OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

college of business

Social shopping via mobile app: do you like the mint green or coral?

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new business concept aided by the Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator will get its first test run on Tuesday, Jan. 21, when about 120 OSU sorority members get a chance to see what all their friends think about the new shoes they may buy – and which color looks best.

It’s the beginning of Tally, a mobile app developed by two recent OSU graduates to make shopping or just getting dressed a more fun, interactive and social experience.

With Tally, users can receive side-by-side images of their friend’s shopping options, vote on their favorite image and get results delivered in real time.

The developers of this company will also be interviewed on Jan. 30 at OSU by Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit.com, one of the world’s leading web sites.  Ohanian will be speaking about his new book, Without Their Permission, as part of a 77-university tour about Internet entrepreneurship, at the LaSells Stewart Center beginning at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

“Our release of the app to the OSU sororities is really exciting, and we’ll be very interested in their feedback as we try to fine tune the user experience,” said Ryan Connolly, a graduate last year in marketing and entrepreneurship in the OSU College of Business, who co-founded the company with Andy Miller, an OSU computer science graduate.

“We are very optimistic about the app and anxious to see what’s in store for the future,” Connolly said. “It’s free for people to download and use, and will help make shopping a more social experience, even if your friends live in another city or on the other side of the country. People can see what their friends think before they make a decision, and in our tests about 65 percent of our current users vote on each new poll within 20 minutes.”

The OSU Advantage Accelerator, which was recently formed to help this and other small business enterprises get the assistance they need to move out of academia and into the private sector, was a great help, Connolly said.

“The Accelerator gave us two mentors to work with, helped flush out our revenue model, introduced us to investors, and gave us exposure we wouldn’t have otherwise had,” he said.

The business concept of the company is to develop a large and active user base, Connolly said, and then approach clothing retailers and brands as a pinpoint marketing platform. Information will be acquired about merchandise, style, color and product preferences that would be of value to retailers, manufacturers and brand owners. The company web site is at tallyfashion.com

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Ryan Connolly, 503-961-5778

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Die-hard fans view ads linked with rival teams negatively

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new study concludes that it doesn’t matter how compelling an advertisement may be, most die-hard Oregon State Beavers fans will simply not purchase a product associated with the Oregon Ducks.

Researchers at Oregon State University and California State University, San Marcos asked college students, who were a mix of average sports fans and “highly identified” fans, or super fans, to look at a generic ad that that featured an association with either the home or a rival team and included either strong or weak arguments about product quality.

The “less identified,” or average fans, responded positively to the strong advertising message regardless of team affiliation. However, even though the super fans were able to recognize which ads made a more compelling case, it did not sway their negative attitude and intentions toward the advertisement when there was an affiliation with the rival.

The study, co-authored by Colleen Bee, assistant professor of marketing in OSU’s College of Business, and Vassilis Dalakas, associate professor of marketing at Cal State San Marcos, was published online this month in the Journal of Marketing Communications.

“We found that less identified fans responded positively to strong, credible arguments,” said lead author Bee. “What we found interesting is that this effect went away for super fans when the ad featured a rival affiliation. Whether an argument was weak or strong did not make a difference – all that mattered was the association with the rival team.”

Study participants were either shown an ad with weak messaging, such as “Simply great!” or an ad with strong messaging, such as “Recommended by Consumer Reports.”  Fan identification was then assessed by asking respondents to rate themselves based on how they and others see them as team-specific sports fans.

Bee said this is the first study to consider the combined effects of fan identification, sponsorship affiliation, and message characteristics. Since sports sponsorship accounts for 77 percent, or $39.17 billion in revenue, of worldwide sponsorship spending, knowing potential pitfalls is important.

“Highly identified fans incorporate the team as part of their identity, which means it really influences and biases the way they process information much more than other consumers.”

Bee said sponsorship is still a highly effective and lucrative means of advertising and branding. She said that companies should just be aware that their message – and thus their product – may be viewed negatively when they align with certain teams. For this reason, she said savvy firms use brand loyalty to their advantage. One car rental company, for instance, with strong ties to the New York Yankees only ran ads promoting its alliance to the team in New York City. 

“When you associate your product or brand with a team logo, you need to keep in mind that you will alienate the super fans of the rival team, and potentially lose customers,” she said. “On the other hand, you can also leverage that social identification to win over those sports fans who will view this sponsorship favorably simply because it is their team.”

The study was funded by a grant from the OSU College of Business.

