Campus Life

UWF College of Business announces six Outstanding Student Award recipients

By Josh Newby, University Communications

Six students from the University of West Florida College of Business received Outstanding Student Awards April 1. The awards recognize students with an exceptional GPA and a faculty nomination.

The winners of the award are: Justin Anderson, from the Department of Marketing; James Harrison and Sarah Neuland, from the Department of Management & MIS; and Nien-Chieh Lee, Gabriel Odom and Nicholas Plonbom from the Department of Accounting & Finance.

“I am deeply grateful to my professors who believe so strongly in my future,” said Odom. “I believe that I would not have been a candidate for any award of this caliber without their care, guidance and instruction.”

The students are awarded based on three levels of criteria. First, they must have successfully completed at least 36 hours at UWF in upper-level coursework. Next, they must have a GPA greater than or equal to 3.5 in all courses related to their major. Finally, the students must not have been selected for the distinction previously. All tenure-track faculty are then asked to rank order the students. The students with the most votes are selected.

“When I heard I was selected as an Outstanding Student in the College of Business I was very excited,” said Nicholas Plonbom. “I appreciate that the faculty in the College of Business noticed the hard work I have put in while attending UWF. The contacts I have made and knowledge I have gained at UWF will definitely help me in the future.”

The College of Business graduates about 300 students a year and maintains a reputation in the community for teaching many successful programs and helping students further their careers.

“Upon entering the job market, the students in our programs advance their careers, grow businesses and serve on community and city groups throughout Northwest Florida,” said Ed Ranelli, dean of the College of Business.

Plonbom is proof of that.

“At the beginning of my senior year I got an internship with Gulf Power in their Financial and Regulatory Reporting Department,” said Plonbom. “I now have a full-time job with Gulf Power at Plant Smith in Panama City. I feel that going to UWF really helped me get this opportunity and then take advantage of it.”

For more information on the College of Business, visit