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STUDENTfacturED Mentors & Staff

Alfred L. “Al” Cole MBA

I have been teaching at Salt Lake Community College for the past 19 years and I have not seen a program with the potential for student learning and resume building like STUDENTfacturED.   Here is a hands-on experience that mirrors the real world.   If any part of the Business School education was lacking it was a direct tie to the reality of actual business.  This program gives students a real-world experience in solving business problems that does not come from textbooks.   My almost 78 years of living has shown me that nothing provides as much education as actual experience with the theoretical learning as actual doing.

I learned through the school of hard knocks many lessons that have helped me through life.   At age 16, I dropped out of school (I knew more than the teachers) and joined the Air Force.   After almost 8 years of service I realized there were many things I did not know.   Somehow all those teachers suddenly got smarter.   I knew I had to have an education if I was going to gain the most from my life. I worked at Sperry Engineering Labs after completing a course in Machine shop and drafting at Weber Junior College. I found out that I did not want to be a draftsman or machinist.

Next I attended Brigham Young University for a year while working as a correctional officer at the Utah State Prison.   During that time I got married and needed to be closer to Salt Lake City.   I transferred to the University of Utah, and have bled RED ever since.   I went to work for Kennecott Copper Corporation and completed my B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Economics, then went on to get an MBA.   I asked the copper co. to give me a better job, and was told I needed to get some experience in my chosen field then they would promote me.

I decided from several job offers to return to work with the Air Force, and stayed with the government for 27 years.   I had several different positions with the air force all due to my education. I was a management analyst for the Hill AFB commander.   Then I became a computer programmer.   From there, I went into logistics and helped provide training material for the South Vietnam Air force.   I came back to HAFB and went to work for the Ogden Air Material Area commander as a program analyst.   For a period of 5 years I worked with Dr. Fred Herzberg on job enrichment for the Air force Logistics Command.   Then I was assigned to develop and contract for a computer network for hill AFB. I became the Network manager for the base.   I was assigned to be the branch chief for computer systems research and development.   When I retired from HAFB I was the chief of Computer Security for the base.

When I looked at the education we were providing our business students at SLCC the one area of weakness within our program is the lack of actual business experience.   We could teach marketing and business principles, but we could not give the student a way to relate these concepts to actual businesses.   We needed a way to provide for our students actual problem solving experiences within an actual business where we played with real dollars and mistakes involved real losses.  

With a master’s degree in Business Administration, I know what it takes to be successful in the business world.   The number one question asked of new graduates when they apply for the first job is “What experience do you have?”   If a student has no experience they look like the other 50 or 100 applicants for this same position.   If a student has some business experience he/she immediately begins to explain what work they have done and what they are capable of doing for this new employer.   The difference is outstanding between a person with experience and one who does not have any.   This is why I am glad to be part of the STUDENTfacturED  company at SLCC.   I hope to be able to give you as students a real life experience you can use to further your career.

Anita Mitchell

Prior to joining Salt Lake Community College in 2008, I spent eleven years working in the corporate world. During that time, I served in several different roles and was fortunate to become quite familiar with how these roles interact-and that’s just on the business side! During the latter part of my tenure, I was primarily responsible for project management and team performance. Having “moved up through the ranks”, the value of each individual and the job they perform was not lost to me. I could genuinely say I’d “walked a mile in your shoes”.  

That is why STUDENTfacturED is such a fantastic opportunity; where else could an individual rotate through multiple positions within the same company, without the process taking a decade to accomplish? There is no greater method to gain an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of others than to “walk a mile in their shoes”. As a part of STUDENTfacturED, you can do just that. The experience will change your comprehension and appreciation for every individual with whom you work. Not only that, you’ll also have an opportunity to explore other career options you might not have had access to otherwise.

When I joined Salt Lake Community College, I applied my previous experience to the management of federal grant awards. Since that time, I’ve been honored to work with the college’s Biotechnology Department, helping the team ensure project completion, regulatory compliance and the management of over 4 million dollars of federal funding.

These experiences have given me a multitude of transferrable skills, including:

·         Customer Service and Appreciation

·         Employee Service and Appreciation


·         Team Work and Team Building (collaboration)


·         Performance Metrics and Goals

·         Contracts and Obligations

·         Oral and Written Communication Skills


·         Budget Management

·         Documentation and Compliance


·         Reporting and Analyzing Outcomes

·         Policies and Procedures (documenting and executing)

Robert S. Burdette CPA, MS

Since the summer of 2000 I have taught Accounting and Income Tax classes at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC).  As I watched undergraduate students prepare to transfer to universities or enter the workforce with their Associates Degree in Accounting I saw some weaknesses in their preparation.    Students with no practical experience in the business world had a much harder time relating the materials they studied in class to anything they already knew.  Students with actual business experience had an advantage over students who learned only from the textbooks and classroom examples.  

If any part of our Business School education was lacking it was a direct tie to actual business.  We need to give students a real-world experience in solving business problems that do not come from textbooks.  I arrived at this opinion from 25 years of working in business as a Certified Public Accountant.  In that time I worked with accountants and bookkeepers from a large variety of businesses and in many industries from manufacturing companies, service companies and non-profit entities.  As I made recommendations to each of these businesses the senior officers would often ask if I thought their accountants were capable of handling the suggested improvements.  When the accountants had practical experience in working within the company the answer was almost always yes.  But, if the accountant had only classroom experience, often the answer would be no.  The difference is how well the accountant could relate to the required suggestions we were making to bring their accounting into compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. 

When I look at the education we provide our business students at SLCC the one area of weakness within our program is the lack of actual business experience.  We teach accounting principles and income tax laws but we do not give students a way to gain actual business experience while they are completing their course work.  We needed a way to provide for our students actual problem solving experiences within an actual business where we played with real dollars and mistakes involved real losses.       

With a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a master’s degree in Taxation I know what it takes to be successful in the business world.  I know each student will have to compete for jobs along with all other college graduates.  The number one question asked of new graduates when they apply for their first job is “What experience do you have?”  If a student has no experience they look like the other 50 or 100 applicants for this same position.  If a student has some business experience he/she immediately begins to explain what work they have done and what they are capable of doing for this new employer.  The difference is outstanding between a person with experience and one who does not have any.   This is what made me so happy to be part of the STUDENTfacturED company at SLCC. 

Team work is an acquired skill that many students never get while in college.  The ability to adapt to team members, to figure out their strengths and weaknesses and to find ways to accomplish goals as a team is often overlooked in the competitive classrooms of colleges and universities.  STUDENTfacturED forces students to work together to solve the problems of business.  This involves working with more than just other accounting students.  Accounting students, working in STUDENTfacturED, need to communicate with Marketing, Management and Bio-Tech students weekly.  Together they run into business problems and they solve them.  The faculty advisors provide only a guide to keep the company on the right track.   This real-world training is exactly what students would experience if they were working for a bio-tech manufacturing company in America today.  This is the first half of the semester.

About the time students get comfortable in their assigned job we pull the plug and change everything.  We begin to switch places between the business side of the company and the manufacturing side.  Accounting students get assigned to the production process.  Bio-tech students get assigned to do the Accounting, Marketing or Management!  This is where the real business experience is brought to life.  Accounting students get to learn how hard it is to actually manufacture a product.  They get to see the waste materials and learn how to reduce them.  They see the problems created when we run out of raw materials or when we receive orders greater than our ability to produce the products.  This understanding of what others have to do to make a successful company is an eye-opening experience for business students.  I am ecstatic to be a part of this innovative learning community and look forward to serving students and watching them develop into working professionals.


