Announcing the Class of 2020 Undergraduate Business Distinguished Achievement Hood Recipient and Honorees

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The Lam Family College of Business congratulates the undergraduate honorees for 2020!

Join us in celebrating this year’s undergraduate Honorees representing each academic department and the General Business major in the Lam Family College of Business.

These graduates were selected by department faculty as Honorees for their exceptional academic achievements and service contributions to San Francisco State University and their communities. In addition, one of these 11 students received special recognition as the Lam Family College of Business Hood Recipient and serves as the College’s undergraduate representative for the Class of 2020 Commencement celebration.

We are excited to present this year's Hood Recipient and Honorees, and invite you to learn more about them below!

To learn about the Graduate Business Distinguished Achievement Honorees for 2020, click here

Ana Milena Olson

Ana Milena Olson, 2020 Lam Family College of Business Undergraduate Hood Recipient

Accounting Honoree and Undergraduate Hood Recipient

Ana was born and raised in Brazil and moved to the United States five years ago. As a first-generation college student, obtaining higher education has always been one of her most important goals. With a passion for problem-solving, she chose to study accounting to prepare for a career in tax, so she could combine her interest in numbers with the ever-changing tax law environment.

In her junior year, she joined Beta Alpha Psi and served as Vice President and Director of Professional Development. As an officer from BAP, she organized Meet the Firms in Fall 2018 and had the honor to represent the organization in the competition Project Run With It at the Annual Meeting in Washington DC. But first and foremost, being a member and officer from Beta Alpha Psi helped her navigate her college experience as a non-traditional college student, meet like-minded peers, network with professionals and land two internships.

She is graduating summa cum laude and has decided to further her academic career by pursuing a Master of Science in Accounting at San Francisco State University. She has also received a tax internship offer from Ernst & Young for next summer. As she finishes the studies at SFSU and waits for her professional career to start, she has joined the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program as a tax preparer to attempt to give back to her community some of the knowledge she has learned at SFSU.

Michelle Liu

Michelle Liu

Decision Science Honoree

As a San Francisco native and first-generation college student, Michelle Liu has always strived for success. At the beginning of her undergraduate experience, she attended City College of San Francisco and later continued her education at San Francisco State University as an Accounting major in Fall 2017.

Throughout her college career, academics and a strong GPA carried great significance to her. However, she also learned the importance of networking and professional skills in business, which prompted her to join a student business organization, Ascend SFSU. Going beyond her own expectations, she started out as a Fundraising Committee Member and successfully worked her way up to being Treasurer and Vice President of Fundraising. With the help of Ascend’s professional events and supportive peers, she has seen growth in her professional and leadership skills. The ongoing support of her peers, and now friends, in Ascend is immeasurable. Michelle has further developed herself as an individual, and ultimately became a Wiley CPAexcel Campus Ambassador at SFSU, where she helped promote the review course and CPA exam on campus.

She completed an audit internship with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS/OIG/OAS) and assisted with independent audits of HHS programs to reduce fraud, waste, and abuse. She learned the importance of data analysis and decided to declare Decision Sciences as her second major, hoping to develop skills that will assist her in the future. Although Michelle is graduating in Spring 2020, she knows that her education will not cease and will only continue to grow as she strives for greater success.

Chin Ting Wong

Chin Ting Wong

Economics Honoree

Originally from Johor Bahru, Malaysia, Chin Ting Wong was first introduced to the field of Economics during her fourth year in high school. Realizing her growing interest in it, she decided to pursue a degree in Economics. After completing her Associate's Degree at INTI Subang Malaysia, she transferred to SF State as a sophomore. To truly experience university life, she actively took part in various associations such as Ascend, the Economics Student Association (ESA), and the Campus Recreation Department. While she has made very good friends through all these groups, the ESA exposed her to the corporate world she wishes to step into after graduating.

ESA offered the platform for its members to talk to seniors and professionals who have walked the same path; it allowed students to visit companies and the Federal Reserve to show students how the real world is different from their textbooks, and it allowed bonds to be built between people who share the same interests. To give back to her ESA community, she volunteered to be the Vice President of ESA. She was also chosen to be a grader for the Introduction to Econometrics course for the Economics department this semester. Having to juggle between schoolwork and her various roles was not easy, but the experience she has gained has been priceless. Her experience at SF State has been nothing short of amazing. Although her time at SF State is ending soon, she knows the knowledge gained and memories created here will be with her forever.

Shigemichi Yoshizu

Shigemichi Yoshizu

Finance Honoree

Shigemichi (Shige) Yoshizu was raised in Tokyo, Japan. After his first year at a Tokyo university, he became disillusioned with the style of Japanese education and dropped out, deciding instead to spend a year in Europe. There he enrolled in an immersive English course in Cork, Ireland, and then travelled around the continent, often living on kabobs in order to attend his beloved soccer games.

