Undergraduate Honorees announced
News + Events : Undergraduate Honorees announced
The College of Business congratulates the Undergraduate Honorees for 2010.
Each year the department's top performers are selected by the college's academic departments from its graduating seniors.
students will receive special recognition from the university during
commencement week. In addition, one student is selected as the
college's Undergraduate Hood Recipient, to be recognized at
We extend our congratulations and best wishes to each student!
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Sergey Bubnou, Finance and College of Business 2010 Hood Recipient
Bubnou was 15 credits short of a degree in business law at Belarusian
State University when he and a friend emigrated from Belarus to the
United States. Like most immigrants, the 20-year-old Sergey came to the
U.S. seeking better opportunities. His first stop was Kansas City for a
few months, then on to St. Louis, where he worked days in a Union
Pacific train yard loading Chryslers onto train cars before they were
shipped across the country, and taught himself English at night. "It
was hard work," Sergey recalled, "especially when it was cold or it
But he wanted more. He began looking for locations in
the U.S. where he could further his business education. He came to San
Francisco and first enrolled at City College of San Francisco, before
transferring to SF State.
At SF State, Sergey quickly joined the
student finance organization, FAME (Financial Analysis and Management
Education). He immediately showed leadership and a passion for finance,
becoming the Vice President of Marketing in spring 2009 and Vice
President of Business Relations in fall 2009. Sergey is now a Partner
in FAME, a title given for extraordinary achievements and significant
contributions to the club.
During the fall semester, Sergey
helped organize the first FAME Student Investment Conference, a one-day
event that brought together more than 200 business students from
colleges and universities around the Bay Area for networking and panel
discussions by business professionals. The event helped form
relationships with finance groups at other universities and solidified
connections with the finance industry in San Francisco. Sergey helped
secure guest speakers for presentations and assisted with other
arrangements, while also working as a waiter and cab driver.
a businessman who has been involved in hiring, training and mentoring
younger professionals, I recognize that Sergey has qualities that will
make him an outstanding and successful member of the business
community," said lecturer Michael Needham, who taught Sergey in FIN 350.
making preparations for the FAME student investment conference, Sergey
was also busy preparing to take the CFA Level 1 exam. Sergey passed the
test on his first attempt in December 2009, a rare feat, considering
that the worldwide pass rate is less than 30 percent for first time
takers. "Last semester was a bit insane, but it paid off," Sergey said.
has long been fascinated with the way capital markets work, and secured
an investing banking internship this semester at JMP Securities in San
Francisco. After graduation, he will seek a job in investment banking
or asset management.
Stephanie Shew, Accounting
taking her first accounting test at SF State, Stephanie Shew was
looking for new majors. She wanted to find a major where she could
change the world, and considered switching to education. But a
conversation with Professor of Accounting Jodi Duke changed her mind.
told me that I had the aptitude and not a lot of people do," Stephanie
recalled. "I also realized that I can change the world with accounting."
daughter of a certified public accountant, Stephanie first discovered
accounting while attending the College of Marin. She transferred to SF
State and quickly became involved with Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), the
student accounting organization, in fall 2008. Stephanie showed her
leadership ability in the group and developed a knack for devising
creative solutions to problems.
Stephanie came up with an
idea to keep the accounting tutoring center open through the use of
volunteers. She arranged for a few volunteers besides herself to manage
the center for specific hours each week. She then developed an
open-door system where students needing help, as well as volunteers,
could drop in without appointments. The change created a friendly
atmosphere where more tutors dropped in when they could, which led to
more students receiving help.
One of her greatest
contributions came in February 2010, when she led the planning of the
BAP regional conference held in San Francisco. Nearly 200 professionals
and students representing 25 universities from five states and 16
professional organizations attended the two-day event. Stephanie
handled all aspects of the event, from contacting potential
participants, to developing the program, wrangling keynote speakers and
coordinating more than 30 volunteers. The event focused on ethics and
integrity, highlighting for Stephanie how accountants can change the
"What we do is important to holding people
accountable and helps makes the world a better place," she said. "I
liked accounting, because I was good at it. But the conference helped
me realize why it is important to get my CPA-because you're held to a
high ethical standard."
After graduation, Stephanie will begin
preparations to take the CPA exam. "It's really important to me to make
this world a better place," Shew said. "I feel so honored to have been
a part of a group of teachers who hold themselves and students to
Chi-Hua Huang, Decision Sciences
Huang is a first-generation college student from Tai Chung, Taiwan,
whose passion for learning came alive during his senior year of high
After graduating from high school, Chi-Hua decided
to study in the United States. He was looking for a good business
school near a major world city, and found what he was looking for at SF
State. He was drawn by the campus' diverse student body, and quickly
added Decision Sciences, Statistics and Finance as majors. Chi-Hua said
Decision Sciences best incorporates aspects of his other majors,
allowing him to creatively solve problems.
Sciences is the best tool for me to integrate and implement the
concepts I have learned for my future goals," he said. "Decision
Sciences teaches students how to 'do' and solve problems."
his time on campus, Chi-Hua joined the Taiwanese Student Association
and the Asian Student Union, where he participated in Asian community
volunteer events, such as helping with the Asian speaker conference and
the Cherry Blossoms at SF Japantown. He also worked with Beta Alpha Psi
on volunteer events in San Francisco.
Chi-Hua worked as a
grader for Professor Susan Cholette's DS 412 operations management
class, while also serving as a business and math tutor at the Campus
Academic Resource Program, tutoring about 10 different students each
week. Chi-Hua took pleasure from seeing the students he worked with
succeed. "I enjoyed the job a lot, because I would love to see students
come back to me with the progress they had made," he said. "I was able
to help others by what I had learned in my classes."
Commencement, Chi-Hua will return to Taiwan for his required military
service, then begin preparations for graduate school, where he plans to
either pursue an MBA or apply for doctoral programs in business
services. "As an international student, I believe I am both a
beneficiary and contributor to SF State's goals of
internationalization," Chi-Hua said.
Barbora Petrencikova, Information Systems
Petrencikova was born in Slovakia and came to the United States with
her mother and siblings to follow her father who had earlier gone to
While slowly adjusting to culture shock and the
language barrier in her new surroundings, Barbora excelled in her high
school courses, choosing to challenge herself with advanced placement
courses and honors classes.
She was accepted by several Ivy
League universities, and eventually chose to attend SF State where she
has excelled. Barbora took full advantage of the opportunity to study a
variety of subjects-something that would not have been an option had
she attended college in Slovakia. Barbora's classes sampled from all
areas of campus, including history, mythology, business, and
She chose Management and Information
Systems as concentrations, which afforded her a solid basis for
success, while also offering an opportunity to fashion creative answers
to problems on a variety of projects and assignments. While at SF
State, Barbora also worked for Prudential Realty and completed an
internship with the SF State Library during the Fall 2009 semester.
After graduation, Barbora hopes to remain in the Bay Area and find a
job working in the tech industry.
Jennifer Haack International Business
Haack is an experienced world traveler, and she has the passport stamps
to prove it. Haack, who was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, has
visited four continents; speaks fluent English, German and French; and
is proficient in Spanish. It's no wonder that she chose International
Business as her major when she arrived at SF State.
aids us in understanding the different people we live with and
understand their cultures as well as understanding and getting to know
ourselves," she said.
The daughter of a logistics manager
and an opera singer, Jennifer first studied in the U.S. in Simi Valley,
Calif., as a junior in high school, then decided to return to America
because of the opportunities to perfect her English and immerse herself
in another culture. She was drawn to SF State because of its diversity
of ethnicities and viewpoints, as well as the city of San Francisco. On
campus, she worked as a teaching assistant and was actively involved
with the International Business Society and the Women in Business at SF
State. She also earned membership in Beta Gamma Sigma and was a regular
on the Dean's List.
Jennifer's love of traveling and new
experiences was cemented at an early age when she overcame a
life-threatening health condition that forced her to be taken out of
school for more than a year. The experience changed her perspective on
life and how it should be experienced.
"You learn to value different things and come to realize what is really important," she said.
experience made me more tolerant and taught me to not judge people by
their exterior as I had to experience first-hand how cruel children can
be. I believe that by judging people or anything before having
experienced it or talked to people we miss out on many great people and
situations because of our preconceived notions."
graduation, Jennifer will begin a graduate program in international
tourism management in London, where she hopes to work toward a career
that will allow her to continue to experience the world and its variety
Julie La Roque, Management
beginning her college education at the Skema Business School in France,
Julie La Roque transferred to San Francisco State in fall 2008.
move was a natural one for Julie, who was born in Nice, France, and
cherishes cross-cultural interactions. She has visited more than 10
different countries in the past decade. "I'm passionate about learning
from different cultures, customs and history," she said. "It gives me
the opportunity to consider new perspectives and become more open to
After arriving in San Francisco, Julie had
to adjust to a learning style that was different from that of her
childhood. She enjoyed the more interactive style of learning she found
at SF State, where students questioned teachers and engaged in
discussions. "It wasn't the way I'd taken classes before," she said.
