Student Spotlight Videos
Senior management student Cailin Brown arrives at Oklahoma State University’s Student Union early for her interview. Punctual and dressed in a tailored jacket with her short hair tousled just perfectly, it’s quickly noted that she is a sharp go-getter who strives to always make a great first impression.
Raised in a suburb outside of Dallas, she planned on staying in state and attending Texas A&M. Fate or perhaps serendipity had other plans. Due to overlooking a step in A&M’s enrollment process, Brown found herself nearing the end of her high school days not knowing what or where she would end up.
“A friend asked me if I had ever considered OSU,” she said. “I applied, they accepted me and from the initial orientation I found I loved it. Even though it was a stressful start, I think it ended up working out for the better and I’ve really enjoyed my time here.”
Corey Collins was always encouraged by his parents to go to Oklahoma State University, although he had reservations.
Seems his parents knew best, as a campus visit provided confirmation.
“I didn’t think it was for me, nor did I think I would be a good fit,” said Collins, who was born in Oklahoma City and raised in Piedmont. “I toured and I fell in love with the campus, and the people on campus.”
Collins, the first of his family to attend OSU, has jumped into campus involvement, leading to his selection as one of OSU’s Top 20 Freshmen. Following a detailed interview process, he was then selected as one of the Top 10 Freshmen.
Transitioning from a small high school with a graduation class of 13 students to a large university with an enrollment of more than 25,000 students can be a challenging adjustment. Still, Madeline Betts was up for such a challenge.
Betts, a management and marketing sophomore at Oklahoma State, grew up in Calumet, Okla., along with her older siblings, Sheridan and Tanner. She attended high school at Southwest Covenant in Yukon, where she was actively involved in many sports and organizations.
One organization she was heavily involved in was the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Serving on the student board, Betts was able to get a behind-the-scenes look on what goes into planning a big event.
“We actually got to set up a philanthropy night to give back to OMRF, which was like really cool because it was the first time I was able to be involved in the planning behind something and be able to raise money,” Betts said.
Though she bleeds orange now, Betts wasn’t always sure where she wanted to go to college. Her parents each attended Oklahoma State and hoped she would someday call OSU her home. Once she stepped on campus, Betts was hooked.
“They got me on campus, and I fell in love like most people do,” Betts said. “I always say, ‘If you don’t like OSU, you’ve never been here.’”
You don’t need to tell Kris Ventura it’s a small world. The Oklahoma State University senior was living it each day he walked into his Corporate Social Responsibility class during the fall semester. The 22-year-old was born in Mexico, spent most of his teenage years in Norway and has already traveled to nearly 30 countries, but he was caught off guard when clinical assistant professor of management Jose Sagarnaga began sharing about his background in class.
He was surprised to learn the OSU professor earned his doctorate degree from the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP), a private university located in Puebla, Mexico – where Ventura was born and raised, and still considers home.
After class a few days later, Ventura approached Sagarnaga, sharing with him – while speaking Spanish (one of three languages he speaks fluently) – that he grew up in Puebla. A friendship was born as the two connected on a number of issues, including reminiscing about their time in Puebla before Sagarnaga, a fan of OSU’s golf program, realized that Ventura was a member of the Cowboys nationally ranked men’s golf team.
When you’re born and raised in Guthrie, the previous capital of Oklahoma, being involved in everything is a staple for the brightest high school students, and international business and nonprofit management senior Mekaila Carey was no exception.
As the oldest of six siblings, Carey paved the way for her siblings by participating in softball, basketball, track, pole vaulting, dancing and many other activities. Her main passion was the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, a nonprofit organization focused on community service, confidence and professional development. Eventually, Carey rose to assume the role of President for the Order in the state of Oklahoma, and soon after she was selected to the International President of the Order. Continue Reading
Oklahoma State University international business management graduate Abigail Crosby has traveled all over the United States and Europe before turning 18 years old.
Crosby was born in West Virginia and quickly moved to Seattle after about a year and a half. At age 3, her family decided to move back to England, where her mother had been born and raised. At age 6, the family finally settled down with her father’s Northern Ireland roots, where Crosby would stay until she was 18. After that, it was a 40-minute flight to Edinburgh, Scotland, to attend Heriot-Watt University.
“Actually, a year after I moved to Scotland, my parents moved back to England,” Crosby said. “So, when I go ‘home,’ I’m going to England, but that’s not where I grew up. It only takes me about four hours to get home by train.” Continue Reading
Rain or shine, a mile or 10 miles, neither element nor distance can slow down Nathan Herrmann. The accounting student at Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business knows all about determination. He runs 40 to 50 miles a week in his free time.
