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The René A. Simon Fellowship: Georgia Tech Scheller Alumnus Funds Support for MBA Students Who Serve

Georgia Tech Scheller MBA alumnus René A. Simon has created a fellowship to support MBA students who exemplify service excellence, particularly those who participate in the Scheller Blacks in Business Club.
The René A. Simon fellowship was created in 2020 to support MBA students who serve in their communities.

The René A. Simon fellowship was created in 2020 to support MBA students who serve in their communities.

During his time as a Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business Evening MBA student, René A Simon was a part of the inaugural board of Scheller’s Blacks in Business Club. Through the club, he participated in community outreach programs, helped underserved communities, and mentored high school students. Simon, who graduated in 2018, enjoyed his experience and what it stood for so much, he knew that when he became an alumnus, he wanted to continue to give back to Blacks in Business while helping to ease the financial burdens of people with a like-minded focus on service.

Simon created a way to do just that by establishing the René A Simon Fellowship. The fellowship is awarded to one Scheller MBA student each year, with preference given to qualified African American students with demonstrated financial need. Further preference is given to students who are members of the Blacks in Business organization.

“In my house, we do a lot of giving,” said Simon, who currently is a data scientist at Netflix. “This fellowship is an attempt to relieve the financial burden of people earning an MBA so they can more quickly get to a place in their life where they are able to start giving back and doing good.”

Denzel McCollum, a second-year Full-time MBA student, has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the René A Simon Fellowship, and he couldn’t be more grateful.

Head shot of Full-time MBA student Denzel McCollum“I want to say thank you to René and express my gratitude to him for establishing this fellowship,” said McCollum. “I truly do appreciate him - what he has done is inspirational. I want to make sure that I’m a part of that in the future and pay it forward to the next students to come.”

A highlight of McCollum’s MBA experience is serving as the vice president of the Blacks in Business Club. McCollum is also a member of Scheller’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, co-chair of the Philanthropy Committee, a member of the Management and Technology Club, and a part of the Georgia Tech Strategic Planning Committee.

“I joined Blacks in Business because it’s important to be in touch with people who share a similar background as yourself,” said McCollum. “The club does great things and hosts some great events that really bring the entire Scheller community out to have fun together and to learn and experience things that relate back to Black culture. Also, I’ve been so appreciative of having that established network of Black alumni who you can lean on for advice on how to navigate Georgia Tech, what courses to take, how to find a job, and where the best opportunities are.”

For Simon, Blacks in Business not only created a community of giving and service, it also created a network of lifelong friends. It was the first time he was surrounded by people who had the same struggles as him, but also the same life goals. Because of how special the club is and the immense impact it can have on students, Simon wanted to make sure the fellowship mentioned involvement in Blacks in Business.

“Hopefully what this will do is cause Blacks in Business membership to continue to grow, which will help the organization continue to thrive. A requirement for the recipient of the fellowship is that they have shown a desire to serve their community through the many different actions that Blacks in Business emphasizes. Denzel is the perfect example of someone who has shown a great desire to serve his community. If I can inspire a future generation of givers and people willing to serve their community, I think they can accomplish much more good than I could ever accomplish by myself,” said Simon.

Learn more about Blacks in Business and Georgia Tech Scheller’s MBA programs.

For more information or to inquire about creating a fellowship in support of Scheller College of Business students, visit Scheller Development.

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