Outstanding Grads Recognized During Dec. 19 Commencement Ceremony

Published on December 16, 2014

Grad Students Acknowledged for Hard Work and Dedication

Every semester, graduating Bauer students don their regalia and prepare to cross the stage into the next chapter of their life. On Dec. 19, students from the C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston received conferral of their degrees during a commencement celebration.

During commencement, three Bauer graduate students received special recognition for extraordinary achievements and leadership during their tenure in their respective programs.

Outstanding MBA Student

Shumaila Mohammed

Bauer_MBA_Student_NEvansPhotos-5-800Shumaila Mohammed joined the Bauer College in August 2013 as an MBA student. Prior to her MBA, she worked for Memorial Hermann Healthcare System as an HR/Organizational Development Consultant. While at Bauer, Mohammed joined the Bauer Advisory Board and the Bauer MBA Society.  In addition, she completed three Finance Internships in her time at Bauer.

Outside of school, she is active in her church as a Religious Education Teacher. In the future she plans to utilize her MBA to start her own company.


Outstanding MS Accountancy Student

Zachary Poncik

Bauer_MS_ACCY_Student_NEvansPhotos-3-800Zachary Poncik started his collegiate career at Bauer in August 2010. He completed his BBA in Accounting in December 2013 before entering the MS Accountancy program in January 2014.

During his time at Bauer, he was a member and officer of Beta Alpha Psi, the premier student organization for financial information students. Poncik also was a member of numerous case competition teams that won several local and regional competitions, most notably with Deloitte & Touche and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

He also served as a tutor for the Principles of Financial and Managerial Accounting courses while in the MS Accountancy program. Poncik completed an internship with Deloitte & Touche in the spring of 2013 and received a full time offer to join their audit service department in January 2015. In addition to the completion of his MS Accountancy degree, Poncik has also successfully completed all four sections of the CPA exam.

Poncik has truly enjoyed his time at Bauer and cannot than his family, friends and mentors enough for all of their encouragement along the way.


Outstanding MS Finance Student

Richard Falcone

Bauer_MS_Finance_Student_NEvansPhotos-3-800Richard Falcone received his undergraduate degree in 2008 from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX where he excelled not only inside the classroom, but also as captain of the Southwestern Baseball Team and President of Southwestern’s chapter of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

Upon graduation from Southwestern University, Falcone joined the Pricing/Revenue Management department at Continental Airlines, where he was promoted and was given increasing responsibilities due to his exceptional work ethic and positive leadership attitude. Upon Continental’s announcement of their merger with United Airlines and the relocation of their corporate offices to Chicago, Falcone decided to stay in Texas and accept a job at Waste Management.

While working in Waste Management’s Revenue Management/Disciplined Growth department, Falcone has seen success developing and creating multiple projects, processes, and tools. Realizing that furthering his education would be key to a successful future, he decided to join Bauer’s MSF program in Fall 2012. Bauer allowed him the ability to continue working full-time while attending classes at night, which has proven instrumental in his growth, both as an employee and a student. He also held a VP position in the University of Houston Investment Banking Scholars Club, which served as a great platform for networking with financial leaders in Houston.

Falcone is greatly appreciative for the opportunity to complete his Master’s Degree in Finance at the University of Houston, and he would like to give special thanks to his family, friends and girlfriend for their support in providing him the encouragement to fulfill his goal.

By Amanda Sebesta