Executive MBA program awards full tuition to non-profit leader

Karin Weaver, who created and runs a program bringing children’s playrooms to homeless shelters, wins annual non-profit scholarship.

Media Contact:
Ryan Underwood
Business Editor
Owen Graduate School of Management
Vanderbilt University
(615) 322-3469 | ryan.underwood@owen.vanderbilt.edu

May 21, 2012

Karin WeaverKarin Weaver, National Director of Bright Spaces®, a Bright Horizons Foundation for Children program that creates playroom spaces in homeless shelters, has been named this year’s recipient of a full-tuition sponsorship to the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management’s Executive MBA program.

The Owen School funds the award, which covers the full cost of the two-year tuition, and selects the winner in partnership with the Nashville Center for Nonprofit Management.

“With nearly 20 years of non-profit experience working to help those in need, Karin has both the professional background and the leadership experience that this scholarship was meant to support,” said Juli Bennett, who oversees Executive programs at Owen.

Bennett said the Executive MBA program will help Weaver augment her own managerial and operational skills, helping her make an even greater impact within key organizations like the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, the charitable arm of Massachusetts-based child care provider, Bright Horizons Family Solutions.

In her current role, Weaver has brokered partnerships between early childhood professionals, corporate sponsors, and community partners to build the Bright Spaces program from inception to more than 35 states and three countries. The program now serves more than 10,000 homeless children each month.

“Our Foundation, like many others in the nonprofit sector, is at the point of development where we are strategizing about how to collect good data and measure our effectiveness so that we can serve even more homeless children than we do now,” said Weaver, a Rhodes College graduate who worked for Habitat for Humanity in Nashville prior to Bright Horizons Foundation for Children.

“The scholarship could not have come at a more perfect time. Having access to the knowledge and expertise of Owen faculty and students will allow me to develop the analytical skills I need in order to help guide our growth. I am incredibly grateful and honored to have been chosen.”

Owen launched the sponsorship program under the leadership of Dean Jim Bradford in 2005 to recognize one deserving Middle Tennessee nonprofit executive each year. Applications are open to executives and senior staff members of any Middle Tennessee 501(c)(3) organization that have demonstrated a strong commitment to serving in the nonprofit sector.

A selection committee that includes representatives from the Owen Graduate School and Nashville’s Center for Nonprofit Management chooses the recipient from a pool of admitted applicants coming into the Executive MBA program. Requirements for admission include strong GMAT scores, a record of academic accomplishment, previous management experience, and a formal interview.

Past recipients of the award include Robyn Minton, former director of the YWCA’s Domestic Violence Service program; Michael McSurdy, vice president of program services for the Oasis Center; Mark McCaw, program administrator of Siloam Family Health Center; Beth Torres, vice president of events and funding development for Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee; Anderson Williams, director of consulting for the Oasis Center; and Julie Chupp, director of site development for Dispensary of Hope.

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