Trustee encourages donations to SPHHS students

About a dozen second-year students in the School of Public Health and Health Services have left the program before completing their degree in recent years, citing financial reasons for their early departure. One member of University’s Board of Trustees is trying to reverse that trend.

GW alumna and trustee Zoe Beckerman initiated the donation of more than $50,000 in scholarship fund for students in the School of Public Health and Health Services’ two-year master’s program.

At the Board of Trustees meeting in October, Beckerman extolled the virtues of the School of Public Health and Health Services and its importance to the GW community, writing a check during the meeting to sponsor a student. Other trustees followed suit.

“I am very thankful for their support and leadership in stepping up and helping attract and retain the best students we can,” Beckerman said.

Unlike the other schools at GW, SPHHS does not have an endowment. For Beckerman, this makes the scholarship fund even more important.

“The fund is meant to ensure that GW can attract and retain the best and brightest public health students–tomorrow’s public health leaders,” Beckerman said.

Beckerman said the new scholarship fund would allocate a savings funds to keep second-year students from discontinuing with the program due to financial constraints. The money would also create scholarship packages for top applicants in SPHHS.

“[She made] a very generous public gift and challenged other members of the board to match her contribution,” SPHHS Interim Dean Josef Reum said in an alumni newsletter.

Clark Hagen, president of the school’s Student Association, said the scholarship was an asset to the school.

“Any available scholarship money is a great asset to SPHHS students. Our students are very diverse, coming from all backgrounds and parts of the globe,” Hagen said. “There are great differences in each student’s stage of career and financial situation, and scholarship awards can be of great benefit to drawing students to the school.”

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