Passionate about the impact we could make in our respective fields, we came to Fuqua looking for meaningful opportunities to make a difference. Through the Fuqua Impact Scholars program, we are doing just that. The program connects impact scholars with one of Fuqua’s research centers and a wide range of resources, including mentors and exclusive events or activities.

Here’s more about our individual experiences as impact scholars.

Brontavious Railey and a classmate holding a basketball

Brontavius Railey, COLE Impact Scholar

I chose Fuqua, like most people, because of the community. It is difficult to go a day without hearing the phrase “Team Fuqua,” and it is just as difficult to go a day without somebody from Team Fuqua having a profound impact on said day. I came here intending to not only benefit from Team Fuqua, and the amazing people from all walks of life that make up that team, but also to give back. This is why I was elated when I found out I would be an impact scholar with the Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics (COLE).

In my first year, the opportunity to assist current COLE Fellows in shaping the experience of my fellow first-years was more than I could have ever hoped for. As if I weren’t lucky enough to just be a part of Team Fuqua, my time as a COLE Impact Scholar afforded me the opportunity to become a COLE Fellow in my second year.

For all the fun that comes with it, business school is a trying time. To know that I may have played a small part in helping others navigate through this journey is the highlight of my time here. (Well, maybe second only to my Global Academic Travel Experience trip.) From helping C-LEADs work together effectively to putting up the resiliency wall and keeping fellow classmates motivated during tough times, I am proud to have been a COLE Impact Scholar.

Kandasi Griffiths, CASE Impact Scholar

Coming from and returning to social impact, I worried my experiences would not be understood or appreciated in business school. On the contrary, the fact that the Impact Scholar program exists reinforced that Fuqua values students using business as a force for social good, and I was honored to be selected as one through the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE).

Each month, the impact scholars across the centers come together for a guest lecture or discussion. I learned about courage in leadership from COLE, astonishing technological advances for environmental justice from the Center for Energy, Development and the Global Environment (EDGE), the meandering path of an impact career from CASE, and so much more.

Beyond the formal sessions, I wanted to get to know my peers more casually. I worked with Admissions to get the full list of scholars, set up a Slack channel to share resources and support, and accessed funds for a coffee social at a local social enterprise. More than anything, CASE has been my home away from home at Fuqua—from grabbing a chocolate from the candy bowl between classes to countless office hours about my career trajectory, it has provided a sense of belonging and guidance for me to make the most of my MBA.

Kelsey Worsham and two classmates wearing matching shirts and standing in front of a blue and white "Duke Fuqua" photo backdrop with a blue and white balloon arch

Kelsey Worsham, Duke I&E Impact Scholar

While living in Durham for five years before starting at Fuqua, I had developed an unshakable passion for the local entrepreneurial community. I knew it was important to bring this passion into Fuqua’s Daytime MBA program—an opportunity afforded to me by the Impact Scholar program.

As an Impact Scholar under Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Duke I&E), I gained access to learning and community-building opportunities through all five centers at Fuqua. I found this to be especially helpful when the worlds of recruitment, academics, and socialization collided in Fall 1.

The Impact Scholar program gave me much-needed time to explore new fields and make friends with first- and second-year students outside my normal bubble. From fireside chats with professionals in environmental impact to lunch-and-learns centered around trends in health care, the program has given me a more well-rounded b-school experience. Amid a notoriously fast-paced graduate program, I’m grateful for this chance to broaden my horizons.

Max Sumner giving a presentation

Max Sumner, HSM Impact Scholar

I still remember when I got the call—I was driving home for Thanksgiving when Mandy McGuire, an Admissions counselor, called to let me know that not only had I been admitted to Fuqua, but I had also been selected as a Fuqua Impact Scholar with the Center for Health Sector Management (HSM). While at the time I didn’t fully understand what that meant, I have grown to be immensely humbled by the ‘impact’ that being a Fuqua Impact Scholar has had on my business school experience.

What I have been most impressed by in this program is the cohort of peers I interact with. My fellow HSM Impact Scholars worked in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, while others worked in the provider space. All have and will change the trajectory of the health care system. Even outside the HSM cohort, the broader impact scholar community is impressive—leaders, community advocates, and passionate individuals abound. The breadth of expertise and experiences was incredible.

With this cohort, I have been able to attend seminars and lunches with guest speakers, special events, and unique direct interactions with the incredible faculty at Fuqua. These experiences were organized and fostered by the Fuqua administration, which let the impact scholars focus on learning and enjoying, something that is unique in an academic environment.

I am immensely thankful for being selected as an HSM Impact Scholar—it has made my business school experience distinct, powerful, and impactful.

Shivani Kuckreji holdding a dog and wearing a blue "Duke Fuqua" hat

Shivani Kuckreja, EDGE Impact Scholar

When I first came to Duke, I was only a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) candidate and had not yet explored the possibilities of becoming a dual degree MBA. When I did ultimately decide to become an MBA candidate, I did so with hesitation, fearful of not being able to find fellow students with similar interests.

Being an EDGE Impact Scholar helped me immediately find my community of like-minded leaders. It also quickly introduced me to leaders in health care, entrepreneurship, energy, and social impact. In addition to helping me build a strong and diverse community, the Impact Scholar program has also provided the opportunity to hear from and meet with inspirational environmentalists, such as Catherine Coleman Flowers, through Impact Dialogue Lunches.

Being an EDGE Impact Scholar has helped ensure that I am simultaneously comfortable and challenged at Fuqua, a rare combination that I will forever be grateful for.