Graduate Management News

Willamette Wins the 2010 TeamMBA Institutional Award

Willamette University, Atkinson Graduate School of Management has been named the winner of the 2010 TeamMBA Institutional Award, the top honor in GMAC’s annual TeamMBA Awards. The announcement was made June 25 at the GMAC Annual Industry Conference in San Diego.

Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University, accepts the 2010 TeamMBA Institutional AwardDesiree Vorhees, admission counselor, left, Judy O’Neill, associate dean and director of admission, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University, accept the 2010 TeamMBA Institutional Award. 



Through the PACE (Practical Application for Careers and Enterprises) program,  Willamette’s MBA studies incorporate service and stewardship into the curriculum through experiential projects. All of the school’s first-year MBA students consult extensively with a non-profit or government enterprise. The experience provides a hands-on practicum in which students apply lessons from the classroom to real organizations, simultaneously helping their community and developing skills that will help in their careers. Recently, for example, three PACE teams designed and created social entrepreneurship ventures to help their clients maintain a sustainable income stream.

The Atkinson School’s curriculum also incorporates social responsibility through embedded content—on such topics as ethics, sustainability, social entrepreneurship, leadership, public/private partnerships, and conflict management—along with topic-focused courses and experiential learning activities that serve the greater good.

"The students we attract are really interested in social responsibility. They’ve done a lot of volunteer work," said Judy O'Neill, Atkinson's associate dean and director of admission. "Once they get started, the altruism comes out in everybody."

Past recipients of the honor include Vanderbilt University (2008) and Boston University (2009). Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business received the inaugural TeamMBA Award in 2007.

In addition to the institutional TeamMBA Award, six universities received 2010 TeamMBA Service Awards, which recognize service projects or activities that exemplify a commitment to social responsibility by graduate management education students:

  • Boston University, School of Management. Now in its 10th year, the school’s Link Day engages teams of MBA students and faculty to help Boston’s local nonprofit community solve mission-critical business challenges. Offering consulting expertise in marketing, finance, and technology, this student-run program provides services that might ordinarily cost tens of thousands of dollars to resource-strapped nonprofits. In 2010, some 60 MBA students helped 15 nonprofit organizations.
  • China Europe International Business School (CEIBS). This year, students at CEIBS formed an organization called the Community Outreach and Inclusion Network. COIN organized a large event, Children’s Month, to help children who have been affected by such social conditions as the devastating earthquake of 2008 or immigration policies that make it difficult for people from rural areas to emigrate to cities, or who have been orphaned due to work-related accidents or natural disasters. Students organized lessons for elementary students at a school in earthquake-stricken Beichuan; a field trip with migrant children to the Science & Technology Museum in Shanghai; teaching at the Jiuqian Migrant Children’s School; and a donation drive for an orphanage.
  • Clemson University, College of Business and Behavior Science. MBA students have partnered with the Triune Mercy Center, a homeless shelter and non-denominational church in Greenville, South Carolina. The students helped develop a computer lab at the center and teach computer skills there. A former MBA student helped purchase easels for Triune Mercy’s art room; a subsequent fundraiser grossed more than US$4,000 in sales of art produced in the center. The students also organize events to raise money and solicit donations of goods that can help the residents.
  • University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. During 2009-2010, students raised awareness and funds for a local non-profit, Neighborhood House, a multicultural center that serves refugees, immigrants, and youth. Full-time MBA students organized and ran a fund drive and charity auction, and also consulted pro-bono with the NPO. Carlson students gave 1,170 volunteer hours and collected nearly US$18,000 in donations for Neighborhood House.
  • University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School. The Wharton-RTP event is an annual spring service project that jointly engages the Wharton MBA community and Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, the local chapter of Rebuilding Together, a national non-profit that refurbishes houses of low-income homeowners. Every spring, 12 cohorts of about 70 Wharton MBA students each volunteer a total of 3,500 hours over four weekends to repair and refurbish homes in West Philadelphia. 
  • Wake Forest University, School of Business. The school’s Project Nicaragua is a student-initiated, student-led seminar, consulting, and microfinance initiative that began in the fall of 2006 to focus on poverty alleviation in Nicaragua. Twice a year, a group of some 18 students and two faculty members travel to Managua, Nicaragua, and the surrounding towns to teach seminars on MBA business principals to local entrepreneurs.
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