NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University students received monetary awards and scholarships — many donated by Nacogdoches-area financial institutions — during an April 19 ceremony.

Award and scholarship recipients were chosen by faculty members from the SFA Rusche College of Business’ Department of Economics and Finance.

“Students were selected based on their academic achievement in their coursework, engagement in research projects, participation in conferences, and pursuit of their future career goals — whether employment, entrepreneurship or graduate study,” said Dr. Mikhail Kouliavtsev, chair of the department. 

Nathan Hanzelka, finance senior from Eastland, received the Entrepreneurship Award, and Dan Nguyen, finance junior from Vietnam, received the Portfolio Management Award — both of which were sponsored by Buchanan Wealth Management.

Other achievement award recipients included Sergio Diaz-Montiel, finance senior from Lufkin, who received the Asset Liability Management Award sponsored by Citizens 1st Bank, and Tina Packard, finance and banking senior from Nacogdoches, who received the Financial Institutions Award sponsored by Cadence Bank.

The Economics Reading Group presented Alexander Ornelaz, sports business senior from McKinney, with the Economic Pursuits Award; Barret Williams, economics freshman from Wake Forest, North Carolina, with the Economic Interest Award; and Emily Herrell, social work senior from Arp, with the Economics Reading Group Officer Award. All three awards were sponsored by the Charles Koch Foundation.

The High-Ranking Economics Major Award, sponsored by the Charles Koch Foundation, went to Preston Sahs, Frisco senior. The High-Ranking Finance Junior and High-Ranking Finance Senior awards, both sponsored by Southside Bank, went to Robert Leslie of The Woodlands and Diaz-Montiel, respectively. Tom Nguyen, a junior from Vietnam, received the High-Ranking Banking Major Award from SFA’s Chadwick Family Banking Program.

Spencer Carmichael of Spring received the Outstanding Economics/Finance Graduate Award, and Ngoc Hoang, finance sophomore from Vietnam, and Salma Ben-Salah, economics exchange student from Tunisia, received the Undergraduate Scholar Award. All three awards were sponsored by the ECON 3339 Packet Fund.

The Dustin C. Harrison Memorial Scholarship was presented to Tristen Adams, finance senior from Lufkin. The scholarship benefits finance majors who display upstanding character and maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Harrison graduated summa cum laude from SFA in 2018 with a degree in finance and then worked as an analyst at Ayco Goldman Sachs in Dallas before his death in March 2021. Ronnie and Chloe Canaan-Chapman, both 2018 SFA graduates and friends of Harrison, established the scholarship. 

For more information on these awards and SFA’s Department of Economics and Finance, visit