The Impact of Giving

Philanthropic Awards Recognize Student Excellence

Amber Lewis MBA 15 graduated this spring with three valuable possessions: a UC Davis MBA, a full-time position at Gartner Consulting and a deeper understanding of what she truly wants from life. After spending two years in the non-profit sphere, including a CORO Fellowship in public affairs, Lewis’s return to school gave her a chance to pause her life and take time to “reflect, have personal insights, and develop your inner strengths and talents.”

Lewis received the Nitzberg Fellowship, awarded to female re-entry students demonstrating outstanding scholarship in pursuit of their MBA, and for her outstanding leadership as a student, she was honored with the Robert H. Smiley Leadership Award. For Lewis, the awards helped alleviate financial stress so she could make the most out of the opportunities offered by the Graduate School of Management.

And Amber isn’t alone: 89% of incoming MBA students receive scholarships or fellowships. This support carries through to the students’ approach to their classes, fostering a strong sense of teamwork and cooperation.

“Contrary to the stereotype of business school, our class feels like a team, and mutual support and respect is a foundation in our class culture,” said Lewis. “While your fellow classmates are committed to investing in themselves for these two years, they are also equally committed to their investment in you.”

Stand Out Students

Friends and alumni have established many funds for our students who excel both inside and outside the classroom and show great potential.


William F. and Jean M. Allewelt Award for Management Students
Established by William and Jean Allewelt, this scholarship is one of the School’s first endowed awards and supports a Full-Time MBA student in good academic standing (est. 1998).

  • Sasikanth Vadlamudi (Full-Time MBA)

Brad Atwood Scholarship
Established by Virginia and Greg Kelsch to honor the pivotal role that Brad Atwood, former vice chancellor at UC Irvine, played in recognizing Virginia’s career potential. This scholarship supports an MBA student who plans to pursue a career or who has an interest in not-for-profit organizations and management (est. 1993).

  • Hilary Bekmann (Full-Time MBA), Summer Intern, Fenix International

California Wine Industry Management Education Award
Established to honor the strong partnership the California wine industry has with Professor Emeritus Robert Smiley, this fellowship supports an outstanding MBA student who is interested in becoming a wine industry professional (est. 1998).

  • Caleb Cavazos (Full-Time MBA), Summer Intern, HALL Wines

James R. and Georgia K. Corbett Fellowship for Student Entrepreneurs
Established by James and Georgia Corbett, passionate mentors and long-time supporters of the School, this fellowship supports an outstanding MBA student who is judged to have motivation, potential and passion for succeeding in the entrepreneurial world (est. 2000).

  • Shareghe Mehraeen (Full-Time MBA), Summer Intern, PG&E

Dolan Family Management Education Award
Established by Eamonn and Kathleen Dolan, this award combined with matching support from the UC Davis Foundation supports Full-Time MBA students who have overcome significant financial hardships or other obstacles (est. 2013).

  • Jose Macedo Keysight (Full-Time MBA)

Richard and Joy Dorf Graduate Award
Established by Professor Emeritus Dick Dorf and his wife, Joy, this award combined with matching support from the UC Davis Foundation assists in recruiting outstanding students for the Full-Time MBA program (est. 2013).

  • Ruchi Bali (Full-Time MBA)

Michael Fitzsimons Wine Industry Graduate Award
Established by Michael-David Winery Family Foundation and the Phillips families in honor of longtime friend and mentor Michael Fitzsimons, this award supports the recruitment of an MBA student planning to pursue a career in the wine industry (est. 2013).

  • Nicholas Wolfe (Sacramento MBA), Senior Associate–Wine Division, Silicon Valley Bank

Michael Fitzsimons Wine Executive Student Award
Established by Michael-David Winery Family Foundation and the Phillips families in honor of long-time friend and mentor Michael Fitzsimons. This award supports a Viticulture and Enology student to attend the UC Davis Wine Executive Program to gain additional industry business expertise (est. 2013).

  • Felix Egerer (Full-Time MBA)

Robert and Miriam Glock Graduate Award
Established by Miriam Glock to support the recruitment and retention of Full-Time MBA students who pursue their studies and careers in finance, and who have exhibited financial need. The finance field was selected to honor Miriam Glock’s late husband, Robert Glock, and his successful career in finance (est. 2013).

  • Daisy Zhang (Full-Time MBA)

Harkins Entrepreneurship Academy Fellows Award
Established by alumnus Malcolm Harkins MBA 92 and his wife, Kim, this fellowship supports registrants to attend free of charge a academy at the Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (est. 2014).

