Honors Day 2016: A Recap

Southern Illinois University



Honors Day 2016: A Recap

April 22, 2016, Katja Sonkeng


Perhaps nothing is more motivational than receiving appreciation and recognition by mentors. It’s in this vein that the Southern Illinois University community gathers together every April to celebrate students’ most outstanding scholarly achievements at Honors Day.

SIU Carbondale’s College of Business faculty and staff continued one of the university’s oldest and richest traditions by inviting award-winning students, their families and friends to join them April 9 in Morris Library’s Guyon Auditorium for the individual College of Business Honors Day ceremony. The first floor of the eight-story building accommodated a diverse blend of accomplished Saluki leaders from the past, present and future who came together to celebrate the College of Business’ best and brightest students with scholarships, scholastic honors and awards.

“Honors Day is a unique opportunity for the faculty and staff to express our great pride and deepest respect for the special accomplishments of our students, which is the reflection of their hard work and dedication,” said Jason Greene, interim dean of the College of Business and finance professor. “So many of our students excel inside and outside of the classroom, which makes them invaluable representatives of the college. It’s truly a privilege for us to be an integral part on their path to personal growth and professional success.”

In front of proud parents, relatives, friends and fellow classmates, more than 200 College of Business students were recognized for their superior academic accomplishments with honor certificates and Honors Day pins while another approximately 100 current scholarship students were acknowledged separately. Among them were 19 students who were presented with outstanding student awards.

The undergraduate student awards were given out to the following nominees:

-   Madison Preece, Outstanding College of Business Student Worker.

-   Brooke Cusumano, Deloitte & Touche LLP Outstanding Junior in Accounting.

-   Mickie Andrews, Ernst & Young LLP Outstanding Senior in Accounting.

-   Keenan Walsh, Kemper CPA Group LLP Outstanding Contribution to the School of Accountancy.

-   John Galik, Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP Outstanding Senior in Accountancy.

-   Savannah McCord, Uma Sekaran Award for the Most Outstanding Woman Graduating Management Major.

Each department within the College of Business acknowledged its most outstanding seniors for the 2015-2016 academic year. Those honored were:

-   Shaobo Zhang, accounting.

-   Charity Worthen, business and administration.

-   Joshua Lohmann, finance.

-   Trevor Pederson, marketing.

-   Noppadol (Champ) Tuksakulvith, management.

Tuksakulvith also was honored as the College of Business’ overall outstanding senior, which was kept as a surprise to him until the award ceremony on Saturday. His delight and pride showed on his face, and he expressed his thanks with a few emotional words:

“I am the first one in my family to receive an undergraduate degree in the United States. But SIU has provided me with more than just a degree but with so many other opportunities. In my four years as a Saluki, I have built lifelong friendships, professional connections and unforgettable experiences with the university. I am beyond grateful for what the College of Business has given me.”

Awards were presented to the following seven graduate students in the College of Business:

-  Olivia Grant (Federation of Schools of Accountancy Outstanding Graduate Student).

-  Taylor Pyatt (Kemper CPA Group LLP Outstanding Contribution to the School of Accountancy).

-  Kathryn Tebbe (Most Outstanding MBA Student).

-  Sweet Yee Lee (Most Outstanding MBA International Student).

-  Amanda Woods (Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP Outstanding Masters in Accountancy).

-  Michaela Bezdickova (Asthagiri Chandra Sekaran Most Outstanding Female MBA Student).

-  Kate Sorensen (Asthagiri Chandra Sekaran Most Outstanding Female Ph.D. Graduate Student).

Before the award presentation, Greene and Marcus Odom, professor of accountancy, welcomed the audience and provided introductory remarks before guest speaker and finance alum Drew Stoker delivered his inspirational keynote address. Stoker’s speech was preceded by a festive musical piece on the harp by Dr. Raymond Wacker, a retired associate professor of accountancy.

Other highlights of the SIU College of Business Honors Day 2016 included the recognition of the Accounting Society as the most outstanding student organizations.

The winners of the Business Idol Competition, Jacquelyn Daly and Aaron Goeckner, were announced and Briana McAdory, president of the Business Leadership Council, presented them with their awards.

Please join the College of Business in congratulating all of our students on their excellent achievements inside and outside of the classroom!