2019 Whitman Scholars

2019 Whitman Scholars

Each year, Whitman Scholars are chosen from the senior class through a competitive selection process. To be considered, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.65 and a demonstrated history of engagement and leadership at the Whitman School and Syracuse University. On the following pages, the 2019 Whitman Scholars share their thoughts on the experiences they have had and the knowledge and skills they have gained during their time at Syracuse University.

Rebecca Blekht


Hometown: Old Tappan, New Jersey
Majors: Marketing/Management

“The Whitman School focuses on hands-on experiences, which is what I truly love about it. In the classroom, professors make it obvious that they want you to learn relevant information that may not be in the latest edition of the textbook. I believe my role as president of Enactus, a student-run organization at the Whitman School that works to impact both the local and global community, has provided me with so much experience managing people and projects while shaping me into a leader. I am so excited to take what I have learned through Enactus and apply it to future positions that I undertake.”

Yaryna Borsuk


Hometown: Verona, New Jersey
Majors: Finance/Supply Chain Management

“As I have progressed throughout my college career, I have come across inspirational faculty, staff and alumni who have challenged my way of thinking, provided me with countless opportunities and served as mentors in various aspects of life. I have also formed strong bonds with my fellow classmates. At the Whitman School, I have found people that promote and share the same values as I do. I can confidently say that my four years at the Whitman School have shaped me to be a more knowledgeable, collaborative and adaptive individual. I know that the education, connections and opportunities that I have received from this University will allow me to succeed in the future.”

Jose Javier Garcia-Rovira


Hometown: Valencia, Venezuela
Majors: Finance/Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises

“My four-year journey through the Whitman School and Syracuse University allowed me to find my why, what and how. I have had my principles challenged, questioned and validated. I have learned how to materialize and realize my dreams. I have managed to understand myself better. I have grown my perspective of the U.S. and the world by several orders of magnitude. And, I have made invaluable, life-long friendships. Before coming to the Whitman School I knew what I wanted to do and what I wanted to focus on, but I did not fully comprehend the motivations behind my dreams.”

Hendrik Hilpert


Hometown: Eiterfeld, Germany
Major: Finance

“The Whitman School culture emphasizes curiosity, community and ambition. This was the perfect fit for me and proved to be an effective way to expand my horizons and achieve my goals. I had the chance to acquire valuable leadership skills as the goalkeeper and captain of the Syracuse University men’s soccer team, and the Whitman School constantly allowed me to translate these leadership skills into real actions that could make an impact. The Whitman School community consists of many generations of students, professors, staff and alumni that are always willing to help students and support our goals and ambitions. Mentoring and friendship are an important part of the Whitman philosophy. This sense of community makes the Whitman School strong and unique.”

Olivia Huang


Hometown: Shenzhen, China
Major: Finance

“I realize that the purpose and power of a business education is not just about what’s in the classroom. It’s collaboration. It’s about making connections with the talented, passionate and unique peers I’m surrounded by daily. Whether it was using the Bloomberg terminal in the Ballentine Center or exploring career options through Whitman Women on Wall Street, I never could have imagined how much I would enjoy learning new things. With the tremendous support from my peers, faculty and alumni at the Whitman School, I can bridge my vision and pave my way to success. I’m forever grateful for that.”

Carl MacEwen


Hometown: Somerset, New Jersey
Majors: Finance/Accounting

“Growing up so close to New York City, working on Wall Street has always been a dream of mine. When I was looking at colleges, one thing that stood out to me was the strength of the finance program at the Whitman School. I remember touring the Ballentine Investment Institute and seeing all the prominent alumni working on Wall Street. The Orange Value Fund has been pivotal in my education, and I have learned the Martin J. Whitman philosophies of value investing. Syracuse University has been a good fit for me because of the abundance of extracurricular opportunities that have allowed me to excel inside and outside of the classroom and become a well-rounded student.”

Rachel Melvin


Hometown: Willoughby Hills, Ohio
Majors: Supply Chain Management/Retail Management

“The Whitman School has been the perfect fit for me because it has pushed me out of my comfort zone to become the person I am today. Through several Whitman School events, I have learned the small things, like how to properly dine at business dinners, as well as the big things, such as creating a full-length business plan. Because of the Whitman School, I have built an extensive network with alumni and other influential men and women in business who have the potential to help me in my future endeavors. I know that our alumni and staff are people I can reach out to five, 10 or 15 years from now, which motivates me to stay in touch with the Whitman School post-graduation and make my own effort to help future students.”

Kenneth Mintz


Hometown: Wantagh, New York
Majors: Finance/Public Relations

“Syracuse University was one of the largest schools I applied to, and I was worried that I could get lost in the mix. When I visited the Whitman School, it struck me that I wouldn’t get lost as a small fish in a big pond but instead have the opportunity to impact a smaller community within a larger university. I’ve been able to dive into different areas here, including the Daily Orange, Delta Sigma Pi, Whitman Ambassadors and the Public Relations Student Society of America, while also holding down a part-time job on the Whitman School’s marketing team. This school has allowed my ambition to shine through and encouraged me to pursue any opportunity, even if it’s out of my comfort zone. I’m proud to be a part of the Orange community!”

Meghan Tomassetti


Hometown: Meriden, Connecticut
Majors: Finance/Supply Chain Management

“As a senior, I can now say that the Whitman School has greatly exceeded my expectations! The one opportunity I am most grateful for in my four years at Syracuse University is the Whitman Women on Wall Street career exploration trip that I attended my sophomore year. Prior to this trip, I was unaware of the many career paths possible as a finance major, as well as the importance of getting more women into these roles. It is from this experience that I was able to learn about JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Global Finance and Business Management Program, where I interned last summer and look forward to returning to after graduation.”

Jacob Urban


Hometown: West Chicago, Illinois
Majors: Finance/Energy and Its Impacts

“The Whitman School allowed me to develop the skills necessary to play a part in addressing the dual energy challenges facing our planet through an integrated learning major on energy and its impacts that is offered to Whitman School students studying finance as a way to understand the basis of our current energy problems and seek solutions for them. One of the things that truly stands out during my education here is my senior thesis, ‘The Future of the Renewable Fuel Standard,’ a project in which I was able to analyze the federal policy that dictates the blending of renewable fuels into our nation’s transportation supply. My experience at Whitman enabled me to seek answers to questions that are at the forefront of my passions.”

Delaney Wehn


Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Majors: Marketing/Public Relations

“A Whitman School education provides the perfect blend of opportunities to learn and grow both in and outside of the classroom. The Whitman School would not be the academic and professional powerhouse that it is today without its incredible people. Not only are the professors, staff, alumni and students incredibly talented; they are also some of the most compassionate and selfless people I have ever met. In today’s corporate social responsibility and ethics-focused business climate, this emphasis on character development, as well as talent, positions Whitman graduates exceptionally well in the job market. Holding paid jobs at the Whitman School and joining Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity, has allowed me to transfer my experiences directly into employment opportunities before graduation.”

Yuqing Zhang


Hometown: Jingzhou, Hubel, China
Majors: Finance/Applied Mathematics

“Community engagement really stands out to me in terms of the education that I have received at the Whitman School. I have been tutoring local high school students for more than two years, which has helped me gain a better understanding of how I can use what I’m studying to improve the community. I chose the Whitman School because I thought I wanted to learn business, but I later realized that the best place to learn business is through real world settings. Thus, I added my applied math background to further enrich my undergraduate studies. This provided me with the numerous networking events both at the Whitman School and in New York City, where I had a chance to talk to professionals and really understand how the business world works.”