Beta Gamma Sigma chapter earns highest honors, students reap benefits

For the third year in a row, the student chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) in Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Business Administration was recognized as a Highest Honors chapter by the AACSB – Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.

The chapter was recognized this spring at the AACSB International Conference and Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland. Of the more than 600 collegiate chapters spanning the globe, Penn State Harrisburg was recognized as one of only 145 Highest Honors chapters -- the highest recognition a collegiate chapter can earn.  This achievement is based on engagement points earned by the chapter during the academic year, and recognizes the frequency and the quality of student activity on behalf of the organization.  

“The success of the chapter has only been made possible by the dedication of student presidents, the support of the School of Business Administration faculty and staff, and our alumni. Our highest honors designation is only made possible by the commitment of many individuals who support the ideals of honor, wisdom, and earnestness,” said Ray Gibney, associate professor of management at Penn State Harrisburg and Beta Gamma Sigma faculty adviser.

Highest Honors collegiate chapters receive a Student Honor Roll Scholarship, which covers the cost for a BGS student to attend the annual four-day Global Leadership Summit.  There, students learn professional development skills, engage in team competitions, hear from business and academic thought leaders, and meet with talent acquisition and graduate program recruiters. 

“BGS membership is offered to the top 10 percent of undergraduate students, and the top 20 percent of students in master’s and all doctoral programs. Only Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredited schools are eligible to have a BGS student chapter,” he explains.

Recent graduate and immediate past BGS president Carrie Stevens received last year’s Student Honor Roll Scholarship and attended the 2018 Global Leadership Summit in Chicago, Illinois.  She said that she gained tremendous background in business administration and networking at the conference, which will serve her in her future career.

Beta Gamma Sigma members also recently heard from School of Business Administration alumnus, author, and retired CEO Sal Fazzolari who spoke during the BGS chapter reunion held on campus last October.  Fazzolari was the school’s 2006 BGS Chapter Honoree, and a 2012 BGS Business Achievement Award receipient, one of only four awards given that year to nominees from around the world. 

The Highest Honors chapter designation has also afforded three students the opportunity to participate in the Ethical Leadership Course offered by BGS. The students included Chubo Peng, Sam Krauter and Carrie Stevens. In a course that takes approximately 10 hours to complete and entails multiple quizzes and exams, students demonstrate their understanding of the role of ethics in business leadership.

Sam Krauter, who graduated with his undergraduate degrees in marketing and management this spring said that being a member of BGS will help him stand out as he pursues his career and that the highest honors designation shows that BGS is an elite club.

“It was helpful to my academic life by giving me access to scholarships and other help, such as the Ethical Leadership course. It has given me access to BGS sponsors and has given me one more way to stand out from my peers,” he added.

Krauter hopes to jump start his career with his BGS background and advance in a sales career at a major company. His aspirations down the road are to own his own company one day, or maybe even several of his own companies.

“The BGS Ethical Leadership course was very helpful and reinforced ethical thinking for me,” said Krauter. “It is also something I can talk about in interviews with potential employers as well.”

New cohort of students inducted in into Beta Gamma Sigma this spring

This spring, 23 Penn State Harrisburg students were inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma.

New undergraduate inductees included Chandler Boardman, Andrew Caldwell, Justine Fabian, Elizabeth Hamonko, Jacob Horne, Konstantinos Koutris, Amany Mansor, and Kerri Miller, Amanda Moyer, Michael Myer, Tamonwan Piriyasombat, Madison Taylor and Raven Vaughn.

Graduate inductees included Lauren Berry, Jared Cunningham, Irenitemi Famadewa, Jiexi Huang, Jay Kollar, Chad Martier, Kumkum Saini, Emma Stamey, Michael Stephens and Siddharth Verma.

The chapter named Douglas Charney as its Distinguished Chapter Honoree. Charney is the president of Charney Investment Group.  He attended Penn State Harrisburg on an Army ROTC scholarship and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration as well as the George C. Marshall Award – given by the George C. Marshall Foundation to the top ROTC graduate from a college – as a distinguished military graduate. After serving in the Army and retiring with the rank of captain, he began his securities career, completing studies in retirement planning and asset allocation.  Charney also worked at the Army War College for 30 years.

Charney has been a member of the Penn State Harrisburg School of Business Administration advisory council since 2013 and is also a member of the college’s Board of Advisers.

Also inducted was School of Business Administration faculty member, Premal Vora, associate professor of finance. Annually, the chapter members recognize a faculty member who embodies the ideals of Beta Gamma Sigma. Associate Professor of Finance Oranee Tawatnuntachai was awarded the 2019 Beta Gamma Sigma Professor of the Year Award.