The Everett W. Ockerman Awards ceremony - excellence in academics

With the completion of the academic year approaching quickly, the College of Business took time to reflect and highlight the many student successes and achievements during this most unusual year. Business students were recognized for their perseverance and excellence in academic achievements, during the annual College of Business Honor Societies Induction and Awards ceremony held on campus on Friday, April 30, 2021.

College of Business Honor Societies & Awards 04302021

Students were inducted into 3 honor societies: Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma and Omicron Delta Epsilon. Each honor society had a small ceremony to welcome in their new members. In addition, graduating business seniors who had achieved a minimum overall GPA of 3.5 were also recognized during the Everett W. Ockerman awards presentation portion of the ceremony.

The first ceremony of the afternoon was to induct students into Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international honor society for economics. Niagara’s chapter Beta Epsilon, was established in 1986 and promotes recognition of scholastic achievement in economics, as well as emphasizing the professional aspects of economics as a career. Dr. Kris Principe, associate professor of economics and advisor for ODE and Dr. Krieg Tidemann, assistant professor of economics, congratulated 12 students who were inducted into the society. Students received their honor cords and certificates for achieving the 3.0 GPA as well as completion of 12-credit hours in economic courses with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in those courses.

Since 2007, Niagara has had a chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the nonprofit international honorary and service organization for accounting, finance and information systems students at AACSB accredited universities.  BAP provides opportunities for development of technical and professional skills, participation in community service and interaction among students, faculty and professionals. This society requires commitment and active participation in addition to members achieving a minimum overall GPA of 3.25. 

Prof. Vince Agnello, accounting dept. chair and professor of law, welcomed the 10 initiates into Beta Alpha Psi. The Beta Alpha Psi Executive Board consists of student officers, Cassandra Siwy, President, Alexis Bueme, Vice President, Annina Marullo, Treasurer and Lindsey Hoak, Secretary. Dr. Hai Ta, assistant professor of accounting serves as the advisor. In addition, 11 graduating seniors were recognized and received their honor cords for graduation. 

Alexis Bueme shared a few of the activities that Beta Alpha Psi initiates and members were able to participate in, “This semester Beta Alpha Psi members were able to learn about three different CPA firms- Lumsden McCormick, Freed Maxick and CTBK.  We also talked to a private manufacturing company, Columbus McKinnon, and a government agency, DCAA. We learned how to navigate the CPA exam, what opportunities these companies have to offer and what working as an accountant looks like.  They were all held virtually but had good attendance.  We also had members participate in the IRS VITA program (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) every week processing income taxes!”

Prof. Agnello also celebrated the achievement of 3 accounting students who received awards from the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, Buffalo Chapter. The NYSSCPA Award of Honor was awarded to Brandon Margeson as the top graduate accounting student in recognition of outstanding achievements in accounting studies. Erin Faxlanger, received the NYSSCPA Award of Honor as the top senior accounting student in recognition of outstanding achievements in accounting studies. The John T. Kennedy Memorial award was presented to Jordan Wishman, the top junior accounting student.

The afternoon continued with the induction of students into Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society which is now in over 190 countries, serving business programs accredited by AACSB International. Membership is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive.

The BGS tagline is “The Best in the Business” and these students are certainly that with inductees selected from the top 20 percent of MBA graduates, 10 percent of graduating seniors and 7 percent of second semester juniors. Dr. Ann Rensel, associate professor of MIS and Dr. Daniel Tompkins, professor of finance inducted 12 MBA students, 8 seniors and 4 juniors. In addition, Dr. Changjie Hu, assistant professor of finance was a faculty inductee.

The final ceremony of the afternoon was the Everett W. Ockerman Awards recognizing academic excellence in honor of Dr. Everett W. Ockerman, Professor Emeritus who served as the chair in the Department of Economics and Commerce for 25 years. This ceremony acknowledges the College of Business Administration graduating seniors who have earned a 3.5 and above overall GPA. Dr. Mark Frascatore, Dean and Kelli Asklar, Assistant Dean, congratulated the 33 seniors that achieved this accomplishment.

Special recognition is given to the top graduating senior student in each major as they receive a plaque in honor of their high academic achievements. This year’s top Ockerman students:

Accounting – Erin Faxlanger
Economics – Joseph Tricarico
Finance – John Zielinski
Management – Karlie Kubasiewicz
Marketing – Ally Bellanca

Dr. Mark Frascatore, Dean, shared his thoughts, “It is always my favorite time of year when we have an opportunity to honor and celebrate our students and their successes. It was especially exciting this year as we managed to return to an in-person format. While we still needed to limit attendance and practice strict health guidelines, this big step toward a return to normalcy was most welcome. Congratulations to all our College of Business Honorees!”