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Outstanding Graduate May 2018: Hannah Evo

Ferris State UniversityBeing adaptable, inquisitive and flexible has presented plenty of opportunities for Hannah Evo, as the Fenton native prepares to graduate Summa Cum Laude from Ferris State University on Saturday, May 5, with her Bachelor of Science in Marketing.

As the daughter of two Ferris alumni, Evo grew up keenly interested in the university, but thought at times there was little chance she would pursue her education in Big Rapids.

“I was competing in basketball, where my abilities were drawing interest from other schools, though much of that changed after I injured an anterior cruciate ligament,” Evo said. “Some time later, Ferris’ coach, Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate, called and asked that I consider joining her program. I was glad, because I had always wanted to come here.”

The ability to adapt was beneficial for Evo, as her sophomore and junior seasons were curtailed by injuries. Coming into the 2017-18 season, Ferris Coach Kendra Faustin asked Evo to serve as a student coach, which gave her new perspective on athletics and managing her time.

“I was glad to be able to stay involved since I have always loved playing basketball,” Evo said. “It has been a great benefit being able to see the game from the coaches’ room, to consider all the organization that is involved. Coach Faustin has really been able to grow the women’s program, which allowed us to defeat a nationally-ranked team like Michigan Tech, on their court, in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference playoffs. That was a great win for our program.”

Keeping an open mind about career pursuits has also proven to be a positive attribute for Evo.

“I have always enjoyed drawing, having done portraits for a number of people, so I was considering a career in advertising, maybe taking up illustration,” Evo said. “My father, Matt, has made his living in medical device sales, and after hearing what he had to say about the business, I decided to pursue marketing.”

Matt Evo was a four-year letter winner as part of the Bulldog hockey team, a senior on the first Ferris team to advance to Joe Louis Arena for the Central College Hockey Association semifinals, in 1991. He graduated with a degree in Business. Hannah’s mother, Nicole, transferred to Ferris and graduated from the Marketing program that same year.

Evo has been a Dean’s List student in each term she has been on campus and also served as the sales representative for the Ferris State Torch, in affiliation with the Pioneer Group Newspapers in Big Rapids. Hannah said her recent mix of athletics, academics and work pursuits have helped her to grow as a person and prepare for life after graduation.

“I have been very lucky to be able to take part in so many things and I would recommend to any athlete that they follow their passions, if it is at all possible,” Evo said. “There are so many lessons and opportunities that develop. My experiences have been brought up by recruiters during my job interviews, and it was clear that they respected the efforts and time investment I made as an athlete. The advertising sales work has certainly helped me meet the costs of my education, without having to pursue student loans. That experience has also benefited me as I pursued internships and moved toward my career goals.”

Evo’s recent summers have also been full of activity, as she interned close to home, in 2016, for Diplomat Pharmacy, in Flint. In 2017, the chance to directly approach medical device sales with the Stryker Corporation, in Kalamazoo, brought even greater opportunities.

“I was welcomed as a team member, joining elite staff in what they described as disruptive innovation,” Evo said. “We are asked to think in broad strokes about Stryker’s processes and the company’s market approach. That allowed me to have my work closely examined and demonstrate my abilities. The company brought me a job offer at the conclusion of my internship. It has been great to have just what I wanted to pursue there before me. It certainly was a relief to make that choice before what has been a busy senior year.”

Evo will fit in one more twist, spending a month in Europe before starting her career with Stryker.

“It will kind of give me a chance to decompress after all that I have been doing in the last couple of years,” she said. “My parents are excited and proud, though they could have accepted a different path than the one I have now completed. To get the chance to enter the field I had chosen, graduating from their school, I think they’re very excited by that.”

Evo also paused to consider the many things her efforts have brought her, which means reaching a point of departure, and greater change.

“It is definitely bittersweet to think about reaching the end of many things that have been part of each day here,” Evo said. “I certainly will miss being in Big Rapids, but am also excited by the new routines and challenges to come in my career.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Hannah Evo, a member of the Ferris State University’s women’s basketball program as a player and later a student assistant coach, is preparing to graduate Summa Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, from the College of Business on Saturday, May 5 in Big Rapids.