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Newsroom, OCB Alumni, OCB Commentary

Veterans Day Profile: George Lang ’76 M.B.A.

In December 1976, veteran George Lang was one of 28 students to graduate from St. Thomas’ first-ever MBA class, marking the beginning of a legacy that has grown into today’s Opus College of Business. Moving from a background in mathematics, Lang went on to transition to a longtime career in finance and real estate, start his own consulting company and most recently, join the Graduate Business Alumni Board this past September.

A lifelong resident of St. Paul, Lang says he got his start in the military in JROTC while still a student at Cretin High School (which became Cretin-Derham Hall in 1987).  He went on to study mathematics at the University of Notre Dame, where he was a member of ROTC. After his graduation in June 1964, he spent two years in the army. He was pulled into a unit at Fort Lewis in Washington, landing in military intelligence, an area in which he would spend his entire army career. A year later, when President Johnson decided to move American troops into Vietnam, Lang found himself in the company of 5,000 men of the first infantry division, who sailed over to Vietnam to prepare the way. Lang described the experience as “not like the current day military, but not like the World War II military. It was, ‘Go out and try to eliminate the enemy,’ who was very clandestine.”

Upon his return a year later, Lang had already written ahead of time to apply for and secure a job with St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, now known as the Travelers Companies. For three years He worked primarily as a computer programmer before getting into a research analyst position. Lang and a partner introduced the company to the first personal computers, as well as the first terminals, as the new technology spread to the public at the end of the 1960s. “Quickly, it appeared to me I had reached the top of where I was,” Lang said, citing that this was the time he began looking for a graduate business program that would advance his career. Continue Reading

Events, Faculty, Health Care MBA, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Pioneering Health Care in Minnesota

hc-pioneer300Despite the threat of congress further changing the rules of our health care system, and a 16 day shutdown of the federal government, leaders across Minnesota and the Midwest have been working to increase the accessibility to insurance while improving patient care and reducing costs. So, instead of focusing on the political bloviating in Washington, let’s turn our attention to the opportunities being developed right here in Minnesota and in the greater University of St. Thomas community, where improvements have already changed the way patients receive new health care benefits. Daniel McLaughlin, M.H.A, the director of the UST Center for Health and Medical Affairs, shared his insight to the progressive nature of our evolving local health care models. Continue Reading

EveningMBA, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

How a Psychology Major Changed his Career with an MBA

Quinten McGruder

Quinten McGruder ’04, ’07 M.A., ’11 M.B.A.

Quinten McGruder ’04, ’07 M.A., ’11 M.B.A. had never taken a business class when he entered the Evening UST MBA program. With an educational background in psychology, McGruder was counseling at a charter school by day and attending MBA classes at night in order to expand his window of professional opportunity. And though he knew a career change was likely after the program, he didn’t expect it upon graduation – it was a St. Thomas connection who helped him step into the world of marketing and into his current role as director of business operations at REAL Insight Inc. Continue Reading

Centers, Entrepreneurship, Events, Newsroom

Up to the Challenge (The Fowler Business Concept Challenge)

up tot he challenge

Since its creation in 2005 following a generous gift from Dick Schulze, the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship has sought not only to educate its students and program participants but also to engage them in such a way that they leave with both the tools to succeed and the tools to make a difference in the world. With many successful entrepreneurship alumni, such as Mason Thelen (serial entrepreneur and owner of Elicit Insights) and Ben Anderson (owner of Cinemotion), it is apparent that this practical and forward-thinking approach to business education has had a profoundly positive outcome for its students. With that in mind, it is easy to see why the Fowler Business Concept Challenge through the Morrison Center for Entrepreneurship has found such success among UST students. Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship, Newsroom

Love Your Melon Day Highlights UST’s “Lemonade Stand Class”

Happy Love Your Melon Day! St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan has declared Tuesday, Oct. 22, Love Your Melon Day at the University of St. Thomas, joining Mayor R.T. Rybak and Mayor Chris Coleman who made similar declarations on behalf of the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

In celebration of its first anniversary, a team of UST undergrads is spreading the word about its class assignment, turned social venture, Love Your Melon. For each hat this student-run company sells, another is donated to a child battling cancer. In less than one year, more than 2,000 hats have been purchased, with an equal number going to young cancer patients.

Watch Zach Quinn, the co-founder of the non-profit on KARE 11 Sunrise »

Continue Reading

Centers, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

How to End the Shutdown – Commentary from Senator Durenberger

Senator David Durenberger shared his thoughts on the Affordable Care Act, the government shutdown and health care reform in a commentary from the National Institute of Health Policy here at the University of St. Thomas. Presented here are a few highlights. Read his complete commentary.

