Summer Lunch/Dessert Lecture Series has begun!

The summer Lunch/Dessert Lecture Series has begun! Each Wednesday, we will gather at Carver Atrium at noon for lunch and dessert. You should bring a sack lunch and we will provide the dessert. At 12:30, we will go to Jordan Lecture Hall for a short research talk.

Please contact Heidi Berger ( if you plan to attend so that dessert can be planned accordingly. All talks are general audience talks. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend.

Here is the summer schedule…

June 12: Paul Craven
Creating and formatting a book and the “flipped” classroom experience
June 19: Dave Richmond
Iowa Courthouse images
June 26: Laura Coombs (note: location change to Dirlam Lounge)
How students develop purpose during college
July 3: Diogenes Ayala
Crime and Technology
July 10: Shane Cox
May term course exploring the 2008 financial crisis
July 17: Jennifer Del Pino
Globalizing Simpson…what does it look like?
July 24: Ecological Research Group mentored by Clint Meyer and Ryan Rehmeier
July 31: Bryan Summer Research Program Students, mentored by Bill Schellhorn and Deb Czarneski

Research presentations by the MAA NREUP research group (mentored by Heidi Berger and Clint Meyer), the chemistry research group (mentored by Derek Lyons), and the research in business group (mentored by Marilyn Mueller) will be scheduled soon. Check back for dates and times.

Getting to Know: Matt Nichols ’15

Matt Nichols is a rising junior from Urbandale, Iowa.  He is studying Economics: Finance and Mathematics.  His focus on finance has led to an interest in careers in securities brokerage, fund management or financial advising.

How I Got into Finance/Business

My dad got me involved in online stock trading in high school, and I was instantly hooked on investing. I continued trading through my first two years of college, and also began trading stock options and commodities futures during my sophomore year. I grew to enjoy anything involving business or finance, especially fundamental and technical analysis of investments.


Experience in the Business Field

A huge aspect of my financial experience has been through online securities trading. I’ve traded stocks, futures, options, etc. for the last few years. I have gained not only experience in trading but I’ve also found my passion and future career path. I have also been involved in unique trading opportunities, such as the 2013 CME Commodities Trading Challenge. In this worldwide competition, four other Simpson students and I competed against 324 schools across the globe in a three-week futures-trading competition. Our team gained a huge amount of experience trading on the world-renown CQG IC trading system, and we advanced as high as 7th in the world.

Aside from investing, I have gained business experience through jobs and internships. I’m currently the project lead for the Green Financial Exchange (GFEX) project through Simpson’s business incubator, Emerge. In this position, I trade renewable energy certificates on the gTrader online trading platform, move markets through publications on social media sites, recruit potential clients, and manage client portfolios. I am also an intern with Vision Financial Group. In this position, I meet with potential clients, learn financial planning strategies, manage financial plans and portfolios, and gain real-world experience in a potential future career as a financial advisor.

I have also gained a great deal of business experience through my involvement with 7 officers of the Enactus Group 2012-2013Enactus at Simpson. As Enactus’ Vice President and representative on the Student Organizational Board, my involvement has brought growth in areas of business expertise, leadership, and community involvement. Through Enactus, I also meet countless contacts outside of Simpson, and I gained excellent experience working with members of the community and the business world.


Other Activities

Outside of school, I work as a student ambassador in the office of admissions at Simpson. I also serve and bartend at Glen Oaks Country Club and roof houses on weekends.

I am extensively involved in RLC at Simpson, playing in the Quench band and leading Calm Café every week. I also am involved in countless intramural sports. I enjoy doing just about everything in my free time, and my favorite activities include playing sports and video games, cycling, and playing guitar.

Thanks Matt!  He’s a humble guy, so we’ll point out that Matt also won the Outstanding Junior for the 2012-2013 academic year!  We’re excited to see what success Matt finds in his last year at Simpson and in his career.

Getting to Know: Professor Mark Green

It’s another Getting to Know Wednesday!  Today we’re getting to know Professor Mark Green a bit better. We’ll have an extra Getting to Know student feature later this week-be on the lookout.

What is your field of study and teaching?

Management and Marketing


What classes do you teach?

Management, Marketing, Advertising, International Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  I taught “International Marketing” and “Introduction to Marketing Strategy” at the Consortium Institute of Management and Business Analysis in Paderno del Grappa, Italy 2011-2012


We hear you’re into Russia.

I guess you could say that.  My BA is in Russian Literature (Lawrence University) and I have an MA and PhD in Russian Linguistics from Cornell University.  I studied business in an MBA program at Syracuse University.  I’ve had the opportunity to travel multiple times to the former Soviet Union to teach.  The US Agency for International Development funded a trip in the mid-1990s where I taught marketing in Nizhny Novgorod.  I also work with local organizations as they develop their business and cultural relationships with Russia and former Soviet republics.


 What else should we know about you?

