Microsoft Alumni Foundation announces finalists for 2011 Integral Fellows Awards

The Microsoft Alumni Foundation (MAF) has announced the six finalists for the 2011 Integral Fellows Awards, recognizing the individuals for giving themselves to help others at locally and around the world.

A cornerstone program of the foundation, the Integral Fellows Awards Program recognizes Microsoft alumni who have dedicated their lives to creating something extraordinary to help address challenges around the world. This year's six finalists were selected from 19 nominees submitted by their alumni peers and from nonprofit organizations where Microsoft alumni are founders, officers and active volunteers.

Award winners will be recognized by Bill and Melinda Gates at the MAF Celebration on Nov. 16 in Seattle at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The award winners each will receive a $25,000 unrestricted grant for their nonprofit organization, as well as support from their fellow alumni to help continue in their efforts to build resources and scale solutions for their initiatives.

The six finalists are listed below:

• Nancy Andrews - Cofounder and project manager at SCOPE. SCOPE encourages religious leaders to embrace medical solutions to AIDS cure and prevention in Ethiopia.
• Oliver Hurst-Hiller - Chief technology officer and executive vice president at DonorsChoose uses technology to match U.S. public school needs with individual donors on a large scale.
• Tom Ikeda - Founder and executive director of Densho. Densho creates media-rich online archives that preserve historical artifacts and educate students around the world on Japanese internment during WWII.
• Mahnaz Javid - Founder and president of Mona Foundation. Mona Foundation provides social and economic development through local projects and managed support in countries around the world.
• David Risher - Cofounder of Worldreader. Worldreader provides digital e-readers with localized content which greatly increases the availability of books and encourages reading in developing countries around the world.
• Kevin Ross - Cofounder and founding chairman of Washington FIRST Robotics. Washington FIRST Robotics organizes and motivates volunteers to increase high school participation in robotics competitions and increases student careers in math and science in high schools in Washington State.

The MAF brings together Microsoft alumni to positively affect the world's challenges.

"Our alumni are innovators in the philanthropic community, creating solutions to help solve problems they care about deeply," said MAF board chairman Jeff Raikes. "Our Integral Fellows Program finalists were nominated by their peers for their innovations and their impact on people's daily lives. Today, I am honored to announce these six finalists and join Bill and Melinda along with 500 fellow Microsoft alumni on Nov. 16 to announce the final winners and celebrate all the nominees."

This year's panel of judges will review achievements that reflect the values of the MAF: innovation, entrepreneurship, effectiveness, collaboration and integrity. Additional criteria in selecting the winners include the ability to create something extraordinary out of limited resources; selflessness; passion; smarts; need; and scalability.

This year's judges are Phyllis Campbell, chairman of Pacific Northwest Operations for JPMorgan Chase and Co.; William Drayton, founder and CEO of Ashoka; Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN; Beth Kanter, author, nonprofit social media innovator and cofounder and partner at Zoetica; Eric Liu, author, educator and civic entrepreneur at Guiding Lights Network; Pierre Omidyar, founder and chairman at eBay Inc. and Tom Tierney, cofounder and chairman of The Bridgespan Group.

For more information on the nominees and finalists, click here.

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