Students are rewarded for academic and leadership abilities

Four Xavier outstanding students receive entrepreneurial studies scholarships | May 13, 2004

Juniors Kristi Zuhlke, March Conklin, Jeff Lyons and Ashley Brailsford received over $25,000 in scholarships this year at the Williams College of Business Management and Entrepreneurship Awards reception held in April.

Zuhlke, a resident of Oregon, Wis., received an $18,000 scholarship funded by a grant from the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund. The McGowan Scholarship is given to a student majoring in entrepreneurial studies who demonstrates an outstanding academic record as well as leadership ability and significant involvement in academic, campus and community activities.

Initially started by William G. McGowan, founder and chairman of MCI Communications, the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund issues grants to provide selected colleges and universities with scholarships to help students who wish to pursue a business education.

Along with fellow classmates Andy Gibson and Kenny Ray Schomp, Zuhlke started Xavier’s first student-owned-and-operated business on campus. FliX, a movie-rental business, is located on the first floor of the Gallagher Student Center. Zuhlke is also involved in many other campus activities including the entrepreneurship club, marketing club, relay for life, and Koinonia, a faith-sharing group.

“All the candidates for the McGowan Scholarship were outstanding,” said Ed VonderBrink, director of Xavier’s entrepreneurial center. “Kristi’s academic credentials, along with a broad range of campus activities and unbridled enthusiasm for whatever she undertakes, make her a deserving winner.”

“My experience at Xavier has been outstanding and I am very pleased to be recognized for my hard work,” Zuhlke said. “Being a co-owner and founder of a business at the age of 21 is not the most typical experience for a college student. It takes dedication, but the learning experience is more than worth all the effort.”

Zuhlke was unaware that she was a recipient of the McGowan Scholarship. Her parents, Barb and Kim, were surprise guests and on hand to congratulate their daughter as the announcement was made.

Also recipients of a $2,500 Entrepreneurial Scholarship were juniors Mary Conklin and Jeff Lyons. This scholarship is given to students majoring in entrepreneurship who have demonstrated leadership ability, evidence of innovation and entrepreneurship, and are involved in campus and community activities.

Conklin, a resident of Bay Village, Ohio, is the owner and developer of Xavier’s second student-owned business, The Muskie Joe Coffee Company. She is involved with the student alumni association, entrepreneurship club, iCleveland, a network of college students and area professionals focused on keeping the best and brightest minds in Northern Ohio, the Xavier Players and the Accounting Society.

Lyons, who is from Mason, Ohio, is a member of the entrepreneurship club and Xavier navigators, participates as a youth coach at Christ Church in Mason, is president and co-founder of Footstool Records and also works for The Muskie Joe Coffee Company.

Ashley Brailsford, a junior from Greensboro, N.C., was a recipient of the $2,500 Phil and Jeanne Busch Scholarship. Originally founded by Phil and Jeanne Busch, this award is given to a student who has declared a minor in entrepreneurship, has an outstanding academic record and has demonstrated leadership ability, evidence of innovation and entrepreneurship, and is involved in campus and community activities.

Brailsford is an education major with a minor in entrepreneurship, president of the black student association, and a current Weninger Scholar. She has been involved in the Urban League High School Conference, Xavier’s Women at the Crossroads Symposium, is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, a camp counselor at Tri-Victory summer camp, and works as a nanny.