Stanford GSB Recognizes Student Leaders Committed to Social Change

Next generation of social innovators honored with Miller Social Change Leadership Award, Frances and Arjay Miller Prize in Social Innovation, and Social Innovation Fellowship

STANFORD, Calif.--()--The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) Center for Social Innovation recognized 12 students Tuesday night for their exemplary contributions to social innovation.

The students were collectively awarded the Miller Social Change Leadership Award, the Frances and Arjay Miller Prize in Social Innovation, and the Social Innovation Fellowship. Each award is part of Stanford’s ongoing commitment to promote global change through social innovation and to support students who embody the quest for social and environmental progress. The students were from the MBA program as well as the GSB’s one-year Master of Science degree program for experienced professionals, the MSx program.

Dean Emeritus Arjay Miller, creator of two of the awards, was also honored at the event for his ongoing contributions to the GSB. Miller served as dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business from 1969 to 1979. During that time, he created the school’s Public Management Program to promote cooperation between public and private sectors for the benefit of society.

“As I’ve said before, making money is the easy part—it’s making the world a better place that is the hard part,” Miller said. “I wanted to encourage students to find unique ways to overcome social challenges, and I’m thrilled with the change these programs have inspired over the past few years.”

Social Innovation Fellowship

Two social entrepreneurs of the Stanford GSB Class of 2008, Jake Harriman and Jane Chen, inspired the Social Innovation Fellowship program. Their hustle to launch their respective social enterprises revealed the need for a support system for students who want to start a nonprofit venture to address a pressing social or environmental need. Individual recipients of the fellowship are awarded $110,000 stipend each.

This year, emerging social entrepreneurs Jenna Nicholas (MBA) and Muhammad Mustafa (MSx) have been selected to test, implement, and iterate their venture ideas through the fellowship. Nicholas and Mustafa were evaluated on their personal leadership potential, as well as the anticipated success and impact of their proposed ventures.

Nicholas’ Impact Experience is an organization that brings together investors, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, innovators, and community leaders to solve economic challenges. By invitation, Impact Experience partners with some of the most disadvantaged communities to facilitate deep connections designed to generate trust, enhance strategy, and accelerate transformation.

Mustafa’s EasyJob is helping illiterate adults obtain employment with a mobile app that is based entirely on icons and audio. The app will initially help these adults find temporary jobs to supplement their existing incomes. Once validated, the text-free user interface will be used to provide other services like educational content and medical advice.

Frances and Arjay Miller Prize in Social Innovation

The Frances and Arjay Miller Prize in Social Innovation rewards students who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to public good and is awarded to graduating students who plan to focus on social or environmental impact in the next phase of their careers.

This year, students Ali Goldsworthy (MSx) and Benjamin Fernandes (MBA) were selected for the prize and will each receive a stipend of $20,000 to facilitate their transition after graduation.

Through the fellowship, Goldsworthy plans to put her insights into politics to good use in the nonprofit sector while Fernandes is working on building a financial institution driving forward digital financial services in East Africa. Fernandes will initially launch these services in Tanzania to support the 80-percent unbanked population.

Miller Social Change Leadership Award

Recipients of the Miller Social Change Leadership Award are selected based on their focus on social innovation through academic coursework and practical application, as well as their leadership within and contributions to the GSB community of social and environmental innovators during their time at Stanford GSB. This year, the award recognized the following students:

  • Shruthi Baskaran (MBA)
  • Eli Bildner (MBA)
  • Emma Chastain (MBA)
  • Benjamin Fernandes (MBA)
  • Ali Goldsworthy (MSx)
  • Kate Kraft (MBA)
  • Mark Moeremans (MBA)
  • Jenna Nicholas (MBA)
  • Tom Petit (MBA)
  • Karen Warner (MBA)
  • Charles Zhu (MBA)

A special version of the award was presented to James M. Patell, the Herbert Hoover Professor of Public and Private Management, Emeritus. In 1985, Patell revitalized the Public Management Program by expanding its scope to include nonprofit, corporate, and community leadership as well as social ventures and championed its success through multiple leadership changes and economic downturns.


Stanford Graduate School of Business
Heather Hansen, 650-723-0887


Stanford Graduate School of Business
Heather Hansen, 650-723-0887