Baylor MBA Students Recognized for Prison Entrepreneurship Program

Aug. 7, 2009

Contact: Cynthia Jackson, Hankamer School of Business, 254-710-7628
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- Honor from GMAC acknowledges commitment to community engagement and corporate social responsibility -

Baylor Baylor University's MBA program is one of only six MBA programs from across the United States and Europe to be recognized by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) in its TeamMBA Awards.

The awards are part of GMAC's TeamMBA initiative, which encourages, recognizes and supports social responsibility and community engagement by graduate business schools and their students. Baylor's Hankamer School of Business was honored with the Service Award for a Collaborative Program at the GMAC Annual Industry Conference in June.

More than 30 Baylor MBA students volunteer regularly as business plan advisers for inmates in a Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP). Assigned to individual PEP participants, Baylor MBAs spend at least an hour per week helping inmates with business plans, as well as helping them learn about business etiquette, making a sales pitch and how to redirect their entrepreneurial skills into legitimate businesses.

"The PEP program is now in its fifth year and serves about 80 students per class for two classes per year," said Laurie Wilson, director of graduate business degree programs at Baylor. "Because it offers so much, including valuable counsel from business people, PEP seeks a genuine commitment from the inmates who participate."

The application form is some 11 pages long. Inmates get dropped if they fail to take the program seriously. But the results are significant, Wilson said. Once back in society, more than 80 percent of PEP graduates gain employment within 30 days. Their recidivism rate is under 10 percent, vs. 50 to 70 percent without the program.

"Their lives are genuinely being changed," Wilson said.

Presented annually, the TeamMBA awards honor graduate management education programs for exceptional student and institutional initiatives designed to give back to the community.

"TeamMBA is all about giving back to society and making this world a better place for all of us," said Dave Wilson, president and chief executive officer of GMAC. "These students are actually helping to educate business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs and community leaders."

The 2009 TeamMBA Award recipients, selected by an international panel of judges, are:

    Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business
    • The Boston University School of Management
    • The Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College
    • Mississippi State University's College of Business
    • The University of Central Florida's DeVos Sport Business Management Program
    • The University of Navarra's IESE Business School

More than 7,000 students, staff and faculty from 71 schools around the world have donated over 25,000 volunteer hours and raised more than $500,000 for charities and community organizations since the inception of TeamMBA in 2005. For more information about TeamMBA, visit www.gmac.com/teammba.

About GMAC

The Graduate Management Admission Council (www.gmac.com) is a nonprofit education organization of leading graduate business schools worldwide dedicated to creating access to and disseminating information about graduate management education. GMAC is based in McLean, Virginia, and has a European office in London. The Council owns the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), used by approximately 4,600 graduate management programs at some 1,900 business schools around the world to assess applicants. The GMAT - the only standardized test designed expressly for graduate business and management programs worldwide--is currently available at more than 450 test centers in over 100 countries. More information about the GMAT is available at www.mba.com.

About PEP

Founded in May 2004, PEP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Houston, Texas. The mission of PEP is to stimulate positive life transformation for executives and inmates, uniting them through entrepreneurial passion, education and mentoring. More information about PEP is available at www.pep.org.

About Baylor Business

Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business holds to a visionary standard of excellence whereby integrity stands shoulder to shoulder with analytic and strategic strengths to build leaders, not simply careers. In addition to state-of-the-art skill development in the functional areas of business -- accounting, finance, marketing, information technology, management and others -- students develop ethics skills that yield credibility and true leadership potential in today's organizations. More information is available at www.baylor.edu/business or on Twitter at twitter.com/Baylor_Business.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: VIDEO ABOUT BAYLOR'S PRISON ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAM MAY BE VIEWED ON YOUTUBE.

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