2018 Hawes Scholars Announced

PROVO, Utah – Feb 20, 2018 – The Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business named ten MBA candidates 2018 Hawes Scholars, an honor that carries the highest distinction given to MBA students at the school and a cash award of $10,000.

“The Hawes Scholars are top second-year MBA students who not only perform outstandingly well academically but also build the program, lift fellow students, and personify the BYU Marriott MBA brand,” says Grant McQueen, MBA program director. “This is more than a reward for exceptional past performance, it is an investment in men and women of character that will pay consistent dividends in their professions, communities, churches, and homes.”

The 2018 Hawes Scholars are Sara Black, Zach Brough, Jared Fowler, Susannah Hertz, Mollie Hunt, Matt Phillips, Brady Richards, Mitch Ririe, Austin Strong, and Sam Silvester Swamynathan.

Students and faculty nominate and vote for 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 BYU Marriott’s nationally ranked MBA program. Mr. Hawes, a Baker Scholar from the Harvard Business School, and his wife wanted to create a tradition at BYU Marriott that recognizes and rewards excellence among students entering the business world. In addition to being widely recognized for his expertise in financial matters, Hawes has a reputation for integrity, hard work, and community service.

The BYU Marriott School of Business prepares men and women of faith, character, and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Named for benefactors J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott, the school is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. BYU Marriott has four graduate and ten undergraduate programs with an enrollment of approximately 3,300 students.

Sara Black is praised by her peers and professors for her tremendous contributions to the BYU Marriott MBA, including her service as chief student life officer in the MBA Association Executive Council. “I’ve loved the role I’ve played in student leadership and how it has given me a platform to serve and impact others around me,” Black says. “Over the past two years, I’ve learned so much about business and grown as an individual. I feel an increased ability to use my strengths and impact the world for good as I move forward with my career.” Before working on her MBA, Sara received her undergraduate degree in geography and travel and tourism studies from BYU. She has two and a half years of hotel operations management with Marriott Vacation Club under her belt and after she receives her MBA, Sara will work for Cisco Systems as an HR consultant within the HR leadership program. She hails from Oregon City, Oregon, and loves to travel.

Before his MBA experience, Zach Brough worked as a mechanical engineering consultant at Burns & McDonnell. Brough used his BYU mechanical engineering undergraduate degree to work on some of the largest solar power plants in the world. Currently, Brough is vice president of the MBA brand in the MBA Marketing Association and president of the Global Management Association. He is also an Eccles scholar recipient and an MBA sherpa. “The BYU Marriott MBA program has been a transformational experience for me,” Brough says. “I have enjoyed interacting with so many amazing men and women of faith, character, and ability, and I truly believe that the things I am learning here are preparing me to succeed in my career post-MBA.” After receiving his MBA, the Gilbert, Arizona, native will join Amazon as part of the retail leadership development program. Brough enjoys playing basketball, attending Broadway musicals, listening to audiobooks, and working on a YouTube channel with his wife. 

Jared Fowler is from Shelley, Idaho, and received his undergraduate degree in business management at BYU-Idaho. An avid golfer, Fowler has hit the links around Provo while also playing a variety of leadership roles in the MBA program, including director of Cougar Capital, president of the Graduate Finance Association, and vice president of the Strategy and Consulting Club. “The highlight of my time in the BYU Marriott MBA program has been the people. The relationships I have developed with my peers have made all of the difference,” Fowler says. “In these two short years, I have been built up by my peers and professors to become a much better man.” Last summer, Fowler was a senior associate intern at PwC, and after graduation, he will continue as a full-time employee at the company’s advisory practice in Dallas.

MBA classmates and professors describe Susannah Hertz as tenacious and confident. Prior to her MBA, the Salt Lake City native received her environmental science degree at BYU and then worked for three years as a risk analyst for Goldman Sachs. As an MBA student, Hertz has won a number of national case competitions, co-founded Kaizen Internal Consulting, and served as vice president of the Strategy and Consulting Club and of the Supply Chain and Operations Association. “Getting my MBA at BYU is the greatest decision I have made in my life,” Hertz says. “The program has challenged me to work my hardest and has unlocked potential that I otherwise wouldn’t have realized." When she isn’t busy with the MBA program, Hertz enjoys spending time with her family, playing soccer, and skiing the snow-capped slopes. After graduation, Hertz will work full-time as a senior consultant for Deloitte.  

