Announcing the Graduate Business Distinguished Achievement honorees for 2017

The College of Business congratulates the Graduate Business Distinguished Achievement honorees for 2017!

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 2017 Graduate Business Distinguished Achievement recipients and descriptions of their work:

201 Graduate Hood Recipient Yasya Goretsky

Yasya Goretsky, 2017 Graduate Hood Recipient

Master of Business Administration

Yasya’s family immigrated to the United States from Ukraine when she was 2 years old. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Economy with a Minor in Anthropology from UC Berkeley in 2010 and resumed her education through the SF State Graduate Business Programs in Fall 2013. Throughout her graduate studies, she showed a particular interest in decision science courses as a result of her interest to explore how data analytics transcends industries to drive decision-making. Yasya’s culminating experience group project explored whether non-profits can compete in the Bay Area’s booming economy in terms of attracting and retaining employees. Her team consulted with Rising Sun Energy Center, a non-profit with locations in 20 cities, that provides training and job-placement services to low-income adults. This organization also hires and trains youth during summers to perform free home energy audits for their communities. Their review, which included a “Capabilities Audit” for the organization, specifically analyzed how efficiently Rising Sun utilized its budget compared to other non-profits that provide similar job training services in the Bay Area.

During her studies at SF State, Yasya was a member of Net Impact and the College of Business Fellows Program. Additionally, she served as the VP of Marketing for the Women in Business Student Organization. Yasya works as a Program Manager at UC Berkeley in the Office of Vice Provost for the Faculty. Her responsibilities include managing programs that award research grants to faculty members working closely with University executives and donor agencies and managing a lectureship program that brings distinguished lecturers from outside of academia to the University. In addition to receiving a number of work-related awards through UC Berkeley, Yasya is a member of the California Green Hall Committee. This committee leads efforts to improve building energy efficiency, water conservation, and landfill diversion.  Yasya completed her MBA in the Fall 2016 semester. Now that she has graduated, she is looking forward to spending more time with her family and friends, going to concerts, and playing Ultimate Frisbee.

Anton Li

Robert Altman

Executive Master of Business Administration

When asked what keeps him up at night, Robert politely responds, “Babies”. For the past seven years, Dr. Altman has served as the Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology with Gould Medical Group, overseeing 22 clinicians in five office locations.  He is responsible for the vision, strategy, and operational execution of the Department and, in collaboration with other members of the Clinical Leadership Team, the integration of healthcare services in the creation of an exceptional and seamless patient experience.  Dr. Altman has been employed by the Gould Medical Group, Inc. since 1996, where he has served as a member of the Board of Directors, Board of Governors, and an Assistant Medical Director.  

Dr. Altman will complete the requirements for the EMBA program this summer. One of his group projects (in BUS 883: Economics for Managers) evaluated how changes in a busy medical practice schedule affected the number of days a patient needed to wait for a visit with a doctor. Using regression analysis and linear programming, they were able to provide a significant reduction in the average wait time for patient appointments with a physician.    

Dr. Altman presented work on reducing physician burnout through the implemen­tation of a lean management system at the 2016 National Lean Healthcare Summit and will be presenting an innovative, patient-centered, team-approach to obstetrical care at the 2017 Cleveland Clinic Patient Experience Summit.  In addition to being a father of three, he is an Assistant Scoutmaster and Eagle Coach with Boy Scout Troop 43 in Oakdale, CA and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra.  Professionally, Dr. Altman is a fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and he serves on the Obstetrics and Gynecology Quality Committee for Sutter Health.

Jayson ChangJayson Chang

Master of Business Administration, Emphasis in Information Systems

Jayson completed his MBA in the Fall 2016 semester. During his initial semester of being in the program, Jayson was a part of a team that took first place in a marketing class competition. This competition, which was sponsored by Target Stores, tasked teams with the creation of a marketing plan for the Downtown San Francisco-based Target location. Jayson was also a part of another team that won first prize in a mobile design class competition sponsored by SAP, where teams were challenged with designing a mobile application and an accompanying business plan.

Jayson was an active participant in the College of Business Fellows Program for two semesters. During his time as an MBA student, he completed four separate internships. He eventually landed at the retailer, Gap, where he now helps to lead the company’s enterprise adoption of a public cloud platform as a product manager. This position requires him to work with small and medium business clients, internal departments, and external vendors.

Prior to starting his MBA, Jayson blindly moved to China (he did not speak the language and did not have any family or friends in the area). He ended up living in Shanghai for a few years. During this time, he worked for a startup, launched his own business, and worked as a private consultant. It was an intense, rewarding experience that has permanently shaped and broadened his perspective.

Lauren HueyLauren Huey

Master of Business Administration, Emphasis in Management

After becoming the first person in her immediate family to attend graduate school, Lauren completed her MBA in the Fall 2016 semester. She initially joined the graduate business programs as a result of a PG&E career fair—an event she helped organize as PG&Es Employee Engagement Lead four years ago.  She performed at the highest level while at SF State.  One of her professors stated “She epitomizes the model MBA student—intelligent, friendly, personable, focused on contemporary management issues, a tremendous colleague to project teammates, an excellent communicator and someone who also happens to perform extremely well in all class activities”.    

