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New CASI Student Leaders Eager to Engage Wider GSB Community

Incoming student leaders share their interest in CASI-related issues and events as outgoing leaders offer insight and advice.

The Corporations and Society (CASI) Initiative extends a warm welcome to the incoming student leaders for the 2023-2024 academic year. This year’s group is CASI’s largest to date with a diverse mix of MBA, MSx and PhD students bringing energy and passion across a range of topics.

Student co-director Claudia Alvarez Pujol (MBA ’24) believes it is crucial that business leaders become civic-minded and attuned to the broader implications of their decisions beyond their own companies. At GSB, she says, “there is limited time devoted to issues such as public-private collaboration, building a more inclusive economy, or improving regulation to protect citizen’s rights. I hope to facilitate some of these discussions with CASI.”

Amira Hannon (MBA ’24) is excited about CASI’s potential to ignite conversations that challenge pre-existing notions on the relationship between business and society.  She is particularly interested in a broader discussion on the impact of generative AI with a focus on the potential risks and downsides.

“I see an opportunity for CASI to help students take actionable steps towards implementing accountable capitalism and governance.”

Ryan Zepeda (MBA ’24) says he hopes to explore how the public and private sectors can work together to upskill and reskill a labor force, to innovate in critical technology sectors, and to revitalize communities.

“For many private sector leaders, it can be easy to think of the government as an impediment; an entity that taxes, regulates, and enforces. I hope students can reframe their understanding of government to see the possibilities that exist when the public and private sectors work together.”

Chandler Groves (MBA ’24) worked in corporate social responsibility prior to business school. He says that the CASI events he attended during his first two quarters at the GSB felt “like a breath of fresh air” and he hopes to increase CASI's presence on campus. Topics of interest include advocacy for employee rights and the impacts that inequality has on the community.

“As a CASI student leader, I want to challenge existing narrative on campus and elevate the voices of those who may not otherwise have a place in conversation at the GSB.”

Renata Stewart (MBA’24) says CASI events were central to broadening her perspective during her first year. She is looking forward to engaging the wider GSB community in discussions on how businesses can play a key role in building a collective future that works for everyone.

Rachel Keathley (MBA ’24) also wants to collaborate on “pushing the conversation beyond the traditional business education” and to encourage more of her classmates to consider careers in public service.

“I want to be part of a team that starts these difficult conversations around the role corporations play in society, how we should interact with policy makers, and what obligations we may need to fulfill as leaders on everything from climate to healthcare to infrastructure and criminal justice.” 

Jill Grey Ferguson, a doctoral student with the Doerr School of Sustainability, is on a mission to make decarbonization accessible to everyone and transform US households over the next two decades. She recognizes the importance of private, public, and non-profit partnerships to achieve her goals. “CASI will help me think through the responsibilities that these parties have at every stage of implementation so that the process of scaling home upgrades is not predatory while maintaining the one-stop-shop efficiency to get the job done.”

The other incoming CASI student leaders are: Ainee Athar (MBA ’24 co-director), and Thomas Newcomb (MBA ’24)

CASI’s outgoing student leaders say they’re grateful for the exposure to new perspectives during the ’22-’23 academic year and for the knowledge they’ve gained.

The outgoing group includes CASI co-director Oren Fliegelman,(MBA ’23) Juan Saez,(MBA ’23) and Matthew Lee (MSx ’23). Co-director Louise White (MBA ’23) says she enjoyed working with her fellow student leaders and advises the incoming leaders to “use the opportunity to explore and share your interests, passions, and questions with the GSB community.”

Elle Kang (MBA ’23) recommends pursuing “your dream person” for CASI discussions and events. She advises the incoming students to use the platform as an opportunity to explore new topics or areas. “If there's an important topic that you're not as familiar with, chances are that it's a big blind spot at GSB.” 

CASI student leader Cooper Wetherbee (MBA ’23) suggests identifying issues “that are deeply important to you and plan events around them.”

“People will show up and engage,” he says. “As a student leader, I've been heartened by the amount of interest and thoughtfulness on business and society issues that exists right below the surface at the GSB. Your right and your privilege is to break through that surface and create spaces for meaningful discourse on campus.”

“It's hard work, but it's also great fun.”

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