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Joseph Lei

2007 The Donald Edward Bragg & Diane Sims Bragg Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Mr. Lei was born in Chicago and moved to California when he was three. He entered UCLA as a Computer Science/Electrical Engineering major, but after his first entrepreneurial experience on eBay, he decided to change his major to Business Economics. Ever since then, he has found that business is his true calling, from selling items online to starting and running businesses that provide creative solutions for customers. While Joseph is currently a full time student, he also works as the Founder and CEO of Campus Suits, a company he started that markets professional business attire to college students. Joseph also serves as the Co-Chair of Entrepreneurship with the Asian Professional Exchange (APEX) and sits on the Board of Directors of the Entrepreneur Mentor Society (EMS), a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop and encourage entrepreneurship in all its forms.

Future Plans: After graduation, Joseph plans to continue working part-time with Campus Suits to help expand the business to college campuses across the nation while at the same time pursuing a career in business and intra/entrepreneurship. Joseph plans to travel to Asia and Europe to develop a worldwide perspective and to use that understanding to build responsible businesses that improve lives. Although uncertain in which field he will pursue his career, Joseph has interests in private equity and finance, mergers and acquisitions.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: I am honored to have received this scholarship and will be using it to help cover educational expenses for this coming year. As this year approaches as a trial by fire for Campus Suits, this scholarship will enable me to focus on my studies and provide cash flow support so profits may be reinvested for growth rather than withdrawn to help pay for educational expenses. Receiving this scholarship has made me more aware of others’ belief in me and the expectations of those around me. By receiving this scholarship I hope to continue expanding my horizons through education as well as gaining experience in the business world. These opportunities will enable me to strengthen my weaknesses and develop a solid foundation with which to enter the business world and ultimately give back to this community which has been so supportive of students such as me, thank you.

Nahuel Costilla

2007 John J. Peterson Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Nahuel Pedro Costilla was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the age of six, he came to the United States with his family. He attended elementary, middle and high school in the San Fernando Valley and, after completing his general education at Los Angeles Valley College, transferred to UCLA. Currently in his senior year, he is majoring in Business Economics and Psychology—to pursue his interest in business along with his curiosity of people—and minoring in Accounting—to provide a technical foundation for his entry into the corporate world. Nahuel is part of the Council of Student Members for Golden Key International Honour Society and a Vice President of the Society’s local chapter at UCLA. He has also been active in the Academic Advancement Program (AAP) at UCLA as both a tutor and tutee and expects to continue doing so into the coming year. In his spare time, Nahuel enjoys playing soccer, reveling in nature and experiencing the novelties of life.

Future Plans: Nahuel plans to graduate from UCLA in the spring of 2008. He then expects to begin working for either an Accounting or Consulting company. After a number of years, Nahuel expects to return to school to pursue his MBA and, once he has received it, plans to use it to leverage his entry into a management position in a private company.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: Thanks to the John J. Peterson scholarship, I will be able to continue my education without having to worry so much about how I will pay for my tuition each quarter. I appreciate the opportunity that’s been given to me and I am committed to make full use of it.

Rebecca Bloom

2007 The Ralph and Shirley Shapiro Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Becky Bloom, a Senior Business Economics major, is very grateful to Mr. & Mrs. Ralph & Shirley Shapiro for their generous support. While at UCLA, she works as an accounting associate for Robert D. Geringer, an attorney and real estate developer in Beverly Hills, on development projects throughout the United States. Originally from Seattle, Washington, she spent time after high school traveling with the Jazz Tap Ensemble and continues to teach classes in and around Los Angeles while pursuing her degree at UCLA. When not working or studying, she spends time with her wonderful husband, Greg.

Future Plans: Becky plans to pursue graduate work in Economics or Finance, and hopes to spend time during her senior year at UCLA pursuing some of her research interests in those fields. She would also like to pursue her CPA license.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: As a student putting myself through college while working, this scholarship is a huge blessing, both financially and emotionally. It is a great feeling to know that my hard work and academic goals are supported by Mr. & Mrs. Shapiro and UCLA, and I look forward to the year to come.

Lauren Beale

2007 Professor Harry Simons Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship for the Study of Accounting Recipient

Biography: Lauren Beale is a third-year Business Economics major and Accounting minor student. She has been fortunate to work under several of the distinguished accounting faculty at the Anderson Graduate School of Management, including work on a directed research project. Lauren also works as a peer counselor for the Undergraduate Accounting Program and is an officer of the Student Accounting Society. This year, she will be pursuing a summer internship with a public accounting firm, alongside her peers in the Class of 2009. Her hobbies include reading classic literature, traveling, and playing classical piano.

