Huntsman School of Business Award Recipients 2013

Taci Watterson-Ball

Classified Employee of the Year

Taci Watterson-Balls

Taci Watterson-Balls is the senior staff assistant in the Management Information Systems Department. She has worked on campus for eight years, two of those at the Disability Resource Center as the testing coordinator. She currently serves as the president of the Classified Employees Association. She enjoys getting to know peers across campus and throughout the state, in that function. Taci and her husband, Lee, live on the family dairy farm in Weston, Idaho. She has three children and one on the way. She has a craft and vinyl business, does accounting for small businesses and is actively involved in volunteer work for her church and children’s schools. She loves to spend time with her family, cook, craft, read, garden and go camping.


Gina Baldazzi

Graduate Assistant of the Year

Gina Baldazzi

Gina Baldazzi graduated summa cum laude from Utah State University in August 2012 majoring in Management Information Systems. She is now working on her Master’s degree also in Management Information Systems. Gina belongs to several organizations including the Association of Information Systems, the Center for Ecommerce and Business Analytics, and is the IT Director for the Women in Business Association. This year she received 2nd place for the Partners in Business Student Showcase for an ASP.NET project for the St. George Dinosaur Tracks Museum. Gina is also a finalist for the National Association of Information Systems competition in the Interactive Learning Modules category. In addition to her work as a Graduate Assistant, Gina is working as a Project Manager for the Center for Ecommerce and Business Analytics organization. She is customizing a cloud-based Customer Relationship Management system to improve the communication between the Huntsman graduate programs and interested students. Gina was born in California but grew up in Spokane, Washington. She will graduate in December 2013 and is hoping to move to New England to start a career in big data analytics.


Tyler Brough

Graduate Research Mentor of the Year

Tyler Brough

Dr. Tyler J. Brough is an Assistant Professor of Finance in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. Dr. Brough earned a PhD in Finance at the University of Arizona in 2010, an MS in Finance at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2004, and a BS in Economics at Brigham Young University in 2000. He teaches Corporate Finance and Derivatives Markets to undergraduates, and Derivatives Markets and Computational Methods to graduate students in the Master of Science in Financial Economics program. His research interests are in empirical market microstructure, applied econometrics, and computational methods.


John GilbertInternational Professor of the Year

John Gilbert

John Gilbert received his Ph.D in Economics from the University of Auckland in 1998. He is a Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics and Finance, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. His area of research and teaching specialization is international economics, and he has published extensively in both international trade theory and international trade policy. He has worked on many international projects for institutions including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the United Nations Commission for Trade and Development, and the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and is an advisor to ARTNeT, a collaborative capacity-building project between UNESCAP and the WTO. Much of his policy work has involved trade policy simulation using computable general equilibrium methods. In addition to his research work on international trade theory and policy, he has written and published extensively in the area of economics education.


Luis PatinoLegacy of Utah State Award

Luis Patino

I was born and raised for 13 year in a small rural community in Guanajuato, Mexico. I completed both, middle and high school here in the States. After earning my Associates Degree and High School diploma, I moved forward to complete a bachelor’s degree in accounting here at USU. From early on in my college career, I’ve had amazing faculty who encouraged and challenged me into getting outside my comfort zone. This encouragement by my professors and mentors let me to be a participant of Go Global Asia during my freshmen year. During this trip, I had the privilege to visit alumni and businesses leaders in Vietnam, China, and South Korea while at the same time learning about the local culture and delightful cuisine. I then returned to China where I lived for a semester and studied Mandarin Chinese. I have also had the privilege to be part of astonishing organizations here on campus where I had the chance meet great people and professors as well as helping other students, my university, and the community. Some of these organizations include: Huntsman Ambassadors, Multicultural Student Council, Beta Alpha Psi, Huntsman Scholars, Golden Key International, USU Fee Board, and the Cache Valley English Language Center. I look forward to complete my second internship with PwC in Boston, Massachusetts this summer as well as the Huntsman Scholars semester in fall. Some of my career goals include graduating in the spring of 2014 and work in Boston while at the same time working towards getting my CPA certification. I would like to earn an MBA while fully developing my Mandarin speaking skills and work abroad in Asia or South America. I thank the Huntsman Faculty and Stuff who have helped me towards reaching my goals and take me into new and exciting challenges. They have been one the main reasons why my undergrad experience here at USU has been so fascinating and rewarding.


