicated he was, and waiting for the right opportunity, was Ryan able to move into a position taking care of animals. Today he gets to work directly with Okapi, Giraffe, and other species, which is a dream come true. On the tour it was clear that he loves his job. And he earned it. He never gave up, and he took each opportunity as it came, always doing his best work. Ryan is a great role model for all college students! He understands that patience and hard work are key to moving toward your dream job.

Your call to service: Help make Tippie a better place!

Its the time of year when we put out a call for undergraduate business students to run for a seat on “Tippie Senate.” Senate is the undergraduate representative body. Senators meet weekly to discuss issues related to the college, propose policies and programs, and deliver community-building activities. All the details you need are posted here.

Running is a multi-step process that requires filling out an online application and collecting 50 signatures (by noon, this Friday the 14th) to get on the ballot, and then campaigning in the following week. Follow the link and watch the Youtube for an overview.

Like sports? Like data? Here is your chance to learn something cool!

What: R Workshop in Sports Analytics
When: Monday, February 27; 3:30pm – 6:30pm
Where: C220D PBB
Who: Students who email their names and declared major(s) to to register

Students interested in the use of predictive analytics in sports are encourage to register for an R Workshop in Sports Analytics. After an overview of data mining methods, there will be a hands-on workshop implementing the R statistical software on sports data.

Due to limited computer lab space, students are required to register for the workshop by emailing their name and declared major(s). Students will then receive confirmation of a reserved spot in the workshop or notification of their position on the waitlist. Register now to reserve your spot!

Lessons from Antarctica

I just returned from a trip to Antarctica. This is not a quote you hear often, and in fact, fewer than 50,000 people set foot on the seventh continent last year. The trip began as a dream for my father, and my brother and I helped him make that dream reality. We flew from Dallas to Santiago, Chile and from Santiago to Punta Arenas in Patagonia, and ultimately to King George Island along the northern shores of the Antarctic Peninsula. I learned so much on this trip about nature, the continent, and its history. I’ve love to share what I learned, so I am planning to give an informal talk on March 1 in W401 PBB from noon to 1pm. I hope you will join me!


The power of “no.”

Last week, for the third time in my life, I sat in a bus and nearly cried. But not for the reason you might think.

My daughter and I had returned to Dearborn, Michigan, to visit the Henry Ford Museum. The museum has a number of historical artifacts on display including cars and buses. The bus where I was sitting had once worked the streets of Montgomery, Alabama, and served as the scene for one of the most courageous uses of the word, “no” in US history. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a group of white people who had stepped on the bus. Her refusal was illegal under city ordinance and was voiced at a time when the KKK actively hunted down those who fought against segregation. Her act was courageous and it led to her arrest.

This is a story that many of us here in the US were taught in high school. I know I was. But sitting in that bus, looking around, and hearing the story yet again, brought me to tears. I admire her courage while at the same time, am pained by the reality of the challenges that she and so many others faced during segregation.

The Montgomery bus boycott, initiated on December 5 when Parks was found guilty by the court, brought the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, into the news. King was deeply involved in the boycott, and argued for the boycott with this call: ‘‘I want it to be known that we’re going to work with grim and bold determination to gain justice on the buses in this city. And we are not wrong.… If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong’’ (King Online Encyclopedia, Stanford King Institute, Montgomery Bus Boycott). Less than a year later, the Supreme Court of the United States declared the Montgomery bus segregation law unconstitutional. The decision propelled the civil rights movement.

On Monday, January 16 we observe Martin Luther King, Jr, day where we remember not only King but all of the people who helped the US move closer to the ideals spelled out in our constitution, where the blessings of liberty are secured for all.

Happy graduation, happy holidays!

To our nearly 300 December graduates — congratulations! The event was lovely with great speeches and celebrations. It was fun to see parents proudly taking pictures. We had a professional photographer on site. Here is the link to those pictures.


And to everyone, please have a joyous holiday season. I hope its a time of peace, reflection, and fun with your family and friends!

Message to Students about Finals: Tips, Space, and Snacks!

