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2021 awardees

The Consortium Recognizes Thought Leaders, Champions of Corporate Diversity with 2021 Awards

Every year, The Consortium recognizes individuals and organizations that embody its mission, with several awards. In 2021, the following honorees set themselves apart by demonstrating courageous leadership, championing corporate diversity, giving back to their communities and advancing the goal of equal opportunity in management. 

Rebekah Lewin
Sterling H. Schoen Achievement Award

Rebekah LewinEstablished in honor of The Consortium’s founder, Dr. Sterling H. Schoen, this award recognizes individuals for their courageous leadership and commitment to advancing the goal of equal opportunity for underrepresented minorities in American business. In 2021, The Consortium bestowed this award on Rebekah Lewin, sr. assistant dean of admissions and programs at the University of Rochester Simon Business School. She is also a long-standing member of The Consortium’s Board of Trustees, most recently serving as vice chair.

“The Sterling H. Schoen Achievement Award is particularly meaningful to me. The University of Rochester Simon Business School was the fourth school to join The Consortium, and we have been proud partners for more than 50 years,” says Lewin. “This award not only reflects my professional commitment to diversity and inclusion in education and in business, but also my own personal values. After working at Simon for more than 20 years and implementing initiatives that focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, we were recently ranked the most diverse MBA program among the top 50 schools rated by U.S. News & World Report. I am deeply grateful to The Consortium for its efforts and for recognizing the value in mine.”

Demian Caponi
Peter C. Thorp Corporate Leadership Award

In honor of The Consortium’s longest-serving Corporate Advisory Board chairman and board member, the Peter C. Thorp Corporate Leadership Award recognizes individuals who, among other things, demonstrate financial support of MBA fellowships, leadership as a corporate champion of diversity and support of innovative approaches to solving problems related to equal employment opportunity. In 2021, The Consortium recognized Google’s MBA Outreach and DEI Partnerships Program Manager Demian Caponi with this award.

“One of the tenets of the Peter C. Thorp Corporate Leadership Award revolves around a commitment to advancing the goal of equal opportunity and access to higher education for underrepresented minorities in America. For the past decade and a half, I have committed myself to working with underrepresented groups, expanding access across all levels of education and sharing my work and best practices with others,” Caponi says. “It means a lot to me that The Consortium has recognized my efforts in this manner.”

Dr. William Woodson
Wallace L. Jones Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award

William WoodsonNamed for the man who contributed many years of service to The Consortium and touched the lives of thousands of students, the Wallace L. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award honors an alum who, among other things, has demonstrated a commitment to community involvement, mentoring, giving back and inspiring future leaders. Dr. William Woodson, an alumnus of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, was recognized as the 2021 recipient of this award.

“I was floored and humbled beyond belief by this honor. For a Consortium alum, being recognized in this fashion is like being told you’ve won an Emmy, an Oscar and a Grammy all on the same day,” says Woodson, who currently serves as dean of the Office of Outreach and Inclusive Excellence and chief diversity officer at New College of Florida. “I had the pleasure of knowing Wally Jones, a man I found remarkable for his combination of warmth, enthusiasm and commitment to minority business education. I was present when the award was first announced, and I was present when William Mays, Leroy Nunnery and Peter Aranda were recognized with this honor. The notion that one day I might be counted among these amazingly accomplished honorees seemed highly improbable.”

Kendrick Vaughn
Phyllis Scott Buford Young Visionary Award

Kendrick VaughnThe Consortium’s third leader, Dr. Phyllis Scott Buford, is known for modernizing the organization’s annual Orientation Program (OP), expanding collaboration with corporate partners and exposing diverse young leaders to more opportunities through OP. This award recognizes young alumni who are leaders in action — who demonstrate vision, collaboration and creativity in driving diversity and inclusion in their professional lives. The 2021 honoree is Kendrick Vaughn, a Consortium alumnus from the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business.

“It was very humbling to receive the Phyllis Scott Buford Young Visionary Award,” says Vaughn, who serves as director of Apex at BreakLine Education, a role in which he provides education and coaching for high-performing professionals from under-selected demographics who are interested in entering the tech industry. “The Consortium is a truly special community filled with alumni rolling up their sleeves to make the world a better place. This very much feels like a team recognition. Over the years, I’ve been blessed to work with visionary leaders, teams and organizations such as the United States Military Academy and BreakLine Education. These organizations truly understand the generational impact that creating pipelines of opportunity for people from historically marginalized backgrounds can have. Being able to contribute to society in this capacity continues to be the most rewarding chapter of my career.”  

Dr. Ella L.J. Bell Smith
Earl Hill Jr. Faculty Achievement and Diversity Leadership Award

Dr. SmithEstablished in May 2019 in honor of past Consortium board member and faculty member at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, the Earl Hill Jr. Faculty Achievement and Diversity Leadership Award recognizes outstanding academic and professional leadership on campus and to the community beyond the boundaries of the university. In 2021, The Consortium recognized Dr. Ella L.J. Bell Smith, a professor of business administration at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. She is also the founder and president of Ascent: Leading Global Women to the Top, an organization committed to professional development and career advancement.

“I have long been an admirer of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. The organization has single handedly changed the racial and ethnic makeup of the student population in management education. So, when I received an email from Janice Wells-White informing me that I am the recipient of [this award], I was totally taken by surprise but also so very honored,” Smith says. “I have done all I could do to integrate diversity into my teaching, to demonstrate leadership as an African American woman by walking in my true self and by pushing, plotting and encouraging the institutions I work at to embrace both diversity and inclusion. Thank you, Consortium, for acknowledging my work and for ‘seeing’ me. You have no idea how much this award means to me.”

Liberty Mutual Insurance
Consortium Pacesetter Award

Established in June 2017, the Corporate Pacesetter Award recognizes a Consortium corporate partner that demonstrates dedication to the organization’s mission through extraordinary collaboration with Consortium constituents. Through communication, innovation and focus, the recipient of the Pacesetter Award sets the standard for effective leadership in promoting diversity in corporate leadership. In 2021, The Consortium recognized Liberty Mutual Insurance with this award.

Maura Quinn“At Liberty Mutual, diversity is about all of us, and this recognition reinforces our commitment to recognizing, appreciating and applying the unique insights and backgrounds of each person to cultivate an atmosphere of trust and respect,” says Maura Quinn, assistant vice president of campus recruiting and DEI programs at Liberty Mutual. “Our University Diversity Equity and Inclusion Program team is dedicated to building meaningful and authentic relationships with Consortium members to ensure we can be effective in attracting, advancing and retaining talent of all backgrounds. By offering executive mentorship, professional development support and career opportunities, we’ll continue to make partnerships like Consortium a priority for continued growth in diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Wallace L. Jones Fellowship Award

Established in the name of The Consortium’s second CEO, the Wallace L. Jones Fellowship Award is a scholarship that is given to a student at each member school annually based on their achievements and demonstrated commitment to The Consortium’s mission. 2021 recipients include: Ramiro Flores Turrubiates, Sofia Jimenez, Kendall Williams, Vanessa Nwaokocha, Edwin Aguilar, Julian Smith, Lem-Marie Chizungu, Natalia Corredor, Samsondeen Bakare Korodo, Brittany Fidalgo, Maian Adams, William Edmond, Courtney Lanza, Katherine Kouot, Getaneh Samuel Mekonen, Minnie Lahoti, Rocio Arellano, Justin Matthews, Theodore “Theo” Prime and Susan Jean Gordon Reed.

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