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Awards & Spotlights


Ruzica Bjelobrk

Riverside, MO

Major:  Business Administration

Avila Faves: My two years at Avila have cumulated into experiences that led to personal betterment and lifelong memories. The education I've received has made me analyze the world in a new way in addition to gaining insight into the business environment and much more. The dialog between professors and fellow students as well as my experience tutoring has helped me develop as an individual and given me the tools I need to succeed.

Updates/Plans:  I will pursue a career in management or marketing and possibly take my education and experience internationally.

Tanner Finnegan

Overland Park, KS

Major:  Finance

Avila Faves: After attending a small private school throughout all of elementary and high school, I was looking for a university that placed high importance on community values, and Avila provided exactly that.  Professors not only call everyone by name, but show genuine interest in the academic success and overall well-being of students.  Avila is a place where students can thrive academically and personally due directly to the hard work that goes into fostering a supportive/collaborative environment.

Updates/Plans:  I will begin my law school journey this summer at UMKC School of Law.

Brock Hansen

Overland Park, KS

Major: Marketing

Avila Faves: The community at Avila University is truly unique. Small class sizes allow students to get to know each other very well, but also for the students and faculty to become acquainted with one another. Everyone at Avila is very friendly and the faculty show that they care about the students, their wellbeing, and their future success.

Updates/Plans: Currently working at an insurance agency where I am able to apply my studies and assist with the marketing of the agency. I dream to someday open a marketing agency of my own that specializes with local small businesses.

Courtney Martin

Independence, MO

Majors: Management (honoree), Finance

Avila Faves: During my four years at Avila, I have been able to interact with many excellent professors who were both knowledgeable and passionate about what they taught.  Classes are a lot more fulfilling and enjoyable when you are learning from someone who loves their job.  I’m so grateful to have had professors who so genuinely cared about my future and wanted to see me succeed.

Updates/Plans:  After graduation, I plan to pursue a career in Finance/Accounting and eventually pursue an MBA.



Jazmin Salazar

Wentzville, MO

Major:  Accounting (honoree), recipient of William Randall Sowers Award

Avila Faves:  I attended a tour of Avila my senior year of high school and immediately fell in love with the campus.  The small class sizes caught my attention as well.  Most of my Accounting classes my junior and senior year consisted of 10 or less students, which was great.  I felt comfortable reaching out to my professors with any questions I had and they genuinely only wanted the best for me.  I’m very thankful for everything they have taught me.  I also participated in the Women’s Soccer Program and developed wonderful friendships.

Plans/Update: After graduating in December, I stayed in Kansas City because I’m also pursuing my MBA in Accounting at Avila.  I am currently employed by MMC Mechanical Contractors as an Accountant.  After graduating from the MBA program, I plan on sitting for the CPA Exam.


Brittani Ball

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

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 fiancé, 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

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

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

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

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.


lisa york
“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

justin scicluna

“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

kevin booker

“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

shawna westphal

“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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