Lubar 25 is an annual program that recognizes 25 undergraduate students in the Lubar College of Business who stand out for their accomplishments in academics, entrepreneurship, leadership, or campus/community service.
Lubar College of Business students have long had a reputation for being smart, hard working, and active in our community. This program selects the “cream of the crop” to serve as prominent examples of how our students excel and make a difference.
Students chosen for the Lubar 25 recognition program:
- Will be selected by a panel of judges comprised of business leaders.
- Will be celebrated at a special reception.
- Will be profiled on the Lubar College of Business website and highlighted in news releases, social media and other channels.
- Have the opportunity to display this honor on their resumes.
- Will receive a $1,000 scholarship for this honor.
At the time of application, students must:
- Be an undergraduate business student advanced to a major in the Lubar College of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Have junior or senior standing
- Have a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA
- Demonstrate success in at least two of the following areas while in college:
- Campus and/or Community Service
- Have not been recognized by the Lubar 25 program in a previous year
- Be an enrolled undergraduate student at the time of recognition (Spring 2023)
Class of 2023 Lubar 25
We congratulate the following students:
Thank you to our 2023 sponsors for their support of Lubar students!
General Business major
Cassidy Askin came to the Lubar College of Business as a junior-level transfer student, and jumped right into student involvement, joining the co-ed business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. After developing new professional skills in the organization, she was elected to chapter leadership as vice president of fundraising, where she has led efforts to raise $1,700 to support the chapter, and is involved in volunteering for numerous community organizations. Wanting to learn more about business ownership, she enrolled in the College’s entrepreneurship course, where she and her teammates won the 2nd place prize for their business plan and pitch presentation to judges. She says this success has further inspired her to consider developing an entrepreneurial venture in the future. “Everything I enjoy in life is run by a business,” she says. “The exciting part about being young and about to graduate is that there are an enormous number of opportunities in front of me.” After graduation this spring, she will work as a production coordinator with Kohl’s Corporation, where she was also an intern during her studies at UWM.
Finance & Supply Chain & Operations Management majors
Abraham Atari was inspired to excel in college by watching his immigrant parents work hard to build a successful small business that provided their children with opportunities the parents never had, especially in the area of education. He wants to show them their sacrifices paid off, and he also wants more for himself. A Dean’s List student, Abraham took on a full-time job at U.S. Bank in his sophomore year and was recently recognized as the top employee in the Midwest for credit card sales and referrals. On top of his rigorous course load and work responsibilities, Abraham is also involved with community service through his mosque and the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, which raised over $10,000 for Special Olympics. He also holds a leadership role in UWM’s Interfraternity Council. He credits being honest, hard-working, and respectful for his leadership success on campus and at work. Post graduation, Abraham will continue his work at U.S. Bank, where he hopes to become a financial advisor after obtaining his Certified Financial Planner designation.
Accounting major, Honors College
As an Honors College student majoring in accounting with a near-perfect grade point average, academics are clearly top of mind for Zachary Baynham. But he also has a self-described passion for people and helping others. An officer in the Honors College Alternative Spring Break Club, Zachary and his fellow members are focused on serving communities in need, spending their spring break week working for a disaster relief organization in New Orleans, and serving local organizations throughout the year. This summer he is expanding work he began in high school as an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities. He will be working with The Maren Fund on a program that will help young adults of different abilities to develop professional skills that can be used in a business setting. At UWM, Zachary is a resident assistant in the dormitories, where he has gained important skills in crisis management, conflict mediation, and communication. He plans to pursue his master’s degree in professional accounting, become a Certified Public Accountant, and further incorporate his passion for advocacy into his career.
Marketing major, Cultures and Communities, Real Estate certificates; Business Scholars
Phareda Be serves as a great example that you can help others succeed at the same time you are helping yourself to succeed. A member of the Business Scholars program, Phareda has been focused on her courses, building relationships, and attending co-curricular events in her field of study. She is also enrolled in UWM’s Student Service Record Program, a community of students committed to civic involvement. During the academic year, she tutors bilingual students on a daily basis so they can excel in their classes. She is especially proud that some of her proteges have graduated from high school and nowattend UWM. And during the summer, she is a leadership mentor for high school students. A marketing major, Phareda is also earning a certificate in real estate so she can help members of her community to buy a home without being impeded by a language barrier. She currently works as a social media marketing intern for her brother’s small business, and has aspirations to travel the world in a future marketing career with a multinational company.
Nicholas Cervac recognizes that while classroom learning is important, it’s equally or more important to think critically about how to apply that learning to the real world. As a philanthropy leader in a campus fraternity, he has utilized marketing concepts such as emotional appeal, content marketing, and promotion to lead a chapter record $7,500 fundraising campaign. As a vice president, he says that leadership techniques he has learned have also been critical. Nicholas says that coming to the Lubar College of Business as a transfer student gave him the opportunity to recommit to his academic goals – he’s currently on a three-semester “streak” of straight A’s – and to become engaged in campus life. He believes that all that he is learning, both inside and outside the classroom, will help him to one day become a successful business owner for a project he is developing. “I am applying my marketing education towards real and tangible work experience, and believe that all of my roles have helped me gain new insight towards becoming an entrepreneur.”
Marketing major, Entrepreneurship certificate
Innovation, accountability, and growth. These are Jonathan David’s core values and, as he notes, all share the common characteristic of education. He says he inherited an entrepreneurial spirit from his parents. His father owned a company and encouraged the kids to start their own business. For Jonathan, this started with yard work jobs in his youth, and expanded to restoration and resale of wood furniture when he started college. Currently, he is building a digital art library with plans to start drop shipping with Printful. Jonathan is a founding co-chair of Delta Sigma Pi’s mental health committee and vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “Always eager to serve,” he has volunteered his marketing skills to a non-profit that supports black women experiencing trauma, providing photography, videography, and brochure design. Through his fraternity, his favorite opportunity is with Habitat for Humanity, where he says he can learn a new skill while helping someone who needs a home. He is currently interning at SRH, a four-time regional Emmy winning marketing agency.
Information Technology Management major, Computer Science minor
In high school, Evan Domnie thought he’d be heading to college to study engineering or medicine. But a business competition in his junior year opened his eyes to the opportunities of studying business, and he hasn’t looked back since. Now an information technology management major, Evan is excelling with a close-to-perfect grade point average and the academic goal of graduating summa cum laude next spring. Interestingly, this “tech” guy has also found a home among marketing students at the Lubar College, joining the American Marketing Association chapter in his freshman year, later becoming director of conferences and competitions, and is now vice president of events and fundraisers. He has planned two regional competitions, and coordinated the organization’s participation in AMA’s national conference, including fundraisers to allow more students to attend. His work has also led to higher engagement levels by chapter members. Evan was an IT intern last summer with Altra Federal Credit Union and will be an IT Business Analyst Intern this summer at Johnson Controls.
Finance major, Investment Management certificate
Carson Ejzak says that his love for investments started as a child when his father taught him about personal finances. “It was mind-blowing that you could ‘grow’ money while you’re sleeping – at least that’s how he explained it.” Now a finance and investment management student at the Lubar College of Business, Carson realizes that it takes more than a good night’s sleep to grow money, but he’s still excited about it. A Dean’s List student for every semester of his undergraduate studies, Carson attributes his academic success to hard work and vigorous studying. A leader in the Student Investment Club, he has presented to the club on topics including private wealth management, private debt, and stock analysis, and views himself as a mentor to younger students interested in the profession. Alongside his college work, he is studying to take the Chartered Financial Analyst exam in May. A long-standing intern with Robert W. Baird throughout much of his Lubar College career, Carson joins the Baird team full time as an associate financial advisor upon his upcoming graduation.
Finance major, Economics minor, Real Estate certificate; Business Scholars, Honors College
Maintaining a near-perfect grade point average while studying finance and real estate, being part of both the Business Scholars and Honors College programs, working at a professional internship, and being a student organization leader is no easy feat, but Andrew Gaeta has been able to check all of these boxes during his time as a Lubar student. Andrew is especially proud of the leadership positions in fundraising and finance that he has held with the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. This turned out to be exceptionally challenging during the pandemic, though he was still able to lead efforts including organizing a face mask sale and developing sponsor partnerships with local businesses. He participated in the fraternity’s service projects focused on disabled individuals and veterans, and was also a volunteer baseball coach at his old middle school, where he found reward in mentoring and motivating younger kids. Andrew graduates this May and will enter the Finance Leadership Development Program at Rockwell Automation, where he also held an internship.
