History of Scholarship and Grant Support by WHCMAA

Scholarships and Grants Offered 
by the Wharton Health Care Alumni Association (WHCMAA) 

The primary purpose for forming WHCMAA was to support the Wharton Health Care Management (WHCM) MBA Program, its students and faculty. This continues to be the primary focus of WHCMAA through to the present time. WHCM support through grants and scholarships has been core to fulfilling this mission. The type and magnitude of support has evolved and grown as the WHCMAA and the WHCM Program has evolved and grown. This support has consisted of four major initiatives:

  • Book Stipends
  • William L. Kissick Scholarship
  • Global Health Volunteer Projects Grants
  • June Kinney Fellowship

The Start: Book Stipends

When WHCMAA was young and there were few alumni, the WHCMAA Board initiated a program of grants to students in the form of Book Stipends. These were credits applied to students’ accounts that could be applied at the Penn Book Store. These grants started at $40 and eventually increasing to $75 as the cost of books increased and our revenues allowed, these grants provided tangible evidence of the alumni support for each new class of HCM students. As the cost of tuition relative to books increased, WHCMAA turned its support efforts towards scholarship funds described below and discontinued the book stipend.

Growing Commitment: William L. Kissick Scholarship

The second major WHCMAA initiative was to create the William L. Kissick, MD Scholarship (“The Kissick Scholarship”). In the 1980s, a focused, year-long fundraising effort was undertaken to establish a fund to provide scholarship support to a rising second year WHCM student who was interested in public policy in honor of Dr. Kissick, one of the founding faculty of the HCM program. Dr. Kissick had taught the Introduction to the Health Care System course, and as such, had given many of the alumni our initial grounding in our future field. He believed that a strong U.S. healthcare system required fluency in three sectors: private business, academia, and public policy. The purpose of this scholarship was to address the fact that students accepting summer residencies in public policy or at not-for-profit and academic organizations often were paid substantially less than their business colleagues during for their summer work. Originally, the Kissick Scholarship was a way to mitigate this financial disparity for WHCM students working in the public policy or not-for-profit arena. 

To contribute to the Kissick Scholarship fund, click here

Kissick Scholarship Awardees 1988 - 2023

Kimberly A. Amato

Kirsten E. Garen
Norman E. Hubbard

Alison L. Marx

Joanne Malin

Cathy K. Eddy

Ellen Yin

Lisa A. Lacasse

Lynn C. Bongiorno

D. Allison Almand

Therese B. Condon

Robin L. Smith, M.D.

Gerald (J.P.) Gallagher

John M. Lewis

Linda T. Donoho

Jean-Luc S. Neptune, M.D.

Leslie B. Rhee
Yves A. Zinggeler

Erika L. Greenfest
Rebecca M. Schwietz

Andrew S. Resnick, M.D.

Vijay P. Manthripragada
Sachiyo Minegishi

Wesley H. Kaupinen
Janhavi Kirtane

Heather N. Aspras
Anne B. Hoang

Vikram D. Bakhru, M.D.
Kara L. Fowler
Samuel H. Holliday

Alexis F. Bernstein
Amanda S. Davis
Vikas Goyal
Brandi S. Herman

Elizabeth Ann Almasi, M.D.
Edward K. Chan
Lauren D. Dicola
John F. Voith, III

Cody Dashiell-Earp
Haley A. Moss
Kalyan Pamarthy
Kathryn F. Sullivan

Ross D. Stern

David C. Fajgenbaum, M.D.

Gil Kaminski

Simon Basseyn

Pankaj Jethwani, M.D.

Shivani Amar
Ariana Chehrazi

Scott Heyman
Ilana Nelson-Greenberg

Natalie Miller
Sandy Varatharajah

Cindy Zhao
Cindy Zheng

Kelsey Hayes
Krishna Shah

Brian Cortese
Rainbow Yeung


Expanding Impact Globally: Support of International Student Programs

In the late 1990s, alumni recognized a gap in the WHCM experience and curriculum related to international health issues. Alumni first addressed the gap by organizing a cultural exchange with China in which a group of alumni traveled to China to study how hospitals there operated. A few years later in 2000, WHCMAA formally supported an effort to address management needs identified by the Cape Town, South Africa Primary Care System through organizing volunteer pro bono consulting. This experience gave alumni an opportunity to mentor students through international health improvement projects, and in that first year 12 alumni and 6 HCM students spent 2 weeks in Cape Town; however, the mentorship dimension continued for one year. The original project expanded and was extended for a total of five years with WHCMAA alumni volunteers organizing each year’s projects in South Africa and taking increasing numbers of students each year to provide mentoring and “on the ground” experience. The duration of this project allowed the students to organize their own Wharton Global Health Volunteers (WGHV), a student run club within the WHCM program that has continued organizing and operationalizing international health improvement projects for 15 years. Projects have been completed in Africa, Asia, India, the Caribbean and South America. For over a decade, WHCMAA has continued to support this initiative with annual grants to the WGHV student club to help cover the cost of participation in the project for at least one student who would otherwise not be able to participate. In addition, alumni provide project leads and continued mentoring as requested by WGHV students.

Doubling Down: June Kinney Fellowship Scholarship

While the WHCM program was the first MBA program in the country that allowed students to focus in the management of health care enterprises, the program’s success and the success of its alumni over the past four decades resulted in the rapid growth of competing health care management MBA program across the US. The completion for outstanding students had increased. 

So, in 2013, when WHCMAA asked the WHCM department how it could best apply its resources to address departmental needs, it was identified that the best avenue to pursue would be to establish an additional scholarship that would allow the Director of the program to use to attract the best and the brightest students into the program. The June Kinney Fellowship Scholarship (“The Kinney Scholarship”) was established in 2015 to provide additional financial assistance to an applicant to the WHCM program who was already accepted for admission to Wharton and the WHCM program. The purpose of The Kinney Scholarship is to help the WHCM program retain its premier student body. 

So, WHCMAA undertook another fund-raising effort and raised over $500,000 to establish this second scholarship in honor of June Kinney who has served as WHCM Program Director for over 3 decades.  Each year, the WHCMAA awards one or two incoming students a Kinney scholarship totaling $20,000 with the purpose of supporting HCM’s ability to attract the best applicant who shows “a sense of social mission, as well as leadership characteristics that will both build community within the class and contribute to the societal health care enterprise after graduation.” By offering this scholarship along with an offer of mentoring, WHCMAA contributes to the WHCM program’s ability to attract the best candidates, most of whom have attractive offers from other schools as well.

To contribute to the June Kinney Fellowship, click here

June Kinney Fellowship Awardees

Steven Cupps
Alex Wittenberg

Geoffrey Gusoff
Jonathan Wood

Angela Udemba
Devi Mehrotra

Jenna Ackerman
Elizabeth Morse
Nina Underman

Lauren Hochman

Nikki Singh
Kerone Wint
Elena Butler
Whitney Pan
Chloe Schoen