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Outstanding Seniors and Faculty Honored in Awards Ceremony Ahead of Commencement

May 13, 2009
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  Beta Gamma Sigma Induction
 Students received their ropes at the Beta
 Gamma Sigma induction ceremony

Seniors graduating from the School of Business honored the School’s best faculty and the faculty honored the School’s best seniors at the 2009 Undergraduate Business Programs Awards Ceremony May 13. The event was held two days before spring commencement to celebrate the accomplishments of students as they prepared for life after college.

“It has been an honor to have them with us these past years and although they leave on Friday, they will always be part of UM’s family,” said Linda Neider, vice dean for undergraduate business programs in opening remarks. “All of us feel very confident that these seniors will meet the challenges that the economy will throw in front of them and that they will make a major difference in the world, just as they have made a major difference at the University of Miami.”

“Your children have succeeded in a rigorous environment and now enter the world as highly educated, mature adults,” said Dean Barbara E. Kahn, addressing the audience of parents, family members and friends. “We know that these student leaders will become the next influential business masterminds in our global economy.”

There were 43 undergraduate and 18 graduate students inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma during the ceremony. The honor is bestowed upon students who are recognized as the very best in their class. The Dean’s Award in Honor of Beatrice Gitlow, which recognizes the senior with highest academic honors, went to Matthew S. Fisk who earned a 4.0 grade point average as a double major. The other top senior honor, the Beta Gamma Sigma Leadership Award, was presented to Thomas J. Bartman, whose accomplishments included becoming a finalist in the Rhodes Scholar competition. Bartman was selected to speak at the University’s Honors Convocation, held the following day.

Five seniors were honored for the research they conducted over the last year. They included:

Matthew S. Fisk and William C. O’Rourke, 1st Place Research Award
Bryan C. Mueller, 2nd Place Research Award
Hayley Elizabeth Ray Donaldson and Caitlin A. Hughes, Honorable Distinction for Research

The top students in each academic department were also honored. Each award was presented by a faculty member. The award winners included:

  Kendan Pettit and Patricia Abril
 Kendan Pettit, recipient of the Outstanding
 Teaching Assistant of the Year Award,
 presented Patricia Abril, assistant professor
 of business law, with an Outstanding Teaching

Amy L. Allen, Accounting
Stewart F. Berkeley, Business Management and Organization
Natasha A. Dietz, Entrepreneurship
Vanessa A. Eiroa, Computer Information Systems
Tatiana M. Fajardo
, Economics
Brian E. Groll, Finance
Jessica E. Butler, International Finance and Marketing
Jolie C. Peguero
, Legal Studies
William C. O’Rourke, Management Science
Robert A. Rheiner, Marketing
Jonathan D. Rosen, Political Science

Several awards were presented to honor undergraduates for their service to the School. Mitchell R. Albury and Caitlin E. Meehan were honored with Excellence in Service Awards; Bradley R. Cohn received the Peer Counseling School of Business Experience Award; and Kenden P. Pettit received the Outstanding Teaching Assistant of the Year Award. Teaching assistants (T.A.s) are assigned to lead teams of 10 freshmen in their first year at the School.

“The T.A. who has made a commitment to their success is the key to setting the grounding for freshmen in this first year,” said Ellen McPhillip, assistant dean for undergraduate business programs. “This award recognizes the support of a remarkable young man who fully committed himself not only to the students, but to their achievements.

The students themselves honored three faculty members with Outstanding Teaching Awards. They included Robert Grauer, associate professor of information systems, Patricia Abril, assistant professor of business law, and Sheryl Alonso, management lecturer.

Singing the Alma Mater songSpecial recognition was given to James Foley, associate professor of economics, who is retiring after 41 years with the University. Foley, who served as associate dean for undergraduate business programs for 20 years, received a standing ovation.

At the end of the ceremony Sebastian the Ibis, the University mascot, made a surprise appearance and helped lead the crowd in singing UM’s alma mater, setting the stage for the commencement celebration two days later.

Read About the Commencement Ceremony

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