Seven Graduate Students Named Best in Class, 15 Undergraduates Earn Cumulative 4.0 GPAs
This Friday, Bauer College will celebrate nearly 1,000 students graduating this semester at its convocation in Hofheinz Pavilion.
During the ceremony, the college will recognize outstanding graduates, including seven graduate students selected as the top in their respective programs and 15 undergraduate students who earned cumulative 4.0 grade point averages.
Outstanding MS Finance Student
Nouran Abdelkhalek was born and raised in Egypt. She moved to Houston in 2014 after earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with highest honors from the American University in Cairo. Abdelkhalek is in the process of earning an MS Finance degree and a Graduate Certificate in Financial Services Management.
At Bauer, she completed a vigorous application and interview process, and was chosen as one of only 18 students to manage the Cougar Investment Fund, a $9 million equity portfolio. In this role, she has identified new investment opportunities, monitored the performance of existing positions held by the Fund, and ensured compliance with the Fund’s investment restrictions. She has used her expertise to value companies and make buy/sell recommendations to the investment committee. Her experience with the fund enabled her to acquire a job as an equity analyst with Haven Wealth Group, an investment management company.
After graduation, Abdelkhalek plans to pursue her CFA designation.
Outstanding MS Accountancy Student
Noha Sahnoune is an MS Accountancy student at Bauer College. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from Bauer in May 2015.
Throughout her experiences at Bauer, Sahnoune was a member of the Honors College, the Ted Bauer Leadership Certificate Program, and the Professional Program in Accountancy. She interned at the ExxonMobil Corporation, Deloitte & Touche LLP, and the NASA Johnson Space Center from 2013 to 2015, gaining experience in building analytics tools, performing audit testing, and understanding government accounting processes. On campus, she led the Bauer Women Society—an organization focused on the professional development of women in the corporate world—and performed research in the university’s Department of Management. She also competed in numerous regional and national business competitions, and attended conferences for leadership and diversity.
Outside of school, Sahnoune cares greatly about the economic empowerment of minorities, and volunteers frequently with local organizations. She perpetually challenges herself to new ideas and is interested in learning more about the world around her. Additional interests include global energy outlook and sustainability; human spaceflight; international trade; creative writing and rhetoric; and business law, ethics, and integrity.
Through the myriad of opportunities and experiences at Bauer, Sahnoune strives to be a leader within the business community, and inspire others through collaboration, service, and integrity.
Outstanding MBA Student
Having ten years of experience in the areas of human service and nonprofit fundraising and management, Matthew Avery is someone who talks and walks servant-leadership. He believes in purpose-driven leadership and management.
Holding a Master’s degree in Anthropology, and soon in business administration, Avery is uniquely positioned to help organizations optimize their culture while helping them to fine-tune their management, strategy, marketing and fundraising practices. Before founding Elisha Consulting, he put his skills to the service of nonprofit, Coreluv International, including hands-on work at their sites in earthquake ravaged Haiti.
A published researcher and blogger, Avery is one who believes that there is a place for purpose in every project. While familiar with the buzz phrases from “maximizing efficiencies” to “bias toward action,” Avery knows that his role is to focus on what is essential and what leads to success: confidence, bold strategies and yes, disciplined execution.
Outstanding Global EMBA Student — Woodlands Class 1
Balazs Horvath is currently the vice president of Wellhead Distributors International Inc., a small oil and gas firm based here in Houston, Texas. Horvath received two Master’s degrees from the University of West Hungary, one in Engineering and in Education.
After moving to the U.S., he received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 2009. His Bauer MBA will be his third master’s degree, but the first in business.
He spent first two years of his professional career with Captive Aire Inc., a Raleigh, NC based industrial ventilation company, as a plant and service manager prior to assuming his current position in 2012.
Horvath has many scientific publications in high impact journals, and also holds multiple patents in the oil and gas industry.
