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 2013-2014 John C. Stophel Distinguished Students.


Undergraduate Students

Bradley Bell

Kayla DeLong

Kelsey Giddens

Scott Kramer

Sydney Lamb

Kate Linehart

Erin Mercer

Lynna Nguyen


Graduate Students

 Saasha Jones

 James Walpert


Undergraduate Students


Bradley Bell

Bradley Bell

Bradley is a marketing major from Knoxville, TN.

As a member of the Student Government Association, Bradley has served as Student Body Senator, Student Body Vice President, and Student Body President. Bradley has also demonstrated his leadership abilities through the creation of The Gentlemen’s Institute, a program to help men identify their values and understand what it means to be a leader today. He is also active in the Chattanooga community having served on the Gang Task Force Committee. Bradley is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

After graduation, Bradley hopes to obtain a chancellor/president position at a midsize institution with an undergraduate focus. He also plans on being a consultant for small businesses using the knowledge he has acquired from the UTC College of Business.




Kayla DeLong

Kayla DeLong

Kayla is an accounting major from Maryville, TN.

She is a member of several honors societies including Mortar Board, Beta Gamma Sigma, Golden Key, and Beta Alpha Psi. Through her involvement with these organizations, Kayla has volunteered for many fundraising and community events including Relay for Life, the Chattanooga Humane Educational Society, and the Ronald McDonald House. As a Brock Scholar and Spanish minor, Kayla had the opportunity to study abroad last spring in Salamanca, Spain. Kayla has also held a Student Assistantship with Dr. Mohammad Ahmadi in the UTC Management Department and works as a bookkeeper during the summer for a real estate company in Maryville.

After graduation, Kayla plans to begin the CPA exam process and eventually get a job with a public accounting firm.




Kelsey Giddens Kelsey Giddens

Kelsey is a management major from Franklin, TN.

Kelsey currently works as a financial services intern at TVA. After demonstrating her leadership skills, she was asked to serve as the lead team member on TVA’s Human Resources: Financial Services Reporting Dashboard Project. Her innovative re-design for HR reporting resulted in a more efficient process and led to additional projects, including the FY14 Corporate Intelligence and Benchmarking Notebook for TVA board members and executives. Kelsey is active in her community having volunteered with many events including Feed the Starving Children, Williamson County Special Olympics, and Wine Over Water to benefit the preservation of historic buildings in Chattanooga.

After graduation, Kelsey hopes to obtain a position as a Systems Analyst or Management Assistant and eventually earn a Master of Business Administration degree.




Scott Kramer Scott Kramer

Scott is an accounting major from Chicago, IL.

Scott is currently an accounting intern at the Chambliss Center for Children. He is an active member of the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants, Institute of Management Accountants, and MoSAIC (Mocs Students with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Integrated Community). In 2010, Scott founded Greater Chattanooga Aspies (GCA), an organization providing adults with high-functioning autism and Asperger Syndrome the opportunity to network with other like-minded adults, and to receive social skills training and attend employment workshops.

After graduation, Scott hopes to work in a public or cost/managerial accounting setting and pass his CPA and/or CMA by January 2016. In the long term his goal is to become a Director of Finance or Accounting at a nonprofit.




Sydney Lamb Sydney Lamb

Sydney is an accounting major from Tullahoma, Tennessee.

Sydney has served as the communications officer for Beta Alpha Psi, the honors accounting and finance organization, and currently serves as their president. With Beta Alpha Psi, she has been able to attend the national and regional meetings, organize community service and networking events, and assist students within the organization. Sydney is also a member of the Institute of Management Accountants, the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance.

After graduation, she hopes to obtain her Masters of Business Administration, begin sitting for the CPA exam, and start work within a public accounting firm.






Kate Linehart Kate Linehart

Kate is an accounting major from Signal Mountain, TN.

Kate is currently a tax intern at Joseph Decosimo and Company. She is a member of Mortar Board National Honor Society and President of Beta Alpha Psi. Kate has contributed to the community by volunteering and fundraising for several organizations including the McKamey Animal Shelter, Chattanooga Area Food Bank, Erlanger Children’s Hospital, Siskin Children’s Institute, and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Her primary volunteer focus has been with the Creative Discovery Museum’s annual fundraiser, AmuseUm 2013 in which she assisted with managing the online auction.  

After graduation, Kate plans to sit for the CPA exam and begin work on her Master of Accountancy degree. After obtaining her CPA license, Kate plans to enter law school to study tax law and estate and trust law.



Erin Mercer Erin Mercer

Erin is a marketing major from Hendersonville, TN.

Erin is currently an administrative assistant at Northwestern Mutual. She is a member of Golden Key International Honour Society, Mortar Board National Honor Society, American Marketing Association, and Vice President of Chi Omega Fraternity. Under Erin’s leadership, Chi Omega was able to achieve the highest GPA of all Greek organizations on campus Spring 2013. Additionally, she helped Chi Omega raise over $11,000 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation where she also serves as a Wish Granter. Erin is a UTC Orientation Leader and was the 2013 UTC Homecoming Queen.

After graduation, Erin hopes to work for The Walt Disney Company and plans to apply for the Disney College Internship, fall 2014. She is also considering a career path with the Country Music Association and plans to earn her Master of Business Administration degree.


Lynna Nguyen Lynna Nguyen

Lynna is an accounting, finance and Spanish major from Chattanooga, TN.

Lynna is currently a gas acquisition trading intern at TVA. She also works at her parents’ salon, something she has done every weekend since she was 16 years old. Lynna is a member of several honors societies including Beta Gamma Sigma, Golden Key International, Sigma Delta Pi, and Beta Alpha Psi. Student clubs include the Financial Management Association, Trading and Investment Club, and Treasurer of the Institute of Management Accountants. Lynna has studied abroad in Guatemala, Spain, Chile, and Mexico and currently serves as a UTC Cultural Ambassador to the International & National Student Exchange program.

After graduation, Lynna plans to sit for the CPA exam, work for an international organization, and earn a Master of Business Administration and Master of International Studies.

Graduate Students

Saasha Jones Saasha Jones

Saasha is a Master of Business Administration student from Chattanooga, TN.

Saasha currently works as a graduate assistant in the Student Support Services office at UTC. In this role, she helps with the retention and graduation of students from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds. She has served as a mentor and volunteer for many organizations on and off campus including GEAR UP, Upward Bound, UTC’s Multicultural Center, Girls Inc. of Chattanooga, and Partnerships for Families, Children and Adults. She has also had the privilege of studying abroad in Ghana, Costa Rica, and most recently Puebla, Mexico through UTC’s partnership with UPAEP University.

After graduation, Saasha hopes to enter a management trainee position that will allow her to rotate through the multiple business functions of a Fortune 500 organization, and eventually become a management consultant.




James Walpert James Walpert 

James is a Master of Business Administration student from Chattanooga, TN.

James is currently an account manager at Snap-on Industrial. His greatest success to date in this position was gaining a contract with Volkswagen, and is now the only automotive plant that Snap-on sells to directly. An adjunct professor at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, he also teaches classes in automotive, employability skills, and college success. James serves on advisory committees at Chattanooga State Community College, Tennessee Colleges of Advanced Technology in McMinnville and Athens, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Lanier Technical College, and more than twenty-five high schools in Tennessee and Georgia. James also studied abroad in Mexico through UTC’s partnership with UPAEP University.

After graduation, James plans to continue mentoring new account managers, and eventually become a district sales manager.