“It’s the sort of sport where you set a goal, sometimes months away, and you plan your training accordingly,” said Herrmann. “It’s something you have to go out for six or seven days a week to make it a possibility.”
It’s in Herrmann’s nature to commit to a long-term goal and achieve it. His career and education aspirations are no different. He is currently in the Spears Business Professional Program in Accounting, which allows students to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting in five years. His favorite thing about accounting is the way that everything fits together, neat and organized.
His passion for accounting was influenced by his father, Don Herrmann, long-time OSU accounting professor, who has always referred to accounting as the “language of the business world.”
“People assume, oh you love math; it’s like, not really. You don’t need anything past Algebra. You do need to understand how things relate to one another and how to organize things to get info to people in a concise manner,” Herrmann said. Continue Reading
Dealing with four brothers as the only girl didn’t stop senior accounting major Shelbie Smith from proving she was just as tough.
Born in Edmond, Smith attended Edmond Memorial High School, where she was involved with Student Council and softball. She helped organize the annual SWINE week for Edmond Memorial, raising $500,000 for nonprofit organizations and gaining valuable experience dealing with professionals and handling money. Smith and her family grew up attending Oklahoma State University football games, which made the decision to transfer to OSU an easy one.
“Our family has always come to football games on Saturdays, we hold season tickets every year,” Smith said. “My oldest brother graduated from OSU, the next one came [to OSU] for a year and decided college wasn’t for him, and the one right above me graduated from OSU in December. After my two years at North Texas playing softball, I decided I was done and I knew OSU was heavy on my heart, I always wanted to go to OSU, so it was a pretty easy decision for me to say this is where I am going to transfer to.
“My youngest brother will be a freshman [at OSU] next year. My dad attended OSU many, many years ago and has always been a big Cowboys fan, lives and breathes Cowboy football. My mom did not attend Oklahoma State, but that’s okay.” Continue Reading
Nonprofit management senior Christian Jackson may have left his professional football dreams behind, but football still plays a major role in his nonprofit business.
Jackson was born an only child in Houston and played football all his life. He accepted a scholarship to play football at a small college in Tennessee his freshman year, but quickly realized it wasn’t all it was made out to be. After transferring to Oklahoma State University his sophomore year, his original choice for college, he began focusing on academics.
“It was definitely tough, it was a rough couple of months going from playing football to not playing football at all,” Jackson said. “I’ve been playing football since second grade, so to completely stop that was a tough transition, and going from a little school to a school with 26,000 was a huge jump, so I really had to find a community so I wouldn’t go through school alone…. It was a rough transition, but it was for the best.” Continue Reading
For Spears School of Business accounting senior Jordan Mazariegos, coming to Oklahoma State University was the gateway to a new life in the United States.
Born in Mexico City, Mazariegos was two years old when he and his parents packed up their lives and moved to Anaheim, Calif. With the help of a mysterious person his father had met along the way, Mazariegos and his family moved to Tulsa, Okla.
“Interestingly, the person that my dad met on his journey to the United States, my dad never saw him again,” Mazariegos said. “We moved [to Tulsa] because he called my dad and told him he had an apartment ready for us. So, my dad started paying rent and brought us over and we started our life in Tulsa. I don’t even know [the guy’s] name.”
Mazariegos attended Union High School and made many friends and genuine relationships with teachers that were always ready to lend a helping hand. He played soccer and had dreams of becoming a professional soccer player, even making it to the state championship his senior year. He knew he wanted to go to college to provide for his family, but when he was in his teens, he realized he wasn’t quite like every other student. Continue Reading
As she prepares for graduation, Carson Guinn credits her parents for inspiring her to pursue a career in finance
Carson Guinn is a senior economics and finance double major with a minor in accounting from Wichita, Kansas. She will graduate from Oklahoma State University on May 13.
Her parents Lynn and Kim Guinn graduated from the T. Boone Pickens College of Business at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, outside of Amarillo. “Pickens was a large supporter of the school as well as a major supporter of Oklahoma State University. So we have a running joke in my family that although we didn’t graduate from university, we have the same alma mater because T. Boone Pickens is such a huge supporter of Oklahoma State. So we’re kind of all Cowboys,” said Guinn. Continue Reading
Chance Imhoff shares how his agricultural roots sparked his interest in entrepreneurship and management
Chance Imhoff is a 5th generation farmer from Prague, Okla. Growing up, he was very active in FFA and 4H, so Oklahoma State, being a land-grant university, was always an attractive option for him. “I’ve always known I wanted to come to OSU. It was actually the only school I applied for. And coming to OSU was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” said Imhoff.
