MSBA Class Profile - Class of 2017

2017 Class Profile

Students in the MSBA Class of 2017
 Hope Albers
Hope AlbersUndergrad: Christopher Newport University
Hope Albers

Hope Albers

Undergrad: Christopher Newport University

Hometown

McLean, VA

Major

Computer Science

Status

U.S. Citizen

 Prabesh Basnet
Prabesh BasnetUndergrad: William & Mary
Prabesh Basnet

Prabesh Basnet

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

Leesburg, VA

Major

Sociology

Status

U.S. Citizen/ Nepalese Citizen

About

Prabesh has always been fascinated by the field of data science. "It is an interdisciplinary practice," he said, "which allows people to make empirical, evidenced based decisions in order to improve their lives". After working for an organization that creates and mines information from large datasets, he decided that he wanted to become a leader in the field. To put himself on the road to success, he chose the Mason School's MSBA program because it would allow him to combine his individual drive to creatively solve data science problems with his knack for collaborating on technical projects. Born in Nepal and fluent in both English and Nepali, he honed his strong work ethic and desire for mastering skills by placing first in national martial arts competitions. In his spare time, he also performs in solo classical guitar concerts.

 Geoff Bernstein
Geoff BernsteinUndergrad: University of Maryland
Geoff Bernstein

Geoff Bernstein

Undergrad: University of Maryland

Hometown

Swansboro, NC

Major

Economics

Status

U.S. Citizen

 Knot Chodsawang
Knot ChodsawangUndergrad: Oregon State University
Knot Chodsawang

Knot Chodsawang

Undergrad: Oregon State University

Hometown

Portland, OR

Major

Mathematics

Status

Permanent Resident

 Cole Combs
Cole CombsUndergrad: UNC - Chapel Hill
Cole Combs

Cole Combs

Undergrad: UNC - Chapel Hill

Hometown

Norfolk, VA

Major

Ecology and CSI

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

A Tar Heel from UNC, Cole decided to move north to William & Mary to earn his MSBA because he wanted to add business acumen to his existing data science skills. He had already made strides in his career when his undergraduate study of GIS predictive modeling led to the identification and conservancy protection of a rare habitat. The experience enabled him to see the direct correlation between modeling and real life outcomes, inspiring him to earn a GIS graduate certificate. Cole also spent time in the mountains of Nevada where he worked for AmeriCorps as a crew supervisor in Lake Tahoe. It was there that he was able to gain valuable experience working with a variety of personalities and projects. Most importantly, he learned how to successfully build and manage a cohesive team. He feels that the Mason School's MSBA program will help him complete his education by allowing him to develop the solid and critical skills that employers are seeking.

 Curt Commander
Curt CommanderUndergrad: William & Mary
Curt Commander

Curt Commander

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

Williamsburg, VA

Major

Economics

Status

U.S. Citizen

 VJ Davey
VJ DaveyUndergrad: William & Mary
VJ Davey

VJ Davey

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

Frederick, MD

Major

Computer Science

Status

U.S. Citizen

 Meera Desai
Meera DesaiUndergrad: University of Michigan
Meera Desai

Meera Desai

Undergrad: University of Michigan

Hometown

Ann Arbor, MI

Major

Information Science and Women Studies

Status

U.S. Citizen

 Matt Esporrin
Matt EsporrinUndergrad: William & Mary
Matt Esporrin

Matt Esporrin

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

Mendham, NJ

Major

Economics

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Matt hails from the Garden State of New Jersey and studied Economics as an undergrad at William & Mary. The experience was amazing, so he decided to continue his education at the Mason School of Business. After all, he knew he could count on W&M's top-ranked faculty and academic rigor to help him find success. Citing the rapidly developing field of data analytics, Matt chose the MSBA program to help him prepare for a career with wide-open possibilities where job opportunities exist in nearly every sector in the economy.

 Zach Fallon
Zach FallonUndergrad: William & Mary
Zach Fallon

Zach Fallon

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

Newport News, VA

Major

Computer Science and Applied Mathematics

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Zach is a rabid baseball fan from the Hampton Roads area and enjoys building and repairing computers. In fact, while studying computer science as an undergraduate at William & Mary, he was able to put his talents to use while working for the college's IT department. While this experience allowed him to develop his technical skills, he also wanted a deeper understanding of business and the advanced analytic methodologies that drive business decisions. He decided to challenge himself by pursuing the Mason School's MSBA graduate program. The rigorous and market-driven course of study would allow him to work with complex data analysis projects - expanding on his technical background and taking his career to new levels.

