2019 MBA CSEA Award Winners

Congratulations to our 2019 award winners - Jean Gekler, Naomi Sanchez and Megan Hendricks. Read more about their innovations and contributions.

Jean Gekler, Senior Associate Director, MBA Career Management and Naomi Sanchez, Assistant Dean
Foster School of Business, University of Washington

Innovation Award for "Brand Essence"

The purpose of the Innovation Award is to recognize individuals, teams, departments, or organizations whose innovative idea, process, program, or practice supports the mission and values of MBA CSEA. Nominated innovations are evaluated in the areas of inventiveness, impact, timeliness, testing, need solution, clear outcome(s), and the possibility of replication.

The Innovation Award was awarded to the developers of a brand development tool for personal professional branding. While many MBA programs offer branding programming, this tool is innovative in that it has been packaged in a way to allow replication across academic programs, corporations, professional associations, and other organizations. In fact, this one has been used in full-time, evening, executive, and global MBA programs, corporations such as Microsoft, MBA CSEA European and Global conferences, and even a youth program with participants from the US and China In addition to the previously mentioned comments, several MBA CSEA Board members, as well as Awards Committee members, have participated in “Brand Essence” exercises, and unanimously supported the nomination as both a solid and readily replicable program.

Jean Gekler, Senior Associate Director, MBA Career Management
Foster School of Business, University of Washington

Service Award: Significant Over-time Contributions

The purpose of this award is to recognize significant contributions of individuals over time in support of the mission and vision of MBA CSEA. 

Many individuals serve committees, some repeatedly. Others go “above and beyond.” Some go “above and beyond” regularly, over a long period of time. It is such an individual that we're honoring with this award. Jean has served many committees: the annual Conference committee, the Board of Directors (multiple terms over multiple engagements), and has been a consistent co-chair of our Professional Development Committee over many years. She has attended Professional Development events all over the world - virtually all of them, even when she didn't necessarily even need to.

This individual inspires committee members and leads in a hands-on fashion, is a fixture in the leadership circles of this organization, and is always someone you can call for assistance or for support.Her nominator said, “IT's people like Jean that make this organization continue to be successful and make me want to stay involved.”

Megan Hendricks, Executive Director
MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance

Visionary Leadership Award

The historical purpose of the Visionary Leadership Award is “to recognize friends of MBA CSEA who have provided outstanding leadership in advancing MBA CSEA in a significant and measured way.” So far, this award has just been awarded once, to MBA CSC Founder Jackie Wilbur. After that occurrence, the Awards Committee has considered whether we perhaps might need to retire the award. But no. Instead, we've awarded it again.

Megan has been extremely active - perhaps more so than any other individual in the history of the association. She began her involvement as a school member, where she co-chaired conferences, served at least one term on the Board, and was involved in other meaningful leadership roles. She then left the organization for some time, only to return in a new, even more meaningful capacity.

Since re-engaging with MBA CSEA she has been extremely influential. She actually works with every single committee - but not just in a supportive role. She acts virtually as a co-chair and in fact influences the President, Vice President, Board, and Committee Chairs in ways that have measurably led to:

  • Strength and growth for the organization
  • expanded and vastly improved Standards for Reporting of Employment Statistics
  • establishment, growth, and success of annual conferences in Europe and Asia
  • growth in employer membership and business development
  • growth in vendor support
  • ongoing positive and productive relationships with other organizations such as NACE and SHRM
  • media relationships
  • budgeting to maintain fiscal success

Megan expends tireless hours advancing and positively impacting MBA CSEA, has left an indelible mark on the organization, and I'm thrilled to recognize her for her longterm dedication and immeasurable contribution to MBA CSEA over many years of devoted service.