The Lam Family College of Business Congratulates the Undergraduate Honorees for 2021!
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 2021 Commencement celebration.
We are excited to present this year's Undergraduate Hood Recipient and Honorees, and invite you to learn more about them below!
To read about the Lam Family College of Business 2021 Distinguished Achievement Graduate Honorees, click here.
Undergraduate Hood Recipient and Management Honoree
Sowmya Chandrasekaran graduated Summa Cum Laude last fall with a major in Business Management and minors in Computer Science and Chinese after three and a half years that she describes as “short but sweet.” She credits the LFCOB for helping her learn how to manage teams, oversee organizational development, lead and influence people, and spur innovation.
While at SF State, she tutored underserved youth at the LEMO Foundation, hosted feminine-hygiene drives through Providing Opportunity for Women (POW), volunteered with Business Ethics Week, directed SF Hacks 2020, and led a virtual Girls Who Code program with the goal of empowering girls with programming skills and encouraging discussions about the importance of diversity in the workplace.
After graduating, Chandrasekaran joined Lockheed Martin Space as an Artificial Intelligence Engineer, where she is currently working in digital transformations. While pursuing this venture, she aims to continue her work in mentoring underserved and underrepresented students in STEM and leadership.
Chandrasekaran notes that one of her favorite articles from her management classes at SF State encapsulates what motivated her to pursue a Business Management degree at SFSU:
“Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility, be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team.” Excerpt from From How Will You Measure your Life, by C. Christensen, Harvard Business Review, 2010.
Chad Lynn Kelsey
Chad Kelsey is a first-generation college student whose passion for helping others led him to the Accounting program. He will receive both his B.S. in Accounting and Finance this May and will start working at as a tax associate at PwC in July 2021.
While at SF State, Kelsey served as President, Director of Reporting, and Director of Administration for the Beta Chi Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), an international honor and service society for students majoring in financial information-related majors. Along with his fellow officers, he championed student, faculty, and professional involvement in student organizations across the Accounting department and the college. In August 2019, he represented the Chapter at the Project Run with It competition at the BAP annual meeting in Chicago. As President, Kelsey led his BAP team to successfully transition the Fall 2020 Meet the Firms event into a virtual format, benefiting students across the financial information majors. Though no longer an officer in Spring 2021, he still remains actively engaged in promotion of student organizations and the professional development of his fellow students, including serving as the Site Coordinator for the Beta Chi-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program site at SFSU, which is being conducted virtually this year.
Kelsey plans to sit for the CPA exam shortly after graduation. He is slated to serve as the 2021-2022 BAP Alumni Representative for the Western Region, the first SFSU student to do so. Kelsey represents what it means to be an SFSU student – a solid student with a desire and passion to help others.
Decision Sciences Honoree
Seth Hill grew up in a one-stop-sign town located 20 miles east of Fresno. It was in this rural community where he learned to appreciate the values of hard work and dedication. It is also where he found his dream of having a positive impact on the world.
But the pursuit of any goal is rarely linear, and Hill got a bit lost along the way, while studying at community colleges across California. Once he transferred to SFSU, Hill knew he had a lot of work to do to return to the trajectory he dreamed of while in high school but still had no idea where this trajectory would take him.
Hill put his head down and worked, juggling 19 units, a part-time internship, and raised his GPA from 2.8 to 3.9 during his first year. It was during this sprint that he found a love for applying mathematics, statistics, and computer science to improve business processes and optimize decision making. This love would require him to take classes outside his double major and begin his journey in advanced mathematics during the summer leading up to his senior year.
Currently, Hill is splitting his time between an internship in data analytics, rigorous coursework, and a research project with Assistant Professor Stewart Liu on applying machine learning to predict bankruptcy. He plans to continue his education by pursuing a graduate degree in Statistics and plans to start a career in Data Science and Machine Learning after graduation.
