The Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business Class of 2022 is better prepared for the future because of the pandemic’s challenges and has an opportunity to take their Katz experience and pay it forward in their own way.
Those were among the messages the master’s and doctoral degree graduates heard during the 62nd annual Katz commencement ceremony held Friday, April 29, 2022, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. To watch the ceremony video, click here. The commencement program, which includes all the graduates since 2019, is here.
“Resilience and innovation are qualities that will serve you well,” said Rabi Chatterjee, the Gulf Oil Foundation Professor of Business, in the opening comments. “The major shifts you encountered in the past two years have also prepared you for the unpredictable future that awaits us all. I hope that you will continue to question, innovate and be a catalyst for change.”
Six Simple Words
The student speakers were Anthony Winfield, representing full-time MBA students, along with Elliot Kim for part-time students, and Anusha Kesavan for Master of Science students.
Commencement speaker Bibiana Boerio (MBA ’76), told the graduates about “six simple words that can make your life richer – pay it back, pay it forward.”
Boerio, who led national and international initiatives during 31 years at Ford Motor Company and is a current member of the Pitt Business Board of Visitors, said she would have never been successful without the combination of a Katz degree and liberal arts degree from Seton Hill University, where she served as interim president in 2013-14. She is also a former Pitt Trustee who was recognized with the University’s 225th Anniversary Medallion.
“We got to college and grad school because we worked hard, saved every penny and received scholarships – that somebody else had provided,” she said. “Within a few years of graduation, I started to donate a little bit each year to both Seton Hill and to Pitt Business. I earmarked my donations to both schools to help fund scholarships for students like me.”
Boerio added that “Pay it forward” for her has meant two commitments over many years. The first one is recruiting graduates from Pitt, which ranged from 2-4 Katz graduates most years and as many as 7-8 in her “best” year with Ford. The second is her Board of Visitors’ role to offer insights.
“Remember – you have benefitted from your time at Katz. Now it’s up to you to pay it back and pay it forward. In your own way,” she said.
Welcome to the Katz Family
Business Alumni Association President Matthew Stahl (MBA ’11) welcomed graduates to the Katz family.
“We, as alumni, and the Katz School are bound together from this day forward in a partnership of mutual support,” said the senior product owner of consumer banking at PNC Bank.
Arjang A. Assad, the Henry E. Haller Jr. Dean of Pitt Business, said in his remarks that the alumni connections take on “greater significance” for him as he steps down after seven years and returns to the faculty, effective June 30, 2022.
“I look forward to staying connected… working with students and developing leaders like you as catalysts for change,” he said.
Recognition and Awards
During the ceremony, three doctoral degree candidates were recognized: Yang (Jenny) Guo, William Michael Docimo, and Dongwook Kim. Beta Gamma Sigma inductees included faculty member Leming Lin and 23 graduates. The following award winners were also announced:
- Full-time Master’s Program Student Choice Awards for Outstanding Teaching: Frederik Schlingemann
- Part-time MBA Student Choice Award for Outstanding Teaching: Elise Boyas
- Master of Science in Accounting Student Choice Award for Outstanding Teaching: Heidi Bartholomew and Elise Boyas
- Sheth Foundation Scholars in Marketing: Saif Ahmed, Erin DeShazo, and Rebecca Farabaugh
- Peter Stipanovich Outstanding Finance Student Award: Alberto Landa Montano
- Outstanding Supply Chain Management Master’s Student Awards: Akshay Gangoli and David Petrone
- Marshall Alan Robinson Prize: Muntasir Chowdhury
- Dean’s Outstanding Masters of Science Student Service Award: Gabriela Feitosa Rezende
- Dean’s Outstanding Part-time MBA Student Service Award: Victoria Bianco
- Dean’s Outstanding Full-time MBA Student Service Award: Muntasir Chowdhury
Sara Moeller, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Executive Education, told the graduates: “When I speak to a graduating class, I think of the sweat, laughter, and tears it took to earn my own degrees. The late nights. The early mornings. The endless hours of study. Then suddenly, that “Ah-Ha” moment, the comprehension of a previously unintelligible idea. I hope that you are proud of your achievement, are dedicated to being a life-long learner, and will remember your time at Katz fondly.”