Ruth HarrisonProfessional Employee of the Year

Ruth Harrison

Ruth Checketts Harrison has enjoyed working at Utah State University since 1998. Her career started in the Records Office where she learned a great deal about the policies and procedures of the university. From there she had the honor of returning to her college of choice, Business, to begin working as an advisor. In her advisor role she is able to develop relationships with students, faculty, and staff that enrich her life. Ruth has enjoyed her current position of Director of Undergraduate Programs since August of 2000. Along with the administrative duties acquired with this role, Ruth has insisted on maintaining an advising load of at least 300 students. She feels this tie to the student is invaluable as she advocates for them on several committees. Ruth supervises the Huntsman advising staff in their mission to admit, advise, and facilitate graduation for Business students. Service to others is an important part of Ruth’s work practices. This has been demonstrated by her commitment to serve on several university committees during her tenure at the university. One of her favorite committees to serve on is the Academic Action Committee. This committee helps returning students who struggled during prior semesters develop a plan for educational success. While this committee can be a difficult one to serve on because of the sensitive nature of many of these student’s situations, it brings great satisfaction to help a student recognize the road ahead may be difficult but it can be done. Ruth has a B.S. in Marketing, and a M.S. in Human Resource Management, the latter which she earned as a single mother of four working fulltime as the Director of Undergraduate Programs for the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. When Ruth is not busy at work she enjoys time serving with the Logan High School Wrestling Boosters, creating treasures with her hands, and reading with her granddaughters.


Ben BlauResearcher of the Year

Ben Blau

Dr. Benjamin Blau graduated with honors and received a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Mississippi in June 2008 after receiving both his Bachelors Degree (Finance, 2002) and Masters Degree (Economics, 2005) here at Utah State University.  Ben is passionate about both teaching and research.  Before joining the faculty at USU, he taught at the Marriott School at Brigham Young University and was recognized for “Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching” in 2009.  In 2012, he was recognized as the Huntsman School Teacher of the Year.  Ben’s research interests revolve around the efficiency of financial markets, the effects of regulation, and the flow of information into asset prices.  He has published approximately 25 articles in top financial economics journals such as the Journal of Banking and Finance, Financial Management, the Journal of Corporate Finance, the Journal of Risk and Insurance, and the Journal of Empirical Finance.  His article titled, “Signaling, Free Cash Flow, and Nonmonotonic Dividends” won the Outstanding Paper award in the Financial Review in 2010.  Recently, another one of Ben’s article titled, “Trade Size and Price Clustering: The Case of Short Sales and the Suspension of Price Tests” won the 2012 Outstanding Article award at the Journal of Financial Research.  His research has also been highlighted by several media outlets, such as SmartMoney Magazine, Reuters, and the Chicago Tribune.


Brooke SilerScholar of the Year

Brooke Siler

Brooke Siler is a senior pursuing a dual major in economics and biochemistry and a minor in biology. She has served as the president of the Society for the Advancement of Ethical Leadership as well as the Chemistry Club and is a member of the Huntsman Scholars Program. Brooke participated in the Go Global study abroad program to Asia as well as a study abroad to Europe. For the past three years, Brooke has conducted research in the biochemistry department under the supervision of Dr. Joanie Hevel and has been awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for her efforts. Brooke has also participated in the Koch Scholars program. Brooke is a native of North Logan, Utah, and graduated from Sky View High School. She enjoys skiing, golfing, and scuba diving.


Dan HollandTeacher of the Year

Dan Holland

Professor Daniel V. Holland is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Utah State University. Dan received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and his MBA from Brigham Young University. He later earned his Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship from Indiana University. Dan has 12 years of experience working in a variety of engineering, marketing, and management roles at EDS, Novell, Iomega, and Zero Manufacturing. Dan loves to teach and has thoroughly enjoyed his many varied experiences with the students in the Huntsman School of Business. His principle teaching responsibilities have been in entrepreneurship, strategy and management classes. Dan particularly enjoys teaching creativity and innovation and tries to apply such principles in his teaching style. Dan’s research centers on entrepreneurial decision-making, ethics and pedagogy and has been published in outlets such as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, International Small Business Journal, and Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. Dan is married to Carole Jensen Holland and they are the parents of five children. His interests include sports, traveling, and trying to keep up with his kids.