Imhoff started at OSU as an ag-business major, but later decided to change to entrepreneurship and management. “After a semester in CASNR I wanted to broaden my scope and meet new people, so I chose entrepreneurship because I had different business ventures growing up and knew I had a passion for running a business,” said Imhoff. Continue Reading
She made the big move to the United States from Mexico when she was three years old and has been bleeding orange ever since.
Paulina Medrano is a senior marketing major in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. She grew up in Enid, Okla., with two younger siblings and spent most of her time volunteering for the soup kitchen at her church and preparing to be a college athlete… which didn’t quite turn out in her favor.
“I focused a lot on my studies in high school, but I was also trying to be a college athlete,” said Medrano, who grew up in Acatic, Mexico, a town with a population of about 20,000 in central-western Mexico. “Obviously, that didn’t work out, I wasn’t good enough. I was pretty slow in track, and I also played volleyball, but I was so bad that I quit my senior. But it’s okay, I’m here now, so it all worked out.” Continue Reading
To Darcy Worth, practicing business, specifically management and marketing, has always come naturally. She comes from a family of small business owners. Her parents own and operate a skating rink in her hometown of Tahlequah, Okla., and they also run a fireworks stand each summer. When it came to college, there was no doubt which direction that Worth would head.
“After working with my parents for so many years, managing and marketing just came really natural to me,” said Worth, a junior majoring in both management and marketing with a minor in ethical leadership at Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business.
Since she was 13 years old, her free time was spent helping her dad manage the businesses with inventory, creating invoices and training new employees. She also helped her mom with the marketing side of the business, creating social media campaigns. “So it was very natural for me to go the business route, so that’s exactly why I’m in the Spears School of Business,” she said. Continue Reading
Kyle Lake didn’t know he would end up at the Spears School of Business when he enrolled at Oklahoma State University his freshman year.
Lake grew up in small-town Elk City, Okla., with a population of 12,000, give or take. He was the first to attend OSU out of his family, making him the “black sheep,” but he appreciated the atmosphere and tight-knit community that OSU offers.
“Everybody jokes about the ‘Cowboy Spirit,’ but I’m convinced it’s a real thing,” Lake said. “Just great people who made the university feel fun, the excellent degree programs and the reputable school was appealing.” Continue Reading
Throughout her life, Hayden Lee’s calling has always been her love of sports.
She’s a senior marketing and sports management double-major at the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. Lee went to Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma City and participated in all things sports, whether it was playing soccer and volleyball or being the manager of the high school’s men’s basketball team. The choice to attend OSU and major in anything sports was an easy one: most of her family members are OSU alumni who instilled their love for OSU in Lee through attending sporting events.
“My mom, my uncle, my cousin and my grandfather all attended OSU, and I got to really see the kind of community and family that OSU provided for so many people, and after getting to come here and see that community for myself through football games and Homecoming, it led me to want to come here and be a student myself,” Lee said. Continue Reading
Learn about Jeana Wilson, a business management student who is participating in the ‘I Am Building’ project.
Learn what makes management sustainability an entrepreneurship student, Ashley Shannon, tick.
Learn about marketing and entrepreneurship student, Andy Blye and the reasons behind his decision to join the Peace Corps upon graduation.
Spears Business highlights the life, travels, and educational experience of finance student, Will Bruhn.
The Spears School highlights the life and educational career of recent graduate, Brett Humphrey.
The Spears School of Business highlights an exceptional accounting student, Shannon Chiarello.
Peyton Hillery, Spears School accounting major and I Am Building participant, shares the highlights of her freshman year.
Courtney Dike, Spears School accounting major and first female Oklahoma native to play in the World Cup, shares her two passions: accounting and soccer.
Courtney Dike, accounting major and OSU Cowgirl Soccer player
“Justin is an example of the type of student we like to see at OSU. He works incredibly hard and is very bright but he is also a member of our armed services, serving in Afghanistan with the Air National Guard,” says Bob Cornell, head of the School of Accounting.
Justin Kanipe, Professional Program in Accounting
Spears School of Business Student Spotlight featuring marketing and management senior Erin Scanlan
“What they’re doing, the program, the instructors, the professors, from Dr. Cornell down in the accounting program, they’re all so passionate. The passion I think at the Spears School of Business is what has led me and kept me on track.”
Moriah Wallace, Accounting Senior at Oklahoma State University
Story by Sonya Colberg
Entrepreneurs and best friends Quinn Vandenberg and Jonathon Button recall the exact moment they knew they would never turn back.
It was the afternoon Naomi’s big brown eyes lit up when she picked out her brand-new, pink-and-blue school notebook.
Jayde Panos, Senior Marketing Major at Oklahoma State University