Dean’s Scholarships Bring New Perspective to Evening & Weekend MBA Program

This year's entering class in the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program includes seven recipients of the new Dean’s Scholarship. The one-year, $10,000 scholarship is awarded to admits who best meet one or more of the following criteria: demonstrate a commitment to ethnic diversity or to shaping the role of women in business; diversify the program by bringing perspective from outside the Bay Area; or come from industries under-represented in the program.

The inaugural recipients are Dino Boukouris, Nicholas Caldwell, Ashkon Jafari, Brian Lee, Stephen Seiple, Eugene Shapiro, and Susan Truong, all MBA 15. They work in fields that include real estate, consumer packaged goods, financial services, defense, and entrepreneurship. Six of the seven came from outside the Bay Area and two of the seven received scholarships, in part, for their commitment to ethnic and/or gender diversity.

Nicholas Caldwell is a principal development manager at Microsoft in Seattle and commutes to Haas to attend classes on Saturdays. He has worked to promote diversity through his involvement with Blacks at Microsoft, Blacks at MIT, and the National Society of Black Engineers. Caldwell says his involvement in these organizations will allow him to attract “highly successful underrepresented minorities” to the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program.

Susan Truong, a lease contracting officer with the U.S. General Services Administration in Southern California, is pursuing her MBA to make a shift into management or transition into the private sector. “Coming from L.A., it was a difficult decision for me to choose Haas over UCLA and USC, especially since I would have to transfer to my SF office,” says Truong, “What drove my decision were the strong real estate, entrepreneurial, and consulting programs at Haas.” 

Truong has found that women are a minority in the commercial real estate industry and now serves as a mentor to new interns, as well as a role model, for her agency: She will be the first in her office to obtain both the CCIM (certified commercial investment member) and LEED-accredited professional designations to further her knowledge of the green buildings rating system. 

 “We are very pleased to have this new scholarship as a way to continue to build diversity in the program,” says Marjorie DeGraca, executive director of Part-time Berkeley MBA Admissions. DeGraca helped develop the new scholarships last year, which are named in honor of Dean Rich Lyons.

Other scholarships for students in the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program include the $10,000 Nonprofit/Public Service Scholarship, which facilitates access to the Berkeley MBA for students currently employed in the nonprofit or public service sector, and the need-based  $10,000 Ronald Shapansky Scholarship. For more information, visit