Growing a mighty Buckeye tree takes time, patience and nurturing. The same can be said for the Buckeyes who were recognized at Fisher’s 2024 Pace Setters Awards ceremony for their academic excellence as business students.

“A Buckeye is nothing but a seed that needs the proper environment to grow,” said Suraj Dakappagari, one of 101 students who were honored as Pace Setters. “As I reflect on my time as a Buckeye, I’ve taken the last four years to find my own environment in which to grow.”

Suraj Dakappagari accepting Pace Setters Award from Dean Anil Makhija
Suraj Dakappagari accepts Pace Setters Award from Dean Anil Makhija.

In accepting the S. Maurice Bostic and Birch S.M. Bostic Memorial Award for his academic excellence and outstanding leadership, Dakappagari, a fourth-year finance major and theatre minor, compared his evolution as a Business Buckeye to the elements needed to nourish a tree: the soil ― his family that has kept him firmly planted; the water ― Fisher’s Peer Advisor program that has nurtured and helped him grow; and the sun ― his friends and business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi that give him the energy to create and continue to succeed.

Dakappagari was among the high-achieving third- and fourth-year students to earn Pace Setters Awards at the annual ceremony. Alumna Amy Chronis (BSBA ’83) was recognized with the Pace Setters Executive Award, and George Pinteris, Alice Li, Lori Kendall and Jurriaan de Jong received faculty Pace Setters Awards for their teaching, research and service.

The event also marked Dean Anil Makhija’s final Pace Setters ceremony, as he will retire as dean at the end of the academic year and return to Fisher’s faculty.

Dean Anil Makhija and the recipients of the Pace Setters individual awards.
Dean Makhija and the Pace Setters individual award recipients, (from left), Colin North, Suraj Dakappagari, Amani Kimball-McKavish, Prateeksha Prabhakar and Eva Fischer. 

“As special as this event is for me, I recognize that for all of our students, this celebration is even more meaningful,” Makhija said. “Our Pace Setters, no matter where they go or what careers they choose, are among the very best ambassadors for our college and for all that we do.”

Dakappagari was honored for his desire to give back to his fellow Fisher students by serving as a Peer Advisor and teaching four introductory business classes to 170 first-year students. He was also recognized for his aspiration for a finance career by gaining experience and internships at financial firms PNC, the Robert W. Baird Company, Deloitte and the Boston Consulting Group.

In addition to Dakappagari, four additional undergraduate students ― Amani Kimball-McKavish, Prateeksha Prabhakar, Eva Fischer and Colin North ― were also recognized for being truly exceptional in their achievement and example.

Individual Student Pace Setters Awards

  • Open/Close Jack W. Stephenson Award – Amani Kimball-McKavish

    The Jack W. Stephenson Award is presented to a student with outstanding scholastic leadership and athletic accomplishments.

    Amani Kimball-McKavish

    Amani Kimball-McKavishA marketing major and Spanish minor, third-year student Amani Kimball-McKavish is an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Scholar who has been involved with the Best of Student Startup competition and Launchpad OSU.

    She co-founded PROSscored Virtual Arena, a streaming network that broadcasts lesser-known collegiate sports via customizable experiences and behind-the-scenes content. In 2023, PROSscored was selected as one of six student startups to earn $50,000 in Ohio State’s President’s Buckeye Accelerator grants.

    Outside the classroom, Amani is an Ohio State scholar-athlete, serving as a midfielder on Ohio State’s Women’s Lacrosse team, and she volunteers for 2nd & 7, promoting reading and learning to young children, and Life Sports, preparing Columbus youth for leadership by empowering them through sports.

  • Open/Close The Walter M. Rudin Junior Award – Prateeksha Prabhakar

    The Walter M. Rudin Junior Scholarship is presented to the most outstanding junior undergraduate in the college.

    Prateeksha Prabhakar

    Prateeksha PrabhakarPrateeksha Prabhakar, a third-year operations management major with a minor in fashion and retail studies, has a passion for sustainability, sourcing and merchandising. She was named a 2023 Fashion Scholarship Fund Digital Business Strategy Scholar, is LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) certified and was a member of Fisher’s Pathways to Supply Chain Scholarship program.

    She serves as the senior vice president for Women in Business, secretary for the Black Advertising and Strategic Communications Association, is a member of the Fisher Impact Day Committee, a resident advisor at Scott House, and serves as a 4 Paws for Ability Primary Handler.

  • Open/Close Katherine Porter Allen Prize – Eva Fischer

    The Katherine Porter Allen Prize is presented to the outstanding female graduate in business.

