UCA College of Business Names 2020-2021 Outstanding Students

On April 8, 2021, the UCA College of Business held its annual Student Honors Banquet to celebrate the academic achievements of the College’s students and recognize the outstanding students for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Outstanding students are those who take advantage of educational opportunities and show exemplary academic performance through internships, professional development and experiential education, volunteerism, and participation in clubs and activities.

The following students were awarded an outstanding status, chosen from over 1600 undergraduate and graduate students:


Elsa Mattson was named the overall Outstanding Student for the College of Business because of her many academic achievements.

A triple major with a 3.95 GPA, Elsa earned a BBA in Economics with International Trade Concentration, a BBA in Management Information Systems with a Business Analysis Concentration, and a BA in Chinese. Elsa also earned a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM).

As a Research Fellow for the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics (ACRE) for two years, she published a refereed journal article about occupational licensing requirements and its effect on workers during the Great Recession; published an Op-ed about Pennsylvania’s licensing requirements, which was noticed by their Governor’s office; and presented her studies at the International Academy of Business Disciplines conference. She also earned a Mainframe Apprenticeship at Ensono in summer 2020.

She served as President of Team Global at UCA and was selected to represent the College at recruiting and accreditation events during her senior year.

Elsa will begin a Master of Science in Business Analytics at William & Mary on a merit-based scholarship starting in the fall.


Devin Gilbert completed his BBA in Accounting at UCA and did two internships. He is currently a Graduate Assistant and tutors students in our “Principles of Accounting” and “Intermediate Accounting” courses. Devin has proven to be cool under pressure.

After graduation with his Master of Accountancy (MAcc), Devin is going to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers, the largest accounting firm in the world.


Claire DeBusk just completed her BBA and is starting the UCA Master of Accountancy program this summer. While she was an undergraduate, she did five internships, served as an officer of Beta Alpha Psi, placed second with her team for Best Practices in Investing in Yourself, and was involved in service opportunities in Conway and overseas.


A triple major with a 3.95 GPA, Elsa Mattson earned a BBA in Economics with International Trade Concentration, a BBA in Management Information Systems with a Business Analysis Concentration, and a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese. Elsa also earned a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). She served as President of Team Global at UCA and a Research Fellow for ACRE, earned a Mainframe Apprenticeship at Ensono in summer 2020, and was selected to represent the College at recruiting and accreditation events during her senior year. Elsa will begin a Master of Science in Business Analytics at William & Mary on a merit-based scholarship starting in the fall.


Daryl achieved a 4.0 GPA, majoring in Finance with a minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. While at UCA, he co-authored a paper with Dr. Chen and presented it at the 2021 International Academy of Business Disciplines conference; worked as a Life Peer Coach for Housing and Residence Life; and volunteered for several organizations and events, including the Big Event, Team Global and others. Daryl would like to pursue an MBA in Finance and earn a Data Analytics Graduate Certificate or a Masters of Science in Business Analytics, after which he may then work toward a Doctorate.  He wants to eventually work as a financial analyst at the African Bank of Development.


Bethany is a first-generation student completing a BBA in Insurance and Risk Management with expected graduation in December 2021. She is the Vice President of Gamma Iota Sigma and currently an intern at State Farm while maintaining a 3.82 GPA. She plans to begin her career in the insurance industry after graduation.


Ashley Phipps is a non-traditional student who completed her BBA in General Business completely online while raising two boys under the age of five. She graduated in May 2021 with a 3.36 GPA. She plans to begin a career in banking.


In May 2021, Kayla Dean completed her BBA in Management Information Systems with a Programmer/Analyst Concentration. She finished with a 3.94 GPA and earned a Mainframe internship at Ensono in summer 2020. Kayla also was active in volunteer work serving in the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Program from fall 2018 to spring 2019, as a UCA Peer Coach from fall 2018 until graduation, and as an AmeriCorps BearsServe Member at the UCA Food pantry from fall 2020 to spring 2021.


Rohan Saxena graduated with a 3.49 GPA in May 2021, earning a BS in Information Systems with a Computer Science minor. He stayed busy during his UCA undergraduate career by studying abroad at The Hague University, earning an internship at Granules Pharmaceuticals, serving as Housing & Food Services Committee Chairman for the UCA Student Government Association, and working at UCA International Engagement and the Department of Biology. Rohan has accepted a job as Tableau Administrator at Lucid Motors, a Silicon Valley luxury electric car company.


Logan Tribble is working toward his BBA in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. He is not only a great student in the classroom but also an active participant in the activities of our partner, The Conductor, and the activities of the “Central Arkansas Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.”


Jack Bornhoft, the Outstanding Logistics & Supply Chain Management student, has a 3.83 GPA, is the student representative on the board of the Arkansas Trucking Association, and completed an internship with Insight Logistics Management.


Lucas Southard has 3.84 GPA as he works toward a BBA in Management with a concentration in Human Resources Management.


This year we have two winners for the BBA in Marketing. Both Laura Lane and Emma McKnight are outstanding students in the classroom earning GPAs of better than 3.8, and both have demonstrated tremendous potential to achieve success in their chosen field of marketing.


Brandon Scott Phipps is the Outstanding Student of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. Phipps received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from UCA and has excelled in the MBA program. In addition to being a veteran, Brandon is launching a new Homewell Health Services franchise in Conway with the help of College of Business Professor Dr. Jeff Standridge.  Phipps was also recently named a member of the new class for the Conway Area Leadership Institute.


The UCA College of Business includes:

The goal of the UCA College of Business is to provide a hands-on, experience driven, education that prepares graduates to take on global issues. Through our diverse programs of study and distinguished faculty and staff, we take creative, engaged students and give them the tools to succeed when they earn their degrees. Our students travel the world, start their own innovative businesses, and join established businesses across the country.  Whatever their next step, our students are ready to make a positive impact.

Learn more about our programs of study and distinguished faculty and staff.

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Each year, we seek outstanding students and leaders in each business degree program to serve as COB Ambassadors. Less than 50 students are accepted to this program each year.

The University of Central Arkansas College of Business is proud to announce its 2024-2025 class of Student Ambassadors: [Read more…]

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Robin S. Roeder

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Roeder visited campus for two days. At the luncheon on Monday, April 15, we were joined by many students, faculty, and insurance professionals, including Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Alan McClain, who spoke a few words to highlight the significance of the IRM industry in Arkansas.

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Why did you choose the subject you teach?
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Michael B. Hargis, Ph.D.

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