Five Babson community members recognized as Changemakers

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Since 2011, the Lewis Institute’s Changemaker Awards have recognized Babson students and staff who exemplify remarkable effort to create a positive change within the community and in the world. The recipients of this year’s Changemaker Awards are faculty member Mary Pinard, staff member Melissa Shaak, graduate student Mayank Arora M'15,and undergraduate student Irene Laochaisri '17. The Institute’s first ever alumni award was given to Jon Feinman M’10.

Arora is a first-year MBA student, who will participate in MBAxAmerica this summer. This new, six-week program designed for MBA students from the nation’s top business schools incorporates cross-country travel where students participate in six business challenges with innovative entrepreneurs. He serves as the Vice President of Operations for the Babson Energy & Environmental Club. Arora, who strives to become a social entrepreneur, has a passion for sustainability and is working on his venture UtiSave for improving energy efficiency within the residential sector. 

Feinman, a Babson MBA, is the Executive Director and Founder of InnerCity Weightlifting, a non-profit

organization focused on reducing violence and advocating achievement among urban youth. InnerCity
Weightlifting strives to take young people, who are at the highest risk for violence, off the streets and into the gym to build confidence and receive support. The gym provides the most underserved teens with a positive place to go, where they can set goals from themselves physically and at a personal level to better their lives. The weightlifting gym is located in Dorchester where more than 200 students attend.
Laochaisri, a first year undergraduate, was selected to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University conference this past March, where student leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators gathered to discuss solutions to some of the world’s most pertinent challenges. She was chosen to attend due to her venture’s focus on human rights. Isara, her theater company, aims at addressing the complexities of human trafficking. Her venture’s mission is for business leaders to reflect upon how they are positively or negatively influencing such crimes. 
Professor Pinard, an English scholar, is a national award winning poet whose poems have been featured in several literary journals, including The Harvard ReviewerThe Iowa Review and The Georgia Review. Her new book, Portal, released in March, features a collection of poetry that addresses familial loss and its environmental echo. She has also published a variety of essays on poetics and poets, which have been included in an array of scholarly journals and critical anthologies.
Shaak is the Associate Dean and Director of Student Financial Services. She also serves as the Co-Chair of Babson’s LGBTQ Action Group. Shaak serves as the institution’s liaison to the Posse Foundation, an organization that recruits and educates ambitious public high school students, who may have been overlooked by traditional colleges, to become Posse Scholars. Babson is the only business school that participates in the program, which is made up of over 40 colleges and universities in the nation.
The winners were honored at a luncheon on April 22 at the Babson Executive Conference Center and were presented with individual walking sticks. The sticks were given to the honorees to symbolize that they are in constant motion to spark change.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds™. The College is a dynamic living and learning laboratory, where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society—while at the same time evolving our methods and advancing our programs. We shape the leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to create economic and social value. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.

By Lindsey Cunningham, lcunningham@babson.edu, 781-239-4548 | 04/25/2014 06:00