Two VSB Students Selected as Poets&Quants 2024 Best & Brightest Business Majors

 Christian Lee ’24 VSB and Elizabeth Vaughn ’24 VSB

Villanova, PA, April 30, 2024 – Two Villanova School of Business (VSB) students – Christian Lee ’24 VSB and Elizabeth Vaughn ’24 VSB – were selected as Poets&Quants 100 Best & Brightest Undergraduate Business Majors of 2024. Poets&Quants honors 100 senior students from the Top 50 undergraduate business programs each year whose infectious energy and unrelenting commitment to personal growth position them to be future leaders of the business world. 

Christian Lee ’24 VSB

Hailing from Colts Neck, NJ, Christian Lee is an Accounting major and Management Information Systems minor. This first-generation college student has built a comprehensive resume during his time at Villanova University, serving as chair of business school operations for VSB Dean’s Undergraduate Student Advisory Council, on the executive boards of both Villanova Accounting Society and VSB Ambassadors, and as a member of the Villanova Korean Student Association. Christian was also inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honors Society and awarded the Andrew J. Markey Merit Scholarship, a coveted award for VSB students with exceptional academic achievement, leadership and community service.

Christian credits his success to hard work and determination: “I am most proud of being the first person in my family to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in the United States. My family made many sacrifices to get me to where I am today, and I am so grateful to have been the first person to accomplish this achievement.” Throughout the past four years, Christian has interned at KPMG twice as an Embark Scholar intern and as a deal advisory financial due diligence intern, and at Blackstone as a real estate finance summer analyst. He will be joining PwC this summer as a management consulting intern and returning to Villanova this fall as a Master of Accounting with Data Analytics full-time student and graduate fellow. 

Laura L. Iacona, assistant professor of practice, Accounting & Information Systems, applauds Christian for his willingness to learn, adaptability, and participation. She said, “Christian possesses all of the characteristics a professor looks for in a student. He is a standout in the classroom which is noticed not only by the professors but by his peers as well. Currently, Christian serves as my teaching assistant and his input has been invaluable. I knew he wouldn’t be satisfied with just helping me out with grading and I also knew that would be a colossal waste of his abilities. He is working on developing practice problems, reworking assignments and exams, and identifying opportunities, from a student’s perspective, for improvement in my lectures and class plans. I look forward to seeing what else Christian will contribute to Villanova in his time with us. We are fortunate to have him.”

Elizabeth Vaughn ’24 VSB

Presidential Scholar and NCAA Division 1 Cross Country and Track and Field athlete, Elizabeth Vaughn is an Applied Quantitative Finance major and Mathematics minor from Dayton, Ohio. She has made a lasting impact during her four years at Villanova University as a student athlete, president of the Society of Women in Financial Training (SWIFT), executive chair of Villanova Presidential Scholars Program, committee leader of the VSB Dean’s Undergraduate Student Advisory Council, student representative on OPUS Prize Oversight Committee, Villanova University Board of Trustees investment committee member and Villanova Student Government Association senator,, and member of Wildcat Fund, M&A Society, and Villanova Investing Academy. Elizabeth learned the importance of teamwork and leadership during her time at VSB, “knowing that we’ve developed more than just technical skills makes me even more excited to jump into the professional world and further hone these skills.”

In addition to being a leader across campus, Elizabeth was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honors Society, placed first in both the 2023 Villanova University Social Impact Case Competition and the 2024 Villanova University Ignite Change Case Competition, completed Girls Who Invest’s Online Intensive Program, and earned Academic Director’s Honor Roll and Dean’s List all semesters. During her summers, she interned at New Mountain Capital as a credit analyst and at Bank of America as a financial sponsors group investment banking summer analyst. After graduation, Elizabeth will be joining Alvarez and Marsal’s Advancing and Cultivating Emerging Leaders program as a corporate performance improvement analyst.

Shelly Howton, PhD, professor, Finance and chair, Finance & Real Estate, said, “Elizabeth is a truly impressive woman who is at the top of her class at Villanova University. She is an Applied Quantitative Finance major with a 3.99 GPA, a member of the Big East All-Academic Team, and a Big East Outdoor Track Team Champion. Elizabeth has succeeded at the highest levels and continues to be a leader in the Class of 2024. In her four years at Villanova, she has distinguished herself as a strong advocate for women especially in the finance industry. In her role as president of SWIFT, a student-led organization for Women in Finance, Elizabeth mentors women and helps provide them with the confidence and networking skills necessary to be successful in the industry. Her willingness to serve VSB and Villanova in any capacity needed is especially impressive as she does so while participating in both cross country and track and field as a Division-1 athlete.” 

“We are excited to celebrate Elizabeth and Christian and recognize them for their many achievements and lasting impacts on VSB,” said Wen Mao, PhD, The Helen and William O’Toole Dean of VSB. “We look forward to following their successes after graduation as they become business leaders for a better world. Congratulations to you both!”

The Villanova School of Business (VSB) undergraduate program is top-ranked among business schools in the nation. Its online graduate business programs are ranked #28, and its part-time MBA program is ranked #25 by U.S. News and World Report. VSB has been at the forefront of business education since it was founded in 1922. Serving over 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students, VSB is home to five Centers of Excellence – the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate, the Elenore and Robert F. Moran Sr. Center for Global Leadership, the Center for Business Analytics, the Center for Marketing & Consumer Insights and the Center for Church Management – with each designed to foster innovative, cross-disciplinary research and applied opportunities for students. VSB is known for academic rigor; creativity and innovation; hands-on and service learning opportunities; a firm grounding in ethics; and an applied education that prepares students to become outstanding leaders and global citizens within the ever-changing, complex, and fast-paced world of business. For more, visit

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