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Globally Focused MBA Students Receive 2014 Eccles Scholars Award

The Kay and Yvonne Whitmore Global Management Center at Brigham Young University recently named 14 first-year MBA candidates as Eccles Scholars and awarded each recipient $9,000 to aid with schooling costs, international projects and global career exploration.

“We hope these students will be ambassadors for both BYU and the Marriott School,” says Erv Black, Whitmore Center director. “This award gives them opportunities to see what international business is like and will help them jump-start their international careers.”

Eccles Recipients

The 2014 Eccles Scholars are Joshua Baker, from Stevensville, Mont.; Boubacar Barry, from Conakry, Guinea; Minting “Christine” Chen, from Guangzhou, China; Stephanie Conran, from Half Moon Bay, Calif.; Landon Davis, from Highland, Utah; Ryan Hanson, from Shelly, Idaho; Daniel Hass, from Renton, Wash.; Candace Jones, from Kingwood, Texas; Alex Bang-Jian Liu, from Taichung, Taiwan; Nathan Mortenson, from Tempe, Ariz.; James Pace, from Manila, Philippines; John Peterson, from Draper, Utah; Chetan Prasad, from Chennai, India; and Travis Sabin, from Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

A committee of faculty members interviewed 49 applicants and selected the top 14 candidates. The award winners were chosen based on their international business expertise and experience, second-language fluency, GPA, GMAT score and desire to further their careers in international business ventures.

The Eccles Scholars Award is funded by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. The foundation was created in 1960 to ensure that the Eccles’ philanthropic work would continue beyond their lifetimes. The foundation supports many projects and programs, particularly in education, at nearly every college and university campus throughout the state of Utah.

“It means so much to BYU, the MBA program and the Global Management Center to have the support of the Eccles Foundation,” Black says. “It helps to develop students who will be active participants in global business.

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.

Eccles Scholars Bios

Joshua Baker

Joshua Baker comes to the MBA program after four years at ARUP Laboratories in Salt Lake City. From Stevensville, Mont., Baker’s interest in international business began when his family hosted foreign exchange students from Brazil, Japan and Thailand while he was in high school. Baker will intern with Caterpillar this summer in its global purchasing department. “I feel privileged to be selected as an Eccles Scholar,” Baker says. “The generosity of the Eccles’ family has inspired me to be more giving and to look for ways to contribute to the success of others.”

Boubacar Barry

Boubacar Barry is from Conakry, Guinea, and spent his childhood between the West African nation and the United States. He earned his undergrad in communications from BYU in 2005. Prior to the MBA program, he worked in numerous positions, including project coordinator, telecom consultant, and translator. Barry will intern this summer with GE Healthcare. “The BYU MBA experience is second to none,” Barry says. “The Eccles award is a great way to help me represent the Marriott School on the international stage.”

Minting “Christine” Chen

Minting “Christine” Chen hails from Guangzhou, China. Before coming to the MBA program, Chen spent 18 years with Procter & Gamble in China, eventually becoming the group purchasing manager at corporate headquarters. She will intern with Dell Computers in Austin, Texas, this summer. “I’ve taken to heart BYU’s motto, ‘Enter to learn, go forth to serve,’” Chen says. “There is no bigger joy than serving those in need. The Eccles award will only help with this.”

Stephanie Conran

Stephanie Conran spent eight years working for a private engineering consulting firm before beginning the MBA program. The native of Half Moon Bay, Calif., also spent time as a glass blowing instructor and artist, building and repairing stained glass windows for several LDS temples. Conran will be interning this summer with The Walt Disney Company in Glendale, California. “I am grateful to the Eccles Foundation for investing in me with this award,” Conran says. “I have a strong desire to serve throughout the world and this will help me to do that.”

Landon Davis

Landon Davis came to the MBA program after working as brand manager for American Biotech Labs, a start-up company. Davis was born in Ogden, Utah, and grew up in Washington state. He then returned to Utah for high school. The father of four is currently involved in the MBA Marketing Association and Sherpa program at the Marriott School. Davis will intern with Johnson & Johnson this summer in Pennsylvania. “Being an Eccles Scholar magnifies the responsibility for me to not only go forth to serve but to do so internationally,” Davis says.

