Posted on May 15, 2020 by Wendy Frost

Kelsey Waters, ’20, senior director of operations at Packet, was chosen by her UTSA College of Business Executive MBA (EMBA) classmates as the 2020 Wayne J. Drymala Scholar.

Kelsey Waters“I feel greatly honored to have been selected by my peers for this award,” said Waters.

Each year the EMBA class nominates a peer who demonstrates ethical behavior, contributes intellectually to program activities, supports others and excels in team building and leadership. Established in 2008, the Wayne J. Drymala Memorial Endowed Scholarship is awarded to one graduating EMBA student each year. The award was established in honor of Wayne Drymala, EMBA ’01, who passed away in 2006.

Asked about how she defines leadership, Waters said, “I believe leadership is both outward and inward… [leaders] are people who influence, who take responsibility, who listen and who know that leadership is a privilege.”

As an example of her leadership, Waters immediately reached out to her fellow classmates at the start of the pandemic to coordinate a class donation for the San Antonio Food Bank. “San Antonio’s low-income population is at risk now as the schools that feed their children close,” shared Waters.

“As unemployment rises, more people than ever will rely on local resources like the Food Bank to help them through this challenging time.” Waters encouraged her classmates to donate to the San Antonio Food Bank and committed to matching their donations using her Drymala Scholarship.

Bruce Rudy, faculty director of the Center for Professional Excellence and associate professor of management, suggested Kelsey’s actions belied a broader set of skills and abilities. “What a wonderful way to give back to the San Antonio community! Knowing Kelsey this is not surprising, but is inspirational nonetheless. She possesses so many of the skills that we know great leaders have–curiosity, persistence and empathy.”

“The UTSA cohort-based program provides students the opportunity to build relationships with their peers and to engage in meaningful discussions both in and outside of the classroom,” reflected Waters on her EMBA experience.

“The most valuable thing I leave this program with is my connections to the leaders I might not otherwise have interacted with.”

When asked about what she would say to someone considering the Executive MBA program Waters said, “I would encourage anyone thinking about an EMBA to go for it. I encourage making a list of all the things that matter to you as a student and choosing a program that aligns with your learning style.”

Kelsey is one of 35 students graduating from the college’s EMBA program this May. This cohort also includes inaugural graduates from the program’s health professionals track.

The UTSA EMBA is a 21-month MBA program taught by leading-edge research faculty and award-winning educators. In 2020, CEO Magazine ranked the EMBA program No. 8 globally. 


— Wendy Frost