Monthly Archives

February 2011

Clubs, Student Life

First Book Fundraiser

First Book-UST MBA kicked off its annual fundraiser this year at the Master’s Pub.  This launched us into the week raising $270.  We would like to thank all of the alumni, students, faculty, and staff that donated at our kickoff.  We were pleased with the response and are excited to continue raising money until March 9.  Our goal is to raise $2,000 and help bring 1,000 books to kids at Minneapolis elementary schools.

Donate online at (Click ‘Donate Now’) or by check or cash to any First Book leadership member: Ethan Keller, Kate Kirchner, Eric Kirchner, Dan Jackson, Nick Ertz, or Sara Christenson.

With a $10 donation, you earn a chance to win one of the many great prizes.  There are two one-year memberships to the YMCA (each valued at $780), Wild tickets, Timberwolves tickets, and an assortment of restaurant gift cards.

Keep an eye on the television screens throughout St. Thomas to stay updated on our progress!!


Hope Medical Clinics Uganda – January 2011 Independent Study Project

85 degrees in January.  This was just one of the wonderful benefits of spending the first few weeks of January in Uganda completing an independent study project.  Sean and I traveled with Ann Johnson, Director of the Center for Nonprofit Management at St. Thomas, to Kampala Uganda Dec 29 – Jan 15, 2011.

Through Net Impact, we had been working with medical clinics in Africa doing various consulting projects during our time in the MBA program.  At one point, our clinic contact recognized our lack of cultural understanding and the implications that had on any recommendations we made.  He commented that we should “ just come to Africa!”  We took him seriously and spent the next nine months working with the University and Hope Medical Clinics Uganda (HMC) to arrange our project, class, and trip.  We were introduced to Charles Lugemwa, a UST alumni and co-founder of Hope Medical Clinics with Fr. Dennis Dease, President, University of St. Thomas, and began planning a project to help him with their current two clinics, hospital being built, and future expansion plans. 

During our time in Uganda, we spent time at the two current clinic locations (Kasubi and Ndejje) working with staff to develop an understanding of the state of the clinics and opportunities to improve the current model.  Upon arrival, we were amazed to see that Kampala wasn’t lacking clinics, they were everywhere you looked, but lacking quality healthcare.  HMC strives to provide community-driven, affordable, quality healthcare services.  It has a vision of raising the standard for healthcare and health standards across Uganda through the influence of their clinic model.

We had the opportunity to tour a free government clinic and visit a privately operated clinic near the HMC Kasubi location.  The lack of professionalism, training, adequate facilities, and legitimate pharmaceuticals in these clinics was obscene.  The clinic visits, paired with all of the cultural experiences we had while in Uganda helped us understand the dire need for quality facilities with trained professionals providing holistic care, which is what HMC strives to do. 

We compiled a situation analysis of the clinics and their environment, and then narrowed our recommendations to four key areas: Staffing, Internal Communication/Transparency, External Communication/Marketing, and Equipment & Technology.  We worked with Charles to develop ten deliverables that we will be creating throughout this semester to meet the clinics’ needs.  Sean and I will also be working with an Executive MBA team who is creating a strategic plan for HMC’s future expansion.  Lastly, we had such an incredible experience and would love for future MBA students to have similar opportunities, so we are working to create an annual opportunity during Jan-term in connection with HMC.

While in Uganda, we were fortunate to be treated like family by Charles and his extended family.  Charles’ sister and her daughter hosted us in their lovely home, helped us navigate the city, welcomed us to their family events, and helped us learn so much about the culture.  We also had the opportunity to spend weekends traveling, as we went on a Safari at the Murchison Falls National Park and went bungee jumping and whitewater rafting at the Jinja, the source of the Nile River.  I would highly recommend participating in an HMC project in the future if you are interested in healthcare, nonprofits, or are looking for an intense cultural immersion.  The opportunities we had, paired with the constant cultural experiences, provided for an incredible trip, project, and a plethora of great memories!

– Kelsey Luers & Sean Elder

Clubs, Student Association

Reminder: Student Association Leadership Positions

TUESDAY, February 15 at Noon: submit your Statement of Intent for SA Leadership positions!

Submit a brief statement (100 words max) that might include your motivations for running, things you would like to do with the position, or your qualifications to run.  Note: You can only run for 1 position unless you are running for President.  In this case, you can run for President + 1 other position.

2-tier SA Elections: The 2-tier system is used so those candidates running for President, but who are not elected, have the opportunity to run for another position.  The Presidential candidates will each give a 2 minute speech, all students will vote (1st and 2nd years) and ballots will be counted during lunch.  The President will then be announced, and a second tier of voting will commence.  Candidates for each other position will give a 2 minute speech, and all votes will be collected.  The cabinet positions will be announced via email and signage in the commons.

Club Leadership Elections & Transitions:  Each club conducts elections & transitions as it sees fit with assistance from the VP of clubs.  Clubs may begin the election process following the SA elections.  Club elections & transitions should be completed by March 15.

SA Transition Retreat: If you are interested in running for an SA position, please clear your calendar for Saturday, March 5th from 3-7pm for a retreat with the old & new board to facilitate transitions.  It is very important that all members be in attendance.

To submit your statement, reply to this message or send a separate email to


Congratulations to the Class of 2012 ACG Team–winner of the ACG Cup!

It is my great pleasure to inform you that our team of first-year MBA students won the ACG (Association for Corporate Growth) Cup final round last night.  The team, consisting of Bhakti Raicha, Brett Wong, Ted Long, Kyle Jorgenson, and Gurkan Peksoz, combined outstanding financial analysis with excellent presentation skills to secure the victory.  Congratulations to the team!

The team from the University of Iowa placed second, the UST Class of 2011 team (Kevin Hejna, Sam Sands, Shawn Moses, and Brad Maiers) took third, and the team from St. Cloud State University placed fourth.

I hope you’ll join me in congratulating our winning team.  They will be honored at the ACG luncheon next Tuesday, February 15, and will split a $5,000 prize from ACG.

Thanks again to Kay Wimer, Kevin Hejna, and Professor Jeff Oxman, who did an outstanding job organizing this year’s ACG Cup.  Thanks also to all of the students who attended last night and cheered on our UST teams!

Dustin Cornwell | Program Director, Full-time UST MBA Program