Atanasovski, Alazmeh, Tao earn top Ilitch School student awards

The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business has announced the 2016 recipients of its top student awards. Alex Atanasovski and Salma Alazmeh will take home Outstanding Student Awards, and Tao Tao has earned the Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key Award. The trio — along with winners of the Ilitch School's signature awards for alumni and friends, scholarship recipients, the yet-to-be-named Inspirational Teacher Award winner — will be honored at the Annual Recognition and Awards Program on Thursday, Aug. 25, at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.

Alex Atanasovski

Alex Atanasovski is an academic achiever and future business leader. A 2016 Mike Ilitch School of Business graduate with a B.S. in accounting, he is currently pursuing his master’s in taxation. In addition, he is a member of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma. He is honored as a co-recipient of the Outstanding Student Award.

During his junior year, Atanasovski served as the president of the Beta Alpha Psi Accounting Honors Organization, and served as treasurer the year prior. During his tenure at Beta Alpha Psi, the Wayne State chapter attained both “Distinguished Chapter” and “Superior Chapter” status.

“Some of my most memorable experiences in the business school were being involved in Beta Alpha Psi. I made many friends through my involvement in that organization, which made going through the accounting program more enjoyable,” Atanasovski said.

Atanasovski is president of the Wayne State University Macedonian-American Student Association and board member at-large of the Generation M Youth Initiative of the United Macedonian Diaspora. He is also the treasurer on his local board of education.

During his senior year, Atanasovski was a tax intern at accounting firm Plante Moran, where he was responsible for completing various client individual, trust, partnership, corporate and international federal income tax returns. After graduating with his master’s, he plans to work as a certified public accountant at Plante Moran.

Salma Alazmeh

Salma Alazmeh is an extraordinary leader who is passionate about volunteering and education. With a bachelor’s degree in economics from Damascus University, Alazmeh came to the Mike Ilitch School of Business because of its diversity and AACSB accreditation. With a GPA of 3.93, she graduated magna cum laude in 2016 with an M.B.A. concentrated in accounting and finance. She is honored as a co-recipient of the Outstanding Student Award. 

In Syria, Alazmeh worked for a charity that helped children attend school and go on to universities. She brought that passion to aid educational endeavors to Detroit, and searched for volunteer opportunities at WSU.

In 2014, Alazmeh became president of volunteers of the Helping Individuals Go Higher (HIGH) Program, which was established in 2013 by Wayne State First Lady Jacqueline Wilson. The program’s goal is to help homeless, precariously housed and financially challenged students achieve their goal of earning a WSU degree. In addition to her work with the HIGH program, she also interned with DTE Energy and is a member of WSU’s Muslim Students Association.

“I feel more confident in my abilities and obligated to continue giving back to the community around me and make a critical impact on the world. I will keep volunteering for different significant organizations with amazing causes such as the HIGH Program and will be an active alumna to support business students at WSU with all the resources and knowledge I have gained here,” Alazmeh said. 

Alazmeh plans to stay in the United States and is looking for a job in accounting, finance or data analytics in an organization that will foster her abilities and provide access to professional mentors. She is also preparing for the CPA exam.

Tao Tao

Tao Tao, a recent global supply chain graduate, is an academic achiever and future business leader. He is recognized as the recipient of the Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key Award, which is presented to the graduating student with the highest cumulative grade point average in the Mike Ilitch School of Business.

Originally from China, Tao transferred to WSU from Macomb Community College. After transferring, he found that the business school organized many events for students to gain more experience out of the classroom, where he gained familiarity with the automotive industry. Additionally, he went on a study abroad trip with 12 other WSU students within the business school, where he learned about differences between business models in the United States and Europe.

Tao held a prestigious internship with Faurecia Interior Systems, where he worked directly with the supply chain manager and assisted in the oversight of 12 plants across the United States and Mexico. During his time at Faurecia, he was able to work with big companies like the Automotive Industry Action Group and GM.

Tao recently accepted a full-time position with Toyota Motors where he will be a purchasing buyer specialist at their Saline Tech Center.

“This award will remind me that I need to keep working hard at Toyota. Eventually, I want to make sure that I can be a star employee at Toyota and a role model for future WSU students,” Tao said.