Thirteen honored during Walker College International Awards Ceremony

The Walker College of Business hosted its annual International Awards Celebration on Friday, November 11, 2016. The event took place in the Parkway Ballroom of Plemmons Student Union, on the campus of Appalachian State University. The awards luncheon honored students, faculty and staff from the Walker College of Business for their international achievements.

The ceremony began with greetings from Walker College of Business Dean Heather Norris and Appalachian's Associate Vice Chancellor of International Programs Jesse Lutabingwa.

Guest speaker Jill Sparks, Executive Director of Small Business Center and Business Incubation Program at Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College addressed the participants. Sparks, who is a member of the college's Business Advisory Council, highlighted the significance of student involvement in international programs and advised students to utilize the resources available to them through the university to plan for travel credit and apply for travel scholarships. The only thing you need is to "want to explore and have an open mind...Go out and learn about other cultures, and come back and share that experience with your fellow citizens."

Walker College Associate Dean of International Programs Martin Meznar and International Programs Coordinator Meredith Church Pipes presented the student and faculty awards, with representatives of AIESEC and the International Business Student Association (IBSA) presenting awards for their respective student organizations.

View photos from the 2016 ceremony.

The Outstanding Senior International Business Major Award was given to two students, Sydney Rowell and Cameron Hill, in recognition of their exceptional academic success and remarkable international engagement. Both Cameron and Sydney study Spanish, having both recently returned from study abroad in Spain. Cameron is an Australian citizen, an active member of Intapp and chose to complete a full year abroad instead of the required one semester. Sydney is double majoring in International Business and Spanish and, in addition to her academic studies abroad, volunteered with Gira Mundo Arts Project, teaching underprivileged children in Santarem, Brazil.

The Outstanding Senior International Business Minor Award was presented to Jessica Saggus in recognition of her exceptional academic success and remarkable international engagement. Jessica is an accounting major with double minors in international business and Spanish.

Clare McPherson earned the Walker College of Business Global Citizen Award in recognition of establishing meaningful connections with the local population beyond the classroom. Clare is an international business major with a Chinese minor and recently completed an international internship in Xi'an China.

AIESEC student leader Colleen Gillooley presented the Leaders that Achieve Award to Katie Campana in recognition of incredible leadership and the AIESEC Global Citizen Award to Kelsey Burke in recognition of her dedication to world issues and her embodiment of AIESEC values.

IBSA President Jack Terrell presented the IBSA New Member Award to Jessica Robinson in recognition of exceptional contribution to furthering the goals of IBSA. The IBSA Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership qualities used to benefit IBSA, was awarded to Emily Turner.

The Faculty-Led Program Most Valuable Participant Award went to marketing major Samantha Bender in recognition of her contribution to promoting the success of the Holland Fellows Program. Samantha was a 2016 Holland Fellow and traveled to China as part of the program.

Three faculty members received awards from the college. Computer Information Systems Professor Charlie Chen was named the Most Popular Program Leader. Dr. Chen regularly leads programs to Japan and China and is leading a new program to Thailand this year. Management Professor Dan Hsu received the International Engagement Award in recognition of his entrepreneurship-oriented, faculty-led program to Wenzhou University in China. Dr. Hsu has worked hard to develop this close international partnership that has created new opportunities for Walker College students. Management Professor Rachel Shinnar received the Inspiring International Leaders Award in recognition of her success inspiring students to go beyond their comfort zone in developing cross-cultural connections. Dr. Shinnar has led programs to Cuba for the past two years.

The Outstanding International Business Alumna Award was presented to Sarah Freed, who earned her undergraduate degree in International Business and Accounting in 2009 from the Walker College of Business, in recognition of her exceptional positive international impact. Freed is Co-founder of Obliquity Group, an international consulting firm that provides third party, independent audits and performance benchmarking of corporate social responsibility programs and was recently named Community Partnerships Manager with Uber. She is a 2016 AACSB Influential Leader, recognizing business graduates using their degrees to make a difference in the world. She encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunities to intern abroad through AIESEC.

The International Awards Luncheon Celebration is an annual event that brings together the community of faculty, staff and students in the Walker College of Business who value international experiences and work to internationalize the Walker community, both through providing international opportunities for students and through pursuing such opportunities themselves.

The 2017 event is tentatively scheduled for Friday, November 17.


2009 alumna Sarah Freed, center, was honored for her exceptional positive international impact during the 2016 Walker College International Awards Celebration
Published: Nov 23, 2016 11:13am