MBA Graduate Student Excellence Award Winners of 2023

Photos of MBA Graduate Student Excellence Award 2023 winners Yasmeen Perez and Molly Mcgee
This year's award winners stand out for their determination and leadership

June 14, 2023
Bonnie Harper | Office of the Provost

The MBA program at Gonzaga University takes great pride in honoring and celebrating the remarkable accomplishments of its students. The faculty's recognition of this year's winners of the MBA Graduate Student Excellence Award showcases their dedication to academic excellence, professional growth, and the embodiment of Gonzaga's mission. Yasmeen Perez and Molly McGee serve as a source of inspiration for their peers, encouraging them to strive for excellence, embrace service, and make a positive impact on the world. Through their achievements, they embody the spirit of Gonzaga University and the transformative power of education.

Sydney Erne
Yasmeen Perez
MBA Graduate Student
Excellence Award

"Yasmeen is an exceptionally strong contributor within her courses. She is a team leader on group projects, she brought novel and timely ideas into class discussions, and she continually demonstrated care and commitment to her fellow class colleagues." ~ Student Award Committee

Born in Seattle and raised in Mexico until the age of nine, Yasmeen Perez's journey has been marked by language acquisition, travel, and a passion for the outdoors. As an experienced engineer at Hotstart Inc, she aspires to become a manager, and her pursuit of an MBA has enhanced her skills in business analytics, project management, and leadership. Having spent her early years in Mexico, she became fluent in both Spanish and English. At the age of nine, she moved to Spokane, Washington, where she was fully immersed in an English-speaking environment. Yasmeen's bilingualism has since become a valuable asset in both her personal and professional life, enabling her to connect with diverse individuals and navigate international settings. Yasmeen's MBA journey offered her a life-changing opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy. Immersed in a culturally rich environment, she gained a global perspective on business practices and further honed her intercultural communication skills. This experience not only enhanced her academic knowledge but also fostered personal growth, encouraging her to embrace diversity and seek innovative approaches to problem-solving.

Yasmeen's love for exploration and travel has taken her to 16 countries across the globe. Whether embarking on road trips or flying to distant lands, she finds joy in discovering new cultures, cuisines, and landscapes. With a passion for the outdoors, Yasmeen's adventures often include camping, hiking, and scuba diving. Her scuba certification has allowed her to explore the mesmerizing underwater world, further fueling her curiosity and love for nature.

Yasmeen Perez's life and career are a testament to the power of diversity, exploration, and continuous growth. From her multicultural upbringing to her love for travel and the outdoors, Yasmeen's experiences have shaped her into a well-rounded individual. As she strives to transition into a managerial role at Hotstart Inc, her MBA studies have equipped her with essential business analytics, project management, and leadership skills. Yasmeen's journey serves as an inspiration to embrace diverse backgrounds, seek new experiences, and continuously develop both personally and professionally.


Brendan Bogel
Molly McGee
MBA Graduate Student
Excellence Award

"Molly completed her MBA with a project management concentration. She worked full-time and pushed through incredible personal and professional challenges to succeed with top marks. Molly engaged fully and with depth through each class and project, and we are excited for her journey as she continues to be a leader for others." ~ Student Award Committee

Molly McGee is a dedicated mine engineer hailing from Wallace, Idaho, whose journey has been shaped by her love for project management and the great outdoors. While working at Hecla's Lucky Friday Mine, Molly's commitment extends beyond her engineering role. She actively participates in the mine rescue team and competition team, all while pursuing her Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a project management concentration. Halfway through her MBA program, Molly made the pivotal decision to specialize in project management. This choice allowed her to acquire essential competencies and skills necessary for overseeing projects and leading teams. The core MBA classes provided Molly with a comprehensive understanding of various business components, allowing her to bridge the gap between her engineering work and the broader organizational context. Molly's goal is to utilize her newfound knowledge to become a better project manager and supervisor, enhancing her contributions to the mining industry.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Molly is an avid skier and snowboarder. She has spent over 15 years volunteering with the Lookout Pass Free Ski School, sharing her love for winter sports with others. The slopes provide her with an escape from the demanding responsibilities of work and studies, allowing her to recharge and appreciate the beauty of nature. Molly's passion for the outdoors also extends to spending quality time with her family, engaging in outdoor activities that create lasting memories. Achieving a harmonious balance between work, school, community involvement, and family is Molly's most significant accomplishment. Juggling multiple responsibilities is no easy feat, but with the unwavering support of her husband and the financial assistance provided by Hecla's education reimbursement program and the Callahan-Zeller Foundation, Molly has overcome challenges and reached her goals. Her ability to manage these diverse areas of her life showcases her determination, resilience, and dedication.

Molly's future looks promising as she continues to grow both professionally and personally. Armed with her MBA and project management expertise, she aspires to take on more significant responsibilities within the mining industry. With her engineering background, newfound business acumen, and passion for project management, Molly is well-equipped to excel as a project manager and supervisor, contributing to the success of future mining ventures.


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