Business student earns national social impact scholarship

Contact: Stacey Markin
Photo of WMU student Catherine Lemus.

Catherine Lemus

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Catherine Lemus, a student at Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business, recently received the American Marketing Association’s Social Impact Scholarship, which is awarded to student members of AMA chapters who make a positive impact on their local, regional or larger community in terms of the environment, social justice, economic fairness, health conditions, quality of life, or other social concerns. Lemus is one of two recipients nationally.

Lemus, a senior majoring in marketing, was recognized for how she has used her marketing skills in a variety of meaningful ways, including:

  • Participating in Alpha Lambda Delta, a nonprofit honors society, where Lemus met new people on campus and took part in service projects such as volunteering at local shelters for the homeless
  • Serving as a founding member of Future Leaders of Kalamazoo, a group whose goal is to mentor local middle school students, aiding in their transition to high school where they can earn scholarships through the Kalamazoo Promise
  • Taking on the role of parent relations director at Alpha Xi Delta, a national nonprofit fraternity, where she developed a monthly newsletter, informing parents of the chapter’s community involvement
  • Serving as inter-chapter relations director with A Moment of Magic, a national nonprofit organization that allows college-age students to volunteer at children’s hospitals and social service institutions to provide creative programming
  • Working as a media marketer and funding assistant at Prevention Works, a nonprofit organization connecting members of the Kalamazoo community with public health programming. Lemus built strong relationships with past, current and prospective donors where her campaigns assisted in raising $2.1 million for the organization.

Currently working at Herman Miller as a digital sales excellence intern, she was attracted to the company due in large part to its commitment to giving back to the West Michigan community through its foundation, Herman Miller Cares, as well as the company's initiative to reduce environmental waste in the business.

In fall 2019, Lemus plans to study abroad in Oslo, Norway, with the goal of understanding the cultural ideals that encourage citizens to take an active role in their community. When she returns, she will be writing an honors thesis which illustrates how American organizations can emphasize these community-driven ideals to increase awareness, participation and funding of important social organizations.

"Throughout my involvement with various initiatives, I have always taken time to share my love for volunteerism through personal social media platforms, newsletters and word of mouth," says Lemus. "Becoming a marketing major has allowed me to pursue my dream job of sharing the positive stories from organizations. This is what makes marketing a great fit for my career."

Dr. JoAnn Atkin, associate professor of marketing and AMA student chapter advisor recognizes that Lemus is a marketer who makes a difference.

"Catherine is an outstanding example of one of my favorite mantras: use your marketing powers for good. I am thrilled that the American Marketing Association is recognizing her ability to do just that. I look forward to the additional, positive impact she will have in years to come," she says.

about the Award

The AMA collegiate scholarships were established by the American Marketing Association Foundation to recognize student leaders who are using their marketing skills to make communities stronger. The scholarships were first awarded in fall 2016.

The philanthropic arm of the AMA, the AMA Foundation, champions individual marketers who are making an impact in the profession and community, recognizing marketing visionaries who have elevated the field and supporting the next generation of marketers who will transform the profession.

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