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MMM '18 Graduates Celebrate

Segal Design Institute Hosted Reception and Awards ceremony

Michael Perry (center) received the Design & Innovation Award from the MMM Program.Michael Perry (center) received the Design & Innovation Award from the MMM Program.
The 2018 graduates of the MMM Program pose for a class photo in Ryan Auditorium.The 2018 graduates of the MMM Program pose for a class photo in Ryan Auditorium.
Professor Holderfield gave both Umang Shukla (left) and Amy Collins (right) the Academic Excellence Award.Professor Holderfield gave both Umang Shukla (left) and Amy Collins (right) the Academic Excellence Award.
Graduates from the MMM Program listened to remarks during an awards ceremony in Ryan Auditorium.Graduates from the MMM Program listened to remarks during an awards ceremony in Ryan Auditorium.
Nick Anastasiades received the Breed Prize from the MMM Program.Nick Anastasiades received the Breed Prize from the MMM Program.
David Caine (left) received the Distinguished Student Service Award from the MMM Program.David Caine (left) received the Distinguished Student Service Award from the MMM Program.
Class of 2018 graduates from the MMM Program applauded during an awards ceremony in Ryan Auditorium.Class of 2018 graduates from the MMM Program applauded during an awards ceremony in Ryan Auditorium.

Northwestern University's MMM Program celebrated the graduation of 58 master's students on June 22 and 23 as part of the University's 160th Commencement.

A ceremony in the Technological Institute's Ryan Family Auditorium on June 22 recognized graduating students who received the Distinguished Student Service Award, the Breed Prize, the Design & Innovation Award, and the Academic Excellence Award.

Dean Julio M. Ottino of the McCormick School of Engineering made remarks along with Professor Greg Holderfield, co-director of the MMM Program and the Segal Design Institute.

Distinguished Student Service Award

Associate Dean Matt Merrick presented the Distinguished Student Service Award to David Caine.

The Distinguished Student Service Award is given to a graduating student considered to be a shining example of dedication, scholarship, service, and leadership to the MMM Program. The winner is a student who demonstrates exemplary leadership and advocacy on behalf of their fellow classmates.

Caine said that receiving the award was "humbling and gratifying."

"Taking such a visible leadership role was not something that I had done frequently in my career prior to MMM," said Caine. "It was a real challenge and learning experience for me, and receiving the award is great positive reinforcement to continue to step up and advocate on behalf of others."   

Caine was elected President of the MMM Student Executive Committee by his peers. He also served as Vice President of Gaming in the Media and Entertainment Club, as a member of the Academics Committee of the Kellogg Student Association, and was an Admissions Reader for the Kellogg Student Admissions Committee. He also co-founded the Virtual and Augmented Reality Experiences Club with two fellow MMM classmates.

When asked to reflect on what his greatest lesson from the MMM Program was, Caine chose "empathy."

"I appreciate that MMM has taught me to be a more empathic person," said Caine. "MMM has certainly helped me understand that empathy is not an inherent trait. Rather, it's a muscle that needs to be exercised. I appreciate that because empathy is so important in life. My MMM experience made me a better husband, friend, and stranger, and I truly appreciate that."

Following graduation, Caine will join Digital McKinsey in Chicago as a Senior Associate. He hopes to help clients build human-centered design and agile software development capabilities as well as improve omni-channel customer experiences. He also wants to support McKinsey's Generation initiative.

The Breed Prize

Professor Holderfield presented the Breed Prize to Nick Anastasiades.

The Breed Prize is given "in the spirit of Allen K. Breed's entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, drive for innovation and devotion to manufacturing" to a graduating MMM student who has demonstrated outstanding potential for technology-based management, leadership, and innovation.

"I am absolutely thrilled to win the Breed Prize," said Anastasiades. "I have tremendous respect and admiration towards every single one of my MMM classmates, so for them to choose me to win the prize means the world to me."

