Carl Nathe


College: Business and Economics

Gatton One-Year MBA Students to Graduate May 17

Published: May 16, 2013



LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 16, 2013) — The eighth class of the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics accelerated one-year MBA program will graduate in ceremonies at Memorial Hall on campus Friday morning, May 17.


The 78 students in this year's graduating class have undergone an immersive and intensive 11-month course of classroom instruction and discussion, combined with hands-on work on actual projects for a number of major companies through the program's Project Connect


Since the one-year program's first class graduated in 2006, a total of nearly 550 students have earned their MBA by successfully completing an innovative and challenging curriculum designed to prepare its new alumni to be 'world ready' from day one. The success stories emanating from the program continue to grow and spread over an ever-broadening footprint, starting right here in the Bluegrass.


Elizabeth Farrar completed the Gatton one-year MBA in 2007 and is now a planning analyst for OSRAM Sylvania Halogen Supply Chain in Winchester.  "The UK Gatton MBA program was a great experience," Farrar said recently. "I learned many lessons that have helped me in my career since graduation, including statistical analysis, LEAN manufacturing, and NPD Stage/Gate processes. The program is thorough and fast paced, and the education and friendships I gained will last a lifetime."


In 2011, former Keeneland executive Harvie Wilkinson took over the leadership of the Gatton MBA programs from Mary Lee Kerr, who successfully oversaw the implementation of the one-year program and guided it through its first six years.  Wilkinson, who also directs Gatton's Executive Education Center (EEC), finds working with the students and faculty in the MBA programs a stimulating experience. "The energy, the fresh ideas, and the inquisitiveness of the students is just terrific," Wilkinson said.  "And I know our faculty enjoy working with and being challenged by our MBA candidates.  The synergy is palpable."


Retired IBM executive Jim Potter has headed up Project Connect since the inception of the Gatton accelerated MBA, building corporate relationships which are mutually beneficial to the students and companies who participate.


Heath Towery, an operations engineer for Alltech, based in Nicholasville, is a 2011 graduate of the Gatton one-year MBA program, which followed his earning a chemical engineering degree in 2010.  "Two years into my career I have already worked on over $20 million in projects, including being the project manager for a yeast/ethanol recovery facility in south Georgia," Towery said. "To me there is no program that offers more value in the entire nation than the Gatton one-year MBA program."


Andy Reynolds is a certified financial planner at Boardman Wealth Planning, Inc. in Lexington.  He is a member of the Gatton One-Year MBA Class of 2009.  Reynolds said, "The accelerated Gatton MBA program provides an opportunity for motivated individuals to leverage their time with highly ranked educational modules, educators, and career-related experiences.  I enjoyed the fact that I was being taught  by some of the brightest, nationally renowned professors while obtaining hands-on experience from executives at globally renowned firms."


Pooja Talauliker, a project manager at Catalent Pharma Solutions in Winchester, credits Gatton's one-year MBA program with jump starting her career.  "The program helped me successfully complete the transition from an academic environment to the health care industry," said Talauliker, who earned her MBA in 2012. "I thoroughly enjoyed the fast-paced curriculum and engaging classroom discussions, as well as the chance to work on real-world business issues with seasoned company executives."


Another 2012 Gatton one-year MBA graduate, Alex Green, is effusive in his praise for the program. "Gatton's accelerated program challenged me to grow into the type of business leader that I would hire," said Green, now a purchasing specialist for Lexington-based Big Ass Fans.  "The stucture of the program is demanding, but overcoming these challenges helps you to distinguish yourself from the crowd. The Gatton MBA prepares its students with a competitive advantage to thrive in today's business world."


The Gatton College will welcome a new class of students for its one-year MBA program next month.


In addition to the one-year accelerated MBA, the Gatton College also offers the option of its well-regarded part-time evening MBA program.  Scottsville native Michelle Allen is an associate brand manager for Valvoline, part of Ashland Oil, and completed her MBA via the evening program in 2010, after graduating from Gatton in 2006 with a double major in accounting and finance.  "UK and the Gatton College provided me with a wonderful, broad-based educational experience, yet with a small, close-knit family feel," said Allen.  "Adding the MBA degree definitely opened up additional opportunities within my company and has helped me progress in my career."


Applications for the next class of Gatton's part-time evening MBA program are now being accepted with an application deadline of July 1. For more information, visit and click on MBA programs. You can also email the MBA office at, or call (859) 257-1306.




MEDIA CONTACTS:  Carl Nathe, (859) 257-3200,;

                     Michele Sparks, (859) 257-0040;


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