Naming opportunities connect more than money to PACCAR Hall

Stepping into PACCAR Hall next fall, you will see a multitude of differences between the Foster School’s spacious, cutting-edge facility and its former primary classroom building, Balmer Hall. Most noticeable will be the feeling one has stepped into the next century where natural light bathes a sophisticated architectural mix of brick, steel, wood and glass.

Pass through the corridor of the second floor and you’ll see a two story atrium complete with a coffee shop and a fireside lounge (again, this isn’t Balmer Hall). To your right you’ll see an undergraduate commons and three of the most advanced multimedia classrooms at the University of Washington. To the left are four more classrooms ranging from 30 to 95 seats. Outside each is a cluster of student team rooms to promote collaboration and business planning… perhaps for the launch of the next Microsoft.

It took more than $80 million in private support to build PACCAR Hall, and a closer look in the new building will show significantly greater signage carrying the names of business partners and alumni who helped make the building possible. Yet, there is more than money behind each name found in PACCAR Hall.

Here’s the story of one such amazing person: Alice W. Sandstrom.

The sign adorning the last team room on the left says Ms. Sandstrom was a 1934 graduate of the business school. 1934! Unlike today’s evenly represented programs, there weren’t many women studying business back then.

In fact, Ms. Sandstrom was one of only two women in the accounting program and an exception to many social restrictions throughout her life. In the midst of the Great Depression, she realized that an accounting degree was necessary for the future she hoped to have.

Alice, who passed away in March of last year, was one of the first female CPAs in Washington and worked as an accountant through World War II. In 1948, she began a 33-year run in helping Children’s Hospital become the vital community enterprise it is today.

When Alice stepped down as CFO in 1981, she did anything but retire. She spent more than 10 years sharing her knowledge as a lecturer at the UW. She was a long-time president and board member at both the YWCA of Seattle and Senior Services. Alice also received numerous awards for volunteerism and community service.

In 2002, on the heels of receiving the Outstanding Alumna Award from Foster students in Beta Alpha Psi, Alice was given Foster’s Distinguished Leadership Award, the School’s highest non-degree honor.

For 94 years, Alice lived in Seattle and eagerly helped those around her. She enjoyed nothing more than the opportunity to share her success and passing on nuggets of wisdom, which included the five rules she lived by:

  • Be passionate about what you do
  • Be a mentor
  • Cherish your friends
  • Always be positive and enthusiastic
  • Dream big

Even in her last few years, Alice frequently attended events throughout the community.

Patricia Angell, Accounting Department Lecturer and Internship Director at Foster, accompanied Alice to many functions and was one of Alice’s many fans and friends.

“Alice was an inspiration to me and all women pursing our professional dreams.” Patricia said. “She was a trailblazer in accounting and she continues to inspire us today.”

There’s no question the Foster School and the University of Washington benefited from Alice Sandstrom’s presence, passion and persistence. The team room named for her in PACCAR Hall is but one small way she will be remembered.

And, knowing Alice, little would bring her more joy than seeing future generations of business and community leaders learning to “dream big” using the Sandstrom Team Room in PACCAR Hall. She’ll be right there with them in spirit as well as name, just like so many others who helped make Foster’s new world-class facilities a reality.

Foster MBAs collaborate from the start

The first week of fall 2009 brings a new crop of Foster School full-time MBA students to the UW Seattle campus for orientation, leadership preparation and collaboration with “veteran” 2nd-year MBAs. Here’s a taste of what new full-time Foster MBAs are experiencing during the intensive LEAD week.

“Teams are a central part of the Foster MBA Program. During the first year nearly every class requires you to complete work with your core team of 5 or 6 students, whether it’s a research paper, a presentation or both. Foster’s Leadership Fellows program matches a 2nd year student with a 1st year team to provide support and guidance. As 2nd year students, by now we’ve all learned a thing or two, from tools for facilitating a brainstorming session to the secret for cheap parking on campus.”

- Jessica Didion, current Foster MBA 2nd-year student

Read more about the Foster MBA student experience on Inside the Foster MBA blog.

