On a recent trip to visit extended family, Cjala Surratt ’22, founder of the Black Citizens Brigade, was presented with a gift—her late grandmother’s boiler room jacket. Surratt’s grandmother had been a ship-fitter in Norfolk, Virginia, and the clothing item…
Whitman School Announces Partnership with National Black MBA Association
The Martin J. Whitman School of Management has announced a new partnership with the National Black MBA Association as part of the first installment of the NBMBAA Collegiate Partnership Program. The program aims to increase awareness and facilitate access to graduate and business education programs in professional fields across the country. Whitman is one of a dozen diamond-level partners nationally.
The NBMBAA was founded in 1970 to help African Americans coming into the corporate sector, largely for the first time, share experiences and insights to help make their careers and career paths easier. According to Alex McKelvie, associate dean for undergraduate and full-time master’s programs for the Whitman School, the organization’s partnership includes the following:
- The Whitman School has committed to awarding at least two merit-based scholarships to NBMBAA member students.
- The school must ensure that at least 25 students are NBMBAA members.
- The school will hold an NBMBAA event on campus every academic year.
- The school will send a case competition team to the annual National Black MBA Conference and Exposition.
Whitman hopes the partnership will help increase the diversity of the Whitman School community.
“We need to build and grow our ability to attract, recruit and yield fantastic students,” says McKelvie. “Having a diverse classroom enriches the conversation and allows people to challenge their perspectives and think about things in new ways. Diversity in thinking and backgrounds is one of the most important factors for innovation and peak performance. Whitman graduates will need to master working together in a world of accelerating change.”
In addition to the new partnership with NBMBAA, the Whitman School also has a local chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), a professional organization of minority accountants that today is open to all students.
“Many people are unaware that NABA welcomes members of all races, but that is key to the organization’s ability to bring business students together in a positive, learning and networking environment,” says Professor Kofi Appiah Okyere, NABA faculty advisor. “Together, all members seek to ‘lift as we climb,’ helping each other become successful business people.”
The Whitman School also embraces its international student population, many of whom are also of color, celebrating their heritage, culture and more at annual events.