28 May 2019
Five Harvard Business School Students Win Dean’s Award for Service to the School and Society
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BOSTON—Neel Ghose, Lindsey Morrow, Amanda Tyson and Megan Williams, all members of the Harvard Business School (HBS) MBA Class of 2019, have been named recipients of the School’s Dean’s Award. Alexandra Feldberg, a graduating doctoral student in the field of organizational behavior, has been honored with the HBS Doctoral Program’s Dean’s Award.

These coveted and prestigious awards celebrate the extraordinary achievements of graduating students who during their years of study have also made a positive impact on Harvard, Harvard Business School, and/or broader communities. In addition, they have contributed to the well-being of society through exceptional acts of leadership. Nominations come from the HBS community, and Dean Nitin Nohria makes the final selections.

This year’s recipients will be formally recognized during Commencement Week. Information on their achievements follows:

Lindsey Morrow
Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva

Amanda Tyson and Lindsey Morrow

Tyson and Morrow are the outgoing co-presidents of the African American Student Union (AASU). In their roles they focused on building community among AASU members, across the broader HBS community and beyond. Over the course of the year, they collaborated with other student groups, students and the administration to address student concerns.

They had the distinct pleasure of being a part of AASU’s 50th anniversary celebration (AASU50) in 2018, where they were inspired by the AASU alumni and challenged to be agents of change. They leveraged the positive momentum of AASU50 to help deliver a very successful and well-regarded conference the following year.

They also showed true leadership in the face of crisis. After members of the AASU board received a threatening and hateful email, Tyson and Morrow led a community response rooted in unity, empathy, and mutual understanding. First, they focused on their members to ensure the black community felt supported and safe. Next, they focused on a broader community response, realizing that students across various backgrounds face similar situations. The event, which they called “Community Conversation,” had an immediate impact as students, faculty and staff came together to openly share their stories and show support for all marginalized groups on campus. During the event, Tyson and Morrow candidly shared their personal challenges and reactions to what happened, promoting more conversation. More importantly, this conversation set the stage for continued community engagement and awareness.

Amanda Tyson
Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva

“It was one of the most impactful conversations I’ve ever had,” Tyson noted. “I was amazed at how truly caring and optimistic the people of HBS were, and how they genuinely wanted to learn about the experiences of other people.”

As one faculty member commented, “Amanda and Lindsey are great exemplars of the leaders we hope to educate at HBS. They met a harmful threat with calm resolve and converted a crisis into a powerful learning opportunity for both students and faculty.”

Another faculty member added, “As AASU’s senior leaders, Amanda and Lindsey led the response to a vicious, violent threat that nobody should have to face. Their unique contribution was to turn that assault into an unforgettable culture-building moment for the HBS community. All with such calm, poise and clarity of purpose.”

“We’re action oriented people, and know that sometimes you can’t rely on others to create the world you want to live in,” Morrow said. “This is why we became AASU co-presidents, to use the time we had here at HBS to make change happen.”

For exceptional action that went far beyond their elected position, and the work they have done to continue important conversations for future HBS generations, Tyson and Morrow are 2019 Dean’s Award winners.

Neel Ghose
Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva

Neel Ghose

Ghose is the founder of The Robin Hood Army, a zero-funds organization that distributes surplus food from restaurants to the hungry in developing countries and has served 14.8 million meals across 133 cities.

"Forget profits, there is no money, office, or staff involved - we have built this through a passionate team and social media engagement,” Ghose said when discussing the program. “The Robin Hood Army is a simple platform of regular professionals, students and members of civil society that help in their free time, and make a real difference to their communities. Food is a medium through which the “Robins” hope to inspire and bring out the best of humanity."

Ghose brought his commitment to feeding the hungry to HBS, and during his time in the MBA program has increased his sectionmates’ awareness of the problem of global hunger. With the help of his classmates, the Robin Hood Army has been introduced into new countries including Indonesia, Nigeria, and Chile. Locally, he could be seen leading groups of students after section events to Harvard Square to deliver leftover food to homeless people in the area. One of Ghose’s classmates said of his impact on the community: “He is relentlessly optimistic, positive, and thoughtful and has offered valuable perspectives to all his fellow students here.”

He also displayed inspirational leadership while further developing his innovative platform model. One of the Robin Hood Army programs, the Robin Hood Academy, empowers thousands of Indian and Pakistani children who live on the streets with basic primary education, and helps the kids get admitted to local public schools. Education and food for all are two fundamental beliefs for Ghose and his Robins.

Another student added on Ghose, “He is a true motivator with a strong sense of moral responsibility and he inspires me, and several others to make sure that we create change in the world. If I think of HBS's mission, Neel epitomizes that perfectly.”

Through his work with the Robin Hood Army and Robin Hood Academy, and through his actions on campus to bring awareness to the hunger problem in all nations, Ghose has been an inspirational role model while at HBS and impacted the quality of life for many communities, making him a 2019 Dean’s Award winner.

