By Monica Bautista, DC Weekend MBA Program & 2014 Forté Fellow
In August 2014 I received an amazing email from Maria Pineda notifying me that I was chosen as a Forté Fellow. Smith is a new Forté Foundation participating school and so I was completely shocked and honored to be part of the first class of Smith Forté Fellows. Coming in to Smith I was already aware of the Forté Foundation because I participated in their MBALaunch program that helps women improve their candidacy for Business School.
Being a Forté Fellow has many wonderful benefits including a scholarship, introductions to Forté Foundation Corporate Sponsors, and access to Forté’s webinars, conferences, and other professional development activities. I am grateful for all of those benefits but truly appreciate the opportunity to connect with other women who have the same drive and dedication that I do. The LinkedIn group and Forté’s professional development webinars are particularly helpful because they make connections to real life issues that women face every day both in and outside of the workplace.
Being a Forté Fellow also means you get the chance to work with the admissions office on recruitment activities, as well as professional development activities for women at your school. As a Part-Time MBA student, our opportunities to interact with full-time students are often limited but being a Forté Fellow has allowed me to meet and connect with the full-time Forté Fellows who I might not have otherwise met.
Although I haven’t been able to attend every event because of work or class, I look forward to engaging with future Forté Fellows and working with the admissions team on part-time MBA recruitment activities. I’m extremely thankful to have access to a diverse network of successful women via the Forté Foundation and Smith alumni network. If you have the chance to connect with Forté I highly suggest it!
Congratulations to our 2015 Forté Fellows:
Megan LaBossiere, DC Evening MBA Program
Lieutenant Meagan LaBossiere is from Germantown, Maryland and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland with a Bachelor of Science degree in Quantitative Economics. She was the National Society of Black Engineers, Annapolis Chapter President during her senior year of college. Meagan is now an active duty helicopter pilot, flying the MH-60S Seahawk for the Navy. She has served two deployments in the Middle East, providing logistical helicopter support to US and coalition ships operating throughout the Arabian Gulf. In her free time, Meagan volunteers with Quality of Life, an adult literacy program within the local community.
Rebecca King, DC Weekend MBA Program
In her current role as Marketing Director at Perennial Sports and Entertainment, Rebecca helps professional athletes pursue their interests off-the-field. She procures and negotiates player appearances, autograph signings and a variety of endorsement deals. Additionally, she works with clients to recognize and execute charitable endeavors to better serve their communities. Rebecca received her M.P.S. in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University where she became a member of WISE (Women In Sports and Events) to continue to empower young women in the sports industry. Before moving to Washington, D.C., King studied Management and Nuclear Engineering at West Point for 4 years, and then medically retired from the Army. She went on to receive her B.S. in Liberals Arts from Excelsior College. Rebecca grew up in Wisconsin, but now calls Maryland her new home.
Angela Granum, Shady Grove Evening MBA Program
Angela graduated with a BA in International Studies from the University of Wyoming, where she was named the Spitaleri Outstanding Graduating Woman for the class of 2006. She also has an MA in Latin American Studies from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. After graduate school, Angela joined the U.S. Department of Commerce as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2009. During her four years at Commerce, she served as a program analyst at the Economic Development Administration and as an ICT industry analyst at the International Trade Administration. Angela currently works in the Program Effectiveness Office in the Office of Operations at the Food and Drug Administration. She coordinates efforts related to strategic planning, organizational health and culture, and risk management across FDA’s centralized shared services. In her free time, Angela enjoys traveling, gardening, cooking, and spending time with her rescued black lab.
Virgilia Zabala, Baltimore Evening MBA Program
Virgilia Zabala graduated Cum Laude the Univeristy of Florida with a B.S. in Food Science & Human Nutrition, with a focus on dietetics. Through her extra-curricular involvement at UF she developed a strong interest for working with underserved communities, locally and abroad. She attended a 3 week international service trip to Nicaragua- that trip opened her eyes to public health and drove her to continue my studies in that field. Thus, Virgila enrolled at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she was selected to become part of the Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society, obtained a Master of Science in Public Health, and also completed her practicum to become a Registered Dietitian. Upon graduation, she focused her efforts locally to improve the health status of low-income pregnant women and children in the community by working as a nutritionist at the Johns Hopkins Women, Infants and Children program. Recently, Virgilia switched jobs, and is working with the University of Maryland Food Supplement Nutrition Education program, through which she deliver nutrition education presentations to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients at schools and community centers in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Harford County.
Monica Bautista graduated magna cum laude from Portland State University with a BS in Health Studies: Community Health Education. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and works as a Program Analyst in the Bureau for Global Health at the United States Agency for International Development. Prior to her current role with USAID, Monica served as a Graduate Fellow in the Office of Senator Richard Durbin, and at the Health Resources and Services Administration. In her free time, Monica volunteers with HIPS as a Mobile Health Outreach Volunteer. Monica chose Smith because of the wonderful people, the ability to tailor the curriculum to her needs, and the convenient schedule and location. Monica appreciates the welcoming atmosphere created by Smith faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as the opportunity to learn from talented professors, and impressive classmates. She is thoroughly enjoying her first year as part of the DC Weekend Cohort.