After returning to Japan, he entered the editing world, starting off as an assistant before becoming an editor at a start-up youth soccer magazine. During this period he enrolled in conversational English classes where he met his future wife. Led by love and an adventurous spirit, they moved to the Bay Area in 2010, where their daughter was born in 2013. He began taking ESL and other courses at a community college in Oakland, and decided to quit his corporate job to become a full time student in 2017. He transferred to SFSU in the fall of 2018, majoring in Finance with a minor in Decision Sciences. In contrast to in Japan, the learning experience at SFSU puts significant value on critical thinking and cultural inclusion, challenging his thinking and making him feel a welcomed and valuable member of this society. Leveraging the supportive environment and what he learned in his courses, Shige began studying for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program in his senior year. He took the exam in December 2019, juggling it with his university courses, and successfully passed CFA Exam Level I in January 2020.

Erica Zatarain

Erica Zatarain

General Business Honoree

Erica has spent her whole life in Daly City. Crediting her mother as her greatest inspiration, Erica has always wanted to be a powerhouse in business and show that a woman with smarts and compassion belongs at the top. Wanting to be knowledgeable in every aspect of business and able to pursue any career path she wanted, Erica chose General Business as her major.

While at SF State, Erica enjoyed that her General Business degree allowed her to take classes that were outside the traditional business path - classes such as labor rights, economic social history and hospitality and tourism management. She dedicated herself to her classes, working her hardest and aspiring to be a joyous and engaged presence in the classroom. On a SFSU club hotel tour she discovered her dream job of being a hotel general manager.

As Erica’s college experience comes to a close, she is grateful for all the amazing students and professors she has met. Erica is thrilled to be accepted into the Marriott Voyager Program where she will learn the skills to become a supportive and empowering manager and pursue a career making people happy. At school, Erica’s favorite experience was helping students blossom with SFSU therapy cat Duke. Personally, Erica aspires to help animals as she is a pet parent who adores her five kitties. Erica wanted to share this advice, “Be true to yourself and you will find your path and your purpose.”

Hideko Takadau

Hideko Takada

Hospitality & Toursim Management Honoree

Hideko Takada is proud to be an SF State Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) graduate. Born and raised in Osaka, Japan, she nurtured her passion for food. As her mother was keen on education, she was required to attend a cram school at age 7, where she developed her attention to detail. Sadly, her mother died when Hideko was 12 years old. As she grew up, Hideko lost her motivation to study and eventually decided to drop out of college. After working at a night club for four years, Hideko moved to Tokyo to pursue her dream of becoming a magazine writer.

At age 40, she realized that the digital era would limit her future in magazine writing. After struggling with a career change, she decided to go back to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the U.S. She chose HTM because of her interest in food and travel. Studying at college surrounded by young students was not easy, as she felt like an outlier. Nonetheless, Hideko did not let this stop her from working hard at every class.

Encouragement and positive feedback from professors, along with her self-described perfectionist nature, drove her to strive higher. As she earned growing recognition for her academic achievements, Hideko regained her confidence and realized that with hard work, anything is possible. In 2019, she was invited to join Gamma Beta Sigma, an exclusive business honor society. While Hideko’s life has been full of ups and downs, she has come back stronger each time and has discovered her own resilience along the way.

Marios Ouzounidis

Marios Ouzounidis

International Business Honoree

Marios Ouzounidis was born and raised in Athens, Greece. He and his future wife moved to the United States in 2012, a time which was the peak of the financial crisis in the country. Having dropped out of college in Greece, coming to the United States gave him the opportunity to restart both his professional and his academic careers by enrolling in the College of San Mateo, majoring in business administration. The great diversity of the Bay Area and his double origin (he is half Greek and half Bulgarian) sparked his passion in culture and geography. This passion, combined with his interest in business administration , motivated him to enroll at San Francisco State University and pursue his degree in International Business.

The journey towards his degree included lots of sacrifices as he was also working a full time job while attending school. It got even harder as my daughter was born during his first year at SF State. Regretting dropping out of College back in Greece, the limited study time did not discourage him from pursuing his goal of finally obtaining a university degree.

Returning back to school and going through this whole process has helped him not only improve his skills and knowledge, but has also helped him improve as a person and has given him confidence that everything is attainable as long as there is will and passion.

Manuela Perez

Manuela Romeo Perez

Information Systems Honoree

Ever since Manuela Romeo was a baby, she and her family moved to many countries, which is where her passion for travel and exploration come from. In 2015, she moved to the US from Spain by herself. She spent her first year in New Jersey to be a caregiver for a special needs child. In 2016, after being accepted at SF State, she moved to San Francisco to start her undergraduate education.