    Eva Fischer

    Eva FischerEva Fischer is a fourth-year double major in human resources and public policy who completed an internship with the U.S. Economic Development Administration and was selected for the Washington Academic Internship Program, where she was named a John Glenn Fellow.

    She created the Virtual First-Year Community, providing an online space for first-year students at Ohio State to connect through virtual social events. Eva has built on that leadership experience as a member of Fisher’s 26th Business Honors Cohort, the Undergraduate Women’s Business Association, HeforShe and Business for Good. She serves as a human resources student assistant at Ohio State’s University Libraries and a research assistant with Fisher’s Department of Marketing and Logistics.

  • Open/Close S. Maurice Bostic and Birch S.M. Bostic Memorial Award – Suraj Dakappagari

    The S. Maurice Bostic and Birch S.M. Bostic Memorial Award is presented to the outstanding male member of the graduating class based on both academic excellence and outstanding leadership.

    Suraj Dakappagari

    Suraj DakappagariSuraj Dakappagari, a fourth-year finance major and theatre minor, is a member of professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi where he has served as vice president of new member education and vice president of membership, a Fisher Peer Advisor, a Student Athlete Support Services Ofiice student athlete tutor, a member of the Consulting Academy and an awardee of the Ohio State Trustees Scholarship.

    Suraj has completed internships with leading financial firms including PNC and the Robert W. Baird Co. and was chosen as a Deloitte Consulting Early ID Mentorship Program Participant, a Boston Consulting Group Launch Program Participant and an Abercrombie & Fitch Freshman Forum Program Participant.

  • Open/Close Robert E. Georges Senior Award – Colin North

    The Robert E. Georges Senior Scholarship is presented to a graduating senior in the college in recognition of both academic excellence and outstanding leadership.

    Colin North

    Colin NorthColin North is a fourth-year finance major, screenwriting minor and Entrepreneurship and Innovation Scholar. He has served as a global ambassador in Fisher’s Office of Global Business for four years, as a resident adviser for three years, and as a member of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Scholars Leadership Committee, Phi Gamma Nu and Buckeye Ventures.

    Throughout his academic career, he's held internships at multiple startups, a commercial real estate company, a private equity firm, an asset management firm, and a venture capital firm. Colin has pursued a passion for entrepreneurship by founding two companies ― one focused on wellness and another on helping employers provide refinancing options for their employees’ student loans.

Pace Setters Executive Award

In accepting the Pace Setters Executive Award, Amy Chronis (BSBA ’83) provided valuable advice for the 2024 Pace Setters to develop and excel in their lives and careers.

“Find your true north and understand what is the right thing ― ethically, morally and business-wise ― to do,” she said. “Relationships and trust will make or break you; choosing the right life partner and team mean success; and we all have choices and are the architects of our own careers ― if you dream big, there are no limits as to what you can achieve.”

  • Open/Close Pace Setters Executive Award – Amy Chronis (BSBA ’83)

    The Pace Setters Executive Award is given to a “pace setter” in the business community who has excelled in his or her career, made a meaningful difference in the world of business and in the community and who has demonstrated a commitment to seeing his or her alma mater flourish.

    Amy Chronis

    Amy ChronisAmy Chronis (BSBA ’83) is the senior partner, immediate past vice chair and U.S. Energy & Chemicals Leader and Houston Managing Partner of Deloitte LLP where she is senior advisor to some of the company’s largest global clients and leads the practice’s strategy, operations, growth talent and business development. She also has more than 30 years of experience serving public and private enterprises from emerging businesses to Fortune 500 leaders.

    Amy has served on Ohio State’s Board of Trustees Finance and Investment, Legal, Audit, Risk and Compliance committees and on Wexner Medical Center committees as well. She currently serves on the Greater Houston Partnership Board, the Texas Business Leadership Council, The University of Texas Accounting Advisory Council, the board of the United Way of Greater Houston, and Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation Board. 

Pace Setters Faculty Awards

Four outstanding faculty members were recognized for their service to the college and university communities, notable research contributions, teaching excellence and outstanding commitment to education as determined by undergraduate and graduate students.

Collectively, their nominators remarked on qualities that included their dedication to learning and tailoring their teaching to the needs of students, a passion for excellence, high standards in linking theory to practice, leveraging real-world experience and relevant research, work distinguished by rigor and relevance, and a demonstrated commitment to mentorship.