Mollie Hunt graduated from BYU in 2007 with a degree in secondary biology education, then started her career as a biology teacher while also earning a master’s of education at UNLV. Now, Hunt serves as president of the MBAA and is a member of the MBA Marketing Association. After graduation, she will work for Amazon in the retail leadership development program. “I am grateful for the professional and leadership opportunities that I have had in this program,” Hunt says. “I am grateful for the spiritual strengthening I have gained in these two years in addition to my professional development, something that is unique to BYU. I hope to carry the mission of BYU with me in the future as I serve and influence those around me both, professionally and personally.” When she isn’t studying, the Aurora, Colorado, native enjoys trail running, traveling, and attending concerts. 

“The BYU Marriott MBA program has provided me with more opportunities, connections, and resources than I could have possibly taken advantage of,” says Matt Phillips. “The relationships I developed with classmates and faculty are the most valuable asset I will take away from the program.” During his time as an MBA student, Phillips has served as section president, president of the Strategy Consulting Club, and managing director of Cougar Capital. He is also the first BYU Marriott MBA student to receive a full-time offer from Boston Consulting Group, which he has accepted and will start after graduation. Phillips hails from Midvale, Utah. He graduated in 2011 from BYU in business management and enjoys reading, playing basketball, and skiing.

Brady Richards has more than ten years of management experience in the banking industry and received a bachelor’s in business management from BYU-Idaho in 2016. He is a board member of the Graduate Finance Association and serves as the finance track lead of the Sherpa program. “The BYU Marriott MBA has provided me an opportunity to associate with world-class business professionals who are committed to doing their best every day,” says Richards. “I am excited to represent them and the program in my future endeavors as I try to maximize the talents that the Lord has blessed me with.” The Sandy, Utah, native will work at American Family Insurance after graduation. When he isn’t busy with school and work, you may find Richards playing the guitar and sports.

“Education, people, and experiences are what brought me to the MBA, and they have been every ounce as great as I hoped,” says Boise, Idaho, native Mitchell Ririe. “While there are many memorable experiences, providing tutoring sessions and helping others achieve more has been the absolute highlight of my MBA experience.” Ririe serves as a finance Sherpa and as a finance research assistant. He is a recipient of the MBA Multiplier Award and the Charles and Gloria Pope Scholarship. Prior to his MBA and receiving his undergraduate degree in accounting from BYU-Idaho, Ririe worked for Zions Bancorporation and Walmart. After he receives his MBA, he will work for Walmart’s MBA E3 Finance program and hopes to build businesses in technology and social innovation. In his free time, Ririe enjoys being outdoors with his wife, Carrie, and their soon-to-be-five children.

As an undergraduate at BYU, Austin Strong studied manufacturing engineering technology, ranking in the top ten percent of his class. After graduating in 2013, the self-proclaimed bookworm, NBA fanatic, and foodie worked as a manufacturing engineer for Merit Medical Systems. As an MBA student, he placed first in ethical leadership and public speaking case competitions. He is also the managing director for Cougar Strategy and serves as a student mentor to incoming MBA students. “I’ve loved being surrounded by so many BYU Marriott MBA peers and mentors who are not only incredibly intelligent, interesting, and driven individuals but are also deeply good people who inspire me to live a better, more abundant life,” Strong says. After graduation, the Centerville, Utah, native will work for Deloitte as a senior consultant specializing in strategy and operations.

Sam Silvester Swamynathan hails from Bangalore, India. He received his bachelor of engineering at Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, a private university in India. After completing his undergraduate degree, Swamynathan worked at Infosys Technologies where he led a team of engineers in developing enterprise applications. Later he worked for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a facilities manager and material management supervisor. Swamynathan is a recipient of the Marriott Scholarship and the Eccles Scholar Award. His peers and professors express that he is the epitome of what one would imagine a BYU Marriott MBA student to be. “The MBA program has broadened my vision,” Swamynathan says. “I intend to take the learnings from here and create new changes in the world.” After graduation, he will begin full-time at Amazon as senior product manager. In his free time, he enjoys playing cricket and pencil sketching.

Hawes Scholars group photo
(Back, left to right) Susannah Hertz, Mitch Ririe, Jared Fowler, Matt Phillips, Brady Richards, Mollie Hunt, Austin Strong, Sam Silvester Swamynathan, (front left to right) Zach Brough, family representatives Holly and Steven Hawes, and Sara Black at the Hawes Scholar luncheon.

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Kelly Brunken