Fall 2018

Welcome to our Fall 2018 edition of the Pacific Lutheran University School of Business newsletter, AbsoLUTEly Business.

Our interactive online publication represents a current look into the many new and exciting opportunities, events and people associated with the PLU School of Business.

Message from the Dean

Chung-Shing Lee
Dean Chung-Shing Lee, Ph.D.

We are excited to continue our accreditation with AACSB International. It is a testament to the excellence that we strive for and the demonstration of our commitment to provide high-quality education to our students.

As you know, the success of our students is due to their own significant efforts, as well as owing much to the support of our dedicated faculty, staff, alumni and members of our Executive Advisory Board. We put a strong emphasis on innovation, ethical leadership, global perspectives, and service and engagement to create a positive impact on our community and stakeholders as well as making a difference in the world. Please join us to celebrate our success and thank you for your constant support and encouragement!

Dr. Chung-Shing Lee
Dean and Professor

School of Business Welcomes the New Associate Dean

This Fall, the School of Business welcomed our new Associate Dean, Narasimha Kowtha. After getting his Ph.D. from Texas A&M, he worked in Singapore and Korea. His research largely deals with organizational processes and strategy implementation. He sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Management and Organization, and is the past Associate Editor of the Asia Pacific Journal of Management.

He is very focused on business and is currently doing research with two process topics: incentives and employee motivation, and organizational socialization of newcomers. He is very passionate about teaching and intellectual inquiry. “For me, inquiry is essential for learning. In Singapore, I was with the National University of Singapore business school where I helped to establish and build a doctoral program, an MSc Program in Human Resource Management and refine the MBA program,” he says.

Associate Dean Narasimha Kowtha

After working in Singapore, he went on to establish a new English Business School in Daejeon Korea called Solbridge. The school has since gone on to receive the 2017 Global Power Brand Award recognizing their contribution to domestic development by increasing brand value in the global market. As the founding team member, he was responsible for all academic affairs and faculty welfare. Additionally, he was a key member of the AACSB accreditation steering committee that saw the school through its initial accreditation in 2014, as the youngest school to be accredited in AACSB history. Later, he was put in charge of all accreditation and faculty matters. After spending 10 years in Korea, he started looking for other opportunities and found Pacific Lutheran University School of Business.

Why did you choose PLU School of Business?

“PLU enjoys a great reputation around the country and outside too. It is a great opportunity, and fortunately, colleagues at PLU School of Business thought I could contribute to the school. I am happy to be here, to contribute in all ways towards student learning, welfare and development, and school development. Over the next year, besides my teaching (which is very important to me), I will be focusing on accreditation and graduate programs,” Kowtha said.

The Business Job & Internship Fair will be held on Tuesday, March 5, in the Morken Atrium between 3 and 5 p.m.
SHRM members listen to a guest speaker during their monthly meeting in October (Photo by Meredith Plagerman)

Lutes Go Local

Our Business is Local

This Fall, the School of Business has taken initiative to get involved in the local community. Student, staff and faculty are engaging with their local surroundings in a variety of different ways.


In the classroom – Undergraduate students work with local businesses to create marketing campaigns for their Consumer Behavior Marketing class.
Visiting Instructor of Business Cosette Pfaff challenged her students to engage with local businesses in their community by creating a marketing campaign for the business and presenting it as their final project. The project required students to meet with the owners of the local business to do research on them and their marketing histories. Businesses included Rush Team Apparel, Bowler Coffee, and the PLU School of Business.

Students took into account all aspects of the business, including information on current marketing strategies, business goals, and business marketing budget. Students used the information they gathered to tailor the campaign to fit their business’ need.

On the Web – Assistant Professor of Business Ralph Flick is the chair of the Editorial Review Committee of the State Bar Magazine. He recently published an article in the October issue of the NW Lawyer. The article is meant to advise students considering Law school in the future.

“…I have been working on a more thoughtful — rather than difficult  — method for providing prospective law students with encouragement and mentorship while also sharing information and insights that I hope will assist them in making an informed choice about their future,” Flick wrote in his article.

Additionally, Flick has started an online blog to feature his Business Law student’s publications on the internet. Students go through a peer review and editorial process before they are published to the site. Topics include controversial topics such as NFL kneeling protests, President Trump’s refugee policies and the Fourth Amendment, among other topics. The students focus on current issues in law that affect business.

Flick created the website in the Fall of 2017 to showcase student talent because he “didn’t want students work to get stuck in drawers.” The blog now serves as a database of analysis for the entire PLU community.

The goal of the blog is “both to inform the public about current issues in business law and also to give students the chance to write and get published,” Flick says.

Executive Leadership Lecture Series
Chelley Patterson speaking for the Executive Leadership Lecture at PLU, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. (Photo/John Froschauer)

Welcome Dr. Chelley Patterson

PLU School of Business welcomes Dr. Chelley Patterson! Patterson is a senior consultant at New Legends Now, working with clients to develop clear and aligned culture, breakthrough strategy, flawless execution and courageous leadership.

Student Highlight

Victor Kimaru, Business Admistration Major

Who is Victor Kimaru?
Victor is a Business Administration major with no concentration graduating in May of 2019. “I call myself an entrepreneur. I love to start new businesses. I’ve started a couple of businesses. Some have gone pretty well and some have gone bad, but that is just part of business.” He is currently working on a software project with a friend who attends the University of Washington. The software is designed for people in sales or real estate agents to better connect with sales leads. “What we realized is most real estate agents don’t have one place to go for information.”

In his first year at PLU, he hit big with his entrepreneurial business. He developed a software company in its beginning phases and sold it to a family friend. He prefers to be modest about his successes, but he says he feels like his success has empowered him. “I feel I can actually be successful if I put in the work.”

How was your experience within the PLU School of Business?
“I would say there are some mixed reviews, some classes I have really enjoyed and some have had a rough patch.” Because Victor is general concentration, some classes speak to him more than others. He struggles in his accounting classes because he “doesn’t like defining the world in black and white.” His entrepreneurial spirit prompts him to create new approaches to problem-solving.

“Right now I’m taking BUSA 430 and I really enjoy it. It is all about value and equity and how to work with private equity firms, which is something I am really interested in. I like the professor because she tailors the class towards what the students like. She values students’ voices a lot and likes getting suggestions.”

What motivated your interest in the General Business Track?
“For me there was no specific concentration that fit. There was no entrepreneurship concentration, which is what I was looking for. I choose no concentration so I would be able to experience all aspects of business at once. I didn’t want to just focus on Human Resources or Finance, rather, I choose to look at the big picture and learn business from all angles.”

What was the deciding factor in continuing your education at PLU?
Victor choose PLU because he liked the small classroom sizes. “Professors treat you like a human and you make better connections than you would at a state school.” He likes PLU School of Business because he is around the same group of people in every class he takes and this helps him to feel more comfortable and be more productive.

This Issue of AbsoLUTEly Business was created by Josie Courtney, School of Business Communications Intern on November 1st, 2018