December Graduation_ Academic Accolades and Newest Alumni Celebration – Eli Broad College of Business _ Michigan State University

December Graduation_ Academic Accolades and Newest Alumni Celebration – Eli Broad College of Business _ Michigan State University

December Graduation: Academic Accolades and Newest Alumni Celebration

In The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University, December’s graduation was particularly memorable, with several students earning outstanding academic accolades at MSU and a traditional “Newest Alumni Celebration” on Saturday, December 13.

At a meeting on December 12, six students were recognized with MSU Board of Trustees’ Awards for having the highest grade Boomessays plagiarism point average at the close of their last semesters in attendance at MSU. Two of those six were from the School of Hospitality Business. Dominique Johnson (BA Hospitality Business ’14), of Detroit, graduated from Cass Technical High School, and earned a 4.0 GPA. Jiyeun Kim (BA Hospitality Business ’14), of Seoul, Korea, who graduated from the Changduck Girls High School, also earned a 4.0. Both graduates of the School also completed its rigorous Hospitality Business Real Estate & Development Specialization. Last Spring semester, Kim earned First Place at the 2014 University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, mentored by School assistant professor Dr. MiRan Kim.

Dominique, who will begin her career in real estate consulting with Ernst & Young in Miami, says, “When I first arrived at MSU, one of my primary goals was to graduate with a 4.0 GPA. To know that I actually achieved what might have at first seemed like an unrealistic goal fills me with a sense of pride that I simply have never felt before.”

Jiyeun Kim has been accepted in graduate school at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea. She says, “While at MSU, I always tried to do my best.  I had many things to overcome as an international student, but I made it! I owe this achievement to great professors in The School and to good friends who helped me.”

In addition to these two standouts, five of the 19 student-athletes in the Eli Broad College of Business who were named to the 2014 Academic All-Big Ten Team are enrolled in the School. They are:

* Jack Allen (BA Hospitality Business ’16), football

* Taylor Galloway (BA Hospitality Business ’15), volleyball

* Allyson Krause (BA Hospitality Business ’16), women’s soccer

* Matt Macksood (BA Hospitality Business ’17), football

* Josiah Price (BA Hospitality Business ’17), footballTo be eligible for consideration, these students earned a varsity letter, were in at least their second academic year, and had a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

“We are so proud of all these high achievers,” says Jeff Yingling, the School’s assistant director of undergraduate academic programs. “Each one of them not only earned academic honors, but was also involved in other activities – sports or School clubs and events – which meant that they had to manage their time well and commit to excellence. We congratulate them.”

Graduation festivities in The School also included its Newest Alumni Celebration at the University Club of MSU following the 10 a.m. Commencement Ceremony, with over 70 graduates, families, and faculty members as guests. The luncheon featured Alumna Kristin St. Marie (BA Hospitality Business ’87, MS ’99) as luncheon speaker.

It is a special tradition in The School that when a student graduates whose parent is also a graduate, that parent speaks at the Newest Alumni Celebration. Kristin, who is assistant director of the Demmer Center for Business Transformation and assistant director of Executive Development Programs for the Broad College of Business, is also mother to brand new graduate Hallie St. Marie (BA Hospitality Business ’14). Hallie’s whole family was in the audience, including her sister Rachelle and Kristin’s, mother Penny Symington, both fellow MSU graduates. Three generations of Spartan women!

In her remarks, Kristin recalled being an undergraduate student in the 1980s, when tuition was $49.25/credit hour, students registered for classes on paper in the “Pit,” and cell phones and internet did not exist. Things have changed, she said, but some things haven’t. Several of the same faculty members are teaching still, and the Spartans won Rose Bowls in 1988 and 2014.

Quoting a song by the Waterboys called “This is the Sea,” Kristin told the graduates that the “river” in the song represents their journey in college – a journey filled with “banks, borders, and directions.” Now, she said, “the river is flowing into the sea,” where there is no certain path. “You will have to make your own path and develop the skills to survive and thrive,” she said.

As you find your direction, said Kristin, find what inspires you. “I am passionate about family first,” she said, “and inspired by strong women leaders.” Kristin spoke of mentoring young women leaders at MSU. “I am privileged to work for my alma mater. It brings deeper meaning to my work and the people that I work with.”

“Don’t be afraid of failure,” Kristin also told the graduates. “Michelle Obama says, ‘Failure is the key to success.’ So take risks, try new things. Every time I took a risk in my career, it has paid off,” she said, from earning a graduate degree in her 30s to choosing a career in a non-traditional hospitality setting.

Kristin urged the graduates to stay involved at MSU and the School. “Stay connected – it’s very rewarding,” she said, and, quoting Amy Poehler, she said, “Try putting your iPhones down once in a while and look at people’s faces. Be authentic, be real, and have a conversation.”

The Newest Alumni Celebration was hosted and organized by the student-led Hospitality Association, with guidance from the School’s Student & Industry Resource Center (SIRC) Director Authella Collins Hawks. Each graduate received a parting gift. “It was another special send-off,” says Mrs. Hawks, “for a wonderful group of future hospitality industry leaders.”