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KU News Release

May 4, 2006
Contact: Bart Redford, Center for International Business Education and Research, (785) 864-4616.

KU graduate students to present findings after studying China’s auto industry

LAWRENCE — Fourteen University of Kansas students working on master’s of business administration degrees will return to campus Sunday, May 7, from China, where they spent two weeks as part of class assignment researching the automobile industry.

As part of their final exam, the students will present results of their study to a panel of experts on Thursday, May 18. The students are assessing the potential for success of a project being considered by Dongfeng Motor Corp., China’s second-largest automobile manufacturer, based in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Their assignment was part of the Global Research Integrative Project, a course that includes two weeks of field work overseas. Known among the students as GRIP, the course focuses on a global industry in the context of a particular country’s competitive environment. The program is supported with funding from the U.S. Department of Education, through KU’s Center for International Business Education and Research.

In April, Haisu Wang, a visiting scholar to KU from Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in Wuhan, provided students with an insider’s view of China’s auto industry. He worked with faculty team-teaching the course: Dennis Karney, Ned N. Fleming Distinguished Professor of Business, and Jill Kleinberg, associate professor of business. After a month at KU, Wang returned to Wuhan and was on hand to meet with the KU students as they visited sites related to their project.

This year’s focus on China’s automotive industry produced a record enrollment in the graduate course.

William H. White Jr. of Council Grove said he enrolled to “gain some international experience as well as having experience with a larger project requiring quite a bit of focused analysis and study. I’m also a ‘car guy’ so my enrollment was guaranteed at the words ‘automobile industry.’ ”

For the course, Karney and Kleinberg had the students spend four weeks learning what makes the automobile industry tick, as well as developing a grasp of the culture, geography, economy and business practices of China. In mid-April, the students attended the Global Automotive Conference in Lexington, Ky., and while there toured one of the world’s largest Toyota plants.

The Center for International Business Education and Research and the School of Business provide administrative and funding support for the program, as part of an ongoing effort to ensure master’s degree graduates have the training they need to operate effectively in a global economy.

The graduate students enrolled in the course are listed below by hometown, previous degrees and parents’s names, when available.

DOUGLAS COUNTY
From Lawrence
Michelle Lynn Baatz is a master’s of business administration student.

Jason Andrew Blick, master’s of business administration student, has a bachelor’s degree from KU and is a graduate of Salina High School Central.

Julie A. Gasper, master’s of business administration student and daughter of Doris Gasper, has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from KU and is a graduate of Lawrence High School.

Albert Lee Hornyak, master’s of business administration student, has a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, N.Y.

Ryan James Sullivan, master’s of business administration student, has a bachelor’s degree from Devry Institute of Technology, Kansas City, Mo., and is a graduate of St. Mary’s-Colgan High School, Pittsburg.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Olathe
Travis J. Grosser, master’s of business administration student, has a bachelor’s degree from KU and is a graduate of Etiwanda (Calif.) High School.

From Overland Park (ZIP 66210)
Douglas Michael Hare, master’s of business administration student, has a master’s degree from KU and a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University, Waco, Texas.

MORRIS COUNTY
From Council Grove
William Hamilton White Jr., master’s of business administration and law student and son of William and Margaret White, has two bachelor’s degrees from KU and is a graduate of Council Grove High School.

NEOSHO COUNTY
From Erie
Bryan Edward Luttrell, master’s of business administration student, has a bachelor’s degree from Pittsburg State University.

REPUBLIC COUNTY
From Belleville
Jamie L. Kramer, master’s of business administration student, has a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University.

INDIANA
From Lafayette
George M. Laurence Jr., master’s of business administration student, has a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.

MISSOURI
From Kansas City
Keith W. Wojtaszek, master’s of business administration student, has a bachelor’s degree from Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y.

VIRGINIA
From Norfolk
Robert Scott Mazzarella is a master’s of business administration student.

GERMANY
From Kiel
Marc Alexander Schmenner is a master’s of business administration student.

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