College of Business hosts third annual business week
At Governor State University’s (GSU) third annual Business Week, decorated keynote speaker, Lisa Laws, shared the secret rewards of simply being authentic.
“Show that you are self-aware, show that you are relationship-driven, you have a vision, that you’re a service-driven organization and that you actually care about the people that are working for you,” said Laws, Chief Operating Officer at 1871, who has an extensive background in project management, engineering and community engagement. “Because if (your employees) believe all those things, they will do anything for you and my life has proven that.”
Laws inspired an intimate group gathered in Engbretson Hall during the final segment of the College of Business (COB) event designed to offer professional networking and learning opportunities to the GSU community. That night, COB’s best and brightest students and esteemed faculty gathered for honors and networking receptions to celebrate their achievements and to connect with colleagues. The honorees included those who made the dean's list in the spring, summer and fall semesters of 2021 and faculty who received awards for outstanding performance, teaching, research and service.
One of the celebrated students was David Harper, a junior pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Business and Applied Science. Harper transferred to GSU from Joliet Jr. College, calling GSU “a gem for transfer students.”
“It’s a great school for any student but there are a lot of specific scholarships for transfer students that make attending the school very accessible,” he said, noting those students also have opportunities to get involved in organizations like the Tau Sigma National Honor Society, of which he’s recently been named Vice President. “It’ll give me a chance to be in a leadership position and ultimately help me to become a human resources manager one day by giving me the ability to manage different activities in the organization.”
Jeanne Jaddis, an accounting major who made the dean’s list for spring and fall of 2021, returned to school after working in accounting for 20 years. Jaddis, who is slated to graduate in 2024, said her coursework has only deepened her understanding of her decades-long career.
“Working in accounting for years and actually getting book knowledge makes what I’m doing more clear,” she said. “I think the College of Business is very personal, willing to assist in whatever you need. They will stick with you until you graduate.”
In addition to COB’s students and faculty, five alumni were recognized, each receiving a Hall of Achievement award. They included the following:
- Alumni Hall of Achievement Inductee: Stacy Crook (07’) Director of Investment Accounting at Asset Allocation and Management LLC
- Alumni Hall of Achievement Inductee: Phillip Kambic (92’) President and CEO of Riverside Healthcare
- Alumni Hall of Achievement Inductee: Jake Lee (18’) Kankakee County Auditor
- Early Career Award: Jeremy Joyce (15’) Owner of Black People Eats, LLC
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Kevin Brookins (87’) Retired Senior Executive of ComEd and GSU Board of Trustee
After applauding the individuals, President Dr. Cheryl Green noted “student success stories and alumni success stories are very special to me.”
“Because I know how hard all of you worked to obtain your educational credentials,” she said. “I also know the challenges that you faced and the hurdles that you overcame and I know that once you graduate it’s easy to try to put GSU in the rear view mirror but the people here tonight have not done that and because of that I am grateful.”
The event wrapped up with a Q&A with Laws and 2019 Business Week Keynote Speaker Billy Dexter, an Executive Recruiter. One of the questions directed toward Laws was about how today’s college students can stay true to their interests and values while preparing for roles that may call for skills outside of their major.
Laws said the key to that preparation is to “never say no.”
“You never know what else you could be good at based off the education you got,” she said. “At the beginning it’s important to focus on what you wanted to do or what you think you wanted to do but nine times out of 10, while doing what you went to school for, you’ll find that you are actually good at something completely different.”