While an MBA student, Lauren worked on some amazing projects which included a change management plan with PG&E, a marketing plan for the University Marketing Department, and an international business plan for a teammate’s future dream company. As her culminating experience, Lauren’s team conducted a strategic analysis of Family House, a local nonprofit that provides free, temporary housing to low-income families with children who are being treated at UCSF for cancer. 

During the majority of her tenure in the MBA program, Lauren was employed by PG&E where she was involved in the Asian Employee Resource Group, NuNRG, and Women’s Network. She also served as a Green Ambassador where she conducted trainings on Zero Waste and promoted environmental sustainability.  Currently, she works as a Procurement Operations Buyer at Facebook and volunteers at local nonprofits including the SF Food Bank and Family House.  She enjoys running marathons, having completed 7 to date—3 while she was in the MBA program.

Joel VoelzJoel Voelz

Master of Arts in Economics

Prior to attending SF State, Joel received a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences from MIT and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago. One professor described Joel as such, “Joel’s creativity and ability to think beyond the basic is vastly superior”. In addition to studying in the economics graduate program, Joel is employed by the department as a lecturer to teach an undergraduate course in macroeconomics. He has also acted as a tutor and grader for several undergraduate courses in economics. Joel mentors technology start-up companies as part of the MIT Venture Mentoring service of the Bay Area and provides consulting for technology companies needing assistance in raising venture capital and planning product/distribution strategies to bring new technologies to market.

Joel co-authored an article with Professor Venoo Kakar entitled, “The Visible Host: Does Race guide Airbnb rental rates in San Francisco?”  This paper, which is currently in the final editing stage for publication in the Journal of Housing Economics, analyzes the effect of race on the listing prices of Airbnb units in San Francisco. The analysis shows evidence of possible discrimination for units hosted by Hispanics which takes the form of lowered demand for identical units and results in lower prices (and revenues) for Hispanic hosts.  

One of Joel’s hobbies is long-distance cycling.  He has completed the Paris—Brest-Paris endurance event twice—in 2003 and 2007. This ride, which is a 1200 kilometer (750 mile) unsupported, timed event, requires completion of the route in under 90 hours (total time).  Joel has been married for 44 years and is the father of one daughter who will be graduating from Harvard this spring.

Charles YearyCharles Yeary

Master of Business Administration

Charles graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Biological Sciences (Bachelor of Science) and Economics (Bachelor of Arts). Before attending SF State’s MBA program, Charles worked as an English Teacher in Shanghai, China where he taught English speaking and writing skills to kindergarten and high school students. He came to SF State’s MBA program to get a jump-start on his career and to be exposed to additional opportunities. After his first year in this program, he started an internship with Genentech as a Talent Discovery MBA Intern. His responsibilities in this role include sourcing top talent for job opportunities in Genentech’s Pharma Technical Department and Corporate Groups. Charles reaches out to potential candidates to present them with job opportunities that require specific backgrounds and skill-sets. He also acts as SF State’s Campus Ambassador for Genentech in helping students apply to internships with the company.  In addition, he is an active participant in Genentech’s Veteran Staffing Diversity Team and gFORCE, a program which aims at promoting diversity at Genentech by hiring Military Veterans. One Marketing faculty member suggests, “Charles' experiences teaching kids in China, plus all the knowledge and presentation skills he finessed in the MBA program lead me to believe that he will make valuable contributions as an accomplished Human Resources specialist and corporate trainer in a few years".  

Charles will be completing his MBA program at the conclusion of the Spring 2017 semester. His culminating experience group project is focused on collecting data about Tesla and then providing an in-depth analysis of the company and assessing its overall business strategy and how successful it is in the industry. Their project focuses on assessing Tesla’s core competencies and determining what gives the company its competitive advantage.  

Xiting ZhuXiting Zhu

Master of Science in Accountancy

Xiting completed her MSA program in the Fall 2016 semester. During her time as a student, she served as Director of Events for the Graduate Students in Accounting Association (GSAA). After coordinating with faculty, the accounting community, and other student organizations, Xiting executed multiple recruiting, networking, and career-development events for students in the MSA program. One accounting faculty described Xiting’s accomplishments as a student, “In thirty years of teaching, I have never had a student who so impressed me with her determination to overcome shyness and language barriers to become a campus leader.” In addition to her leadership service with GSAA, Xiting worked as a Tax Volunteer with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA).

Xiting’s final group project contrasted two different accounting standards for financial reporting—GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards). Her project described one area where GAAP and IFRS differ in terms of financial statements and ratios. Based on their comparison and assessment, feasibility and economics consequences would dictate the better approach.  

Xiting will launch her public accounting career with a focus on audit services in October, when she will begin a position with BPM (a regional public accounting firm). She is also a nervous mother-to-be, who is within two months of welcoming a new addition to her family.