School of Business: Awards & Spotlights

2020-201 Award Winners

Outstanding MBA &
William Randall Sowers Accounting Leadership Award

Headshot of Omonlola Hounkanrin
Omonlola Hounkanrin
Kansas City Missouri

Avila Faves: After successfully completing an MBA in Finance, I felt the need to acquire accounting skills to achieve my goal of being a financial manager later. Avila university offers me the tools and resources to upgrade my skills, which landed my first professional experiences; and to complete an MBA in Accounting. I had a vision, disciplined myself, worked, believed, and finally achieved it with the school by my side all through the journey. 

Updates/Plans: I am currently an Accounting Clerk for a private firm, and at the same time preparing my CPA & CFA certificates. I plan to use all these skills to propel my professional career.

Undergraduate Award Winners

Headshot of Rachel Doctor
Rachel Doctor
Overland Park, Kansas

Major: Marketing (honoree)
Minor: Management

Avila Faves: When I got to Avila, I found myself surrounded with professors who were just as invested in my education as I was. I transferred to Avila during my sophomore year and I am so grateful for that decision when looking back. From the small class sizes, personalized instruction, and dedicated professors, Avila provided me with the perfect college experience to set me up for success as I graduate.

Updates/Plans: I am currently working part time for a Comprehensive Healthcare Strategic Planning & Marketing Consulting firm in the Kansas City area, and I am beginning to explore future full time employment options in Marketing to pursue moving ahead. 

Headshot of Erin Mullins
Erin Mullins
Peculiar, Missouri

Major: Management (honoree)
Minor: Finance (honoree)

Avila Faves: As a mother with a deployed husband pursuing a higher education, I had a lot of “unique situations” arise during my journey at Avila University. Every Professor and faculty member I encountered was very accommodating and understanding throughout my experience, which I could not be even more grateful for. The quality of education and assistance I received during my three and a half years was amazing. Avila has not only given me tools in order to start building towards a successful career, but friendships and memories that I will forever cherish.  

Updates/Plans: I plan on pursuing a career in management. Eventually, I would love to further my education by receiving my MBA. 

2019-2020 Award Winners

Outstanding MBA

Alumni Ada Castro Madrid
Ada Castro-Madrid
Valencia, Venezuela

Avila Faves: After completing a BA in Communications Studies from Ottawa University (Go Braves!) I worked for a few years in the automotive sales industry. I then realized I needed to broaden my business and finance knowledge in order to be eligible for more exciting and better-paid positions. Avila University’s program was a great choice for me. 

I always used to say I was a ‘letters gal’ because I was too afraid to dive deep into the numbers that I didn’t know I enjoyed so much. I will always have Avila to thank for awakening that financial passion that was within me all along.

Updates/Plans: I now work as an Accounting and Finance Specialist for ChickenNPickle, and I hope that I continue to learn and grow within that company. I am using so many concepts I learned from Avila’s MBA program, and even though I knew it would be worth it all along, it is really just confirmation now that I get to put it to practice. I look forward to continue to materialize the knowledge acquired over these last two years, and growing my new-found love for finance.


alumni Hannah Frost
Hannah Frost
Prairie Village, KS

Avila Faves: When looking for an MBA program in Kansas City I knew I wanted a program with small class sizes, professors with real-world experience, and helpful faculty. I also travel for work so I knew I needed a program with a relatively flexible schedule and faculty who were going to support me through the program. Avila was the perfect fit for me. My undergraduate degree was in Journalism and over the past ten years in the workforce I have found my job role changing into a more business-focused role. I felt I needed an MBA to understand the day to day business dealings at my job. This MBA program has given me the confidence and business acumen I needed. 

Updates/ Plans: I am the U.S. Brand Ambassador for Bodegas LAN Winery, located in Spain. I will use the valuable skills and knowledge I learned at Avila University to continue sharing my passion for Spanish wine and furthering my personal and career goals.

Undergraduate Award Winners

Alumni Scott Bower
Scott Bower
Independence, MO

Major: Management
Minors:
Marketing and Pre-Law

Avila Faves: My favorite part about Avila is the in-class and out-of-class availability and assistance provided by extremely knowledgeable professors. With that being said, the quality of the education I received was excellent. Professors still expect you to perform academically and push students to excel in their interdisciplinary studies, while taking charge of their own success. Apart from class and faculty, I have also enjoyed the friendly nature of Avila’s student body and their willingness to help other classmates out while completing their education. I have made lasting friendships that I will treasure for a lifetime.

Updates/Plans: I will be attending Law School this fall and plan on private practice following graduation, ultimately pursuing a path toward becoming a judge.


Alumni Dylan Carnahan Marketing major
Dylan Carnahan
Olathe, KS

Major: Marketing
Minors:
Management

Avila Faves: I originally chose to attend Avila so that I could continue playing baseball. After I enrolled, however, I was pleased to find that Avila offered outstanding academic opportunities as well. The professors take initiative and seek to see you succeed. The class size coupled with the professors, allowing for a personalized experience that exceeded my expectations. This experience enabled me to enter Avila’s 4+1 graduate program and graduate with a minor in management.

Updates/Plans: As a student in the 4+1 program, I will graduate with my MBA in the spring of 2021. Upon completion of my MBA, I hope to pursue a career in Finance.


Alumni David Kesner
David Kesner
Lenexa, KS

Major: Accounting (honoree)

Avila Faves: The Avila staff was dedicated to the success of every student at Avila University. The level of assistance, professionalism and care that the Avila staff exhibited every day towards their students was truly unmatched by other colleges I have attended. 

Future/Update: I am currently working as a Staff Accountant at a local firm. In the future I will be continuing my education in pursuit of an MBA.


alumnae Authem Saulsbury
Autumn Saulsbury
Liberty, MO

Major: Accounting (William Randall Sowers Accounting Leadership Award)

Avila Faves: During my three and a half years at Avila, I was truly blessed with the opportunity to go to a school where all the professors genuinely cared about their students’ success. The small classes provided me with the perfect college experience. I could easily go meet with one of my professors if I need help with anything, and they were always willing to help. I always felt like the professors cared and I’m glad I chose to go to Avila.

Updates/Plans: Right now I am a manager at my job, and I plan to use this experience to go a find a more fulfilling job to better my future. I will also most likely get my MBA in the future. 

Previous Winners – Undergraduate

Previous Winners – MBA

2019-20
2018-19
2017-18
2016-17
2015-16

Student Spotlights

“All of the opportunities you have at Avila give you resources to go on in life. Professors not only know what they’re talking about, but they care. From step A to B, Avila is with you. They want to see you succeed, so they give you the resources you need to succeed.”
Lisa York ’13

“It’s been a really good experience for me. Avila has great faculty willing to work with students. Class sizes are small, so it’s easier to learn, I think, and get help when you need it. I’m sure I’ll be able to apply skills I learned here in the work force.”
Justin Sciclina ’14

“My four years at Avila have been amazing. I’ve grown a lot as a person. Career services at Avila guided me toward my internship, and it’s been huge for me. It’s the perfect ending to my classwork, just to see what you’ll be doing in the real world. You get a taste of it. It was a great learning experience. And, I established a good relationship there. I’m pretty set to work there after I finish grad school.”
Kevin Booker ’13

“I felt like coming to college out of high school, I was more of a quiet person. At Avila, I’ve learned to be more of a leader and know how I want to be seen in a professional way. Avila has a very good name in this community. People hear you name Avila, and they believe you have a good head on your shoulders.”
Shawna Westphal ’13

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