The University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business welcomed 31 first-year students into the Inclusive Business Leaders (IBL) Program this fall. The program strives to make business more inclusive for all by developing leaders focused on inclusion, and the newest cohort takes a course together, and also receives formal mentoring, hands-on learning opportunities and student support services.
In the IBL course (BSAD 191), students learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion through theory, group projects and discussions this fall. In the spring, students research an inequitable business practice and present their findings and potential solution for their capstone project.
"The IBL program is both curricular and co-curricular. The IBL-specific course is uniquely designed to weave theoretical frameworks on diversity and inclusion with application-based activities to prepare students to implement DEI best practices in their personal and professional lives. Additionally, students benefit from participating in team-building activities, social events, networking events and peer mentoring," said Kasey Linde, associate director of the Teaching and Learning Center and program coordinator for Inclusive Business Leaders.
Inclusive Business Leaders receive a $2,000 scholarship in their first year and customized hands-on learning opportunities. The program also provides academic and career support to ensure IBL student success. Recognizing the program’s impact in its first year, the Council of Advancement and Support of Education District VI awarded IBL the 2022 Best of CASE District VI Award in the leadership category.
“Students benefit from the opportunities and resources available in the program because it provides them with a support system that is crucial to their success as they transition from high school into college,” said Edgar Montoya, Inclusive Business Leaders and diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator. “The program's curriculum helps prepare them to be more inclusive business leaders, not only at the College of Business, but in life beyond graduation.”
They can also compete in case competitions, go on local site visits at various businesses and do community service projects. For students like Corey Nguyen, a sophomore marketing major from Carol Stream, Illinois, the program helped teach him more about himself and how he can help make the university's campus a more inclusive environment.
“The IBL program pushed me to be the most inclusive I can be. It offered ways for me to interact with my community while also learning about groups on campus that I might have had no clue about,” said Nguyen, who now serves as a student mentor to the new cohort.
IBL students also have the opportunity to continue to stay involved as a paid peer mentor during their second year. Mentors serve a key role in the program, helping integrate new students into the college and onto campus through a personal peer-to-peer relationship.
“Mentors have expanded responsibilities within the classroom such as leading discussions, providing feedback to students and deciding how to present topics in class. Outside of class, they are meeting with their mentees, planning social and professional development opportunities and connecting students to campus resources,” Linde said.
This year, IBL also expanded to include a new student organization called Leaders in Equity and Diversity (LEAD). Open to all students, the organization will provide the chance for students to learn about inclusivity in the workplace and benefit from some of the information IBL students receive as part of their program.
“Being inclusive could seem frightening at first, but this program has given us the opportunities and tools for us to succeed. I love seeing this program grow, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future,” Nguyen said.
Students apply to become part of the IBL program when they apply to the university. To be considered for the Fall 2023 cohort, apply by the program's priority deadline on February 1. Final deadline is March 1. To learn more about IBL and its application requirements, visit: https://business.unl.edu/leaders.
The second cohort of Inclusive Business Leaders includes:
Bellwood: Jaley Schultz, business administration major
Blair: Charlie Trofholz, finance major
Crete: Ale Guiza Gonzalez, marketing major
Grand Island: Emily Krupicka, business administration major; Stacey Nguyen, marketing major
Kearney: Amy Kadyrova, finance major
Lexington: Isaac Perez, actuarial science major
Lincoln: Hamza Abboszoda, accounting major; Zoryanna Alramahy, accounting major; Shayla Ath, business administration major; Bree Bell, marketing major; Nate Makinson, economics major; Monica Ontiveros, business administration major; Sruthi Ravella, accounting major; Minh Vu, economics major
Omaha: Caleb Alexander, accounting major; Maggie Fuertes-Vega, marketing major; Josie Golka, international business major; Connor Kaup, marketing major; Arjun Ramesh, computer science major
Papillion: Madi Sheets, marketing major
York: Jon Portillo, business administration major
Lithia, Florida: Mia Sadlouskos, marketing major
Downers Grove, Illinois: Alyssa Deschamp, accounting major
Naperville, Illinois: Matt Ligeski, finance major
Saint Charles, Illinois: Elizabeth Melton, business administration major
Tinley Park, Illinois: Gail Hernandez, actuarial science major
Underwood, Iowa: Jackson Harvey, actuarial science major
Rochester, Minnesota: Radhika Damle, actuarial science major
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Kate Fraser, business administration major
Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Jadyn Robbins, actuarial science major
To learn more about the diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts at the College of Business, visit: https://business.unl.edu/inclusion.