COBA VIP Stars earn awards at annual banquet
Posted: 04/26/2010
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The College of Business Administration (COBA) at The University of Texas-Pan American rolled out the red carpet for their VIP Stars award winners Friday, April 23 during a banquet recognizing outstanding students for 2010.

COBA hosted the Second Annual VIP Stars Banquet honoring exceptional students, which represented the Values, Initiative and Professionalism (VIP) philosophy of the college and its dean Dr. Teofilo Ozuna.

Pictured left to right with UTPA President Dr. Robert S. Nelsen are the 2010 VIP Stars award winners Alejandro Gonzalez, Aleida D. Gonzalez, Nelsen, Javeria Farooqi, Julia Maldonado, Harpreet Kaur and Hector S. Garza.

Criteria for the awards required candidates to be business majors with at least a 3.5 cumulative G.P.A. and 60 credit hours, of which 30 must be taken at UTPA. A scholarship and recognition committee made up of COBA faculty selected the VIP Stars.

VIP Star Award winners included Alejandro Gonzalez, accounting; Hector S. Garza, computer information system; Julia Maldonado, finance; Harpreet Kaur, management; Aleida D. Gonzalez, marketing; and Javeria Farooqui, master's.

Outstanding Students of the Year awardees were Claudia Garza, accounting; Melissa Pena, computer information system; Robert Davis, economics; Sandra Pena, finance; Linda Govan, marketing; Alicia Cespedes, management; Pratik Patel, MACC; Klaus Beckmann, MBA; and Handan Vicdan, Ph.D.

Also honored were student-selected Faculty Mentors, which included Dr. Punit Ahluwalia, computer information systems; Dr. Angelica Cortez, marketing; Dr. John Darcy, accounting and business law; Dr. Alberto Davila, economics; Dr. Fuat Firat, marketing; Dr. Dave Jackson, finance; Blanca Robles, professional guidance counselor; Delia Sanchez, accounting and business law; Dr. Jan Smolarski, accounting and business law; Dr. Jennifer Wellbourne, management; and Dr. Mohammadali Zolfagharian, marketing.

UTPA President Dr. Robert S. Nelsen welcomed the award winners and guests to the event while Pedro Salazar, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation director, served as the keynote speaker.

For more information on the College of Business Administration, visit