Business students recognized for leadership, community involvement

contact: Alyssa Benson
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Twenty-five students from the Haworth College of Business were recognized as part of the inaugural Trailblazer Student Recognition program, and one student was named Trailblazer of the Year.

The Trailblazer program recognizes and honors business students for their commitment to academics, personal and professional development, leadership and community and campus involvement.

"Our exceptional students are dedicated to excellence not only in their academic careers but also within their communities,” says Dr. Kay Palan, dean of the Haworth College of Business. “The goal of the Trailblazer program is to recognize a selection of students who make a difference and go above and beyond to contribute to, not only their campus community, but also the business communities where they intern and work."

All students were recognized in a ceremony on April 15, where the Trailblazer of the Year was also named. Brianna Amat, a food and consumer package goods marketing major from Pinckney, Michigan, was honored as Trailblazer of the Year. 

Brianna Amat

Photo of Brianna Amat.

Amat

A WMU Medallion Scholar and Lee Honors College student, Amat has served in various roles on campus, most recently as an undergraduate research assistant in the WMU Department of Marketing. She has also completed several marketing internships at companies such as J.M. Smucker and the Lee Honors College. Amat participated in the National Grocers Association University Case Competition, winning first place as part of a team in 2014. She is also the current vice president of professional events in the Food Marketing Association.

"A Trailblazer isn’t the person with the longest resume, highest GPA or best job or internship offer," says Amat. "To me, being a Trailblazer means being someone who embraces opportunities to be different, motivated by the pure thrill of the unknown. As Trailblazers, we are individuals that see failures as lessons and successes as new starting lines."

The program is application-based, and a panel of college faculty and staff chose the twenty-five finalists. The public then had the opportunity to vote, and voting comprised 20 percent of the overall score and drew in more than 8,000 votes from members of the WMU community and beyond.

The finalists

The following students were selected as finalists for the 2014-15 academic year:

  • Jacob Adams, an accountancy and finance major from Clarkston.
  • Joshua Angles, a human resource management major from Brooklyn.
  • William Balsamo, an accountancy and finance major from Richmond.
  • Molly Cahill, a food and consumer package goods marketing and integrated supply management major from Naperville, Illinois.
  • Tinashe Chaponda, a human resource management major from Kalamazoo.
  • Christina Cook, a sales and business marketing major from Byron Center.
  • Margaret Craig, a sales and business marketing major from Midland.
  • Travis Culhane, a management major from Kalamazoo.
  • Lynsey DeGraaf, an integrated supply management major from Parchment.
  • Devin Grover,  a management major from Chicago.
  • Rebecca Haines, a marketing and trombone performance major from Muskegon.
  • Grant Heselschwerdt, a sales and business marketing major from Jackson.
  • Karen Kalinski, a food and consumer package goods marketing major from Livonia.
  • Kathryn Kick, a food and consumer package goods marketing and painting major from Iron Mountain.
  • Julia Maassen, a health informatics and information management major from Livonia.
  • Connor Makowski, a management major from Marcellus.
  • Sarah Marcyan, an advertising and promotion major from Saline.
  • Breanna Moore, a marketing major from Milford.
  • Edward Mulford, an integrated supply management major from Midland.
  • Robert Nyhuis, a management and marketing major from  Zeeland.
  • Ali Russo, a food and consumer package goods marketing major from Kalamazoo.
  • Jasmine Scott, a marketing major from Shelby Township.
  • Victoria Taylor, a sales and business marketing and integrated supply management major from Kalamazoo.
  • Tian Zhang, a master's of science in accountancy major from China.

For more information on the program or the student participants, please contact Alyssa Gapske, assistant director of marketing and communication for the Haworth College of Business, at (269) 387-5964 or alyssa.t.gapske@wmich.edu

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