 Thomas Fergus
Thomas FergusUndergrad: William & Mary
Thomas Fergus

Thomas Fergus

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

Herndon, Va

Major

Public Policy

Status

U.S. Citizen

 Aaron Fernandez
Aaron FernandezUndergrad: William & Mary
Aaron Fernandez

Aaron Fernandez

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

Glen Head, NY

Major

Marketing and Entrepreneurship

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Aaron is a first-generation American from the Dominican Republic who has seen his family work hard to give him the opportunities to be successful in life. He spent his high school summers working at his family's business in New York until he earned a scholarship to play varsity baseball for William & Mary. While earning his undergrad degree in Business, Aaron was always looking to maximize productivity so the Mason School's MSBA program was a natural fit. He hopes to gain knowledge in the field of data science that will enable him to improve business and boost performance - while finding ways to work better and more efficiently than before. Life at W&M is not all work. When not in the classroom Aaron attends baseball practice and enjoys day trading in his spare time.

 Meryl Fioriti
Meryl FioritiUndergrad: Marywood University
Meryl Fioriti

Meryl Fioriti

Undergrad: Marywood University

Hometown

Rock Tavern, NY

Major

Actuarial Science

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Meryl is from the metropolitan New York area and loves statistics so much that she majored in Actuarial Science as an undergraduate. She chose William & Mary's Master of Science in Business Analytics program because she wanted to explore analytics as it is applied to human networks and social interaction, in both the public and private sector. In her spare time, Meryl enjoys reading classic literature.

 Ignacio Garcia-Pretelt
Ignacio Garcia-PreteltUndergrad: William & Mary
Ignacio Garcia-Pretelt

Ignacio Garcia-Pretelt

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

Charlottesville, VA

Major

Applied Mathematics

Status

U.S. Citizen/ Columbian Citizen

 Chloe Ge
Chloe GeUndergrad: University of California, San Diego
Chloe Ge

Chloe Ge

Undergrad: University of California, San Diego

Hometown

San Diego, CA

Major

Management Science

 Haiqi Gong
Haiqi GongUndergrad: Indiana University
Haiqi Gong

Haiqi Gong

Undergrad: Indiana University

Hometown

San Francisco, CA

Major

Mathematics and Economics

Status

Permanent Resident

About

Haiqi came east to William & Mary from San Francisco to pursue the Mason School's MSBA graduate degree. She felt the 10-month, systematic training offered by the program would make her double major in mathematics and economics more marketable and help her gain a competitive advantage in the big data field. With interest and curiosity as her major motivators, and with guidance from Mason's top-ranked faculty, Haiqi is finding success in the program. She is particularly fascinated by the knowledge and experience she acquires from classroom case studies because they are applicable to real-world situations and extracted from actual business scenarios.

 Liuba Harrison
Liuba HarrisonUndergrad: Cherkasy State Technological University in Ukraine
Liuba Harrison

Liuba Harrison

Undergrad: Cherkasy State Technological University in Ukraine

Hometown

Williamsburg, VA

Major

Computer Science

Status

Permanent Resident

About

Liuba was born in the Ukraine but considers moving to the United States at the age of 20 as one of her life's most important accomplishments. Now a permanent resident, she has adjusted well to her new home - learning the culture, mastering the language, and overcoming boundaries big and small. After completing her undergraduate degree in computer science, she decided to enroll in William & Mary's MSBA program to study a subject that had always interested her. She had seen the growth in the field of data analytics and believed she had the traits to be successful; an insatiable curiosity, common business sense, technical familiarity, and excellent decision making capabilities. With one-on-one access to the Mason School's incredible faculty, she feels the program is helping her gain the knowledge she'll need to predict future scenarios, optimize processes, and make qualified business decisions.

 Brittany Hayes
Brittany HayesUndergrad: Cedarville University
Brittany Hayes

Brittany Hayes

Undergrad: Cedarville University

Hometown

Port Orchard, WA

Major

Mathematics

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Brittany loves to solve problems so she finds the field of data science particularly fascinating. Originally from Washington State, she completed her undergraduate degree in mathematics before enrolling at William & Mary. She was interested in an area of study that would not only give her highly marketable technical skills, but would also help her to develop the business acumen necessary to succeed as a leader. The Mason School's MSBA program was exactly what she was looking for - allowing her to apply her math and technical skills in the fast-growing and high-demand business field of big data.

