Outstanding Grads to be Recognized During May 15 Convocation Ceremony

Published on May 14, 2015

Undergraduate and Graduate Students Recognized for Hard Work in Academic Career

As students don their regalia and prepare to walk across the stage at Friday’s convocation, they will make the transition into alumni.

On May 15, Bauer College will celebrate nearly 1,000 students graduating this semester during a convocation ceremony.

During the ceremony, the college will recognize outstanding graduates, including seven graduate students selected as the top in their respective programs and nine undergraduate students who received a 4.0 GPA throughout their entire academic careers.

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Graduation 2015

Outstanding Leadership 36 Student

Keithrik Knighten

Keithrik-KnightenKeithtrik Knighten is a 14-year oil and gas veteran with an undergraduate degree in Electrical engineering from the University of Houston. This Honors College alumnus is a rising executive at America’s largest midstream company, Kinder Morgan. He has held multiple positions within the company, managing over half a billion dollars in capital expansion projects.

He currently serves a dual role as manager of Project Controls for the more than $2 billion of ongoing capital projects, and as Energy Risk manager for the portfolio of over $75 million in annual utility spend. He recently completed his Executive MBA at the University of Houston with a focus in Global Leadership.

Post-graduation, he plans to spend considerable time with his wife and three kids while also renewing his volunteerism within the community by joining several nonprofit boards.


Outstanding GEMBA 36 Student

Dante DiMarzio

Dante-DiMarzioDante DiMarzio was born in Louisville, OH, a small farm town in Northeast Ohio. DiMarzio attended Marietta College and received a Bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering in 2002.

After graduation, DiMarzio worked for Schlumberger for nine years, holding numerous positions in field operations, manufacturing, HR and projects.  DiMarzio left Schlumberger to pursue a position at BHP Billiton in Supply Chain negotiating contracts.  After three and a half years at BHP Billiton, he has risen through the ranks to become a Global Category manager.


Outstanding GEMBA 12 Student

James Goddard

James-GoddardJames Goddard is currently assistant general counsel at Enterprise Products Partners L.P., a Fortune 100 company headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Goddard spent the first two years of his legal career clerking for United States Magistrate Judge William F. Sanderson, Jr. in Dallas, Texas.  After that, Goddard worked for three separate AM LAW 100 law firms in Dallas and Houston (Hunton & Williams LLP, King and Spalding LLP and Locke Lord LLP), before assuming his current position in 2012.

Goddard received his J.D. from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1996. Goddard will be receiving his Executive MBA from Bauer in May 2015.


Outstanding Leadership 12 Student

Carly Caulfield

Carly-CaulfieldCarly Caulfield is an event production professional currently serving as the director of Operations for the Houston Marathon. Caulfield oversees all operations and logistics for Houston’s largest single-day sporting event, encompassing more than 30 miles of public roads, one million square feet of service area, 33,000 participants, 7,000 volunteers and a quarter of a million spectators.

During her fifteen-year tenure with the marathon, Caulfield has overseen the nationally televised production of the first-ever concurrent Men’s and Women’s Olympic Trials, designed a new city-wide race route and played a pivotal role in the event’s growth.

She began her academic career at Texas A&M on an Air Force scholarship, where she served one year in the Corps of Cadets before moving back to Houston to begin her career.  She resumed her studies several years later while working full time, graduating cum laude with a degree in business management from the University of Houston-Downtown in 2010.

Caulfield plans to continue serving her hometown of Houston, Texas, a city she loves, after receiving her MBA.


Outstanding MBA Student

Nelly Lopez

Nelly-LopezNelly Lopez is an analyst and instructional assistant for the Cougar Investment Fund and the Principles of Financial Management class, serves as the vice president for the National Association of Women MBA’s organization, and serves outside of UH and participated in national case competitions.

Under Lopez’s leadership, the National Association of Women MBAs membership more than doubled and was given the Excellence in Community Service Award at the Halliburton Student Leadership Awards Luncheon. In recognition of her leadership, Lopez was invited to represent Bauer graduate students at the UH President’s Roundtable Luncheon.

Lopez has demonstrated her commitment to community service by contributing to the Institute for Regional Forecasting and Finance Department’s Habitat for Humanity financial impact study and by serving on a grievance committee. While in school, Lopez worked as a credit analyst for Direct Energy.

Outside of school, Lopez enjoys teaching financial literacy to various groups in Houston and volunteering with human rights and immigration advocacy groups on a regular basis.

She thanks the Bauer College for the extraordinary education and innumerable opportunities that have prepared her to join ExxonMobil as a Financial Analyst in the Fall of 2015.


MS Finance Outstanding Student

Ibrahim Nasar

Ibrahim-NasarIbrahim Nasar joined Bauer in 2012 to pursue his MBA. After successfully completing his MBA in 2014, he decided to continue his education by enrolling in the Masters of Science in Finance program at the University of Houston. A successful entrepreneur for the past ten years, he opted to gain more knowledge to further his businesses domestically and abroad.

During the graduate program, Nasar decided to expand his career direction and gain corporate experience while interning, and then working full time, with Baker Hughes as a Commercial Business consultant after completing his MBA and attending evening classes for his MSF degree.

Nasar’s goal is to utilize his academic knowledge and skills to simultaneously pursue a successful career and his passion for entrepreneurship.

He is deeply grateful for the support and guidance from his family, girlfriend, friends and the faculty and staff at Bauer, all of whom are the key influences to his growth and success.


MS Accountancy Outstanding Student

Jasmin Ambriz

Jasmin-AmbrizJasmin Ambriz started her college career at Bauer in August 2009. She completed her BBA in Accounting in December 2011, graduating Summa Cum Laude, before starting the MS Accountancy program in August 2013.

She is the recipient of scholarships from the Texas Society of CPAs and the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy. In addition to having served as an officer of the Internal Audit Student Association, Ambriz worked as a tutor for the Principles of Financial and Managerial Accounting courses while in the MS Accountancy program. During Fall 2014, she also served as the accounting tutoring lab coordinator.

She has completed internships with Halliburton and McConnell & Jones LLP. She received a full time offer to join PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Audit practice in August 2015. After graduation, she plans to sit for the CPA exam.

As a first generation college student, she has truly enjoyed her time at Bauer and would like to thank her family, professors and friends for all their support and encouragement.


Outstanding 4.0 Students

Kelli Evans, BBA, Finance

Thao-Nguy Thi Hoang, BBA, Accounting

Katherine Mary Miranda, BBA, Supply Chain Management

Thao Thu Nguyen, BBA, Supply Chain Management

Thuy Thi Thu Nguyen, BBA, Accounting

Varun Potluri, BBA, Management

Julia Karen Reyna, BBA, Accounting

Laura Torres, BBA, Supply Chain Management

Thanh My Tran, BBA, Accounting