Megan Baran and Jad Hamdan to receive Ilitch School's 2020 Outstanding Student Award


The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business has announced Megan Baran, M.B.A. candidate, and Jad Hamdan, information systems management and global supply chain management double major, as the 2020 recipients of its Outstanding Student Award.

Nominated by Ilitch School faculty and staff and selected by the dean's office, Outstanding Student Award winners are chosen based upon academic achievement, service to the school and university, and community involvement.

Baran and Hamdan will be honored at the Ilitch School’s 40th annual Recognition and Awards Program (date TBD). The Recognition and Awards Program is also where the Ilitch School celebrates the recipients of its Distinguished Alumni, Emerging Leader, Inspirational Teacher and Michigan Executive of the Year awards.

Megan Baran

Megan Baran earned her B.S. in psychology from Wayne State University in 2017. She began her graduate studies at the Mike Ilitch School of Business in 2018 and will earn her M.B.A. this December.

Baran is highly involved with student organizations around campus. She has been an active member of the Graduate Business Student Organization. Baran also founded and became president of the WSU chapter of Net Impact, an international nonprofit organization that aims to use business as a force to build a more just and sustainable world. She gives back to the community by participating in volunteer events hosted by Net Impact throughout Detroit that focus on sustainability.

Baran was selected for the Net Impact Plant-Based Food Fellowship, an innovative learning community of 20 fellows from across the United States. During her fellowship, she was able to work on salient issues that impact the future of food and the environment. Baran also went through a leadership training program as part of the Fellowship requirements, which strengthened her leadership skills.

Baran is a member of the Ilitch School’s chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS). Election to membership in BGS is by invitation only and is the highest scholastic honor that a student in business administration can achieve. Students must rank in the top five percent of their junior class, the top 10 percent of their senior class or the top 20 percent of those receiving master's degrees to be eligible for membership.

Baran won the Brenda M. Derby Memorial Award at the 2020 American Marketing Association Marketing and Public Policy Conference. This award is presented nationally to an outstanding student who demonstrates excellence as an emerging policy researcher. The award honors a strong advocate of the public policy and marketing subdiscipline. The award was for the paper titled “The Power to Make a Difference: Consumer Reactions to Alternative Meat Products” and was co-authored with Associate Professor of Marketing Andrea H. Tangari.

Jad Hamdan

Jad Hamdan is pursuing a double major in information systems management and global supply chain management. He recently completed an internship at Venture for America, where he led an intern team of five and supported the complex task of transitioning the annual Training Camp & Redux programming to a virtual setting for the first time.

Prior to this, Hamdan worked at Rocket Fiber in downtown Detroit, where he developed processes to boost residential market penetration rates, maintained the collection of over $15,000 in asset revenue and designed new onboarding documents to increase new-hire engagement.

As a highly active member within the WSU community, Hamdan has been involved as president of the Information Technology Organization, founder of the Business Networking Council, co-president and chief technology officer of the Business Student Senate, an Ilitch Business student ambassador and outreach coordinator of the Lebanese Student Association. He was recently designated the board director of Agency M-1, a student-led consultant agency created out of a $75,000 grant awarded to the Information Technology Organization.

Outside of school, Hamdan founded his own nonprofit gaming organization, New Dawn Gaming, which hosts more than 300 players and is dedicated to creating an online video gaming experience for all with a transparent and friendly community environment.

Hamdan’s broad business background and community engagement helped him to recently be accepted as a Venture for America Fellow, a prestigious national entrepreneurship fellowship program that mobilizes newly graduated college students to impact and create opportunities in America’s emerging cities. With only about 200 recently graduating/graduated college students accepted each year into the program, it is an honor for Wayne State to place one of our own within the program.

Hamdan will graduate from Wayne State University in May 2021.

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