Michael J. Coles College Reveals 2020 Outstanding Students
(May 18, 2020) — The Michael J. Coles College of Business recently announced the recipients of the
Spring 2020 Outstanding Student awards.
Typically given out at a dedicated ceremony each spring, the Outstanding Student awards
recognize exemplary students in each of the College's academic programs. Faculty members
nominate students, with department chairs selecting the winners.
"Even though global events prevented us from recognizing these students in person,
their achievements should definitely still be celebrated," said Coles College Dean
Robin Cheramie. "Our Outstanding Students have all accomplished great things throughout
the academic year, and I have no doubt that their successes will continue long after
they've earned their degrees."
Below, you will find details about each of the 15 Outstanding Student award recipients
as well as some information about each.
Undergraduate Program Outstanding Students
Accounting: Winnie Tan
Winnie Tan is graduating this spring with a 4.0 in accounting. Her professionalism
and attention to detail stands out above the rest. She is loved by her peers and employers
as she is a joy to be around. Winnie has been an active member of Beta Alpha Psi since
Spring 2018 and has served on the Executive Board as President since fall 2019. She
helped lead the chapter to reach Superior status for the first time in many years.
Winnie has already begun studying to take the CPA Exam, and will start her career
at Bennett Thrasher after graduation.
Economics: Kimberly Snoddy
Kimberly Snoddy was a joy to have in the classroom. A careful thoughtful worker,
she is well trained in the methods and a master at analysis and explanation. Her work
particularly stood out in the fields of microeconomic theory and public policy, indicating
that she will encounter a breadth of opportunity upon graduation. The bottom line
is that Kimberly is the epitome of what an economics major should be: curious, insightful,
and hard working.
Entrepreneurship: Christian Brown
Christian Brown is all about taking entrepreneurial action. He went beyond classroom
requirements to make his dreams come true. In his classes, Christian consistently
performed above expectations. He contributed to class activities that simulated challenges
that entrepreneurs faced, including those featured in the ‘cup-stacking’ and the ‘rainmaker’
exercises. What was particularly memorable about Christian was his avid interest in
reading. Christian always sat in the front of the classroom and invariably had a couple
of books on his desk. Before class, he would engage in probing discussions with the
teacher concerning some of his ‘latest and greatest’ reads. Consequently, it was not
a surprise that the new venture he selected for his marketing research project and
marketing plan was a publishing company to help fledgling authors with their manuscripts.
Given his tenacity, Christian will undoubtedly achieve whatever goals he sets out
Finance: Brittany Doyle
Brittany Doyle graduated magna cum laude this semester with a degree in finance and
a minor in marketing. She is a member of Delta Phi Epsilon and is actively involved
in many different forms of charity, with the largest being Cystic Fibrosis. Outside
of her sorority, Brittany is a member of the Order of the Omega (Greek leadership
society) and participated in the yearly Dance Marathon fundraiser for Children's Healthcare
of Atlanta. She has been on the President's List multiple times and Dean’s every other
semester. In summer 2019, she worked as a full-time Data Analytics Intern for the
Retail Finance department of Yamaha Motor Corporation, and has recently accepted a
position at WestRock as a Financial Analyst.
International Business: Ian McDonald
Ian McDonald is a member of the Coles College of Business Scholars Program. He was
voted most likely to be successful by his peers in his cohort. Ian was captain and
president of the KSU Ice Hockey Team during the 2019/2020 season. Prior to that, he
was named part of the American Collegiate Hockey Association D3 South Region All-star
Team, where he served as assistant captain and treasurer. During his college career,
he has worked in the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) as well as the Distinguished
UN-SDG Ambassadors Program, where he developed an initiative to help KSU eliminate
single-use plastics and create a more sustainable campus. Along with learning German
and studying abroad in Germany and the Dominican Republic, Ian completed internships
for RBT Analytics, where he created business dashboards, Georgia Pacific, where he
automated their credit review process, and Connections Housing, where he automated
their reporting process.
Information Systems: Emily Onofrey
Emily Onofrey is a senior IS major with one of the highest GPAs in the program and
who actively encourages her peers to excel. While maintaining her grades, she stepped
forward and served as the President of Women in Technology, where she developed and
delivered a full program of events, a robust leadership team, and many collaborative
projects with other organizations on campus. While studying, she also works at RESICAP,
a local company innovating the residential capital management industry with new technologies
and processes. According to their CTO, Emily is one of the best interns he has ever
hired. For her capstone project, Emily worked with a team to develop an in-depth analysis
of the systems supporting student clubs at KSU with economical, targeted recommendations
for improving leadership and student engagement. She has also actively participated
in BrainLab research during her free time.