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Colleen Bee, 541-737-6059

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Top Oregon family businesses to be honored at Nov. 7 event in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. – Several Oregon family businesses will be honored at the Oregon State University College of Business’ 2017 Excellence in Family Business Awards ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland.

Zidell Marine Corporation, a 55-year old iconic Portland family business, will receive the Dean’s Award for Family Business Leadership, which is sponsored by the college’s Austin Family Business Program.

“The success of family businesses is critical to the Oregon economy,” said Mitzi Montoya, dean of OSU’s College of Business. “These awards recognize the hard work and drive of Oregon family businesses in the areas of entrepreneurship, community involvement and multigenerational planning, which are key areas for long-term success.”

Upwards of 80 percent of Oregon’s businesses are family-owned. The Austin Family Business Program, founded in 1985, provides inspiration, education, outreach and research to support family businesses.

“These families are intentional about involving all of the generations in the business and offer great examples of success,” said Sherri Noxel, director of the Austin Family Business Program.

The awards feature categories that reflect sound family business practices. Honorees are:

  • Family Harmony: Miles Fiberglass & Composites, Inc., Happy Valley. Finalists in the category included Meyers Container, LLC, Portland; and Optimize Technologies, Oregon City.
  • Generational Development: NiceBadge, Grants Pass. Higher Taste of Portland and the Portland Pet Food Company were finalists in the category.
  • Business Renewal: Domaine Serene Winery, Dayton. Finalists included Chown Hardware Portland and Western Precision Products of Tualatin.
  • Student Award: Geoffrey Wildish, Eugene.

Brett Baker, president of Austin Industries LLC, will emcee the awards event, which begins with a reception at 4 p.m. and the program at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 for the reception alone; $75 for the reception with a buffet dinner; or $25 for children ages 3-10. The Sentinel Hotel is located at 614 S.W. 11th Ave., Portland.

To reserve a seat, register online at business.oregonstate.edu/familybusinessonline or contact Melissa Elmore at Melissa.elmore@bus.oregonstate.edu or 1-800-859-7609. The deadline to register is Oct. 26.

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Sherri Noxel, 541-737-6019, Sherri.noxel@bus.oregonstate.edu

Strong family ties improve employment opportunities for people with childhood-onset disabilities

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Family and close friends play an integral role in helping people with childhood-onset disabilities attain quality employment as adults, a new study from Oregon State University has found.

“Having a disability from childhood has wide-ranging impacts on early childhood development, schooling, socialization and more,” said David Baldridge, an associate professor of management in the OSU College of Business and one of the study’s authors. “If your social network is already more limited because of your disability, your strong family ties become even more important.”

The findings underscore the value of social supports for people with disabilities to assist them in building those networks and, when they are employed, navigating the workplace in an effort to secure more hours or access jobs that require more advanced skills, Baldridge said.

The study was published recently in the journal Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal. Co-authors are Alison M. Konrad of the University of Western Ontario; Mark E. Moore of East Carolina University; and Yang Yang of Rowan University.

People with disabilities make up roughly 15 percent of the world’s population but as a group they have received little attention from management scholars. Much of the existing research on employment for people with disabilities focuses on employment status, with less attention paid to employment quality, Baldridge said.

Those with childhood-onset disabilities – meaning they were born with a disability or acquired one as a minor - are among the most marginalized populations when it comes to employment. They are often unemployed or underemployed in jobs that do not provide adequate hours for financial self-sufficiency or fulfillment because their skills and abilities are underutilized.

“You can’t just look at whether they are working or not,” Baldridge said. “Are they using all of their skills to the best of their ability?”

The researchers’ goal with the new study was to better understand how social capital may be linked to improved employment opportunities for people with childhood-onset disabilities. Social capital is the value of employees’ social networks, which are comprised of people that employees know, and includes strong ties to family and friends and value created by interactions with people in their social networks.

Using data from Statistics Canada, a national sampling of Canadians that includes information on employment, family size, close friends and disability, the researchers analyzed relationships between family size, numbers of close friends, employment hours worked, skill utilization and disability, including severity and type of disability.

They found that those with larger families also tended to have more close friends. Those with strong ties to family and friends had access to more hours of paid employment. Severity and type of disability were not significant factors with regard to hours worked or use of skills.

The researchers also found that men with childhood-onset disabilities who also had children were more likely to have more work hours and be in jobs that best utilized their skills, though that effect was not present for women in the study.