Four years later, she is graduating in Information Systems with a minor in Decision Sciences and an outstanding GPA. Throughout the four years, Manuela has met a lot of amazing people who have encouraged and supported her along the way. In Spring of 2019, Manuela became the Treasurer of the Information Management Systems Association (iMSA). She has spent a lot of time co-organizing technical workshops, speaker events, and the graduation ceremony for IS department. Her active engagement with iMSA has enriched her leadership skills, and helped her to build professional connections and develop friendships. Being eager to learn and creative, she and a Computer Science student co-founded a coding club to introduce students into the exciting world of app development. She is currently developing an iOS mobile app for the Associated Students’ Food Pantry of San Francisco State University. Besides student organizations, she is also collaborating with the SF-Marin Food Bank on a project that intends to apply blockchain technology to promote volunteer participation and healthier food donations to hunger-relief charities.

Now that she is about to enter the workforce, and she is excited about all the new experiences and challenges she will to face. She encourages everyone to get out of their comfort zone, and to pursue their passions and dreams.

Stephanie Wing Chan

Stephanie Wing Chan

Labor Studies Honoree

Labor and Employment Studies major Stephanie Chan has a GPA of 3.94. In addition to excellent academic performance, Stephanie's extensive record of community volunteer activities represents all that is best about SF State students. Stephanie grew up in low-income housing near San Francisco’s Chinatown with her Asian American siblings and immigrant parents, and she attended SFUSD public schools from K-12. As a first-generation college student and financial aid recipient, she was initially clueless about what she wanted to study while at SFSU.

In Fall 2016, Stephanie entered SFSU as an undeclared major student. She joined the METRO program Education cohort and learned about contemporary political and social issues. After considering several majors and minors, she declared as a Labor and Employment Studies major and an Asian American Studies minor. In Spring 2019, Stephanie participated in the exchange at Meiji Gakuin University in Japan. Among other activities, she joined the university’s goat program and took care of the school’s goats. Stephanie gained valuable social experience as an international student in a country with a different home language, culture, and educational system.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, Stephanie has interned at UNITE HERE Local 2, which represents workers at SF hotels, and food service workers at Oracle Park and SFO International Airport, all of whom have been hit incredibly hard by the recent shutdown. Stephanie works in the customer advocacy department, participating in research projects, and has acquired advocacy skills. She has also supported campaigns for SF workers seeking, among other things, improved paid sick leave. Her supervisors at Local 2 – themselves graduates of the Labor Studies program – report that Stephanie is an outstanding intern. Stephanie’s father, a hotel busman, is a member of Local 2.

Stephanie currently works as a desk clerk at a housing property owned by a local nonprofit organization, the Chinatown Community Development Center. Prior to that, she volunteered at an organization helping low-income youth living in single room occupancy, Youth Single Room Occupancy, and with the San Francisco SPCA. Although currently undecided about her future plans, Stephanie is seeking a position that will enable her to continue contributing to the SF community.

Jacob Rittern

Jacob Ritter

Management Honoree

Jacob Ritter is a first generation Management major with a 4.0 GPA. Faculty describe him as a highly intelligent and hard-working student, always prepared to help move class discussions and exercises forward in a collaborative and insightful way. One faculty member who has taught Jacob in two classes, Leadership & Persuasion Skills and Human Resource Management, says “He is a great team player who is always willing and eager to help others succeed. He also has a great sense of humor and always makes his classmates laugh. He is an excellent communicator, efficiency manager, energy leader, and more.”

Jacob aspires to open an electrical contracting business after graduation. Servant leadership is the management style he plans to use for his business, as he believes that in order to truly succeed, the needs of others have to be one’s main priority. He and his family have overcome a great deal of adversity, which has motivated him to seek a better life for himself and the people around him. He plans to provide jobs for people in underserved communities, and give them the opportunity to acquire the skills and capability to live rich and prosperous lives. In his words, “I would have to say that I’m intrinsically motivated. I don’t try to learn things just to get by in life. I strive for self-actualization and try to develop a deep mastery of whatever task is put in front of me. I want to enrich the lives of the people around me and leave this world better than I found it.”

Amr Louay Shomali

Amr Louay Shomali

Marketing Honoree

Amr Shomali comes from a relatively poor country in the Middle East with a diminishing middle class. His inspiration comes from his parents: Amr and his three siblings were always taught that hard work and persistence pay off. Inspired by his father’s drive to finish a master’s degree and switch his field of study to find a better job, Amr was passionate about finding a better life and excelling in his studies in his home country to fulfill his goal of getting a better education abroad.

By the end of high school, Amr was at the top of his class and had multiple opportunities to study abroad. Without the financial ability to support a four-year education, Amr decided to enroll in a community college. Humbled and grateful for the opportunity to study outside of the Middle East, he put tremendous effort into seeking out and maintaining scholarships while at Skyline community college – a testament that hard work pays off.

At San Francisco State, Amr continued to excel in the classroom. With exceptional analytical and communication skills, Amr epitomized the ideal marketing student ready and able to launch a successful career in marketing. A dean’s list student and a proud member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors society, Amr contributed to the College by serving as the undergraduate representative on the Dean’s Search Committee for the Lam Family College of Business.