Information Security and Assurance: Emily Gilmer
Emily Gilmer graduated in spring 2020 with a 3.51 GPA. She was an active member of
the Offensive Security Research Club, and was captain of the KSU team that placed
third in the 2019 southeast region of the National Collegiate Penetration Testing
Competition. She is also a two-year member of the KSU Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition
(CCDC) team. In addition to working as a lab assistant for UITS in the Burruss computer
lab, Emily worked internships at both ETrade and Huntington-Ingalls, a Navy defense
contractor. The Huntington-Ingalls internship required Emily to be in Huntsville,
Alabama two weeks out of the month, which she did while also enrolled in classes and
gearing up to compete in this year's Southeastern Cyber Defene Competition, which
KSU won. She will go on to compete with the rest of the team at the upcoming National
CCDC event. Emily received multiple job offers pending graduation at the end of the
semester and ultimately decided to accept a security position at NCR.
Management: Phillip Barton
Phillip was exceprional among his classmates in terms of maturity, intelligence and
drive. He preferred to sit in the first row in his classes, he had a great sense of
humor and, always had a smile on his face. Phillip enjoyed learning for its own sake,
with a minimal focus on the grade. It was evident that he possesses an uncanny, natural
ability to comprehend complex subject matter. Phillip was the self-appointed leader
for his project teams, and through his efforts, ensured that his teams were able to
earn top grades. Phillip has a very low-key personality, which is something unusual
among students with a 4.0 GPA. He was an extraordinary student, and someone who will
be quite successful in whatever vocation he pursues. His professors have commented
that Phillip enabled them to “enjoy teaching a lot.”
Marketing: Laura Stallings
Laura Stallings is a spring 2020 Cum Laude graduate, receiving a BBA in marketing
and a minor in finance. As a member of the American Marketing Association’s Kennesaw
State Collegiate Chapter, she has been appointed to Board Advisor and attended the
AMA International Collegiate 2020 Conference in New Orleans. Stallings competed in
the Morehouse Marketing Conclave’s Amazon Case Study Competition, winning first place
with her team and receiving an official Amazon job offer. She has also competed in
the KSU Digital Marketing Competition sponsored by Solid Source Realty, winning first
place and best strategy along with her teammate, and participated in KSU’s first-ever
Virtual Symposium of Undergraduate Research. Laura has received an IRB certification
to conduct market research studies from her Marketing Research course. One of her
most memorable experiences was a May 2019 study abroad to Ireland and the UK to study
Comparative Advertising and International Business, which she described as the most
exciting trip she has ever taken. When she is not busy being an active student, she
is working part time as a marketing assistant in the Department of Marketing and Professional
Sales. She has enjoyed every minute as a student at Kennesaw State University and
is extremely excited to see what the future has in store.
Professional Selling: Michael Smoak
Michael Smoak is a professional selling major graduating this semester. He is a student
dedicated to gaining an education, not just a degree. Over the past two years, Michael
poured himself into the sales major. He has served as treasurer of the Sales Club,
captain of the KSU Sales Team, and served on the Dean’s Advisory Board. This semester,
Michael finished 3rd place in the National Collegiate Sales Competition and in doing
so, helped the KSU Sales Team earn first place among the 72 teams competing. Perhaps
even more impressive than his success with the sales team, Michael is graduating Magna
Cum Laude. Michael’s curricular and extra-curricular success did not go unnoticed
by recruiters. He received multiple job offers and is entertaining multiple opportunities.
Graduate Program Outstanding Students
Master of Business Administration:Jonathan Denis
Jonathan Denis maintains a 4.0 GPA and is nearing graduation from the KSU MBA Program.
He has been repeatedly described by faculty as a student who works with excellence.
When he was recommended for this award, the comments given by his professors include
"He may be the best MBA student I have had," "he was...extremely engaged in his education,"
"going above and beyond," and "aided other students during our transition to online
instruction." Based on his excellent academic record and reputation among the faculty,
as well as his service to other students, we are proud to call Jonathan Denis this
year's Outstanding Student for the Evening MBA Program.
Master of Accounting: Emma Etelalahti
Emma Etelalahti completed the Master of Accounting (MAcc) program in May 2020, with
a focus on tax. She will then begin her career with Aprio. During the MAcc program,
Emma maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA, passed the three parts of the CPA exam taken so
far, and worked as a Graduate Research Assistant. Emma’s performance in the MAcc was
outstanding all around, with excellent mastery of the material, very strong contributions
to class discussions, and a wonderful attitude. She contributed to the MAcc in many
ways, including in the program’s outreach efforts to potential students. We are very
proud of all that Emma has accomplished in the MAcc, and we look forward to watching
her career progress in the years ahead.