For those who think you can’t be both “left brained” and “right brained,” Maisie Gelhar can set you straight. Maisie is a Dean’s List student who found her passion for accounting during the introductory course and went on to be a top performer in the challenging intermediate accounting course. But she also has a creative passion that has helped her launch a small business – String Bean Crafts. Always “crafty” as a child, she purchased a sewing machine in high school and taught herself how to sew and read patterns. Today, her company offers handmade bags, wallets, keychains, and headbands, which she sells at two Plato’s Closet stores and other local shops, as well as online. “This journey as a small business owner during some of the most difficult times in our economy has been nothing but exhilarating,” Maisie says. With one internship with Direct Supply already under her belt, she is interning this summer with Wipfli and next winter with Deloitte. Upon graduation in 2024, she will pursue her master’s in professional accounting at UWM before fully launching her career in public accounting.
Marketing major, Entrepreneurship certificate
Dylan Haagen knows the value of a strong work ethic. During a gap year after high school, he was recognized by his employers as a leader and quickly advanced to supervisory positions. Since enrolling in the Lubar College of Business, that work ethic is propelling him to excel in the classroom and “build the foundation” for success. A marketing major and Lawton Scholar, Dylan is especially interested in developing the skills to one day own a business, which is why he is also pursuing a certificate in entrepreneurship. In Fall 2022, he was selected for the La Macchia Entrepreneur Internship Program and was placed in a marketing internship with Craft Beverage Company, learning the business alongside the founders. “Getting a behind-the-scenes look into how entrepreneurs build their companies from the ground up has truly been an eye-opening experience and has allowed me to develop a lot as a person.” Dylan continues to work for the company and remains focused on laying a solid groundwork for his career.
Marketing, Supply Chain & Operations Management majors; Business Scholars
Caroline Hansen didn’t realize how “fascinating” she would find supply chain management until she dipped her toes in the field. A double major in supply chain and marketing, she is now working in her third supply chain internship – her first with Kimberly-Clark, the second with Briggs & Stratton, and her current position with ER Wagner. She says that the supply chain industry involves a lot more than transportation. One needs to “use personal critical thinking skills to solve any problems that may arise, especially in today’s current supply chain state.” Caroline is also enrolled in the Lubar College’s Business Scholars program, through which she is conducting an academic research project under the supervision of her faculty mentor Mark Kosfeld. Outside of her studies, she is highly involved as a leader in her sorority Gamma Phi Beta. As vice president of finance, she manages the organization’s $43,000 budget and does volunteer work in fundraisers for their philanthropic partner Girls on the Run. She has accepted a full-time position as a customer inventory analyst with Kimberly-Clark after graduating.
Finance & Supply Chain & Operations Management majors, Entrepreneurship certificate; Business Scholars
As a Business Scholars student pursuing a double major and a certificate in entrepreneurship, taking 18 credits per semester, and working two part-time jobs to put himself through college, Maximillian Hartounian aptly describes himself as resourceful and independent. Beyond that, he has been recognized for his academic ability and dedication to his education by being selected for a prestigious scholarship award last spring that included a trip to Vermont to attend a colloquium and short residency at the Capitaf Retreat Center, built by Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman and his wife. Maximillian himself is a budding entrepreneur with a tech-related eBay store and a technology consulting business focused on gaming computers. In addition to these achievements, he has clocked more than 500 volunteer hours at assisted living facilities, homeless shelters, and food kitchens, and as a tutor. With family in war-torn Syria, he aspires to one day lead a nonprofit company that assists refugees from the Middle East and provides them with opportunities that we may take for granted.
Marketing major; Honors College
A student-athlete on UWM’s track and field team and a member of the Honors College, Cynthia Hernandez is used to outpacing the competition. With an incredible 4.0 grade point average, Cynthia earned the Athletic Department’s 2022 Smartest Panther Award for having the highest GPA among all UWM female athletes. She will graduate in December with her BBA and an accelerated master’s degree in marketing – a dual degree program that allows undergraduate students to add on a master’s degree with just one additional year of studies. Cynthia keeps busy applying her marketing skills as vice president of social media for the American Marketing Association, where she mentors other students and volunteers with UWM Make a Difference Day and the Panther Prowl. She’s also assumed a leadership role on her track and field team, including helping her teammates balance their academics and athletics. Last summer, Cynthia completed a district manager internship with Aldi. She looks forward to a marketing internship with Brady Corporation this summer and a career in advertising and strategy.
