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2016 STAC Scholarship Winners
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 2016 STAC Scholarship Winners



Natalie Knoepfl

I will be attending school at Miami University in the Farmers School of Business. I intend to major in marketing with a minor in entrepreneurship and possibly graphic design. While at school I plan on interning for companies in order to gain experience for when I graduate. Once I do, I plan on getting a job for a company in some sort of marketing position. I believe that my minor in graphic design will allow me to expand my skills in order to be more successful in marketing. Later on, I want to open my own business, using my knowledge from working with another company and minoring in entrepreneurship. I also plan to study abroad at some point during my college career, and I believe that this will not only be an exciting new experience, but will open my mind to different views and ideas from people and companies from around the world, that will allow me to bring new ideas to the table as a marketing manager and entrepreneur.


Daniel Koutris

After finishing my first year at Carthage College I reaffirmed that I want to continue with Finance/Business as my Major. During my freshman year at Carthage, I focused on required core classes with a few introductory business classes thrown in. Sophomore year will bring a full load of introductory business classes, helping me find the specific area of business I want to specialize in. My long term goal still remains starting my own business, but the Finance industry really excites me; whether it is working on a Trading Desk, in a proprietary Trading Firm, in a Branch Office, or even on a Trading Floor. From my brief understanding of the ever changing market structure, who knows what opportunities are ahead in the financial industry?

I plan to study abroad in January of 2017 (Carthage offers 3 ½ week J-Terms for full class credits) which will allow me to expand my business knowledge, and gain some understanding of the Global Economy. After my sophomore year at Carthage, I hope to get the opportunity to study at Carthage’s satellite campus located in downtown Chicago; which places me in a full-time internship during the day, with classroom study in the evenings, while living in a hostile in Chicago’s Loop. I am extremely excited for this opportunity as I feel the hands-on experience will allow me to really learn how the business world operates.

This past Spring I was selected Pledge Class President for the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity at Carthage College. I chose to “rush” TKE not only because it is a Business focused fraternity, but because they are extremely involved in the Kenosha community. The Carthage “Tekes” do community service work with the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, South Eastern Wisconsin Special Olympics, and mentoring, just to name a few. Nationally, TKE has raised over $2.6 million for St Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

At this point in my life, I am hoping that my experiences at Carthage College, along with my work experience, both as an IHSA Certified Official and an Umpire Coordinator, allow me to secure a job in Business or Finance. I feel that I continue to develop strong inter-personal skills in both my jobs; as an IHSA Official I occasionally have to deal with an (over) excited Manager or Coach, as an Assignor I manage 53 high school age boys and girls, assigning them to over 350 baseball games, as well as any rain-outs that need to be rescheduled. I personally train the new and less experienced umpires; the job also requires me to deal with problems that arise, whether it is with a Manager, Coach, or Umpire.

I anticipate that a Business Degree from Carthage will give me the skill-set needed to run a company smoothly and efficiently. Although I feel that my current job as an Assignor has taught me responsibility, better time management, and affords me constant interaction with adult Managers and Coaches; I anticipate the experiences at the Carthage Business School will allow me to build on my current experience and enhance my ability to be successful in the Finance or Business industry, or as an entrepreneur.


David Wendel

Turn on the news. Open the paper. On a day-to-day basis, it is extremely difficult to find information about the world without hearing about the struggling economies across the world. Especially recently with all of the debates in the primary elections for presidency, the U.S. economy has become a frequent topic of discussion. What baffles me is why the situation always seems to get worse. A change is necessary.

First of all, economics is very appealing to me because of how open-ended the future of a student with an economics major will be. With possibilities of finding a profession in business, government, education, or even continuing on to law school, an economics major provides numerous possibilities for students like myself. Because I am relatively unsure of what I would like to do for the rest of my life, this aura of possibility really appeals to me. Furthermore, because politics, business, and education all appeal to my interests, in the future, it will merely be a selection of which I like the most, not which I will learn to like.

An economics degree will allow me to make a difference in the world. Ultimately, as I contemplate my future, my top priority is making a difference. Whether it be helping a major business, providing logical insight to the government, or informing high school students about the basics of economics, pursuing an economics degree truly will allow me to have an impact on those around me. The reality is, no matter how well I understand economics, I will have to communicate my knowledge in a way that others,who perhaps have not studied the field as extensively, will understand and be able to utilize for their benefit.

Ultimately, economics will allow me to harness my personal interests in a way that will positively impact the lives of others, and for this reason, pursuing a degree in economics will promote my future goals.


Jonathan Lenchard Warren

I have always found it exciting and rewarding to be informed about current political events and issues because they have profound effects on each and every person in the United States and the world. By being an informed voter, one can positively contribute to society while at the same time establishing a personal ideology and world view. I’m entering my junior year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) this fall. I am double majoring in Economics and Political Science. My studies have focused specifically on government regulation of economic and social activity, as well as law. I have found it very rewarding studying these areas because it has helped me to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by all members of society.

