Seven graduate business students recognized for academic achievement

Seven College of Business graduate students recognized as honorees of the 2019 graduating class.

Each academic department in the College of Business selected a top performing student from its graduate students for 2019 to recieve special recognition from the university during commencement week. In addition, the college selected Bozhidar Chakalov as this years undergraduate hood recipient.

Read about the seven graduate honorees: 

Bozhidar Chakalov

Bozhidar Chakalov, 2019 College of Business Graduate Hood Recipient

Master of Economics

Originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, Bozhidar Chakalov (aka Bobby) moved to the United States in 2003 when he was eight years old, where he grew up in San Bruno, CA. Throughout his life, he has always shown a great interest in healthcare. Bobby’s co-authored research with Dr. Sepideh Modrek on #MeToo brought new methods to text analysis, was presented at several conferences, and is currently under review for publication with the Journal of Medical Internet Research. After completing his graduate degree in Economics, he plans to continue building his research skills and pursue a Ph.D. in Economics with an emphasis in Health.

Bobby currently works as a Research Assistant for Dr. Modrek in the Health Equity Institute at San Francisco State. During his tenure with the University, he has been a member of multiple organizations, while holding several positions in the Economics Department. In addition to being a tutor, grader and research assistant in the Economics Department, he serves as a Graduate Mentor to the Economics Student Association. During the Summer of 2018, Bobby taught in the Big Data Summer Program – a two-month program that aims to equip students with the ability to do research and conduct data analysis in social science and health-related fields

Jie Zhang

Jie Zhang

Master of Science in Accountancy

Jie Zhang recalls being fascinated by numbers and calculations back to when he was five years old. As a child, he used to practice calculations on an abacus, given to him by his parents, every evening before he went to bed throughout elementary school. As a result, it should be of no surprise that Jie has always excelled in quantitative subjects. Jie earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Economics and Trade from Zhengzhou Institute of Aeronautical Industry Management in Zhengzhou, China. He moved to the United States in 2014 to improve his English language skills and learn American culture and customs while studying graduate-level accounting.

Jie was very active within the University throughout his studies in the accountancy graduate program. Jie was the Director of Community Service with Beta Alpha Psi; he served as the Treasurer for the Graduate Students in Accounting Association; and he worked as a tax preparer with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Jie’s final group project involved conducting an analysis on the transparency of Defined Benefit Pension Plans for users of financial statements. This research concluded that everyday users, and not just seasoned investors, should be able to make reasonable decisions based on disclosed pension information.

Bryan McCaffery

Bryan McCaffery

Master of Business Administration

Bryan McCaffery was originally born in New Mexico, but moved to San Francisco to pursue a career in the culinary arts. After working in several of the most well-known restaurants in San Francisco, he accepted a position with the Omni Hotel where he discovered his talents in management, accounting and information systems. Bryan currently works for Modus LLC, a small wireless telecommunications company, as a Technology Engineer. His role in this company allows him to help design and build the core information systems that help them grow through attainment of key financial and project management metrics.

Prior to completing his MBA at the end of the Fall 2018 semester, Bryan studied abroad at Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland; he joined the SFSU President’s Leadership Fellows Program; and he participated in the 2017 Google Online Marketing Challenge. Bryan’s research in the culminating experience class focused on his current employer, Modus LLC, and ways this company could assess their strategic environment, determine the source of their competitive advantage, and advise how this advantage may be secured as the company diversifies and expands.

Michelle Tagay

Michelle Tagay

Master of Business Administration, emphasis in Information Systems

Michelle Tagay received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Concentration in Management) from San Francisco State University in August, 2010. She pursued completion of her MBA while working full-time for Information Technology Services (ITS) at San Francisco State. During this time, she transitioned into a new position with ITS as a Technical Project Manager, where she coordinates, plans, supports and executes campus-wide information technology projects. In this role, she collaborates with all functional IT teams and campus stakeholders to manage projects that incorporate technology to support student success, teaching, learning and research. As a result of her academic achievements, Michelle became a member of the graduate chapter of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. Additionally, she was a member of a team that received a Technical Implementation Excellence Award for designing and prototyping an iOS mobile application aimed at reducing campus food waste and providing easy access to food for students on campus during non-business hours. Outside of her employment and graduate academic studies, Michelle likes to plan upcoming events or her next travel experience.

Kelly Richmond

Kelly Richmond

Master of Business Administration

Kelly Richmond completed her Master of Business Administration Degree in Summer, 2018. Her current employment is with The Absinthe Group (TAG), which is a privately-owned restaurant group in San Francisco. She has been with this company for over six years, first working as the General Manager of their café, Arlequin Café. After she completed her graduate business degree, Kelly transitioned into a new role with TAG as their Director of Sales and Marketing. Even though most of her career has focused on business, especially in the restaurant industry, one of her biggest passions is the conservation of cheetahs, which includes education in the community. When she was seventeen years old, Kelly spent one month living in Namibia, while working for the Cheetah Conservation Fund. This experience dramatically shaped the person she is today.

Kelly has actively participated in a number of different charity events such as Meals on Wheels Annual Star Chefs and Vintners Gala, Taste of Portrero, and Eat Drink SF. She also helped plan, coordinate, and execute a large benefit, that raised over $35,000 for North Bay fire victims in 2017.

Kamaria RutlandKamaria Rutland

Master of Business Administration

Kamaria Rutland was a student in the Fall 2016 MBA for Executives cohort program and completed her degree requirements in Summer, 2018. She was honored as an inductee into the Beta Gamma Sigma National Honors Society in Spring, 2018. Kamaria works for Marriott International as the North America Sales Learning and Delivery Manager. She directly oversees the training needs of over 300 sales associates on the west coast and facilitates sales training across North America. She is tasked with understanding the learning needs of the adult workforce and recommending relevant training in an ever-changing hospitality and tourism industry.

Kamaria is a member and Chapter President of the Gamma Phi Delta Sorority, Inc, a business and professional women’s organization consisting of women from a variety of different industries. Gamma Phi Delta engages in a number of community service projects aimed to serve underprivileged youth and seniors. Kamaria also volunteers at the EE Cleveland Senior Living Center and is very active in Marriott Serve 360 community service projects. A Bay Area native, Kamaria earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing from Sacramento State University.

Shelley SuggettShelley Suggett

Master of Business Administration

Shelley Suggett graduated from our MBA for Executives program in Fall 2018. As an accomplished regulatory affairs professional and researcher, she is published in peer-reviewed journals and holds patents for her research endeavors.During her career in drug development, her favorite memory was during the development of a breakthrough drug for AMD. She had the privilege to meet a patient in the clinical trial who described how, after many years of vision loss, due to Lucentis, she was able to see the faces of her grandchildren for the very first time. This powerful moment always reminds her of the importance of the works she does and sets the tone for the passion she brings to her work.

After completing her graduate program at San Francisco State University, Shelley formed her own consulting business, Themistry, Inc, that provides regulatory affairs consulting services to clients in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. Shelley remains active with San Francisco State serving as a part-time adjunct instructor with the Decision Sciences Department. She also teaches regulatory sciences at UC Berkeley Extension and is actively involved with numerous non-profit industry groups and professional organizations