Outstanding Global EMBA Student — Class 13
Tina Berger is an independent change management consultant and business strategist with over 20 years’ experience advising leaders and supporting Fortune 500 energy companies with organizational, process and technology changes.
Prior to launching her own consulting practice in 2012, Berger strategically repositioned and led an innovative instructional design and e-learning company focused on upskilling the petro technical workforce. She writes and speaks on trends in change management, information management, and knowledge management and has a developed specialization in the technical and scientific disciplines of the upstream energy industry.
Berger holds a bachelor’s degree in English from UH and has served as an adjunct professor in the UH College of Technology. She is deeply grateful to her family for going above and beyond to support her efforts in realizing this lifelong goal.
Outstanding EMBA Student — Leadership Class 13
Trudy Campbell Nix
Trudy Nix is the South Texas Commercial Banking executive at Bank of America. She leads a team of relationship managers who work with privately held companies advising them on capital structure, debt, treasury, international trade and merchant.
Nix joined the bank in North Carolina in 1979 as Treasury and National Division Sales Support. Her 36 year history has included leadership roles in consumer banking, middle market, professional and executive banking, marketing, treasury management and sales and service strategy.
Nix graduated from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and is actively involved in volunteerism with United Way, March of Dimes and the Houston Food Bank.
Outstanding EMBA Student — Leadership Class 37
Nataraja Malaur Venkata Rao
Nataraja Malaur Venkata Rao (Nattu) is currently an IT manager and solution architect at Hewlett Packard Enterprise IT Engineering Group.
Rao received his Bachelor’s in Engineering from Kuvempu University, India in 1997. He has worked with three different companies (Advanced Technology Labs, Trigent Software and Digital Globalsoft) early in his career before joining Hewlett Packard as part of Compaq-HP merger.
Rao has worked in India for the first six years of his career before becoming part of the HP family in 2004, working in HP Global IT teams in ecommerce, IT infrastructure, IT automation and monitoring areas.
4.0 BBA Graduates
Amirah Abutair, Supply Chain Management
Amirah Abutair was born in Jerusalem and came to Houston at the age of four. After graduation, Abutair plans to travel the world with family, then come back to Houston to help run and manage the family businesses.
Qian Bian, Accounting
Qian Bian is from Yangzhou, China. Bian plans to become a CPA and work at an international accounting firm after graduation.
Hieu Do, Accounting
Hieu Do came to Houston three years ago as a transfer student from International University in Vietnam.
Do is proud to be both a full-time student at Bauer, and a part-time accounting assistant at the UH Division of Research. After graduation, Do will pursue an MS Accountancy degree at Bauer and looks forward to joining Ernst & Young in their audit practice in Spring 2018.
Sean G. Gallagher, Finance
Born and raised in Houston, Sean Gallagher will graduate this semester and begin working as a summer analyst with Lionstone Investments.
Patricia Limón, Management
Patricia Limón de Rodríguez is a native Houstonian who grew up in the Heights and Spring Branch areas. The fifth of seven children, she was the first in her family to graduate from high school.
Currently, she is the director of Administration at Edge Creative Strategies, LLC, a Houston-based marketing, advertising, graphic and web design firm specializing in communications for non-profit clients. Having previously worked with the College of Technology, their most recent work with the UH was the redesign of the Graduate School of Social Work’s view book. At Edge, her responsibilities include accounting, human resources and information technology as well as other tasks, such as translating and proofreading.
In addition to her position at Edge, Limón is the executive director of the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston, a locally renowned organization that has been working for the advancement of Hispanics in the legal profession, serving the public interest, promoting high standards of integrity, honor and professional courtesy among lawyers and other community and governmental organizations.
She attended Houston Community College where she received her Associate of Arts degree and is continuing her studies at UH. Amidst a demanding professional career and her numerous volunteer activities, she is a senior at Bauer and is extremely proud to maintain a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA. She is scheduled to complete her Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a management major and minor in marketing, graduating Summa Cum Laude with highest honors in the spring of 2016.
