2020-2021 School of Business Department of Economics Award Winners

April 28, 2021 - VCU School of Business

School of Business, Student of the Year
Maddie (Mary) Berghuis

Maddie is receiving a dual degree in Economics and Finance. She has achieved a high standard of excellence both in and out of the classroom, with an outstanding GPA and an exceptional record outside of coursework. Maddie was a member of the VCU Fed Challenge Team and was selected for and completed four internships. She has also served the Department of Economics as a teaching assistant for ECON 210. Maddie has served in leadership roles in several student organizations, including President of Business Student Ambassadors, and Treasurer of Alpha Phi Omega. In 2020, she was selected as a Sizemore Scholarship recipient.

Humanities & Sciences, Student of the Year
Niranjana A. Harikrishnan

A double major in Economics and Political Science, Niranjana has demonstrated excellence in the classroom and beyond.  She combines an outstanding GPA with extraordinary service to VCU and the community. Niranjana was a member of the VCU Fed Challenge Team, is President of Heroes at VCU and UNICEF at VCU, and senior advisor for the H&S Leadership Council. She has served the community as an intern for US Senator Tim Kaine and the Virginia Council on Women and Virginia Asian Advisory Board through the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and won the Department of Economics H&S Distinguished Service Award in 2020.

School of Business, Distinguished Service Award
Michael Portillo

Michael has a strong academic record and an exemplary history of service to the VCU and Richmond communities. He has served the Department of Economics as a teaching assistant and research assistant. Michael has also served as VP of the VCU Student Economics Association and helped re-charter the VCU chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon national economics honors society. He has served the community with the Ampersand Pantry Project, providing necessities to the Richmond communities heavily impacted by the pandemic. Additionally, he has volunteered with undocumented students in Richmond’s ESL classrooms. After graduation, Michael will begin his career with the US State Department.