Executive Master of Business Administration: Carmen Hughes
Carmen Hughes is the Executive Director for the HIT Division for the National Center
for Primary Care at Morehouse School of Medicine. Prior to Morehouse, she was a Research
Professional at the A.L. Burruss Institute for Public Service and Research at Kennesaw
State University and served as the Vice President and Senior Strategist at VHA for
Georgia. Carmen is actively engaged in several community and civic organizations which
include board of directors’ seats with Families First, WellStar Cobb Regional Board,
and WellStar Cobb Hospital Authority Board. Her extensive volunteer service includes
voter registration, community soup kitchens for the homeless and less fortunate and
she is a dedicated member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Ben Hill United
Methodist Church. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Spellman College
and she also graduates this spring with a 4.0 from the Executive MBA Program with
an invitation to join Beta Gamma Sigma.
Executive Master of Business Administration: Lauren Reed
Lauren Reed, MFS, MBA, is the Senior Director for Biometric Forensics at IDEMIA National
Security Solutions and is DefendHer6, an independent Damsel Pro with Damsel in Defense.
She has been an invited to speaker on ethics in forensic science and advanced forensics
evidence at multiple universities including Kennesaw State University as well as at
conferences and training events, both within the United States as well as internationally
for NATO Special Operations, the UK Metropolitan Police and Ministry of Defense, Jordanian
National Police and Military, and the Government of Afghanistan. She holds a Bachelor’s
degree in Psychology, Phi Beta Kappa from Washington State University and a Master’s
degree in Forensic Science from National University. She volunteers as a mentor and
life skills coach for Gigi’s house and has won multiple awards including being named
a 2020 Women in Biometrics winner, receiving the U.S. Army Meritorious Civilian Service
Award, the FBI Director’s Award for Exceptional Public Service, and the Outstanding
Dedication and Customer Commitment Award. She graduated this spring with a 4.0 from
the Executive MBA Program with an invitation to join Beta Gamma Sigma.
Master of Science in Information Systems: Susarvya Kondamuri
Susravya Kondamuri enrolled in the dual degree MBA/MSIS program in August 2018 and
will complete from the dual program this summer. That means 54 credit hours in 20
months with a GPA of 3.85. This amply describes her academic achievement, including
the speed and efficacy of her efforts. She is one student who always pushes herserlf
to the maximum effort level, which led her to a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering
from Georgia Tech and, immediately following that, to a job in the corporate sector.
There were tough times in her personal and family lives, but her karma-centric positive
perspectives to life, in her own words, help her press on. She currently works as
a Solution Architect for Dassault Systemès specializing in CAD design tools, and hopes
to move up to managerial and executive roles soon with the KSU degree under her belt.
Master of Science in Healthcare Management & Informatics: Sarah Thompson
Sarah Thompson BSN, RN, CCRN is a pediatric critical care nurse currently working
at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta in the Cardiac ICU. She is also currently chair
for Egleston's Nursing Shared Leadership. She has won the Elle Marks Award and the
Daisy Nurse Award for excellent primary nursing care. Sarah has always been interested
in how to use data to help improve patient outcomes and improve inefficiencies within
workflows. She was a poster presenter at CHOP Cardiology Conference 2017. Since she
obtained her RN-BSN in 2014 at Kennesaw State University; it was a natural choice
to obtain her Master of Science in Healthcare Management and Informatics at KSU as
well. Sarah hopes to use her skills to continue to support her vision of an efficient,
positive outcome-focused healthcare system. Sarah is also a super-mom and has maintained
a 4.0 GPA in the HMI program despite competing commitments professionally and personally.
PhD in Business Administration: Jason Williams
Dr. Jason Williams is an assistant professor in Augusta University’s School of Cyber
and Computer Sciences and an adjunct instructor of enterprise systems and business
analytics at Georgia Southern University. Jason holds a PhD in information systems
from Kennesaw State University and a BBA and MBA in information systems from Georgia
Southern University. Jason’s primary research centers on IT use in organizations.
His research focuses on the individual level and includes theory development and mixed
research methods. Jason was selected for the 2019 International Conference on Information
Systems doctoral consortium. He has published research in the Journal of Computer
Information Systems and presented at several conferences including the America’s Conference
on Information Systems and the International Conference on Information Systems. Prior
to joining Augusta University, Jason was the director of IT project management at
Georgia Southern University and CIO at Savannah Technical College. While not pursuing
professional endeavors, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife, Rebecca, and their
four children, ages 6 - 12.
WebMBA Program: Michael Goodrich
Michael Goodrich has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout the WebMBA program here at KSU,
all the while being located in Prague, the Czech Republic. This puts him on a much
different time zone than his team and cohort, yet he has maintained excellence in
his academics while also serving as the Director of Engineering and Sales for Flexible
Metal, Incorporated's European customers. We're honored to present Michael as KSU's
Outstanding Student for the WebMBA Program.