BA in Accounting from the University of Utah 1979

Licensed as a Certified Public Accountant since 1982

MS in Taxation from the Washington School of Law 1993


Supervising Tax Specialist, Leverich & Company – Certified Public Accountants, Salt Lake City, Utah

Tax Partner, Burdette & Hymas – Certified Public Accountants, Salt Lake City, Utah

Partner, Hansen, Barnett & Maxwell – Certified Public Accountants, Salt Lake City, Utah

Controller, JT Steel, Inc. West Jordan, Utah

President & Chief Operating Officer, Commercial Loan Brokers, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah

Industry-relevant certifications:

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants 1982 to 1997

Utah Association of Certified Public Accountants 1982 to present

Cheryl Marzec

Wow, STUDENTfacturED!   What an exciting opportunity.   I’ve had a marvelous career working with established companies to improve the way they do business.   I have often thought how great it would be to set up a company using the business and quality principles I’ve espoused for 20+ years.   STUDENTfacturED is an opportunity to do this and assist STUDENTS as they gain experience setting up and running the company!  

STUDENTfacturED is an assemblage of professionals with a variety of experiences.   Together we bring the skills necessary to guide students as THEY set up and run STUDENTfacturED, a biomanufacturing company.   My career has been spent in industry with much of my experience and skills in the area of business and quality management systems (QMS).  

·         Starting and running my consulting company, Marzec & Associates, for 15+ years

·         Working with Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulation to help companies assure they comply with them

·         Implementing ISO 9000 type quality management systems

·         Performing process audits of organizations to assure they are compliant to standards and FDA regulations, as appropriate to their industry

·         Developing document management systems

·         Writing process documentation

·         Developing and teaching technical courses in a variety of different disciplines

·         Starting and running a small non-profit company, Sumi Nungwa, that provides food, clothing, medical supplies, and other necessities to Hopi and Navajo Elders

I’ve had opportunities to learn about a wide variety of products and services.   Some of these include:

·         Software & Hardware Development & Support

·         Metrology

·         Defense Electronic Communications

·         Electronic Assembly

·         Polymer & Fiberglass Coatings

·         Garage Door Manufacturing

·         Medical Device Manufacturing

·         Dental Products Manufacturing

·         Metal Fabrication

·         Drilling Hose Manufacturing

·         Publishing

·         Rubber Compounding


·         BS from University of Utah in Physical Geography, Geology minor, 1985

   ·         MBA partially complete from Westminster College, 1997

Other Positions

·         Marzec and Associates, business & quality standards consulting, owner, Salt Lake City, Utah

·         Unisys Corporation, Software & Hardware Quality Assurance Engineer, Salt Lake City, Utah

·         Sumi Nungwa, non-profit, Executive Vice-President, Salt Lake City, Utah

·         Marzec Properties, owner/manager, Salt Lake City, Utah

Pertinent Certifications:

·         American Society for Quality, Senior Member

·         American Society for Quality, Salt Lake Section, Education Chair

·         Former Lead Assessor with the Registrar Accreditation Board and International Registration of Certified Auditors

Don B. Skousen, Jr., MS

It seems like I have always loved manufacturing. I began working in manufacturing while going to school at the University of Utah. One of the requirements for my Masters Degree was doing an internship. I found one with an electronics manufacturer. That transitioned into a regular full-time position with the same company. I began in the Human Resources Department and ended up in Manufacturing. Positions I held along the way included: HR Representative, Wage and Salary Analyst, Electro-Mechanical Assembly/Shipping Supervisor and Manufacturing Manager. During this time we introduced SPC, Teams, ISO 9000, TPM and many other cutting-edge concepts. This career lasted fifteen years.

A different career began when the new Division-Chair, Blair Carruth asked me to teach some Statistics and Calculus classes for the School of Business at Salt Lake Community College. Since then, I have taught Business, Computer Information Systems, Economics, Finance and Management classes. From the first class I taught in Statistics to the classes I am teaching now, I always try to emphasize real-world application of what they are learning. I have been teaching at Salt Lake Community College in some capacity for the past eighteen years.

During some of these years at SLCC, I had the privilege of working directly with manufacturing Companies in providing training in SPC, TQM, TPM, ISO 9000 Quality Systems, Lean Manufacturing, Materials Management, Project Management, etc. In addition, I helped students obtain internships here locally, throughout the U.S. and Internationally. These students worked with small start-up companies to large Fortune 100 companies. They worked on real projects that had real economic impact to the host company’s bottom-line. I collected these impacts and their stories and reported them to NIST MEP.

Through all of this, I saw the importance of students getting real world experience to improve and enhance their educational experience at SLCC, UVSC and BYU. I continue to urge students to do several internships during their academic careers. It’s a real competitive advantage for them.

This same opportunity is now readily available for our SLCC students in STUDENTfacturED. This is an opportunity for the students in the School of Business to work with the students of the Biotechnology Department in a small startup company environment. This is a safe environment where they can try and do the things they have learned in the classroom, as well as, their own talents and abilities.


BS in Psychology, Behavioral Science, University of Utah, 1977

MS in Human Resources Management, Business, University of Utah, 1980

Other Positions

Manufacturing Extension Partnership Utah, Field Engineer and Extension Agent, Orem, Utah

Utah Valley State College, Technology Management, Adjunct Faculty, Orem, Utah

Brigham Young University, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Director Manufacturing Leadership Forum, Provo, Utah

Salt Lake Community College, Director of Manufacturing Resource Services, Salt Lake City, Utah

Evans and Sutherland Computer Corporation, Manufacturing Manager, Salt Lake City, Utah

Pertinent Certifications:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (Train-The-Trainer):

o   Lean Thinking Executive Overview

o   Principles of Lean Manufacturing with Live Simulation 

o   Value Stream Mapping

o   5S / Visual Manufacturing

o   Setup Reduction / Quick Changeover

o   Cellular / Flow Manufacturing

o   Pull / Kanban Systems

o   Total Productive Maintenance

Society of Manufacturing Engineers—SPC


Kasey Schuster, BS

I started my journey in biotechnology during my junior year of high school at the Jordan Applied Tech Center (JATC).  After graduating from high school in 2004, I began working as the Lab Manager for the Biotechnology Department at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) as well as the JATC.  At the same time began taking classes towards my associate’s degree.  I graduated in 2006 from SLCC with an Associate of Science Degree in General Studies and an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Biotechnology Technology, both with Institutional Honors. 

After graduating, I went to Box Hill Institute in Melbourne, Australia through an exchange program set up by the SLCC Biotechnology Department.  In Australia I worked as a Technical Assistant focusing on the optimization of E. coli fermentation for the production of specific proteins of interest, and graduated from Box Hill Institute in 2007 with an Advanced Diploma in Laboratory Operation. 

Upon returning to the United States, I resumed working for SLCC and began taking classes from Utah Valley University (UVU)   I earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biotechnology in 2009. 

After graduating, I was hired as the Biotechnology Outreach Coordinator for the Workforce Innovations in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) Project, funded by a federal grant.   This state-wide project provided workforce development support to the life science industry, and my role was to assist all of the biotechnology programs at the high school and college levels for the state. 

I now work on the Science Talent Expansion Program (STEP) project.  The goal of this federally funded program is to bring advanced hands-on science labs to the high schools.  To achieve this, we have partnered with Westminster College and UVU to let local high schools participate in the genome sequencing of an Archaea bacterium called Halorubrum salsolis

Bring these lab activities to the high schools requires the need laboratory supplies and instructions to be provided to each class.  These supplies are best provided as kits, packaged appropriately from the raw materials, so that the instructors will have the correct reagents to perform the lab activities with their students.  I’m looking forward to working with STUDENTfacturED to help produce these kits and coordinating our efforts to achieve the desired outcomes of both grant projects.


AS in General Studies from Salt Lake Community College, 2006

AAS in Biotechnology from Salt Lake Community College, 2006

Advanced Diploma in Laboratory Operation from Box Hill Institute, Australia, 2007

BS in Biotechnology from Utah Valley University, 2009

Prior Positions:

Lab Researcher at ZARS Pharma, Salt Lake City, UT

Lab Manager at Salt Lake Community College, West Jordan, UT

Technical Assistant at Box Hill Institute, Box Hill, Victoria, Australia

Biotechnology Resource Coordinator for WIRED Project, State of Utah

Vivian Ngan-Winward, PhD, CQIA, CQE

After spending a number of years as a scientist in both research & development and regulatory affairs areas, it became obvious to me that my science education path through college and graduate school did not get me “job ready” in the biotechnology industry.  In fact, the education paths of most coworkers around me did not prepare them fully either. 

Here is what I observed.  As a graduate of a science major, you certainly become well-versed in some, or even a lot, of scientific principles and theories, but this knowledge is just knowledge, taking up room in your grey matter, UNTIL you unleash its POTENTIAL – by APPLYING it.  Sadly, most people’s college experience do not include an opportunity to rigorously apply all acquired knowledge to figure out what they really know, what they are capable of doing, and . . .   what they still need to learn. 

Somehow, I lucked out.  I had been a very inquisitive kid, driving family, nearby adults, and even some teachers nutty with my incessant questions “Why?”.  By the 10th grade, this developed into a strong desire to pursue research in the field of genetics.  Once in college, I successfully convinced a genetics professor to let me join his lab as an undergraduate researcher.  So through my junior and senior years, and continuing on through graduate school and my postdoc years, I worked alongside graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, staff researchers, and the professor, LEARNING, APPLYING, and MASTERING as much genetics and molecular biology that I could, and taking note of all the things I still needed, wanted, to learn.

With a bachelor’s degree in genetics and a doctorate in molecular biology in hand, I figured I should be set for a career in life science research.  Well, in terms of the biological sciences, and even some of the other sciences, I had a wealth of information and practical hands-on experience that served me well.  However, after transitioning from an academic environment to a biotech business industry environment, I was absolutely shocked, almost horrified, to learn that I understood very little about the BUSINESS SIDE of the biotech industry – that is, how does a developed idea become transformed into a manufactured product that has been deemed acceptable to sell?  Alas, I was not alone in this situation.

This realized deficiency forced much “ON-THE-JOB” learning and training for me and many of my coworkers as we struggled to figure out how to cooperate, collaborate, and contribute as team members, how to navigate a work environment controlled by quality system and FDA requirements, and how to complete projects by the oftentimes unrealistic deadlines imposed by our supervisors.  New for me was the important need to work with others outside my area, CROSSING INTO TERRITORY unfamiliar, such as having to map out the cost of manufacturing a potential new product, assist with creating marketing materials, work with engineers to solve a critical equipment problem, and coordinating with production to manufacture pilot lots of a soon-to-be-released product.

Life lessons such as these have become the motivation behind my desire to create STUDENTfacturED, a biotechnology manufacturing company run by students.  As the Salt Lake Community College’s Biomanufacturing Program Director, I realized the value of giving students the opportunity to apply and integrate concepts and skills learned in preparatory courses and elsewhere, in order to get practical training that is not only relevant to but highly desirable by the current job market.  Through STUDENTfacturED, SLCC students can now get on-the-job training BEFORE their jobs.  I am ecstatic to be a part of this innovative learning community and look forward to serving students and watching them develop into working professionals.


BSc in Biology (Genetics) from University of British Columbia, 1987

PhD in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry from Wesleyan University, 1991

Prior Positions:

Lead Scientist in Regulatory Affairs / Scientist in Food Safety at Idaho Technology, Salt Lake City, UT

Scientist at KK Biomed, Salt Lake City, UT

Research & Development Project Manager at ThauMDx, Santa Barbara, CA

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

Industry-relevant certifications:

American Society for Quality Certified Quality Improvement Associate

American Society for Quality Certified Quality Engineer