Atlanta Chapter

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In collaboration with the Alumni Association, the Atlanta Chapter held their awards banquet on February 23rd at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. The Alumni Association would like to recognize Marianna Kravtsova from the Student Services Office for her role as the University Liaison for the Atlanta Chapter. Thank you Marianna for your commitment, dedication and the work you do on behalf of the Atlanta Chapter.

Darcie Johnson served as the Master of Ceremony starting the evening's program. Metro President, Chris Chavez, followed with the welcome address and spoke about Keller's 40th Anniversary and the recognition of 40 Keller alumni throughout the country. Alex Marchetti (Keller '77), one of the Keller Honorees, was at the event and is one of the seven students from the first graduating class. The guest speaker was Tom Rice, State Representative (R-GA).

The Atlanta Chapter takes great pride in the leadership and success of its alumni and was honored to present this year's awards.

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
2003 Master of Business Administration
Chief Operating Officer
Tilton/Valdosa, Office of Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC

Every student has a particular reason to seek higher education and the motivation to achieve that goal can come from a variety of sources. For Sharon Oyekan, who had been successful in a series of progressively challenging roles, a key motivation was to have her mother see her receive her MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management.

Today, Oyekan is the chief operating officer for Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, a regional accounting firm. "I have worked at some of the nation's top professional services firms, specializing in accounting firm management," she says.

Over the course of her career, Oyekan has worked in a variety of positions, including positions of business management, controller, director of finance and administration at service firms and non-profits. Her specialties are operations and human resource management.

Oyekan is an accredited administrator in accounting practice management and a certified professional in human resources management. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, Association for Accounting Administration, Georgia Society for Certified Public Accountants and the National Black MBA Association.

Alumni Rising Star Award
2006 Associate Degree in Electronics & Computer Technology
2008 Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Management
Law Clerk, Marshall and Kirkland Law Group

Brittne Ballenger found a way to combine her love of technology with a career in law. While she was attending DeVry University, pursuing her bachelor of science in electronics and computer technology, Ballenger worked as a help desk and technical support agent at two companies
she found through a DeVry career fair. Both of the companies supported clients in the legal field.

After earning her bachelor’s degree at DeVry University, she decided to attend law school and today works as a law clerk at Marshall and Kirkland Law Group. “I’m not neglecting my technical background but further expanding it by going into the intellectual property side of law,” says Ballenger.

Technology has always been something that interested Ballenger. “Ever since I can remember, back to middle school, I’ve always wanted to work with technology, especially computers,” she says. “I always wanted to build things and take them apart to see how they worked.”

Alumni Volunteer Spirit Award
1996 Bachelor’s Degree in Business Operations
Chief Operations Officer, The C’VION Company

From the time he was in high school, Calvin Watt knew he wanted to be a “businessman” and while he didn’t take a straight line to his current career, Watt has realized great success in business in a number of different realms.

He is currently chief operations officer and principal interior designer at the C’VION Company, an interior design firm located in Atlanta. Prior to joining C’VION, Watt was business operations manager for IBM in Atlanta for 15 years.

Watt has two passions: business administration/operations and interior design. Despite his long days in the office, he is a tireless volunteer. Watt assists with the Alliance Theater’s Christmas House project, designed by local interior designers, where funds benefit arts programs in Atlanta schools. In addition, he volunteers with the Alumni Association, assisting in event planning and implementation.

Herman DeVry Faculty Award
Professor, College of Business & Management
DeVry University

Professor Burnside, an outstanding faculty member and overall member of the University community, has proven to be a strong advocate for students and staff alike. He not only teaches classes, but volunteers in the tutoring center, attends student activities and is always attends the new student orientation.

In the past 2 years he has also taken on the responsibility of being the chapter advisor for the campus’s new chapter of the National Society of Leadership & Development, which has grown to over 250 members. Advisors must conduct orientations, assist students in achieving certification through community service in addition to other leadership projects.

Professor Burnside has also worked to get chapters started at the Decatur Campus and the Cobb Galleria Center. He has worked to hire, mentor and observe new faculty in the classroom to ensure students were getting the
best education.

Click here to read more about other 2013 Awards Banquets.