Outstanding business students persevere and succeed

As a mom, graduate student and full-time employee, Karyna Maraghi already had enough responsibilities last February when her Spring Meadows home was hit by a devastating fire as winter storms swept across Texas and caused power outages.

Karyna Maraghi

Maraghi was raising two young children while working full time and studying for her Strategic Master of Business Administration in accounting from the University of Houston-Victoria. She managed to recover from the tragedy and maintained her 4.0 GPA. She expressed gratitude to everyone who helped her through the difficult time, including UHV faculty members.

“My professors never left me behind,” she said. “They offered some help, even asking if I needed an extension of deadlines. It was very helpful just simply to feel that I was not standing alone in the field.”

Maraghi was chosen as the UHV School of Business Fall 2021 Outstanding Graduate Student. Oanh Ngo was named the Outstanding Undergraduate Student.

Each semester, professors from UHV’s three schools select outstanding graduates to be honored during commencement. UHV will hold three fall graduation ceremonies on Dec. 11 at the Leonard E. Merrell Center, 6301 S. Stadium Lane, in Katy. The ceremony for graduates of the School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development will be at 10 a.m., followed by the School of Arts & Sciences at 1 p.m. and the School of Business Administration at 4 p.m. A live-streaming broadcast of the ceremonies will be available at

Jifu Wang

“Karyna truly embodies what it means to be an outstanding student through her hard work, drive and persistence to receive her graduate degree,” said Jifu Wang, associate dean of the business school. “We wish her the best of luck in all her endeavors.”

Ngo looks forward to combining her background working as a commercial attorney in Vietnam with her newfound knowledge of accounting and finance from UHV.

“Oanh is a great student who works hard on assignments and is active in class,” said Jonathan Du, a UHV associate professor of accounting. “UHV is a great university with a devoted administration and staff and wonderful and engaging faculty. I feel honored to be linked with the university, and particularly its splendid students. Oanh is one of the reasons why many of our faculty want to serve the university and our students.”

Jonathan Du

Originally from Vietnam, Ngo now lives in Cypress and will graduate in December from UHV with a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting. She then plans to work for a firm while studying for the CPA exam.

“Thanks to many years of experience in a private equity fund and consulting firms in Vietnam, I believe that I can be successful in the accounting and finance area,” Ngo said.

Ngo became interested in accounting and finance while working as a lawyer for an investment fund in Vietnam.

Oanh Ngo

“I fell in love with accounting and finance. I love working financial scenarios, restructuring to come up with better financial solutions,” she said. “So when I moved to the United States in 2015, I decided to change my career.”

Maraghi, too, aspires to work in accounting. After she graduates in December, Maraghi, who originally immigrated from Belarus and now lives in Sugar Land, plans to study for the CPA exam and continue working.

Both students expressed appreciation for their professors’ support.

“I am so grateful to our professors who had patience with us, directed us with the right solutions and shaped us,” Maraghi said. “I’m not the same person as I used to be before the degree. My mindset is definitely different. I am a capable person, I believe in myself, and I believe that I’m going to contribute and give back to my community.”

Ngo emphasized UHV’s welcoming environment for mature students in particular. She already had 20 years of professional experience before joining the business program. A number of her peers also were in the middle of their careers when they decided to return to school. Going back to school mid-career seems to be more common and accepted in the United States, she said.

“It has created opportunities for me to learn and share experience, so I think UHV and the United States are good places for everyone,” she said.

Her key to succeeding in the program has been to meet regularly with her professors, she said.

“Connecting with the professor is a good way to reach your target,” she said.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.