March 9, 2017 Fisher honors 2017 Pace Setters Award winners

2017 Pace Setters students

Students, faculty and staff at Fisher recently took part in a tradition more than half a century old, as the college honored its 2017 Pace Setters Award winners. The annual awards recognize the college’s top undergraduate students, faculty and staff members.

“The students, faculty and staff we honor join an elite group whose roots date back to 1961 with the very first Pace Setters ceremony,” said Anil K. Makhija, dean and John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business. “Since then, 3,406 students have gone on to distinguish themselves as high-achieving students, demonstrated leaders and humble servants.

“The Pace Setters awards are the college’s top honor, and for more than half a century, we have recognized our Pace Setters recipients — wherever they go and whatever careers they choose — as being among the very best ambassadors for our college and for all that we do.”

Karl Frey, senior managing director for Mesirow Advanced Strategies, was presented with the Pace Setters Executive Award. Frey (BSBA ’89) is a former undergraduate Pace Setter who earned his accounting degree at Ohio State. Since graduating, Frey has remained engaged with the college, on campus and in Chicago.

2017 Pace Setters Karl Frey
Dean Anil K. Makhija and Karl Frey (BSBA '89), winner of the Pace Setters Executive Award.

In 2015, he hosted 10 Accounting Honors students at Mesirow during a visit to Chicago. He delivered the Pre-Commencement address for Master of Accounting students in 2015 and helped lead a fundraising campaign to honor the memory of the late Thomas J. Burns, an accounting professor at Fisher.

More than 50 undergraduate students were named Pace Setters Award winners, and five others received recognition as special award winners. Four faculty members and two Fisher staff members were also honored for their contributions to education, research and the college.

2017 Pace Setters Awards

Student Pace Setters Award Winners

Special Student Awards

Jack W. Stephenson Award 

Niki Miyashiro

“Niki combines her intellectual ability with an absolutely contagious level of energy and enthusiasm. She's all-in, all the time, and gives 110% to whatever she does.”


Walter M. Rudin Junior Award

Joseph Kline   

“Working with Joe through his internship search over the last several months, I have also come to understand that he is a person of character and represents Fisher in the most professional way possible.”


Katherine Porter Allen Award

Victoria Wabler

“She pursues excellence in all that she does, she continues to grow and stretch herself in many areas, and she motivates and equips others to do the same.”


S. Maurice Bostic and Birch S.M. Bostic Memorial Award

Luis Garcia-Fuentes

“Luis has continued to impress me with his vision, pleasant character, and passion for learning even after my class ended. He is really a role model for the fellow students and others.”


Robert E. Georges Senior Award

Sophia Mullins

“Sophia’s brand of leadership is one that Fisher students deserve more of from their peers. She is bright, determined, and uses her leadership roles to improve the undergraduate culture and student experience at Fisher.”

Faculty Awards

Bostic-Georges Faculty Service Award

Pat West

“While associate dean, Pat led the charge to create and provide our students with the very best undergraduate experiences — experiences that brought curriculum and learning to life.”


Faculty Research Award

Tracy Dumas

“Her work is more than an intellectual exercise that evokes the interest of other scholars. She has developed and tested ideas that change how we think about managing.”


Westerbeck Undergraduate Teaching Award

Ty Shepfer

“Ty Shepfer has been the most influential professor for me at Fisher. He has constantly challenged me to go above and beyond what I thought I was capable of.”


Westerbeck Graduate Teaching Award

Robert Lount

“His enthusiasm for teaching and his support of his students enhances our academic experience and prepares us for success as business and community leaders.”

Staff Awards

Coykendale Rising Star Award

Amber Coffey

“Amber is not only an extremely competent and efficient assistant, she goes beyond her work with an extremely positive attitude."


Coykendale Service Excellence Award

Katie Mellett

“Katie’s tireless leadership was ‘instrumental in creating an event with an electric atmosphere that celebrated the 100-year tradition of the college.’”