School of Business announces annual IAPP Westin Scholar

2021 Westin Scholar
Mercer's 2021 IAPP Westin Scholar Fred Walker (left) and Jody Blanke, who serves as Ernest L. Baskin Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Law in the School of Business

ATLANTA – Mercer University student Fred Walker was recently recognized as the business school’s 2021 International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Westin Scholar. 

With the growing need for well-qualified privacy and data protection professionals, the annual Westin Scholar Awards were created by IAPP to support students who are identified as future leaders in the field.

Mercer is a participating Westin Scholar Award school. Walker was selected by Jordan “Jody” Blanke, Ernest L. Baskin Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Law, to receive the award in recognition of Walker’s outstanding performance in Blanke’s course “Legal and Ethical Issues Affecting Big Data.”

“Fred did a great job on every assignment in the course and has a genuine interest in all of these rapidly changing issues in privacy law,” said Blanke. “With states like California and Virginia enacting privacy statutes and Apple making major changes regarding its privacy requirements for apps, there will be an even greater need for privacy professionals.”

As a Westin Scholar, Walker will receive a $1,000 cash award, a copy of the book Privacy and Freedom by Dr. Alan Westin, two years of membership in IAPP, three complimentary exams for IAPP certifications and unlimited access to virtual training for all IAPP certification programs.

Walker is pursuing his Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree and took Blanke’s course as an elective because of his interest in the subject matter.

“I’m honored to have been chosen by Professor Blanke as the recipient of the 2021 IAPP Westin Scholar Award,” said Walker. “I want to thank him, the School of Business and IAPP for this distinguished award. Through Professor Blanke’s course, I’ve gained valuable insight into the importance of privacy law and data protection. I look forward to becoming part of the IAPP organization.”

Blanke has been teaching about privacy law for more than 35 years, and the School of Business currently has two courses pertaining to privacy: an elective course, titled “Privacy Law and Policy,” available to Master of Business Administration and MAcc students, as well as “Legal and Ethical Issues Affecting Big Data,” a required course in the Master of Science in Business Analytics program.

The Westin Scholar Awards pay homage to the late Dr. Alan Westin, a foundational voice in the field of privacy and data protection. Throughout his life, Dr. Westin researched and wrote about privacy, data protection, digital identity and the future of how societies will deal with issues at the intersection of law and technology. He is the namesake for the IAPP Westin Research Center and Fellowship Program, which was founded in 2013 and serves as a pathway for future leaders in the community.

About the School of Business

Established in 1984, Mercer’s School of Business is named for Eugene W. Stetson, a 1901 Mercer graduate and business pioneer who leveraged the first major buyout in corporate history, and his grandson Robert F. (Bob) Hatcher, a Macon businessman, longtime supporter, trustee and former board chair for the University. Over the past 80 years, Mercer has granted over 12,000 business degrees, and many of its graduates hold senior leadership positions in companies around the world. Mercer’s business school delivers career-focused business education in order to develop innovative leaders who are responsible global citizens. It holds accreditation from the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which places it among the top five percent of all top business schools worldwide. Mercer’s business school has been recognized by the Princeton Review for “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students” and “Greatest Opportunity for Women” as well as being one of its “Best Business Schools.” In addition, it has been recognized among the “Top 15 Schools in the Nation for Marketing and Accounting.” The School offers the following programs: Atlanta (Evening and Online BBA, Full-Time (Day) MBA, Evening MBA, Online MBA, Master of Accountancy, M.S. in Business Analytics), Macon (Traditional BBA, Evening MBA, Health Care MBA, and Innovation MBA), Henry County (Evening BBA). For more information, visit