Marriott School Names 2011 Hawes Scholars

Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management has announced eight MBA students as its 2011 Hawes Scholars. The honor, which carries a cash award of $10,000, is the highest distinction given to MBA students at the school.

"Our students are known for their desire to accomplish great things, but not at the expense of others," says Craig Merrill, MBA program director. "We see this manifest in the way they serve each other. The Hawes Scholars are recognized by faculty and their classmates as excellent examples of personal achievement and service within the MBA program."

The 2011 Hawes Scholars are Benjamin Capell, from Orem; Edgar Cheney, from Rexburg, Idaho; Michael Christensen, from Leawood, Kan.; Brian Clegg, from Salt Lake City; Caio Correa, from São Paulo; Adam Cuppett, from Wilmington, Calif.; John Hancey, from Rexburg, Idaho; Kelsey Harris, from Kaysville, Utah; and Jennia Parkin, from Colorado Springs, Colo.

Students and faculty nominate and vote on each year's Hawes Scholars. Final selection is made by the Hawes Scholar Committee and is based on academic performance, leadership maturity and a commitment to high ethical standards.

Named for successful corporate executive Rodney A. Hawes Jr. and his wife, Beverly, the award was created in 1998 to recognize the accomplishments of graduating MBA students. 

The Hawes Scholar award is one of many initiatives made possible by the Hawes Endowment, a gift of more than $2 million used to facilitate the growth and enhancement of the Marriott School's nationally ranked MBA program. Mr. Hawes, a Baker Scholar from the Harvard Business School, and his wife wanted to create a tradition at the Marriott School that recognizes and rewards excellence among students entering the business world. He served as chairman and CEO of Life Re Corporation, a leading provider of life reinsurance in the United States. He is currently a director of the W.R. Berkley Corporation. In addition to being widely recognized for his expertise in financial matters, Hawes has a reputation for integrity, hard work and community service.

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. The school's mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School's graduate and undergraduate programs.

Hawes Scholars Bios

After earning an undergraduate degree in construction management, Adam Matthew Cuppett started building an even brighter future. By the end of his first year in the MBA program, he was elected MBA Student Association president based on his reputation for scholarship and service. Although busy with the responsibilities of husband and father, Cuppett finds time to serve his classmates by helping out with home repairs ranging from fixing broken windows to replacing water heaters. Cuppett will start his next project as a construction financial analyst at Intel Corporation this spring. "As the slogan says, at BYU we ‘enter to learn and go forth to serve.' I love that we have an opportunity to serve even while we are here as students," he says. "I cannot fully express my desire to someday repay what has been given to me as a student in the BYU MBA program."

Having gained a wealth of experience in the MBA program, Benjamin J. Capell of Orem is ready to get down to business. His hard work has landed him a promising career analyzing new investment opportunities at Peterson Ventures, a private equity fund. He has participated in several case competitions and serves as managing director of Cougar Capital, a student-run venture capital/private equity fund. When he's not making investment decisions, he enjoys basketball, golf, skiing and most importantly, spending time with his wife and three boys. Capell loves learning among classmates who live high ethical standards. "I see in my fellow students leaders who will make a difference in their places of work, in their communities and within their own homes," he says. "I am proud to be associated with such a group and anxious to see what we will accomplish both collectively and individually."

Although Michael Keith Christensen is a twin in a family of 11, he never has problems standing out in a crowd. A sports enthusiast, he lists completing the Kansas City Marathon as his crowning athletic achievement. He shares his OBHR skills by running the MBA Sherpa program, a peer-led mentoring group that helps first-year students secure internships. Christensen has twin boys of his own as well as two other children. He now embarks on a new journey as a human resources generalist with the Kellogg Company, feeling well prepared for responsibilities such as recruiting, employee relations and workforce planning. "I believe the Marriott School has provided a great training ground for acquiring life skills that will allow me to lift and lead those around me not only in a corporate setting but also perhaps most importantly, in my civic, religious and family responsibilities," Christensen says. 

