Mendoza School of Business

MNA Alumna Unites Work Experience and Education to Fight Hunger

Lainie Holland, MNA ’22

Author: Bryan Fields

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Lainie Holland (MNA ’22) needed to feed her appetite for knowledge. Now she’s helping others avoid hunger. Holland earned her Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) degree at Mendoza and today puts her skills to work at Cultivate Food Rescue in South Bend, IN, to feed those in need.

Her degree led to her promotion as director of planning and programs, where she helps the organization provide healthy, nutritious meals to those who face food insecurity. Cultivate collects edible food from restaurants, grocery stores, and other facilities that would otherwise be thrown away. She leads the development team and oversees efforts such as the backpack program, which distributes food packs to 10 school corporations totaling 1,200 students on free and reduced lunch plans. Funding comes from grant applications and soliciting donations from corporate sponsors, individual donors, and several foundations.

Lainie Holland MNA ’22

Holland said pursuing her MNA while working at Cultivate allowed her to share knowledge between work and school. “I could apply my job experience to theory in class and then bring theory to my job and apply it there to enrich both.”

Her practicum at ND’s Office of Clinical Partnerships was especially helpful by showing her how community partners were teaming up to tackle hunger and how she could leverage those relationships at work.

“I was able to connect with different offices and groups at the university to learn how they were working with food insecurity and how it was directly related to what I’m doing,” Holland said.

Holland, who grew up in South Bend, chose the MNA program because of its special focus on the unique needs of nonprofits, as well as the university’s dedication to serving her home region. “ND is known for academic excellence and the dedication it has to the community, actually engaging in the community by partnering with local organizations to contribute to the betterment of our neighbors,” she said.

Learn more about how Mendoza’s Master of Nonprofit Administration can help you lead your charitable organization to success.

Mendoza School of Business