Three years ago, the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business launched a new tradition entitled "The 457 Club," which is designed to formally recognize the success of our most outstanding MBA students. The inducted students have excelled in terms of their success and engagement both inside and outside of the classroom. 457 Club inductees are regarded as having a significant positive impact on the Katz community.
The 457 Club is named for the famous homerun hit by Bill Mazeroski at Forbes Field during the bottom of the 9th inning to clinch the 1960 World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the heavily favored New York Yankees. ESPN has recognized Mazeroski’s homerun as the greatest of all time. The left-center and center field brick wall of Forbes Field, with “457 FT” painted on it, still stands at its original location, adjacent to the University of Pittsburgh`s Mervis Hall which houses the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.
We’re pleased to announce the following students who have been selected as an inductee for The 457 Club as members of the Class of 2020: Abhinav Bankhwal, Mikala Cummings, Andrew Ellis, Mauro Galus, Erika Garrison, Daniel Giambrone, Chevrick Graham, Sai Kappagantula, Luke Lamb, Hillary Marcott, Zachary Reinhart, and Simone Rodriguez.
Staff members from the Graduate Programs Office were asked to comment on the selected students.
Abhinav has been instrumental in growing the Business Technology Club (BTC) membership and technology-related events during his time as president. Through his leadership, the BTC has held numerous successful and well attended events. His sense of teamwork and collaboration has made this year one of the best in BTC history. He is recognized for being an example of what it means to be “Katz Ready.”
Mikala is recognized as a wonderful leader, who was always willing to lend a hand when needed. She served as the Vice President of the Marketing Club and was the winner of the 2020 Sheth Award. This award is given out each year to the most outstanding Marketing students from the graduating MBA and MS programs. Mikala continually goes above and beyond and not because she wants the accolades, but because she feels that it is the right thing to do. She volunteered to be on the Career Management panel to help prepare students for the National Black conference and give advice on interview prep. Bianca Payton mentioned Mikala as a huge help in her own preparation for the conference and for guidance on how to manage the sheer number of interviews, job opportunities, and follow up. Mikala was also instrumental in planning with the Center for Branding the first panel discussion: “Reimagining the Future of Media and Branding in a Technology-Enabled World.”
Andrew is recognized for taking advantage of the various opportunities connected with being a Katz MBA. In addition to his IBM co-op, he took a leading role in the Student Executive Board (SEB) and completed a short-time study abroad opportunity. He was named to Poets & Quants 2020 MBAs to Watch list, where they honor 100 MBA students who personify their programs and bring out the best in their peers. He was a major impetus for the SEB speaker series. Andrew was recognized by Katz in December with the William F. Tabisz Memorial Award, given to Katz students who “reflect behaviors that exhibit helpfulness to others and a selfless concern to achieve progress in tasks at hand.
Mauro served as the President of the Katz Marketing Club and Vice President for the Roberto Clemente MBA Association. He was the winner of the 2020 Sheth Award, which is award is given out each year to the most outstanding Marking students from the graduating MBA and MS programs. He has been integral in helping to recruit prospective students to Katz, whether through individual contact, volunteering at Diversity Student Weekend, or helping to reach out to admitted students. He worked in partnership with the Center for Branding to execute and plan their “Reimagining the Future of Media and Branding” panel discussion and reception. Mauro has helped Admissions recruit new students as long as he’s been in the program, having participated in nearly all of their Diversity Student Weekend and Admitted Student Weekend events during his two years in the program.
The 457 Club recognizes Erika because she embodies the Katz mission of giving back. Erika has represented Katz at the national level by participating and winning case competitions and was instrumental in getting the Katz Healthcare Club started. Erika approaches all things with great poise and maturity. She has always been willing to jump in and help whenever needed while balancing her responsibilities as a joint degree student and student leader. We wish Erika all the best and look forward to continuing to work with her as an alumni.
Staff members have been continually impressed with Dan’s professionalism, strong work ethic, stellar communication skills, and passion for helping others. He served as the President of the Operations Club at Katz and has helped the admissions team recruit new students through his participation in Diversity Student Weekend and Admitted Student Weekend. He was integral in helping plan the internal Crane Case Competition with the help of the Center for Supply Chain Management.
Chevy was named to Poets & Quants 2020 MBAs to Watch list. Each year, P+Q honors 100 MBA students who personify their programs and bring out the best in their peers. Chevy is recognized for always being willing to go above and beyond to make prospective and admitted students feel welcome and to be a resource throughout their admissions process. His support and hard work are truly invaluable to our admissions team and we are so lucky to have had him on staff the past two years. We are sad to see him graduate but cannot wait to continue working with him as an alumni.
In addition to his charisma and undying Pitt Pride, Sai is recognized for completing a dual master’s degree in business administration and engineering, serving on the board of the SEB, gaining a competitive internship and a full-time job at Intel. Sai excelled at connecting Katz students with opportunities to engage with the larger University community and was an advocate for student involvement in a variety of community service initiatives. Sai’s hard work, skill, and leadership have propelled him forward in exciting ways.
Luke’s willingness to volunteer at events as a student representative and has shown what it means to be a true Katz MBA student. Everything Luke does has been in the interest of both current and future Katz students. Luke is recognized for his "pay it forward" mentality. Luke was an informal ambassador for Katz in the summer of 2019 as he actively participated in a regional internship program to support all interns in the Pittsburgh area that was sponsored by the Allegheny Conference. Luke was the Co-President and Co-Founder of the Katz Case Competition Club. He was also one of the case writers for the 2020 Katz Invitational Case Competition.
While going to school full-time, Hillary has worked on various entrepreneurial endeavors and has maintained an extremely high GPA. In addition, Hillary served as a Berg Center Fellow in her first year, an opportunity awarded to only about 10% of students. Always willing to go above and beyond, Hillary led sponsor outreach for this year's Katz Invitational Case Competition and despite a series of challenges, was able to fully fund the competition from outside sponsorships for the first time in recent history.
Zach has impressed the MBA staff members since orientation. He is recognized for being a valuable member of the Katz community and has always encouraged those around him to do more in a thoughtful and selfless spirit. Even while completing the intense one-year MBA program, Zach consistently sought out opportunities to engage outside of the classroom to ensure a well-rounded and transformative experience. Zach`s level headed approach to all he encountered served as a positive influence on his peers.
Simone was named one of the Top 100 Best and Brightest MBAs across the globe by Poets & Quants. Under Simone’s previous leadership, the Consulting Club became one of the most active and involved student organizations at Katz. She is recognized for taking advantage of all academics and extracurricular activities offered at Katz and has consistently volunteered her extra time. Simone was always willing to assist other students, and was a large part of the success of KICC. She is someone that genuinely cares about helping whenever needed and exemplifies what it is to excel academically and as a leader. Simone was one of the case writers for the 2020 Katz Invitational Case Competition.