  • Open/Close Bostic-Georges Faculty Service Award – George Pinteris

    Established in 2002 with gifts from the Bostic family of Columbus, the Georges family of Westerville, and other friends and supporters, the Bostic-Georges Award recognizes a Fisher faculty member for exemplary service to the college and university community.

    George Pinteris

    George PinterisGeorge Pinteris is a clinical assistant professor of finance and academic director who helped launch and enhance Fisher’s Specialized Master in Finance (SMF) degree, which in 2023 was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the ninth-best program. To increase the value of the program to students, he’s created partnerships with leading finance associations, had SMF designated as a STEM program and expanded the program to three semesters.

    He is an active member of Fisher’s MBA programs, the Finance Honors program and the undergraduate program, has taught courses in corporate finance at both the undergraduate and graduate level and was involved in establishing and participating in student academic challenges.

    “Service to the institution and to the students is an integral part of who I am.” -- George Pinteris

  • Open/Close Faculty Research Award – Alice Li

    The Faculty Research Award recognizes a Fisher faculty member who has made notable research contributions in his/her field of study.

    Alice Li

    Alice LiAlice Li is an associate professor of marketing whose work as an expert in consumers’ purchase journeys has helped marketing managers understand and refine their consumer insights strategies. He expertise has piqued the interest of many Fortune 500 companies including Amazon, Meta, Adobe and Marriott.

    In 2021, she received the Marketing Science Institute’s Young Scholar Award, and her work has earned the Best Article Award from the International Journal of Research in Marketing. Alice received the Adobe Digital Marketing Research Award, MSI Research Grant, and National Center for the Middle Market Research Fellowship.

    Her research has appeared in prestigious journals, including the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, and Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. Alice serves as the associate editor at the Journal of Interactive Marketing and Decision Sciences Journal and on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Marketing Research and International Journal of Research in Marketing.

    “This reward is a reflection of the passion between the faculty and all Fisher colleagues.” -- Alice Li

  • Open/Close Daniel Westerbeck Teaching Excellence Award (Undergraduate) – Lori Kendall

    The Daniel Westerbeck Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award recognizes an undergraduate faculty member for teaching excellence and making exceptional contributions to the academic and professional growth of undergraduate students, as determined by the students.

    Lori Kendall

    Lori KendallLori Kendall is a senior lecturer in management and human resources who, with 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and technology executive for venture-backed and publicly traded firms, brings a unique and unparalleled perspective to the classroom where she teaches entrepreneurship, leadership and professional development, experiential learning immersion, and strategy and innovation. She concurrently serves as faculty at Ohio State and as an operating partner at Orchid Black, advising early-stage and mid-stage firms on strategy, growth, and innovation.

    Dr. Kendall's consulting and research centers on entrepreneurial ventures and intrapreneurship within established firms. Her publications include works on entrepreneurial cognition, relational dynamics influencing contextual ambidexterity, and mental model shifts driving paradigm change with social benefit firms.

    “It’s a privilege to be in the classroom with the 1,100 to 1,400 undergraduates I work with. It’s not about seeing where you are, but where you are going next.” -- Lori Kendall

  • Open/Close Daniel Westerbeck Teaching Excellence Award (Graduate) – Jurriaan de Jong

    The Daniel Westerbeck Graduate Teaching Excellence Award recognizes a graduate faculty member for teaching excellence and making exceptional contributions to the academic and professional growth of graduate students, as determined by the students.

    Jurriaan de Jong

    Jurriaan de JongJurriaan de Jong, a clinical professor of operations and business analytics, has positively impacted graduate students as the academic director of the Master of Business Operational Excellence (MBOE) program, as an instructor in the Working Professional MBA and as an instructor for graduate elective courses in operations and technology strategy, and healthcare operations management.

    He blends his research interests focused on buyer-supplier relationships in the healthcare supply chain and other environments with his experience working for well-known brands including Starbucks and Abercrombie & Fitch. His articles have appeared in the Production & Operations Management, Healthcare Management Science, Journal of Management & Governance, and Computers & Industrial Engineering.

    His research and education have included engagements with the Wexner Medical Center, Tata Management Training Center (India), Textron, New Era Cap, Kaleida Health, Buffalo General Medical Center, Catholic Health, and Harmac Medical products.

    “To love what you do and know it matters, how could it be more fun? I wish this for all of our young Pace Setters.” -- Jurriaan de Jong

2024 Pace Setters Awards

"We all have choices and are the architects of our own careers ― if you dream big, there are no limits as to what you can achieve."

Amy Chronis (BSBA '83) Pace Setters Executive Award Winner