Michael J. Coles College Reveals 2022 Outstanding Students

KENNESAW, Ga. (May 3, 2022)Michael J. Coles College of Business Outstanding Students 2021The Michael J. Coles College of Business recently announced the recipients of the 2021-2022 Outstanding Student awards. 

Outstanding Student awards recognize exemplary students in each of the College's academic programs. Faculty members nominate students, with department chairs selecting the winners.

Below, you will find details about each of the 18 Outstanding Student award recipients as well as some information about each.

Undergraduate Program Outstanding Students

  • Gillian Barnes

    Accounting: Gillian Barnes 

    She is one of the best all-around students we have ever had come through the Accounting program at KSU. Dr. Hermanson has worked closely with Gillian on her Honors Capstone project, which involves Gillian conducting interviews of auditors about the impact of remote work on auditors’ fraud-related audit procedures. Gillian also currently is serving as the Beta Alpha Psi President and has served other roles inside of BAP. Among her many achievements was earning a 4.0 GPA, being named KSU's Outstanding Student Representative at the 2022 Reagent's Academic Recognition Day, serving as an Honors College Ambassador, completing the Coles Scholars Program, tutoring students accounting, and playing for the KSU Marching Owls.

    • Kamille Suarez-Paulino

      Economics: Kamille Suarez-Paulino

      Kamille was the VP of HR for the Student Managed Investment Fund and became the Chief Economist. She is an outstanding student with excellent communication and leadership skills. She taught crash courses on Economic Indicators for SMIF students and was a great resource for them. She was also the President of the KSU entrepreneur's network this Spring. It was such a pleasure to work with Kamille.

      • Carson Hannon

        Entrepreneurship: Carson Hannon

        Carson is fully engaged in the entrepreneurial process and seeks out information to make his entrepreneurial journey more successful. I have no doubt that he will enact all of teaching from the entrepreneurship program to create his own future.

        • H'laya Hill

          Finance: H'laya Hill

          Hlaya was a student of mine during the pandemic and even through the mask, she was an excellent communicator. I have had conversations with her in the Student Managed Investment Fund, where she served as the Associate Director). Some of my favorite students are those who do well in the classroom, but who are also courteous and of excellent character. In addition to her work with SMIF, Hlaya is also the founder of the Black Women in Business organization at Kennesaw State University.

          • Elise Majetich

            Hospitality Management: Elise Majetich

            Elise has complemented her high academic performance with leadership and extracurricular activities that have benefited the Coles College and the newly launched hospitality management program. She was the founding President of the Hospitality Leadership Club and has represented the College at external events including the annual Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association (AAHOA) conference and trade show. She has also assisted in promotional activities for the hospitality management program. Her efforts have undoubtedly helped in the growth of the hospitality management program. Elise has been a true ambassador for the Coles College and the hospitality management program, and will continue in this role as the program’s first graduate. Elise is an ideal example of a “well-balanced” student who excels at both her academic endeavors as well as her value-enhancing extracurricular activities.

            • Zack Marotta

              Information Security & Assurance: Zack Marotta

              During his time at KSU, Zach was active in the Offensive Security Research Club, and was a member of the student team that participated in the Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition (CPTC). Zach was also a member of the build team for the Southeastern Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. In addition, he worked as a student intern for UITS, eventually working his way into a position in the UITS Cybersecurity office prior to graduation.

              • Shota Yasuda

                Information Systems: Shota Yasuda

                Shota Yasuda is not only a top student in Information Systems and Japanese, he is a leader and mentor. During the pandemic, he led the IS Club and not only maintained its level of activities, but expanding to include more company visits. He rebranded the organization to become the Business Technology Club, he opened and developed resources for the new 3D/MAD lab facility, and taught 3D printing and Japanese language. His warm smile and committed reliability to get things done has enabled the IS community to grow and thrive, helping many of his colleagues to concentrate on learning even through stressful times. On the side, he has also developed an automated gardening project, and he is leading a team selected to present at the Association of Information Systems student clubs conference. Shota accepted an offer to join EY as a Technology Consultant post graduation.

                • International Business: Kyler Smallwood

                   

                  • Timothy Bledsoe

                    Management: Timothy Bledsoe

                    Tim Bledsoe graduated with a 3.9 GPA, and was able to maintain such a strong academic record while working at Publix Supermarket for most of his college career. Tim was also president of KSU's chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management and completed an internship at Dale Carnegie. After graduation, Tim will begin his professional career at UHY Consulting where he will assume the role of junior recruiter.

                    • Grant Burrows

                      Marketing: Grant Burrows

                      Grant seems to be involved in virtually every event and brings volunteers with him!  As president of Kennessaw Marketing Association, he has been a solid influence to his peers due to his personal standard of excellence and winning attitude. Grant stands out as an outstanding representative of the Marketing Department!

                      • AJ Franza

                        Professional Sales: AJ Franza

                        AJ is a leader on the sales team and a constant positive influence on everyone she encounters whether it be a student, faculty or partner. AJ embodies all an outstanding student should!

                        Graduate Program Outstanding Students

                        • Andres Martinez

                          Evening MBA: Andres Martinez

                          Andres graduated with a 4.0 GPA from the Evening MBA program this past summer.  Andres came into our program as a Supervisor and Senior Pricing Strategy Analyst at UPS and accepted a new position and promotion as a Pricing Strategy Specialist at Delta Airlines toward the end of his program. While in the MGT 8040 Managing the Value Chain course, Andres placed 2nd out of 80 students in the operations simulation which required integrated decision making across all aspects of the business, including purchasing, production, distribution, sales and human resources. Since graduating, Andres has remained involved with the KSU MBA program serving as a panelist on information sessions to prospective students. He often shares his appreciation of the perspective he gained from being in the classroom with classmates from a variety of industries.  We are proud to call Andres Martinez this year's Outstanding Student for the Evening MBA Program.

                          • Blake Wiles

                            Master of Accounting: Blake Wiles

                            Blake Wiles' positive attitude, intellectual curiosity, and his dedication to continuous improvement separate him from most students. Not only did Blake perform in the top five of every class he completed in the MAcc, but he passed all three parts of the CPA Exam he has taken. During the year, Blake served as a Graduate Research Assistant and helped draft a comment letter on a Financial Accounting Standards Board proposal. Above all, Blake is a wonderful colleague and friend to his fellow MAcc students.  

                            • Lawanda Graham

                              Executive MBA: Curt Jarrell

                              Curt Jarrell, is not only a leader in the classroom, he is a leader in the community and his company, Newco Industrial Services, where he serves as President. Curt runs the Erin Foundation which he started to supply high tech learning tools for special needs and under-privileged children, works with men in his community through an organization called Wingmen South Atlanta, and leads weekly bible studies, all while running a company and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. 

                                • Alan Fowler

                                  Master of Science in Information Systems: Alan Fowler

                                  Alan Fowler is a technology director for one of the world's largest media conglomerates, Warner Media, and has led operational and analytical teams over the last decade. He has developed entry-level technologists into team leaders and helped define the digital transformation roadmap for traditionally linear sports and entertainment brands. A dutiful husband and father of two, Alan lives in Metro Atlanta area. Beyond his professional commitments, Alan is active in the community as a volunteer youth soccer coach.

                                  • Neelam Nosheen

                                    Master of Science in Healthcare Management & Informatics: Neelam Nosheen

                                    An MD by training, Neelam exemplifies excellence in academic performance with a 4.0 GPA and completion of four industry recognized certifications with one more under progress. She is a co-founder of the start-up AI Opthalytics, which works to prevent blindness in resource-strapped regions of the world. Her start-up completed the development on its first product and acquired its first customer in Asia to evaluate it. Now the team is working to have the product FDA approved in the USA. Their goal is to democratize Diabetic Retinopathy exams thoughout the nation.

                                    • Valerie Simmons

                                      PhD in Business Administration: Valerie Simmons

                                      Valerie obtained both a Master of Professional Accountancy and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Accounting) from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is a Certified Public Accountant and received that license in 1987 after passing the exam. Valerie has been an instructor for 13 years at the University of Southern Mississippi and spent numerous years as a practicing CPA and also as a Controller prior to that. Valerie’s thesis is titled Influences on Controllers' Non-GAAP Reporting Decisions, and is Chaired by Dr. Dana Hermanson.

                                      • Vijaya Singh

                                        WebMBA Program: Vijaya Singh

                                        Vijaya has maintained a 4.0 GPA through the WebMBA program and is on track to graduate in Summer 2022. She serves as a Manager for Supply Chain Analytics at Home Depot, which was a promotion received during her time in the program. She credits that promotion in part due to the new knowledge gained through the WebMBA coursework and her ability to apply what she was learning in her role. One of her faculty members noted that Vijaya was “an excellent student – very conscientious and thorough in her assignment work.” We are honored to present Vijaya Singh as KSU’s Outstanding Student for the WebMBA program.  

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