Patricia lives in Houston with her husband Hon. Raul Rodriguez.
Marissa McKnight, Accounting
Marissa McKnight was born and raised in Davao City, Philippines. She came to America over 14 years ago to start a family with her husband. She now has three sons. McKnight went back to school when her youngest son started kindergarten.
After graduation, she plans to continue her studies in the MS Accountancy program starting this summer to complete the required classes needed to sit for the CPA exam.
During her time at Bauer, McKnight did an audit internship with Grant Thornton, LLP, where they gave her a full-time offer, which starts in January 2018.
Han Nguyen, Supply Chain Management & Management Information Systems
Han Nguyen is a double-major in Management Information Systems and Supply Chain Management.
Nguyen was born and raised in Vietnam and came to Houston at 16 to pursue her dream. After graduation, Nguyen plans to work and earn her Master’s degree from the University of Houston.
Thu (Tracy) Nguyen, Accounting
Thu Nguyen is graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting. Born and raised in Vietnam, Nguyen has been in Houston for a few years.
After graduation, she plans to continue studying a MS Accountancy degree at Bauer. Afterwards, she’s excited and honored to start her career at Ernst & Young in Audit practice in early 2018.
Sophia Thuong Nguyen, Accounting & Finance
Sophia Thuong Nguyen came from Vietnam to the U.S. five years ago. Before coming to Bauer, she achieved a Bachelor’s degree in education, and worked as a teacher. She then moved to Houston to challenge herself with two new majors, accounting and finance. Nguyen was an active member of numerous honor student organizations, along with working two part-time jobs.
After graduating, Nguyen will take a vacation back to Vietnam. In September, she’ll begin a full-time position with Andersen Tax. Nguyen will also be pursuing her master’s degree and then taking the CPA exam.
Elaine Thuong Vu Nguyen, Accounting & Finance
Born and raised in Vietnam, “Elaine” Thuong Nguyen moved to the U.S. about five years ago. At that time, she was six months away from finishing her bachelor’s degree in finance, but I have to throw my 4 years college in Vietnam out of the window and redo everything from scratch since none of the credits were transferred.
Nguyen has been a straight-A student and is obtaining her bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance with a perfect GPA 4.0, while working 2 part-time jobs. She received several offers, but ended up choosing to start her full-time job in June with Chevron.
Nguyen is planning to return school to obtain an MS Accountancy degree and to sit for the CPA.
Jonathan Reese, Accounting & Finance
Jonathan Reese grew up in Austin and moved to Houston in 2006.
After working in construction for 13 years, he enrolled at Bauer and is graduating with a double major in Finance – Global Energy Management and Accounting.
After graduation, he plans to visit Alaska before returning to Houston to work as an analyst at Hess Corporation.
Jessica Rodriguez, Accounting
After graduation Jessica Rodriguez plans on continuing her education at UH.
She was accepted into the MS Accountancy program and will begin taking classes this summer (2016). Rodriguez hopes to complete the program within a year while also beginning to study for the CPA exam.
After graduation she hopes to obtain her CPA and will then begin working full time with KPMG in their audit department starting in Fall 2017.
Bryce Ashton Shockley, Accounting
Ashton Shockley was born and raised in Houston. He is beginning the MS Accountancy program this summer at the UH. He plans to become a CPA and later work for a public accounting firm after graduation.
Wilfred So, Finance
Wilfred So was born in Hong Kong and moved to Houston with his family when he was 10 years old.
He has signed a full-time offer with Shell to be in their finance rotational program starting in July.
So plans to pursue his MBA degree some day in order to further develop his business skill set.
Van Nguyen An Tran, Supply Chain Management
Van Nguyen An Tran is an international student originally from Vietnam. After graduating, she plans to work for a year while focusing on the GMAT before pursuing a graduate degree.