Top Marriott School Stories of 2015

PROVO, Utah – Dec 31, 2015 – The Marriott School had an amazing 2015. Here's a list of some of our top stories of the year featuring our outstanding students, faculty and alumni:

10) Traveling the Globe with Rex Facer
Rex Facer, associate professor of public finance and management, led a group of 25 Marriott School students to Ghana this year where they completed projects in an orphanage, a school and a hospital. In addition to his own travels working to improve the public sector around the world, Facer also has a student-created doppelgä‚Äčnger called "Flat Facer," whose adventures are regularly documented on social media with the hashtags #FlatFacer and #BYUMPA.

9) Association for Information Systems Chapter Honored
BYU's AIS chapter was named the 2014-15 Student Chapter of the Year, the highest honor given to student chapters of the professional organization. The honor capped a year in which members of the chapter also took multiple top awards in competitions at the AIS Student Chapter Leadership Conference in June.

8) Megan Murff in “Cahoots” with Social Venture Academy
Megan Murff, a 2014 MBA graduate, founded Cahoots Fitness, providing a place for mothers to work out while their children take part in “movement preschool,” an exercise course designed especially for little ones. Murff’s idea took off while she worked with Social Venture Academy, a subsidiary of the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance.

7) Can Narcissism Be a Positive in Leadership?‚Äč
Bradley Owens, assistant professor of business ethics at the Romney Institute, published research in the Journal of Applied Psychology showing that leaders with high narcissism and high humility were perceived as more effective leaders with more engaged followers. The results were cited in the Washington Post and Huffington Post, among others.

6) Accounting Students Take Top Prize at Deloitte FanTAXtic Competition
A team of five accounting students renewed the school’s tradition of success at the national Deloitte FanTAXtic Case Study Competition by taking home first place and $20,000 in winnings. Each student won a $2,000 share of the first-place prize, with another $10,000 awarded to the School of Accountancy.

5) Dynamic Road Signs Drawing Attention
Ryan Elder, assistant professor of marketing, joined researchers at the University of Michigan to discover a way to provide a little extra cushion when it comes to near-accidents. Their study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, finds that people react significantly faster to warning signs that depict greater movement.

4) Snappy Acquisition of Marriott School Student Startup
Three BYU students, including two from the Marriott School’s information systems program, founded a mobile app called Scan in 2011. After years of hard work and millions of downloads, the trio sold Scan to Snapchat for $54 million.

3) Worldwide violinist phenom Lindsey Stirling receives her BYU degree
Violinist superstar Lindsey Stirling has millions of followers on social media, won a Billboard Music Award and was featured on Forbes' list of 30 Under 30. And in April of this year, Stirling graduated from BYU with a bachelor’s degree in recreation management and performed at the Marriott School’s convocation ceremony.

2) Marriott School Ranked Among Best in Country, World
The Marriott School continued to be recognized as a top business school by various organizations. Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, U.S. News and Business Insider each ranked the BYU MBA as a top-50 program. The School of Accountancy's undergraduate program was ranked No. 3 by U.S. News while the MAcc program was named No. 1 in the nation by Tax Talent. The undergraduate entrepreneurship program earned its highest ranking ever from The Princeton Review, coming in at No. 2 in the country to go with a No. 7 ranking for the graduate program.

1) KiLife Tech Sets Record at Rice Business Plan Competition
KiLife Tech, founded by former MBA student Spencer Behrend, won the grand prize at the Rice Business Plan Competition, billed as the world’s richest and largest student startup competition. Behrend and his team at KiLife Tech took home more than $700,000, rang the Nasdaq closing bell and made priceless contacts with investors, all while shining a spotlight on the BYU entrepreneurship program and the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.

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Marriott School student startup KiLife Tech won first place at the Rice Business Plan Competition
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Marriott School programs continued to rank among the best in the country by national publications
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YouTube star Lindsey Stirling performed at convocation after earning her degree in recreation management

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Jordan Christiansen