Frank ShumanUndergraduate Faculty Advisor of the Year

Frank Shuman

Frank Shuman joined the School of Accountancy faculty in September 1992. He worked as a senior accounting analyst for General Dynamics in San Diego, California from 1989 to 1992. Mr. Shuman received bachelors and masters degrees in accounting from USU He has been the faculty advisor for the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) student chapter for 18 years, and the chapter has received the "Gold Level Award of Excellence" in each of those years. Mr. Shuman holds the CPA, CMA, and CIA designations and was the president of the Cache Valley Chapter of the UACPA during 2005-2006. He was named the School of Accountancy Teacher of the Year in 1994 and 2007.


Chad AlbrechtUndergraduate Research Mentor of the Year

Chad Albrecht

Chad Albrecht graduated with his Ph.D. from ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Business Week consistently rank ESADE as one of the top 20 business schools in the world. Chad’s research focuses on fraud and corruption from a global perspective. Chad’s research has been published in many journals including Business & Society, The Journal of Business Ethics, and The International Journal of Human Resource Management, among others. His research has also been quoted in the popular press by publications such as The Times of London, In-Flight Magazine and various other news agencies. Prior to pursuing his doctorate, Chad worked as a license stockbroker for The Harris, a subsidiary of the Bank of Montreal. Chad has co-authored three books on fraud. One of these books, a textbook, is used in more than 100 business schools. Chad also serves as associate editor of Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal. Chad is married to Jenny Lant Albrecht and has three young daughters.


Undergraduate Researcher of the Year

Megan Hansen

Megan Hansen

Megan Hansen graduated from Mountain Crest High School in 2009 before enrolling at Utah State University. She is a double major in Economics and International Studies with minors in Spanish and Political Science. Since 2012 Megan has served as the Vice President of USU’s chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Honors Society. She also serves on CHaSS Council. In 2012 Megan was competitively selected to be a member in the Huntsman Scholar Program, the honors global leadership program within the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. Megan studied Spanish abroad in Logrono, Spain in 2010 and again in 2011. During May of 2012 she studied Arabic in Amman, Jordan. Megan has also participated in Charity Anywhere Foundation’s humanitarian expeditions to Tijuana, Mexico. As a student Megan has held part time jobs working first for a local law firm, then as a student researcher for the Institute of Political Economy through the Department of Economics and Finance. Megan has conducted research in the fields of international relations, economics, and energy policy. In 2011 she attended the TRADOC army training conference on strategic culture with Professor Jeannie Johnson. This year she presented research at UCUR, and also plans to attend the Association of Private Enterprise and Education’s annual conference in Maui, Hawaii. In her free time Megan enjoys rock climbing, cycling, and hiking with her dog, Winston.


Mike BurnhamUndergraduate Teaching Fellow of the Year

Mike Burnham

Michael Burnham is a senior majoring in international studies and economics. He will be graduating in May and plans to attend graduate school in the fall. His primary research interests include nationalism, ethnic conflict, identity politics, and security studies. The Cultural Intelligence Institute named him 2011 Research Intern of the Year for his research on the Internet and its connection with terrorism and violent crime. During the summer of 2012 he interned for the US Department of State in the economic office of the Kyiv, Ukraine embassy. He is a member of the Huntsman Scholars Program and is passionate about teaching and education. Michael was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico and grew up in various locations around the US. He met his wife Juli while living in Anchorage, Alaska and has been married for three years. She is a registered nurse and will be graduating from Weber State in April.


Zack MaxfieldValedictorian

Zack Maxfield

Zach Maxfield graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting in December 2012. After recently completing an internship with the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche in Salt Lake City, he will be returning to USU to begin the Master of Accounting degree this summer. Zach has enjoyed his time at the Huntsman School of Business, participating in the Finance and Economics Club as the Vice President of Programs and also a member of the accounting honors society, Beta Alpha Psi. Zach also took part in a Huntsman School summer trip to New York City, traveling with professors and fellow students in visiting successful alumni working in the financial industry. While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Zach worked at the Space Dynamics Laboratory (a part of the USU Research Foundation) as a student Cost Analyst, helping to track costs on several military contract programs. Zach grew up in Murray, Utah and is the oldest of three children. He graduated from Murray High School in 2007. He enjoys anything related to cars, as well as reading and traveling. He is also a huge movie buff. His future plans include becoming a Certified Public Accountant and pursuing a career involved in the financial side of the business world.