Graduates enjoy their new status.

Earning a degree from the College of Business Administration was just one gratifying experience for recent graduates. Walking in Florida International University’s Commencement on December 19, 2006, was another. And so was participating in a festive round of parties, affording them the opportunity to socialize and recognize their classmates and professors. Here’s a sampling.

BBA+ program graduates celebrate at Faculty Club.

Members of the nineteenth group to graduate from the BBA+ Weekend program gathered at the Faculty Club on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus for a dinner on December 15, 2006.

“I challenge you to consider your own success as a matter of decisive action, determined by your commitment and persistence in achieving your goals,” Donald D. Roomes, program director, told the group. “I hope you will recommend the program as the right place to prepare for a business career. It is our continuing effort to deliver a business education enriched by technology and international business awareness that will enable you to be innovative and to succeed in our changing global economy.”

Don Fair, associate dean, budget and administration, brought greetings from Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam, and Zoe H. Leal, special events manager, alumni and partner relations, filled graduates in on the benefits of being active alumni.

“The best thing about the program is that we were one group during the whole time, helping each other in what was like a family environment,” said Amy Lopez, valedictorian, who already has begun an Executive MBA at the University of Miami, where she has been a nine-year employee in purchasing. “I couldn’t have been promoted or transferred to a higher position without a bachelor’s degree. I’ve worked fulltime since I was nineteen, and trying to go to school evenings was exhausting, so being able to complete my degree on Saturdays was great.”

Melanie Barnick, who recently launched her own business, Living Miami Management, which will manage community associations for boards of directors, garnered the “Leadership Award” and also appreciated the camaraderie and Saturday schedule.

“The only way I could get to classes was on Saturdays since I was working as a commercial property manager and starting my business,” she said. “Not only was the schedule ideal, but also, as a group, we shared responsibilities, which made the demands of the program more manageable for all of us.”

The students awarded the “Circle of Excellence Award” to José Lopez-Calleja, visiting instructor, Department of Economics.

Master’s programs mark commencement with dinners at local restaurants.

Downtown MBA graduates

The first Downtown MBA graduates, numbering 25 students, attended a graduation dinner at the Rusty Pelican on December 14, 2006. Speakers included José de la Torre, dean of the Chapman School; Tomislav Mandakovic, the school’s associate dean and faculty director of the Downtown MBA; and two members of the Dean’s Council who were instrumental in enabling the college to establish the Downtown Center: Dana Nottingham, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority; and N. K. “Trip” Tripathy, president, Macy’s Florida. Norma Penate won the award for highest GPA; Ryan Holtzman received a special mention for having been class representative; and Susan Clemmons (PhD ’05), visiting assistant professor, Department of Decision Sciences and Information Systems, was named “Best Faculty.”

Master of Science in Finance graduates

Students from two programs—27 from the eleventh group to go through the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) and four MSF-International MBA (IMBA) joint degree students—celebrated together at Texas de Brazil on December 16, 2006. The 65-person guest list included faculty, students, and students’ family members. Yonathan Vera received the “Best Student Award;” Ernesto Guzman won the “Director’s Award;” and Aydin Bonabi, program specialist, FIU Online, captured the “Good Citizen Award.” The group named Brice Dupoyet, assistant professor, Department of Finance, “Best Professor,” and singled out Security Analysis, taught by Shahid Hamid, Department of Finance professor, as the “Best Course.”

MSMIS graduates

Twenty-seven students received their Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MSMIS) degree, having celebrated their accomplishments on December 18, 2006, at the Porcao Steakhouse. It was the thirteenth group to complete the program. Three students maintained a perfect GPA: Jorge Diaz Kropman, Diana Lopez Robledo, and Connie Scheel. The class named Faisal Kaleem, lecturer, Department of Decision Sciences and Information Systems, as “Best Professor,” and his course Information Security, as “Best Course.”

MSHRM graduates

Nine students made up the eighth group to complete the Master of Science in Human Resource Management (MSHRM) and marked their achievement at a dinner at the Chart House Restaurant in Coconut Grove on December 20, 2006. Joseph Iwan graduated with the highest GPA and Sarah Latham, office assistant in the college’s Department of Management and International Business, won the “Citizenship Award.” The graduates made two awards to faculty members. They named Dana Farrow, professor, Department of Management and International Business, “Best Professor.” He taught High Involvement in Human Resource Management. They voted Human Resource Knowledge Management, taught by Eric Cartaya (MBA ’00, BA ’97), visiting assistant professor in the Department of Management and International Business, as “Best Class.”

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