Finance, Human Resources Management majors, Journalism, Advertising & Media Studies minor
Early in her college career, Alexia Kossow developed a passion for people and organizational structure that led her to pursue a degree in human resources management and finance. Since she was in high school it was important to her to “build stepping stones” toward her future career, so when she landed a talent acquisition internship at Robert W. Baird, she was ready to contribute, bringing an “enterprising perspective” to her work and identifying opportunities for improvement that were successfully adopted. She has made similar contributions as vice president of chapter operations at the co-ed business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi, developing a more structured process for members to prepare themselves to qualify for leadership roles in the chapter. Her fraternity membership has also provided her with many rewarding opportunities for community service. Her idea of success, Alexia says, goes beyond her personal success to helping her friends and peers find their own opportunities to shine. She will earn her bachelor’s degree in three years and launch her full-time career in talent acquisition in 2024.
Finance major, Economics minor, Real Estate certificate
Henry Kucha is rightly proud of his academic successes, which include recognition on the Dean’s List and a high grade point average, despite the challenges of the pandemic that he says taught him to adapt to unforeseen circumstances through his own hard work, organization, and motivation. A finance major, economics minor, and real estate certificate student, Henry has been excited to be involved in the Student Investment Club, discussing the club’s investment holdings and learning from guest investment professionals. With two summer banking internships to his credit, his internship in the Wealth Management Services group at U.S. Bank cemented his plans to become a financial analyst. The internship also helped him develop his leadership skills while working in cross-functional intern teams. In addition to wanting to help individuals build wealth, Henry has been committed to building his community, volunteering with the Children’s Outing Association, Hunger Task Force Farm and Fishing Hatchery, and neighborhood clean-up campaigns. Utilizing his certificate in real estate, Henry also hopes to invest in and manage rental properties in the future.
General Business major
Kayla Lokker says that starting college in the Fall 2020 was a crazy time, living at home and going to class virtually. “In my sophomore year, I was determined to see what UWM had to offer.” She quickly became involved in the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO), attending meetings and participating in the organization’s elevator pitch competition – and was hooked. Today, she is not only the president of CEO, but also president of the Panther Real Estate Club. Her leadership of CEO is “a blast,” she says, because it pushes her outside of comfort zone and has allowed her to grow both professionally and personally. Next up, she will be participating in the Start Up Challenge offered by UWM’s Lubar Entrepreneurship Center, through which she is developing a product that will “revolutionize how we accessorize.” Not only does she plan to pursue an entrepreneurial path, she hopes to be a serial entrepreneur with multiple businesses that develop products to make peoples’ lives easier.
Coleton Mueller transitioned quite smoothly from his early studies in engineering to his current major in marketing, becoming an A student in virtually all of his business courses. Some of his business acumen, however, comes from what he describes as “side hustles” including a driveway sealcoating company that he operates during warmer months – identifying customers, managing inventory, and providing exceptional service. He also operates a business that provides videography and drone footage to companies for use in advertising. In his early college career, Coleton was the vice president of administration for the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, focused on building membership and mentoring other young entrepreneurs. An internship with a Chicago-based consulting firm last summer allowed him to contribute to strategies to improve the company’s responsible sourcing. This summer, he will intern with Milwaukee Tool – a good fit for his early engineering background and current business studies. He hopes to pursue a career in product development, utilizing his creativity and inventive ideas.
Finance, Marketing majors
“I have countless ambitions,” says Casey Rajala. “As a powerful woman in business, being financially free through persistent goal setting and building a brand is the overarching goal of my own personal success.” Casey has a host of accomplishments to support her ambitions. With a near-perfect grade point average, she anticipates graduating summa cum laude next year as a double major in finance and marketing. Currently, she is director of digital marketing for the UWM chapter of the American Marketing Association, a digital analytics and marketing intern with the Milwaukee Wave, and a regular volunteer with community organizations. “From helping at a soup kitchen to women’s empowerment services, I feel rewarded and grounded by the differences I made to their spirits and hearts, as they have altered mine as well.” Success, she says, is not defined by money or status, but inner growth and impact on others. Next, Casey is embarking on an internship with Robert W. Baird in private wealth management marketing.
