honored graduates

Honored Graduates

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Amanda Donohue-Hansen, ’11 BSB, is the recipient of the oldest award given to students by the Carlson School – the Tomato Can Loving Cup. For 82 years, the cup, crafted from an actual tomato soup can, has been presented to an outstanding undergraduate in recognition of significant accomplishments in service, leadership, and scholarship.

Donohue-Hansen, who graduated this year with a dual BSB and BA degree in international business, nonprofit/public management, and Spanish and Portuguese studies, co-founded the undergraduate chapter of Net Impact, an international nonprofit dedicated to steer business toward social and environmental sustainability. Under her guidance, Net Impact grew to be a strong presence at the Carlson School, successfully bridging the barrier between social responsibility and business and nonprofit section service and for-profit sector careers.

Donohue-Hansen was presented the award at this year’s commencement ceremonies. Mary Maus Kosir, assistant dean of Undergraduate Programs, presented the award and had this to say about Donohue-Hansen: “Over the past four years, Amanda has influenced many, always representing the Carlson School and the University community in a professional fashion – and with a persuasive touch.”

Dean’s Award for Best Undergraduate Honors Theses

Also at commencement, the winners of the Dean’s Award for Best Undergraduate Honors Theses were named. The recipients of this award were chosen from a select group of honors students who were nominated by their faculty supervisors based on the contribution and innovativeness of their theses. This year’s winners were Nicholas Barnett, who wrote “Learning From History: Examining Yield Spreads as a Predictor of Real Economic Activity,” supervised by Professor Varadarajan Chari; and Michael Behrens, who wrote “If You Build It, Will They Come? Replacing the BCS with a Playoff in College Football,” supervised by Professor George John.

Other students nominated for this award included Donohue-Hansen, Jacob Kleiner, and Brea Turner.

Silver Compass Award for Distinguished Leadership

The Silver Compass Award for Distinguished Leadership is presented to those students who have consistently demonstrated exceptional vision, commitment, and leadership. One exemplary undergraduate and graduate student is selected each year to receive the award. This year’s winners are Bridget Szeluga, ’11 MA-HRIR, who served as the 2009-10 president of the Graduate Society of Human Resource Leaders; and Samantha Sites, ’11 BSB, who was Business Board president in 2010-11 and the vice president of alumni relations for Women in Business.