Future Plans: In the next two years, Lauren intends to finish the College Honors program and complete a thesis project for the Economics Departmental Honors program. After graduation, she plans to earn her CPA license, gain work experience with a public accounting firm, and pursue a Masters of Business Administration. She also hopes to spend time traveling to broaden her cultural horizons.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: I would like to take this opportunity to thank the donors of the Professor Harry Simons Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship for understanding that their contributions not only ease financial burdens but renew in students the faith that their achievements, academic integrity, and determination can be rewarded. Personally, the most gratifying aspect of receiving this award is the knowledge that someone has confidence enough in me to see me through the remainder of my college career. With the stress of paying bills alleviated, I am motivated to take on new academic and extracurricular pursuits that will cultivate the skills I need to accomplish my goals. I would also like to thank the UCLA Department of Economics for making such opportunities available and maintaining a standard of excellence that primes UCLA graduates to be successful and respected members of their communities.

Daniel Agalsoff

2007 John J. Peterson Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Daniel Agalsoff, of Hacienda Heights, California, is a fourth year Business Economics major and Political Science minor pursuing College Honors. He has already had exposure to the fields of investment banking and public accounting through his internship experiences. He was part of a highly successful Mock Trial team for four years, and has conducted award winning research on the public policy issues surrounding the Central Valley Irrigation Project. He has also received countless awards for his service and leadership. In addition, Daniel was a three-sport athlete in high school. He wrestled and played baseball and water polo. He excelled in each of these sports, particularly in water polo. He was named All-League Varsity for three consecutive years and was also named as the Captain and MVP of his varsity team, leading them to the CIF Southern Section playoffs. While in college, he has continued to maintain his passion and involvement in aquatic sports. He attributes his athletic involvement as a crucial factor in his success as it has enabled him to develop a great talent for time management and instilled in him the value of teamwork.

Future Plans: In terms of Daniel’s personal career aspirations, his goal is to build a strong foundation in the business world and then to utilize his business acumen in order to help humanity. With a background in accounting and finance, his eventual plan is to work for a venture capital fund which raises capital for upstart biotechnology companies. He believes that there is tremendous potential for biotechnological innovations to improve and save lives. The work of Amgen demonstrates the enormous potential of innovative human therapeutics. However, he says that we need to see more upstart biotech companies contributing to this sphere of research, as these smaller biotech shops will be able to focus on developing therapeutics to fight less common, but equally devastating diseases. And he says that this is where biotechnological therapeutics are needed most. Biotechnological treatment offers the most promise in developing targeted “silver bullet” cures for the worst maladies that exist, and hence Daniel believes that we need to remain steadfast in pursuing such biotechnological research.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: The UCLA Department of Economics Scholarship Fund is investing in the future of individuals who are dedicated to driving change in our world. I am very proud and grateful to be a recipient of the John J. Peterson Scholarship. This award is a tremendous blessing for me as I remain committed to funding my own education independently of parental financial support. It has been a challenge to carry a full course load and to work hard to put myself through school. However, I believe it has built character and instilled in me a greater appreciation for my education. This scholarship will allow me to focus more time on achieving my intellectual and extracurricular pursuits. This scholarship is a gift that keeps on giving; not only will it ease my financial burdens, but it is an inspiring vote of confidence that tells me, “We believe that you can achieve and that you have a great potential to make this world a better place….” I am grateful for Mr. John J. Peterson, Sr.’s commitment to advancing the futures of students who are firmly devoted to making an extraordinary impact in our world.

Paul Wong

2007 Professor Harry Simons Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship for the Study of Accounting Recipient

Biography: Born in on August 24th, 1986, Paul Evan Wong spent his formative years growing up in Alameda, California. In 2004, Paul moved to Los Angeles upon successful matriculation to the University of California at Los Angeles. Now entering his fourth year, Paul is currently pursuing a major in Business Economics and a minor in Accounting. In addition to his primary major, Paul is also seeking a second major in History as a means of broadening his education. Considering universal academic pursuit a life-long interest and goal, Paul enjoys many other academic disciplines, including Political Science, Psychology, and Astronomy among others. Prior to attending UCLA, Paul completed high school, graduating cum laude, at the Head-Royce School in Oakland, California.

Future Plans: This fall, Paul will begin his fourth year at UCLA. Academically, Paul hopes to begin an honors thesis in economics and complete the necessary courses in accounting in order to be eligible for a CPA upon graduation. Through his remaining course work, he hopes to gain an international perspective on business and economics. In June 2008, Paul intends to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from UCLA. During the year, Paul will also continue his search for a job upon graduation. He hopes to gain a few years of valuable work experience to begin his career before attending business school. Completing business school, he aspires to work as a financial consultant within the hi-tech industry. Ultimately, Paul’s hope is someday run his own computer company, which provides affordable products to low-to-middle income households in a progressive eco-friendly manner.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: The Professor Harry Simons Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship means very much to me, and it shall provide me with numerous opportunities that are invaluable to my growth, both as an academician and as a person. Without such a scholarship, I would be hard pressed to participate in the Economic Departmental Honors Program. The aid that the scholarship provides, has allowed me to go to focus on my studies much more intensively. Also, such assistance will allow me to search for an ideal place to being my career upon graduation from UCLA. Lastly, this scholarship will allow me to participate as a student-athlete during the winter on the UCLA Ski Team. All in all, the generosity of the benefactors of the Professor Harry Simons Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship has made these invaluable experiences possible. To them, and the Department of Economics at UCLA, I am grateful.