"I'd taken English classes, but it was still the French way of
teaching. I had to adjust, but it was a great experience. I really
At SF State, Julie built on the work she accomplished
in France, where she was an active participant in campus activities.
She was inducted into Gamma Beta Sigma, and continued to engage in
challenging pursuits outside the classroom-jogging and playing sports
in her free time and even skydiving.
The daughter of an architect
and advertiser, Julie developed a love of art at an early age. Growing
up she practiced classical dance and ballet for 11 years. She played
the piano for five years and enjoys visiting the Louvre when home in
France. "I could stay at the Louvre for weeks when I'm there," she
said. "Every time I go back, there is something new."
graduation, Julie plans to find employment in San Francisco and gain
work experience with the eventual goal of earning an MBA in California.
Her long-term goal is to use her passion for art to found a company
that helps make art more accessible to people around the world.
Alexandra Schranz, Marketing
Schranz grew up in Vienna, Austria, before venturing to the U.S. at age
18. Alexandra worked as an au pair in Northern California for a year,
before moving to Santa Monica and attending Santa Monica Community
College, where she earned her associate's degree in business with a 4.0
grade point average.
While living in Southern California,
Alexandra learned to surf and even tried skydiving. Drawn by the idea
of living in the City, she enrolled at SF State in fall 2008, landing
on the Dean's list in her first semester. Alexandra decided to major in
marketing because of the area's creative aspects.
time at SF State, Alexandra earned valuable experience outside of
classes through a part-time job at Vector Marketing Corporation, the
sales firm for Cutco cutlery. She began as an Assistant Manager and
Field Sales Manager in San Francisco, assisting in day-to-day
operations of the business. She soon earned a promotion to Branch
Manager in the summer of 2009 when from May to September 2009, she
oversaw a branch in Gilroy where she was responsible for all aspects of
the office, including hiring and training employees, handling all
administrative duties and motivating and influencing a staff of more
than 50 people.
Alexandra said the experience was challenging,
but empowering and, "showed that even in really hard situations, I can
be a leader," she said. "I can persevere. It was really tough, but
showed me that I don't give up. If I want to, I can get the job done."
coming to SF State, Alexandra made a personal goal to finish her
bachelor's degree in four years. To make that a reality, she enrolled
in 21 units this semester.
Following Commencement, Alexandra will
seek new challenges. She plans to use her grounding in marketing to
pursue a master's degree in another field, making her a well-rounded
candidate for jobs. "I'm looking to branch out," Alexandra said. "More
and more people get degrees, so getting a master's degree will help me
stand out in the job market."
Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management
Olivia Penn, Hospitality and Tourism Management
her first day of orientation at SF State, Olivia Penn has been an
active participant in the Hospitality and Tourism Management
Olivia came to orientation before transferring
from Santa Rosa Junior College, and met a student who was the wine
manager for Taste of the Bay, the annual student-run food and wine
tasting fundraiser. She needed an assistant and Olivia served as the
assistant wine manager. From there, her involvement only deepened.
wanted to challenge herself and ran for a position with more
responsibility. She became the events manager for the 2008 event, where
she was responsible for communicating with committee members and
vendors. Her success and hard work led to her being elected Event Chair
of the 2009 Taste of the Bay. Her leadership was critical, helping to
bring in 24 top-quality wineries and beverage companies along with 21
chefs from restaurants across the Bay Area. The event brought in
$126,000 for the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program for student
Olivia was active in several different Hospitality
and Tourism Management student organizations. In 2008, she served as
Vice President of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality.
She was also an active member of the Hospitality Management Society and
Club Managers Association of America. During the summers, she gained
additional experience in the industry, interning at the Omni Hotel in
"The hospitality program creates so many networking opportunities and really sets you up to succeed," Olivia said.
Commencement, Olivia will set her sights on her goal of becoming an
event planner at a winery. The Sonoma County native used her
connections and hard work from Taste of the Bay to land a job at Peju
Winery, where she hopes to learn the finer points of event management
she learned at SF State. "I like the idea of being an event manager for
an on-site location," she said. "You have to create a network and form
relationships with vendors. I like the creativity and seeing the things
you can do with a property."