Foster undergrads study in China

Great Wall of ChinaWhile UW Foster School faculty met with businesses and toured China last week, Foster undergraduate students are studying in China this fall, on one of many undergrad study or work abroad trips. Foster students’ first impressions and experiences in China?

Great Wall of China toboggan descent
“…the view was amazing and we really felt chills being able to say that we had climbed the Great Wall. However, what really made the experience great was the way down. …we chose to toboggan and it was probably the most exhilarating thing we did in Beijing.” – Alan

Lesson on local study habits
“Even though this is not my first time here, I am still very excited to be a student at Peking University, the best university in China. Many of my classmates are exchange students from all around the world, but surprisingly about 80% of them are from Europe. I was expecting more exchange students to be from the US, but there is only a handful.

“I also made friends with local Chinese students. During the break in the evening’s Operation Management class, I had a conversation with a local student who sat behind me. I asked him about the typical life of a typical Peking University student. Some of the students can study 14 hours straight per day! To deal with this study-mania, the school completely turns off the electricity in the dormitory at 11pm.” – Daniel

Find more Foster undergraduate international adventures on the Undergrads Go Global blog.

UW Seattle campus gets rave, green reviews

uw-seattle-campusUniversity of Washington’s Seattle campus, home to the Foster School of Business, keeps getting greener and was recently noticed for its efforts. Recent UW honors:

  • Sierra Club ranked UW Seattle campus 2nd in their 2009 cool school ranking for “most eco-enlightened U.S. universities.”
  • UW Seattle made the The Princeton Review green honor roll – a rave review for the UW’s energy conservation, green building and other practices.

Living to the Fullest

This post was written by Josue Mendoza detailing his 2007 Foster School Exchange trip to Chile.

Growing up, money issues have always been a problem for my family. Not in my lifetime did I ever imagine that one; I would go to college because of the expense and two; be given the opportunity to study and travel abroad for over a year in South America.  I did the latter while working on my degree at a prestigious university and interning at the North American Chilean Chamber of Commerce in Santiago, Chile. Thanks to the Foster School’s extremely dedicated undergraduate advisers and scholarship opportunities, this one thought impossible dream, I lived to the fullest.

Being abroad in South America has done more than help my Espanol, it has truly helped solidify the academic, career, and personal paths I follow now and will follow for the rest of my life. This was a genuinely transformational experience that I recommend to all students.

I have learned that “The world is [truly] our classroom”. Not only have I been able to see the world through the eyes of professors in the areas of business, economics, and culture in Latin America in ways that I would have never considered, I have also discovered and explored the millions of details that distinguish each individual country as their own little satellite.  I have done so while understanding what unites these countries to one world.

A week into being in South America I heard a phrase in a song by Bacilos titled “Tobacco y Channel” which I have used as a guide throughout my experience abroad; “Esto solo se vive una ves” (You only live this once). I challenged myself to take this quote of the song to heart and live it out; my same challenge goes out to you.

Software and hutongs and buses, oh my

IMG_0178Today was a really packed, informative day.  We started out with a presentation by Francis Zhang and Johnson Chen of F5 Networks, a company that has found significant success in the Chinese market by entering relatively early (2001) and being patient and consistent.  We then hopped on our bus with our guide Elaine and visited the new U.S. Embassy in Beijing, a large and impressive compound designed by a world-reknowned architect and filled with incredible works of art.  We spoke with press officers, commercial officers, and economic officers; the sheer complexity of the environment in which they are operating was eye-opening.  As we toured around the lobby area to see the art collection, we passed by Jon Huntsman, the new U.S. ambassador to China, who just came to Beijing in August.

After an enormous lunch at a Belgian restaurant called Morel’s, we visited Microsoft’s new offices just northeast of the city center.   Mr. Fengming Liu, a UW Law alum, gave us an illuminating presentation on their intellectual property challenges since entering China in 1992.  For example, Windows 7 is set to launch in late October of this year, and they have already found versions of the software online, as well as the security key (removed now, so no need to go looking for it, you pirate).  The sheer size of the Chinese market is difficult to imagine, but we’re definitely getting a better idea after hearing from these companies and organizations.  (An additional special guest at the meeting was Felix Liu, just about to start his senior year at the Foster School of Business; it seems like everywhere we go, more Huskies appear).

