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Scholar Award Cohort: Fall 2016

Belinda Chiu '17

Belinda is a second-generation Taiwanese born in Minnesota and raised in Tempe, AZ. Visiting extended family in Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong helped Belinda whet her appetite for diversity, respect of different cultures, and international travel.


Belinda first heard about Thunderbird when she was 12 from her piano teacher, whose daughter was a student at Thunderbird. She went on to study at Arizona State University, attaining degrees in piano performance, computer information systems, and psychology. During her time at ASU, Belinda worked as a research analyst for Decision Theater, a collaborative workspace bringing together multidisciplinary stakeholders to create public policy changes impacting communities around the world.


Currently, Belinda is the Chair of the City of Tempe Human Relations Commission, a volunteer group that advises the Mayor and City Council on areas such as diversity, promoting mutual understanding, and eliminating prejudice and discrimination. She also facilitates a 6-week series of Diversity Dialogues where community participants discuss diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness.

Upon graduating from the Masters of Global Management program at Thunderbird, Belinda would like to combine her passion for people and diversity with the areas of leadership and organizational development, particularly in non-profits and social entrepreneurship.

Logan Ward '17

Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Logan Ward served a humanitarian Chinese mission which included studying both traditional and simplified characters, and majored in Chinese language. During this service he taught classes for Asian immigrants that allowed him to implement successful programs for Chinese immigrant inclusion into American culture, immersion into various Asian cultures, and leadership opportunities including diverse groups with international experience.


Upon completing his service, he has decided to focus on working in emerging markets. With a global mindset, he has fine-tuned his diplomatic skills through various projects as well as dealing with assorted foreign associates and customers.

Natalia Cavalhier '17

Natalia is a curious and passionate individual who believes that the more we learn about different cultures, the more we find common ground that allows for personal growth and community development. Born and raised in the northern area of Brazil, Natalia grew up with a deep appreciation for education and finds it to be the most fundamental tool for change.


An honors graduate of the University of Kentucky’s Gatton School of Business, Natalia started her career working for the Department of Defense with sponsorship contracts at military bases in the San Diego area. Natalia’s role evolved into a Business Development Manager position for the Department of Defense where she was responsible for generating revenue through marketing partnerships and strategic alliances, and promoting clients’ products and services at military installations in the west coast. Her responsibilities included managing Fortune 500 accounts such as Toyota Motors, McDonald's, Ford Motors, Geico, and USAA.  Natalia has a deep interest for languages, speaking Portuguese, English and having a good understanding of French and Spanish. Her language skills made it easier for her to pursue her love for travel; Natalia has traveled extensively around the globe to learn about new cultures and new languages. In 2012 she took a one-month sabbatical to immerse herself in French culture, and, in fall of 2013, Natalia was offered to assist a Duke marketing professor in Kazakhstan. The program was a pioneer initiative to bring Duke’s MBA to top executives in Kazakhstan.  


Upon graduation from Thunderbird Natalia is interested in careers that offer the ability to apply her business development experience and strategic skills.


Nick Penna '17

Life experiences have set the foundation for a clear goal-execution, results-driven mindset for Nick Penna, who hails from Australia. As a result, he has developed a perspective of maintaining a global focus in all enterprises he undertakes. This is demonstrated by, for example, having taught martial arts in nine different countries, playing rugby for the Greek national team eleven times, and moving to the Netherlands, where he played semi-professional rugby for two-and-a-half-years.


In addition, his career path and passion for international business has also lead him to work for and contribute to companies such as IBM, Under Armour, and, most recently, Levi Straus. All of these positions have allowed him to contribute to a global business platform across linguistic and procedural boundaries.

Sapphire Nguyen '17

A native of Vietnam, Sapphire Nguyen is seeking a career path in Ecommerce with a focus in Business Analytics or Merchandising that leverages her strong business knowledge and web technology skills. Sapphire Nguyen wants to focus on sales trends and make informed advertising decisions in the next stage of her career.


Sapphire has dual undergraduate degrees in Banking & Finance Management and International Business. In Vietnam, she has worked for a variety of companies including KPMG and Lamido.

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