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Wednesday, May 16, 2018


The College of Business congratulates the Graduate Business Distinguished Achievement honorees for 2018!

These seven 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 Recognition Ceremony. The 2018 Graduate Business Distinguished Achievement recipients and descriptions of their work:

2018 Graduate Hood Recipient Emily Holtz

Emily Elizabeth Holtz, 2018 Graduate Hood Recipient

Master of Business Administration, Emphasis in Information Systems

Emily completed her undergraduate degree in business administration at San Francisco State University and continued her studies in the MBA program, where she focused on how organizations can leverage technology and data to improve outcomes for all types of stakeholders. In partnership with the University’s Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business, Emily created an independent study course to explore the intersection of her two greatest interests—sustainability and information technology. In addition to identifying critical issues associated with the widespread adoption of information technologies, her work highlighted how information technologies are enabling innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing social, environmental and economic challenges. For a course in the Information Systems Department, Emily led a team in designing and prototyping an iOS mobile application aimed at reducing packaging waste, and she and her team have been invited to present their work at conferences in San Francisco and in Shanghai.

As a member and officer of the graduate student organization Women in Business, Emily collaborated with others to plan and coordinate events that promote the personal and professional development of San Francisco State students. Women in Business provided a variety of programming to the SF State community, and a personal highlight for Emily was the “Everyday Ethics in Business” industry panel that she moderated as part of the University’s Business Ethics Week in the Fall 2017 semester.

In January 2018, Emily started work with Gartner, a global IT research and advisory firm, as a consultant to public sector organizations. Her role with the company is to help identify the technology needs of various government agencies and to facilitate the modernization of government systems.

Dana Daigle

Dana Daigle

Master of Business Administration, Emphasis in Decision Sciences

After earning her undergraduate degree in communication studies from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada, Dana began her career in the Global Talent Acquisition department at BlackBerry, coordinating the company’s first Employee Referral Program. This was followed by a position with the Employment Brand Marketing Team Program. Both roles gave her exposure to many opportunities across the company. She became inspired to try her hand in a more technical role, and eventually transitioned to the Product Security Team as a software security release coordinator.

After immigrating from Canada to the United States, Dana took the opportunity to pursue higher education and earn an MBA with an emphasis in decision sciences from San Francisco State University. Since moving to California, she has worked at two startups in the cybersecurity industry, both in operations roles. Whether in recruitment, product security or release management, the common thread throughout her career has been collaboration, relationship management, and a willingness to take on new challenges. She currently works at Pinterest as a product quality specialist where she is responsible for mobile app release management. This role demands cross-functional communication and collaboration with the goal of driving issues to conclusion and helping to deliver a high-quality product that Pinners will love.

Dana’s final project analyzes the strategic challenges faced in the crowdsourced cybersecurity industry as the social, economic and political climate continues to change. Her group has examined the competing stakeholders in this type of dual marketplace to better understand how to foster trust in the industry and what focus may be needed to succeed.

Kimberley Fabris

Kimberley Anne Fabris

Master of Business Administration

Kim completed her undergraduate degree in business administration with a concentration in human resources from Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, British Columbia. She came to San Francisco State to foster new skills, gain a greater perspective of the business world, and create a stronger network for her future. In addition to pursuing her MBA over the past year, Kim has worked as a student assistant with the College of Business Graduate Programs, assisting the admissions team with applications, prospective student inquiries, and admissions-based research. She helped to organize the First Friday Fun event and the Graduate Business Program New Student Orientation. Since she began her studies in the MBA program, Kim has demonstrated a high level of curiosity and intellectual ability. She has learned much about leadership and what it takes to be a quality leader. She feels that demonstrating authenticity and being true to yourself and your beliefs are critical in any position of leadership.

Over the past six years, Kim has lived in four major cities: Montreal, Paris, Vancouver and San Francisco, and is fluently bilingual in both French and English. She has always enjoyed traveling as she sees living in a new location as an opportunity to pull herself out of her comfort zone while meeting new people with different backgrounds. She hopes to travel and work internationally in the area of training, development, and program management. She loves art and when she is not prepping for class or working, Kim enjoys painting, visiting museums in the City, teaching herself Spanish, jogging and doing yoga.

Amy Lin

Ko-Shuang “Amy” Lin

Master of Science in Accountancy

The granddaughter of a Chinese Civil war veteran, Amy has traveled around the world in pursuit of her educational goals. While earning her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Feng Chia University in Taiwan, she studied abroad three times: twice in different cities in China and once at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she came to San Francisco State to pursue her master of science in accountancy. She has achieved tremendous success at the graduate level. One of her Professors wrote “She has done so with the grace, integrity and kindness of a woman who has challenged herself to live in many different countries and adapt to many different cultures. She brought an unparalleled intellectual curiosity and ability to the study of accounting.”

