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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > Eller MBA Program Celebrates

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

Eller MBA Program Celebrates E-Classroom Graduates and Honors Alumni Achievement

December 14, 2001

The MBA Program at the Eller College of Business and Public Administration celebrated the first class to graduate from the program's E-Classroom MBA at a special dinner in McClelland Hall on December 14. Graduates are from Silicon Valley as well as the Tucson area. Alumni of the MBA Program were also honored for special achievement.

In 2000, the Eller College launched its first distance learning initiative connecting students in Silicon Valley to the UA campus in Tucson. All 26 graduates are working professionals who completed the 54 credit units program in two years.

The program uses TeleSuite Corporation's electronic classroom technology to teach classes simultaneously in both locations. The electronic classroom maintains the human connection and avoids the isolation that often accompanies online, Internet, or television-based programs. The dedicated T-1 line provides life-size, real-time interaction between the two sites.

"The graduates we honor tonight are visionaries who jumped into this new medium with us. They are technology-loving achievers who saw the potential of this new approach to education," said Carol Shuherk, Ph.D., Associate Dean and Director of the MBA Program.

The Eller MBA Program also presented six Alumni Achievement Awards for career success exemplifying the Eller values of enterprise, innovation and distinction:

Robert A. Elliott (MBA '84), owner of the Elliott Accounting Group in Tucson, played basketball as an undergraduate at UA and was a Collegiate Basketball All-American. Honored as a Tucson Father of the Year in 1997, Elliott is also a Fox Sports broadcaster.

Stephen A. Forte (MBA '83) is senior vice president of Flight Operations with United Airlines and received the U.S. Air Force Civilian Desert Storm Medal for Outstanding Achievement.

Mark B. Hoffman (MBA '79) is chairman of the board and CEO of Commerce One, one of the nation's leaders in e-commerce initiatives. Prior to Commerce One, Hoffman founded Sybase, Inc., which went from start-up to $1 billion in revenues in 12 years. Hoffman and his wife Susan contributed a million dollar gift to establish the Hoffman E-Commerce Lab at the Eller College.

Ann Pulez-Ocana (MBA '93) is vice president of marketing for Shamrock Foods. Puelz-Ocana is credited with helping Shamrock Foods to become number one in Arizona by re-imaging brands and developing new ones.

Guillermo (Bill) Quiroga (MBA '98) is the co-founder, president, and CEO of Native American Botanics and a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. He established an industry peopled by Native Americans growing traditional medicinal herbs "aeroponically" for use in dietary supplements sold in California and Arizona health food stores.

Kim Whitler (MBA '91) is vice president and general manager of Aurora Foods responsible for brands that include Van de Kamps, Ducan Hines, Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Paul's, Log Cabin Syrup, and Lender's Bagels. Prior to joining Aurora, Whitler was a brand manager at Procter and Gamble.

The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program No. 11 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program No. 48 in the U.S. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the No. 25-ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,800 undergraduate and 800 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and on its satellite campus in downtown Phoenix.

Press Contact:
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management

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