Stories of Innovation

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Vineta Gleba, '18
Photo: Alex Harrison

PSU named an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus for social innovation leadership

Value proposition: Essential business mindset and tools for the greatest social impact

As a leader in social innovation education worldwide, PSU has once again been named an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus. After a rigorous, year-long review process, PSU’s membership has been renewed for another five years, placing it among a global community of leaders and institutions who work collectively to make social innovation and changemaking a reality in higher education. Being named an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus reaffirms PSU’s commitment to social innovation across its curriculum, research activities and community engagement.


PSU shares this designation with fewer than 50 colleges and universities in the world, was the first public university to be named a Changemaker Campus and remains the only one in Oregon. There are over 30 programs across nine schools for PSU students and the community to learn, research and experience social innovation.


The School of Business offers an online certificate in social innovation that empowers students with skills to design, launch and/or lead a program or organization to address an issue they care about. A business minor in social innovation is also launching in Fall 2019.


“PSU’s Certificate in Social Innovation allowed me to use business as a force for good,” said Vineta Gleba, ’18, who was recently appointed director of marketing and communications at Kalu Yala, a sustainable village being built in a Panamanian river valley.


“Combined with my marketing major and community development minor, my education at PSU set me up perfectly to operate on a triple bottom line and help build a sustainable town from the ground up.”


The School of Business also hosts the Elevating Impact Summit, an annual community gathering to celebrate entrepreneurship and innovation for positive social, environmental and economic impact.

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L-R, Qin Lian, Mark Rosenbaum, Cliff Allen and Megan Duerk

Investing in the student experience: Bloomberg Finance Lab opens in Karl Miller Center

Value proposition: Leader in community-embedded experiential learning

PSU’s new Bloomberg Finance Lab opened in April, giving students and faculty access to the Bloomberg Terminal, a 24-hour global financial services system that provides transparent and reliable financial, economic and government information covering all market sectors.


The lab has 12 computers armed with the Bloomberg Terminal, two tickers displaying live stock market data and monitors streaming Bloomberg Markets. Located on the second floor of the Karl Miller Center, the lab will initially be used as part of undergraduate and graduate finance curriculum.


“The Bloomberg Finance Lab is an investment in our students’ experiential learning and long-term finance career success,” said PSU Master of Science in Finance Academic Director Julie Hackett. “It gives students access to real-time financial market data, supply chain information, industry research and news they can use to enhance to their learning, all while gaining hands-on technical experience.”


Bloomberg competency is a high-demand skill for students pursuing careers in finance, especially investments and financial analysis.


MSF student Duygu Nazlibilek was among the first at PSU to use the Bloomberg Terminal. She and her team leveraged the software as part of their recent CFA Institute Research Challenge win where they researched and analyzed a publicly traded company—Nike, in this case—and then created a research report with a buy, sell or hold recommendation.


“The Bloomberg Terminal simplified our analysis process because we found all of Nike’s financial information in one place, including historical earnings,” Nazlibilek said. “We were confident that our report had the most accurate and current information, for both Nike and its competitors.”


The Bloomberg Finance Lab was made possible by private donations, including from Rosenbaum Financial CEO Mark Rosenbaum, who is past chair of the PSU Foundation Board of Trustees.


“The growth and economic health of Portland is significantly impacted by the health of Portland State,” said Rosenbaum, who employs PSU alumni and is adding student interns. “The lab will enhance the qualifications of professionals entering the workforce.”

Joelle Loo

Analytics infused throughout business curriculum to meet modern demands 

Value proposition: Essential business mindset and tools for the greatest social impact

Data, big and little, give businesses more information and insights than ever before. But data alone can’t inform smart decision-making; the value comes from people who are skilled in data analytics. The School of Business is working with industry partners to address the growing need for analytics-savvy professionals across a variety of business functions.


Joelle Loo was earning her undergraduate business degree with a concentration in HR management when one of Professor David Caughlin’s courses in HR analytics piqued her interest. She saw where analytics could inform real-world decisions and wanted a deeper dive into the subject matter. Her curiosity led her to be one of the first to pursue PSU’s HR Analytics Graduate Certificate. The certificate, composed of six courses over three terms, is one of the first of its kind in the country.


“The certificate was a great opportunity to foster my interest in the subject while also adding value to my skill set as a recent graduate,” said Loo.


The HR analytics coursework aligned well with Loo’s work experience and allowed her to promptly secure a job as an HRIS (Human Resource Information System) analyst with KinderCare Education.


“Engaging with analytics is a great way to embrace new trends in HR,” she added. “My time at The School of Business reinforced the importance of using robust information to make decisions and creatively incorporate data to serve businesses in new ways.”


HR Analytics Graduate Certificate students learn from simulated exercises that resemble tasks commonly asked of HR professionals. The ethical use of data and sensitivity to data privacy concerns are emphasized throughout the program.


As technology advances, Loo encourages other PSU students to gain actionable analytics skills as a way to broaden their options when seeking employment.


Analytics is infused across The School of Business at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including the Business Intelligence and Analytics Graduate Certificate and recently enhanced analytics curriculum in the Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management. Fall 2019 will see a complementary program launched: the Business Blockchain Certificate.

Team Turner Automotive

Business and engineering students pair up to create clean energy commutes

Value proposition: Essential business mindset and tools for the greatest social impact

In April 2019, business student Sean Krivonogoff and engineering student Blake Turner won the PSU CleanTech Challenge for co-developing a revolutionary zero-emissions vehicle kit concept.

The kit allows a gasoline-powered engine to burn hydrogen, resulting in a zero-carbon vehicle that doesn't modify any existing components and allows users to switch between gasoline and hydrogen for convenience (when you need to go somewhere without access to hydrogen). By converting vehicles in San Francisco and Los Angeles alone, Turner Automotive’s new kit could prevent up to 40 million tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. The kit can convert any internal-combustion vehicle into a zero-emission vehicle. 


Krivonogoff’s journey to becoming a co-founder of Turner Automotive started when he enrolled in a product design course at The School of Business. The class propelled him to become a volunteer manager at PSU’s Electronic Prototyping Lab, where Krivonogoff and Turner first met. They quickly saw how their different skill sets of business and engineering could complement eachother. 

While Turner focused on the engineering side of their business, Krivonogoff focused on business operations, public relations and supply chain. He developed relationships with key vendors, formed a roadmap in navigating the tech market and researched demographics to help set a clear path for Turner Automotive from prototype to implementation. 

“To impact a technology and service that innovates how the masses had previously used a product is a humbling and exciting experience,” said Krivonogoff. 

Krivonogoff, who is in his junior year, credits the Management and Leadership program at The School of Business for giving him the skills necessary to take on his role in Turner Automotive.

“Research, analysis, finance and business ethics have all played a role,” Krivonogoff said. “Visualizing how I can apply my new knowledge to real life applications has been important in my growth.”


The future is bright for Krivonogoff and Turner Automotive.

“With a business degree and a focus in social innovation and entrepreneurship, I will learn and adapt a triple bottom line mindset that produces efficiency, effectiveness and philanthropy,” Krivonogoff said. “I believe Turner Automotive can achieve this and build a road to clean energy.”

On June 28, Turner and Krivonogoff won second place overall and people’s choice at InventOR, a state-wide challenge designed to increase the number of inventors and entrepreneurs across the state. 


Krivonogoff is also finding success through PSU's Aerospace Society, which recently earned third place for their liquid-fueled rocket design at the international Base 11 Space Challenge.