 Eric Hensley
Eric HensleyUndergrad: William & Mary
Eric Hensley

Eric Hensley

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

Herndon, VA

Major

Accounting

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Eric is from Northern Virginia and when he isn't out on the football field playing for W&M, he enjoys utilizing statistics and modeling to solve real world problems. Eric's determination is formidable. His football talents landed him a full-scholarship while his academic abilities earned him a double major in math and economics, as well as a Masters of Accounting. He chose to stay on for a fifth year of football so he could earn one last degree - the Master of Science in Business Analytics. Armed with his new analytic talent, he intends to take his competitive nature and apply it to solving real business problems.

 Isabel Hirama
Isabel HiramaUndergrad: William & Mary
Isabel Hirama

Isabel Hirama

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

Arlington, VA

Major

Psychology and Philosophy

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Isabel is a world traveler, having lived and worked in many countries around the world including Singapore and Thessaloniki. And - she already has an impressive career including experience directing marketing at a startup based in Tallinn, Estonia where she worked to grow their user base from 500 to 50,000. Benefiting from these real-world experiences, she has witnessed first-hand the power of analytics. She saw that when a business understands their data, every aspect of the company benefits. Now, as an MSBA graduate student at the Mason School of Business, she is learning all she can about analytic methodologies so that she can help businesses become more innovative, strategic, and impactful.

 Nick Hoffman
Nick HoffmanUndergrad: William & Mary
Nick Hoffman

Nick Hoffman

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

Nokesville, VA

Major

Economics and Mathematics

Status

U.S. Citizen

 Gregory Hogan
Gregory HoganUndergrad:Saint Joseph's University
Gregory Hogan

Gregory Hogan

Undergrad:Saint Joseph's University

Hometown

Flourtown, PA

Major

Physics

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Greg spent his college summers as a sailing instructor. The experience taught him great patience and communication skills as he successfully negotiated elements outside of his control to get to his final destination. Now, he is applying those skills to his graduate studies as a student at William & Mary's MSBA program. He sees himself using his data science talents to bridge the gap between big data and public policy makes in order to positively impact people's lives.

 Andrew Kiriakedes
Andrew KiriakedesUndergrad: Marist College
Andrew Kiriakedes

Andrew Kiriakedes

Undergrad: Marist College

Hometown

Williamsburg, VA

Major

Business Management

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Andrew has been successfully combining his business management background with his love of sports statistics by working as one of William & Mary's baseball coaches. He loves to compete and knows how to win - participating in two NCAA Division 1 tournaments as both a player and coach. He enjoys problem solving especially through the use of predictive analytics which has a huge impact on all aspects of business - and the sports world.

 Brian Knox
Brian KnoxUndergrad: Christopher Newport University
Brian Knox

Brian Knox

Undergrad: Christopher Newport University

Hometown

Chesapeake, VA

Major

Information Science

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Brian chose William & Mary's MSBA program because it is the perfect marriage of his two greatest interests: business and computer science. He wants to gain the specialized skill sets required to help businesses use data analytics to grow and prosper.

 Andrew Leeth
Andrew LeethUndergrad: Indiana University
Andrew Leeth

Andrew Leeth

Undergrad: Indiana University

Hometown

Carmelsburg, IN

Major

Informatics

Status

U.S. Citizen

 Bethany Lesser
Bethany LesserUndergrad: William & Mary
Bethany Lesser

Bethany Lesser

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

Herndon, VA

Major

Psychology and Economics

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Bethany's favorite past-time as an undergraduate was conducting research for her professors. She decided to take her interest in research and analysis to the next level by pursuing a career in the field. After researching graduate schools, she decided that the Mason School's MSBA degree was the solution. Bethany believes it will help her better understand the data patterns, business operations, and big data technology required to become a leader in the field.

 Jianyong Li
Jianyong LiUndergrad: Hube Agricultural College
Jianyong Li

Jianyong Li

Undergrad: Hube Agricultural College

Hometown

Wuhan, China

Major

Horticulture

Status

Permanent Resident

About

Jianyong, from China, earned his doctorate in horticulture then moved to New York for his post-doc research at Cornell University. The opportunity required extensive analysis work and led to the publication of many high-impact articles in professional journals. As a result, he decided that William & Mary's MSBA would give him the additional credentials he would need to advance his career even higher - making him a leader in the data science field.

