Students honored at School of Business annual awards celebration

April 22, 2014

The School of Business at Emporia State University kicked off its annual awards celebration on Thursday, April 17, by initiating a new class into Beta Gamma Sigma, the prestigious School of Business honor society.

“Beta Gamma Sigma is an international honor society for outstanding business students at business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International,” said Dr. Tom Slocombe, management professor and president of the Emporia State chapter. “Undergraduate members must be in the top 10 percent of their class, and MBA members must be in the top 20 percent of their class.”

Eric Wietharn, senior accounting major, was one of the students initiated on Thursday.

“Since entering the School of Business at Emporia State, I had my sight on becoming part of Beta Gamma Sigma,” he said. “It proved to be motivation and has propelled my dedication to academic success.”

Also among the new Beta Gamma Sigma initiates were two campus administrators, Dr. David Cordle, provost, and Dr. Michael D. Shonrock, university president.

“The president and provost are recognized as academic leaders on campus who have achieved academically as well as administratively,” said Dr. John Rich, faculty advisor for the Emporia State Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter at Emporia State. “Their membership is in recognition of their support of our School of Business.”

James Schwartzburg, founder of Packer Plastics, based in Lawrence, was also initiated on Thursday as an honorary member. Schwartzburg founded Packer Plastics with five employees. That number grew to 1,100 and the company reached a worth of $50 million before it was sold in 1998. At the time, Packer Plastics was one of the largest companies in the plastic container industry and the second largest employer in the Lawrence area.

“Jim Schwartzburg was selected because of his outstanding achievements in business and contributions to society as well as his interest in and support of the Emporia State School of Business,” said Rich.

Following the Beta Gamma Sigma initiation, the School of Business hosted an honors banquet to celebrate their senior honor students with a 3.5 or better cumulative GPA, student scholarship recipients and student and faculty award winners. Schwartzburg was the keynote speaker.

Among the many business students recognized at the banquet, Amy Bretches, senior computer science major from McPhearson, received the school’s Outstanding Senior Award and was recognized as a Senior Honor Student.

“It feels wonderful to have my hard work and achievements recognized by the School of Business,” said Bretches. “The academic environment at Emporia State is always very encouraging and centered around student success, and this is one great example of that.”

Two new School of Business scholarship programs awarded their first recipients at the banquet. The Reeble Foundation Business Scholarship Fund, established by the Jane and Bernard Reeble Foundation, awards students who are pursuing a degree in Business. Jane Reeble presented three students with scholarships.

Earlier this year, the School of Business received a $1 million commitment from an anonymous donor to establish the Distinguished Business Scholar Awards Program. The program recognizes outstanding senior students in the School of Business entering their last one or two semesters. Five inaugural awards were made to Distinguished Business Scholars to be used during the 2014-2015 academic year.

For the 12th year, Capitol Federal Savings recognized business students who were awarded scholarships for this academic year. These awards recognize students who graduated from Kansas high schools and maintain a 3.25 cumulative GPA.

Several School of Business faculty members were recognized. Dr. Sharath Sasidharan, associate professor of information systems and director of career and internship services, was presented the Service Award for his dedication to securing career paths for School of Business graduates. Receiving the Instruction Award was Dr. Mohammad Chowdhury, professor of business statistics, whose student evaluations consistently emphasize dedication to and success in teaching. Dr. Kalyan Chakraborty, professor of economics, was honored with the Research Award for his high-quality research and consistent record of significant intellectual contributions.

Receiving a special award for “outstanding leadership” was Dr. Kristie Ogilvie, dean of the school of business. Presenting the award on behalf of the Faculty Recognition Committee was Dr. Marian Riedy, associate dean and assistant professor in the School of Business.

“Dean Ogilvie has done more to serve the needs of the students, staff and faculty of ESU’s School of Business, in a shorter period of time, than has any other stakeholder in memory,” said Riedy.

Over 65 students and faculty were honored during the evening’s events. Members from the Emporia community and Emporia State University were among family and friends of these individuals.

“Tonight was an evening to celebrate the achievements of our students and faculty,” said Ogilvie.  “We are grateful for the generosity of the individuals who contributed to make these opportunities available to our students.”

