ANN ARBOR – Oct. 12, 2021 – Business+Impact (B+I) is pleased to announce that Nathan Alston (MBA ’22), J’Taime Lyons (MBA/MPP ’22), and Elizabeth Wallace (MBA/MS ’22) were chosen to receive the 2021-22 Skip and Carrie Gordon Scholarships for outstanding commitment to solving complex social challenges through their studies. These three recipients were chosen from over twenty-five applicants, and the announcement comes with a $5,000 award for each recipient. Each will serve as B+I Student Ambassadors for the full 2021-22 academic year.
Nathan Alston, MBA 2022
Nathan has leveraged his time in business school through leadership positions, the development of his own entrepreneurial venture, and building relationships through a variety of professional organizations. He currently serves as the Director of Marketing for both the Entertainment and Digital Media Club and Out for Business (the queer student organization on campus). These roles have allowed him to build community amongst his classmates and further develop his leadership skills. In addition, Nathan serves as an admissions ambassador, a member of the DEI committee, and a Wellness Chair. His venture Plucky Comics has allowed him to practice his leadership skills, in part at the Ross +Impact Studio. His goal has been for Plucky Comics to serve as a playground to make mistakes and develop his own leadership style. Lastly, during Nathan’s time at Ross, he has been selected to join both the Consortium and Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), professional organizations that are dedicated to supporting people of color who are interested in business school.
J’Taime Lyons, MBA/MPP 2022
Academically, courses such as Public Management, Business in Society, and Tax Policy have allowed J’Taime Lyons to learn more about the challenges of solving wicked problems. Outside of her academic experiences, she has used her Poverty Solutions graduate research assistantship, B+I’s Board Fellowship, and participation with the Zell Lurie Institute’s Dare to Dream Venture Shaping program to provide her with experiential learning experiences to build her skillset. Her first step in equipping herself for a career in impact was being a Board Fellow. J’Taime had the opportunity to work with the United Way of Washtenaw County in supporting their goals for increasing their public policy presence. This experience allowed her to see how nonprofits and foundations are tackling the systematic root causes for poverty. Simultaneously, she also participated in the Dare to Dream program. This program has allowed J’Taime to focus on developing a boutique social impact consulting firm. This has allowed her to do deep exploration in the pain points of organizations working to support children and families living in poverty. Following her first year, I went on to work on a nonprofit and local government strategy internship and apply my learnings directly to the social impact space. In her second year, she continued to work with her internship and also was able to work with a social impact startup, The William Julius Wilson Institute.
Elizabeth Wallace, MBA/MS 2022
At Ross, Elizabeth has leveraged many action-based learning opportunities to equip herself to deliver impact in Detroit upon graduation. This includes a year-long project through the Dow Sustainability Fellows program in partnership with EcoWorks in Detroit, the Sims Medal and Award from the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Under the guidance of Erb professor Sara Soderstrom, Elizabeth built a financial viability model and wrote several grant applications for Intertwined Family Foundation on the East Side of Detroit. She also executed a consultative project for the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network’s (DBCFSN) planned Detroit People’s Food Co-op. Through MAP Elizabeth worked with Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. Her internships have also focused on impact-oriented work and were made possible through funding from Business+Impact and the Erb Institute. These included the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the City of Detroit’s Office of Sustainability, where she is continuing to work part time during the school year. Outside of these activities, she is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and am working to increase the representation of underrepresented minorities on campus, and she is in the DEI Certificate program and a member of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. She has also been a mentor as part of the Detroit Revitalization and Business Club’s Detroit high school mentorship program. She is working to integrate Erb specific engagement in tandem with UpClose to attract more diverse candidates to the largest joint degree program at Ross.
Business+Impact is proud of all three winners, their aspirations, and all that they have already accomplished.