UTSA College of Business Newsletter
May 19, 2016
M.S. in Data Analytics program

Karla Cruz with Dean Gerry Sanders
Karla Cruz Completes an Outstanding Journey at UTSA

Leaving on a high note, Karla Cruz graduated this month with high honors, a bachelor’s degree in management and with the distinction of being named the Most Outstanding Undergraduate Student in the College of Business for 2016. “I made the best decision coming to UTSA,” said Cruz, who was born in El Salvador.  “I am fortunate that the College of Business makes it possible for students from different backgrounds like myself to grow professionally and academically.” While at UTSA Cruz was a member of the Honors College, the Business Scholars Program, the McNair Scholars Program and was named a Distinguished Business Student--placing her in the top 1.5 percent of all business undergraduates. Utilizing skills she learned in the college’s Career Action Program, Cruz landed a dream internship with Eli Lilly, a Fortune 500 global pharmaceutical company, while attending the Adelante National Leadership Institute.  Working with their marketing oncology team, she found the work rewarding and was invited to join them this fall as a full-time marketing associate.

Sisters Lorena and Daniela Vazquez
Economics Department Ranked Top 10 in the South

The UTSA College of Business Department of Economics was ranked one of the Top 10 economics departments in the South for faculty productivity according to an article in Applied Economics Letters. The article, “Ranking Economics Departments in the U.S. South: An Update,” ranked faculty research output at 88 national institutions. The rankings listed in order included Vanderbilt University, George Mason University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, Georgia State University, Duke University, University of Virginia, Clemson University, University of Texas at Austin and UTSA. “This ranking demonstrates the contribution of the Department of Economics in achieving the university’s mission of becoming a Top Tier research institution,” said Melody Lo, chair of the UTSA Department of Economics. “In addition, the ranking will help the department with its goal of recruiting highly-qualified students and faculty.” The department has 14 full-time faculty members who conduct research in the areas of applied econometrics, financial economics, monetary economics and international economics.

Destinee Williams
Honors Student Overcomes Many Hardships to Shine at UTSA

Overcoming a variety of hardships the summer before she entered UTSA, Destinee Williams graduated last week with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and will enter law school in the fall. As a first-generation student from a rough neighborhood in Dallas, Williams reluctantly left her family at her mother’s urging to make a better life for herself at UTSA. While she struggled her first semester, she quickly found solace in the college’s Business Scholars Program (BSP), a mentoring program designed for first-generation college students. “One of the best decisions that I made at UTSA was to join BSP,” said Williams, who completed her degree in four years. “I found students like myself, and the staff were always there for me.” And, once she gained her footing, she blossomed at UTSA as a member of the Honors College, a vice president for three years of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, a UTSA Ambassador and the recognition chair for Honors Alliance. “I never gave up on my dreams,” she said. “I never forgot where I came from, but I wouldn’t let that define me as a person."

Grant Lucas
MBA Students Raise Almost $25,000 for Local Charities

Students in Matthew McCarter’s Organizational Behavior and Management class recently completed an experiential learning project that resulted in almost $25,000 being raised for local charities. The UTSA Apprentice exercise places each student on a team that must plan, organize and manage a third-party fundraising event for a local charity. While some teams hosted events such as golf outings, dodge ball tournaments and bowling events, one team thought outside the box and raised over $15,000 from almost 1,200 pounds of donated clothing. This high-performing team was comprised of Andrew Wilcoxson, Grant Lucas and Sarah Meek. Their project was Spring Cleaning with Meaning. Their team chose to work with Hill Country Family Services, an organization that provides food and emergency financial support to Kendall County families, since Lucas had previously supported this organization. Applying skills learned from the classroom, the project allowed the teams to practice their negotiation, project management and leadership skills in a real-world setting.

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