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And the SAMBA Award Goes to…

Congratulations to Stacie Smith (OJ) and Tara Hagan (OI) of the Class of 2014, recipients of the October SAMBA Award!

Created through a partnership between the SA and MBA Program, SAMBA recognizes unsung students who have had an exceptional impact on the HBS community, improving morale and elevating the sense of community on and off campus. Stacie and Tara have both demonstrated extraordinary leadership on a variety of fronts and, as a result, have had noteworthy impact on the HBS community.

MBA staff members, the SA, the award nominators and the award recipients all gathered at a breakfast on October 29 to recognize and celebrate Stacie and Tara.
Among the many words that were used to describe Stacie Smith at the SAMBA Awards breakfast, “servant leader” and “inclusion” seemed to sum up her impact to the HBS community.  Without a leadership position in her section, Stacie has continuously involved herself in section academics and community values by sharing personal stories, tutoring and mentoring others.

While leading behind-the-scenes in her section, Stacie has led very publically as a co-president of African American Student Union where she continually exhibits character traits that we all want to emulate.
When mentioning the AASU Conference last year, which was rescheduled due to a blizzard, her nominator said: “Stacie’s commitment [to the AASU conference] was ultimately tested when the Nemo blizzard caused the conference to be rescheduled, while many prospective students and attendees were stranded here in Boston.

Not only did Stacie organize the group to host an impromptu dinner with all attendees that had arrived, but she also actively reached out to facilitate rescheduling of many aspects of the conference for the next month.  What could have been a devastating blow to the conference and her morale after months of tireless effort, Stacie handled the situation with grace.”
Tara Hagan’s humble contributions have flown under the radar here at HBS, until last week’s SAMBA awards.  Her story is the epitome of an understatement.  Tara’s actions may be quiet, but they are widespread.  Earlier this fall, in conjunction with the WSA, she launched the Manbassadors program and is driving more conversation about gender equity at HBS.  She has shown tremendous skill and tireless leadership to the HBS Show, including writing last year’s script.  Additionally, Tara volunteered to lead the WSA’s FRC exam review session when volunteers were scarce.  She has been known to drop all that she is doing to help someone who needs it.  At HBS, where there’s always something going on and where everyone has much to do, this has enormously impacted her peers.
To quote Danny Samit (EC) who nominated Tara, “She does everything and never asks for credit.  Who comes to business school to be a tour guide?  To write articles for the Harbus?  To involve men in the women’s student organization? To organize the photo expedition about female alumni in Spangler? To lead the FRC review session? Usually we’re lucky if people give back to the community a little bit.  Tara spends her whole day giving to the HBS community and has asked for nothing in return.”
The SAMBA breakfast, left us all feeling inspired and eager to hear about more students here at HBS who contribute in exceptional ways.  To say that Tara and Stacie impacted us would be a wild understatement.
So, do you know a Stacie or a Tara?  Someone who deserves to be recognized?  If yes, please nominate this fantastic individual. They deserve it.
Polls are now open for the November SAMBA Awards and faculty, staff and students are invited to nominate!

November 5, 2013
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