Keller Entrepreneurship Academy Fellows Award
Established by Barry and Lynda Keller, this award helps recruit the brightest innovators who do not have the financial resources to attend an academy at the Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (est. 2014). The 2014 UC Entrepreneurship Academy Fellows:

  •  Akshata Mudinoor, third-year doctoral candidate, UC Davis Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Maria Navas-Moreno, postdoctoral fellow, UC Davis Center of Biophotonics
  • Vivi Tolani M.D., postdoctoral fellow, Department of Thoracic Oncology (Surgery), UC San Francisco

Keller Pathway Fellowship
Established by Barry and Lynda Keller, this fellowship provides long-term support for women, cross-disciplinary researchers, and other under-represented university entrepreneurs in developing their business ideas through the UC Davis Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship programs (est. 2015).

  • Ann Spevacek, 2015 Ag Innovation Entrepreneurship Academy participant and UC Davis post-doctoral student in nutrition.

Gary Simon Big Bang Business Competition CleanTech Award
Established by Gary Simon to encourage more participants with CleanTech business concepts to enter the UC Davis Big Bang! Business Competition (est. 2014).

  • Started by team on UC Davis undergraduates, is developing a web-based service and mobile app that addresses the underlying causes of household food waste: forgetting already purchased foods, and not knowing how to cook them. At the Big Bang! final in May, the team received the $2,500 CleanTech Award, sponsored by Gary Simon, the $5,000 second prize overall and the $4,000 Mobile Apps for Societal Impact Award sponsored by the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) at UC Davis.

Stephen G. and Shelley A. Newberry Distinguished Fellowship
Recognizes an MBA student who has the potential to be a successful team leader in business. The recipient may not be of the highest academic ranking, but demonstrates great potential for leadership (est. 2008).

  • Christine Bolghand (Full-Time MBA), eBay
  • Venita Sivamani (Full-Time MBA), Education Pioneers Fellowship

Kenneth E. and Joanne M. Nitzberg Scholarship
In appreciation for what UC Davis has meant to them, Ken and Joanne Nitzberg made this gift especially to benefit re-entry women students in the MBA program. The two-year endowed fellowship honors Ken’s mother who returned to finish her college education after raising her family (est. 1998).

  • Amber Lewis Gartner (Full-Time MBA), Gartner Consulting


The Nilisha S. Agrawal Award
Established by alumna Nilisha Agrawal MBA 08, this award supports a Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc) student in good academic standing, whose life experiences have provided them with an international perspective on management issues, and plans to pursue a career in accounting and/or finance (est. 2010).

  • Yiwen (Erica) Chen (MPAc), PriceWaterhouseCoopers–San Jose

$5K and Change (Morlee Griswold Fellowship)
Established by alumna Morlee Griswold MBA 85, this fellowship supports a Full-Time MBA student who plans to pursue a career in social justice, social responsibility or environmental management (est. 2012).

  • Diana Westly (Full-Time MBA), Summer Intern, Participant Media

Jerome J. and Helen S. Suran Fellowship
Established by Senior Lecturer Emeritus Jerry Suran and his wife, Helen, these fellowships recognize and support students in good academic standing across the School’s three MBA programs (est. 1999).

  • Brooke Brown-Saracino (Full-Time MBA)
  • Michael Lewis (Bay Area MBA), Genesys, Senior Manager, Strategy
  • Todd Wallace (Sacramento MBA), Project Manager, California Secretary of State


Richard C. Dorf Awards for Academic Excellence
Established by Richard Dorf in appreciation for all that the School has meant to him over the years, and in recognition of outstanding MBA graduates. Three awards are presented at commencement to MBA students in each of the three programs in recognition of the highest GPA (est. 1999).

  • Bryce Fitzsimons (Bay Area MBA), President& Founder, GameMazing
  • Roman Terentiev (Full-Time MBA), Summer Intern, Intel
  • Yulia Yesukova (Sacramento MBA), Assistant Vice President, River City Bank

Robert H. Smiley Leadership Award
Established by the School in recognition of Robert H. Smiley’s leadership as dean of the Graduate School of Management from 1989 to 2003. Three awards are presented at commencement to MBA students in each of the three programs in recognition of outstanding leadership (est. 2003).

  • Janette Cruz (Sacramento MBA), Enterprise Performance Planning Coordinator, SMUD
  • Amber Lewis (Full-Time MBA), Gartner Consulting
  • Jessica Wusthoff (Bay Area MBA), Learning & Development Specialist, Quantcast

James F. Sullivan Award for Outstanding Service
Established in James F. Sullivan’s honor upon his retirement as vice chancellor of business and finance at UC Davis. One award is presented at commencement to an MBA student in recognition of outstanding service (est. 1991).

  • Erik Carlow (Full-Time MBA)

A portion of each year’s Graduate School of Management Annual Fund donations are directed toward this fellowship program. One award is presented to a first-year MBA student in each of the three programs, and one award will also be presented to a Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAc) student. The awards recognize those who are in good standing and who exemplify the core values of the GSM Alumni Association (est. 2004).

  • Venita Sivamani (Full-Time MBA)
  • Kristy Bird Trouchon (Sacramento MBA)
  • Alice Hsiung (Bay Area MBA)
  • Kristin Leib (MPAc)



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