A special moment to remember: Honors Day 2015

Southern Illinois University



A special moment to remember: Honors Day 2015

April 17, 2015, Katja Sonkeng


Freshman CoB student Floyd Howard, Jr, and Interim CoB Dean Jason Greene pose together after the Honors Day ceremony on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

The College of Business handed out awards to its most accomplished students as part of the university’s Honors Day ceremonies across the SIU Carbondale campus April 11.

President Randy Dunn kicked off the university-wide reception for all Saluki honor students at the Student Center ballrooms at 1:30 p.m., immediately followed by individual college ceremonies.

As in previous years, the ceremony to recognize the College of Business’ most accomplished students for scholarships, scholastic honors, awards and other achievements took place in the Guyon Auditorium at Morris Library.

“Honors Day is a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate and recognize the achievements and academic excellence of our students,” said Donna Margolis, director of MBA programs and a lecturer in the School of Accountancy. “The faculty and staff of the college are extremely proud of the outstanding students who have chosen business as their academic discipline.”

Following a brief welcome and a few introductory remarks from the college’s interim dean, Jason Greene, and from Marcus Odom, professor of accountancy, more than 190 students received their academic honor certificates and Honors Day pins. Additionally, 19 students were separately presented with outstanding student awards for their excellent achievements inside and outside of the classroom.

One such honoree was accounting junior Kennan Walsh, who earned his first award as a Saluki by being named the Kemper CPA Group LLP Outstanding Contribution to the School of Accountancy.

Walsh, a current 4.0 GPA holder and member of the Accounting Society and Beta Alpha Psi, particularly embraced the motivational aspect that comes along with the honors certificate.

“Considering the many extra hours I put in for our tax assistance service on Saturdays, it just really helps to stay driven and in the chosen path since you know you’re going toward something,” Walsh said.

Walsh was unable to attend the ceremony, but his fellow award recipients were there to accept their honors. They included:

  • Ka Mei Chen, who was recognized as the Outstanding College of Business Student Worker.
  • Shatozria Jangirawat, who was named the Deloitte & Touche LLP Outstanding Junior in Accounting.
  • Joshua Lohmann, who earned the Ernst & Young LLP Outstanding Senior in Accounting Award.
  • Olivia Grant, who received the Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP Outstanding Senior in Accountancy Award.
  • Emily Wiklanski, who was honored with the Uma Sekaran Award for the Most Outstanding Woman Graduating Management Major.

The departments within the College of Business further acknowledged their most outstanding seniors for the academic year 2014-2014. They are:

  • Mahlon Lee Rich in Accounting.
  • Elizabeth Auld in Business and Administration.
  • Mason Clark in Finance.
  • Savannah McCord in Management.
  • Eleni Hampton in Marketing.

 Savannah McCord was also honored as the College of Business’ overall Outstanding Senior.

Fellow senior award recipient Eleni Hampton, who was born and raised in a Saluki family, called the award a confidence booster.

“Receiving this award has definitely given me confidence in my abilities and strengths as a future marketing professional,” Hampton said. “It makes me feel as though my efforts and accomplishments as a Saluki did not go unnoticed, and I believe that it has proven just how great of a support system the College of Business offers its students.”

On the graduate level, awards were given to the following students:

  • Lauren Hughes (Federation of Schools of Accountancy Outstanding Graduate Student).
  • Scott Polczynski (Kemper CPA Group LLP Outstanding Contribution to the School of Accountancy).
  • Meadow Chase (Most Outstanding MBA Student).
  • Marcela Teixeria (Most Outstanding MBA International Student).
  • Jennifer Manis (Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP Outstanding Masters in Accountancy).
  • Hannah McArthy (Asthagiri Chandra Sekaran Most Outstanding Female MBA Student).
  • Emily Seay (Asthagiri Chandra Sekaran Most Outstanding Female Ph.D. Graduate Student).

Chase, who said she intends to frame her award as a constant reminder to keep pushing forward, considers her recognition as Most Outstanding MBA Student a great honor.

“Not so much for what it would mean to others who see it, but for what it means to me,” she said. “It is an affirmation of everything I have done so far in my academic and professional career. Being a young woman in business, the struggle to find a place is there. Along with my pursuits, I have overcome self-doubt and uncertainty about what it is I am working toward and what the future holds. Receiving this award has shown me that I am exactly where I should be – that I belong as an aspiring business leader.”

Chase, who is employed as an assistant airport manager, extended her thanks to the faculty of SIU’s College of Business for “making me a person who can accomplish such a vision.”

Fellow award recipient Seay, who was recognized as the Most Outstanding Female Ph.D. Graduate Student, had similar words of praise for the college and its faculty.

“The marketing and accounting departments have been excellent with helping us to get what we needed,” Seay said. “They really want you to succeed and make sure of it. They are always looking out for you, they are checking on you, and keep you motivated to get the best job you can possibly get at the end of the day.”

And that’s one of the reasons why accounting junior Walsh discarded his initial transfer plans after joining the College of Business.

“Honestly, at the beginning I really didn’t like Southern Illinois University at all, so I wanted to transfer,” he said. “But when I switched to accounting, things changed. I loved it, really liked the classes and the instructors who really helped me getting involved.”

Other event highlights of the SIU College of Business Honors Day 2015 included an inspirational keynote address by guest speaker and accounting alumna Elizabeth Kepuraitis; musical entertainment by Dr. Raymond Wacker, a retired associate professor of accountancy; and the recognition of the most outstanding student organizations, including the honor society Beta Gamma Sigma.

Join the College of Business to congratulate all of our students on their excellent achievements inside and outside of the classroom!