Graduating Senior Highlights Need for Equality in Corporate America

Garrett Voge’s honors thesis analyzed stock market returns to see if institutional investors value LGBTQ progressive policies differently than the common investor. His research generated awareness of the need for changes between corporate America and the LGBTQ community.
May 3, 2013
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This feature is part of a multi-story series previewing UA commencement May 10-11. The ceremony for undergraduates and master's degree candidates will be held May 10 in Arizona Stadium. The doctoral ceremony will be held May 11 in Centennial Hall.

Tucson native Garrett Voge will graduate from the University of Arizona on May 10 with a bachelor's degree in accounting, with honors, and in management information systems – a program ranked No. 3 in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

"My double major with MIS has allowed me to better understand the information technology behind corporate America," said Voge, who will be honored with a Robert Logan Nugent Medal, which recognizes well-rounded individuals whose contributions through co-curricular and community activities and leadership have had a positive impact on the University and surrounding community.

"The MIS program has exposed me to many different digital communication devices, data security measures and an overview of the importance of databases for everyday functions of businesses. The faculty have been knowledgeable and helpful throughout my entire experience," he said. "In my future, my MIS degree will help me to better understand the inner working of a company and help me to be a vital link between managers and technology specialists."

Voge's thesis analyzed stock market returns to see whether institutional investors valued LGBTQ progressive policies differently than the common investor. His research and attendance at the Out for Undergraduate Business Conference in New York City made him aware of needed changes between corporate America and the LGBTQ community.

"There is much debate about if using firm resources to become more inclusive of the LGBTQ community enhances firm value or not. Thus, I examined whether different types of investors valued LGBTQ inclusive policies in the workplace differently and are consequently the reason for this ambiguity," Voge said. "I hope that my study as well as many others from prior research help to paint the picture that equality in the workplace is paramount, no matter your race, gender, religion or sexual orientation."

Voge believes that being tolerant of diversity is a step in the right direction, but it will take years to fully embrace it.

"Unique people bring unique ideas that will ultimately set us apart from other in the future," he said. "As for innovation, in order to stay competitive, we need to focus on education at a young age and foster an environment where new solutions for old and new problems are encouraged."

During his time at the UA, he participated in the Freshman Class Council, or FCC, of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, or ASUA, and the Freshman Fee Advisory Board. He also served on the Spring Fling business staff, and he was director of operations for the Yuma Hall Council.

His sophomore year, Voge was elected as one of 10 student body senators, representing 38,000 students in committees across campus and voicing student opinions on key issues.

His junior year, Voge became the FCC director, in charge of mentoring 49 first-year students. He was ASUA community development co-director, and he headed the ASUA Youth Basketball and Cheer League, giving 250 Tucson children a chance to learn about sportsmanship and higher education.

Voge was vice president of recruitment and president of Eller Ambassadors. At the Eller College of Management, he was a member of Eller Leadership in Excellence and Training, an Undergraduate Office social media intern and a member of the Order of the Sage and Silver Society.

Demonstrating scholarship, leadership and service, Voge was selected as a member the Mortar Board senior honors society and elected as an E-Board officer. Voge also was in Sophos Sophomore Honorary and Chain Gang Junior Honorary.  

Voge was a McCord Scholarship recipient and attended the Eller London Internship Program. He has been awarded the William Barrett Senior Award for Eller, the Dean's List of Distinction, the Diversity Jobs National Scholarship and the Laura and Arch Brown Honors Scholarship.

This year, Voge worked as a desk assistant for Residence Life and an audit intern for Heinfeld, Meech & Co. After winning the 2011 UA PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PwC, UA Case Competition and completing an externship with the firm last summer, Voge was offered a summer internship with PwC in San Francisco.

He plans to join the UA Master of Accounting program in the fall and sit for the CPA exam before starting his career in public accounting.

Voge would like to thank his parents, sister, friends, Ms. Frizzle (cat) and all of his extended UA family.