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2021 Outstanding Graduates


Christian Galvis

2021 Dean's Award Winner
Gerevas Family Dean's Award Recipient
Operations and Supply Chain Management Dept. Oustanding Graduate

As a veteran, Christian credited his military experience and the learned values of commitment, perseverance, self-worth, and volunteering for much of his college success. He helped revive the Student Veterans Organization after a two-year absence. He served as president of the Global Supply Chain Management Society for the past year, keeping members engaged virtually throughout the pandemic. He also spearheaded the department’s first virtual career fair and helped other student org leaders to develop best practices during the virtual environment. Christian continuously helped fellow classmates to find the resources they needed to succeed inside and outside the classroom. 
Christian shares, "I hope that the hard work and leadership I have led with these past few years will set an example for other students around me.” Christian just accepted a position at Viasat Inc. as a procurements specialist upon graduation & the college wishes him the best of luck in his new career! In recognition of his academic achievement and contributions to CSUSM, Christian received a generous grant sponsored by the Gerevas Family.

Rosalie and Ron Gerevas are dedicated supporters of CoBA and the Cougar Career Closet. Active in the San Diego community, Rosalie is president of Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary. Ron is a longtime CoBA lecturer, Executive in Residence, and leader in career development and serves on the CSUSM Foundation Board.


Stephanie Hernandez

Accounting Department’s Outstanding Dept. Graduate

Stephanie is being honored for her academic performance and her work in and out of the classroom to be a role model for her fellow students. She served as President for the Accounting Society, where she increased the society's social media footprint and guided the transition of student networking events to Zoom. She also helped underclassmen as mentor in the society's mentor program. Off campus, Stephanie worked as an event coordinator for the Vista School District where she helped to organize the “Together We Rise” community event where she shared her own experience as a second-generation immigrant with fellow immigrant and low-income students and their families. She also completed two internships both at Pricewaterhouse Cooper and Amazon Web Services during her time at CSUSM. 
 Stephanie just accepted a job at Amazon Web Services as a Technical Sourcing Recruiter. She hopes fellow students, "Make the most of your college experience by trying things that are outside your comfort zone.” Best of luck in the new role, Stephanie and we look forward to following your career success!


Caroline Larrson

Global Business Department Outstanding Graduate 

As an international student from Sweden, Caroline said she was most nervous about the language barrier and the disadvantage she would have compared to native speakers. Flash forward four years later and she will graduate with the highest honors and a near-perfect GPA. The department faculty selected her for this award not only for being engaged academically but also socially within the CoBA community, attending multiple networking events, and taking advantage of resources available within the college.  Carline shared, “I have learned to say yes to things that scare and worry me. I have learned that pushing through my fear and challenging myself by stepping outside of my comfort zone is the only way for me to grow. These four years at CSUSM have given me the strength and courage to believe in myself, and I have no doubt that CSUSM has equipped me with the skills needed as I step into the professional world."

Her advice for underclassmen? "Get involved! Join a club or organization and attend campus events. It is never too early to start growing your network and you never know whom you might meet and what opportunities can come from it!"

Blake Steinecke

Blake Steinecke

Marketing Department Outstanding Graduate

Blake is being honored for his academic performance, extracurricular achievements, and for being a role model for his community. Blake is particularly inspirational as he has overcome many obstacles resulting from his loss of vision. 
He has participated in CSUSM scholarship fundraising, the Marketing Society and Intervarsity student org, & he also has served as a campus tour guide. Blake also plays blind ice hockey and has been on the USA National Blind Hockey Team for the past 3 years. He started the Anaheim Ducks Blind Hockey Program where he also serves a coach. Blake is also making a positive impact by speaking in schools K-12 about inclusion, disability awareness, kindness, & the blind community.  
Blake is currently working for TASCO, a mountain biking gear and lifestyle apparel company, as the digital marketing strategist and is living out his passion for marketing and mountain biking. “I am very grateful for all the support, guidance, relationships, and connections from my experience at CSUSM to help launch me into my career. I hope to inspire other students to know they can adapt and overcome any of the challenges that they face in school and in life.” Best of luck to your new role, Blake!


