At Commencement, graduates learn they have much to be proud about.

Spring Commencement took place on April 28, 2008. The ceremony for College of Business Administration’s Chapman Graduate School and School of Accounting occurred in the afternoon, with undergraduates from the Landon School receiving their diplomas in the evening.

Approximately 607 undergraduate students and 208 graduate students participated.

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Executive Dean of the college and Vice Provost, FIU Online, Joyce J. Elam, addressed both audiences, focusing many of her remarks on the impressive achievements of students—individuals and student organizations—as well as on the business school’s consistent strengths in the rankings and its noteworthy new building complex.

She conferred the degrees on those graduating from the Landon School and the School of Accounting; Tomislav Mandakovic, associate dean, Chapman Graduate School, handed the diplomas to those receiving their master’s degrees or doctorates. Among the latter were four from the college’s International Executive MBA (IEMBA) in Jamaica: Corine Bolton, Karen Gardener, Vivia Newman, and Jacqueline Simpson.

FIU Medallion winner underscores the sense of pride, with a dose of adaptability added to the mix.

Modesto A. Maidique, Florida International University president, and Ronald M. Berkman, executive vice president and provost, presented Timothy J. Ellington (MBA ’77) the FIU Medallion as “Outstanding Alumnus” during the evening ceremony.

Jimmy Plannett (MSMIS ’06)

“When I got my master’s degree and was fortunate enough to teach at the university for a couple years, it was a new school in an area that was not well developed. I have seen it grow into a major university that has experienced high growth. I am very proud of the school,” said Ellington, a member of the college’s Master of Science in Finance Advisory Board and currently a managing director/principal with Bear Stearns, Inc., who will join JP Morgan Chase in a similar position post-merger.

Speaking from experience, both as a member of an army family and as a professional, he also touched on adaptability.

“The business environment today is more transitory and global than ever, and that trend will continue,” he said.

Life after graduation proves value of MSMIS degree.

When Jimmy Plannett (MSMIS ’06), senior business systems analyst, Norwegian Cruise Line, decided to pursue a graduate degree, he wanted a program “focused on IT, business, and management” and opted for the Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MSMIS) in the college because the four other Florida universities he considered “were more specific to computer science, security or network administration.” His said his decision has enriched him—in knowledge and financially.

“Because I have an MIS degree from a business school, I can bridge the gap between business and IT better than others,” said Plannett, noting that “I can tell I have a different perspective because of my knowledge, and that really brings benefits to the table when I meet with different departments inside of IT, vendors, and especially, business owners.”

Though a systems engineer when he began the program, he left shortly before completing it “to pursue a more business-facing role” and received a “significant salary increase.”

Building on that powerful combination of IT expertise and business background at the core of the MSMIS program, Plannett is pursuing an MBA in the college through its joint degree program.

“Having either degree puts me ahead of the competition” he said. “I think having both degrees and my experience singles me out in a good way.”

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