Junior Achievement VP awarded full tuition to Vanderbilt’s Executive MBA Program
Annual sponsorship honors exceptional nonprofit leaders
Senior Public Affairs Officer
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Jun 30, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Beth Torres, vice president of events and funding development for Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee, is this year’s recipient of a full tuition sponsorship to the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management Executive MBA program. The award is financed by Owen and a winner is chosen through a partnership with the Center for Nonprofit Management.
Owen and the Center for Nonprofit Management launched the program in 2005 to recognize one deserving Middle Tennessee nonprofit executive annually. The sponsorship is open to executives and senior staff members of any Middle Tennessee 501(c) 3 organization who have demonstrated commitment to serving in the nonprofit sector. It covers the full tuition of the 24-month Vanderbilt Executive MBA program.
After working almost a decade in sports marketing with Reebok International, Torres said she decided to jump into the nonprofit sector because she wanted to make more of a personal impact on the world. She said Junior Achievement is the perfect fit because it allows her to help others while staying entrenched in the business world.
“Ensuring that young people have the opportunity to understand business from various perspectives, giving them an opportunity to realize their passions and empowering them to find their own success-- that's what really motivates me,” said Torres.
Torres has been interested in the Owen Executive MBA program for several years, which she said makes the sponsorship even more ideal.
“Beth’s enthusiasm for her work at Junior Achievement, combined with her business savvy will make her an excellent Owen student,” said Jim Bradford, dean of the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management. “It is candidates like Beth that make this annual sponsorship so worthwhile.”
“Beth has strong quantitative proficiency and a wonderful blend of corporate-turned-nonprofit experience, with a real demonstrated commitment to nonprofit as her dream path,” said Tami Fassinger, associate dean of executive programs at Owen.
Torres said that this degree will not only enhance her ability to help young people, but also strengthen the connections Junior Achievement has to the business community and to greater Nashville.
“The sponsorship that Owen and the Center for Nonprofit Management provide is an unbelievable gift,” said Torres. “Strong nonprofit organizations, like Junior Achievement, create connections in the community. That makes our community and our country stronger.”
Torres and all the candidates for the sponsorship met the rigorous standards set for students admitted into Owen’s EMBA program. Before applying for the tuition sponsorship, the candidates took the GMAT, provided transcripts and went through the application and interview process. Those admitted to the EMBA program were then considered for the tuition sponsorship by a selection committee.
“We are grateful to Vanderbilt for making this sponsorship available,” said Lewis Lavine, president of the Center for Nonprofit Management. “These nonprofit EMBA graduates will make a major contribution to the charitable community through their caring attitudes and new sets of skills.”
Past recipients of the tuition sponsorship include Robyn Minton, former director of the YWCA’s Domestic Violence Services program, Michael McSurdy, vice president of program services for the Oasis Center, and Mark McCaw, program administrator of Siloam Family Health Center.
The Center for Nonprofit Management is an organization committed to helping advance Middle Tennessee nonprofits by providing education, consulting, research, performance evaluation and recognition. The center was established 23 years ago and currently has more than 600 member agencies.
The Executive MBA program at Owen is considered one of the worlds’ premier programs. The Vanderbilt EMBA program, which began more than 30 years ago, recently amended its schedule to accommodate the intense work schedules of rising executives. The program now meets on the Vanderbilt campus on alternate Saturdays, so professionals can earn their degrees without interrupting their careers.
“We are thrilled that this sponsorship brings together Vanderbilt and the greater-Nashville community,” said Bradford.
Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management is ranked as a top institution by BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times and Forbes. For more information about Owen, visit www.owen.vanderbilt.edu.