Overall, the findings raise concerns that people with childhood-onset disabilities who have few family members or close friends may have difficulty overcoming barriers to adequate employment, Baldridge said.

“For people with childhood-onset disabilities, these strong family ties are more important,” he said. “It’s also critical for families to understand that part of their role is to help the person with disabilities to expand their network beyond the family.”

Teaching children with childhood-onset disabilities how to develop social capital also could help them build the strong network of friends and family that can help them in the workplace, he said. That kind of network is becoming more and more valuable for everyone as the world changes, and as workplaces change, they may bring with them more opportunities for people with disabilities, he said.

 “It’s getting harder and harder to train people for a specific job these days, but if you can listen, understand, write, and think critically, you can use those skills in a lot of different contexts,” Baldridge said. “The upside for people with disabilities is that jobs are becoming more specialized and more flexible, and can be built around what people can do, and what they can’t do doesn’t matter as much.”

Providing social supports to workers – such as mentoring and career advice – could help people with childhood-onset disabilities identify and seek opportunities to better use their skills in the workplace and work more hours if they desire, Baldridge said.

“Organizations have a responsibility to create open, inclusive climates and to develop leaders who are inclusive of all human differences, including disability,” he said. “And employees need to learn to advocate for themselves in responsible and positive ways. Sometimes those conversations are hard for people.”

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David Baldridge, 541-737-6062, david.baldridge@bus.oregonstate.edu

Business incubator gears up for next cohort, welcomes five new advisory board members

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator seeks creators of new business concepts to be part of their fall cohort in the Iterate program, where startup experts help budding entrepreneurs evaluate and refine their ideas.

The Iterate application period coincides with the Accelerator’s naming five new members to its strategic advisory board, including Maggie Finnerty, executive director of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, and former Oregon Republican Party chairman Allen Alley.

The one-month Iterate program kicks off Oct. 24.

“Being on the strategic advisory board is a great opportunity to work with the state’s leading research university and be part of the bridge to industry,” said Alley. “Oregon’s future depends on harnessing our world-class innovations and bringing them to global markets.”

In its four years of existence, the Accelerator has advised more than 70 program graduates who have generated more than $4.5 million in revenue and gained more than $2.3 million in equity investments, $10 million in grants, and $500,000 in loans or other financing. 

Accelerator activities have created more than 50 full-time-equivalent jobs. The Accelerator has engaged with nearly 400 entrepreneurs and startups in the region and interacted with more than 4,500 students and 130 volunteers.

Additional new members of the 15-person board are Julianne Brands of the Oregon Angel Fund; Rita Hansen, chief executive officer of OSU spinout OnBoard Dynamics; and Jennifer Brown-Dennis, dean of the OSU Graduate School.

Brian Wall, OSU’s assistant vice president for research, commercialization and industry partnering, said the board demonstrates the university’s commitment to diversity in leadership.

“Adding distinguished advisory board members such as Maggie, Julianne, Rita, Jennifer and Allen helps us continue the economic progress achieved by Accelerator companies and continues to evolve Oregon State into a 21st century land grant institution,” he said.

The Accelerator, under the direction of Mark Lieberman and Karl Mundorff, helps nascent startups develop and commercialize high-growth, innovative technologies. Through three programs – Iterate, Accelerate and Launch – the Accelerator helps OSU faculty, students, staff and the broader university community advance ideas and conduct research into products and services, guiding entrepreneurs through all phases of the commercialization process.

“Iterate is the top of our funnel,” Lieberman said. “It’s a methodology that anyone can use to understand what entrepreneurial thinking is about and to help answer the question of what comes next.”

“The main thing we teach in Iterate is how to evaluate business ideas,” Mundorff added. “The program helps you figure out whether an idea is worth your time. And almost every team iterates to some variant of their initial idea.”

The Accelerator is part of Oregon State University Advantage, which connects business people to university resources, and it is also affiliated with RAIN, the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network; RAIN is an Oregon consortium of government, higher education and the business community.

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Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039

Oregon State University breaks record with $441 million in research grants

CORVALLIS, Ore. –Oregon State University crossed the $400 million threshold in grants and contracts for the first time in the fiscal year that ended June 30, including being awarded a grant to build a $122 million regional research vessel.

Oregon State received $441 million from state and federal governments, businesses and foundations for research on a wide range of projects in natural resources, health, engineering and science across the state and around the world. Federal agencies provided $315 million (71 percent), and additional funds came from state agencies, businesses and foundations.

