by Sarah Small
In December, Kevin Blaha, senior in Finance with a concentration in Real Estate, was honored with a scholarship from the Chicago chapter of the Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® (SIOR).
With this award, Blaha becomes a part of a legacy of ILLINOIS students who have received this scholarship in the past years. Since 1984, the Chicago chapter of SIOR has provided 58 students with $92,000 in scholarship money, and $52,000 of that money has gone to ILLINOIS students.
“The scholarship that I received was to promote individuals working towards a real estate profession,” Blaha said. “It was also to help spread the SIOR name.”
Roger Canady, associate professor emeritus, helped create the scholarship in 1984 and was SIOR’s special guest at the December luncheon for scholarship recipients.
For the scholarship application, students needed to write two essays, one that explained work experience in the real estate industry and another that showed their leadership skills. Roy Splansky, an alumnus who graduated in 1985 with a degree in Finance and concentration in Real Estate, served as chair of the scholarship committee and reviewed the essays of applicants. This year he said he saw a new trend that students also addressed the importance of financial assistance in their essays.
“In addition to why they chose real estate as a career, the essays I received this year all included how important the financial aid helps to defray the cost of school,” Splansky said.
To commemorate his accomplishment, Blaha’s name will be added to a plaque that hangs outside the Office of Real Estate Research; each student on the plaque is recognized as the “Outstanding Undergraduate Real Estate Student” for the year he or she received the scholarship.
“I have never received a scholarship before and I know it was an honor for both me and my family,” Blaha said. “I have always had a passion for real estate and clearly it is obvious to others.”
Awarded to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Outstanding Real Estate Students
By Chicago Chapter, Society of Industrial and Office Realtors
Name of Student Academic Year of Award Amount of Award
Kevin J. Blaha 2009-2010 $3,000
Adil A. Lakhani 2008-2009 $3,000
Alan I. Lagunov 2007-2008 $2,500
Peter A. Foran 2006-2007 $2,000
Kristin L. Bellanca 2005-2006 $2,000
Michael C. Brown 2004-2005 $2,000
Lindsey K. Bernaix 2002-2003 $1,000
David K. Brodsky 2002-2003 $ 500
Judy F. Shen 2002-2003 $ 500
Brant T. Miller 2001-2002 $1,000
Andrew M. Mouw (Gr.) 2001-2002 $1,000
Katie E. Donovan 2000-2001 $1,000
Robert G. Keleghan 2000-2001 $1,000
Matthew A. Graham (Gr.) 2000-2001 $2,000
Marius W. Andreasen 1999-2000 $2,000
Amy L. Coffman (Gr.) 1999-2000 $1,000
Kenneth Gorski (Gr.) 1999-2000 $1,000
Mark G. Zimmerman 1998-1999 $3,000
Carolyn A. Dehring (Gr.) 1998-1999 $1,500
Jeffrey B. Stanish (Gr.) 1998-1999 $1,500
Jeffrey S. Grzeskowiak 1997-1998 $ 750
Patrick M. Murray 1997-1998 $ 750
Robert Brightly 1996-1997 $ 500
Daniel A. Deuter 1996-1997 $ 500
Jody L. Garbisch 1996-1997 $ 500
Megan K. Quinn 1995-1996 $1,500
Sara A. Armstrong 1994-1995 $ 500
Jamie K. Bukvich 1994-1995 $ 500
Sherie L. Yearton 1994-1995 $ 500
Ron M. Berman 1993-1994 $ 750
Kelly L. Cooper 1993-1994 $ 750
Craig R. Hewerdine 1992-1993 $1,500
Jennifer L. Dick 1991-1992 $1,000
Russell D. Long 1991-1992 $ 500
Lisa M. Ludwig 1990-1991 $ 500
Christopher D. Tierney 1990-1991 $1,000
Anna S. Kwan 1989-1990 $1,500
Todd H. Casper 1988-1989 $1,000
James M. Hanson 1988-1989 $ 500
Amy Bajadek 1987-1988 $1,500
Patricia A. Kungie 1986-1987 $1,500
Fabio G. Baum 1985-1986 $1,500
Edmund W. McMahon 1984-1985 $ 500
Total Awarded $52, 500
NOTE: The above were all undergraduate students at the time except where (Gr.) follows the name for the years 1998-1999 to 2001-2002. Those were graduate students at the time.
The undergraduate students are on one plaque with the heading, “Outstanding Undergraduate Real Estate Student”. The graduate students are on a separate plaque with the heading, “Outstanding Graduate Student in Real Estate”.