      I play bass and guitar with the Sonny Humbucker Band; the members include Simpson colleagues David Wolf (associate professor of English) and Mark Juffernbruch (associate professor of accounting). Rounding out the lineup are David Kochel, a political consultant with Red Wave Communications, and Thom Wright, an architect who is currently employed by Pigott Inc.

I also write academic articles, essays, book chapters and have co-authored a textbook, Global Marketing, published by Pearson/Prentice Hall. Through my writing I hope to further to academic study of marketing and management and provide resources for students.

You can find me on twitter @Sonnybassman.

Getting to Know: Jazmin Rubel

Continuing our series of profiles this summer, we had the opportunity to sit down last week with Jazmin Rubel, rising Simpson College senior, to hear her success story.


Jazmin, what are you up to this summer?

I have an internship at the Wakonda Club as Youth Director of Activities.  The work is mostly event planning for youth activities.  Each Friday, we have an event at the pool that I plan and manage for kids at the club.  Additionally, I have had the opportunity to work on some other events like the Lobster Fest and some weddings.  I get to plan the event from start to finish including decorations, setup and so forth.  I like the opportunity to see different people and have different experiences each day-I don’t think I’d do well sitting at a desk all day, so this is perfect.


How did you become interested in this opportunity?

I did an internship last summer at The Wright Place in Norwalk doing event planning, mostly for weddings.  I really enjoyed that experience and it piqued my interest in event planning, so I was looking for an opportunity this summer in that same line of work.  I came across the internship at the Wakonda Club through a program that Simpson Career Services put on. They brought in employers and we got to ask them questions. I spoke with the General Manager of Wakonda afterward, we had a good conversation and I got an interview.


Are you involved in other activities on campus?

So many things over the last 3 years.  I did cheerleading for awhile, swim team for a year, I was Director of Digital and Social Media for The Simpsonian, SIFE activities (now Enactus), and most of my time has been spent as a Community Advisor and Student Hall Coordinator in the First-Year Residence Halls.  My senior year, I’ll be the Student Hall Coordinator again, but other than that, I’ll be spending my time looking for a job for after graduation. 


Do you have any idea of what kind of job you’re looking for?

I’d like to find an opportunity to work in big event planning, hopefully not focused exclusively on weddings so I can have some weekends free! I would also enjoy finding an opportunity to do some traveling while I work.


Thanks for talking with us Jazmin!  Enjoy the summer break!

Getting to Know: Professor Brian Steffen

This summer, we’ll be featuring profiles of the faculty, staff, current students and alumni of the Department of Communication & Media Studies.  Look for a new profile each week!

Brian Steffen, the chair of Communication & Media Studies, is spending his summer preparing to lead Simpson’s Semester in London program this fall. He’ll have 16 Simpson students joining him for 15 weeks of study and travel based at the University of Roehampton in the UK capital.  Along with that, Steffen is biking, reading heavily, playing a little golf and traveling to see family. He’ll be in Washington, D.C., in August for a journalism educators’ conference.

Professor Steffen’s May Term 2011 Class in Paris

Professor Steffen is very involved in the campus community advising the students in the department, mentoring international students and supervising the student media outlets.  He leads a May Term course each year often focused on exploring media capitals of the world (Boston, NYC, Europe and more) and the Kennedy Assassination course.

He is also involved in the wider journalism community in his work in the Iowa College Media Association, Iowa Newspaper Association, National Scholastic Press Association and more.  His wide network is invaluable in his work connecting students to professional journalists in the field.

Getting to Know: Shane Cox, Assistant Professor of Accounting

Getting to Know: Shane Cox.  We’re continuing our series of faculty profiles this week with Professor Cox.  Look for a new profile each Wednesday this summer!

Who are you?

Shane Cox

What is your field of study and teaching?


Sub-areas of interest?

Auditing and Financial Reporting

What classes do you teach?

Introduction to Accounting, Intermediate Accounting I, Individual Income Taxes,Taxation-

Professor Cox discusses the book with students

Business Entities, and the Capstone in Accounting.  In Fall 2013, I’m teaching the Composing Your Life Simpson Colloquium Course and in May 2013, I taught the Too Big To Fail May Term Course looking at the financial collapse of 2008.

Tell us about your family.

I live on the Southside of Des Moines in a home that has been in the family for approximately 60 years with my furry family: two miniature schnauzers - Hanz and Dublin, and two cats – Zippo and Mio.  I love the neighborhood which I grew up in, the close proximity to downtown Des Moines, and the vast opportunities for enjoyment that Polk county provides.

 What else should we know about you?

I served in the US Navy after my high school graduation for four years.  I was based in San Diego and had the opportunity to deploy twice to Southeast Asia.  My time in the Navy instilled a strong sense of patriotism and love for our country.  I am a big believer in citizens staying engaged in the political process and exercising their rights under the constitution. I strongly advocate for the full expression of free speech and accordingly believe that no opinions should be silenced whether in politics, the workplace, or within the classroom.  Suppression of free speech in any setting, for any reason frustrates me greatly.