After graduating magna cum laude from BYU – Idaho in organizational communications in 2006, Edgar Amilcar Cheney put his skills to the test working for the LDS church. As a performance management consultant, he developed both online and classroom trainings for thousands of managers worldwide. While pursuing an MBA, he has improved BYU's online organization by founding the BYU MBA blog and revamping the Sherpa website. Cheney treasures the lessons learned through his time at BYU and hopes to apply them not only in his new job at Microsoft Corporation but also in his role as a husband and father. "This program will forever be a hallowed place to me," Cheney says. "It is where I learned for myself that confidence comes from a higher being, how easy and rewarding it is to influence people, and that my God and my family will always come first."

Before business school, you could find Brian S. Clegg running around the rugby field as an undergrad in the BYU chemical engineering program. Although he remains active on the Cougar Rugby Foundation board of directors, Clegg now devotes most of his time to MBA matters. As president of the Silver Fund, he manages a student-run investment fund with about $1.5 million in assets. He also serves as vice president of professional development of the Graduate Finance Association. But above all, Clegg loves serving his family as a husband and father of three. He says that the MBA program taught him the leadership skills of a lifetime. "Student-run organizations provide hands-on working and leadership experiences," Clegg says. "BYU's relatively small setting is a perfect environment for these groups to flourish. By playing to its strengths, the MBA program offers students a fantastic platform from which to accelerate their careers."

Pergamo Penteado Correa grew up in São Paulo surrounded by supportive family members who encouraged him to explore new opportunities. He now enjoys that support from his wife, Denise, who stays home with their son while he pursues his MBA. "Without her, I wouldn't be able to achieve anything," he says. Correa spent more than three years developing and implementing marketing plans for Nestlé's extensive array of chocolate products. Within the MBA program, he represents international students as director of international affairs and serves as marketing track lead in the Sherpa program. Correa enjoys competing in case competitions. "Before every competition, I wondered if I had made the right decision to enter," he says. "But once I was there, there was nothing better. I love representing the school in those competitions!" Correa's goal is to represent BYU well at General Mills as an associate marketing manager before someday returning to Brazil.

John S. Hancey
worked tirelessly in the big city advising Fortune 500 companies at PricewaterhouseCoopers before returning to BYU for his MBA. While earning his degree, he juggles Cougar Capital involvement, Sherpa mentoring, TA work and family responsibilities as a husband and father of two boys. A second-year MBA student with an emphasis in finance, Hancey looks forward to working for Wells Fargo Securities as an associate within the consumer retail and healthcare industry coverage group. Within the MBA program, he has found his career path and some of his finest friends. "My MBA experience has been unbelievable — it has met all my expectations," Hancey says. "I have no doubt that years from now, I will look back on my decision to complete an MBA at BYU as the catalyst that changed my life's path in a way that I never could have expected."

Growing up as the only girl in a family of six brothers, Kelsey Jalene Harris learned about responsibility and leadership. These skills helped her excel as she completed an undergrad degree in humanities and then pursued an MBA. A world traveler, Harris spent eight months in Torino, Italy, as a team processing coordinator responsible for supervising international volunteers and providing support for Olympic athletes. During her MBA, her classmates elected her president of the Organizational Behavior Student Association as well as vice president of Women in Management. "I have seen myself and other students change through their participation in the Marriott School," Harris says. "I have always valued the diversity of thought and background we have here. My MBA experience has given me the motivation and direction to make a difference in the world." Harris will soon start her career in New York as a senior consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

An avid traveler, Jennia Elisabeth Parkin has explored the lands of Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Norway and Japan. But Parkin considers earning her MBA degree to be her greatest adventure yet. She has immersed herself in the program while serving as president of the MBA Marketing Association and working as a social entrepreneurship consulting intern in Ghana. She treasures her time spent among inspiring faculty and students. "I don't know if I will ever be in a situation again where I am surrounded daily by hundreds of tomorrow's spiritual and business leaders," Parkin says. "There is no other program like it. I feel like I am constantly filled, not only from an intellectual standpoint, but in all areas of my life." Having completed three separate degrees at BYU, Parkin feels prepared to start a sweet career with Nestlé as a marketing associate in their ice cream division this fall.



Media Contact: Joseph Ogden (801) 422-8938
Writer: Courtney Rieder Nielsen