Each year, faculty members from across Western Michigan University select the most outstanding student in their various academic schools, departments and programs to represent their units as a WMU Presidential Scholar, the highest academic honor that WMU can bestow on its undergraduates. In the Haworth College of Business, six presidential scholars are selected each year.
Presidential Scholar in Accountancy
David P. Bergeron is from St. Clair, Michigan, and a graduate of St. Clair High School. He majored in accountancy and graduated in December 2018 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He plans to complete the Master of Science degree in accountancy at WMU and work as an assurance associate for PwC in Detroit. He is currently preparing to take the Certified Public Accountant exam. As an undergraduate student, David completed an internship as a core insurance intern at PwC. He also worked as an undergraduate research assistant for Dr. Cari Burke, assistant professor of accountancy, and as a supplemental instructor for ACTY 2100—Principles of Accounting. He received a PricewaterhouseCoopers Accountancy Scholarship and a Haworth College of Business David Luce Memorial Scholarship and was inducted into Beta Alpha Psi, an international honorary for accounting and financial information students and professionals. David participated in short-term study abroad programs in Italy, where he studied finance, and in Germany, where he studied German business culture and negotiation. He served as the vice president of finance for Phi Chi Theta, a national co-ed professional business fraternity, and on the board of directors of WMU’s Kappa Mu Chapter of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. Since coming to WMU, he has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, Drive Safe Kalamazoo, Relay for Life, and the YMCA Prime Time after school program.
Presidential Scholar in Business Information Systems
Brandon Buxton is from Mattawan, Michigan, and is a graduate of Mattawan High School. He is majoring in health informatics and information management, with minors in accountancy and business analytics, and expects to graduate in December 2019. Following graduation, Brandon plans to pursue work as an application analyst and is considering pursuing a doctorate in computer information systems. He currently works for Bronson Healthcare Group as an IT co-op, helping to build the electronic medical record system used for inpatient care. Brandon’s own health challenges have inspired him to pursue this area of study and improve healthcare using information technology, with a goal of applying his business analytics knowledge to advance patient care and reduce cost. During his time at WMU, he has maintained a 4.0 GPA and received a Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Disability Scholarship and the Department of Business Information Systems Dr. Bernadine P. Branchaw Scholarship. He earned two First Year Writing Program Best Student Essay awards from the WMU Department of English for his narrative and research essays. Brandon currently serves as the vice president of the WMU chapter of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, participates in the Kalamazoo Sacred Harp singing group, and attends St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Kalamazoo.
Presidential Scholar in Finance and Commercial Law
Thomas Mahfet is from Macomb, Michigan, and is a graduate of Dakota High School. He is majoring in personal financial planning and expects to graduate in April 2020. Following graduation, Thomas plans to complete the Certified Financial Planner examination and says he hopes to eventually open and manage his own firm, fulfilling his interest in investments and financial markets and his desire to positively impact other people’s lives. As a student, he has participated in internships with Plante Moran and Zhang Financial. Thomas has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his time at WMU, earning a Haworth College of Business merit scholarship each year. He participated in a short-term study abroad program in the Dominican Republic and says it was an incredible opportunity to learn more about himself as well as the people and business customs of the country. Mahfet says that the increasingly global business environment makes it crucial to be open to new cultures and experiences.. He is president of the WMU chapter of Delta Sigma Pi, a national not-for-profit fraternity.
Presidential Scholar in Integrated Supply Management
Kathryn Bules is from Lambertville, Michigan, and is a graduate of Bedford High School in Temperance, Michigan. A member of WMU's Lee Honors College, she is majoring in integrated supply management and expects to graduate in June 2019. Following graduation, Kathryn will begin a full-time position with Kellogg Company’s leadership development program and plans to earn a Master of Business Administration degree. Kathryn came to WMU on a Medallion Scholarship, the most prestigious honor the University can bestow on an incoming first-year student. During her time at WMU, she has held internship positions with PNC Bank and Whirlpool Corporation’s global strategic sourcing team. Her honors thesis, Knowledge Gap: Supply Chain Students and Employers, aims to identify the gaps between students’ preparedness in critical job skills based on employers’ expectations for new hires. Prior to graduation, she will participate in a short-term study abroad program in Thailand. She is the director of case competitions for the WMU chapter of APICS, a supply chain professional organization. Kathryn is a member of Chi Omega and served as financial director and director of career and personal development. During her time at WMU, she supported the Make-A-Wish Foundation through Chi Omega's annual golf outing, raising enough money to grant several wishes for deserving families over the last four years. Through the Communities in Schools Program, Kathryn participates in weekly mentorship sessions with local elementary students.
Presidential Scholar in Global and International Studies and in Management
lAlexis Lenderman is from Flint, Michigan, and is a graduate of Rochester Hills High School in Rochester Hills, Michigan. A member of WMU's Lee Honors College, Alexis is earning two degrees: a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in entrepreneurship and a Bachelor of Arts degree in global and international studies. She expects to graduate in April 2019. Following graduation, Alexis will take a hiatus from studies before attending Georgetown University to earn a Master of Science degree in foreign service with a concentration in international development. Alexis came to WMU as part of the Seita Scholars program, the nation's largest and most comprehensive collegiate program for foster care youth. To prepare for an international career, she has participated in six study abroad programs, covering such topics as sustainability, business ethics, international humanitarianism, Spanish and global marketing. Additionally, she is participating in a research-intensive study abroad to Senegal. She and two other students developed WMU’s first student-led leadership development program with a foreign service component, the Global Leaders Program. In 2017, then WMU President, Dr. John Dunn, nominated Alexis for the Newman Civic Fellowship. She received a scholarship from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute to participate in the Leadership and the American Presidency program in Washington D.C., where she interned at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and attended George Mason University. In 2018, Alexis was selected to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative University conference. An advocate for foster youth, Alexis presented at the Leadership Summit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and at several fundraisers to raise money for foster youth including the nsoro Foundation’s Starfish Ball and the Hope Pkgs fashion show. Alexis has received numerous scholarships, including a Gilman International Scholarship, nsoro Foundation scholarship, FosterClub Outstanding Young Leader Award, Bravo Scholarship, and National Scholar of the Horatio Alger Association. She was a finalist for a Truman Scholarship.
Presidential Scholar in Marketing
Erika Hejl is from Bear Lake, Michigan, and is a graduate of Bear Lake High School. A member of WMU’s Lee Honors College, she is majoring in food and consumer package goods marketing and expects to graduate in April 2019. Erika has accepted a full-time position with the J.M. Smucker Company that will begin after graduation. Her honors thesis is focused on how manufacturers and retailers can take advantage of the differences between online and offline shopping behavior. Erika has completed internships with the Kroger Company and The J.M. Smucker Company. She was a member of the food marketing program’s National Grocers Association case competition team for two years. Since fall 2015, she has been on the Haworth College of Business dean’s list. She received a Senior with the Highest GPA award from the Department of Marketing, a National Grocers Association Foundation Scholarship, and a WMU study abroad scholarship, which she used to participate in a short-term program in Thailand. Erika served as a peer mentor for the WMU Business Externship Program and serves as president of the Food Marketing Association while remaining active in the Alpha Lambda Delta national honor society and the WMU Business Association of Mentors, an organization focused on providing students with professional development skills through peer mentorship. Since coming to WMU, she has volunteered at YMCA Prime Time, Kalamazoo Gospel Mission and Habitat for Humanity.