Home » Featured News » Responsible Business Center Announces 2024 Fellowship Recipients

Responsible Business Center Announces 2024 Fellowship Recipients

Responsible Business Center | Feb 29, 2024 |

Fellows Receive Funding and Opportunities to Further the Responsible Business Center’s Mission and Their Own Academic and Professional Pursuits

In support of its objective to engage stakeholders with an interest in aligning business interests with responsible business practices, the Gabelli School of Business Responsible Business Center, awarded five financial fellowships to Gabelli School undergraduate and graduate students. The fellowships are awarded each year, and are bestowed upon applicants whose career interests focus on responsible decision-making in modern business, exploring the intersection of profitability and ethical issues.

In addition to the Fellowship funding, Responsible Business Center fellows will have the opportunity to elevate their personal brand and thought leadership through published one-on-one interviews, speaking opportunities, and spotlights on the Center’s website. As a team, the fellows will complete research projects, that will be distilled into papers and presentations. Their findings will be presented at the Responsible Business Center’s Annual Spring Summit.

“We are very excited about the research this year’s fellows will conduct, knowing that it will serve to advance the mission of the Responsible Business Center, while enhancing the academic accomplishments and professional pursuits of these gifted students,” said Leigh Anne Statuto, executive director of the Responsible Business Center.

2024 Responsible Business Center Fellows

Walder M. de Almeida, Jr., is a full-time M.B.A. student who hails from Brazil and is focusing his studies on finance and sustainability. In addition to serving as co-president of Fordham Graduate Net Impact and vice president of Corporate Affairs in the Management Consulting Club, he serves on the board of the Green Business Club and plays a pivotal role in fostering a sustainable and responsible business ethos in all that he does. Almeida’s educational journey also reflects a commitment to environmental, social, and governance practices. He earned an LLM in International Human Rights with honors from the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in 2020, where he demonstrated a keen interest in non-profit management and relevant social issues.

Almeida has over nine years of legal practice experience in Brazil and in the U.S., including at the International Legal Foundation, the world’s most prominent legal aid and access to justice nonprofit organization, contributing to criminal defense training and building legal assistance in countries ending armed conflicts.

“Being a Responsible Business Center fellow will allow me explore my interest in the ethical issues surrounding the use of technology in financial institutions, as well as examine the ways in which technology will have an impact on people’s lives. This opportunity provides the chance for me to augment my professional experience, as well as what I am currently learning as a full-time M.B.A. student.”

Chloe Mathewson, is a senior pursuing a B.S. in Business Administration with concentrations in finance, social innovation and global business, which is complemented by minors in economics and environmental studies. She is originally from Verona, NJ and is an Ignite Scholar who has been inspired to explore opportunities at the intersection of business and purpose.

She has been actively involved in numerous on-campus organizations throughout her time at the Gabelli School of Business. Since her sophomore year, she has served as a member of the outreach subcommittee of the Rose Hill Gabelli School of Business Dean’s Council, which allowed her to foster connections with local businesses and nonprofits. She has dedicated three semesters to mentoring first-year students as a freshman advising mentor and joined the Fordham Women’s Club soccer team this academic year.

Mathewson also has taken part in study away opportunities including participating in the Global Outreach project in Costa Rica, and studying for a semester at Fordham’s London Centre, where she competed in a sustainability hackathon with students from SLU-Madrid. To advance her professional skills, she has interned at Changing Our World, and has provided financial planning and analysis services for Doctors Without Borders. She currently is interning at the Women’s Business Collaborative, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to empowering women, as well as at Cultivate:Good, a social impact consulting startup.

Regarding her fellowship, Mathewson stated, “The culmination of my academic, leadership, and internship experiences has fueled my passion for purpose-driven business practices, and I am eager to continue making meaningful contributions as a Responsible Business Center fellow.”

Shaurya Thakur, is an M.S. in Quantitative Finance student from India, who has pursued his interest in exploring the dual facets of technology—the potential of AI and fintech in driving inclusive growth, and the complexities inherent in AI systems such as ethical considerations and biases—throughout his professional and academic career. He is fascinated with blockchain technology and its role in decentralized finance (DeFi), which has inspired him to explore innovative solutions for responsible and transparent financial systems. His professional journey as a financial data analyst has been punctuated by contributions to enhancing financial forecasting and investment strategies through innovative machine learning algorithms. These pursuits have not only developed his analytical skills, but also have enriched his understanding of the practical applications of AI and data analytics in the financial sector.

Thakur noted, “As a Responsible Business Center fellow, I am committed to delving into the social aspects of ESG, and advocating for responsible and inclusive business practices. My goal is to merge my expertise in quantitative finance with a deep understanding of technology’s role in society, contributing to a future where business practices are both economically sound and ethically responsible.”

Isabella Vallory, is a Professional (Part-time) M.B.A. candidate who is focusing on finance and global sustainability. She has worked in finance and education roles specializing in the nexus of sustainability and finance with a particular focus on the intersection between environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors and credit risk. She delivers climate and credit risk management solutions for institutions of varying sizes and specialties. Earlier in her career, she contributed to product development, analytical innovation, and thought leadership in the U.S. public finance segment.

Vallory holds a Sustainability and Climate Risk Certificate from the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). She has completed a postgraduate teaching course and earned a bachelor’s in International Affairs, summa cum laude, from the University of Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina. While at the University, she served as an associate professor, teaching international economics and finance. She explained, “My research interests are centered around identifying risks and opportunities associated with a climate transition, and the Responsible Business Center Fellowship will help me to have an impact as I enter the next phase of my career.”

Syed Ali Zeidi is an M.S. in Business Analytics student from Iran, who began his academic journey by earning a Bachelor’s in Italian Language from Azad University. He deepened his understanding of international security, strategic planning, and management by earning a B.S. in Strategic Sciences from the University of Turin, Italy. In his professional career, he has worked in security coordination at the Italian Embassy in Tehran and at a governmental refugee center in Italy.

During internships at the U.N. headquarters in New York and the U.N. office in Iran, Zeidi honed his communication skills and later held administration, management, and consular affairs roles at the Dutch and Finnish embassies in Tehran. He subsequently joined the United Nations Department of Safety and Security in Tehran, specializing in security risk assessment, crisis management, incident management, and safety and security management for over six years.

As a Responsible Business Center fellow, he plans to focus on the impact of new technology in the workplace. Zeidi commented, “The Responsible Business Center Fellowship offers a unique platform that allows me to apply my diverse experiences in a way that not only advances the field, but also serves as a catalyst for responsible global change.”

Congratulations to this year’s Responsible Business Center fellows! Applications for the 2025 Fellowship program will open in October 2024.

Written by Michelle Miller, associate director of communications, and Paola Curcio-Kleinman, senior director of marketing and communications.

Connect with the Gabelli School of Business

© 2024 Gabelli School of Business

GabelliConnect is the news site of the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University. Read about career opportunities, campus events, student and alumni success stories, and more.