Outside of the classroom, I’m an avid fan of Mixed Martial Arts and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.  My favorite fighters are Nick Diaz and Cain Velasquez.  I also enjoy nature-and I spend much of my time outside hiking and catching up on my reading.

I teach because I love to see people succeed.  Also, I believe accounting is the greatest profession that exists and love to see young adults begin their careers in it.  The career opportunities are vast and diverse.  Simpson has a great relationship with the business community in Des Moines and beyond and we continue to see our students get jobs in major corporations and the large accounting firms.  I love to see these individuals take advantage of the stable and respectable career path that accounting can bring.


Taylor Parish: United States Attorney’s Office

Taylor Parish

Student Clerk – United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Iowa in Downtown Des Moines

Class of 2016

How did Simpson College’s classes and professors help you obtain your internship?

“I took CJ220 (Criminal Justice Systems) with Professor Fred Jones first semester. That gave me some insight on how the criminal justice system worked, and it really got be more interested in the subject. It reassured me that this was the field I wanted to pursue. Career Services also helped, because they sent out an email towards the end of August advertising the position. Lora Friedrich was my CO-OP 319 faculty advisor, who helped me receive credit for my internship.”

What are your daily tasks at your internship?

“I do a lot of clerical work (typing, filing, photos, etc). I also open new civil cases that come into the office, go on errands to the courthouse and handle other projects within the office.”

What is the experience like at your internship?

“My experience has been worthwhile because not only am I receiving credit, but I am also gaining a behind-the-scenes look at what happens in the daily operations in the legal and criminal justice field. I have learned in detail about what the different agencies within the criminal justice do, which gives me a better idea as to what I want to go into after college.”

Getting to Know: Mandi Deutsch ’14

Getting to Know: Mandi Deutsch, Senior Business Student

Already this summer, Mandi Deutsch has one internship under her belt at Adorn, and she will finish another at Wellmark in Des Moines before school begins again in the fall.   She is also one of two Simpson students who will participate in Leadership Iowa University this year, an experience sponsored by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry Foundation, dedicated to developing leadership and business skills in Iowa college students. She is finding success at Simpson through community engagement!

At Simpson, Mandi is a senior studying Marketing and Management with an Entrepreneurship concentration.  Through previous part-time jobs, the internship at Adorn in Indianola and her current position at Wellmark, Mandi is learning about the wide range of potential job opportunities and career foci available to students studying Marketing and Management.

Her internship at Wellmark is in two departments at the organization.  She is working on developing corporate communications materials for independent Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield agents across Iowa and South Dakota and she is on a team creating request for proposal materials for large group clients.

“One of the best aspects of having internships at organizations as different as Adorn and Wellmark is that you are able to see the differences between working for a small business and a major corporation.  I loved the small atmosphere at Adorn, and really being able to see the results of the work I was doing.  Wellmark is different of course.  There are 20 interns and we’ve been able to develop good friendships and networks to help each other grow in our positions.  The focus of the company on health and wellness is great and makes it easy to get involved and meet even more people!”

Mandi is also looking to augment her senior year coursework with another internship or part-time position at an advertising or marketing agency so she can see all of the various positions available in her field.  We know Mandi will be successful in her career after Simpson too.


Getting to Know: Mark Juffernbruch, Professor of Accounting

We’re continuing our series of faculty profiles this week with Professor Mark Juffernbruch.  Look for a new profile each Wednesday this summer!

Who are you?

Mark Juffernbruch

What is your field of study and teaching?


Sub-areas of interest?

Auditing and Financial Reporting

What classes do you teach?

Introduction to Accounting, Intermediate Accounting II, Cost Accounting, Auditing

Tell us about your family.

I live with my wife and two kids in Indianola

 What else should we know about you?

My background is both as a CPA and a lawyer-I practiced law in the Chicago area for seven years (audit of emerging businesses and commercial transactions and litigation).  I changed career fields in 1999 when I came to Simpson to begin teaching and advising students.  I became Department Chair a couple of years ago, but still focus on working with students on an individual basis.

When I’m not working, you’ll find me hanging out with my kids or out on a bike trail somewhere. I also spend time playing guitar in a band with some friends and fellow faculty members.

Social and Economic Development in Belize-A May Term with Professor Jim Palmieri

Have you seen our facebook page yet?  If not, this is the perfect time to check it out!

We just posted almost 50 photos from the May Term in Belize led by Professor of Economics, Jim Palmieri!   The photos show the exciting journey the students took while in Punta Gorda, Belize.  From bus rides through the forests, dance classes at the cultural center and snorkeling to teaching and tutoring at local schools, the students did just about everything!

This service-based May Term experience provided students with an opportunity to learn about social and economic development in a lower-income country.  The course exposed students to life in Belize, the educational system, the tourism industry, the cuisine, historical sites, and more.  Students walked away with reflections on their own experiences growing up in the United States and an appreciation for a different culture and way of life.

If you want to find out more, send Professor Palmieri an email at: