A Challenge in Tribute to a Great Mentor
Some mentors have the ability to inspire and influence even decades after their careers officially end.
Paul Doak, Iowa State University emeritus professor of economics, is one of those people.
Doak (’65 PhD agricultural economics) taught in the Department of Economics from 1962 to 1992. The emphasis of his professional career was on teaching and advising students majoring in agricultural business. He served as adviser of the Ag Business Club and taught agricultural marketing, agribusiness operations and career seminar courses. Doak, who is now 86 and living in Columbia, Missouri, says he was privileged to have been a member of the economics department and will always cherish his experiences with students, staff and colleagues.
Josanne Six, current director of budget and finance for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, was one of the many people impacted by Doak during his tenure at Iowa State. She made the initial gift and worked to develop the Paul Doak Agricultural Business Recruiting Scholarship in 2009 to honor her former supervisor in agricultural business and longtime mentor.
The scholarship is awarded to students majoring in agricultural business who have verified financial need, with preference
given to students who are the first generation of their families to go to college.
Recently, Doak’s former student Roger Carlsson (’78 agricultural business) generously pledged to match gifts and pledges of up to $250,000 to the Paul Doak Agricultural Business Recruiting Scholarship.
“I chose Iowa State for its excellent ag business program, and also because of the College of Agriculture and Life Science’s
reputation of excellence in its field. I had seen the trading pits of the Chicago Board of Trade when I was 16 as a foreign
exchange student from Sweden. I knew when I saw those floors that was my calling,” Carlson says.
After studying at the London Business School Carlsson returned to the United States. He founded the FCT Group of
Companies, an international investment firm with offices in Chicago, London, Dubai and Singapore. He established the
Carlsson Family Foundation in 1998 to manage his charitable contributions and to provide a research vehicle for other
donors wishing to make informed charitable decisions.
Carlson says he learned values at Iowa State like hard work, perseverance and tenacity. He gives Doak and the strong
foundation he received in the college much credit for his professional success.
“My experience was colored by working and studying concurrently. This required a great deal of planning and prioritizing as well as time management,”
Carlsson says. “Dr. Doak took the time to help me find a balance that made my degree possible. He was more of a
friend, and made sure I didn’t make any unwise choices.”
There has been good responses, but the ongoing effort will need strong alumni support by the end of the calendar year to
take full advantage of Carlsson’s challenge.
“I visited campus and met current students who were both working and studying and could benefit from more
scholarships,” Carlsson says. “I was introduced to Josanne Six, and I was impressed with her and her personal
care for Dr. Doak. The scholarship is a wonderful idea, both as a legacy to Dr. Doak and to help current students
For information about contributing to the Paul Doak Agricultural Business Recruiting Scholarship visit
www.stories.cals.iastate.edu or contact the Iowa State University Foundation at (515) 294-7677.