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Mercer Business Student Honored by Georgia Executive Women’s Network

October 15, 2008

Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

ATLANTA — Tavia Freshour, of Smyrna, a full-time student at Mercer University’s Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics on the Atlanta campus, was recently awarded the Georgia Executive Women’s Network Leader of Tomorrow scholarship.

Freshour, a mother of three, is working toward a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in marketing and international business. She also works full-time for the Coca-Cola Co. as an executive administrative assistant in the integrated marketing department. She maintains a 4.0 GPA and has made the Dean’s List each semester at Mercer.

Her stellar work, despite her hectic schedule, helped her to earn the scholarship, which is worth $3,000. The GEWN scholarship is designed specifically for nontraditional female students who have returned to college to finish their degrees. The committee looks for students who demonstrate success and leadership in work, school and in their community. The rigorous application process included an essay and an interview.

Robert Anservitz, an adjunct marketing professor who has taught Freshour in several courses, has been impressed with her.

“Having taught for decades, I have a strong basis of comparison when I note that Tavia is the best of the best,” Anservitz said. “She is remarkably bright, personable and creative. Not surprisingly, then, she is a joy to have in class and her work brings superlatives to mind every single time. She truly raised the bar in each business class we were in together.”

GEWN has scheduled the recognition ceremony, called their "eleventh annual Leader of Tomorrow Scholarship Luncheon," on Thursday at 103 Restaurant in Atlanta.

Freshour is a senior and will graduate this spring. She plans to apply for admission to an MBA program after graduation. She said that she has been motivated to earn an MBA for quite some time.

“I have been in business since 1996, so it was a natural decision for me to study business in college,” said Freshour, who is one of four recipients of the award. “But it was an 'all or nothing' choice for me. My goal, and commitment to myself, since day one has been to earn an MBA, no matter how long it takes. It's been a long road but I am looking forward to graduating this spring and starting the next phase of my academic and professional career.”
When debating where to pursue her business degree, Freshour said that choosing Mercer was an easy decision. “I picked Mercer for its flexible schedule, convenient campus locations and ideal class sizes,” she said. “I found out about Mercer through a co-worker at Coca-Cola who recommended it highly.”
In addition to the GEWN scholarship, Freshour is also a recipient of the HOPE scholarship and the Beta Gamma Sigma scholarship. She also spends time in volunteer activities, including working with the American Red Cross in the Louisiana Flood Relief Program and PAWS Atlanta.

Freshour is originally from Fargo, N.D., but went to high school in Metairie, La. She has lived in the Atlanta area for the past eight years. Freshour’s parents are Wayne Ystebo, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., and Marie McKneely, of Madisonville, La.

About the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics at Mercer:
Established in 1984, the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics has bachelor’s, MBA, Professional MBA, Executive MBA and Master of Accountancy programs. The School holds accreditation from the prestigious AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, considered the hallmark of excellence among the nation’s top business schools and placing it among the top 25 percent of all business schools in the world. For 2008, the Princeton Review recognized the School as No. 1 for “Greatest Opportunity for Women” and one of its “Best 290 Business Schools”

About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has more than 7,500 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah; three regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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