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Three Michigan Ross MBAs Receive 2021-22 Skip and Carrie Gordon Scholarships for Their Outstanding Commitment to Impact


Three Full-Time MBA students from the Ross School of Business were recently announced as the recipients of the 2021-22 Skip and Carrie Gordon Scholarships.

Those Michigan Ross students — Nathan Alston, MBA ’22; J’Taime Lyons, MBA/MPP ’22; and Elizabeth Wallace, MBA/MS ’22 — were chosen based on their outstanding commitment to addressing complex social challenges through their studies. 

These three recipients were chosen from over 25 applicants, and the announcement comes with a $5,000 award for each recipient. In addition, each will serve as a student ambassador for the Business+Impact initiative at Michigan Ross for the 2021-22 academic year.

Meet the Skip and Carrie Gordon Scholarship recipients

Nathan Alston, MBA ’22

Alston has leveraged his time in business school at Michigan Ross 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. These roles have allowed him to build community among his classmates and further develop his leadership skills. In addition, Alston 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 Michigan 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 Alston’s time at Ross, he has been selected to join both the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management and Management Leadership for Tomorrow, which are professional organizations dedicated to supporting people of color who are interested in business school. 

The Gordon Scholarship is such an honor that will help me make the most of my time in business school. With these funds, I’m traveling to Paris, France as an exchange student at HEC Paris. This scholarship will allow me to embed culture and language study into my business education. The study of culture is essential in my work as an artist and in my comic book startup. I’m immensely thankful for this scholarship.

Nathan Alston, MBA ’22

J’Taime Lyons, MBA/MPP ’22

Academically, courses such as Public Management, Business in Society, and Tax Policy have allowed 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 program, and participation in the Zell Lurie Institute’s Dare to Dream Venture Shaping program to provide her with experiential learning experiences to build her skills. 

Lyons’ first step in equipping herself for a career in impact was being a Board Fellow. In this role, she 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 Lyons to focus on developing a boutique social impact consulting firm. This has allowed her to do deep exploration of the pain points of organizations working to support children and families living in poverty. 

Following her first year, Lyons went on to work on a nonprofit and local government strategy internship and applied her 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.

I am very appreciative to be a recipient of the Gordon Scholarship. I chose Michigan Ross because I wanted a career in impact, and being able to cover living expenses and reduce student loan debt helps support me in making that goal a reality.

J’Taime Lyons, MBA/MPP ’22

Elizabeth Wallace, MBA/MS ’22

At Michigan Ross, Wallace has leveraged many action-based learning opportunities to equip herself to deliver impact in Detroit upon graduation. This includes a yearlong project through the Dow Sustainability Fellows program in partnership with EcoWorks in Detroit. Under the guidance of Erb Institute Professor Sara Soderstrom, Wallace built a financial viability model and wrote several grant applications for the Intertwined Family Foundation on the east side of Detroit. She also executed a consultative project for the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network’s planned Detroit People’s Food Co-op. 

Through MAP, Wallace 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 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, Wallace is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and is working to increase the representation of underrepresented minorities on campus. She is in the DEI Certificate program and a member of the Consortium. 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.

It is an honor to be selected for the Gordon Scholarship alongside two peers I greatly admire. This scholarship will help me make the most out of my graduate education focused on impact and support my living expenses in my final semester. Pursuing a dual degree comes with a big price tag, and with the support of scholarships like this one, I am able to reduce my debt burden coming out of school. This is really impactful for me, so that I can confidently transition to the nonprofit or local government space able to make ends meet after grad school, rather than feeling obligated work in the corporate setting in order to pay off my school loans.

Elizabeth Wallace, MBA/MS ’22

Learn more about scholarships at Michigan Ross