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Location

Physical Address:
Morrill Hall, Room 216

Phone: 208-885-4109

Email: our@uidaho.edu

Business in the Front, Fun in the Basement

Marketing student uses research to support his college and colleagues

The Albertson Building is a familiar place for students across the University of Idaho College of Business and Economics. It houses classrooms for learning, offices for meeting and a basement. But the basement isn’t much to look at: There are a couple of chairs, a couple of tables and spotty Wi-Fi, but it doesn’t have the atmosphere to combine the two aspects of learning and meeting. Not yet, anyway.

Senior Micah Johnson and a team of other students have a plan for that space. Johnson, 21, of Portland, Oregon, is double majoring in marketing and modern language business, which combines language study and business courses, with an emphasis in Spanish.

The 2015-16 school year brought a group of nine interior design and marketing students together to reimagine the Albertson basement, with the support of faculty including Johnson’s advisor, associate professor of marketing Mike McCollough.

The team spent the semester finding a design that would excite the college’s students, and sought the feedback of professors as well. In­terior design students studied design techniques used to bring people together. The business students put together surveys to find out what students wanted to see happen to the space.

Johnson says the primary goal of the design was to create a space that students could use when they work to do individually or in a team, especially since business students frequently have group-ori­ented projects. The interior design students figured out a design based on principles used in coffee shops.

Micah Johnson
Johnson putts on a mini golf green that is currently part of the Albertson Building basement.

“Students need a space that allows them to be as successful as possible,” Johnson said. “We did a ton of research to allow students to be successful in doing homework, studying and doing group projects together.”

After the students finalized their decisions, they presented their plan to the College of Business and Economics Alumni Advisory Board, and the project was approved. The nine students did the presentation to­gether, and it was a chance for Johnson to have real-life presentation experience. Five of the six business students in the class graduated last year, making Johnson the last to see the project through. The next steps for the project is to bring in a professional architect to work out everything that needs done.

Johnson will graduate in May 2017, so his time on the project is near­ly over, but it was time well spent.

“I would recommend anyone do this,” Johnson said. “It was fun. It really was.”

Micah Johnson
Interior design student Erica Albertson (left) worked with Johnson on the new design for the student space.

WRITER: Jordan Gonzalez is a freshman from Wenatchee, Washington, majoring in anthropology.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Madelen Johansson is an international student from Tibro, Sweden, and is majoring in interior design.

Location

Physical Address:
Morrill Hall, Room 216

Phone: 208-885-4109

Email: our@uidaho.edu