 Vivian (Ang) Li
Vivian (Ang) LiUndergrad: Vanderbilt University
Vivian (Ang) Li

Vivian (Ang) Li

Undergrad: Vanderbilt University

Hometown

Beijing, China

Major

Economics and Mathematics

Status

Permanent Resident

About

Vivian wanted to take her studies of economics and math to the next level by pursuing a market-driven graduate degree. Since the scientific method of problem solving appealed to her, she decided to concentrate on the fast-growing field of business analytics at William & Mary. A skilled sailor who is also interested in fashion, Vivian sees the opportunities in business analytics to be as wide as her interests, and is confident that the skills and knowledge she is gaining from the MSBA program will prepare her to be competitive across a variety of sectors.

 Henry Mark
Henry MarkUndergrad: William & Mary
Henry Mark

Henry Mark

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

St. Croix, USVI

Major

Economics

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Henry is interested in data science because of the potential it offers for new insights and innovation across a variety of sectors. For instance, as an active Uber driver in his free time, he is fascinated by how big data technology might be applied to the ridesharing industry, explaining that observations can be missed by the eye, but are found easily in the historical data. To gain a better understanding of big data and the technologies associated with the field, Henry decided to pursue William & Mary's MSBA graduate degree. He admires the way the program facilitates entrepreneurship by introducing students to the seemingly endless amount of data that can be harnessed to solve business problems and improve performance.

 Brian McGowan
Brian McGowanUndergrad: Old Dominion University
Brian McGowan

Brian McGowan

Undergrad: Old Dominion University

Hometown

Henrico, VA

Major

Business Management

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Brian came into the MSBA program with such strong database management skills that he was hired as a teaching assistant for the fall. In addition to his leadership training in the U.S. Army, Brian's practical experience - plus his varied work experience nationally and abroad - allows him to see the big picture of how data can be analyzed in a variety of situations.

 Garrett McInnes
Garrett McInnesUndergrad: George Washington University
Garrett McInnes

Garrett McInnes

Undergrad: George Washington University

Hometown

Arlington, VA

Major

Mechanical Engineering

Status

U.S. Citizen

 Abe Melloh
Abe MellohUndergrad: University of Central Florida
Abe Melloh

Abe Melloh

Undergrad: University of Central Florida

Hometown

Terre Haute, IN

Major

Economics and Political Science

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Abe has had some unusual jobs, including one that involved learning to fly an RC blimp (he is one of only five people worldwide qualified to fly a blimp larger than 20 feet.) He also worked for startup companies in Silicon Valley, one of which was centered around the power of data science. This experience fed his curiosity leading him to apply to the MSBA program at the Mason School of Business. He plans to use what he is learning - including advanced machine learning techniques and Tableau - to make actionable business decisions at an organization that wants to do measurable good in the world. 

 Sarah Munyan
Sarah MunyanUndergrad: Brigham Young University
Sarah Munyun

Sarah Munyan

Undergrad: Brigham Young University

Hometown

Alexandria, VA

Major

Economics

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Sarah is intrigued by how data insights and quantitative solutions enables businesses to answer challenging questions. She was particularly successful in her statistic and econometric classes as an undergrad at BYU - so much so that her professor's used her work as a model for other students. As a result, a future in the field of data science seemed like a perfect fit for her. The Mason School's Master of Science in Business Analytics program is now giving her the knowledge and experience she will need to jumpstart her a career in big data. She knows that William & Mary's commitment to rigorous academics and real-world learning opportunities will help her connect with interesting people, gain experience in the field, and find the perfect job.

 Lisha Shangguan
Lisha ShangguanUndergrad: Sun Yat-Sen University
Lisha Shangguan

Lisha Shangguan

Undergrad: Sun Yat-Sen University

Major

Urban and Rural Planning and Public Management

Status

Permanent Resident

 Arel Murphy
Arel MurphyUndergrad: Old Dominion University
Arel Murphy

Arel Murphy

Undergrad: Old Dominion University

Hometown

Winnipeg, Canada

Major

Economics and Business Analytics

Status

U.S. Citizen/ Canadian Citizen

About

Arel grew up in Canada and has traveled extensively. As an MSBA graduate student, she is interested in discovering how data science can improve lives while creating sustainable systems, and is eager to gain the analytical tools to further this passion. Along with her knowledge of organization framework, she is looking forward to diligently and carefully using data to gain relevant information that can be used to aid decision-making on many levels. Never one to shy from a new opportunity, she is open to living and working anywhere, and is excited about the opportunities that await.

