May 22, 2020 | By Nicholas Center for Corporate Finance & Investment Banking | Back to blog

keaton nankivil

Keaton Nankivil received the Jerred Service Award for his service activities while pursuing his MBA in Finance and maintaining a GPA of 3.75 or higher. Keaton’s contributions are noteworthy for the outreach work he has engaged in while in the program.

A faculty nominator notes: ‘He definitely is a leader on his project teams – he developed a prototype for a product and was a leader on the team that published research on Facebook Libra.”

A faculty member notes for him, “I just wanted you to know that I’m proud of your performance on the FinTech project so far. You dove into this project with full force and delivered something that truly adds value.  You have a real talent for business – far beyond just Finance – and it’s been a pleasure watching you develop.  And I know this project must be frustrating in many ways, but you’ve never once mentioned it!  Keep pushing yourself like this and there is no doubt success – however you define it – will be there.”

A staff nominator writes, “He is an amazing student who has great compassion for his fellow students, center Staff and humanity as a whole. Always helpful, he is someone I could rely on to represent the center in a positive light. He will be greatly missed, and no doubt become successful in his career.”

He served as the Entrepreneurship Association, Co-President. As one of the leaders in the organization, he provided members with practical experiential learning opportunities that gave them broad exposure to the entrepreneurial mindset. Useful skills such as collaboration and outside the box/critical thinking enabled members to look at entrepreneurship as a mindset rather than a specific action, like starting a business. This mindset equips members to thrive in any business environment and is beneficial to all MBAs. He helped to arrange a panel on diversity in entrepreneurship, which was co-sponsored with Diversity in Business, a pottery night to explore and understand the pivoting of a business, a session on profit and purpose with B-Corps with Net Impact, and a group meal to see a smaller scale local entrepreneur.

He served as a Discussion Facilitator of the TED Talk Video: How to Revive a Neighborhood: With Imagination, Beauty, and Art by Theaster Gates. In this inspiring TED Talk, we meet Theaster Gates, an artist-turned-activist who created a buzz by hosting art installations in abandoned buildings, eventually partnering with local business and civic leaders to create cultural hubs that breathed new life into his community. Selected by our nominee, this TED presentation teaches us how one leader’s passion and vision can mobilize a group of disconnected people with few resources to achieve great things.

He has been instrumental with his approach to service, especially the Food Drive. During his first year in the full time MBA program, he had an idea to support the community by starting a Food Drive for the Wisconsin School of Business MBA. He communicated with a local food shelter, created flyers, and put donation boxes in every single center to raise awareness. In his second year, he worked with the Graduate Business Association to create a more elaborate initiative. He supported a competition among the MBA centers keeping track of how much food they donated on a weekly basis. Overall, the MBA program donated over 1,000 lbs of food- enough for over 900 meals! The center that raised the most donations received the esteemed Nankivil Cup.

In just two years, he was able to create an initiative that the Wisconsin School of Business and GBA are extremely proud to be associated with, and many families in the local community are extremely thankful and grateful for this cause being adopted by our Wisconsin Badger family. This is just a small token of the service Keaton has demonstrated during his MBA.