Fall Commencement helps close 2009 on upbeat note.

For students and their families and friends, there’s no more exciting event than when all the hard work, dedication and sometimes considerable sacrifice is recognized in the form of a college commencement. That was true for the more than 5,500 students who graduated from Florida International University (FIU) on December 14 and 15, 2009. Among them were 1,072 from the Landon Undergraduate School of Business and 574 from the Chapman Graduate School of Business, including seven PhDs.

Joyce J. Elam, executive dean of the College of Business Administration, spoke at both the undergraduate ceremony in the afternoon and the graduate ceremony in the evening. While acknowledging the students’ achievement, she also reminded them that much lies ahead. She quoted Lou Holtz, a former head football coach: “If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven’t done anything today.”

Approximately 5,500 students graduated from FIU at the Fall Commencement, including 1,072 from the Landon Undergraduate School and 574 from the Chapman Graduate School, seven of them PhDs. Employees of the College of Business Administration were among those to receive degrees in business as well as in other disciplines.

During the afternoon event, Jose Valdes-Fauli (BBA ’75), received the FIU Medallion as Outstanding Alumnus, a recognition awarded to Stewart L. Appelrouth (MBA ’80), at the evening gathering.

Business school employees receive diplomas in various specialties.

A number of those working in the college graduated, reaching this milestone in parallel to their contributions as staff members.

Melissa Castriota, Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Studies; secretary, college undergraduate advising

Olakunle Ekunkonye, Professional MBA; manager, web development, Department of Marketing, Communications and Recruiting

Elsie Florido, Master of Science in Human Resource Management; associate director, Career Management Services

Leandro Gonzalez (BBA ’08), Master of Accounting; graduate adviser and a tutor, School of Accounting

Zuzana Hlavacova, PhD, International Relations; assistant director, Management Information Systems and Human Resource Management graduate programs

Kathy Leal (BBA ’08), Executive Master of Science in Taxation; graduate advisor

Ho Wan Lee, Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in finance; intern, Capital Markets Lab

Cynthia Perez, Bachelor of Arts, Psychology with a minor in Hospitality Management; student assistant, Office of Finance and Administration

Sammi Rosin, Master of Science in Human Resource Management; assistant director, Career Management Services

Gideon Schnog (BBA ’07, BA ’06), Master of International Business; IT operations coordinator

Marisela Gonzalez Servat, Evening MBA; graduate assistant, Downtown MBA

Marisol Sierra, Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Studies; program coordinator, accounting graduate programs

Ira Turner, Master of International Business; academic advisor

Nithin Zachariah, Master of International Business; intern, Capital Markets Lab

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