2020 Business Administration Department Honors

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Each year, the College celebrates the academic achievements of students with a number of awards at Honors Convocation. This year, students and faculty members gathered via Zoom to present awards and mark the occasion.
Here is an overview of the awards and honorees of the Business Administration Department, including the insurance and risk management, accounting, financial planning and business administration programs.
Jenna Braschler is this year’s winner of the Accounting Student of the Year Award. During her time at Olivet, Jenna has performed at the highest academic standards, served as a mentor to others, shared her love of music by being a part of the Olivet Marching Band and has been an example of integrity. Her work is always of the highest caliber. What is most impressive about Jenna is her commitment to excellence. In the accounting program, students are asked to accomplish many tasks that, along with her Marching Band commitment, made for full days for Jenna; however, she would redo every task until she was sure that they were correct. This commitment and dedication are extended to other students as she mentored classmates to help them grasp difficult concepts. Jenna is a shining example of what it means to be a The University of Olivet alumna!
Andrew Todd is a senior financial planning and insurance and risk management double major from Flushing, Michigan. Andrew has been chosen as a recipient of the Financial Planning Student of the Year Award because of his outstanding work as a financial planning student at The University of Olivet, specifically over the last year. Andrew, alongside Stewart Manges, won the first place in the Society of Financial Service Professionals’ Career Exploration Competition. In addition to this competition, Andrew has helped the financial planning program through volunteering during Financial Education Day, representing Olivet at financial planning conferences, such as the TD Ameritrade National LINC conference, and more.
Upon  receiving this award, Andrew said, “It’s a great honor to be a recipient of this award after working so hard in the financial planning program; however, this accomplishment speaks most to how hard professors work to create success among their students. There is no way that Stewart and I could have succeeded without the support of the business faculty at The University of Olivet.”
Stewart Manges is a senior double majoring in financial planning and insurance and risk management at Olivet, and he is originally from Flushing, Michigan. He is a recipient of the Financial Planning Student of the Year Award due to his victory in the Society of Financial Services Professionals Career Exploration Competition, his mentorship to other students and his academic prowess. Stewart, along with another financial planning student, Andrew Todd, competed in the national Career Exploration Competition and placed first nationwide. This was the first time any team had participated from Olivet. What a way to start.
When asked about his accomplishments Stewart said, “It feels good to know that all of my hard work and effort paid off and will help advance my career.”
Griffin Hammond will be a senior this fall with a major in business management. From Lapeer, Griffin is the Business Management Student of the Year Award recipient for 2020. Griffin is the incoming president of the The University of Olivet chapter of Phi Beta Lambda, the national professional business leadership student organization. Griffin is a student-athlete, and by all definitions, he is a role model for students and athletes and a leader of his peers.
Mia Parker is the 2020 recipient of the Business Department Student of the Year Award. Mia is recognized for her unwavering support of others, academic performance and leadership among her peers. Mia is a role model for students who also aspire to greatness in their academic, athletic and social lives. Mia captures the essence of a leader, inspiring others, while holding herself to the highest of standards. Mia will spend the summer in Chicago where she was chosen for an internship by Hightower Financial.
Abigale Smith is graduating with the recognition and esteem of the entire The University of Olivet family for her selfless commitment to others throughout her college career. As a student, Abigale has excelled to reach the top tier. As drum major, Abigale’s leadership was instrumental in shaping the Marching Comets into a highly respected band around the world. Perhaps most significant is the legacy Abigale leaves that goes beyond the borders of The University of Olivet. Abigale had a passion to help others who most need help. She initiated the annul Out of the Darkness Walk to raise mental health and suicide prevention awareness. Through her efforts, the program has raised tens of thousands of dollars for The University of Olivet and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Abigale will begin her career with the Peace Corp, using her skills in economic development in Fiji. For all of her service, we award Abigale Smith with the 2020 Business Department Social Responsibility Award.
Sydnie Weller is the Risk Management and Insurance Student of the Year. Sydnie is a graduating senior from Battle Creek. She has completed two successful internships at insurance agencies and earned the University Associate Certified Insurance Counselor (UACIC) professional designation. Sydnie was a varsity member of the women’s tennis team and a member of Gamma Iota Sigma where she served as the organization’s vice president of diversity and inclusion. She also experienced European insurance market operations in London and Dublin, as well as business processes in Antigua during two different study abroad opportunities.
Emmalee Yates is the Charles M. Trubac Outstanding Insurance and Risk Management Senior. Emmalee is a graduating senior from Hastings. She has completed successful internships with EMC Insurance and State Farm. Emmalee has achieved licensure as a producer in property, casualty, life and health insurance in the state of Michigan and earned her Associate in General Insurance (AINS) and University Associate Certified Risk Manager (UACRM) professional designations. She has been a multi-year officer as the chief recording and reporting officer of Gamma Iota Sigma. Emmalee was also accepted as one of 20 students nationwide for a challenging internship with the Wholesale and Specialty Insurance Association, which is one of the most sought after and competitive internship programs in the insurance industry.
Jaden Costa is a senior majoring in computer science with a minor in coaching. An avid runner, you will no doubt have seen Jaden on his road course in all sorts of weather. Jaden is the winner of the 2020 Computer Science Student of the Year Award based on his tutoring and assistance to computer science students of any major. He has worked for the College’s ITS department and was one of three lab assistants in Mott 303 where he maintained lab computers and software and was available for drop-in tutoring for computing students. He is also a member of the OC Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). His studies have included the Internet of Things, programming the Raspberry Pi in assembly language and testing it with sensors and actuators. He assisted students with coding their contagion simulators and is familiar with several computer languages.
Jacob Coultas is the 2020 Business Department Marketing Student of the Year. Jacob just completed his junior year at The University of Olivet and is from Davison. Jacob is an outstanding student fully engaged in all his classes and activities at the College. Jacob has progressed from an introspective, quiet first-year student to a flourishing thought leader within the marketing department, and he is such a fantastic representation of what an Olivet student that is maximizing their abilities can become. Jacob has fully immersed himself in all marketing-related initiatives as he recently attended an advertising industry conference in Chicago where he was able to connect with some of the Midwest’s foremost advertising and marketing professionals. Jacob’s passion for all aspects of marketing, specifically a future career in digital marketing, will guide him to a prosperous and rewarding career.
Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.


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