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Five graduate students recognized for distinguished academic accomplishment (2013)

News + Events : Five graduate students recognized for distinguished academic accomplishment (2013)

05/16/2013

The College of Business congratulates the five Graduate Business Distinguished Achievement honorees for 2013.

These students receive special recognition from the university during commencement week. In addition, one student is selected as the college’s Graduate Hood Recipient, to be recognized at the Graduate Honors Convocation.

The 2013 Graduate Business Distinguished Achievement recipients and descriptions of their work follow:

Arnold Panganiban

2013 Graduate Hood Recipient

M.B.A.

2013 Graduate Hood Recipient Arnold P

Arnold Panganiban was a member of a team project that conducted an in-depth case analysis of the auto/electric vehicle (EV) industry and of Tesla’s role as a first mover in the EV market, as well as an assessment of Tesla’s EV technology and business strategy for revolutionizing how Americans and the global community think about the automobile and in particular, EV technology. 

Arnold’s team provided short-term and long-term strategies for Tesla that focused on creating a shared vision of a sustainable future and on leveraging its organizational strengths and its strategic advantages to increase the likelihood of Tesla leading and transforming the car industry into an environmentally responsible, catalyst for change.

Arnold is a software project manager at Sungevity, a B corporation that provides residential solar solutions to the United States, Australia, and The Netherlands. 

In addition to being a member of Net Impact and a certified project management professional, he is a big believer in, and supporter of, microfinancing through Kiva and Mosaic, which crowd funds public solar projects. 

Together with other Kiva members, he has made 35 microloans in 18 countries spanning the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa, with the latest one to a Kenyan woman for her mobile money transfer business. Arnold is also an active online petition signer through Change.org and the Sierra Club.

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Xi Cen

Master of Arts in Economics

Xi Cen

Xi Cen has an interest in health economics and has begun collaborative work on a project entitled, “Valuing Attributes of California Nursing Home Care Services,” in which a Random Utility Model is employed to estimate the value of nursing care attributes in California.

The study has important policy implications for many healthcare programs, including Medicaid. She has accepted a full fellowship into the Ph.D. program in Health Services Research and Policy at the University of Rochester.

Xi has provided teaching assistance for the economics department, and served as an instructional assistant in the SFSU Chinese Flagship Program to help students learn about the Chinese culture and language.

Xi recently finished an internship at UCSF Medical Center, during which she applied statistical analysis and project management in the field of Neurosciences.

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Mandy Chan

M.B.A.

Mandy Chan

Mandy Chan is a member of a team project that is conducting an in-depth case analysis of the internet radio company, Pandora Media Inc. By applying the multiple concepts learned in her culminating experience course, this project will examine and explain the strategies, actions, and performance of this Bay Area company and aims to provide an unbiased representation of Pandora and the challenges it faces.

In 2007, Mandy was a recipient of the Chevron Scholarship, designed to encourage the study of accounting and to foster awareness of private industry accounting careers.

Since 2011, Mandy has worked as a portfolio accountant for Wells Capital Management. She incorporates knowledge gained from her courses into the analysis of all assets held across clients’ portfolios, and was able to create a reconciliation tool database to centralize the processes. This tool created across-the-board standardization, increased accuracy of reconciliation, led to easier management review, and decreased work hours and resources required.

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Leena Chen

Master of Science in Accountancy

Leena Chen

Leena Chen’s research, “Accounting for Defined Benefit Pension Plans,” analyzes the current pension reporting systems and the effects of different policies on firms as well as employees.

She found that recent changes in pension reporting produced an improvement in the recognition of pension liabilities but that still more transparency is required on many pension variables. She also found that many ethical issues still persist in pension accounting. Professional responsibilities need to access ethical dilemmas faced by firms and accounting policies should be adjusted.

In the spring 2012, Leena, along with other MSA students, founded the Graduate Students in Accounting Association (GSAA) at SF State. She was instrumental in promoting the organization to the almost 100 MSA students, as well as registering with the University and writing the organization’s charter.

She coordinated with CPA firms to present relevant topics to students as well as to hire students for internships and permanent positions. With the work Leena started, GSAA is now actively involved in coordinating career opportunities for MSA students with a dozen CPA firms.

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Eleanor Garibaldi

Master of Science in Accountancy

Eleanor Garibaldi

Eleanor Garibaldi’s research, “Remaining Ethical as an Accounting Professional,” is centered on ethics in the accounting profession, investigating methods to curtail unethical practices that still exist in the profession, and which have ultimately led to various scandals. The outcome of this project is a set of guidelines for making more ethical decisions.

Her second project, “The Question of Convergence: US GAAP and IGAAP,” studies ways U.S. accounting standards and international standards can converge. Presently the United States has not been able to attain this convergence and there is doubt involved if the convergence is warranted.

Eleanor is a project accountant at Cahill Contractors, Inc. She has contributed to our community as a student member of the Cal CPA and received a scholarship from that organization. 

Other awards include a Moss Adams scholarship and a Chevron scholarship. She has contributed significant time as a volunteer for Tax-Aid, helping low-income citizens prepare their federal and state income tax filings. She also volunteers at the San Francisco SPCA.

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