Faces of Carlson featuring Varun Grover ’20 FTMBA, Melinda Pavek ’03 MBA, and Parthsarthi Mishra ’22 BSB

Faces of Carlson: Fall 2021

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Among our greatest achievements at the Carlson School are the connections we have made to each other and to the school. Our Faces of Carlson series showcases the perspectives of our inimitable students, faculty, staff, and alumni, highlighting what inspires them and makes them proud of their work and communities.


Faces of Carlson: Black and white photo of Melinda Pavek, ’03 MBA
Melinda Pavek, ’03 MBA

Melinda Pavek

’03 MBA

“I have hope based on seeing all of the knowledge that is being built in the world and the true resilience of humanity. For example, as I look at the COVID-19 global pandemic, I see all of the ways we have learned to work globally and exchange information in research and development and do that in ways that are faster and more cross-disciplinary. And those cross-disciplinary actions and lessons we’ve learned are not going to stop simply because we conquer COVID-19. They’re going to be relationships and approaches and ideas that are going to be able to be applied in whole new sectors, whether it’s other health challenges, other diseases, or new approaches to the way we organize the world and the way we connect with each other. That gives me hope.”

Faces of Carlson: Black and white photo of Varun Grover, ’20 FTMBA
Varun Grover, ’20 FTMBA

Varun Grover


“Six years ago, I was sitting with my grandmother, who I was really close to. [We] were having a conversation about her dad, my great-grandfather. She was telling me stories about his time as a scientist. Then, about how he was able to accomplish everything that he did because not only was he intelligent, but because he put his intelligence to use. I was at a point in my undergraduate studies where I was coasting by. Just that conversation had a huge impact on me. She passed away about three or four months after that and that is when her message really sunk in. It drove a lot of the decisions I made in my life later: to move from my hometown, to start my job, and then to pursue an MBA early in my career. All those things came from that one moment where she told me to put my intelligence to good use and actually put some work in.”

Faces of Carlson: Black and white photo of Chinh Truong, Academic Advisor
Chinh Truong, Academic Advisor

Chinh Truong

Academic Advisor

“What inspires me personally? My three-year-old inspires me. Always inquisitive. Learning for the sake of learning. Everything is so shiny and new. Boundaries are constantly tested for better or worse. You know, at some point the world has trained so many of us to check things off lists and jump through various hoops in order to get what we want, right? But he reminds me of the joy of just being, which makes me want to pick up some new hobbies or maybe return to some old ones.”

Faces of Carlson: Black and white photo of Geida Cleveland, Assistant Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Undergraduate Program
Geida Cleveland, Assistant Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Undergraduate Program

Geida Cleveland

Assistant Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Undergraduate Program

“The most pivotal moment in my life was when I became a mother for the first time, to my oldest son. He really changed my life and saved me from a lot of destruction that I could have done to myself. But mainly, after I gave birth, I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety, which is something that a lot of women don’t talk about. And mental health is not something that’s spoken about in my community, the Latinx community. And so to have to experience anxiety and panic attacks and not knowing who to speak with, was something that was really pivotal for me because I found the space to get help. I have been receiving mental support since my first son. And I don’t know that I would have ever done it for myself, but I did it to break the cycles and not pass on generational trauma to my kids.”


Faces of Carlson: Black and white photo of Parthsarthi Mishra, ’22 BSB
Parthsarthi Mishra, ’22 BSB

Parthsarthi Mishra

’22 BSB

“The most pivotal moment in my life would have to be immigrating to the United States. I moved to the U.S. when I was six. My dad wanted to pursue further studies in the United States, and really they wanted a better life for me as their son, and moving to United States has been a blessing in disguise. Obviously, so many opportunities, so many friends. Obviously, there are struggles that have come with it, but at the end of the day, I think that one moment has changed my life.”

Fall 2021 alumni magazine cover

This article appeared in the Fall 2021 alumni magazine

Our world, our lives, and our work have changed. We must continue to adapt.

So, how do we do that? Where do we go from here? What’s next?

Fall 2021 table of contents