Charlen GrayNadia Valdez
Charlen Gray and Nadia Valdez

Commencement Close-Up: Business Scholars Program

(May 6, 2004)--The Business Scholars Program in the College of Business will see its first class of students graduate Friday. Graduates are April Dzanski, Charlen Gray, Jesse Ramirez, Claudia Salinas and Nadia Valdez.

Receiving a degree in finance, Charlen Gray was a member of the Financial Management Association and the National Honor Society. A native of Hawaii, she came to San Antonio through her career in the Air Force. Following her military service, she enrolled at St. Philip's College and transferred to UTSA.

"I started out as an economics major, but I switched to finance because I love working with numbers," said Gray, who completed an internship with USAA last summer. "My favorite course was International Finance with Dr. Kadapakkam. He was patient with me and took the time to teach me the fundamentals."

Following graduation, she will return to the military as a line officer. "The Business Scholars Program offers students direction in their career path," she said. "Our weekly meetings featured speakers who taught us about professionalism. We learned about things not found in a traditional classroom."


Nadia Valdez will receive a bachelor in business administration degree in management. A graduate of Fox Tech High School, she transferred from San Antonio College and began UTSA classes in 2002.

"I've really enjoyed the Business Scholars Program," said Valdez, who was a member of the Leadership Challenge class of 2003-2004. "The staff helped orient me to the campus, assisted me with scholarships and mentored me throughout my program."

After graduation Valdez would like to work as an office manager and eventually return to the College of Business to enter the graduate program.

The Business Scholars Program is a mentoring program for students pursuing careers in business. Established by the UTSA College of Business in 2002, the program is designed to help students make a smooth transition from high school to college and on to graduation. It is open to College of Business freshmen, sophomores and transfer students at the Downtown Campus.

The College of Business commencement ceremony is 5 p.m. Friday in the Convocation Center at the 1604 Campus. More than 750 business students have applied for graduation.

--Wendy Frost

University Communications
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