Georgetown McDonough Students Use Ethics Project To Launch The Inspiration Collection
Georgetown McDonough MBA students E. Fallon Brideland (MBA’23), Alexander Fine (MBA’23), Samuel W. Fujinaka (MBA’23), Gregoire Marville (MBA’23), Eric Miller (MBA’23), Rishu Raj Singh (MBA’23), and Kevin Toland (MBA’23) launched the Inspiration Collection – a compilation of illuminating books recommended by students, alumni, staff, and faculty – with the goal of generating conversations that inspire people within the McDonough community and encourage Hoyas to live by the Jesuit value of cura personalis.
Located in Connelly Commons in the Rafik B. Hariri Building, the project aims to inspire future generations of learners and leaders and provide people with solutions to the challenges they might encounter at different stages of their lives. The Inspiration Collection is rooted in the Jesuit value of cura personalis or “care for the whole person,” which honors not just academic success but also mental and physical health, spiritual growth, and holistic development of a global citizen.
The Inspiration Collection features a series of books submitted by the McDonough community and includes a short message from the recommender about how this book made an impact on their lives, personally or professionally. The books range from bestsellers such as Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Jonson to The Anthroprocene Reviewed by John Green to The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – each shared by a member of the community with the goal of supporting other Hoyas as they navigate their professional journeys.
“We received testimonials from people who spoke about a book that helped them when they decided to have children and wanted a data-informed way to raise them and they found the answer in their submitted book,” Marville said. “We’ve also received a testimonial from someone who was facing a decision about different offer letters, and they submitted a book that helped guide them through their decision process.”
The Inspiration Collection began as a final group project for the MBA students’ Ethical Leadership course, which required a simple prompt: “do something good.” The project led the team to think about what they share in common, which they quickly realized was their shared connection to the McDonough community.
“The project started out with the question: how do you interpret the imperative to do good?” Fujinaka said. “So we went the conventional route to reflect on McDonough’s core values. What do we believe in institutionally? When you take the idea of community and learning and care of the person, which is where cura personalis comes in, it’s a perfect fit for the Inspiration Collection.”
After these questions were posed, the project took on a life of its own, going beyond a class project to become part of the school’s broader Operation: Cura Personalis initiative, which is a series of events, resources, and connection opportunities to support the total well-being of the McDonough community.
“We wanted it to be long-term so we reached out to [Associate Dean of MBA Programs] Kerry Pace to see how the collection could fit in the Hariri Building,” said Marville. “When we saw how enthusiastic she was about the project, it just gave us more energy to do it and we realized we can really have an impact that could last in the community and inspire other people.”
The response from the community has been greater than expected, with the project receiving over a hundred books and book recommendations in just one month.
“The fact that we more than doubled our target within the first month is incredible,” Fujinaka said. “The best part was the genuine excitement we saw in the responses of the people we invited to participate. They were super encouraging about the project and how they saw it aligning with our community’s values, and were grateful to be able to participate. This was really nice to see.”
The MBA team hopes the project will continue to benefit the community in the coming years and that new books will arrive to help inspire future learners and leaders. They also hope that beyond sharing knowledge, the Inspiration Collection will encourage others to pursue similar initiatives.
“We hope that it would inspire future students in the Ethical Leadership class to also dare to start a project from scratch – it can sound crazy to think that we built this in six weeks but it’s definitely possible. If your team is engaged and is motivated by it, you can do it. You can have an impact on your community,” Marville said.