Graduate business online-video competition voting begins

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Voting begins today in a competition that will lead to one social-minded entrepreneur receiving a full-tuition scholarship, worth up to $44,280, through the Lipscomb University College of Business Degree of Difference Full Scholarship Video Competition.

Film_300The College of Business is offering an opportunity for a motivated business leader, who wants to make a difference in the world, to receive a scholarship for a graduate business degree that will help them fulfill their plan to use their business skills to make a difference in the world. This is the third year for the competition, which is among the first of its kind at business colleges across the country.

Contestants produced two-minute videos that illustrate a compelling personal story about how they are one academic degree away from making a difference, and how a graduate business degree from Lipscomb University will impact their lives and the lives of others.

Five finalists were selected from among the contest entries by a selection committee comprised of business faculty and leaders from the community. The general public now has the opportunity to vote to determine the best video beginning today, June 10, and ending June 20. The video that receives the most votes will be determined the winner of the full scholarship. Winners will be asked to produce a three-to-five minute monthly video blog describing their journey as they proceed through the program. To vote, visit

“We want our graduate business students to make an impact on the world both in the workplace and in their communities,” said Lisa Shacklett, assistant dean of marketing and enrollment for the College of Business. “Our graduate programs equip students to do just that. This competition is a unique opportunity allowing an individual to earn a degree that gets them one step closer to making that impact.”

Shacklett said this aspect of the competition gives the finalists an opportunity to be innovative and use technology that they are using in their professions to encourage their colleagues, family and friends to vote for their videos.

The finalists include:

  • Erica Austin, a public defender in Kentucky, who plans to use a graduate business degree to recruit, train and retain top-quality professionals in the public defender’s office;
  • Lisa Hagenbuch, plans to use a graduate business degree to promote and develop female leaders in the technology field by launching a Nashville chapter of Women in Wireless;
  • Adria Haley, said she hopes to use a graduate degree to develop a social enterprise project based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;
  • Melony Pugh-Weber, plans to use a graduate business degree to help strengthen Touchstone Youth Resource Service, a faith-based organization that she founded that uses youth work, counseling, teaching, music and other resources to promote character change; and
  • Janet Smith, wants to use a graduate business degree to use data and health care informatics to transform the landscape of health care and wellness.

Individuals may vote once a day for their favorite video. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. on June 20.

This is the third year for the competition. Last year, Greg Kirby, minister at Woodbine Family Church, which works closely with Youth Encouragement Services, earned the scholarship. Kirby plans to use his graduate business degree to expand that service as he acquires additional business knowledge to help launch Carpenter’s Square, a facility to serve youth in that community.

Cory Haney, who won the video contest in its first year, graduated in May with an MBA degree in nonprofit management. He just began a new job leading the mission program for orphanages at Long Hollow Baptist Church based in Hendersonville, Tenn.

“It is so exciting to see that he will be doing exactly what he said he wanted to do in his video that he submitted two years ago,” said Shacklett. “I think the exciting thing that happened is that Cory clearly defined his passions, hopes and personal goals throughout the journey of creating his video and God worked out the details. So often we don't stop and think about our real desires, but in the process of creating this video Cory had to do just that.

The educational experience of our graduate business degrees gives our students the tools necessary to be successful in business, but I think our mission of ‘developing business leaders who embrace the values and virtues of Jesus’ makes us different that most business schools. We attract students like Cory who want to make an eternal difference in the lives of others, and our program allows and encourages our students to think in those terms and not just in terms of higher revenues and the bottom line.”

Visit to vote and for more information.