While at San Francisco State, Amy completed internships with Hager Accounting, Inc. and ASAM LLP, and actively participated in student associations and volunteer activities. She was an executive vice president for Beta Alpha Psi, a student honor society, where she was instrumental in recruiting fellow graduate students as members. The addition of graduate student members helps the organization maintain a focus on advanced education and professional development. Amy was also a member of the Graduate Students in Accounting Association, as well as the Association of Latino Professionals for America. In terms of volunteer pursuits, Amy served both the student community and San Franciscans by working at SF State’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The program operates during tax season, February through April, to file tax returns for low-income individuals at no cost.

Estevan Lopez

Estevan Francisco Lopez

Master of Arts in Economics

Estevan completed his undergraduate degree from San Francisco State with a double-major in statistics and economics in spring 2016. At the completion of this program, he was named the undergraduate honoree for the Economics Department. He finished the master of arts in economics program in one and a half years. During his studies, he completed a service learning research project entitled “Using the Media Effectively to Outreach to Problem Gamblers in the Chinese Community,” with a local mental health agency, helping them to understand how best to use their scarce marketing resources to reach the largest volume of affected individuals in the Chinese community in California. He is currently revising this article with his faculty mentor for publication. Estevan was a recipient of the prestigious AEA Minority Summer Fellowship that prepares students for a Ph.D. in Economics. He served as president of the Economics Student Association from fall 2014 to spring 2017, and led a San Francisco State team at a national competition called “UpToUs” that aims to educate the campus community about the debt problem in America. His team ranked tenth out of fifty-two teams. He co-instructed LaTex software workshops for economics, math and statistics students and worked as a tutor and grader for the Economics Department. Estevan speaks four languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin and Thai. In addition to running his own clothing brand for six plus years, as a designer, producer, and distributor of his own apparel, he was recently hired full-time as a research analyst with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.

Volha Pipko

Volha Pipko

Master of Business Administration, Emphasis in Accounting

Originally from Belarus, Volha moved to the United States in 2006. She received her bachelor’s degree in linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013. She decided to take a break from linguistics and was always fascinated with the business world, so she decided to become a part of it by pursuing her MBA. She completed her degree in the Fall 2017 semester. One of her professors described her as “one of the best students I ever taught—she was so generous about helping her classmates.” Another Professor described her as “an outstanding student, very diligent and hard-working—she was a strong team leader and team contributor.” Volha co-authored a paper entitled, “Optimal Allocation of Programmatic Video Advertising Inventory” that was published in the Journal of Supply Chain and Operations Management in December 2017. She served as the treasurer and one of the team leaders for the Graduate Business Association (GBA) from fall 2015 to fall 2017 and helped organize multiple graduate student networking events, including ones that invited guest speakers from different companies in the Bay Area.

Volha has worked with Dolby Laboratories over the past two years as a revenue accountant. Serving this role with a company that generates an annual revenue of over a billion dollars, her days at work are never boring. Her main responsibility is to ensure accurate and timely revenue recognition under US GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, the accounting standard adopted by the US Securities and Exchange Commission). Outside of her time at work, she enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures. She attempts to visit two foreign countries every year and as of now, has visited thirteen different countries.

Prakash Punia

Prakash Singh Punia

Master of Business Administration, Emphasis in Information Systems

Prakash began his MBA degree after completing his undergraduate studies in biotechnology engineering from Panjab University in India. His experience leading and performing within diverse teams as well as involvement in projects across various industries and businesses served him well during his studies. A longtime soccer player, who played at the national level in India, Prakash became active on campus right from the start of his student life at San Francisco State. During his first year, he worked on San Francisco State’s main campus as a residential student assistant. He considered this role as a great experience assisting fellow students from different parts of the world. He joined the Graduate Business Association and served as event coordinator and the organization’s president. He organized weekly off-campus socials for student networking as well as events with guest speakers. Additionally, he completed two internships during his studies with Badger Maps, Inc., a start-up that creates software to automate the busy work for field sales representatives.

In July 2017, Prakash was an integral member of the team that represented San Francisco State at the GE Digital CSU Challenge, a CSU-wide challenge organized by General Electric. In this challenge, each university team created a web application with the goal of solving a campus sustainability problem. His group developed the Gator Trans app, that would help University commuters compare current driving conditions (in addition to parking availability) with the public transit estimated time of arrival. Prakash’s role on this team included leadership, product management and marketing. He was responsible for pitching the final solution to the panel of judges. The team was awarded second prize for their efforts.