On May 7, the Indiana University Northwest School of Business and Economics inducted 20 students into Beta Gamma Sigma, the prestigious international honor society for business excellence.
During a recognition dinner held at Avalon Manor in Merrillville, IU Northwest faculty, administrators and alumni honored those business students, both undergraduate and graduate, whose academic accomplishments earned them an invitation to Beta Gamma Sigma.
“Only the best business students in the world, and the professionals who earned the distinction of ‘The Best in Business’ during their academic careers, can claim membership in Beta Gamma Sigma,” said Dean Anna Rominger of the School of Business and Economics. “This year’s Beta Gamma Sigma inductees from Indiana University Northwest have certainly earned that title.”
Beta Gamma Sigma membership is open to students ranking in the top 10 percent of baccalaureate programs and the top 20 percent of graduate programs at business schools that have been accredited by AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. More than 560,000 outstanding business professionals all across the world belong to Beta Gamma Sigma, which has collegiate chapters on five continents.
Beta Gamma Sigma was founded as a national organization on February 19, 1913. The first national honor society in business was a merger of three separate societies established to honor academic achievement in business at the University of Wisconsin, the University of Illinois and the University of California.
In addition to the 20 student inductees, this year Associate Professor of Management Raj Selladurai, Ph.D., of Schererville, was honored as the faculty inductee into Beta Gamma Sigma. Also, Garry J. Aloia, of Crown Point, managing partner of Merrillville-based New State Mortgage Company, was honored as the IU Northwest Chapter Honoree. Aloia, a 1979 graduate of the IU Northwest business school, is a longtime supporter of the university who has volunteered his time and expertise on a variety of initiatives. He has been a member of the IU Northwest Advisory Board since 1997.
“I think it’s a fantastic school and a great program,” Aloia said of IU Northwest and its business school following his induction into Beta Gamma Sigma. “I don’t think people always recognize the kind of excellent education they can get right here in Northwest Indiana.”
Aloia recalled his own college years as a time of hard work and sacrifice, but he said those challenges prepared him for later success in the Northwest Indiana business environment. He expressed interest in promoting not just business education at IU Northwest but also the idea that business graduates from the area can and should remain in the region for their careers.
“One of our biggest objectives is to address ‘brain drain,’” he said.
The keynote speaker at the induction ceremony was Mary Ann Shacklett, of Munster, senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer for Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana, Inc. Shacklett received her M.B.A. from IU Northwest in 2000.
Shacklett told the inductees that, whatever their grades and their technical abilities, their success would depend on other factors, as well. She pointed out that many business leaders cite “emotional intelligence” – the ability to relate well to others and to understand one’s own abilities and shortcomings -- as being the key to leadership.
“I want to emphasize that hard work, dedication and commitment are how the majority of leaders got to where they are today,” Shacklett said.
The following future business leaders were inducted into the IU Northwest chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma at the Spring 2007 Induction Ceremony on May 7:
Juniors -- K. Ryan Bomar, Crown Point; Rachel Bondi, Highland; Ralph Lundewall, Hobart; and Steven Vargas, Porter.
Seniors -- Jennifer De Boer, DeMotte; Vikki Sease, Hammond; Christopher Heldt, Hobart; Kyrie Anderson, Hobart; Ogochukwu Anokwute, Merrillville; Adam Castor, Munster; Adam Schumacher, Portage; William Rieger, Portage; and Jennifer Boardman, Valparaiso.
Master – Brian Margis, Cedar Lake; Theresa Valade, Chesterton; Gary Crum, Lowell; Jason Santiago, Schererville; Jennifer Staciwa, Schererville; Curtiss Asbell, St. John; and Jamie Peyton, Valparaiso.