Chris Demgen is an Economics major, Marketing minor, and a baseball player at SF State. Demgen grew up in San Diego County in a family that values academic excellence and participation in team sports. The work ethic instilled in him was instrumental in Demgen graduating as an honor roll student from Cathedral Catholic High School while simultaneously becoming a San Diego Open Division CIF Champion in baseball. Demgen maintained this level of excellence at Saddleback Community College, where he played two seasons of baseball, was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and graduated cum laude with an Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies degree. He accepted SF State Coach Schifano’s offer to play baseball here and enrolled as an Economics major in fall semester 2019. Demgen maintained a 4.0 GPA at SFSU. In addition, he became an officer of the Economics Students Association because he wanted to give back to the SFSU community. He helped organize and participated in meetings and events with fellow students to help create an environment that facilitates learning. Most recently, he helped organize the COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Ethics Discussion during Business Ethics Week and served as a panel speaker at that event. Demgen looks forward to playing two more years of baseball for SF State and hopes to earn his Master of Science in Quantitative Economics degree at SFSU.
Phuong Thu Phan
Phuong Phan moved to San Francisco from her homeland, Vietnam, 5 years ago with her family. Upon transferring to high school in California, she stayed back a year in order to complete California graduation requirements. She was accepted to San Francisco State University in fall semester 2018.
Due to visa limitations, Phan was permitted to stay in the United States for only a short period of time. She made the best use of that time by attending City College and San Francisco State University simultaneously for two and a half years, before graduating in fall 2020 while maintaining a high GPA. She was inspired by her father to major in Finance and continued with a double major in Decision Sciences with the encouragement of her professor.
As Phan’s visa prohibited her from legally working in the United States, she became involved in student activities, and had the privilege of serving as VP of Marketing for Ascend SFSU during her junior year. That same year, she joined FAME, where she met like-minded individuals who have helped her expand her industry knowledge. She also served as Treasurer of the Zero Waste Club at City College – an example of her deep interest in plastic pollution. Phan likes to volunteer for Kumon as an English tutor as she is well aware of the struggles faced by non-native English speakers. She hopes to return to Vietnam and jump-start her career in Finance in the near future.
Lauren Nicole Sayre
General Business Honoree
Business has always fascinated Lauren Sayre, and she hopes to use her education to express her passions in a variety of industries. As a student of Lam Family College of Business, she has been able to build a network of opportunities and explore the role business plays in the community. Since transferring to SFSU, Sayre has maintained a 3.9 GPA and has been on the Dean’s List for her academic achievements each semester. Prior to enrolling at SF State, Sayre devoted time to volunteering at Meals on Wheels in the Monterey Peninsula, where she gained an appreciation for interacting with and aiding those in her community. Attending San Francisco State University has taught Sayre that business does not only have to fulfill a profit motive, but that organizations can also serve to benefit society.
One of Sayre’s passions is music, and her goal in life is to utilize her interests to serve the public. After graduation, she hopes to use her knowledge of business management to create a nonprofit organization that provides musical instruments and lessons to underprivileged people.
Hospitality & Tourism Management Honoree
Selina Luc is of Chinese and Vietnamese descent and a San Francisco native. She joined SF State as a Japanese language major. However, Luc always knew she wanted to be part of the hospitality and tourism industry, so she decided to double major in Hospitality and Tourism Management in her junior year. Luc always had ambitions to travel, and since high school, she had a desire to study abroad while in college. She turned this desire into reality by saving money from three part-time jobs at a KFC fast food restaurant, Moritaya gift shop and OfficeMax. This enabled her to study in Japan at Waseda University for a year.
Luc has loved air travel since she was a child, and her dream is to work for a leading Japanese airline company, such as All Nippon Airways or Japan Air Lines, as a flight attendant to be able to assist travelers by delivering great service to them. Luc’s viewpoint is that we don't know what the future holds but it's better to try than to regret not trying at all. She has been a student at SF State for six years and is looking forward to graduating this May.
