2020, has been quite the year. One of the colleges favorite events is the annual College of Business Honor Societies Induction and Award Ceremony which is normally held during the spring semester, in the Russell J. Salvatore Dining commons on campus. It is a special time to honor and recognize the amazing and talented students that are being inducted into one of the three business honor societies: Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma or Omicron Delta Epsilon. In addition, also recognized at this event, are the top Everett W. Ockerman awards presented to the graduating seniors with the highest GPA in each major. Parents and special guests are invited to attend this event in which faculty, staff and administration are there to celebrate the wonderful academic accomplishments of our students.
The well-known proverb, “Where there is a will, there is a way” seems fitting as this year, the College found a slightly different way to honor and recognize our students on Sunday, August 9, 2020, in a virtual ceremony led by Dr. Mark Frascatore, Dean of the College of Business. This quote is very timely in that it tells of the determination these students possess to find a way to defeat all obstacles and accomplish their goals. Their perseverance and work ethic is evident in the recognition that they have received.
Dr. Frascatore offered the welcome and opening remarks. He introduced Dr. Kris Principe, associate professor of economics and chapter advisor, who provided some background information on Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international honor society for economics. Niagara’s chapter, established in 1986, promotes not just recognition of academic achievement but emphasizes the relationship of economics to the professional world. Principe emphasized that student eligibility requires an overall GPA of 3.0 as well as a minimum of 3.0 in their economic courses, of which 12 credits are required. These students earned well above that, achieving an average of 3.5 GPA in their economic courses. Also inducted was faculty member Dr. Krieg Tidemann, who joined the college in the fall of 2019 and earned his Ph.D. from Syracuse University. His primary research is in the intersection of labor, public and urban economics.
Dr. Ann Rensel, associate professor of MIS and chapter advisor, began the next section of the ceremony, and provided a short history on Beta Gamma Sigma, the honor society for students enrolled in collegiate business and management programs at schools accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Rensel explained that Beta Gamma Sigma was established more than 100 years ago and formed specifically for business students. In 1921, it became the honor society for AACSB accredited schools only. Niagara’s chapter was established in 2005 and each year, students are invited to join based on academic performance, the top 20% of graduating MBA students, 10% of graduating seniors and 7% of second semester juniors.
Sharing in the induction of these students, Dr. Christopher Wright, associate professor of management and chapter vice president, who explained that this honor society was founded to encourage and honor academic achievement in the study of business, and it was formed on three principles: honor, wisdom and earnestness.
Dr. Rensel read the names of all students being inducted. This year there were 16 graduate students, 14 graduating seniors and 4 second semester junior, as well as three faculty members. Rensel closed this portion of the ceremony declaring that these students represent Beta Gamma Sigma’s motto, “The Best of the Best in Business.”
Next up was Dr. Hai Ta, assistant professor of accounting and chapter advisor for Beta Alpha Psi, a nonprofit international honorary and service organization for accounting, finance and information systems students at AACSB or EQUIS accredited universities. Ta shared how Beta Alpha Psi provides opportunities for the development of technical, community service and interaction among students and professionals. To be invited to join, you must have an overall GPA of 3.25 and have completed at least one year at Niagara. To be initiated, students have to commit a significant amount of time in participating in technical events hosted by employers and also on community service.
Dr. Ta explained that Niagara’s Lamba Chi chapter established in 2007, follows the goals to instill a desire for self-improvement, to foster high moral and ethical standards, to encourage and give recognition to scholastic and professional excellence, to cultivate a sense of responsibility and service, to promote collegiate study of financial information, and to provide its members with opportunities to associate with professionals.
Dr. Ta inducted the initiates into full membership into Beta Alpha Psi and recognized the graduating seniors on their accomplishments. Ta offered his congratulations to the graduating senior members, “We are incredibly proud of you and of your accomplishments and we wish you the best in your future endeavors.”
Dean Frascatore continued the ceremony with the final awards, the Ockerman awards for academic excellence. These awards are in remembrance of Dr. Everett W. Ockerman, Professor Emeritus, and the former chairman of the Dept. of commerce. He joined Niagara in 1946 and served as head of the dept. from 1953 until he retired in 1975. Every year since then, we honor the top graduating seniors with the highest GPA in each major. Each student is presented with a plaque honoring their high academic achievement.
All students recognized during this special virtual ceremony, received their certificates, honor cords, program and awards by mail with the heartfelt appreciation of the faculty, staff, administration of the College of Business Administration.
Dean Frascatore concluded the ceremony with his congratulations and best wishes to the students, “We hope you will visit us as distinguished alumni in the next phase of your life”.
The Mission of the College of Business Administration is, “Guided by Catholic and Vincentian traditions, we prepare current and future business professionals to learn, serve, and lead with integrity and live an exemplary life.” The students honored today are shining examples of these words, the outcome that is possible with tremendous effort, service, determination and skill.