Class of 2025 Fuqua Impact Scholars

Meet the new class of Fuqua Impact Scholars in Social Impact

The social problems that we face as a global community are urgent and we need leaders with the skills, courage, and support to drive for a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.  This is why CASE was thrilled to partner with Fuqua’s Office of Admissions in 2021 to launch the Fuqua Impact Scholarship– a merit-based scholarship awarded to select admitted Fuqua Daytime MBA students with the experience, passion, and commitment to apply the skills honed at Fuqua to drive positive impact in their lives and careers. 

Mikayla Marraccini

Mikayla Marraccini earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia where she studied global public health and environmental science. She has spent the last four years at Socially Determined, a healthcare technology startup, working to analyze and quantify the impacts of social determinants of health. Through this experience, she learned more about the overwhelming impact that social risk factors have on the way individuals engage with the U.S. healthcare system. Mikayla is excited to use her Fuqua education to explore opportunities to address the social factors influencing population health and to work towards creating more functional, efficient, and equitable systems for all.

Joe Janey

Joe is passionate about harnessing the power of educational technologies to improve the education ecosystem and create new pathways for student success and mobility. After graduating from the University of St. Thomas with a B.A. in Economics, Joe began his career in investment banking at Hennepin Partners, an M&A advisory firm that serves entrepreneurs, private equity firms, and corporations. As a dual MBA-MPP candidate, Joe has concentrated on the intersection of education and technology at the Sanford School of Public Policy. At Fuqua, Joe is most excited to leverage his professional and policy background to launch an EdTech startup that captures student learning experiences beyond the capabilities of a traditional transcript or resume.

Zelda Hart

Zelda Hart has dedicated her career to increasing resources for grassroots community organizations. Most recently, she served as Director of Marketing Strategy for Daymaker, a startup social enterprise that facilitated employee giving campaigns sponsoring children at over 100 nonprofits nationwide. Previously, Zelda grew a community organization I Grow Chicago from less than $200,000 to over $2 million in just five years as Director of Development and helped 12 grassroots nonprofits grow their brands and fundraising strategies as a nonprofit consultant with Women Unite!. Zelda has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from The University of Chicago. At Fuqua, she is excited to learn about impact investing and other pathways to resource generation for social missions and get involved in the local Durham community. 

Sebastian Merino Vial

Sebastian started his career in the Public Policies Center of the Catholic University of Chile, focused on improving education through attracting best secondary students to pedagogy. He believes that teachers are the basis to improve the education in Chile. After two years, he moved to Asset AGF, managing Real Estate investments. There, Sebastian put his efforts on leading the first energetic transition of residential buildings in Chile and promoting the production of affordable houses to be part of the solution to the hard housing crisis in the country. He hopes to use his education at Fuqua to, “develop and impulse a strong impact investing environment in Chile, emphasizing that path as a way to solve the social problems of the region.

Marcos Fiestas Rodriguez

Marcos has a six-year professional background in the private sector, starting as a product manager and transitioning to a Manufacturing Project Manager role. He executed successful Engineering projects for P&G in manufacturing sites. Passionate about social impact, Marcos led housings building projects in rural areas of developing countries like Peru and Tanzania.

At Fuqua, Marcos aims to gain business acumen and explore impact investing through CASE. He seeks to understand how impact investments can empower capital for the greater good, combining business knowledge with social impact to make a positive difference in underserved communities. With a strong passion for helping others, Marcos aspires to leverage his skills and expertise to contribute to sustainable development and create a lasting impact.

Lilah Kalfus

Lilah has spent her career to date primarily working in the nonprofit sector and is passionate about finding innovative ways to use business as a force for good. Noticing the disparity in startup funding for minority founders, she joined the founding team of Righteous Causes, a Benefit Corporation that provides human and capital resources to underserved social entrepreneurs. Most recently, Lilah worked at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles where she ran a program that trains young business leaders to expand their capacity for social impact by stewarding them onto nonprofit boards. A native Midwesterner, she received her B.A. with High Honors in Organizational Studies at the University of Michigan with a concentration in Corporate Social Responsibility. Lilah is pursuing her MBA at Fuqua to strengthen her business toolkit and continue laying the groundwork for her long-term career in social impact. 

Spoorthy Kotla

Spoorthy’s most recent experience is in the impact investment space at Unitus Capital in India, where she spent the last five years working with early-stage impact ventures in India, unlocking the capital necessary to deliver social and environmental returns alongside financial returns. Her long-term passion lies in building societal and financial inclusion tools leveraging technology for low- and middle-income communities across developing economies. She hopes to make this aspiration into reality using her Fuqua education. Fuqua’s CASE i3 Consulting program and the opportunity to work with Fuqua Sustainable Impact Student Investment Fund would provide her with hands-on experience and insights from a vibrant ecosystem of social entrepreneurs. The CASE curriculum at Fuqua aligns perfectly with her ambition as it provides her with the necessary skills and networks to drive positive change and contribute to a more inclusive and sustainable future for all.

Gabrielle House

Gabrielle is a lifelong advocate for college access and educational equity. After undergrad, she joined AdviseTX, Texas A&M’s chapter of the National College Advising Corps, as a College Advisor and AmeriCorps member. Although she “accidentally” fell into education, her passion for exposing and empowering underrepresented students motivated her to dedicate the next 10 years to the field of college access. Most recently, she served as a Director of District Strategy at EMERGE Fellowship, an education non-profit that supports hundreds of underrepresented, high-achieving high school students across Greater Houston in matriculating to selective colleges. Gabrielle hopes to use her Fuqua education to identify opportunities where she can expand access to education and development for marginalized communities.

Alexis Angulo Osuna

Alexis Angulo obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Government and Latin American studies from Dartmouth College. Having earned his Bachelor’s degree in just three years amid the challenges of the pandemic, Alexis has demonstrated remarkable dedication and resilience. With a strong commitment to social impact, he has actively engaged in the nonprofit sector, serving on the Board of Directors for Adventure Risk Challenge and his Condo Association. At Fuqua, Alexis is most excited about learning how he can “use his passion for reducing the economic gap in the United States and finding ways to further explore alternative avenues for societal impact”. To date, he has professional experience in national security think tanks and deep knowledge of philanthropic giving at a national scale. 

Aneeq Cheema

Aneeq Cheema has been helping improve health service delivery in Pakistan for about eight years, first as an internal consultant in the provincial government of Punjab, a province of 110 million people, helping improve the staffing and availability of physicians and specialist doctors and later as a donor and advisor for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also co-founded an education social enterprise helping public high school students gain 21st century skills like critical thinking, empathy, and confidence. His work has offered him opportunities to build expertise in health systems and community involvement in public sector reform. Now he has turned to Fuqua to build business skills that are critical to the global health world – an understanding of markets, pricing models, and negotiation skills specially applied at life sciences in general, and vaccines in particular. 

Stefan Nieuwoudt

Stefan’s career began as an accountant at Re-Solve, which not only sparked his passion for water delivery and savings but also instilled a strong sense of social impact. Observing the dire circumstances of rural African communities lacking access to water, he felt compelled to make a difference.

Taking action, Stefan founded Linkup Youth, dedicating time to uplifting black youth by equipping them with essential skills and helping over 1500 individuals find their first jobs over the last 3 years, despite facing severe poverty. Now, as he pursues an MBA at Fuqua, Stefan is determined to enhance his business acumen and his ability to create sustainable social ventures. His ultimate goal is to contribute significantly to Africa’s youth by developing products that will enhance access to both renewable energy and essential services and empowering its people through education that enables them to realize their full potential and that will lead to an entrepreneurial revolution in its rural communities.