Berkeley Haas names 2020 Culture Fund Award Winners

The Here@Haas Podcast is one of seven Culture Fund Awardees.

For the second year in a row, Berkeley Haas awarded Culture Fund grants to students, faculty, and staff who’ve launched new initiatives that promote and celebrate the school’s four Defining Leadership Principles (DLPs).

The timing couldn’t be better, as this year marks the 10th anniversary of the DLPs: Question the Status Quo, Confidence without Attitude, Student Always, and Beyond Yourself.

The awards, which range from $1,000 to $5,000, are given to members of the Haas community who come up with new activities or projects that strengthen the school’s culture, can be implemented within the academic year, and have the potential to make a lasting impact on the school community, curriculum, or student experience.

“We’re thrilled to support our students, staff, and faculty who are going beyond themselves to drive our distinctive culture forward,” said Courtney Chandler, Haas’ chief strategy and operating officer. “We’re excited to see how these new initiatives will positively impact our community and beyond.”

Berkeley Haas’ Culture Champions—a group of faculty and staff who administer the awards—received 45 proposals, up from 29 the previous year, and awarded seven grants. 

Here are this year’s Culture Fund Award winners and initiatives:

  • Assoc. Prof. Adair Morse, Katherine Baird, and Lokilani Hunt, MBA 22 for Investing in Small Businesses. This initiative expands the work of Haas’ Sustainable and Impact Finance Program (SAIF), supporting faculty, MBA students, and staff who are helping small businesses survive amid the pandemic.
  • CRB Faculty Co-chair William Rosenzweig and Kenzo Esquivel, PhD 25 (Environmental Science) for Edible Education 101. This existing Haas course will now be offered online to the Haas community and public. It explores the future of food systems and how to create a more ethical and sustainable food system.
  • DEI Director Élida Bautista and Eileen Ung, MBA 21 for Training for leading constructive conversations on race-related topics. The award will be used to provide training to staff and MBA students who want to facilitate race-related conversations.
  • Christine Jan and Justin Li, both EWMBA 22 for Haas Hearts. This initiative builds on a summer project led by the EWMBA Association’s VPs of social impact. Similar to case competitions, students organize into teams and provide consulting services to nonprofit organizations that need help with a specific problem or project.
  • Paulina Lee, Ray Guan, Nick Gerwe, Aravind Mamidanna, Runjini Murthy, Navya Chitimireddy, (all EWMBA 22); Kyle Cook, EWMBA 21; Adam Ward, Dharmik Patel, (both EWMBA 23); Sean Li, EWMBA 20 for the Here@Haas Podcast. The podcast shares the stories and perspectives of current MBA students, faculty, and staff.
  • Asif Muhammad, Danill Puskin, and Varun Kumar, all MBA 21, for SocratiQ. The app aims to encourage civil and engaging conversations among Haas students who want to explore issues related to race, gender, identity, or any issue that may evoke strong emotions.
  • Roy Peryea, MBA 22, for Community Cleanup. This is a student-led organization whose mission is to remove trash and recyclables from Berkeley’s streets.

Culture fund grants are made possible by a group at Haas supporters who have donated more than $200,000 to keep the school’s Defining Leadership Principles strong.