John C. Stophel Distinguished Student Award


The College of Business John C. Stophel Distinguished Student Award is presented annually to recognize high potential business students who have made significant and meaningful civic contributions to UTC and the College of Business while maintaining a strong academic record.

Students must provide evidence of exceptional extracurricular leadership and community service, strong leadership skills, self-motivating initiative, exceptional presentation skills, and a strong academic record with minimum GPA of 3.0.

Below are the 2008-2009 John C. Stophel Distinguished Students.


Undergraduate Students

Christina Chavez

Elizabeth Dickinson

Zachary Ferrell

Rachel Hunter

Beata Knizat

Holli Smith

Asha Venkatraman

Graduate Students

Lauren Davidson

Nancy Klenner


Undergraduate Students

Christina_Chavez Christina Chavez

B.S. Business Administration: Finance
B.S. Economics

Christina served as President of the Economics Club and Communications Secretary of Beta Alpha Psi. Christina is a member of the University Honors Program and Habitat for Humanity. She studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina to practice her Spanish and gain cultural insight about South America. Christina interned with SunTrust Bank in Chattanooga and in SunTrust’s corporate offices in Atlanta. She was chosen by the Chancellor to represent UTC in the 2007-2008 Presidential Fellows program in Washington, DC. 

Christina graduated in May 2009 and works for Dell Computers in Austin, Texas.


Elizabeth_Dickinson Elizabeth Dickinson 

B.S. Business Administration: Accounting

She is a member of the University Honors Program (UHON) and Beta Alpha Psi. Elizabeth interned for Joseph Decosimo and Company, PLLC, over the summer and was offered a full-time job upon graduation. She volunteers at the Humane Society, as an accounting/finance tutor for the College of Business, and for Habitat for Humanity. Elizabeth is on the Social Committee for UHON and has raised money for local charities such as Habitat for Humanity

Elizabeth graduated in May 2009 and works for Joseph Decosimo and Company, PLLC.



Zachary_Ferrell Zachary Ferrell

B.S. Business Administration: Management

Zach is captain of the UTC Men’s basketball team. He is Co-President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and President for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is a counselor and campus representative for Kids Across America Christian sports camps. He has conducted several basketball camps for children including one at Bethel Bible Village and Cornerstone Baptist Church. He volunteers for GLAD which is an after school tutoring program for children. He has also volunteered his time at the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Chambliss Children's home, Orange Grove Center, and participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for a cure.

After graduation, Zach would like to work for a nonprofit organization that benefits children.




Rachel_Hunter Rachel Hunter

B.S. Business Administration: Marketing

She is President of the Pre-Pharmacy Student Association, Vice President of Programs for American Marketing Association, and a committee member for the Conduct Board at UTC. Rachel is a nationally certified pharmacy technician. She interned at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee where she created a drug database that houses articles and publications related to new medications in one area.

After graduation, Rachel plans to attend pharmacy school and desires to incorporate marketing and pharmacy into her career as a pharmacist.






Beata_Knizat Beata Knizat 

B.S. Business Administration: Finance

She is captain of the UTC women's tennis team, which received the 2006 ITA All-Academic Team Award. Beata is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and tutors for the Athletics Department. She has received the Southern Conference TIAA-CREF Academic All conference award and has spent her last three summers in Niagara coaching children between the ages of 4-15 at local tennis clubs.

After graduation, Beata plans to purse an internship in Investment Banking and complete a Master's Program in Finance.



Holli_Smith Holli Smith

B.S. Business Administration: Accounting

She volunteers for the House Campus Ministry where she sings in the praise band and helps plan events. Holli has participated in musicals for the Chattanooga Theatre Centre and is a dancer at the Karen Horton School of Dance. She is a leader and in the praise band for Student Venture High School Ministry. She is also a member of Beta Alpha Psi.

After graduation, Holli plans to earn her MBA. She hopes to eventually work in non-profit for local ministries or community theatres.



Asha_Venkatraman Asha Venkatraman

B.S. Business Administration: Accounting

Asha is a member of Beta Alpha Psi, Golden Key International Honor Society, International Student Organization, and a student member of Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants. Asha has volunteered for the American Red Cross, Tennessee Aquarium, Red Bank Elementary, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, and VITA tax clinic. She recently completed an internship at Beacon Verification Services where she helped analyze client's investment performance presentations in accordance with Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS). 

Asha graduated December 2008 and works for Ernst & Young's Chattanooga office in the Technology and Risk Services department.


Graduate Students

Lauren_Davidson Lauren Davidson

Master of Accountancy

Lauren has served as the President, Vice President, and Secretary of Beta Alpha Psi, the honors society for accounting and finance majors. Lauren interned for Henderson Hutcherson & MuCullough, PLLC as well as David W. Talley, CPA. She was a graduate assistant in the UTC College of Business and worked with Dr. Jones, Dr. Richards, and Dr. Turpin to assist with the College's accreditation, research, and bookkeeping. She participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Relay for Life, and the Ronald McDonald phone-a-thons.

Lauren graduated December 2009 and will sit for the CPA exam and work in public accounting.


Nancy_Klenner Nancy Klenner

Master of Business Administration

She is a graduate assistant for the MBA office and assists incoming graduate students and potential students. She was previously employed at Anheuser Busch's Merrimack Brewery where she was an Environmental, Health, and Safety Manager but made the decision to return to school full time for her MBA.

Nancy graduated in August 2009 and plans to combine her experience in the beverage and hospitality industries with her MBA to be in a sales/marketing position in the beverage industry.