Megan Williams
Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva

Megan Williams

Williams is an unsung hero who embodies the purpose of the Dean’s Award through her comportment, dedication to section and community, integrity and inspiration of others. She served as the Chief Community Officer (CCO) and Student Association’s liaison to the RC Community Values Representatives, the latter being a new position established this year by the Student Association. In her capacity as CCO she helped develop important cross-section community-building initiatives including Community MyTakes and the Eat & Engage small-group dinner program, which facilitated over 400 students sharing dinner and conversation in groups of eight or less.

“My goal has always been to try and bring as much humanity into our interactions as possible,” Williams said. “Some of the best conversations I had here were not classroom based but will still be with me for the rest of my life, impacting how I see problem sets. I feel like this kind of sharing in a social setting will help make us better leaders.”

She also served as Co-Chair of the Student Association Class Day Committee. In her role, she facilitated the selection process for the Class Day Student Speaker and Bridges Student Wisdom speakers; helped manage the Faculty Teaching Award process; and will serve as master of ceremonies for the event itself.

Williams’ impact on HBS extended much further beyond her official positions, as she improved the HBS community through a large number of small acts. Almost everyone on campus seems to have a “Meg” story. When a classmate was unable to return to campus for the spring semester of his first year, Williams worked with faculty to try to figure out a way he could participate in cases. She volunteered to act as this student’s surrogate in classes, making sure questions he wanted to ask could be answered. Another sectionmate remarked how Williams fostered a community of ideological inclusion as Community Values representative, allowing her to feel comfortable sharing her conservative-leaning political views.

Other Community Values representatives and Student Association officers talk about her willingness to pitch in wherever needed, her encouragement that allowed them to aim higher, and her selflessness. HBS staff who have worked with Williams echo these sentiments, with one noting, “Megan puts the needs of the organization ahead of herself and is fueled by her desire to do good, and her interest in leaving something valuable behind for future MBA classes. While for some the HBS experience can be challenging, Megan is here asking how we can make it better.”

“I have always tried to ask myself, ‘How can I build a foundation for the students and teams that come after me?’” Williams added. “How do we better help other generations instead of our own?”

HBS recognizes Williams as a Dean’s Award winner for 2019 because she embodies the spirit in which the award was created through her ability to lead without being in the spotlight and for serving as a personal example of trying to create a better community for all.

Alexandra Feldberg
Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva

Alexandra Feldberg Honored with Doctoral Programs Dean's Award

Through her research, Feldberg has sought to uncover how organizations can develop more inclusive approaches to managing and disseminating knowledge. At the heart of Feldberg’s research agenda is the desire to ameliorate traditional gender and racial disparities in the workplace and to understand how organizations can maximize the potential of all of their employees. During her time as a doctoral student in Organizational Behavior at HBS, as she conducted research on these topics across industries and settings—from the upper echelons of a global investment bank to the floor of a grocery chain to concierge desks of hotels nationwide, Feldberg still made time each day to help and mentor others within the Harvard community.

Within the Doctoral program, for three years she co-organized the Work, Organizations and Market seminar, a student-run seminar connecting students from HBS’s doctoral programs, Harvard’s Sociology department and other local institutions. Feldberg was also an active member of the HBS Doctoral Program Student Advisory Council between 2014 and 2017, bringing students' concerns and perspectives into doctoral program policies and practices. From 2014 to 2018 she served on the selection committee for The Wyss Doctoral Mentoring Award, granted to faculty with outstanding records of mentoring doctoral students. In 2018, she was granted the Wyss Award for Excellence in Doctoral Research for her research on the topics of gender, knowledge-transfer and discrimination within organizations.

Feldberg brought the same level of care when teaching and advising undergraduate students. Her dedication to those in the Sociology 170 section earned her the Bok Center Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, as well as accolades from her students, one of whom said, "Allie was probably the best teaching fellow I have had in my entire Harvard career. She is incredibly helpful and really cares that the students get engaged with the course material in a way that is interesting to and accessible for them. I have never before enjoyed a section as much or felt so invigorated afterwards."

“I really get my energy from being involved in the Harvard community and creating meaningful connections,” Feldberg said.

Each year, a small group of undergraduates is selected by HBS faculty to work on faculty research over the summer as part of the Program For Research In Markets & Organizations (PRIMO). The students come in as a cohort and often need basic training in research skills. To assist in this training, as well as help to build camaraderie within the cohort, Feldberg designed and annually taught an Excel course for the PRIMO fellows. The fellows also turned to her throughout the summer for additional direction and advice, which she willingly provided.

Feldberg has been the advisor on two undergraduate senior theses and for five years has served as a Resident Tutor in Lowell House, advising students on their career choices. In this role, she developed a career advising system (known as “career clusters” within the house) and chaired a committee that offers formal career guidance to undergraduate students. In recognition of her work with undergraduates, Feldberg received the John R. Marquand Award for Exceptional Advising & Counseling of Harvard Students, an honor reserved for three members of the Harvard community annually.

As one faculty member commented on Feldberg, “Allie is a consistent and generous contributor to the community at Harvard. She has a smile and a kind word for each person she interacts with -- every day, no matter what else she is working on.”

Feldberg will join the faculty of Harvard Business School as an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior Unit in July of 2019.

Contacts

Mark Cautela
mcautela+hbs.edu
617-495-5143