Beta Gamma Sigma Student Initiates:

  • Assad Alfaraj, Senior Information Systems, Awamia, Saudi Arabia
  • Tyler Beebe, Senior Accounting, Ottawa
  • Stephanie Diaz, Junior Accounting, Olathe
  • Erin Fuchs, Senior Business Administration, Paola
  • Kokovi Lawson, Senior Management, Olathe
  • Miranda Mai, Junior Business Administration, Emporia
  • Nicole Rottinghaus, Senior Marketing, Baileyville
  • JingJing Su, MBA, Beijing, China
  • David Taylor, Senior Accounting, LaCygne
  • Betsy Teegardin, Junior Information Systems, Emporia
  • Mallory Walden, Junior Information Systems, Wichita
  • Eric Wietharn, Senior Accounting, St. Mary’s
  • Glen Wise, Senior Business Administration, El Dorado
  • Wei Zhang, MBA, Liaoning, China

2013-2014 Senior Honor Students:

  • Assad Alfaraj, Information Systems, Awamia, Saudi Arabia
  • Ibrahim Alturki, Information Systems, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Brady Batman, Business Administration, Pratt
  • Tyler Beebe, Accounting, Ottawa
  • Amy Bretches, Computer Science, McPherson
  • Jennifer Cinotto, Business Administration, Wichita
  • Shari Conklin, Accounting, Overland Park
  • Brynna Demotte, Accounting, Topeka
  • Royce Franklin, Business Administration, Wichita
  • Brett Frey, Management, Olathe
  • Marissa Germann, Marketing, Wichita
  • Kira Hall, Computer Science, Lebo
  • Martha Kidd, Management, Leawood
  • Kokovi Lawson, Management, Olathe
  • Hanyu Li, Accounting, Shaanxi, China
  • Jennifer Magee, Accounting, Olathe
  • Oladipo Olaonipekun, Information Systems, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Laura Patrick, Marketing, Hutchinson
  • Adam Petz, Computer Science, Lawrence
  • Dalton Piecukonis, Marketing, Topeka
  • Nicole Rottinghaus, Marketing, Baileyville
  • Whitney Schmidt, Accounting, Wellsville
  • David Taylor, Accounting, LaCygne
  • Kimberly Thompson, Business Administration, Emporia
  • Bruce VanCleave, Management, Edwardsville
  • Teri Whitson, Accounting, Emporia
  • Eric Wietharn, Accounting, St. Mary’s
  • Glen Wise, Business Administration, El Dorado
  • Joshua Wright, Accounting, Emporia
  • Jinhyuk Yang, Business Administration, Kansas City

Outstanding School of Business Senior: Amy Bretches, Computer Science, McPherson

NBEA Award of Merit: Robert Swalley, Senior Business Education, Overland Park

Stephen J. Butcher MBA Award: Jason Pfortmiller, MBA, Topeka

Business Faculty Endowed Student Scholarship: Erin Fuchs, Senior, Business Administration, Paola

Beta Gamma Sigma Scholarship: Wei Zhang, MBA, Liaoning, China

Reeble Foundation Business Scholars:

  • Tyler Beebe, Senior Accounting, Ottawa
  • Lindsay Cuadra, Junior Accounting, Derby
  • Matthew Haefele, Junior Accounting, Paola
  • Chelsea Oberle, Freshman, Business Administration, Emporia
  • Joshua Wright, Senior, Accounting, Emporia

Distinguished Business Scholars:

  • Brady Batman, Senior, Business Administration, Pratt
  • Miranda Mai, Junior, Business Administration, Emporia
  • Beauty Mangwiro, Junior, Accounting, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Bruce VanCleave, Senior, Management, Edwardsville
  • Teri Whitson, Senior, Accounting, Emporia

Capitol Federal Scholars:

  • Stephanie Anderson, MBA, Emporia
  • Kristi Bretches, MBA, McPherson
  • Zach Carlson, MBA, Topeka
  • Kelly Copp, MBA, Auburn
  • Brynna Demotte, Senior, Accounting, Topeka
  • Sara Dunkin, Senior, Business Administration, Topeka
  • Chelsie Dieker, MBA, Emporia
  • Morgan Flowers, Freshman, Business Administration, Emporia
  • Royce Franklin, Senior, Business Administration, Wichita
  • Dylan Geissert, Sophomore, Business Administration, Hope
  • Tawni Griffey, Freshman, Accounting, Emporia
  • Lindsey Holthaus, Senior, Accounting, Topeka
  • Amanda Humphrey, MBA, Wichita
  • Chelsea Ingram, Sophomore, Accounting, Topeka
  • Jeana Johnson, Freshman, Accounting/Business Education, Topeka
  • Kayla Lansing, Junior, Accounting, Emporia
  • Brittany Rees, Sophomore, Business Administration, Emporia
  • Krista Saylor, MBA, Newton
  • Nicole Rottinghaus, Senior, Marketing, Baileyville
  • Dallas Shafer, Sophomore, Business Administration, Emporia
  • Victoria Slinkard, Senior, Management, Medicine Lodge
  • Betsy Teegardin, Junior, Accounting, Emporia
  • Mallory Walden, Junior, Information Systems, Emporia
  • Eric Wietharn, Senior, Accounting, St. Mary’s
  • Anna Zimmerman, Sophomore, Business Administration, Topeka



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