After the MS visit, Elaine took us to the lovely Houhai Lake area, which is surrounded with “hutongs,” narrow traditional alleyways with low multi-family houses surrounding small courtyards.  We took a rickshaw tour of the area, and had the opportunity to visit a hutong compound that is currently occupied by 26 members of the same family, five brothers and their wives and children (one per family).

After all this activity, we were hungry and ready to explore the Wangfujing area and try some Beijing street food.  We struck out on foot only to find that, due to the rehearsal for the 60th Anniversary celebrations, all the streets were closed off and filled with military equipment and buses full of children in matching dance costumes.  Huge military vehicles rumbled by with what appeared to be large missiles draped in canvas, and a nearly endless line of buses headed towards  Tian’anmen Square.  Every store and restaurant on the street was closed and will remain so all night.  After a bit of exploring, we found a restaurant (all on our own, without Elaine or Ming, who speaks Mandarin), and enjoyed a wonderful meal for about $5 each.

The working portion of the trip has come to an end.  We’ve learned a lot, and we’ll surely be processing it for some time to come.  Tomorrow, we will visit the Great Wall, and since I scheduled nearly no time at all for shopping, hit some markets in the afternoon.  It’s supposed to be rainy, but hey, we’re from Seattle.  After a farewell dinner together, we’ll be off on our various flights home on Sunday, after what I believe to be a successful pilot faculty study trip.

Posted by Krista Peterson, Associate Director, Global Business Center

New China turns 60

DSCN1268Yesterday, we walked across a Tian’anmen Square that was bustling with preparations for New China’s 60th anniversary celebration, just over a week away.  On October 1, the Square will fill with military, government, and citizenry to recognize this auspicious occasion, complete with an address by President Hu.  Huge video screens are being erected, bleachers established for VIP viewing of the celebrations, and huge red painted columns installed on both the east and west sides.  As Beijing pulled out all the stops for the 2008 Summer Olympics, the mood in the Square suggests a similar energy is being given to celebrate China’s progress since 1949.  Now that we’ve seen what’s being done to prepare, we’ll have to tune in on TV or online on September 30 to see the result of all this effort.

Posted by Krista Peterson, Associate Director, Global Business Center

I don’t know what it is, but it’s really good

And this is just the appetizer course!
And this is just the appetizer course!

Speaking for myself, as an amateur foodie of sorts, I came to China with a pretty good idea that my idea of “Chinese food” was quite limited.  Fortunate as we are in Seattle to have a wealth of options in regard to international fare, I can now quite confidently say that we are missing out.  It’s cliché, but true:  to better grasp the breadth and variety of Chinese cuisine, you’re going to have to visit China yourself.

Given the short duration of our visit, we have not been able to follow Anthony Bourdain’s footsteps down any back alleys or deep into a market to try what is surely delectable street food.  However, we have had the good fortune of excellent guides Jennifer (Shanghai) and Elaine (Beijing), who have directed us to an assortment of very satisfying restaurants, as well as an outstanding banquet I mentioned before that was hosted by our partners at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

It was not a requirement to join the study trip, but everyone in the group is a pretty adventurous eater.  Sitting at a large round table over lunch or dinner, chopsticks in hand, curious questions pepper the conversation:  Is it a kind of potato? What is in that sauce? Is that fish?  Things are familiar in texture or taste, but we can’t quite identify them.  Ming and our guide taste, discuss, and don’t have an English equivalent for this vegetable or that seasoning.  Though there is always too much food, everyone tries just about everything on the table, passing one another the dishes identified as favorites:  “try this, it might be jicama or a yam”, “no, that’s not beef, I think it’s eggplant,” “these shrimp are so tender, who’s going to eat the last one?” 

We have an opportunity to strike out on our own for dinner tonight.  I’m not sure what we’ll find, but I’m sure it will be delicious!

Side note:  the faculty members on this trip are more than willing to submit blog entries, but we didn’t allow for a lot of free time in our daily schedules, and most of us are nearly asleep in our soup at the end of our long days.  I hope they will be able to contribute their thoughts once we get back to Seattle. 

Posted by Krista Peterson, Associate Director, Global Business Center

 

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