Allyson Burress

Finance Department Outstanding Gradaute

Allyson is being recognized for her academic excellence and her achievements in her extracurricular activities. She has been deeply involved in the CSUSM Finance Society and served as treasurer. She has held tutoring sessions for CSUSM students and foster care students. She not only pushed herself to succeed but strived to help others succeed as well. Allyson also worked for Professor Robert Brown as a research assistant and Professor John Kang as a teaching assistant where displayed an exemplary work ethic and, “was a pleasure to work with”. 
She hopes underclassmen will take advantage of campus networking as she did. “I recommend that you actively participate and form relationships with your fellow students and professors. Student clubs and organizations are essential for networking and developing bonds with like-minded professionals. Relationships developed over the years with peers will prove to be beneficial for industry connections. From my experience, your professors truly do care. They are there to help you and they want to see you succeed!”
Keep up the great work, Allyson! We look forward to following your success after leaving the university.

 Vittorio Schiaffino

Management Information Systems Department Outstanding Graduate

Vitto was selected not only for his exceptional grades, but for being a student leader. Vitto first came to CSUSM as a transfer student. “Being a huge introvert – I decided to push myself and be as engaged on campus as possible. My first position with the MIS Society was as their director of student outreach, and in that role, I fell in love with the organization. I realized how lucky I was to be learning from such a wide range of accomplished members of the MIS industry and I wanted others to experience the same fortune.” Vitto eventually became President and his accomplishments included connecting students with professionals at 20+ member meetings, collaborating with other student orgs on social and professional outings, and working with organizations like SIM San Diego to host executive panels & networking events. 

He shared, “I'm incredibly grateful for the time I spent at CSUSM, especially while leading the MIS Society. If I could share one piece of advice for underclassmen, it would be to set goals for yourself outside of your comfort zone. You have so much support available to you, now is the perfect time to stretch your wings and see how far you can fly.”


 Hector Jimenez

Temecula BSBA Program Outstanding Graduate 

Hector will be graduating Magna Cum Laude and is being recognized by his professors for his contributions and professionalism in the classroom, team projects, and discussions both online and in person. As a veteran and a father, Hector’s journey to get his degree has been a long one, but he is excited to finally reach achieve his dream. Starting at Palomar College, Hector found his footing post military and got involved on campus in the work-study program and even helping tutor other veteran students. He then began the Temecula BSBA where he worked hard for an excellent GPA and, “showed a genuine interest in learning and put in the extra effort.” 

Hector shares, “My education here has not only prepared me for my career but also to be able to pursue graduate-level programs. I no longer have to worry about not being fully qualified for a position because of education. Providing for my family has now become easier thanks to the hard work my professors instilled in us and my unwillingness to give up.” He recommends his fellow students, “Make the most out of every opportunity given to you because life is not linear, it flows, and only you can decide where to take it.”


Carly Slack

Management Department Outstanding Graduate 
James R. Meindl Outstanding Student Leadership Award Recipient

Carly was known by her professors for leading discussions and team projects in the classroom, as well as for earning a nearly 4.0 GPA. Carly also participated in several extracurricular activities including the Softball Team, Entrepreneurship Society, Tukwut Leadership Certificate program, and Global Business Study Abroad Program. As VP of the society, she helped the struggling org renew interest in student entrepreneurship. She emerged as a student-athlete leader by supporting her teammates with completing laps, their homework, or connecting with a team mentor. Carly also spent countless hours serving others through community service at multiple locations.

"Athletics, study abroad trips, and the business program has given me direction and inspiration, along with a lot of great memories. It was not easy, but I loved every second of it and I wouldn't have been able to do all this if it wasn't for the amazing people I have found at CSUSM."