Special for messenger
NACOGDOCHES — Economics and finance students at Stephen F. Austin State University received monetary awards and scholarships — many donated by financial institutions in the Nacogdoches area — at a ceremony April 20.
The award and scholarship recipients were chosen by faculty members of the Department of Economics and Finance at the SFA Rusche College of Business.
“Students were selected on the basis of their academic performance in their courses, their engagement in research projects, their attendance at conferences, and the pursuit of their future career goals – whether employment, entrepreneurship or higher education,” said Dr. Mikhail Kuliavtsev, Chairman of the Department of Economics and Finance.
Representatives of donor financial institutions said they were honored to contribute to the college education of these students and looked forward to working with them as they begin their careers. Many are SFA alumni themselves.
“I am forever grateful for the education I received from SFA,” said Wendy Buchanan, Chief Investment Officer at Buchanan Wealth Management of Trinity Capital Management. “It gives me great joy to give back to the university that made my career possible.”
Buchanan has endowed a finance scholarship, annually sponsored students on international trips, and provided additional scholarships each year to economics and finance students. She also sponsors the Undergraduate Research Mentorship Award for Professors and is a member of the Executive Advisory Board of Rusche College of Business.
Tomball CFO Leah Trascher received the Entrepreneurship Award, and Lufkin CFO Celeste Solis received the Portfolio Management Award, both sponsored by Buchanan Wealth Management.
Other Achievement Award recipients included Christopher Ranniger, Chief Financial Officer at Lufkin, who received the Asset Liability Management Award sponsored by Citizens 1st Bank; Linh Le, finance junior from Buon Ma Thuot, Vietnam, who received the Financial Institutions Award sponsored by BancorpSouth; and Emily Peipelman, an economics senior from Pearland, who received the Finance Club Award sponsored by the Commercial Bank of Texas.
The Economics Reading Group presented Rachel Rucker, Jersey Village’s Data Analytics Manager, with the Economic Interest Award and Gentian Kojeli, a second-year political science student from Tirana, Albania, with the Economic Pursuits Award. . Both awards were sponsored by the Charles Koch Foundation.
The High Ranking Economics Major Award was presented to Preston Pennington-Sahs, Frisco junior; the High-Ranking Finance Junior and High-Ranking Finance Senior awards, both sponsored by Southside Bank, went to Tristen Adams of Lufkin and Will King of Waxahachie respectively. Brook Jester, McLeod senior, received the High-Ranking Banking Major Award from the SFA’s Chadwick Family Banking Program.
Trascher received the Outstanding Economics/Finance Graduate Award and Rucker received the Undergraduate Scholar Award. Both were sponsored by the ECON 3339 Packet Fund.
A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the new Dustin C. Harrison Memorial Scholarship to its first recipient, Richard Frauenberger, a sophomore in finance from Grapeland. The scholarship benefits finance majors who display character of integrity and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Harrison graduated summa cum laude from SFA in 2018 with a degree in finance, then worked as an analyst at Ayco Goldman Sachs in Dallas before his death in March 2021. Ronnie and Chloe Canaan-Chapman, both 2018 SFA graduates and friends of Harrison, established the scholarship and presented it to Frauenberger at the ceremony.
Finally, Dr. Emiliano Giudici, Professor of Finance, received the Finance Club’s Favorite Teacher Award.