“OSU research spurs solutions to problems and serves and involves people, communities and businesses across the state and world,” said Cynthia Sagers, OSU vice president for research. “Investment in research affects our daily lives —  the food we eat, health care, the environment — and pays back dividends in economic growth for Oregonians. Researchers are starting new businesses and assisting established companies.”

Altogether, Oregon State’s research revenues leapt 31 percent over last year’s record-breaking total of $336 million. Over the past 10 years, OSU’s research revenues have more than doubled and exceed those of Oregon’s public universities combined.

OSU research totals surged in June with a $122 million grant from the National Science Foundation for a new regional research vessel, which will be stationed at the university’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. It was the largest single grant ever received by the university.

Revenues from business and industry — including technology testing, sponsored contracts and licensing of innovations developed at the university — grew to $34 million last year, up 10 percent from the previous year.

“Our latest success is the result of hard work and strategic decisions by our faculty and partners in business, local and state government and the federal delegation,” Sagers said.

Based on past OSU research, startup companies such as Agility Robotics (animal-like robot motion), Outset Medical (at-home kidney dialysis) and Inpria (photolithography for high-performance computer chips) are attracting private investment and creating jobs. Advances in agricultural crops (winter wheat, hazelnuts, small fruits and vegetables) and forest products (cross-laminated timber panels for high-rise construction) are bolstering rural economies as well.

Since it began in 2013, the Oregon State University Advantage program has provided market analysis and support services to more than 70 local technology businesses and start-up companies. 

Other major grants last year included:

  • Up to $40 million by the U.S. Department of Energy for testing systems for ocean wave energy technologies;
  • $9 million for a next-generation approach to chemical manufacturing known as RAPID, in partnership with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory;
  • $6.5 million from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to make artificial-intelligence systems more trustworthy;
  • A combined $1.15 million in state, federal and foundation funding for a state-of-the-art instrument known as an X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy system. The XPS system brings world-class capabilities to the Pacific Northwest to address challenges in surface chemistry. Partners included the Murdock Charitable Trust, the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), the Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center and the National Science Foundation.

 “Whether it’s with the fishing and seafood industries on our coast, federal labs working on energy and the environment or local governments concerned about jobs and education, partnerships with business, government and other research organizations are absolutely vital to our work,” said Sagers. “We care about these relationships, the benefits they bring to our communities and the educational opportunities they create for our students.”

Research has long been a hallmark of graduate education, and undergraduate students are increasingly participating in research projects in all fields, from the sciences to engineering, health and liberal arts. OSU provided undergraduates with more than $1 million last year to support projects conducted under the mentorship of faculty members.

“Research is fundamental to President Ray’s Student Success Initiative,” said Sagers. “Studies show time and again that students who participate in research tend to stay in school, connect with their peers and find meaningful work after they graduate. Research is a key part of the educational process.”

Federal agencies represent the lion’s share of investment in OSU research. That investment has more than doubled in the last five years. The National Science Foundation provided the largest share of funding, followed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Energy. 

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Project summaries and FY17 research totals for OSU colleges are posted online:

College of Agricultural Sciences: http://agsci.oregonstate.edu/our-best/research-awards-2016-17

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences: http://ceoas.oregonstate.edu/research/map/

College of Education: http://education.oregonstate.edu/research-and-outreach

College of Engineering:  http://engineering.oregonstate.edu/fy17-research-funding-highlights

College of Forestry: http://www.forestry.oregonstate.edu/college-forestry-continues-advance-research-efforts#

College of Liberal Arts: http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/cla-research/2017-research-summary

College of Pharmacy: http://pharmacy.oregonstate.edu/grant_information

College of Public Health and Human Sciences: http://health.oregonstate.edu/research/funding-highlights 

College of Science: http://impact.oregonstate.edu/2017/08/research-funding-continues-upward-trajectory/

College of Veterinary Medicine: http://vetmed.oregonstate.edu/research-highlights

Video b-roll is available with comments by Cindy Sagers, vice president of research, at https://youtu.be/pkGD-lhVTwo.

 

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Cynthia Sagers, vice president for research, cynthia.sagers@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-0664

    

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Gun violence prevention groups strike middle ground to meet goals

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A study led by Oregon State University researchers found that American organizations identifying as gun violence prevention groups advocate for the right to bear arms and for some gun purchase and ownership conditions, which they argue will curb gun-related injuries and deaths.

