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Business students win $10,000 award from DST
May 2014
StephanieFour Avila University business students recently won first place in the Gould Scholastic Award competition, sponsored by DST Systems, Inc., for their project dealing with the issue of big data and its implications on today’s businesses.

The students – Stephanie Steger (pictured), Brittani Ball, Shaun Kelly and Yehong Lyu – will receive an award of $10,000 for the group and, in addition, $2,000 will be awarded to Avila University. The students, who all were in a fall 2013 undergraduate marketing class taught by Brian Buckler, Ph.D., will be honored at an awards banquet May 27.

Steger recently presented the project at Avila’s Student Scholar Day. The project dealt with the vast amount of information generated by marketers the last few years in the era of social media and looked at methods companies could use to leverage such information to their advantage. It looked at ways to improve customer satisfaction, enhance communication, gauge customer sentiment and nurture customer loyalty. It also looked at how such data can expand upon existing customer/business relationships by boosting sales and formulating future product offerings, as well as looking at future challenges and trends associated with processing such a large amount of data.

Research on the project cited 37 sources.

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Brittani Ball
Kansas City, KS
Majors: International Business & Marketing (honoree in Marketing)

Avila faves:  Transferring from a small community college, interaction between students and professors was a very important factor in the university I picked. Avila professors and advisers often went above and beyond to help. They took the time to answer simple questions or to put me at ease about some of the unknowns that the future holds. The Avila classes helped crystallize what I want to build my career around. Attending Avila provided me with lasting relationships with my fellow students (and friends) as well as professors. These relationships will help me in the future and enable me to help others as well.

Update/Plans:  I am growing my career portfolio and will soon be pursuing a graduate degree.

Rebekah Capeder
St. Charles, MO
Majors: Finance and Management (honoree in Management)

Avila faves:  I loved the small class size at Avila because it gave me the opportunity to have more one on one time with my professors. I really enjoyed going to my classes and knowing just about everyone in there. I also loved that I got the opportunity to be a student athlete. Playing basketball and going to school has taught me a lot especially time management. Another favorite about Avila would be meeting my fiancÚ, Tim Gilday, who also attended Avila.

Update/Plans:  I plan to work at CBIZ, Inc. I had to opportunity to internship there in the summers of 2013 and 2014. I am currently working as a temporary HRIS clerk there right now. After graduation I plan on working there full time.

Bailey Larson
Olathe, KS
Majors: Accounting (honoree) & William Randall Sowers Award honoree

Avila faves:  Meeting new people.

Update/Plans:  I'm beginning Avila's MBA program in the fall.

Bryan Perez
Majors: Business Administration (honoree in Business Administration)

Avila faves:  Bryan moved back to South America after graduating in December. We wish him luck!

Jesus Revilla
Palencia, Spain
Majors: International Business (honoree)

Avila faves:  My favorite moment at Avila as a student athlete was building a solid group of friends who now I consider part of my family.

Update/Plans:  I will be pursuing my MBA in Finance here at Avila University. I am also planning on internships to get a good sense of how work is here in the United States to see if my future is here in the States.

Lizzi Truetken
St. Charles, MO
Majors: Finance (honoree)

Avila faves:  I've always been a student athlete and Avila gave me the ability to continue playing the sport I love. Volleyball has given me tools to win on and off the court. It also gave me friends that will last a lifetime... I also loved having professors who cared enough to push me to be better student and person. I wouldn't have been able to graduate early or find my dream job without their support.

Update/Plans:  Started at Cerner Corp. in January 2015 as a Delivery Consultant working in Reporting and Analytics. Plan to start working on my MBA in either Health Care Administration or Mathematics some time in the near future.

> View past award winners



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Source:  Georgetown University, Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Center on Education and the Workforce

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