Meet the 2021 CASE Scholars

From tackling healthcare inequities in the United States to eliminating unemployment in Africa, this year’s five new CASE scholars are ready to make an impact.

The CASE Social Sector Scholarship program was started in 2005 and has since attracted talented Daytime MBA students to Fuqua to help them further develop business skills that they can use to tackle global challenges in the social sector. Adding new members each year, the scholarship program supports current scholars in their social impact studies, while also creating an impressive global network of CASE scholars that share a passion for creating positive and sustainable innovation.

This year’s five newest scholars share more than a passion for social entrepreneurship. When asked to share one of the 25 random facts that they included in their Fuqua application, all of them chose to share one about their relationship with music. So, whether you find them dancing at a concert, winning an award for the worst rendition of a song, or running an awe-inspiring social enterprise that is changing the lives of people around the world, the 2021 CASE scholars are ready to generate change for social good. Meet them below:

Utkarsha Bhardwaj

Utkarsha is passionate about helping underserved communities in developing countries. After starting his career as a business technology associate with ZS Associates, Utkarsha began working with the Swaniti Initiative, which is a social enterprise that partners with policymakers to solve development challenges throughout India. More recently, he worked as a strategy and policy advisor to a legislator. He has a Bachelor of Technology in computer science from the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi and hopes that Fuqua will help him achieve his goal of, “delivering sustainable social impact for countless underserved communities in India and elsewhere.”

Fun Music Fact: Claiming to be an untalented vocalist, Utkarsha won the award for the worst rendition of the Arabian Nights theme song.

Nathan Hixson

Interested in promoting economic opportunity for all, Nathan’s enthusiasm for helping others started at a young age when he started a student council dedicated to social entrepreneurship. After graduating and serving in AmeriCorps, he started working at a community development financial institution that provides loans and technical assistance to cooperative businesses across the United States. At Fuqua, Nathan is most excited to learn about how he can, “help foundations, other asset owners and capital providers better coordinate their efforts to support social entrepreneurs who are solving critical problems facing the environment, cycles of poverty and access to quality education.”

Fun Music Fact: Nathan loves to rate and rank things, which is why, in college, he created a program to compare and rank his music library of over 4,000 songs to make a playlist of his top 250 favorite songs – in order.

Ineza Mutimura

Starting her career as a founding member of the African Leadership University, Ineza believes in improving education and eliminating unemployment in Africa. She recently expanded the Moringa School, a coding academy, from Kenya to Rwanda by piloting a program that trained 150 Rwandan women as software engineers. Ineza hopes to use her education at Fuqua to, “contribute to the development of the Rwandan and African economy by working on innovations in education and empowering young people to nurture their talents and join the movement to make Africa the world hub for human talent.”

Fun Music Fact: A meme was created of Ineza’s reaction to seeing Usher at a concert. It went viral on Instagram and Twitter and has been viewed by 100,000 people.

Patrick Pierson-Prah

Patrick is a social entrepreneur who is passionate about economic empowerment with a special focus on agriculture. As the co-founder of both Procap Investments, a firm focused on investing in agriculture in Africa, and Oyster Agribusiness, a company that helps improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, Patrick demonstrates his dedication to improving the incomes of rural farmers every day. He has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Ghana and hopes to use his education at Fuqua to, “develop meaningful solutions to meet the growing opportunities in Africa.”

Fun Music Fact: While Patrick’s father and younger brother are both great singers and multi-instrumentalists, Patrick claims he has no musical talent.

Megan Spell

Megan discovered her interest in making quality healthcare accessible to everyone when she was working as a healthcare attorney in a large defense firm in Louisiana. Wanting to do more to help patients navigate the complex healthcare system in the United States, she left the corporate legal world to work in the nonprofit sector. Megan has a Juris Doctor/Doctor of Civil Law degree from Louisiana State University and hopes to use her education at Fuqua to, “make healthcare more attainable for the people who need it the most.”

Fun Music Fact: Megan loves dancing to music and has danced the night away at Calvin Harris’ show in Las Vegas, David Guetta’s show in Miami, and Martin Garrix’s closing night performance in Ibiza, Spain.

Duke’s Fuqua School of Business offers scholarships each year to individuals with social sector backgrounds who are looking to acquire business skills for use in their pursuit of social impact. The CASE Social Sector Scholarship brings in amazing students who add a richness to the Fuqua student body and bring their unique perspectives to the classroom.  You can read about past scholars here.