The finding contrasts with some depictions of gun violence prevention groups as “anti-gun.”

“When people talk about the ‘gun debate,’ it typically revolves around gun rights supporters and anti-gun people with no one in the middle,” said Aimee Huff, an assistant professor in OSU’s College of Business. “We found these groups are in the middle. They strike a balance between individual rights and responsibilities to reduce death and injury.”

The study is one of the first to look at American gun violence prevention groups (GVPGs), many of which have formed in recent years after events such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The study is based on two years of analysis of nine gun violence prevention groups, some of which are focused nationally and others regionally or locally. The researchers interviewed leaders of the groups, attended their rallies and training sessions, talked to state legislators about them, monitored their social media pages and analyzed media coverage focused on them.

The consumer culture researchers sought to unpack the messaging of these groups, whom they describe in the paper using pseudonyms to protect their identities. They wanted to understand who the groups focus on, how they reach those people and the outcomes they hope to achieve.

They found that the groups position themselves as supporters of the Second Amendment, direct their messages to the middle-ground majority and communicate the everyday toll of gun violence using non-polarizing language.

The researchers assert that the gun violence prevention groups are having some success. Some examples they cite include:

  • Policy changes that have led to an increase in the number of states requiring universal background checks from 12 in 2012 to 18 in 2016.
  • Institution of restrictive firearms policies by prominent companies such as Target and Starbucks banning the open carrying of firearms.
  • Support of cultural changes championed by gun violence prevention groups from editorial boards of major newspapers (New York Times and USA Today), celebrities (Beyonce and Jennifer Aniston), and professional sports and entertainment associations (NBA).

Further, the researchers cite a Gallup poll that found the percentage of respondents who want the nation’s laws or policies on guns to be more strict has risen from 25 percent in 2012 to 38 percent in 2016.

The researchers conclude: “It is neither possible nor necessary to precisely identify the impact of GVPGs in these changes, but we assert it is reasonable to assume that they play an important role.”

The paper, “Addressing the Wicked Problem of American Gun Violence: Consumer Interest Groups as Macro-social Marketers,” was published in the Journal of Macromarketing.

In addition to Huff, the authors were Michelle Barnhart and Jim McAlexander, both of OSU, and Brandon McAlexander, of the University of Arkansas.

Media Contact: 

Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787, sean.nealon@oregonstate.edu

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Aimee Huff, aimee.huff@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-3688

Oregon State, Peet’s Coffee collaborate to give employees a new pathway to a college degree

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University and Peet’s Coffee, The Original Craft Coffee, today announced the Peetnik Pathway to College Program, a tuition reimbursement plan that gives thousands of the specialty coffee company’s employees access to OSU’s top-ranked online education.

The program opens the door to potential life-changing career advancement possibilities for many of the 5,000 Peet’s Coffee workers nationwide – known as Peetniks – who wish to earn a bachelor’s degree. The collaboration empowers eligible employees to enroll in one of more than 20 rigorous undergraduate programs delivered online through Oregon State University Ecampus. 

All benefits-eligible Peet’s Coffee employees who work part-time or full-time, do not already have an undergraduate college degree and meet university admission requirements can enroll in OSU’s nationally ranked programs such as business administration, liberal studies, sustainability, Spanish and human development and family sciences.

“As a national leader in online undergraduate education, OSU Ecampus enables working adults to engage with our world-class faculty in a cutting-edge learning environment that offers the exact same quality OSU’s on-campus students receive,” said Oregon State President Ed Ray. “We’re excited to work closely with Peet’s Coffee and its employees to offer a plan that leads to their career and life success.”  

By serving workers across Peet’s Coffee, including those at more than 270 of the brand’s coffee bars, this program aims to produce thousands of college graduates from coast to coast who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to pursue an undergraduate  degree. It is designed to support working professionals by providing enhanced work-life flexibility and a robust academic experience that positions them well for potential career advancement.

Peet’s will reimburse each eligible employee up to $5,250 in qualified tuition and fees annually, with federal financial aid and any applicable scholarships also contributing to reduce student costs. Upon being reimbursed following each academic term, a Peetnik will pay as little as $15 per each successfully completed course credit. 

“Peet’s Coffee is committed to making significant investments in our employees through competitive wages, generous 401k plans, affordable health care, and many other benefits that build lasting careers,” said Jane Marvin, senior vice president, people and culture, Peet’s Coffee. “We’re proud to unveil the Peetnik Pathway to College Program in collaboration with Oregon State University to further that commitment by providing education assistance and only the highest-quality learning experiences to our Peetniks.”