Through my years in Scouting, I learned many values, such as hard-work, loyalty, and camaraderie. I gained teamwork and leadership skills as I earned badges, helped with community service projects and went on to become an Eagle Scout. These experiences helped form and establish my own personal set of beliefs and prepared me for my college studies.

I have always been interested in Constitutional law because it impacts the daily lives and rights of everyone in the nation. My interest was piqued when I took a Law Class–Poverty Law–taught by a UIUC Law Professor who focused on the rights of the indigent. This class helped me to become more aware of how the law can be a great tool to ensure that no one can be denied life, liberty, or property without due process of law. I was also fortunate to have a summer clerkship/internship at a juvenile court in Chicago, IL where I worked on legal research and assisted with proposed state legislation to protect the rights of the victims of sexual assault and their children. I realized how important it is for there to be advocates for those who cannot help themselves. These experiences led me to decide to become an attorney, because I want to contribute to giving everyone equal justice under the law.

My experiences were further expanded in a different area when I had a summer internship at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) in Trading Systems Development and assisted with Congressional visitors. This internship increased my knowledge and interest in the financial markets and I then added my second major, Economics, based upon discussions with some Congressmen and other CBOE staff. A long term goal of mine is to run for public office and as a prospective public servant, I believe it is important to have an understanding of the economy and the markets and how they affect an individual’s financial opportunities.

My immediate plan after obtaining my undergraduate degree is to attend law school with a focus on Constitutional law. Afterwards, I want to either apply for the Judge Advocate General program for the United States Navy or start a private law practice. While practicing law, I want to focus on constitutional rights and civil liberties. After I gain experience in these areas, I want to eventually run for public office. I am interested specifically in running for a place in the United States Congress so that I can help serve my fellow citizens while protecting their constitutional rights.


Michael Maskalunas

During this upcoming year, I have made the decision to continue my academic and athletic career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a business major and a preferred walk-on to the Badger football program. This opportunity seems surreal to me, for I am able to combine my love for sports with an elite education to pursue my dream of becoming the founder of an athletic training facility. As a student-athlete at Wisconsin, I will be able to garner knowledge not only about entrepreneurial tactics, but exercise and the human body as well. Coming out of college, I have plans to become successful by doing the thing that I love and by working towards something I am passionate about.

My passion for fitness and sports can be best characterized through my involvement in the community in reaching out to promote physical wellness. One of my most memorable events was participating in the Autism Speaks charity soccer game where I helped support special needs students as they competed in a soccer game as well as other physical activities. Working with these kids made me realize how important it is to reach out to all parts of society in the case of physical wellness. We can all learn something from the pure joy these students experienced from simply running around and kicking a soccer ball with one another. It has helped me to understand how beneficial physical activity can be in promoting the expression of emotions and a positive spirit.

My inspiration for the idea of one day running my own athletic training facility comes from my personal experience in training at EFT Sports Performance located in Highland Park. After I began training there in 2014, I instantly fell in love with not only the grueling workouts, but the idea of one day running a place like that for my living. Every day when I come in for workouts I am surrounded by elite athletes and experienced trainers, and that is the type of environment I love to be in. EFT has an incredibly diverse team of trainers with services ranging anywhere from personal training, to individual therapy sessions, to rehabilitation, to recruiting management, and even nutrition specialists. I hope that with the combination of my acquired knowledge in entrepreneurship, business, and football training at Wisconsin-Madison, I will one day be able to launch a place even more dynamic than EFT.

After conversing with and befriending the owner of EFT Sports Performance–Elias Karras–it has become apparent to me that studying business and entrepreneurship is the best path for me in order to pursue my dream. Elias, who is a graduate of the University of Illinois–Chicago, has taken the time to mentor me about my aspirations and given me advice on how I should go about educating myself and establishing my business. One of the key ideas he shared with me was that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. I have trained at many different facilities in my life, but the reason that I chose to stay with EFT is because it is more than just a place to train; it has become my second family. This unique atmosphere is what sets EFT apart from other businesses, and is why EFT is a thriving success.

The reason I have decided to share in detail what EFT Sports Performance is about is because the success that Elias Karras has had there, and the environment of excitement and positivity is what my dream is all about. I want to contribute to human genome as a whole and help cultivate a healthier society. The great President John F. Kennedy once said that “A country is only as strong as its citizens. I think that mental and physical health... mental and physical vigor, go hand in hand.” I personally view it as a matter of utmost importance to help society reach a more healthy state. Just as President Kennedy said, if the body is healthy, then the mind, soul, and spirit will be more healthy as well. This is what I hope will separate my business from the rest. I am not just aiming to help athletes train, but I am going to use my training sessions as a vehicle to deliver knowledge that will make them healthier mentally, spiritually, socially, and patriotically as well.
1512 N. Fremont St, Suite 104   Chicago, IL 60642