October 1 was the beginning of an exciting new journey for health policy reformers…Given the partisan nature of the attacks on both the passage and the implementation of the new law.

The rebuilding of health care in America did not start with the “glitchy” insurance exchanges.  It began in communities across this country years ago. It began with the consolidation and integration of physicians, physician groups, and hospitals in places like Minneapolis-St. Paul and with the “disruptive technology” of retail clinics, urgent centers, and health information apps.

The Affordable Care Act adds a unique dimension to U.S. health policy.  Something that is common to every developed nation’s policy.  National goals for health policy.  The goals reflect public opinion regarding the most appropriate way to a healthier America and more affordable, accessible, high quality health care.  They reflect “reformer” activity in many communities across the country. Goals are a means to bring elected policy makers from all parts of the country and both political parties closer to comparing inter-governmental approaches to:  Healthy people, healthy communities, and a value-based health insurance and care provider system. Continue Reading

Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Minnesota’s Nice

TC_Graphic_080213_300A Minnesotan born and bred, I have had the good fortune to live in other places. My heart skips a beat when I hear a British accent, recalling the years I lived in London, and I get practically giddy when I see photos of the Bay Bridge, a twice-daily part of my commute during the years I lived in San Francisco. But after each foray into new locations – locations I loved and continue to yearn for – I returned to Minnesota.  While this has made my mom happy, it’s left me pondering what this place offers that keeps me, and so many others, retracing their paths home…or moving here in the first place.

A recent video featuring the Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, above, highlights his reasons for living here, and I tend to agree with him. The choice of restaurants featuring locally-sourced food in my southeast Minneapolis neighborhood is astonishing, from The Lowbrow to Wise Acre. The wide range of theaters, from the Mixed Blood to the Guthrie, put us top of the list when it comes to number of theaters per capita. In the past five years, the Twin Cities, and Minnesota in general, have rated at or near the top of lists including best city for entrepreneurs, top city for technology, most literate city, smartest city in the country, best place to start and grow a company, best city for work and family, and, perhaps as a result, hottest job market in the country. Continue Reading

Admissions, Admissions, EveningMBA, FTMBA, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Ask Michael Scott: In the World of Business, an MBA Matters

Earning an MBA… even Michael Scott, notorious Scranton branch manager of fictional paper-producer Dunder-Mifflin, knows it’s a game-changer for business leaders, career advancers or career changers.  It’s particularly important for those of us not gifted with enough athletic prowess to enter the NBA directly from high school.

So, how can you get a leg up on the rest MBA applicants?  What is the best way to start researching business schools, learning about application requirements, preparing for the GMAT, and connecting with students and alumni at the schools to which you are applying?  The University of St. Thomas Evening MBA and Full Time MBA programs have your answer:  The UST MBA Forum, Saturday, October 12 from 9 a.m. – noon. Continue Reading

Events, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

Facilities Authority Chair Says New Stadium Should Score For Downtown Minneapolis


There’s a lot to know about the plans for the new multi-purpose stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

Much information is readily available online. You can visit a website to learn, for example, that the roof of the Minnesota Vikings’ new home will be made of a strong, lightweight polymer called ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, which, fortunately, is abbreviated ETFE.

But what you can’t quite get from a website is a sense of human enthusiasm or insight, like when someone proudly says the new facility will be “the people’s stadium” or uses subtle humor to characterize the current Metrodome as “a big ice-laden blob” (honestly, though, isn’t that what we’re all thinking?). Continue Reading

EveningMBA, Newsroom

It Really Is Rocket Science—Mike Nesnidal, P.H.D., Evening UST MBA Student

Nesnidal_MikeAs someone who studied microelectromechanical systems and diode lasers in graduate school, took a company public with godfather of telecom startups Milton Chang and now works full-time while running his own company creating solar cells under contract with NASA, Mike Nesnidal is not your typical business school candidate. But with an end goal in mind of starting another company or furthering his current one, Nesnidal is eager to gain a new kind of knowledge in the entrepreneurial track of the Evening UST MBA program and apply it to his future.

Hailing from inner-city Chicago, Nesnidal obtained his B.S. in physics from Lawrence University in 1989 and moved on to study materials science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working up to his M.S. in ’92 and Ph.D. in ’97. From there, Nesnidal went to work for TRW Inc. (succeeded by Northrup Grumman and Goodrich Corporation), a space systems company in California. He had developed high-power, III-V diode lasers for his Ph.D., the kind of technology used for optical pumps in optical fiber systems used to support Internet traffic, which helped keep signals going across the country and the ocean. At TRW, Nesnidal’s work was related to that, but for defense applications. Continue Reading