MPS Leadership Team

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Nicole Brunning, President

Nicole Brunning is a second-year MBA candidate with concentrations in strategy and marketing. Prior to pursuing her MBA, Nicole spent six years working in education - first as a middle and high school English teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools and later in education nonprofits in New York City. Most recently, Nicole worked with Reading Partners New York, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting early childhood literacy in systematically disadvantaged communities, where she focused on development and community engagement. Nicole is an alumna of both Teach for America and AmeriCorps and holds a B.A. magna cum laude in English (with a concentration in secondary education) from Grand Valley State University and an M.S. summa cum laude in Educational Studies from Johns Hopkins University. 


Eric Sweeney

Eric Sweeney, VP of Programming

Eric Michael Sweeney is an MBA candidate at the University of Notre Dame preparing for a role in strategy/consulting. Eric hails from New York City by way of Portland, OR. His experience includes managing, negotiating, and licensing a portfolio of award-winning Broadway shows and talent throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, as well as creative planning and execution of theatrical events in New York City. In his free-time, Eric enjoys going to the theater, cooking for friends, and traveling. At 6, Eric told his grandmother he wanted to be famous like Britney Spears. He’s still working on it.


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Anna Mariani, VP of Communications

Prior to pursuing her MBA at Notre Dame, Anna graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Marketing, Economics, & International Business. She spent the next four years in Boston working at digital advertising agency, Digitas, on the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) team. Anna is looking to get into brand management post-MBA.


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Justine Ward, VP of Partnerships

Justine Ward is currently pursuing an MBA at the University of Notre Dame where she is focusing on strategy and marketing. Prior to pursuing her MBA, Justine spent 7 years in the media industry, most recently as an on-air host and reporter for SNY (SportsNet New York) in NYC. Justine hopes to move into a business development or a corporate communications strategy role post graduation. Justine is thrilled to be working with partners in the South Bend community through MPS as she returns to Notre Dame for her MBA after graduating from the university with a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in 2012. 


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Kurtis Hardy, VP of Strategic Engagement & Innovation

Prior to attending Notre Dame, Kurt graduated from Ripon College (WI) with a degree in business management. He then spent the next eight years leading complex projects, most recently as a program manager of digital strategy at UnitedHealth Group. At Notre Dame, Kurt is studying strategy and entrepreneurship. 



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Nikita Kulkarni, VP of Programming

Prior to pursuing her MBA at Notre Dame, Nikita graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Finance and Management Information Systems. Her experience includes working at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in a financial analyst position and at 2 non-profit organizations in the education sector based in Newark, NJ. Nikita will be pursuing a law degree post-MBA and hopes to eventually move into a legal role at a financial services firm.