Since 1868, Oregon State has been committed to its land grant mission to serve people in Oregon and beyond. This inclusive initiative was developed with that goal in mind.

OSU Ecampus is regarded as one of America’s leading providers of online education thanks to high levels of student engagement and the credentials of the OSU faculty who develop and teach Ecampus courses. For the third straight year, OSU’s online bachelor’s programs are ranked in the top 10 in the country by U.S. News & World Report. OSU Ecampus has also been honored nationally in recent years for its excellence in faculty development as well as the innovative use of technology to boost student success.  

To encourage student success, everyone in the Peetnik Pathway to College Program will have access to many of OSU’s essential academic resources, including student success counselors, an academic adviser, library access and career services.

“We’re focused on extending educational access to adult learners who want to complete their degrees from a highly respected university,” said Lisa L. Templeton, associate provost for OSU Ecampus. “Our collaboration with Peet’s will introduce a new audience to Oregon State’s signature areas of strength, and we’re eager to meet their unique needs through quality instruction and excellent student support services.” 

The OSU College of Business, which already offers a popular online business administration bachelor’s program, is developing a new retail management option to address retail industry education needs.

“We’re excited to be a part of this new collaboration with Peet’s,” said Mitzi Montoya, dean of the College of Business. “The existing online business administration bachelor's program is immediately available to Peet’s employees, providing them with the tools to solve complex challenges and lead by example as innovative business people. The new retail management option, which will be open to all students, will add another important dimension to our business education offerings.”

Eligible Peet’s employees can apply to Oregon State University now as part of the program and begin taking Ecampus classes this fall. OSU’s fall term begins Sept. 20. 

“Purpose is powerful, and it’s our purpose to help people find their opportunities for a better future,” said Dave Burwick, CEO, Peet’s Coffee. “This is an opportunity for Peetniks to open new doors professionally, here and everywhere, without having to go into debt or put their lives on hold.”

 


 

About Peet’s Coffee: Peet's Coffee is a U.S. specialty coffee company founded by Alfred Peet in 1966 in Berkeley, California. Mr. Peet grew up in the coffee trade and moved to America from Holland after World War II. His coffee style was unlike anything Americans had ever tasted before – small batches, fresh beans and a superior quality roast that is rich and complex. Mr. Peet's influence on the artisan coffee movement inspired a new generation of coffee entrepreneurs, including the founders of Starbucks. Today, Peet’s upholds its commitment to delivering a premium product by continuing to source the world’s best beans, hand-roast in small batches, and craft every beverage by hand. Peet’s asserts a strict standard of freshness to ensure optimum flavor, including a unique direct store delivery network serving over 14,000 grocery stores to personally vet the freshness date on every bag. Peet's is dedicated to growing its business through its retail, grocery and e-commerce channels while maintaining the superior quality of its coffee. Peet’s is also proud of its status as the first LEED® Gold certified roastery in the United States. For more information, visit peets.com.

Media Contact: 

Tyler Hansen, 520-312-1276, tyler.hansen@oregonstate.edu

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Lisa L. Templeton, 541-737-1279, lisa.l.templeton@oregonstate.edu; Elizabeth Ricardo, 510- 446-8871, ericardo@peets.com

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Accepting and adapting are keys to sustaining a career after acquired hearing loss

CORVALLIS, Ore. – For adults who acquire severe hearing loss, accepting and adapting to the loss play key roles in sustaining a career and thriving in the workplace, new research from Oregon State University indicates.

“People who are successful at adapting to hearing loss tend to accept that they are now biologically different from how they used to be,” said David Baldridge, an associate professor of management in the OSU College of Business

“People who remain successful tend to adapt what they do at work and how they do it,” he said. “They also tend to stay abreast of medical and workplace technologies such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, video relays, speech to text and interpreters.”

Hearing loss is a common disabling disorder that affects more than 360 million people worldwide. In the United States, more than 50 million people have hearing loss, including 60 percent of military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Hearing loss also is part of many people’s life course and careers. The percentage of the population with hearing loss increases exponentially as people age: 3.2 percent of people age 20-29, but 44.9 percent of those age 60-69.