Study Tips
Please keep in mind a few basic principles that research shows will increase test scores: (1) sleep is required for memory formation as well as physical and mental health — space your studying so you can get sleep each evening; (2) spaced study episodes work better than cramming — studying for 20 minutes 3 separate times is generally more effective than a single 60 minute session; and (3) testing improves memory — don’t just review material, practice recalling, solving problems, and writing out key points.

As a final tip, please remember the Tippie Honor Code. Here in Tippie we value hard work, honesty, and integrity. Do not be tempted to take a shortcut that would jeopardize your college career. Before each final paper or exam, please review the syllabus and make sure you are not violating any course-related policies. And if you witness a violation, please report it to your professor or to me.

Study Spaces and Snacks
There are many places for you to study this weekend and into the week. The main library is open 24 hours a day until Friday. The Cultural and LGBTQ Resource Centers are open extra hours and have snacks and drinks available. Here in the Pappajohn Business Building, the Business Library will be open Sunday to Thursday until midnight, and Friday until 7pm. And Tippie Senate will be providing food and coordinating extra study space as noted below:

Sunday, December 11 from noon to midnight
Monday, December 12 from noon to midnight
Tuesday, December 13 from noon to midnight
Wednesday, December 14 from noon to midnight
*To access W401 PBB, take the west elevator up to the fourth floor and turn right

FOOD FOR FINALS in Howe Galleria (first floor, south wing outside UPO)
Monday, December 12 at noon – Cactus Tacos
Tuesday, December 13 at noon – Kapok
Wednesday, December 14 at noon – Domino’s Pizza

The faculty and staff of the Tippie College of Business are rooting for you — we want you to succeed!

Tough election

This election season was a difficult one for many people. Whoever your chosen candidate was, you probably were frustrated by people “on the other side.” And there has been hateful rhetoric and even violence over the last week.

I’d like to echo the calls on campus and nationwide for people to come together and listen to each other. In my own case, I have reached out to family members with different views and asked questions with the goal of understanding rather than persuading. I hope you will do the same, and will show that you care for and support all people, no matter their politics or identity.

In that vein, you may have noticed a few signs around the Pappajohn Business Building. Each is a little different but the message is the same: All people — no matter their politics, background, or identity — are welcome in the Tippie College of Business. We are better because of our differences.

Stay tuned for more information about conversations and meetings. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.

A summer job?

A dedicated and hard-working Tippie alum reached out to me with a summer opportunity. If you don’t have an internship or summer classes lined up already, read on:

“Thanksgiving is just around the corner – do you have something lined up yet for next summer? Your family will be asking about your plans. Check out this video of Brent Sampson (Class of ’14) and others sharing about how they did with Something Different College Pro. Several Iowa students and grads have gone through the same experience. Check it out and apply HERE or reach out to Jon Swearingen (Class of ’13) at for more information.”

DRAT: Pick a healthy habit!

Over the last few weeks we have seen a lot of illnesses past around campus, and we are in the mad rush right before the Thanksgiving holiday. Now is the time when, as the saying goes, the wheels may fall off the bus. You might get sick, for example, and have a hard time catching up. Or you might get overwhelmed and blow off a few days of classes. The first step to avoiding these things from happening is to be aware that there it is more likely to occur at this time of year!

One suggestion at this time of year is to make sure you are eating well and sleeping enough (a minimum of 6 continuous hours but some people need more). Also, don’t try to do too much and don’t get down on yourself.

In that regard, it would help to pick one single change in lifestyle habits and add that to your to do list this month. What one change might you make — washing hands 3-4 more times a day? Eating two extra servings of vegetables? Adding an hour of sleep to your schedule? Picking one change has the benefit of keeping you focused, and ensuring that you can make progress. Nothing is more rewarding than feeling like you are control of your life and making progress in the right direction.

So while working on overall health and school work, consider taking on a single “life project” of adding a new healthy habit. This month I will focus on walking. I’m going to walk 3 extra miles a week. I’ll check back with you next month to tell you how it went. What will your new habit be?