Pozen Scholars (from left) Fedia Deshommes, Alexandrea Perkins, Brandon Harris and Daniel Mbeyah.
Pozen Scholars (from left) Fedia Deshommes, Alexandrea Perkins, Brandon Harris and Daniel Mbeyah.

Four diverse UF MBA students receive scholarship as inaugural class of Pozen Scholars

A generous gift from Robert Pozen, a faculty member at the MIT Sloan School of Management and former vice chairman of Fidelity Investments, has alleviated the financial barriers to earning a UF MBA for four full-time students.

Fedia Deshommes (MBA ’22), Brandon Harris (BABA ’16, MBA ’23), Daniel Mbeyah (MBA ’23) and Alexandrea Perkins (MBA ’23) are the inaugural class of Pozen Scholars.

Robert Pozen

Robert Pozen

Pozen’s goal with the scholarship, which he also gave to MBA programs at the University of Alabama and the University of Mississippi, is to promote diversity and offer financial support to qualified minorities seeking to complete their MBA. 

Pozen said he chose to support students at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business because of the College’s strong MBA program and the potential of UF MBA graduates to be business leaders in the state, especially with many choosing to remain in Florida post-graduation.

“I believe that having a more diverse pool of MBA graduates will help give them more equal opportunities to succeed in business,” Pozen said.

For Harris, who is the vice president of Out@Warrington, the LGBTQ+ organization for MBA students, and a social chair for the MBA Association, being named a Pozen Scholar has already allowed him to focus on excelling in his studies without having to worry about how to afford textbooks and courses.

Brandon Harris holds a sign that reads "Thank you, Mr. Pozen."

Brandon Harris

“As an openly gay, Black man in America, racial equality and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion are very close to my heart – especially given the difficult events of the past few years,” he said. “This scholarship provides me the ability to pursue my goal of eventually being a business leader whose voice and diverse perspective is critical to the larger social and business table.”

Deshommes, who spent her summer interning in Owens Corning’s Strategic Leadership Development Program, is appreciative of Pozen and UF MBA’s commitment to diversity through the scholarship, which has eased her concerns about financing her enrollment in the UF MBA program.

“[The scholarship] demonstrates that UF MBA invests in the diverse talent that is joining the program and values the various perspectives that we contribute to the program,” she said.

Perkins, a member of the Black Business Student Association, Out@Warrington and Women in Business Association, is grateful that being a Pozen Scholar has allowed her to focus on her goal of becoming a leader in the healthcare industry after earning her MBA.

Fedia Deshommes

Fedia Deshommes

“I am very grateful and appreciative for receiving this scholarship,” she said. “This scholarship helps fund my education, which increases my leadership opportunities and career prospects.”

For Mbeyah, being a Pozen Scholar has not only been invaluable in funding his educational experience but also in helping him accomplish his personal goals.

“[Being a Pozen Scholar] has helped me be more selective in how I spend my free time instead of working on campus,” the president of the Black Business Student Association said. “I am able to maximize my college experience through service learning in my leadership within the MBA student association, volunteer for opportunities to talk to and share my UF MBA experiences with potential minority applicants and prepare competitive internship applications. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to attend UF MBA without the Pozen Scholarship. I now have an equal chance to pursue my wildest dreams!”

In addition to the scholarship, Pozen’s gift also includes funding for a UF MBA-hosted summit of the Pozen Scholars from UF, the University of Alabama and the University of Mississippi. The summit will provide an opportunity for the Pozen Scholars to network with their MBA peers from other SEC schools.

Alex Perkins holds a sign that reads "Thank you, Mr. Pozen."

Alexandrea Perkins

“We’re very grateful to Bob for providing opportunities to diverse MBA candidates at the University of Florida,” said John Gresley, Assistant Dean and Director at UF MBA. “His leadership has enabled Alexandrea, Daniel, Fedia and Brandon to focus on building their foundation in business leadership, academics and professional development in the UF MBA program.”

In addition to Pozen’s role at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, he is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

He is the author of multiple books, most recently, “Remote Inc.: How to Thrive at Work…Wherever You Are.” In 2012, he won acclaim for a popular book entitled “Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours.”

In 2004, Pozen became the executive chairman of MFS Investment Management, which now manages over $400 billion for mutual funds and pension plans. Between 2004 and 2011, MFS’s assets under management nearly tripled from a base of $130 billion.

During his distinguished career, Pozen has been active in business, government and academia. Prior to joining MFS, he was vice chairman of Fidelity Investments and president of Fidelity Management & Research Company. During Pozen’s five years as president, Fidelity’s assets increased from $500 billion to $900 billion.

Daniel Mbeyah

Daniel Mbeyah

Pozen is currently an independent director of AMC (a subsidiary of the World Bank). He previously was an independent director of Nielsen, Medtronic PLC, and BCE (the parent of Bell Canada). He also serves as chairman of the Leadership Council of the Tax Policy Center, chairman of the Advisory Board of Agility (an outsourced CIO), trustee of the IFRS Foundation (international accounting), and member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

Pozen frequently writes articles for the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Harvard Business Review. He has published a book on the recent financial crisis, “Too Big To Save? How to Fix the US Financial System,” and a guide for investors entitled “The Fund Industry: How Your Money is Managed.”

He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College and holds a law degree from Yale Law School, where he also obtained a doctorate for a book on state enterprises in Africa. He lives in Boston with his wife of over 40 years.