Information Technology Management major
Ivan Ramirez hopes to one day be part of his family’s real estate business, while also pursuing an entrepreneurial venture that serves his community. An IT management major, Ivan has enjoyed a successful academic career at the Lubar College of Business while working part-time in the field and leading a campus organization. As a lead supervisor at the help desk in UWM’s Campus Technology Services, Ivan leads a team of 12 technicians who help university staff and students with a wide range of IT needs. He has also served as vice president of UWM’s Latino Student Union. “In this leadership role, it was my responsibility to help organize events and fundraisers in order to create a voice and impact for the Latino community on campus.” That included volunteerism in areas that provide aid to struggling local and global communities. He is also currently developing a detailed plan for a business that provides tutoring services for school-age children. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Ivan also wishes to earn a master’s degree in IT Management at the Lubar College.
Anny Santos Penna
Marketing major, International Business certificate
Growing up in Brazil, Anny Maria Santos Penna knew she wanted to pursue a quality education for herself and worked hard to achieve the best grades possible to be accepted to a U.S. university. Now on the cusp of graduating from the Lubar College of Business with a degree in marketing and a certificate in international business, Anny has nothing but well-earned pride in her accomplishments. A Dean’s List honoree throughout her entire UWM career, Anny was accepted for a business study abroad program in France, held a professional internship with a major company, and was appointed to leadership positions in two campus student organizations. Her sales and marketing internship with Charter Manufacturing sparked her recognition of a natural aptitude for sales that she didn’t previously realize she had. She hopes to one day follow in her brother’s footsteps by opening her own mortgage business, focusing on a target market of Latin clientele. “I know what it is like to dream of moving to another country to hopefully get a better life for myself.”
Emily Schnaare came to UWM as an experienced non-profit marketing professional seeking to learn more about the business side of decision making, data analysis, and strategic planning. As a marketing student with an outstanding academic record, she clearly brings a lot to the table. She most recently served as marketing director for The Bend Historic Theater in West Bend, at which she created a highly popular series that blends the theater’s sound system with various themes associated with local businesses, developing new business on an “off” night of the week. She has mentored junior staff to help them develop their professional portfolios, something that she notes was an investment of time that was also impactful to her own personal management philosophy. Emily aspires to continue her work in the non-profit sector as an organization’s executive director, where she hopes to work with a widely talented board of directors that is focused on advancing a unique strategic mission that is shared with the community.
Finance major, Spanish Business minor; Business Scholars, Pre-Law
Andrew Skyberg has been honored to be part of the Business Scholars program at the Lubar College of Business, which has given him a rigorous academic experience, an opportunity to learn about business and culture in Panama, and a close connection to his Scholars peers and faculty. His academic achievements in finance led his finance faculty to suggest that he serve as a supplemental instruction leader for fellow students needing extra help with their finance courses. As vice president of finance for the American Marketing Association, Andrew has been involved in developing events, budgets, and fundraising strategies to ensure the organization’s financial stability. He has also been a Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer at Hartford University School for the last three years, serving as a role model for “Littles” in the program. This summer, Andrew has secured a corporate finance internship with Johnsonville which he hopes will help him further define the career focus he wishes to pursue in the finance industry.
Finance major, Investment Management certificate
Since returning to college for a second degree in 2021, Justin Thimmesch recognizes that he brings unique life experiences to his studies in the Lubar College’s rigorous investment management program. “Challenging myself fuels me to be the best student that I can be,” he says. His high grade point average and recognition on the Dean’s List attest to his success. His aptitude has also stood out to his professors, and he now serves as a supplemental instruction leader. Justin says he feels pride in knowing that he’s helping other students understand complex topics and, more broadly, that his work is benefiting the UWM community. He looks forward to his internship this summer with a private equity company, where he will work on financial modeling, report building, and assisting with investment decisions. He hopes to continue work in private equity after he graduates. To satisfy his creative side, Justin combines his passion for hiking and photography, and has recently begun selling prints online to his social media followers.
Supply Chain & Operations Management major
With one more year of college to complete, Bridget Wesolowski remains laser focused on academics, with a near-perfect grade point average to prove it. Dedicated to her studies, she says she is striving to set herself up to flourish in the corporate world. That doesn’t take away from her involvement in college life, however. As vice president of relations in the Supply Chain Management Association, Bridget is responsible for both internal communications with members and external communications with supply chain professionals who present at their meetings. She will become president of the organization next fall. At her internship with Direct Supply last summer, Bridget built leadership skills by leading a group of 100 interns in activities that supplemented their internship experience and helped develop a positive culture. She continues to serve on the company’s internship board. This summer, she’ll expand her experience by interning in the procurement department of Molson Coors. “Dreaming big, I hope to one day be the head of supply chain management for a large company in a big city.”