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Avila Business Award Winners Archive


Robert Hayes • Management

robert hayes

Methuen, MA

Avila faves:  Living on second floor Carondelet with many fun and interesting people.

Update/Plans:  Currently in Avila’s MBA program

Charles Jones • Finance

charles jones

Kearney, MO

Avila faves:  The feeling after I would finish my last final of each semester and I would walk out the doors and let out a howl of relief. The feeling of working so hard and finally achieving what I had been working for after so long makes me appreciate what I have accomplished every day. So in a way one could say that Avila provided me with a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Update/Plans:  Cerner, Professional Services Consultant

Allison (A.J.) Miller • Accounting & William Randall Sowers Award

allison miller

St. Louis, MO

Avila faves:  I love the small classes because students to get to know each other better and friendships develop and grow. Students also have the opportunity to develop a lasting professional relationship with the professors that can help in future careers.

Update/Plans:  I will be attending Saint Louis University in the fall to earn my Master's Degree in Accounting. I plan on becoming a CPA and working at a company in St. Louis.

Masanori (Masa) Takaya • Business Administration

masanori takaya

Oita prefecture, Japan

Avila faves:  My favorite moment at Avila University is when I participate in discussions. As an international student, it is not easy to share my opinions with other domestic students in class. I did not speak any English when I came here 3 years ago. Now, I feel very confident communicating in English, and the fact I have made it this far was not easy but has been an amazing experience.

Update/Plans:  I received a job offer from a Japanese company. I will be working in Japan for a couple of years. The company is expanding globally and trying to open 100 stores in the United States in the next 5 years, so I feel like I have a good chance to come back.


Cassie Bruner • Accounting

casey bruner

Overland Park, KS   

Avila faves:  My favorite thing about Avila is how small the classes sizes were.  This allowed for all of my questions to be answered in class and the teachers made sure that everyone had a clear understanding of the material.   

Update/ Plans: I had an internship with RCHA this summer and I am going to continue working there full time once I graduate.

Shawna Westphal • Marketing

shawna westphal

Carbondale, KS 

Avila faves: I love the small classes at Avila. It not only lets you get closer to your professors, but your classmates as well. In 4 years here I have met many other students who have helped me grow and learn. 

Update/Plans: I currently work for a start-up company, and am eager to see them grow and expand into a successful business. I was hired full time after completing an internship!

Sarah Kauffman • Finance

sarah kauffman

Jefferson City, MO

Avila faves: I love how we have small classes. I really feel like my teachers truly want me to succeed and have helped me in any way they can.

Update/Plans: After I graduate, I plan on moving to Versailles, MO where my fiancee and I own a house. I plan on getting a job either in Jefferson City or in Osage.

Kevin Booker • Accounting & Randall William Sowers Award

kevin booker

Wichita, KS

Avila faves: The best thing about Avila to me was being able to receive invaluable one-on-one attention in the classroom while also getting to experience the perks of going to school in a big city.

Update/Plans: I will be attending Kansas University in the fall to receive my Masters degree in Accounting, and then hopefully attaining my CPA license the following summer. I plan on starting my career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Fall of 2014.

Lisa York • Marketing and Management 

lisa york

Raymore, MO

Avila faves: The best aspect about Avila University is the wide array of opportunities. For being a smaller school Avila offers a lot of different experiences for students such as: collegiate sports, Student Scholar Day to present research, etiquette dinners, community service programs, travel abroad, and much more. I felt like I got several of the benefits of a large school but at Avila’s small intimate setting where you are never a number and the teachers care about you on a personal level.

Update/Plans: I am currently pursuing my MBA in Health Care Administration and Project Management Certificate at Avila University while working as a Graduate Assistant to the Student Life Department. Ultimately I would love a job working with people and coordinating events.


Max Lefevre • International Business

maxime lefevre

Longwy, France

Avila faves:  Love the smaller classrooms, was never scared of expressing my opinion.

Update/Plans: I would like to become a sports agent.

Brittney Johnson • Marketing

brittney johnson

Harrisonville, MO

Avila faves:  My favorite thing about Avila is that you get the opportunity to grow with your classmates. Avila is such a small school that you have the same people in your classes as you progress through your major, so you get to know them on a personal level which I thought was cool!

Update/Plans: I am currently working for Cerner Corporation as a Business Analyst and am planning on going back to school to get my Master's in Healthcare Administration.

Crystal Miller • Business Administration

crystal miller

Garden City, KS

Avila faves:  My favorite thing about Avila is the easy access to professors. Having gone to KU originally, I find it really important to be able to interact with instructors and ask questions when needed. When you're in an auditorium of a thousand people you're lucky if they even know you exist.

Update/Plans:  The company I currently work for is expanding. I intend to explore what opportunities are available with expansion.

Emily Hawkins • Management

emily hawkins

Harrisonville, MO

Avila Faves:   I really enjoyed the small class sizes at Avila.  I was able to really connect with my teachers, and felt like each one of them was invested in my success.  

Update/Plans: Currently I am working for Ken-A-Vision Mfg. organizing their customer service, and helping out with marketing projects.  Ken-A-Vision is a leader in digital presentation solutions and microscopes, as well as application software located in Kansas City.

Alain Villalpando • Finance

alain villalpando

Kansas City, MO

Avila Faves: One of my favorite things about Avila is that I was able to have conversations with my professors about topics that interested me, especially things that had to do with my Finance degree. Being a small school, it allowed me to make those connections with my professors, which increased my interest in the Finance field. I’m glad I had the opportunity to attend this institution.  

Update/Plans: Currently working full time at Avila University as Financial Aid coordinator, and do a part time internship with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Ultimately, I would like to work as an Analyst in a Banking Institution.

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