Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate announces scholarship recipients for 2020-21 school year

The Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate at Roosevelt University (MBIRE) has awarded scholarships to 10 students as part of its commitment to disperse $90,000 in scholarship funds for the 2020-21 academic year.

“Some of the most recognizable names in the Chicago real estate industry have established scholarship funds for real estate students at MBIRE,” said Collete English Dixon, MBIRE executive director. “We’re honored that these industry leaders are generously investing in the education of the next generation of real estate leaders. With this financial support, in addition to the networking, internships and instruction from leading industry practitioners at MBIRE, our scholarship recipients will be highly prepared to excel in their real estate careers.”

The recipients include four undergraduates and six graduate students.

Two recipients, Caden Fosnaugh and Wrigley McGuire, were awarded $15,000 each from the Louis and Ruth Kahnweiler Scholarship for Future Leaders in Real Estate. This fund targets undergraduates pursuing a bachelor of science in business administration with a concentration/major in real estate (BSBA-RE) at Roosevelt University.

A senior majoring in finance and real estate, Fosnaugh recently completed an internship in the treasury payments division of BMO Harris Bank, and he currently works at the Woodstock Public Library. After graduation, Fosnaugh plans to become a portfolio manager or real estate asset manager.

McGuire, a senior pursuing a BSBA-RE degree, plays varsity baseball for Roosevelt University. A licensed real estate salesperson in Arizona, McGuire was an administrative assistant with Presidio Tucson Management, a property management firm where he audited resident accounts and led the creation of a recycling program for apartment properties.

Four $7,500 scholarships from the Duke Realty Dream Fund were awarded to undergraduate students Maria Bernal and Rachel Horwath and graduate students Dyryl Burnett and Tatiana Nagornova.

Bernal, a junior pursuing a BSBA-RE, said she hopes to own a residential real estate brokerage firm after graduation. A senior at MBIRE pursuing a BSBA-RE degree, Horwath said she has always had an interest in real estate and is excited about the opportunities that the Duke Realty Dream Fund will provide.

Burnett, who is pursuing a master of science in real estate (MSRE), also teaches financial math to seniors and gives presentations to young adults on financial and life-skill topics. He is the founder and chair of My Soul Is Dope Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose purpose is to propel the lives of students, families and communities into the necessary resources and opportunities to enhance their standard of living. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mass communications and art technology, respectively, from Illinois State University and plans to be a real estate developer and investor.

Nagornova, an international student from Moldova pursuing a MSRE degree, most recently worked at a startup in the renewable energy industry. She said she chose MBIRE because of the school’s support of minorities and international students. She has a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from Universitatea de Stat din Moldova.

The goal of the Duke Realty Dream Fund is to support diversity as well as overall excellence in the real estate industry, and is particularly interested in assisting students interested in industrial real estate.

The James and Brenda Grusecki and Northern Builders, Inc., Scholarship for Future Leaders in Real Estate was awarded to graduate students Deborah Graham, Ryan Watt and Jennifer Warfield. The three, all of whom are pursuing MSRE degree, each received a $7,500 scholarship.

Graham, a senior adviser to the Illinois state treasurer, is the former alderman of Chicago’s 29th Ward and served four terms in the Illinois House as state representative for the 78th District. During that time, she was a member of numerous committees, including appropriations-public safety; appropriations-human services; juvenile justice reform; transportation & motor vehicles; labor; housing and urban development and pension funds management.

Watt is a multifamily property manager in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood for Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC. He said he looks forward to gaining practical knowledge in the development and valuation of properties during his time at MBIRE. He has bachelor’s degrees in English and mathematics from Illinois State University.

Warfield, who holds bachelor’s degrees in finance and economics from Roosevelt University, recently began a position as a real estate and customer experience manager at Prologis. She completed a summer internship in property management in 2019 at Zeller Realty Group and decided to pursue a MSRE degree at MBIRE after her supervisor, an alumnus of the school, highly recommended the real estate graduate program.

“I now love real estate and I’m eager to begin my career and studies in this prestigious program,” said Warfield. “My jump from managing office space to industrial real estate followed the patterns of the market and the economy. The diverse elective courses at MBIRE allow me to go in any direction in real estate.”

The John Newman Real Estate Scholarship—established in 2007 by John Newman, a former president of the specialty banking division of LaSalle Bank—awards $7,500 in scholarship funds to financially assist a student who is approved to work with MBIRE as a graduate assistant to one of the faculty of the real estate program over the course of a single academic year.

This year’s scholarship was awarded to graduate student Marlon Taylor, who is pursuing a MSRE degree. Most recently, Taylor was a development consultant for The Gettys Group, where he was responsible for maximizing real estate investments of key stakeholders. In his previous project management positions at Clark Construction and JLL, Taylor managed several key projects, including a naval apartment complex in Norfolk, Virginia, the new Malcolm X College in Chicago, a Holiday Inn Disney Springs Hotel in Orlando, Florida, and the renovation of more than 35 AMC movie theaters nationwide.

“I am honored to be among the recipients of the John Newman scholarship and gain additional exposure to the real estate industry through research, mentorship and relationships with MBIRE’s partners,” said Taylor, who earned his bachelor’s degree in architectural studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “I look forward to gaining additional exposure to the industry through research, mentorship and networking opportunities afforded by MBIRE.”