College’s Top Graduating Seniors Announced at Class of 2018 Graduation Luncheon

The Karl E. Vogt Outstanding Senior Award recognizes College of Business  graduating seniors who have demonstrated superior scholarship and participation, leadership, and excellence in campus and/or community activities. This year it was so difficult to choose a single winner that the committee decided three business seniors should be presented the 2018 Karl E. Vogt Award. The prestigious recognition went to Julie Kessler, Collin Newton, and Derwin Pritchett II. All three epitomize how our students are going beyond business as usual. Here are their stories.

JulieKesslerJulie Kessler

Kessler, from Springboro, OH, triple specialized in supply chain management, management, and international business, and she earned a dual Bachelor of Arts in European Management from EM Strasbourg Business School in Strasbourg, France, while studying abroad. Kessler was a Dean’s Scholar and a Peer Leader during her first years of college, and was a College of Business Student Ambassador for the past few years, all positions which helped her serve as an outstanding role model for business students. She also had a leadership role within the Dean’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion (DACODI), and was a tutor for Management 3000 (Supply Chain Management) in the BGSU Learning Commons.

Outside of the College of Business, Kessler was highly involved in the Honors College and served as an Honors Learning Community (HLC) Fellow, a student leader tasked with promoting engagement in Founders Hall in the HLC. In addition, she was an active member of Honors Scholars, a learning community focused on reading and sharing great ideas and critical thinking, as well as expanding horizons.

Kessler, who has a 3.88 GPA, completed an Honors Project ethnography entitled “An American Student’s Transformed View of French Culture” that studied French culture and stereotypes. The graduating senior explains, “The areas where I feel I stand out include my community activities, which include a heavy service component, my ambitious academic focus through my honors education, and my extended international experiences that have inspired my passion for diversity.” Kessler was involved in several northwest Ohio Habitat for Humanity projects as well as Makers for Change, a non-profit organization in Strasbourg, focused on increasing the inclusion of refugees through creative, educational, and innovative projects.

The business senior participated in two internships- Owens Corning, in a supply chain systems role and one with Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity in a volunteer management role. Owens Corning offered her a full-time job, and she begins her employment in their Supply Chain Leadership Program. 

CollinNewtonCollin Newton

Newton, a Dean’s Scholar whose hometown is Shelby Township, MI, double specialized in sales & services marketing as well as business analytics & intelligence and was inspired to become an engaged student within the College of Business early on. Newton was a College of Business Student Ambassador for several years and was selected as an executive Student Ambassador to lead the group his senior year.

In 2016, Newton teamed up with fellow student Kiersten Castner for The Hatch.® Their business idea was a wallet phone case that keeps track of customers’ cards. An app notifies customers when a card is not in its proper spot within a limited time. Their idea was supported by Falcon Investors and he and Castner spent that summer at incubation with Balance Inc.

Newton’s ability to “sell” his business idea at The Hatch® helped him earn second place in the BGSU Sales Competition in 2017, automatically sending him to the National Collegiate Sales Competition this April. The sales student also made BGSU history by placing third out of 184 competitors in the American Marketing Association National Sales Competition and placed third out of 130 students in the inaugural Gartner National Sales Competition in Ft. Myers, FL.

His ability to successfully mentor is demonstrated through his selection as an Office of Residence Life Academic Peer Mentor, his two years as a Resident Advisor, and his start up Run Happy Society, an inclusive organization for individuals who want to improve their social, mental, and physical health, engaging and adding value to the lives of over 100 participants.

The second half of his junior year, the Honors College student flew halfway around the world to study abroad at Deakin University in Australia to be a full-time student and full-time adventurer.

Besides excelling in academics with a 3.96 GPA, Newton also has “given back” through community service activities, volunteering with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, and this year, shaving his head to raise $1,000 for childhood cancer research.

His college experience also included working at Marathon Petroleum as an intern and he co-founded Sales Leaders & Consultants, a division of the student chapter of the American Marketing Association, focused on developing young sales students into honorable sales professionals.

Newton describes his invaluable experience at the University. “I have made it my mission to take advantage of as many opportunities made possible at BGSU and the College of Business to grow, learn, and mentor. I have lived the BGSU Dream, and now I will graduate and continue to define the BGSU dream.”

After graduation, Newton moved to Florida to work with Gartner, Inc. He adds, “I am beyond excited to begin my life as a productive citizen, and I am beyond confident that my time at BGSU has prepared me to do so.” 

DerwinPritchettDerwin Pritchett II

Pritchett came to BGSU from Upper Marlboro, MD, and is specializing in marketing. Once he decided to come to Bowling Green, he was “looking to make a name for myself as a student as well as a business professional. My goal was to cultivate excellent working relationships with faculty, staff and students alike here at BGSU.” That is exactly what Pritchett accomplished.

As an Honors College Student Ambassador for the past three years, he has spoken with prospective students not only about the Honors College, but also about the advantages of being a College of Business student.

As a member of the Honors College, each student is required to write a research project. Pritchett’s project was entitled “An Examination of the Challenges Facing Students of Color in the Honors College” which studied the experiences of students of color in Honors College through surveys and focus groups to better understand the current lack of diversity. His research is expected to be implemented into recruiting and retention efforts by the Honors College to improve diversity and inclusion efforts.

Pritchett was an active member of several BGSU organizations such as National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the American Marketing Association. 

Pritchett, who has a 3.91 GPA, was one of a select few who was chosen to participate in the Ohio Export Internship Program. His dedication was evident as he and another BGSU student drove back and forth to Ohio State University every Friday for a semester to attend a three-hour class. He represented BGSU so well that Pritchett was asked by the director of the program to be the keynote speaker at the 2017 cohort’s graduation at Ohio State.

His natural ability to “sell” became evident when he won the 2016 BGSU Sales Competition and in 2017 finished 10th out of 144 individual competitors at the National Collegiate Sales Competition.

Beyond academics, Pritchett participated in three internships with three different companies – 3M, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, and Bionix Development Corporation. While working during his internships, Pritchett also completed community service renovating the Ronald McDonald House for parents with terminally ill children and packing boxes of food with the non-profit Feed Our Starving Children.

Pritchett describes his experience at BGSU and what he hopes to leave after he graduates. “Since being here I’ve met and forged relationships with great faculty, relationships that will remain intact when I leave here to begin my career. I’ve also established relationships with people outside of the university, who now are not only aware of BGSU, but also have positive impressions of this institution.”

He adds, “For a senior to truly be outstanding their reach must extend beyond BGSU and into the future. The only way to build reach that impacts others in the future is to leave something behind when you graduate - a legacy. I asked myself four years ago - ‘What kind of legacy will you leave?’ I hoped, and still do hope, it is one of positivity, leadership, and excellence.”

After graduation, Pritchett is working at Brown & Brown Insurance.

Congratulations to all three outstanding seniors!

Updated: 05/23/2018 08:09AM