Jack-Michael (JM) Wesierski
Information Systems Honoree
Jack-Michael Wesierski was recently recruited by Capgemini Inc. to work as a Junior Software Developer. In December 2020, he won the App Showcase Competition organized at SFSU for Information Systems students. The competition included twenty student projects, which were evaluated by five judges from Apple and the Head of the Library Information Technology. Wesierski’s application won the competition because of its design creativity and user-friendly features, such as manipulating sound to play songs and animation. Professor Leigh Jin showcased Wesierski’s and other students’ mobile apps at the AACSB Innovative Curriculum Conference this year
Wesierski is the only student who passed the new Apple Certificate Beta Testing exam in February 2021. He received the certification before Apple officially rolled out the exam to other test-takers. In addition to his academic achievements and code-development activities, Wesierski is engaged in community service. He has served as a coach at coding camps to help middle school and high school students learn to code. Professor Jin commented on Wesierski, “I really think he is a role model for our students.”
International Business Honoree
The son of Mexican immigrants, Angel Jauregui spent his childhood in Los Angeles. As violence in his neighborhood intensified, his parents decided to move to the Bay Area, taking their second journey into the unknown. Trying to offer their son the best in life, they instilled hard-work ethics in him and showed him what they knew: trade jobs. As a result, he became an automotive technician. The recession drove Jauregui to change his career plans and prompted him to pursue the culinary arts. Yet, there was something missing. He traveled to Mexico for research purposes, where he met his wife, who sparked his curiosity for higher education. Jauregui’s quest to explore the world and his thirst for knowledge, along with the plethora of opportunities offered in international business, inspired him to major in International Business at SF State.
Jauregui spent the next four years working and studying, eventually graduating with honors from SF State. He completed Accounting courses at the top of his class and was offered an Accounting Tutor position that segued into his current position as an Accounting Specialist. In his job, Jauregui applied the skills, knowledge and principles he learned at SF State and was offered a full-time position and promotion upon graduation.
Jauregui hopes to inspire others to pursue higher education and start a career in international business. He firmly believes that the International Business major at the Lam Family College of Business has broadened his understanding of cultural differences, which he plans to use to build bridges between the U.S. and Latin America.
Labor and Employment Studies Honoree
Savannah Morrison is a transfer student who came to SFSU after completing an Associate of Arts in Natural Sciences degree, magna cum laude, at the College of Marin. Since starting at SFSU in fall 2019, Morrison has excelled academically, professionally, and personally. She made the Dean’s List every semester and is graduating magna cum laude, with a 3.81 GPA.
As a student, Morrison worked at the Mashouf Wellness Center, where she co-led the Group Fitness department and promoted an initiative to help students who lack access to food, shelter, and other necessities. This taskforce provided meal options, toiletries, cots for sleeping, and referrals to external support programs and organizations. Previously, Morrison volunteered in the cardiac unit at Marin Health Medical Center and as a caregiver. In 2020, she started an internship with Coveo, an artificial intelligence firm, where they kept her on because of her outstanding performance. Morrison also ran health and fitness classes at an Athleta retail shop in San Francisco.
Due to the pandemic, Morrison has become more aware of health inequality, which has been exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic as it disproportionately affects low-income Americans and communities of color. This has motivated her to become a nurse, and she has applied to BSc. and MSc. programs in nursing. Morrison believes that her background in Labor Studies, and her other SFSU experiences, have prepared her for a career in nursing and have bolstered her desire and ability to tackle critical health inequities.
Marketing HonoreeRyan Puccio grew up in San Jose, California. His whole life, he has been heavily involved in extracurricular activities. He became an Eagle Scout at the age of fifteen, was captain of his high school football team, and performed in over forty plays. Puccio chose to major in Marketing because he has always been fascinated by the craft of grabbing consumers’ attention. During his time at SFSU, he joined the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi and later became the Executive Vice President of this student organization. In that role he led webinars, mentored peers in their professional career, and managed 35 members. Alpha Kappa Psi helped prepare Puccio for his professional career and aided him in landing internships. He worked as a Marketing intern for the City of San Jose and later as a Sales Development intern for Almanac, a computer software startup. Puccio currently works as the Market Research and Sales Development Lead at Quokka Brew, a jitterless cold brew startup based in Berkeley. Using the knowledge and skills he learned in his classes, he was able to manage a team of twelve to build databases, produce commercials, and create a hierarchical value map for the company. When he is not busy working, Puccio enjoys acting. Occasionally, he gets hired to play a minor role or to be an extra for local commercials set around San Francisco.