The population overall is aging and people are working longer and delaying retirement, which leads to hearing loss becoming more prevalent in the workplace. Environmental noise also plays a role in the increasing prevalence of hearing loss. How well employers and employees adapt to this change may have significant implications for both a healthy economy and healthy aging, Baldridge said. 

“One of our goals with this study was to understand how people who acquire a severe hearing loss can remain productive and sustain their careers,” he said. “We found that there are some key traits to successfully doing so.”

The findings were published this month in the journal Human Relations. The co-author of the study is Mukta Kulkarni of the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India. The work was supported by Oregon State University, Indian Institute of Management and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. 

Baldridge and Kulkarni interviewed 40 professionals, including doctors, lawyers and consultants, who had acquired a severe hearing loss as adults in an effort to pinpoint how their hearing loss has affected their careers and identify strategies that helped them remain productive and successful.

“It was not a random sample – these are the best and brightest, most successful folks we could find,” Baldridge said. “We wanted to know what they did to survive and thrive. The hope is that lessons learned from them might help others.” 

The researchers found that those who tried to hide or deny their hearing loss tended to struggle more in the workplace, avoided social engagements and often became isolated.

Those who were able to sustain their careers tended to accept and adapt to their hearing loss using a wide range of strategies, including communicating more via email and less by phone, or holding individual meetings rather than participating in group meetings. 

The researchers found that those who were most satisfied in their careers found ways to adopt a new work role or craft a new career around their hearing loss, sometimes becoming advocates for others. They also tended to redefine their own success, with a shift away from economic success and toward social success through service to others.

“Some people are able to figure out that the hearing loss can be a positive,” Baldridge said. “Those are probably the people with the highest satisfaction in their work.” 

Additional research is needed to better understand how employers adapt to hearing loss changes among employees, with an emphasis on the roles of managers, supervisors and human resources personnel, Baldridge said.

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David Baldridge, 541-737-6062, david.baldridge@bus.oregonstate.edu

Venture capitalists to choose teams in ‘Next Great Startup’ competition

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator has launched its first annual Next Great Startup competition, to begin in February with a round of auditions.

The competition, which offers more than $30,000 in prizes, is not an ordinary business plan or pitch competition, organizers say. The event is seeking the best student-led business with the chance to create a real company and win $18,000 or more. 

The first elimination round will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Feb. 9, in Stirek Auditorium in Austin Hall on the OSU campus. All events are open to the public.

Student-led teams pitched their business ideas to contend for one of 16 spots in the competition. In the first round, four venture capitalists will choose from among the 16 teams, and each pick one to coach through the competition.

A knockout round will be held on Feb. 23 and the finals on March 9, both in Stirek Auditorium of Austin Hall, starting at 5:30 p.m. On March 9, a panel of judges will select a winning team.

Each team is provided a small amount of working capital as they move to the next round. The winning team will be awarded more than $18,000 in prizes, legal and accounting services, entrance to the Advantage Accelerator, and the opportunity to pitch during the Willamette Angel Conference in May, 2017.

The following 16 teams have been selected for the first round: 

  • Sunshot Energy, a carbon dioxide-based power generator designed for rural areas
  • Blip, a platform for short-form content creators to monetize their work
  • GobTech, a platform toolset to make it easy to implement neural networks for use in gaming applications
  • HEARTH Technologies, a sensor that can be implemented with a biomass cook stove to monitor fuel usage
  • Cool Bubble Tech, a vapor chamber component designed to prevent overheating in wearable devices
  • Clear Run Filtration, long-term, sustainable storm water treatment
  • Rambuta, remote sensing for plant stress via a new and more efficient proxy using machine learning
  • Assure, “safe jewelry,” GPS-based wearables for women designed to notify authorities in risk situations
  • Tour de World, a centralized platform for tour guides to market their tours to travelers
  • Mole Drone, a rover for use during fracking that can determine safety zones for workers
  • Seiji’s Bridge, a line of products designed for children and those with developmental disabilities
  • Sensiplicity, a customizable, low cost, and modular sensor system for “big data” agriculture and other industries
  • Top TEC, a device that can serve as a chair, scale and help patient mobility in hospitals and nursing homes
  • PNW Dulse, a nutrient-dense food product that tastes like bacon
  • SeeSD, building an outreach program for STEM education and research and development in Senegal
  • CYLBiotechnologies, using algae to develop four high-margin products, from chitin to glucosamine to metal oxide nanomaterial.
Source: 

Mark Lieberman

 mark.lieberman@oregonstate.edu