Author: Olin in the News

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About Olin in the News

Posting the latest on Olin student, alumni, faculty, and staff stories from business and news outlets locally, nationally, and around the world.


Allison Dietz

Don’t hold yourself back. Challenge the status quo—including your own. Take a risk. Those are the key messages Allison Dietz shares in a recent blog post about her. She’s the Weston Career Center’s associate director of employer relations for healthcare, technology and entrepreneurship, and she was recently featured on the blog “Free Coffee with Alex.”

The blog is written by Alex Burkart, a strategic intelligence analyst and director of marketing for America’s Central Port in Granite City, Illinois, one of the Midwest’s largest freight hubs and economic development engines. He also manages his own consultancy, Never Industries, Inc.

Visit Burkart’s blog post here, but a few of the highlights include:

  • Stumbling into a class in organizational psychology opened a new world for Dietz, allowing her to explore a personal curiosity about how the human resources side of organizations.
  • “Recruiting is the fun part of HR, the people side,” she says. “I’m most proud of the … times I get the opportunity to help expand their skills and make them realize they are capable of more than just the cookie cutter version of what their degree may be pointing them towards.”
  • “There’s so much pressure for status. Take a step back and remember to focus on the aspects that really matter in your life, like your time,” she says. “Focus on what matters most, and don’t be so easy to sacrifice it early in your career.”

Read the full piece about Dietz here.




Jeffrey Whitford, MBA ’12, was named one of the most creative people in business for 2020 by Fast Company, an article published by the magazine on August 4 announced.

Among five innovators lauded for “raising the standard,” Whitford was highlighted for his work with MilliporeSigma to create a green alternative to solvents.

Whitford is the head of sustainability, social business innovation and life science branding at MilliporeSigma, owned by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

“Sustainability in science is one of the final frontiers,” Whitford told Fast Company. That was his team’s inspiration to create Cyrene, a product made from cellulose that can replace two solvents common in plastics, fibers and adhesives.

In addition to his work on Cyrene, the article highlights DOZN, an “evaluation system that compares the sustainability of chemicals, including environmental hazards they pose.” Whitford and his team have also created a free, web-based version of the tool, allowing scientists across the world to use it without cost.

Whitford will be featured in the September edition of the magazine, alongside creators and entrepreneurs like Ryan Reynolds, Monica Lewinsky and Nneka Ogwumike. Get the full list here.




WashU Olin Business School’s MBA program was cited for one of the 10 biggest business education innovations by Poets & Quants, in an article published by the business school news site on August 12.

In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the site’s founding, Poets & Quants looked back at 10 shake-ups they’ve covered throughout the years—from virtual classes to test-free admissions and beyond.

Coming in at No. 6 on the list was WashU Olin’s MBA reboot, featuring a 38-day global immersion semester that takes students around the globe to gain business experience and entrepreneurial expertise.

“At the heart of the reimagined Olin MBA is a required global immersion that takes the entire class of newly arrived students on a 38-day, round-the-world learning experience,” the article explains.

“What’s more, Olin did not increase its MBA tuition to pay for the immersion or the extra semester. Instead, the school ate all costs.”

Last year, the MBA reboot experience landed WashU Olin the title of MBA Program of the Year by Poets & Quants, who then called the new MBA program “one of the boldest and most innovative program changes any business school has made in many, many years.”

While Olin’s global immersion semester typically takes place at the very beginning of the MBA experience, the coronavirus pandemic has moved the 2020 immersion to spring 2021. And while what the future holds is unknown, Poets & Quants encourages readers to “watch for other B-schools to imitate the Olin model.”




This press release was initially posted on REJournals.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has promoted Erin Valentine (EMBA ’08) to the position of Vice President of Business Development in the company’s 28-state Central Region.

In addition to joining the leadership team that guides McCarthy’s strategic business operations across the Central Region, Valentine will manage McCarthy’s St. Louis-based business development team that focuses on the company’s core buildings markets of Healthcare, Commercial, Education and Advanced Technology and Manufacturing.

Since joining McCarthy in 2001, Valentine has helped position the company to secure numerous new projects while building valuable relationships with clients and industry partners. Her business development successes are visible throughout the St. Louis region, including the recently awarded Washington University School of Medicine Neuroscience research facility and a multiyear facilities contract with Parkway School District.

She was also instrumental in McCarthy’s national expansion into the federal government sector, helping to secure more than $3 billion in federal projects over a five-year period.

Valentine is a founding member of the McCarthy Partnership for Women employee resource group in the Central Region and has served on several national efforts, including McCarthy’s Business Development Leadership team. In addition, she has overseen several national McCarthy initiatives to strengthen the company’s client relationships, including the implementation of an enhanced customer relationship management (CRM) system and the rollout of a client feedback process to solicit ongoing feedback from project partners.

A LEED Green Associate, Valentine earned a bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been recognized as a “40 under 40” business leader by the St. Louis Business Journal, a “Top Young Professional” by Engineering News Record (ENR) – Midwest and a “Women in Construction” innovator by Constructech. She is a member of the St. Louis Forum and is a board member of the St. Louis chapters of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW).




Seth Carnahan

Poets & Quants has recognized Olin’s Seth Carnahan as a Best 40 Under 40 professor.

Carnahan, associate professor of strategy, is highlighted an April 29 article that notes Carnahan, 34, is an award-winning researcher and teacher. He “has spent his early career building a strong and robust research pipeline with more than 600 Goggle Scholar citations and multiple grants and awards to boot.”

Carnahan provided “a great experience for one of my first MBA courses at WashU” with lectures that were relevant, current and generated engaging class discussion, one nominator said. “I feel as though my point of view changed greatly with regard to business strategy after having taken his class.”

A professor inspired him

Carnahan told Poets & Quants that he has no other academics in his family and was inspired by his strategy professor during his undergraduate. She mentioned her research during class, and “I dug up some of her papers an read them,” he said. When he learned her job was to write papers and teach, Carnahan said he thought, “I want to do that, too.”

Carnahan’s current research is examining the “human side of firm strategy.” He explores how organizations can out-compete their competition for talent and how firms can increase the performance of employees they already have by “managing their people more effectively.”

When P&Q asked what Carnahan thinks makes him a standout professor, he replied: “Based on the feedback they give me, I think students appreciate the open, inclusive culture that I try to create in my class. I think they see my class as a safe place where they can experiment with ideas, take risks, make mistakes, and learn from each other.”

Read the full article here.