 Gregory Noordanus
Gregory NoordanusUndergrad: Randolph-Macon College
Greg Noordanus

Gregory Noordanus

Undergrad: Randolph-Macon College

Hometown

Leiderdrop, Netherlands

Major

Business and Economics

Status

U.S. Citizen/ Dutch Citizen

About

Greg is a dual Dutch/ United States citizen, a college-level soccer athlete, and team captain. His involvement in the sport he loves has taught him agility, dedication, leadership and a desire to win. He is now applying those skills as a graduate student at William & Mary's Mason School of Business. While he had many options, the growth potential of big data across many industries, along with the demand for seasoned data science professionals, ultimately attracted him to the MSBA program. Finding the methods, models, and programs to be intriguing, he fully expects to find success in the field using the analytics methodologies and technical skills that he has gained in the Mason School program.

 Verghese Polakunnil
Verghese PolakunnilUndergrad: SUNY College at Old Westbury
Verghese Polakunnil

Verghese Polakunnil

Undergrad: SUNY College at Old Westbury

Hometown

Middle Island, NY

Major

Mathematics

Status

U.S. Citizen

 Benjamin Salvail
Benjamin SalvailUndergrad: Christopher Newport University
Benjamin Salvail

Benjamin Salvail

Undergrad: Christopher Newport University

Hometown

Herndon, Va

Major

Finance and Marketing

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Before enrolling in the Mason School's MSBA graduate program, Ben learned time-management skills while double-majoring in finance and marketing at Christopher Newport University. He's a driven individual who is focused on using both his business and analytics expertise to help businesses reach their full potential. He believes the work-life balance is integral to success, so when not focused on work, he enjoys traveling, staying active, and giving back to his community.

 Michael Saracco
Michael SaraccoUndergrad: William & Mary
Michael Saracco

Michael Saracco

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

Arlington, VA

Major

Economics

Status

U.S. Citizen

 Will Shiflett
Will ShiflettUndergrad: William & Mary
Will Shiflett

Will Shiflett

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

Midloathian, VA

Major

Applied Mathematics

Status

U.S. Citizen

 Tammy (Yimeng) Song
Tammy (Yimeng) SongUndergrad: SUNY at Buffalo
Tammy (Yimeng) Song

Tammy (Yimeng) Song

Undergrad: SUNY at Buffalo

Hometown

Beijing, China

Major

Finance and Management Information Systems

Status

Permanent Resident

 Arshan Tarapore
Arshan TaraporeUndergrad: Boston University
Arshan Tarapore

Arshan Tarapore

Undergrad: Boston University

Hometown

New York, NY

Major

Economics and Geophysics and Planetary Science

Status

U.S. Citizen

 Bhavana Vadlamani
Bhavana VadlamaniUndergrad: University of North Carolina - Wilmington
Bhavana Vadlamani

Bhavana Vadlamani

Undergrad: University of North Carolina - Wilmington

Hometown

Cary, NC

Major

Chemistry

Status

U.S. Citizen

 Asef Wafa
Asef WafaUndergrad: William & Mary
Asef Wafa

Asef Wafa

Undergrad: William & Mary

Hometown

Woodbridge, VA

Major

Finance

Status

Permanent Resident

 Hillary Yarosh
Hillary YaroshUndergrad: Kenyon College
Hillary Yarosh

Hillary Yarosh

Undergrad: Kenyon College

Hometown

West Chester, PA

Major

Economics

Status

U.S. Citizen

About

Hillary is an 18-Time All American Swimmer, NCAA DIII National Champion and has completed multiple triathlons. She is driven to work hard and win. But, that is just half of the story. She applies the same drive to succeed to her career which led her to William & Mary's MSBA graduate program. She has always been intrigued with data science and how it can be used to problem solve and make actionable decisions in business. In her previous consulting job, she saw first-hand the benefits of using data analytics with large data sets, especially the visualization techniques. She believes the Mason School will enable her to utilize the market-ready skills she is learning to become a leader in the government, healthcare or consulting industry.

 Simon Zhang
Simon ZhangUndergrad: Wuhan University of Technology
Simon Zhang

Simon Zhang

Undergrad: Wuhan University of Technology

Hometown

Cary, NC

Major

Business Administration

Status

L2

About

Simon is a seasoned human resources professional with over ten years of work experience at small and large tech firms in China and Singapore. A data and facts driven person, he enjoys exploring research and making decisions using data analytics. Using these talents, he was recently able to establish a key performance indicator dashboard for his employer where valuable strategic insights could be acquired. Since he was already experienced with the operational side of business, Simon decided to pursue the MSBA to provide in-depth exposure to advanced analytics techniques such as working with big data, heuristic algorithms, data visualization and artificial intelligence. The advanced analytic skills he is learning, combined with his business acumen, will help him become a strategic asset within his organization, and provide him with the potential for excellent R.O.I.