Honors Day Recognizes Outstanding Students
April 18, 2018,
The College of Business celebrated some of the truly outstanding students that regularly roam the halls of Rehn Hall during the annual Honors Day ceremony on April 14. Student classroom accomplishments, registered student organizations, and professional readiness were recognized.
Ryan Hammer, college alumnus and current vice president and general manager of Caesar Entertainment, was the guest speaker. He advised the students to take the lessons learned at SIU into their careers. He noted that the team mentality he created with his classmates and professors while he was a student has been integral to how he leads as a professional.
Dean Terry Clark and Gred Deyoung, assistant professor of management, presented certificates plaques and scholarships to deserving students during the awards ceremony. The Business Idol winners kicked off the awards followed by the Outstanding Student Organization recognition, the Chris Jones Memorial Scholarship recipient announcement, the induction of 88 new Beta Gamma Sigma members, the Outstanding Senior Awards and Student Awards for each of CoB’s undergraduate majors, and the Outstanding Senior Awards for each department. Graduate program student awards finished off the ceremony.
The first undergraduate award went to this year’s SIU Business Idols: Holden Johnson and Dennis Ramsook. The first place winner for the Outstanding Student Organization was the American Marketing Association. Thomas Becker, last year’s Outstanding Senior for the college, was this year’s Chris Jones Memorial Scholarship recipient.
Outstanding juniors and seniors in accounting were: Zaria Ward, Marisa Ferguson, Grace Horman, and Olivia Horman. Originally from the Czech Republic, Tereza Klocova, received this year’s Uma Sekran Award for the Most Outstanding Woman Graduating Management Major. The outstanding student employee of the year was Elizabeth N. Bauer.
Each department chose one senior who has excelled in the classroom and in their involvement with the College of Business for the last four years to highlight. This recognition went to Alyssa Nimmer, Joy Hayward, Rachel Reid, Grant Mills, Kendall Cole and Jared Nicholas.
Alyssa Nimmer, of Cape Girardeau, Mo., received this year’s Outstanding Senior Award for the marketing department and was so surprised when she found out she had to get confirmation.
“When I found out I got this award I was so surprised that I went into the office to make sure that they meant to send the email to me and not someone else,” she said.
Joy Hayward from Belleville was named the Business and Administration Outstanding Senior and felt this award is proof that her hard work has paid off. She is appreciative of the college’s outstanding faculty and staff, including Kim Little, Director of Undergraduate Online Student Services; Darla Karnes, senior lecturer; and Leslee Hammers, Online Undergraduate Program Specialist, for their roles in helping her be a successful student. Hayward said the award is very important to her.
“Being recognized as an outstanding student means the world to me!” Hayward said. “There have been times where I’ve felt like quitting or have wondered if it was really worth it. Balancing a full-time job, school and a family is so overwhelming at times. But, this award really helps me remember that hard work pays off and that my goals are within reach.”
Rachael Reid, of Coulterville, was this year’s Outstanding Senior in Business Economics and is another great example of someone determined to achieve her goals. During her time at SIU, she was involved on the CFA Institute Research Challenge, an annual global competition in which university students research a publicly traded company and write a report with a buy, sell, or hold recommendation. She shared what it was like to present the report.
“We worked for almost six months on that project, doing intense research, writing the report, and rehearsing our presentation over and over, Reid said. “All that hard work was worth it once we were finally in St. Louis on stage, nailing our presentation. In the end, we took second place to some graduate students from Washington University,” she said.
This experience contributed greatly to Reid receiving a wonderful job opportunity with Wells Fargo Advisors. Upon graduation, she will be one of 10 individuals in the company’s 10-month WIM analyst program. She will then move on to their AFA program, working with Barbara Blacklock of Carbondale’s Wells Fargo branch.
Reid offered sage advice to current students.
“My advice would be to not be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things. The more you put into college, the more you will get out of it and the more successful you will be,” she said.
Jared Nicholas, from Bloomington, received the Outstanding Senior Award for the accounting department and for the entire College of Business. He attributes his success largely to the people he has met in the college.
“The faculty and staff, along with my other CoB friends, have helped me be a successful student. At a small school, it’s easy to get to know your classmates and teachers, so I’d tell every student to take that opportunity so they can connect with and find support from others. No one operates in a vacuum – it takes others to be successful,” he said.
Nicholas is particularly grateful for the support of the accounting faculty this year.
“While I’ve enjoyed almost all of my teachers at SIU, the accounting professors really went above and beyond this semester, Nicholas said. “ I was a co-chair for Beta Alpha Psi’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and BAP’s advisor, Benna Williams, along with Alice Noble-Allgire, Acting Director for the School of Accountancy, supported us every week – not just logistically, but nutritionally and emotionally as well. Marc Morris, Keith Walker, Schucui Zheng, and Scott Hendricks also supported us, gave advice, and overall helped as much as possible to make VITA successful.”
Nicholas plans to pursue his Master of Accountancy degree at SIU this fall. He has secured a graduate assistantship position with the college and hopes to apply to law school after he passes his CPA exam.
Graduate students recognized for their efforts included Sawsan Kahil, Chen Li, Jemila Adetunji, Mayowa Olaoye, Janiece Blake and Omobolarinwa Rotibi.
Clark and the faculty and staff of the College of Business are proud of each student recognized and pleased that the college was able to recognize the truly exceptional students and their efforts because the students are what the college is all about and for.