Anastasiades was a Zell Fellow, an applied entrepreneurial experience for a select number of Kellogg students. He was also a member of the MMM student team that won the Rotman Design Challenge in 2017, a member of the team that won the Kellogg Business Design Challenge in 2017, and a member of the team that won the Kellogg Venture Challenge in 2018. He was Co-President of the Kellogg Entrepreneurs Organization. Anastasiades also received the Kellogg Innovator award, which is chosen by votes from the Kellogg student body.

Looking back at his experience in the MMM Program, Anastasiades pointed to the curriculum as making a powerful impact on him.

"The entire MMM experience has changed my perspective as a businessman and entrepreneur," said Anastasiades. "The customer-obsessed mindset that is so prevalent in the curriculum has driven me to be in search of true customer problems and simple design-led ideas to solve them."

After graduation, Anastasiades is "going full-steam" ahead with his startup, 2ndKitchen. 2ndKitchen is a platform that connects bars to restaurants in their neighborhood so customers can seamlessly order food to the bar in minutes.

"We just got accepted into an accelerator in the summer," said Anastasiades. "And I am laser focused on building a rockstar team and expanding our service throughout Chicago."

Design & Innovation Award

Dean Ottino presented the Design & Innovation Award to Michael Perry.

The Design & Innovation Award recognizes a graduating MMM student who has demonstrated excellence in the pursuit and promotion of human-centered design at Northwestern. The award is given to an individual who exhibits consistently high levels of imagination and insight and whose studies have been significantly broadened through the lenses of design and creativity.

Perry spent the summer before his second year at Kellogg as a strategy intern with frog, a global design and strategy firm. As a student, Perry served as the Vice President of Innovation for the Innovation and Design Association (IDEA) organization. Perry was also the Executive Team Director of Marketing, Experience and Planning as for MaKeathon@Kellogg.

When asked about the most meaningful part of his MMM experience, Perry cited a culture that encourages risk-taking.

"All too often new ideas are met with overwhelming skepticism or criticism, especially in the business world," said Perry. "I am thankful for the MMM program and my fellow MMMs for creating an environment of inspiration, creativity, and trust where ideas have a chance to grow and become something truly groundbreaking. There are inherent risks when creating something new and my fellow MMMs were always willing to take the risks necessary to bring innovative ideas to life."

After graduation, Perry will begin a digital strategy role at IBM where he hopes to continue to work with designers and design thinkers as part of IBM's IX team.  

Academic Excellence Award

Professor Greg Holderfield presented the Academic Excellence Award to Amy Collins and Umang Shukla. The Academic Excellence Award is presented to the graduating student with the highest overall grade point average. Collins and Shukla each earned a 4.0 GPA.

Collins was the Vice President of Academics for the Operations Management Club at Kellogg and she was a summer associate at Bain & Company before her second year at Kellogg.

"I feel very proud to have received the Academic Excellence Award," said Collins. "I worked hard over the last two years at Kellogg and it was very exciting to be recognized for that effort."

Reflecting on what was most valuable about her experience in the MMM Program, Collins cited the opportunity to develop new skills.

"I appreciated the ability to take classes that were out of my comfort zone and that pushed me to build new skills like programming and graphic design," said Collins. "The diversity of classes that I took in the MMM program was unlike any other MBA curriculum and I appreciated being able to explore so many different topics that were outside of a traditional business curriculum that will help me to become a better and more well-rounded business leader."

After graduation, Collins will start work as a consultant with Bain & Company in Atlanta.

Shukla also expressed pride at receiving the Academic Excellence Award.

"I spent a lot of time and energy on other parts of the Kellogg and MMM experience while still maintaining my academics, and am happy to see that I was still able to keep up my grades," said Shukla.

As a Kellogg student, Shukla was involved with Special K!, IDEA Club, and the Kellogg Board Fellows. Before his second year at Kellogg, Shukla was a marketing intern with Unilever.

Looking back on his experience in the MMM Program, Shukla said the "amazing community" was the most meaningful part for him.

"I am so grateful to have had the chance to spend two years with remarkable peers who are going on to do amazing things," said Shukla. "The consistent interaction and friendship across both years have given us the time to forge deep, lasting friendships."

After graduation, Shukla will start working at Bain & Company in San Francisco.

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