Liwen Tsai

2007 The Howard J. and Mitzi W. Green Scholarship Recipient

Biography: A fourth-year Business Economics major and Accounting minor, Liwen Tsai was born in Southern California, but spent four years of her childhood in Taiwan, where she became fluent and literate in Mandarin Chinese. Her previous travel experiences to different parts of Asia also helped to develop her career interests in the global economy to engage herself in both business and cultural exchanges with Pacific-rim countries. As a result, she also minors in Chinese as an extension of her interests in Asian languages and cultures. In 2005, she earned a scholarship to study at the Beijing Language and Culture University in China, where she expanded her horizons as she interacted with students from all over the world. Liwen’s first internship began at the Monterey Park Economic Development Center, where she worked alongside project managers of various developing ventures and participated in economic redevelopment projects of older commercial areas in the city. In 2006, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from East Los Angeles College before transferring as a UCLA Alumni Scholar. Since then she has been working at the UCLA East Asian Library. Currently she is also a tax intern at 20th Century Fox, where she is able to combine her interests in the media and entertainment industry with her knowledge in business and accounting. In addition, she has interned for two years with the Long Beach-Qingdao Sister City Association, an organization which promotes exchanges and cooperation between Long Beach and Qingdao (a port city on the northeastern Chinese coast). She has been managing the Association’s website and has gained valuable learning experiences about international relations and the import-export business community in Southern California.

Future Plans: After graduation, Liwen’s immediate goal is to work for a management consulting, investment banking or public accounting firm before pursuing an MBA. In the future, she plans to explore different fields and industries, and hopes to one day have the opportunity to work for either an international economic development agency or a global media/entertainment firm.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: I am extremely grateful to receive the Howard J. and Mitzi W. Green Scholarship. As a result of this scholarship, I will have less pressure to finance my education, therefore allowing me more time to focus on my academic and professional endeavors. This award serves not only as a source of financial support but also as a confirmation of my academic pursuits. Many thanks to both the Greens and to the UCLA Department of Economics.

Divya Sudhakar

2007 Patricia and Harry L. Bruce Endowed Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Divya is a third year Business-Economics major with a minor in Accounting. She is currently the head coordinator of UCLA VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program) and has been involved in the organization for the past two year. She is also involved in the USAC Facilities Commission and UBS. Divya has partaken in various research projects under the guidance of Professor McGarry for the past two years. Additionally, she is a grader for Professor Ravetch.

Future Plans: Divya will pursue an internship in the finance sector this coming summer. Upon graduation in 2009, she plans to obtain a few years of work experience before going to Business school to attain her MBA. Her interest lies in finance and she would like to build her career in this field.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Harry L. Bruce for awarding me the Patricia and Harry L. Bruce Endowed Scholarship. I am honored to be the recipient of this prestigious award. This scholarship will allow me to focus on my extra-curricular activities and academics while relieving me of my financial burden. I hope to use this opportunity to spend a greater amount of time making VITA more efficient in serving the Los Angeles community.

Brian Murray

2007 The Gumbiner Savett Inc. Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Brian Murray is a fourth year student majoring in Business Economics. He graduated with the class of 2004 from San Ramon High School in Danville, California. He will graduate in 2008 with a major in Business Economics and a minor in Accounting. Since coming to UCLA, Brian has worked as an intern with Sperry Van Ness, a nationwide commercial real estate company during which time he obtained his California Real Estate license. This summer he completed an internship with Price Waterhouse in their Advisory-Risk, Internal Audit, Compliance and Investigation Group. Since his freshman year Brian has been a member of UCLA’s Project Literacy program, which is a volunteer organization that provides tutoring and mentoring to underprivileged children. For the past two years he has been elected as the director of finance for the Project Literacy program and is responsible for preparing and presenting funding applications to obtain financial backing for the program. He has also worked since his sophomore year as a private tutor. Brian has been a member of UCLA’s club soccer tem and has been elected both team captain and president of the club over the past two years. He has maintained an overall grade point average of 3.75 while at UCLA and is a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

Future Plans: Brian Murray expects to complete his degree in Business Economics with a minor in Accounting by the spring of 2008. He has been offered a position with Price Waterhouse in their Advisory-Risk, Internal Audit, Compliance and Investigation Group at their Los Angeles office to begin in the summer of 2008. It is Brian’s plan to begin studying for his CPA examinations and GMAT exam before beginning work with Price Waterhouse. His long range plan is to return to graduate school and obtain his MBA and then return to work in the private sector.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: I am both extremely excited and grateful for having been chosen as the recipient of the Gumbiner, Savett, Inc. scholarship for the 2007-2008 academic year. The scholarship will allow me to not work during my last school year to UCLA while concentrating on my studies. I also plan to start studying for my CPA exams and the GMAT exam during 2007-2008 and the scholarship will also help ease the financial burden of studying for those exams without having to work while also completing my last year of studies at UCLA. As important as the monetary assistance that the scholarship provides me, the pride in having been chosen as the recipient is even more rewarding. I am both fortunate and proud at having been recognized by Gumbiner, Savett, Inc. as being worthy of this scholarship.