Five MBA Students Receive Eassa Scholarships for 2018-19

 Pictured left to right: L to R: Randa Bishai, Maria Jiminez, Joe Eassa, Whitney Erasmus, Anna Felip and Alfredo Herrera

The Rinker School of Business at Palm Beach Atlantic University has announced the newest slate of graduate students to receive a Joe J. Eassa Scholarship, which is named after a former faculty member and founder of its MBA program. 

The five MBA students receiving a Eassa scholarship for the fall 2018/spring 2019 semester, pictured from left to right, are: Randa Bishai and Maria J. Jimenez, both of West Palm Beach; Whitney Erasmus of Royal Palm Beach; Anna Felip of Palm Beach Gardens and Alfredo Herrera of Lake Worth.

The Joe J. Eassa Jr. Scholarship is considered the largest award program for MBA students in Florida to be created in honor of a college or university faculty member.

Prior to retiring from PBA in 2017, Dr. Joe J. Eassa Jr. served as professor of graduate business studies and the Alexander Proudfoot Skills professor of business. Today he holds the title of professor emeritus in recognition of his more than 40 years of distinguished service to PBA.

The new 2018-19 scholarship awardees had the opportunity to meet Eassa recently during an awards presentation on campus to celebrate their achievements.

Graduate student Bishai, who is pursuing the MBA finance track, said Eassa’s stories about his own PBA journey from founding the MBA program to his academic and career accomplishments were inspirational.

“After meeting Dr. Eassa I feel even better about getting the scholarship,” said Bishai Wednesday, still  impressed by the encounter. “He’s my role model.”

Bishai said she’s thankful for the Eassa scholarship as it will help her to achieve her MBA degree, which in turn will advance her career and broaden her horizon. 

Eassa spearheaded the launch the university’s MBA program  -- its first graduate program -- in August 1989.  Eight years later,  students from the Rinker School of Business MBA Association established the endowed scholarship in his honor.

Others agreed Eassa’s achievements are impactful.

“To see how far this school has come… it’s a good story,” said Jimenez, who is pursuing the MBA marketing concentration while working for a local nonprofit organization. “To be part of the five chosen, it was very special. I felt very blessed and honored.”

During his time at PBA, Eassa served in a variety of roles, including as assistant to the president, acting executive vice president, dean of administrative and financial affairs, associate dean for graduate studies, and interim dean of the Rinker School of Business. He was also instrumental in the launch of PBA’s annual American Free Enterprise Day, an annual event since 1984  that honors the achievements of local entrepreneurs during a medal-conferring ceremony.

As of 2017 nearly 50 MBA students have received Eassa scholarships since the endowment was launched in November 1997, PBA records show.

Qualifications for the scholarship include enrollment in the MBA program, good academic standing and successful completion of at least six credit hours each semester.

To learn more about the Joe J. Eassa Jr. Scholarship, click here.