Loan Forgiveness Fund Supports Wharton MBAs Working In Public Service

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce the 2012 recipients of the John M. Bendheim Loan Forgiveness Fund for Public Service.

The Wharton MBA graduates receiving an award are as follows:

  • Jeffrey Fabre (2009 graduate) who works for the US Federal Government.
  • Helen Foster (2007 graduate), an Operations Manager for the European Office of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation whose work helps improve people’s health in developing countries.
  • Charles Gans (2010 graduate), Senior Project Manager for New York City Development Corporation, helps to provide affordable housing and stimulate retail opportunities in New York City communities.
  • Jody Garcia (2007 graduate), a Commercialization Officer for PATH, an international non-profit organization, has been involved with the Safe Water Project to improve sanitation and community water in developing countries.
  • Basil Hantash (2010 graduate), Assistant Professor at the Elixir Institute of Regenerative Medicine, whose work is helping to develop high impact medical therapies for incurable diseases like type I diabetes and melanoma.
  • Orin Hasson (2009 graduate), an Associate Program Officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who is seeking ways to finance research and treatments for diseases which affect the world’s poorest people, and increasing crop yields of smallholder farmers in Africa.
  • Colin Knight (2011 graduate), a Strategic Advisor for the Government of British Columbia, whose mission is to improve management practices in health care in order to support the long-term sustainability of the publicly-funded system.
  • Vera Krimnus (2010 graduate), Director of Strategy for Teach For America, whose mission is to eradicate educational inequity.
  • Mindy Magyar (2009 graduate), a Project Manager for the Smithsonian Institution, whose recent efforts included transforming museum space into a Native American Café to educate patrons about Native foods and culture.
  • Shushant Mukherjee (2009 graduate), Manager of Field Finance Capacity-Building for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics AIDS Foundation, who is working in Rwanda to maximize funding for projects that will benefit HIV-positive mothers and children throughout Africa.
  • Neeti Nundy (2008 graduate ), a Commercialization Officer for PATH, whose current work focus is on adopting innovative, safe and effective contraceptive  and HIV prevention technologies in China and sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Taina Seka-Knox (2009 graduate), an Administrative Staff Analyst for the New York City Department of Education, who is applying her business knowledge to facilitate dialogue between principals and teachers around professional development and growth.

Managed by the Wharton Program for Social Impact, the Fund was created in 2005 by John Bendheim, W’40, and his son Tom, WG/Lauder’90, and is designed to encourage Wharton MBA graduates to pursue careers in the public and non-profit sectors.

“Wharton graduates have an enormous amount to offer the not for profit and public service sectors,” commented Tom Bendheim.  “Our goal in creating this loan forgiveness award is to encourage and support our MBAs’ choice to work in careers where they can have significant social impact.”

The Loan Forgiveness Award is open to Wharton MBAs during the first five years after their graduation.

The application process is competitive, and award selection is determined by a team representing Wharton Program for Social Impact, Financial Aid, MBA Career Management, MBA Admissions, and the MBA Program Office.

In 2011, two former recipients of the Award joined the selection committee, and contributed their insight both as award recipients and leaders in the nonprofit/public sector.

After spending several years working in the financial services sector, Neeti Nundy, a 2008 Wharton MBA graduate, enrolled in Wharton to pursue a career in public service. At PATH, she is on a team that advances the adoption of innovative, safe and effective contraceptive and HIV prevention technologies in China and sub-Saharan Africa. Neeti confirmed the importance of the financial support from the Award: “The decision to work in this field is made not only when we graduated but in fact is made every day…The Bendheims understand this, and I am so humbled.”

“We are grateful for the work that our alums are doing, and grateful for the Bendheim Loan Forgiveness Fund that makes it possible for them to pursue social impact careers,” explained Sherryl Kuhlman, WG’01, Managing Director of the Wharton Program for Social Impact. “Our goal is to use the Bendheim Loan Forgiveness program to strengthen and expand the social impact contributions of our alumni, and truly demonstrate how business can be a force for social good.”