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William G. McGowan Fund Announces 2015 Fellowship Class

CHICAGO, IL — The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund has announced the 10 recipients of its 2015 fellowship awards. Fellowships are granted to second-year MBA students who show outstanding leadership potential as well as strong dedication to ethics and public service. They must also be in the top five percent of their class at one of 10 U.S. partner schools that include Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, Duke, Georgetown, and Northwestern Universities; Dartmouth College; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and the Universities of Chicago, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

The 2015 McGowan Fellows are Rhett Andrew Braunschweig, Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management; Leandro Brufman, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business; Julianne K. Bruno, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School; Michael P. Cacchio, Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business; Yumna Cheema, Columbia University, Columbia Business School; David E. Houlihan, Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business; John Irving Mahler, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management; Alexander Stalker Munns, University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business; Amanda Lynn Olar, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business; and Jason Stewart Sierra, Duke University, Fuqua School of Business.

Fellows receive a full-tuition scholarship for their second-year studies, the largest cash award given by a program of this kind, and mentoring throughout the academic year from a prominent business leader (more) selected by their home school. Fellows also participate in a group project. This year’s project is part two of a two-year project sponsored by the American Heart Association and focuses on developing a new business case for a portfolio of national programs designed to prevent heart disease.

Diana Spencer, executive director of the McGowan Fund, said, “Every year we are thrilled with the exceptional MBA students who join our growing community of Fellows. This year’s distinctive group of aspiring leaders has demonstrated their commitment to ethical leadership and societal concern in prior jobs, through volunteerism, and university leadership roles. We are proud to welcome them as the Class of 2015.”

The McGowan Fellows program was established in 2010 by the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, a Chicago-based family foundation, whose grant-making interests are in human services, education, and healthcare and medical research. The purpose of the program is to create a select community of highly talented, emerging business leaders who are dedicated to ethical leadership and service, reflecting the spirit and interests of William G. McGowan, former chairman and CEO of MCI. The Fund Board of Directors believes that, over time, these top-ranked Fellows will be well-positioned to exert significant influence toward the betterment of the workplace and society.

Because a core value of the Fellows Program is the importance of community, Fellows participate in a variety of activities throughout their fellowship year and beyond. The centerpiece is the Fund-sponsored annual Symposium on Business Leadership and Ethics that examines aspects of ethical leadership through the eyes of distinguished business leaders and leading academics. This year’s Symposium will take place on November 7 at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Fellows also participate in a group project which includes a spring weekend working retreat.

Today, there are 40 McGowan alumni. Thirty-two percent hold citizenship outside the United States. They have been employed by Fortune 100 and 500 companies; organizations including Teach for America and the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation; and have started entrepreneurial ventures in global healthcare and film. They share a host of accomplishments in addition to their academic and professional achievements. Among the group is a U.S. Army Bronze Star recipient, two Peace Corps volunteers, and a certified coral reef researcher.