Ryan Hanson

Ryan Hanson is a native of Shelley, Idaho. He turned down the opportunity to begin medical school a year ago to enter BYU’s MBA program and hasn’t looked back. Hanson will intern with 3M Health Care this summer and hopes to provide innovative solutions for international issues. “I came to the MBA program knowing I was making a big change in my career path,” Hanson says. “Being part of this program has surpassed all of my expectations. I’m truly grateful for the generosity of the Eccles Foundation.”

Danny Hass

Danny Hass, from Renton, Wash., developed a taste for international business after his two-year LDS mission to the Dominican Republic. That interest continued to grow as he learned about different cultures and gained unique perspectives from his daily interactions with Latin American customers as a global account manager for Boeing. With a focus in marketing, Hass will intern this summer with Nestlé Purina. “Thanks to the Eccles award, I will travel to Asia this spring,” Hass says. “I plan to work overseas and manage international brands in the future.”

Candace Jones

Candace Jones is a travel enthusiast from Kingwood, Texas. After earning her undergraduate degree, Jones worked for National Instruments, where she assisted in opening a Costa Rican branch before joining the global operations department. She’ll be heading to Seattle this summer for an internship with Cummins Northwest. “This award has made it possible for me to take advantage of the MBA Asia trip and will allow me to gain international experience for a lifelong international career,” Jones says.

Alex Bang-Jian Liu

Alex Bang-Jian Liu grew up in Taiwan and received his bachelor’s degree from National Taitung University in Taitung City, Taiwan. His interest in international business piqued while interacting with people of different cultures during his LDS mission in Toronto, Canada. After his mission, Alex worked for a computerized numerical control machining company that allowed him to travel and work with customers abroad. He will be interning this summer with Cummins in Charleston, South Carolina. “Receiving the Eccles award is a great recognition,” Liu says. “It gives me a strong desire to continue pursuing my career goals.”

Nathan Mortensen

Nathan Mortensen spent three years in the finance development program at Boeing after graduating from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in finance. The Tempe, Ariz., native then went on to work in corporate finance for First Solar. It was there he discovered his passion for international business as he spent time working directly with international entities. Mortensen will be interning this summer with Celanese Corporation in Dallas. “The Eccles award will help me pursue a meaningful career in international business and succeed in a dynamic global marketplace,” Mortensen says.

James Pace

James Pace grew up in Hong Kong and the Philippines, attending high school at the International School of Manila. He received his undergraduate degree in economics from BYU and worked with L-3 Communications before entering the MBA program. He will be interning this summer with 3M in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “The Eccles award increases the obligation to promote BYU’s values in international circles through ethical leadership,” Pace says. “I’m grateful for the award and am determined to live up to its expectations.”

John Peterson

John Peterson grew up in Missouri, Minnesota, Indiana, and Texas but calls Draper, Utah, home. He received his bachelor’s degree from BYU in marketing, after which he spent more than three years overseeing the marketing department for Fetzer Architectural Woodwork. Peterson works with the MBA recruiting organization and will intern this summer with Johnson & Johnson. “I am honored to receive the Eccles Scholars Award,” Peterson says. “It will add great value to my MBA experience here at BYU.”

Chetan Prasad

Chetan Prasad, a native of Chennai, India, first came to the United States to pursue higher education. Before entering the MBA program, Prasad spent three years as a solutions manager for the LDS church helping to build mobile and social technology products. He will intern with Procter & Gamble in a strategy role this summer. “I’m so grateful to be in the MBA program at BYU,” Prasad says. “It’s helped me to see my potential, and it’s also equipping me with the tools to reach it.”

Travis Sabin

Travis Sabin, from Highlands Ranch, Colo., is an avid sports fan and plans to work in the tech marketing industry upon graduation. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in business from BYU, Sabin worked for Teach for America in Arizona. During his time there he also completed his master’s degree in elementary education at Arizona State University. “The MBA program and Eccles Scholars Award have presented opportunities I never would have had otherwise,” Sabin says. “It’s a wonderful blessing and responsibility to represent BYU in the global community.”


Writer: Spencer Wright