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More than 3,600 miles separate Kentucky and Ireland, but an Eastern Kentucky University business professor and one of her recent star pupils bridged the gap and raised EKU’s profile on the Emerald Isle recently.

Dr. Marcel Robles, a professor in EKU’s School of Business, and Tyler Swafford, a May 2017 EKU graduate and Mitchell Scholar presently studying at University College Dublin, collaborated as co-presenters and co-authors for the proceedings at the International Association for Business Communications Conference, for which Robles is first vice president, in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.

In Fall 2016, Swafford, then also the starting quarterback for the EKU Colonels, became the first Mitchell Scholar from any public institution of higher learning in Kentucky in the nearly 20-year history of the program. A few months later, he became one of only 57 nationally to receive the prestigious Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship and the fifth Eastern student in the past eight years to earn the honor.

“My ABC colleagues were so impressed with Tyler’s research and presentation skills, business content knowledge, professionalism and poise,” Robles said. “He truly helped us give EKU Business an international name in in an international business association.”

Swafford received a scholarship from the association to attend the conference, and an additional $400.

“As an EKU alum, Tyler has continued to make EKU proud,” Robles said. “Definitely on the road to success with the ‘world as his oyster,’ Tyler is the epitome of an EKU graduate.”

After completing his studies as a Mitchell Scholar in Ireland, Swafford is deciding between law school and a master’s of business administration degree, possibly at EKU, as his next step.

In addition to his perfect 4.0 GPA as a globalization and international affairs major, along with his business minor, at EKU, Swafford was selected to present his Honors thesis, a comparative study on the development of democracy in Eastern Europe, at the 31st Annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research. He also received an Outstanding Witness Award as a member of EKU’s mock trial team at the 2017 American Mock Trial Association National Championship Qualifier Tournament. Eastern went on to finish 15th in the national event. He capped his years on the Richmond campus by serving as a student commencement speaker for the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences.