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A Look at Our Students

Written by Blair Dowler | Photographed by Alex Wilson

Colin Frosch

Master of Business Administration

Colin Frosch

When deciding between universities, Colin Frosch did his research and weighed his options. After graduating with his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from WVU, his parents asked if he felt he made the right choice.

“I said, ‘Absolutely!’ After doing conferences and interacting with people from other schools, I think I definitely made the right decision, so much so that I chose to stay for two extra years to get two more degrees,” said Frosch, of Fairmont, West Virginia.

Currently working toward his MBA, Frosch has lived his life to the fullest while at WVU: being involved on campus as a graduate assistant; studying abroad in Germany; and leading international and domestic service and infrastructure projects as the president of Engineers Without Borders. And all while striving toward working as a civil engineer in the transportation industry.

“I was always fascinated with transportation, and I like the idea of being able to serve people,” he said. “Whether it’s a water system or building a new road, civil engineers really have an impact on many people over the course of many years.”

On top of undergraduate and graduate degrees in civil engineering, Frosch’s efforts to further his education with his MBA are with hopes to substantially jump start his career and eventually land on the management track in a transportation division of an engineering company.

“In my mind, I will have those tools and skills, and whether I use them within the first five years or not is OK,” he said. “But in the end, I know it would be a good asset for me to have in my portfolio.”

Elizabeth Gratz

Junior Marketing Major

Elizabeth Gratz

Junior marketing major Elizabeth Gratz learned the value of a strong work ethic at a young age. Growing up on a farm in Sigel, Illinois, she was charged with many outside chores on top of her school commitments. 

“In the morning, we would get up, take care of the animals and then go to school. And from third grade on, we usually had volleyball practice after school. Then I would come home, take care of the animals again, get homework done and go to bed,” she said. 

Today, her work ethic shines through in academics and on the shooting range as a member of the WVU Rifle Team, which recently set an NCAA record fifth consecutive win at the 2017 NCAA Rifle Championships. 

But that championship was not the only win this year for Gratz, who has a 4.0 GPA. On the eve of the national championship, she was awarded the Elite 90 Award for NCAA Division I Rifle, which recognizes the hard work required to be a student-athlete. It is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s 90 championships.

“I didn’t know the award existed until the banquet, when they were explaining all the things that went into it. I really like the idea of the award because they are trying to reward both sides of being a student-athlete,” she said. “Usually, it’s just one or the other. I put in a lot of hard work in both academics and athletics, so I appreciate the recognition.”

Preston Hafer

Senior Management Information Systems Major

Preston Hafer

Management information systems: the bridge between the technology and business worlds. And the perfect career path for graduating senior Preston Hafer.

“I’ve always had an interest in technology. I was taking programming classes in high school, but I’ve always had a business-driven mindset. I have a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit, too, so that’s something that has just clicked with me. Business has always made sense,” he said.

Embarking on a career at Plus Consulting in Pittsburgh, the Morgantown, West Virginia, native has built a strong foundation here at the WVU College of Business and Economics both in and out of the classroom. He is the vice president of the Management Information Systems Association (MISA) student organization and also serves as the Microsoft Student Partner on campus, which allowed him to foster his other passion – teaching and helping others.

“The biggest duty I have is holding monthly, hands-on workshops for students. Microsoft gives us recommended topics, but I also choose my own,” he said. “I’ve done an ‘internet of things’ in the past like bringing in an Arduino and a raspberry pie and showing them how to program them to do things, make little LEDs light up or make a web application that reacts live.”

Even with his extensive knowledge, Hafer is constantly fascinated by how technology evolves.

“If we look at the world and technology 50 years ago, even 10 years ago, it’s completely different. That’s really what inspired me to get into this industry – seeing how it’s changed people’s lives for the better,” he said.

Nicole Meadows

Online-hybrid MBA

Nicole Meadows

Nicole Meadows, a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, native and current graduate student in the WVU B&E online-hybrid MBA program, knew she found her life’s calling when she took her first hospitality course as an undergraduate at Pennsylvania State University. 

“I really like the social aspect of the industry,” she said. “To be a part of people’s lives in planning their special days is really important to me. It kind of puts a little more meaning behind what I’m doing.”

After graduation, she followed that passion to Texas, working for ClubCorp, owners of city and country clubs across the country, and then to Pittsburgh. But today, you can find Meadows immersed in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, working as the director of special events for the Hospitality Management Center at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), where she is bringing the culinary and entertainment scene to the forefront, overseeing the planning of the inaugural Cleveland Eats festival.

“Downtown Cleveland has really gone through a renaissance as a city, but also in their food scene. As the hospitality school in Cleveland, we really thought it was an opportunity to construct an event of this magnitude and to expose our students to the opportunity to learn from these chefs,” she said. “I am envisioning a large event that the community is really going to embrace. It’s amazing chefs, great music and I’m really excited to debut it to Cleveland. It will be a great event for the city, but also for the students here at Tri-C.”