2012 Mead Endowment Will Fuel Darden Professor’s Dream to Develop Female Leaders

20 September 2012

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business today announced that Professor Yael Grushka-Cockayne is this year’s Darden recipient of the 2012 Mead Endowment.

An endowment named for Darden Professor John Colley sponsors a Darden faculty member to participate in the Mead Endowment Program. The program encourages faculty members to engage students in their work and recognizes that a rich social environment, in addition to the curriculum, is an important and valuable component in to a world-class educational experience. Grushka-Cockayne’s Dream Idea asks the question: How can we change the fact that there are only 18 women CEOs at the top of Fortune 500 companies?

Based on conversations inside and outside the classroom, Grushka-Cockayne has determined that the success of female MBAs depends upon finding good role models who encourage diversity while acknowledging key challenges. Her Dream Idea is to provide three students with the opportunity to attend the 2012 TEDxWomen conference in Washington, D.C., at which a host of extraordinary speakers will share their personal stories.

This is not the first time that Grushka-Cockayne has been recognized for her impact with students. Last year, she was chosen by a recent MBA graduate to receive the distinguished Morton Leadership Faculty Award. In explaining her selection, the student commented that Grushka-Cockayne’s ability to “make the space for asking the right questions” and her willingness to listen to a variety of answers were the qualities she most admired in her professor. The TEDxWomen conference’s theme is The Space Between.

Grushka-Cockayne believes listening and conversing with this year’s conference speakers will inspire her students. To select this small group of students, she will engage participants in an ongoing community discussion about the topic before, during and after the convention through proposal submissions, two social events and social media outreach.

Using mathematics and game theory, Grushka-Cockayne demonstrates how and when companies benefit from diverse opinions. In practice, she believes that our society needs more successful women in business and more overall diversity. This year’s Mead Endowment will allow her to enhance the experiences of women MBAs at Darden.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Press Contact

Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia