ATLANTA, GA — (May 11, 2020) – The Goizueta Business School today announced the winners of its prestigious Roberto C. Goizueta Award for Leadership: Michael Battat, a finance major from Woodbridge, Connecticut who just graduated with his BBA and Jason Waidzulis, a U.S. Army Ranger, a newly-minted MBA, were selected for the honor.
Roberto C. Goizueta Award for Leadership is the highest honor given to a student graduating from Goizueta Business School. Funded by The Goizueta Foundation, it is presented annually to two graduating Goizueta Business School students—one BBA and one MBA—who during their time at school have embodied the values and leadership qualities exhibited by Mr. Goizueta. Those are: a love of learning, inspirational leadership, creative thinking, courage and commitment, transparency and trust, and excellence and integrity. Each honoree receives a $25,000 award and identifies the faculty or staff member at Goizueta who had the greatest impact on them during their time as a student. The faculty or staff members selected each receive a $5,000 honorarium. This is the second year the award has been given.
“At Goizueta, we are producing talented, principled leaders intent on having a purposeful and positive impact on business and society,” said Erika H. James, John H. Harland Dean of the Goizueta Business School. “Michael and Jason are emblematic of our graduates and both of them richly deserve this important honor. I know that as they move into their careers, they will continue to reflect and promote Roberto C. Goizueta’s leadership values.”
“We are honored to support this important award,” said Olga Goizueta Rawls, Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer of The Goizueta Foundation. “I congratulate Michael and Jason on receiving the Roberto C. Goizueta Award for Leadership and on their many important contributions to the Goizueta Business School community and their peers. Today more than ever, business schools must graduate students prepared to lead in a complex world. Michael and Jason exemplify such leadership qualities.”
While he was still in high school, Battat began writing for the financial website SeekingAlpha.com and at Goizueta used that experience to inform his roles as president of two prestigious student organizations, the Goizueta Finance Group and the Goizueta Investment Management Group. While earning his BBA, Battat had internships at three leading companies, Perella Weinberg Partners, Invesco and Heritage Capital. His other many activities at Goizueta include co-directing the Sophomore Finance Academy, serving as lead coach at the Goizueta Career Management Center, and serving as a teaching assistant for five courses.
Battat is on the Dean’s List and was a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honor Society, and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society. He is also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society and a 100 Senior Honorary.
“It is incredibly humbling to be recognized in honor of our school’s namesake,” said Battat. “More than anything, this award is validation of the belief that we can all achieve more when we help one another. While technically I may be the recipient, this award also recognizes the selflessness and support of my parents and peers, as well as Goizueta faculty, staff and alumni. Everything I did at Goizueta was an attempt to pay forward the support I received from those who helped me — and I probably fell short.”
Battat identified Jeffrey Rosensweig as the faculty member who had the greatest impact on his experience at Goizueta. In his nomination letter, Battat wrote, “Dr. Rosensweig’s mentorship is a material reason why I have the privilege of being recognized with this amazing honor. He inspires me to be similarly selfless and supportive to others, which has manifested within my leadership capacities. It is only fitting that I recognize Dr. Jeffrey Rosensweig, a world-class educator with identical values as Mr. Goizueta and who similarly impacts the Goizueta Business School and its students. For his selflessness, countless contributions and continued mentorship, Dr. Rosensweig is incredibly deserving of this nomination.” Rosensweig is an associate professor of Finance, and director of The Robson Program for Business, Public Policy, and Government Finance.
An active duty U.S. Army Officer, Major Waidzulis has served within infantry and special operations units. Since 2008, he has led the training and deployment of several teams in support U.S. military operations across the globe. As a student, he served as a coach for Goizueta’s Leader’s Reaction Course and his performance in a core course earned him an invitation to serve as a teaching assistant for it the following year. He served on the IMPACT360 Student Leadership Board, and in that capacity, worked with first-year MBAs taking the course. He was president of the Goizueta Veterans Association, led recruiting efforts to encourage veterans and active duty service men and women to pursue advanced business degrees, and taught Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets at both Emory and Georgia Tech.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for leading in a way that reflects the legacy of Roberto Goizueta,” said Major Waidzulis. “It’s also extremely meaningful because selection required nomination and support from a community of world-class faculty, staff, and colleagues at the Goizueta Business School who have inspired me over the past two years. I further believe the credit must be shared with the servant leaders that have influenced me over the years, and it makes me feel good knowing that I have been able to pay it forward by impacting the lives of others.”
Major Waidzulis also helped raise more than $39,000 for the Goizueta Business School Veterans Association. He was selected by his peers in the Goizueta Advanced Leadership Academy (GALA) program for the GALA GLUE award for holding his team together through success, failure and physical and mental fatigue.
Major Waidzulis identified Ken Keen, as the faculty member who had the greatest impact on his experience at Goizueta. In his nomination letter, Waidzulis wrote, “Lieutenant General Ken Keen is a great example of a servant leader and can best be described as humble with an edge. I appreciate the opportunities he has given me and his willingness to candidly share 36 years of military leadership experience and knowledge to mentor me into a high potential leader for others.” Keen is a senior lecturer in Organization & Management and associate dean for Leadership. He is also a retired US Army Lieutenant General.
About Goizueta Business School
Business education has been an integral part of Emory University’s identity since 1919. That kind of longevity and significance does not come without a culture built around success and service. Emory University’s Goizueta Business School offers a unique, community-oriented environment paired with the academic prestige of a major research institution. Goizueta develops business leaders of today and tomorrow with an undergraduate degree program, a Two-Year Full-Time MBA, One-Year MBA, Evening MBA, Executive MBA, Master of Science in Business Analytics, PhD program, and a portfolio of non-degree Emory Executive Education courses. Together, the Goizueta community strives to solve the world’s most pressing business problems. The school is named for the late Roberto C. Goizueta, former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.