Purple pride was in full force as the College of Business celebrated academic success at its annual Honor Societies Induction and Awards Ceremony on April 30 in the Russel J. Salvatore Dining Commons on campus. Students were inducted into three honor societies: Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma and Omicron Delta Epsilon. Special recognition was given to six students who received the Everett W. Ockerman award and plaque for the graduating senior in each major with the highest overall gpa.
The evening began with Dr. Ann Rensel, associate dean and associate professor of MIS with the welcome to students and their parents, and then introduced Dr. Mark Frascatore, Dean, who provided the opening remarks.
Dr. Kris Principe, associate professor of economics and moderator for Omicron Delta Epsilon inducted five students into the honor society. Omicron Delta Epsilon was established in 1986 and is the international honor society for economics. Inductees have been selected based on maintaining a 3.0 overall gpa as well as completion of 12 credit hours in economic courses with a gpa of 3.0 or better. Also inducted was new faculty member in the Economics and Finance Dept. Dr. Feifei Wang, assistant professor of economics.
Niagara’s chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma was founded in 2005 and is the honor society for students enrolled in collegiate business and management programs at schools accredited by AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Inductees are selected from the top 7% of juniors, 10% graduating seniors and 20% of MBA graduates. This year, 4 juniors, 11 seniors and 15 graduate students were inducted, as well as three faculty members, Dr. Madhurima Bhattacharyay, assistant professor of management, Mr. Patrick O’Meara, assistant professor of accounting and Dr. Feifei Wang, assistant professor of economics. The officers of Beta Gamma Sigma, Dr. Ann Rensel, Dr. Daniel Tompkins, professor of finance, and Dr. Christopher Wright, associate professor of management presented the certificates, honor cords and pins to the students. Dr. Wright explained to the audience that Beta Gamma Sigma was founded in 1913 to encourage and honor academic achievement in the study of business. It is based on three principles reflected in its name, which signify honor, wisdom and earnestness, which are considered prerequisites for those who would lead others.
Next in the ceremony was the induction of students into Beta Alpha Psi, the nonprofit international honorary and service organization for accounting, finance, and information systems at AACSB or EQUIS accredited universities. Dr. Hai Ta, assistant professor of accounting and moderator for the society explained that their focus is providing opportunities for development of technical and professional skills, participating in community service and interaction among students, faculty and professionals. A 3.25 minimum gpa is required in addition to meeting the required number of hours.
This year 18 initiate members have met the requirements by attending technicals on campus by such organizations as Freed Maxick, Brock Schecter & Polakoff, and Defense Contract Audit Agency to name a few. They have participated in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) which offers free tax help for low to moderate income families, persons with disabilities, the elderly and those having limited English proficiency. In addition, a group of BAP members also attended the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) Student Leadership conference last fall in St. Louis, Missouri. Led by their Executive Board of Officers who have served for the past year and a half: Rodney Walker, President, Amy Barg, Vice President and Matt Corapi, Treasurer, BAP students have also contributed with community service hours putting together the barbeque on campus each spring to support funding kids to attend summer camp at Camp Turner. They have raised $2500 in the past two years towards sponsoring kids for summer camp.
Beta Alpha Psi also had 18 graduating seniors who received their honor cords and certificates at the ceremony. Dr. Ta announced the incoming Executive Board: Alan Peunic, President, William Acevedo, Vice President, Mohamed Mustafa, Treasurer, and Lindsey Hoak, Secretary.
Dr. Mark Frascatore, Dean distributed the last awards of the evening, recognizing the graduating seniors who achieved the highest gpa in each major with the Dr. Everett W. Ockerman award of excellence. Dr. Ockerman, Professor Emeritus, served as Chair of the Economics and Commerce Dept for 30 years and provided a scholarship and event to recognize academic excellence in business students. The following students received the award: Accounting, Amy Barg, Economics, Alessia Filutze, Finance (tie) – Sean King and Daniel Ronen, Management, Erin Bliemeister, and Marketing, Amber Thiel.
Dean Frascatore provided the closing remarks congratulating the students on their academic achievements while also noting their impressive resumes, “I know a lot of the criteria you heard today are about gpa. However, if you look at these students’ resumes, you wonder how on earth they have time to also intern at a company, be active in clubs and activities on campus, participate in community service, be student athlete. These are life skills that they have acquired, not just academic strength, but life skills. They have the ability to see what’s important, and they have the drive to make it happen.”